Archive for January, 2012

Yes, I Built A Cardboard TARDIS

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The following is written by Andrew Mayne, it is republished with permission from his blog at

andrew mayne tardis.jpg

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest on the edge of a forest. After school meant going home, climbing the fence and trekking through pine trees to battle Stormtroopers, hunt yetis and looking for our own version of Blackbeard’s treasure; a legendary mother-load of Playboy magazines hidden away by some high school kids in a buried foot locker.

One day after defeating the Empire and avoiding being narrowly killed by an AT-AT walker that some would swear looked like an oak tree, I sat down in front of our small kitchen television and turned the dial accidentally to channel 2 instead of 3 (the channel for our cable box). The dreaded channel 2! Oh, no! Public television!

Afraid that I might be forced to learn something against my will, I ran across the linoleum to turn the TV dial. As I gripped the chrome plastic knob, a strange sound filled the air and I froze. It was an otherworldly noise. Machine-like, but not like any machine I’d ever heard. It had purpose like a siren. It told you something important was about to happen. And it did.

andrew mayne doctor who.jpgStill holding the knob, I watched a blue box materialize and a man with curly hair and a scarf emerge. Well that was curious… Some minutes later when I watched him step back into the box and found out IT’S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE!!!, my life was changed forever.

Sonic screwdrivers, electronic pets, non-threatening female companions and most of all, the idea to go ANYWHERE and to ANY TIME became my obsession. I turned robot kits into my own version of K-9. I stuck flashlights to socket wrenches and tried to make my own Time Lord tools. I also developed an interest in physics and devoured everything my school library had on relativity and black holes.

For Halloween I’d borrow my dad’s old camel hair coat, wrap a scarf around my neck and go door to door as a homeless person (their interpretation, not mine) in search of Jelly Babies (as elusive as the Playboy-filled foot locker). My parents thought it was a phase. My brother thought I wasn’t getting enough oxygen at night because I had the habit of sleeping under my covers. Which I did. Because I was a perpetually scared child.

I was afraid of the world (well, just the people) and preferred to spend my time in my own thoughts either out in the woods or immersed in some fantasy. A nervous tic that made my chin quiver, triggered by cold air, caffeine or the female of the species, didn’t help either.

Doctor Who was the ultimate escapist dream for a kid who constantly wanted to be somewhere else. My interest in science and physics was because I wanted to figure out how to build my own TARDIS. A task I spent several years dedicated to and ultimately only produced a sad 1/3 scale model made out of cardboard for a book report.

But the dream didn’t stop. What I learned about science and the paradoxes of time travel and energy requirements to teleport matter gave me a good idea of what was and wasn’t possible. Not wanting to take ‘no’ for an answer, this lead to my interest in how I could at least fake it.

Where some people turn to mind altering drugs to alter reality, I picked up magic books. A few short years after watching the Doctor appear out of thin air, I was doing that on my school stage through magic illusions of my own design. A year later the scared kid who risked brain damage to hide from the world, was performing a full-scale magic show in the middle of a circus ring, causing non-threatening female companions (I called them ‘assistants’ by then) to vanish and reappear, defy gravity and break those laws of physics that had tried to hold me back.

The public shyness retreated and my magic tricks lead to a career performing in resorts, showrooms and cruise ships around the world. Most of all, it let me share my imagination with a theatre full of people. I wasn’t the solitary kid anymore walking down the street defeating an army of Daleks that mysteriously always materialized on garbage day. I had a room full of companions to take with me.

One thing lead to another and I found myself looking for other ways to share the world inside my head. It’s been said in magic that the real illusion takes place in people’s minds. A trick is just a series of inferences that the spectator pieces together to create the deception. Girl steps into cabinet + Swords goes through cabinet = magic (or homicide). This idea that I didn’t need any props or even a stage to create magic stayed with me for quite some time until one day waiting in an airport, I found myself trying to create this kind of illusion in a word processor. And that’s how I became a writer.

