Weird Universe Blog — January 31, 2024

Tumor Paintings

In 1834, Dr. Peter Parker obtained a medical degree from Yale University and then traveled to China as a medical missionary. There he commissioned Chinese painter Lam Qua to make portraits of patients at the Canton Hospital who had large tumors. Yale now has 86 of these portraits in its collection.

Peter Parker seems to have been a fairly common name before it became permanently associated with Spider-Man.

More info: Yale University Library

via Design You Trust

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 31, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Art | Medicine | Nineteenth Century

January 30, 2024

Anti-Bear Flamethrower

David Girag of Glendale, CA recently was granted a patent (11,877,572) for a "portable flame propelling device" to deter an attack by an animal "such as a bear, lion, dog, or human."

I think this would just anger a bear, and then cause a forest fire.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 30, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals | Fireworks and Pyrotechnics | Patents | Weapons

The Highwaymen, “The Bird Man”

For our category of Actors Who Unwisely Attempt "Singing"

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 30, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | Crime | Movies | Music | 1960s

January 29, 2024


Jessica Krane was the inventor of "face-o-metrics." This was a technique for removing wrinkles by stroking your face. At least, Krane claimed that wrinkles would disappear.

I like that the blurb on the jacket of her book declares, "BASIC WOO is for you— and so is EXTENDED WOO!"

'Basic Woo' was one of her wrinkle-removal techniques, but of course 'woo' can also mean bunk, poppycock, etc. Was the highlighting of this word some kind of surreptitious message to readers from a copywriter?

My Macbook's dictionary notes that the meaning of 'woo' as bunk originated in the 1970s "probably in imitation of a wailing sound traditionally attributed to ghosts and humorously associated with mysticism and the supernatural." So, since Krane's book was published in 1969, 'woo' wouldn't have yet had it's modern meaning. Still, an odd coincidence.

You can read Krane's book online at

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 29, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Books | 1960s | Skin and Skin Conditions


Read the full story here.

It was a vegetable concoction with a high alcohol content that could be sold without prescription and gave comfort to many who could not or would not find a bootlegger to ease the strictures of Prohibition.

Konjola sold like bathtub gin in the Roaring Twenties. Gilbert and Roberta started Mosby Medicine by mixing up tubs of Konjola in their basement and bottling it themselves. By 1927, Mosby owned a factory on Reading Road in Avondale and was planning an even bigger complex up the road. Mosby bought a spectacular neon sign, 84 feet long and 32 feet high, to advertise Konjola on the central pier of the Atlantic City boardwalk.

And then it all fell apart.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 29, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Regionalism | Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil | 1920s | Alcohol

January 28, 2024

Wife asks separation from meowing husband

Holland Evening Sentinel - Apr 3, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 28, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Divorce | Cats | 1960s


Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 28, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Aliens | Surrealism | Cartoons

January 27, 2024


A strange behavior engaged in by birds. From wikipedia:

Anting is a maintenance behavior during which birds rub insects, usually ants, on their feathers and skin. The bird may pick up the insects in its bill and rub them on the body (active anting), or the bird may lie in an area of high density of the insects and perform dust bathing-like movements (passive anting).

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 27, 2024 - Comments (6)
Category: Animals | Insects and Spiders

Esquimalt Hockey Queen

For two or three years in the mid-Sixties, the little Canadian town of Esquimalt featured a Hockey Queen. I am surprised there is no national Canadian Hockey Queen.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 27, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Sports | North America

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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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