story sunday

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

Story Sunday: Janus Kitten Biscuits & Gravy

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Janus Kitten Image One
Photo Credit: fox29.com

“[It can] meow out of one mouth and eat out of the other.”

Meet Biscuits & Gravy: The Two-Faced Oregon Kitten

When Kyla King got up Wednesday morning to check on her pregnant cat, she knew there was a good chance she’d find a litter of newborn kittens. She walked outside to the special crate she had put the expectant mother into overnight and noticed four tiny kittens. But, then she noticed two more hiding behind their mom. So, Kyla picked one up and set it down with the rest of the litter. She picked up the last kitten and found herself face-to-face with two tiny noses, four eyes tightly shut and two mewing mouths.

Kyla said she sent a picture to her husband, BJ King, with a text that read:
“We have 6-1/3 kitty cats now!”

Kyla reached out to their vet to learn more about the kitten’s condition, how to care for it and its odds of survival. She learned there wasn’t much to be done medically for the tiny creature. All she could do was make it comfortable and help it eat. “It doesn’t really know how to nurse properly because it has two mouths so, I’ve been trying to feed it,” Kyla said. “And, I mean, I’m gonna do the best I can but, these animals don’t usually live too long.”

Janus Kitten Image Two
Photo Credit: dailyhive.com

Cats with two faces are known as Janus cats, after the Roman god Janus, often depicted with two faces in mythology. They suffer from a rare congenital defect called diprosopus, or cranial duplication. Most Janus cats don’t live longer than a day but, one defied the odds. His name was Frank and Louie and he passed away in 2014 at the age of 15. The Guinness Book of World Records named him the world’s longest surviving Janus cat.

Cambrie Caldwell
KOIN TV CBS
Portland, OR
May 21, 2020

Sadly, Biscuits passed away last night. ~Vic

Story Sunday: The Asteroid & The Mask

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Researcher Wearing Face Mask Image One
Researcher Anne Virkki comparing her mask.
Photo Credit: Arecibo Observatory & USA Today

I haven’t done a Story Sunday since 2014.

It’s funny how every news article out there these days just has to make a tie in with the virus. And, that image doesn’t look like a mask to me. It looks like something else. Just sayin’… ~Vic

An asteroid is hurtling close to the Earth, and with it, a startling reminder of the coronavirus pandemic. The space rock, known as 1998 OR2, will be nearly 4 million miles away from Earth on Wednesday at 5:59am EDT, classifying it as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid, despite the impossibility of it posing a threat to Earth anytime soon.

A newly captured image by [the] Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico brings its own surprise. As the asteroid approaches our planet, it looks as if it’s wearing its own mask and may very well be conducting its own social distancing practices. “The small-scale topographic features, such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2, are fascinating, scientifically,” Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory, said in a statement. “But, since we are all thinking about COVID-19, these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”

Asteroid 1998 OR2 Image Two
Image Credit: Arecibo Observatory & USA Today

It’s classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid because it is more than 500 feet in diameter and closer than 4,650,000 miles to Earth. “Although this asteroid is not projected to impact Earth, it is important to understand the characteristics of these types of objects to improve impact-risk mitigation technologies,” she said.

The asteroid, which is about one mile in diameter, has been traveling at nearly 20,000 mph since its discovery in 1998. Though it may not come anywhere near Earth in the coming weeks, Flaviane Venditti, a researcher at the observatory, said in a statement that, in 2079, it “will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year.”

Joshua Bote
USA Today
April 24, 2020
Updated April 26, 2020

 

Additional Articles:
S-Band Spotlight (National Astronomy & Ionosphere Center)
Rocky Horror (The Sun)
Asteroid Visiting Earth’s Neighborhood Brings Its Own Face Mask (University of Central Florida)

Story Sunday: The Roswell Incident 1947

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Roswell Daily Record Photo
Photo Credit: wikipedia & wikimedia

Seventy-one years ago, today, something happened in Roswell, New Mexico. The Roswell Daily Record printed the story of the crash of a flying saucer on a ranch roughly 30 miles outside of Roswell proper. The Sacramento Bee picked up the story and printed statements from the Roswell Army Air Field.

