Archive for February, 2012

Report: UFO Explodes, Crashes in South Carolina

Friday, February 17th, 2012

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It streaked through the sky and made a loud boom in South Carolina, but what exactly crashed to Earth this week in the Palmetto State?

A local astronomer claims it was a meteorite, but we will leave it up to you dear readers to determine for yourselves. Could this be a rogue alien craft, crash laded on our home planet?

New Evidence: Hitler had Secret Love Child, was a Deadbeat Dad

Friday, February 17th, 2012

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Not that Adolf Hitler is really hurting for further reasons to categorize him as a first-class jerk, but we can add one more log to the fire.

Adolf Hitler was a deadbeat dad.

At least that’s what new evidence suggests. As an idealistic young soldier in France during World War I, Hitler befriended a 16-year-old farm girl named Charlotte Lobjoie. One night, after getting a little liquored up, Ol’ Adolf blitzkrieg’d young Charlotte and nine months later Jean-Marie Loret was born.

That baby went on to join the French resistance in their struggle against the Nazi menace. Loret’s claim of being fathered by Hitler is not new. He spelled out his case in a 1981 memoir, which was long thought to be discredited.

Until now.

The new evidence — which includes handwriting analysis, documents indicating Hitler secretly supported the woman financially and paintings signed “Adolf Hitler” discovered in her home — is outlined by Le Point magazine, whose report Friday was widely picked up in the French media but largely ignored by German news outlets.

So why would someone’s estate work so hard to prove they are the only biological descendant of the most reviled dictator in modern history? Mein Royalties!

Cash collected for Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf could be collected by Loret’s children.

Or… you know… Hitler’s grandkids.

[MSNBC]

Three Andrew Mayne Audiobooks, Completely Free

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
SPONSORED POST

Heard your friends talking about Andrew Mayne’s books but don’t have the coin to pick one up? Now you can listen to his first three book for free in audiobook podcast form.

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The Grendel’s Shadow: T.R. Westwood, distinguished professor of biology and the galaxy’s greatest hunter is in for the biggest challenge of his career. When an unknown animal starts killing off settlers on a backwater planet run on coal and steam power, he’s the only person who can help stop the slaughter.

GET The Grendel’s Shadow audiobook HERE!

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Public Enemy Zero: The world is out to kill Mitchell Roberts. A strange virus is on the loose sending everyone he comes in contact with into a homicidal rage. He’s got to stay a step ahead of everyone around him if he doesn’t want to get ripped apart alive.

GET Public Enemy Zero audiobook HERE!

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The Chronological Man: The Monster in the Mist: When the citizens of Boston begin to go missing in the fog in 1890, it’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer, to figure out what’s going on with the help of his assistant, April Malone.

GET The Chronological Man audiobook HERE!

Don’t dig iTunes? Find all the raw RSS feeds at AndrewMayne.com/books

SPONSORED POST

Podcast: Wine Pairings For Cannibal Rituals

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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GUESTS: Bonnie Brushwood, Kimmy Kim, Frutron (Hollywood is Hard)

Recorded on Valentine’s Day… Love is in the air as we are joined by not one, not two but three actual women. Bonnie The Invisible Wife is joined by Kimmy Kim and Frutron from the YouTube series Hollywood is Hard. Ritual cannibalism as a sign of respect for a fallen loved one is discussed. Frutron is bit by a deadly snake that could lead to all the wrong kinds of weight loss. Brian is consistently confused by descriptions of a Woolly Mammoth. A purple squirrel is loosed in a peaceful Pennsylvania town.

Support the show by purchasing Andrew’s BRAND NEW BOOK The Chronological Man: The Martian Emperor just click on the image below.

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Try out the brand new PODCASTR player, featuring wireless syncing between desktop browsers and iOS devices.

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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings021612.mp3

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Picks:

Andrew-

Gladiator

Brian:

The Name of the Wind

Justin:

Chronicle

Kimmy Kim & Frutron:

Death and Return of Superman

Bonnie:

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Wake Up Sheeple! Half Man Half Sheep Hybrid Born in Africa

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
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It’s finally happened. The endless bleating of Boing Boing commenters has summoned a creature neither God nor man will lay claim to.

