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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:

  • Miss Kangaroo
    Loretta North of Australia probably thought it was quite an honor when she was picked to serve as "Miss Kangaroo" and tour the United States with two kangaroos. It was part of a publicity stunt to promote the 1952 movie Kangaroo. But it doesn't sound like the tour went very well. One of the kangaroos promptly died. Loretta herself had to be hospitalized for strep throat. And while the other kangaroo survived, it was impossible to toilet train him.
  • The Coleopter
    Original article here. Why are the skies of 2015 not filled with coleopters?
  • A-Bomb Detergent
    Wash that radiation away! Source: Life - Nov 20, 1950
  • The Rotor at Kennywood
    While Kennywood Amusement Park is still operating, they no longer feature the Rotor. Given its 3Gs of force, in this day and age of tender litigious patrons, I'm surprised any park still does.
  • The Wetsuit Suit
    It's a suit you can go surfing in. Invented in Japan, of course. Available here.
  • Diving for Buttons
    "Today, little remains of the industry but the occasional telltale sign spotted on the ground—shells laced with perfectly round holes—and millions of mother-of-pearl buttons saved in button jars across the country, cut from blouses and shirts from a time when nothing was wasted." The whole story, in depth. (No pun intended.)

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

Recent posts:

  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE April 22, 2015
    An oldie but goodie:http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/04/paul-di-filippo-reviews-algernon-blackwood/
  • New Review at the B&NR April 20, 2015
    Lift your spirits by reading a utopia!http://www.barnesandnoble.com/review/ten-essential-utopias
  • 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:http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/04/paul-di-filippo-reviews-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.