Archive for the ‘Bizarre’ Category

Lonely? These Creepy Robotic Lips Won’t Help That – Ever!

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Prepare for a new level of weird, people.

A while back we reported on a kind of pillow ‘roboty’ thing that would cuddle with you and that your siginificant other could be channeled through. Creepy and a little awkward, right?

That’s like a mild ’2′ on a scale of 1-10.

THIS? This just pegged that scale into oblivion.

Unveiled in the UK at the annual Designing Interactive Systems conference, the egg-like device has been dubbed Kissenger. Hidden inside Kissenger’s eyeless, Humpty-Dumpty-like body is a pair of pressure-sensitive soft plastic lips that peek through a smooth plastic casing about the size of an Easter egg.

The lips contain pressure sensors and actuators. When you kiss them, the shape changes you create are transmitted in real time over the net to a receiving Kissenger. There, the actuators reproduce the mirror image of the pressure patterns you created– magically transmitting your smacker to your partner.

“People have found it a very positive way to improve intimacy in communications with their partners when they are apart,” claims Hooman Samani of Singapore-based Lovotics, which developed the device.

The device is a prototype and Samani says it will not be commercialised until “all the ethical and technical considerations are covered”. He adds: “I am not interested in sexual uses for it.”

Remember that part where he stated, “I am not interested in sexual uses for it”? He’s obviously been locked away in his lab for far too long and has forgotten what people are like.

While this isn’t the first weird thing used to kiss across a distance (that award goes to a device that’s more like tonguing a slurpee straw attached to a speaker box with someone equally lonely as yourself on the other end), it IS the first to accurately record your partners kiss onto a pair of lips so it can be played back like a sad reminder of what your relationship’s come to.

Best part of the story from the New Scientist article? THIS little excerpt:

“I think that approach is too much and I find it kind of creepy,” says Samani. “You don’t need to transmit all the parameters of a kiss. The main aim is to improve long-distance relationships. We’ve taken several steps to minimise the creepiness.”

Two things: We’d hate to see this dude’s idea of what he considers creepy and what did this thing look like BEFORE he minimized the creepiness?

We all just collectively shuddered together.

Here’s Lovotic’s actual company video for an earlier version of the device (in case you were wondering about that ‘before’ design mentioned above)…which makes us wonder how going from a cute rabbit-like design to the disembodied mouth of a Cenobite is ‘minimizing the creepiness’. Again…can someone get a search warrant for this dude’s basement? Or are we just not ready for that?


[New Scientist]

33 Pound Tumor Removed from 26 Pound Boy

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

During a 10 hour surgery, doctors at Mexico City’s La Raza Medical Center removed a 33 pound tumor from 26 pound two-year-old Jesus Gabriel.

Gabriel was born with a small, benign lump on his right side that grew faster than he did and extended from his armpit to his hip. Doctors say that this is the first time in Mexican history that the tumor has been larger than its host was successfully removed.

Little Jesus is doing fine and making a very strong recovery.

[Washington Post]

Video: Dead Cat Gets Second Life as Helicopter

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Cats. They power the internet. They’re always chasing birds and most of the time they fail at it.

Birds. They make a lot of noise and mimic/mock everybody including cats that chase them. They have the advantage of flight.

That’s all about to change…behold Orville! The CopterCat!

[YouTube]

Castelling: The 19th Century’s Answer to Planking

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Over the last year or so we’ve seen a lot of news about people “planking”, “owling”, “horsemanning” and the less than stellar introduction of “snailing”. What most people aren’t aware is that things like the above mentioned fads have been around for a long time.

Which brings us to “castelling”.

The word “castell’ is actually Catalan for “castle”. The concept of “castelling” began sometime in the late 1800s in Valls, Spain.

So what is “castelling”? Much like “planking” and “owling” it’s pretty self-explanatory….castles…made with people.

From Wikipedia:

A castell is considered a success when stages of its assembling and disassembling, can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The enxaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest-to-lowest order until all have reached safety.

After watching some of these tenuous “castles” collapse in on themselves?

We’re pretty sure we’re going to try to make “snailing” happen.

[Wikipedia]

Hitler Ronald McDonald Lives at a Mall in Bangkok

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
hitler ronald mcdonald

Weird Things reader Robin sends us this picture from a mall in Bangkok. It looks like an art installation. But is also attached to a t-shirt shop. Which conveniently sells shirts of Hitler Ronald McDonald.

Pretty bizarre.

Pedochair Spotted

Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Twitter.jpg

Spotted at a Kroger.

