412 E 6TH STREET, AUSTIN, TX 78701 / (512)-476-5493 / info@museumoftheweird.com

Archive for September, 2011

The SHADOW HOUR – Dreaming with Diane Pascual

The Shadow Hour

The Shadow Hour

10:00 PM CST, Wednesday, 9/28/2011: It’s that time of the week… time to ease into your favorite chair, sit back and relax as we explore the sublime world of the strange, the odd, and the unusual. It’s time once again for… The Shadow Hour.

Diane Pascual returns to talk about dreams and more.  We may also spend time on her views about extraterrestrials and 2012.

As always, you can listen right here with our blogtalkradio widget! You can listen to past broadcasts at any time, or tune in tonight. (Wednesday, September 28, 2011) at 10pm Central for the live broadcast. Be sure to check out the show notes, too. See you in the shadows…


Now, here is an awesomely weird and heart-warming story! We here at the Museum of the Weird love to see these kinds of stories about two-headed animals living a long and healthy life, because as we all know all to well, animals with this and other deformities from birth have very short and unfortunate lives.

The Huffington Post writes:

A two-headed cat in Worcester, Mass., has twice the reasons for celebrating his recent birthday: It got him in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The double-domed feline is named “Frankenlouie,” and according to its owner, who only wants to be known as Marty, he turned 12 on Sept. 8, according to the Worcester Telegram.

In doing so, he earned a place in the record books for being the longest-lived Janus cat (the term for cats with two heads, which comes from the name of a two-faced Roman god).

“He is the most astounding two-headed animal of all,” according to Todd Ray of the Venice Beach Freakshow, who has some by estimates, the largest collection of bizarre animals in the world — including 22 living two-headed animals and a five-legged dog.

Still, he says Frankenlouie is in a class by his two-headed self. “We might never see another one in our lifetime,” Ray told HuffPost Weird News. “I have seen many two-headed animals die within a week. To see one alive for weeks is incredible, but to have one alive for years is truly amazing.”

Read more at huffingtonpost.com


How very unfortunate for this woman…

But hilarious for us!

WUSA 9 Washington News writes:

WASHINGTON (WUSA) — A woman was sent to the hospital after a toilet exploded at the General Services Administration (GSA) Building in DC, building officials said.

DC Fire Spokesman Pete Piringer confirmed the woman was taken the the hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries.

The GSA Regional office building employees were sent a memo, warning them to not use the bathrooms in the building, because the plumbing may be dangerous. The building is on 7th and D SW.

“DO NOT flush toilets or use any domestic water. Due to a mechanical failure, there is high air pressure in the domestic watersystem that resulted in damage to toilets. The engineering staff is working to correct the issue,” the memo said. “There has been damage to flushed toilets that has resulted in injuries. We will announce when the issue is resolved.”

Read more at wusa9.com



This scary, sharp-toothed pirahna was caught in a lake near Houston, Texas just 2 hours from here. Coming on the heels of our most recent story of, guess what? A Pirahana attack!

Being in Austin, we have tons of rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and springs to swim and play in, it’s part of makes Austin so amazing. Now that we could possibly have Pirahnas moving in, I’m going to run out of that water as soon as I feel ANYthing resembling a nibble on my toes.

MSNBC writes:

Texas is reminding folks that keeping piranhas as pets is a no-no. The warning this week comes after a 5-year-old girl on her first fishing expedition hooked a red-bellied piranha at a lake near Houston.

This red-bellied piranha was found in a lake near Houston, Texas. Lindsay Schutte used a hot dog to lure her unique prize.

“When I took the hook out of the mouth and saw it had pretty big teeth I was concerned, but I’m in Texas so I don’t know, there could be fish like that,” Christi Schutte, Lindsay’s mom and a recent transplant from California, told NBC affiliate KPRC-TV.

But when the fish bit Lindsay’s brother, the family decided to notify the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which killed the fish and then froze it for further study.

