Weird Universe Blog — May 17, 2021

Eviction caused bad breath, dandruff

1979: After being evicted from the townhouse he was renting, R.L. Ussery filed a lawsuit against his former landlord seeking $11,000 in compensation. Ussery claimed that the eviction had caused him and his family to suffer from "colds, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea dysentery, loss of hair, sweating palms, the need to void, the inability to void, nightmares, insomnia, dandruff, bad breath, dirty fingernails, odoriferous body odors, especially of the feet, palm itching, the blues and the blahs, nervousness, dry heaves and crying spells."

I don't know what the result of the lawsuit was, but I think it's highly unlikely that Ussery won.

Tampa Tribune - Aug 24, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Lawsuits | 1970s

The Inventions of Russell Oakes

An article here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Humor | Inventions | Rube Goldberg Devices | 1940s

May 16, 2021

Whole-Mouse Homogenizer

This scientific ad has been doing the rounds for a long time. (Dave Barry discussed it in a 1993 column). But I only found out about it recently.

No idea what the original source was.


Posted By: Alex - Sun May 16, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Science | Advertising

Best Scents for Sexual Arousal

The article dates from 1997 (The Daily Herald Chicago, Illinois 21 Aug 1997, Thu Page 97), but an actual scientific paper from the same people was posted in 2014. If any WU-vie can cite more recent reasearch, please do so!

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 16, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: 1990s | Twenty-first Century | Smells and Odors | Sex

May 15, 2021

Isotopia—an atomic pantomime

In 1950, Muriel Howorth, who was a great believer in the benefits of atomic energy, wrote and staged a ballet/pantomime about the atom. It was titled Isotopia: An Exposition on Atomic Structure. This description from Time magazine, Oct 30, 1950:

Last week in Aldwych's Waldorf Hotel, Mrs. Howorth's high-minded Atomic Energy Association of Great Britain (membership: 300) celebrated its second anniversary with an atomic pantomime called Isotopia.

Before a select audience of 250 rapt ladies and a dozen faintly bored gentlemen, some 13 bosomy A.E. Associates in flowing evening gowns gyrated gracefully about a stage in earnest imitation of atomic forces at work. An ample electron in black lace wound her way around two matrons labeled "proton" and "neutron" while an elderly ginger-haired Geiger counter clicked out their radioactive effect on a pretty girl named Agriculture. At a climactic moment, a Mrs. Monica Davial raced across the stage in spirited representation of a rat eating radioactive cheese.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any pictures of the event. But you can read the entire pantomime over at

Muriel Howorth, founder of the Atomic Energy Association of Great Britain

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 15, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Theater and Stage | Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters | 1950s

Jody Sten, “Smiling Teddy Bear”

Posted By: Paul - Sat May 15, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts | Music | Toys | 1960s

May 14, 2021

Dr. Munch’s Marijuana Madness

1938: Dr. James Clyde Munch described to his students at Temple University what happened when he smoked "a handful of reefers" as an experiment.

He crawled into a bottle of ink, stayed there 200 years, took a peep over the bottle's neck, ducked back and wrote a book about what he saw. When the book was done, he popped out of the inkwell, shook his wings, flew around the world seven times.

I'm thinking there may have been something more than just marijuana in those cigarettes.

Time - Apr 11, 1938

Munch liked his story about the disorienting effects of marijuana so much that he repeated it at several criminal trials.

New York Daily News - Apr 8, 1938

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 14, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Drugs | Smoking and Tobacco | Experiments | 1930s

Buckeye Beer

The revitalized company still exists today, but no mention of reinstating their "mascots," Buck and Billy.

Read the history here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 14, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | Human Marvels | Regionalism | Advertising | Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings | Nineteenth Century | Twentieth Century | Alcohol

May 13, 2021

Evian Water Bra

Brand-Extension Failure: Evian released a "water bra" in 2005, apparently because they thought their association with bottled water could persuade women to buy water-filled bras. The idea was that water-filled bras would be cooling. As far as I can tell, the product was discontinued soon after being introduced.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 13, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Business | Underwear

Escaped Tiger, 1915 Version

The tale of the Houston Tiger is okay, but not a patch on the 1915 event.

Source: The Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California 03 Oct 1915, Sun Page 11

Posted By: Paul - Thu May 13, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals | Death | Hollywood | 1910s

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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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