Back in 1977, a small-time huckster named Eric Herrmann bought a bunch of old, porcelain Hot and Cold faucet handles and got the idea of selling them as necklaces.
On the theory that nothing sells like scandal, he called them "Ferrous Faucets," and then asked Farrah Fawcett to endorse them. In response, her lawyers threatened to sue him for capitalizing on their client's name, which apparently was exactly the response he wanted. The controversy was deemed newsworthy, and newspapers throughout the nation ran the photo he supplied them of a model wearing his Ferrous Faucets, thereby boosting his sales.
May 6, 1970: Japanese extreme skier Yuichiro Miura became the first person to ski on Mt. Everest. And amazingly, he didn't die. The stunt was filmed and was the subject of a 1975 documentary, The Man Who Skied Down Everest. Check out the clip below.
Miura later became the oldest person to reach the summit of Everest, climbing it at the age of 70 and again when he was 80.
Since 1971, over 20 coed state and federal facilities have been established, although over half have since reverted back to one-sex institutions out of conceptual failure and dilemmas of operation, implementation, and evaluation. Currently (1979), 10 adult coed prisons exist in the united states. Ethnographic research into coed prisons includes seven studies since 1973 focusing on sex roles and the overall prison environment. Two of the studies reveal a lack of predatory homosexuality in coed prisons, while other studies find sexual discrimination in such institutions. Overall, the ethnographic literature yields few findings which support the effectiveness of coed prisons. Recidivism research, another type of cocorrections research, has been utilized in a number of studies to indicate a reduction of criminal activity. One study suggests that females may not profit as much as males from the correctional environment. Other vague and unsophisticated recidivism studies show success for releasees from coed prison. Although the available recidivism data on cocorrections suggest that incarceration in a coed institution has the potential of reducing adjustment problems on release, data do not convincingly demonstrate the effect of the coed experience on postrelease behavior or an overall reduction in the crime rate.
I'm having difficulty finding out if there still are any coed prisons in the US. I'm guessing there aren't.
So why was Simone Harris standing on a Sydney street in a bikini? Was this a publicity stunt? Was she a psychologist conducting research? A performance artist being weird? I haven't been able to find answers anywhere.
The Miss Vacant Lot of the World contest was started in 1972. It was part of the Annual Armadillo Exposition and Confab held in Victoria, Texas. The contest rules were as follows:
The contest will be open to women between the ages of 18 and 65. Mandatory requirements of the contest will be certified proof of one of the following happening to the contestant while a child: broken arm or leg, dog bite, one or more of the various childhood diseases, such as measles, chickenpox, mumps, etc. If medical evidence cannot be provided, a note from the mother will be accepted. Contestants will have three minutes in the final judging to exhibit their talents, which can be anything. Judging will be on the basis of dress and talent. Beauty will not be a factor.
Valley Morning Star - May 26, 1975
Here's what I was able to find out about the first six winners of the Miss Vacant Lot title:
1972: Cindy Hudler won for her "dance of the Dasypodidae" which involved waltzing around a vacant lot in an armadillo suit. 1973: Modine Gunch won for standing on her head while spinning a hula-hoop on one leg. 1974: Algeria Sadberry won for playing a song through her nose. 1975: Elvira Rose Hunt (aka Karen Janecka) won for stuffing 264 pennies in her mouth. 1976: Linda Strelczyk won by stuffing 200 poptop tabs into her size 36EEE bikini bra while singing a song titled "Keep Your Finger Out Of It; It Don't Belong To You." 1977: A 200-pound woman (unnamed) won for dressing like an armadillo and singing an armadillo song.
Some of the prizes that the winners received included a trophy, a $25 check, a gift certificate, a bouquet of weeds, and a picture of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. They also got to wear the Armadillo Crown.
The contest was discontinued in 1979. The organizers noted, "you can only tell the same joke so many times." However, it seems that it was revived at various times, such as in the late 1980s and again in 2011.
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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.
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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