Weird Buys This Week

What is the strangest thing you've seen for sale?

Every week, it's fun to search for the oddest things for sale on the Internet. There have been some really strange and freaky things that people sell, and many people don't even bat an eye over the sale of (cleaned and sanitized) roadkill bones for sale anymore. Everyone has to make a living, after all.

This week's oddest find has to be this taxidermied chicken lamp. Not only is it a preserved chicken, which is weird enough to have in your home, but it's built with a light bulb sticking out of its butt as the light source of the lamp! While it probably makes an excellent conversation piece, the buyer would also be stuck with... a taxidermied chicken with a lightbulb hanging out of its butt.

Another odd find this week is this Raindrop Cake kit, which makes a cake that looks like a giant bubble of water. The jelly cake kit is on the pricey side, but it does make six cakes, and while the cake seems weird to the West, it's a pretty common cake in some Asian cultures. It's certainly worth checking out, especially if you're doing a lot from home.

What other weird finds have you found this week? What's the oddest thing you've purchased? Share it in the chat. 

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Americans Are Having Less Sex Than Ever

They are also less likely to get married--or even "partner up"

For a super fun Valentine's piece (note the sarcasm), CNN Health ran an article about how not only are Americans having less sex than ever, but they are also less likely to get married and or find partners than ever as well. This sounds alarming, but given the fact that the divorce rate is also dropping, perhaps it's a reflection of good things.

Sure, we can blame it on the gloom and doom of pandemic life, but the article points out that these trends were happening prior to 2020. Yes, perhaps folks are burned out, tired of dating, or exhausted from working multiple jobs and too busy to have more sex. Maybe they're on their phones or streaming too many shows to have it.

But what if--just what if--folks are finally setting boundaries and not settling? Maybe these numbers mean that people--especially marginalized folks with traditionally less power--are not just getting married when pregnant, or sleeping with someone to "keep" them, or engaging in other unhealthy relationship tropes. A poll reflecting how content the people surveyed are would be much more helpful here.

Why do you think people aren't getting married, having more sex or looking for a partner? Share your ideas in the chat.

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Oppose "Don't Say Gay" Bills

Can you believe this is still happening?

It's beyond freaky that it's 2022 and we're just circling back to the same battles we thought we'd won. Throughout history, humans have made this a habit, for sure, and empires have fallen over these kinds of cycles. Can you imagine if aliens did swing by and notice that we're facing the same issues--from book burning to outlawing abortion, the plague to child soldiers and human trafficking--that were probably going on during their last visit? I doubt they'd want to stop by again!

Right now, Florida has yet another one of those freakishly outdated and harmful "Don't Say Gay" bills in motion, which would block teachers from protecting--and even talking about--LGBTQIA kids. Make no mistake, this is the most vulnerable population in many schools and this legislation is basically a warrant to bully and make lives miserable at best. Like states creating laws to run lesson plans by parents (and create them once a year, which would cause me to quit teaching if I was back in a classroom), let parents choose which books to read and which to ban and laws banning trans kids from sports and bathrooms, it's yet another way legsilators are overstepping their boundaries and harming our kids. 

Sign here to tell Florida to stop this ridiculous bill and protect LGBTQIA kids. Then post the actions that you're taking, locally or nationwide, in the chat. 

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Rains of Terror Planet

Fans of space and astronomy should definitely follow @astro_alexandra on TikTok for some incredibly interesting content they might be surprised to learn about. Recently the self-described space communicator gave a quick presentation about a piece of freaky phenomena that's about 63 years away from Earth. It's called HD 1897336, but people know it as "Rains of Terror" due to its extreme conditions.

Discovered in 2005, HD 1897336 is covered with wild winds that blow around shards of glass. It's blown around sideways, so if you stood on the planet you'd be slashed from pretty much head to toe with glass shards! And it's blowing at 5,400 mph, or seven times the speed of sound, which makes it even more terrifying to think about. Let's not go there, okay space race folks?

What other freaky news or facts have you read about this week in terms of space exploration, astronomy and the stars? Share any strange stories or articles you've stumbled across in the chat.

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Weirdest TikTok Videos

Share your favorites!

TikTok is full of content that helps a lot of us get through the day, whether it's funny cats, hilarious sketch comedy or gentle vibes with plant and cottagecore folks. There's also a bizarre side of TikTok where content creators create macabre, weird and even freaky videos to garner attention and maybe even cause a jumpscare or two.

One of the best content creators who manages this effect is Savannah Moss. Moss creates what others have dubbed "fever dream-like" content, where nothing makes sense. There are time voids, Twilight Zone-like moments, and downright scary scenes that make you save the video for watching at a later time--like when the sun is up or you have company. In a recent video, the viewer gets trapped in a dark basement as creepy things--all featuring Moss--happen around the view.

What other creepy or freaky videos have you seen on TikTok? Which content creators do you know who scare you so well you can't help but come back for more? Share them in the chat. 

