Category:
Technology

Robo-Crabs

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Good: HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures. Available soon at Radio Shack.

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Better: The Killer Spider Tank Tachikoma.

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Best: NASA's Spidernaut robot arachnid.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 15, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Inventions, Technology

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

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

Put your gas masks on!

I came across two unusual photographs of gas masks while browsing in the library recently. The first is from 1939 (from the collection Photohistory of the 20th Century). The caption reads:

This bizarre photograph of a scantily clad London chorus girl wearing her gas mask was used as part of the official campaign to take the terror out of wearing gas masks. One of the great British fears at the beginning of World War II was that the country would be attacked from the air, with poison gas. Gas masks -- 38 million of them -- were distributed to all civilians, men, women, children and babies. Government propaganda stressed the importance of becoming familiar with their use.

I doubt the image did much to take the terror out of gas masks, but I'm sure it made the fetish crowd happy.

The second photo is from Scientific American (October, 1922). The caption reads:

This mask enables its wearer to work for half an hour in atmospheres laden with noxious gas.

Coincidentally, this very much resembles the uniform worn by the staff of Weird Universe while we work.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 07, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Obsessions, Fetishes, 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.

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

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