Category:
Archaeology

October 4, 2014

Save The History

image
Built in 447 BC, the Parthenon sits on the Acropolis in the center of Athens Greece. Unfortunately it is in danger due to decay of the Acropolis. Repairs are being attempted, all the best of luck in that endeavor. It would be a tragedy to lose such a great piece of history.

Posted By: patty - Sat Oct 04, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: History, Archaeology

April 19, 2013

Mystery Artifact



Maybe the combined brainpower of WU can solve this mystery.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 19, 2013 - Comments (12)
Category: Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity, Regionalism, Technology, Archaeology

October 22, 2010

Weird Science – Watch and Learn

xraysclock.jpg width=400
Outside it is not much to look at, little more than a discoloured rock dredged up from the sea floor. But an x-ray scan of the object, actually a pocket watch recovered from a 17th century shipwreck, has revealed that the internal mechanism has been perfectly preserved. The computer aided tomography system used was sensitive enough to pick out the tiniest details, included the engraved name of the master watchmaker, one Niccholas Higginson of Westminster, London (Gizmodo).

As if more proof were needed that they don’t build them like they used to, a UK group has started collecting donations to build the first fully working version of Babbage’s “Analytical Engine”. The original design, dating from 1837, was never completed, possibly due to a combination of the strict engineering tolerances needed and Babbage’s notoriously prickly temperament. If the final machine works as advertised, it will be very strong confirmation of the claim that Babbage designed the first general purpose, programmable computer (BBC News).

Meanwhile, in Slovenia, Borut Povse and his team are busy teaching a modern descendant of Babbage’s design to hit people. Somehow Povse has convinced six volunteers to let an industrial robot hit them on the arm with various sharp or blunt implements in an effort to determine how much pain each blow causes. Obviously this has a beneficial use in that robots can be programmed not to exceed certain levels of force near a human obstacle, but will also be of immense interest to the machines during any future robot uprising (New Scientist).

Another robot out to supplant humans is HRP-4, a gynoid (female android), that has learnt to sing by copying the inflection and expressions of a human performer, right down to the breathing. The hope is to make robots behave in a more convincingly natural way, and so overcome the so called ‘uncanny valley’. From the video, it looks like they’ve still got a way to go (Daily Mail).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Oct 22, 2010 - Comments (5)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Charities and Philanthropy, Futurism, History, Archaeology, Injuries, NGOs, Robots, Science, Technology

November 10, 2009

Follies of the Mad Men #76

image

image
[From The Saturday Evening Post for October 10 1953. Two scans, top and bottom.]

Nothing like aligning your product with a civilization that practiced human sacrifice. The Incas weren't the Aztecs, but as Wikipedia reminds us: "There is [sic] archaeological discoveries supporting the presence of sacrifice within Inca society according to Reinhard and Ceruti: 'Archaeological evidence found on distant mountain summits has established that the burial of offerings was a common practice among the Incas and that human sacrifice took place at several of the sites.The excellent preservation of the bodies and other material in the cold and dry environment of the high Andes provides revealing details about the rituals that were performed at these ceremonial complexes.'"

And did they actually make the best ink ever? I can't find any reference to such an accomplishment.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 10, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, History, Archaeology, 1950's, South America

July 17, 2009

Chocolate Just Got Better!

Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut, who supply such companies as Cadburys and Nestlé, think they may be on to a winner after secretly developing a type of chocolate with 10% of the calories of the ordinary kind, and which melts at nearly twice its temperature. The company hopes the new chocolate, codenamed "Vulcano", will appeal both to health-conscious Western markets and to Asian and African consumers who have traditionally shunned chocolate because it melts too readily in the local climate. The new recipe stays hard up to 55°C (130°F) and has crispy, light texture according to Barry Callebaut food engineer Simone Cantz (The Guardian).

FYI: Chocolate was, as everyone knows, invented/discovered by the Aztecs. But what is less well known is that they did so at least 3000 years ago, and were probably trying to make beer. Anthropologists John Henderson, of Cornell University, and Rosemary Joyce, of University of California, discovered cacao residues on pottery vessels dating back to 1000 BCE that are believed to be from a drink formed by fermenting the pulp and seeds (PNAS).

(Image by Wikipedia.)

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Jul 17, 2009 - Comments (20)
Category: Food, Candy, Nutrition, History, Archaeology, Products

June 8, 2009

It Just Ain’t Unnatural!

It might be time to update the old adage as, according to a scientist from the Santa Fe Institute, NM, it should be "To war is human". Dr. Samuel Bowles suggests that continual conflict among our ancient ancestors may have driven the evolution of what he terms "parochial altruism", i.e. group sociality and hostility to outsiders. By combining archaeological data on stone age humans with studies of modern tribes, Bowles has developed a model of ancient population genetics and determined that there would have been much more genetic diversity between competing groups than previously thought. In such a scenario, Bowles' results suggest that groups displaying parochial altruism would benefit by having more aggressive warriors less concerned with self-preservation, at the expense of other groups. PA may even explain the extreme habitual sociality of humans (found elsewhere only in insects), which in another paper in the same issue of Science is identified as a possible cause of human culture. Paradoxically, we may be social as individuals because we are anti-social as groups (Independent).

But if we learnt war early on the path to humanity, we may have learnt laughter even earlier. Researchers from the University of Portsmouth analysed the sounds 22 young apes made when being tickled, and concluded that it is laughter. Dr Davila-Ross and her team looked for similar acoustic characteristics to human laughter in the young of several ape species, and found greater similarity in the sounds made by chimpanzees and bonobos (the species closest to humans genetically) than in that of more distantly related apes such as orangutans. The team concluded that laughter must have evolved some time before the major ape groups split apart, 18 million years ago (BBC News).

Finally, this last piece was going to be about gay penguin adoption, but that's already up, so instead I'd like to draw your attention to a new movie by sometime Simpsons writer, Mike Reiss. Called "Queer Duck", Reiss' film is an animated musical about three gay, animal friends, Openly Gator, Bi-polar Bear and the eponymous Queer Duck himself. When QD suddenly finds himself attracted to women, in the shape of new arrival Lola Buzzard, he begins a voyage of self-discovery that sees him experience quack therapies (from the wonderfully named clinic, "Homo No Mo'!") and kidnap and imprisonment at "Home Depot" (the one place no gay would think of looking for him), before the not-unexpected third-reel epiphany. Hopefully it'll be released on DVD soon, because this one's a keeper! (The News-Times).

(Image from SPEC Productions, who collect and reprint some damn fine comics!)

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Mon Jun 08, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Ethnic Groupings, Sexuality, War, Anthropology, Archaeology

August 2, 2008

World’s Oldest Joke Discovered!

Archaeologists have just discovered the world's oldest joke, as ably pointed out in today's Weird News picks by Minister Chuck.

But I can't resist adding that I hope they never dig up this one.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 02, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, History, Archaeology, Humor, Comedians, Jokes, Television

Page 1 of 1 pages
Custom Search





Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


weird universe thumbnail

Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
April 2016 • March 2016 • February 2016 • January 2016

December 2015 • November 2015 • October 2015 • September 2015 • August 2015 • July 2015 • June 2015 • May 2015 • April 2015 • March 2015 • February 2015 • January 2015

December 2014 • November 2014 • October 2014 • September 2014 • August 2014 • July 2014 • June 2014 • May 2014 • April 2014 • March 2014 • February 2014 • January 2014

December 2013 • November 2013 • October 2013 • September 2013 • August 2013 • July 2013 • June 2013 • May 2013 • April 2013 • March 2013 • February 2013 • January 2013

December 2012 • November 2012 • October 2012 • September 2012 • August 2012 • July 2012 • June 2012 • May 2012 • April 2012 • March 2012 • February 2012 • January 2012

December 2011 • November 2011 • October 2011 • September 2011 • August 2011 • July 2011 • June 2011 • May 2011 • April 2011 • March 2011 • February 2011 • January 2011

December 2010 • November 2010 • October 2010 • September 2010 • August 2010 • July 2010 • June 2010 • May 2010 • April 2010 • March 2010 • February 2010 • January 2010

December 2009 • November 2009 • October 2009 • September 2009 • August 2009 • July 2009 • June 2009 • May 2009 • April 2009 • March 2009 • February 2009 • January 2009

December 2008 • November 2008 • October 2008 • September 2008 • August 2008 • July 2008 • 

Weird Universe Categories
1900's - 1910's - 1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's - 1960's - 1970's - 1980's - 1990's - 2000's - 2010's - Accidents - Actors - Addictions - Advertising - Africa - Agriculture - AI, Robots and Other Automatons - Air Travel and Airlines - Alcohol - Alex - Aliens - Amateurs and Fans - Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity - Animals - Anniversary - Annoying Things - Anthropology - Anthropomorphism - Antiques, Anachronisms and Throwbacks - Appliances - Archaeology - Architecture - Armageddon and Apocalypses - Armed Forces - Art - Asia - Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters - Australia - Authorities and Experts - Avant Garde - Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests - Babies - Babies and Toddlers - Backyard BBQ - Bacon - Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses - Bathrooms - Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods - Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues - Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles - Billboards - Birth Control - Blood - Boats - Body - Body Fluids - Body Modifications - Body Painting - Bodybuilding - Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers - Bombast, Bloviation and Pretentiousness - Books - Boredom - Brain - Brain Damage - Buildings and Other Structures - Bums, Hobos, Tramps, Beggars, Panhandlers and Other Streetpeople - Bus - Business - Busybodies, Snoops and Kibitzers - Butt - Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults - Can't Possibly Be True - Candy - Cannibalism - Caribbean - Cars - Cartoons - Cats - Celebrities - Censorship, Bluenoses, Taboos, Prohibitions and Other Cultural No-No's - Central America - Centuries - Ceremonies - Certificates, Diplomas, and Other Testaments of Achievement - Charities and Philanthropy - Charity - Child Prodigies - Children - Chindogu - Chocolate - Chuck - Civic Duties - Clowns - Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations - Coffee and other Legal Stimulants - Collectors - Comedians - Comics - Comments - Communications - Computers - Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension - Conspiracy Theories and Theorists - Contest - Contests, Races and Other Competitions - Conventions - Cops - Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings - Corrections - Cosmetics - Costumes and Masks - Couples - Crafts - Crime - Criticism and Reviews - Crossovers and Mashups - Crowds, Groups, Mobs and Other Mass Movements - Cryptozoology - Cult Figures and Artifacts - Culture and Civilization - Curmudgeons and Contrarianism - Curses - Curses, Slurs, Insults, Vituperation, Libel and Slander - Customs - Dance - Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers - Death - Decades - Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination - Design and Designers - Destruction - Detectives, Private Eyes and Other Investigators - Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers - Dieting and Weight Loss - Differently Abled, Handicapped, Challenged, and Otherwise Atypical - Dinners, Banquets, Parties, Tributes, Roasts and Other Celebrations - Dinosaurs and Other Antediluvian Creatures - Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Creatures - Diplomacy and Foreign Relations - Disabilities - Disasters - Disease - Diseases - Disguises, Impersonations, Mimics and Forgeries - Dismemberment - Divorce - Documentaries - Dogs - Domestic - Double Entendres and Nudge-Nudge, Wink-Wink - Dreams and Nightmares - Drones - Drugs - Eating - Eccentrics - Education - Eighteenth Century - Elderly - Elderly and Seniors - Emigrants, Immigrants and Borders - Emotions - Engineering and Construction - Enlargements, Miniatures, and Other Matters of Scale - Entertainment - Environmentalism and Ecology - Ethics and Morals - Ethnic Groupings - Etiquette and Formal Behavior - Europe - Evil - Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough - Excrement - Exercise and Fitness - Experiments - Experts and Authority Figures - Exploitation and Grindhouse - Explosives - Eyes and Vision - Face and Facial Expressions - Facial Hair - Fads - Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts - Family - Fantasy - Farming - Fashion - Feet - Feminism - Fetishes - Fey, Twee, Whimsical, Naive and Sadsack - Fictional Monsters - Fireworks and Pyrotechnics - Fish - Flags - Flatulence - Flight - Food - Foreign Customs - Forteana - Frauds, Cons and Scams - Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature - Freebies, Come-ons and Loss Leaders - Furniture - Futurism - Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance - Games - Garbage, Trash, Waste and Other Detritus - Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters - Gender - Gender-bending - Genitals - Geography and Maps - Giant People in Ads - Gods - Goofs and Screw-ups - Goths - Government - Graffiti - Graphics - Guess the Scientist - Guns - Hair and Hairstyling - Hair Styling - Head - Headgear - Headlines - Health - Hermits - Highways, Roads, Streets and Traffic - Hillbillies, Country Bumpkins, Ruralism and Flyover Country - Historical Figure - History - Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators - Hobbies and DIY - Holidays - Hollywood - Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings - Horror - Horticulture and Gardens - Hospitals - Hotels - Human Marvels - Humor - Hunting, Trapping and Other Wilderness Activities - Husbands - Hygiene - Imitations, Forgeries, Rip-offs and Faux - India - Industry, Factories and Manufacturing - Inebriation and Intoxicants - Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art - Infantilism - Injuries - Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages - Insects - Insurance - Intelligence - Interior Decorating - Internet - Inventions - Jabberwocky, Scat Singing, Nonsense Verse and Glossolalia - Jewelry - Jobs and Occupations - Johnson Smith Catalog - Jokes - Journalism - Judges - Junk Food - Juvenile Delinquency - Kitsch and Collectibles - Landmarks - Landscaping - Languages - Law - Lawsuits - LGBT - Libraries - Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating - Literature - Little People - Love & Romance - Love and Romance - Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains - Magazines - Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand - Marriage - Martial Arts - Mass Transit - Medicine - Men - Mental Health and Insanity - Middle East - Midwest Divisions Friday Feast - Military - Mining - Misbehavior, Rebellion, Acting-out and General Naughtiness - Mistranslations - Money - Monuments - Moral Panics and Public Hysteria - More Things To Worry About - Motor Vehicles - Motorcycles - Movies - Museums - Music - Myths and Fairytales - Name That List - Native Americans - Natural Resources - Natural Wonders - Nature - Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust - New Age - New Zealand - Newspapers - NGOs - Nineteenth Century - Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace - North America - Not Clear On The Concept - Nudism - Nutrition - Obesity - Obituaries - Obscenity - Obsessions - Oceans and Maritime Pursuits - Odd Names - Officials - Opera - Outrageous Excess - Outsider Art - Overpriced Merchandise - Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise - Parades and Festivals - Paradoxes, Enigmas and Other Conundrums - Paranormal - Parents - Parody - Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil - Patriotism - Paul - Performance Art - Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents - Perfume and Other Scents - Pests, Plagues and Infestations - Pets - Philosophy - Photography and Photographers - Pirates - Poetry - Police and Other Law Enforcement - Political Correctness - Politics - Pop Art - Pop Culture - Postal Services - Posters - Power Generation - Pranks - Pranks and Revenge - Predictions - Pregnancy - Prisons - Products - Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing - PSA's - Psychedelic - Psychology - Public Humiliation - Public Indecency - Public Utilities - Publicity Stunts - Puns and Other Wordplay - Puppets and Automatons - Quizzes - Racism - Radio - Rants, Warnings, Jeremiads, Prophecies and Cassandra-like Figures - Reader Recommendation - Real Estate - Really Bad Ideas - Recreation - Recurring - Reformers, Do-gooders, Agitators and SJWs - Regionalism - Regulations - Religion - Restaurants - Retail Establishments - Retailing - Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience - Rituals and Superstitions - Robots - Roleplayers and Re-enactors - Romances - Royalty - Rube Goldberg Devices - Russia - Sadness - Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny - Scary Criminals - Scatology - Scholarship - School - Science - Science Fiction - Screams, Grunts and Other Exclamations - Screwups - Seasonal - Self-help Schemes - Seventeenth Century - Sex - Sex Lives Worse Than Yours - Sex Symbols - Sex Toys - Sexuality - Shoes - Shopping - ShowBiz - Sightseeing - Signage - Sixteenth Century - Skin and Skin Conditions - Skulls, Bones and Skeletons - Slang - Slavery, Bondage and Indenture - Sleaze and Sleazeballs - Sleep and Dreams - Smoking and Tobacco - Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages - South America - South Pacific - South Pacific and Polynesia - Space Travel - Space-age Bachelor Pad & Exotic - Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy - Spies and Intelligence Services - Spies and Secret Agents - Spies and Secret Agents - Sports - Stamps - Statues, Monuments and Memorials - Stereotypes and Cliches - Stomach - Stop-motion Animation - Strange Candidates - Strange Websites - Stupid Criminals - Stupidity - Subcultures - Subways - Success & Failure - Suicide - Superheroes - Superstition - Surgery - Surrealism - Swears - Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving - Synchronicity - Synchronicity and Coincidence - Tattoos - Taxidermy - Technology - Teenagers - Teeth - Telephones - Television - Terrorism and Terrorists - Testing and Ranking - Theater and Stage - Time-travel - Tobacco and Smoking - Tools - Torture - Tourists and Tourism - Toys - Tradesmen, Manual Laborers, and Skilled Workers - Tragedy and Pathos - Trains - Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails - Transportation - Travel - Trucks - TV News - Twentieth Century - Twenty-first Century - Twins, Lookalikes & Doppelgangers - Underwear - Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia - Unsolved Mysteries - Urban Life - Utilities - Utilities and Power Generation - Utopias and Dystopias - Vaudeville - Vegetables - Vegetarians and Vegans - Video - Videogames - Videogames and Gamers - Vigilante Justice - Violence - War - Weapons - Weather - Weddings - Weddings and Marriage - Weird Names - Weird Studies and Guides - Weird Theory - Weird Universe - Wild West and US Frontier - Wimps, Milquetoasts and Cowards - Wives - Women - Work and Vocational Training - World - World Records - Wrestling - Writers - Yesterday's Tomorrows - Your Daily Jury Duty - Your Daily Loser




This page has been viewed 42849408 times.