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In-the-Weird

In-the-Weird
Diversionary Distractions and Profound Mutterings. A collection of artists, djs, writers, and all around strange people sharing their creations, reviews on books, movies , music and more, as well as odd findings from around the world.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Articles

Ugh?
2011-10-07 09:01:00
What up with this 'life' thing?
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
2011-05-24 01:13:00
I've been reviewing books over at Steve Barancik's Best Childrens' Books, but, after I wrote this review, I realized that Steve had already posted his own review, and I *really* enjoyed this novel. Check out Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo CabretIt is always a joy to discover a book that embraces attractive and conventional children’s book tropes (a friendless but talented orphan, a mysterious object paired with a mysterious notebook) while, at the same time, exhibiting and celebrating boundless inventiveness and creativity. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is such a novel. Some aspects of the story play out precisely as the seasoned reader might expect, as the young hero, Hugo Cabret, slowly unravels the secrets of an unusual automaton retrieved from the smoking ashes of a burnt museum, while other—secret identities, shifting loyalties, and the story’s true purpose—surprise the reader with no advance warning.Visually, the book offers another surprise: much of the st...
Plugging Away
2011-02-26 01:15:00
If you simply don't have enough Dragon in your life, there's a remedy!First, of course you can always check out my other Blogger blogs, including my book review blog, Dragon's Library, or, for a more potent shot of Dragon, dip into my microfiction blog, Raincoat Flashers.Want if you want to see Dragon in print? You can order a copy of the January 2011 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly,  a lovely publication that includes my short story, "Spin Free," along with some more great speculative fiction. My first published piece was a semi-professional sale! How about that?Still not enough? How about a whole novel? That's right, now you can actually read one of my many unpublished novels on inkpop.com It's called The Final Flavor and it's about eating disorders, teen sex, mad scientists, love, betrayal, and a very unusual fetish.Inkpop is new terrain for me. This site encourages writers to upload their work, which is evaluated by the community. Every month, the top 5 manuscripts...
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
2011-02-14 22:16:00
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains is a comprehensive discussion of the effects of modern technology on modern thought, packed with information all too often glossed over or ignored in our quest for more and more efficient computing, networking, and information retrieval. This is not a hollow lamentation from a hysterical Luddite yearning for the past, but a detailed, scientific journey through the landscape of the mind.The Internet is an exciting and distracting place, an entrancement into which it is far too easy to fall and from which it is far too difficult to extricate oneself. Carr noticed that as he spent more time online, he was less able to focus on anything. Other academics noted that their dependence on the Internet resulted in a loss of their ability to read long pieces of text. The digital age promised to provide us access to the information that would make us smarter, but more and more users report that they feel scatterbrained, unable to concentrat...
Please Don't Feed the Trolls
2011-01-19 01:00:00
Many years ago, when I had first developed an interest in symbolism, a wise man explained to me the mytho-poetic location of a bridge: a place between places. It starts in one place, and takes you to another place, and in the middle, you are simply hanging over a place you cannot practically inhabit: a raging river or a gaping chasm or a busy highway. You are between places, en route, neither one nor the other.Under the bridge is a precarious place: a negative place. Who dwells under bridges? In our culture, it’s people who have no better place to be: homeless folks may dwell under bridges for shelter, teenagers may take refuge there in pursuit of antisocial behavior. Gangs may stake out their territory under a bridge, as will animals. Under the bridge is outside of society. When Anthony Kiedis sang about being “Under the Bridge” he was singing about the absolute lowest point in his life, a place to which he wishes he had never gone, and hopes never to return. (Look it up.)In ...
More About: Feed
Vice for the Holidays
2010-12-03 23:10:00
A few years back, I was asked to help a class of first graders learn about the Jewish holiday of Hanuka. The children heard an abbreviated version of the Hanuka story, learned about the candle-lighting tradition, ate some latkes, and played dreidel. After a few rounds of dreidel, many of the kids, unfamiliar with the concept of gambling at their tender age, had the same complaint: This game isn’t fair. It’s a game of chance, with no skill involved. No, it’s not fair. And, I would argue, the actual playing of the game is not relevant. What’s the connection of the dreidel game to the Hanuka holiday? When the Israelites were living under Syrian occupation, they were forbidden from studying Torah. Like girls in Afghanistan who pretended their schools were sewing circles whenever the Taliban dropped by, the Israelites found an innocuous cover story for their gatherings. “Study? Why no, officer. We’re just playing this delightful game of chance in which the outcome of a spinni...
