Weird Universe Blog — May 13, 2021

Escaped Tiger, 1915 Version

The tale of the Houston Tiger is okay, but not a patch on the 1915 event.

Source: The Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California 03 Oct 1915, Sun Page 11

Posted By: Paul - Thu May 13, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals | Death | Hollywood | 1910s

May 12, 2021

Octopus found in Restroom

The Equinox Bar, on the 22nd floor of the Hyatt-Regency, was the only revolving restaurant/bar in San Francisco, until it closed in 2007.

In April 1978, a large octopus was found in the women's restroom of the bar. I haven't found any follow-ups to this story explaining why someone left an octopus there.

So the incident remains a mystery, just like the porpoise found in the men's restroom of Glasgow Central Station in 1965.

Napa Valley Register - Apr 22, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 12, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Bathrooms | Fish | 1970s

May 11, 2021

Mr. Coke-Is-It

1985: Frederick Koch changed his name to "Coke-Is-It", saying that he was sick of people mispronouncing his name either Kotch or Cook. He was then promptly sued by Coca-Cola, since they had trademarked the phrase "Coke is it". Eventually a settlement was reached, allowing Mr. Coke-Is-It to keep using the name, as long as he didn't try to commercialize it.

Some digging revealed that Mr. Coke-Is-It was the father of the American skier Bill Koch, who was the first American to win a medal for skiing in international competition.

Argus Leader - Mar 15, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 11, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Odd Names | 1980s

May 10, 2021

Buried Alive Experiment

1926: French journalist Paul Heuzé sealed himself in an air-tight coffin to investigate how fakirs performed this feat. He lasted one hour and fifteen minutes before signalling that he needed to be let out.

More info about Heuzé at Wikipedia.

Illustrated London News - Dec 11, 1926

East Liverpool Evening Review - Dec 23, 1926

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 10, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Experiments | 1920s

The Sebastapol Goose

Their Wikipedia page.

"The bird should look like a pineapple."

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 10, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature | Natural Wonders

May 9, 2021

Animating Plants

Many people talk to their plants, but the plants don't talk back. However, a new invention allows the plants not to talk back, but at least to communicate, by moving. For instance, you could ask a plant if it needed to be watered, and the plant would shake up and down to indicate 'yes'.

From the patent granted to Richard J. Maddocks et al:

The present invention can provide a method and a system for the human interaction with plants. The present invention can also provide a method and a mechanism to animate by physically moving the plant in response to human voice or touch input. Additionally, the present invention can provide a commercially practicable method for humans or machines to assign personalities that will govern the plant's behavior.

The invention can provide an opportunity for retailers, distributors or gift givers to customize the behavior and content of the plant's behavior.

The present invention can provide a technique for the plant through its behavior to communicate its physiological needs for irrigation, light, fertilizer etc.

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 09, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Communications | Inventions | Nature | Technology

Various Commercials 1950s and 1960s

A few observations.

* Nowadays, to our shortened attention spans, sixty seconds feels like WAR AND PEACE.

* Is that the voice of Orson Welles for American gasoline?

* Why is the narration for the Coke stewardess ad a hybrid of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and DRAGNET?

* This was surely the apex of pop surrealism in advertising.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 09, 2021 - Comments (7)
Category: Advertising | Surrealism | 1950s | 1960s

May 8, 2021

Campaigned in armor

I think elections would be greatly improved if all politicians campaigned while wearing full suits of armor.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Feb 14, 1940

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 08, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Politics | 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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