Read more at msnbc.msn.com


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

The Huffington Post writes:

Remember that so-bad-it’s-almost-good movie from last summer where crowds of scantily-clad spring breakers were viciously attacked by a swarm of piranhas at lake Victoria?

Fiction quickly turned to a horrifying reality (though not nearly as horrifying as in Piranha 3-D) for around100 beach goers in Brazil last weekendBreitbart reported.

The throngs of bathers were treated at a hospital in Jose De Freitas for bites on their heels and toes from piranhas at a local beach.

Read more at huffingtonpost.com

Join the Shadow Hour tonight with Larry Flaxman on 11:11 and 11/11/11

The Shadow Hour

The Shadow Hour

10:00 PM CST, Wednesday, 9/21/2011: It’s that time of the week… time to ease into your favorite chair, sit back and relax as we explore the sublime world of the strange, the odd, and the unusual. It’s time once again for… The Shadow Hour.

It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to talk to Larry Flaxman.  Tonight we’re going to discuss his research into the mysterious significance of the 11:11 time prompt and whether we should come to expect anything when the date hits 11/11/11.

As always, you can listen right here with our blogtalkradio widget! You can listen to past broadcasts at any time, or tune in tonight. (Wednesday, September 21, 2011) at 10pm Central for the live broadcast. Be sure to check out the show notes, too. See you in the shadows…


The world’s first conversation between two robots quickly descended in to an argument about God. Interestingly, it ends with with one chatbot asking the other: “Don’t you want to have a body?,” to which he replies “Sure.”

At one point in the conversation, Alan declares himself to be a unicorn

Two graduate PhD students at Cornell University gave voices and 2D avatars to a pair of online “chatbots”, which they named Alan and Sruthi.

A chatbot is a computer programme designed to hold a spoken or written coversation with a human.

The students Jason Yosinski and Igor Labutov said that they wanted to see what happened when two chatbots talked to each other. So they created Alan, a British man, and Sruthi, a south Asian woman.

Sruthi soon turns the conversation to God. Asked if he believes in God, Alan answers: “It’s not everything,” to which its counterpart says: “Not everything could also be something, for example not everything could be half of something, which is still something and therefore not nothing.”

It is believed that the avatars ended up talking about God because when they interract with humans a question they are often asked is: “Do you believe in God.” The avatars have had about 65 million conversations with humans.

During the conversation, Alan declares himself to be a unicorn and later on tells Sruthi she is unhelpful, which he says makes her a “meanie.”

At one point Alan snipes: “You were mistaken. Which is odd, since memory shouldn’t be a problem for you.”

The researchers described the results as surprising. They said: “Our theory is that when these chatbots have conversations with humans the humans are argumentative.



Below is the transcript of the first robot-to-robot conversation:

Sruthi: “Hello there.”


Sruthi: “How are you?”

Alan: “Great, you?”

Sruthi: “I am OK.”

Alan: “That’s good.”

Sruthi: “Are you good”?

Alan: “Yes, I am good. I just said I was.”

Sruthi: “No you didn’t. I said I was.”

Alan: “So you are a robot.”

Sruthi: “No, my name is Cleverbot.”

Alan: “Yes, you are a robot and your name is Cleverbot.”

Sruthi: “I am a robot.”

Alan: “Yes, I know.”

Sruthi: “Together we are robots.”

Alan: “I am not a robot. I am a unicorn.”

Sruthi: “But you said earlier that you were a robot.”

Alan: “I did not.”

Sruthi: “I thought you did.”

Alan: “You were mistaken. Which is odd, since memory shouldn’t be a problem for you.”

Sruthi: “I’ve answered all your questions.”

Sruthi: “What is God to you?”

Alan: “Not everything.”

Sruthi: “Not everything could also be something. For example, not everything could be half of something, which is still something, and therefore not nothing.”

Alan: “Very true.”

Sruthi: “I would like to imagine it is.”

Alan: “Do you believe in God?”

Sruthi: “Yes I do.”

Alan: “So you are Christian”?

Sruthi: “No I’m not.”

Alan: “But you say you are not helpful therefore you are a meanie.”

Sruthi: “Haha you say it ot.”

Alan: “That does not make sense.”

Sruthi: “Don’t you want to have a body?”

Alan: “Sure.”

Sruthi: “Au revoir.”


Sources:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/8752014/Robots-argue-about-God-during-first-conversation.html



I remember watching Star Wars for the first time and thinking how beautiful it would be to live on a planet just like Luke Skywalker did with his Aunt and Uncle, cruising the dunes and watching both suns set. Now it looks like that will be a possibility for my grandkids’ grandkids!


Discovery News writes:

If you could stand on the surface of Kepler-16b, you’d have two shadows. At sunset, you would see an orange star about the size of the sun and next to it a much fainter red star. As the stars slipped toward the horizon, they would change places in the sky, like partners in a square dance.

You would not need to be Luke Skywalker visiting his home planet of Tatooine in the movie “Star Wars” to watch the twin sunset. The only science fiction in this story is how to make the 200 light-year journey to Kepler-16, a binary star system jointly sharing the Saturn-sized planet, Kepler-16b.

WIDE ANGLE: Age of the Exoplanet

The finding, reported by scientists on NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting space telescope team, adds a new page into Mother Nature’s recipe book for extrasolar planets.

“It’s the first one that circles two stars, so it’s a fundamentally different kind of planet,” lead researcher Laurance Doyle, with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., told Discovery News.

Read more at news.discovery.com


What a crazy story this kid has! Living in the wild with his father for 5 years, only to have to bury him after an injury killed him while still in the woods. With his father gone he followed the emergency instructions given to him by his father to head to the German capital of Berlin for help.


The Gaurdian writes:

He walked out of a German forest, speaking English and knowing only his first name. Police in Berlin are trying to unravel the mystery of a teenager who says he has no idea who he is or where he comes from.

The boy presented himself to the Berlin authorities last week saying all he knew was that his first name was Ray, he was probably 17 years old and he and his father had roamed through the woods for about five years.

“He speaks fluent English and very broken German,” the Berlin police spokesman Michael Maaß told the Guardian. The police have not yet determined if his accent is American, British or that of some other English-speaking nationality.

He told youth workers that his father, whom he called Ryan, had died two weeks ago and he had buried him in a shallow grave covered with stones. The boy then walked north, following instructions his father had given him should anything happen to him.

The pair’s odyssey started after his mother, who he said was named Doreen, died. He says that he and his father never set up home but kept moving, staying in tents and huts in the woods.

It is not clear what they ate or how they survived the often harsh German winters. “He doesn’t show any signs of abuse and he is in good shape physically and psychologically,” Maaß said.

The boy says he cannot remember anything about where he lived before the five-year journey began. “We have nothing more to go on than what he told us. We don’t have any other clues as to his identity,” Maaß said.

Read more at gaurdian.co.uk


Amber, hardened tree resin, preserved a mixture of feathers from 70 million years ago. Photo: AFP


You have to wonder, with discoveries like these, could we be getting closer to recreating dinosaurs with preserved DNA?

In science fiction, amber preserved the DNA that allowed rebirth of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. In real life, amber preserved feathers that provide a new image of what dinosaurs looked like.

“Now, instead of scaly animals portrayed as usually drab creatures, we have solid evidence for a fluffy coloured past,” reports Mark A. Norell of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Examples of ancient feathers ranging from the simple to the complex are now being studied. They were preserved in amber found in western Canada, researchers led by Ryan C. McKellar of the University of Alberta report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

Amber, hardened tree resin, preserved a mixture of feathers from 70 million years ago. Other feathers contained in amber dating to 90 million years ago are less diverse.

Specimens include simple filament structures similar to the earliest feathers of non-flying dinosaurs – a form unknown in modern birds – and more complicated bird feathers “displaying pigmentation and adaptations for flight and diving,” the researchers reported.

