Weird Universe Blog — May 29, 2024

Bulletproof Clipboards

Ballistic Systems Co. sells bulletproof clipboards, starting at $40. They boast that they've sold "over 170,000 clipboards to law enforcement officers nationwide."

While I'm sure the clipboards really are bulletproof, I'm skeptical about whether they'd be much help in preventing someone from getting shot. Wouldn't the force of a bullet simply knock the clipboard out of their hands?

Contrast this with the Clipboard Gun we've previously posted about.

via Book of Joe

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 29, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Police and Other Law Enforcement | Weapons

May 28, 2024

Beer Puppetry

Inventor Avi Zadok was recently granted a patent (No. 11,974,655) for what he calls a "Beer Puppet." It's a contraption that allows people to dangle a cup of beer in front of themselves and manipulate it with strings like a puppet.

Zadok argues in his patent that his invention can "increase the fun and social aspect of beer culture." He speculates it might be adopted by breweries looking for novel ways to market their product at beer festivals, sports games, etc.

I found a website,, where you can buy one of these things (cost $115). And the video below shows beer puppetry in action. But it's not clear to me if the website is the work of Zadok or a rival. Perhaps there's fierce competition in the world of beer puppetry.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 28, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Games | Inebriation and Intoxicants | Patents

May 27, 2024

Mr. Analyst, the mechanical golfer

In 1966, Golfcraft of Escondido, California debuted a robot golfer whose job was to test new golf clubs and balls. They held a contest to name him, and after receiving over 1500 entries decided to call him "Mr. Analyst."

More details from the Long Beach Press-Telegram (Aug 21 1966):

The perfect golfer is Mr. Analyst, a robot whose job it is to scientifically test and analyze new designs and materials for golfing clubs. He works for Golfcraft, a manufacturing firm based in Escondido.

The robot is the answer to all those who have ever left a course in disgust, muttering something about that not being a fit game for man or beast.

Mr. Analyst is the product of the tinkering of William J. Glasson, a golfer who also has concluded, from time to time, that it was a game fit not for man or beast.

Glasson started toying with his mechanical monster while trying to figure out scientifically how to lower his five handicap on the links. At the time he had graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was working on the Falcon missile.

"The monster was still a crude thing then," Glasson reminisces, "mounted on a wooden tripod. And I had to crank it manually to get it to work. At first it would only hit the ball about 125 yards. But, after making several modifications and adjustments it started belting it 200 yards and I got excited about its possibilities."

At a recent demonstration, the robot showed graphically how it has been improved by socking balls one after another in low, screaming trajectories to a distance of 400 yards on the fly. Even that isn't the most amazing aspect of its skills. Its accuracy at this distance is what is truly amazing. All the balls landed within a circle only 15 feet in diameter.

image source: Offbeat Golf (1998) by Bob Loeffelbein

Glasson was granted patent no. 3,373,612 for his invention. His patent drawings show a non-humanized version of his machine.

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 27, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Robots | Patents | Golf | 1960s

Sweet Cookie Doll

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 27, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Toys | Advertising | AI, Robots and Other Automatons | 1970s

May 26, 2024

Smartphone-Shaped Sunglasses

Part of designer Sinead Gorey's "Phonecore" collection.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 26, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion | Eyes and Vision

Le Microphone Bien Tempéré

Let us know when you tap out.

From the composer's Wikipedia page:

Henry was born in Paris, France,[3] and began experimenting at the age of 15 with sounds produced by various objects. He became fascinated with the integration of noise into music, now called noise music

The rest of the album is here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 26, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Music | 1970s | Europe | Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

May 25, 2024

Want job title changed

I had several great-aunts who worked in the Duquesne steel mill during World War II. (My grandmother had six sisters.) I'm not sure exactly what their jobs were. I just know they were working on the floor of the mill itself, not in secretarial or admin positions. Perhaps they were "hookers."

Lansing State Journal - July 3, 1975

I found a U.S. Dept. of Labor document titled "Women's Employment in the Making of Steel, 1943." It describes women in the mills working as hookers:

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 25, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Jobs and Occupations

The Dancing Pig

Posted By: Paul - Sat May 25, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | Anthropomorphism | 1900s | Dance | Love & Romance

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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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