Archive for October, 2011

Bear Attempts To Infiltrate Jet Propulsion Lab

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Are aliens controlling the minds of animals in an attempt sabotage state of the art jet technology? Did a rocket scientist accidentally leave a pic-a-nic basket within sniffing distance of the woods? Did a lonely bear simply want to get a look at the latest in high-flying tech?

Whatever the explanation a 200 lb. bear was seen wandering through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Pasadena campus.


Lego Man Washes Ashore

Friday, October 28th, 2011

A gigantic lego man has washed ashore in Siesta Key, Florida. Acording to Boing Boing, the 8-foot tall Lego traveller has previously washed ashore in Holland and England.

Welcome to America!

[Boing Boing]

Modern Witch [eBook Review]

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Simone Allyne is the Weird Things eBook reviewer focusing on readily available, affordable Science Fiction and Fantasy. If you have a book you’d like reviewed, please email WeirdThingsMail@Gmail

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a witch living today?  How do you pay your bills?  Where do you go to find others like you?  Well Modern Witch by Debora Geary answers all those questions.

Modern Witch is a cute and very entertaining book, easily read in an afternoon. It kept my interest from start to finish with its refreshing concept. It’s an airy contemporary fantasy with plenty of laugh-out-loud humor, a little romance, and characters you won’t want to leave.

After reading several heavy horror stories I was in the mood for something lighter and maybe just a little more girlie. This led me to Modern Witch and I am so glad it did!  I love fantasy, sci- fi, urban fantasy, horror, any way I can get it. I read it voraciously. I don’t have impossibly high standards, but to name a few; interesting characters, dialogue, and a compelling plot is a requirement.  The characters and storylines made for a quick and enchanting read. Which allowed me to fall in love with Debora’s characters.  When I closed the book it was with the heavy heart of leaving the characters behind.

This novel does not start with the typical intro you’d expect from books that involved witches, but it is supposed to be a “modern” witch story. I even got teary eyed in a few parts of the book.  It is quite an enjoyable novel and not dark at all. If you are looking for a more “witchy” or dark tale this book is not for you.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the author, but she certainly won me over. I was drawn in by her words and almost put sound to the voices. If you’re looking for something lighthearted that will make you smile, this book is it!




Watch A Cloud Dance With Electric Fields

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Apparently there is a valid meteorological explanation for this, but it is still pretty freaky.


IBM Can Simulate An Entire Cat Brain

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


For those of us who’ve been whispering appointments, reminders and murder confessions to our phones for the past two weeks it won’t take much convincing to tell you that AI is already here in a major way. But what about the true simulation of a human brain. Using computer processing to replicate the hardware we have cranking in our noggins right now? IBM has begun that quest and are already 4.5% done.

In the meantime, they fully replicated the brain of an animal far more beloved on the internet: cats.

Nevertheless, IBM is trying to simulate the human brain with its own cutting-edge supercomputer, called Blue Gene. For the simulation, it used 147,456 processors working in parallel with one another. IBM researchers say each processor is roughly equivalent to the one found in a personal computer, with one gigabyte of working memory.

So configured, Blue Gene simulated 4.5 percent of the brain’s neurons and the connections among them called synapses—that’s about one billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses. In total, the brain has roughly 20 billion neurons and 200 trillion synapses.

IBM hopes to have the human brain replicated by 2019, which gives our new robot overlord plenty of time to prepare his 2022 campaign for President of the United States of America.

[Scientific American]

Proof: UFOs Filmed Behind Massive Crucifix

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Notoriously screwy Pittsburgh suburb Fayette County has found what they believe is proof of two UFOs zipping around a massive crucifix and one man caught it on video.

[96.1 Morning Freak Show]

Shane Goes Back To School [The Walking Dead Dissection]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

One little girl missing in a woodland area littered with zombies. Her mother is on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Another of her rescue party is barely hanging on to the will to live.

These are three of the major problems we barely deal with in The Walking Dead episode Bloodletting. Which means you know things have really upshifted from “this is heartbreakingly awful” to (collapse into a helpless, weeping heap).

There’s a one-handed man wishing he’d brought his bag of fun, Shane should really avoid schools and Rick finds the best doggone doctor he can. Let the blood flow, AFTER THE JUMP… (more…)

How To Tell A Psychopathic Murderer Just By Listening To Them

Monday, October 24th, 2011


We’ve all been there.