The sheeple are here.

Although many surely thought sheeple was only a derogatory slur for those blind to the bought and paid for government controlling our every move, the truth is far more sinister. Nigerian locals believe a sheep gave birth to a sheep/people hybrid this week.

Garba Aminu, a commercial motorcycle rider, averred: “This is an abomination in our land. To see a sheep give birth to a half human being is a mystery and that shows how terrible some people are. It is unimaginable that some people will be having intercourse with animals.”

Of course, doctors (no doubt in the employ of the Federal Reserve) claim this is simply a horrific deformity and not a mutant sent to open the eyes of a weary proletariat. But those of us paying attention know far better.

The sheeple are here! Wake up other sheeple that are actually humans! The truth is right in front of you.

[The Blaze]

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No Hope Left [Walking Dead Dissection]

Monday, February 13th, 2012
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“There’s no hope left, I see that now.”

Herschel, our ever-optimistic farm host is now crestfallen over the events of the zombie barn party. He’s now come to the conclusion that he was wrong about zombies, it’s not a disease, it’s a death sentence.

But he isn’t really talking about walkers. No. He’s talking about this show. One insanely stupid character decision piled on top of more trite plot devices and topped itself off with a TWD hallmark, repeated conversations between characters that aren’t that interesting the first place.

Abandon all hope ye who click AFTER THE JUMP. (more…)

How Can The Walking Dead Save It’s Second Season? Get Lost

Friday, February 10th, 2012

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The whole gang is back! After an inexcusable hiatus, breaking up the momentum just as the season got reasonably interesting we finally return to meet back up with Rick Grimes and company this Sunday on AMC.

Either the series rebounds to the form of the first season and the flickering promise of the final act of the mid-season finale. Or we return the plodding nonsense that was the heft of first half. In genre television, a realm where concepts and execution mean so much, you either pass or fail.

The Walking Dead is at the tipping point.

Two sides of a coin. Two paths in a wood. Is TWD ready to step up its game?

Let’s consider the possibilities.

Remember true believers, we’ve been here before. Worse even! It was late November, 2006. In order to avoid maddening rerun breaks in the schedule of their suddenly popular cult hit Lost, ABC came up with a brilliant plan. Run it with no repeats, but in two parts. One six-episode run in the fall and the bulk in the spring.

The results were awful. The six-episode arc plodded, new characters added nothing to the show and took away screen time from old favorites and at the end of six hours we got a tense yet predictable climax that delivered on none of the mind blowing awesomeness we’d come to expect from Lost.

Run Kate! Run (away from this show because it’s boring)!

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But something miraculous happened when the show returned in February of 2007. The creative spark was back. We got the first of what would become a trilogy of great episodes centered around Desmond’s time defying, reality hopping prowess. Our big bad Ben Linus became both more ruthless and sympathetic through an artfully told backstory. Found out why Locke was in a wheelchair. AND.. AND… AND they cleared the new character dead weight with a flourish. And Billy D. Williams.

Meanwhile, the season finale ended with perhaps the biggest sucker punch in a series known for sucker punches. A brilliant example of why you need to consistently blow up your mythology to keep things interesting.

We have to go back Kate! We have to go back (to watch this seasons again because it ruled)!

What can TWD learn?

skitched-20120210-180409.jpgDead isn’t Lost. But it is the most important show about zombies since… well… ever. The first season showed so much outside-the-box promise. The CDC and Merle Dixon explored concepts like global hope and power dynamics in a thrilling and exciting way. Although Herschel’s farm certainly gave us a careful examination of how to consider the humanity of the undead, it took it’s sweet time to do it and diluted the point like a homeopathic cold remedy.

In the second half of season three, Lost focused on telling great one episode stories. Some dealt with previous mythology but many (like Desmond’s Flashes Before Your Eyes) did not. Let’s get more of those! You have an endless possibility of character interaction in show about post-apocalyptic survivors. What strange people? Cultures?

