Archive for November, 2009

Weirdest Thing In The World Chat Is Back With Canned Foods!

Friday, November 6th, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year. Halloween has passed and those in need require your kindness. So please, gather what you can and help us donate the Weirdest Canned Foods In The World.

Here are the ground rules:

• Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

• Commercials or ads are encouraged

• Must be real.

Email all submissions to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail. I’ll see you kids right here at the front page at 5:30 p.m. EST where we will hash out the ultimate champion.

Our baseline is Reindeer Paté. Nuff said,

The truth is out there, we find it today at 5:30 p.m. EST.

Podcast: Invisible Paleo Fight Club

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

weird things podcast SMWelcome to the Weird Things podcast featuring Andrew Mayne, Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young.

In this episode we discuss our entirely self-serving ideas on utilizing superpowers, how even Tyler Durden couldn’t make us cool and argue over the logistics of building your own extinct animal preserve.

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
Episode archive

Download url:

Ultimate Shrinkage: The Tale Of The Disappearing Junk

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

It’s All in Your Heads – Mass Hysteria, Rampant Psychosomaticism and Contagious Hypochondria. Monday, how a town danced themselves to death.

Today: Honey, I Shrunk the Dong – The Todger Inversion Delusion

skitched-20091104-060033.jpgIn the “Seinfeld” episode where a naked, mortified George finds himself in a humiliated tizzy about shrinkage, imagine that, instead of engaging in whiny banter with Jerry, he runs screaming down to the kitchen, hand stretches his penis, mashes a stack of dinner plates on it to keep it extended and then starts to cry and hyperventilate. Cue funky bass riff.

Sufferers of Genital Retraction Syndrome believe that their genitals are rapidly disappearing into their bodies – a situation that they perceive as not only shameful, but also fatal. GRS, a very real fake malady, is a psychological syndrome akin to a panic attack, but one which feeds on sexual guilt, sexual ennui or sexual dissatisfaction. It’s most prevalent in cultures that hyper-moralize sexuality while also using sexual prowess as a barometer for measuring masculinity. As such, its perceived onset is generally viewed by the afflicted as a punishment for either sexual immorality (masturbation, hooker purchases, etc.) or their inability to please a sexual partner. The resultant panic and anxiety, of course, lead to further shrinkage and, as a result, often drive sufferers to employ a variety of household ephemera – shoelaces, chopsticks, fishhooks, kitchen tongs – in rigging up painful ad hoc penile extenders. (In rare cases, GRS affects women, who became convinced that their nipples or vulvae are retracting.)

The whole business of GRS is most common to Asia and Africa, and only became a popular topic of conversation among sniggering anthropologists after a 1967 epidemic in Singapore (where GRS is known as “Koro,” meaning, appropriately, “head of the turtle”) that found thousands of men desperately yanking and tugging themselves into a screaming panic. The mass freakout only ended after the government launched a massive educational campaign to assure dudes that their little soldiers weren’t in danger of going permanently AWOL. What the Singapore epidemic underscores is the tendency to mystify aspects of the human condition, even when they relate to things as concretely rational as biology – these cultures have, and understand, medicine, but in ascribing masculinity and sexuality to a morally policed intangible divinity, the sexual organs come to be

Meet Your New Implant Technology

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Want to know how our robot overlords are going to implant our circuitry? Silk.

From Popular Science:

…in the quest to make our bodies ever more bionic, researchers have now developed implantable silicon-silk electronics that almost dissolve completely inside the body, leaving behind nanocircuitry that could be used for improved electrical interfaces for nervous system tissues or photonic tattoos that display blood-sugar readouts on the skin’s surface.

When we were fitted with our implants on the alien mothership, it was nothing like this. For starters there was lots of easy listening jazz music and we’re pretty sure they used angora instead of silk.

Check it out: Silk-Silicon Implantable Electronics Conform to Tissues, Then Melt Away | Popular Science

Technology Review: Implantable Silicon-Silk Electronics

Carl Sagan Day

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Want to meet up with some of the folks behind Weird Things? Plan on being in South Florida on Saturday? Want to pay your respect to Carl Sagan? Meet James Randi, Phil Plait and others?

Then meet us at Carl Sagan day at Broward College this Saturday, November 7th.

Website: Carl Sagan Day

Can’t make it there? We’ll be live streaming it. Details to follow…

Mars Needs Bacteria

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

In an interesting experiment to see how well terrestrial bacteria might survive on Mars, a group built their own Mars simulator.


A team led by Giuseppe Galletta of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Padova simulated the conditions present on Mars, and then introduced several strains of bacteria into the simulator to record their survival rate.

So how did the experiment turn out?

The results – some of the strains of bacteria were shown to survive up to 28 hours under these conditions, an amazing feat given that there is nowhere on the surface of the Earth where the temperatures get this low or the ultraviolet radiation is as strong as on Mars.

We can all discuss this at the upcoming Carl Sagan Day: Carl Sagan Day Saturday November 7th

Bacteria Could Survive in Martian Soil | Universe Today

Originally from Arxiv and here

Giant Jellyfish Capsize Japanese Fishing Vessel

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The crew of the Diasan Shinsho-maru were plunged into the ocean off the coast of Japan when they tried to haul in their net filled dozens of giant jellyfish.

Each of the jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg and waters around Japan have been inundated with the creatures this year. Experts believe weather and water conditions in the breeding grounds, off the coast of China, have been ideal for the jellyfish in recent months.

Lately the Sea of Japan has been invaded by the giant creatures. Overfishing of their natural predators is one probable cause.

Giant creatures brought on by environmental damage wreaking havoc on Japan; what an interesting story point…

link: Japanese fishing trawler sunk by giant jellyfish – Telegraph

Giant Jellyfish: Arctic Lion’s Mane | Cyanea capillata

Tsavo Lions Only Ate 35 People and not 135

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

After thorough forensic analysis of the remains of the lions featured in the film Ghosts in the Darkness (based in part on the book The Man-eaters of Tsavo – which I kid you not, was bedtime reading in my household growing up), researchers from University of California, Santa Cruz have concluded that the murderous pair of lions only ate 35 people and not the 135 some had reported.

By looking at isotopes in the teeth of the lions (currently on display at the Chicago Field Museum) scientists were able to put together a very detailed picture of the lions eating habits:

The results suggest that during the final months of what John Patterson described as the lions’ “reign of terror,” fully half of one lion’s diet consisted of humans, with the balance made up of mid-sized grazing animals such as gazelles and impala. Strikingly, the other lion ate very few humans, subsisting instead on herbivores. That dietary disparity leads Dominy and Yeakel to infer that the Tsavo lions worked together to scatter everyone, both humans and wild game, setting the stage for one to gorge on humans and the other to feed on herbivores.

While some may say that 35 or 135 is really just detail, especially since the research only shows how many humans the lions *ate* and not just murdered, it’s a fascinating example of how modern science can be used to look at historical accounts.

Reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

UCSU: Legendary “man-eating” lions of Tsavo likely ate about 35 people–not 135, say scientists

Tsavo maneaters – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seance Wrap-up

Sunday, November 1st, 2009