Items Tagged: blogging

The Weird Universe explores a human and natural cosmos that is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine. The usual suspects are Paul Di Filippo; Alex Boese, curator of the Museum of Hoaxes; and Chuck Shepherd, purveyor of News of the Weird.

Recent posts:

  • 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!
  • Kearton’s Imitation Ox
    In his efforts to obtain photographs of some of the shyest birds, an English author resorted to the most ingenious devices, one of which was an imitation ox made of a bullock skin stretched over a wicker frame. Concealed in this with his camera, the lens of which peeped out of a hole in the chest, the naturalist photographer took observations and obtained some excellent pictures. An artificial sheep also proved of great service when studying birds of the moors and mountains, its realistic appearance never failing to deceive, and making it a useful hiding place.Source: The Canadian Magazine - April 1904 Find more info about Kearton and his ox here.
  • Balloon Land
  • Seaweed Collecting
    Back in the Victorian era, this was apparently a popular hobby. From Collectors Weekly: Affluent Victorians often spent hours painstakingly collecting, drying, and mounting these underwater plants into decorative scrapbooks... Part of the appeal was what a seaweed collection said about the collector. Anyone could appreciate and collect flowers, but painstakingly obtaining, preserving, and mounting seaweed specimens demonstrated patience, artistic talent, and the refined sensibilities necessary to appreciate the more subtle beauties of nature. Queen Victoria herself made a seaweed album as a young lady. And yes, the seaweed did smell bad. But Collectors Weekly reminds us that the Victorian era was "a more pungent time."
  • The Living Theatre, Deceased
    With the death this month of Judith Malina, the world will be forever deprived of "happenings" like the one in the first clip, where, I regret, Ms. Malina does not appear until the final few seconds.
  • Pee .. Beer .. Recycle
    A company is now making Beer from urine and other sewage waste water. I think this would be good for the space station as they do something similar but only get back the water.

The Inferior 4+1 is a Livejournal community maintained by Paul, lizhand, Paul Witcover, lucius-t and ljgoldstein.

Recent posts:

  • Ad for FANTASTIC from 1952 April 18, 2015
    From STRANGE CONFESSIONS comic No 2.
  • Wolf Hall, and a Limerick April 17, 2015
    I love Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, so I was delighted (and apprehensive) when I heard that BBC was going to do a dramatization.  So far I'm liking their version, except for one thing -- it's rushing by waaay too fast.  This shouldn't have come as a surprise -- they're squeezing two full novels into six episodes, after all -- but somehow each episode ends with me trying to catch my breath.The problem is that they've pared the novels down to just one plot, Thomas Cromwell's revenge on the people who brought down his master, Cardinal Wolsey.  The books were much more leisurely, with room for a lot more aspects of Cromwell's life.  In fact, Mantel is so tricky that the theme of Cromwell's revenge is revealed only gradually, in bits and pieces, so that she's already convinced you he's a wonderful person before she pulls the ground out from under you and shows you what he's really capable of.Despite the show's faults, Mark Rylance is terrific.  You never really know what he's thinking.  Is he nodding in agreement?  Is he scheming?  Is he just keeping his own counsel?  He's friendly and engaging, but he's hiding something, and you can't figure out what it is.  In the books people keep telling him he looks like a murderer, and yet they still like him -- and Rylance manages to capture this balance perfectly.Also great is Damian Lewis as Henry VIII, who managed to make me completely forget he was in Homeland.  In fact, a lot of the scenes pit good actor against good actor, to great effect.The books and TV show also explained something I'd wondered about, which is, how the hell do you pronounce "Wriothesley"?  (Admittedly, I didn't spend a lot of time on it.)  The Wriothesley in Wolf Hall isn't Shakespeare's patron but, according to Wikipedia anyway, his grandfather.  And so, in honor of my discovering the answer to a question I'd had since college, here's a limerick:There once was a fair youth named Wriothesley,Who set off on a night dark and driothesley.But he stepped out the door,Heard a terrible roar,Exit, pursued by a griothesley.
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE April 17, 2015
    I look at the latest from Tom Purdom:
  • Quote of the Month April 13, 2015
    "The dictionary is a wonderful thing, but you can't let it push you around," Mary Norris, Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.  I almost want to type this up and hang it over my desk.Between You and Me is (so far, haven't finished it yet) a lot of fun, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't a copy editor or proofreader or in some way connected with publishing.  Having been all those things, though, I'm finding it funny and interesting and instructive.  Among other things, Norris makes a valiant effort at explaining the difference between "that" and "which."  I still don't get it, but she at least she tried.
  • Eclipse April 4, 2015
    Last night Bonnie woke me up at around 4:00 because she needed to be taken outside.  I got up, grumbling, went outside, looked up -- and saw the partial eclipse!  It was terrific.  I got back to bed and told Doug, and then he went and looked at it.  Clearly, Bonnie understood that we wouldn't want to miss it.I read somewhere that the eclipse on the night of Passover and Good Friday is being seen by some as a sign of the end times.  To these people I just want to say -- Passover is a lunar festival.  It's always celebrated on the full moon.  There must have been hundreds of eclipses somewhere in the world that night throughout history.  Or, shorter -- get over it.
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE April 2, 2015
    Here's a survey of Space Age Art from Latin America: