Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vampire Pumpkins

Vampire pumpkins are a folk legend from the Balkans, in southeastern Europe, described by ethnologist Tatomir Vukanović. The story is associated with the Roma people of the region, from whom much of traditional vampire folklore, among other unusual legends, originated.  The belief in vampire fruit is similar to the belief that any inanimate object left outside during the night of a full moon will become a vampire. According to tradition, any kind of pumpkin kept more than ten days or after Christmas will become a vampire, rolling around on the ground and growling to pester the living. People have little fear of the vampire pumpkins because of the creatures' lack of teeth. One of the main indications that a pumpkin is about to undergo a vampiric transformation (or has just completed one) is said to be the appearance of a drop of blood on its skin.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

WHO PUT BELLA IN THE WITCH ELM is a graffiti message that started appearing soon after a 1941 unsolved murder. The graffiti was last sprayed onto the side of a 200 year-old obelisk on 18 August 1999, in white paint. On 18 April, 1943, four boys were poaching in Hagley Woods near to Wychbury Hill when they came across a large Wych Hazel, a tree often confused by local residents with a Wych Elm. Believing this a good place to hunt birds' nests, one boy attempted to climb the tree to investigate. As he was climbing, he glanced down into the hollow trunk and discovered a skull, believing it to be that of an animal. However, after seeing human hair and teeth, he realized that he was holding a human skull.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Overtoun Bridge

The Overtoun Bridge is an arch bridge located near Milton, Dumbarton, Scotland, over the Overtoun Burn. It has gained public attention because of the unusually large number of dogs that have allegedly leaped to their deaths over a number of decades. It is not known exactly when or why dogs began to leap from the bridge, but studies indicate that these deaths might have begun during the 1950s or 1960s, at the rate of about one dog a month. The long leap from the bridge onto the waterfalls of the Overtoun Estate almost always results in immediate death. Inexplicably, some dogs have actually survived, recuperated, and then returned to the site to jump again. These dogs are known to the locals of Dumbarton as "second timers." The dogs have mostly jumped from one side of the bridge, during clear weather, and have mostly been breeds with long noses.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bélmez Faces

The Bélmez Faces or the Faces of Bélmez is an alleged paranormal phenomenon in a private house in Spain which started in 1971 when residents claimed to see images of faces appear in the concrete floor of the house. Such images have continuously formed and disappeared on the floor of the home since that time. The Bélmez faces have been responsible for bringing large numbers of sightseers to Bélmez. Various faces have appeared and disappeared at irregular intervals since 1971 and have been frequently photographed by the local newspapers and curious visitors. Many Bélmez residents believe that the faces were not made by human hand. Some investigators to believe that it is a thoughtographic phenomenon unconsciously produced by the owner of the house. Skeptical researchers point out that unlike other psychic claims this case is falsifiable. Since the faces of Bélmez are fixed on whitewash of cement, scientists are able to analyze the molecular changes that took place in such mass of concrete. Skeptics have performed extensive tests on the faces and maintain they have demonstrated that fakery has been involved

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beast of Gévaudan

The Beast of Gévaudan is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized the former province of Gévaudan in south-central France from 1764 to 1767. The beasts were consistently described by eyewitnesses as having formidable teeth and immense tails. Their fur had a reddish tinge, and was said to have emitted an unbearable odour. They killed their victims by tearing at their throats with their teeth. The number of victims differs according to source. the number of victims is debated.  De Beaufort (1987) estimated 210 attacks, resulting in 113 deaths and 49 injuries; 98 of the victims killed were partly eaten. Author Derek Brockis claims 25 women, 68 children, and 6 men were killed, with over 30 others injured. An enormous amount of manpower and resources was used in the hunting of the animals, including the army, conscripted civilians, several nobles, and a number of royal huntsmen. All animals operated outside of ordinary wolf packs, though eyewitness accounts indicate that they sometimes were accompanied by a smaller female, which did not take part in the attacks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amelia Dyer

