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.
- Its The Real ThingSome think of a pool full of Coca Cola and Mentos and say, "Why?" These guys said, "Why not!"
- Slip Slidding AwayHavana, Illinois has a bug problem. Not bed bugs or cockroaches, mayflies. Their bridge is covered in them and by covered I mean up to six inches deep. The resulting bug goo all over the bridge has caused a number of accidents, cars and motorcycles. A certain kind of water bug grows wings and swarms as mayflies before laying eggs. I am thinking there will be far fewer of the water bugs this season because so many got squished on the bridge before laying eggs.
- Eels smelling alcoholVarious sources report that the sense of smell of the eel is so acute, that if you were to pour a few drops of alcohol into the Great Lakes (or Lake Constance, according to who's telling the story), an eel would be able to smell it. From Consider the Eel, by Richard Schweid: "You can take one liter of a certain type of alcohol, pour it into the Great Lakes, and an eel will smell it," said Uwe Kils, a 48-year-old German oceanographer at the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences field station at Little Egg Harbor on the New Jersey coast. "The Great Lakes compose about 19 trillion liters, so you are talking about being able to smell something at one part per 19 trillion. That's a very acute sense of smell." And from The Eel, by F.W. Tesch & R.J. White: In painstaking conditioning experiments it was shown that the eel can perceive the scent of roses (β-phenylethyl alcohol) even when the latter is diluted by 1:2.857 X 1018. Such a degree of dilution corresponds to a solution of one ml of scent in a volume of water 58 times that of Lake Constance (Bodensee). The original source from which this info seems to come is a 1957 article in a German scientific journal: Teichmann, Harald. (January 1957), Das Riechvermögen des Aales (Anguilla anguilla L.). Naturwissenschafter 44(7), 242.
- Bob “Bazooka” BurnsFull story here.
- Said no at altarI guess that's why it's posed as a question. You don't have to say "I do." Anyway, if you're 16, the correct response to a marriage request is 'No.' Unfortunately, it seems that Lois did end up getting married a week later, despite her initial reluctance. The Ottawa Journal - May 1, 1971 Girl Says 'No' At the Altar SIBSON, England (UPI) —Radiant and demure in white lace, Lois Elliott walked down the aisle on her father's arm as the organ intoned "Here Comes the Bride." "Wilt thou," said Rev. Frank Best, "take this man to be thy lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish 'til death do you part?" Lois, 16, smiled at Mr. Best, at her father and at the groom. "No," she said quietly. Then she turned and walked out of St. Botolph's Church. Lois offered no immediate explanation for her change of heart. But her father, Barry Elliott, said he thought a chance remark by one of the groom's relatives "may have upset her."
- Skinny Suicides Survival RateI had this post in the queue before Alex did his story about the woman jumping yesterday. Maybe this is the explanation for her miracle. Apparently, it's best to put on a few pounds before jumping from a high place, if you are serious about doing yourself in. Original article here.