Tag Archives | Weird

Friends Know How Long You’ll Live, Study Finds

Gerry Everding writes at Washington University in St. Louis’ Newsroom:

Young lovers walking down the aisle may dream of long and healthy lives together, but close friends in the wedding party may have a better sense of whether those wishes will come true, suggests new research on personality and longevity from Washington University in St. Louis.

“You expect your friends to be inclined to see you in a positive manner, but they also are keen observers of the personality traits that could send you to an early grave,” said Joshua Jackson, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences.

Published Jan. 12 in an advance online issue of the journal Psychological Science, the study demonstrates that your personality at an early age (20s) can predict how long you will live across 75 years and that close friends are usually better than you at recognizing these traits.

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Aleister Crowley’s Books Keep Disappearing From a New Zealand Library — And Other Frequently Stolen Books


Librarians at Hamilton City Libraries have noticed an interesting trend. Books by occultist Aleister Crowley keep disappearing from their shelves.

Nancy El-Gamel writes at the Waikato Times,

Whether it’s due to theft or something more sinister, Hamilton libraries cannot keep Sex Magick or Dramatic Ritual on their shelves.

Works by a long-dead British occultist keep vanishing, not quite in smoke. Aleister Crowley, clearly, refuses to die. Or, at least, his fans do.

And people just keep asking for the books, despite their publication in the far reaches of the previous century, Hamilton City Libraries Director Su Scott said.

Among other popular disappearing titles at Hamilton Libaries are cookbooks, Children DVDs, and books about tattoos and crafts.

After I did some digging, I found out that books about the occult are often hot items at libraries. Library book thieves also like titles about UFOs and astrology.

However, bookstores appear to attract a different type of book thief.… Read the rest

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The Futuro Houses of 1960

via Atlas Obscura:

The Futuro House was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s. Made of new materials like plastic and manufactured to be portable and adaptable to diverse terrain with its raised legs, the capsule house was imagined as a ski chalet with a quick heating system. You entered through a hatch to an elliptical space with a bedroom, bathroom, fireplace, and living room. Suuronen soon saw its potential beyond the slopes, and through the Futuro Corporation built the lightweight houses as a prefabricated, compact housing solution adaptable for any corner of the globe.

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Steve Rainwater (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Futuro House in Rockwall, TX as it appeared in April, 2003.
Steve Rainwater (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Memories of a past life can trigger PTSD

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Unexplained Mysteries:

Children with vivid memories of a past life may be vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, a psychologist at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik who has been researching cases of children with memories of a past life, has documented multiple cases in which the actual recollection of dying has led the child to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

This phenomenon is thought to be most prevalent in cases where the death being recalled was traumatic, such as in the case of a soldier being killed on the battlefield or the victim of a plane crash.

Haraldsson found that children with the most vivid past-life memories frequently exhibited behavioral problems including difficulty concentrating, outbursts of anger and an intense fear of the particular situation in which they had allegedly perished during their previous existence.

The results of these studies, as always, remain both controversial and inconclusive.

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The Booms Over Britain are Baffling and Bizarre

y.becart (CC BY-SA 2.0)

y.becart (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Mysterious Universe:

As readers of Mysterious Universe are aware, booms are booming around the U.S., from Dayton, Ohio, to Kansas and New Jersey. Now it appears they’ve crossed the pond, as people across the UK reported window-rattling blasts for hours the evening of November 29th. Reasons for the pops are popping up as fast as the governments and military officials can deny them. What caused these explosions in the UK and were they linked to booms heard at the same time in Buffalo, New York?

Reports of the bangs over Britain began around 9.45pm GMT. Some reports compared the sounds to fireworks. However, the only known fireworks display at that time was in Croydon, south London, while the reports came in from areas up to 200 miles away and many witnesses said they were much louder than fireworks.

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Remembering the Max Headroom Incident, One of the Creepiest Hacks Ever

I actually learned about this on Reddit just a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t heard of the Max Headroom Incident, you’re in luck because Klint Finley recounts this bizarre, but legendary hacking event over at Wired.

via Wired:

Around 9 o’clock on November 22, 1989, Chicago residents witnessed this epic hack. The evening news sportscast cut out, and a person in a strange mask appeared, dancing around in front of a spinning piece of metal—a rather dark incarnation of Max Headroom, the rather inexplicable character at the heart of the British TV series Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into The Future and two subsequent TV shows. On these shows, Headroom had a tendency to interrupt the broadcasts of the fictional TV station Network 23, but this wasn’t an authorized appearance by the character. It was a real pirate transmission.

After about 30 seconds, WGN’s technicians were able to override the pirate signal.

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Portuguese Man Buys Tiny Island, Successfully Establishes His Own Kingdom


via Oddity Central:

While this American searched the entire African continent for a piece of land to call his Kingdom, Renato Barros managed to establish his own country much closer to home. The 56-year-old Portuguese citizen purchased a small island on Funchal harbor, in Madeira, Portugal. He named it the Principality of the Pontinha, and anointed himself Prince Renato II.

Pontinha is actually just the size of a one-bedroom house, and has only four citizens – Barros, his wife, and his son and daughter. In addition to his Portuguese passport, Barros holds a passport for Pontinha with the number 0001. An art teacher by profession, he’s also taken on the roles of policeman, gardener, caretaker, and member of the royal family of his very own country.

“I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it,” he said. “If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time.

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The $2 Evilstick


The horrifying Evilstick.

Have you heard of the “Evilstick” yet? If not, let me give you a quick recap (or you can just watch the videos below). A mom in Dayton, OH bought her child an “Evilstick” (yes, that is what this toy is called) from the local dollar store. To the mom’s horror, behind the foil covering, there was a photoshopped picture of a girl cutting herself. Well, as all weird stories do, this one took off in the social media world. I’m a little late on reporting about it, but on the plus side, I have more sources to work with.

Here’s the initial video:

One lovely chap from Ohio went to the dollar store and found that most of the Evilsticks did not include the famed wristcutting photo. Instead many of them had “crappy Resident Evil concept art,” “weird Zombie monsters,” or Anime characters.

The Evilstick is made in China.… Read the rest

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Deceptive behavior may (deceivingly) promote cooperation

JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

via Phys.org:

Tricking someone into trusting you in order to gain something from them is common behavior in both the animal and human worlds. From cuckoo birds that trick other bird species into raising their young, to cunning salespeople who pretend to sell you a product that will improve your life, deviant behavior takes many forms. But no matter the situation, the result is that a single individual gains something while the community at large loses.

For researchers who study the evolution of cooperation, deceitful behavior seems to throw a wrench in mechanisms that promote cooperative behavior. Questions arise such as, under what conditions does deception evolve? How effective are strategies to identify deceitful behavior? And how can deceitful behavior coexist with cooperative behavior?

In a recent paper published in The New Journal of Physics, Attila Szolnoki at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, and Matjaž Perc at the University of Maribor in Slovenia and King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have addressed these questions using a variant of perhaps the most popular tool for studying cooperation—the prisoner’s dilemma game.… Read the rest

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The Last Thing They Ever Saw

You’ve probably heard the old wives’ tale of ‘The Image In A Dead Man’s Eye’ – the idea that the eye retains the last thing it sees before death.

…Isn’t it odd how obvious superstitions sometimes turn out to be completely true?


‘Optography’, or the art of recovering the last image seen by an eye, is a very real thing with a long and strange history:

(Video contains a number of actual images recovered from dead eyes)

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