Weird Universe Archive

August 2008

August 10, 2008

Eugênio Hirsch

Discovering traces of a forgotten surrealist/pop artist is always nice and weird. That's why I'm happy to present here some data on Eugênio Hirsch--a name I believe will be little-known to English-speaking art-lovers.

I took the liberty of having Google translate his Spanish Wikipedia entry, and then cleaned up the text a bit.

Eugênio Hirsch (Vienna, 1923 - Rio de Janeiro, September 23 2001) was a visual artist of Austrian origin, considered one of the pioneers of Brazilian graphic design.

Eugênio Hirsch was born in Vienna, Austria in 1923. Given the imminence of World War II his family emigrated in 1938 to Argentina, where Hirsch was highlighted as a graphic artist. During his stay in Argentina, he lived in Buenos Aires where he worked for the Encyclopedia Codex. In 1947 he met Monteiro Lobato, who illustrated texts mentioned in the editorial. He also lived in San Miguel de Tucuman where he worked with Lino Spilimbergo Enea.

In 1955 he emigrated to Brazil. Beginning in 1960 he was hired by the publisher "Civilização Brasileira" and in a short time revolutionized the concept and design of book covers, becoming one of the biggest names in this specialty. In 1960 he won the Jabuti Award (highest distinction in the field Brazilian literary and artistic). He was considered a pioneer of graphic design with decisive influence on subsequent generations. One of his favorite quote was "Uma feita layer is to attack, did not to please" ( "A cap is used to attack, not to please"). In 1965 he traveled to the United States where he collaborated with Playboy magazine and then to Europe, but then returned to his adoptive country, Brazil.

Among his most famous works include the illustration done for the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. He was also recalled for his eccentric personality.

Eugênio Hirsch died in Rio de Janeiro on September 23, 2001.

You can see some of his book covers on this Flickr page. But my favorite is this one he did for the novel Flesh by the great Philip Jose Farmer.

How did I chance upon Hirsch's work? Through this pictorial in Playboy for December 1965. The mildly NSFW totality of the feature is to be found after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 10, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Pop Art, Surrealism, History, Historical Figure, Literature, Books, Science Fiction, Magazines, Sexuality, Sex Symbols, World, Europe, South America

Goatee Saver

The Goatee Saver promises you a perfect Goatee, every shave:

Tired of the constant struggle every morning trying to get your goatee to look perfect? GoateeSaver revolutionizes the way you shave and trim your goatee. GoateeSaver can be customized to your face in seconds, with three easy adjustments. Just slide it over your mouth and shave to get the perfect look that women will admire and men will respect.

Plus it can also double as a Hannibal Lecter costume for Halloween.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 10, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Hygiene, Inventions

August 9, 2008

Follies of the Mad Men #9


[This image is from The Saturday Evening Post for May 5, 1945. As you can tell from the slightly mismatched borders, it's two separate scans, upper and lower, with the division just above the punchline caption. Excuse my impoverished Photoshop skills.]

Once upon a time, hillbillies were a powerful iconic staple of American life. But alas, no longer. Perhaps The Beverly Hillbillies was their dying gasp. Since then, PC guidelines no longer allow for such stereotypes, as the Abercrombie & Fitch folks found out a few years back, when they tried to market this T-shirt. And so our national mythology is a little drabber and duller.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 09, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Political Correctness, Regionalism, Television, 1940s

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Saturday

Editor's Note
Unlike most bloggers, I don't have much worthwhile to say; what I bring to the table is my obsessiveness in scanning hundreds of news stories a day and picking some good ones for you. So when my hotshot, 15mbps cable connection is out, I lose my mojo. (No dial-up; no setting up shop at Starbucks; I'm not quite that obsessive.) My cable was out at 3 a.m. when I awoke. I went back to bed. It just came back on (8:45 a.m.). Not quite that obsessive. I'm done 'til Monday morning. Well . . . except for this one, left over from yesterday:
Comments 'editors_080809'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Ronald Barche, 47, who (despite his suave appearance) has been charged with trying to seduce an underage girl. Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Comments 'ronald_barche'

Posted By: Chuck - Sat Aug 09, 2008 - Comments (0)

August 8, 2008

Invest in Literature—and a Piece of the Brooklyn Bridge

Do you have a spare $2000.00 lying around the house? Why not send it to this untested fiction writer and receive a share of his entirely hypothetical profits?

In fact, I'm a relatively penniless writer too!

Thanks to good pal Sandy Pearlman for discovering this one!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 08, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, Literature, Books, Writers, Money, Charity, Self-help Schemes, Performance Art

The Singing Nun

Step back in time now with me to that long-lost year of 1963, possibly the last moment when innocent virginal piety ruled the pop charts. I am referring of course to the Singing Nun, and her hit song "Dominique," heard below in its original form, and its groovy 1982 disco update.

I recently purchased the Sister's first album in a 3-for-a-dollar bin at my favorite used-vinyl store. Opening its gatefold, I found inside a nine-page booklet, telling the charming fable of our tuneful nun's career, illustrated with gaily wistful drawings by one F. Strobel reminiscent of the style of Ludwig Bemelmans. I've scanned the booklet and reproduce it now for your enjoyment, the first page here (each page is two files. picture and text) and the others after the jump.

