Weird Universe Blog — September 19, 2017

Endurance Bowling

Back in 1930, George Kinder of Milwaukee set a record for endurance bowling. He bowled for 50 hours 20 mins, rolling 362 ½ games. He had to quit because "his thumb was badly split, blistered and torn, and he couldn't grasp the ball."

Courier News - Jan 13, 1930

41 years later, Richard Dewey of Kansas City set a new endurance record. He bowled for 98 hrs 45 mins, rolling 1220 games. But Dewey also had to quit because of injuries:

During his four days on the lanes, Dewey suffered a sprained right arm, severe blisters and swollen fingers. To overcome the problem of the sprained arm, he alternated arms, throwing left, then right-handed. To take the pressure off swollen and blistered fingers, his eight-pound bowling ball was drilled out every 20 hours. But after he was unable to stop the bleeding from his fingers, officials said enough was enough.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - May 26, 1971

More recently, in 2010, Stephen Shanabrook of Plano, Texas set a new record, bowling for 134 hrs 57 min. However, he completed only 643 games, which is only about half the number Dewey rolled in less time. Nevertheless, according to Guinness, Shanabrook is the current record holder.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 19, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Sports, World Records

The Untouchables vs. the Touchables

One of Eliot Ness's less well-publicized duties.

Full article here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 19, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Medicine, Sexuality, 1940s

September 18, 2017

Respect for the Aged Day

Today is Respect for the Aged Day in Japan.

Japan Tobacco has long celebrated the day by giving senior citizens each ten packs of cigarettes.

Baltimore Sun - Sep 15, 1999

More info: Japan Times

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 18, 2017 - Comments (1)

Malvaz Malt Tonic

Oh, it's not beer, despite coming from Monarch Brewing--it's just a healthy Malt Tonic!

As this site says of a similar brand from the same period: "the concoction—actually just simple beer with the addition of honey—was advertised as a 'liquid food' for the treatment of various ailments, from insomnia to 'old age' to 'expectant motherhood.'"

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Advertising, 1930s, Alcohol

September 17, 2017

The Morale Raiser

Also known as a pat-on-the-back machine. An earlier version of this.

Wilmington News Journal - Dec 22, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 17, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, 1950s

England’s Smallest Window

Wikipedia reference here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 17, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Europe

September 16, 2017

Drip Fire Rifle

Invented by Lance Corporal William Charles Scurry during WWI, while fighting in Gallipoli. The Drip Fire Rifle was a way to jerry-rig a rifle using readily available materials so that it would randomly fire on its own. The Australian forces set up a whole bunch of these Drip Fire Rifles, and in this way were able to fool the Turkish forces into thinking they were actively manning the front lines, when in fact they were all sneaking away in boats. From

His invention involved water dripping from one ration tin into a lower tin attached to a weight, which was tied to a trigger. Depending on the hole in the ration tin, the lower one could take between 20 minutes to an hour to fill. The weight would then pull the rifle trigger. The resultant sporadic fire sounded like any other night, and mirrored the rhythms of the Anzacs that the Turkish forces had grown familiar with.

via Australian War Memorial

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 16, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, War, Weapons, 1910s

September 15, 2017

Wasabi Smoke Alarm

Fire alarms for the deaf typically involve strobe lights or vibration (such as a vibrating bed or pillow to wake a sleeper). But over in Japan, a few years back, researchers invented an alarm that sprayed the smell of Wasabi into the air. Tests revealed it could wake sleepers within two minutes.

The researchers also tested the smells of banana, coconut milk, and tea tree oil, but they found the smell of wasabi worked best.

More info: BBC News

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 15, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions

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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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