Category:
Books

A Moose for Jessica

In 1987, a wild moose fell in love with what zoologists refer to as a "biologically inappropriate object". His love interest was a cow named Jessica who lived on the Vermont farm of Larry Carrara.

For over two months the moose displayed courtship behavior towards Jessica. He followed her all around, would rest his head on her back, or would push hay toward her as a food offering.

The moose and Jessica



Over 75,000 sightseers came out to Carrara's farm to witness this interspecies romance.

Finally, after 76 days, rutting season came to an end and the moose lost interest in Jessica and wandered back into the wild.

The moose



The romance between the moose and Jessica inspired the book A Moose for Jessica, written by Pat Wakefield with photographs by Larry Carrara. It's available on Amazon, or you can read it for free at archive.org.

More info: wikipedia, New England Living

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 10, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Cows, Books, 1980s, Love & Romance

Isaac Parker, the Hanging Judge

His Wikipedia page tells us:

Parker became known as the "Hanging Judge" of the American Old West, because he sentenced numerous convicts to death.[1] In 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases. In more than 8,500 of these cases, the defendant either pleaded guilty or was convicted at trial.[2] Parker sentenced 160 people to death; 79 were executed.


Read a memoir that appeared two years after his death at this link.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 17, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, History, Wild West and US Frontier, Law, Books, Nineteenth Century

The Bear Facts

Anti-communist fable presented as a kid's book.

More pictures and discussion here.





Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 02, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing, Children, Books, Fantasy, 1940s, Russia

New Trends in Table Settings

By Lucy Staley from Hearthside Press. 1968.

This is the book to get you up to speed on the exciting art of table setting. From the review in The Bradenton Herald (Dec 22, 1968):

It seems almost impossible that such a wealth of information covering all aspects of table-setting has been condensed in this one book. The novice who usually pales at such terms as balance, dominance, rhythm, proportion, etc. can relax — it's all here but in a manner easily understood.

You can get it on loan from archive.org.



"Table for a Hawaiian luau"



"Easter dessert table"



"Strutting cocks from Spain frame an arangement in a basket"

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 30, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Boredom, Kitsch and Collectibles, Books

Who’s Nobody in America

Back in 1979, when being in Who's Who still had some kind of cultural cachet, Derek Evans and Dave Fulwiler decided to create an anti-Who's-Who, which they called "Who's Nobody in America." To acquire entries, they placed the following ad in newspapers:

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO NOBODY

Will your name be omitted from the 1980 edition of Who's Who?

Nobody Press is currently compiling the 1980 edition of Who's Nobody in America. This handsomely bound and widely distributed reference work will, for the first time, provide a comprehensive list of American nobodies.

If you think you might be a nobody, or know of one, at no cost or obligation, complete the attached request for applications."

Applicants included:
  • A woman who complained she had been seeing her psychiatrist monthly for eight years and he often called her Evelyn. Her name was Mildred.
  • An entire American Legion post in Newport, Ky.

More info: Washington Post



Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 28, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Success & Failure, Books, Satire

The Power of Prayer on Plants

According to the Rev. Franklin Loehr, prayer could supercharge the growth of plants. Pretty much any prayer would work. He detailed his argument in his 1959 book The Power of Prayer on Plants.

When Richard Nixon was told of Loehr's results, he reportedly said, "That sounds like a good kind of thinking to me."

However, in 1961, a group of Harvard students tried to replicate Loehr's results and failed to do so. In fact, in their experiment the plants that weren't prayed for at all grew better than plants that were prayed for by either skeptics or believers.



More details from Newsweek (Apr 13, 1959):

Prayer Food

Can prayer make plants grow faster and bigger? Skeptics think it laughable, scientists find it irrelevant, and farmers tend to rely on more mundane methods to increase their crops. But the Rev. Franklin Loehr is convinced that the answer is yes, and has just written a book, "The Power of Prayer on Plants," to tell why.

After five years and 900 experiments, the 46-year-old Presbyterian minister reports he and 150 members of his prayer group found that prayed-for wheat and corn seeds grew into bigger seedlings than ones which got no prayer or outright negative prayer. Commenting on their methods last week in his Los Angeles home, Mr. Loehr explained that they used every kin of prayer and found every one effective to a degree.

"There were silent and spoken prayers," he continued, "those to loved ones, and the humble prayer straight to God. But mostly people just talked to the plants, loved them, or scolded them. First I tried buddying up to them, and then I observed that the people getting better results were approaching the plants on their own level of consciousness."

Picking up a copy of the book, he pointed to the jacket, which shows a lone, stunted shoot on the no-prayer side of an experimental seedbed. "He wasn't supposed to be there," explained Mr. Loehr, "so we blighted him with three bursts of negative command."

Mr. Loehr dropped the experiments two years ago, having persuaded himself, at least, of their validity. He is now concentrating on "soul dynamics" prayer for people—not, of course, to make them grow faster and bigger. "The fact is," he concluded, "we used plants to test prayer just as the artificial heart is tested in dogs instead of humans."



Along similar lines, see our previous post "Does holy water help radishes grow better?"

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 06, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Religion, Experiments, Books, 1950s

Octogenarian Teetotalers

Published by the National Temperance League of London in 1897. It contained 113 portraits of teetotalers who were over the age of 80.

Unfortunately, there was no companion volume of Octogenarian Tipplers.



image source: Bizarre Books

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 29, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Elderly and Seniors, Inebriation and Intoxicants, Books

A Dummy Goes to Africa

Unfortunately, the book is not digitized, and original copies go for big bucks. But you can see more pics and read an account of the tale at the link.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 21, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Puppets and Automatons, Religion, Books, 1960s, Africa

Fifty Years in the Magic Circle

Life for a Victorian magician wasn't always easy, with the audience using live ammunition.

Read the whole thing here.









Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Books, Nineteenth Century

Banvard’s Folly

I am halfway thru reading this book and can testify to its greatness, and to its allure for all WU-vies. I have already learned about so many hoaxes, weirdos and charlatans I never knew about before.

Here's how the book opens:




Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 01, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, History, Historical Figure, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Inventions, New Age, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, Books, Goofs and Screw-ups

Page 1 of 21 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




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

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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
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 •