If you read my stories, particularly my Chronological Man adventures, it’ll be obvious to you now how the boy who turned to the wrong channel has been influenced by Doctor Who, science, magic tricks and the fun of being able pull your friends along on amazing adventures.

Smith, the protagonist of my Chronological Man stories is my mash-up of everything I loved about Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Tony Stark, plus the idea of how to tell a time traveller story while following the strict rules of physics. They’re not for everyone. But there’s a simple test…

If I ask you step inside my cardboard TARDIS and the answer is ‘yes’, I’m pretty sure you and I are going to have a lot of fun on our adventures…

I now have an (infrequent) mailing list for those folks who want to step inside and follow what I’m up to with my books and don’t need an explanation about AT-AT’s that look like oak trees or why it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a wool scarf in 90º weather:

Step inside here…

The Chronological Man Adventures are available as ebooks for just 99¢ on Amazon and the Nook (iBooks coming soon.)

Amazon Kindle:
Smith’s first adventure begins here: The Monster in the Mist
His latest is here: The Martian Emperor

B&N Nook:
Smith’s first adventure begins here: The Monster in the Mist
His latest is here: The Martian Emperor

The first book is going to be a free podcast in a couple weeks. You can sign up for my mailing list for details on when it’s available. Sign up here

Can’t wait? The 4.5 hour audiobook of The Monster in the Mist is here for only 99¢

My website is here:

And Now, the Complete Self-Destruction of a Washing Machine in 2:54

Friday, January 27th, 2012
Lets destroy a washing machine.jpg

It looks like a few stray pieces of trash, the absence of any safety features and 2:54 is all it takes to completely destroy this washing machine.

[Live Leak]

Unexplained Object Discovered At Bottom of Baltic Sea

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Shipwreck hunters have located an unusual object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and will be heading out in May to find out what it really is.

Sonar readings show that the mysterious object is about 60 meters across, or, about the size of a jumbo jet. And it’s not alone. Nearby on the sea floor is another, smaller object with a similar shape. Even more fascinating, both objects have “drag marks” behind them on the sea floor, stretching back more than 400 feet.

“Could this be the Star Wars Millenium Falcon, a plug to an inner world or a marine version of Stonehenge?” asks CNN’s Brooke Bowman:

[Yahoo! News]

Why You Should Be a Fan of Newt Gingrich’s Moon Colony [Opinion]

Thursday, January 26th, 2012
newt moon.jpg

Newt Gingrich is a lot of things. A LOT of them.

But no one will ever say that he’s a man afraid to dream big.

Much hay has been made about his recent comments on Florida’s Space Coast that, as president, he’d actively build a space colony on the moon and look to fund a mission to Mars. Many have particularly singled out his confession that early in his career he backed the “Northwest Ordinance for Space” which would allow for 13,000 space colonists to petition for statehood once they’ve permanently made homes off world.

What I find curious is that many of those mocking Newt are the same who lamented the brilliant Neil deGrasse Tyson saying on Bill Maher’s show Real Time that the budgetary issues with the James Webb telescope was an indication that America has “stopped dreaming” about space.

The dreams of society are corollary to our belief that we can accomplish them. As the price of rockets come down thanks to private companies like SpaceX, a lot of the “dreams” which seemed futile while operating completely inside of a slow moving, money bleeding, budget busting bureaucracy might seem more feasible.

Here is a quote from Newt about his Moon state ordinance:

I wanted every young American to say to themselves, “I could be one of those 13,000.” I could be a pioneer. I need to study science and math and engineering. I need to learn how to be a technician. I could be a part of building a bigger, better future. I can live the future, looking at the solar system. Being part of a generation of courageous people who do something big and bold and heroic.

No matter what your politics are, that sounds like a dream worth pursuing to me.

[Newt as Moon picture via BoingBoing]

Superpower? Chinese Boy’s “Cat Eyes” Glow in the Dark, Work in Pitch Black

Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Boy’s Eyes Glow In The Dark, See In Night Vision | Disinformation.jpg

His name is Nong Youhui.

