Category:
Animals

Follies of the Madmen #329



Tony the Tiger is a protective deity against the occult forces of Friday the Thirteenth?

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 13, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Products, Food, 1960s

Chickens as traffic control

1975: Rather than installing expensive signs or speed bumps, Napa, California experimented with using chickens to slow down motorists on one of its streets — Streblow Drive, bordering Kennedy Park. They simply let 85 chickens roam the park and street at will. Said park superintendent Bob Pelusi, "Only occasionally does an errant driver charge through the flock. In the nine months we've had the chickens on the job, we've lost 12 of them — gone in the line of duty, so to speak."

Tampa Times - Apr 11, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 07, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Highways, Roads, Streets and Traffic, 1970s

Naked Chicken Research

1976: Drs. William Johnson and Robert Truax of Louisiana State University raised and studied featherless chickens.

Aside from the physical problems, the chickens have social problems and psychological hangups, Johnson said.

"I guess 'embarrassed' is as good a word for it as any. You put one of them in with a flock of normal birds, and it huddles off in a corner by itself. The other birds won't have anything to do with it until they get used to it," he said.

"And then they're just not as active sexually. They will court and strut much more than the normal bird, but they don't mate as readily."

The story reminds me of the old urban legend about KFC raising mutant, featherless chickens. Maybe this is where the story started.

Argus Leader - Aug 31, 1976



Salisbury Daily Times - Aug 31, 1976

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 29, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Science, Psychology, 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #326



1) Sturgeons are the ONLY ones to make caviar, therefore they are best by default, and the point is moot.

2) The mental juxtaposition engendered by this ad between a fishy taste and the taste of coffee is most unpleasant.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 20, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Products, Food, 1940s

Lion Cage Weddings

The recurring theme of people who get married in a lions' cage.

1930s — no exact date or location specified



Lion-tamer George J. Keller weds Ginny Lowry in Cleveland, Ohio
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Mar 10, 1957



Lion-tamer Jimmy Bells weds trapeze artist Experanza Esqueda Gonzales
Torreon, Mexico - July 18, 1967



Lion-tamer Julius Von Uhl and his assistant of six years Linda Pritchard wed in Warren, Michigan
Fremont News-Messenger - Aug 15 1987

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 03, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Weddings, Love & Romance

Yellow Snow Experiment

An experiment conducted by animal behavior expert Marc Bekoff of the University of Colorado, Boulder with his dog, Jethro:

While talking Jethro on his daily walk I conducted a study of his sniffing and urination patterns. To learn about the role of urine in eliciting sniffing and urinating, I moved urine-saturated snow ("yellow snow") from place-to-place during five winters to compare Jethro's responses to his own and other dog's urine. Immediately after Jethro or other known males or females urinated on snow, I scooped up a small clump of the yellow snow in gloves and moved it to different locations. For some reasons passers-by thought I was strange and generally left me alone. Moving yellow snow was a useful and novel method for discovering that Jethro spent less time sniffing his own urine than that of other males or females.

More info: Psychology Today - June 29, 2009

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 19, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Experiments, Body Fluids

Manatee Alerting Device

Edmund Gerstein claims to have invented a "Manatee Alerting Device" (aka MAD) that, when attached beneath a boat, will emit a beam of sound alerting manatees to get out of the way. But it's controversial. Other researchers insist the device will just add more noise to an already noisy underwater environment. It would be like "putting a siren on every car on a highway." And that manatees wouldn't be able to tell where the sound is coming from.

Complicating the controversy, it turns out Gerstein has a history of advancing unorthodox manatee theories. Back in the 1990s he claimed to have discovered that manatees can hear high-speed boats better than low-speed ones. His claim was promoted by boaters who wanted no speed regulations, but after paying tens of thousands of dollars on extra manatee research, the state of Florida decided Gerstein was wrong. He was also busted for faking a degree. Which is why researchers aren't exactly welcoming him with open arms now.

More info: tbo.com



"Demonstration of an acoustic warning system to alert manatees" [pdf]


Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 18, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Inventions

The William Stillman Award



Dr. William O. Stillman (1856-1924) was an early advocate of humane treatment to animals. He created "Be Kind to Animals" week in 1915.



Find an obituary and tributes here.

His name is also connected to an award which, oddly, can go to either animals or humans.

Here, the award is given to a brave dog who helped humans.




Source of article.


And again.





A pig won in 1984.

A cat won the award in 1997, the latest date I can find for the presentation.

Finally we see the award given to a brave human who helped an animal!





I like that any species of creature is eligible for the award.

However, the point might be moot, since I can find no evidence that the award is still given nowadays.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 15, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Twentieth Century

Follies of the Madmen #320



Sexy Owl Lady is recruiting cigar smokers.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 12, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Products, Tobacco and Smoking, 1960s

Evidence that birds can read

Crow experts over in Japan have figured out a way to stop crows from ripping old insulation material off of pipes (the birds use the insulation for their nests). The researchers simply hung signs that read (in Japanese), "Crows do not enter." The crows seem to be obeying the signs. At least, they abruptly stopped attacking the pipes. This has now been working for three years.

Professor Katsufumi Sato thinks the signs work because people see the signs then look up into the sky for the birds, and when the crows realize they're being observed they fly away. More info: asahi.com

Or maybe the birds can read. I happen to have had in my files an example from 1960 of seagulls in San Diego who obeyed signs ordering them to stop dropping clams on the pavement.

The Lock Haven Express - Apr 7, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 24, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals

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Alex Boese
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.

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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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