Archive for March, 2013

Podcast: The Mystery of Monkey Island

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

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Two southerners are getting checks each year from the government for $865 a year. The explanation might break your brain. Andrew explains his current obsession with the real life Monkey Island. Also, his hunt to prove that it not only existed, but the hunt to find the mysterious descendants that might still roam the Southern California wilderness. Is the speed of light a constant? Do we even know what that means? NO! Still, we are blown away.

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

Support the show by purchasing Andrew’s BRAND NEW BOOK Knight School just click on the image below.

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Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings033013.mp3

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Sponsor:

Area 1851

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Picks:

Justin:

The Provider

Brian:

The Disappearing Spoon

Andrew:

Pterosaur Trouble

Vatican to Place Medieval Fake Holy Relic on TV for Easter

Friday, March 29th, 2013

As one of his last acts as pope, retired Pope Benedict decreed that Italians should be given a special look into the Turin Cathedral and the Shroud it’s known for. Sealed inside it’s climate controlled case, viewers will get a glimpse of this controversial artifact that some say was the shroud used to bury Jesus. Through some kind of divine Polaroid intervention, his image was supposedly fused into the shroud.

While the scientific evidence says it dates from the medieval times and researchers have shown how easily the shroud could have been made, it’s still a source of inspiration and fascination for millions.

Rare TV appearance for Turin Shroud, Christianity’s famous relic – CNN.com.

NASA Budgets for Asteroid Rendition

Friday, March 29th, 2013

NASA plans to put a line for $100 million in an upcoming budget for an asteroid snatching mission with a total expected cost of $2.6 billion. The goal is to grab an asteroid and move it into a lunar orbit so we can get a closer look.

What do you think? At a starting cost of $2.6 billion (and that’s the floor) would we be better off with an X-Prize style initiative? Given the success of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, is there something to the idea of getting commercial enterprise to offset the costs?

via Bold asteroid-snatching plans to appear in NASA 2014 budget | Ars Technica.

Is this Green Meteorite from Mercury?

Friday, March 29th, 2013

It’s green and came from outer space. While scientists haven’t completely ruled out a Kryptonian origin, they think this rock may in fact be the first piece of the planet Mercury ever found on earth. Sheared away in a collision billions of years ago, further tests will be required to tell us if it came from the first planet, but right now prospects look good.

Green Meteorite May Be from Mercury | Space.com.

Is Elon Musk Planning the First Controlled Re-Entry of a Rocket this Summer?

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

The folks at NextBigFuture via Rocketeers.co.uk are reporting the rumor mill has SpaceX planning to send their reusable Grasshopper test rocket to a height of 300,000 feet in the near future with an eye towards trying a controlled re-entry of the primary stage sometime this year.

The first high-altitude test flight would see the first stage going to the edge of space (the actual edge, not the make-believe-one whenever the media sees a photo from a high altitude balloon) and returning to the launch pad (ideally) at White Sands Missile Range.

If that proves successful, they plan to bring a first stage back down to earth via a rocket controlled descent into the ocean.

Either mission would be a huge, groundbreaking (only figuratively, hopefully) event in space travel. A successful return of a first stage takes us dramatically closer to the dream of a rocket as reusable as a commercial airplane. This would bring the cost of putting things into orbit low enough to create a boom in aerospace development.

Zimbabwe Tormented by ‘Countless’ Panty-Stealing Goblins

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

We don’t know who Chief Njelele is, or who elected him, but by the accounts were hearing, he’s got a real problem in his region of Zimbabwe. We’re talking a Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates and Bono level solve-this-crisis. On of his villagers is being plagued by too many goblins to count according to the Zimia Dispora:

“I asked her how many goblins she had been given and she told me she could not quantify them because they were too many. She hysterically told me that these goblins were haunting her and making her life a living hell,” said Chief Njelele.

Next time you fret about your first world problems, be glad you don’t have to worry about a bunch of thieving goblins stealing women’s underwear and hiding it in your house.

So notorious is Chief Njelele’s area that last year another villager’s goblin allegedly stole panties belonging to 26 women. Another villager later apologised after a tsikamutanda reportedly fingered him as the owner of the thieving goblin. Reporters has it in good authority that the goblin was also found wearing an underwear belonging to a village headman’s wife.

Panties go missing and they find them in some dude’s house who says those damn goblins are to blame.

