Weird Universe Archive

November 2020

November 25, 2020

The Coward Shoe

In 1866, cobbler James S. Coward opened a store in New York City. He named it after himself, and he referred to the shoes he sold as "Coward shoes".

Despite the odd name, his business did extremely well. In fact, it endured almost to the present. As of 2014, the company had both a twitter and facebook page. But their website now redirects to Old Pueblo Traders whom, I'm guessing, must have acquired them.

The Keyport Weekly - Apr 23, 1892



Boston Globe - Sep 20, 1927

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 25, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Odd Names, Shoes

November 24, 2020

Organoleptic analysis

Odd job: the FDA employs people to smell fish in order to determine if it's decomposed. They refer to this as "organoleptic analysis".

There are four categories with fish. "The first is fresh. That's the way fish are right after they are caught. Then there is number one. That's the commercial grade. Most seafood should be number one. It may not smell fresh, but it's not decomposed.
"The next is number two. That means slight decomposition. Whether the fish is all right depends on the product. The criteria are based on percentages. And last is number three, the really bad ones. Definitely decomposed. Number three is so putrid and stinky you wouldn't want to eat it."

The article I'm getting the info from was published in 1978, but I'm assuming the FDA must still employ people to smell fish. Unless they've got a fancy gadget to do it now.



Detroit Free Press - Jul 18, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 24, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Jobs and Occupations, Fish, Smells and Odors

Igorot Cave & Cliff Burial



A BBC slideshow here.

Essay here.



This is an original vintage post-mortem photograph from the 1930s. I believe it shows a very rare glimpse into traditional Igorot funeral customs. The man in this photo is deceased and bound in a sitting position.

A customer who has spent time with the Igorot had this to say, "I can explain why the man is placed in the seated position. I just spent a week in Ifugao, Philippines with a member of this tribe. A person is placed in this position and salted and dried for 3 days. The reason they are seated is because once dry, the person can be removed from the chair and turned,sideways into the fetal position. The Igorot/Ifugao tribe believes that a fetus in the womb is in the fetal position and by placing them in the fetal position after death, they will return to "mother nature/mother earth". Also Interesting to note that deceased loved ones are typically placed under their bed, under a child's bed, under the house, or somewhere else in the house in order to keep them close to the family. Just thought I'd share what I learned straight from a tribe member himself"


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 24, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, Religion, Foreign Customs, South Pacific and Polynesia

November 23, 2020

“Perfect smoke column from end to end”

The model looks slightly out-of-it as the "Accu-Ray" machine deposits an endless supply of cigarettes into her hand. Perhaps, like James Bond, she had a 70-cigarette-a-day habit that had to be constantly fed.

Life - June 13, 1955

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising, Smoking and Tobacco, 1950s

Admiral Cigarettes Film

The cigarette genie appears!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Advertising, Smoking and Tobacco, Nineteenth Century

November 22, 2020

The Poet Laureate of Dentistry

Note: after preparing this post, I realized that Paul had posted about the same thing two years ago. So consider this a repost.

Soylman Brown (1790-1876) was a Connecticut dentist who achieved prominence in his profession for a number of reasons. According to Wikipedia, he founded the first dental school, the first national dental society, and the first US dental journal. Plus, he became known as the Poet Laureate of Dentistry on account of his fifty-four page poem titled Dentologia - A Poem on Diseases of the Teeth, and Their Proper Remedies. It was published in 1840.



If you've got some time to kill, you can read the entire poem at the Internet Archive. Otherwise, I've sampled a brief part of it below, which should be enough to give you its general tone.

The first dentition asks our earliest care,
For oft, obstructed nature, laboring there,
Demands assistance of experienced art,
And seeks from science her appointed part.
Perhaps ere yet the infant tongue can tell
The seat of anguish that it knows too well,
Some struggling tooth, just bursting into day,
Obtuse and vigorous, urges on its way,
While inflammation, pain, and bitter cries,
And flooding tears, in sad succession rise.

The lancet, then, alone can give relief,
And mitigate the helpless sufferer's grief;
But no unpractised hand should guide the steel
Whose polished point must carry wo or weal:—
With nicest skill the dentist's hand can touch,
And neither wound too little nor too much.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 22, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Poetry, Nineteenth Century, Teeth

The feather paintings of Ida Jarvis

Ida Helen Jarvis came up with the idea of making pictures out of feathers. She would travel around the world, visiting zoos and aviaries to add to her feather collection. Then she would arrange the feathers to form pictures of landscapes, gluing or stitching the feathers onto a cardboard mat.

She was so taken with this idea that she decided to patent it (Patent No. 1,395,575, 1921). Included in her patent was the idea of using down to represent foam in a stream of water.

Her feather paintings must have been quite colorful. But unfortunately the only image of one I can find is the black-and-white drawing included with her patent.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 22, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Inventions, 1920s

Nobody Loves the Hulk

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 22, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Music, Comics, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, 1960s

November 21, 2020

Plan a super spread for Thanksgiving

A recent ad from Giant Foods, given a double meaning by Covid. More info: nbc.com

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 21, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising, Thanksgiving, Diseases

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 •