The Sigma-Aldrich Corporation sells a variety of scents including: Pseudo Corpse I (that smells like a body less than 30 days old), Pseudo Corpse II (that mimics the dry-rot scent cadavers attain after a month), and Pseudo Drowned Victim.
The scents are intended to be used for training rescue dogs, but I suppose they could also be used to enhance a Halloween costume.
In 1979, officials in Winooski, Vermont applied for a $55,000 federal grant to study the possibility of building a dome over the entire city. They explained that a dome might slash the cost of heating Winooski's buildings by up to 90 percent.
They didn't actually have a plan for how the dome would be built, but they eventually enlisted the help of architect John Anderson who came up some ideas. Details from UnofficialNetworks.com:
Thinking ahead, he envisioned a vinyl-like material attached over a network of metal cables, ranging from transparent (on the southern side, to allow in sunlight) to opaque on the northern side. Air would be brought inside by large fans and heated or cooled as necessary. The Dome would be held up by air pressure just slightly above atmospheric pressure. Entrances and exits would consist of double doors, akin to an airlock. The homes inside would require no individual heating or cooling — “you could grow tomatoes all year-round” he said. If the Dome were punctured it would come down slowly, allowing for ample warning.
Edith Ann McDougall wasn't Miss Illinois. Instead, in 1950, she was named "Miss Department of Illinois," which sounds to me like a distinctly less prestigious title.
The "Miss Department" title indicated that the contest was run by the Illinois department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. However, I haven't been able to find any "Miss Departments" from other states. So this must have been a uniquely Illinois thing.
In 1957, Albert Sfredda secured a patent (No. 2,786,540) for a square-wheeled tank. He explained:
A vehicle equipped with square wheels of the type contemplated by my invention gives better traction and a smoother ride when used on rough terrain than one having circular wheels. Following are the reasons: the sides of a square wheel constitute large flat surfaces for bridging ruts and cavities in the ground whereas a circular wheel follows the surface of the ground and enters many ruts; and the sides of a square wheel provide a large contacting area with the ground when they lie parallel thereto, and, hence, afford better pushing effect, whereas a round wheel affords only a small pushing area, which often results in causing a digging effect.
Sfredda was correct that square wheels would provide better traction on rough terrain than circular wheels would. The video below explains why. But the problem, of course, was that his tank would have difficulty moving on a regular, flat road.
Along similar lines, Macalester College has had a square-wheeled bicycle on permanent display since 1997. More info: macalester.edu
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.