Monday, September 30, 2019

A Little NASA Mystery...!

Now here is a mystery that originated close to home for me. Maybe a little too close, if you get my drift. I found this one on Listverse again.

The Houston gargoyle

In 1986, NASA employee Frank Shaw, left his office late one evening and walked briskly to his car. He had worked a long shift and was anxious to get home. But all thoughts of home flew from his mind when he looked up at the NASA buildings and saw a black figure perching on one of its corners. Afterwards Shaw recalled the figure resembling a humanoid creature with a something like a cape wrapped over its shoulders. In his shocked state, Shaw thought it may have been a gargoyle. He also claimed to have seen two massive wings protruding from the its sides.

Eventually arriving home, Shaw told his family what he had seen and that the ‘gargoyle’ had stared directly at him. When the winged creature took flight, Shaw had run to his vehicle and drove off in terror.

Naturally most were sceptic of Shaw’s tale, but his family rallied behind him. However, they did warn him to keep his sighting a secret from his bosses so as to not be labelled ‘insane’. As time went by, Shaw kept pondering over what he had seen and eventually built up enough courage to tell his supervisor, despite his family’s advice. To Shaw’s great surprise, his supervisor proceeded to tell him that other employees had experienced similar sightings. A file on the creature had also been opened after the corpses of two resident NASA German Shepherds were found mutilated in the same location the ‘gargoyle’ had been spotted.

Over the years, no new sightings of the creature have made the headlines. What exactly did Frank Shaw and those before him see at the NASA buildings? That remains a mystery.

Whatever he saw, I'm pretty sure I don't want to see it. I would have to change my shorts, I'm afraid.

Let's take a chance and have coffee on the patio this morning.

Friday, September 27, 2019

What Was That Noise...?

Here is an interesting little piece for Freaky Friday. Interesting if for no other reason than it was International. I found this info over at Listverse, of course.

The Jodhpur Boom

On December 18, 2012, a sudden, deafening boom startled the people of Jodhpur. It seemed to come out of nowhere, crashing in the sky like the sonic boom caused by an airplane breaking the speed of sound. However, it was more aggressive in nature, sounding a lot like a massive explosion. The citizens were concerned about the sound and asked around about it, but it soon turned out that no planes had been flying over the area and no explosions had taken place. The source of the “Jodhpur boom” was a complete mystery.

The weirdest part is that it appears that the entire month was littered with strange, unexplained booms all over the world, from United Kingdom to Texas. These bangs were witnessed over the course of several weeks and sometimes they were accompanied with strange green light. In one of the locations, a geologist even stated that the booms and subsequent tremors were unlike anything he had ever encountered and didn’t fit the official explanation that the Air Force were testing a new plane.

Were these strange sounds all over the world connected somehow? Was it some strange new weapon, or an alien attack, or maybe even a mere coincidence? Perhaps one day, we’ll find out.

I have no idea what the noise was, but I think maybe it's best that I never find out. Some things are best left alone.

Coffee on the patio one more time before the rain comes back.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

I Don't Like Jellyfish...!

Living on the coast, or close to it, for so many years has taught me one thing. I don't care for all! Not many things in the ocean can entice me to go swimming, certainly not the jellyfish.

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

The lion’s mane jellyfish, Cyanea capillata, is sometimes stated as the world’s longest animal with the largest specimen recorded at 37m from bell to tentacle tip. The bell, the body of the jellyfish, can be 2m in diameter. Their long tentacles capture small free floating creatures but are also the home to small shrimp who use them as protection. The tentacles cause only mild pain to humans but, being so long, can catch swimmers unawares. The pain can be lessened by treatment of the site with vinegar, but even this is usually unnecessary. The larger the jellyfish grow, the darker they become in color, with the largest specimens being a dark, blood red. Like all jellyfish they move mainly with the ocean currents and are only able to gently pulse to keep them near the surface.

I know they are pretty to look at, but that doesn't mean that I have to like them.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A Tax On Breathing...?

I found an article on Listverse that has to do with some of the foolish taxes being charged by governments around the world. And here I thought our tax was bad!


Photo via Wikimedia

Venezuela does not actually tax people for breathing per se. However, it has imposed a special “breathing tax” of 127 bolivars ($20) on passengers flying out of Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas. The government stated that the tax was necessary to offset the cost of the newly installed air filtration system at the airport.

According to the Ministry of Water and Air Transport, the air filtration system sanitizes and deodorizes the airport and stalls the growth of bacteria, thus protecting the health of all passengers. Many Venezuelans mocked the tax on social media. To some, it was enough evidence that the airport was broke and desperate to raise money.

