Weird Universe

Hobbies and DIY

Seaweed Collecting

Back in the Victorian era, this was apparently a popular hobby. From Collectors Weekly:

Affluent Victorians often spent hours painstakingly collecting, drying, and mounting these underwater plants into decorative scrapbooks... Part of the appeal was what a seaweed collection said about the collector. Anyone could appreciate and collect flowers, but painstakingly obtaining, preserving, and mounting seaweed specimens demonstrated patience, artistic talent, and the refined sensibilities necessary to appreciate the more subtle beauties of nature. Queen Victoria herself made a seaweed album as a young lady.

And yes, the seaweed did smell bad. But Collectors Weekly reminds us that the Victorian era was "a more pungent time."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Apr 18, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Nineteenth Century

Diamond Postcard Gun


Original ad here.


Original text here.

I am uncertain about how the technology of 1914 allowed for one-minute development of photos. But somehow they managed, as you can see from the buttons below.

And damn, that was one gorgeous hunk of equipment!


Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Business, Hobbies and DIY, Photography and Photographers, 1910's

XM42 Flamethrower

Purchase yours here.

A tip of the propeller beanie to Charles Stross.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Mar 21, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Death, Destruction, Hobbies and DIY, Technology

Car with Thatched Roof

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Dec 03, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Hobbies and DIY, 1960's, Cars

Collecting Dirt

Back in 1936, Patricia Salter had an unusual hobby for a 12-year-old girl. She collected dirt. Whenever I come across stories like this, it always makes me wonder what became of the collection. I'm guessing that at some point it must have been tossed in the trash, or dumped outside.

But it looks like there are some like-minded dirt enthusiasts in the present day, over at the Museum of Dirt.

Source: The Washington Post - Feb 9, 1936
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Jun 16, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Collectors, 1930's


Alouette by René Jodoin & by Norman McLaren, National Film Board of Canada

Once upon a time, before karaoke, our ancient ancestors entertained themselves thus.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue May 27, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Hobbies and DIY, Music, 1940's

Enjoy the Experience

This 2-disc compilation of "homemade recordings" is pure caviar for all WU-vies. Listen to more at the link below, then buy your copy--which features many other "hits"--soon!

YouTube playlist here.

Make Molds for Fun & Profit


Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jan 30, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Sexuality, Advertising, 1950's

Internet Movie Cars Database


Car buffs are fanatical. A group of them has compiled a database of car appearances in films, the Internet Movie Cars Database, to accompany the more famous IMDB.

With screen captures.

So suppose, like me, you once drove a Mercury Marauder, circa 1973. You can now nostalgically learn all the times that make and model of vehicle appeared onscreen.

My car looked exactly like the one below, down to the paint job.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 13, 2013 | Comments (7)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Movies, Collectors, Cars
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.