Weird Universe Archive

February 2021

February 18, 2021

Recipes for Cooking Domestic Rabbit Meat

During World War II, as the country faced meat rationing, the U.S. Government decided to promote rabbit meat as an alternative to beef and chicken. As part of this effort, the Department of the Interior released a pamphlet, "Recipes for Cooking Domestic Rabbit Meat". It included recipes such as "Rabbit Chop Suey," "Vagabond Stew," and "Wartime Rabbit Casserole". The pamphlet noted:

The growing scarcity of meat due to war conditions and the necessity of feeding our armed forces and our Allies makes it imperative that new sources of supply be developed. The domestic rabbit—easy to raise—is rapidly solving the meat problem in many American homes, and thus is playing an important part in the Food for Freedom program. Rabbit meat is not rationed.



Entrepreneur Martin French of Los Angeles must have had visions of the rabbit-meat market taking off. In 1940, he received trademark protection for "Bunnyburger" — his ground rabbit meat business.



I'd like to think that, in some alternative reality, the government's plan worked and it's possible to go into a McDonald's and order a McBunny with Cheese.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 18, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Food, Cookbooks, 1940s

Kirby’s Flying Ballet



This is the apparatus that famously caused Mary Martin to fly as Peter Pan.

Wikipedia page for Peter Foy.





Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 18, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Theater and Stage, Special Effects, 1950s, 1960s

February 17, 2021

Pigs Play Video Games

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University recently succeeded in teaching four pigs how to play a video game. Admittedly, the game was pretty simple. The pigs had to use a joystick to move a cursor toward a target wall on the computer screen. If they hit the wall, they'd hear a "bloop" and then get a food reward.

The pigs performed at a level far above random chance. However, the researchers noted that their skill level was below that of non-human primates. The scientists speculated that this may have been because it was difficult for the pigs to manipulate the joystick with their snout. Or perhaps it was because all four pigs were far-sighted and "despite attempts to position the computer monitor appropriately, it is impossible to know how well the pigs were able to see, and subsequently correctly discriminate between targets."

More info: Lab Manager, Frontiers in Psychology



Thanks to Gerald Sacks!

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 17, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Experiments, Videogames and Gamers

Follies of the Madmen #500

I suppose I should have come up with something super-special for the 500th installment of this series, but this will have to suffice!



Sure, kill the talking lion and then...style his mane?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 17, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Death, Comics, 1950s, Hair and Hairstyling

February 16, 2021

Sounds of the Unborn

Musician Luca Yupanqui is releasing her first album, Sounds of the Unborn, in April.

Though she had some help from her parents. Luca was still in her mother's womb when her parents recorded her in utero using electrodes and then used "biosonic MIDI technology" to transform the sounds into something like music.

It's being promoted as the "world’s first LP made from sounds inside the womb".

More info: The Guardian

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 16, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Babies, Music

February 15, 2021

Morse Code for Drivers

In 1960, the Automobile Legal Association proposed that all drivers should learn a code that would allow them to communicate with each other on the road via honks.

One short honk would mean, 'Left blinker going'. Three short honks would mean, 'A light burned out'. One long honk would mean, 'Get over in the right lane.' And so on.

The Terre Haute Star - Sep 17, 1960



Although the honking code never caught on, the idea of allowing drivers to communicate with each other has persisted. The 21st-century spin on it are the various phone apps (such as bump.com, Driver Talk, or PL8chat) that allow you to send messages to other cars by entering their license plate number. Of course, both drivers have to be signed up with the app for this to work. Which means these apps have, for now, very limited practical use.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 15, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Languages, Cars

New Frontiers (of Barb Wire)

Thrill to the history of barb wire with "Little Barb!" (Or "American Barb" if you prefer.)







Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 15, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Agriculture, Anthropomorphism, History, Regionalism, Advertising

February 14, 2021

The Human Relationship Simulator

This post seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day, since it's about an engineer's attempt to use machine logic to improve the "ambiguities of the woman/man relationship".

James F. Hollander was a patent attorney with a degree in electrical engineering. In the late 1970s he invented and patented what he called the "Human Relationship Simulator". It consisted of a box with various dials.

Even after reading his patent, and an article about his invention, I'm not exactly sure how the thing operated. From what I can gather, if a couple were having an argument, or needed to make a decision (such as where to go for dinner), they could both adjust dials on the Simulator, and it would give them an answer. And measure the intensity of their feelings.

The Relationship Simulator



Here's more info from a 1977 article in the Asbury Park Press:

Taking a hypothetical issue, such as a man and woman deciding whether or not to go out to dinner, information is fed into the panels. One represents the man; the other, the woman.

Each subject uses dials that represent four areas — compliance with society, attention to own desire, social pressure and personal inclination. The personal inclination and social pressure gauges are intricately detailed to show adamant 'yes' or 'no' responses, or degrees such as strong preference, or very much or some.

Attention to desire is measured in readings of low, medium and high, as is compliance with society.

As the subjects feed this information into the panels, other gauges measure tension, feelings, guilt or pride, emotional independence, like and dislike, and influence, based on each decision.

The machine does the thinking, lights a decision of 'yes' or 'no' and tells the subjects their emotional responses....

In a marriage situation, Hollander said the device could show the individuals why something is going wrong in the relationship if arguments are portrayed and feelings defined.

"I wanted to pick out the ambiguities of the woman/man relationship," he pointed out.

Asbury Park Press - Aug 29, 1977



If that doesn't seem entirely clear, then here's a sample from Hollander's patent:

The decision voltage output of the man-simulator is connected to the threshold detector of the woman-simulator via a sense port. Similarly, the woman-simulator has a decision voltage output port connected to a sense port and input to the level threshold detector of the man-simulator. A switch interrupts each output so that the effect of relationship can be shown. By adjustment and interpretation of the dial settings and decision indications, paradoxes and problems in man-woman relationships are demonstrated.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 14, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Psychology, Marriage, 1970s, Love & Romance

Lagoa das Sete Cidades

Two lakes, separated by a narrow strip of land, yet each ecologically and chromatically distinct.

The Wikipedia entry.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 14, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, Streams, Swamps and Other Bodies of Fresh Water, Europe, Natural Wonders

Page 3 of 6 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  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 •