Just Weird
X-Ray Tells if You’re Grand Opera Star (Sep, 1932)

X-Ray Tells if You’re Grand Opera Star

IS THE time drawing near when science will be able to devise an almost mathematical formula for making great singers out of any aspirant to musical fame? Is there any way to determine the precise physiological differences in vocal organs and other parts of the body which might account for good, bad and indifferent singing voices?

An attempt at answering the questions is being made by scientists, who have made X-ray exposures, during the actual act of singing, of the throats and heads of such famous opera stars as Lawrence Tibbet, Benjamin Gigli, Reinold Werrenrath, and others of vocal fame.

Table-Top Photos of Grasshoppers (Jun, 1952)

Here’s an unusual photographic hobby:

Table-Top Photos of Grasshoppers

CREATING LIFELIKE SCENES in miniature is Dr. Lehman Wendell’s way of relaxing. The Minneapolis dentist arranges his insect “actors” with dime-store props. Their stage is the top of a tahle in the basement; lighting is supplied by two ordinary bulbs, one cm each side. Dr. Wendell snaps the scenes with a single-lens reflex camera and does his own processing.

Grease Used For Protection (Nov, 1939)

Grease Used For Protection
GIRL aquaplane racers are evidently willing to sacrifice beauty for comfort, judging from the above photo. Jeanne Gilbert is shown getting a coat of grease at the hands of Babe Meneffee. well known speedboat driver who towed Jeanne’s aquaplane in a race off the Pacific coast. Other girls entered tried out the grease to protect them from wind and spray during the difficult 44-mile event from Santa Catalina Island to Hermosa Beach. Calif.

Swim Coordinator Really Teaches (Jun, 1936)

Swim Coordinator Really Teaches

WHEN learning to swim, so many people emulate a wet hen that they get nowhere at all. But with the new “Swim-Co-ordina-tor the novice is assured of learning the right way to swim from the very start.

You lay yourself on the apparatus, as Bernice Claire is doing in the illustration, and by turning the hand cranks your arms and legs move up and down in exact duplication of the American crawl. Thus, after one or two lessons in “dry land” swimming, even those who have never swam before can handle themselves capably in the water. The device is installed at the Hotel Sheldon Pool, Gotham.

Wear a Flash on Your Head

Of course in cartoonland people would just assume you’re having one brilliant insight after another.


Synchronizing Photo Flash Lamp With a Camera Shutter
THE difficulty of synchronizing the flare of a photo flash lamp with the click of the shutter is frequently encountered by enthusiasts of the camera art. There’s a way to overcome this difficulty, however, and that is by constructing the little gadget shown in the accompanying photo.

The contrivance consists of a flat type pocket flashlight battery mounted between two pieces of wood, on the top of which is affixed a common porcelain socket to hold the photo flash lamp.

On the base of this baseboard is mounted a pair of contacts in such a position that the loading lever will push them together when the shutter clicks. The wiring is illustrated in the insert.

Synchronization is achieved by the simultaneous clicking of the shutter and the closing of the photo flashlamp circuit through the silver contacts. The duration of the flash is 1/50 of a second, which occurs when the shutter is wide open.

For convenience, the flash lamp unit is secured to the head by an elastic band, thus leaving the hands free to operate the camera. The lamp should be backed by an aluminum reflector.

Tunnel-Digging as a Hobby (Aug, 1932)

Tunnel-Digging as a Hobby

ONE of the oddest hobbies in the world is that of Dr. H. G. Dyar, international authority on moths and butterflies of the Smithsonian Institution, who has found health and recreation in digging an amazing series of tunnels beneath his Washington home.

Almost a quarter of a mile of tunnels has been completed, lined with concrete. The deepest passage, illustrated in the accompanying diagram, extends 32 feet down.
Every bit of earth was removed unaided by Dr. Dyar, being carried out in pails. He found the tunnel-digging an appealing form of exercise to relieve the intense strain of his work day, which involved much close work with high-power microscopes.

The catacombs are constructed in three levels, with steps and iron pipe ladders leading between different tiers. The idea first came to Dr. Dyar when he sought to make an underground entrance to his furnace cellar.

Holy Taxidermy (Dec, 1935)

Big Fun – Big money

Learn to MOUNT Birds and Animals

Learn this WONDERFUL new, fascinating and PROFITABLE art at home by mail. This old famous school, with over 100,000 students GUARANTEES success. Thousands of Popular Mechanics readers have already enrolled. Mount and preserve GAME ANIMALS AND BIRDS like life. Mount common and domestic animals in highly amusing and human-like groups. The actual squirrels shown above, MOUNTED AND DRESSED up. cost but a few cents for materials, but sold for $40 for a window display. Rabbits, frogs, mice. cats, pigs, sparrows, pigeons—ALL can be mounted in funny and interesting groups, imitating human situations. Great fun, tremendously fascinating, extremely profitable.

Dance Fees Set According to the Chemical Value of Coeds (Feb, 1935)

Only geeks from MIT could come up with a scheme where every girl going to a dance gets publicly weighed on entrance. Perhaps they could also charge by body fat percentage or cup size.

Dance Fees Set According to the Chemical Value of Coeds
THE true chemical value of the coed ranges between fifty cents and a dollar. This strange fact was revealed recently when students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were required to pay the chemical value of their co-partners as an entrance fee to an annual dance.

This strange method of payment is not at all unusual for Massachusetts Institute students. In the past, on this occasion, girls have been paid for according to both weight and intelligence.

The girls, upon entering, are asked to step upon the scale. This scale determines their weight, and it is shown upon a breakdown calculator in terms of chemical elements.

The variation of chemicals per pound in different bodies is not great enough to cause an error in this large scale method of determination. The reason for the low value is that the body is composed almost entirely of water.

Hair, Feathers Aid Cancer War (Sep, 1939)

Hair, Feathers Aid Cancer War

HAIR trimmed from 1,000,000 heads and feathers of 500,000 chickens provide a crystalline substance known as cystine used by eastern laboratories in the widening war on cancer. This new weapon in the fight against disease is a colorless, odorless chemical. Five thousand haircuts provide 100 pounds of hair, which in turn yield only five pounds of cystine.


Yes, cure Hay Fever with a sun-burnt nostril. Sounds like it should work to me…

SUNBURNED backs, as all know, may now be had from a “health lamp”; but here we have a mercury-vapor lamp in a quartz rod, small enough to pass up the nose and sunburn its inside. Four out of five cases of “hay fever” are cured.