Weird Universe Blog — June 18, 2024


Back in the old days, cans were opened by pulling on an aluminum ring, or "pop top," that would come completely off the can. Now these have been replaced by stay-tabs.

Most people threw away the pop-tops, but a few turned them into wearable art. The leader of this movement was Gonzalo Chavez, aka Pop-Top Terp. From Time magazine (Sep 21, 1970):

In his San Juan workshop, Designer Gonzalo Chavez, 36, a native New Yorker who calls himself Mr. Terp, has been painstakingly assembling pop-top rings into glittering dresses, vests, stoles, belts, miniskirts and maxiskirts—all resembling the mailed armor worn by warriors of the Middle Ages to ward off sword blows. Collecting the rings from rubbish heaps behind San Juan bars, Chavez files down their rough edges and crochets them together with silver thread...

The first pop-top garments were almost as stiff as their medieval counterparts. But Chavez has made them much more supple. "They fit like a second skin," he claims. "As you wear them, they change shape a little and mold themselves to the contours of the body." Rings differ too. Budweiser's rings are light and flexible, Miller High Life's are "soft," and Pepsi's provide a heavier, stiffer garment.

In 1975, Pop-Top Terp published a book, Pop-Topping, that gave detailed instructions on how to make your own pop-top clothes. But since pop tops have now vanished, it's become a guide to a lost form of art. You can read it online at

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 18, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion | Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages | 1970s

June 17, 2024

Woman dropped down manhole

Welcome to America!

Modesto Bee - July 2, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 17, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime | 1970s

Anti-snoring Pillow

The original patent here has no suitable illustration of its product, so I've taken the liberty of having Copilot conjure up some images. Basically, the pillow would use Active Noise Control to cancel out the snores.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 17, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions | Patents | Sleep and Dreams | Twenty-first Century | Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

June 16, 2024

Free Blond

The "Free Blond" advertising gimmick.

Los Angeles Times - Aug 28, 1966

Spokane Chronicle - June 8, 1964

Rapid City Journal - May 12, 1964

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 16, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Advertising | 1960s | Hair and Hairstyling

June 15, 2024

Miss Electric Sign

The primary job duty of Miss Electric Sign was to endure being dangled from a crane beside electric signs.

But she also had to sing the anthem of electric signs:

What would everyone do if there were no bright lights?
Would our nation be grand if signs weren't there to show the proper way to everyone in this land?

Time - Mar 25, 1966

Lancaster Eagle Gazette - Sep 19, 1966

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 15, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Signage | 1960s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 18

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 15, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Death | Europe | United Kingdom | Nineteenth Century

June 14, 2024

Soviet Bus Stops

Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig has been on a mission to raise awareness of Soviet bus stops. He feels that they're an under-appreciated form of architectural art, "built as quiet acts of creativity against overwhelming state control." But he warns that they're disappearing fast due to demolition.

He collected together over 150 of his photographs in the 2015 book Soviet Bus Stops. More recently, a documentary film, again titled Soviet Bus Stops, follows his years-long effort to photograph the bus stops.

More info: Soviet Bus Stops

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 14, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture | Mass Transit | Books | Documentaries | Bus

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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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