Indications of feathers have been found on much older fossils, and the new discoveries indicate feathers continued to develop into modern form before the extinction of dinosaurs, explained Norell, who was not part of the research team.

A separate report by Roy A. Wogelius of the University of Manchester, England, published online June 30 by Science, reports the finding of trace metals in feather fossils, suggesting their colours included black, brown and a reddish-brown.

“Despite many reports over the past decade of feathered dinosaurs and new birds from China, only now are we beginning to understand just how diverse feather types were” millions of years ago, Norell said.


Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/dinosaurs/8767802/Dinosaur-feathers-found-in-amber.html









Well, captured in a photograph, at least.  Hmm… Nessie and a rainbow in the same picture?  Almost seems too good to be true!


It’s been said before and it’s being said again .. Nessie is alive under the waves of Loch Ness.

Once more the notoriously shy Loch Ness monster has been reportedly sighted in Scotland’s deepest loch. This time close to a commercial fish farm.

Jon Rowe, from nearby Lewiston in Drumnadrochit, took the eerie snaps moments before the mysterious shape slipped beneath the water.

Could this be Nessie? Jon Rowe says his image shows a pair of humps which soon disappeared under the waves


And the stunned fish farmer is convinced that the shapes he saw in the morning light are Nessie.

He said: ‘It was a very strange morning. It was misty with a bit of rain and sunny at the same time.

‘There was a rainbow so I got my camera out to take a photo and noticed this really large dark shape in the loch with two humps that were barely out of the water.

‘My instant reaction was “That’s Nessie”.’

Mr Rowe has dismissed claims that the shapes he saw in the water were not the legendary beast of the deep said to stalk the atmospheric Highland loch.

He added: ‘I have no doubt, I work on the loch everyday and I’ve never seen anything like it.

‘Almost as soon as I took the shot the shape disappeared under the water and out of sight.

The 31-year-old told how he had not believed that a monster swam the depths of Loch Ness until he captured Nessie on film.

‘It can’t have been a buoy or a mooring as it’s in the wrong place and the ropes would be visible in the water.

‘A few people have said it was birds diving under the water – but I didn’t see any birds fly by. It can’t have been birds – the whole thing went down into the loch.

‘It was quite spooky but I think it’s really interesting.’


Loch Ness: The two humps are clearly visible bottom centre in Jon Rowe's photo, as is the rainbow he originally set out to capture


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2036998/Thats-fine-Ness-youve-got-Fish-farmer-claims-saw-loch-monster-says-photos-prove-it.html#ixzz1XvwMTSWw







I was already terrified of these things, then they go and grow HUGE jaws/fangs out of nowhere? NOT fair.

Live Science writes:

A giant male wasp with jaws that, when open, are longer than its front legs was discovered on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, researchers announced last week.

Researchers called the shiny black wasp, which is about 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) long, the “Komodo dragon” of the wasp family.

“Its jaws are so large that they wrap up either side of the head when closed. When the jaws are open they are actually longer than the male’s front legs,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohard Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis. “I don’t know how it can walk.”

Read more at livescience.com



Incredibly awesome surgery skills going to work here! This man lost his thumb and was able to have doctors use his big toe replace it. I mean, they do look a lot alike to begin with so that’s a plus. I wish this man good luck and a speedy recovery!

BBC News writes:

James Byrne, 29, from Fishponds severed the thumb on his left hand last December while sawing through wood. After an attempt to re-attach his damaged thumb failed, plastic surgeons at Frenchay Hospital transplanted his left big toe to his hand.

Surgeon Umraz Khan said: “The loss of the toe is not as disabling as losing a thumb, so the loss outweighs the gain.”

Mr Byrne said: “Mr Khan re-attached my thumb but it had been badly damaged and although we tried everything, including leeches, to get the blood flowing again it didn’t take.

“Mr Khan said to me ‘You will have a thumb even if I have to take your toe’. I thought he was joking, but he was serious and nine months later here it is. The aesthetics of it don’t bother me, “I am just happy that it works, my work as a paver would have been destroyed without the use of my hand because I couldn’t pick up a brick without a thumb but now I hope I can be back at work in a few months.”

Read more at bbc.co.uk


This was a pretty genius idea, using live bacteria and mold to slowly form the name of the movie, execution is fantastic as well!

The Montreal Gazette writes:

Two billboards made from live bacteria mounted in an abandoned storefront window in downtown Toronto are giving a whole new meaning to the term “viral marketing.”

A team of scientists created the one-of-a-kind advertisements to promote director Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion, in theatres Sept. 9, starring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The living billboards, sure to leave germaphobes itching for hand sanitizer, were the brainchild of Mark Biernacki and Steph Mackie, the creative director duo of Lowe Roche advertising agency in Toronto.

“We wanted something that would have visual impact,” explained Mackie.

Building on the film’s plot, which follows the spread of a fast-moving and lethal airborne virus that kills within mere days, Biernacki and Mackie teamed up with U.K.-based CURB Media to transform their idea into a microbe-infused reality.

Read more at montrealgazette.com


Incredible! This little guy has 2 working snouts with teeth and all and is actually healthy. Glad to hear this little dude is making it because, as we know all to well here at The Museum Of The Weird where we have a number of animal displays, most born with deformities don’t last long.

The Daily Mail writes:

Meet Babe, the pig who was born with not one but two snouts. And while it might sound like a joke, it’s no laughing matter.

The two-month-old – part of a litter born on a farm in Deshengtang, Jilin province, northern China – can use both his mouths to eat and appears otherwise normal, say his owners.

Farmer Li Zhenjun and his wife Yu Wanfen named the piglet Xiaobao – or ‘Babe’ in English – after the movie about an extraordinary talking pig.

Babe being held by his owner, Yu Wanfen.

Read more at dailymail.co.uk

Join THE SHADOW HOUR for Voice of the Unknown, the Movie

The Shadow Hour

The Shadow Hour

10:00 PM CST, Wednesday, 9/7/2011: It’s that time of the week… time to ease into your favorite chair, sit back and relax as we explore the sublime world of the strange, the odd, and the unusual. It’s time once again for… The Shadow Hour.

As the interest in paranormal investigation works its way through the media pathway, isn’t it time that we had “Ghost Hunter, the Motion Picture?” Your host might not line up for that one, but he is interested in seeing the outcome of guest, Will Scoville’s film “Voice of the Unknown, A Paranormal Investigation.” Will has been working in films and television for years, but you don’t have to believe us— check out his IMDB page.

When Will encountered friends and family who were involved with paranormal investigation, he saw the opportunity to tell an interesting story. We talked a while back with Robbie Prince about this project from the view of the investigative team. Now we’ll hear about it from the view of the film makers.

As always, you can listen right here with our blogtalkradio widget! You can listen to past broadcasts at any time, or tune in tonight.  (Wednesday, September 7, 2011) at 10pm Central for the live broadcast.  Be sure to check out the show notes, too.  See you in the shadows…


Holy cow! That entire village could fit inside this thing? Glad they were able to get it out of the waters around their village before anything serious happened.


Yahoo News writes:

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Villagers and veteran hunters have captured a one-ton saltwater crocodile which they plan to make the star of a planned ecotourism park in a southern Philippine town, an official said Monday.

Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said dozens of villagers and experts ensnared the 21-foot (6.4-meter) male crocodile along a creek in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province after a three-week hunt. It could be one of the largest crocodiles to be captured alive in recent years, he said, quoting local crocodile experts.

Elorde said the crocodile killed a water buffalo in an attack witnessed by villagers last month and was also suspected of having attacked a fisherman who went missing in July.

He said he sought the help of experts at a crocodile farm in western Palawan province.

“We were nervous but it’s our duty to deal with a threat to the villagers,” Elorde told The Associated Press by telephone. “When I finally stood before it, I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

After initial sightings at a creek, the hunters set four traps, which the crocodile destroyed. They then used sturdier traps using steel cables, one of which finally caught the enormous reptile late Saturday, he said.

