Eric Knight Inventor. Entrepreneur. Author. Futurist. Business & Internet Pioneer.
Browsing all posts in: Weird

Earth’s magnetic north pole is moving at 50km per year — faster than scientists anticipated

January 11

Due to the surprisingly fast shift in the magnetic field, scientists are having to update their magnetic models sooner than expected, as the accuracy affects worldwide navigation…even your smartphone. (GPS is only one element used in determining your location, speed, and direction.)

The Earth’s magnetic field protects us from cosmic radiation and energy outbursts from the sun. It also allows the world’s power grids to remain stable.

Scientists don’t know why the magnetic motion is accelerating, but they have some interesting theories. Check out this excellent article from the UK’s Daily Mail. (I borrowed their animated .GIF for this post.)

What will YOU do with today’s extra second? “Leap second” to be added at midnight UTC.

December 31

leap-second-clockA year consists of 31,536,000 seconds (over 31.5 million seconds). But today will have one more second — a “LEAP SECOND”. Why? Because the Earth’s rotation slows about 1.8 milliseconds per day due to the braking effect of the world’s ocean waves, which messes things up over time (pun, intended). So the “International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service” (yes, there is such a thing) will tack on an extra tick to the world’s clocks at midnight UTC (7PM Eastern).  For more info:

Enjoy the extra tick!

Image courtesy of


World’s first lab-grown burger to be cooked and eaten today

August 5

(BBC)  Scientists took cells from a cow and, at an institute in the Netherlands, turned them into strips of muscle which they combined to make a patty.  Researchers say the technology could be a sustainable way of meeting what they say is a growing demand for meat.  An independent study found that lab grown beef uses 45% less energy than the average global representative figure for farming cattle. It also produces 96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires 99% less land.  For the complete article, click here.   Image courtesy of the BBC

Brazilian construction worker survives 6-foot metal bar through skull

August 18

(AP) RIO DE JANEIRO – Doctors say a 24-year-old construction worker survived after a 6-foot metal bar fell from above and pierced his skull.  Luiz Alexandre Essinger, chief of staff at Rio de Janeiro’s Miguel Couto Hospital, said doctors successfully withdrew the iron bar from Eduardo Leite’s skull during a five-hour surgery.  “He was taken to the operating room, his skull was opened, they examined the brain and the surgeon decided to pull the metal bar out from the front in the same direction it entered the brain.” Essinger said.

via Brazilian construction worker survives 6-foot metal bar through skull – HealthPop – CBS News.

TOTALLY BIZARRE: Transgender cosmetic surgeon injects client’s butt with cement, glue, mineral oil, and “Fix-A-Flat” tire mender. Then seals the incision with Super Glue!

January 1

ABC News / Australian 9NEWS:   “A U.S. transgender woman has been charged with practising cosmetic surgery without a licence after she injected a patient’s buttocks with a cocktail of substances including cement and [tire] sealant, police say.

“Oneal Ron Morris, 30, was arrested last Friday for conducting a botched butt implant at a Miami home last May, ABC reports.  Police said Morris shot a mixture of cement, glue, mineral oil and ‘Fix-A-Flat’ [tire] mender into the woman’s buttocks and then sealed the amateur incision with super glue.

“Morris, who appears to have an ‘enhanced’ rear end herself from police photos, first met her victim to discuss the procedure in May 2010.  ‘They agreed on the price of $700 for the procedure, which was intended for cosmetic purposes,’ Sgt William Bamford told ABC.  But the patient soon complained of serious pains in her abdomen and throughout her body, and was hospitalized.”

For the complete head-shaking story, visit

Police photo of Oneal Ron Morris courtesy of ABC News / Australian 9NEWS

West African berry causes beer to taste like sweet juice and lemons to taste like oranges. Spurs “flavor-tripping” parties.

January 1

Discovery News:  “Pop the red, cranberry-sized miracle fruit in your mouth and chew it for a while, allowing its juices to coat your mouth. It doesn’t taste like much. But what follows ‘is just a miracle or a kind of magic’ according to Keiko Abe, of the University of Tokyo, as you sample other foods. ‘Beer tastes like sweet juice. Lemon tastes like sweet orange.’

“Sour foods are perceived as trippily sweet when tasted for up to an hour after consuming the berry. This effect has led curious folks in the U.S. and elsewhere to seek the miracle fruit for ‘flavor-tripping’ parties: pop the fruit with friends, then sample a smorgasbord of sour-leaning snacks: limes, goat cheese, beer, grapefruit, vinegar, pickles and more.

“‘To me it was very exhilarating. It really is a very joyous experience,’ said writer Adam Gollner of trying the fruit. Gollner is author of The Fruit Hunters, which includes a chapter on the miracle fruit. “It’s almost like this thing that you can’t understand that is happening to you. That sense of incomprehensibility is a great feeling.'”

For the complete Discovery News article, click here:

Image courtesy of Keiko Abe / Science

Warning: Your brain may melt

November 24

I’ve come across one of the most bizarre music videos that I’ve ever seen.  It is a group of Chinese senior citizens performing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”  Picture scantily clad women musicians playing clear-plastic fiddles with seniors gyrating to the music in a life-size dollhouse.  I’m not making this up.