My guess is that if you really needed to raise some cash in a hurry, taxing breathing would surely do it! Wonder what the punishment is if you don't pay?

Coffee outside on the patio this morning...OK?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Mad Toy Inventor...!

Ever wonder how some of the toys we have all enjoyed came about? The answer might just surprise you. Here is one I'm sure you remember...Slinky!

Slinky’s Inventor Abandoned His Wealth And Family To Join A Bolivian Cult

Photo credit: Roger McLassus

The Slinky’s origin is as whimsical as its iconic childhood status would suggest. In a happy accident, Richard James watched a spring walk down a pair of stairs. His children stood by laughing in delight.

Two years later, James showcased the newly debuted Slinky as the hot new Christmas gift of 1945. Despite its simplistic background, the Slinky has become one of the quintessential toys in American history for over 70 years.

Richard James did not have as amusing a story. The toy circuit was apparently a very scandalous place. Flushed with Slinky money, he became a serial adulterer. Remorseful for his affairs, James wanted to find religion again. He started sending his money to Episcopalian groups. His religious curiosity led him to join stricter and stricter faiths.

For a man who brought so much joy to children everywhere, James could not bring happiness to his own children. In 1960, James abandoned his six kids, who ranged from two to 18 years old. Richard James’s wife, Betty, had to raise their children on her own while James was busy sending all of Slinky’s profits to a religious cult in Bolivia.

None of James’s kids saw their father in the last 14 years of his life. The only communication was letters urging them to repent and join him in Bolivia. By shepherding the company in her husband’s absence, Betty personally saved the company from bankruptcy and let the toy entertain children to this day.

I'm glad that she was able to keep the Slinky afloat and available for us to enjoy.I think I still have one here somewhere.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The weather doesn't feel much like Fall to me, though.

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Movie Set Poisoning...!

Although I have never seen the movie, nor do I plan to, there is a bit of mystery attached to the production that has never been explained. Here is the story from Listverse.

Titanic poisoning

On the last day of filming the movie, Titanic, in Nova Scotia, James Cameron suddenly felt inexplicably ill and disoriented. When he started vomiting, he realized something was very wrong. Once he got back to the set, he found he wasn’t the only one feeling strange as some of the cast and crew were vomiting or crying and some even laughing.

At Dartmouth General Hospital, things took an even weirder turn when a crew member stabbed Cameron in the face with a pen while others started stealing unoccupied wheelchairs and wheeling themselves up and down the hospital corridors. Cameron, who was bleeding from the pen stab wound couldn’t stop laughing.

Once the hospital staff ruled out food poisoning, they realized that chowder consumed by more than 60 people on set had been laced with P.C.P.

Theories abounded; one of which had it that a dismissed crew member tried to take revenge by poisoning the food. Officially the mystery remains long after the case was closed in 1999 due to a lack of suspects.

Now I know that many say the movie was great, but I just have never been inclined to watch it.

Coffee in the kitchen again. Rain, rain go away!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Imaginary Friends...!

I don't know if any of you have ever had an "imaginary friend", but it isn't unusual for youngsters to create one. Normally this isn't a problem, but it could become one at some point.

The Boy In The Closet

When three-year-old Rebecca started talking about her new friend called Jonathon, her parents didn’t take much notice. Even when she became obsessed with her closet and told her parents that Jonathon was in there, they didn’t think anything of it. After all, many toddlers have imaginary friends, and Rebecca would soon grow out of the notion of it.

Then, Rebecca’s mom fell pregnant again, and the family opted to move to a bigger place that would accommodate their new baby. Rebecca moved on from her imaginary friend, and her parents soon forgot about it completely. Four months later, the new owners of the family’s old home contacted Rebecca’s father. They had found a trapdoor in the back of Rebecca’s closet, and below the trapdoor, there was a hole with a box in it.

The box contained baby pictures and baby clothes. On the box was written: “Jonathon’s.”

I picked up this article from the folks over at Listverse. Interesting, don't you think?

Coffee inside once again this morning.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

I Don't Want To Visit Here...!

Now this is one cave I really don't want to visit anytime soon. I'm not crazy about caves anyway, but this one is more than likely first on my list of "I'll pass" places, if you know what I mean.

Movile Cave 
The Cave With an Atmosphere of Sulfur

In south-eastern Romania, there is a cave that was locked away from the slightest ray of light for 5.5 million years—and that has a completely different atmosphere from the earth.

The cave was discovered by workers looking to set up a powerplant. They tested the ground to see if it was a safe place to build—and cracked open a pathway that leads into one of the strangest places on earth.