You are almost positive that a friend, neighbor or even family member is a psychopathic murderer. But how to be sure?

Well wait no longer! Researchers based out of Cornell have concluded that there are tell-tale signs in the speech of psychopathic murderers even specifically different than those of non-psychopathic murderers.

To examine the emotional content of the murderers’ speech, Hancock and his colleagues looked at a number of factors, including how frequently they described their crimes using the past tense. The use of the past tense can be an indicator of psychological detachment, and the researchers found that the psychopaths used it more than the present tense when compared with the nonpsychopaths. They also found more dysfluencies — the “uhs” and “ums” that interrupt speech — among psychopaths. Nearly universal in speech, dysfluencies indicate that the speaker needs some time to think about what they are saying.

The study also found that psychopaths were more fixated on self-preservation factors including eating, drinking and monetary resources to justify their actions.


Do Our Brain Hemispheres Communicate With Electromagnetic Fields?

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Are we moving closer to proving that electromagnetic fields help our brain hemispheres communicate?

Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have made a puzzling finding: people born without a corpus callosum (which links the two hemispheres of the brain) — a condition called agenesis of the corpus callosum, or AgCC — still show remarkably normal communication across the gap between the two halves of their brains.

[Kurzweil AI]

Video Proof: Brazilian Man Finds Alien Corpse In Woods

Friday, October 21st, 2011
Video of the Alien Found in Brazil - The Witness Tells His Story.jpg

Jose Luis is 44 years old with four kids. He doesn’t drink or do drugs. He found an alien corpse in the woods of Brazil and took a video of it.

He’s since been pressured to take it off YouTube but the folks at UFO Casebook have reposted it on their site exclusively. Check out the video there.

[UFO Casebook]

Could Japanese Earthquakes Have Aggravated Hoards Of Flying Cryptids?

Friday, October 21st, 2011


The Japanese earthquakes and resulting tsunamis dominated the news in early 2011 bringing horrifying picture of destruction and tragic loss of life. But in the rebuilding phase, a strange side effect emerged. Survivors of the disaster reported seeing a larger than usual amount of unexplained activity in the sky.

UFOlogists claimed it to be visitors from beyond surveying the damage on Earth. But one man has a different theory: flying cryptids have been unleashed over the Land of the Rising Sun.

The appearance of these atmospheric beasts varies wildly. Accounts have variously described them as amorphous and cloud-like behemoths, finned squid-like creatures, floating jellyfish, translucent, vaporous blobs, amoeba-like organisms, and even dragons. The sizes of atmospheric beasts likewise run the gamut from tiny and bird-like, to gargantuan monsters hundreds of feet long.

…The thing is that earthquakes and tsunamis influence more than just the Earth and the seas. When the powerful earthquake hit Japan on March 11, it not only jolted the Earth, but also shook the skies above. When earthquakes and tsunamis occur, they generate surface motion that in turn can trigger waves that can shoot up all the way to one of the highest parts of the upper atmosphere, to what is known as the ionosphere. These events are known as seismotravelling ionospheric disturbances.

Brent Swancer, writing for Cryptomundo, goes on to note that Japanese earthquakes in 2004 also triggers Sky Beast sightings.


Did We Just Find A Microchip In Napoleon’s Skull?

Friday, October 21st, 2011


We might be on the verge or radically shifting the meaning of the term Napoleon complex from “small man who’s a really big jerk” to “person in afflicted by an alien microchip in their head.”

Dr. Dubois made the amazing find while studying Napoleon’s exhumed skeleton on a $140,000 grant from the French government.

“I was hoping to learn whether he suffered from a pituitary disorder that contributed to his small stature,” he explained.

But instead the researcher found something far more extraordinary: “As I examined the interior of the skull, my hand brushed across a tiny protrusion.

“I then looked at the area under a magnifying glass – and was stunned to find that the object was some kind of super-advanced microchip.”

Even more shocking, Napoleon’s Skull has been added to the list of hardware which will be able to run Android’s Ice Cream Sandwhich OS.