More About: Holidays
Crystal Body Deodorant
2010-10-06 02:27:00
My boyfriend recently purchased a stick of all-natural deodorant, made of natural mineral salts and ammonium alum. It's a good alternative for those who worry about the safety of antiperspirant (some research suggests a link between those chemicals and Alzheimer's or cancer; some people are allergic to standard products) or if you just don't like the scent of other deodorants. The company that produces Crystal Body Deodorant claims that the product neutralizes the bacteria that cause body odor. The product works well, can be used by men or women, and does not leave a mess on your black T-shirt if you accidentally combine the two. There is no problem with Crystal Body Deodorant. Their logo, however, is hysterical.So check it out. We've got a man and a women. They appear to be naked. That's cool--it's a unisex hygiene product, so that makes sense. The woman's face is lighted, but the man appears only in silhouette. But women are prettier than man, right? The man is flexing his ...
River Rock Martini Glasses... more Woodeye-Glassware Funkiness!
2010-08-06 11:01:00
River Rock s Custom Martini & Cocktail Shaker Set from Woodeye-Glassware.comThis site was originally not merely for the weird of the world, but also to spread the love for various literary,  musical, and visual artists we dig.  We have fallen out of that a bit, we all got busy with life and what not, but while I will be "spamming" the site with a lot of my glassware over the coming weeks, I also will be introducing other cool artists I dig.  So hopefully our dozens of readers won't mind this self promotional excursion... and if ya do... to bad, just enjoy the ride!
More About: River
Funky New Shooter Glasses from Woodeye Glassware
2010-08-04 21:17:00
It's been a little while since I posted here, but that's because I have been busy trying to make beautiful things... like these Bubbling Arrow shooter glasses!  4 inches tall, and each holding 2.5 oz, these glasses are perfect for enjoying your finest vodka, tequila, or favorite cordial.  Handcrafted and featuring dishwasher safe glass paints, they can be made in any colors you can think of for no extra charge.  Check out these and other unique glassware at my online gallery now!
More About: Shooter
Chupacabra's back!
2010-07-16 19:53:00
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the desert...Alleged Chupacabras Shot in Barn!According to the article, it's either a real dead example of the Mexican goat-sucker, or a couple of really ugly dogs. You decide!
More About: Back
George Lucas: Going to Hell, or Is He Just the Devil?
2010-07-12 01:25:00
I'm as big a Star Wars fan as anyone. Possibly bigger. I don't castigate Lucas for the bizarre rerelease of the original trilogy with its incongruous replacement of funky Muppets with modern CGI. I think Episode I would have been just fine if they cut out all of Jar-Jar's nonessential lines (it's a movie, people, not a divine revelation: what the hell did you expect?). I even defend the casting/directing of Jake Lloyd: a lot of people criticize his performance as wooden, but as someone who has worked with mind-bogglingly gifted kids, I can attest that this is a pretty good portrayal. George Lucas did have an artistic vision, even if we disagree with how he expressed it.The thing that damns Lucas, though, is his sad, overt pandering to younger and younger audiences for the purpose of merchandising. It's not enough to create tie-in toys for kids too young to watch the movies. He started by writing the Wookiee planet out of Episode VI and replacing that noble race with the lame bu...
More About: Hell , Devil
Whoops!
2010-07-01 01:13:00
Wella, looks like I forgot to update this week. Not that there's any lack of weirdness; just been immersed in a few big SEO projects for work, plus a new blog for my art, which should launch pretty soon. Details to come...In the meantime, why not check out my microfiction at Raincoat Flashera? Or, if you're looking for some cryptozoology links, why not order a copy of Sasquatch by Roland Smith? I read this book a couple months back, but I can't seem to find my review anywhere, even thought I'm SO SURE I wrote one, because I write a review for everything. It's a pretty sharp story.
