Category:
Animals

The Songbird Saver

Desmond Slattery (1914-1977) claimed to be a naturalist. But I'm not sure how much scientific training he actually had. I suspect that's just how he rebranded himself after his career in Hollywood fizzled.

His 'Songbird Saver,' which he debuted in 1968, was designed to stop cats from attacking birds by conditioning them to think that, if they did so, the birds would explode. As explained in the LA Times (Jan 23, 1969):

Basically, the Songbird Saver consists of a small dummy bird which, when nudged by a cat for any reason, explodes.
Slattery's own news release describes its effectiveness perhaps more vividly:
"Slipping out of the house, the trainee-cat will make its stealthily stalking approach... Seeing it (the Songbird Saver), apparently frozen with terror, the trainee-cat will pounce upon it, and with the resulting explosion, that cat will go about 9 feet in the air and take off for the high timber before its feet touch the ground."
It is with this simple device that Slattery hopes to save civilization "as we know it."
"Songbirds are vital to our ecology of life," he explained. "Our society could not exist without them. Frankly, in six years we'd be up to our neck in insects."
Slattery emphasized his device is harmless to cats and uses merely the same sort of exploding caps used in cap pistols. It is based on common theories of preconditioning and some stuff he read by Mark Twain on a cat's ability to learn.
"It's based, actually, on a combination of Pavlov and Mark Twain. If both those guys are wrong, I'm wrong."
The dapper 54-year-old promoter denied he was "anti-cat" and said that in fact his invention would allow cats and birds to live together in harmony.

El Paso Times - Dec 26, 1968





Los Angeles Times - Jan 23, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 13, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Inventions, Cats, 1960s

Mystery Illustration 88



In the Golden Age of comics, there was no internet to provide reference fotos for odd creatures or other objects/places/people which an artist might need to draw.

What creature is this artist attempting to depict?

The answer is here (page 23).

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 06, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Comics, 1950s

The Malibu Remuda of 1947



The "Remuda" or horse show by all accounts featured a "western bathing beauty contest." But I can't locate a pic of the actual winner. However, these lovelies were in attendance, and certainly the giant hat qualifies this as one of our Weird Beauty Contests.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 01, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Regionalism, 1940s

Beer in a Dead Squirrel

I do not see this limited-edition beer for sale any longer on the BrewDog home page. But perhaps you should subscribe to their newsletter for any such future offerings.

Article here from 2016.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 17, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Death, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Alcohol

Pig Poop Sniffer

If you think your job sucks, it could always be worse. You could be smelling pig excrement for $1 a day.

Cedar Rapids Gazette - Aug 25, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 13, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Jobs and Occupations, Excrement, 1970s

Beer-Drinking Camel(s)





Picture source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 13, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, 1950s, Alcohol

Max Und Moritz

Cartoon violence? God forbid!

The Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 01, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Antisocial Activites, Death, Destruction, Domestic, Cartoons, Stop-motion Animation, 1940s, Europe, Nineteenth Century

Champion Chicken Picker Ernest Hausen

Ernie Hausen, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, had one great talent. He could pick the feathers off of chickens really, really fast.

When he started picking chickens, in 1904, it took him a full half hour to defeather one. Since he was paid 5 cents per chicken, he wasn't making much money. Over the years he sped up. By 1922, he won a Chicken Picking Championship by picking his chicken clean in 6 seconds. He topped this in 1939, upping his time to 3.5 seconds. As far as I know, that record stands to this day.

His technique:

Hausen dips the chickens in 164-degree water, quickly runs his large, powerful fingers across the wings, from the tips inward; does the same with the legs, finally peels the feathers from the back and breast. Suddenly the bird is as bare as a billiard ball.... He tells of picking 1,472 birds in 7 hours and 45 minutes in a contest.
-Ithaca Journal - Feb 7, 1946

More info: Hoard Museum

Wisconsin State Journal - Jan 2, 1946



Appleton Post-Crescent - Jul 28, 1936



McAllen Monitor - Oct 28, 1946



Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 27, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Farming, Human Marvels, World Records

Maestro


Maestro from Bloom Pictures on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 23, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Music, Special Effects

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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, 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.

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