Amelia Elizabeth Dyer (1838 – June 10, 1896) was the most prolific baby-farm murderer of Victorian England. She was tried and hanged for one murder, but there is little doubt she was responsible for many more similar deaths—possibly 400+—over a period of perhaps twenty years.  Amelia was apparently keen to make money from baby-farming, and alongside taking in expectant women, she would advertise to nurse and adopt a baby, in return for a substantial one-off payment and adequate clothing for the child. In her advertisements and meetings with clients, she assured them that she was respectable, married (Dyer and her husband had actually separated), and that she would provide a safe and loving home for the child.  At some point in her baby-farming career, Amelia was prepared to forego the expense and inconvenience of letting the children die through neglect and starvation; soon after the receipt of each child, she murdered them, thus allowing her to pocket most or all of the entire fee.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quacker (sound)

Quackers are mysterious sounds, similar to a frog noise, widely reported by the crews of Soviet Navy submarines from various parts of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans during the peak of the Cold War, as well as their assumed sources. During the Cold War, when Soviet ballistic missile submarines went to patrol northern seas, their crews started reporting the mysterious frog-like sounds, which soon were dubbed "quackers", from the Russian rendition of a frog noise. These sounds appeared when submarines passed certain zones in the sea, and behaved as if they were emitted by some moving underwater object, which, however, failed to register on the active sonar. When the sub left their "patrol zone", the objects disappeared after emitting one final "quack". These objects exhibited behavior not unlike some living being or manned vessel, showing obvious interest in the passing submarine, circling around it, trying to actively avoid sonar pulses, and so on. The speed of some of these objects was in the range of 200 km/h, much higher than any then-known man-made vessel. Contact was attempted on several occasions, but, apart from some obvious reactions to these attempts (such as changing the pitch of the sounds or movement of the apparent sound source), nothing came of it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Berner Street Hoax

The Berners Street Hoax was perpetrated by Theodore Hook in the City of Westminster, London, in 1810.
On 27 November, at five o’clock in the morning, a sweep arrived to sweep the chimneys of 54 Berners Street, the home of Mrs Tottenham. The maid who answered the door informed him that no sweep had been requested, and that his services were not required, and the disappointed tradesman went on his way. A few moments later another sweep presented himself at the door, then another, and another, 12 in all. After the last of the sweeps had been sent away, a fleet of carts carrying large deliveries of coal began to arrive, followed by a series of cakemakers delivering large wedding cakes, then doctors, lawyers, vicars and priests summoned to minister to someone in the house they had been told was dying. Fishmongers, shoemakers, and over a dozen pianos were among the next to appear, along with "six stout men bearing an organ". Dignitaries, including the Governor of the Bank of England, the Duke of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Mayor of the City of London also arrived. The narrow streets soon became severely congested with disgruntled tradesmen and onlookers. Deliveries and visits continued until the early evening, bringing a large part of London to a standstill. Hook had made a gentleman's wager with his friend Samuel Beazley that he could transform any house in London into the most talked-about address in a week. To achieve his goal he had sent out 4,000 letters purporting to be Mrs Tottenham, requesting deliveries, visitors, and assistance. Hook had stationed himself in the house directly opposite 54 Berners Street, and he and his friend had spent an amusing day watching the chaos unfold

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bunny Man

The Bunny Man is an urban legend that probably originated from two incidents near the town of Burke, Virginia in 1970, but has been spread throughout the Washington D.C. area. There are many variations to the legend, but most involve a man wearing a rabbit costume who attacks people with an axe.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man is the name given to one or more mysterious figures that has become associated with various reports of paranormal activity. The Grinning Man is sometimes described as being an extraterrestrial, one of the Men in Black or a hominid cryptid.  Arguably the best known Grinning Man was Indrid Cold, who appeared during the 1960s Mothman sightings. A common attribute associated with almost all sightings is that he is seen by witnesses simply grinning, thus his name. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pickled Dragon

