Author Archive

Barophobia [Weirdest Phobias]

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Phobias ever…um…phobed?

Let’s start things out right this week. What’s the most sane thing in life to fear?

(This is the part where you’re supposed to say “nature.”)

That’s right! Nature. Floods, volcanoes, tornados, lightening, pumas…it’s a never-ending list of unpredictable danger. And what’s the one thing more terrifying than unpredictable danger?

(You’re supposed to say, “PREDICTABLE DANGER!”)

That’s right!!! Staring into Certain Death’s empty eye sockets is WAY scarier than huddling up in the house during a storm, not quite sure whether it will turn into a hurricane or pass you by.

So, following this logic, the single most terrifying thing on the planet must be both natural and predictable. Which is why they have a word for it.


Also known as an irrational fear of…bum bum buuuummm, gravity.

Caused by a traumatic event the afflicted somehow linked to gravity (i.e. falling from a height or being trapped on an unmanned space station with a human hating AI for a prolonged period of time), it results in anxieties as mild as nausea and as crippling as an overwhelming fear of disaster when confronted with  thoughts of, well, gravity.

Weird, right? What are your favorite irrational fears? Have any of your own?

Severed Head Land [Weirdest Places]

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Place to Visit in America.

Look, gang. I worked for Disney theme parks for a long time. I get the idea of creating brand value by preserving the magic of a given situation, I even get that one person’s magic is another person’s “please-god-don’t-make-me-do-that-again.”

However, I can’t think of a single time I remember wandering through Disneyland and seeing a field of severed heads all grinning eerily out from under a “magic tree.” I also have a hard time thinking of that as “cute.”

BUT, if that’s what you’re after then look no further than BabyLand General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia, home of the Cabbage Patch kids, where every hour on the hour, when the magic crystals begin to grow, a Cabbage Patch Nurse delivers a kid from Mother Cabbage. Of course, none of that would be possible without the use of Science’s new favorite drug, Imagicilin.

BabyLand General Hospital even has its own Intensive Care Unit for premature births. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you don’t want a premature cabbage patch kid…wouldn’t it be easier to just not make one?)

Forget for a moment the inherent creepiness of Cabbage Patch Kids and instead focus on the inherent creepiness of a 70,000 square foot fake hospital complete with superfans pushing around 25 year old dolls in strollers. I couldn’t help but get the shivers from watching a few BabyLand related videos on YouTube.

Chalk this one up the first Weird Place this week that doesn’t make my must see list.

What do you think? Creepy or cute? Did you ever have a Cabbage Patch Kid? (I remember making my transformers shoot the neighbor girl’s CPK…so I might be biased.) Scale of one to ten…how badly do you want to see this place?

Intelligently Created Dinosaurs [Weirdest Places]

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Places to Visit in America.

What’s the weirdest movie you can think of from your childhood?

That’s right, Peewee’s Big Adventure.

Now what’s the weirdest scene you can recall from that movie?

Yep, Peewee talking about Simone’s “big but” while sitting inside a giant dinosaur. (Shut up about Large Marge already.)

That giant dinosaur is one of two built by, Claude Bell, a caricature artist at Knott’s Berry Farm who also owned the Inn across from them on I-10 near Cabazon, CA. It took him eleven years to finish the giant Apatosaurus and he died before he finished the Tyrannosaurus. (Their names are Dinny and Rex BTW.)

Now, here’s the weird part. (Because it’s not weird that a caricature artist spent a quarter of his life building a 150-foot long concrete dinosaur on a lark. Or that it has found its way into popular culture via a faux children’s entertainment film directed by a crazy haired genius. No. The weird part is…)

After the guy that sunk his entire life into two dinosaurs (complete with frescos explaining evolution in their bellies) died, the two guys that bought the property, Benjamin S. Carson, M.D. and Dr. Michael Egnor, turned it into…wait for it…a creationist museum!

(Because nothing says intelligent design like two giant lizards that were apparently so poorly designed that they couldn’t survive the 6000 years since the world has been created.)

You can now pay five dollars to visit the creationist museum in Dinny’s belly and purchase toy dinosaurs with labels that say, “Don’t swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution.”


Want to discuss creationism versus evolution? Roadside attractions vs theme parks?  How about Peewee’s Big Adventure versus Big Top Peewee? Well then, that’s why god invented the comments section!

Earth, Meet Your Ambasador [Weirdest Places in America]

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Places to Visit in America.

