Say Goodbye to Lawn Gnomes and Flamingos…
You Can Now Buy Full-Size Inflatable Tanks

Posted by Tony on December 10th, 2014

Some of you probably live in a neighborhood that’s got a small population of lawn gnomes or a colony of flamingos. The only message that those ridiculous, overdone pieces of plastic and resin are going to send your neighbors is that you’re friendly, sweet and that you’ve gone soft.

For a measly $300 you can send a message to everyone in the neighborhood and your HOA to just take a step back. For about $1200 you can have a small army and some piece and quiet.

[Technobob]


Podcast: Off the Should of Orion

Posted by Josh on December 8th, 2014
Skitched 20110225 175343
Recap of the Orion Launch and debate why it may be the most meaningful step to Mars in the history of mankind. The Boys discuss their under water drone expedition to the murky depths of mystery, with a big announcement to speed up the time table. Are you ready to enter a richer virtual environment than you’ve ever conceived of before?
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Picks:

Brian:

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do / Successful Performercast

Andrew:

Justin:

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe

 

Follow: @NASASocial

 


The Dream is Alive! We May be Able to Clone a Murderous T-Rex After All!!!

Posted by Andrew on November 25th, 2014

Two years ago a research paper about the longevity of DNA crushed the hopes and dreams of a generation who grew up believing we one day might be able to clone blood-thirsty, human-devouring dinosaurs. Scientists determined the half-life of DNA, the rate at which it degrades by half, at around 521 years in a best case scenario. This meant that after about 8 million years there would be effectively no DNA left. Which is 60 million years too short for hopefully gleaning any useful T-Rex DNA.

Science and pop culture bloggers were quick to point out that this meant the Jurassic Park idea popularized by Michael Crichton could never possibly work. As the Jurassic World trailer became available, nerds around the globe have reminded us this is an impossibility, along with making pedantic comments about crane flies and feathers.

At the time of the first research paper’s publication, I wrote an article on Weird Things pointing out how we could still make badass dinosaurs without original DNA and suggested that nature throws curveballs and the research paper on DNA half-life may not be the end of the story.

Hold on to your butts.

Science is never settled.

Nature finds a way (maybe).

A few years ago Dr Mary Schweitzer, a palaeobiologist at North Carolina State University, who sawed open a T-Rex bone at Jack Horner’s encouragement (they couldn’t fit it on a helicopter) discovered soft-tissue inside the bone after decalcifying it. This lead to the discovery of cells common to egg-laying birds and blood vessels.

Last year, curious about the process about what lead to the preservation, she and her team working with a group led by Mark Goodwin, a palaeontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted some experiments using fresh ostrich blood and found a process that could occur in nature where DNA would be preserved much, much longer than the half-life research paper indicates.

Using this information, they went back to the original T-Rex samples and used a stain to test for DNA and found surprising results: Evidence that indicates the presence of DNA. It turns out 521 years may not be an absolute. DNA preserved in certain conditions or in certain parts of the body may last millions, maybe tens of millions of years longer.

To be sure, if this is DNA, it’s twisted up into tiny little knots and may be impossible to read. But given the advance of technology, I wouldn’t rule out future developments.

It’s also important to consider that trying to find DNA in fossils that old has only been attempted by a few people. Most paleontologists are afraid to even crack open bones, let alone subject them to these kinds of tests.

Schweitzer’s original discovery of soft-tissue in a T-Rex totally caught the scientific community off guard. Her work with Goodwin suggests that there could be many more awesome surprises awaiting us.

So if any nerd tries to tell you cloning dinosaurs is impossible, tell them to step back. We don’t tell mother nature her rules.

Andrew Mayne is the star of A&E’s Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne and the author of the best-selling thriller, Angel Killer.


(Me touching an actual Tyrannosaurus fossil in Jack Horner’s lab at the Museum of the Rockies)


Podcast: Wings of the Falcon

Posted by Josh on November 24th, 2014
Skitched 20110225 175343
SpaceX debuts the X-Wing as the countdown to a reusable rocket begins. Brian deduces a major problem out of Justin. A case that will make you uncomfortable about forgetting again.
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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings112414.mp3

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Picks:

Brian:

FarCry 4

Andrew:

Justin:

We Have Concerns

 


Podcast: CSI: Brazil

Posted by Josh on November 17th, 2014
Skitched 20110225 175343
Spyro and the Fudge are on the case to solve a kidnapping in Brazil. A tiger terrorizes Paris… or does it? A really rich dude breaks a massive record and Andrew has an idea on how to break it even harder.
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Picks:

Brian:

Anything is possible bottle

Andrew:

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe

Justin:

Names of the Wind

 


Predator Might Be Hiding on Rosetta’s Comet – Based on the weird sound we’re hearing

Posted by Tony on November 16th, 2014

The jury’s out on what’s causing the sound (which is far, far below the level of human hearing) and a whole lot of theories are being tossed around about it. Everything from magnetic fields to ionization of particles shearing themselves from the traveling comet is suspect at this point.

“This is exciting because it is completely new to us. We did not expect this and we are still working to understand the physics of what is happening.” – RPC principal investigator Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier

Until there’s an answer, which probably won’t be soon because space is just weird, we’re going to assume that the comet is either harboring a Predator who’s looking for payback, the mobile rehearsal space for a marimba-playing Cantina Band member or that we’ve discovered the dial-up connection for an alien race.

[KDSK.com]


Boy Inhabited by Ghost of Deceased Soldier?

Posted by Tony on November 15th, 2014

A four-year-old Virginian boy is being inhabited by the spirit of a deceased soldier tragically killed in a bombing.