I venture to say you'll find this vital, albeit seldom-perused document nowhere else on the web. Only WEIRD UNIVERSE brings you such treasures!


More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 08, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Celebrities, Fads, Music, Religion

Telemegaphone Dale

If you have nothing better to do, call Telemegaphone Dale. From the United States, the number is 011 47 90 369389 :

Telemegaphone Dale stands seven metres tall on top of the Bergskletten mountain overlooking the idyllic Dalsfjord in Western Norway.

When you dial the Telemegaphone’s phone number the sound of your voice is projected out across the fjord, the valley and the village of Dale below.

I wonder how many collect calls it receives?

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 08, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Buildings and Other Structures, Technology

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Friday

Something Hell's Angels and that Christian biker gang from yesterday can agree on: No neon-green chaps!
The Florida Highway Patrol correctly notes that motorcyclists get killed every yr simply because they're not visually obvious enough on the road, leaving drivers sometimes to overlook them. FHP's solution: Start dressing in neon colors, all over. Response from bikers: We don't do Village People. Said biker Gary Dove, 62, "I've got black chaps, black vest, black t-shirts, black shoes." St. Petersburg Times (7-16-2008) via (8-6-2008)
Comments 'neon_chaps'

Maybe they want to catch him; maybe they don't
Mexican illegal Rogelio Santana, 27, was arrested after an attempted armed robbery, which was an easy collar because the victim shot Santana, paralyzing him. The Cincinnati jail can't deal well with a paralyzed person so they sent him to a nursing home at gov't expense. Sheriff's got budget problems, too, and since Santana was wheelchair-confined, sheriff figured he didn't need to send guards to the nursing home. Result: Santana rolled right out the door and hasn't been heard from since. (Bonus: Sheriff probably not all that sorry to see him go because it would have cost an arm and a leg to keep the guy locked up until trial.) Cincinnati Enquirer
Comments 'rogelio_santana'

Your Daily Loser
He hasn't been caught yet, so he may yet have the last laugh, but employees of that bank in Dublin, Ohio, had the first laugh, when the robber pointed his gun at them, and it fell apart, pieces cascading to the floor. But he acted tough, and employees followed protocol by giving up the cash. WBNS-TV (Columbus)
Comments 'gun_breaks'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Wait, no! These people's sex lives are way better than yours! Ms. Kerry Norris was fined £200 plus court costs for violating a previous anti-noise order, occasioned by her 2-yr, raucous-orgasming affair with Adam Hinton. "The headboard bangs on the wall . . . all night," said one neighbor. Another said she had to move her children to a front room. Another said her daughter developed a bed-wetting habit "because of what she heard." Norris, herself, modestly: "I have a normal sex life." Daily Telegraph (London)
Comments 'kerry_norris'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
William Martin, 49, Philomath, Ore., was charged with burglary and kidnaping. KGW-TV (Portland) via MSNBC
Comments 'william_martin'

More Things to Worry About on Friday
You've got to really hate your ex-wife to revenge-kill yourself by roping your head off in your speeding sports car . . . . . A 50-yr-old, blind social-services executive was charged with spanking his 20-yr-old daughter (but his defense is expected to hold up in court, i.e., a $5,000 cell-phone bill?) . . . . . Randall Turner grabbed his gun and threatened the county workers who had an order to mow the ditch in his front yard, and when they wouldn't leave, shot their tractor 5x (Bonus: After one shot ricocheted and hit him in the head, and the blood started gushing, Turner still tried to sound tough.)
Comments 'worry_080808'

Editor's Notes
As you sophisticated readers may know, the weird news thins out every August because so many troublemakers go on holiday or stockpile their imminent blunders for the September return to business-as-usual. Consequently, my daily emission thins, also, for, obedient to my high professional standards, I refuse to knowingly upgrade the mundane just to fill space. (In fact, I'm even going to take a few alternate-day holidays, myself, starting next week, through the end of the month.) Today's Newsrangers: Brian Godfrey, Judith Hicks, Harry Farkas, Kurt Knochel
Comments 'editors_080808'

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Aug 08, 2008 - Comments (0)

August 7, 2008

Follies of the Mad Men #8

This image comes from the cover of The Saturday Evening Post for March 15, 1965, and is attributed to the artist N. M. Bodecker. It touts the article "Madison Avenue: The Big Invisible Sell."

How many of these famous icons can you identify? My answer-key after the jump!

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 07, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Magazines, 1960s

Bus Rage

A follow-up to the widely reported stabbing and decapitation that occurred recently on a Greyhound bus. (Reported here by Chuck Aug 1.)

In one of those moments of perfect timing that only occur in a weird universe, Greyhound has decided to pull its ad campaign that sported the boastful tagline: "There's a reason you've never heard of 'BUS RAGE'", because unfortunately now everyone has heard of that phenomenon. (Thanks, Gary!)

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 07, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Scary Criminals, Advertising

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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