Think about how many terrible episodes in the first half hung their entire dramatic arc on the search for a little girl they knew they weren’t going to find? The complications they found were either easily solvable or had no dramatic consequence.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the sure fire way to fowl this up is to follow the comic series closer than they have. Until we get to Woodbury and meet The Governor (whose casting rumors are quite juicy) there’s a whole lot of sloooooooooooow burn in this source material.

This is not a slow burn series, it’s a story about survival and the forces against it. Or at least it shouldn’t be if it wants to be watchable.

We Grow Closer to Establishing Asimov’s Foundation

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
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The Foundation is a sprawling series of novels by Issac Asimov revolving around one core conceit. In the future, a brilliant man cracks the source code of the universe. He boils down the seemingly random emotions and decisions of billions into mathematical certainty.

He understands that civilizations will rise and fall and rise again only to again break down and rebuild.

So, he makes a choice for the betterment of humanity. He creates a society, far away from the hub of humanity, where a core group will curate the whole of human knowledge. The idea being, if he cannot stop the universe from descending into chaos he can certainly help it rebuild faster.

Today, we live in a world where that source code gets clearer every day. In a report published this week, we’ve begun to find mathematical patterns in seemingly random group decision making.

In the Jan. 29 Nature, for example, a team led by Scheffer reported success using one mathematical test of an approaching tipping point. Theory says that when a shift is coming, a system exhibits what scientists call a critical slowing down. Normally, a really stable system quickly recovers after being perturbed. But when everything is about to come unglued, the recovery time from even a small perturbation becomes slower and slower.

But the question remains, as we get better at this, how do we handle the knowledge? If we know outcomes won’t we become determined to change them? Doesn’t this effect the calculus? It is ironic that Asimov saw all this coming? Or was he truly the Seldon of our age?

[Science News]

“Woolly Mammoth” Footage

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I guess this means we can stop trying to clone them, right?

[The Sun]

Peter Parker Has Balls: Comparing Trailers Reveals Spider-Man’s New Backbone

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Two movies, ten years apart, one friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Both were preceded by teasers which didn’t quite hit as intended. Sam Raimi’s independent mini-story containing all original footage that wouldn’t be seen in the film was understandably shelved after 9/11 due to a final shot of a baddie helicopter ensnared in a web between the World Trade Center towers. Meanwhile, Marc Webb’s first peak into his Spidey universe was criticized for an over-serious tone, origin story fatigue and underwhelming “MADE FOR 3D” first person perspective sequence.

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But let’s focus on the big trailers… the one that in 2001 proved to give us the most accurate look at 2002’s film and whose modern-day counterpart will hopefully do the same for July’s Amazing adventure.

The biggest difference upon watching both back to back is how differently Peter Parker is handled. Toby Maguire is an affable goofball who is gaining a sense of purpose by way of his powers. Oozing likability, Raimi gives him the trappings of a nerd (glasses, ill-fitting clothing, square hair cut) but aside from an awkward pass at Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson, we don’t see much of that evidenced in his character.

Even the Parker narration over the first minute of the trailer has a “Holy Moly, you wouldn’t believe what’s happened over the last few weeks” tone.

Compare that to Andrew Garfield’s far more brooding, introspective Parker. We skip the “spider bite shot” and get right into web swinging action. 20 seconds into the trailer, Parker is inventing his web shooters. A few seconds after that he’s defending Spider-Man in a heated conversation.

If there were a character narration over this trailer, one might assume it would sound much more like a Captain’s Log. He knows he’s smart and draws strength from that when dealing with others. His weakness comes for abandonment issues which makes him quiet, but not necessarily unsure of himself.

In a word, the difference is confidence. The Maguire’s Parker never truly understood his powers and was constantly struggling to make sense of them. Garfield’s version appears to look at them more like an experiment. He’s not afraid to push them past their limits and doesn’t view them as a reflection on himself.

Our new Peter Parker seems determined to make his mark on the word through science. His new abilities just give him another tool to do it.

And Now: Shark Eats Shark

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

“While wobbegongs eating sharks has been recorded before from stomach contents, this is the first time it has been photographed in action.”