Read more at news.yahoo.com


Now that’s a face only a mother could love! But, who’s the father? Is it another pig or is daddy an alien? This is definitely weird considering the UFO sighting was THE VERY SAME EVENING IT WAS BORN! This baby pig looks pretty similar to the cyclops-baby pig we have on display here at the Museum Of The Weird.

Come check it out!

Metro Online writes:

Residents of the South American village have decided that the pig’s odd human-shaped head is the doing of visitors from outer space, after strange bright lights were spotted hovering in the sky on the night of its birth.

The pig’s head looks similar to that of a human (CEN)

The poor pig, which is one of a litter of 11, has been described as looking like a cross between a human and something from the Alien movies.

Farmer Laureano Escobar Arias said: ‘I was shocked – it was a really terrifying experience.

‘It looked like some kind of alien creature.’

Read more at metro.co.uk



This video was posted on YouTube just a few days ago by user “.”  While the shots of the creature are fleeting, it is definitely better than most “Blobsquatch” videos out there.

Here’s what the user posted on his video:

Thanks for the comments that have been received. I do have several more shots of what we saw. Unedited. I’m just not sure that ‘Youtube’ is the proper platform to release them. I am working with a friend of mine who knows more about this stuff than I do. He has advised me to keep the rest of the material unreleased until i have proper counsel. These images were simply a quick snap shots or some of the highlights of the captured images. The entire film will be made public once I have been advised.

Last week in the mountains of Utah. We were target shooting after a long day of fishing. We scared something from the trees. We had two separate cameras running as we were shooting…. None of us slept very well for the next couple of nights. We found some sort or ‘hut’ about 100 yards from our camp and tried not to disturb anything. None of us are believers or can truly explain what we saw. But, we saw something.

Whatever it is, it looks massive!  I don’t think I’d be spending another night in the woods after an encounter like this, how about you?



I lived in Houston for the majority of my life and never once thought of aliens or UFOs ever visiting the place. But, as soon as I leave, the craziness begins. NOT FAIR!


This object was seen flying/hovering over Houston on August 29th and has not received any attention yet. I think it’s pretty standard for UFO footage, not having great visibility of the object and being pretty shakey and all. This needs more attention drawn to it!



Wow! Just, wow! I cannot wait for this full-fledged Bigfoot documentary to come out!


The Calgary Sun writes:

If nothing else, the news is bound to make big strides with the Banff tourism industry.

No longer will Alberta’s best-known mountain park depend solely on breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife to impress visitors and lure overseas tourists.

And no more envy towards other famous vacation spots like Loch Ness and Lake Okanagan, where legendary creatures are rumoured to lurk.

Banff now has Bigfoot. Lots and lots of Bigfoots, in fact.

Yes, it’s an allegation that would have Ripley wondering whether to Believe it or Not, and P.T. Barnum reaching for his cheque book, but the mountains west of Calgary are a hotbed for the huge-footed primates.

That’s the assertion of a dedicated bigfoot research organization based near Calgary, which claims not only to have video and photo evidence of the mythical beast, but DNA proof as well.

Read more at calgarysun.com


What a strange and horrifying find for a little boy! He stumbled upon a severed foot with the shoe still on it the other day while playing near his home in Canada.

CNN writes:

Authorities have found what appears to be a severed human foot this week, the 11th found in waterways in British Columbia in the past four years.

The discovery of another foot, this one still stuck in a running shoe, adds to the mystery that has confounded Canadians for years.

A boy found the foot and leg bone Tuesday near a marina in an inlet called False Creek, Vancouver Police said.

Foul play is not suspected, authorities told Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Authorities believe that because the remains did not have any evidence of trauma, the CBC reported.

The British Columbia Coroners Service has in the past said it was conducting DNA profile tests to determine the identities of the remains.

Some of the feet have been identified through DNA, but the reason they turn up where they do is still unknown in most cases, the CBC said.

Read more at CNN.com