Archive for November, 2010

The Honey At Red Hook

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
In Red Hook, Brooklyn, a beekeeper noticed that a hive had begun to transform and display mysterious stripes of color in their honey stomachs. Even stranger, instead of honey, the hive began to produce a bright red substance that resembled maraschino cherries or Robitussin. The beekeeper began to suspect that the hive was bypassing the local flora and heading straight for the maraschino cherry juice at the local Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company.

“A fellow beekeeper sent samples of the red substance that the bees were producing to an apiculturalist who works for New York State, and that expert, acting as a kind of forensic foodie, found the samples riddled with Red Dye No. 40, the same dye used in the maraschino cherry juice.”

Additionally, the beekeeper noticed that, “When the sun is a bit down, they glow red in the evenings,” he said. “They were slightly fluorescent. And it was beautiful.”  Repeat: We have red, glowing bees in Red Hook! There is no word yet if the maraschino cherry honey is delicious.

[New York Times]

And Now: A Squid Orgy

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Squid Run at La Jolla Shores – Nov. 22, 2010 from Walter Chung on Vimeo.

via Pharyngula


Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at

*probably not

But still, they did release this totally ominous press advisory:

NASA Sets News Conference on Astrobiology Discovery; Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 2 p.m. EST On Dec. 2

WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

I, for one, welcome our new overlords!

Is Jupiter’s Evil Twin Hiding At The Edge of Our Solar System?

Monday, November 29th, 2010
Scientists have studied a centuries worth of comet data and come to the conclusion that at least 20 percent of visible comets were kicked out of the Oort Cloud by a Jupiter-sized object lurking at the solar system’s outer edge. Eighty percent of objects pushed out of the Oort cloud could be explained by the gravity of the galaxy, but the remaining comets would have required an object 1.4 times the mass of Jupiter to kick them out.
In 1999, Matese and colleague Daniel Whitmire suggested the sun has a hidden companion that boots icy bodies from the Oort Cloud, a spherical haze of comets at the solar system’s fringes, into the inner solar system where we can see them.
In a new analysis of observations dating back to 1898, Matese and Whitmire confirm their original idea: About 20 percent of the comets visible from Earth were sent by a dark, distant planet.
An object such as a brown dwarf would knock out more than 20 percent, but “Something smaller than Jovian mass wouldn’t be strong enough to do the deed,” Matese said.

Scientists Discover Squidworm

Sunday, November 28th, 2010
Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!U.S. and Filipino scientists have announced the discovery of a new species Teuthidodrilus samae, which they immediately named “squidworm.” It is a flat, eyeless, free-swimming worm with up to ten squid-like appendages. It also has twenty five or more pairs of translucent fins arranged on its sides for swimming. The creatures were found between 6,650 and 9,550 feet below the surface of the ocean in the Celebes Sea between Indonesia and The Philippines.
That having been noted, the squidworm differs dramatically from all known worms in that it is a polychaete — a type of bristly annelid that is generally found in marine environments — and seems to be a missing link between benthic polychaetes living on the seafloor and pelagic ones dwelling much further up.

[American Monsters]

Saturn Moon Has Mostly Oxygen Atmosphere

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

The Cassini space probe recently scanned the atmosphere of Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea, and discovered that it is comprised of 70% oxygen and 30% carbon dioxide.  In the past the Hubble Space Telescope has detected thin oxygen layers on Europa and Ganymede around Jupiter, but this is the first time oxygen has been seen directly in the atmosphere of another world. Scientists are not holding out hope for life on Rhea at this point though.

“All evidence from Cassini indicates Rhea is too cold and devoid of liquid water necessary for life as we know it,” Teolis told them.

[New Scientist]

Build Your Own Troll Detector

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Are you planning on camping in the wilds of Norway soon? Are you worried that trolls are going to attack your camp and try and feast on your flesh while you sleep? Then perhaps you should build your very own Trolldetektor v.1.0b. The Trolldetektor is an Arduino-based project that uses an accelerometer, LEDs, and some nifty code to let you detect when and which type of troll is descending on your camp.  The source code currently detects Rimtusse, Raglefant, and Skogstroll troll types based on the impact and frequency of their approaching footsteps. The code also notes:

“PS: This code may be rewritten to detect earthquakes, but trolls are worse…. alot worse….”

