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|•||Sovereign Citizens - a legal dissection. 11/30/2013|
|•||Well, there goes your neighbourhood 11/29/2013|
|•||Ottowa to parents: Vaccinate or else! 11/19/2013|
|•||I Know How Much Everyone Here Loves Real Pictures of Aliens 11/12/2013|
|•||Grandfather of the Year!! 11/12/2013|
|•||Happy Birthday, Boo! 11/12/2013|
|•||Awesome dad 3-D printed a prosthetic hand for his son 11/07/2013|
|•||Remember, Remember the 5th of November 11/05/2013|
|•||April Fools Day PRANKS (defined) 11/02/2013|
|•||The music that is better than itself 10/29/2013|
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A British psychiatrist, Lynda Breen, has concluded that belief in Santa Claus is actually good for the moral development of children. Apparently believing in the existence of a jolly red-suited man who "'knows if you've been bad or good' helps teach children the difference between right and wrong." As much as my first inclination is to make a sarcastic remark about this, I think I'm going to hold back since there's a whole slew of fantastic beings whose existence I find myself very reluctant to deny, especially when kids are around: jackalopes, Nessie, Roswell aliens, etc. Of course, none of these creatures offer any kind of moral example, so Dr. Breen would probably say that belief in them is unhealthy.
Here's a TV show I'd be interested in seeing: Hometown Tales. It's all about various hoaxy/folklore-type things that happen in communities throughout America. The show also has a blog. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to ever see the program because it's only on public access channels in New Jersey. Well, if they ever make it to the San Diego area I could definitely find some hoaxy things to share with them, such as the landing spot on Mt. Palomar where George Adamski first made contact with the Venusian Scoutcraft (I think I'm one of the few people ever to check it out... It's now a baseball field). Or the Monster of Deadman's Hole.
Vincent linked to this in the hoax forum, and I thought it was bizarre enough that I should post it here where I can add a poll to it. The story is that 'Stephan M' lost his clothes overboard while on a canoe trip, so he had to wear the same things for the next six days. When he got home he took off his sweater and discovered that a seedling had sprouted in his belly button lint. He took photos of it as proof. Now to me this seems like a joke. I think he just stuck a leafy twig in his belly button and started snapping photos. But would it even be theoretically possible for this to happen? Wouldn't the sweater rubbing against his skin damage a delicate seedling and prevent it from growing? I think so. I also think that the sweaty, salty environment would kill a plant. But others might disagree.
Natalia is a "fun-loving, shoe-hoarding, chocolate-loving gal who likes to travel, flirt with cute guys, and hang out with friends." She also happens to be 90 feet tall. You can read all about her adventures on her blog, 90-foot babe. All I can say is that a) she gives new meaning to the term 'tall tale'; and b) she really puts Heather Haven in her place. (via the Hoax Forum)
Hogzilla, the 1000lb wild hog supposedly shot and killed in Georgia, has already had its fifteen minutes of internet fame. But now the small town of Alapaha, GA is hoping to extend the fond memories of Hogzilla just a little longer by making the dubious hog the centerpiece of their November festival. They plan to have a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla information booth, and Hogzilla T-shirts. Maybe they should make Hogzilla fest an ongoing tradition. It could become like the iceworm festival held every year in Cordova, Alaska. Oh, and despite what this story claims, President Bush has not declared Aug. 23 as 'National Hogzilla Day.'
In late July an essay appeared in the Australian literary journal Meanjin written by Azhar Abidi. It was titled 'The Secret History of the Flying Carpet'. The essay described the discovery of 13th-century Persian scrolls that suggested there was some truth to the old legends of flying carpets. Ancient Persian artisans had apparently discovered a process of boiling fibers in a magnetic clay before weaving them into a carpet. These magnetized fibers then floated above the ground, repelled by the Earth's own magnetism. According to the scrolls, the fledgling flying carpet industry was driven out of existence by horse and camel breeders worried about future competition. This all sounds pretty fantastic, and it obviously is. But nevertheless, Abidi's essay was presented as fact, complete with footnotes, so it shouldn't be any surprise that some people have taken it seriously. According to The Weekend Australian, "Two Iranian websites have published his essay, prompting internet exchanges on the finer technical points of piloting carpets and how to turn and land them."
Jim sent in this picture of his grandfather posing with an ear of corn, along with this explanation: "My grandfather, Frank Weed, who died in 1949, worked on the railroad for years. He bragged to the other men about how big the Iowa corn was but they wouldn’t believe it. So my father took a picture of him, and of an ear of corn, then cut the negative, pasted the other into the hole and printed it. After that, the criticism of my grandfather’s exaggerations were silenced!" Thanks, Jim!
Thirty-two years ago the tiny town of Eucla, Australia, on the edge of the Nullarbor plain, became famous when a few of its residents first sighted the Nullarbor Nymph. The Nymph was a blonde, feral, half-naked woman who lived in the bush and ran wild with kangaroos. News of this wild woman quickly spread around the world. President Nixon was asked his opinion of her (reportedly his reply could not be repeated over the air), and the Loch Ness monster sent her a telegram. Sooner or later I'll have to put a fuller account of the Nullarbor Nymph in my 'Hoaxes Throughout History' Gallery, but for now you can read all about her at Dora Dallwitz's excellent site.
Musicians will appreciate this. It's a little known instrument, popular back in the Middle Ages, known as the Tromba Da Gamba, or Knee Trumpet. According to Virgilanti (who managed to acquire one of these rare instruments): "It was gaining a lot in popularity by the start of the 17th century but encountered a bit of a PR problem in 1619 when, according to the story, the pope (presumably Pope Paul V) saw the instrument being played by a woman. He was shocked at the suggestiveness of the performance and made his displeasure very apparent. It wasn't long before most of the upper class throughout Europe regarded the instrument as crude and vulgar." (Thanks, Virge)
I've actually been to Lynchburg, Virginia, but somehow I missed the little-known attractions that it offers, such as the Fletcher Farm Rhino, the ABC Cemetery in which all the graves are in alphabetical order, Mags the headless cat (pictured), and the world's only car that runs on Kool-Aid.
'Malbec' is running a competition on his LiveJournal page: Make up a fact that's totally untrue, but sounds like it might be the case. For example: "All Ikea flat-pack furniture can be stably constructed using only 3 of the supplied screws."
The American Museum of Photography has a nice collection of William H. "Dad"�Martin's tall-tale photographs online. Martin made a fortune selling tall-tale postcards during the early twentieth century. He had a company called the Martin Post Card Company based in Ottawa, Kansas.