Unusual

POTD: The Robot

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I can’t tell if it is facing me or facing the house. It looks like his feet are facing the house and it appears he has a ray gun facing the house but, he has eyes looking at me. Maybe it is a confused robot but, the metal work is cute. ~Vic

Robot Yard Art Image
04-18-2020
Click for a larger view.

Picture of the Day

Story Sunday: Ig Nobel Prize Goes For Alligator On Helium

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Alligator On Helium Image
Image Credit: Lund University
YouTube
MSN & CNN

“Alligator sucking on helium wins parody Ig Nobel Prize”

Scientists are answering a question no one is asking. What would it sound like if an alligator sucked up helium? When a team of international researchers wanted to find out whether a gator’s vocalizations relate to its body size, they devised an experiment that would earn them the 2020 Ig Nobel (a wordplay on “Nobel” and “ignoble”) Prize for acoustics. Researchers captured footage of the snorting alligator in a helium-filled tank. In perhaps one of the biggest letdowns in the history of scientific study, it sounded nothing like a cartoon chipmunk. Now in its 30th year, the annual Ig Nobel Prize awards ceremony, usually presented at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, was conducted remotely due to pandemic restrictions.

Among this year’s other elite competitors, a study which demonstrated that meticulously groomed eyebrows are a reliable indicator of grandiose narcissism took home the prize in psychology. The prize in economics went to an international team of creeps (presumably) who wanted to know whether the rate of French kissing correlated with national income inequality. Based on data from 13 countries across six continents, they found that where kissing was more frequent, income inequality was also more likely to occur. Go figure. American Richard Vetter took home the prize in entomology for his brave study on spiders (which aren’t technically insects) that revealed most of his peers are, allegedly, arachnophobic. And, the award for materials science went deservedly (because it’s gross) to a collaboration between the US and the UK to study whether frozen human feces could be made into usable knives. Spoiler alert: It certainly cannot.

But, who could forget the most Ig Nobel moment in recent history? The medical education prize went to a roundup of sometimes ill-advised world leaders for showing that “politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can” during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Hannah Sparks
New York Post
September 18, 2020

Word Wednesday: Quondam

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Screen Captures

This is, clearly, an obscure word. It sounds like a portmanteau of quantum and condom. Hmmm…Quantum Condoms, for an “out of this world” experience! Whadda ya’ think? Can you make a sentence with this word? ~Vic

TV Tuesday: Trapped 1950

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John Carradine Image One
John Carradine
Photo Credit: A Drifting Cowboy Blog

Seventy years ago, today, the television anthology series Trapped debuted on WOR-TV in New York. Also known as Trapped: Tales of the Supernatural, the host was John Carradine and some guest actors were Charles Korvin, Elizabeth Morgan, Helen Baron, Rita Gam, Fran Malis, George L. Smith, Stanley Tackney and Harry Townes. There were 57 episodes that were 30 minutes long.

There are no pictures or video of this program and very little has been written about it. I did manage to find an article on Light’s Out host Frank Gallop that referenced Trapped:

In accordance with Gallop, other hosts who aimed to set a mood of terror at the time included Andy Christopher […] (Mr. Black), James Monks (Tales of the Black Cat […]) and Lee Bowman (Eye Witness […]). Similarly, Jack La Rue (Lights Out), Boris Karloff (The Boris Karloff Mystery Playhouse) and John Carradine (Trapped: Tales of the Supernatural […]) offered external examples of film stars hired for TV hosting roles in which an emphasis was placed on their associations with the horror genre [with] typecasting as villainous and/or monstrous characters as part of their respective series façade. Due to a lack of surviving/missing material associated with some live series pre-1955, in the cases of some hosts, it is not always possible to definitively discern to what extent horror elements were adopted as part of a series persona.

Frank Gallop: The Ghoulish Host of Lights Out
Thomas Wilson
Taylor & Francis Online
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
March 20, 2020

Additional Reading:
Trapped (1950-1952) (Classic TV Archive)

Scoop Saturday: Lincoln’s Hair & Bloody Telegram Up For Auction

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Lincoln's Hair & Telegram Image One
Image Credit: United Press International via
RR Auction

Update:
The artifacts sold for an astounding $81,250 on September 12, 2020.

“[The] lock of hair and telegram, which provides details of Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, are expected to fetch up to $75,000.”

A lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair wrapped in a telegram stained with the 16th president’s blood is up for auction online. [From RR Auction, based in Boston], [the two} inches of Lincoln’s hair was removed during his postmortem examination after the president was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth.

