WT: Invisible Backhand

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018
Skitched 20110225 175343
Computers can replace blue-collar work, but what about fashion design? New footage of Magic Leap AR is…well… Mission Quest: A Del Taco has blown up and the boys need to find a way to tell the world about a deadly “black comet.” Got something weird? Email neshcom@gmail.com, subject line “Weird Things.”


Andrew: AMC Stubs A-List

Justin: Sorry to Bother You

Brian: Snow Crash

Bryce: BattleTech

Subscribe to the Weird Things podcast on iTunes

Podcast RSS feed

Episode archive

Follow us on Facebook

Download url: http://www.itricks.com/upload/WeirdThings071618.mp3


Philippine Slums Are Using Water Bottles As Light Bulbs

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Need light? Can’t afford electricity? Here is a novel solution being implemented in the slums of the Philippines. WARNING: it does involve cutting a hole in a roof.

Are We Next Door to Another Universe?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

According to NewScientist, Researchers examining the data from 1000 galaxy clusters streaming in one direction are puzzled by what is causing this. One interpretation of the data suggests that we’re looking at the effect of a neighboring universe on our own.

There could be an exotic explanation. Laura Mersini-Houghton of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, thinks the flow is a sign of a neighbouring universe. If the tiny patch of vacuum that inflated to become our universe was quantum entangled with other pieces of vacuum – other universes – they could have exerted a force from beyond the present-day visible horizon.

Would this Universe have the same physical laws as our own? Is it some weird mirror universe where a mirror version of you is reading a blog called Normal Things right now? We must investigate…

link: Mystery ‘dark flow’ extends towards edge of universe – space – 16 November 2009 – New Scientist

America’s First Vampire: The Real Deadliest Catch

Monday, October 19th, 2009

So how does the story of the first vampire to set foot on American shores begin – like the most frightening episode of Deadliest Catch ever. An excerpt from a New York Time archive article circa 1892:

Twenty-five years ago he was charged with being a vampire and living on human blood. He was a Portuguese sailor, and shipped on a fishing-smack from Boston up the coast in 1867. During this trip two of the crew were missing, and an investigation made. Brown was found one day, in the hold of the ship, sucking the blood from the body of one of the sailors. The other body was found at the same place, and had been served in a similar manner.

It’s a hard life at sea. Even harder with a vampire on your boat.

It continues to get weirder. Brown, the vampire sailor was convicted of murder and sentenced to hanging. President Johnson (perhaps trying to secure the vampire vote) commuted the sentence to life in prison. Although his days at sea were finished, the murdering was far from over. The grateful Brown went on to murder two more people in prison. Eventually authorities decided this guy was even more nuts then your average murderer (the vampire cannibal thing didn’t tip them off) and he was confined to an asylum.
And what was the vampire Mr. Brown’s first name? James. As in James Brown, America’s first vampire.

A PRISONER WITH A HISTORY – View Article – The New York Times

Forget Augmented Reality – We Want Terminator Vision

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Excitement over augmented reality applications for the iPhone and other devices is certainly justified to an extent. But let’s not forget the original augmented reality baring device as imagine by James Cameron, the Terminator T-800.

What we want is Terminator vision like Arnold had, to help us hot wire cars, find appropriate wardrobe and decide who lives and who dies. Hopefully we can use Terminator vision to fight off the inevitable machine apocalypse – instead of it being used to murder us all one-by-one.

In the meantime, maybe we should call a moratorium on any more augmented reality develop for platforms named “android”.

Ever Wondered Who Bloody Mary Really Was?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Bloody Mary is the Monster of the Week! Matt Finley explained some of the ghastly woman’s other talents on Monday. Wednesday he explained exactly why you’ve been hoodwinked into calling her out all these years..

skitched-20091009-040000.jpgWith all the varying verbal harpoons fired out into the ether to drag Bloody Mary back into the living world, it’s easy to forget that, though the current urban legend has been disassembled and reconfigured, often to the point of unrecognizability, the first fearful, double-dog-dared invocations of Bloody Mary were spoken with Mary I of England in mind.

Mary I (not to be confused with Queen Mary of the Scots, who is often wrongly identified as the crotchety mirror-dwelling apparition) was the only child of Henry VIII’s first wife, Catharine of Aragorn, to survive into adulthood. Despite being unfavored and disregarded by her family, she received the crown in 1553 after her half-brother Edward died of tuberculosis. Bloody Mary went on to earn her macabre epithet when, after officially restoring Roman Catholicism to Great Britain, she began rounding up Protestant leaders and burning them at the stake, igniting a flurry of religious riots and violence. The most enduring modern connection to the story is any variant of the game in which summoners must speak the words, “Bloody Mary, I killed your child”- Mary I became so obsessed with producing a male heir that she endured two phantom pregnancies, during which she firmly believed she was carrying a child that was then somehow miscarried or aborted.

Generalizing for purposes of brevity, the origins of Bloody Mary as a Protestant horror story belie the deeper history of both a uniquely Protestant fascination with the occult and a trend of propagandized anti-Catholic gothic literature. Unlike most 16th century Catholics, whose faith was entrenched in dogma, hierarchy, tradition and ritual, many Protestants, especially in Ireland, believed in ghosts and superstitiously permitted the occult to fill in certain gaps that existed in the post-enlightenment thought that Protestantism so thoroughly embraced. Beyond assigning Mary I her now-infamous soubriquet (despite the fact that, in reality, the queen didn’t execute any more people than her Protestant father), the Protestants were later known for distributing pulp novellas that portrayed convents as dark caverns of orgiastic chaos with priests travelling through underground tunnels to engage in violent fornication with nuns, yielding innumerable illegitimate children that were then disposed of by horrific means. Given these factors, it’s easy to understand how a violent, Catholic threat to the Protestant faith was transformed into a vengeful specter – a zombified appendage of history reaching out at the giggling great grandchildren of unjustly murdered Anglicans.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone of sleep

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

From New Scientist comes research that sleep is even weirder than we thought. Microsleep, hallucinations and sleepwalking murder are just some of the symptoms…

EARLIER this year, a puzzling report appeared in the journal Sleep Medicine. It described two Italian people who never truly slept. They might lie down and close their eyes, but read-outs of brain activity showed none of the normal patterns associated with sleep. Their behaviour was pretty odd, too. Though largely unaware of their surroundings during these rest periods, they would walk around, yell, tremble violently and their hearts would race. The remainder of the time they were conscious and aware but prone to powerful, dream-like hallucinations.

link: Are you asleep? Exploring the mind’s twilight zone – life – 07 October 2009 – New Scientist via KurzweilAI