Quack Quack

aaHave you ever had a
constant ringing in your ears ?

And I don’t mean the kind
that you get for a short time
after a migraine, or a
Justin Beiber concert.

I mean a high pitched sound
that won’t go away–
— and plugging your ears
just makes it worse.

It’s called tinnitus,
and I can’t even
imagine what kinda crazy
it would drive me to,
but some people have
to suffer with it,
day in and day out.

So imagine how relieved
those poor folks would be
if somebody told em that
they had invented a cure.

A company in Brooklyn, New York
did just that around 1900.

tinnitusLet your wondering eyes

( not to mention your sore ears and aching head )

behold the wonder of the age —

The Violin Vibrophone.

Oh, don’t get me wrong now….

It didn’t work .

But they did sell about 120,000
of ’em at about 600 bucks in today’s money.

Let me tell you how it worked.

Errr…
Oh sorry….
how it didn’t work.

This mechanical violin thingee
had all kinds of cool little dials on it,
that you could adjust, so that it
would play a constant note
at the exact same frequency
as your ear ringing sound.

How would that help, you ask?

Hahaha, well there-in lies the rub, my friend.

The only difference was in that
when you finally lost your
ever-lovin’ mind completely,
you wouldn’t know whether
to blame the disease or the cure.

Welcome to the world of
vintage medical quackery devices,
and another of our posts about it.

So strap in, my little friends………
( evil laugh trails off in the distance )

Disclaimer:
Now, I know what you’re thinking…

He’s always putting crummy
disclaimers on his posts,
that don’t have anything
to do with the subject at hand..
…….
it’s just a cheap device going for a cheaper laugh. “

Well, you couldn’t be further
from the truth..
…..
although now that I think about it,
I’m not sure why I decided to
add a disclaimer to this here thing,
exceptin it be to remind you that
this stuff is supposed to be
somewhat funny, even though
it is the real skinny…..

and to warn you that if you
find anything offensive
about the skeletal system
of a healthy female type
person around 35,
you
might want to skip this post
and go read something else.

Cause it’s comin’.

Ahem. 

Listen.

I’m no technological reactionary.

I got no problem with it………

I’m not one of those guys
who bucks every new gizmo that comes along.

Like these scanners at the airport.

I can see how these things
can actually be put to very good use.

2

But it’s not like every technological
marvel that has come along
has been proven to be a boon to mankind.

Some stuff…..,
……. well, I just don’t see
how they got away with selling it.

Like this gizzie for instance.

3

It was called the “Robot Phrenologist” ……..

And as if phrenology as a science
wasn’t goofy enough already …

( it was the practice of determining
one’s personality by reading the bumps on your head)

…. this gizmo used vacuum tubes
to interpret them automatically.

All you had to do was strap
the headgear on, and have plenty of gullible.

Way back when….
almost last week, really,
any product could be marketed
as Doctor Somebody’s Remedy
for such and such…..4

No Doctor required.

So, you had a lot of crap masquerading as cure.

 

This here fine product is an example….

It’s called Doctor William’s Pink Pills for Pale People.

It’s miracle ingredients were all of 3 minerals–

Iron, Manganese, and Copper.

Any lessening of paleness in people
taking this stuff was most likely due to rust.

The device below is called the Heidelberg Electric Belt…..

…… you notice that little electric loop down at the bottom of it?

5

Well, guess what you do with that.

It would send little electric shocks down
through the belt and into that loopy thing.

Hey……..

Do I smell meat burning?

While we’re on the subject of male anatomy…..

6

This device was recently patented….

it’s supposedly for the relief of problems with obtaining erections.

It’s — yes — you guessed it –
—- a penis exerciser.

Apparently, you stick your member in one end,
and then, by adjusting the spring tension,
and moving that paddley thing up and down,
…… you’d be doing the same basic thing as penis pull ups.

Really, I’m not that good
at reading technical drawings, but…..

NO.

Nobody’s putting Little Elvis in a penis pullup machine.

Nobody.

