Back in 2006, Jill Starishevsky started a business selling license plates for strollers. The idea was that when your nanny was out with the baby in the stroller, people could anonymously report on her behavior (whether good or bad) via the website, HowsMyNanny.com, listed on the plate. So kinda like those "How's my driving?" signs on the back of trucks.
I see two problems with her business plan. First, her customer base was limited to people with nannies. And second, I don't think the purpose of the license plate would have been evident to your average member of the public.
Back in 1964, Dr. Milton Berger called attention to the predictive power of a baby's burps. A baby with "strong and clear" burps will grow up to be a leader. However, the majority of people are "dithering" burpers. They'll become your run-of-the-mill member of the faceless masses.
Odd theory, but probably as good a predictor of future success as anything.
This was one of a series of postwar ads for magnesium, which illustrated how the miracle metal would allow consumers to do things nobody would ever want to do, like carry a baby carriage on your shoulder.
Could this boy perhaps have been the youngest person ever convicted of a crime and sent to jail?
The Minneapolis Journal - Nov 18, 1906
Wee Tot Sent To Prison
Three-year-old Swiss is convicted as a thief.
Geneva, Nov. 17 — The Swiss public and press are aroused at the extraordinary action of a magistrate presiding at the criminal sessions at Weinfelden in the commune of Thurgoirs, who has sentenced a child barely 3 years of age to three and a half months' imprisonment for "theft."
The child, who is the son of a laborer, saw some penny toys dangling from the doorway of a shop. He seized two of them, and took them home, and an hour later was "arrested" by a tall gendarme on a charge of theft.
When the case was called at Weinfelden the child had to be carried by a gendarme, as he could not be seen over the top of the dock.
In response to the magistrate's questions the little fellow laughingly admitted that he took the toys. He could not speak plainly, and it was with difficulty that the gendarme, who acted as intermediary, was made to understand that he wanted them "as he did not have any toys like other boys."
"Three and a half months' imprisonment," said the magistrate sternly.
The boy's parents fell on their knees before the magistrate, and pleaded with him to remit the sentence on account of his tender age and his inability to distinguish between right and wrong. The magistrate declined to revise the sentence, however, and said "Remove the prisoner."
The gendarme, who was much affected, carried the child out of the dock and placed him in the arms of an astonished warder.
Infant port-a-potties must be the new thing. Last week I saw a mother having her kid go to the bathroom in one of them in the back of a pick-up truck in the parking lot of a local supermarket. Now here's a story about a mother who whipped out a port-a-potty in the middle of a crowded deli, and had her kid do her business right there, as the other diners looked on in disbelief. One diner snapped a photo, for the benefit of the internet.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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