Weird Universe Archive

April 2024

April 30, 2024

Baseball blown foul

May 1981: an infamous moment in baseball history — when Lenny Randle made a ball foul by blowing on it.

Randle later swore he simply yelled at the ball, but in the video it sure looks like he's blowing on it. However, I have a hard time believing he was able to blow on it hard enough to alter its course. I suspect it would have ended up foul without his assistance.



Spokesman Review - May 29, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 30, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Sports, 1980s

Follies of the Madmen #594

Squished passenger and allusion to an insect's posterior: winning strategy?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 30, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Insects and Spiders, Mental and Physical Unease and Discomfort, Advertising, 1960s, Cars

April 29, 2024

Anti-Wrinkle Straws

As described by the NY Times:

Our endless enthusiasm for sipping things through narrow tubes has birthed much innovation in the straw market. It has also created a new anxiety: lip wrinkles.
Traditional straws force sippers to purse their lips around the opening in an expression that many believe, over time, creates wrinkles around your lips, called perioral lines.
Enter the anti-wrinkle straw, shaped like the number 7, with a small hole at the top horizontal portion that allows users to drink without pursing their lips.

I never drink through straws, nor do I worry about lip wrinkles. So not a product for me. But enough people do use straws, and do worry about lip wrinkles, to have created a demand for this product.

The "Lipzi" is the best-selling anti-wrinkle straw on the market.



via Book of Joe

Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 29, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Skin and Skin Conditions

Space Songs

Here's a sample track from the album depicted below. The rest of the tracks are on YouTube.

And a bonus! The first side of ENERGY & MOTION SONGS.

Tom Glazer at Wikipedia.







Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 29, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Education, Music, Science, Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings, 1950s

April 28, 2024

The Computer’s First Code Poem

Scottish poet Edwin Morgan included "The Computer's First Code Poem" in his 1973 collection From Glasgow to Saturn.



Despite what the title may imply, Morgan didn't actually program a computer to produce the poem. (Nor did he have the Loch Ness Monster pen "The Loch Ness Monster's Song" in the same collection.) However, the poem really is in code, as he later explained:

This is a reminder that electronic computers developed out of work in advanced cryptography during the second world war, and it is also a metaphor for the fact that a poem itself can be regarded as a coded message. My code, though not hair-raising, is not exactly translucent. Amateur cryptographers, with or without computers, are invited to 'find the poem' which is I believe the first to have been composed in this form.

I didn't bother to try to crack the code. Instead, I found someone online (Nick Pelling) who had done it. Apparently it's a simple letter-substitution code, which produces:

prole snaps livid bingo thumb twice
dirty whist fight numbs black rebec
pinto hurls bdunt spurs under butte
fubsy clown posse stomp below xebec
tramp crawl kills kinky xerox joint
foxed minks squal above yucca shoot
manic tapir party upend tibia mound
panda strut jolts first pumas afoot
toxic potto still shows uncut aorta
swamp houri wails appal canal taxis
punks throw plain words about dhows
ghost haiku exits aping zooid taxis

That's not much more intelligible than the original poem. Pelling speculates that we can't rule out the possibility of a second hidden message within the first message.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 28, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Codes, Cryptography, Puzzles, Riddles, Rebuses and Other Language Alterations, Computers, Poetry

Hampstead Beatnik Party

This clip (only static for a soundtrack) from British Pathe is labeled "Beatnik Party (1960) Hampstead." But is it the same party described in the article?



Posted By: Paul - Sun Apr 28, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Dinners, Banquets, Parties, Tributes, Roasts and Other Celebrations, Police and Other Law Enforcement, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s, United Kingdom

April 27, 2024

And the answer is…

The Internet Archive offers a collection of "answer songs" from the 50s and 60s. I embedded a player below, but going to the Archive itself allows you to select which songs to play.

We've previously posted about "answer songs," but here's the definition again (via wikipedia): "a song (usually a recorded track) made in answer to a previous song, normally by another artist."

It's a genre that, as far as I know, has now entirely disappeared.



Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 27, 2024 - Comments (6)
Category: Music

April 26, 2024

Artists and their Sears appliances

In 1969, Sears ran a series of magazine ads to advertise its Kenmore line of appliances. The ads below all appeared in Better Homes and Gardens.

The ads featured well-known artists (musicians, novelists, actors, etc.) who owned Kenmore appliances. I guess Sears was hoping to make itself seem like a more high-end brand by suggesting that people with good taste owned their products.

It's interesting to see the homes, and appliances, of these artists. For instance, Dave Brubeck apparently kept his washer and dryer in his living room.



A week ago I had never heard of Pauline Trigere. Now she's appeared in two posts within the past few days. She should have had a loaf of bread wrapped in waxed paper in the background.



I wondered if one of the kids was Natalie Cole, but I think they're her younger twin sisters Timolin and Casey.





That's definitely not George Clooney (Rosemary's nephew). I'm pretty sure it's her son Miguel Ferrer.



Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 26, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Celebrities, Advertising, Appliances, 1960s

My Boomerang Won’t Come Back



Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 26, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Racism, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1960s, Australia, Weapons

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