I’ve been getting ready for a big trip to Bryce Canyon later this week, which subsequently led me to thinking about my former life as America’s favorite vagrant, which in turn practically forced me to choose this week’s topic…Weirdest Places in America!

Today, we’re starting things off the only way Weird Things knows how…with crazy people and aliens.

If you’re wandering down Homestead Road in  Bowman, South Carolina you may just find yourself walking past a corrugated metal fence with a message scrawled in black spray paint. The message?

“UFO WELCOME CENTER” (I can only assume the message is intended to be seen from space.)

The UFO Welcome Center is a labor of love for Jody Pendarvis who built the (*ahem*) Center in his back yard. Behind his trailer. Next to his rusted old pickup truck. (Yeah, he’s that guy.)

The welcome center mostly consists of two plywood and metal saucers stacked on top of each other. The bottom one, and bigger of the two, is built “to be a place where aliens could be comfortable meeting people from Earth.” (Apparently aliens prefer environments that have racked up double-digit building code violations.)

The second saucer balances on the first for easy removal when the alien visitors decide to take Jody aboard with them. It has also become Jody’s de facto “summer home.” It’s mostly filled with extension cords and an airbed…

All that said, the dude clearly loves his pet project and there’s no denying that, talented craftsman or not, he put a TON of work into this place.

What do you guys think? I REALLY want to see this place in person! Has anyone out there visited? What’s your impression?

Most importantly, what’s the Weirdest Place in America YOU’VE seen?!

Death From Above! [Weirdest Disasters]

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Disasters ever to strike down man or beast.

In 1986 in Bangladesh death quite literally rained from above (…well, no…I guess that is figurative too since it was actually death, it was hailstones, and it didn’t actually rain so much as, y’know…hail).

Bottomline: These Bangladeshian iceballs measured almost seven inches across and weighed in at 2.2 pounds. They fell with such force that the storm killed 92 people and leveled entire homes.

Can you even imagine being smacked in the face by a 2.2 pound object falling at terminal velocity from the sky?! Oh, right…you probably cant. Let me help put this in terms I’m sure everyone is intimately familiar with:

That’s like being shot in the face with an iPad duct taped to a loaf of bread moving at over 100 miles per hour and being hit with the significantly less squishy iPad side so that the loaf of bread doesn’t add any padding, just weight. Better?

This is not the kind of hail where you put on a bike helmet and run around outside like an idiot taunting nature as it bounces off your Styrofoam and fiberglass covered noggin. This is the kind of hail where you hope to Science (this blog has a bit of a skeptic bent in case you haven’t noticed) that you’re near a bomb shelter and/or a giant hairdryer pointed at the sky.

Even larger hail fell in Nebraska in 2003…but apparently Nebraskans are better at staying indoors than Bangladeshians (probably because there’s nothing to do outside there anyway if you’re not growing corn…).

That’s it gang! Time for the Weird Off! How would you rank this week’s Weirdest Disasters? We have:

1. The Boston Molassacre!

2. World’s Laziest Volcano!

3. Dark Ages 2.0! (Coming soon to an Earth near you.)

4. World’s Most Homicidal Lake!

5. All Hail…um…Hail.

What do you think, gang? Sound off!

World’s Most Homicidal Lake! [Weirdest Disasters]

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Disasters ever to strike down man or beast.

Here’s a little lesson in the history of Brett. I grew up in a little valley in the mountains surrounded by several lakes. Naturally we spent quite a bit of time out in the water during the summers and as such I had water safety drilled into me just about every weekend. How does that affect a kid?

Well…actually, for most kids it probably makes them safer around water. Unfortunately, for me, it mostly meant I had recurring nightmares about drowning at least once a week.

Dreaming about drowning in a lake is one thing, but the second I finished reading about today’s “Weirdest Disaster” all I could think about was how glad I was that I hadn’t heard this story when I was eight.

Those white dots are lake-murdered cattle...

How the hell is an eight year old supposed to cope with nightmares about a lake ACTIVELY TRYING TO KILL HIM?!

To the point (finally): In 1986, 1.6 MILLION metric tons of carbon dioxide that had, up to then, been sitting safely beneath the weight of Lake Nyos in Cameroon got churned up by a volcanic eruption.

The result? An enormous cloud of deadly gas swept through valley villages at 30 miles per hour killing 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock up to 14 miles from the lake before finally dissipating to not-going-to-kill-you-instantly levels!

