Terrifying Insects Back From Edge of Extinction

Posted by Tony on April 10th, 2014

There are a LOT of animals being saved from extinction…rhinos, cheetahs, snow leopards, etc,. Most of them are regal or furry or cute or just plain huggable.

The Weta Punga are not ANY of those things.

Weta Punga literally means “God of Ugly Things”.

Nailed it.

The Weta are squirrel-sized insects that can only be described as terrifying. But that’s not stopping a group of animal lovers from bringing the animal back from the edge of extinction. Once the weta flourished in and around the islands of New Zealand. Invasive and non-native species took care of that until only small numbers of the giant insect remained.

Researchers in Auckland began a breeding program to…uh…yay…bring back the populations of weta that once roamed the islands.

Between this year and last almost 400 of these creepers were released into the wild to bring back nightmares to anyone visiting the islands.

[Stuff.co.nz Auckland]


Strange Floating Sphere Records Us as it Wanders

Posted by Tony on April 10th, 2014

Created by a couple of artists who were interested in the ‘unobserved’ moments of sound that go on in places like stairwells, hallways and, unfortunately for commuters witnessing the bizarre sight of this freaking thing, subways.

Filled with a mixture that is half oxygen, half helium (“balloonium”), the weirdly unsettling, 3 foot nylon sphere floats around recording ambient audio which it then replays on a delay of about twenty minutes.

Although it was meant to be a completely innocent object you can’t shake the feeling watching it cruise around that this thing is part of some Cronenbergian horror film and that the ‘innocent’ floating black sphere wandering the world whispering ghost-like conversations of the past is about to shed its nylon skin and reveal its real purpose.

Says one of its creators:

“A lot of people do interpret it as this sinister moving presence that’s following people around.”

Might be because of all the design choices that could’ve happened like a cute kitten or a doe-eyed baby animal or even the Teenage Mutant Turtles in an awesome group shot you chose a creepy, opaque ball that slowly floats around whispering voices.

[WIRED]


Podcast: The G Word

Posted by Editor on April 7th, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343

Chupacabra captured but is it what we think it is? Blue Origin mysteries revealed? Can they get us to space? Another Goblin outbreak sweeps Africa and only the Weird Things gang can solve it.

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings04062014.mp3

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Picks:

Brian:

Star Wars: Allegiance

Andrew:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Justin:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Disney Develops Robotic ‘Pixelbots’

Posted by Tony on April 6th, 2014

Disney is continually developing things that will make us hand over a substantial amount of cash to play in their parks.

Recently the Disney Research Hub’s YouTube Channel dropped a video showing something called PixelBots.

As entertainment in the real world becomes more interactive due to the public’s insatiable appetite for new experiences, companies like Disney continue to push into new areas of the interactive experience.

What will Disney be using these lemming-like little ‘bots for? Hard to say.

We’ll let you all role-play the part of an Imagineer in the comments.

[DisneyResearchHub YouTube Channel]


Man Builds Shuttle Replica – On His House

Posted by Tony on April 6th, 2014

There’s always that one house on your street.

You know…the one that looks like the sun is continuously exploding each night during December?

In China that person is a 60 year-old farmer who:

A. Is a HUGE fan of the space shuttle

B. A little eccentric.

C. Knows something about the future of mankind that we don’t.

Either way it’s pretty amazing and there’s probably of a lot of secretly jealous homeowners reading this right now.

[Technabob]


Texas Family Claims To Have Caught a Chupacabra

Posted by Tony on April 5th, 2014

Jamie and Bubba (sometimes reality just seems too good to be true) Stock of Texas are claiming they’ve caught a chupacabra or, as we’ve come to endearingly call them on this podcast, ‘Chupy‘.

While most chupacabras are referred to as vicious goat-suckers that attack livestock and occasionally people, the photo of the alleged creature must be the exception to the rule…

Unless its disarmingly ‘please love me’ face is a ruse to get closer to its next human victim.

Why do they believe it’s one of the elusive cryptids?

Because when Jamie Stock came to look at the creature that Bubba had captured she identified it right away:

“Bubba that looks like a baby chupacabra.”

Furthermore, “the Bubba’s” neighbor stated:

“I hunted racoons for 20 years with dogs and I ain’t ever seen anything that looks like that right there.”

So there you have it.

Based on all the evidence and the expert testimonials? A Texas family has captured a chupacabra

Please say you’re getting the sarcasm.

[Independent UK]


Scientists Grow a Baby Zebra Fish From Stem Cells

Posted by Tony on April 5th, 2014

Scientists have been trying to find the elusive combination of instructions that would cause stems cells to become an actual living thing.

That elusive secret just ran out of places to hide.

University researchers were able to cause cells to grow into an entire animal!

The result of all this is that there’s now a baby zebra fish embryo in the world that was created completely from stem cells by scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Absorb that for a minute.

While this discovery is HUGE and of immeasurable value to the creation of organs for those who need them, there’ll probably be some backlash from torch bearers and wielders of pitchforks who want to march across the U of V campus lawn.

It sounds like something straight out of the past few decades of science fiction stories…

Especially when one of the scientists drops a line like:

“We have generated an animal by just instructing embryonic cells the right way…” and “…we can pretty much do what we want.”

They’re growing mice next.

And then?

Probably us.