[NullOhm via Hack A Day]

Smithsonian Has Pickled Mammoth

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

“Acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in 1922, these jars contain preserved muscle tissue taken from the left hind leg of a woolly mammoth uncovered in 1901 by palaeontologist Eugene Pfizenmayer – though they aren’t on public display.”


[New Scientist]

Podcast: Terror in the Jungle

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

[podcast][/podcast]weird things podcast SM

With Justin and Andrew dying an agonizing death in a southeast Asian jungle from unknown causes, Brian has mere seconds to solve the mystery and save their lives. Also, find out who ends up condemning 99.9% of humanity to extinction out of a perverse sense of politeness.

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Josh Hilp

Donate Your DNA Now So Your Clone Can Colonize Space Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

We are nearly positive that this super creepy infomercial for the Synthetic Somatology program of Gemini Somatics is viral marketing for some upcoming video game / movie. Still, it’s pretty well done and represents a fun mystery for you, the readers of this fine blog.

Even if there isn’t a real program soliciting your DNA so you can be the Jango Fett to the Clone Troopers of the future, it’s a fun hypothetical to kick around. Would you do it?

Thanks to Weird Things reader Lisa for passing this along.

Dude, A New Form Of Light Invented

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010


Seriously though… dude…

Just like solids, liquids and gases, this recently discovered condition represents a state of matter. Called a Bose-Einstein condensate, it was created in 1995 with super-cold atoms of a gas, but scientists had thought it could not be done with photons, which are basic units of light. However, physicists Jan Klärs, Julian Schmitt, Frank Vewinger and Martin Weitz of the University of Bonn in Germany reported accomplishing it. They have dubbed the new particles “super photons.”

The discovery has created a mad rush for the creation of a new strain of weed to fully appreciate the splendor. In other news: dude…

[Live Science]

Radioactive Mouse Evades Hunters

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

At least one radioactive mouse is on the loose in the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, a former plutonium facility in Washington state. Workers found and tested mouse droppings that turned out to be radioactive and now the hunt is on. Even though 60 mouse traps have been set so far, the mouse has managed to avoid them all. Aside from trap avoidance, no word yet on any super powers that the mouse may have obtained.


You Will Believe A Snake Can Fly!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010


Well, humanity had a pretty good run. Snakes have learned to fly and now we are on borrowed time.

Five related species of tree-dwelling snakes found in Southeast and South Asia may just be the worst nightmares of ophidiophobes (people who have abnormal fears of snakes). Not only are they snakes, but they can “fly” — flinging themselves off their perches, flattening their bodies, and gliding from tree to tree or to the ground.

…Socha says, “the snake is pushed upward — even though it is moving downward — because the upward component of the aerodynamic force is greater than the snake’s weight.”

“Hypothetically, this means that if the snake continued on like this, it would eventually be moving upward in the air — quite an impressive feat for a snake,” he says. But our modeling suggests that the effect is only temporary, and eventually “the snake hits the ground to end the glide.”

See what hell you have wrought Samuel L. Jackson. You’ve ridden the beasts from your plane only to force their evolution here on Earth.

[Science Daily]

Did You Watch Harry Potter? You’re Possessed By Demons! [WeirdThingsTV]

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

SpaceX Granted First Commercial License For Spacecraft Reentry

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

One more milestone in private sector space exploration has been crossed. The FAA granted SpaceX the first-ever commercial license for reentry for its Dragon capsule. This means that SpaceX can offer round trip voyages to the ISS and beyond.

“Milestones are an important part of space exploration and SpaceX achieved a very important one today,” said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. “I congratulate SpaceX on this landmark achievement and wish them the best with their launch of the Dragon capsule.”


Take A Tour Of The International Space Station

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Flight Engineer Scott Kelly wants you to know what it’s like to be on the International Space Station. In this video he gives a detail guided tour, but can Mr. Kelly be trusted. If he’s in outer space HOW DO HIS GLASSES STAY ON HIS HEAD?!?!?