Weird Wednesday


Good day folks and welcome to this week’s significantly trimmed-down edition of Weird Wednesday. Again, I’ve been busy with other things. Nevertheless, you’ll be glad to know, I’ve still managed to put some time aside to trawl up a few wacky stories from around the WWW. Enjoy.

Weird Goings On

The Dark Side of Politics

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You have to love Eastern European politics. Your country has just recovered from a devastating coup, your economy is on the brink of collapse and to top it all off the Russian army is flexing its muscles at your gates. At times like this a country needs a leader with experience in government, a strong figure familiar with the difficulties implicit in wielding power, a man willing to make difficult, even harsh decisions. Step forward Darth Vader. That’s right; everybody’s favourite fictional Sith Lord recently announced his candidacy for the Ukrainian presidency.  Flanked by characters from the Star Wars franchise, Mr Vader came forward as the presidential nominee for Ukraine’s Internet Party. Announcing that he would transform the nation into a Galactic Empire, Mr Vader immediately hit the campaign trail, even showing that he was not above the usual baby-kissing antics involved in electioneering.

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Unfortunately, it would seem the dark side of the force is not the compelling influence it once was. No longer does it require a galactic rebel army to take old tin-head out, bureaucracy has done that job for them. To the consternation of Star Wars fans worldwide, who would have loved to see their favourite black-clad villain govern a real world country, Mr Vader’s candidacy has been refused. The reason? His true identity could not be confirmed.  I mean come on, everybody knows he was actually the Green Cross Code guy… right?

Warrior Monks

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Terrorism is a global threat or so the story goes. In every corner of the globe there are dissident groups, operating under society’s radar, plotting and scheming the fall of the world as we know it. Who do you call upon to deal with such a ruthless and insidious threat? Well in China at least, it would seem the answer is warrior monks. Shaken up by a recent spate of terrorist incidents in the country, monks from the 1’700 year old Buddhist temple of Lingyin in the city of Hangzhou have decided to take matters into their own hands.  Alongside their usual monastic activities, twenty of the monastery’s inhabitants have been undergoing intense anti-terrorist training. Armed with shields, pepper-spray and batons they will work alongside local authorities to protect both residents and visitors to the region. Terrorists look out, these bad ass Buddhists mean business.

Weird Places

A Dying Sea

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It’s a bit of a cliché to refer to the desert as an ‘ocean of sand’. The metaphor is used to evoke the seemingly endless reaches of either environment, not to mention the near impossibility of human life in such climates. Well in one place it can be taken in a far more literal sense.  Muynak in Uzbekistan was once a bustling port town, a place called home by tens of thousands of residents… no longer.  Since the 1980’s the Aral sea has been receding, leaving many of the communities which drew their livelihoods from its waters in a crippled state. To make matters worse, decades of heavy industry has left the desert sands heavily polluted, meaning that those left behind by this ecological disaster are frequently blasted by poisonous dust storms. Among these communities is Muynak itself, where the rotting husks of stricken fishing boats pepper a post-apocalyptic landscape. See some more images below.

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The Death of the Aral Sea

Welkom in Moynaq, eens een van de grootste vissersplaatsen aan het Aralmeer

Welcome to Hell

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More Stricken Ships

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Fish Have Been Replaced by Camels

Weird Object Of The Week

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Paws for Thought

Dogs are mental, there is no denying this point; they do the craziest things. Chasing sticks, chasing cars, chasing their own tails… generally just chasing things. Often I’ve watched my friends’ canine pals in action and wondered what is actually going on in their fuzzy heads. Well, now, thanks to the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery, you may very well be able to find out. If you yourself own a dog and would like the opportunity to see what’s going on in their brain then you may wish to invest in their latest venture ‘No More Woof’.

According to their website, ‘No More Woof’, which resembles a hi-tech cross between a telephone headset and an ear trumpet:

‘is a small gadget that uses the latest technology in micro computing and EEG to analyse animal thought patterns and spell them out in Human Language using a loudspeaker.’

At this stage ‘No More Woof’ is very much at a development stage, but the developers are aiming to offer eight distinct voices for your pet. Using No More Woof you’ll be able to hear Fido utter such phrases as ‘leave me alone’, ‘who are you?’ and ‘this is splendid’. Dr Doolittle eat your heart out. Check out the video below.

I’m afraid that’s the last of this week’s selection. Hopefully I’ll be back to a full roster next week.
Over and out
Andy G