Weirdness on the Web

by Wally Hartshorn

Through the miracle of modern technology, you can browse an ever-expanding variety of weirdness and nonsense from the comfort of your computer. We must live in the best of times. Let's take a look at some of it, shall we?

[Note from Webmaster: I've updated some of these web addresses to reflect their new locations.]

Yahoo's Index of Alternative Science
The starting point in our search for weirdness will be one of the Internet search engines. There are many (InfoSeek, Lycos, WebCrawler, etc), so pick your favorite. One suggestion would be Yahoo. From their home page, select "Science", then "Alternative". That get you lists of all manner of weirdness.

Koda's Psychic Window Technique
You can learn Koda's Psychic Window Technique, which is described as "a very simple method anyone can use to experience visual telepathy in less than ten minutes." If "visual perception of ‘reincarnational selves’ and the perception of auras" sounds like a useful skill to have around the home, this is the place to learn it. Plus he sells nifty T-shirts and an autographed booklet.

There are several sites devoted to the prophet Nostradamus. One site, operated by Albert Nanomius, features information about the book Conversations with Nostradamus by Delores Cannon. It also includes the prophecies (both in the original French and as translated into English), information about the Antichrist, and many other items supposedly alluded to by Nostradamus.

Uri Geller's Psychic City
What would a tour of weird sites be without a visit to Uri Geller's Psychic City? Yes, the spoon-bender and watch-starter has gone online. At his web site, you can read about his million dollar challenge, his business consultation services, and a movie "inspired by" his life story. (The description of the movie, Mindbender, says that Uri Geller appears at the end of the film and conducts a psychic experiment with the movie audience, who are instructed to bring broken clocks and watches to the theater.)

The Hollow Earth Insider
If you consider bending spoons to be small potatoes, then perhaps The Hollow Earth Insider is on a scale you would find more appealing. Their site features The Hollow Earth Insider Research Report, a bi-monthly newsletter for those who believe the earth is hollow — and inhabited. What else is there to say?

The Crop Watcher
Although crop circles have declined in popularity recently, they are still probably more popular than the hollow earth theory. Several recent issues of The Crop Watcher are available for your online reading pleasure.

Fortean Times
For a wide variety of general weirdness, the Fortean Times is probably the best known magazine. Their site includes current and back issues, as well as information about Charles Fort and various strange reports.

If all of this pro-paranormal weirdness is getting you down, then stop by the many excellent skeptical sites to pick yourself back up again.

First, of course, there is REALL's own site. Although it's not particularly weird by itself, it is an easy place to start in your search for other sites. In addition to back issues of The REALL News and a calendar of events, it also has links to the most important skeptic sites.

CSICOP (the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) is probably the first spot to check for skeptic information. The main attractions are selected articles from current and previous issues of Skeptical Inquirer and Skeptical Briefs.

Skeptics Society
The Skeptics Society is next on our tour. Its main attractions are selected articles from current and previous issues of Skeptic magazine.

James Randi
James "the Amazing" Randi is probably the world's most famous skeptic. His home page prominently features his debunking efforts (as well as some biographical information).

Penn and Teller
Speaking of skeptical magicians, Penn and Teller also have a web page. It focuses almost totally on their magic act (including such things as their tour schedule and information about magic in general), so you won't find much skeptical information there, but at least it's weird.

False Memory Syndrome Foundation
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation has a wealth of information about FMS, including answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs).

Mailing Lists

Even if you don't have a full Internet connection, if you can send and receive Internet e-mail, you can join mailing lists and receive periodic information. Two of my favorites are the Randi Hotline and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation News. Just send e-mail as described below and you should begin receiving information on an irregular basis (roughly one message per week is typical).

Randi Hotline
Subject: Subscribing to randi-hotline
Body: Please subscribe me to randi-hotline.

False Memory Syndrome Foundation News
Subject: Subscribing to FMSF-News
Body: Please subscribe me to FMSF-News.


There are literally hundreds of other sites out there, of course. I'll write about more of them in a future article. In the meantime, fire up your Internet connection and take a look. But arm youself with a sense of humor.

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