April Fool’s Day

It's April Fool's Day, which, for me, means it's the day when I receive requests by the media to pontificate about the history of foolish things. You can read some of my most recent musings in USA Today:

Should you still celebrate April Fools' Day amid coronavirus?

I'll also be on Midnight in the Desert Radio tonight (Art Bell's old show), from 9-11 pm (PST).

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 01, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Holidays, Alex

Psychedelic Apes - the book

Please excuse the self-promotion, though hopefully the subject matter may be of interest to WUvies. For the past two years I've been busy researching and writing another book, and it finally went on sale last week, published by Macmillan. I give you Psychedelic Apes: From parallel universes to atomic dinosaurs – the weirdest theories of science and history.

The book is an exploration of some of the craziest ideas that lurk at the fringes of both science and history. While I don't endorse these ideas, I didn't exactly set out to debunk them either. After all, I have a very high tolerance for, and fascination with, weirdness. Mostly I wanted to understand what the case was for each of them, and why some seemingly intelligent, knowledgeable researchers (quite a few of them leaders in their fields) not only convinced themselves that these ideas could be true, but in many cases passionately defended them — sometimes at great cost to their careers and reputations.

I also wanted to keep an open mind because the history of science is, to a great degree, a history of ideas that were initially dismissed by scholars as being totally nuts (such as heliocentrism, evolution, continental drift, etc.) eventually being accepted as true. But yes, I do explain why the majority of scholars reject the hypotheses I examine in the book.

The chapter list:

  • What if the Big Bang never happened?
  • What if our universe is actually a computer simulation?
  • What if there’s only one electron in the universe?
  • What if we’re living inside a black hole?
  • What if we live forever?

  • What if the Earth is at the centre of the universe?
  • What if planets can explode?
  • What if our solar system has two suns?
  • What if ten million comets hit the Earth every year?
  • What if the Earth is expanding?

  • What if everything is conscious?
  • What if diseases come from space?
  • What if the Earth contains an inexhaustible supply of oil and gas?
  • What if alien life exists on Earth?
  • What if we’ve already found extraterrestrial life?

  • What if the dinosaurs died in a nuclear war?
  • What if our ancestors were aquatic apes?
  • What if we’re descended from a pig–chimp hybrid?
  • What if hallucinogenic drugs made us human?
  • What if humanity is getting dumber?

  • What if ancient humans were directed by hallucinations?
  • What if Homer was a woman?
  • What if Jesus was a mushroom?
  • What if Jesus was Julius Caesar?
  • What if the Early Middle Ages never happened?

The topics progress from cosmological questions about the origin and nature of the universe, up through the origin of life and our species, and ends with the dawn of the modern era. So in addition to being a catalog of "against-the-mainstream" ideas, the book offers a kind of alternative history of the cosmos. In the following weeks, I'll post fuller descriptions of some of these topics.

Unfortunately, the book is currently only on sale in the UK and (I believe) Australia. For whatever reason, the Brits have been much more receptive to my books than Americans have been. I have no idea if, or when, an American edition will be coming out. But an audio edition should be available soon. Some places it can be purchased online:

Amazon UK
W.H. Smith

If you're a blogger interested in obtaining a review copy, drop me a line. I may be able to arrange that. Though I can't make any promises.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 01, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: Science, Books, Alex

Happy New Year 2019

All the best for a happy and healthy New Year from Alex, Paul and our partners!

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 01, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Holidays, Alex, Paul

Go Back, Jack, Do It Again

As we approach the tenth anniversary of Weird Universe (founded mainly due to the genius and initiative of Chuck Shepherd, July 2008), Alex and I had the notion that newcomers might not have seen many of our past posts that were deserving of their amused attentions. Therefore, we are going to occasionally repost an oldie-but-goodie, bannered with a special header to identify it. We hope that even if you have been with us since the beginning, you will enjoy these reruns, which, of course, will not diminish our schedule of two new posts each and every day.

Just more weirdness for your enjoyment!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 03, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Anniversary, Weird Universe, Alex, Chuck, Paul

Who Can Replace a Shepherd?

WU-vie GES comments: "I've sent many stories to Chuck over the years, several of which he has included on NOTW. Where can I send them now? Is there some way of getting them posted in WU?"

Certainly Alex and I would appreciate reader tips, and possibly use them somehow, in singleton posts. So keep sending them to the email addresses in the sidebar. But neither of us have plans at the moment to try to match the weekly ineffable efforts of Chuck.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 04, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Weird Universe, Alex, Chuck, Paul, Reader Recommendation

Chuck’s Departure

Naturally, when Chuck informed Alex and me earlier of his decision to retire, we were heartbroken--just as all of his readers are showing themselves to be.

And yet, once the dust of that explosive announcement settled, Alex and I realized--just as all of his readers must--that Chuck's long, invaluable, joyous service would remain forever an inspiration, and that no one deserved more accolades and more congratulations and more good wishes for a long and fruitful post- NOTW lifetime than he did! So, Chuck, please consider those warm feelings and congratulations delivered in spades!

Of course, after all this, Alex and I still faced the question of whether to keep Weird Universe going. We decided to give it a go, for as long as readers keep coming and seem to enjoy what we do.

The blog has not been diminished by one-third, but by more like fifty percent, with Chuck's departure. So I guess Alex and I will just have to try to fill those large shoes to some degree.

Thanks to one and all--but most of all, to Chuck, whose idea it was to do Weird Universe in the first place!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 04, 2017 - Comments (18)
Category: Weird Universe, Alex, Chuck, Paul, Sadness

April Fool’s Day Radio Interview

If you happen to be up really late on Saturday night (Apr 1), you can listen to me discuss the history of April Fool's Day on Coast to Coast AM. I'll be on from 11 pm to 1 am, west coast time. So 2-4 am east coast.

I used to be a nightowl, but those days are long in the past. So it's going to be a challenge for me to stay awake and remain coherent that late. I'm going to take a nap Saturday afternoon to prepare, and have plenty of coffee on hand.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 31, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Alex

Happy New Year, 2017!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 01, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Holidays, Weird Universe, Alex, Chuck, Paul

We’re Back!?!

Fellow WU-vies--it appears that thanks to the help-line persistence and technical prowess of Alex, we are now able to make new posts from scratch. The ones you saw this weekend--when the site wasn't down--were old ones from the queue which the glitchy software somehow still allowed us to bring live.

In any case, here's to at least another eight years of smooth operation. For your patience, a bonus re-jiggered cartoon of the kind I post regularly on my Facebook page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 01, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Weird Universe, Alex, Comics

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

weird universe thumbnail
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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  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 •