Weird Universe Blog — June 14, 2021

Staying awake at the wheel

Over the years, inventors have dreamed up a variety of ways to keep drivers awake while driving.

In 1936, Carl Brown got a patent on a chin-operated alarm device. If a driver started to nod off, and his head fell forward, this would depress a trigger, setting off an electric bell that would wake him up. (Patent No. 2,066,092)

In 1940, Raymond Young had the idea that whenever a driver was feeling drowsy he could press a button on the steering wheel and this would squirt an aromatic spray in his face, waking him up. (Patent No. 2,199,060)

And just last month, Hyundai was granted a patent for a system that shoots ultrasonic beams at a driver's eyes when it senses he's falling asleep. (Patent No. 11007932)

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 14, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions | Sleep and Dreams | Cars

The Airphibian

Flying cars just had a recent moment in THE NEW YORK TIMES. But there have been many predecessors.

We are continuing our streak from yesterday's Amphicar: bi-modal transport!

The Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 14, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions | Kludges, Hacks and Duct-tape Repairs | Air Travel and Airlines | 1940s | Cars

June 13, 2021

Two-Handed Bowling

"the new young players are going into two-handed [bowling]."

What will those crazy youngsters think of next?

via Book of Joe

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 13, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Sports

The 1964 Amphicar

We've featured various amphibious vehicles on WU before. But my research seems to indicate we have not highlighted the most famous, seen in this video. Please note that inventor Hans Trippel was working on this concept thirty years previously, as seen in the clipping.


Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 13, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions | Oceans and Maritime Pursuits | 1930s | 1960s | Cars

June 12, 2021

Boar Mate

Miami Herald - Jun 08, 1979

It's available for purchase here.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 12, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | 1970s | Attractiveness, Sexiness, Allure and Personal Magnetism

Leader of the Laundromat

Their Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 12, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Hygiene | Music | 1960s | Parody

June 11, 2021


Released in 1977, the album Pythagoron consisted of electronic sounds that supposedly stimulated certain brain waves, thereby allowing the listener to get high, without the use of drugs. The Hum blog offers more details:

While obscure, Pythagoron’s sole LP – a distillation of fine art, drug culture, high New Age thinking, and musical Minimalism, is a near perfect image of the outer reaches of its era. Privately issued in 1977 – sold via advertisements in High Times, the album’s origins are mysterious – thought to be a product of USCO (The Company Of Us), one of the earliest multimedia art collectives based in New York – pioneers in the field of immersive sound and light environments...

The album is intended to get the listener high – the aural mirror to Brion Gysin’s Dream Machines, and the step beyond La Monte Young. Capitalizing on the the tonal precision allowed by synthesizers – it attempts to harness the resonant interaction of sound and brainwave patterns to induce states of euphoria – the precursor of more recent efforts in binaural beats and neural oscillation.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 11, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Drugs | Psychedelic | Music | 1970s

Corporate Pubic Hair Shaving

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 11, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Hygiene | Advertising | Public Indecency | Genitals | Hair and Hairstyling

June 10, 2021

Rengo fruit for obesity

A "remedy for obesity" marketed circa 1906. It supposedly was made from the "Rengo fruit". In Nostrums and Quackery (1912) the American Medical Association offered this analysis:

Rengo used to be known as "Rengo Fruit" and the claim was made that its active constituents were derived from a luscious tropical fruit which grows in clusters similar to grapes...

Rengo has been analyzed and, according to Dr. Kebler's analysis, contains: Thyroid gland, Poke root, Cascara, Cassia fistula.

That the prolonged administration of thyroid gland will sometimes bring about a marked reduction in weight is true but its use even under skilled medical supervision is fraught with danger. It is little less than criminal that ignorant quacks of Kellogg's type should be permitted to distribute indiscriminately drugs that have the potency for harm that is possessed by the thyroid preparations.

source: flickr

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 10, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil | 1900s

Miss Hot Dog 1959

Photo source: Daily News (New York, New York) 12 Jul 1959, Sun Page 36

Text source: The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) 27 Jun 1959, Sat Page 6

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 10, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Food | 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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