Weird Universe


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

Least Successful Dance “Craze” Ever

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat May 11, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Fads, 1960's, Dance

The Look-alike Fad, 1954

"Top campus style for both boys and girls this fall is reported to be charcoal gray flannel Bermuda shorts, pink man-tailored shirts, knee socks either in matching gray or a contrasting color, and the short storm coat originally designed for men, now adopted by girls.

Universal choice in shoes to go with this outfit is the loafer or moccasin, for both boys and girls.

So far the only deviation in this look-alike fad is that girls prefer their knee socks in vivid colors or Argyle patterns, while men stick to dark socks to match their sweaters, which may be bright red, green or any of a range of pastels now offered by alert manufacturers.

The dress-alike craze, of course, holds good only for casual daytime occasions. For dances and dates the girls go back to their petticoats and high hells, earrings and perfume, and look as feminine as any old-fashioned beau could desire."
~The Free Lance-Star — Aug 14, 1954
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Apr 21, 2013 | Comments (3)
Category: Fads, Fashion, 1950'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.