In December 2003, a British man claimed to have found a pickled dragon or, more precisely, what appeared to be the fetus of a winged reptile-type creature preserved in a 30-inch (76 cm) tall jar of formaldehyde in his garage.   The press was told that the dragon was found with documents suggesting it had been offered to the Natural History Museum in the late nineteenth century by German scientists. Mitchell suggested it was an attempt by the Germans to discredit their British colleagues.  In reality the dragon was made by the model-makers behind the BBC TV series Walking with Dinosaurs and the jar was made by a specialist glass blowing studio.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The Bonnacon is a mythical animal from Asia. It has curled horns and emits burning dung. The legend may be based on a type of bison in reality. The animal was described by Pliny in his Naturalis Historia: "There are reports of a wild animal in Paionia called the bonasus, which has the mane of a horse, but in all other respects resembles a bull; its horns are curved back in such a manner as to be of no use for fighting, and it is said that because of this it saves itself by running away, meanwhile emitting a trail of dung that sometimes covers a distance of as much as three furlongs [604 m], contact with which scorches pursuers like a sort of fire."


Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 was a name intended for a Swedish child who was born in 1991. Parents Elisabeth Hallin and Lasse Diding had planned to never legally name their child as a protest against the naming law of Sweden.  Because the parents failed to register a name by the boy's fifth birthday, a district court fined them 5,000 kronor (roughly €500 or US$600). Responding to the fine, the parents submitted the 43-character name in May 1996, claiming that it was "a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation." The parents suggested the name be understood in the spirit of 'pataphysics. The court rejected the name and upheld the fine.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toynbee tiles

The Toynbee tiles are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt in about two dozen major cities in the United States and three South American capitals. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate, but sometimes considerably larger.

Monday, October 18, 2010


The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997. The source of the sound remains unknown. While the audio profile of the bloop does resemble that of a living creature, the source is a mystery both because it is different from known sounds and because it was far too loud: it was several times louder than the loudest known animal, the blue whale.  The roughly-triangulated origin of the Bloop is approximately 950 nautical miles from the the more precisely-described location of R'Lyeh, a sunken extra-dimensional city written of by H.P. Lovecraft in his famous short story The Call of Cthulhu, wherein the eponymous dead-but-dreaming creature Cthulhu awakens. Even with this distance separating them, they have been frequently linked.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Pikachurin is a protein that in humans is encoded by the EGFLAM gene. It is an extracellular matrix-like retinal protein first described in 2008 in Japan by Shigeru Sato et al., and named after Pikachu, the highly popular mascot of the Pokémon franchise. The name of this "nimble" protein was inspired due to Pikachu's "lightning-fast moves and shocking electric effects".


Zbtb7, originally named Pokemon, is a gene that may act as a master switch for cancer, and is responsible for the proliferation of cancer throughout surrounding cells.  Discovery of the gene was first published in the January 2005 issue of Nature. The original name, Pokemon, stands for "POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor" and is most likely a backronym of the Pokémon media franchise. Nintendo subsidiary Pokémon USA, not wanting the bad press inherent with its trademark sharing a name with a cancer-causing gene, threatened legal action in December 2005, at which point it was decided to rename it as Zbtb7.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident

The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident was a television signal hijacking in Chicago, Illinois, on the evening of November 22, 1987; it is an example of what is known in the television business as broadcast signal intrusion. The intruder was successful in interrupting two television stations within three hours. The first occurrence took place on WGN-TV's live telecast of The Nine O'Clock News. The station's signal was interrupted for about half a minute by a video of a person wearing a Max Headroom mask. There was no audio, only a buzzing noise. Later that night, during a broadcast of Doctor Who, PBS station WTTW's signal was hijacked using the same video that was broadcast during the WGN-TV hijack, this time with distorted audio. Neither the hijacker nor the accomplices have ever been found or identified.