Octopus Love
2010-06-14 00:09:00
Among my favorite of all creatures is the sinewy, hypnotic octopus. While individual octopi do not live very long, they are ancient creatures indeed, virtually indistinguishable from their ancestors 95 million years agoThe fortunate octopus is blessed with extra everything: 8 arms, 3 hearts, and, essentially, 9 brains, given that each of their arms requires an extra clump of neurons. They can change their color to blend into their environment; many of them can also shoot clouds of ink to befuddle predators and make a prestidigitatious escape.Octopus intelligence is widely documented, along with some evidence of octopus humor. The octopus is capable of solving the problem of a simple latch, taking leave of its tank, walking around your home or lab when you're not looking, and returning to its tank before you catch it out of bounds. Many researchers have reported noting the contents of certain tanks mysteriously disappearing before discovering their their octopus has developed a habi...
More About: Love
Empathy
2010-06-06 19:15:00
Of surprise to very few people came the research that today's college student has measurably less empathy than those of the 20th century (see the metric and compare yourself to those kids). In my experience working with small children in the public schools, the trend is toward a kind of self-centered unreality, in which children are brought up to believe that they are the only important people, that others don't count, and that rules don't apply to them. (There are, however, brain scans to demonstrate that vegetarians have more empathy than the general population so we're not totally doomed. Yet.)Much of this transition is being blamed on an adherence to video technologies. Without knowing more details, I will say that if TV and movies are more real to your children than your family, then they can't learn empathy. You need to feel for actual people, not pixels on a screen. TV and movies, for the most part, teach us to laugh at the misfortune of others).Also this week, Joran Va...
Geek Chic
2010-05-31 02:30:00
This week's news, as you probably know, is terribly depressing and hardly worth rehashing. Instead, let's all be quietly amused by my boyfriend's son's bicycle.Of course, he chose a yellow and black, which just so happens to be the same color combination as his daddy's bike. But what quietly amuses me is the bike's theme. While boys' bikes have always chosen tough, manly elements for decoration, you will note that the name and theme of this bike is pretty modern. His bike is the Decoder.Talk about another huge step for the geeks of this world! Being able to moderate between the world of computers and the world of human communication, it seems, is the tough and manly accomplishment of the 21st century.Look closer:It's binary!Now, I'm not a geek (I'm a nerd) so I don't know what, if anything, it actually says. Do you have to know anything about binary to code? Who cares! If you're a computer programmer, that is now synonymous with ruggedness, adventure, and freedom!
More About: Geek
Life! Cue thunder, mad scientist laughter
2010-05-23 21:46:00
Like I said last week, I love all that old-timey science fiction, and it's amazing to consider the advances of my lifetime. When my boyfriend holds up his phone, gives it a verbal command, and receives, in a few seconds, whatever information he needed, I really get the sensation of living in the future. On the other hand, I wish he'd put the damn thing down when he's driving.Anyway, this week's huge science news involves the always exceptional J Craig Venter Institute, where scientists have successfully created artificial DNA, injected it into a cell, and watched that cell replicate. Artificial life! (In a sense.)This announcement was immediately followed by a call to ban any such research.Look, it's too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Might be one thing if we had a pristine environment, if we weren't already past the point of no return in climate change. Perhaps then I could see the point of worrying. But now...this technology could eventually create organisms that ...
More About: Life , Scientist , Laughter , Thunder
The First Rule of Robot Fight Club...
2010-05-16 23:18:00
Well, my new system works too well and this week's list of weird links is far too long to provide full coverage of them all. So let's narrow it down a bit. Robot s and aliens!I've always been a huge fan of that old-school style of science fiction: boys with spaceships, tentacle aliens, girls in distress. A very old-fashioned aesthetic of the future, if you will. I adore the old Robert Heinlein, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and, of course, the remarkable mind of Ray Bradbury.(Check out this response to Stephen Hawking's recent assertions about hostile aliens Or click here for new stories from Area 51)The writer I don't get, however, is Isaac Asimov. I know he was great, genius, brilliant, the only guy to have books published in 9 out of 10 categories in the Dewey Decimal System. But his fiction simply doesn't sing to me. Here's the number one thing I don't get: his laws of robotics. 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. ...
More About: Fight , Club , Fight Club
::Hangs Head in Shame::
2010-05-16 07:03:00
Sorry that almost every single link in last week's post was broken. They're fixed now. I think.New post tomorrow! I think.
