Weird Universe

Weird Theory

The Wellingborough Carnival


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The town of Wellingborough, UK, has been holding a carnival for over 100 years. The old affairs certainly featured things that look weird to us today. Here's a photo album to peruse.

And the Wellingborough Carnival home page reveals this year's affair is on July 7th! Plenty of time to make your plans to attend!

Something Weird Videos

This site seems like a vast natural resource for WU-vies.

You can get a sampler disc of their wares--100 film snippets--for only $4.95.

Have fun!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Nov 20, 2011 | Comments (0)
Category: Movies, Weird Studies and Guides, Weird Theory

All Roads Lead From Rome…

The streets of Rome are a little quieter today as thousands of locals have chosen to skip work and head for the hills after a huge earthquake was predicted to hit the Italian Capital some time today by a well-known Italian seismologist, over 30 years ago!

Raffaele Bendandi was a self-taught scientist who believed that earthquakes were caused by the gravitational influence of the Sun, Moon and other planets. Though he never attempted to provide proof for his theories, which he believed were intuitively correct, Bendandi scored a number of notable successes in 1910s and 1920s that led to him being feted as “the man who can predict earthquakes” and made a Knight of the Crown of Italy by Mussolini (who also banned him from making public predictions). Because of this ban, Bendandi made no further earthquake predictions until the 1970s, when he successfully forecast the 1976 quake that hit Friuli, Italy.

Bendandi also claimed to have detected another planet, which he named Faenza, orbiting closer to the Sun than Mercury, but, like his science of ‘seismogenics’, his findings are roundly dismissed by modern scientists as imaginative but nothing more.

That he even made today’s prediction is a matter of dispute. Many sources claim that the prediction comes from dates written on notes found after his death and do not give a specific event or location at all, and even among Bendandi’s dedicated following, there is argument as to whether he predicted the Rome quake is due today or in 2511.

Still such is the reputation of Bendandi, who died in 1979, that as much as 18% of city employees are reported to have called in sick today, and many stores are closed and shuttered. (BBC News).

(Image: vichie81 /
Posted By: Dumbfounded | Date: Wed May 11, 2011 | Comments (3)
Category: Authorities and Experts, Disasters, Eccentrics, Science, Weird Theory

The Good, The Bad, The Weird

How can we not endorse a movie where the "weird" guy seems to be the hero?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Apr 27, 2011 | Comments (6)
Category: Movies, Weird Theory, Asia

The Skeptic’s Dictionary

I'm certain every reader of this blog could happily spend hours at The Skeptic's Dictionary, whose mission since 1994 has been to explore "Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions."

For instance, why not learn more about the bunyip?

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jan 25, 2011 | Comments (4)
Category: Authorities and Experts, Cryptozoology, Fictional Monsters, Weird Studies and Guides, Weird Theory

Alex’s New Book!


You can't buy it yet, but here's the cover of Alex's new book!

If you visit the Amazon link, you can at least reserve your copy now!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jan 09, 2011 | Comments (2)
Category: Authorities and Experts, Weird Studies and Guides, Weird Theory, Books, Alex

A Little Light Weirdness – 8

A would be bank-robber in Austria was foiled in his robbery attempt when the bank closed early for a staff training session. The man came equipped with a Barack Obama mask and gun but was stopped at the first hurdle when the locked door refused to open for him. Staff inside initially thought it was part of the training or a joke, and their laughter aggravated the criminal until he eventually fled empty-handed (Digital Spy).

More successful were the thieves that managed to steal several US landmarks, including the Palace of Fine Arts, USS Pampanito and Ghirardelli Square. Models of course, part of an exhibition of Mark and Jannet Benz’s Lego creations on display at the Palo Alto Museum of American Heritage, and worth several thousand dollars. A reward of $500 has been offered by the Benzes (SF Weekly).

But if Jan and Mark are thinking of upping their home security, they should perhaps avoid following the example of Alexander Skopintsew of Primorye in Russia, who decided to deter intruders by planting homemade landmines around his garden. He was inevitably found out when a trespasser was injured when setting off one of these devices, and charged with possession of illegal weapons, receiving a suspended sentence (ABC News).

Of course another alternative might be to have nothing worth stealing. Perhaps something similar occurred to retired lorry driver Ken Strickland, who amassed a collection of over 3000 watering cans, each meticulously documented. Sadly Mr. Strickland died last month aged 78, bequeathing the entire assortment to his niece, who is at a loss as to what to do with them and may in fact sell them on behalf of a charity. One watering can however will not be up for sale, it contains her uncle's ashes (Metro).

Meanwhile hundreds of other women up and down the UK might be feeling a little let down this Monday, after British department store Debenhams recorded a 76% surge in sales of their range of “anatomy boosting” underwear for men ahead of Valentine’s day. Turn around is fair play, I say (Reuters).

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Weird Theory: Belly Buttons as a Sign of Mating Health

According to Dr. Aki Sinkkonen belly buttons are a sign of mating potential in fertile women:

"the symmetry, shape, and position of umbilicus can be used to estimate the reproductive potential of fertile females, including risks of certain genetically and maternally inherited fetal anomalies."

The theory seems to be that if you've got problems as a fetus, somehow they're reflected in the shape of the belly button. And such problems may mean you're a less desirable mate later on in life.

So what does this say about supermodel Karolina Kurkova who reportedly has no belly button.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 04, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Body, Weird Theory

Weird Theory: Palestinians are actually long-lost Jews

Palestinians and Jews may be bitter enemies, but according to Tsvi Misinai this shouldn't be the case because Palestianians are actually long-lost Jews. The Times summarizes the gist of the theory (which isn't original to Misinai):

Palestinians with whom Israel is at war are, in fact, descendants of Jews who stayed on the land when the Roman legions sent most of their countrymen into exile 2,000 years ago... Gradually, these people lost their ethnic identities, converting first to Christianity under Byzantine rule and then to Islam, as power in the land changed hands and rulers sought to homogenise the population, either through force or the offer of social privilege and tax incentives.

Apparently there are closer genetic matches between Palestinian and Jewish communities than between Palestinians and surrounding Arab communities. So who knows, the guy may be right. But even if he is, it probably won't make any difference to the fighting over there.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Jan 26, 2009 | Comments (9)
Category: Weird Theory

Weird Theory: The Scottish Origin of Rap

The theory, argued by Prof. Ferenc Szasz of the University of New Mexico, is that modern rap music derives from the ancient Caledonian art of "flyting", in which rival poets hurled obscene rhyming insults at each other. From the Telegraph:

Scottish slave owners took the tradition with them to the United States, where it was adopted and developed by slaves, emerging many years later as rap. Professor Szasz is convinced there is a clear link between this tradition for settling scores in Scotland and rap battles, which were famously portrayed in Eminem's 2002 movie 8 Mile.

The more conventional theory is that the roots of rap music trace back to ancient West African poets called "griots". From Wikipedia:

the griots of West Africa were delivering stories rhythmically, over drums and sparse instrumentation. Because of the time that has passed since the griots of old, the connections between rap and the African griots are widely established, but not clear-cut. However, such connections have been acknowledged by rappers, modern day "griots", spoken word artists, mainstream news sources, and academics.

Actually, given the big gap in time between these two possible origins and the emergence of rap in the 1970s, both theories sound a little iffy to me.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jan 08, 2009 | Comments (16)
Category: Weird Theory
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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.