Category:
1980s

An Electrifying Performance

The audience, thinking it was all part of the McDowell County Line's act, cheered when Teasley — known professionally as John T — jumped from the stage and began writhing on the floor at the Blarney Stone bar in Huntington Beach. The crowd didn't know that a spilled beer had short-circuited an amplifier, sending hundreds of volts of electricity through his body.

The Carlisle Sentinel - Sep 28, 1983



Los Angeles Times - Sep 28, 1983

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 26, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Accidents, 1980s

The Prima Diner

Dinner ain't over till the fat lady bakes!

Read it here.


Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 15, 2023 - Comments ()
Category: Food, Cookbooks, Music, 1980s

Endogen Depression—Turkeys and TV sets

The art installation "Endogen Depression," by Wolf Vostell, consisted of 30 television sets, partially cast in concrete, and five live turkeys.

Vostell presented this installation once in the U.S., at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, in December 1980.

source: LA Public Library



Text from the LA Times (Dec 17, 1980):

Vostell, an artist of international repute, has a history of casting expensive devices in concrete to "cancel their presence." Television sets are a favorite target, but he once sealed an entire Cadillac in cement in Chicago. At LAICA, some of the sets are dead or completely covered in concrete, but most have at least part of their screen exposed. They drone on and on with soap operas, talk shows and afternoon Westerns...

Vostell means to contrast the sophistication of TVs and turkeys. The birds win handily. He also feels we can learn more from reputedly stupid turkeys than from television, but the comparison may not be a fiar one. The TV drone is so familiar and the programming so low-level, we quickly accept it as easily tuned-out background noise. Turkeys, on the other hand, look downright exotic to city folks who have never encountered one off a serving dish and wearing its feathers.

You can check out a video of the turkeys and TVs from the 1980 event at vimeo.com (embedding was disabled).

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 18, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Television, 1980s

SHT and SCAT

In his 1983 book Big Business Blunders: Mistakes in Multinational Marketing, David Ricks tells the following story:

A Japanese steel firm, Sumitomo, recently introduced its specialty steel pipe into the U.S. market. Sumitomo used a Tokyo-based, Japanese agency to help develop its advertisements. The steel was named "Sumitomo High Toughness," and the name was promoted by the acronym SHT in bold letters. So bold, in fact, that the full-page ads run in trade journals were three fourths filled with SHT. Located at the bottom of the page was a short message which ended with the claim that the product was "made to match its name." It simply cannot be overemphasized that local input is vital.

I've been able to find ads for SHT, such as the one below, but none exactly like the one that Ricks describes. Which doesn't mean the ad doesn't exist. Just that it isn't in any journals archived online.

Ocean Industry - July 1984



However, among the ads for SHT that I was able to find, I found one that actually improves (and possibly complicates) Ricks's story. Because it turns out that Sumitomo had another product, Sumitomo Calcium Treatment, that it abbreviated as SCAT.

Once I could accept as an honest mistake, but coming up with scatalogical abbreviations twice seems intentional. I'm guessing either someone at Sumitomo thought it was funny, or someone at the Japanese agency was having a joke at their expense.

Ocean Industry - March 1980

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 27, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Products, Odd Names, Excrement, 1980s

Grapefruit Diet Ad

"With success, comes class!"

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 26, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Fruit, Advertising, 1980s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Hair Coloring Calculator

Pity the poor inventor of the 1980s, who had a notion for something not supported by the clunky digital tech of that era. This elaborate device is today just a free app.

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 25, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, Patents, 1980s, Hair and Hairstyling

Miss Fine Brown Frame

A beauty contest inspired by a song! It started in 1947, but I'm not sure when it ended. But it was still active at least till 1983, as you can see below.



Source of text.






Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 08, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ethnic Groupings, Music, 1940s, 1980s

Death by Halloween costume

Redlands Daily Facts - Nov 2, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 31, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, 1980s, Halloween

Playing Music With Animals

Here is one track from this album (tracklist below). If you wish to listen to the rest, visit the Internet Archive and choose the Spotify option.

The human's Wikipedia page.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 26, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Animals, Music, 1980s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Deadsy (Deadtime Stories for Big Folk)

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 23, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Death, Cartoons, 1980s, Sex

Page 1 of 30 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •