Weird Universe

June 30, 2012

The Master’s Voice

The Master's Voice from Guilherme Marcondes on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Jun 30, 2012 | Comments (5)
Category: Horror, Movies, Surrealism, Science Fiction

Darwin’s Point

Do you have a Darwin's point? According to wikipedia (which refers to it as "Darwin's tubercle"), about 10% of the population has one:

The feature is present in approximately 10.4% of the population. This acuminate nodule represents the point of the mammalian ear. This atavistic feature is so called because its description was first published by Charles Darwin in the opening pages of The Descent of Man, as evidence of a vestigial feature indicating common ancestry among primates. However, Darwin himself named it the Woolnerian tip, after Thomas Woolner, a British sculptor who had depicted it in one of his sculptures and had first theorised that it was an atavistic feature.

In some people, such as myself, the point projects outwards rather than inwards, making a kind of elf ear. My wife calls mine my "Spock ear."

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jun 30, 2012 | Comments (3)
Category: Body

Note From Chuck

I've had a small cut on my eye this week that got infected, and for an editor-writer, that's hell getting adjusted. Plus, I have this condition of lingering, seething rage that kicks in if I have as much as a headache or a hangnail, so you can imagine my ire at an eye infection. I'm much better, but I'm way behind. I'll try to be back on track by Monday morning.
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Sat Jun 30, 2012 | Comments (8)

June 29, 2012

Brazil MTV Animation

VMB 2011 from CONSULADO on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 29, 2012 | Comments (3)
Category: Music, Rube Goldberg Devices, Cartoons, South America

Science as a girl thing

EU bureaucrats, in their great wisdom, decided that the way to encourage teenage girls to pursue a career in science was not by appealing to their intelligence and curiosity, but rather by flashing images of high heels, lipstick, and makeup at them, along with the tagline: "Science, It's a Girl Thing." The inevitable outrage followed. (

It was my impression (though I don't have any data at hand to back it up, so I could be totally mistaken) that in some sciences, such as biology and medicine, women are fairly equally represented (perhaps even at risk of becoming over-represented). So in those cases science already is a "girl thing." It's the physical sciences, such as electrical engineering, that still have trouble attracting women.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jun 29, 2012 | Comments (5)
Category: Science, Gender

June 28, 2012

The Complete Blacky Pictures!


Thanks to the stellar research powers of Alex B., we now have the complete set of these oddball Freudian prompts.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jun 28, 2012 | Comments (9)
Category: Art, Children, Alex, 1950's, Mental Health and Insanity

Hercules McElroy


Read all about short-famed black strongman Hercules McElroy in the pages of EBONY magazine.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jun 28, 2012 | Comments (6)
Category: Human Marvels, 1960's

The Korean Nine-Person Shovel

Westerners traveling to Korea in the late nineteenth century were puzzled by this shovel, which they frequently saw in use on Korean farms. It required between five or nine people to operate, but it seemed to shovel dirt no faster or better than a western-style, one-person shovel. Perhaps the nine-person shovel had some other virtue that wasn't readily apparent.

Pictures found here and here. Text from The Korean Respository (1896).

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jun 28, 2012 | Comments (4)
Category: Inventions

June 27, 2012


When attempting to break into the local rental store through the loading dock be sure you have pried the door up enough to fit under it. Nine hours is a long time to contemplate what you should have done differently. But, hey, at least aspirin is free at the jail.
Posted By: patty | Date: Wed Jun 27, 2012 | Comments (5)

Human falling into lava lake: a scientific experiment

Some researchers wanted to know what would happen if a person fell into the lava lake of the Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia. Would the force of the impact be enough to break through the thick crust, or would the person simply lie on top of the crust and get toasted?

To answer this important question, the researchers used a 30kg bag of trash as a stand-in for a human and threw it into the lava, from a height of 80 meters. Watch the video to see what happened. If they're true mad scientists, they'll find a way to repeat the test with a human body.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jun 27, 2012 | Comments (15)
Category: Science, Experiments
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.