Okay, so they're not that weird. But I think it's pretty rare to encounter someone who looooves brussels sprouts -- which I do. Other than consuming the occasional buttery green jewel at the first restaurant job I worked, I hadn't tasted a single sprout until the age of 23, due to my mother's belief that they're bitter and unpleasant. Then I saw the food network's Barefoot Contessa (or Ina Garten–does she actually go by that moniker?) prepare them in the following manner, and gave it a try. Now even my mom eats them this way -- the crunchy blackened outer leaves are her weakness, just like the burnt kernels at the bottom of the popcorn bowl.
Preheat the oven to 400 or 450. Slice the stem end off of each sprout, then, standing them on their cut ends, slice them in half vertically (see above). Discard any stray leaves that fall off, and peel away any that look dirty or holey. Throw them all on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss everything together with your hands, so spices stick to each sprout. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes, probably less, till they're slightly blackened and soft in the center. I feel I should admit that the batch pictured below is a tad overdone, but I like them almost burnt.