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!
Alex and I have just taken a step which I do not believe we have ever needed to take before in the long history of WEIRD UNIVERSE. We deleted someone's comment because it was nasty, rude, hostile and generally boorish. (And may I also say that the suffering longtime member of the community, the commenter to whom the insults were addressed, reacted with restraint, dignity, calm and a noble nature.)
Let me take this unfortunate occasion to remind everyone that WU has always been a landmark of collegiality and friendliness and acceptance, albeit happily flavored with irony, black humor and appreciation for the world's incredible stupidity. Especially in comparison to much of the internet, WU remains a happy place. Let's try to keep it that way.
Thanks, as always, for your attention, support and understanding.
Friends--I always delighted in searching the open archives of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, and finding many items there to highlight on WU, with links back to the source.
This week the formerly open archives went behind a paywall. I understand the economics of it, but I'm still sad.
And of course, the old links won't work now.
Well, it was fun while it lasted...
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.
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!
Friends: the post immediately below this one is Chuck's 1500th weekly column! Do the math, kids: Twenty-eight-plus years of brilliant curation and commentary. What else began in 1988 that is still going strong and undiminished? Oh, sure Afghanistan is still wracked by war. But is that an honorable achievement? No! The Phantom of the Opera
debuted in 1988 and is still running. But I'll take Chuck over Andrew Lloyd Webber any day!
Please weigh in with your own thoughts and applause and appreciations. Perhaps your 28-year-old child somehow owes his or her birth to NOTW? Your marriage was saved by NOTW? You went to Washington as a humble Senator and conducted a noble filibuster by reciting NOTW columns? No? Well, in any case, Chuck has brightened many a day and life. That's what really matters.
Several people have mentioned that the link to the answer on the latest MYSTERY GADGET post (answer in foto above) did not work for them. Others have mentioned that some links are not permitted to folks outside the USA, and that seems to be the case here. Thanks to one and all for bringing this up.
In the future, I will make sure to have the answer after the jump, as well as at the original source!
The spam filter on the new version of our hosting software seems extra sensitive today, having mistakenly bagged comments by Expat and Phideaux. I reset the status when I see this, so your words will get through. Nothing any of the commenters are doing wrong that I can see.
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.