What is the Weird Things blog?
Weird Things is a popular science blog which also deals with conspiracy theories, questions about alien life and common religious concepts. It addresses interesting curiosities, oddities, frequent misconceptions and strange ideas to research the truth and set the record straight.
Is it a debunking blog?
Not per se. Weird Things is dedicated to skeptical inquiry which means that theories aren’t taken at face value but investigated to see if there’s any kernel of truth in them. For example, when dealing stories about alien life, I’m assuming that aliens exist, but want to see if the story seems to fit sound science and logic. As skeptical inquiry does require a good deal of debunking, it may occasionally seem like a debunking blog.
Do you moderate comments?
Very rarely. This blog generally allows anyone to comment at will without registering or waiting for moderation unless you have more than two links in your reply. I try to have a hands-off policy when it comes to comments and welcome all elaborations, questions and critiques. However, there are some cases where I may block or delete replies, please see the next question for details.
I submitted a comment. Why was it held up for moderation or deleted?
If you submitted a comment with multiple links, it will be held in moderation by my spam filter. A frequent tactic of spam bots is to use numerous links and the spam filter only counts the number of links, not the content. It’ll sit in the queue until I have a chance to approve it. My apologies for the inconvenience, but this policy provides for a spam bot-free reading and commenting experience. Comments subject to deletion are those which try to link to explicit porn or sites ran by racist or hate groups. I also reserve the right to remove off-topic rambling, and incoherent or repetitive replies for the benefit of other readers. For example, a political rant in a post about black hole formation could be a very strong candidate for removal.
Can I use an image used on a particular post for a presentation/publication?
Most of the images on Weird Things are either stock photos that could be used by anyone willing to pay for the appropriate rights, or illustration and artwork used under the Fair Use doctrine. In the former case, I can point those interested in a particular graphic to the stock library, but in the latter, you would need to contact the artist or studio highlighted in the attribution at the end of the post. If you believe an image has been used without an appropriate attribution, or you hold the rights to a particular illustration and either want the attribution added or corrected, or just don’t want the image displayed at all, please contact me and let me know so I could either correct the attribution or replace the graphic in question.
Can I submit an idea for a post?
Certainly. If you’d like this blog to review and write something about a topic of interest for you, please feel free to contact me with your suggestions. As this blog grows, it’s very likely the topic has been addressed before so your idea might already be the covered by an existing article.
Are you an atheist?
I would consider myself an atheist since I see no real, conclusive evidence for a personal deity as described in holy books. If there’s ever a demonstrable proof of the divine during a scientific investigation, I will duly note it. In the meantime, I feel that not knowing something doesn’t mean that you can just make up your reality and inject it into the unknown. I’d rather just say “we don’t know.”
Why do you cover conspiracy theories as well as popular science?
Many conspiracy theories are based on a lack of scientific understanding or they’re studies in mythmaking and social sciences like sociology, economics and psychology. I include posts that deal with theology, history and cultural conflicts on this blog for the same reason. Science is after all, a study of ourselves as much as it is the study of the world around us.