Bubbly Creek

Bubbly Creek is the nickname given to the South Fork of the Chicago River's South Branch, which runs entirely within the city of Chicago, Illinois. Gases bubbling out of the riverbed from the decomposition of blood and entrails dumped into the river by the local stockyards in the early 20th century give the creek its name.  The area surrounding Bubbly Creek was originally a wetland; during the 19th century, channels were dredged to increase the rate of flow into the Chicago River and dry out the area to increase the amount of habitable land in the fast-growing city. The South Fork became an open sewer for the local stockyards. Meatpackers dumped waste, such as blood and entrails, into the nearest river. The creek received so much blood and offal that it began to bubble methane and hydrogen sulfide gas from the products of decomposition.  The creek has remained toxic to the present day; a resident in the 1950s and '60s remembers the air being "rancid". While the area has been increasingly occupied by residential development such as Bridgeport Village, some wildlife and vegetation has returned in recent decades.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Goose Pulling

Goose pulling was a blood sport practiced in parts of the Netherlands, England and North America from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The sport involved fastening a live goose with a well-greased head to a rope or pole that was stretched across a road. A man riding on horseback at a full gallop would attempt to grab the bird by the neck in order to pull the head off. Sometimes a live hare was substituted. It is still practised today, using a dead goose, in parts of Belgium and in Grevenbicht in the Netherlands as part of Shrove Tuesday and in some towns in Germany as part of the Shrove Monday celebrations.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." is a grammatically valid sentence in the English language, used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated linguistic constructs. It has been discussed in literature since 1972 when the sentence was used by William J. Rapaport, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo.  There is nothing special about eight "buffalo"s; indeed, a sentence with "buffalo" repeated any number of times is grammatically correct.

After the break is a video further explaining the grammar that constructs this sentence.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Acoustic Kitty

Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project begun in the 1960s attempting to use cats in spy missions. A battery and a microphone were implanted into a cat and an antenna into its tail. Due to problems with distraction, the cat’s sense of hunger had to be addressed in another operation. Surgical and training expenses are thought to have amounted to over $20 million. The first cat mission was eavesdropping on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately.  Shortly thereafter the project was considered a failure and declared to be a total loss.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ferret Legging

Ferret legging, also known as put 'em down and ferret-down-trousers, is a sport that seems to have been popular among coal miners in Yorkshire, England. The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English defines it as "an endurance test or stunt in which ferrets are trapped in pants worn by a participant". The male-only contestants put live ferrets inside their trousers; the winner is the one who is the last to release the animals. The world record is five hours and thirty minutes. The sport may have originated during the time when only the relatively wealthy in England were allowed to keep animals used for hunting, forcing poachers to hide their illicit ferrets in their trousers. Following a brief resurgence in popularity during the 1970s, ferret legging has been described as a "dying sport", although a national ferret legging event has been held in Richmond, Virginia, every year since 2003.

Dancing Plague of 1518

The Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518. The outbreak began in July 1518, when a woman, Frau Troffea, began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg. This lasted somewhere between four to six days. Within a week, 34 others had joined, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers. Many of these people eventually died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion

Monday, October 11, 2010

Naked Came the Stranger

The book Naked Came the Stranger was a literary hoax perpetrated by a number of prominent journalists in 1969. The project was conceived by Mike McGrady of Newsday, who assembled twenty-four journalists to write a deliberately terrible book with a lot of sex, to illustrate the point that popular American literary culture had become mindlessly vulgar.  Writing under the pseudonym Penelope Ashe, the group wrote the book as a deliberately inconsistent and mediocre hodge-podge, with each chapter written by a different author. Some of the chapters had to be heavily edited, because they were originally too well written.  Fulfilling McGrady's cynical expectations, the book was wildly successful.

