Weird Universe Blog — January 16, 2022

Flirtation Codes of the early 20th Century

What a chore flirtation must have been back then if you had to memorize all these codes.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Oct 8, 1916

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 16, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Languages | 1910s | Love & Romance

January 15, 2022

From bashful schoolteacher to man-about-town

Sounds to me like the guy bought a Mustang and became a jerk.

Life - Nov 6, 1964

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 15, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising | 1960s | Cars

The Artesian Tree

I can find no fuller account of this miracle. No doubt it was bulldozed long ago.

ADDENDUM: I just did the obvious and visited the address given via Google Streetview. No sign of the fabled tree, alas. See screenshot in extended.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 15, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Health | Regionalism | Natural Wonders

January 14, 2022


A Japanese researcher, Homei Miyashita, has created a screen that, when licked, imparts the flavors of food. From Reuters:

The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV), uses a carousel of 10 flavour canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food. The flavour sample then rolls on hygienic film over a flat TV screen for the viewer to try.

Miyashita explains that he "hopes to make a platform where tastes from around the world can be downloaded and enjoyed by users, much like music is now."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 14, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Food | Inventions | Technology


The creator's IMDB page.

Not embedable, but viewable on Vimeo and worth the trip.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 14, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Surrealism | Cartoons | 1970s

January 13, 2022

Fish-Operated Vehicle

Scientists at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev trained goldfish to drive a "fish-operated vehicle" or FOV. Details from

Each fish was put into the FOV – equipped with a fish tank – at different locations in a room and tasked with a goal to drive to a visual target. If they steered to the target, they were rewarded with a fish pellet. To the scientists’ amazement, the goldfish successfully reached the target after a few days of training, no matter what position they started in or if they were interrupted by hitting a wall or by false targets, according to the release.

So how long before your Uber driver is a fish?

More info: "From fish out of water to new insights on navigation mechanisms in animals"

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 13, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Motor Vehicles | Experiments | Fish

The Mentality of the Criminal Woman

Read it here.

The majority of the book consists of dry statistical tables and charts of the tests given to the subjects.

But in the latter third of the study, conclusions begin to be drawn.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 13, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Science | Studies, Reports, White Papers, Investigations | 1910s | Women

January 12, 2022

Malicious Bar Stool

Outfit your home bar with the 'malicious' bar stool. Available from Price: $3,700 each.

Inspired by the ancient "Chair of Nails Torture", which was studded with spikes and used by inquisitors, "Malicious" was designed to create a feeling of disturbance, hesitation and fear in users. The purpose was to see the reactions and behavior of the users towards disturbing objects.

via Dave Barry

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Furniture

Mystery Gadget 99

What tha--?

Answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology | 1940s

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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