Category:
1990s

Anti-Blond Crusade

The Mean Girls of Apeldoorn:

the girls had confessed that they had been moved by envy to mount a campaign of terror against the city's blonds.

Chicago Tribune - Feb 15, 1996

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 18, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Antisocial Activities, 1990s, Hair and Hairstyling

Ads between telephone rings

I can only imagine how annoying it would be to have to listen to advertisements between rings whenever you phoned someone. And unfortunately the technology to do this has been developed. Neil Sleevi was granted a patent for it in 1989 (Patent No. 4,811,382), and Bell Atlantic promptly bought the rights to it.

Omni - Dec 1991



Faced with public outcry, Bell Atlantic subsequently claimed that, even though they did buy the rights to the patent, they never had any intention of inserting ads between telephone rings, dismissing the entire notion as a silly rumor. But I'm pretty sure they would have done it if they had thought they could get away with it.

Baltimore Sun - Dec 14, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 02, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Advertising, 1990s

Method of executing a tennis stroke

In 1999, Kevin and George Repper were granted a patent (No. 5,993,336) for a "method of executing a tennis stroke". The method consisted of hitting a tennis ball while kneeling on the right knee — that knee being protected by a kneepad.

This raises two questions. First, how did they possibly obtain a patent for this? And second, why did they bother getting a patent for this? Did they seriously expect other tennis players to license this method from them?

I don't know the answer to the first question, but I have a hypothesis about the second. Some googling reveals that George Repper was a patent attorney while his son, Kevin, was on a high-school tennis team. So my guess is that the patent was some kind of father-son bonding experience, with the father showing his son how to obtain a patent. And it seems like the son is also now a patent attorney.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 19, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Sports, 1990s

Tomato calls 911 for help

Adding this to the 'vegetables' category, despite the controversy over whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables.

Miami Herald - Nov 10, 1990

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 15, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Vegetables, 1990s

Henry Kissinger, Weatherman

Henry Kissinger fulfilling his dream of being a weatherman.

Info: Orlando Sentinel, May 15 1991

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 01, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Television, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, 1990s, Weather

Amphibia Eau de Toilette

A fragrance for muppet fans was a cute idea, but the image of Kermit with six-pack abs was a bit unsettling.



For some reason, Amphibia was deemed culturally significant enough to be added to the Smithsonian's collection. From the Smithsonian:

Amphibia eau de toilette was launched in 1995. It was sold exclusively at Bloomindale’s and was advertised as being "Pour homme, femme, et frog." The glass fragrance bottle is in its original packaging, which includes a cardboard box also containing a t-shirt with an image of Kermit the Frog lounging on his back and showing off his 6-pack abs.

Fort Myers News-Press - Dec 26, 1995

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 16, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: 1990s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Bad Frog Beer

Can you guess why Bad Frog Beer was banned in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina? The answer is below in extended.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 15, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, 1990s, Alcohol

Robber warns of robbery

Jan 1995: Raymond Cuthbert warned an employee at Nolan's Pharmacy that he would be back in half an hour to rob the store. Sure enough, he returned a half hour later with a friend who was carrying a concealed weapon. The two were arrested by the waiting police.

The Vernon Morning Star - Jan 6, 1995



Perhaps Raymond had in mind the law proposed in Texas in 1973 that would have required criminals to give their victims advance notice before committing a crime.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 24, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1990s

The Alaskan Slot Machine

1990: Customers of a laundromat in Anchorage, Alaska frequently complained that the slot machine in the establishment never paid out any money, even if a winning combination came up, and one of them eventually called the police about it.

The police initially agreed that it seemed like theft to never pay out winnings, so they confiscated the slot machine. But then the owner of the laundromat explained that the machine was deliberately fixed to not pay off, because gambling was illegal in Alaska. Furthermore, a small sign next to the machine said that it was "For Amusement Only". Perhaps, he conceded, the sign was not prominent enough, but it was there nevertheless.

Upon hearing this, the police decided the slot machine was legal and let the owner take it back.

Daily Sitka Sentinel - Jan 4, 1990



Tampa Bay Times - Mar 17, 1996

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 18, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: 1990s, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

The Boeing Sky Commuter

Another car-plane hybrid that never made it into production.

Article here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 02, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Air Travel and Airlines, 1990s, Cars

Page 1 of 19 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
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 •