Archive for the Bizzare Behavior Category

Paul the Psychic Octopus Hits the Big Time

Posted in Anthropromorphism, Bizzare Behavior, Psychic Pets, Randomalia, Roadside attractions, Travesties of nature on July 23, 2010 by Eric S.

If, like me, you could give a rat’s ass about soccer (football to those of you familiar with the metric system), there’s a chance you missed out on Paul the Octopus’s 15 minutes of fame. But this mid-phenomenon report by RussiaToday should be all you need to come up to speed:

Basically, what we have here is an octopus raised in captivity in a tourist aquarium in Germany with a considerably better than random ability to pick winners in Germany vs Whoever soccer matches. Paul lodged his predictions by choosing which side of a two-binned feeding dish to take his dinner from: one marked with a German Flag, the other marked with the flag of their opponent. According to stats on Wikipedia, his 2010 predictions were 100% accurate, making him 61% more accurate than Punxsutawney Phil and (if I’m doing the math right) 99.6% more accurate than dumb luck. NOTE: Yes, I did that math in my head before realizing it was right there on the Wikipedia page.

So, honestly, this followup story shouldn’t be that surprising:

Paul, welcome to the Big Leagues. But it’s not all bad, at least for Paul’s owners (I can’t claim to know the pros and cons of octopoidial life). A Russian bookmaker offered his owners €100,000, and I could swear I heard a story about someone stateside offering more than a million dollars for him. According to The Wall Street Journal, he has a job offer from Infosys. And according to this report, a black comedy Paul the Octopus murder mystery filmed in South Africa is in post production in Beijing.

All of which is trumped by the fact his immortalization in this little ditty by Perry Gripp, of Cat Flushing a Toilet fame:

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Reptiles run amok

Posted in Bizzare Behavior, Nature gone amok with tags , , , on June 22, 2008 by Eric S.

After complacently playing second fiddle to mammals for 65 million years, give or take, recent news seems to indicate that class Reptitia is in the midst of a play to reestablish their position of dominance. The last week has seen a barrage of reptile-related news that can only be seen as a deliberate, malicious and cold-bloodedly coordinated attack. A stealthy python attack in Australia. Attempts by both alligators and crocodiles to sneak into our cities, thankfully intercepted by the vigilant forces of justice. This story, perhaps run before the reporter was able to get all the facts, shows evidence the reptiles have already begun indoctrinating our youth, brainwashing humans into doing their dirty work for them. Then, just because no story is complete without a cool audio/visual segment, there’s this video of a snake eating a hippopotamus:

I hope it goes without saying that this assault must be stopped. And it’s going to take all of us: me, you, our cats, dogs, horses and hippos. Unless we want to go back to living in caves, fighting dinosaurs and sleestaks with pointy sticks, we have to act fast. Contact your local government and/or gun-toting militia and let them know you’re ready to do what’s neccessary to keep us safe.

Headless chicken lives forever

Posted in Bizzare Behavior, Rant, Roadside attractions, The Unexplained, Travesties of nature with tags , , on May 19, 2008 by Eric S.

For anyone not already intimately acquainted with the tale of Mike the Headless Chicken, here’s the third-best known portrayor of Superman to fill you in on the back story:

As the event recedes into the past, the legend of Mike is beginning to show the telltale signs of becoming a legend. Factual discrepancies are waved off in favor of the quality of the story. Devout believers make an annual pilgrimage to pay their respects. And, most telling, there’s merchandise to be bought.

This weekend, the city of Fruita, Colorado, celebrated the 63rd anniversary of Mike’s beheading. Though, sadly, having something else to do this weekend prevented me from attending myself (mainly, having to not fly to Colorado to attend a headless chicken festival), I have little doubt attendees had the time of their collective life, eating chicken, making not-terribly funny jokes about headlessness, drinking to a non-excessive pleasant buzz and, of course, helping cement the foundation of a story which, to our modern day sensibilities is cute and entertainingly kitsch… but which, given the proper support, could blossom into a global belief system over the course of the next couple thousand years.

Good for you, Mike. I salute you. Which, for the record, is not intended as a joke about headlessness.

Substitute teacher blacklisted… for wizardry!

Posted in Bizzare Behavior, Hysteria, Plots, The Man with tags , on May 7, 2008 by Eric S.