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Multi-tasking Can Lower IQ Levels

If you didn't have a reason to avoid it before...

As a chronic multi-tasker who has definitely fed a baby while attending a meeting online, baking a potato in the microwave (that totally got cold) and assisted a sibling and her then-boyfriend with graduation speeches via DM all at once, I am well aware that you don't get anything done as well as you might while single-tasking--but those of us who've been in this situation (Oh, I also had a chemistry experiment on the kitchen table since I was finishing college at the time, too!) know that sometimes it really is unavoidable. The consequences of multi-tasking are being tallied up, though, and they may disturb you as much as they disturb me.

Most of us have heard that multi-tasking lowers productivity while just making you appear busier. (Seriously, again... anyone who has ever cared for a baby while doing literally anything else knows that it's sometimes completely unavoidable.) It can also lead to misunderstandings, inaccuracy, and missing details, but I just learned that multi-tasking can lower your IQ and impair cognitive ability. Add that to the lack of sleep that many people have and no wonder we're all struggling! 

I don't know about you, but I need to know more about this. How much does it lower IQ? And for how long? How much does it impair your cognitive ability, and to what end? Does it lead to, say, danger on the road or while operating a forklift? This is just freaky--and freakier still, like the article says, that employers demand "multi-taskers."

What other freaky information have you read this week about the brain or the effects of human activity on it? Share what you find in the chat. 

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Caterpillars Eat Poison (And So Do We)

Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed, which is poisonous.

While many of us are growing monarch butterfly gardens trying to help the population recover, most of us probably don't stop to think about how poisonous that milkweed we plant for their larvae to consume a la The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's all very beautiful and moving, but it's also dangerous to most other critters. 

Monarchs and a few other insects have a specific protein to help them consume milkweed without incident, but other animals could experience seizures and heart problems if they accidentally eat it. This helps the monarch protect itself by ingesting the toxin, too. And there are other species who do the same thing--including humans!

The coffee we drink is poisonous long before it's made into our precious daily pep juice, and even then it's toxic to our companion animals. We just like the effect it has on us, so we drink it! Don't ever let cats or dogs drink coffee, though, as it can cause severe illness or even death.

What other weird plants or foods do you know of that we eat that are actually toxic? Share your favorite facts in the chat.

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People Are Asking If They're Jerks On The Internet

This trend seems about right where we are right now.

People are sharing the AITA threads on Reddit all over the Internet right now, but that's not the most mind-boggling thing happening. No, it's that people are sharing their most humiliating or dark or even cruel moments online and asking strangers to judge them on the Internet. A few years ago, had I heard about this, I certainly wouldn't have believed it. I like to believe that everyone is doing their best, even when they make mistakes.

But now I'm not so sure. I've had so many people tell me that it's survival of the fittest if I die because I have chronic illnesses and they don't like the inconvenience of a mask. I've seen folks yell or call names at people who do wear them. I've seen people attempt to kidnap a governor and overthrow their own government over public health. So when I see someone ask if they're a jerk because they want their fiancee to get rid of his toddler or they gave away their partner's pet or they shredded photos their partner kept of their youth... it's just sad. It's also sad that people would want others to know what they did.

Have you been reading these AITA posts? What is the most bizarre thing you've seen someone talk about? Share your feelings in the chat. 

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An Elevator to Space

It just gets weirder.

To save costs on sending things to space, some scientists are working on an elevator to take people off the planet. It would hold 30 people at once and is supposed to cost 100 times less than the cost of a rocket. Multiple nations are considering building a space elevator at this time. Previously a fantasy story, the space elevator is something we may see in our lifetimes.

Many of us are really questioning these moves. While people go hungry, unhoused, battle crippling health conditions and debt and could really use all of the resources being poured into space these days, they watch as billionaires and world leaders continue to funnel resources literally off the planet instead of helping folks. It's utterly bizarre. 

If you were a government body or a billionaire, what would you do with your resources other than building rockets and space elevators? Which world issue--or even an issue in your own community--would you address first? Share your thoughts, and your opinions about space races, in the chat.

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Is there Life on Venus?

Scientists say there's evidence to suggest there is.

Venus might seem like it's too hot of an environment to be hospitable to anything alive, but we know that there are plenty of critters--especially when it comes to tiny ones, like bacteria--who can thrive in extreme environments. The tardigrade alone is such an impressive tenant of so many environments it might as well be known as a Tardis-igrade!

So when scientists say that lifeforms that neutralize acid are living on Venus, creating little cloud puff homes as a result, it sounds pretty plausible. They are saying that the presence of oxygen and sulfuric acid on the planet have been difficult to explain, but now they're going to try and prove that there is life existing on the planet. It's really not so far-fetched to think about when we do picture just how vast the universe really is.

What kinds of life do you think exist on Venus, or elsewhere in the universe? Do you think we will encounter life that is akin to that on Earth, or something entirely new and different? Share your thoughts in the chat. 

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