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Radio Man walks, talks, and yodels

It yodels because it is a Swiss radio man. (Via Magic Transistor)

The Real Mermaids of San Marcos, Texas

Ben Marks say: "When Collectors Weekly writer and producer Hunter Oatman-Stanford was growing up in Austin, Texas, one of his favorite places to go as a kid was Aquarena Springs in nearby San Marcos. Though the attraction boasted an alligator pit, Ralph the Swimming Pig (famous, of course, for his 'swine dive'), and an aerial gondola ride, the biggest lure was the mermaid show, in which swimmers would perform dance moves and tricks, like eating or drinking underwater, while viewers watched through thick glass windows.

"Turns out, Hunter's great-aunt, Sue Cregg, had been an aquamaid, as the performers were called, in the 1960s. So, for his article on Aquarena Springs, Hunter spoke to Cregg, as well as Peggy Sparks, who got her start at the amusement park in the 1950s. Cregg and Sparks explain what it was really like to be a mermaid, from the cold temperatures they endured in the water to the balls of frozen dog food they'd prepare to feed to the fish they swam with as part of the act."

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Wegee photo of a man about to be executed wearing a hood with a Westinghouse logo on it

This execution brought to you by Westinghouse? I'd have guessed that Thomas "DC current is safer" Edison was behind it, but this fellow is in the gas chamber, not on an electric chair.

From the Getty Images description: circa 1945: An American prisoner, sentenced to death, is strapped into a chair in the gas chamber. The black hood carries a Westinghouse Electric Company logo.

See full image here

Gallery of "terrifying beauty treatments"

Anorak has a gallery of creepy "20th Century contraptions designed to make you the belle of the ball."

Strange Medicine, by Nathan Belofsky: exclusive excerpt

In Ancient Egypt, doctors applied electric eels to patients with migraines. In the medieval times dentists burned candles into patients’ mouths to kill off those pesky invisible worms gnawing at their teeth.

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Vintage plaster and chalk nude statuettes

Deanna of Kitsch-Slapped takes us on a tour of vintage plaster and chalk nude statuettes.

[Some] vintage plaster or chalkware figurines have little fabric skirts or loincloths, which may come on as modest cover-up... Surprise, these vintage pieces show the genitalia! Aren’t you just dying to flip the grass skirt made of string aside on this vintage piece by what appears to be Ferguson Studios?

Odd and inappropriate Valentine's cards of yesteryear

Here's a small sampling of artist Mitch O'Connell's fabulous Valentine's card collection gallery. (These are real cards, not something Mitch made up.)

Just in time to send to your Valentine sweetheart, a huge selection of the offbeat, odd, perplexing, inappropriate, outlandish, bizarre, sexist, eccentric and far-out funny cards, all collected in one place ...for YOU (with love)!

Subject matter includes anger issues, from punching, stabbing, shooting your loved one to running them over with your car. "A woman's place is in the home" themes with pots 'n pans, brooms and dust pans expressing how your heart beats for them. "Find the hidden penis" is a M.O'C Blog Valentine favorite with suggestively placed rulers, logs, bananas, balloons, rocket ships, and hot dogs showing how you really, REALLY feel!

Unintentionally Hilarious Vintage Valentine's Day Cards! See the top 100 Risque, Rude and Sexy examples of all time!

Mitch also has a new art book -- Mitch O'Connell, the World's Best Artist by Mitch O'Connell! Look for an exclusive preview soon on Boing Boing. It's available for pre-order on Amazon, or directly from Mitch's site.

What is this bizarre Indian "health gadget" from 1950s Bombay?

Crate-digging for old records on eBay, my brother found this bizarre health gadget identified as having been produced in Bombay in the 1950s. The seller writes:

Very rare and old Twin Transilluminator in Box from India 1950 in good condition. Its medical Instrument for sinuses and Eye therapy. Its made of steel and backlit. its electrical. on box has some description and photos about how to use this Instrument. Its rare and unique medical Instrument and must for medical instruments collectors. The size of box is 9 inch in length, and its width is 5 inch.

What the heck is the history behind this gizmo? More photos below.

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Then 'Lady Life Guards' of 1940s Brooklyn

The New York Times' City Room blog explores “Lady Life Guards,” an "oddly racy newsreel" made around 1940 about female lifeguards on a beach in Brooklyn. The video made the rounds on blogs this week after being featured on blog Sheepshead Bites. The Times' Andy Newman describes it as "a gently leering 10-minute tour de force of visual double-entendre and soul-stirring call-of-duty gee-whiz."

The film was uploaded to YouTube last week by a user who found it in the Library of Congress’s Prelinger Archive at archive.org.

(thanks, Michael Roston!)

Chicken hotdogs and garters for boys who want to be manly


Two fine pieces of vintage ephemera from Mostly Forbidden Zone: A hotdog with the head of a chicken, and one heck of a manly garter for boys.

Creepers gotta creep — for science

In 1938, researchers at Bryn Mawr College published a paper on Egocentricity in Adult Conversations. In order to accurately record the pattern and content of conversations as they happened in real life, the researchers used several methods that would be considered ... sketchy ... today. Among them: Hiding underneath female college students' dorm beds.

Great moments in pulp fiction: "Lady, That's My Skull"

Cover scan link.

John Elmslie of Toronto shares this in the Boing Boing Flickr pool and writes,

Vintage paperback. "A Harlequin Book", Toronto, 1951. So Harlequin was publishing more than romances in 1951. The original paperback book is quite faded looking. The scanner pepped it up quite well, even though I hadn't asked it to. I'll have to look into that. :)

Aelita, Queen of Mars: Soviet Science Fiction film from 1924

In vintage ad archivist Paul Malon's excellent Flickr stream, I stumbled on this beautiful Soviet film poster for a film titled "Aelita."

A quick Googling revealed that this was for the motion picture Aelita, Queen of Mars, which Wikipedia describes as "a silent film directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made at the Mezhrabpom-Rus film studio and released in 1924 (...) based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name."

Some describe it as the USSR's first sci-fi flick. Archive.org has the entire 80-minute film available for online viewing here, though the quality isn't great. It's also on YouTube, and here's part one.

You can also buy it in higher quality on Amazon, and here's their review:

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1960 election day comics


Ethan Persoff put together a funny/scary set of Election Day Comics from 1960. Make sure the "dumb blonde" in the office doesn't take your vote today!

In the year 2000

Illustration from a 1960 Cinzano ad, shared on Flickr by photographer and vintage ad aficionado Paul Malon of Toronto. His collection is extensive and excellent.

Autumn: Spaghetti-harvest time

Some astute commenters in the Ukelele String Harvest video thread pointed out that this recent video is basically a re-creation/riff on this earlier, classic weird video, from a 1957 BBC show called "Panorama." From the Alexandra Palace Television Society, here's the whole story:

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Illustration from a vintage issue of OCD Monthly magazine


Have you been saving your milk cartons?

(Via Phil Are Go!)