Category:
Eccentrics

A Year at Sea

Most unique trial for a marriage ever!

Source: The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) 23 Apr 1972, Sun Page 3







Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 11, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Marriage, 1970s

Dr. Seuss House, Alaska



Video should start at the proper segment. Otherwise, minute 41.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 20, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture, Eccentrics

Druid Priest William Price

Dr. William Price (1800-1893) led a highly eccentric life. Some details from an article about him on bbc.co.uk:

  • He "ate no meat, drank mainly champagne, eschewed the wearing of socks and prescribed a vegetarian diet for his patients instead of medicine."
  • He had a liking for outlandish costume, "notably a fox-skin headdress with the legs and tails hanging down over his shoulders and back."
  • "He became fascinated by the old druidic rites and even held druidic ceremonies at the rocking stone outside Pontypridd."

Price in 1884 wearing his druid attire. Source: MarkBerePeterson.com



However, his main claim to fame is that he helped to bring about the legalization of cremation in Britain.

Supporters of cremation had been trying to get it legalized throughout the nineteenth century. But Price caused the issue to come to a head by burning the body of his five-month-old son, Jesus Christ, on a funeral pyre, after the child had died a natural death. Yes, he had named his son Jesus Christ, or "Iesu Grist" in Welsh.

Price was arrested and charged with the crime of illegal cremation. His eventual acquittal led directly to the passage of the Cremation Act, which made it legal to burn bodies in Britain.

When Price himself died in 1893 he was cremated on a giant funeral pyre as thousands of spectators watched.

However, it's worth noting that while cremation is now legal (and commonplace) in the UK and USA, open-air pyres aren't legal, as far as I know.

More info: wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 04, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Eccentrics, Nineteenth Century

The Automatic Human Jukebox

For many years, beginning around 1972, Grimes Poznikov entertained crowds at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf by transforming himself into the "Automatic Human Jukebox."

source: wikipedia



Some details about him from a 1975 syndicated article by reporter Philip Hager (The Spokane Spokesman-Review - Sep 14, 1975):

Grimes Poznikov is the Automatic Human Jukebox — a statement that somehow renders anything that follows it anticlimatic.

For three years, he has been delighting the throngs of visitors to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiardelli Square, popping out of a box the size of a telephone booth to offer such selections as "Sentimental Journey," "When the Saints Go Marching In," and, inevitably, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

But even as a minor institution in a city with a deserved reputation for unorthodoxy, Grimes Poznikov, the Automatic Human Jukebox, has found himself facing an unceremonious eviction from the streets of San Francisco.

Poznikov's problem is that he has been cited for occupying a public street without a permit, a charge he intends to fight before a jury.

In recent weeks, seeking that elusive permit, he has been turned down by the city's Public Works Department, the Recreation and Parks Department, the Art Commission and, finally, the Board of Permit Appeals.

As a streetcorner jukebox, he doesn't fit into a tidy official category.

"I'm in a gray area, somewhere between a musician and a street artist," he explained. "The Public Works Department pointed out that under their rules I wasn't a building either."

The concept of the Automatic Human Jukebox occurred to him in the early '70s when he read of a poll listing "jukeboxes" as one of the things Europeans liked most about America.

During the height of the tourist season, Poznikov almost every day erects his seven-foot-high jukebox on the corner of Beach and Larkin, using a wire cord to anchor the structure to a nearby maple tree.

Passersby are invited to make a selection from a list of tunes Poznikov has mastered and drop in a coin. ("AHJ practices no economic discrimination," a sign announces. "However, quality... will vary automatically with the quantity of coins inserted.")

Few of them realize it, but Poznikov has been peering right back at the crowds who peer in at him. He occasionally takes their photographs and, as a student of psychology, he has written a scholarly paper entitled "Deinstitutionalization of Psychotherapy Through Mass Psychotherepeutic Implementation — Automatic Human Jukebox, a Case in Point."

In his paper Poznikov has recorded his observations of his customers during what he calls three years worth of "ongoing demonstration of mass psychotherepeutic implementation," noting such details as "... a five to 35 second raucous laughter follows most AJH actuations."

Passersby, he has written, first refer to the jukebox in "non-personified pronoun terms" ("it") then, upon his emergence horn in hand, they speak of it as a "living component" ("he").

Poznikov regards the Automatic Human Jukebox as an experimental art form, patiently explaining to a puzzled questioner, "I want to legitimize and advance the system of non-verbal communication... the people who come here can interact with the jukebox, participate in the process of making music."

According to wikipedia, he ended up dying homeless on the streets in 2005. His life inspired a short opera titled Broken Jukebox which premiered in Jan 2008 at College of Marin.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 21, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Outsiders, Marginals, the Excluded and Low-castes, Music, Performance Art, 1970s

Brainbeauism

While serving in World War II, Lt. George E. Lemon suffered a head injury from a jeep accident. As he described it, this gave his brain a "tilt" which resulted in a "me-to-me talkathon" and ended with him realizing "the only way to end war, inflation, unemployment, trade deficits and death."

Lemon stewed on his realization for almost four decades until he retired in the 1980s. Then he renamed himself J.C. Brainbeau and began placing classified ads in various magazines offering to share his comprehensive "4 WAY PEACE PLAN" with anyone who sent him a self-addressed stamped envelope. Those who responded to him, however, just received more ads.

Donna Kossy offers some analysis in her book Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief:

Philosophical ads existed before Brainbeau. They can still be found in the back pages of magazines like Gnosis, Fate or Biblical Archeology Review. Typically, such ads proclaim "Esoteric Secrets of the Egyptians can be Yours," "You Possess Hidden Powers," and once in a while something like, "Jesus Never Existed." While ads such as these might lead you something philosophical, their main purpose is to peddle books and amulets, not to communicate ideas.

For Brainbeau, the ads themselves were esoteric truths. Those who sent Self Addressed Stamped Envelopes (SASE) to Brainbeau expecting to receive literature, products or information received even more ads! They revealed Brainbeau's plans, bit by bit, ad by ad. Several sheets of closely spaced Brainbeau ads could be fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, but the resulting picture would be just another sheet of ads.

I figured someone on the Internet would have archived Brainbeau's bizarro ads. But I found nothing. So below are some of his ads that Kossy reproduced in her book.

You can read more about Brainbeau at Kossy's Kook Museum, which is now archived at the Wayback Machine.





Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 02, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Eccentrics, Crackpots, Advertising

Page 1 of 32 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
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 •