In defense of the supervisor, Mr. Piculas should be glad they didn’t burn him, as is the long standing custom among witchcraft-fearing inbreds. Things may have turned out very differently had he tried to make a student’s nose disappear.

Alternative for surfers too lazy to paddle

Posted in Bizzare Behavior with tags , on May 5, 2008 by Eric S.

And, oh — just in case I need a disclaimer: this looks about as real as pro wrestling. The YouTube title tag claims the shark in question is a Great White. Assuming that’s not just to make this stunt seem even more foolhardily death defying, and someone involved actually took the time check the alleged shark’s ID, and further assuming that this image boosted from Wikipedia accurately shows the ratio of dorsal fin height to body length of great whites to be in the 1:12 range:

that fella’s bagged himself a 36-foot-long shark. Still, you’ve got to admit pro wrestling has its moments.

Sad news on the sea monster front

Posted in Bizzare Behavior, Mysterious origins, Sighting!, The Unexplained, Travesties of nature with tags , , , on May 2, 2008 by Eric S.

Rampant menace to mariners since the ancientest of days, sea monsters seem to have fallen on hard times. Despite the largely unarguable facts that the ocean a) is the least explored (and hardest to explore) portion of the surface on the Earth, b) covers the better ¾ths of said surface area, and c) is host to a greater volume of surface traffic — that is to say, prospective human witnesses — than any point in history, sea monster sightings are at an all time low. Gone, it seems, are the days when giants rose from the deep to sink ships and test the mettle of seafaring adventurers. Their reign of fear over everyone from explorers to settlers, pirates to traders, fishermen to whalers began drawing to a close maybe as early as the civil war, as they slowly came to be replaced by the less natural hijinks of The Bermuda Triangle.

What happened to them? Did some shameful act of humanity drive them to extinction? Or perhaps simply drive them to deeper waters, where they warily avoid human contact? Or did they find means to hide themselves, and have assimilated into human society? Mysteries like this can only be answered with wild speculation.

Or so I thought — as would, I assume, any rational human being — until this popped up on Japanese TV in December, 2006:

Following suit with other bizarre, potentially horrifying Japanese movies, this one worked its way into English-speaking media some time later:

The sea monsters didn’t disappear, they just shrank. Sure, that’s a pretty big squid by Applebee’s appetizer menu standards, but it’s not really a sinking-the-Nautilus caliber monstrosity. Possibly anticipating this exact sort of disappointment, the reporters (well, the English-speaking reporter; I can’t vouch for the one speaking Japanese) casually mention that this squid is young, i.e., small, i.e., there are surely much larger squid out there far too crafty to be caught… some possibly as large as 1,000 pounds.

Which sounds mammothly, staggeringly huge, doesn’t it? 1,000 pounds, I imagine them imagining viewers thinking, that’s about as big as a full grown Brontosaurus, isn’t it? Because everything looks bigger in your imagination. Or Texas.

Well, it turns out that, as of yesterday, researchers in New Zealand can show you exactly what a 1,000 pound squid looks like:

That’s it? I’ve seen bigger seafood buffets, I found myself disappointedly thinking as I watched this story. Unless there’s a breed of super intelligent sharks big enough to eat a school bus hiding somewhere, I think all of the mystery of sea monsters has just about dissipated. I for one shed a tear for their passing.

Extra-appendaged animal of the week: Hex, the 6-legged kitten

Posted in Bizzare Behavior, Mysterious origins, The Unexplained, Travesties of nature with tags , on April 30, 2008 by Eric S.

The owners of Hex, pictured above in a photo swiped from cfnews13.com, were expecting conjoined twins, and ended up instead with a six-legged kitten and a backup supply of organs. And, I expect, 13.5 lives. What’s really notable is that the reporter chose to refer to the expected kittens as conjoined, maybe for reasons of political correctness, or possibly because there’s nothing special about giving birth to cats that happen to be Siamese twins. Okay, okay, sue me for that one… I’ve been holding it in since the last feline abnormality back in February.

Says the article:

The kitten needs an operation and the family is asking the community for donations. The surgery is expected to cost around $3,000.

If you want to help, send your donation to:

Veterinary Specialists of South Florida
ATTN: Aimee Griswald
99410 Stirling Road
Cooper City, Florida 33024

There. My good deed for the day is done.