Weird Universe Archive

July 2019

July 26, 2019

The Leaping Lawyer of Toronto

Lawyer Garry Hoy worked on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower. Hi’s favorite trick, during office parties, was to demonstrate how the building's glass windows were unbreakable. He did this by hurling himself at them. But when he performed his trick in July 1993, the window unexpectedly broke, sending him plummeting to his death.

Based on notoriety alone, I’d say this has to qualify as one of the top 25 weird news stories of all time. Wikipedia notes that it’s been featured on a number of television shows (such as Mythbusters), and was also re-enacted in the 2006 movie The Darwin Awards.

More info: wikipedia, snopes

The Ottawa Citizen - July 12, 1993



National Post - July 13, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 26, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, 1990s

Mystery Illustration 84



You saw Julie Newmar as Elvis. Now which world-famous actress of the 1950s and 1960s is here impersonating Theda Bara?

The answer is at the link.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 26, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Movies, Twentieth Century

July 25, 2019

Coal Mining as a hobby

Are these coal miners? Not exactly. They're coal-mining hobbyists, who spend their leisure time down in mines shoveling coal.



In her book Hedonizing Technologies: Paths to Pleasure in Hobbies and Leisure, historian Rachel Maines notes:

Any technology that privileges the pleasures of production over the value and/or significance of the product can be a hedonizing technology. One would intuitively suppose that some technologies would resist hedonizing—coal mining and air traffic control, for example, and ironing and darning among domestic activities—but one would be wrong. All of these work algorithms have their counterparts among hedonized activites.

Translation: what is work for some, is a pleasure activity for others.

You can check out the website of the coal-mining hobbyists at undergroundminers.com.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 25, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: Hobbies and DIY

July 24, 2019

The Atomic Golf Ball

A demonstration that what is possible may not be what is practical.

Developed by nuclear physicist William Davidson in 1950, a small amount of radioactive material at the core of the atomic golf ball allowed it to be found using a Geiger counter, should it be hit into the rough. But there were a few problems with the concept:

1: The Geiger counter needed to be pretty close to the ball (within 5 feet) to actually detect it.
2: Not many people own Geiger counters.
3: Even though a single ball didn't pose much of a radiation risk, a bunch of the balls stored together would be a problem. So, it wasn't possible for stores to stock and sell these.

Mechanix Illustrated - Mar 1951



Akron Beacon Journal - Aug 20, 2000
click to enlarge

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 24, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Sports, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

Lonesome and Disgusted

A song written to be deliberately awful.

Amazingly, not to be found on YouTube. Listen using the embedded audio below, starting roughly at the 53:20 mark. Actually, the whole show is worth hearing.



Leo De Lyon's Wikipedia page.

Source of quote.


Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 24, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Humor, Music, 1950s, Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

July 23, 2019

George Price and Altruism

During the 1960s, scientist George Price came up with a mathematical formula to explain the evolution of altruism. This equation has been described as "the closest thing biology has to E=mc2."

Legend has it that Price subsequently became obsessed by proving that altruism was a genuine phenomenon, extending beyond family relations. He did this by giving away all his possessions to random, needy people — to the point that he himself became penniless, was evicted from his apartment, and after living in various squats throughout London, eventually committed suicide.

That's the legend, but Laura Farnworth discovered that, while the story is basically true, there's slightly more to it than that. Such as that Price was also suffering from psychotic delusions. Read more at nautil.us.

George Price

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 23, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains, 1960s

Thirteen Daughters, Then a Boy

I wonder if this 1953 record has ever been broken?

Story here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 23, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Family, Children, World Records, 1950s

July 22, 2019

L’Orange Variee Perfume

From 1925. It came in small bottles designed to look like segments of an orange. Not many bottles of this stuff survive. When intact sets do come up at auction, they can easily fetch over $1000.

More info: Box Vox

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 22, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: 1920s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Follies of the Madmen #436



Those are plainly loony bin attendants in the background, denoting that this clothing line is worn by crazy people. Gratuitous tape recorder also puzzling.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 22, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Fashion, 1960s, Brain Damage

Page 2 of 7 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  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
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 •