Weird Universe Blog — November 20, 2017

Phone Number Sweater

Give every weird pervert in the world your phone number. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Carlisle Evening Sentinel - Sep 30, 1971

Melanie Myers, a Los Angeles secretary, wears the latest fad — a made-to-order sweater with her telephone number knitted on the front — as three girl watchers take note.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 20, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Telephones, 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #335

Of course! Playing Monopoly drunk! It's the only way!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 20, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Games, 1970s, Alcohol

November 19, 2017

Pigeon attacked by clam

Apr 1967: Death match between a pigeon and a clam. And it seems like if a photographer hadn't been there to intervene, the clam would have won.

Terre Haute Tribune - Apr 16, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 19, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, 1960s

B. T. Express

Disco, plus train whistles and train sound effects made by mouth: great sounds that go great together?

Wikipedia page on the band.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 19, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Music, Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails, 1970s

November 18, 2017

Coed Prisons

I hadn't realized that federal and state governments had, for a while, experimented with coed prisons. From Prison Journal, 59(1), Spring/Summer 1979:

Since 1971, over 20 coed state and federal facilities have been established, although over half have since reverted back to one-sex institutions out of conceptual failure and dilemmas of operation, implementation, and evaluation. Currently (1979), 10 adult coed prisons exist in the united states. Ethnographic research into coed prisons includes seven studies since 1973 focusing on sex roles and the overall prison environment. Two of the studies reveal a lack of predatory homosexuality in coed prisons, while other studies find sexual discrimination in such institutions. Overall, the ethnographic literature yields few findings which support the effectiveness of coed prisons. Recidivism research, another type of cocorrections research, has been utilized in a number of studies to indicate a reduction of criminal activity. One study suggests that females may not profit as much as males from the correctional environment. Other vague and unsophisticated recidivism studies show success for releasees from coed prison. Although the available recidivism data on cocorrections suggest that incarceration in a coed institution has the potential of reducing adjustment problems on release, data do not convincingly demonstrate the effect of the coed experience on postrelease behavior or an overall reduction in the crime rate.

I'm having difficulty finding out if there still are any coed prisons in the US. I'm guessing there aren't.

Hattiesburg American - Aug 27, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Prisons, 1970s

Worst Appliance Innovation Ever

"Sit right down and rest your elbows on these convenient patented elbow warmers."

No idea why this great idea did not catch on.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 18, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Appliances, 1950s, Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise

November 17, 2017

Virgin Hospitals

1945: Mrs. Lenora Hawkes Jones came up with the idea of having a network of "virgin hospitals" throughout America which would house lovely and brainy women willing to bear children by suitable men in order to "improve the race." Suitable men would be those who didn't drink or smoke, and who weren't 'evil-minded.'

Didn't the nazis have some kind of scheme like this going?

Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Mar 7, 1926

Piqua Daily Call - Nov 2, 1945

A network of "virgin hospitals" in every state of the union where "our loveliest and brainiest" unmarried women would produce a new generation of super-babies by test tube is the solution offered by Mrs. Lenora Hawkes Jones, 76-year-old Washington inventor, to counteract the war-born husband shortage. Mrs. Jones, a graduate of the Bangor (Me.) theological seminary draws the line at men who smoke or drink in choosing the fathers, and advocates extreme caution to weed out the "evil-minded" applicants. Her proposed hospitals would completely eliminate the "personal factor," employ only women doctors, and the super-babies commended to the state for care."
-acme photo caption

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 17, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Eccentrics, Crackpots, 1940s

Lotte Fit’s Gum Commercial

Japanese chewing gum promotes uncontrollable muscle spasms.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 17, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Dance, Asia

November 16, 2017

Takes $1.95 Dispute to Supreme Court

During the gasoline shortage of 1979, New York state ordered a $7 minimum purchase of gas at stations, to stop people topping up. Frank Makara's tank would only hold $5.05 woth of gas, but he had to pay the full $7 minimum anyway. Outraged, he sued the BP station that charged him the $7, and took his suit all the way to the supreme court... which refused to hear the case. He ended up spending over $100 to try to recover $1.95.

According to the online inflation calculator I ran the numbers through, $1.95 in 1979 has the same purchasing power as $7.18 in 2017. So, even in today's money, not worth going to court over. Unless you're a stubborn old goat for whom the principle is worth more than the money spent on court fees.

White Plains Journal News - Apr 21, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 16, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Lawsuits, 1980s

The Fountain of the World Cult

"Members of Fountain of the World cult in Chatsworth are pallbearers and mourners at funeral of their leader Krishna Venta and two other cult members killed in dynamiting of their headquarters."

Read a long fascinating article on this Manson precursor at the LA WEEKLY.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 16, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Cult Figures and Artifacts, Death, 1940s, 1950s

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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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