Grand Victorian Cliff House in San Francisco, 1896

The Grand Victorian Era of San Francisco’s Historic Cliff House

Of it’s multiple incarnations, the Victorian chateau era of San Francisco’s historic Cliff House was by far the most grand.

The Cliff House is perched on cliff overlooking the ocean and the ruins of the historic Sutro Baths in San Francisco. The first incarnation of house was built with lumber from a ship wrecked on the rocks below in 1858.

After changing hands several times, the house was damaged in 1887 when an abandoned schooner loaded with dynamite ran aground and exploded. Then a chimney fire reduced the structure to ashes in 1894.

By far the most grandiose of the Cliff House’s various incarnations, the eight-story Victorian chateau was built on the site by Adolph Sutro in 1896. Though it survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a 1907 fire burned it to the ground in less than two hours.

Photos of the Victorian-Era Cliff House

A view of the Victorian Cliff House in San Fransisco

An eerie 1901 postcard of the Cliff House

1906 Stereoview image of the Cliff House

The Cliff House burning in 1907

The basis of the structure that stands today was built after the fire in 1909.

Moon Farms to Banish Starvation

Mechanix Illustrated May 1954 Amazing Moon Farms Could Banish Starvation

The May 1954 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine Frank Tinsley’s illustration of orbiting, saucer-shaped farms proposed that in fifty years much of the world’s food could be grown in the sky using the unbelievable new science of algal culture.

Read the article here: Moon Farms to Banish Starvation

Simca Fulgur 1958 Concept Car

Simca Fulgur 1958 concept car

The Simca Fulgur was a concept car designed in 1958 by Robert Opron for the Simca automobile company in France. It was intended to show what cars in the year 2000 would look like.

The Fulgur was to be atomic powered and voice controlled. An on-board brain would communicate with a control tower to navigate via auto pilot. At speeds over 150kph two wheels would retract, allowing the Fulgur to balance on the remaining two wheels with gyroscopes.

The future was much more interesting 50 years ago.

Simca Fulgur

Simca Fulgur

Simca Fulgur

Side view of the Simca Fulgur concept car

Simca Fulgur concept car 1958

Aghori: Cannibal Sect of Hindu Monks

The Aghori monks are a Hindu sect known predominantly for their taboo practices such as the ritual cannibalism of the dead.

An Aghori man drinks ritual alcohol from a human skull

The Aghori are Shaivites, ascetic sadhus devoted to Shiva. They believe the Hindu god of transformation through death and destruction is the supreme being, embracing death and devoting their lives to living in filth. They often live in or near cremation sites, covering themselves in ashes of the dead, and use bones to make bowls and jewelry.

More: Cannibalism on Cult of Weird

An Aghori man with a human skull

An Aghori man with a human skull

Human remains for the Aghori rituals are gathered from the sacred but highly polluted Ganges river, where the ashes and bones of cremated dead are thrown from the Varanasi ghats. During cholera epidemics of the past, thousands of uncremated bodies were dumped into the river.

Still today, the bodies of holy men, pregnant women, people with leprosy/chicken pox, people bitten by snakes, people who have committed suicide, the poor, and children under 5 are not cremated at the ghats but weighted down in the Ganges. The bodies eventually come loose and float down the river.

The corpses are worn, used as alters, or consumed to serve as a reminder of mortality and the challenge to transcend the duality of life and death. For an Aghori sadhu, they are symbolic of himself.

The flesh is eaten raw or cooked over an open flame.

Drinking alcohol from a human skull, known as kapala, is another common tradition in Aghori ritual, as is drinking urine and eating fecal matter.

House of Mystery #236

House of Mystery horror comic #236 cover art by Bernie Wrightson

The cover art for DC Comics House of Mystery #236 by Bernie Wrightson. This issue featured the stories “Death Played a Sideshow” and “Deep Sleep.”