Category:
Technology

Mystery Gadget 96

What are these genteel people genteelly doing?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 06, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Nineteenth Century

Electric Football



Posted By: Paul - Wed Aug 04, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Games, Technology, Children, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

The Penile Plethysmograph

I had to post this item today, to accompany Alex's "pot-sex" post, only because how often does one get to use the great word "plethysmograph?"



Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 31, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Medicine, Science, Sexuality, Technology, Genitals

The Boeing Sky Commuter

Another car-plane hybrid that never made it into production.

Article here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 02, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Air Travel and Airlines, 1990s, Cars

Mystery Gadget 95

This does what now?

Answer is here. Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 05, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Technology, Twentieth Century

World’s Largest Hand-dug Well

Actually not the largest, as the Wikipedia page admits.





Posted By: Paul - Sun May 30, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Regionalism, Technology, World Records

International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines

The International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines (or ISADAPROM) was founded by Harvey Matusow in the late 1960s. Its aim was "to conduct guerrilla warfare against the computer by such means as sending a penny too much or too little when paying a utility bill."

San Francisco Examiner - Oct 27, 1968



Matusow also authored The Beast of Business, which was supposed to serve as a manual for the guerrilla warfare against the computer. I wonder if any of the techniques he detailed would still work today?



However, Matusow is best known for giving evidence in court against individuals during the McCarthy era. Later he claimed that the FBI had paid him to give false testimony, and he detailed these allegations in his book False Witness.

He seems to have had a rather eccentric life and career. Some other highlights of it, from the University of Sussex's page about him:

  • Founded a band called the Harvey Matusow’s Jew’s Harp Band
  • Married approximately twelve times
  • Is possibly part of the reason The Beatles broke up – he held the party where John Lennon met Yoko Ono
  • Worked as a children’s TV clown called Cockyboo in Tucson, Arizona
  • Converted to Mormonism and spent his last years known as Job Matusow

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 29, 2021 - Comments (7)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Technology, Computers, 1960s

Animating Plants

Many people talk to their plants, but the plants don't talk back. However, a new invention allows the plants not to talk back, but at least to communicate, by moving. For instance, you could ask a plant if it needed to be watered, and the plant would shake up and down to indicate 'yes'.

From the patent granted to Richard J. Maddocks et al:

The present invention can provide a method and a system for the human interaction with plants. The present invention can also provide a method and a mechanism to animate by physically moving the plant in response to human voice or touch input. Additionally, the present invention can provide a commercially practicable method for humans or machines to assign personalities that will govern the plant's behavior.

The invention can provide an opportunity for retailers, distributors or gift givers to customize the behavior and content of the plant's behavior.

The present invention can provide a technique for the plant through its behavior to communicate its physiological needs for irrigation, light, fertilizer etc.



Posted By: Alex - Sun May 09, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Communications, Inventions, Nature, Technology

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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.

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