More About: Head
Forward Thinking
2010-05-09 18:23:00
Oh, we’re back? We’re back. It’s Sunday once again. What’s going on in the world? Super fast rockets! Cheap hydrogen fuel! Genetic proof that modern humans totally got it on with Neanderthals. We fixed that hole in the ozone layer so good it’s contributing to global warming!What an interesting world we live in. In more gripping news, Stephen Colbert rips on Stephen Hawking.More of a humanities person? Check out Curious Pages. It’s like if In the Weird were a book review site. And, in the “destroying our cherished childhood icons” category, the award goes to a planned sequel to The Dark Crystal. That’s just what this world needs: the enraged ghost of Jim Henson crying in his bier. So to speak.OK, so remember kids, you can’t trust crack addicts or politicians. That’s why you’ve gotta question the logic of a crack addict turned politician who claims we can stop people from doing drugs by outlawing drug paraphernalia. First of all, no. And second of all, no. For ...
Sperm and other helpful information
2010-05-01 23:35:00
Yes, we're back, and it's time once again for the week in weird. So much weirdness this week; it was hard to choose.Let's start with the weird natural world: three hard-hitting links from National Geographic. First, we have some amusing research regarding cooperation among sperm. Apparently, in at least one mouse species where promiscuity is the norm, related sperm will join together in a strange, Cthulhoid conglomeration, enabling them to swim faster and beat other sperm to the egg. Of course, once they reach their mark, it's every cell for himself. Bonus Points for this image of a sperm clump dyed green to fluoresce under ultraviolet light.Then we have the news that, for the first time scientists have discovered water ice on an asteroid. And we'll round out the NG trifecta with this photo gallery. While it's not as wildly funny as last week's octopus video, the lioness that stole the robot camera from researchers took her own pictures of the environment. She killed the came...
More About: Information
There’s good weird, bad weird, and weird weird.
2010-04-25 23:52:00
Good Weird This link will take you to a wonderful video collaboration between a scuba diver and an octopus. The scuba diver did not intend to give the octopus creative control of the picture, but the octopus had its own artistic vision. Two thumbs up. Or eight tentacles.This link goes to the Bilerico blog, which provides multiple articles every day on LGBQT topics. There aren’t a lot of places IRL or on the web where trans people have a voice, so, whether you’re trying to be less ignorant, or looking for a good source of queer news and opinions, it’s worth a click.Bad WeirdAfter 9/11, everyone loved New York, and everyone in New York was a hero, right? The days of New Yorkers being thought of as heartless and self-involved were over, right? That Kitty Genovese thing was totally in the past, right? Nah. Just yesterday, ">a homeless guy got shot while foiling a mugging, and dozens of people walked right past him as he bled out and died on the sidewalk.Way to go, human race!Weird ...
More About: Good
Babies, Mommies, and Daddies
2010-04-19 01:35:00
Now that tax season is over and this Dragon can sit back, relax, and wait for her first time home buyer's tax credit (!) In the Weird should have much more brainspace available to comb the Internet and return to you, the consumer, some weird stuff.We've even developed a more efficient method that might actually result in this site's being updated on a regular basis. That would be weird. We'll believe it when we see it.Today's link takes us across the pond, where researchers at Newcastle University have merged the DNA of two eggs to create embryos with two biological moms. This, of course, could end the incidence of mitochondrial genetic disorders including certain types of diabetes, neuropathy, and ataxia, along with a bunch of syndromes most of us are lucky to never have heard of. Of course, taking this science any further (you know...as in letting that embryo develop into an actual human baby) is still illegal in most of the developed world, because god forbid humans fuck wit...
More About: Babies
Duder Builds a Disney-esque SF Out of Toothpicks
2010-04-05 19:22:00
Pretty fantastic picture! Along with all the realistic and eye-popping details, this model also includes streets for ping pong balls to drive down. Yes, this is what happens when people become completely obsessed with their hobbies. Click the title to see a video.
More About: Disney
The Moth Podcast is Killer Stuff
2010-03-29 17:43:00
The free podcast from TheMoth.org is amazing. The one from March 22nd was simply riveting: a female sailor's brutal 20-minute tale of survival while lost at sea. Click title for direct .mp3 link or go to iTunes and download it, free! Fantastic episode!