The hair ended up in the custody of Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd, a cousin of Lincoln’s widow, Mary Todd Lincoln. The doctor was present at the postmortem examination and is believed to have wrapped the lock of hair in the telegram which had been sent to him the previous day by his assistant, George Kinnear. The telegram is stained with what is believed to be the slain president’s blood.

Bidding for the two items closes Sept. 12.

Ben Hooper
UPI
August 28, 2020

The hair is mounted to an official War Department manuscript telegram sent to Dr. Todd by George H. Kinnear, his assistant in the Post Office at Lexington, Kentucky, received in Washington at 11:00pm on April 14, 1865 […]. [A] typed caption prepared by Dr. Todd’s son reads, in part: “The above telegram […] arrived in Washington a few minutes after Abraham Lincoln was shot.

Todd Death Notice Image Two
Image Credit: Kentucky Kindred Genealogy

Next day, at the postmortem, when a lock of hair, clipped from near the President’s left temple, was given to Dr. Todd. [Finding] no other paper in his pocket […] he wrapped the lock, stained with blood or brain fluid, in this telegram and hastily wrote on it in pencil […] ‘Hair of A. Lincoln.’

Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd‘s own account of the autopsy, now preserved in an 1895 manuscript held in the Ida Tarbell collection of Lincoln papers at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, differs slightly from his son’s, noting that he clipped the lock himself: “When all was over, General Hardin entered and handed me a pair of scissors, requesting me to cut a few locks of hair for Mrs. Lincoln. I carefully cut and delivered them to General Hardin and, then, secured one for myself which I have preserved as a sacred relic.”

Description From The Original Listing

Foto Friday: Furry Characters

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These four furries showed up at one of our local Farmers’ Markets on October 18, 2014. Why they appeared there, I have no clue. Their costumes were really cute. Digeri was the only one that spoke. The pictures turned out surprisingly well from my old flip phone. Click on each image for a larger view. ~Vic

Cat Image One
Digeri The Cat
Dog & Tiger Image Two
I think the dog may be a Husky
with the different colored eyes.
Fox Image Three
Siku The Fox
Group Shot Image Four
The Group Shot
One of the farmers assisted.

Weird S*** Wednesday: We Do Geek

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In This House…

We believe in Magic, Superheroes, Poltergeists,
Dragons and Faeries.

Hedwig Frida Bredesen Unsplash Image One
Photo Credit: Frida Bredesen on Unsplash

We go on Unexpected Journeys
through Middle Earth to Mordor
following Wormholes
to Galaxies Far, Far, Away
across Platform 9 3/4.

We believe in Once Upon A Time,
Worlds In Wardrobes,
Ruby Slippers and
we would never Hitchhike Without A Towel.

We do Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff,
Going Boldly Where No Man Has Gone Before
because It’s Bigger On The Inside and
there’s Coffee In That Nebula.

Dalek Charlie Seaman Unsplash Image Two
Photo Credit: Charlie Seaman on Unsplash

We Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts, are Mutant and Proud,
say Bazinga, Fantastic, Allons-y, Geronimo, Exterminate
and wonder if you’d like a Jelly Baby.

We Live Long and Prosper
knowing that The Truth Is Out There
while Saving People and Hunting Things.

We always wear our Utility Belts,
we Have Many Skills,
we Roll The Hard Six and
we are The Last Best Hope For Peace (and Victory).

Communicator Stefan Cosma Unsplash Image Three
Photo Credit: Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

We Assemble and Defend,
are with you to The End Of The Line,
know The Answer To Everything is 42 and
with Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

We Fight For Truth and Justice against
The Walking Dead and
we will stop The First Wave
with the Threshold protocol.

We are Charmed, the Odds Are Ever In Our Favor
and the Stargᐰte will always take us home because
We Don’t Need Roads.

Stormtroopers Saksham Gangwar Unsplash Image Four
Photo Credit: Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

We’re All Mad Here and
We Aim To Misbehave
because Winter Is Coming.

We are Divergent,
Guard With 12% Of A Plan
and Quantum Leap.

We are High-Functioning Sociopaths,
we know what the Frell is going on and
we don’t give a Frak, Bub.

Supernatural 1967 Chevy Impala Image Five
Photo Credit: The News Wheel

The Force Is With Us.
We don’t care what others think,
because in this house…

We Do Geek

We Love Pie
So Say We All

POTD: Cycle of Life

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I wasn’t expecting to see this. I was a bit startled and thought I might scare the bird. The small creek was quite a bit of a steep drop. This may be hard to look at but, the carrion eaters are the necessary clean-up crew. At first, I thought it might be a deer but, the tail appears to be too long. Click on the picture to see a larger shot, if you wish. ~Vic

Vulture With Lunch Image
04-09-2020

Picture of the Day

POTD: The Pig

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I suspect that the same guy that built Jack (here, here & here) probably built the pig. The BBQ inside is really good, too.