[NewScientist]

Why Newly Tapped Prehistoric Lake is Key to Understanding Jupiter’s Moon

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
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Lake Vostock, a body of water concealed under 2.2 miles of ice in Antarctica has been contacted by Russian researchers who began drilling for it more than two decades ago. The subglacial lake has not been touched in over 20 million years.

What is found under the ice, could very well inform how we look to explore more exotic locales beyond Earth.

Many scientists see Vostok as not only a last frontier on Earth but also a potential gold mine for learning about possible conditions on Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Encedadus. Each is covered by a thick shell of ice with liquid water below, warmed by either the inner heat of the moon or by tidal forces.

The United States and Britain will begin drilling later this year into small subglacial Antarctic lakes. Scientists estimate that there are about 200 of these lakes beneath the ice sheet.

The breakthrough comes after worries that the Russian team might have been in trouble after they did not respond to colleagues in the United States in the days leading up to the discovery.

[Washington Post]

Authorities Detain Man Claiming to be Resurrected Folk Singer as Fans Flock

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
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He spent his time with zombies.

That’s the excuse for a man claiming to be Zulu folk singer Mgqumeni, who died and was buried in 2009 on why he hasn’t be around. The would-be Mgqumeni says he’d spent the intervening years amongst the undead before freeing himself and returning to the world of the living.

The man claiming to be the resurrected artist, told The Times newspaper: “I have been suffering a lot at the place where I was kept with zombies. It was hell there and I am so grateful that I was able to free myself and return to my family and you, my supporters.”

The man has now been brought to a local court and authorities could exhume Mgqumeni’s remains to test them against his alleged incarnate. They are going to test his DNA against Mgqumeni’s and have warned him that he will be charged with fraud should they not match up.

Upon hearing of his return, many of the singers fans have flocked to see their possibly resurrected idol. Above is a picture of Mgquemi now after surviving the afterlife and below is a picture before.

[News24]

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Google Ocean “Conveniently” Removes Atlantis Maps

Monday, February 6th, 2012

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Many noticed an irregularity in the maps of Google Ocean. What looked to be a massive sunken land mass with a city-like grid.

Of course, the words massive sunken land mass with a city-like grid cannot be uttered around anyone with half a personality before someone wonders aloud… “Wait, is this the lost city of Atlantis?”

Now, it appears Google has taken steps to cover up this discovery. No doubt counting their newly dried doubloons from their waterlogged paymasters, the folks at Mountain View decided to “update” their maps with new “data” which “corrected” the “anomaly”.

A likely story.

In fact, the grid was merely caused by overlapping datasets, according to NOAA. Besides that, the grid that looked like a little town actually covered an area of ocean more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) wide — not exactly small-town proportions.

The updated Google Ocean has been scrubbed of this Atlantis artifact. Google Ocean is also becoming increasingly accurate in other ways.

Google has yet to confirm or deny reports that crucial early funding was delivered by Atlantean plutocrats or the Eric Schmidt is not, in fact, a fish.

[MSNBC]

No Heart, No Pulse, No Problem: Surgeons Save Dying Man By Replacing Heart With Turbine

Friday, February 3rd, 2012
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In this remarkable video, we see two Texas heart surgeons who replace a dying man’s failing heart with a turbine. This does a few remarkable things.

1) Saves the dude’s life
2) Removes his pulse, since the turbine creates a continuous flow of blood
3) Changes the conventional definition of physiological death

Very emotional stuff. Things might have gotten a little dusty for me while watching it. The closer we get to liberating ourselves from the fragile limitations of our meat bag prisons the better.

[Design Taxi]

Heart Stop Beating | Jeremiah Zagar from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Venom Eats Leaves: We Are Caterpillar

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
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Legend has it that this caterpillar used to be a journalist, a good one too. If it weren’t for that one story about the Sin Eater he could have been Bob Woodward. But no, he was fed some bad information and revealed to be a fraud by Spider-Man.

Dejected and suicidal, he went to pray for The Lord’s Salvation when he was bonded with The Symbiote giving him powers equal to Spider-Man and a pathway to the true revenge he’d always sought.

Or it’s just an awesome picture taken by photographer Igor Siwanowicz.

[Geekologie]

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