Weird Universe Archive

May 2018

May 6, 2018

Support underwear

For those times when you forget to dress and hit the links in your tighty-whities.

Esquire - January 1969

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 06, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category:

Procession of the Holy Carpet

A vanished, rather homely and charming rite of the Islamic religion.



Full essay here.

At the beginning of the century, there were several types of popular ceremonies in Egypt that have disappeared or faded with time. One such ceremony is the procession of “El Mahmal” or “The Holy Carpet.”

The yearly celebration involved the Egyptian government manufacturing a new cover for the Holy Kaaba and offering it to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After the cover is prepared in the factory, a large ceremony takes place in Cairo, where a parade organised by the Egyptian army tours the different districts of the city.

The parade included a caravan of decorated camels carrying the Holy Carpet, as well as many other gifts. After the caravan ends its tour in Cairo, it starts its long trip, guarded by the Egyptian army, across the eastern desert, then on to the Suez Canal and Sinai till it reaches Palestine.

From Palestine, it goes directly to Saudi Arabia, crossing its northern borders to the heart of Hijaz, then to Mecca. Normally it reached Mecca before the pilgrimage season, where another ceremony takes place that ends with the covering of the Kaaba with the Holy Carpet.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 06, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Religion, Interior Decorating, Middle East, Twentieth Century

May 5, 2018

John Lennon Slept Here

In 1984, Jeff Walker paid $36,490 for an 80-year lease on Room 1111 in Miami's Deauville Hotel. The reason was that back in February 1964 John Lennon had spent a few nights in that room. So Walker's plan was to rent the room out to Beatles' fans at a premium price and make a nice profit.

But one year later, only one person had rented the room from him, for a single night. Walker noted that he could have had the hotel rent the room for him, as just a regular room, but he didnt want "a bunch of weirdos" (i.e. non-Beatles fans) renting the room.

The Deauville hotel is still around, though its website indicates that it's currently closed for renovations.

I wonder if Walker still has the lease on room 1111? I can't find any indication that he does.

Hartford Courant - Feb 22, 1985
(Click to enlarge)



Miami News - May 3, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 05, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Celebrities, Music, 1980s

RIP Luiz Gasparetto



Gasparetto was a medium who claimed that the spirits of famous artists created new works by employing him as a channel. Above is a little trifle that Degas dictated.

Here he is in action.



More on the man here.

His obit, in Portuguese.

Posted By: Paul - Sat May 05, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, New Age, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

May 4, 2018

Lace-up Jeans

How much can you stretch the concept of jeans before they're no longer actually jeans?

Case in point: these "Wild Thang" lace-up jeans from Fashion Nova. At least the price isn't that bad. They're going for $49.99.

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 04, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Denim

Follies of the Madmen #363



Our products are used by milquetoasts, nerds and wimps.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 04, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Wimps, Milquetoasts and Cowards, 1960s

May 3, 2018

Iver Johnson, the human cork

Years ago Johnson, who is married and has two children, had an idea that he could float vertically if he tried hard enough. “It became an obsession,” he said…
For 12 years, Johnson said, he practiced, risking his life time and again trying to “force my body into harmony with the water.”

Johnson had a dream... to achieve something entirely useless.

A couple of years back, I posted about another guy, Norris Kellam, who called himself the 'human cork'. Though Kellam simply floated. He didn't float vertically.

Nephi Times-News - Mar 21, 1957





Chicago Tribune - Apr 7, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 03, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Human Marvels, Sports, 1950s

May 2, 2018

Happiness Executive

Over in Abu Dhabi, an eight-month-old baby was appointed to a position in a government office as a "happiness executive." Apparently it was believed the presence of the kid might boost morale. Or maybe it was just someone's scheme to save on daycare. Following complaints, officials are now investigating.

More info: thenational.ae

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 02, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Babies, Jobs and Occupations

Vogue Picture Records

For a brief time, one company produced records with illustrations imprinted into the vinyl.

Visit this site for a big archive of charming, sometimes bizarre artwork.

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 02, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Music, Twentieth Century

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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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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.

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