Podcast: Blow and Hoe

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

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Bonnie “The Invisible Wife” joins Brian and Justin to discuss the Week of Weird. A school in Maryland begin instituting a series of outlandish new regulations. Can Bonnie and Brian force themselves and their children to adapt? With all the Pope talk, Justin reveals the most closely guarded papal secret of all time. Meanwhile, the Brushwoods imagine a past where they become teenage super heroes named Blow and Hoe.

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

Support the show by purchasing Andrew’s BRAND NEW BOOK Knight School just click on the image below.

skitched-20130307-012000.jpg

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

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
Episode archive
Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings032213.mp3

Listen now

 

Sponsor:

Area 1851

Picks:

Justin:

Ridiculous Fishing

Brian:

Downton Abbey

Bonnie:

Lessons from the Top

Podcast: Salacious Skype Schemes

Friday, March 15th, 2013

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SpaceX launches does a new rocket test that reminds Justin of a CGI future where humans roam the stars. A new digital scam is fleecing business men our of scads of cash, Justin and Andrew discuss the future of such villainy. Are we climbing out of the uncanny valley? There is life on Mars, and we will Kickstarter ourselves there. What does this mean for our favorite Sci Fi shows and movies?

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

Support the show by purchasing Andrew’s BRAND NEW BOOK Knight School just click on the image below.

skitched-20130307-012000.jpg

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

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
Episode archive
Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings031513.mp3

Listen now

 

Sponsor:

Area 1851

Picks:

Andrew:

Marvel Unlimited

Justin:

Dreams & Shadows

SpaceX’s Johnny Cash Hover Slam Test a Success (no slam!)

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Yesterday at the SXSW keynote, SpaceX’s Elon Musk showed the first footage of their most recent test of their reusable rocket system. In what has to be a new record of some kind, the Grasshopper, a rocket 10 stories tall, flew 268 feet in the air and then landed back down on the pad without incident.

Even Elon Musk was publicly unsure of the success of the test, suggesting on Twitter this might leave a ‘crater’. The name, “Johnny Cash Hover Slam”, doesn’t inspire confidence in a happy landing. Watch the video accompanied by Cash’s Ring of Fire and remind yourself of the scale of what you’re watching. 268 feet is tall enough to clear the crown of the Statue of Liberty. It’s also probably the heaviest object in the world to ever VTOL.

What’s next for the Grasshopper program and their goal of rapidly reusable rockets? At SXSW, Musk said they’d like to go hypersonic before the end of the year. Any song suggestions for that one?

Quadcopters Play Catch Better Than Most Humans!

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Quadcopters are the new must-have toys of the tech-headed kids. They’re showing up everywhere and there are thousands of them out ‘in the wild’.

For those frightened that these things will eventually be controlled by SkyNet, this latest advancement in their abilities is only going to reinforce that paranoia.

For the rest of us who believe our robot friends would never hurt us based on a set of laws thrust into existence by an author of science fiction novels? This is pretty awesome to watch.

For a more detailed description of how exactly this whole process works, you can check out RoboHub for a more educational explanation than anything you’re ever going to find here.

Those that just want to be amazed at a serious demonstration of how organized, responsive, agile….

Know what? Forget we ever called those people paranoid.

[RoboHub.Org]

Zombie Perfume For the ‘Preppers Will Make You Socially Acceptable to the Walking Dead!

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Fans of The Walking Dead know that if you cover yourself in the leftovers of friends, neighbors and family, zombies will just stroll right on by you…until it begins to rain and things go to hell real fast.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone would just come up with a scented…oh wait…it’s happened..

Demeter Fragrances has added two new perfumes to their line-up:

‘Zombie for Him’ and ‘Zombie for Her’.

Now there’s no need to don protective wear and hack away for hours when only a butter knife is available in order to smother yourself with the innards of a hapless stranger…or a not quite zombie-apocalypse-prepped friend.

‘Zombie for Him’ is described thusly:

Think forest floor. Zombie for Him is a combination of dried leaves, mushrooms, mildew, moss and earth. A definite must-have for any Man’s scent collection.

‘Zombie for Her’ is:

A slightly lighter version of the Men’s fragrance with a touch of Dregs from the bottom of the wine barrel for that feminine touch.

Now you can protect anyone in an instant by just spritzing them and blending in socially amongst the walking dead…

Until it suddenly rains again.

[DesignTaxi]

An Armband That Gives You Superhuman Abilities!

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

For a LOT of the more nerdy kids out there, we’re placing bets that many of you pretended you had the ability to throw fireballs, move objects by waving your hands and occasionally even tried in vain to channel the Force.

That was all fun, lots of pretending and wishful thinking…wasn’t it?