More About: Podcast , Stuff , Killer
World's Smallest Man Dies
2010-03-16 17:38:00
Standing a mere 30 inches high, He Pingping was officially the world's shortest man until his unexpected death at the age of 21. A native of Mongolia, Pingping passed away of apparent heart trouble Monday in Italy, where he had traveled to make a television appearance.He Pingping poses with the world's tallest man, Sultan KösenThank you for making the world a weirder and more magical place simply by existing in it, Pingping!In related news, Guinness World Record is expected to announce shortly the new record holder, most likely Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal.In unrelated news, check out the latest thing in brain-computer interface!
Me-yow!
2010-03-09 03:07:00
In our efforts to bring to you, dear reader, the most engaging sites on the Interwebz, we are willing to sacrifice our own precious time, sifting through the chaff so you don't have to.This week, we consider the power of facial recognition and alteration apps. Granted, there are many sites that do interesting things with your photographs: age them, change their gender, morph them with those of celebrities. Recently, we checked out an app that promised to produce a composite image to answer the question: What will my baby look like?Simply upload your own photograph, along with an image of your intended. The site even offers a number of celebrity photos, although it's hard to imagine how a photograph of Michael Jackson in the last years of his life would give any software an idea of what Michael Jackson's possible offspring might look like. With a single click, you can generate a baby photo.How does this work? Well, you can be the judge.Here is the composite of your humble content ...
Graffiti: A Mark of Class and Distinction
2010-02-24 01:06:00
Who thinks graffiti is awesome?Don't bother raising your hands. I can just tell by the paint stains on your fingers.What a wonderful sense of power you must feel as you express yourself and show the world that you, an otherwise ordinary teenager, have the ability to write your name on other people's property. What a festive air your illegible scrawls add to any neighborhood. What a wonderful demonstration of the triumph of the public school system.Certainly, the homeowner would not have built such a boring, pristine wall if they did not intend for you to improve it with your sophomoric decorative ability. Yes, tagging is a great boon to everyone. People love seeing your handiwork livening up an otherwise antiseptic area. How generous of you to share your "art" with the world, for free, in spaces where everyone can see it.If you really think tagging is fun, though, you should probably try to share the experience and bring it home, so you can enjoy it as much as those people whose v...
More About: Graffiti , Class
Things That Are Awesome
2010-02-15 23:54:00
Dragon's list for February 15, 2010. Recent awesome:This Indonesian dragon is incredibly awesome. I know that its wings are skin flaps, which it would spread to glide from tree to tree, and that it was collected in Buton, Indonesian, but I can't find any more information about it. If you know anything, tell me in comments!These plush microbes from ThinkGeek.com are awesome. Give your friends herpes, rabies, plague, and more!From top to bottom: a brain cell, beer yeast, and E coli. Click here to collect them all!Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), 16th president of the United States, was just unspeakably awesome. Happy President's Day, everyone.
More About: Awesome , Things
Dinosaurs, sexbots, and liquor, oh my!
2010-02-06 00:45:00
It's time once again for a look at the news. You certainly don't have anything better to do than laugh at the world, or you wouldn't be here.First off, we have the miraculous discover of Shackleton's whisky. It seems that when the polar explorer departed from the antarctic, he left behind five cases of booze. And, according to experts on the subject, this century-old liquor was made with a lost recipe. And modern analysis will allow us to recreate this recipe. And modern seekers of the pure water of life will be able to taste history! This is almost as exciting as the news about polar fungus that is slowly destroying the buildings Shackleton once took shelter in.Next, we have the exciting news that fossil remains of pigment sacs called melanosomes are helping scientists determine what color some dinosaurs actually were. Every year, dinosaurs look more and more like birds. Complicating the debate on consciousness is new research demonstrating that, in some cases, it is possible t...
More About: Liquor
RIP Howard Zinn
2010-01-28 18:29:00
If you've never read A People's History of the United States, now would be an excellent time to do so. Radical, controversial genius Howard Zinn passed away yesterday at the age of 87. A lifelong activist and celebrated revisionist, he spoke openly for the rights of those suffering from injustice, and worked to shed light on subjects left long hidden in the dark.
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