Awesome Weird

The History of Animatronic Restaurants

The History of Animatronic Restaurants

Restaurants like Showbiz and Chuck E. Cheese’s were staples of suburban childhood in the ’80s and ’90s. Beyond the arcades and mediocre pizza, these places also featured audio-animatronic musicians. Snellby Reviews looks back at the history of these restaurants, and their sad fate in the 2000s. Part two here.

The Madman’s Library

The Madman’s Library

Books written by the dead, the insane, and the Devil himself. Books made from knots. Books written in blood and bound in skin. Edible books, wearable books, books written in ciphers. Filled with fascinating discoveries on every page, The Madman’s Library reveals the obscure histories of the strangest books ever made.

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The Battle of SHARKS!

The Battle of SHARKS!

While visiting London, historian and storyteller CGP Grey stumbled onto a quirky sculpture of sharks floating in a canal. Not one to ignore something so unusual, he decided to dig into the backstory of this floating artwork and discovered the piece has been mired in a battle between artists, bureaucrats, and conservationists.

MIDI-controlled Slide Whistle

MIDI-controlled Slide Whistle

The slide whistle is one of the goofiest-sounding musical instruments out there. Now, thanks to the engineering smarts of mitxela, we’ve now got a way for a computer to play music on a slide whistle using MIDI commands. It uses a pair of servos and a scissor mechanism to move the slide, and a pump to blow into it.

Just Passing with Dr. Zussman

Just Passing with Dr. Zussman

Before we watched this animated short film, we thought Between Two Ferns was the most awkward talk show ever. But Anat Efrati & Yannay Matarasso’s graduation film sure got us feeling more uneasy than Zach Galifianakis ever did within seconds of Dr. Zussman’s mystery guest arriving on stage.

Levitating Hot Dog Cooker

Levitating Hot Dog Cooker

Inspired by science instructor Bruce Yeany, YouTuber NightHawkInLight wanted to see if he could cook a hot dog while it floated in the air. NightHawk improved on Yeany’s compressed air levitation, using a nichrome and copper coil to heat his wiener instead of a blowtorch.

Rollerskate

Rollerskate

Wearing nothing more than a pair of tighty-whities and basketball socks, a rollerskater heads out into the universe without a care in the world. But when an evildoer tosses a banana peel in their path, things go from weird to weirder. Enjoy the latest CG animated short from Cool 3D World, the warped minds behind Bicycle.

Tiny Tim: King for a Day (Trailer)

Tiny Tim: King for a Day (Trailer)

“Weird Al” Yankovic narrates this film about the enigmatic and entertaining showman known as Tiny Tim. Known by most for his falsetto voice and ambiguous appearance, Tim brought joy to millions with his ukulele and Tip Toe Through the Tulips, but also helped pave the way for other performers who refused to be pidgeonholed.

Finger Flick Machine

Finger Flick Machine

Is your finger flick underpowered? Worry no longer! Thanks to The Q, there’s now a solution for weak finger flickers. The maker designed and fabricated a metal cover that gives his middle finger an extra boost of power thanks to a spring-loaded mechanism. This must be killer for paper football games.

32 Stepper Motor Orchestra

32 Stepper Motor Orchestra

A 32-piece orchestra needs need a pretty big stage for all of those musicians and their instruments. Jonathan Kayne has solved this problem by replacing those pesky humans with stepper motors. The members of his band never talk back, and they play everything from All-Star to Piano Man to The Mandalorian theme.

Cher’s West Side Story

Cher’s West Side Story

Cher is known for her incredible vocal power, soufulness, and showmanship. To demonstrate her versatility, she played all of the major roles in a mini production of the musical West Side Story for her 1978 show Cher… Special. The same show featured a heaven vs. hell musical battle between Dolly Parton and The Tubes.

Playing the Barricade

Playing the Barricade

When is a flute not a flute? When it’s a street barricade, of course. Musician Xavier Lozano demonstrates as he performs a brief piece of music on a metal barrier he drilled out to work as a wind instrument. Lozano is known for his ability to transform unusual objects into musical instruments.

Jazz Popcorn Robot

Jazz Popcorn Robot

Musician Moritz Simon Geist creates music with the help of robots. For this performance, he set up a pan filled with hot oil, popcorn, and sensors that triggered strikes on a drum kit each time a popcorn kernel burst open. The resulting beats are definitely giving us a jazz fusion vibe.

