Category:
1980s

All About Albany Board Game



Too much excitement for me!

More details here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 28, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Games, Government, Regionalism, 1980s

Trampling Treatment

1983: Dr. Huang Xianjian's 'trampling treatment' for lumbago sufferers consisted of "climbing on top of the bed and jumping up and down on their backs."

It reminds me of the "impact therapy" we posted about a while back which involved hitting patients with 20-pound sandbags.

Bangor Daily News - Oct 13, 1983

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 26, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Medicine, 1980s

Death by pet rock

Gwen Jackson's death in 1982 seems to be the only instance of a 'pet rock' being used as a murder weapon.

Although I think the media sensationalized the case. The rock in question seems to have been a rock given as a gift. It wasn't an actual 'pet rock'.

Tucson Citizen - Mar 19, 1982



However, the manual that came with Pet Rocks, "The Care and Training of Your Pet Rock," did include a section on "Attack Training" your pet rock. So their use as a weapon was anticipated.





Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 25, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Fads, 1980s

Sniffing Painted Babies

1983: Reports of a bizarre new way of getting high surfaced in the small town of Grants, New Mexico.

addicts who can't afford more conventional narcotics are getting high by sniffing gilded infants painted gold or silver, police believe... [Police chief] Thurber said that during recent drug raids his men got word "on the street" of the practice of painting babies and passing the glistening infants around to be sniffed to get high.

Miami Herald - Feb 11, 1983



Six years later, the Weeky World News reported that this strange practice had spread to France. But since the WWN is the only source I can find about this later outbreak, I'd take it with a grain of salt.

Weekly World News - Mar 7, 1989



via Legends & Rumors

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Drugs, 1980s

Exit Traveler Rescue Kit

The Exit Traveler came on the market in the late 1980s. It was designed to let hotel guests rappel out of their window in the event of a fire.

Of course, you had to carry the thing around in your luggage, on the off chance that you got stuck in a burning building and the stairs were inaccessible. Then you had to find something to anchor the device to. And it was one-use only. Perhaps why it never caught on.

Seems that the inventors also tried to get hotels to pre-install them in rooms, anchored to walls. But the hotels probably had visions of guests rappelling out of windows even when there wasn't a fire.

More info: Exit Traveler



Newsweek - Oct 26, 1987

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 20, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Hotels, 1980s

The man who thought he was a gopher

We've now posted about several cases of clinical zoanthropy, which is the belief that one has turned into an animal. There was the woman who thought she was a camel, and another woman who decided she was a chicken.

Here's a third case, from 1982. Walter Murphy of Los Angeles, believing he was a gopher, started burrowing holes. PCP contributed to his delusion. He ended up suffocating to death inside one of his holes.

Kenosha News - Sep 21, 1982

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 09, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses, Psychology, 1980s

Super Paper

Not mentioned in the article below, Derek Best was also selling an adult-version of Super Paper that was printed with sexual suggestions, for subliminal seduction.

Miami News - Aug 27, 1982

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 26, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, Hypnotism, Mesmerism and Mind Control, 1980s

Butler In A Box

Before there was Alexa or Google Voice, there was the Butler In a Box. It was invented in the early 1980s by Gus Searcy, a professional magician, with help from Franz Kavan, a computer programmer. In response to voice commands it could control connected household devices. So, it could operate the lights, turn on the heat, make a phone call, etc.

About 9000 of them were reportedly sold. But at around $1500, the gadget was too expensive. Plus, the voice recognition was somewhat buggy. By the early 1990s they were off the market, but there's still some of them for sale on eBay.

More info: Popular Science (Mar 1987), vcfed.org

Austin American-Statesman - Aug 6, 1989



Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 29, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Computers, 1980s

Stunt Rock

The trailer first, then the backstory.

The Wikipedia entry.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 14, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Destruction, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Movies, Music, 1980s

The TopPop Video Archives

The Wikipedia page, from which:

TopPop was the first regular dedicated pop music television series in the Dutch language area. The Netherlands broadcaster AVRO aired the programme weekly, from September 22, 1970, to June 27, 1988.


Scores of videos at their YouTube site, many of which, like the one below, are pleasingly daft. Flute and zither quasi-disco easy-listening? Why not!

Many thanks to pal Peter Danssaert!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 28, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, 1970s, 1980s, Europe

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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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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