Over the years, I’ve seen documentaries and read accounts of the initial debris field pieces that were retrieved from the owner of the land. I’ve seen the interviewees on camera and read their statements. I also know that there was a concerted effort by our military to keep what they found out of any more newspapers and, to quickly change the narrative to the weather balloon story.

I’ve actually been to Roswell, NM, spending the night in a local motel just for the complete experience in September of 2002. It’s cattle ranch territory and it smells that way especially in the morning. I’ve been to the Roswell UFO Museum. It is really quite fascinating to walk through it. Some of it is tongue-in-cheek but, there is a lot of information despite the government’s desire to make it “a joke”. A local waitress in a diner, where my *then* husband and I went for breakfast, said that the whole thing was a blessing and a curse. It brought in tourism dollars but, it was also a sore point for some of the older residents whom, at that time, still remembered the events when they happened. As she poured our coffee, she leaned over and told us that there were many locals that swore it was a craft…information passed quietly from neighbor to neighbor, family descendant to family descendant, much like Native American verbal history, handed down through time. Frankly, I never believed the official story. There were too many questions left unanswered and too many things that didn’t add up. Plus, our government lies to us all the time. Why should this be any different.

Fast forward to October of 2013… I stumble across Chris Thomas, his books, his interviews, his videos and, his articles and essays. Well, well, well… Guess what? ~Vic

From The Universal Soul, pages 82 & 83 (an excerpt):

[…] these were a race we have come to call The Greys. The Greys originate on a star system many galaxies distant from us. […] their own name for themselves does not translate into anything pronounceable by the human voice box. These beings have been observing Earth for many centuries […] The Greys behave a little like human teenagers in that they have a certain level of knowledge but, cannot quite put it into context. The first real contact we had with these beings was with the Roswell crash in New Mexico in 1948 [sic]. This was an event where a Grey ship malfunctioned and crashed into the desert near the town of Roswell. As with just about anything that happens in America, the military took control. The crash provided them with an alien ship and three survivors. The Greys were reluctant to become involved in human affairs but, the American military had three of their beings. So began a relationship […] The American military looking for ‘advanced’ technology to give them global military advantage and, in return, the Greys received free access to the genetic material available on Earth.

[Note: Chris Thomas is many things but, not the best typist. His books have a few typos.]

From The Human Soul: Universal Soul 2, pages 125 & 126 (an excerpt):

Their home galaxy is too far distant for us to have a name for it. This race is responsible for some of the human and animal abductions that have taken place on Earth in the past 40 years. As they were causing some disruption to human plans, they have, effectively, been banned from our solar system since 2000. This race has been working with the American miliary since the Roswell crash in 1947 and has given over a great deal of its technology in exchange for permission to carry out some animal experimentation and medical examinations of people.

From Project Human Extinction: The Ultimate Conspiracy, pages 128-131 (an excerpt):

During the Second World War, a great many ‘unidentified’ flying craft were observed as the skies were watched with far more zeal than was previously necessary. Several of these craft were shot down but, because it was war time and it was known that Hitler was developing many innovative weapons, it was assumed that crashed UFOs were Nazi in origin. During the war, the American military began to experiment with many forms of weapons and energy devices and, in particular, energy devices that would help shield ships or aircraft from the newly developed enemy radar. […] the technology was kept for later experiments which the American military began in the late 1940s. In 1948 [sic], the experiments began in a region of New Mexico, although this time, the machinery was land based […] They ran experiments for three days and each day at least one UFO fell out of the sky, the most famous one being the crash at Roswell. There is so much disinformation spread about this race that the only way of finding out any form of truth is to look to the Akashic. In exchange for new ‘alien’ technology, the American military ‘granted’ the Greys permission to abduct and study human physiology. Since 2000, the Greys have been asked not to travel to our solar system, a request with which they have generally been happy to comply.

From Synthesis, page 40:

Their first real contact with Earth was the Roswell crash […] The military have mainly been interested in Grey technology which the military mainly use for psychic attack purposes. The Greys are very interested in human physiology and are responsible for some human and animal abductions. Please note: the vast majority of human and animal abductions, and mutilations, have been carried out by the military.

Still believe our government? Still believe our military? If you are unsure of what the Akashic is, that will be for another post. ~Vic