His eyes are blue while his family all were born with brown eyes.

He squints when the sun is out but can see clearly in darkness so thick you cannot see the person in front of you.

He has “Cat’s Eyes” and has become famous for his strange vision. Is it a superpower? Sign that he is born of alien DNA? Will he get a scholarship for Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters?

Thanks to loyal Weirdo mxyzplx for the tip on Twitter.


Mexican Police Engage in UFO Chase

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

mexican ufo police chase.jpg

A streaking object in the night sky led to panic in the Mexican region of Mexicali. Police were mobilized yet unable to apprehend the Unidentified Flying Object flashing with blue and white lights whizzing through the evening air.

It was seen around the airport and subsequently flying at dizzying speeds toward the new guard post after citizens reported seeing it over the Marán Industrial Park, and subsequently in the Rivera Campestre district and related areas.

Martin Ruelas, supervisor of the DSPM’s western region, saw it and stated that it was a sizeable round white object with visible blue and yellow flashes. He added that the object was seen high in the sky and moved up, down and sideways at very high speeds, vanishing from sight after heading south from the valley of Mexicali.

Officers tried to chase the object but were stymied by the nimble changes in direction. After giving up on trying to follow it, they eventually relied on reporting to each other via radio when it was headed toward stationary pairings of officers. The article does not mention if shots were fired.


Use the Cello, Luke: Duel of the Fates Creates Insane Star Wars Theme Performance

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Can’t describe. Just watch. OMG.

Oregon’s Bigfoot Trap

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Oregon is home to what is believed to the be the first and only Bigfoot trap in existence. Built in 1974 with a Forest Service special use permit , it was constantly baited with carcasses but it only ever caught bears before being closed down in 1980.

Sadly, they only caught bears and no Bigfoot was ever found in the trap. In 1980 the Forest Service permanently bolted open the welded steel door due to safety hazards. Since then, the Forest Service has made some repairs to it now that it’s become a popular hiking destination.

[Bigfoot Evidence]

Your Brain Shuts Off When Tripping Balls on Acid & Why it Could Cure OCD

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
lsd ocd good.jpg

Researchers have long thought that hallucinogenic stimulated parts of your brain, which created insane visuals like that one time Gary down the street saw the poster melt in his hands and then was all like “Did you see that?” but you were too busy holding your iPhone in your hands and wondering if apps have souls.

New brain scan research suggests there might be a more profound explanation, key parts of your brain turn off while on magic mushrooms. Specifically, blood flow is restricted to the brain.

This could possibly be beneficial in opening up patients to learning new behaviors, which could help in treating Obsessive Compulsive personality disorders.

“Chemically switching off might have very profound beneficial effects,” says Nutt, who suspects that psilocybin could also be useful for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. “It may help people completely locked into a mindset that drives their lives.”

The study also found a positive reaction to the question, “look at my fingers, aren’t they weird?”

[Science News]

Scientists Call for Fair, Open Discussion of Global Plague They Created

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012


The laboratory that mutated a deadly bird flu into something humans can spread are now called for a 60 day suspension of research so they can open a dialogue with the scientific community. Since their announcement, much Sturm and Drang has been made about how the lab should disseminate the information they gained and if anyone should be in the business of creating a global super plague.

“We recognize that we and the rest of the scientific community need to clearly explain the benefits of this important research and the measures taken to minimize its possible risks,” write about 40 scientists.

“We propose to do so in an international forum in which the scientific community comes together to discuss and debate these issues,” they write in a letter released by the journals Science and Nature today, Jan. 20.

Translation: Everybody, be cool.

Those who worked on the project would surely like to emphacize how few steps it took them to mutate the virus into something that could affect humanity. Now that it’s been done, we can learn a lot about how to prevent the spread of the disease should it happen in the wild.

They would in equal measures like to de-emphasize the fact that they engineered an unnatural global plague.

