Tag Archives | Weird

The Hilarious and Disturbing History of Shaye St. John

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The Internet is home to some of the strangest and most wonderful oddities. It’s also filled with opportunists who try to capitalize on trends, eventually transforming once original ideas into kitsch filled circle jerks. That’s why it’s especially captivating to come across something wholly original. And the story of Shaye St. John is just that: captivating.

Many of you already know about Shaye’s horrendous past and have most likely seen many of her videos. But for those of you that haven’t, prepare to be disturbed, but strangely intrigued. Shaye St. John’s videos seem to be a mash-up of Lynchian uncomfortableness, Tim and Eric’s humor, with a bit of Harmony Korine’s oft-used lo-fi shock value. She is the brainchild of the late comedian, Eric Fournier.

Shaye St. John was once a supermodel who was hit by a train (car? I’ve heard both versions) that horribly disfigured her face and resulted in the amputation of both her arms and legs. This didn’t hold Shaye back, though, and she rebuilt herself with mannequin parts and covered her disfigured face with a mask.… Read the rest

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Australia’s Temple Of Weird

Last week we told you about Lonnie Hammargren’s Museum of the Weird in Los Angeles. This week we go down under to tell you about Australia’s Temple Of Weird and its shit machine, courtesy of Roads & Kingdoms:

Standing outside Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) the first thing that hits you is the smell of manure.

It’s a biting cold day when we disembark from the MONA ferry, push past the crush of tourists, and walk up the imposing steps emerging into, unexpectedly, a tennis court. Straight ahead is a metallic, boxy building that emits a faint fecal order. I enter thinking it is the toilet (perhaps with a sewage leak?) only to find the ticket counter.

"Sidney Nolan Snake" by jeffowenphotos - Tasmania, The Mona (CC)

“Sidney Nolan Snake” by jeffowenphotos – Tasmania, The Mona (CC)

 

Visiting MONA is like peering through the looking glass. Deep down in the museum’s cavernous underbelly—inside that mirrored box building—sits Wim Delvoye’s cloaca machine, otherwise known as “the shit machine.” The Belgium artist’s vast array of whirring tubes and bags mimic the workings of the human digestive system.

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How your eyes trick your mind

Via BBC Future [Follow the link to see more optical illusions]:

Visual, or optical, illusions show us that our minds tend to make assumptions about the world – and what you think you see is often not the truth.

Throughout history, curious minds have questioned why our eyes are so easily fooled by these simple drawings. Illusions, we have found, can reveal everything from how we process time and space to our experience of consciousness.

Scroll down our interactive guide to find out why.

Early illusions

Illusions have a long history, going as far back as the ancient Greeks.

In 350BC, Aristotle noted that that “our senses can be trusted but they can be easily fooled”.

He noticed that if you watch a waterfall and shift your gaze to static rocks, the rocks appear to move in the opposite direction of the flow of water, an effect we now call “motion aftereffect” or the waterfall illusion.

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The Philosophy of Time

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Times Square, NYC. January 1938

Have you ever wondered what is meant by a moment in time? To capture a moment in time we have to combine slices upon slices of infinitesimal imaginary finites. To get to a moment we will remember there has to have once been a now! What, after all, is “NOW” or “real time,” and how long does it last? I’m talking about right now. Well, by the time that you get to the end of this sentence, it will already be in the past. I mean it’s easy to imagine past, or future, but “now” (this moment) lasts how long? Does it last a second? To me it’s like that needle on a record or the laser on a DVD. The record is your life and the needle is where your consciousness of now is at any given time. The rest of the record has either played or it hasn’t, but the needle is constantly moving.… Read the rest

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Lonnie Hammargren’s Museum of the Weird

Veteran disinfonauts may recall artist Joe Coleman’s “odditorium,” his personal museum of all things weird and wonderful that is his home in Brooklyn (check it out on Disinfo TV on DVD). Not to be outdone in the weirdness stakes, Los Angeles has Lonnie Hammargren’s home museum of weird stuff, profiled in the LA Times:

Somewhere in the recesses of Lonnie Hammargren’s brain lies the fine line between an eccentric collector, one with a trained eye for the planet’s kitsch, and someone who has lost control.

Dinosaur Eating an Alien

It’s a boundary long ago crossed. Observe Bugsy Siegel’s toilet, which Hammargren still uses, parked near large models of Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal, Hoover Dam and a looming T. rex.

“I’m a hoarder; I can’t deny that word,” he says. “But I’m not crazy. You couldn’t be crazy and accomplish the things I’ve accomplished.”

At 77, Hammargren is a onetime neurosurgeon and Nevada lieutenant governor.

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Colin Batty’s Sci-Fi Reimagining of 19th Century Portraits

From peculiarum.com

“Hooked on Fishing” from peculiarum.com

From Colin Batty’s website:

Colin Batty is an artist from Manchester, England. He has worked on countless cool projects including Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks, [!!!] the Oscar nominated short The Sandman, Eddie Murphy’s The PJ’s, and many, many more. He sculpted the original Halcyon model kits of the Alien, the Predator, and the Queen Alien. He also has designed and sculpted for Critterbox toys. Colin has contributed to Freakybuttrue and the Peculiarium for many years and graces this site with his amazing work.

Batty has countless sci-fi portraits for sale (starting at $4) as either prints or originals. Here are some of my favorites:

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Strange Attractors: A Tale from Science’s Outer Edge

41lk-B0DyPLThis is an excerpt from Disinformation’s “Far Out: 101 Strange Tales From Science’s Outer Edge” plus a bonus video at the end!

Since 1987, one year after the Chernobyl disaster, 76-year-old Russian factory worker Leonid Tenkaev, his wife Galina, their daughter Tanya and grandson Kolya have all been able to make metal objects stick to their bodies. Leonid himself can hold individual objects weighing up to 50 pounds (23 kg) on his chest.

Doctors in Russia and Japan appear convinced that the Tenkaev’s abilities are genuine, describing, for example, how difficult it is to pull ferrous objects away from their bodies. “There is absolutely no doubt that the objects stick as if their bodies were magnetic,” an impressed Dr. Atusi Kono told reporters in 1991.

Remarkably, the Tenkaevs are not alone. In 1990, the Superfields conference in Sofia, Bulgaria attracted 300 such “human magnets” after a young woman, Marinela Brankova, demonstrated her powers on television by supporting a 15 lb (7 kg) weight from her vertically held palms.… Read the rest

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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

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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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