Weird Universe Archive

March 2017

March 11, 2017

The Total Environment Room

In 1963, GE engineer John L. Matrone came up with the idea of creating a "total environment" room. It would be capable of creating any environment (the deck of an ocean liner, a beach in Hawaii, a rainforest in Tasmania) inside your own home.

Components for the fun room have long been on GE drawing boards.
The space would be 20 feet by 10 feet, with approximately 10 feet of overhead to contain a special piston arrangement and an "atmospheric preparation tank" for creating the real atmosphere of the desire scene.
(You could easily make it snow, said Matrone, but the problem would be "shoveling" all that stuff out afterward.)
One of the room's walls would be arced in 180 degrees for 3-D and motion location scenes.

I don't believe a "total environment" room was ever built, but it sounds quite a bit like the Holodeck in Star Trek (minus the holograms).

The Shreveport Times - Nov 3, 1963



The Shreveport Times - Nov 3, 1963



The Lincoln Star - Nov 3, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 11, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Buildings and Other Structures, Inventions, 1960s

March 10, 2017

7 Clicks (March 10, 2017)

7 Clicks
March 10, 2017

Gubment + Appeals Court: Can gov't "protect" endangered "dusky gopher frogs" just because they used to live at X place, and may come back to X place, but haven't been around X place "for decades"? [Daily Caller]

Can you think of a worse idea than building one of those mall toddler playgrounds, for inside a regular theater, during the movies? [Entertainment Weekly]

Facebook Trolls BBC: B finds child porn on F; F says no way, show us; B sends 100 images from F; F immediately rats out B for transmitting child porn [Gizmodo]

Allen Cochran, on trial, feeling doom, walked out before the "theft" verdict; but jury said not gulty; so, no harm, no foul? Wrong! [Virginian-Pilot]

Rule: If you're traffic-stopped still wearing work name tag ("Keyonna Waters"), even Barney Fife will notice if you tell him you're someone besides "Keyonna Waters" [WMDT-TV]

Your tap water pink/purple? Gov't: "No problem, safe to drink, OK? We good?" [Scripps Media]

Weird Japan: "flower" arrangements . . using raw meat ("tuna sashimi roses," sliced "beef flowers") [Metro News]

Thanks to Paul Music and Kevin Corwin,

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Mar 10, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category:

Risque Produce Labels

There's a collector's market for old produce labels that decorated fruit and vegetable crates, because back in the day these labels were often quite artistic. Some of the labels were also slightly risque, because sex can sell anything, even apples and veggies.

Once cardboard boxes were introduced, these kinds of labels fell out of use.













Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 10, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Art, Advertising

Armed and Clumsy:  The Ancestors:  1

How far back do the roots of Chuck's "Armed and Clumsy" category extend? The Wikipedia entry on handguns says: "The first handheld firearms that might better be called "pistols" were made as early as the 15th century..." Could we find a report of some soldier of the era accidentally wounding himself? It's a challenge!

In any case, here is an incident from 1949.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 10, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Accidents, Guns, 1940s

March 9, 2017

How I Stole Elections



Marlin Hawkins served as an elected official in Conway County, Arkansas for 38 years — for most of that time as sheriff. He built up a legendary political machine, being able not only to win reelection for himself (19 times) but also to deliver votes for other candidates. He often boasted that he could accurately predict the outcome of every election in the county.

It was long suspected that he was rigging the elections, especially since absentee voters would always vote for him by a wide margin, but no one could ever prove anything.

After he retired in 1978, Hawkins eventually wrote his autobiography, which he brazenly titled How I Stole Elections (available on Amazon). He joked that he "stole" them by "treating my neighbors right."
But no, he stole them by ballot fraud.

His book came out in 1991. The year after, some people who were remodeling their house discovered a whole stash of marked ballots from a 1968 election hidden in their attic. The house had previously been owned by one of Hawkins' deputies.

Hawkins got away with it because the statute of limitations had expired in 1974. He died in 1995.

More info about him at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

Palm Beach Post - Jan 9, 1992

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 09, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Government, Politics, Books, 1990s

Timothy Leary:  While Birds Sing





Album info and track listing.

Let me know when you bail!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 09, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Drugs, Psychedelic, Music, Surrealism, 1960s, 1970s, 1990s

March 8, 2017

The Monopoly Killer

July 1991: While preparing to play a game of Monopoly, Marc Cienkowski and Michael Klucznik got into a fight over who would use the car playing piece. Cienkowski insisted that since they were at his house, he got to be the car -- and not the hat or thimble. But Klucznik insisted that he was going to be the car, and continued to insist this even after Cienkowski hit him in the face. So Cienkowski fetched his bow and arrow and shot Klucznik through the heart. Cienkowski later pleaded guilty to criminal homicide.

Philadelphia Daily News - Feb 7, 1992
Click to enlarge


Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 08, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Games, 1990s

Follies of the Madmen #306



Tiny, tiny Cigarette Elf delivers tobacco goodness!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 08, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Products, Tobacco and Smoking, 1940s

March 7, 2017

Reciprocal Biomimicry Initiative

The latest from artist Jonathon Keats. He calls it the Reciprocal Biomimicry Initiative. The idea is to use human technologies to give a helping hand to various organisms stressed by environmental change, as a thank you for all the good ideas engineers have borrowed from the natural world over the years.

The exhibit is on display at Bucknell University's Samek Art Museum from March 7 to June 4.

More info: Samek Art Museum

Sex Toys for Flowers: Micro-vibrators provide titillation for flowers that have to be artificially pollinated as honeybee populations are decimated.



Urban Camouflage for Reptiles: Camouflage designed by the military for urban combat allows reptiles to elude detection in cities as urbanization overtakes their natural habitats.



Aqua Lungs for Sea Snails: A life support system allows sea snails to migrate to land when ocean acidification imperils their shells... This conceptual model shows the valves used to maintain the required microenvironment inside the snail’s shell.



Previous WU posts about Keats:

The Universal Colorblindness Test
Marriage via quantum entanglement
Business School for Bacteria
Century Camera
Time Management
The Art of Jonathon Keats

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 07, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Art

Page 6 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 4 5 6 7 8 > 




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
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 •