Weird Universe


Weird Science - Heavens Above!

It is surprising to think that less than fifteen years ago we knew of no planets but those in our own solar system. Now astronomers discover them with such frequency that it takes finding a potentially habitable one like Gliese-581d to stir the public’s interest. But a British team at the Isaac Newton Telescope on the Canary Islands may have done something much more amazing than finding another planet in the Milky Way, they believe they may have just detected one in another galaxy. The object orbits a star in the Andromeda galaxy, more than 2.5 million light-years away from Earth, causing that star to wobble. Normally any motion would be invisible at such a distance, but by chance the distant solar system is acting like a lens in front of even more distant stars, and every wobble of the lens is magnified enough to be discernable (Scientific American).

Closer to home, relatively, is the planet is known only as WASP-18b, but if it were ever to be given a proper name it would be “Icarus”, for this is a planet that has flown too close to its sun. WASP-18b is the 375th extrasolar planet discovered by astronomers, and is possibly the most extreme one yet. It is another gas giant like Jupiter, but ten times the size of our neighbourhood giant, yet it orbits its star in less than a day. This 22.5 hour long “year” would mean the planet is so close to its sun, and moving so fast, that tidal forces are almost certainly dragging the planet inwards to its doom. The team from Keele University that discovered WASP-18b, led by Coel Hellier, calculate that realistically the planet probably has less than a million years left (Nature).

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Posted By: Dumbfounded | Date: Thu Aug 27, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Aliens, Armageddon and Apocalypses, Art, Science



Posted By: mdb777 | Date: Tue Aug 04, 2009 | Comments (1)
Category: Aliens, Video, Surrealism

Man and His Culture

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 05, 2009 | Comments (0)
Category: Aliens, Movies, Documentaries, Anthropology, 1950's

Towel Day: May 25

For those of you who are not already aware, May 25 is Towel Day, a celebration of the life and literature of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
If you want to see some pictures of froods in the know, they have their own group on Flickr
Posted By: fyshstyxx | Date: Sun May 24, 2009 | Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Armageddon and Apocalypses, Holidays, Literature, Science Fiction, Writers


Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Aliens, Death, Cartoons

Git Gob

For some reason, the video below reminded me of the under-appreciated song by Walter Becker, "Hat Too Flat." You can hear a sample of that track at the Amazon page for the Becker album, via the link at right.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Mar 18, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Aliens, Fashion, Music, Cartoons

Do the Twist!

This scary graphic of noseless and mouthless aliens conducting an intergalactic diplomatic mission comes from Ray Charles's 1961 album, Do the Twist!, Atlantic 8054.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Mar 05, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Aliens, Design and Designers, Graphics, 1960's, Dance

Repo Chick

Remember one of the weirdest films ever made, REPO MAN? This month marks the start of filming for a sequel titled REPO CHICK. Let's hope it can live up to its predecessor.

Bjork and Her Television

I really think the beloved and utterly unique Bjork should be the official spokesgal for WEIRD UNIVERSE.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 21, 2008 | Comments (5)
Category: Aliens, Science, Television, Foreign Customs

Weird Poster


[Photographed in Providence, Rhode Island, October 2008, corner of North Main and Branch.]

If anyone can possibly explain the meaning of this poster, please do so.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Oct 20, 2008 | Comments (14)
Category: Aliens, Art, Sexuality, Signage, Posters, Gender-bending
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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.