Category:
Military

Weird Science – Above and Below.

Tonight is the night of the Yule moon, also called the “wolf moon” (the first new full moon of the year), and coincidentally will be the largest and brightest full moon of 2010. This is because the Moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle but an ellipse, with its nearest point to Earth some 31 thousand miles closer than its furthest. And occasionally the full moon will coincide with this closest approach, which is enough for the moon to appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than at any other time this year. Incidentally, this also means the previous new moon was very nearly the smallest it could have been, which is why – along with occurring with Earth at its nearest to the Sun – the solar eclipse on January 15th was annular (Space.com).

Also watching the skies tonight may be Luchezar Filipov, Deputy Head of Space Exploration at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. However, Filipov’s interest is not the Moon, but aliens, who he believes are living among us on Earth at this very moment. Filipov and his team claim to be in telepathic contact with the aliens, who he says are friendly, but could not establish a coherent conversation because of our “lack of evolution”. This lack of coherence appears to have only been one way however, as Filipov was still able to state that the aliens were critical of our immoral behaviour, environmental destruction and use of cosmetics and artificial insemination, which they condemned as unnatural – unlike space travel one presumes. The next meeting of minds between Filipov and the aliens is scheduled for sometime in spring this year (Sofia Echo).

But perhaps the aliens are backing the wrong species, because it’s move over Iron Man and make way for Iron Snail. The scaly-foot snail is certainly well protected for its kind, with an iron rich outer layer that deters piercing, a thick organic middle that dissipates the force of an attack and a calcified inner layer that gives the shell sufficient rigidity to resist attempts to crush it. The snail’s armour is so good that it’s attracted the interest of the Department of Defense, who are seeing if any useful lessons could be learned for application in the man-made versions (MIT).

Someone else who could have benefited from some armour is “Macho B”, who was – until his death in February last year, the last known wild jaguar in South West America. Perversely, it wasn’t poachers who did for him in the end but Arizona’s own Fish and Game Department, who deny it was their intention to capture the jaguar despite setting snares around his territory. Now a federal inquiry has concluded that Macho B was trapped deliberately, and the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to bring charges (NY Times).

But even as the jaguar takes one step nearer joining the dinosaurs in extinction, scientists are one step closer to bringing them back, in our imaginations at least. For the first time, a team from China, the United Kingdom and Ireland have determined the colours and pattern of a dinosaur, a metre-long feathered carnivore called Sinosauropteryx. Turns out the bird-like bipeds were orange, with white striped tails and a “mohawk” display crest on their heads. Despite the feathers, Sinosauropteryx was a flightless reptile who most likely used its feathers primarily for display (CBC).

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Jan 29, 2010 - Comments (3)
Category: Aliens, Animals, Government, Military, Science, Goofs and Screw-ups

Buy Your Own Piece of Armageddon

Be the envy of every other survivalist and have your own converted cold-war Atlas-F missile silo home! You too can live in complete cold war safety and luxury. The converted missile launch site is marketed as a getaway, luxury home, and in my opinion is every survivalist’s dream. The property includes its own private runway, 2000 square foot luxury home above ground with master suite, a private airstrip, and a hangar/garage. Below ground, past the 2000 lb. blast doors and three feet of reinforced concrete built to withstand brutal missile assaults lies two additional stories of space in the converted control room where you will find two additional suites with luxury marble Jacuzzi baths and an escape hatch to your private hangar.

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More in extended >>

Posted By: chris_cantwell - Wed May 06, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Architecture, Armageddon and Apocalypses, Buildings and Other Structures, Destruction, Flight, Government, Military, Real Estate, Science, War, 1950s

Survival Under Atomic Attack

A reader named John, commenting on the WHY STUDY SCIENCE? thread, asked to see a film about surviving atomic attack. Here it is, John!

(There's no static image on the screen, but just click the PLAY button on the bottom of the viewing window.)

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 24, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Disasters, History, Military, Movies, Patriotism, Technology, War, Weapons, Reader Recommendation, 1950s, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Radiological Defense

Much of what we define today as "weird" looks to be weird simply because the context that surrounded its creation is no longer in place. As famously said, "The past is another country," and we all know that stuff that happens in other countries is quite often weird.

Once upon a time--in 1961--the staged documentary featured here seemed like the most sober-sided, commonsense bit of educational material. But now--

--well, see for yourselves!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 08, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Death, Futurism, Military, Movies, Technology, War, Weapons, 1960s

Li’l Castros

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[From Life magazine for April 13 1959.]

Of course, we all recall personally or at least have heard of the Davy Crockett Craze of the mid-1950's, when Disney's promotional genius had kids everywhere running around in coonskin caps. But who among us lately has dared to summon up memories of the Castro dressup craze from a few years later?

Yes, once upon a time, at the start of his revolution, Castro was received in the USA as a hero of the oppressed peoples of Cuba, and seen as a fit role model for tykes to imitate.

Please click on the image for the full glory of this era, and excuse any flash glare from my poor photo skills. I had to photograph rather than scan, to capture the full impact of the double page spread.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 05, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: Body Modifications, Facial Hair, Business, Products, Fads, Family, Children, Parents, Government, Military, Pop Culture, War, Weapons, 1950s

Dog Gas Masks

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Gasmasks.net provides more information than you probably ever wanted to know about the development of dog gas masks. For instance, one problem the developers of the dog gas masks had, which wasn't encountered by their counterparts working on the human versions, was how to build in a "slobber drain."

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 20, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Inventions, Military

Micronations

The concept of micronations is a fascinating idea. I utilized the notion in one of my recent stories, the title piece from The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories. But I hardly began to exhaust the narrative possibilities of the idea.










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Here's a recent article on one such place, the Republic of Molossia.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 28, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Performance Art, Customs, Foreign Customs, Eccentrics, Government, Officials, Regulations, History, Law, Military, Obsessions, Patriotism, Politics, Travel

Ho, Ho, Ho, Hangman!

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Who knew that Serbia boasted so many high-placed fans of Rankin-Bass animation?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 24, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Celebrities, Crime, Stupid Criminals, Eccentrics, History, Historical Figure, Military, Movies, Cartoons, Prisons, Torture, 1990s

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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.

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

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