Month: September 2015

Flashback Friday: Weird Tales, and Images, from Wisconsin

“Wisconsin has the highest proportion of eccentric environments in the USA, more than 10% of the total.” – Jan Friedman

Since the demise of Time Cube, I’ve become nostalgic for the early, more personal days of the internet. Before social media was around, before content was shuffled towards a few overarching services. Things that are now Twitter feeds and Tumblr blogs would once be a gigantic number of individual, single-topic websites and forums, an array of personal homepages and strange blogs stretching off into eternity. You might stumble across a weird Subreddit now, but at least it’s cloaked in the familiarity of a larger site. Finding one of the web’s oddities once meant entering into an alternate world, created to mirror the author’s mind.

I once enjoyed browsing these websites. I heard about them on the old Snopes message boards, or places like Crank.net and the Museum of Hoaxes, or through long lists of links on places such as the Insolitology or even the Sci-Fi Channel.

I don’t know where I found today’s website. It’s one of several sites describing the many oddities of Wisconsin. I’ll detail the others in future Flashback Fridays; bizarrely, while today’s site is defunct, the other sites that are still up look way more outdated.

What do you think of when you think of Wisconsin? Cheese? Beer? Serial killers? The Fonz? How about the Beast of Bray Road, the werewolf that calls Elkhorn home? Or the Hodag, a reptilian beast made up in a failed attempt to make Rhinelander interesting? Those are just the obvious legends about the state. Today’s site looks at the deep cuts.

The now-defunct Weird Wisconsin last updated in 2004; it vanished some time in 2006. Presumably inspired by Weird New Jersey, it’s home to many accounts of Wisconsin’s paranormal phenomenon, and wonderful images like this:

WISCONSIN (more…)

9/11 Trutherism is Dead

As we remember those lost on 9/11, let’s remember that the 9/11 truther movement is dead.

911As Google Trends shows, 9/11 trutherism peaked in 2006-2007 during the days of Loose Change.  It spikes every September, but even those spikes are a shadow of what they once were.

Speaking of Loose Change:

LooseChange

Loose Change peaked in 2007; the September spikes are even smaller. Thanks, Popular Mechanics!

A 2014 poll on conspiracy theories found that 57% of those responding believe that 9/11 was not a conspiracy; 24% believe the government knew about it in advance and didn’t stop it. Polls asking if the government was behind 9/11 give clearer results: a 2006 Scripps Howard poll discovered that 77% of people believe the Twin Towers were not brought down by explosives, and just 6% said it was “very likely”.

Despite this, Truther sites claim that a majority of people doubt the “official story”. This is because of a poll sponsored by…9/11 truthers. A 2006 poll is seized on as proof that 84% of people believe in a conspiracy, but the (rather confusing) question just asked you if you felt George W Bush was lying or hiding something. Thinking that George W Bush was lying about something does not a Truther make.

Some of the top links on r/911truth are years old, and they come from a small number of posters. When a guy shows up to a Bernie Sanders speech holding this:

SAM_2642

I ran into this guy in real life. Note how he originally wrote “Jet fuels can’t melt steal beams”…

Now everyone calls him out as the asshole he is. Once upon a time 9/11 truthers would demand the “truth” from politicians, or rush onto podiums to ask for an “investigation”. Now, 9/11 truth as a movement is largely dead. Thankfully.

Via r/topmindsofreddit user bigbowlowrong

Flashback Friday: RIP Time Cube

Time Cube, one of the great weird websites, one of the great oddities of the early-00s, a beloved icon until it turned randomly racist, is no more. The URL has expired. And I remember it here:

And then I commemorate a early-00’s icon in the only fitting way – with some “My Immortal”: