Weird Universe


The National Scream

The National Scream by Robert Awad & by David Verrall, National Film Board of Canada

The Canadian National Beaver is missing!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jul 12, 2013 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Government, Humor, 1980's, North America

Captain Power

Of course, it was all a hook to sell toys, as the promo above might hint at.

But if you still doubt, check out a larger segment below.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Jul 06, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Television, Toys, Advertising, Products, Science Fiction, 1980's

Million-to-one mix-up

Occasionally I find myself trying to get into the wrong car in parking lots, because I don't bother to look that closely at the car. If it's the same color and shape as mine, and parked in the same general location, I assume it's mine. But that's not always true. I realize my mistake when the key doesn't fit.

Back in 1985, a case like this occurred. A couple tried to get into a car in a shopping mall parking lot that was the same make, model, and color as their own. But it turned out that the cars had identical keys as well. So they got into the car and drove away. They only realized the mix-up when they noticed that the stuff inside the car wasn't theirs. When they drove back to recover their own car, they found out that the owner of the other car also had the same last name as them. And finally, this all happened on April Fool's Day, but I'm trusting that it happened as reported, since the news report appeared after April 1st. [Bangor Daily News - Apr 3, 1985]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jun 12, 2013 | Comments (16)
Category: 1980's, Goofs and Screw-ups, Cars

The Central Park Wildman

Steve Brill, the "Wildman" of Central Park, aka "The Man Who Ate Manhattan," is an expert on edible wild plants. He began leading foraging tours of Central Park in the early 1980s, teaching people what plants growing wild in the park they could and couldn't eat.

Of course, the park police weren't going to stand for this. In 1986, two undercover rangers tagged along on his tour and arrested him at the end of it. The official charge was misdemeanor criminal mischief. He became famous as the only person ever arrested for eating a dandelion.

The charges were soon dropped, and the park then hired him to lead the same tour.

Steve is still going strong. He's got a website, an app, and he's still conducting his tour. It gets 5 stars on yelp.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jun 01, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: Food, 1980's

(Queen of the) Amazons

Here's a twist. Usually, I present the trailer first, then the full film it represents. But I can't find the full film for Roger Corman's Amazons trailer (1986) above. And I can't find the trailer for the feature length Queen of the Amazons (1947) below. So you get the trailer for one, and then the full other feature. But they are both so bad, you probably wouldn't have noticed if I didn't mention it, despite a 40-year gap and one being in color and one in B&W!!

Enjoy both!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri May 03, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: Movies, Fantasy, 1940's, 1980's, Women

Confidencias de un Senderista

Governments sometimes produce comic books for propaganda or educational purposes. "Confidencias de un Senderista" is an example of this genre. (According to Google Translate, that means "Confessions of a Hiker"). It was a 37-page comic book produced by the Peruvian government in 1989 and handed out in shantytowns around Lima in order to inform people about the violent tactics of the Shining Path. Reportedly the comic book met with "mixed reactions."

If you read Spanish, you can check out the entire comic book over at

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu May 02, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Government, Comics, 1980's

Twinkling Stars

A strange tale behind this song:

Nine Circles never entered a recording studio and performed only once, at a Dutch radio station in 1982. Unbeknownst to them the engineer recorded the session and over the years it was bootlegged over and over becoming a Flexipop cult track. [The singer] never found out about this until I rang her up [in 2011].

Read the whole story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Mar 28, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Cult Figures and Artifacts, Music, 1980's

The Internet:  1985

Connect computers over the phone lines?!? Never gonna happen!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 24, 2013 | Comments (20)
Category: Computers, Internet, 1980's

Life After Doomsday

Bruce Clayton's survivalist masterpiece, Life After Doomsday, certainly belongs in any collection of weird non-fiction. It comes from a time, not so long ago, when the general consensus was that we were all going to be blown to smithereens in a nuclear war, and Clayton offered detailed instructions on how to stay alive should you survive the actual bombs. Below is the 1981 Newsweek review of the book, as well as Clayton's diagram of how to turn your home into a fortified bunker. And hey, why not read it together with Paul's After the Collapse to get a real apocalypse vibe going!

Bruce Clayton's fantasy derives from the myths of frontier America: we have only to draw our wagons into a circle to survive a nuclear war. The war won't be as bad as you have heard. Assuming the Russians know what they are doing, 90 per cent of America will be fallout free. Clayton is interesting because virtually every point he makes will not have been considered by most of his readers: what about sex in the fallout shelter? he asks, or "How many members of your family are you willing to regard as acceptable losses?"

His point is, you must do something: "The question of which assault rifle you should buy isn't nearly as important as the fact that you must get one" — to mow down ghetto refugees or your neighbors in search of your food supply. In fact, refugees won't be much of a threat because the roads will be blown up along with the cities, but as for your friend next door — well, the Heckler and Koch HK91 heavy-assault rifle firing a 7.62 NATO cartridge works very well. If you're on your roof hosing down the fallout, a Colt Commander .45 autopistol modified for combat is easier to carry. He shows us, too, how to convert our houses into efficient fire zones, and suggests we store away five years' supply of wheat, milk, sugar and salt. A wheat stew in every pot and an Armalite AR-180 in every loophole will see us through, as long as we've ordered our gas masks (Clayton tells us where).
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Mar 12, 2013 | Comments (2)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Books, 1980's

International Times


IT was a London-based underground newspaper founded in 1966. (Wikipedia entry here.)

Their online archive provides lots of groovy browsing.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Feb 10, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: Newspapers, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960's, 1970's, 1980'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.