Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

Customizable Dolls Take Creepy to a Whole New Level!

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Every time you think dolls couldn’t get any creepier…SURPRISE!

This new evolution of the doll species is taking it to a whole new level.

Produced out of London and Helsinki, Makie dolls are a new breed of doll for the ‘maker’ set. Featuring a buffet of customizable features, Makies allow their owners to choose the doll’s face, nose, jaw, smile, hair, clothes, hands and feet. MakieLab (the creator of the doll) also hopes that people will modify the doll in creative ways so they’ve thought ahead by allowing space in the doll for wires, battery packs and even a Lilypad Arduino set (a user-programmed motherboard of sorts) that fits perfectly inside its head.

Currently in alpha, MakieLab is hoping that this doll will be a hit with their target demographic. 3D printing techniques are being used to create the head, hands, feet and even the body. Bioplastic material is used in the process and can be recycled into other items for the doll so that nothing goes to waste when a Makie is created. As MakieLabs moves out of the alpha phase of testing they’ll be including “paints, colours, makeup and add-ons to help you turn MAKIE into the creature of your imagination.”

Yeah…they said ‘creature’. NOT ‘doll’.

MakieLabs is aiming for the fences with their doll. The dolls and articles about them are popping up all over the place right now. Online social networks which are geared around the doll are on their way along with other ways to get the doll interacting with online features the company is creating.

They’re hoping that people will go crazy in customizing these things.

We’re hoping that only happy people who love dolls make them.

Waking up in your house realizing you’re strapped to your bed like Gulliver and having a doll or two in your face saying (let’s face it…SOMEONE’S going to make these things talk eventually), “Back off! I wanna buy a customised human” (that caption is taken directly from underneath the image used in this post that’s on their site).

So…what have we learned today, kids? Yep..dolls are still creepy.

But dolls with moveable eyes and an Arduino-enabled brain?


Sleep tight!


African Lake Turns Hot Pink, Is Super, Thanks For Asking

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

While not quite a fashionable ‘Apocalyptic Red’ color, Lake Retba in Senegal, West Africa does something flamboyantly cool… it turns pink… like awesome strawberry-milk pink.

Lake Retba and the Dead Sea were given those names because it they were once thought to not be able to harbor life. Those lakes however are alive with a salt-loving organism called Dunaliella Salina which produce a red pigment that sunlights helps to turn pink.

Workers who harvest the salt often spend six to seven hours in the waters of the lake and cover themselves with shea butter which helps provide skin protection and from having salt crystals adhere to their bodies during their time in the lake.

[Daily Mail UK]

Most Morbid Piggy Bank Ever!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Automata have been around for a couple of centuries now. Most of the time they’re enjoyably amazing pieces of craftsmanship that cause people to smile.

There’s been a chess-playing automata, an acrobatic automata that does a trapeze act and even animals have been featured as these intricate works of what seems like robotic art.

Then there’s this.

A coin operated bank automata that features a scene guaranteed to wipe whatever smile you had after watching that whimsical tail-wagging, ball-carrying puppy right off your face.

The auction site has the following description for this fun piece of whimsy:
“St. Dennistoun Mortuary” Coin-Operated Automaton, attributed to Leonard Lee, c. 1900, the mahogany cabinet and glazed viewing area displays a Greek Revival mortuary building with double doors and grieving mourners out front, when a coin is inserted, doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables, the morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief…”

Expected to sell for between $4.000-$6,000, this uniquely strange piece of work blew the lid off that price and ended up as a fun conversation piece for the sum of $13,035!

[Morbid Anatomy]

And Now: Extreme Evolutionary Mimicry

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

This treehopper insect has developed an absolutely insane helmet that looks like an aggressive species of ant. There are more of these over at New Scientist.

[New Scientist via io9]

Transparent Marine Specimens

Monday, December 13th, 2010

New World Transparent Specimens offers marine creatures from the Japanese artist Iori Tomita that are transparent with colored bones. Using a method that involves the dissolution of natural proteins Tomita adds red dye to hard bones and blue dye to soft bones.

At this point it seems that the collection is limited to marine creatures only.

[Shinsekai via Gizmodo]

Man Sleepshoots Self

Monday, November 1st, 2010

A Colorado man had a rude awakening when he kneecapped himself while sleeping.

Sanford Rothman, who lives on Mineola Court in southeastern Boulder, told police he woke up to a “bang” and discovered he was shot in the left knee. He said he did not have a clear recollection of the incident.

According to the police report no alcohol or drugs were involved, and nobody else was in the house at the time. Sleepshooting could be the next exciting chapter in the field of Parasomnia.


Top 5 Most Creative Dragon*Con 2010 Costumes

Friday, September 10th, 2010

As some of you know both I and Justin Robert Young attended the amazing Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA this past weekend. EVERY type of fandom is represented at this mega-convention, and cosplay is the main event. I spent approximately 60 billion hours walking the floor just taking it all in while trying to avoid drunk people piking on the floor, and what follows are the five most creative Dragon*Con costumes I saw.

