Weird Universe Blog — November 27, 2020

Farrah’s Glamour Center

Part of the 'Farrah mania' of the late '70s.

In 2011, it became part of the Smithsonian's popular culture history collection.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Celebrities | Toys | 1970s

John Cage’s “Inlets”

I can almost smell the burning pine cones!

Full explanation and history here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Music | Avant Garde | 1970s | Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

November 26, 2020

How to make a turkey ornament out of used pantyhose

The Great Pantyhose Crafts Book (1982) explains how to make all kinds of things out of used pantyhose. For the Thanksgiving table, it offers instructions for a pantyhose turkey ornament.

I imagine a pantyhose turkey would add a touch of class to any Thanksgiving gathering.

You can read the entire book for free via

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 26, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crafts | Underwear | Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 26, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Food | History | Holidays | Myths and Fairytales

November 25, 2020

The Coward Shoe

In 1866, cobbler James S. Coward opened a store in New York City. He named it after himself, and he referred to the shoes he sold as "Coward shoes".

Despite the odd name, his business did extremely well. In fact, it endured almost to the present. As of 2014, the company had both a twitter and facebook page. But their website now redirects to Old Pueblo Traders whom, I'm guessing, must have acquired them.

The Keyport Weekly - Apr 23, 1892

Boston Globe - Sep 20, 1927

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 25, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Odd Names | Shoes

November 24, 2020

Organoleptic analysis

Odd job: the FDA employs people to smell fish in order to determine if it's decomposed. They refer to this as "organoleptic analysis".

There are four categories with fish. "The first is fresh. That's the way fish are right after they are caught. Then there is number one. That's the commercial grade. Most seafood should be number one. It may not smell fresh, but it's not decomposed.
"The next is number two. That means slight decomposition. Whether the fish is all right depends on the product. The criteria are based on percentages. And last is number three, the really bad ones. Definitely decomposed. Number three is so putrid and stinky you wouldn't want to eat it."

The article I'm getting the info from was published in 1978, but I'm assuming the FDA must still employ people to smell fish. Unless they've got a fancy gadget to do it now.

Detroit Free Press - Jul 18, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 24, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Jobs and Occupations | Fish | Smells and Odors

Igorot Cave & Cliff Burial

A BBC slideshow here.

Essay here.

This is an original vintage post-mortem photograph from the 1930s. I believe it shows a very rare glimpse into traditional Igorot funeral customs. The man in this photo is deceased and bound in a sitting position.

A customer who has spent time with the Igorot had this to say, "I can explain why the man is placed in the seated position. I just spent a week in Ifugao, Philippines with a member of this tribe. A person is placed in this position and salted and dried for 3 days. The reason they are seated is because once dry, the person can be removed from the chair and turned,sideways into the fetal position. The Igorot/Ifugao tribe believes that a fetus in the womb is in the fetal position and by placing them in the fetal position after death, they will return to "mother nature/mother earth". Also Interesting to note that deceased loved ones are typically placed under their bed, under a child's bed, under the house, or somewhere else in the house in order to keep them close to the family. Just thought I'd share what I learned straight from a tribe member himself"


Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 24, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Death | Religion | Foreign Customs | South Pacific and Polynesia

November 23, 2020

“Perfect smoke column from end to end”

The model looks slightly out-of-it as the "Accu-Ray" machine deposits an endless supply of cigarettes into her hand. Perhaps, like James Bond, she had a 70-cigarette-a-day habit that had to be constantly fed.

Life - June 13, 1955

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising | Smoking and Tobacco | 1950s

Admiral Cigarettes Film

The cigarette genie appears!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand | Advertising | Smoking and Tobacco | Nineteenth Century

Page 1 of 19 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›
Custom Search
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.

Go to top