If you descend through the narrow shaft and past a series of tunnels, you enter a chamber with a lake of sulphuric water stinking of rotting eggs. The air there is toxic, filled with hydrogen sulphide and contaminated with 100 times the surface’s levels of carbon dioxide.

The strangest part, though, is that a whole ecosystem has survived inside it. Researchers have found 33 species inside the cave that don’t exist anywhere outside of it. They’ve adapted to survive in a sulphuric atmosphere, living by feeding off a foam on top of the stones.

I'd say this place is a good place to stay away from, but certainly a worthy topic for discussion over coffee...right?

Coffee inside again. It won't stop raining.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Beautiful Mystery...!

Ever so often, something is found that defies all explanation. That's the case with these caves in China. Pretty to look at, but why are they there?

Longyou Caves

The Longyou Caves of China are not natural formations. They appear to have been carved out of the soft sandstone more than 2,200 years ago, during the Qin Dynasty, approximately 212 BCE. The cave system is impressively large…covering more than 320,000 square feet in twenty-four different caves. Some of the caves, in fact, are nearly 100 feet in height.

The caves are not simple holes in the ground. There are carved bridges, pillars, pools, and steps. Intriguingly, there are also carved symbols chiseled all around the caves, on the ceilings, pillars, and walls. The purpose of the cave system is unknown. And there is no textual evidence to the caves’ existence, who built them, and why.

While we all love a good mystery, there are many times that our minds just scream out for some kind of explanation. This may just be one of those times.

Coffee inside again today. Still raining outside, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Not A Brainy Idea...!

No one can say that the majority of crooks are smart. In fact, many of them might even be considered "brain dead"! From Listverse, here is the story of one thief that was using a brain in a different manner...and the brain was not even his.

The Brain Thief

Photo credit: Cumberland County Prison via The Washington Post

In July 2016, police raided the home of Pennsylvanian Joshua Lee Long looking for evidence relating to a series of burglaries in the area. They found more than enough to arrest him, but they also found something rather unexpected in a Walmart shopping bag underneath the porch—a jar of embalming fluid containing a human brain. Joshua had named it “Freddy.”

Police are pretty sure that the brain was stolen, too, perhaps from a lab or university. Joshua also found another use for the formaldehyde-based embalming fluid: He’d been spraying it on his marijuana to intensify the high. Pennsylvania State Trooper Bob Hicks astutely summed up the raid: “This is one of those situations where, I think, a lot of guys were surprised.”

I think the guy must have been trying too much of his own product, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain is back.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Leatherman Mystery...!

I find it interesting just how many mysteries remain unsolved even after years of study and research. Such is the case of the person known as Leatherman.


Historian, Dan DeLuca, spent most of his life researching a deceased homeless man’s life. Ever since he stumbled upon his grave in the Sparta Cemetery in Ossining, New York, DeLuca had been fascinated with the man known as Leatherman. He learned that the inscription on Leatherman’s gravestone incorrectly referred to the deceased as Jules Bourglay of Lyons, France. He also knew that Leatherman had been a source of mystery for people in Westchester County and western Connecticut since the 1850s.

Leatherman was said to have had a strange ritual which contributed to much of the speculation surrounding him. Once a month, he would walk 360 miles between the Hudson and Connecticut rivers. Being homeless, he was dressed very modestly in patchwork garments and wooden shoes and very rarely spoke to anyone. He slept in the forest and sometimes in caves, but he would never stay inside a building for more than a couple of minutes. He often asked for food as he passed by a farmhouse and the occupants were amazed at his appetite. He could eat a staggering amount while remaining standing at the front door.

The press began following Leatherman’s movements and chronicled his travels for over 30 years. In modern times the research into this mysterious man continues. Pearl Jam got caught up in the mystery and wrote a song about him. Leatherman’s real name and age at that time remains unknown, as does his place of birth and where he grew up.

It's a bit sad that after so many years, this man's real name isn't known. However, he isn't the first unknown person in our history and more than likely isn't the last. Part of our human condition, I reckon.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Creepy Spider For Freaky Friday...

Just when you think you have seen nearly all of them, along comes another creepy spider! Thanks so much, Mother Nature!


Photo credit: Charles Griswold, Tracy Aidicio, Joel Ledford

Not since 1890 has a newly discovered spider in America required a new genus, family, and species to classify it. Meet the trogloraptor, living proof that there are very few places on land, regardless of condition, that a spider cannot call home. This handsome guy was discovered in late summer 2012 living in cave systems in Oregon.

This spider, unlike any other, has special serrated talons at the end of each arm. This trait is where it gets its charming name, which means “cave robber.” When it was found, it was using these talon arms to suspend itself from the cave ceiling by a strand of its own silk.

