Weird Universe


Mystery Illustration 13


Which corporation--still around today--felt that this technological monster symbolized all the services they provided, back in 1969?

The answer is here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 25, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Technology, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, 1960's

The First Do-It-Yourself Novel

Composition No. 1 by Marc Saporta was the first-ever do-it-yourself or interactive novel. It was published in French in 1962, and an English translation followed a year later. The novel came in a box, as a set of looseleaf pages. Readers were instructed to "shuffle them like a deck of cards" before reading, so that chance would decide the order of events in the narrative.

image source: Newsweek - Oct 28, 1963

In 2011, Visual Editions came out with an elegantly boxed new edition of the work (available on Amazon). As well as an iPad version of it that automatically shuffles the pages.

Jonathan Coe, reviewing the new edition for the Guardian in 2011, offered this summary of the book's plot:

The story is a flimsy wisp of a thing, really no more than a jumble of fragments. The setting is Paris during the German occupation. The central character is little glimpsed and never named. He has a mistress called Dagmar, a depressed wife (I think) called Marianne, and a young German au pair whom he rapes during the course of the novel, before being injured in a serious car accident.

Coe noted that the British Library had two copies of the original novel, "both, I'm sorry to say, diligently bound by over-zealous librarians (though at least each copy has the pages bound in a different order)."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Nov 20, 2015 | Comments (1)
Category: Literature, Books, 1960's

Jerry Lewis & Miss Cartilage

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Nov 16, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Humor, Surrealism, Sex Symbols, 1960's, Dance

The Varitone Sax

A more-or-less failed and forgotten 1960s experiment in electrifying the saxophone.

Two good articles here and here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Nov 13, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Music, Technology, 1960's

The Strange Change Machine

You know, why isn't "mad scientist" an encouraged career path for kids anymore, like it was in the 1960s? I think the foreclosure of this option says a lot about our joyless and grim culture.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Nov 02, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains, Toys, 1960's

Groovy Gasoline

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 27, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Business, Advertising, Motor Vehicles, 1960's

Beatnik Wedding

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Oct 25, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Fashion, Husbands, Wives, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960's

King Zor

"There has never been a fighting dinosaur like King Zor before!" True, but probably only because this toy was unique!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Oct 23, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Toys, Dinosaurs and Other Antediluvian Creatures, 1960's

The Front Line:  Supermarket Checker

Soldiers in the war on shoppers! I mean, soldiers helping shoppers!

Look at how much more intelligence was needed for this job then, compared to this age of scanners and credit cards.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 20, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Food, Work and Vocational Training, Retailing, 1960's
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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.