(cue lightning)

[PhysOrg]


Podcast: Sleep It Off

Posted by Josh on March 31st, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343

Justin shoots Brian In the chest with a gun. Can science save him with an experimental new strategy. Who wants to die? Not one billionaire who’s putting his money where his mouth is. Is the future of video 15 seconds? This major network thinks so. The boys kind of agree. It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast!

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings033114.mp3

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Picks:

Brian:

Bad Science

Andrew:

Star Wars: Allegiance

Justin:

Archer Vice


Podcast: Fantassssssssssy Island

Posted by Josh on March 23rd, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343Is it time to terraform Venus? Can we project a movie on the moon? Why is the Space Shuttle so ugly? A mysterious island offers a delirious deal for Brian and Justin.

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

 

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings032314.mp3

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Picks:

Brian:

The Wise Man’s Fear

Andrew:

High Plains Drifter

Justin:

Fit Bit Force


Your Smartphone Can Now Emit Fragrances

Posted by Tony on March 18th, 2014

Since who-knows-when, people have been trying to recreate the smells of places and things. Because of our emotional ties to the way things smell, like your favorite grandmother’s perfume, companies around the world have been trying to create things that produce those scents on command. It’s a powerful selling tool. Theme parks regularly use ‘scent cannons’ to manipulate you into buying food or enhancing their artificial environments.

Now a company is producing a much smaller version of these ‘scent cannons’ that attaches to the audio jack of your smartphone. Using the company’s app your phone can now basically fart on command.

Sure it’s more of a novelty than anything right now because the attached devices can’t produce just any smell on command (they only produce one scent like a home air freshener) it doesn’t mean that eventually science won’t allow us to create ANY scent using just one device.

Science keeps trying to make it happen and eventually, just like everything else, it will.

For now you’ll have to settle for your smartphone either looking like it’s passing gas or that you can now embarrassingly appear to be ‘vaping’ through your phone.

[AWEtv YouTube Channel]


Most Frightening Children’s Book Award Goes to…

Posted by Tony on March 18th, 2014

Cult indoctrination seemed to be the trendy demon scourge out to nab your children in the late 80s and early 90s. Dubbed ‘Satanic Panic’, groups like David Koresh’s Branch Davidians and early mentions of Heaven’s Gate as well as other cult groups seemed to be part of the daily news diet of the day.

To protect the innocent there was also a rise in protective groups, articles, information and books.

One of those books is called “Don’t Make Me Go Back, Mommy” written by Doris Sanford and illustrated by Graci Evans.

And it’s the most terrifying children’s book you’ll ever read.

Here’s the synopsis of the story directly from the back cover of the book (which now sells anywhere from $155 to $220):

“When five-year-old Allison’s parents begin to see a change in her behavior at home, they seek professional help for her. They find that Allison and other children have been ritually abused at a day care center. Thus begins Allison’s recovery through counseling and through her parents’ affirmations that it was not her fault, that she is precious and loved, and they will keep her safe.”

It’s not just the words that’ll make you stare at this thing with wide-eyed horror. The illustrations like the one with the child lying next to a dead rabbit will probably become the groundwork for your future nightmares.

You might want to mentally floss with some Curious George or Clifford the Big Red Dog after reading this.

[VigilantCitizen.com]


Podcast: Bleed Blue Blood

Posted by Josh on March 17th, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343The Malaysia flight 370 mystery confounds the boys. Are you ready to abandon your life to become a 1% nomad? And finally, the ritualistic bloodletting that saves us all.

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

 

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings031714.mp3

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Picks:

Justin:

Veronica Mars

Andrew:

Clone Wars

Brian:

Titanfall


Podcast: Costs An Arm and a Leg

Posted by Josh on March 11th, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343

Is one town in Wisconsin hiding a tiny town with a murderous secret? Is Fermis Paradox dead? Europa is soaked! Is it possible to live on the sun? Microsoft projects. And the real VR is experience has finally dawned.

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

 

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings031114.mp3

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Picks:

Brett:

Ghostwritten

Justin:

Blackfish

Andrew:

Grand Budapest Hotel


Drummer Rocks Amazing Drumming Prosthetic

Posted by Tony on March 6th, 2014

As the mechanical components that make up robotic prosthetics shrink, they’re integrating more easily into the lives of those that need them.

Drummer Jason Barnes built his own crude drumming hand but, after meeting an engineer who felt he could create something much more, Barnes now sports a pretty incredible robo-drumming arm. Using a technique called electromyography, the device responds to electrical signals as Barnes flexes his bicep. A secondary attachment for another drumstick was added that actually listens to what Barnes is playing and responds by playing along with what it’s hearing!

Giving talented people like Jason Barnes the ability to continue doing what they love and what they’re talented at is a fantastic way to get physically challenged people back to what they do best…

n this case it’s also the heralding of a whole new future for band battles.
[New Scientist]


13-Year-Old Creates Fusion Reactor – At School

Posted by Tony on March 6th, 2014

The video pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this awesome kid who’s decided to become a tween man of science instead of chasing skirts or worrying about pimples.

We’re putting this little bit of text down here to let tell you to listen all the way to the end to hear about his NEXT project…

[Gizmodo]


Podcast: Just A Spritz

Posted by Josh on March 3rd, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343

A wireless technology that could change everything. How do you isolate a town from every element of technology? Also, a revolution in reading that could make it easier to read a book on a keychain than paper or a tablet. And of course, genocide.

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

 

Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
Episode archive
Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings030214.mp3

Listen now

 

Picks:

Andrew:

The Eagle

Brian:

Night Attack

Justin:

Daily Tech News Show