Category:
Inventions

The Uroclub

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Florida has a lot of elderly golfers with weak bladders. To help these folks, Florida urologist Floyd Seskin created the UroClub. It is:
A camouflaged portable urinal, designed to be discrete, sanitary and create an air of privacy! It looks like an ordinary golf club and comes equipped with a unique removable golf towel clipped to the shaft that functions as a privacy shield!

I've got to admit, it is practical. But a bit pricey at almost $50.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 15, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Bathrooms, Inventions, Sports, Products

The Grass Scanner

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The Grass Scanner is a product (hypothetical, I believe) dreamed up by designer Alice Wang. She offers this description:

In wealthier neighbourhoods, the size of the house and how well maintained the garden is, often represents status. The Grass Scanner is a device designed to measure how green the grass is. It takes reading from 3 random patches of the grass and outputs a Pantone* colour code for one to reference and compare. With the codes, one can then refer to the PARKTONE** cards which contains true grass colours of Royal Parks and other green areas in the UK for people to match up with their own garden.

Where it might fail is on fake lawns, which are becoming increasingly popular here in Southern California. Though fake lawns aren't cheap, so having one might indicate a moderate level of status. (via We Make Money Not Art)

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 14, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Technology

Amazonian Miracle for Sale!

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If only you had been reading Popular Mechanics magazine for February 1929! Then you could have purchased the same Purple Ray healing device that Wonder Woman uses! Okay, so it was a "Violet Ray." Same difference, right?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 14, 2008 - Comments (15)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, History, Inventions, Medicine, Science, Technology, Comics, 1920s

Happy Hula-hooping!

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Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the invention of the Hula Hoop!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 13, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Anniversary, Business, Products, Customs, Decades, 1950s, Fads, History, Inventions

Daring Polish Aviator—Times Two!

Synchronicity in the creative arts is pretty weird. The independent invention of very similar things. Charles Fort, one of the masters of all things weird, even had a term for it: "steam engine time." Fort's notion was that when an era was ripe, it called forth certain creations multiple times, without coordination among mere humans.

I was reminded of this recently in a small way while watching the 1942 film TO BE OR NOT TO BE. In this film, Robert Stack plays a dashing Polish aviator named Lieut. Stanislav Sobinski.

What other fictional dashing Polish aviator premiered right at this time? None other than Blackhawk, who debuted in August of 1941.

Could it be a simple case of the Blackhawk comic influencing the scripter of To Be or Not to Be? Unlikely, given the short span between the debut of Blackhawk and the release of the Robert Stack film, which had to be in production for some time prior.

It's more likely that the plight of Poland under Hitler's invasion called forth the notion of a national hero. But why aviator? Just the romance of aerial combat, I suppose.

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Here're pictures of Blackhawk and Stack in his role (leftmost figure, below) to compare. Stack is out of uniform in this shot, but when he's wearing his flying outfit, the resemblance to Blackhawk is uncanny.

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Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 13, 2008 - Comments (11)
Category: Art, Comics, Celebrities, Decades, 1940s, Forteana, History, Historical Figure, Hollywood, Inventions, Movies, Synchronicity

Plastic Pink Flamingo Shortage imminent!



Crude oil heading toward $200.00 a barrel? Trivial! More important here at WU Central is the upcoming dearth of avian lawn ornaments as the company that makes them goes bankrupt!

Read the whole sad story here.

How will extortionate charities get their money now, if the practice of "flamingoing" is doomed?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 10, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Animals, Business, Products, Customs, Domestic, Inventions

Simulated S**t Happens

Alex's Jesus Toilet post reminded me of this great WIRED article from a few years ago, about toilet technology.

It so happens that toilet engineers need to simulate excrement for testing purposes. Here's just a couple of the things they use:

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Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 09, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Bathrooms, Domestic, Food, Hygiene, Inventions, Scatology, Science, Technology

More Muscles than Brains

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When I first saw the ad for this device in the pages of Scientific American, I thought it was a joke. But it's true. For only 1.5 times the price of a 2008 Hyundai Accent--a whopping $14,615--you can buy a machine that does everything you can do with a jump rope, two cinder blocks, the branch of a tree and a bicycle tire inner tube.

If you can't wait to purchase it, visit Fast Exercise now.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 07, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Products, Inventions, Medicine, Sports, Technology

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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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