From a survivor (…and wikipedia):

I managed to go over to my neighbors’ houses. They were all dead . . . I decided to leave . . . . (because) most of my family was in Wum . . . I got my motorcycle . . . A friend whose father had died left with me (for) Wum . . . As I rode . . . through Nyos I didn’t see any sign of any living thing . . .

Crazy, right?!

Got a weirder disaster story you want to share? No? How about a recurring childhood nightmare?

Always Sunny in the Dark Ages [Weirdest Disasters]

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Disasters ever to strike down man or beast.

Monday and Tuesday we talked with the Ghost of Disasters Past, today we’re going to have words with the Ghost of Disasters Future. Strap in folks, it’s going to be a dickens of a ride.

NASA says come 2013 the sun will be “waking up from a deep slumber,” resulting in crazy solar storms. How crazy? 20 times the economic damage of Hurricane Katrina crazy! (Why the sun has been such a lazy narcoleptic hydrogen ball for the past many millennia was not discussed.)

The point is this: It is entirely possible that the resulting solar flares could disable satellites, explode transformers and cause widespread EMP related power outages. (In other words, it could be the catalyst for…BUM BUM BAAAA, The Night of a Million Conceptions!)

(Anti-baby) policymakers, researchers, legislators and reporters have gathered in Washington DC to share ideas about space weather and how to mitigate the coming disaster for the last 4 years in a row. That means AT LEAST 96 hours has been dedicated to solving this crisis, so everything should be fine everyone. Just go on about buying your soon-to-be-bricked-by-solar-radiation Apple products and stop trying to ruin the economy with your money-saving antics.

Seriously though, how much would it suck to be tossed back into the dark ages by the sun. (Someone with a lesser grasp of English, like say, Alanis Morissette, might even call that ironic.) All I have to say is, NASA better figure this one out. I don’t want to have to learn how to plow a field or ride a horse…and I sure as heck don’t like the sound of the word fiefdom.

What do you think? How would you handle life without electronics? Are you a hole-up-in-a-bunker kind of person or an organic gardener/Ted Nuggent fan?

Mud Volcano! [Weirdest Disasters]

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Disasters ever to strike down man or beast.

What strikes me most about today’s Weird Disaster is how closely it mirrors current events, with a couple unique twists.

It seems, in 2006 an Indonesian drilling company hit exactly what they were looking for…natural gas. Unfortunately, what actually resulted from this little Eureka moment was a four-year and counting, non-stop-mud-spewing volcano that threatens to engulf village after village despite all effort to stop it, including dropping giant concrete balls into the opening. (Seriously, what is it with people dropping balls into holes and expecting that to solve their problems?)

The mud volcano looks innocuous enough, in fact, it’s often tough to tell anything is happening at all, and yet, everyday, enough hot noxious mud comes out to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools. (Which leads me to believe they’re missing out on a major league professional mud wrestling opportunity here…)

Despite the slow movement of the mud, thousands have lost their homes and businesses and although the mud volcano has slowed in recent years it is still pouring out ooze at an alarming rate.

Remind you of another little disaster a bit closer to home? That’s right.

If you had to lose your house to a molasses flood or a natural gas infused mud volcano, which would you choose? I think it may be a toss up…unless you can keep some of the molasses for your impromptu moonshine business.

Have any disasters you’d like to see featured in the remaining three days?

Boston Molassacre [Weirdest Disasters]

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Disasters ever to strike down man or beast.

On January 15, 1919 an enormous, fifty-foot tall molasses tank collapsed, overrunning a portion of the great city of Boston with such sugary goodness that 21 people were killed, 150 were injured and eleventy-billion cavities ensued.

Thanks to the now pervasive colloquialism, “Slow as molasses,” I can’t help but picture this otherwise deeply depressing disaster as a scene out of an Austin Powers movie wherein Boston’s citizens scream and point at a 15-foot tall wave of dark brown molasses without ever making an effort to turn and run as it ever so slowly envelopes them.

The truth, however, is that this terrifying Blob-like blob was flying down the streets of Boston at 35 mph and crashing into structures and people alike with such force that it destroyed buildings, lifted a train off its elevated track and tossed a truck into Boston Harbor.

People and horses were stuck in the gooey tide like flies on flypaper, like flies in honey, like flies in Vaseline. (Why is it that flies get all the good “stuck in” similes?!) Some of the trapped horses were even shot by police rather than watch them struggle. (For the sake of what’s left of BPs PR I’m glad that’s not how struggling animals are handled today.)

