Weird Universe


Sun Eating

From Hong Kong comes the latest fad in dieting. It's called "sun eating" or "sun gazing". You stand outside and stare at the setting sun, thereby consuming it's solar energy, which reduces (or even entirely eliminates) your body's need for food. Says one sun eater, "Some of us who have finished the therapy now eat less, and others don’t have to eat at all."

The concept seems very similar to the practice of breatharianism (or inedia), whose practitioners believe that it's possible to live without food, subsisting only on air and sunlight. For obvious reasons, serious practitioners of breatharianism don't tend to live very long. The ones that cheat, however, stick around to spread the word.

Of course, it's possible that the fad of sun eating is entirely a creation of the media (i.e., a reporter took a few pictures of people looking at a sunset, then claimed they were "sun eating"). It's hard to know what the truth is with these things.

More info:
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Sep 10, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Fads, Food

Kite Boarding

Also known as kite surfing Is a popular if dangerous sport. It combines surfing with getting blown around while flying a kite. The main problem with it, as far as I can see, is not so much the flying/surfing as it is the starting and stopping. Another place for Darwin-esque culling of the herd to take place.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Sep 05, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Accidents, Fads, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Recreation

50 guys in one bed

May 15, 1964: the students of Wakefield College in England attempted to set a record for the most people piled in one bed. They were hoping to make it to 50, but when they got to around 47 things started to go wrong. Frazer Cartwright, who was on the bottom, gasped, "Get off... quick... I'm..." Then blood began gushing from his nose, and he passed out. Luckily the audience intervened before he wound up dead. Cartwright vowed never to repeat that experience again.

Sources: The Terre Haute Tribune - May 16, 1964; Tuscaloosa News - May 15, 1964.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jun 27, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Fads, World Records, 1960's

Walking in the streets

Here's another idiotic fad of yesteryear (the early 1960s) — teenagers walking in the streets: "Not only do many students shun the sidewalks completely but they are walking four and five abreast, completely taking up one lane of the road."

Source: The Holland Evening Sentinel - Feb 21, 1963.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Apr 16, 2015 | Comments (9)
Category: Fads, 1960's

Placenta Smoothies

Unsafe for Revulsion-prone Stomachs.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 22, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Body, Blood, Cannibalism, Eccentrics, Fads, Food

Uranium Dirt Sitting Houses


Briefly in the 1950s it became popular to sit in mildly radioactive dirt as a panacea for many ills.

The house above in Rotan, TX, was one such establishment.


Article here.

LIFE magazine article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Dec 16, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Fads, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950's, Diseases

Red Out

The 1948 high school fad of "Red-Out." Certainly one of the stupidest high school fads ever.

What it involved: "Students would kneel, breathe deeply 10 times, close their lips around their thumbs and then blow, without actually exhaling, until they turned red and passed out."

Bonus thrill: students would wake up believing they had been chased by monsters!

Lubbock Evening Journal - Nov 26 - 1948
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Nov 29, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Fads, School, 1940's

High School Fads of 1947



Just two of the reputed high school crazes of nearly seventy years ago.

Read more here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 12, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Fads, Teenagers, 1940's

The MIT Icicle

Back in January 1960, the craze that swept college campuses was creating massive icicles. And students at MIT took top honors by creating a four-story icicle down the side of Baker House. In fact, they declared it to be the largest man-made icicle ever created.

As reported in an Associated Press story about it from Jan 1960:

"They tied an ice cube to a string and lowered it from their window. Then a trickle of water was siphoned from a barrel down the string. By using colored water at times, they got a red, white and blue icicle, which at one point is about 14 inches wide."

The icicle only existed for a few days before it was destroyed, for safety reasons, by the campus authorities.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any color photographs of it, but these are some news photos of it I found. There's a brief article about it at the MIT Museum.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Aug 02, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Fads, 1960's, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

French Tree-climbing Fad


[Click for text readability]

Original story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Feb 24, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Fads, Nature, Public Indecency, 1940's, Europe
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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.