Weird Universe Blog — January 22, 2019

The Techno-Bra

Created by Kursty Groves. The bra monitored the wearer’s heartbeat and contacted the police if there was a sudden change indicative of a panic response (suggesting that the wearer was being attacked or in danger). The bra was reportedly going to be manufactured and sold by the British design firm PDD, but as far as I can tell, it never made it to market.

Image source: Visual Arts Data Service

Discover magazine - October 1999

Atlanta Constitution - July 25, 1999

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 22, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: Fashion | Underwear | 1990s


I always knew about people born with extra fingers, but had not contemplated extra thumbs.

Wikipedia entry.

Source (warning: pics of surgery).

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 22, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Body | Differently Abled, Handicapped, Challenged, and Otherwise Atypical | Human Marvels

January 21, 2019

The Tight Pants Strike of 1966

The media called it the Tight Pants Strike. Also, the Battle of the Bulge.

In 1966, 35-year-old Pat Morris was working at International Paper’s plywood plant in Oregon when management suspended her on account of her tight-fitting pants, complaining that they were too distracting for male workers. Morris protested that other female workers were also wearing tight jeans. Nevertheless, according to her, “They said something about being too stacked and sent me home.” (Almost every paper in the country felt obliged to report that her measurements were 39-27-39.)

Even though she wasn’t in the union, the 315 union members at the plant promptly went on strike in protest, claiming that the suspension was illegal. The strike lasted a week, until Morris was allowed back to her job, wearing looser jeans.

(left) Cincinnati Enquirer - Aug 26, 1966; (right) Esquire - Jan 1967

New York Daily News - Sep 4, 1966

Redlands Daily Facts - Aug 31, 1966

Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin - Sep 1, 1966

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 21, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience | Tradesmen, Manual Laborers, and Skilled Workers | 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #407

"Murray Westgate portrays an Esso service station dealer who asks a woman driver if she wants Esso Extra gasoline, but she only wants her windows cleaned."

Not sure if Murray peeved attitude conveys the right message. Also, perhaps a bit too much thrilling window-scrubbing action?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 21, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Business | Advertising | Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings | Motor Vehicles | 1960s

January 20, 2019

The car that’s like a bicycle

Nasser Al Shawaf was frustrated by the fact that he didn't get any exercise when he drove to work. So he teamed up with Dutch firm BPO and together they've created a car that has bicycle pedals instead of a gas pedal. So, you have to pedal to get your car to move. The faster you pedal, the faster it goes. The brake is controlled with a hand lever. The details:

The system essentially has three basic settings. In traffic, it has a "Drive Slow" option, while highway use necessitates the "Drive Fast" setting. When the car is stopped, but the driver still wants to exercise, there’s a "No Drive" option, which disengages the pedals from the throttle.

I suppose it would provide a disincentive to speeding if you had to pedal like crazy to keep going fast. So in that sense it's similar to the Deaccelerator that I posted about recently. Though it might make it hard to overtake people. After all, what if you got tired as you were trying to frantically pedal? And what if you were in mixed driving conditions where you had to switch rapidly from slow to fast speeds? How easy would it be to transition from slow to fast mode? Overall, I can only see this having very limited appeal.

More details.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 20, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles | Inventions | Cars

Let’s Do the Fink


Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 20, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Humor | Magazines | Music | 1960s

January 19, 2019

The Cow Toilet

Developed by the Dutch firm Hanskamp. How it works:

The cow enters the gated feeding area. While the cow is eating, a small bucket automatically swings into place at the back of the cow, moving gently upwards and downwards, massaging her escutcheon – a nerve which stretches between the cow’s vulva and udder. This nerve triggers the urine reflex, causing the cow to urinate. The urine is collected in the CowToilet reservoir and is then extracted and stored separately.

(Today I learned that cow's have a urine reflex!) Once the urine has been collected, it can be processed to produce fertilizer, or even be used to generate electricity. Most importantly, it isn't polluting the ground.

The video below (which is in Dutch) shows the device in action. The demonstration begins at about 1:15. Warning: if you're really squeamish it might gross you out because it does show cows peeing.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 19, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | Inventions | Body Fluids

January 18, 2019

Daily Jury Duty

The Daily Jury Duty was Chuck's thing, but in this case I can't resist briefly reviving it.

Joshua Emery Noel (aka 'Topcat') has been charged with second-degree assault and battery for allegedly throwing hot coffee at a teenage McDonald’s employee because he was upset about how long he had to wait for his fries. The story.

As Chuck would say: no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 18, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime | Your Daily Jury Duty

Joe E. Lewis, Al Capone’s Favorite Entertainer

In Chicago in 1927, Lewis refused the request of Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn (an Al Capone lieutenant) to renew a contract that would have bound him to sing and perform at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, which was partly owned by Capone. After refusing, because he had been offered more money by a rival gang to appear at their own club, "The New Rendezvous", he was assaulted in his 10th floor Commonwealth Hotel room, in November 1927, by three enforcers sent by McGurn. The enforcers, who included Sam Giancana and Leonard "Needles" Gianola, mutilated Lewis (his throat and tongue were cut) and left him for dead.[2] It took him several years to be able to speak again.


Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 18, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Scary Criminals | Comedians | Twentieth Century

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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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