I'm sure this must have been the strangest day in Norman Carstens' career as an orthodontist:
The boy had apparently asked other dentists in the area to remove his braces before visiting Carstens' Mack Avenue office on Feb 8, "probably because he lives three or four blocks from my office," Carstens said. "He (came) in to see me and said he wanted them off. I said he wasn't finished with his treatment and I couldn't take them off without a letter from his parents and his regular orthodontist.
"I had him in the chair and he leaned over and pulled the gun out of his pocket and said, 'Would this make you change your mind?' and I said, 'Yes,'" Carstens said.
(click to enlarge) Central New Jersey Home News - Feb 16, 1985
I don't see what advantage an aroma disc would have over an incense candle (except, perhaps, for the lack of an open flame). Which, I assume, is why these are no longer around and incense candles are all over the place.
But Spector was successful enough to have his product featured on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:
Idaho farmer Alan Reed invented Potato Ice Cream in the mid-1980s. This wasn't potato-flavored ice cream. Instead, it was ice cream that included potatoes (in addition to dairy) as an ingredient. The advantage of this was that the potatoes sweetened the ice cream, eliminating the need to add sugar. The result was a lower-calorie, sugar-free ice cream. Reed claimed it tasted as good as regular ice cream.
However, Reed had trouble getting his potato ice cream distributed, so he sold the formula and marketing rights in 1988 to businessmen Rich Davis and James McFrederick. I assume (because I've never seen potato ice cream in a store) that they didn't manage to make a go of it either. The fact that there were better (or cheaper) sugar substitutes probably doomed Potato Ice Cream.
However, I don't think he's entirely given up on the idea of using potatoes to sweeten dairy, because his chocolate milk contains potato flakes (if you look closely at the ingredients). And this chocolate milk is sold in the gift shop of the Idaho Potato Museum.
The present invention relates to a method and product for providing the aroma of cocaine and so called "street cocaine" to the olfactory senses using readily available, non-controlled substances...
Olfactory conditioning by brain trigger stimulus has recently found application in law enforcement agencies. In some instances, narcotics officers are permitted to light a marijuana cigarette during their training in order to allow them to later react to the characteristic aroma of marijuana smoke. Similarly, officers may be exposed to the aroma of cocaine so as to familiarize them with its distinctive aromatic smell...
Due to the legally controlled nature of such substances as cocaine and marijuana, it is usually not possible to freely disseminate samples of such substances to everyone who might wish to become acquainted with the aromas of these substances. Drug familiarization programs have as a result been limited by the availability of the drugs themselves.
It is therefore desirable to find alternative sources for the aroma of certain controlled substances.
I'm surprised this was never turned into a perfume.
By the mid-1980s, works by Willem de Kooning were fetching over a million dollars. So when James Garcia and Joseph Lada found a three-hole outhouse seat stored in their basement that apparently had been painted by de Kooning, they figured they had a potential masterpiece on their hands. De Kooning's wife confirmed he had painted the toilet seat "very fast" for a croquet party in 1954. He had been trying to make the wood look like marble.
The sale raised the question: was this really art? Some said no. Others, such as de Kooning's friend John MacWhinnie, argued that, "It's a youthful, exuberant example of the painter at the height of his abstract expressionism... In spite of itself, it became art, simply out of a choice the de Kooning made."
AKA Cerebrex. Invented by Dr. Yoshiro NaKaMats. It was essentially a lounger chair that was supposed to improve brain function in only 30 minutes. Details from the Arizona Republic (Sep 12, 1986):
NaKaMats unveiled the chair this summer  and plans to mass-produce and lease the recliners for about 14,900 yen, or $93 a month.
Meanwhile, customers can use it only in his sun-flooded "oyasumidokoro," or sleeping place, a nearly empty room a few floors below his laboratory, where white-coated assistants bustle around prototypes of industrial robots in various stages of development.
The inventor explains how the chair works, sort of.
"It activates your alpha brain waves by emitting ultra-high frequency electronic pulses, which in turn increase the flow of blood to the head, through the chair's pillow and foot rest," he said.
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.