Nick sent us a bunch of youtube links about the art of circuit bending. He writes:
there is a hobby that nobody talks about called circuit bending. It's great fun, I've done it a few times and I've got a few friends that are really into it. Circuit bending is the act of cracking open a musical toy,radio, tape machine, cd player, walkie-talkie etc. and hapazardly/randomly poking around the ciruit board with a couple of wires to get unique sounds out of whatever you're "bending". You then solder the wire at the points you want and voila, you have a brand new musical insrument. Some people get really crazy with it and add new parts like light sensors, switches, buttons etc. and get some really wild effects.
This reminds me of a dream I've had for years. I want to hack into one of those Big Mouth Billy Bass animatronic toys and make it sing "Let the Eagle Soar" by John Ashcroft. It would be the ultimate piece of kitsch. I guess that makes me a would-be circuit bender. But I don't have the skills to make it happen. Also, I doubt my wife would allow me to keep it in the house.
4”x5” camera made from Aluminium, Titanium, Brass, Silver, Gem Stones and a 150 year old skull of a 13 year old girl. Light and time enters at the third eye, exposing the film in the middle of the skull.
During the 1960s NASA sponsored research into the effect of sonic booms on human subjects. This was in response to growing concern about "the nature of the boom phenomena" as supersonic aircraft were flying with increasing frequency. Shown in the picture is one subject (unidentified) about to be locked inside the "Sonic Boom Simulation Chamber."
I like the juxtaposition of the prim-and-proper woman and the massive audio system. Unfortunately there aren't any pictures of what she looked like after being repeatedly blasted with simulated sonic booms.
The image comes from NASA Contractor Report CR-1192, "Relative Annoyance and Loudness Judgments of Various Simulated Sonic Boom Waveforms."
I just read this breezy yet well-researched pop-sci book to write it up for THE BARNES & NOBLE REVIEW, and my essay will appear there soon. But for now, I can heartily recommend it to WU readers interested in the many unexplained weirdnesses lurking beneath the tidy coverlets of science.
Steve Norris has built a Stonehenge Robotic Digital Clock. I don't think it would work so well as a bedside timepiece (the whirring of it might keep you up at night), but it would definitely be something you could show off to your friends. It would be even cooler if a version of this were built that was the actual size of Stonehenge. (via OhGizmo!)
And speaking of Stonehenge, Rhett Davis, a farmer in Hooper, Utah has built what he calls his "Redneck Stonehenge" to annoy his residential neighbors who apparently don't understand "him and his kind." It's three cars stuck in the ground, which is no rival to Carhenge in Nebraska. (Thanks, Katey!)
Of course we all know that the image of a hand-pumped railroad trolley is a comedy staple. But I find the notion of special little motorized vehicles adapted to ride the rails just as funny. As you might predict, there's an organization dedicated to hobbyists and collectors of these miniature rail-mounted transports, and it's to be found here.
My local newspaper has a great article about a fellow who restored the vehicle pictured to the right.
I imagine a Farelly Brothers movie in which the hero confounds the bad guys by making his unpredictable escape in such a vehicle--at a whopping 5 MPH!
Perhaps it's because I've been a non-smoker my entire life, but I really don't understand the point of the Gamucci electronic cigarette. From their website:
Gamucci is a rechargeable electronic cigarette. It is a completely non-flammable product that uses state of the art sophisticated micro-electronic technology to provide users a real smoking experience without the tobacco and tar found in real cigarettes. It looks like, feels like and tastes like a real cigarette, yet it isn't. It is so much more. It is truly a healthier and satisfying alternative. Join the Revolution today!
So basically it's a miniaturized fog gun that you hold in your mouth. Sounds like a swell way to join the revolution!
Books Selected and endorsed for Pure Weirdness by Your WU Team
Who We Are
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.
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