Weird Universe Archive

December 2020

December 26, 2020

Hearing music while checking a pulse

According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, when hospital workers in Southern California used a handheld Doppler device to check the pulse of a 65-year-old man who had recently had both hips replaced, they heard music. Other Doppler devices also picked up music seeming to come from inside the man. However, they didn't hear music from any other patients. The doctors concluded that the man's prosthetic hips were picking up a radio station.

LiveScience.com has identified the song his hips were playing as "Gracias Por Tu Amor" by Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizarraga.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 26, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Health, Music, Skulls, Bones and Skeletons

December 25, 2020

Santa Claus sues Santa Claus

The dispute began in 1935 between two toy and candy companies, both based in the town of Santa Claus, Indiana. On one side there was Santa Claus, Inc. On the other side was Santa Claus of Santa Claus, Inc. The former alleged that the latter shouldn't have chosen such a similar name.

In response, Santa Claus of Santa Claus, Inc. charged that its rival illegally put up a 25-foot, 20-ton Santa statue on land leased to Santa Claus of Santa Claus, Inc.

The lawsuit, Santa Claus, Inc. v. Santa Claus of Santa Claus, Inc., eventually made its way up to the Indiana Supreme Court.

As far as I can tell, Santa Claus of Santa Claus, Inc. won the fight. But either way you look at it, Santa Claus won.

Muncie Evening Press - Dec 30, 1935

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 25, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Lawsuits, 1930s, Christmas

Merry Christmas 2020!

Otherwise known as "Santa Claus's Mistake."

Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 25, 2020 - Comments (8)
Category: Holidays, Toys, Gender, Goofs and Screw-ups

December 24, 2020

Nativity with Santa and Rudolph

In 2009, Marion Davis of Randallstown, Maryland got a design patent for this "Nativity scene decoration including Santa Claus and Rudolph".

But why stop with Santa and Rudolph? She could have added Frosty the Snowman and the Coca-Cola polar bears for even more holiday cheer.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 24, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Christmas

December 23, 2020

Phone Calls From the Dead

As opposed to phone calls from telemarketers, who are more like the living dead.

"Scientific" parapsychologists D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless have recently discovered a startling fact: that dozens of people have had telephone calls from the dead. "The weight of evidence has convinced us that there are surviving spirits making attempts to contact living people" through the telephone, Bayless told the National Enquirer. Their new book, Phone Calls from the Dead, describes fifty such cases. Unfortunately, if the person receiving the call realizes that he is speaking to a spirit from the Beyond, the call is usually over within seconds, they say. Some postmortem calls arrive, appropriately enough, over dead telephone lines. Rogo believes that these calls occur when a spirit manipulates electrical impulses in the phone to reproduce the sound of its own voice. "We've stumbled on a whole new mothod of psychic communication!" says Rogo.
The Skeptical Inquirer - Summer 1979



Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 23, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, Paranormal, Books, 1970s

Metric Lunch Box

Imagine the insults suffered by the dweeb forced by well-meaning parents to carry this lunch pail to school.

The objects children take to school can communicate messages. In the 1970s, the U.S. government encouraged more general use of the metric units of weight and measure, units that had been adopted in almost all other nations. To teach children about metric units, some parents purchased this lunch box.




Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 23, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Government, Science, Bullying, Harassment, Outsiders, Persecuted, and Excluded Groups, Children, 1970s

December 22, 2020

Finding a needle in a haystack

ARTnews reports that the artist Sven Sachsalber recently died at the young age of 33. Sachsalber's most famous work, which Chuck posted about in 2014, was when he spent two days searching for, and eventually finding, a needle hidden in a haystack.



Some of Sachsalber's other works (or 'performances') included:

  • Completing, with his father, a 13,200-piece puzzle of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam
  • Eating a poisonous mushroom
  • Spending 24 hours in a room with a cow

For whatever it's worth, Sachsalber wasn't the first person to try and find a needle in a haystack. Legendary publicist Jim Moran did the exact same stunt back in 1939.

Popular Science - July 1939
Note: despite what the caption says, Moran did find the needle.
He then sent it to the Smithsonian.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 22, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Publicity Stunts, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, Performance Art, Obituaries

When Belgium Invaded England



Very good long article here.

Tip of the hat to pal Peter Danssaert.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 22, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Government, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, War, Reader Recommendation, 1960s, Europe, United Kingdom

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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.

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.

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