Weird Universe Blog — June 18, 2019

Cowboy Throat Singing

In Mongolia, there's an ancient tradition of "throat singing." Wikipedia defines this as: "a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out of the lips to produce a melody... This resonant tuning allows singers to create apparently more than one pitch at the same time (the fundamental and a selected overtone), while actually generating only a single fundamental frequency with their vocal folds."

Somehow, back in the 1920s, the cowboy singer Arthur Miles independently hit upon this technique and integrated it into several songs.

You can hear it in the song below at around the 0:50, 2:50, 4, and 5 min marks.

via Bifurcated Rivets

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 18, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Music

Calvin and the Colonel

From the Wikipedia entry:

"The series was an animated remake of Amos 'n' Andy... and featured the voices of Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll[1] from the radio series (in fact, several of the original radio scripts by Joe Connelly & Bob Mosher were adapted for this series). Using animals avoided the touchy racial issues which had led to the downfall of Amos 'n' Andy."

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 18, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | Anthropomorphism | Racism | Stereotypes and Cliches | Television | Cartoons | 1960s

June 17, 2019

Recipe for Boiled Wife

Using cannibalism to help sell air-conditioning.

Newsweek - May 24, 1965

Dixon Evening Telegraph - May 8, 1970

Smithfield Times - Aug 5, 1970

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 17, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Cannibalism | Advertising

Mystery Gadget 77

Maybe an ocarina?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 17, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Eighteenth Century | Nineteenth Century

June 16, 2019

Roadkill Psychic

In the late 1990s, psychic Terrie Brill of Elk Grove, California made headlines by claiming that roadkill could be used to predict the future. Specifically:

Running over a cat is a sign you're about to have a spiritual crisis.

Running over a deer means you're about to hurt someone you love.

Crushing a crow with your car means you're not prepared for the future.

Rolling over a snake could mean you're about to have a heart attack or other serious accident.

If you run over a dog, expect your friendships to take a turn for the worse.

If a bee collides with your windshield, you need to make more time for yourself.

... mashed mosquitos have no effect whatsoever on your future.

Brill died in 2001, but her son maintains a Facebook page about her, promoting her posthumously published book The I-Factor. Unfortunately, the Facebook page doesn't seem to contain anything about the roadkill predictions.

Terrie Brill

Edmonton Journal - Sep 8, 1998

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 16, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | Death | Predictions | 1990s

Follies of the Madmen #429

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 16, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Aliens | Business | Advertising | Tobacco and Smoking | 1970s

June 15, 2019

RIP Leon Redbone (1949-2019)

A truly odd, enigmatic musician. As noted by his obit in the Independent:

He was an eccentric blend of antiquarian, actor, singer, musician and performance artist – with a strong element of Marxian absurdity. Redbone sometimes pulled a tomato from his handkerchief and placed it on a stool beside him, then wrapped it up again as he left the stage.

For a long time, almost no biographical info was known about him. Many suspected he wasn't even a real person. Perhaps someone such as Frank Zappa or Bob Dylan was posing as Redbone. But no, Redbone was real. He died on May 30.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 15, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Music | Obituaries

Skin Tight, Pin Striped, Purple Pedal Pushers

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 15, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Fashion | Music | Public Indecency | 1960s

June 14, 2019

The Rewards of Heroism

If there were a Cheapskate's Hall of Fame, the Chicago Board of Education would surely have to be in it. In 1994, after gym teacher Clarence Notree heroically saved a group of children from a gunman who had entered the school gym by shielding them with his body, the Board of Education informed him that he wasn't entitled to Workers Compensation for his injuries because saving children wasn't technically part of his job.

After a protracted legal battle, he did finally get a settlement of $13,447.

More info: NY Times

Opelousas Daily World - Sep 30, 1994

Franklin Daily Journal - Sep 30, 1994

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 14, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Jobs and Occupations | Lawsuits | 1990s

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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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