His mother states that he’s talking about things that a boy his age wouldn’t know anything about.

In a moment straight out of the creepiest movie his mother states:

““He just starts crying hysterically and I say “What’s wrong Andrew?” and he says, “Why did you let me die in that fire?’”

So…Damien from the Omen, the twins from the Shining…and Andrew from Virginia.

[WTKR]


Monster Hunter claims this is the Loch Ness Monster – Looks remarkably like…whatever you want it to be

Posted by Tony on November 14th, 2014

Jonathon Bright, a paranormal investigator who’s started adding ‘Monster Hunter’ to his resume – because who WOULDN’T want ‘Monster Hunter’ on their resume – has started sharing a photo that might be the famous camera-shy creature that has become legendary.

“Three years ago, I came to Scotland to investigate the Nessie legend and took thousands of photographs. It took me six months to look at them all and I found this one which I showed when I spoke at the Scottish Paranormal Festival in Stirling this week. After I had finished there, I came north to spend more time searching for an answer to the Nessie story. My picture is a talking point. Some people will say it is physical and the monster, others will say it is a trick of the water, others will say it is a hoax.”

It would be great if this was in fact the mysterious animal that everyone says lives in the Loch.

It would be even greater if a professional photographer with ninja-like focusing skills and a decent camera would add “Monster Hunter’ to their resume.

[The Scotsman]


Podcast: Weird Things HQ

Posted by Josh on November 9th, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343
Andrew has a suggestion for a new Weird Things HQ. One man says his Anaconda don’t want none unless it’s a Discovery Channel special, hon. Planets go rogue!

AND THEN a massive spoiler-tastic convo about Interstellar.

 

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Picks:

Andrew:

The Source

Brian:

Trailer Park Boys

Justin:

Too Many Cooks

 

 


Double Rainbow Causes Fishermen To See Ghosts

Posted by Tony on November 9th, 2014

Two fishermen in Wisconsin have come forward to say they’ve captured something strange in a series of photographs they took of an always-magical (and probably portals to other dimensions) double rainbow.

After getting home and examining their photos of an often mythic and elusive double rainbow, one of the men noticed what appeared to be a figure with glowing eyes.

Not only did the double rainbow cause the fisherman to see some kind of apparition…

The spill-over from the magnitude of the double rainbow also caused the news station to make one of the strangest news pieces we’ve ever seen about an alleged ghost sighting.

[The Blaze]


Paranormal Investigator Stabs Self in Murder House

Posted by Tony on November 8th, 2014

Back in 1912, a little house in Iowa became a grisly crime scene where 8 people (6 of them were children). They were all beaten and stabbed to death and to this day, no one has found out who the murderer was. Over the last couple of decades the house has become a destination for paranormal investigators from every corner of the globe.

It’s probably going to get even more traffic now that a paranormal investigator has apparently stabbed himself.

Just after midnight local police got a call from the house stating that a lone paranormal investigator from Wisconsin, Robert Laursen Jr.,needed medical attention from an apparently self-inflicted stab wound.

Details on his condition and his own story about what happened have yet to be released.

[New York Daily News]


Podcast: Blood Simple

Posted by Josh on November 3rd, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343

We talked about what to do when you have extra blood laying around (with special appearance by @invisiblewife):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-transfusions-of-young-blood-help-cure-alzheimers-in-older-people/2014/09/29/dd10a4c4-2a11-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html
We talked about the ethics of space tourism: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/virgin-galactic-boondoggle/

 

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Picks:

Andrew:

Dark Harbor Experience

Brian:

Locke and Key

 


Podcast: Halloween Special Episode

Posted by Josh on October 31st, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343The boys describe the scariest moments of their lives in this special episode.

 

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Picks:

Andrew:

Gone Girl, Gotham, and Star Wars Rebels

Justin:

Bojack Horseman

Brian:

Far Cry 3


VR Interface Allows You to ‘Touch’ Holograms!

Posted by Tony on October 30th, 2014

Like an elaborate version of the famous Pepper’s Ghost effect where a projection appears to interact with a real world person, this incredible floating haptic interface will absolutely blow your mind…

Because unlike Pepper’s Ghost? You’re actually able to physically feel and interact with said projection!

During the video several scientists working on the project show how it works by giving quick demonstrations to illustrate what’s actually happening. What’s actually happening is nothing short of witchcraft or sorcery or the future kissing your eyeballs and saying, “I’m finally here, guys! Jetpacks and hoverboards due out next week!”

Sure it’s overkill instead of just touching an actual monitor but think about doctors ‘feeling’ their way through a replicated cadaver to learn about the body or perform practice surgeries without it being detrimental to an actual living being?

But what we’re all really thinking is, “When do we get a Danger Room or a Holo-freaking-deck already!?”

[Gizmag]


Help make Weird Things Awesomer!!!

Posted by Editor on October 27th, 2014

Hey guys! Brian Brushwood, Justin Robert Young and Andrew Mayne are launching a Patreon campaign to support our Weird Things podcast.

If you’re not familiar with Patreon, it’s kind of a Kickstarter for episodic content.

http://www.patreon.com/weirdthings


Podcast: Patreon Dot Com Slash WeirdThings!

Posted by Josh on October 26th, 2014

Skitched 20110225 175343We launched a Patreon! Weird Things ever week? It’s up to you! Spiro and the Fudge investigate a curious rescue.

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Picks:

Andrew:

Star Wars Rebels / The Firm

Justin:

Strawpoll.me

Brian:

FarCry 3  / Blood Dragon