If you dare to unlock a weird and freaky place in your brain, turn up your speakers and click on this article’s image and link.  You’ve been warned…

Weird science: Number of Facebook friends related to brain size

October 24

Just when you thought scientific research couldn’t get any more bizarre, here’s a new benchmark:  Researchers at the University College London have apparently discovered a link between the number of Facebook friends and the size particular of brain regions, such as the amygdala, where memory and emotion are processed.

The researchers do not suggest whether they believe it was Facebook activity that increased the size of these portions of the brain — or — if someone’s amygdala size, for instance, influences a person’s desire to acquire Facebook friends.

If you’d like to know more about this unusual study, check out the Reuter’s report here:  And, yes, feel free to share the details with your friends on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Reuters

One minute of wackiness. (Rockin’ Rickie Rocket is back!)

September 19

I’ve received a ton of requests to dig through my archives for one of my most popular & fun items from years ago.  So, by popular request, “Rockin’ Rickie Rocket” — the virtual percussionist I first posted in 2004 — is back.  I re-discovered Rickie on YouTube.  It’s the same video clip from ten years ago.  Turn up your speakers, click on the image, and rock out to Rickie!


Lobster balls: A biodegradable golf ball made from lobster shells allows golfers to hit balls into the sea from cruise ships

May 26

(Forbes) University of Maine researchers have developed a golf ball made from the shells of lobster. Since they are biodegradable, that means ship-based driving ranges can be revived. The practice was banned by international treaty in 1988 because the plastic bad for sea life, from turtles on down the food chain.  For the complete article, visit

Can you predict your mate will cheat by his or her voice?

May 12

(Medical Daily) “When choosing a partner, women believe the lower the man’s voice, the more likely he’s going to cheat. Conversely, men think a woman with a higher voice is more likely to be unfaithful, researchers have found. The study, published in the latest edition of the online journal Evolutionary Psychology is the first to examine the link between voice pitch and perceived infidelity and offers insight into the evolution of the human voice and how we choose our mates.”

“The reason voice pitch influences perceptions of cheating is likely due to the relationship between pitch, hormones and infidelity,” explains David Feinberg, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and advisor on the study. “Men with higher testosterone levels have lower pitched voices, and women with higher estrogen levels have higher pitched voices. High levels of these hormones are associated with adulterous behaviour and our findings indicate individuals are somewhat aware of the link and may use this in their search for a romantic partner.”  For the complete article, visit

Students’ shirt invention busts smokers

April 26

(PeopleForum) Watch out, smokers. Sweatshirts may soon fashionably display more than you want to know about that smoke you’re exhaling.

Two NYU graduate students have created an interactive project called “Warning Signs.” According to WNYC Culture, the duo has made sweatshirts that change color when exposed to high carbon monoxide levels. The shirts feature a heart or set of lungs — when the fabric is exposed to pollution (ranging from cigarette smoke to car exhaust), blue veins appear on the organ image.

Co-creator Nien Lam enjoyed watching his shirt in action: “When people would step out to have a cigarette, they would see our project, and then feel guilty going out to have that cigarette realizing, ‘Oh, this is actually what I’m doing to myself.'”

The American Lung Association reports that six in 10 Americans live in places with dangerous levels of air pollution. Cigarette smoking leads to over 440,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. 600 million trees are destroyed per year to make dry tobacco.

The students are now considering clothing with alcohol sensors. They may have the liver change color when the wearer has consumed too much.  For the full article, visit

The most ridiculous job interview questions. Very funny!

April 8

Take a look at a list of some of the wackiest questions that employers asked job candidates during interviews.  Questions like:   “Explain quantum electrodynamics in two minutes, starting now.”  “How many balloons would fit in this room?”  “Using a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how weird you are.”   Imagine sitting in the hot seat trying to answer off-the-wall questions like these.  For the full list of odd-ball questions, visit



iPad 2: More Memory, Two Cameras, Adonis DNA, Tiger Blood

March 2

Check out  Dumenco’s Trendrr Chart of the Week at the following link:

Saturday Night Live — 30 years ago

February 25

Long-time fans of Saturday Night Live will probably remember the 1981 SNL “Newsbreak” skit in which the various spellings of Kadaffi, Gadhafi, etc. scrolled on the screen.  It’s strange how history is repeating itself.   See the transcript and screenshots from SNL 1981 at this link.

“Trends for new products in 2011: Wacky, simple, cheap”

January 24

Check out USA TODAY’s predictions that include super-foaming toothpaste, spray-on shampoo, and other oddities.  For the full article, click here.

You’re essentially looking over my shoulder as I write, think, create, invent, and — in general — ponder the world around us.  Feel free to peruse my writings and chime in as you’re so inspired.

Everything I type feeds parallel simultaneous streams to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.  It’s a global tightrope without a net.

Lots of new features are coming online.  They’re all in various stages of development.  You’ll soon see innovative things I’m working on — such as a live, streaming, two-way “TV channel” of sorts where you’ll be able to interact with me (audio, video, text) in real time as I type here in front of my computer.

This is my platform to push the boundaries of technology in every dimension.

Hang on tight.  We may achieve orbit.  Or we may sail off a cliff.  But the ride will be exhilarating.

— Eric