Knee Reading

Toni Lockhart, aka Gypsy Rose Knee, pioneered the art of knee reading. She detailed her technique in her 1975 book Gypsy's Basic Knee Reader. A few pointers:

If one’s knee has peaks or craters on certain parts of it, they indicate traits like patience, compassion, selfishness, fear, luck, humor, humility and curiosity...
A new mole may indicate that the person’s life and profession are on the upswing.

Manhattan Mercury - Aug 8, 1975

The Pottstown Mercury - Aug 19, 1975 (click to enlarge)

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 14, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Predictions, 1970s

Hangovers Due to Guilty Conscience

In 1973, Professor Robert Gunn advanced this theory.

Twenty years later, he was still pursuing the idea, as you can see in the scientific paper at the link.

To reappraise a prior study of hangover signs and psychosocial factors among a sample of current drinkers, we excluded a subgroup termed Sobers, who report "never" being "tipsy, high or drunk." The non-sober current drinkers then formed the sample for this report (N = 1104). About 23% of this group reported no hangover signs regardless of their intake level or gender, and the rest showed no sex differences for any of 8 hangover signs reported. Using multiple regression, including ethanol, age and weight, it was found that psychosocial variables contributed independently in predicting to hangover for both men and women in this order: (1) guilt about drinking; (2) neuroticism; (3) angry or (4) depressed when high/drunk and (5) negative life events. For men only, ethanol intake was also significant; for women only, being younger and reporting first being high/drunk at a relatively earlier age were also predictors of the Hangover Sign Index (HSI). These multiple predictors accounted for 5-10 times more of the hangover variance than alcohol use alone: for men, R = 0.43, R2 = 19%; and for women, R = 0.46, R2 = 21%. The findings suggest that hangover signs are a function of age, sex, ethanol level and psychosocial factors.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 10, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Science, Experiments, Psychology, 1970s, 1990s, Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise, Alcohol

Jade Stone & Luv

The sole album from male-female duo Jade Stone & Luv is a lost gem from the heart of the psychedelic 1970s. Composed and self-produced in Nashville, “Mosaics; Pieces Of Stone” went unnoticed by the music industry upon release. Fortunately for us, it didn’t disappear forever, but simply went into retreat, biding its time. While almost unknown outside specialist circles, “Mosaics” has been an underground cult favorite for many years. The combination of top-level songwriting, skillful guitar/keyboard arrangements and soaring vocals is just too impressive to ignore. And beyond these obvious qualities, the album has something subtle and unique, a magnetic power that keeps drawing the listener back. One of Jade Stone & Luv’s earliest advocates was the legendary New York City musicologist Paul Major. Here’s a typical Major impression of the music on “Mosaics”:”Groovy love vibes thru a prism of jade statues in swinging singles apartment complex action… Cadillac with fuzzy dice, feather boa, lotsa cigarette burns, stale perfumed ashen air. This album in the 8-track player at 5 AM with someone you don’t even know passed out in the backseat, as you head to the diner to meet up with an early-bird Lava Lite salesman who deals pills on the side. Bubbly champagne molecules become the plastic vinyl booths in dim-lit dive bars; it’s crackerbox post-war suburban low-rent psychedelic…”

Source of quote.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 09, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Outsider Art, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1970s

Doomsday Club

Back in 1975, $12,800 could have bought you membership in a “doomsday club.” Come doomsday, this would have allowed you to hide out in a secret, well-supplied location in northern California — where you’d be safe from rioters, zombies, etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if the doomsday retreat hasn't burned down with all the recent fires.

Newport News Daily Press - May 25, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 07, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, 1970s

Least Successful Author

William A. Gold of Australia had the dubious distinction of being named the least successful writer ever in the 1975 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. To my knowledge, Guinness never awarded this record to anyone else.

Gold gained the title because, as of 1975, he had written at least eight novels and 100 short stories, but none of them had been published, despite his best efforts. His writing had only ever earned him 50 cents from an article published in the Canberra News.