5. Alien

5. Alien

While technically not the most creative costume, it was very well put together with many moving parts.

The person wearing it stayed in character throughout all of Friday as well.

If you missed it, you can see me give the xenomorph a hug during the Live NSFW Show filmed at Dragon*Con (I’m the one in the Spider-Man shirt).

4. Handy Man & Sidekick

4. Handy Man & Sidekick

These two special fellows were a big hit on Sunday.


Ground Zero Pirate Ship: The Investigation Begins!

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Remember that pirate ship they found under the World Trade Center we reported on in July? Researchers gathered many samples and the investigation has now started to reveal the true origins of the ship.

The wood samples will hopefully tell us where the ship was built by analyzing the properties and age rings. They are also analyzing various woodworms in the wreckage to glean where the ship might have sailed.

The American Archaeologist site is keeping a close eye on the ship and will report findings as they happen.

[American Archaeologist]

How Did A Ship Get Under The World Trade Center?

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Construction workers at the site where the World Trade Center once stood unearthed a ship from the 18th Century in New York City yesterday.  Crews rushed in to get as much data about the ship recorded before the heat of the sun turn it dust, as well as to ensure that worked continued at the historical site.

So did they build the WTC over a pirate’s hideaway, or did Revolutionary New Yorkers find a creative way to dispose of those darn Redcoats? Let us know your craziest theories in the comments!

[New York Times]

Seance Wrap-up

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Ask Weird Things!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

We’re planning our next podcast and we want you to be a part of it.

What weird thing do you want the “brain trust” to discuss? Just post it in the comments.

Charles Babbage Confronts the Devil, Becomes a Ghost Hunter

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

We know Charles Babbage as the inventor of the Difference Engine, the pre-cursor to the modern computer, but what about Charles Babbage, investigator for the occult and supernatural? As a young man he decided to find out if Satan was real – by trying to invoke him in a demonic ritual.

In his biography he recounts his attempt at summoning the dark lord…

I carefully collected from the traditions of different boys the visible forms in which the Prince of Darkness had been recorded to have appeared. Amongst them were — A rabbit, An owl, A black cat, very frequently, A raven, A man with a cloven foot, also frequent.

After long thinking over the subject, although checked by a belief that the inquiry was wicked, my curiosity at length over-balanced my fears, and I resolved to attempt to raise the devil. Naughty people, I was told, had made written compacts with the devil, and had signed them with their names written in their own blood. These had become very rich and great men during their life, a fact which might be well known. But, after death, they were described as having suffered and continuing to suffer physical torments throughout eternity, another fact which, to my uninstructed mind, it seemed difficult to prove.

As I only desired an interview with the gentleman in black simply to convince my senses of his existence, I declined adopting the legal forms of a bond, and preferred one more resembling that of leaving a visiting card, when, if not at home, I might expect the satisfaction of a return of the visit by the devil in person.

I then placed myself in the centre of the circle, and either said or read the Lord’s Prayer backwards. This I accomplished at first with some trepidation and in great fear towards the close of the scene. I then stood still in the centre of that magic and superstitious circle, looking with intense anxiety in all directions, especially at the window and at the chimney. Fortunately for myself, and for the reader also, if he is interested in this narrative, no owl or black cat or unlucky raven came into the room.

The reported failure of the devil to appear increased his skepticism of religion. he decided to seek out other evidence of the paranormal so Babbage and friends started a Ghost Club to investigate apparitions and other unusual phenomena:

If they heard of a phantom, these spiritual detectives speedily put themselves in pursuit ; and a haunted house was doubtless as welcome a phenomenon to them as an extraordinary dwarf, a calf without joints, or a kitten with six legs, was to the first Fellows of the Royal Society. Letters many were written on these topics, and some of the correspondence, we are told, was both ‘ interesting and instructive.’ It was certainly a very business-like mode of dealing with spectres, and indicates the true method of establishing these beings in their rights, or of expelling them, as creatures of fancy, from human philosophy.

Charles Babbage and his friends in the Ghost Club would go on to form another group calling themselves “The Extractors”. To get into that club you had to produce six certificates, three saying that you were sane and three that you were mad.

Babbage’s biography is a fascinating read. He had an extremely curious mind. It’s no surprise why he was so ahead of his time. If one were prone to believe in demons and the occult, it should make you wonder if the man who created the most advanced machines to ever exist really was unsuccessful at raising the devil…

Below are some links to his works on Google Books. Well worth checking out.

link: The Living age … – Google Books
link: Journals: Living Age (1844 – 1900)

Show Us Your Weird!

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Remember that time you went to take a photo and when you looked at it your iMac screen mysteriously shown through your body as if you were an ephemeral spirit because deep down your souls are intertwined? I do.

Got a weird photo? Send it to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail with “Weird photo” in the subject line or upload it to Flickr and tag it #weirdthingscom.

I took this photo outside Disneyland. It’s of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. No retouching took place. This is exactly how the photo appeared!