[Live Science]

The Scorpions of Venus: Russian Scientist Claims He’s Found Life on Cloudy Planet

Monday, January 23rd, 2012
venus scorpion.jpg

New findings by a Russian scientist may in fact prove that there is life on Venus, and we aren’t talking microscopic organisms in the soil either.

But in his article, published in the magazine Solar System Research, Ksanfomaliti says the Russian photographs depict objects resembling a “disk,” a “black flap” and a “scorpion.”

“What if we forget about the current theories about the non-existence of life on Venus?” he wrote. “Let’s boldly suggest that the objects’ morphological features would allow us to say that they are living.”

Scorpions on Venus! Are they giant? Do the breath the acidic gas cloud cover that envelops the planet? What do they eat?

This is the coolest idea in the history of Mondays.


The Minnesota Iceman Shields His Eye

Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Cryptomundo » Is This The Minnesota Iceman?.jpg

Here are new pictures of the historic Minnesota Iceman, a curiosity which circulated through carnivals and fairs through the 1960s. As you can see, the creature has a arm out stretched over his face which, if you can squint, appears to only feature one eye in socket.

The pictures appear in a new book entitled Pickled Punks and Girlie Shows by Rick West.


Mysterious Predator Attacking Cats in Quiet Suburb

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

black panther davie.jpg

It attacks cats and leaves thick scratches in tree trunks, but state officials aren’t sure what is roaming through the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Davie. Residents swear it’s a Black Panther, others are saying it’s more likely a coyote. Either way, it’s scaring the beejeezus out of locals.

Fearing another sighting, or possible attack soon, neighbors are taking precautions, including cutting down on playtime for some kids living near the alleged panther sighting.

“Ever since they heard there’s a panther, we can’t go outside by ourselves,” said Matthew Okun.

An animal trapper is currently on the case, tracking the beast.

[NBC Miami]

Report: “My Heart Will Go On” was Playing when Italian Cruise Liner Hit Rocks

Thursday, January 19th, 2012
celine dion costa.jpg


Two Swiss passengers have told a local newspaper that in the dining room of the Costa Concordia, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” was playing when the massive ship became fatally damaged.

Indeed, according to several witnesses, it seems that the music from the Titanic soundtrack, namely “My Heart Will Go On”, performed by Celine Dion, was released in a restaurant of the ship at the time of the impact. Questioned by the Tribune de Genève, Yannick Sgaga, a survivor of Switzerland and his brother Kevin have expressed their disbelief when they realized what was happening on the music of the film which told the tragedy of the Titanic occurred 100 years ago.

We are wary of this for a few reasons:

• What a massive coincidence.

• Is that song a mainstay on cruise ships? Isn’t that kind of like playing Castaway as an in-flight movie?

• Billy Zane was nowhere to be seen.

But if it’s true, jeez. Let’s hope someone got to paint a hot stranger naked before this all went down.

[7sur7 via Google Translate]

UFO Photo Proof or Artful Home Furnishing?

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

These pictures were allegedly taken in Kent, as it clearly shows, two UFOs flying in close formation against a blue sky. Or, as some of the readers in the comments at UFO Casebook point out, they are reflections of recessed lighting.

Alien craft or tasteful interior illumination? You make the call!

[UFO Casebook]

Mitt Romney Upsets Bigfoot Hunting Voting Bloc

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

For someone who has won recent elections by single digit margins, you’d think that Mitt Romney wouldn’t be in the business of picking on any group of voters. Yet, there stood the former Governor of Massachusetts comparing the Newt Gingrich supporting hit piece documentary When Mitt Romney Came To Town as “the biggest hoax since Bigfoot.”

Now Cryptomundo is up in arms, baffled that a mainstream candidate would casually slam a possibly influential voting bloc of outdoorsy Sasquatch hunters.

They also point out that since Mitt is a Mormon, it might be time to come clean on the whole Cain is Bigfoot legend.