I've only been able to find the titles of two of Gold's book. One of them was John Lewis Seeks a Mission, which he submitted to the Adelaide Advertiser $2000 Literary Competition in 1966. (Obviously, he didn't win.) The other was One Best Seller: A Satire on the Publishing Game. The Sydney Morning Herald described this as dealing with "the adventures of author Eric Bellamy, literary agent Lawrence Templeton, and the latter’s attempts to get Bellamy’s novel, Sibelius on Sunday, published." Gold eventually self-published this novel in 1984. (and it's available for purchase from some used book stores in Australia.)

Gold died in 2001, and his collected papers are now stored at the National Library of Australia.

"23-7-87. Mr. Bill Gold, the world's greatest unpublished author, with his own published book, "One Best Seller." No one wants the book." (Getty Images)

"23-7-87. I'm broke, give me ten dollars for two books. This was Mr. Bill Gold as he makes dinner in his small flat in Queanbeyan. He is the world's greatest unpublished author." (Getty Images)

The Montreal Gazette - Feb 9, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 05, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Literature, Books, World Records, 1970s

The woman who counted to one million

The great claim to fame of Marva Drew of Waterloo, Iowa was that she typed the numbers one to one million on a manual typewriter. It took her about six years, starting in 1968 and ending in 1974 (although she took several years off in the middle). It totaled 2,473 pages.

She explained that she got the idea when she heard that her son’s high school teacher had told him that no one had ever counted to a million, and that anyone who tried would be crazy. So Marva decided she’d do it.

She noted that if someone started at the age of 18, they could conceivably type up to 50 million in their entire life.

Some other info from the Waterloo Courier:

“Corrections and erasures were done meticulously, and often whole handfuls of pages were discarded when she discovered she’d left out a number somewhere along the way...
There were physical problems, too. The endless carriage returns caused pains in her wrist, back, and shoulders, and there were swollen fingers, eyestrain, headaches, and insomnia."

Marva Drew poses with the stack of completed pages.

Update: I just recalled that we have another story on WU about someone counting up to one million. It's the case of Henry Parish of Meddybemps, Maine who counted a million peas in one month, back in 1922.

The first and last pages typed.

Waterloo Courier - Dec 5, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 04, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, World Records, 1970s

Showered for four-and-a-half days

Preston ‘Rocky’ Stockman's comments after standing in a shower for 4½ days in an attempt to set the world record for longest shower (which he didn't even come close to setting): “My hands and feet were wrinkled. Then my ear became plugged, and I tried to unplug it. Everything I did was futile. It just got worse and worse… It got to the point where I was standing there in absolute agony.”

Shreveport Times - Mar 31, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 02, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: World Records, 1970s

The man who stole 15,000 library books

Over the course of a decade, from around 1965 to 1975, Joseph Feldman managed to steal 15,000 books from the New York Public Library. He was caught when firemen entered his Greenwich Village apartment while responding to an alarm in his building and discovered all the books, piled up everywhere. When asked why he had taken them all, Feldman responded, “I like to read.”

Arizona Daily Star - Sep 27, 1975

In the 21st century, playwright Erika Mijlin was inspired to write a play, Feldman and the Infinite, about the incident. It was first performed in 2008. Her description of it:

In 1975, Feldman, a 58-year-old lawyer in New York City, was discovered to have stolen 15,000 books from the New York Public Library. He had rented two or three apartments in the West Village specifically to store these books, and it took 20 men, 7 truckloads over 3 days to remove them all. Feldman and the Infinite is a play that ultimately invents Feldman’s motives, and speculates about the universality of his quest - seeking knowledge and enlightenment, and finding what appears to be randomness and chaos.

And below, a video clip of the performance.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 31, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Books, Libraries, Collectors, 1970s

Human waste explodes from kitchen wall

For years the Carlone family of Cleveland had been bothered by a foul smell in their kitchen. Nothing they did could get rid of it. Then they noticed their kitchen wall starting to bulge, until finally, on August 21, 1972, the wall exploded and covered them with 40 gallons of sewage.

It turned out that eight years earlier a technician from the phone company had accidentally drilled a hole through the sewer pipe, causing raw sewage to seep out into the wall cavity. Until it all eventually exploded.

It was reported that the Carlones sued the phone company, but I couldn't find any follow-up reports about their suit.

It amazes me that they had been living with the smell for eight years, and it apparently never occurred to them that it might be related to the sewer pipe in the wall.

Tampa Tribune - Oct 19, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 23, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Excrement, 1970s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
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.

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.

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