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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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