Weird Universe Blog — June 1, 2023

The Date Hat

Edward Oliveira of Newport, Rhode Island was granted a patent (#2,749,555) in 1956 for a "date hat". His idea was that, by wearing the hat, a young woman could display whether she was available for a date on a specific day. From the patent:

In high schools, colleges and the like, it is often impossible to carry on very much of a conversation during, or even between classes. Since many dates between boys and girls are most easily made when they are gathered together in school, it is a disadvantage not to be able to tell whether a girl is already dated for a particular day and hour. If a boy knew that one girl is already dated for the particular time he desires, he would quickly be able to attempt to date another girl who was not already dated. However, up to the present time, this has been difficult because, in many instances, there is not sufficient time to talk to every available girl to determine their date status. In order to remedy the above situation, it is one object of the present invention to provide an article of wearing apparel which can be set to indicate to any observer whether a girl has a date for the particular time desired.

I can see a problem with this concept. Would a young woman really want to publicly display that no one had asked her out?

Also, had Oliveira attempted to get dates by systematically asking out every girl in his school? Thus leading to his frustration that there was "not sufficient time to talk to every available girl to determine their date status."

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 01, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Patents | Headgear | 1950s | Love & Romance

The 3-D Film Archive

The whole brief fad of 3-D movies was a very weird moment in cinematic history. Luckily for us, there's a man and a site that works to preserve and sell such films. Make a visit to THE 3-D FILM ARCHIVE. Lots of fascinating history there.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 01, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Fads | Movies | Technology | 1950s

May 31, 2023

Gloucester Cheese Roll Winner

The annual Gloucester Cheese Roll contest involves chasing a wheel of cheese down Cooper's Hill. The winner of this year's women's race was Delaney Irving of Canada. She won despite getting knocked unconscious while running (falling) down the hill.

I had the chance to visit Cooper's Hill about ten years ago (not during the cheese roll, unfortunately), and I can attest that it's very steep — much steeper than it appears on videos such as the one below. The idea of trying to run down it seems suicidal to me.

More info: The Guardian

(Thanks to Gerald Sacks!)

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 31, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Sports

Miss Juke Box

Although not an actual contest or beauty queen title--instead, it was a motif in a song--the notion of a Queen of the Juke Boxes was illustrated to perfection, including props and record-based body language, by properly costumed Margot Hielscher.

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 31, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Music | Technology | 1950s | Europe

May 30, 2023

Building houses with diapers

Concrete uses sand, and this is a problem due to a growing shortage of sand. However, Siswanti Zuraida, a researcher at the University of Kitakyushu in Japan, has proposed that cleaned and shredded diapers can be used in concrete as a sand replacement:

To make the first prototype, Zuraida reused diapers from her own young children. The team washed, sterilised and dried the diapers, before shredding and mixing them with different amounts of other materials, such as gravel or sand. This served as the aggregate that the team mixed with Portland cement and water to create concrete.

More info: New Scientist

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 30, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture | Babies | Excrement

Follies of the Madmen #566

Our syndicated TV show is comparable to the deadliest weapon known to mankind.

Posted By: Paul - Tue May 30, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Death | Destruction | Humor | Television | Advertising | Children | 1950s | Weapons

May 29, 2023

Applause for Stalin

In his book Koba the Dread Martin Amis told the anecdote of "a gramophone record of one of Stalin's longer speeches" which "ran to eight sides, or rather seven, because the eighth consisted entirely of applause."

Amis offered no more details than this. However, the Nizhny Tagil Museum of Regional History has some more info. It seems that what Amis was referring to was a recording of a speech Stalin gave on Nov 25, 1936 at the Extraordinary VIII All-Union Congress of Soviets. The full speech was reproduced in a 21-record set. According to the museum (with translation help from Google):

The speech of the speakers is quite often interrupted by applause. The expression "stormy and prolonged applause', which has already become a byword, is far from being just a beautiful "figure of speech" designed to emphasize the significance of the speaker's words, but the real practice of public speaking at that time.
So the first side of the first disc is completely occupied by the applause of the hall, as a true confirmation of universal approval! Just imagine how in the labor collective they put a record on the gramophone and listen to pure ovations for three minutes! And the second side of the last disc - post-speech ovations and the performance of the Internationale by the participants of the Congress, which at that time played the role of the anthem of the USSR.

via Skeptics StackExchange

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 29, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings | 1930s | Russia

Happy Memorial Day 2023!

WHAT are you going to do on Decoration day? Where are you going? To the ball game? Fishing? Are you going to play tennis or go on a long excursion to spend the day away from home? Do you want to go to the park and sail your boat on the little lake? Will you tie a flag to your handlebars and take a ride on your bicycle with your friend Tom? Or are you one of the many who understand that the day is set apart in memory of gallant heroes and is a holiday in their honor? Will you take your place with the many on the line of march in respect to the few remaining heroes who will parade before you? Are you one of those who will look to the wants and comforts of the feeble, who need your protection? Help make the day memorial. With a brush or bit of cotton wound on a toothpick and plain water, paint between the lines; the decoration will then appear in appropriate color. EDITOR'S NOTE.—Read the pages of the entire book before painting or making the cut-outs. Rinse the brush often to prevent colors running together.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 29, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Holidays | Armed Forces | Twentieth Century

May 28, 2023

Calories Don’t Count

Dr. Herman Taller was arguably ahead of his time with his assertion that a high-protein diet was more effective for weight loss than simply restricting calories. However, it was his promotion of "CDC" (Calories Don't Count) capsules that got him into trouble. He claimed that these capsules not only would help with weight loss but would also lower cholesterol, treat heartburn, improve the complexion, increase resistance to colds, and boost the sex drive. The FDA disagreed, noting that the capsules primarily contained safflower oil. Taller was eventually convicted of mail fraud.

More info: Wikipedia, Quackwatch

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 28, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Health | Dieting and Weight Loss

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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