As of now, there are theories that it could be a relative to the goblin spider, but very little so far is known about these cave dwellers. Attempts to feed the captured specimens have failed, showing that they prefer a specific diet. This spider is so alien to us that even what they eat remains a mystery.

The good news is that this spider was found way over in Oregon. The bad news is that Oregon is still in the U.S.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Too Pretty To Eat...!

Here is another case of how nature can add beauty to any of Her creatures she wishes. Seeing this picture from Listverse makes me glad that I don't eat lobster.

Blue Lobster

Photo credit: National Geographic

In all his years as a lobsterman, Robin Russell had never seen anything like it. When he checked his traps in 2017, there was a blue lobster between the usual brown ones. The creature also had areas with faded pink and periwinkle, giving it a mild rainbow look.

Called “Lucky,” the crustacean avoided the dinner plate and found a home at a science center. Lucky might be an eye-popping sight, but blue lobsters turn up every few years. In fact, lobster coloration is rather mercurial. A pigment called astaxanthin changes color depending on its amount, outside influences, or how astaxanthin contorts.

Usually, lobsters are brown. They only develop the bright red that fine diners know so well when boiling water messes with the pigment. Lucky and his blue brethren remain mysterious. Researchers think the reasons might include low levels of astaxanthin.

When completely removed from their diet, lobsters turn white. A genetic mutation might also be responsible. In the past, mutations produced some funky lobsters—brilliant yellows, a calico with dots, and lobsters with a two-toned split look.

It's creatures like this that make me want to stop and take a closer look at the world around me. There is a lot of beauty around id we just take the time to look.

Coffee out on the patio if it isn't raining yet...OK?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Remembering 9/11 By Being Silent...!

In keeping with my new way of doing things, I am silently reflecting on the sad events of 9/11. I am doing so in silence because nearly everything meaningful has been said by folks much more articulate than I.

Know this however...although I am being silent, I shall never forget! Never!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Stone Roses...!

Nature is constantly surprising us with beautiful creations, and this one is certainly among the best. From Listverse here is the article of the Stone Roses.

Stone Roses

Photo credit:

Neither a stone nor a rose, a phenomenon found in Mexico and Tunisia (and, less commonly, in Arizona) is known as a “stone rose.” Formed from either gypsum or barite, these roses are produced as a result of evaporation when one or the other of these minerals binds with grains of sand in an arid, salt-rich environment.

With an average size of 10 centimeters (4 in) per petal, these roselike formations range in color that is directly related to how they were formed. The ones made in shallower locations typically produce amber petals, whereas deeper formations in a wider space often produce yellow or clear petals.

The unique shape of these roses is not the only unusual thing about them. Regardless of their color during the day or where they developed, all will glow the same opaque white color when placed under an ultraviolet light.

I'll admit, the thing is very pretty. I'd love to see one in person.

Let's take a chance and have coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Mysterious Train Trip...!

Here is a tale that is a bit different than what we normally have. It involves a mysterious train trip. Here from Listverse is the story as we know it.

The Disappearance Of Andrew Gosden

One of the strangest British missing persons cases of recent memory involves a 14-year-old boy named Andrew Gosden. In 2007, Andrew lived with his parents and sister in Doncaster. On the morning of September 14, he seemingly left for school as usual. But he never arrived and his parents realized something was very wrong when they discovered his school uniform in his bedroom later that day.

Apparently, after his family left the house that morning, Andrew returned home to change his clothes. He then emptied his bank account of £200 before arriving at Doncaster station, where he purchased a train ticket to King’s Cross station in London. He would be captured on CCTV footage there at approximately 11:20 AM. That was the last confirmed sighting of him.

Since Andrew had no known problems, his family were completely baffled by his inexplicable decision to travel to London. He left no note behind to explain his actions and took very few items with him. The strangest detail is that Andrew insisted on purchasing a one-way train ticket, even after he was informed that a return ticket would only cost £1 more.

One year after Andrew’s disappearance, an unidentified man spoke into the intercom at the doorway to Leominster Police Station in Hertfordshire, claiming to have information about the case. When an officer arrived to answer the door, the man had disappeared. After more than seven years, there is still no trace of Andrew Gosden or any explanation for his mysterious train trip.

This whole thing sounds like a true mystery to me. I can only guess as to the reason the young man decided to disappear that day, but I do hope that he didn't put himself in harm's way.

Once more in the kitchen for coffee. I'm ready for some cooler weather.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Saved By The Booze...!