Not any more.

Thalmic Labs, the creators of Myo is a company that, with the help of a special armband, could make a lot of those things a reality.

‘As a company, we’re interested in how we can use technology to enhance our abilities as humans – in short, giving us superpowers,’ Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs said.

Using gesture control, Myo is an armband that registers the electrical activity in your muscle movements that will produce a signal that’s interpreted and sent wirelessly to your phone, television, kitchen or even your personal drone instantly.

But the best part about Myo?

You can actually pre-order one right now! Scheduled to come out later this year, the Myo armband will begin shipping near the end of the 2013.

The asking price? $149!

At that price why waste time running around in a swamp with an 800 year-old, green, raisin-skinned, wizard clinging to your back and nagging at you or visiting some weird old desert hermit when you can just drop a little cash and skip the middleman?

Let’s just hope people remember to remove it when they’re doing…uh…private stuff involving a lot of gesturing.

We’re pretty sure that this thing can’t help us ‘unsee’ things yet.

[Daily Mail UK]

Most Desirable Woman In Brazil Right Now Has Imaginary Virginity Up for Auction!

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Last time we checked Brazil seemed like a place where men really wouldn’t be hard up to find a female companion.

We were wrong. Very, very wrong.

How wrong? Just…just keep reading.

There’s a bidding war going on in Brazil right now over a woman. For some she’s the perfect woman. For most of us she’s just plain weird and the ridiculous bidding war over her is even weirder.

Her name is Valentina.

Valentina is, disturbingly enough, the most desirable woman in Brazil right now and the man with the most padded wallet will get the chance to deflower her.

The current going price for Valentina’s virginity right now? $105,000 and climbing.

Wondering what her parents and family might be thinking of all of this craziness? Doesn’t matter.

Valentina isn’t real. She’s a life-like sex doll created by the acme of all sex-doll companies, Real Doll. The company has recently opened a manufacturing plant in Brazil and Valentina is the first doll created there. Now her ‘virginity’ is on the auction block.

The winner of the auction will also receive all-expenses-paid travel to and from São Paulo, a free night’s stay in the Presidential Suite of a fancy hotel, and a complimentary candlelight dinner with French Champagne to share with Valentina.
They’ll even throw in some sexy lingerie as Valentina’s gift to you, and a digital camera “to shoot and then show your friends.”

Not only is this a bidding war for an inanimate woman’s viginity…it also seems like an opportunity to see who the richest, most desperate Brazillian man is who’s got such bad game that he’s willing to shell out a small fortune for a woman who won’t say no to even his worst pitch.

[Gawker]

Robot Learns to Throw…Humanity Flinches!

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Anyone who’s been following the evolution of Boston Dynamics has been creeped out at one point by their BigDog robot. BigDog is a quadraped robot that has learned a lot of tricks since it was a terrifying little puppy of a machine. It balances itself even when an engineer makes an attempt at cow-tipping it, it ambles over the most diverse terrain ever laid out in front of a robot, follows humans like an obedient pack-mule and even understands what humans are saying to it.

Each stage in BigDog’s learning process has brought with it a level of creepiness.

But BigDog’s newest trick just put the nail in the coffin of humankind’s demise.

BigDog now throws things.

And what it’s throwing isn’t a spitball. It’s not a paper airplane. It’s not throwing Mardi Gras beads. It’s not a fun frisbee.

Nope. Not anything even remotely associated with enjoyable OR fun…

It’s throwing cinder blocks.

30 pound, concrete cinder blocks…

And it’s throwing them easier and more accurately than you could ever hope to throw one.

Which once again goes to prove that we shouldn’t be worried about the robots taking over in the future…

We should be worried about our own fellow humans helping them.

[Boston Dynamics YouTube Channel]

Podcast: Brown Menace

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

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Original three reunited again for this very special episode of the podcast! Andrew introduces a birthday question in honor of Justin’s 30th Name Day. A space pioneer wants to make a fly by around Mars but the price may be too high for some prospective adventurers. Or too low. Or too stank.

ALSO! Get the first two chapters of Andrew’s new book Knight School read to you by Justin… for free!

It’s all part of a new Weird Things podcast.

Support the show by purchasing Andrew’s BRAND NEW BOOK Knight School just click on the image below.

skitched-20130307-012000.jpg

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

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes
Podcast RSS feed
Episode archive
Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings030713.mp3

Listen now

 

Picks:

Andrew:

Gremlins

Justin:

Django Unchained comic

Brian:

Sim City