Category:
1990s

Grand Canyon, Colorado

May 1999: the U.S. Postal Service had printed 100 million copies of a stamp showing the Grand Canyon before anyone noticed that the stamp had "Grand Canyon, Colorado" printed in the corner. Luckily, the stamps hadn't been released to the public yet, but they all had to be destroyed and replaced with a new stamp which correctly placed the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

According to the site canyonology.com, the problems with the stamp didn't end there. It was discovered that the image of the canyon had been flipped left to right, but the postal service decided this wasn't enough of an error to warrant reprinting the stamp.

Salem Statesman Journal - May 18, 1999

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 17, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: 1990s, Postal Services, Stamps

The drift pattern of Nike shoes

In May 1990, five shipping containers holding approximately 80,000 pairs of Nike shoes fell off a freighter during a storm in the North Pacific. About 200 days later, some of these shoes began to wash up on beaches from Canada down to Oregon.

But as beachcombers collected and compared the shoes, they noticed something odd. On beaches up north, in Canada and Washington, almost all the shoes were right-footed; whereas further south in Oregon, most of the shoes were left-footed.

Skye Moody explains why this was so in her book Washed Up: The Curious Journeys of Flotsam and Jetsam:

The slight toe curvature of left- and right-footed shoes caused the right-footed shoes to tack northeastward into the Alaska Current, passing the Queen Charlottes along the way, where many beached. Meanwhile, the left-footed Nikes tacked snugly into the southeast-bound California Current, and as it passed Oregon, were caught on an incoming tide.




Drift pattern of Nike shoes
image source: The Nike Shoe Investigation



Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer co-authored an academic paper about the 1990 shoe spill ("Shoe spill in the North Pacific" -- unfortunately behind a paywall). It also inspired him to start studying other ocean flotsam, such as rubber duckies, as a way to gain info about currents. He calls this study 'flotsametrics'. He also occasionally puts out a Beachcombers' Alert Newsletter.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 16, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Science, Shoes, 1990s

Sweet Jesus Chocolate

Created in 1991 by Australian philosophy student Richard Manderson. They were Jesus-shaped chocolates filled with raspberry jam so they would "bleed" when bitten.

Weekly World News - May 21, 1991


More info from wikipedia:

Richard Manderson first created a series of small raspberry fondant filled chocolate Jesuses that were sold for consumption to visitors of Gorman House Arts Centre in Canberra, an Australian cultural centre and heritage site that runs theatres, workshops, exhibition space, artists' studios, offices and a café.

When a US newspaper condemned his act of depicting Jesus on a chocolate, Manderson decided in answer to create an actual life-size chocolate Jesus he called Trans-substantiation 2. He did so by filling a plaster mold with fifty-five pounds of melted chocolate. He used chocolate-dipped strings for hair and plastic Easter wrap for a loincloth. Manderson's work was exhibited in public around Easter in 1994, with Manderson inviting the public to come and eat his chocolate Jesus work after the exhibition.

The Jesus Question blog delves more deeply into the history of chocolate Jesuses.

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 15, 2020 - Comments (8)
Category: Religion, Candy, 1990s

Richard Sala, RIP

I loved the comics made by Richard Sala, a truly unique talent. As one of my Facebook pals, he was always funny, kind and clever. Alas, he's gone now.

Here a rare bit of animation from him--INVISIBLE HANDS, the first bit--one of his first big breaks leading to a wonderful career, cut short.



Posted By: Paul - Mon May 11, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Comics, Books, Cartoons, 1990s, Fictional Monsters

Youth and Aging

In 1991, the Pennsylvania legislature's Youth and Aging Committee changed its name to the Aging and Youth Committee. Why?

Some suggested that the change was made because people got confused about the panel’s name. "When you say ‘youth and aging’ repeatedly and quickly, some people hear the word euthanasia,” said Kevin Murphy, press secretary for the state Department of Aging.


Philadelphia Inquirer - Jan 23, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 15, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: 1990s, Puns and Other Wordplay

Spaghetti Jesus

May 1991: many motorists claimed they could see the face of Jesus in a Pizza Hut billboard outside of Atlanta.

I do see a face, but it doesn't look anything like a Jesus face to me.



Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer - May 26, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 12, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Religion, 1990s, Billboards

Conscience Adherent Paradise Government

For a very brief time, in the early 1990s, 717 E Magnolia St. in Arcadia, Florida was home to the "Conscience Adherent Paradise Government" — a separatist state that had declared its independence from the United States. Details from the Tampa Tribune (Apr 4, 1992):

[Soloman and Mona Frommell] — who are manic-depressive, according to their lawyer — had created their own government, the “Conscience Adherent Paradise Government.” They established their own rules, which they followed while living at Parker Apartments on East Magnolia Street. Soloman Frommell claimed to be an ambassador and United States separatist president. He called himself the “fair judge,” while his wife was the “honest judge.”

DeSoto sheriff’s Capt. Will Wise and Deputy Gary Holsomback went to their apartment in May to serve the couple with an eviction notice that was prompted by unusual behavior.

When deputies arrived, Soloman Frommell grabbed a pair of nunchukas, his wife had a butcher knife, and they fled to the front of the apartment, according to reports.


717 E Magnolia in Arcadia, FL, via Google Maps



Tampa Tribune - Apr 4, 1992

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 10, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Government, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, 1990s

Crackers



Crackers, available on Audio CD for $33.08 from Amazon, is the sound of people cracking their knuckles and other joints. Migone explains the origin of the work on his website:

The material for Crackers was recorded during a residency at Gallery 101 in Ottawa, Canada, in October 1997. Crackers were solicited through the radio, classified ads in the weekly paper, and via the Gallery’s membership. The recording sessions consisted of an interview succeeded by a cracking session...
The tapes were edited at Avatar in Quebec City. Crackers was then first presented as an installation in a group show curated by Emmanuel Madan entitled “Incredibly Soft Sounds” at Gallery 101, in January 1998.

He notes that a follow-up show, in January 2000, featured "a video of my right ankle cracking repeatedly for twenty minutes ."

If you don't want to buy the CD, you can listen to the tracks for free on Migone's website.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 07, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, 1990s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Dinosaurs Live!

The name of the event did imply there were going to be living dinosaurs at the Memphis Zoo. So, perhaps the people who asked for their money back were simply sticklers for truth in advertising.



Longview Daily News - Sep 9, 1992

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 03, 2020 - Comments (7)
Category: Stupidity, 1990s

Page 1 of 16 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
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 •