The Game

The Game is a mind game where the objective is to avoid thinking about The Game itself. Thinking about The Game constitutes a loss, which, according to the rules of The Game, must be announced each time it occurs. It is impossible to win The Game; players can only attempt to avoid losing for as long as they possibly can. The Game has been variously described as pointless and infuriating, or as a challenging game that is fun to play. As of 2010, The Game is played by millions worldwide.  By the way, you just lost.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Republic of Indian Stream

The Republic of Indian Stream was a small, unrecognized, constitutional republic in North America, along the section of the US-Canada border that divides the Canadian province of Quebec from the US state of New Hampshire. It existed from July 9, 1832 to 1835. Described as "Indian Stream Territory, so-called" by the United States census-taker in 1830, the area was named for Indian Stream, a small watercourse. It had an organized elected government and constitution, and served about three hundred citizens.  The Republic ceased to operate independently in 1835 when the New Hampshire Militia occupied the area, following a vote by the Indian Stream Congress authorizing annexation to the United States. The vote arose from disquiet regarding a prior incident in which a group of "streamers" invaded Canada to free a fellow citizen who had been arrested by a British sheriff and magistrate.  The invading posse shot up the judge's home where their comrade was being held, and this caused a diplomatic crisis, a so-called 'international incident'.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tetris Effect

The Tetris effect occurs when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. It is named after the video game Tetris.  People who play Tetris for a prolonged amount of time may then find themselves thinking about ways different shapes in the real world can fit together, such as the boxes on a supermarket shelf or the buildings on a street.  In this sense, the Tetris effect is a form of habit. They might also see images of falling Tetris shapes at the edges of their visual fields or when they close their eyes. In this sense, the Tetris effect is a form of hallucination. They might also dream about falling Tetris shapes when drifting off to sleep.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Flirty Fishing

Flirty Fishing is a form of evangelistic religious prostitution practiced from around 1974 to 1987 by female members in the new religious movement, the Children of God, now known as The Family International.  The term refers to Matthew 4:19 from the New Testament, in which Jesus tells two fishermen that he will make them "fishers of men". Cult leader David Berg extrapolated from this that women in his movement should be "flirty fishers," the targeted men were called "fish."  Flirty Fishing was defined as using sex appeal for proselytizing.  Berg noted that Flirty Fishing did not necessarily entail intercourse, but that this was by far the most efficient method of proselytizing.

Dog Whipper

A dog whipper was a church official charged with removing unruly dogs from a church or church grounds during services. In some areas of Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries it was not uncommon for household dogs to accompany - or at least follow - their owners to church services. If these animals became disruptive it was the job of the dog whipper to remove them from the church, allowing the service to continue in peace.  With the advent of animal shelters, this job became obsolete.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Avon Park, Florida

In 1956 and 1957, several U.S. Army biological warfare experiments were conducted in Avon Park. In the experiments, Army bio-warfare researchers released millions of mosquitoes on the town, in order to see if the insects would spread yellow fever and dengue fever. Hundreds of residents contracted a wide array of illnesses, including fevers, respiratory problems, stillbirths, encephalitis, and typhoid. Army researchers pretended to be public health workers, so that they could photograph and perform medical tests on the victims. Several people died as a result of the experiments.

Pig War

The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between American and British authorities over the boundary between the United States and British North America in the area of the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland. The Pig War gained its name due to being triggered by the shooting of a pig; the pig was the only casualty of the war, making the conflict otherwise bloodless.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bat Bomb

Developed by the United States during World War II, bat bombs were bomb-shaped casings with numerous compartments, each containing a bat with a small timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats which would then roost in eaves and attics. The incendiaries would start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper construction of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target.  Despite optimistic test results, the program was canceled when it became apparent that it would likely not be combat ready until mid-1945.  By that time it was estimated that $2 million had been spent on the project.