Heh. You can just see my reflection, taking the picture. ~Vic

Metal Pig Image
Chapel Hill
03-05-2020

Picture of the Day

Sturgeon Moon 2020

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Sturgeon Moon Image One
Image Credit: Moon Giant

August’s full moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon, after the primitive fish that used to be abundant in North America’s lakes and rivers during the summer months. Having remained mostly unchanged since the earliest fossil records, sturgeons are ancient living fossils that can grow up [to] 3.5 meters long, or as long as two adult humans stacked on top of each other. Nowadays, however, it’s almost impossible to see a sturgeon during the Full Sturgeon Moon. While they used to thrive, sturgeons are now considered […] critically endangered […]. Though sturgeons are extremely long-lived, the females can live up to be 150 years old, sturgeons might not be around for much longer. They might have survived the dinosaurs but, they might not be able to survive human beings and our hunger for luxurious delicacies like caviar.

Sturgeon Moon Image Two
Image Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

In North America, Native American tribes also saw the Full Sturgeon Moon as signifying a time of bountiful harvest. The Cherokee tribes called it the Full [End of the] Fruit Moon [or Drying Up Moon] and many other First Nation tribes referred to it as the [Blackberry] Moon [or Blackberry Patches Moon]. The Sioux called it the Moon When [The Geese Shed Their Feathers or Cherries Turn Black]. The Paint Clans, which were known for their medicinal prowess, would harvest herbs and medicines, while the Wild Potato tribes would forage for food. Naturally, they would also catch a lot of sturgeon.

Moon Giant Website

I got squat for a Moon shot. We’ve got Isaias spinning around here. I also don’t have any previous years shots but, I did a post two years ago. So, I’ve trotted over to Unsplash. Another name given to the Sturgeon Moon is Red Moon. Full illumination occurred at 11:59am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Red Moon Image Two
Photo Credit: Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

Other Names:
Ricing Moon & Flying Moon (Ojibwe)
Corn Moon (Stockbridge-Munsee & Oneida)
Hot Moon (Tunica-Biloxi)

Native American Moon Names (American Indian Alaska Native Tourism)
Indian Moons (American Indian Site)
Native American Moons (Western Washington University)

Scoop Saturday: Homeward Bound Movie Becomes Reality

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Cleo The Dog Image
Cleo the Retriever
Photo Credit: KMBC-TV & AP News

A dog from Olathe, that went missing, showed up at her old home about 60 miles away […].

“Where did the dog come from?” said [Colton Michael’s wife].

The 4-year-old Labrador, named Cleo, feels right at home on the front porch. The only thing is, it’s not her front porch, anymore and hasn’t been for nearly two years. As it turns out, Cleo’s owners had posted on Facebook a week earlier about the missing dog. They couldn’t believe it when Michael called and said Cleo had walked home. “It’s the most bizarre story. Really, she’s everything to us and to my mother,” said Drew, Cleo’s owner. It is 57 miles door-to-door from Olathe to Lawson and neither family knows exactly how Cleo made the trip. “That’s a hike for anybody,” Michael said. “Now that we know who she belongs to, if she pops up again, we know who to call.”

Both said they may never know anything about her journey.

Alan Shope
KMBC-TV
July 16, 2020

Cleo The Dog Image Two
Photo Credit: KMBC-TV & AP News

A dog named Cleo, who disappeared from her home in Kansas earlier this month, turned up a few days later at her old home in Missouri […]. Colton Michael told television station KMBC that the 4-year-old Labrador [R]etriever-[Border Collie] mix showed up on the front porch of his family’s home in Lawson […]. “At first, she wouldn’t let anyone get near her,” said Michael, who has lived in the home for nearly two years. “She finds her way home and there’s some strangers living in it. That would be scary for anybody,” he said. Eventually, he was able to gain Cleo’s trust and to get her checked for a microchip, which showed that she belonged to the former owners of his house.

AP News
July 18, 2020

It’s a tale as old as time for any early ’90s child. An adventurous golden retriever worries that they will never see their home again, embarking on a treacherous wilderness journey to find their way back. Believe It or Not!, the plot of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey just turned from fiction to fact. [Both] parties are at a loss trying to explain Cleo’s long journey. [She] would have had to cross a river to make it back…just like in the movie!

Sabrina
Ripley’s
July 24, 2020