Category:
Weird Universe

July 12, 2016

Why the site was so slow yesterday

If you tried to visit WU yesterday, you probably couldn't get it to load. The reason for that is because one of our old entries, about "paradoxical undressing," was linked to by reddit's "Today I Learned" subreddit, and that resulted in the server being overwhelmed by traffic. The phenomenon is known as the "reddit hug of death."

I tried to do what I could to mitigate the server freeze by redirecting the reddit traffic to a static page, but it only helped a little bit. However, the gaze of reddit now seems to have moved on to other things, so server response times have returned to normal.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 12, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Weird Universe,

February 29, 2016

Back Off, Bing!

You may have noticed that the site is loading very slowly. Our web host tells us that the reason is that Microsoft Bing is very aggressively crawling the site.

I'm doing what I can to try to remedy the situation — which is to put a note in the site's robots.txt file kindly requesting Bing to back off a bit. We'll see if it works.

And maybe (fingers crossed) Bing will eventually get bored and go play somewhere else.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 29, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Weird Universe,

February 15, 2016

Weird News of the 20th Century

The first post was made on WU on July 30, 2008, and since that time we've explored many strange and unusual subjects. But unfortunately, it's difficult to browse through the back catalog of all that we've posted about, unless someone is willing to wade through the category or month-by-month archives, which aren't designed for easy browsing.

In an attempt to address this problem (or, at least, begin to address it) I've put together a gallery of Weird News of the 20th Century. I've added the menu to navigate this gallery at the top of the page. (It's the list of decades that you should see right below the WU banner and google ad.) The gallery is still a work-in-progress, but it's got enough content to go live.

I designed the gallery with new visitors to the site especially in mind, hoping it can serve as an introduction to all the weirdness we explore and give them something to look at beyond just the main page.

But, of course, long-time WUvies may find some things in the gallery that they missed. Enjoy!

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 15, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Weird Universe,

April 19, 2015

Weird Universe goes Mobile Friendly

WU has taken a tentative step into the 21st Century by going "mobile friendly". Which means that if you look at the site on a mobile phone, it should actually be readable.

The biggest design change this involved was bringing back Rick Altergott's WU banner — because making an image banner automatically resize was a lot easier than rejiggering the old header.

All else should be relatively familiar. So please proceed as normal!

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 19, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Weird Universe,

October 16, 2014

WU Comments

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Fellow WU-vies--thanks to the alertness of several readers, we have been notified of a problem with posting comments. The captcha feature is glitched, working inconsistently. Our Master Hacker Alex (I think he learned all he knows from 1983's WarGames) is working on a fix now.

Thanks for your patience. Without your comments, the blog would be only half what it is.

Update from Alex: I "fixed" the problem by disabling the captcha system. Which may leave us wide open to spammers. We'll see how it goes for a few days.

Update 2: Wow! Allowing comment posting without captchas was like opening wide the floodgates of spam. So that experiment lasted only about 10 minutes. For now I've changed the admin settings so that only logged-in members can post comments. And in the meantime, I'll search for an alternative captcha system that is compatible with our very old blogging software.

Update 3: I found and installed an alternative captcha system. Let's see if it works! The neat thing is that most people won't see a captcha at all. It only shows if it thinks you might be a spammer, and it then asks you to solve a simple math problem.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 16, 2014 - Comments (10)
Category: Weird Universe, Alex, Reader Recommendation, Computers,

May 7, 2014

Flowertown, USA, by Altergott

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Be sure to check out the new ongoing strip by WU's own Rick Altergott, at VICE magazine.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 07, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Sexuality, Weird Universe, Comics, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, Wimps, Milquetoasts and Cowards,

January 1, 2014

Best Xmas Card 2013

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Now that the season is officially over, I can state with certainty that the best card I received this year was from WU's own Rick Altergott, depicting the artist, his charming and beautiful wife Ariel, and their son Eddie.

Happy New Year to all!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 01, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Holidays, Weird Universe,

May 6, 2013

Batman Reads NOTW!

From this issue.

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Posted By: Paul - Mon May 06, 2013 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Weird Universe, Chuck, Comics,

March 11, 2013

New Weird Books Sidebar

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Eagle-eyed WU-vies will have spotted the new sidebar, installed by Alex this weekend, where we will recommend books of sufficient weirdness, we hope, to deserve your attention.

The reason for picking most of the titles should be obvious, at least upon visiting their page. But if we want to expand on our reason for selecting a book, we'll do a separate post on the main blog.

We hope this new feature brings you lots of pleasant--and weird--reading!

PS: if you want to bring something worthy of dissemination to our notice, please do so!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 11, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Weird Studies and Guides, Weird Universe, Books,

September 15, 2012

Altergott Does SpongeBob

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[Click to enlarge]

I am taking the liberty of "reprinting" a page from the latest SpongeBob comic because it features the newest work from our resident genius artist Rick Altergott. The whole issue is hilarious, and you should grab one for yourself or any young budding WU-vie.


Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 15, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Television, Weird Universe, Comics, Cartoons,

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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.

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