Sometimes, in spite of themselves, people have their lives saved in a strange fashion...being drunk. That was the case with a Russian man named Alexei Roskov. Here is the story from The Daily Telegraph.

Russian drunkard jumps out of five storey window twice

April 14, 2009 12:00am

A Russian man survived after guzzling three bottles of vodka before leaping from a fifth floor balcony - twice.

Moscow man Alexei Roskov says he jumped the second time because he couldn't stand anymore of his wife's nagging after the first time.

His wife Yekaterina watched in horror as her sozzled husband opened the kitchen window of their Moscow apartment, and dived out.

Astonishingly 22-year-old Muscovite survived - staggering back upstairs with barely a scratch after the 15m fall.

But while his wife called for an ambulance and began to scold him, he decided to jump again.

Paramedics treated Mr Roskov for minor cuts and bruises before releasing him.

Mr Roskov said he was now teetotal after giving up drinking, and added: "Now I can say just one thing - I was very lucky.

"I have no idea why I jumped the first time but when I came back up and I heard my wife screaming angrily at me I thought it was best if I left the room again - out of the window."

I'll bet the guy had one hell of a hangover! I know I would...

Coffee inside again, away from the heat.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

No New Post Today...Sorry !

Too dang hot to post. Maybe it will cool down later.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Really Big Mushroom...!

Up until now, you only thought that you had seen a big mushroom at one time. Unless you caught a glimpse of this bad boy, you were wrong!

One of the world’s biggest living things is a mushroom.

There’s a giant network of honey mushrooms spread across 2,200 acres of Oregon that’s more than 1,500 years old, and it strangles trees from underground by cutting off their nutrient and water supply. Scientists call it ‘The Humongous Fungus.’

I can see why it has the nickname that it does. If you want to see and read more about this rascal, here is a good link.

Coffee in the kitchen again today!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Crow Funeral...!

Did we ever stop to consider that some of our feathered friends might miss one of their recently departed brothers? According to Listverse, they even have funerals of sorts for them.

Crows Hold ‘Funerals’ For Their Dead Brethren

When a crow dies, its body becomes the center of a gathering of its fellows. They surround the corpse, call out to each other, and give the body extra kinds of attention. This behavior is seen in crows, jays, magpies, and ravens. However, these rituals serve a more practical purpose than mourning the dead.

Crows are very intelligent birds and have been shown to remember threats and actively avoid anything associated with that threat. For example, during an experiment conducted by Kaeli Swift of the University of Washington, a number of feeding locations were set up that attracted crows. Then those same crows were exposed to a masked human holding a dead crow in their hands. These humans were “scolded” by the crows (an alert noise that warned other living crows of a dangerous threat). Later, the masked individuals would return without a dead crow, but the behavior stayed the same. The crows scolded the person and avoided the spot. This suggests that the crows identified the mask with the death of one of their own and that any location the masked person visited could also be dangerous to them.

When a murder of crows holds a “funeral,” then, it seems likely that they are sending out warning cries to their still-living fellows and searching the area for threats. Still, when Swift repeated her experiment with dead pigeons, the crows didn’t seem particularly bothered. They cared only about the death of one of their own.

I find this whole thing a little cute and a more than a little spooky, for some reason.

Coffee inside this morning. Too hot outside.

Monday, September 2, 2019

The Redpath Mansion Mystery...!

It seems as though our friends to the North have their own share of unsolved mysteries, such as the case of the Redpath Mansion. This is certainly a strange one as reported by Listverse.

The Redpath Mansion

Another century-old cold case concerns the 1901 murder of Ada Maria Mills Redpath and her son, Clifford, in their luxurious Montreal mansion. Ada was an extremely wealthy widow who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Her son, on the other hand, was as healthy as a horse and in the process of preparing to take the Canadian bar exam. One newspaper speculated that Clifford couldn’t handle the stress of the exam and murdered his mother before shooting himself. Another paper claimed that the widow Redpath suffered from such severe insomnia that she tried to take her own life. When her son intervened, he was accidentally shot to death by his own mother.

Strangely, the coroner wrote his report on the case from details given by a doctor who wasn’t even at the murder scene. On such evidence, his report concluded that Clifford was an epileptic and must have had an episode of temporary insanity on the day he and his mother died. Even stranger is the fact that police were never called to the mansion. The tragedy happened on a Thursday evening and less than 48 hours later the burials were done and dusted. In a matter of weeks, life in the neighborhood resumed as usual. No one mentioned the murders again.

The Redpath Mansion murders remain one of the most fascinating mysteries in Canadian history.

Sounds to me like someone was in a big hurry to hush-up this whole affair. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions in my way of thinking.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.