He gets his exercise the old fashioned way.

.

7

It’s A Mighty Cool World

You might think that
I’m a bit of a cynic,
but I don’t really
see it that way.

Laughing at the way
things/people are
isn’t (for me, anyway)
cynicism —
it’s pragmatism.

Cynicism is a closed-off way
of viewing the world
that doesn’t allow for change –

Me,
I’m not against change.

I don’t like it a lot of times,
especially when it comes down
to:

renaming/conglomerating
corporations for profit-purposes,

having people tell me
how to think/worship/
talk/write/work out/
live my life in the
name of social order,
or somebody else’s
personal preferences,

changing the meanings
of words around for
purely mercenary motives,

calling things
‘new and improved’
when all it means is
‘no better but more expensive’ –

watching Orwellian concepts like:
“All animals are equal,
but some animals are
more equal than others “

be put into practice as if
there was not a damned
thing wrong with ’em –

being worked too hard
paid too little-
and then be expected
to just die and get
the hell out of the
way at the end
of it all –

and hearing people
talk about ‘God”
when they really
mean ‘Money’.

You know,
— stuff like that —

but I’m always hoping for the best.

Change can be a good thing.
( I keep telling myself. )

Reducing to the ridiculous
with humor and sarcasm
helps me keep perspective
when things get really weird.

And, I’m happy to say
that there are things
in this world that
can still boggle,
and toggle,
my imagination.

People can do it.

Art can do it.

Occasionally,
a discovery or
an invention can do it.

And, of course,
music can do it.

It’s a real cool world,
a really cool world. 

.

 

Flying High

hello1Our Muscleheaded Blog readers
are a wonderful group of folks,

— let me tell you.

They send me some VERY cool stuff, too.

I had been saving a couple of these
submissions for just the right post…

But I guess I’m waiting for a flight
that ain’t never gonna arrive,

— so this post will have to do.

Vintage postcards that have to do
with flying and romance.

Now,
you might ask what these
two things have to do with each other….

Plenty,
man, plenty —

— you’ve never heard of the
‘Mile High Club’,
for instance?

Or Frank Sinatra singing his classic:

Come Fly With Me ” ?

Flying,
in and of itself,
is a very romantic activity —7eave

And back when it was first developed —

Well, yeah,
even more so.

There’s all sorts of things
going on in your head,

— while you’re up there in the ole wild blue yonder —

And having an interesting woman
in the jump seat
just amps up the excitement to eleven.

Ahem.

a1The limited space in those old
two seaters did complicate things a bit,

of course.

But like the man says….

It was just a new way
to play an old game.

And….

as we all know,a4

despite another song’s
assertion to the contrary,

there really ain’t no
regularly scheduled flights to the moon —

And I’m pretty sure
you couldn’t make that trip,

like these nice folks seem to have done,

in a 1920’s bi-plane, anyway.

Sure, I know —

Fokker .

Uh huh.a1

Really…

If,
and I say IF,

he or she is gonna fly you to the moon,

……… it’s gonna have to be purely symbolic.

But it does sounds pretty fun, too.

It’s easy to see:

Love is a lot like flying —

One minute you’re up in the air,
having the time of your life,

And the next minute,a2
your engines are backfiring,

and you crash land
into one of them there
24 hour Wedding Chapels
with Elvis look-alikes for ministers
and strippers for witnesses.

Hmmm…..

Maybe I’ve said
too much,
I dunno.

This last piece was done by
the great pin up artist Gil Elvgren
in the 1940’s,

………… and was entitled “Tail Wind”.

HOY!

.

It Just Don’t Add Up

a3I always hated math in school.

It’s just one of those subjects
I can’t get my mind around.

Oh sure,
2 + 2 = 4 is okay , I guess….

But when you start
adding letters like A + B
and getting a number
as an answer-
well,
Mister Man…
— you lost me there.

To me,
A + B = AB .

I know what you’re thinking —math

If that was right,
why wouldn’t 2 + 2
be equal to 22 ?

Hey,
for all I know about math,
it is, somehow.

How the hell should I know?

But, nobody ever accused me
of being a rocket scientist.

Part of the problem
I always had with
math in schooltutor
was that nobody
could explain to me
how a mathematical
process really worked
in practical language
that even a cretin like I
(ok -like ‘me’)
could understand.

I mean,

I just couldn’t understand:
WHY you don’t get PIE
with a Pie chart….

or why “PI”
is so much more of an ‘irrational’a1
than not getting pie with a pie chart…

or why it’s perfectly fine
to have imaginary numbers
in an algebraic equation,
but wrong to have
an imaginary hottie girlfriend
named “Wendy”.

or what difference ‘New Math’
makes over ‘Old Math’,
when I still can’t get the
right answer, anyway.

or why the batch of rubber
I laid in the school parking lot
with my Dad’s 1972 Torinocanteloupes
didn’t count as a “Ford Circle” —

or why any test on “Probability Theory”
always resulted in a 90 percent conjecture
that I was gonna fail it…..

or why the solution
to every “Boolean Function”
proved ‘Evasive’ —
and ended up
making me feel like a Foolean.

or why my Math Teacher a2
grading on a “Bell Curve”
always landed me
somewhere down near the clapper.

Let’s face it —
you could make
ANYTHING beyond complicated
with Mathematics.

Take a simple idea like:
“How do you put algebra
an elephant in a refrigerator?”

And forget the logical stuff
like:

“Why would you WANT
to put an elephant in a refrigerator?”

Because a math whiz
could still give you
a dozen equations for how to do it.a3

Oh–
you just:

” Let ϵ>0
ϵ>0. Then for all such ϵ
ϵ, there exists a δ>0
δ>0 such that
∣ ∣ ∣ elephant2 n ∣ ∣ ∣ <ϵfit
|elephant2n|<ϵ for all n>δ
n>δ . Therefore
lim n→∞ elephant2 n =0.

limn→∞elephant2n=0. “

Or:

“Since 1/2 n <1/n 2
1/2n<1/n2 for n≥5 n≥5 , 
by comparison, we know
that ∑ n≥1 elephant2 n “

Or:

” There exists an affine transformation
F:R 3 →R 3 :p ⃗ ↦Ap ⃗ +
q ⃗ F:R3→R3:p→↦Ap→+q→
that will allow the elephant
to be put into the refrigerator.
Just make sure detA≠0 detA≠0
so you can take the elephant back out,
and detA>0 / detA>0 fall
so you don’t end up with a pulpy mess. “

Ahhh….

So THAT’s how you do it.

It’s now as clear as mud.

I’ll stick to buffalo ….
it’s much simpler.

No wonder
I like history better.

HOY!

moran

 

Shake It Like A Polaroid Pitcha

a2Polaroid cameras used to be
the leading edge in
photographic technology.

Just think about it
for a second.

Instead of waiting
a whole week or so
for your pictures to be
developed by the local Fotomat…..

— you could snap and picture
with your trusty Polaroid,

and after a few anxiousa4
moments waving the print
around in the air —

you’d peel the paper back ,
and presto —

— a brand new picture
of your second cousin.

Sure,
it was grainy,
sorta outta focus,
and already starting to fade,
but it was pretty damned
close to ” instant ”  —

as close as you were
gonna get in a personal camera
for the 1970’s, anyway.
z1
Even ‘selfies’ were possible,
despite the fact they
weren’t called that, then.

You just had to have
very long arms.

And the Polaroid cameras
were excellent on those
special occasions when
you were interested in
taking the kinds of picturesbath
that you couldn’t send to
the Fotomat, even
if you wanted to.

Awww–
you know the ones.

The ones you’ve still got
tucked away between the
pages of a 1979 edition
of the Rand McNally Atlas
of Eastern Europe.

Come on —
what else would you need
a boundary map of Jugoslavia for ?

The funny thing is,
nobody’s figured it out.

Yet.

a1