Weird Universe Archive

October 2016

October 23, 2016

Mrs. Living Corpse

June 9, 1966: After being buried alive for a week outside of a drive-in theater in Denison, Texas, Lottie Howard married "Country" Bill White. Both of them were "buried alive" practitioners. After she was disinterred, the two left on their honeymoon.



Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram - June 19, 1966


Update: Looks like the marriage didn't last long. Two years later Country Bill got served with divorce papers — while he was buried alive. The papers were dropped down the six-inch pipe he used for air and food.

Wilmington News Journal - Mar 28, 1968


But Bill rebounded pretty quickly from his divorce. Just a few months later he was buried alive with a "34-year-old grandmother" and a go-go dancer. However, they each had individual compartments in the coffin, evidently to prevent any buried-alive hanky panky.

The Indianapolis Star - June 21, 1968


And here's a picture of Bill from 1978, looking a bit rougher around the edges.

The Benton Harbor News-Palladium - May 19, 1978


As far as I can tell, Bill kept doing his buried alive stunt until the late 1980s. In 1981 he set an endurance record for the longest time buried alive (140 consecutive days in a plywood box, 6 feet long by 3 feet wide). This record seems to have been beaten in 1999 by Geoff Smith, who spent 147 days buried in a coffin under the beer garden of his local pub. Though it's hard to know for sure because Guinness doesn't maintain a record for longest time buried alive (because of their policy of not encouraging unhealthy or life-endangering acts).

In 2005, the New Bedford Standard-Times ran an article about Bill, but that's the last media reference to him I can find. If he's still alive, he'd be around 82.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 23, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: 1960s, Weddings

Plasticville, USA

image

Original ad here.

With no trace of modern irony, Plasticville USA was once deemed a grand name for an imaginary town. Somehow I can hear a beatnik of the era saying, "Plasticville, man, that's for squares!"

Wikipedia entry here.

More info and some great pictures on this page.

More images via Google.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 23, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Toys, Urban Life, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1940s, 1950s

October 22, 2016

Windsurfing Swans

In the latest issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Olle Terenius of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences reports observing swans windsurfing (i.e. "using tailwind as a support for high-speed water transportation"). This is something that bird experts were apparently unaware that swans could do.

Terenius hopes to spread awareness of the phenomenon of windsurfing swans, although he notes that the general public may have been more aware that swans can do this than bird experts were. He says, "I think the reason that this is missing in the literature is that ornithologists who are out in the field only quickly note that they see a Mute swan and write it down on the list of bird observations, while the general public has observed windsurfing swans thinking that this is already a well-known phenomenon." (Science Daily)

Below are his field observations of windsurfing swans.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 22, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Sports

October 21, 2016

Watered her lawn non-stop

1984 - Richmond, California: After 71-year-old Alice Richie's husband died, she began watering her lawn. And she didn't stop. She kept the sprinklers on 24 hours a day, for over a year. Rain or shine. Using over 20,000 gallons of water a day.

Her yard turned into a swamp, breeding mosquitoes. The runoff poured over onto her neighbor's properties, damaging the foundations of their homes and causing algae to grow on driveways. The city had to put up caution signs on the sidewalk in front of her home.

Richie ignored pleas to turn off the water. When asked why she was watering so much, she replied, "It's none of your goddamn business." People speculated that she believed she was washing away evil spirits.

However, she paid all her utility bills on time, so the water company couldn't simply cut her off. Finally, her neighbors took her to court.

Even in court she wouldn't explain why she watered so much. But the court ordered a flow restrictor put on her waterline, limiting her to 500 gallons a day (which still sounds like a lot for a single person). This finally put an end to the non-stop watering, after a year-and-a-half. A utility spokesman said, "She'll have just enough water to do her laundry, dishes and bathe. But she'll have to make some sacrifices if she decides to water her lawn."

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any photos of Richie's front yard, or of Richie herself. Nor, to my knowledge, was her mania for watering ever explained.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - May 17, 1984



The New London Day - June 10, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 21, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, 1980s

Kenner Easy Care Manicure Set





Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 21, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Cosmetics, Stereotypes and Cliches, Toys, Children, 1970s

October 20, 2016

Staged shooting as motivational stunt

November 1993: As high school football coach Dale Christensen was giving a pep talk to his players in the school cafeteria, hours before a game, a fight broke out between two students and Christensen moved immediately to intercede.

Then shots rang out. Christensen fell to the ground, blood spreading across his shirt. Christensen's son (who was a player on the team) shouted, "My dad's been shot!" Panic erupted, and people started running, seeking cover from the shooter.

But a few seconds later, Christensen jumped back up and announced he was okay. The shooting had been fake — staged as a stunt to motivate the players.

Unfortunately for Christensen, he had a hard time getting anyone to understand why the fake shooting was motivational. He later noted, "people in general outside the football team... do not understand what he was trying to accomplish."

School officials definitely didn't understand. The team lost the game, and a few days later Christensen was forced to resign.

Reminds me of that coach who arranged for his players to view a bull castration before a game as a "motivational experience." When asked how it was motivational, he replied, "That's everybody's different perception."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Nov 25, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 20, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Sports, 1990s

Fabulous Lady Diet Food

image

This is one of those rare instances where I can learn nothing on the internet about an old-time product. I suspect it was simply a forerunner of such drinks as Metrecal. If anyone can discover the secret ingredients of this drink, or even more press about it, they will be a master sleuth!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 20, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: 1950s, Women, Dieting and Weight Loss

October 19, 2016

Most Expensive Potato Chip

Swedish beer-maker St. Erik's Brewery recently debuted the world's most expensive potato chip. A box of 5 chips cost 499 kr, or around $56, which comes out to about $11 per chip.

They're made with a bunch of fancy-sounding ingredients: Matsutake, Truffle Seaweed, Crown Dill, Leksand Onion, India Pale Ale Wort, and Ammarnäs Potatoes.

However, you can no longer get your hands on any of these chips because the beer-maker only made 100 boxes of them, and they've already sold out.




Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 19, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Overpriced Merchandise

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