Category:
Underwear

Weird Science – Invention Is The Mother Of Necessity

Build a better mousetrap, it is said, and the world will beat a path to your door. The implication being that there are some problems which are just crying out for a solution. And then there are the solutions crying out for a problem - those inventions that, while inspired, are just a tad “out there”. It is this later category I shall be celebrating today.

First up, how clean is your cow? This age old problem has nagged at the minds of farmers down the ages, are their cows clean enough? And why isn’t there an easier way to clean cows? Well these merchants of the soil need worry no more thanks to a Swedish company that has developed the fully automated “cow wash”. Supposedly improving the health and yield of cows that use it, the cow wash uses a free swinging revolving brush to groom the cows while simultaneously stimulating their circulation. Apparently the cows enjoy using it and the makers DeLaval have sold over 30,000 in Sweden alone (Daily Mail).

Bigwigs in the US military will also soon be able to sleep sounder in the knowledge that the men under their command are safely in their underpants. We’re not just talking about any undies though, these have been specially designed by University of California professor Joseph Wang. Not only will his techno-trunks monitor the vitals of the personnel wearing them, they can even administer painkillers or antibiotics as the situation demands (Post Chronicle).

And if your pants don’t save you, at least your modesty will be preserved when you are taken to hospital, all thanks to the University of Montreal. For it is from that fine establishment’s School of Industrial Design that our next invention hails, a hospital gown that isn’t quite so revealing. The DUO gown is the brainchild of Noemie Marquis and Denyse Roy and consists of two overlapping panels, front and back, that is easy to put on and requires no fasteners making life simpler for both patients and staff (Medical News Today).

Meanwhile British scientists have been working on an altogether sterner cover. Nicknamed “bullet-proof custard” by its inventors, Bristol based BAE systems have developed a liquid armour consisting of layers of Kevlar combined with a secret “shear-thickening” liquid that hardens as force is applied. The company’s eventual aim is to produce lighter, more-flexible body armour for the military (BBC News).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Thu Jul 22, 2010 - Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Farming, Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Futurism, Hospitals, Inventions, Robots, Science, Technology, Underwear

Two Girl Hitchhikers

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 27, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Law, Sexuality, 1940s, Cars

Buruma

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Apparently, among the many specialized Japanese fetishes is a fascination with "buruma," the Japanification of "bloomers". These gym shorts for females can look like panties or hotpants. But they can also look like surprisingly unsexy old-lady underwear, as seen to the right. (Well, relatively unsexy, compared to other versions.)

For a galley of buruma images, most definitely NSFW, visit this site. You will probably have to click on the button labeled TOGGLE VISIBILITY OF MATURE CONTENT.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 07, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Sexuality, Asia

The history of three-holed panties

After I posted about the "pantyhose garment with spare leg" yesterday, several people pointed out prior art, which to my mind calls into question the validity of the patent.

In the comments, Dumbfounded noted: "In a 1987 Judge Dredd story, the father of child serial killer P.J. Maybe shows off a design for trousers with a third leg, 'in case one wears out'. The spare leg was kept tucked in a pocket when not in use."

And then Chuck recalled that in the first News of the Weird paperback (1989), he included an anecdote from the Wall Street Journal about a Japanese worker who had invented six-day underwear with three leg holes.

I tracked down the WSJ article in question. It ran on Oct. 16, 1987 and described a creativity contest at Honda Motor Co. in which workers were encouraged to design whimsical new products, one of which was indeed underwear with three leg holes: "The garment is supposed to last for six days, with the wearer rotating it 120 degrees each day--and then wearing it inside out for three days."

Other products from the contest included:
  • musical bath slippers
  • a hot tub installed in the back of a car
  • a fig tree that dances to the music of Karen Carpenter
  • a toothbrush with built-in toothpaste
  • a child's motorized sled that climbs back uphill by itself
  • a pillow with an internal alarm
  • and a rickshaw pulled by a manikin made of papier-mache and plaster (designed to resemble Honda's 81-year-old founder, Soichiro Honda)

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 27, 2009 - Comments (13)
Category: Fashion, Underwear

The Red Flannel Festival

In 2009, all WU readers are commanded to attend Michigan's Red Flannel Festival, where natives parade in public in their longjohns.

Here's the history of the tradition, taken from the Festival's homepage.

It all began in 1936 in the midst of "the worst winter in years." The whole country suffered in the grip of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures. A New York feature writer bemoaned the "fact" that, "Here we are in the midst of an old- fashioned winter and there are no red flannels in the USA to go with it."

The local newspaper, The Cedar Springs Clipper, owned and edited by "The Clipper Gals" Nina Babcock and Grace Hamilton answered the writer with a RED HOT editorial stating: "Just because Sak's Fifth Avenue does not carry red flannels, it doesn't follow that no one in the country does. CEDAR SPRINGS' merchants have red flannels!"

The story was picked up by The Associated Press and orders began pouring in from all over the USA.

Seeing the possibility of at least a few years of publicity because of our famous “drop seaters" and lumbering history, a "RED FLANNEL DAY" was planned for the fall of 1939. After the closure of the Red Flannel Factory in 1994, the citizens became concerned as to the fate of their beloved Red Flannels and of the Red Flannel Festival. However, due to the love of their community legacy, volunteers rallied to keep the Red Flannel Festival tradition alive. It has continued to be an annual event, held the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October. The production of Red Flannel garments was reestablished and they are available to purchase in Cedar Springs.


And here are some shots from early on, courtesy of the Life Photo Archive

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Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Customs, Holidays, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, Fetishes, Underwear, 1940s

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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, 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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