Weird Universe Archive

May 2021

May 31, 2021

The Invisible statues of Salvatore Garau

The Italian artist Salvatore Garau has been creating "invisible statues". The 'statues' are simply squares drawn on the ground with white ribbon.

He just sold one of them for 15,000 euros. Garau says that even though you may not see the statue, it exists. "It is made of air and spirit".

Would this fit into Paul's category of artwork that Khrushchev probably wouldn't like?

More info: Garau's instagram page, courier

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 31, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Statues and Monuments

May 30, 2021

Urine-Collecting Shoe

Problem: you're out in public and really need to go to the bathroom, but there are no toilets around.
Solution: the urine-collecting shoe, patented by Ran Rahimzada in 2008.

As described in his patent:

An embarrassing situation may arise, when people sometimes need to urinate and there may not be toilets readily available, for example when a person is driving a car on a highway, while touring a city with not public toilets readily accessible, while traveling in a bus, etc...

According to the present invention, a new shoe includes a container to store a person's urine. The person may use a standard catheter, which is connected to the container in the shoe.

This is an unobtrusive device, there is no bag attached to one's foot, etc. The device may be used discreetly, without attracting undue attention.

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 30, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Body Fluids, Shoes

World’s Largest Hand-dug Well

Actually not the largest, as the Wikipedia page admits.





Posted By: Paul - Sun May 30, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Regionalism, Technology, World Records

May 29, 2021

International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines

The International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines (or ISADAPROM) was founded by Harvey Matusow in the late 1960s. Its aim was "to conduct guerrilla warfare against the computer by such means as sending a penny too much or too little when paying a utility bill."

San Francisco Examiner - Oct 27, 1968



Matusow also authored The Beast of Business, which was supposed to serve as a manual for the guerrilla warfare against the computer. I wonder if any of the techniques he detailed would still work today?



However, Matusow is best known for giving evidence in court against individuals during the McCarthy era. Later he claimed that the FBI had paid him to give false testimony, and he detailed these allegations in his book False Witness.

He seems to have had a rather eccentric life and career. Some other highlights of it, from the University of Sussex's page about him:

  • Founded a band called the Harvey Matusow’s Jew’s Harp Band
  • Married approximately twelve times
  • Is possibly part of the reason The Beatles broke up – he held the party where John Lennon met Yoko Ono
  • Worked as a children’s TV clown called Cockyboo in Tucson, Arizona
  • Converted to Mormonism and spent his last years known as Job Matusow

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 29, 2021 - Comments (7)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Technology, Computers, 1960s

Miss Hot Dog 1960

Source: The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) 06 Jul 1960, Wed Page 16


Posted By: Paul - Sat May 29, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Food, Sexuality, Public Indecency

May 28, 2021

Learn To Ski

Released in 1960, this record promised to teach you how to ski in the comfort of your home.

In this handy little record, the authors have distilled exceptional knowledge of the sport of skiing into simple yet straight forward detailed instructions. With step-by-step illustrations they have presented the art of learning "How to Ski" in an orderly progression of simple measures...

In this record Réal Charette has presumed that the student, whether teenager or adult, has never skied before. He has taken the ski techniques one at a time—kick turn, straight running, snow plow, stem christie, Walden and explained each in turn. He starts with the proper selection of equipment, explained basic and advanced ski techniques and ends with safety hints of value to every skier.



image source: discogs.com



I couldn't find any clips from the record online, but I did find a video from 1953 featuring Réal Charette.

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 28, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports, 1960s

Rusty Warren, RIP

Obituary here.

Wikipedia page here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri May 28, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Humor, Sexuality, Twentieth Century

May 27, 2021

Ice Pick Lobotomies

An ice pick lobotomy involves inserting an ice pick above the eyeball and hammering it into the brain to destroy the frontal lobes. In 1977, the CIA admitted that it had considered doing this to enemy agents as a way to erase their memory following interrogation. This secret program was code-named "Project Artichoke".

However, the agency insisted that by 1972 it had abandoned the idea as too barbaric, and too likely to "invite horrible reprisals".

Some other interrogation techniques that the agency had considered, but rejected, included:

—Placing subjects in a quaking rubber room to produce overanxiety and emotional instability. The CIA review says "for our purposes a quaking room is too much of a torture chamber; however, if some third-degree approach is contemplated at a permanent installation, this one is interesting."

—Shining flickering lights at a prisoner. "The analyst ... mentioned watching a restaurant fan which was too slow, but nevertheless spoiled his appetite."

—Injecting forms of cocaine into a suspect's brain through holes in the skull. "Too surgical for our use."

—Odors were also considered. The documents said that terror has been produced by exposing a subject to a harmless odor, such as geranium, simulating the smell of a lethal gas.

More info: cia.gov



Sacramento Bee - Oct 30, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 27, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Spies and Intelligence Services, 1970s, Brain Damage

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