Weird Universe Archive

November 2015

November 22, 2015

Wrong Signature Montblanc

In the mid-1990s, Montblanc began selling a limited-edition pen engraved with the signature of Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers — at a price of $750 for a fountain pen or $375 for the ballpoint version. But in 1996 the company admitted it had made a mistake and recalled all the pens. The engraved signature was from the wrong Alexandre Dumas. Not the author of The Three Musketeers, but rather his not-quite-as-famous son, author of "The Lady With the Camellias.'"

The mistake was first noticed by the owner of a pen store in Toronto who was displaying a manuscript in his store that included the signature of the senior Dumas and noticed it didn't match the one on the pen. [More info: Eugene Register-Guard - Oct 6, 1996]

At the time, there was a lot of speculation that the wrong-signature pen would quickly rise in value. But no. Checking on eBay, it seems that both versions of the pen go for about the same price (anywhere from $800 to $2000). Probably because too many of the wrong-signature pens were made to make it a rare item.

There's a discussion of both pens on the Fountain Pen Network.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 22, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: 1990s, Goofs and Screw-ups

Corpse by Mail

image

Original article here.

Was she found innocent or guilty?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 22, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, 1950s, Postal Services

November 21, 2015

Beauty Contest

image
NSFW! Autoblow Balls Beauty Contest, a beauty contest for balls, is being held with the option to enter online by sending in a picture of your best feature guys. You can also vote at the site, and its quite a sight to vote on!

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 21, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Genitals

Atomic Armor for Children, 1951

Designed by Lee Pauwels of Los Angeles to protect his six-year-old son from harmful atomic rays given off by a nuclear explosion. He noted that the suit wouldn't protect his son from the concussion of the blast, "But authorities believe a person could survive the blast at much closer range if he were lying down and wearing the suit. Afterward he'd be able to leave the area that had become contaminated by harmful rays."

I wonder if this suit still survives somewhere, stored in someone's attic. Well, it must be around if even atomic rays couldn't harm it. This is the kind of thing that should be on display in the Smithsonian (if I were running it).

The Eugene Guard - Jan 1, 1952



Traverse City Record-Eagle - Dec 26, 1951



via USC Digital Library



via USC Digital Library

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 21, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Fashion, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

Carnivorous Buffaloes

image

Nothing much about California has really changed since this 1849 warning, has it?

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 21, 2015 - Comments (10)
Category: Death, Hillbillies, Country Bumpkins, Ruralism and Flyover Country, Rants, Warnings, Jeremiads, Prophecies and Cassandra-like Figures, Regionalism, Nineteenth Century

November 20, 2015

The First Do-It-Yourself Novel

Composition No. 1 by Marc Saporta was the first-ever do-it-yourself or interactive novel. It was published in French in 1962, and an English translation followed a year later. The novel came in a box, as a set of looseleaf pages. Readers were instructed to "shuffle them like a deck of cards" before reading, so that chance would decide the order of events in the narrative.

image source: Newsweek - Oct 28, 1963



In 2011, Visual Editions came out with an elegantly boxed new edition of the work (available on Amazon). As well as an iPad version of it that automatically shuffles the pages.


Jonathan Coe, reviewing the new edition for the Guardian in 2011, offered this summary of the book's plot:

The story is a flimsy wisp of a thing, really no more than a jumble of fragments. The setting is Paris during the German occupation. The central character is little glimpsed and never named. He has a mistress called Dagmar, a depressed wife (I think) called Marianne, and a young German au pair whom he rapes during the course of the novel, before being injured in a serious car accident.

Coe noted that the British Library had two copies of the original novel, "both, I'm sorry to say, diligently bound by over-zealous librarians (though at least each copy has the pages bound in a different order)."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 20, 2015 - Comments (1)
Category: Literature, Books, 1960s

“Life-sized” Alien Facehugger & Egg

image

Too bad this won't be available until April 2016. Imagine the screams of terror, as depicted, when your lucky first-grader opens this under the Xmas tree.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 20, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Death, Toys, Children, Eggs

November 19, 2015

Flying Cows

When I started researching my latest about.com article, I figured that most of the alleged cases of people hit by flying cows were probably urban legends. But now I've concluded that, although there is one famous flying-cow urban legend (involving a Japanese fishing boat being sunk by a cow falling out of the sky), people actually do get hit by flying cows pretty regularly.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 19, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Accidents, Cows, Alex

Push Button Weather



The miraculous Chronotherm! First line of defense!

Sad to contemplate that all these decent-paying job that once provided a good living for so many families have been farmed out to robots and other nations today.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 19, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Industry, Factories and Manufacturing, Appliances, 1950s

Ketchup Leather

Ketchup Leather is the latest advance in hamburger science. Invented by an L.A. restaurant, it's basically dehydrated ketchup. The idea is that it stops the burger bun from getting soggy.

Maybe this will go down well with trendy L.A. types, but I can't see Mr. and Mrs. Average American embracing this.

More info at Tech Insider.



via GIPHY

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 19, 2015 - Comments (12)
Category: Food

Page 3 of 8 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›




Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


weird universe thumbnail
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.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
June 2024 •  May 2024 •  April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •