Janette Scott being attacked by a triffid — via IMDb.com
Update: I tried to track down more info about Hugh Skillen and have concluded there's some confusion about his biography. Seems there were two Hugh Skillens who both lived in London at around the same time.
There was a Hugh Skillen who was a military officer who helped to develop the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park during World War II, and then later worked as a schoolmaster at Harrow County School for Boys. More info about him here.
And then there was the Hugh Skillen who was a costumier, designing costumes for theater productions in London and occasionally working on movies such as The Day of the Triffids.
I don't think these two Hugh Skillens were the same, but IMDb lists the birth/death of the costumier as being the same as the military officer: Aug 22, 1915 to Jan 4, 2004. I'm betting the info is only correct for the military officer.
Invented by artist Dick Turner in 1992. The organizers of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer then got wind of it, and decided it would be "the perfect way to make light of Norwegians' reputation as a dour people and ordered 100,000 of them for Olympic workers and town residents to wear."
But they did this without crediting Turner at all. Nor did they order the smile machines from him. When Turner complained, someone from the Norwegian embassy in Washington called him "and acknowledged that the Smile Machine was his idea but said nothing further could be done about it."
In 1969, British health officer Dr. J.V. Walker proposed the development of a pill "to give young people to delay the onset of sexual maturity until they leave college and could earn their own living." Walker felt certain "it should not be difficult to develop a hormone preparation for the job."
Such a pill would certainly change the college experience for most people.
Akron Beacon Journal - June 1, 1969
A bit of research revealed that this J.V. Walker was Joseph V. Walker, health officer of Darlington. I couldn't find a fuller description of his anti-puberty pill, but I did come across a letter he sent to the Health Education Journal (March 1, 1970) in which he worried that young women would develop into "promiscuous addicts" if they didn't preserve their virginity until marriage. I suppose his pill would help with that goal as well.
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.