$500 Toilet Seat

Goodness! I thought $500 toilet seats were only available to the Armed Forces! But you can have one too, if you visit this site.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 03, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Business, Products, Hygiene, Body Fluids, Excrement, Inventions, Foreign Customs

Airbag for People

A Japanese company has invented an airbag for people that deploys in the case of an accidental fall. It explains that it is designed particularly for elderly people with epilepsy, but of course it would also be very useful for drunks and klutzes.

I imagine it could also be used for recreational purposes -- like the game of trust. Do you dare to fall backwards and trust that the airbag will deploy?

The BBC has video of the people's airbag in action.

Update: Oops, hadn't noticed that Chuck had already posted this in his "more things to worry about." We need an airbag to protect against accidental double-posting!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (17)
Category: Inventions

Smelly Washer

Americans hate stinky things, and seek relief from bad odors in the most unlikely products. I've brought Poo-Pourri to your attention, and Alex has reminded us of Odo-Ro-No. And now we have Smelly Washer, which, according to this article, is selling like beer at Oktoberfest.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 23, 2008 - Comments (7)
Category: Business, Products, Domestic, Hygiene, Inventions, Money

The Isetta

A car designed and built by a refrigerator company? Yes, that was the Isetta.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 14, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Business, Products, History, Inventions, Collectors, 1950s, Europe, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

World D

Here's another strange book I purchased but have not yet read. The real author is Joseph K. Heydon, using the pen-name of Hal Trevarthen. Time has swallowed up all details related to Heydon and his book, leaving us only with the text itself.

Here's the description from the amazingly ugly dustjacket.

Here's the title page, followed by a sample of the actual bafflegab inside.

image Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 11, 2008 - Comments (11)
Category: Aliens, Eccentrics, Government, Inventions, Literature, Books, Science Fiction, Writers, Nature, New Age, Paranormal, Pop Culture, Science, Psychology, Self-help Schemes, Foreign Customs, 1930s, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Robot Suit Enters Production

This sounds pretty cool. Almost too cool to be true:

When you want to move your body, your brain sends out an electric signal that is received by your muscles, which then contract, thus producing motion. This electric signal travels to the muscles via the body's nerves, generating a slight voltage of electricity on the surface of the skin. This is known as a bioelectric signal, and Robot Suit HAL detects them using the sensors placed around the wearer's body. Depending on the voltage running the surface of the skin, the computer inside Robot Suit HAL analyzes the signal and sets the appropriate motors in motion.

This unique method of operation means that a person can control Robot Suit HAL by his or her own will, even if he or she is unable to actually move. And as the suit detects the signal sent from the brain even before it gets to the muscle, it can move an instant before the muscle does.

a) They chose to name it Robot Suit HAL (as in HAL, from 2001: A Space Odyssey).
b) They chose to name their company Cyberdyne, Inc. (as in Cyberdyne from the Terminator movies.)

So I'm going to need a little more evidence before I'm convinced this isn't a joke.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 10, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Technology

Harvey Comics


I loved reading Harvey Comics as a kid, and into "adulthood." (They're not published anymore, alas.) Their universe was quintessentially wacked and weird. As famed comics scribe Grant Morrison has remarked in an interview, sometimes the willed naivete of Silver Age writers following the Comics Code produced much stranger stuff than any consciously avant-garde writer could.

Take the two page strip to the right for instance, from an old digest-reprint of some Casper stuff. To parse it is to risk madness.

Is Nightmare indeed a mare, ie, female? if not, and even if so, is that the gayest hairdo ever, on horse or human? Why does a forest gnome like to hang out with a ghost horse? Why is playing human cowboys popular among the gnomes? Likewise riding an airplane. And finally, how demented does a ghost horse have to be, to stick planks up its butt and into its chest, and then purr like a cat, all in an effort to emulate a mechanical device so as to placate a gnome?

How I miss Harvey Comics! Thank goodness Dark Horse is reprinting some.....

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 09, 2008 - Comments (15)
Category: Animals, Art, Comics, Pop Art, Surrealism, Body Modifications, Drugs, Entertainment, Flight, Games, History, Inventions, Pets, Writers, Cartoons, Hair Styling

Follies of the Mad Men #25

Didn't you enjoy the vivacious and perkily sexy Tad Tadlock in yesterday's DESIGN FOR DREAMING? How could anyone resist a sequel?

Let's watch A TOUCH OF MAGIC.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 08, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Marriage, Family, Husbands, Wives, Food, Futurism, History, Inventions, Movies, Pop Culture, Technology, Sex Symbols, 1960s, Dance, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Follies of the Mad Men #24

And now, something different for this series: a video titled DESIGN FOR DREAMING.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 07, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Fashion, Futurism, Inventions, Technology, Sex Symbols, 1950s, Cars

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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 books such as Elephants on Acid.

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.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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