Disney Tarot and Insects Breathing (December’s Weird Roundup)

For this month’s edition of the Weird Roundup, I have some treats for you. These nuggets of strangeness will keep you warm in the coming months.

Disney Princess Tarot

Just when you thought every tarot art concept had been thoroughly explored, here comes one that is so beautiful, it should be made (lawsuits be darned). Imagine each of the major aracana depicted as a Disney princess (or prince).

_the_princess_tarot___le_chariot__mulan__by_suisei_ojii_sama-d875axq

These aren’t the creepy Tim Burton cards from A Nightmare Before Christmass (though I love those too). These were created by Suisei-Ojii-Sama (Julian Rivera) over at Deviant art.

_the_princess_tarot___l_empereur__simba_and_kiara__by_suisei_ojii_sama-d85khao

Obviously I have more than a passing interest in Tarot (I wrote a book about it). Plus I love Disney. I live close enough to visit Disneyland at least once a month. So yeah, a Disney themed tarot deck would be right up my alley.

Visualize Insects Breathing

In school, I was the science geek who holed up in the physics lab to avoid pep rallies. Yup, one time we even got to split open a bowling ball with a sledgehammer to see if the density accounted for the holes. So anytime I run across something sciency that piques my interest, I like to pass it along.

Designer Eleanor Lutz simply wants to show people how to make an animated GIF. But here subject matter is mesmerizing. She completely understands what makes a good short animation. The breathing cycle of grasshoppers is very short and lends itself well to the micro animation of GIFS.

obi0iqqpsyurkejvxqqs

Visit her site to also see a person and a chicken breathing. But insects are the most interesting because they don’t have lungs. Instead they have ten holes along their abdomen called spiracles. Air goes in through the front spiracles and out the back. The grasshopper moves its abdomen to pump the air.

Krampus Night

And you thought all the scaring was done and over with after Halloween. How wrong you were.

Merry-Krampus

This Friday marks Krampus Night (or Krampusnaught). It’s the day that the demonic associate of Santa (and sometimes and Angel) comes to visit and see if you’re good. Only instead of coal for being naughty, you get a trip down below.

Krampus-xmas-card-10-1895972741

Read my full article on this lovely fellow here.

Enjoy the holidays.

Tim Kane

Advertisements

Weird Roundup for September

Often I find little nuggets of weirdness that are too brief to warrant their own blog post. I’ve created this forum of the monthly uncanny to give you all the morsels of weird that make a well balanced strange meal. All of these are guaranteed to make you see the world differently.

Firefly Magic

Photographer Vincent Brady shot this footage of fireflies over the sumer of 2013 in  Lake of the Ozarks (as well as Grand Ledge). Brady comments on the sublime experience: “Being out on the boat and watching as they light the treeline with their all night disco party is just amazing.” Brandon McCoy provided the music.

Trippy Vintage Science

Do you love vintage science illustrations? Yes. Well so does Fanfarlo. The following video uses Fanfarlo’s “Cell Song” to score a series of vintage images lifted from science journals, encyclopedias, and magazines. They were all animated and remixed into a trippy journey through space, cells and time.

Ghost Girl Stalks Boyfriend on Facebook

Yes, we’ve finally reached the point where ghosts are using social media. This story comes from the Reddit community No Sleep, a forum for horror stories that supposedly have really happened. Prepare your requisite grain of salt, people. Even if this ghost girl is a hoax, it’s a darned good one and very creepy (I don’t creep out easily).

Check out the postings to the boyfriend’s wall from Emily, the ghostly girlfriend.

ubdduzzguemcna7unha4

 

The part about the freezing and the plea to stop have me on edge. See more of the creepy posts at Jezebel.

United States that Never Was

What if the Constitution was never written? What would North America look like? Well, graphic designer Jordan Penny has spent his spare time devising faux maps and currency for the countries that would occupy this alternate North America.

frvn5qzoenjyf3jjsq9c

Notice that the Republic of Mexico still has most of its land, minus Texas and California. The Kingdom of Canada gobbled up the northwest states. Then you have the strange states that make up the original thirteen colonies. Under the Articles of Confederation, they would be loosely tied together, yet never as strong as the United States would become. Penny says, “the AoC are never replaced, and the Union slowly devolves into what you see here.” Therefore, each state expanded west to take over the Ohio valley. Look at Virginia, clearly the strongest of the colonies, took over nearly all the territory up to Louisiana.

That’s your dose of weirdness for this month. Remember, strange is the new normal.

Tim Kane

5000 Year Old Sunlight (Plus 8 Minutes)

I don’t often expound about science, but this latest bit of trivial has sent my mind in spirals. I recently bought the book Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun by Marcus Chown. I had previously read The Elements by Theodore Gray and loved the format.

Then I read about sunlight. It seems that the actual light part of the phenomenon occurs at the core, where the pressure of billions of Hydrogen atoms create immense heat. Then two Hydrogen atoms collide to create light.

We all know that light travels, well, at the speed of light. I recall the standard eight minute number as the time it takes light to reach the Earth. Not so. Apparently sunlight has to escape the sun first, and this means barreling through lots of other Hydrogen atoms surrounding it (it was formed at the core, remember).

It’s like a bizarre game of football, except the endzone  is about 600,000 kilometers away and there are about a billion defensive linemen smashing into you. With no time outs. Luckily once light is created it never fades or loses energy, so it keeps going, bouncing from atom to atom for 5000 years. Yes, you heard that right. Five thousand. (Okay another site said it was 100,000 years, but no one’s slapped a stopwatch to a photon of light.)

That means, that the sunlight you feel today was created 5000 years ago (plus the 8 minutes it took to travel from the sun through space to Earth).

Okay, if that’s not weird enough, how about taking a picture of the sun through the Earth. That’s right pilgrims, it is possible. You see light isn’t the only think our big ball of fire spews out on a daily basis. It also shoots out these tiny particles called neutrinos. These guys are so small that nothing affects them. They’re like ghosts, zooming through solid lead faster than I can consume a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

At any given second, 100 million million neutrinos are zipping through your thumb. Every once in a while these tiny atomic specks do strike an atom dead on. This can create a tiny zap of light. Don’t go looking for it. You’d need total darkness and a super fine camera to see it. Turns out the Japanese have built said neutrino camera. (What haven’t they built?)

Over a period of 503.8 days and nights, the Super-Kamiokande in Japan took this picture. This is what the sun looks like using only Neutrino particles. And, it’s shot through the Earth. Crazy.

No amount of sunblock will work against that. Just throw in the towel and admit that the universe has stranger things than we could ever imagine.

Tim Kane