Weird Universe Archive

April 2023

April 5, 2023

Zoom!

Before it was videotelephone software, Zoom was a bustline enhancer.

Cosmopolitan - Feb 1957

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 05, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Body Modifications, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1950s

April 4, 2023

ESP Girl

In November 1964, 5-year-old Kenneth Mason went missing. The police searched the river where he was last seen, but failed to find him.

Then 15-year-old Linda Anderson came forward and offered to use her psychic powers to help the police find Kenneth. Her father put her in a hypnotic trance, to activate her powers, and she declared, "The boy is not in the river, but is in a house." So the police began searching houses in the area.

Charlotte Observer - Nov 14, 1964



Linda Anderson, ESP Girl



In addition to being able to locate missing children, Linda also claimed to have the power of "dermal optical perception." She could read through her skin (as opposed to through her eyes). The media dubbed her "ESP Girl."

Lewiston Daily Sun - Nov 14, 1964



A skeptical physics professor, James A. Coleman, doubted that she could see through her skin and challenged her to prove it.

Bangor Daily News - Feb 11, 1965



She lost the challenge.

Nashua Telegraph - Feb 15, 1965



And then Kenneth Mason was found. Sadly he was dead and in the river after all. So much for the powers of ESP Girl.

Daily Kennebec Journal - Mar 12, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 04, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Paranormal, Predictions, 1960s

Glenda Lawrence, “America’s First Space Housekeeper”

Now that NASA has selected a new crew for the Moon mission, I hope they have not neglected to fill this role.


Glenda Lawrence America's First Space Housekeeper. She Will Be Preparing Food For The Apollo 11 Astronauts Armstrong Aldrin And Collins Whilst They Are In Quarantine.







Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 04, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Domestic, Food, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, 1960s

April 3, 2023

Egg Blowing

According to Life magazine (Dec 15, 1952), in the early 1950s the sport of egg blowing (Eieren Blazen) was all the rage in Holland.



The rules of the game:

The game is played with an empty eggshell, windpower and a billiard table with two goal nets at each end. Each team has five players, one of whom acts as goalkeeper. Other team members sit along the sides. The referee places the eggshell in the center of the table and after that it is a blowing free-for-all to get it into the opposing team's net. Players must sit on their hands throughout the game and must keep from touching the egg with their lips. Breaking these rules gives the opposing team a free blow at the goal.



I can't find any references to the game beyond this one article in Life.

I can see why it would be an amusing game at parties. But probably not appropriate for the age of Covid.

"Players and spectators go into convulsions of laughter as a woman blows so hard at egg that she blows out her false teeth on the table"

Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 03, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Sports, Eggs, 1950s

Wailing-Activated Rocking Cradle

Mister Muzzey had a good idea way back in 1962 and was actually ahead of his time--his patent also references a baby monitor to transmit the cries to the parents' room--but I wonder if his device ever went into production? As you can see below, there are modern versions today.





Amazon link.



Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 03, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies, Domestic, Inventions, Patents, Parents, 1960s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

April 2, 2023

The automobile of the future

From the Washington Times - Jan 6, 1918:



Compare this to the Zoox, the self-driving robotaxi that Amazon is developing. Not an exact match, but similar enough that I'm going to call the 1918 prediction a success.

Though note that the 1918 car still had a driver. So the future managed to outdo what the futurists of 1918 imagined.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 02, 2023 - Comments (5)
Category: Predictions, Yesterday’s Tomorrows, 1910s, Cars

April 1, 2023

Sparkie Williams, famous budgie

Sparkie Williams is apparently one of the most famous birds of all time, but I just found out about him.

Sparkie Williams (stuffed)



Some details about him from Animal Facts and Feats by Gerald Wood:



More details from Wikipedia:

Sparkie was courted by bird seed sellers and fronted the advertisement campaign for Capern's bird seed for two years. He was recorded talking with budgie expert Philip Marsden on BBC radio, and appeared on the BBC Tonight programme with Cliff Michelmore. When Sparkie died on Tuesday 4 December 1962, Mattie Williams had him stuffed and mounted on a wooden perch at the renowned taxidermy establishment, Rowland Ward Ltd. of Piccadilly, London. He was then taken on a tour of Britain in an exhibition of his life and work, before coming back to the Hancock Museum in 1996.[1] Sparkie Williams is acclaimed as the world's most outstanding talking bird in the Guinness Book of Records.



The BBC's archive on Facebook has a video of an interview with Sparkie's owner, with stuffied Sparkie beside her.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 01, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals

Deathbed Wedding




Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Apr 01, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, 1900s, Weddings

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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.

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