Weird Universe Blog — July 19, 2019

The Solitude Experiment of Mr. Powyss

Circa 1793, a Mr. Powyss of Lancashire apparently decided to conduct an unusual psychological experiment by paying a man to live in his basement, in complete solitude, for seven years.

Information about this experiment is hard to find. A brief news item appeared about it in 1797:

The Annual Register... for the year 1797

A news story 30 years later reported that the subject of the experiment had emerged after seven years apparently no worse for wear. Or, at least, he had "absolutely accomplished it":

The Casket - Aug 11, 1827

Given the lack of info, I suspect that the entire story might be an urban legend — one of those fake news stories that often made their way into early magazines and newspapers. However, the story has inspired author Alix Nathan to use fiction to fill in the blanks... imagining what might have happened in her recent novel The Warlow Experiment. As reported by the Guardian:

Nathan tried to discover more about Powyss and the outcome of his experiment, but without success. Nothing of either remained. Instead she turned to fiction, writing a pair of short stories that imagined the peculiar undertaking, the first from Powyss’s point of view, “An Experiment: Above”, and then, in “An Experiment: Below”, from the solitary subterranean perspective of his confined subject... Despite this, Powyss and his story continued to nag at Nathan; she could not shake the sense that it “deserved fuller consideration”. The result is The Warlow Experiment [amazon link].

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 19, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Experiments | Psychology | Eighteenth Century

July 18, 2019

The Devil Wants You Fat

A scriptural approach to a trim and attractive body… working with the Lord, you’ll harness the POWER of your body’s own computer system to make you eat the kinds of foods you should and in the right amounts.

For more details of Lovett's devil-fighting diet regimen, you can borrow and read his 1977 book online for free via

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 18, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Religion | 1970s | Dieting and Weight Loss

Mystery Illustration 83

Which famous sex symbol actress of the Fifties and Sixties is seen here, imitating Elvis Presley?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 18, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Imitations, Forgeries, Rip-offs and Faux | Movies | Music | Sex Symbols | 1950s | Parody

July 17, 2019

Delta House

The short-lived TV series inspired by Animal House. From Wikipedia:

Because of television Standards and Practices, most of the raunchy humor, sexual references, and foul language featured in Animal House didn't survive the transition to TV. As a result, Delta House suffered in comparison. That it aired during the so-called "family hour" (8:00 PM on Saturday nights) led to even more watering down...
Delta House initially did well in the ratings. However, executive producers Matty Simmons and Ivan Reitman's constant fights with ABC over content led the network to cancel the show after 13 episodes.

You can find most of the episodes on YouTube, including the first one:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 17, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Television | 1970s

July 16, 2019

Follies of the Madmen #435

Is it just me, or is the notion of an army of clones on the make for a lone gal a creepy thing?


Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 16, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity | Business | Advertising | Crowds, Groups, Mobs and Other Mass Movements | Dreams and Nightmares | Fashion | Sports | 1970s

Poop Slinger - The Game

It doesn’t exactly look like the most sophisticated game. So why are copies of Poop Slinger selling for close to $3000 on eBay? Because it’s the rarest PlayStation 4 game in existence. Only 84 copies were ever sold, making it a collector’s item.

Read the full story at:

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 16, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Overpriced Merchandise | Excrement | Collectors | Videogames and Gamers

July 15, 2019

Bluetooth Cassette Player

From Ninm Lab comes a new music player that combines the inconvenience of a cassette player with the convenience of wireless headphones:

The new launching of IT’S OK Bluetooth 5.0 cassette player brings a new perspective to the romanticism of the ‘80s cassette player. It is the world’s first cassette player with Bluetooth 5.0 capability that not only supports traditional 3.5mm headphones but is also compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 headphones or speakers. Whether you are alone or in an open space, you can freely enjoy the penetrating voice and warm sound from the cassette tape.

Apparently the idea of this appeals to a lot of people, because the Kickstarter for this device was easily funded.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 15, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Music | Technology

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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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