Weird Universe Blog — July 15, 2024

Recurrent Sudden Death

One of the stranger medical problems a person could suffer from is "recurrent sudden death." In fact, one might think it impossible to suffer from such a problem. However, the term appears fairly often in medical literature. A few examples:

Atlas of Heart Diseases - Arrhythmias : electrophysiologic principles, 1996

New England Journal of Medicine - June 3, 1982

I think, though I'm not entirely sure, that "sudden death" is being used as a synonym for "cardiac arrest." Doctors are aware that the term "recurrent sudden death" sounds absurd. Stedman's Medical Dictionary (2006) advises them not to use it:

And yet the term continues to appear.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 15, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Death | Medicine

Toaster That Butters the Toast

Man, given the laziness of the average person, this should have been a bestselling item. Unless...the notion of a reservoir full of old butter sitting at room temperature for weeks was a turn-off.

Full patent here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 15, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Domestic | Food | Inventions | Patents | Technology | 1960s

July 14, 2024

Miss Futuristic of 1969

The premise of the photoshoot for 1969's "Miss Futuristic" was that model Becky Hall was supposed to be staring into a crystal ball to see the future. I think it looks more like a spray-painted beach ball.

The Deseret Sampler - Dec 14, 2023

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 14, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | 1960s

July 13, 2024

Male dance moves that catch a woman’s eye

In 2011, researchers from Northumbria University published an article in the journal Biology Letters about male dance moves. They used motion-capture technology to "precisely break down and analyse specific motion patterns in male dancing that seem to influence women's perceptions of dance quality."

Here's the key part of their finding (for those men seeking to improve their dance moves):

We find that the variability and amplitude of movements in the central body regions (head, neck and trunk) and speed of the right knee movements are especially important in signalling dance quality. A ‘good’ dancer thus displays larger and more variable movements in relation to bending and twisting movements of their head/neck and torso, and faster bending and twisting movements of their right knee.

Below are two videos from their study showing male dance moves that women like, versus those that they don't.

Good Dancer:

Bad Dancer:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 13, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Science | 2010s | Dance

July 12, 2024

Man leaves thousands to a stranger, $1 to his wife

When Fred Eggerman died on March 24, 1960, his will left his estate worth approximately $12,000 (about $120,000 in today's money) to the first male child born in Paterson General Hospital on July 2, 1946. He had no idea who that child had been. To his wife he left one dollar.

The lucky beneficiary turned out to be high-school student Robert De Boer.

Eggerman's wife filed suit to overturn the will, together with Eggerman's father and brother. They eventually reached a settlement, but it only got them a mere $850. De Boer kept the rest.

Newsday - Apr 22, 1961

New York Daily News - Apr 20, 1961

Based on those details it definitely sounds like Eggerman must a) have been a bit eccentric, and b) have hated his wife. That's how many news articles presented the case. But the article below went into some background details which help to explain what Eggerman did.

For a start, he and his wife had been separated for years and had already worked out a property settlement. So there was no particular reason to leave her more.

As for leaving everything to an unknown child:

Eggermann just wanted to leave his money to a boy who would be about 10 years old at the time he drew the will. Mrs. and Mrs. Eggermann were childless.

Passaic Herald-News - Feb 8, 1962

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 12, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Death | Inheritance and Wills | Lawsuits | 1960s

Legal Daisy Spacing

I read this book nearly forty years ago, and never forgot it. It's weird and hilarious. I was so glad to see it turn up at the Internet Archive.

It purports to be a manual for terraforming a planet. But it's written by madmen and nature haters. Cacti must be enclosed in steel. Mountains must be leveled. Jungles must be paved over.

Read it here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 12, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains | Science Fiction | 1980s

July 11, 2024

The Smoking Baby of Trenton

Winfield Doran gained famed as the "smoking baby of Trenton." He started smoking a pipe when he was seven months old. Because his parents were worried about the health effects of this, they eventually persuaded him to smoke cigars instead. But he refused to smoke cigarettes.

He died of diptheria when he was four years old.

Canton Independent Sentinel - Aug 14, 1890

Quincy Daily Ledger - Nov 11, 1890

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 11, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies and Toddlers | Children | Smoking and Tobacco | Nineteenth Century

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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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