December 1941: Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Chicago printer Louis Fortman claimed exclusive right in Illinois to the use of the slogans "Remember Pearl Harbor" and "Avenge Pearl Harbor," insisting that he had originated and printed the slogans on December 8 and had registered them under the state's patent and trademark laws. Anyone wishing to use the slogans would need his permission — and would need to pay him. However, Fortman said he was willing to let them be used, at no charge, for "patriotic purposes and to aid defense activities."
In response to public outrage, Illinois Secretary of State Edward J. Hughes canceled Fortman's registration of the slogans.
After World War II, Dr. Hugh Cott of Cambridge University conducted a series of egg-tasting experiments in order to determine the palatability of eggs from various species of birds. I think part of the idea was to determine which eggs might possibly be used as a food source by Englanders, in case of another war. But part of the idea was also just scientific curiosity.
He assembled a panel of three egg tasters, who were served the eggs scrambled. They then rated them on a 10-point scale. Over a six-year period (1946-1951) they tasted eggs from 212 bird species.
Some of their results: The domestic hen was rated tastiest (8.8 out of 10). The coot, moorhen, and lesser black-backed gull came in second place (8.3 out of 10).
Penguin eggs were "particularly fine and delicate in flavor." Domestic duck eggs were of only "intermediate palatability."
Coming in at the bottom were the eggs of the great tit ("salty, fishy, and bitter"), wren ("sour, oily"), and the oyster-catcher ("strong onion-like flavor"). The eggs of the bar-headed goose made the tasters gag. However, "The freshness of the material available may have been in question."
Cott concluded that brightly colored eggs were, overall, less palatable than camouflaged eggs, but this result has subsequently been challenged. Zoologist Tim Birkhead has also suggested that Cott's experiment would have been more scientifically valuable if the tasters had eaten the eggs raw, because "What predators ever experienced cooked eggs?"
Introduced in 1948, the "Milka Moo" toy cow had a rubber udder that, when squeezed, would squirt out real milk.
It was one of the many inventions of Beulah Louise Henry (aka Lady Edison). Her inventions made her rich, but she was considered a bit of an eccentric. She lived in New York hotels along with "three sizeable live turtles, a dozen tropical fish, a school of snails and other flora and fauna."
All that music, perfume, science, hygiene, and cosmetics can do is done to create an evasive, womblike world of comfort and soft sympathy. "Home was never like this." Death is thus brought within the orbit of the basic attitudes of a consumer world and is neutralized by absorption into irrelevant patterns of thought, feeling, and technique. The solid comforts and security missed in this life are to be enjoyed in the next.
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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