[Weekly World News]

The Slab [eBook Review]

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Simone Allyne is the Weird Things eBook reviewer focusing on readily available, affordable Science Fiction and Fantasy. If you have a book you’d like reviewed, please email WeirdThingsMail@Gmail

1066 Oleander Place seems a typical tract house in Southern California. It looks just like all the other houses in its subdivision, but what no one understands is that this house is deadly, very deadly. It consumes all who enter it, spiritually, psychologically, and physically. Even a short visit to the place challenges fate. Can you imagine Thanksgiving in that house!?

The Slab is a haunted house story, which takes place in a tract home in modern-day California. It was filled with the deep dark foreboding that makes horror novels so captivating. The atmosphere was spooky and frequently scary. The thought of your home not being a safe place to be just adds to the creep factor of this book.

What happens on Oleander should stay on Oleander! Domestic violence, sexual and animal abuse is shown to you in a way that will have you wanting to put this book down because it’s just too disturbing to keep reading. Despite this, I found myself wanting to finish reading to see the final outcome. One thing is for sure, you will be thankful when you are done reading. Thankful that you never lived at 1066 Oleander!

There have been lots of books written about haunted houses, and I have read quite a few myself, but Michael Collings doesn’t give into clichés. You’ll find no cold spots or levitating objects here. Rather, each horror becomes personal to the individual experiencing it.

It did start out a little slow and I wondered where it was going in the beginning, but I kept reading. Like I mentioned earlier, I found it hard to put down. The horrors in this book will keep you reading and the ending left me shocked and sad. It had a creepy vibe and a sense of history. The characters were also well fleshed out in my opinion.

The Slab is a great read and I highly recommended for people who don’t mind graphic horror novels.


Parasite Empowers Nebbish Wasps To Be Zombie Queens

Thursday, October 20th, 2011


The social hierarchy of a wasp is pretty rigid. But what if a snide little parasite made you a deal. You could live the life of a queen, no foraging for anyone but yourself, living off the fat of the land. All you have to do is become subservient to a macabre march of death that enslaves your brethren and propagates the evil parasite.

For many paper wasps through Europe, the answer is “yes, please!”

The parasite X. vesparum infects the wasp which withdraw from their previous social pattern and instinctively fly away to a meeting point with other parasites. It’s there the parasites mate, with the male hosts disposing of their wasp coats, leaving them to die. But the females remain inside the wasps, turning them into zombie queens which find food for themselves and fatten up while infecting other nests and plants with the parasite larva.

“After that, they start wandering among the colonies,” spreading their deadly larval load, said Manfredini. “They don’t lay eggs. They don’t build colonies. They’re completely anarchic.”

Get your zombie queen paper wasp costume ready for Halloween!



Science Fact: Men Are Funnier Than Women

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011


Men are funnier than women, according to a new study out of UC San Diego.

But only barely, a scientist quickly added realizing he still has to go home to his wife.

And men mostly found other men funny which accounts for the slight advantage, added a young lab tech whose blind date arrived awkwardly while the announcement was made.

Although those qualifiers are not true (nor funny) the facts remain that men tested funnier on average than women, if just barely.

…the study’s first author Laura Mickes, a postdoctoral researcher in the UC San Diego Department of Psychology and a Ph.D. graduate of the same department, “The differences we find between men’s and women’s ability to be funny are so small that they can’t account for the strength of the belief in the stereotype.”

Men edged out women by 0.11 points out of a theoretically possible perfect score of 5.0, while about 90 percent of both male and female study participants agreed with the stereotype that men are funnier.

So how do a pack of intellectuals measure what is funny and what isn’t? Why a controlled version of a New Yorker cartoon caption contest, of course! (tea cups cling as pinkies arise) Each volunteer wrote captions for the legendarily erudite scribbles and then had they rated by other test takers. The study also tested to see if funny captions were more memorable.

[Science Daily]


Cyclops Shark Has It’s Eye On You

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Pictures_ Rare _Cyclops_ Shark Found.jpg

Cyclops Shark! Sharks have moved into a new level of nightmare fuel!

Earlier this year fisher Enrique Lucero León legally caught a pregnant dusky shark near Cerralvo Island (see map) in the Gulf of California. When León cut open his catch, he found the odd-looking male embryo along with its nine normal siblings. “He said, That’s incredible—wow,” said biologist Felipe Galván-Magaña, of the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences in La Paz, Mexico.

Sharks are being born with one eye and if it weren’t for this intrepid fisherman, he’d be creeping out the waters around California even as we type this sentence.

[Nat Geo]