Weird Universe Archive

August 2016

August 5, 2016

Follies of the Madmen #290

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Worst. Pun. Ever.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 05, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Music, 1980s, Puns and Other Wordplay

August 4, 2016

Churks

In 1960, scientists with the poultry research branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that they had successfully created a chicken-turkey hybrid. They called the new bird a "churk." It was the first time such a cross had ever successfully been achieved — one of the obstacles being that chickens have six pairs of chromosomes, and turkeys have nine pairs. Churks ended up having 15 chromosomes.

The scientists created three male churks. These three were not only the first, but also apparently the last of their kind.

Some features of the churk:

  • They suffered from mental retardation, having only half the intelligence of either chickens or turkeys.
  • They were mostly silent, only letting out a feeble chirp if disturbed.
  • They had the long neck, legs, and white skin of a turkey, but the general size and coloring of a chicken.
  • Their feathers grew twisted.
  • All three churks had some defects, such as crooked legs or beaks.
  • They had to be kept in a separate pen from the chickens and turkeys, to prevent them from being pecked to death.

More info: Science News (Nov 22, 2011)





The Pittsburgh Press - Oct 27, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 04, 2016 - Comments (12)
Category: Animals, 1960s

August 3, 2016

Cockroach Milk

Diploptera punctata, aka the Pacific Beetle Cockroach, is the only known viviparous cockroach, which means that its offspring develop inside its body before it gives birth to them. It bears live young.

While its babies are growing, it nourishes them with a milk protein crystal. Some doctors in India think this cockroach milk crystal would make a "fantastic" protein supplement for humans, since it contains three times the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.

Dr. Subramanian Ramaswamy extols its virtues, "It's time-released food. If you need food that is calorifically high, that is time released, and food that is complete — this is it."

More: Times of India, International Union of Crystallography Journal

Diploptera punctata

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 03, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Food, Insects

Confucius Say

Posted By: Paul - Wed Aug 03, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Humor, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1940s, Asia

August 2, 2016

Fell asleep at wedding

The earliest I've found this story reported was in Time magazine (Feb 8, 1954). But then it started popping up in other papers, some as late as 1956 (below). I haven't found any report that went into greater detail. Which makes me wonder if this ever really happened, or if it was one of those amusing fillers reporters sometimes invented to pad column space.

The story, as stated, seems a bit implausible. Everyone at the wedding just left without bothering to wake the bride? Really? Even assuming that "dozed off" is a euphemism for "passed out drunk."


The Sikeston Daily Standard - Jan 18, 1956



Member of the Wedding. In Boston, seeking annulment of her marriage to William Jordan, Mrs. Margaret H. Jordan testified that she dozed off during their wedding banquet, awoke to find that bridegroom and guests had departed, did not see Jordan again until five years later.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 02, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: 1950s, Weddings

Mystery Gadget 39

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What's happening with this device?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 02, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, 1920s

August 1, 2016

We’re Back!?!

Fellow WU-vies--it appears that thanks to the help-line persistence and technical prowess of Alex, we are now able to make new posts from scratch. The ones you saw this weekend--when the site wasn't down--were old ones from the queue which the glitchy software somehow still allowed us to bring live.

In any case, here's to at least another eight years of smooth operation. For your patience, a bonus re-jiggered cartoon of the kind I post regularly on my Facebook page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 01, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Weird Universe, Alex, Comics

See-Through Luggage

Sold by Crumpler for AU$745 (about $564).

If you buy this, it seems like it would be almost a crime not to pack something weird inside it, such as an inflatable love doll.





Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 01, 2016 - Comments (11)
Category: Travel

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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.

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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