Weird Universe Archive

April 2022

April 20, 2022

The Sauna Bath Nymphomaniac

The case of the cable car nymphomaniac is a classic weird news story. Less well known, but along similar lines, is the case of the sauna bath nymphomaniac.

Maria Parson claimed that the trauma of being accidentally locked in a sauna for half-an-hour due to a faulty door handle caused her to develop a split personality. She came to have three personalities: "sex-hungry Maria" who prowled bars picking up men, "remorseful Betty" who bitterly resented Maria's escapades, and her submerged real self.

She sued the health spa for $1 million, but lost — even though she was represented by the same lawyer who had secured a win for the cable car nymphomaniac.

Orange Coast Pilot - Dec 20, 1973



Bellingham Herald - Jan 10, 1974



Eureka Times Standard - Mar 6, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 20, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Lawsuits, Psychology, 1970s, Sex

April 19, 2022

Inappropriate Content Hallucination

Inappropriate Content Hallucination, as defined by a recent study conducted by researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is when artificial intelligence systems insert dirty words into the subtitles of videos meant for kids. From their article:

Over the last few years, YouTube Kids has emerged as one of the highly competitive alternatives to television for children's entertainment. Consequently, YouTube Kids' content should receive an additional level of scrutiny to ensure children's safety. While research on detecting offensive or inappropriate content for kids is gaining momentum, little or no current work exists that investigates to what extent AI applications can (accidentally) introduce content that is inappropriate for kids.

In this paper, we present a novel (and troubling) finding that well-known automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems may produce text content highly inappropriate for kids while transcribing YouTube Kids' videos. We dub this phenomenon as inappropriate content hallucination. Our analyses suggest that such hallucinations are far from occasional, and the ASR systems often produce them with high confidence.


More info: Indian Express

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 19, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Mistranslations, Swears

“Goodbye, Three Mile Island”

With Chernobyl in the news again, perhaps we need to revive this song.



Gary and the Outriders, a local music group, recorded an original song, "Goodbye T.M.I. (The Ballad of Three Mile Island)," and released it as a 45 rpm record. Its catchy melody contrasts with its dire refrain: "Goodbye, goodbye to your life, T.M.I."

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 19, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Regionalism, Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1970s

April 18, 2022

Multiple wives for men over 60

April 1966: Noting that there are more women than men over the age of 60, and that women over age 60 often are widowed and may "subsist on inadequate diets and live in a state of sexual frustration," Utah physician Victor Kassel proposed a solution: allow men over age 60 to have more than one wife. In this way, many lonely, older women might once again have a husband, albeit one they're sharing

The Baytown Sun - Apr 19, 1966



In later remarks, Kassel complained that the publicity which his proposal received overemphasized the sexual aspects of his proposal. But to be fair to the media, he himself drew attention to some of the sexual benefits (for men) of polygyny:

Kassel said it is true an older man's problems with sex lie with boredom rather than impotency. "With three, four or five wives," Kassel said, "he wouldn't be bored any longer."

left: Idaho Daily Statesman - Sep 11, 1966; right: Fort Lauderdale News - Apr 16, 1966



One English wife offered the following response to Kassel's proposal:

Sunday Mirror - Apr 24, 1966



Some general remarks:

  • I don't know why many news articles referred to him as "Victory Kassel". His name was Victor.

  • The media frequently said he was promoting polygamy (multiple spouses), when he was actually, more specifically, advocating polygyny (multiple wives).

  • One might assume that because Kassel lived in Salt Lake City and was promoting polygyny, that he was Mormon. He was actually Jewish, born in New York City.

  • According to his obituary published in The Deseret News (Mar 11, 2005), he later admitted that his proposal was "tongue-in-cheek". I managed to find a reprint of his article and made a pdf copy of it. Parts of it do seem like he was trying to be intentionally outrageous, such as the passage below. But judge for yourself.

Many aged persons are uninterested in their appearance, change their undergarments infrequently, bathe inadequately, and seldom cleanse their external excretory organs. Polygyny offers to the woman someone for whom to compete. The man, on the other hand, is interested in being courted. Each person will do his or her best to upgrade appearances, each will be alert to the advantages gained by the competitor, and each will learn the tricks of becoming more attractive. The end result must be finer-appearing older citizens.

It can be argued that the jealousy aroused as the result of the competition would be carried to an extreme by the women and would disrupt the quiet, peaceful home. This may occur. But when there is a choice between uninterested, dowdy, foul-smelling hags and alert, interested, smartly dressed ladies, the selection is obvious.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 18, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Elderly and Seniors, Marriage, 1960s

April 17, 2022

Dragan Petrik’s Ice Railroad

In 1967, Dragan Petrik was granted a patent (No. 3,343,495) for a high-speed, rocket-powered train that would run on blocks of ice. In an Oct 1967 column, NY Times reporter Stacy V. Jones provided some details:

From South Africa comes a proposal for railroad trains to run at high speed on blocks of ice instead of wheels.

Dragan R. Petrik of Pretoria was granted a patent last week for vehicles equipped to change the blocks as they melt and wear down, without stopping the train.

Patent 3,343,495 provides for propulsion by jet, rocket thrust, propellers or other means independent of the usual wheel traction. While conventional rails could be used, Petrik prefers a flanged metal surface that can be heated in cold climates.

Each car is to have cold rooms for storage of the ice. Blocks are to be forced down through ducts under control of a sensing unit that maintains the car at proper height.

Conventional wheels may be used in a station or for emergency support. A set of ice blocks is provided just ahead of and in back of each set of wheels. One ice skid can be used while another is being replenished.

For braking, there is a rubbing surface along the track, on which friction pads can be applied.

Petrik says his system will make possible very high speed for all types of land vehicles.

I have no idea if this would work, but it would be interesting to see it tested out.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 17, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Patents, Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails, 1960s

April 16, 2022

Hit Hand, Regained Sight

June 1955: Peter Barr struck the palm of his left hand with his right fist to stress a point while arguing with his wife. And suddenly he was able to see again. He had been completely blind for three years.

London Daily Telegraph - June 3, 1955



Other cases of accidental cures we've previously posted about:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 16, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Health, 1950s, Eyes and Vision

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
July 2024 •  June 2024 •  May 2024 •  April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  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 •