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Froot Loops Pizza

Froot Loops Pizza

Follow your nose to Des Moines, Iowa’s Fong’s Pizza for a truly unusual breakfast food, a pizza that’s been covered with Froot Loops. Instead of milk, the colorful cereal Os sits in a bath of sour cream, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, with a drizzle of Greek yogurt and condensed milk. Lactaid sold separately.

Throat Notes

Throat Notes

Aussie artist and animator Felix Colgrave takes us on another wild and crazy ride. Get ready for a hallucinogenic trip through universe filled with strange looking and noisy creatures that might be found in the wilds of Tasmania. Headphones highly recommended for this one.

Serenity Flying Ornithopter

Serenity Flying Ornithopter

This crazy-looking flying machine resembles some kind of angry dragonfly as it takes to the skies. Instead of engines, the remote-controlled Serenity Ornithopter flies by rapidly flapping multiple sets of wings. The back half of the video is entirely in Russian, but it provides a brief up-close look at the unusual aircraft.

Stinky Candles

Stinky Candles
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Usually, candles are supposed to smell pleasant. But The Stinky Candle Co. has carved out a niche by making candles that smell like strange, unexpected, and downright gross stuff. Fragrances include gasoline, garlic, exhaust, skunk, and dill pickles. They also make pleasant scents like chocolate cake and bubble gum.

It’s My Life: Ukranian Bluegrass Edition

It’s My Life: Ukranian Bluegrass Edition

Ukranian folk-rock cover band Sedo i Ludy offers their unique spin on the Bon Jovi track It’s My Life, with a rollicking cover version that combines bluegrass with traditional Russian folk sounds. About halfway through it turns into a Haircut 100 version of the James Bond theme song.

Omega Mart: Grand Opening

Omega Mart: Grand Opening

This insane commercial takes us inside the imaginary grocery store “Omega Mart,” where a deepfaked Willie Nelson will try to sell you products. The trippy ad was created by art collective Meow Wolf to help promote their Las Vegas-based combination theme park, art exhibit, VR game, and shop.

Big Mouth Billy Bass Guitar

Big Mouth Billy Bass Guitar

If you had to pick the most simultaneously annoying and disturbing thing you can buy, it would have to be Big Mouth Billy Bass. Simon the Magpie modified one of these singing fish novelties and incorporated it into a bass guitar. Billy not only can slap the strings with his tail but has been circuit bent to produce some insane noises.

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AI Makes Beatles Music

AI Makes Beatles Music

Often copied, never duplicated, The Beatles were arguably the most influential pop band of the 20th century. With a little help from their friends OpenAI Jukebox, Broccaloo conducted an experiment to see what kind of music it would come up with if you fed it a bunch of the Fab Four’s classic tunes. The results are downright weird.

World’s Longest Gum Wrapper Chain

World’s Longest Gum Wrapper Chain

Guinness World Records introduces us to Gary Duschl, a man with an obsession for Wrigley’s chewing gum. Over the last 54 years, he has folded more than 2 million gum stick wrappers to create a woven paper chain. Each day he’s added more than five feet to his chain, which currently measures more than 20 miles long.

VOC-25 Vocal Synthesizer

VOC-25 Vocal Synthesizer

Love Hultén has designed and built many wonderful things over the years. His latest creation is a synthesizer that moves 25 sets of mechanical teeth in concert with its keyboard. It’s both disturbing and fantastic at the same time. If the idea seems familiar, that’s because he was inspired by Simone Giertz’s toothy instrument.

Star Boat: “Star Date”

Star Boat: “Star Date”

Dan is a man on a mission to find his match while in space. After searching relationship sites, he finally managed to score a date. But it’s not what he had hoped for. Austen Reeder’s short clip is every bit as weird and warped as we’ve come to expect from Adult Swim SMALLS. Take more Star Boat journeys here.

What’s Your Face LED Mask

What’s Your Face LED Mask

And the 2020 award for creepiest Kickstarter goes to… Neon Culture’s What’s Your Face LED Mask. This programmable costume lets you replace your face with another with the tap of your phone screen. It has over 2,000 individual LEDs which can be used to display one of a number of digitized faces or animated effects.

Furry Tetris

Furry Tetris

C4D4U seems to have an obsession with Tetris. A while back, the CG artist showed us what the game might look like with puzzle pieces made from Jell-O, and now we get to see what happens when those same pieces get moldy and covered with hair. They remind us of Sully from Monsters, Inc.

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