Rather than wait for the molasses to ferment and stage the largest rum-fueled street party the world has ever seen, the city elected to begin the cleanup process immediately. It took 87,000 man-hours to clean up the streets and buildings affected by the Great Molasses Flood. That’s almost 20 years of one man working 12 hour days! (OR, to put it in terms you guys might be able to comprehend, that’s roughly the same amount of time it would take to clean the blood from your ears after listening to any given Nickelback album from beginning to end!)

If you had to be killed by a wave of something, what would you choose? Know of any Weird Disasters that absolutely have to make it into this week’s list?

Minor League Manager, Major League Tantrum [Weirdest Tirades]

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Tirades ever thrown.

Not only is this my new favorite Weird Tirade…but this may be my new favorite video. Period. About a third of the way through I was planning what I would write if I decided to use this clip. I started thinking it would be funny if I wrote a transcript of what the manager was saying since there’s no real audio.

Half way through, I was mesmerized by his theatricality and had completely given myself over to the video. The LAST thing on my mind was what I should be writing about.

By the end, I realized there is absolutely no room for improvement in this video. Clearly he has been waiting his entire career for this one moment when he could simultaneously show off his Groundlings training and get himself thrown out of a minor league ballpark. Literally nothing I can say or do will improve on this tirade except to say:

“Bring this guy up to the majors already!”

That’s the end gang. You’ve seen all of this week’s Weird Tirades. What do you think? How would you rank them? (Also, hook me up with a fantastic theme for next week’s column and in return I will promise you a much more timely batch of awesome. Scout’s honor.)

We had:

1. McNugget Rage!

2. The Fightin’ Optometrist!

3. Satan Claus

and of course, my early favorite:

4. Minor League Manager, Major League Tantrum

Santa Can Be Naughty Too [Weirdest Tirades]

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Tirades ever thrown.

Today’s post actually revolves around a tiny blurb in a sixty year old magazine, so I’ll let you be the judge as to whether it is even close to on topic or not. But here’s the thing: I’m writing this post and your not and the bottom line is that the image said blurb conjured in my mind made me laugh. A lot.

Today we’re taking you back to a simpler time. A time when Santa Claus was just an amorphous figure. A character that was simply an amalgamation of religious stories and folklore, not some cheap marketing whore who’s willing to sell his bearded face to the highest bidder (which often seems to be your local mall…go figure).

But already, in 1951, there were hints that the times…oh, they were a changin’. Case in point, in December of that year LIFE magazine ran a story titled Santa Claus to Santa Stooge, all about the horrors of Santa shilling products and participating in promotional stunts. Apparently this was a new thing for the Greatest Generation to cope with, on account of one of the guys playing Santa in a parade in Ontario, after being mobbed by excited children (who had yet to be warned about unshaved strangers with candy), lost his temper and start kicking at all the greedy little grandparents to be.

Now you tell me, how can you not love the visual of some guy looking to cash in on his overweight gut and graying hair suddenly realizing he has bitten off more than he can chew and kicking wildly at any kid too excited by the idea of seeing the unseeable to stay out of leg’s length?!

Here’s the link to the LIFE article, but honestly, the entire magazine is filled with gold. Give it a look.

Anyone have any better crazy Santa stories?! Let me know!

Blinded By Rage (and Bad Prescriptions) [Weirdest Tirades]

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Tirades ever thrown.

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “In the land of the blind the psychotic optometrist is king.”

Never has this oldest of wives’ tales been less true…as you’ll see in the clip.

Although this was clearly a premeditated outburst (and beyond that, just a really douchey move), I can only hope he didn’t order McNuggets for lunch as that would further support my theory that a lack of processed chicken-like meat is at the root of all spontaneous rage.

What makes this really weird is the voice mail he left pre-outburst. Not only did Dr. Douchebag phone in a false apology to ensnare an unsuspecting octogenarian journalist but he over-the-topped-it with a plea of born again Christianity and love of all things news reporter. After that move I was really rooting to see the old guy clock him in the face.

Your thoughts? Do you have something better for the list of Weirdest Tirades? Share it!

McNugget Rage! [Weirdest Tirades]

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Tirades ever thrown.

Ho HO! You say it’s Tuesday night already? You say, where are Brett’s posts?

Well, to you I say, “Wait…what? Seriously? Tuesday? When the hell did that happen?”

Here goes nothing! In honor of “friend of the blog” Mel Gibson’s latest poorly thought out tirade, this week we’ll be looking at some of the weirdest Jekyll and Hyde-esque bouts of rage you’ve ever seen…er, read. (Although you could argue Mel was probably more of a Hyde and Hyder moment.)

First up, Melodi Dushane!

What sent her over the edge? Was it residual anger directed at her parents for spelling her name wrong on her birth certificate, thereby sentencing her to an entire lifetime of leaning over the counter to watch the clerk as he takes down her information, knowing full well she’d have to insist, “No, no. It’s with an ‘I’…”?

Was it an uncontrollable hatred for that guy on the Promenade who told her she looked like a model and for a scant $500 dollars he could get her some “cheap” headshots that would be guaranteed to rocket her heretofore non-existant modeling career into the same eschelon as the likes of Twiggy and Zsa-Zsa Gabor, only to present her with the photo on the right.

Nope. It was Chicken McNuggets.

More specifically, it was a lack of Chicken McNuggets. And as everyone knows, the only appropriate response to a shortage of McNuggets is to hulk out and punch out the drive-thru after smacking the nearest McDonald’s employee in the face.

Yeah. She did that.

The end.

I know this is technically weird rage week…but does anyone out there have any great fast food related stories? When I was researching this one I just kept thinking of when I was that jerk high school kid who always ordered, “a large napkin and diet water…that’ll be all.”

Murder Most Foul [Weirdest Alien Photos]

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Alien Photos ever taken.

Look out! Everybody DUCK!

Wait…no. I meant…

DUCK! Everybody lookout!

If you’ll direct your eyes to the crotchal region of this duck x-ray you may notice that the Alien aliens have found a new host with which to incubate their planet destroying young. In fact…he may even be holding a single finger up to his mouth as if to say to the x-ray technician, “Shh…don’t tell the doctors and I promise I’ll spare you. No, really. Scout’s honor. *snicker*”

(Who knew a finger to the lips could say so much?)

Regardless, if this alien menace spreads much further then it’s only a matter of time before we all experience an untimely death at the hands of our foul feathered friends. And to think of all the stale bread we wasted on them at the park…

Weird Off!

How would you rank this week’s Weirdest Alien Photo posts?

We have:

1. Alien or Grandma?

2. G’Gugvuntt or Vl’hurg?

3. The Cutest. Alien. Baby. Ever.

4. Murder Most Foul

What do you think, friends?

Cutest. Alien. Baby. Ever. [Weirdest Alien Photos]

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest Alien Pictures ever taken.

I bet, just like me, you’ve been sitting there at your desk all day wondering what would happen if The Leader somehow mated with a watermelon and a piranha.

Yeah…I thought you might be.

Well, my friends, wonder no more! For I bring you…Leader Watermelon Piranha Baby…er…Jr? Doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it? Do me a favor and leave your name for this monstrosity in the comment section.

Also, as seems to be the status quo this week, please let me know if you know the story behind this picture or if you can figure out the origin of…Fish-Melon-Boy! (Nope, still no good…)

What do you think? Is this an alien? Is it an Earth based freak of nature? If it is…seriously, what would have to mate with what to make THAT happen?!

G’Gugvuntt or Vl’hurg? [Weirdest Alien Photos]

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Everyday this week…Brett Rounsaville brings us the Weirdest “True Life” Alien Pictures ever taken.

Much like George Washington after chopping down the last of the alien cherry trees, I cannot tell a lie. 99.9% of the reason I chose today’s picture was because it reminded me of this shirt (click on the image there to enlarge it) and it made me giggle.

The other .1% of the reason is that you just don’t see enough variation in alien photos or accounts. Four feet tall, big eyes, blah, blah, blah…

You lost me at, “Did I ever tell you about the time I was probed?”

It’s reassuring to know that in the off chance that we’re being visited by aliens capable of mutilating cows maybe these little guys are giving squirrels a run for their money.

Also, even if it’s just a tiny little carving…it’s still pretty impressive.

Same game/same rules as yesterday. I have ZERO idea as to the origin of this critter. If you can tell me who made it or “authenticated” it leave the answer in the comment section for a genuine, one-of-a-kind no-prize!

What do you think? Real or fake? Have you seen a weirder alien photo? If the answer is yes then, for the love of all things strange, why haven’t you posted it in the comments yet?!