[@ITJanitor]

Man Marries Dog To Cure Curse

Monday, August 1st, 2011


P. Selvakumar was a man cursed. Being physically fit 15-years ago, the man had attacked and killed two dogs through stoning. This violence caused him, in the eyes of him and his family, to be stricken by the inability to move his limbs freely and loss of hearing. He tried salves and other such cures to make him better, but nothing would work. However, 3 years ago, he went to an astrologer.

This astrologer gave him some advice: marry a dog.

By marrying a dog, he would appease the spirits and show that he had atoned for his crimes. This is actually quite a common aspect of Indian culture, with many people marrying animals and sometimes objects to appease spirits. A famous example is actress Ashwarya Rai marrying a tree so that her engagement to another Bollywood actor wouldn’t have bad signs against it, as they would already be spent on the tree. However, this practice is actually illegal in India, as it practices the caste system, something that has been deemed illegal and taken out of the constitution.Rai has been taken to court about the matter.

The bride, named Selvi, who you see picture above was dressed in an orange sari, was taken to the temple where vows were exchanged, somehow, and the couple were married. The villagers cheered the newly-weds, and soon enough, Selvakumar alleges he was cured.

[Telegraph]

Roller Coaster of Death

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

“Euthanasia Coaster” is a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in aeronautics/space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body, this ‘kinetic sculpture’ is in fact the ultimate roller coaster: John Allen,former president of the famed Philadelphia Toboggan Company, once said that “the ultimate roller coaster is built when you send out twenty-four people and they all come back dead. This could be done, you know.”

I am pretty sure this speaks for itself.
[Design Interactions Research]

Strange Object On The Beach

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Strange things are washing up on the beach in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. Any ideas as to what it could be?

[The Occultist]

A Spider/Scorpion That Is Actually Neither [Pictures]

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

skitched-20100929-132724.jpg

Ladies and gentleman, the Tailless Whip Scorpion otherwise known as the Whip Spider which is actually neither a scorpion nor spider. Discuss…

[Nat Geo]

A Musical Tribute To The Fish That Walked

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Is it Music Monday up in this piece or what? This little ditty comes from Weird Things reader Joatmon who worked with band The Indoorfins to sing about the Tiktaalik, a fish that walked on its fins.

Read all about this awesome creature here.

It’s a mellow groove to an evolutionary link. Tik tik tik Tiktallik!

[Wikipedia]

Surprise! Family Finds Random 18-Foot Deep Hole In Backyard

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

skitched-20100902-140504.jpg

The random opening could be related to an oil well abandoned in 1950 that’s close to the home. The only silver lining now is if the opening leads to a Goonies-style adventure.

But it probably won’t.

Unless it does.

[KTLA]

The Strange History Of Pre-UFO Sentient Fireballs

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

skitched-20100823-143205.jpg

How did folks describe UFO phenomenon before we had the science fiction constructs to fill in the blanks of interstellar travelers from deep space? Probably a lot like 12-year-old George Campbell of Sherman, Texas in 1898.

“Last night papa and I were riding along the ‘Eighty-foot Road’, about two and a half miles [4km] north of town, when all at once everything got very bright. We saw a great ball of fire coming down toward the ground. It got within about three feet [90cm] of the ground and seemed to rest for a while and then it went back up until it got clear out of sight. There was a buzzing sound all the time.”

George described the ball as 10 feet wide and not emitting any heat.

[Fortean Times]

The World’s Only Immortal Animal

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Marvel at the various life cycle of the fantastical Turritopsis nutricula, a jellyfish that is, for all practical purposes, immortal. This strange creature reaches adulthood, transforms itself back into a child, then lives through it’s life again. Think of it as Groundhog Day with a jellyfish.

While old age can’t kill it, the creature is still susceptible to disease and fatal injuries.  Read more about this fascinating forever-fish here.

500 Dead Penguins Wash Ashore In Brazil

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

skitched-20100722-103014.jpg

Maybe it’s the summer time, but weird beach stories are just dominating the news lately. Yesterday we had a couple of Russian jackasses strapping a mule to a parachute for publicity and today we get news that 500 penguins washed ashore in Brazil, dead as Dillinger.

About 500 of the black-and-white birds have been found just in the last 10 days on Peruibe, Praia Grande and Itanhaem beaches in Sao Paulo state, said Thiago do Nascimento, a biologist at the Peruibe Aquarium.

Most were Magellan penguins migrating north from Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands in search of food in warmer waters.

Many are not finding it: Autopsies done on several birds revealed their stomachs were entirely empty — indicating they likely starved to death, Nascimento said.

Don’t you hate it when you leave the house to get something to eat and nothing you like is open? Thanks to Mike Beam for sending this in.

[MSNBC]

Whale!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

skitched-20100721-183812.jpg

Real picture. Thanks to Weird Things reader Mike Beam.

[Telegraph]