Weird Universe Archive

March 2014

March 6, 2014

Rocket Cats and Jet Birds? In The1500’s?


Paul's Hamster/Human wheel post led me to this. Now with new video!

Posted By: Tyrusguy - Thu Mar 06, 2014 - Comments (10)
Category:

PPlanter

San Francisco has a serious public urination problem. That is, too many people using doorways and the sides of buildings as urinals. One solution now being tried is the PPlanter. The basic idea is that it's a urinal that channels all the waste liquid directly into an adjacent planter full of bamboo, and the bamboo filters and purifies it.

An ADA-compliant sink is supplied with a human powered foot or hand pump connected to a freshwater supply tank. The greywater from the sink, along with soap residue, flushes and cleans the urinal, keeping odor to a minimum.
The greywater, soap and urine (blackwater) from the ADA-compliant urinal are funneled to a sealed storage tank. The combined water is then pumped into an adjacent planter that houses bamboo plants set in a lightweight mixture of soil and recycled styrofoam coated in pectin. The water from the urinal and sink is evapotranspired by the bamboo and released into the air as distilled, purified water. The bamboo harnesses the incredible amount of nitrogen and phosphorus found in the urine and uses it to produce more bamboo. With high traffic urinals additional planters can be added to the system.



The lack of privacy is intentional. But if you have to do a #2, I think you're still out of luck.

More info here.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 06, 2014 - Comments (10)
Category: Bathrooms

Human Hamster Wheel

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 06, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Domestic, Eccentrics, Museums, Performance Art

March 5, 2014

Follies of the Madmen #217

image

Maybe I tend to overthink things. But I confess I am baffled by the situation depicted in this ad.

1) Assume the girl in blue is a child, not an adult. Let's call her 8-10 years old.

2) The thing in her lap could be a doll.

a) But if it is a doll, its eyes are directed at the cookie, and it's reaching for it. It is not drawn to resemble an artificial thing. It is drawn as real as the girl.

3) The thing in her lap could be another living child.

a) But the only living child bearing that proportion to a ten-year-old would be, oh, what, a six-month-old baby? And what six-month-old baby ever looked like that?

Alternate explanation.

The girl in blue is an adult woman, the creature in her lap is a midget, and the whole thing is a fetish setup.

Please provide other theories, if possible!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 05, 2014 - Comments (14)
Category: Business, Advertising, Comics, Candy, 1940s

Rat Burning Festival

Nowadays we have the Burning Man festival. But back in the 19th century, they had the Burning Rat festival.


Some years since a gentleman, who had just returned from Rome, informed me that he had witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a large number of rats, after having been dipped into spirits of turpentine and set on fire, being turned loose at the top of the flight of steps which leads from the Vatican to the Plaza below. A great crowd of persons was assembled to witness the spectacle, which took place at night; and I think my informant stated, was customary on the evening of a particular day of the year: the miserable rats, which left the top step of the flight like living balls of fire — amidst the shouts of the populace — arrived at the bottom mere masses of scorched flesh.

Is this custom still kept up at Rome? If so, on what day in the year?

From: Notes and Queries. Nov 28, 1857.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that the correspondent ever received a reply to his question.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 05, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Customs, Foreign Customs

March 4, 2014

Girl Scout Cookie Pairings

It's a question that comes up often this time of year. What wines and beers should I pair with girl scout cookies?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interviewed experts to find the answer. Basically, you want sweet wines and beers, but they offer some more specific recommendations. For instance:

Thin Mints: a sparkling Shiraz, or a hoppy, chocolatey American porter.

Samoas: a fortified wine (such as R.L. Buller Victoria Tokay), or a dry, Irish stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Read the full list

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 04, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Food, Alcohol

Space Age Hair Fashions

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 04, 2014 - Comments (3)
Category: Hair Styling, 1960s

March 3, 2014

And You Think Your Kid Is Expensive

image
Man loses $80,000 age discrimination settlement due to daughter's snarky Facebook post. Bet she doesn't go to Europe now!

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 03, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Goofs and Screw-ups

Nuke Lamp



Add a little armageddon chic to your home with the Nuke Lamp from VeneriDesign. It's yours for only $1,445.53.

If they're charging that much, couldn't they have rounded down to an even $1445?

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 03, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Furniture, Overpriced Merchandise

12th Street Rag



Speaking of possible Olympic events, how about one where the Big Band leader has to race around like a nut and take a turn at every instrument in the band?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 03, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Sports, 1930s

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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.

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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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