Weird Universe Blog — June 24, 2022

Nose Writing

William Horatio Bates was a New York ophthalmologist who claimed that poor vision could be cured through eye exercises. He was quite well known in the 1920s and 30s.

One of his eye exercises was called "nose writing." Here it's described by Margaret Darst Corbett (an "authorized instructor" of his method) in her 1953 book How to Improve Your Sight:

Aldous Huxley was also a fan of the 'Bates Method' and of nose writing, which he described in his 1942 book The Art of Seeing:

Another excellent procedure, which is simultaneously an exercise in mind-body coordination, an imagination drill, and a small-scale shift, is "nose-writing." sitting down comfortably in an easy chair, close your eyes and imagine that you have a good long pencil attached to the end of your nose. (Lovers of Edward Lear will remember his pictures of the 'Dong.') Equipped with this instrument, move your head and neck so as to write with your protracted nose upon an imaginary sheet of paper (or, if the pencil is thought of as being white, on an imaginary blackboard) eight or nine inches in front of your face.

I don't think mainstream ophthalmologists have ever put any stock in the benefits of nose writing, but it still has promoters. See the video below.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 24, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil | Eyes and Vision

Ninety-five Years of the Shenandoah Queens

I like the fact that they choose Queens from outside their region. Long may she reign!

First photo source: The Daily News Leader (Staunton, Virginia)10 Mar 1959, Tue Page 12

The home page.

Apparently, the Court also includes Apple Blossom Princesses.

Source: The Daily News Leader (Staunton, Virginia) 22 Mar 1957, Fri Page 3

Source of article: The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) 04 May 1957, Sat Page 3

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 24, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Agriculture | Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Parades and Festivals | Regionalism | Twentieth Century | Twenty-first Century

June 23, 2022

Heart Attack Fells Winner

Mar 1972: Overwhelmed by the excitement of winning on a game show, housewife Maud Walker had a heart attack and died in front of the cameras. The studio didn't air that episode but offered to show it to her relatives so they could "see how happy she was."

Wilmington News Journal - Mar 8, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 23, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Death | Television | 1970s

Six Boys in Trouble

This album features jams on homemade percussion instruments by six 11- and 12-year-old African American boys living in New York City public housing, about 1955. These young, untrained musicians improvise the tunes and tales of their upbringing on this rhythmic release and draw inspiration from family folk traditions and popular radio and juke box hits of the era. The group’s enjoyment is apparent in their school yard musical expressions, as is their self-identification with the community in which they live. The album is divided into three parts: Percussion Ensembles, Rhythms with Voices, and Rhythms with Verses. The liner notes provide a deeper look into each section, as well as a subsequent transcription of the lyrics.

Playlist for the rest of the album here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 23, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Amateurs and Fans | Hobbies and DIY | Music | Juvenile Delinquency | 1950s

June 22, 2022

Rome fire-fighting cadets, 1962

Firemen as acrobats.

Newsweek - July 23, 1962

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 22, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers | 1960s

The Good Book Cookbook

Not a lot of nouvelle or fusion or fast-food cuisine in this volume. (Read it here.)

I did a search for "locusts" within the book, but no recipes, with honey or otherwise. However, you can source them here, at Biblical Protein.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 22, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Food | Nutrition | Cookbooks | Religion | 1980s

June 21, 2022

Lightning Rod Hat

AKA "Le chapeau paratonnerre." Details from Amelia Soth on JStor Daily:

According to the popular science writer Louis Figueir, all the excitement about the new knowledge of electricity led to an odd trend: in his recounting, Paris in the 1770s saw a fad for ladies’ lightning-rod caps, trimmed with metallic thread connecting to a cord that dragged along the ground. The (extremely flawed) theory was that the cord would carry a lightning bolt harmlessly away from the wearer. He also writes of a lightning-rod umbrella proposed by one of Ben Franklin’s acolytes, Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg. The umbrella would be surmounted with a metal pole and trail a silver braid to bear away the charge.

image source: wikimedia

A more recent version of a lightning-rod hat:

Tampa Bay Times - Aug 16, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 21, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Headgear | Weather | Eighteenth Century

Aleister Crowley on Wax

The famous evil mage Aleister Crowley can be heard via a wax cylinder recording.

Listen to his chants--if you dare!

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 21, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics | Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators | Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal | 1910s | United Kingdom

June 20, 2022

The Burial of Sandra Ilene West

May 1977: Per her request, oil heiress Sandra Ilene West was buried dressed in a lace night gown, seated in her 1964 blue Ferrari "with the seat slanted comfortably".

More info: Retro Hollywood

Christie's Auction Catalogue 1979

Fort Worth Star-Telegram - May 20, 1977

Jet - July 7, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 20, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Death | 1970s | Cars

The Gourmet Game

Here's a predecessor for all those competitive cooking shows and restaurant makeover shows.

Each player has his own board, which is in the form of a menu. Dishes include classic haute cuisine and are name in English and French (you'll soon learn the French words and their correct pronunciation). Six cards are dealt to each player, and as a player takes new cards from the deck or does discarded by his opponents he gradually puts together a gourmet meal. To win, however, he must order the right dishes and beverages, and must prevent other players from ordering.

Learn more here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 20, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Food | Games | Stereotypes and Cliches | 1970s

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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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