Weird Universe Archive

March 2013

March 11, 2013

Fecal Wine, Part 2

Back in January, I posted about a Korean fecal wine named Tsongsul, which is drunk as a remedy for all manner of ills. But it turns out there's a long tradition of drinking fecal wine in the UK as well.

Over at the Recipes Project, a blog about early modern recipe books, Jonathan Cey describes finding an unusual concoction in the 17th century medicinal recipe book of Johanna St. John.

As I read I couldn't help but assume that the addition of spices, or the use of wine, sugar, and brandy might have best served to make some of the recipes more palatable. But then something caught my eye that all the cinnamon, saffron, and distillation could not possibly conceal. To put it lightly, it was, well, poo. Precisely, for smallpox, "a sheep's dung, cleane picked". Clearly you would want to make sure you were getting pure, uncontaminated crap. The recipe goes on to instruct the user to mix a handful of the stuff into a pint of white wine, "mash it well" and after leaving it to stand a full night, to serve a spoonful or two at a time. But wait, there's more! A note tucked into the margin recommends this smelly recipe for gout and jaundice. Fecal wine, if you will: good for what ails you.

And apparently Sir Robert Boyle, of the Royal Society, recommended human excrement "dried into powder, and blown into the eyes as a treatment for cataracts."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 11, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Food, Medicine, Excrement

New Weird Books Sidebar

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Eagle-eyed WU-vies will have spotted the new sidebar, installed by Alex this weekend, where we will recommend books of sufficient weirdness, we hope, to deserve your attention.

The reason for picking most of the titles should be obvious, at least upon visiting their page. But if we want to expand on our reason for selecting a book, we'll do a separate post on the main blog.

We hope this new feature brings you lots of pleasant--and weird--reading!

PS: if you want to bring something worthy of dissemination to our notice, please do so!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 11, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Weird Studies and Guides, Weird Universe, Books

Jock Strap Handball



Here's a little something for the lady WU-vies. This otherwise innocuous home movie features two guys playing handball while wearing only jockstraps.

They come on around the one-minute mark, and play for three minutes. Then they reappear around the eleven-minute mark for another four minutes, joined by a third guy in trunks.

Not sure if this was conventional attire for handball in the era of the filming (1930s-1940s, judging by the clothes). Or if we are just dealing with a couple of exhibitionists.

I do know that even in the 1960s of my youth, the Boys' Club in town featured naked swim sessions for boys. Nobody used to believe me, till I found proof in LIFE MAGAZINE.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 11, 2013 - Comments (11)
Category:

March 10, 2013

Cockroach Artist Fabian Peña

Instead of painting with oils or watercolors, Fabian Peña uses fragments of cockroach wings and crushed houseflies as his artistic medium. The blurb about him at the David Castillo Gallery says: "Peña harkens to the Shakespearean interpretation of a corporeal 'pound of flesh,' acknowledging the somatic price for locating beauty in the grotesque." [via ihlet.com]







Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 10, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Insects

March 9, 2013

Birth of the Transistor Radio



Who could have predicted that the technology above would lead to the result below?

A useful reminder for Apple as they attempt to deliver a wristband computer--with what unpredictable results and uses, we shall ultimately find out!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 09, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Music, Technology, Television, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1950s, 1960s

Snowballs for Men



Joshua Shoemake is trying to raise money in order to fund his dream of cooling men's private parts. If he raises $20,000 by April 4 he's in business, but he's still got a long way to go.

Which is to say, he's got a kickstarter campaign to fund his idea of manufacturing "Snowballs: Cooling Underwear for Conceiving Men." Apparently, if a guy is trying to get a girl pregnant, his fertility increases if his dangly bits are slightly chilled.

Wasn't there an episode of Cheers where Sam wore frozen underwear to boost his fertility?

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 09, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Underwear, Genitals

March 8, 2013

Bacon Curls



Yes, these are real.




Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 08, 2013 - Comments (9)
Category: Celebrities, Movies, Advertising, Junk Food

The Fire Treatment

Would you set yourself on fire for beauty? According to The Inquisitr, the Fire Treatment (aka Huǒ liáo) is the hot new thing in China:

The process involves an esthetician or spa employee draping target areas of the face and body with alcohol and secret elixir saturated towels. The person, more specifically the towel the person is wearing, is set ablaze. Moments later the towel is extinguished. The fiery beauty regime is supposedly based off ancient Chinese medicine. The dangerous treatment is intended to eliminate dull skin, aid in the common cold, and revert obesity.





Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 08, 2013 - Comments (12)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods

March 7, 2013

The Coal Mining Daughter

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I would have been proud to shake Ida Mae Stull's hand--except that she might have crushed mine!

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 07, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Feminism, Law, 1930s, Women, Mining

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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.

Chuck Shepherd
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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