Weird Universe Archive

September 2020

September 10, 2020

Remove the braces, or else…

I'm sure this must have been the strangest day in Norman Carstens' career as an orthodontist:

The boy had apparently asked other dentists in the area to remove his braces before visiting Carstens' Mack Avenue office on Feb 8, "probably because he lives three or four blocks from my office," Carstens said. "He (came) in to see me and said he wanted them off. I said he wasn't finished with his treatment and I couldn't take them off without a letter from his parents and his regular orthodontist.
"I had him in the chair and he leaned over and pulled the gun out of his pocket and said, 'Would this make you change your mind?' and I said, 'Yes,'" Carstens said.

(click to enlarge)
Central New Jersey Home News - Feb 16, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 10, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: 1980s, Weapons, Teeth

Nocturnal Butterflies

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 10, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Surrealism, Cartoons, 1990s

September 9, 2020

man vs. fly

A little over a week ago, I posted about a woman who, in 1985, managed to blow the roof off her house while trying to kill some insects. Now recent news has provided a follow-up:

A man has blown up part of his house in France while trying to swat a fly. The man, who is in his 80s, was about to tuck into his dinner when he became irritated by a fly buzzing around him. He picked up an electric fly swatter and started targeting it - but a gas canister was leaking in his Dordogne home. A reaction between the device and the gas caused an explosion, destroying the kitchen and partly damaging the roof of the home in Parcoul-Chenaud village.

I checked to see if Chuck had ever decided that people destroying their homes while trying to kill insects was a 'No Longer Weird' type of story, and yes, he had! In his Sept 18, 2016 column, he listed the following story under the 'no longer weird' heading:

Police in Centralia, Washington, arrested a man (not identified in news reports) for reckless burning in August when, trying to rid his apartment of roaches, he declined ordinary aerosol bug spray in favor of making a homemade flamethrower (the aerosol spray fired up by a lighter). He fled the apartment when he realized he might have taken things too far. (Firefighters were called, but the damage was minimal.) [The Oregonian, 8-8-2016]

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 09, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Insects

September 8, 2020

Infinity Kisses

The artwork Infinity Kisses, by Carolee Schneeman, consists of multiple self-shot photos of her kissing her cat. (See video below). She worked on it from 1982-1988.



After she completed this work, it evidently didn't receive much attention from the art world, because in a 1991 essay, published in Art Journal (Winter 1991), she complained of its neglect:

Is the critical neglect of my current work a form of censorship? For instance, is the lack of attention to two of my recent works, the 1988 installation, Venus Vectors, in which the unraveling of two (menstrual) dream symbols situates a visual morphology of vulvic form, and Infinity Kisses, a recent photo series of my cat, Cluny, and me that raises the issue of "appropriate eroticism" and interspecies communication, an act of censorship?

As it turned out, Infinity Kisses was acquired and put on display by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1993. So, that was good news for Schneeman.

But now I'm thinking that the art world has been unfairly ignoring my pictures of my cat. This might be censorship!

My cat, Pumpkin

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 08, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Censorship, Bluenoses, Taboos, Prohibitions and Other Cultural No-No’s, Cats

Back Rub

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 08, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Body, Hygiene, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods, Medicine, Music, 1950s

September 7, 2020

The Right To Be Lazy

Happy Labor Day!

What better way to spend this annual celebration of work than by reading Paul Lafargue's 1883 treatise The Right To Be Lazy, in which he made a case for the virtues of idleness.



Some info about Lafargue and The Right To Be Lazy from RightNow.org:

A lifelong revolutionary, Lafargue was husband to Laura Marx (Karl’s daughter) and friend to Friedrich Engels. He founded the French Workers Party; he was the first socialist elected to a French parliament. He was, in other words, a serious figure, not some louche provocateur or drawing room contrarian, and while there’s an undeniably utopian element to his work, The Right to be Lazy is written as an immediate political intervention, not an exercise in whimsy.

Much of the book consists of a contrast between ideas about work in Lafargue’s day and the very different attitudes held in earlier societies, particularly in classical antiquity. Ancient Greek philosophers regarded work as an activity fit only for slaves. So where others hailed the arrival of modern industry as progress, Lafargue saw regression.

Longtime WU readers might remember that we've posted about Lafargue before. He made headlines back in 1911 for his unique retirement plan, which consisted of divvying up all he had for ten years of good living and then killing himself when the money ran out.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 07, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Jobs and Occupations, Utopias and Dystopias, Books, Nineteenth Century

Perry Submarines

Hobbyist submarines are pretty oddball. (Not even getting into the territory of drug-smugglers with homemade subs.) Here's a forerunner from 1962.

Apparently the company is still going strong. Although they don't make subs anymore.



The restoration of one sub.



Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 07, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Hobbies and DIY, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1960s

September 6, 2020

Aroma Discs

Donald Spector received a patent for these in 1985. They looked like small music discs. But instead of producing sound, they released an aromatic vapor when put in the 'player'.



I don't see what advantage an aroma disc would have over an incense candle (except, perhaps, for the lack of an open flame). Which, I assume, is why these are no longer around and incense candles are all over the place.

But Spector was successful enough to have his product featured on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 06, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, 1980s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Follies of the Madmen #487



This impossible freakish dog is a true representative of the species, and thus can be a fine judge of the sponsor's food.

Plus, cats are jealous of both dog food and cigarettes.

Ad source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 06, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Business, Advertising, Food, Cats, Dogs, 1950s

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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.

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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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