October 1932: A Seattle woman complained that her phone never rang, but she could tell when someone was trying to call her because her dog would start howling in the yard. The telephone repair guy investigated. Realized the dog wasn't psychic. Instead, there was a short in the line and the dog was chained to the ground wire.
Control your phone by stroking your hair. It's a technology invented by Katia Vega of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, who explains: "we add new functionalities to hair extensions, turning them into a seamless device that recognizes auto-contact behaviors concealed to outside observers."
This is obviously a technology invented by someone who has lots of hair. Useless for us hairless types. Though she does say she has plans for a way of controlling apps by stroking your beard.
Artist Kenny Irwin is selling a microwaved gold iPhone 6 on eBay for $6,660. Yes, he purposefully microwaved it. He's also signed and dated his creation. Irwin warns that, "Winner bidder will receive two NO A LONGER WORKING iPHONE because IT HAS BEEN MICROWAVED."
The NoPhone is a black piece of plastic shaped like an iPhone. It's designed to act as a "technology-free alternative" for those suffering from "phone addiction."
According to the NoPhone's kickstarter page, "the NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment."
They're trying to raise $30,000 to produce these things, and are currently at $1,763.
Back in 1996, two East German entrepreneurs came up with the idea of converting old telephone booths into shower stalls. They plumbed up two booths and sold them for 4000 marks each. However, their idea ran aground when Deutsche Telekom refused to sell them any more old booths, fearing that, in the words of their spokesman, "It would be problematic if someone wanted to make an emergency call and ran into the booth that was actually a shower."
The oPhone is a new phone that promises to allow one to send scents via a mobile phone.
People have been speculating for a long time about the possibility of transmitting smells in the same way that we do sounds and images. But personally I've never understood the appeal of the idea. Beyond a small group of people such as perfume makers, how often do most people need or want to share smells long-distance?
This iPhone add-on, created by Dennis Be Bel, allows two people to send each other smoke messages. It's called the Smoke Messaging Service, or SMS. But the two have two agree in advance on what the smoke signals mean. [via likecool]
A British man came up with a genius idea to discourage telemarketing calls. He has England's equivalent of a 900 number that he gives to businesses he deals with. Friends and family get his private, non-pay number but all others who wish to contact him pay for the privilege. He receives less than half the number of telemarketing calls that he used to each month and so far he has made more than $450 from the line. Awesome!
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.