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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:

  • Old Ink
    Tattoos go back a long way. This is evidenced by an archaeological find from 1991 in the Italian Alps. Scientist have been cataloging the mummified corpse's tattoos since it was found. The current count is 61 on the 5,300 year old ice man. That's some really old ink.
  • Good Aim
    This video has started doing the rounds on social media. A demonstration of the art of precision tree dropping.
  • Head Box
    Head Box from Jake Kavanagh on Vimeo.
  • Flesh Prices
    The purpose of this graphic was to show how high the price of meat was during the 1870 Siege of Paris. But what I find odd about it is the inclusion of elephant and bear meat, which apparently were on sale during the siege and had a set price. So if you wanted an elephant steak, it would have cost you 15 shillings (or $3.60) a pound. Assume that the modern currency equivalent would be a lot higher. Source: Illustrated World, April 1918.
  • Welbeck Abbey
    A famous eccentric, the Fifth Duke of Portland spent a fortune over twenty-five years constructing fantastical additions to his estate, Welbeck Abbey, including fifteen miles of underground tunnels. The Duke was very introverted - he did not want to meet people and never invited anyone to his home. His rooms had double letterboxes, one for ingoing and another for outgoing mail. His valet was the only person he permitted to see him in person in his quarters - he would not even let the doctor in, while his tenants and workmen were told never to acknowledge his presence (a workman who saluted him was reputedly dismissed on the spot) and they received all their instructions in writing. His business with his solicitors, agents, and the occasional politician was handled by post. The Duke maintained an extensive correspondence with a wide-ranging network of family and friends, including Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Palmerston. He is not known to have kept company with any ladies, and his shyness and introverted personality increased over time. His reclusive lifestyle led to rumours that the Duke was disfigured, mad, or prone to wild orgies, but contemporary witnesses and surviving photographs present him as a normal-looking man. He ventured outside mainly by night, when he was preceded by a lady servant carrying a lantern 40 yards ahead of him. If he did walk out by day, the Duke wore two overcoats, an extremely tall hat, an extremely high collar, and carried a very large umbrella behind which he tried to hide if someone addressed him. If the Duke had business in London, he would take his carriage to Worksop where he had it loaded onto a railway wagon. Upon his arrival at his London residence, Harcourt House in Cavendish Square, all the household staff were ordered to keep out of sight as he hurried into his study through the front hall. He insisted on a chicken roasting at all hours of the day, and the servants brought him his food on heated trucks that ran on rails through the underground tunnels. Wikipedia page. Long essay here.
  • Guess the object
    Can you figure out what this is? Answer is in extended.

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

Recent posts:

  • New DiFi Interview January 28, 2015
    I answer a few questions about my experiences in Italy.https://medium.com/basilicata-gusto/matera-a-rich-past-and-future-f95391bb6da5
  • New Review at the B&NR January 28, 2015
    I look at a debut SF novel involving talking cats:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/review/morte
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE January 21, 2015
    A look at Moorcock's new novel:http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/01/paul-di-filippo-reviews-michael-moorcock-2/
  • New Review at the B&NR January 21, 2015
    I look at a great new slipstream novel:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/review/glow
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE January 16, 2015
    In the mood for some good urban fantasy?http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/01/paul-di-filippo-reviews-greg-van-eekhout/
  • New ON BOOKS Column January 15, 2015
    My new column at ASIMOV'S.https://asimovs.com/2015_01/onbooks.shtml