Weird Universe Blog — October 17, 2017

Left wife, lived in forest for 10 years

Malcolm Applegate claims that he got fed up with his wife's nagging. So he left and went into hiding in a thick woodland outside of London for ten years.

Applegate has since emerged from the woodland, reconnected with his wife, and he says, "We now have a great relationship again."

It reminds me of that story of the Iranian guy who's wife left him, so he lived half-naked in a cave for 30 years.

It also supports my theory that without their wives many men would revert to a stone-age-type existence.

More info: NZ Herald

Malcolm Applegate

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 17, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Husbands, Marriage

Follies of the Madmen #330

This wife has a problem bigger than an inconsiderate husband--he's a clinical alcoholic!

From THE ELKS MAGAZINE for November 1950.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 17, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Addictions, Alcohol, Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Appliances, 1950s

October 16, 2017

Weighing the Mayor

The town of High Wycombe in England has an ancient custom of weighing their mayors, first upon taking office and again at the end of their term. To have gained weight is taken as evidence that they've grown wealthy at the taxpayer's expense. It's like an ancient form of fat-shaming.

In the 1950s, the mayor of Minneapolis, Eric Hoyer, decided to adopt this custom. He even arranged to have the official scales flown in from High Wycombe. He apparently was pretty confident that he'd lost weight, but according to the scales he had gained some. He blamed the extra weight on the ceremonial costume he was wearing for the occasion.

It's an interesting custom. Perhaps we should weigh more politicians periodically. Such as an annual weighing of senators and the president.

Pleasant Grove Review - Jan 4, 1952

Cincinnati Enquirer - Dec 1, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 16, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Politics, 1950s, Dieting and Weight Loss

The Skewb

If Rubik's Cube is stale, other cube-type puzzles exist. Here's one.

More at the Uwe Meffert link.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 16, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Games

October 15, 2017

Michael Fish Moment

With Hurricane Ophelia headed in the direction of the U.K., it seems like an appropriate moment to remember the Great Storm of 1987. In particular, Oct 15, 1987, when TV weatherman Michael Fish opened his forecast with the remark, "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way; well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't." A few hours later, the worst storm in 300 years hit Britain, killing 18 people. Though, in Fish's defense, it technically wasn't a hurricane.

In the UK, whenever anyone makes a really bad prediction, it's still known as a "Michael Fish moment."

More info: wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 15, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Predictions, 1980s, Weather

On the Good Ship Apple Pie

"Display of Steamship "Gold" made of whole and dried apples. The first Sebastopol Apple Show was held in a tent across from the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Depot in August, 1910 and promoted local fruit in various creative ways."

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 15, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Food, 1910s

October 14, 2017

Effect of Gamma Rays on Marigolds

Paul Zindel's play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1971. It inspired Paul Newman to make a film of the same name the next year.

And in 1974 it inspired 13-year-old Danny Kleiner of Philadelphia to wonder what the effect of gamma rays on marigolds would be. So he made that his school science project. He used cobalt radiation to produce the gamma rays. Unfortunately, I don't know what the results of his experiment were.

I haven't read or seen Zindel's play so I don't know if a similar experiment is featured in the book. I'm guessing it must be. I wonder how many high school students were inspired by Zindel's play to do similar experiments?

Danny Kleiner examining his gamma-ray-exposed marigolds
via Temple University Library

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 14, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Theater and Stage, Experiments, 1970s

The Laxey Wheel

I love that the Laxey Wheel has a name, "Lady Isabella," and a tribute folk song.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 14, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Europe, Nineteenth Century

October 13, 2017


An art installation titled 'Domestikator' was scheduled to be displayed in the gardens of the Louvre next week. But the Louvre recently changed their mind, deciding the work was too risqué.

I don't think Khrushchev would like this art.

More info: NY Times

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 13, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Art

Follies of the Madmen #329

Tony the Tiger is a protective deity against the occult forces of Friday the Thirteenth?

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 13, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Products, Food, 1960s

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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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