Small Penis Rule

The "small penis rule" is an informal strategy used by authors to evade libel lawsuits. It was described in a New York Times article in 1998:
"...For a fictional portrait to be actionable, it must be so accurate that a reader of the book would have no problem linking the two," said Mr. Friedman. Thus, he continued, libel lawyers have what is known as "the small penis rule." One way authors can protect themselves from libel suits is to say that a character has a small penis, Mr. Friedman said. "Now no male is going to come forward and say, 'That character with a very small penis, 'That's me!' "

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jack Black (Rat Catcher)

Jack Black was rat-catcher and mole destroyer by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Victoria during the middle of the nineteenth century. Black cut a striking figure in his self-made "uniform" of scarlet topcoat, waistcoat, and breeches, with a huge leather belt inset with cast-iron rats. When he caught any unusually colored rats, he bred them, to establish new color varieties. He would sell his home-bred domesticated colored rats as pets, mainly, as Black observed, "to well-bred young ladies to keep in squirrel cages".  The more sophisticated ladies of court kept their rats in dainty gilded cages, and even Queen Victoria herself kept a rat or two. It was in this way that domesticated—or fancy—rats were established.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dyatlov Pass incident

The Dyatlov Pass incident refers to an event that resulted in the deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains on the night of February 2, 1959.  The lack of eyewitnesses and subsequent investigations into the hikers' deaths have inspired much speculation. Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot in heavy snow. Though the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that "a compelling unknown force" had caused the deaths. Access to the area was barred for skiers and other adventurers for three years after the incident

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Crush, Texas

Crush, Texas, was a temporary "city" established as a one-day publicity stunt in 1896. William George Crush, general passenger agent of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (popularly known as the Katy), conceived the idea to demonstrate a train wreck as a spectacle. No admission was charged, and train fares to the crash site were at the reduced rate of US$2 from any location in Texas. As a result about 40,000 people showed up on September 15, 1896 making the new town of Crush, Texas, temporarily the second-largest city in the state.  When the two trains collided, the impact caused both engine boilers to explode. Debris, some pieces as large as half a drive-wheel, was blown hundreds of feet into the air. Some of the debris came down among the spectators, killing three and injuring several more, including event photographer Jarvis "Joe" Deane, who, struck by a flying bolt, lost one eye.

Forest Swastika

The forest swastika was a patch of larch trees covering 3,600 m2 (4,300 sq yd) area of pine forest in northeastern Germany, carefully arranged to look like a swastika. It was probably planted near the height of Hitler's power, in the 1930s.  It is unclear how the trees came to be planted and arranged, but concern about the region's image and the possibility that the area would become a pilgrimage site for Nazi supporters led local authorities to chop down many of the trees, and the swastika was eventually largely obscured.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wow! signal

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Dr. Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while working on a SETI project at The Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University. The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system origin. It lasted for the full 72 second duration that Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. Much attention has been focused on it in the media when talking about SETI results. Amazed at how closely the signal matched the expected signature of an interstellar signal in the antenna used, Ehman circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side. This comment became the name of the signal.

Stone spheres of Costa Rica

An assortment of over 300 symmetrically round petrospheres have been found scattered around Costa Rica.  The spheres range in size from a few centimeters to over 2 meters (6.6 ft) in diameter, and weigh up to 16 short tons (15 t).  The spheres were discovered in the 1930s as the United Fruit Company was clearing the jungle for banana plantations. Workmen pushed them aside with bulldozers and heavy equipment, damaging some spheres. Additionally, inspired by stories of hidden gold workmen began to drill holes into the spheres and blow them open with sticks of dynamite. Several of the spheres were destroyed before authorities intervened.  Numerous myths surround the stones, such as they came from Atlantis, or that they were made as such by nature. Some local legends state that the native inhabitants had access to a potion able to soften the rock.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Murder of Tim McLean

The murder of Tim McLean (1985 - 2008) occurred on the evening of July 30, 2008. McLean, a 22-year-old Canadian man, was stabbed, beheaded and cannibalized while riding a Greyhound Canada bus about 18 miles (29 km) west of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba traveling the Trans Canada Highway. On March 5, 2009, McLean's killer, 40-year-old Vince Weiguang Li, was found to be not criminally responsible for the murder and was remanded to a high-security mental health facility where he remains to this day

Fairy: Practical beliefs and protection

Fairies are always causing trouble: tangling hair, stealing trinkets, killing your kids   As such, it is wise to know how to deal with them.  Luckily, Wikipedia is there to help us with helpful advise.  Gird yourself in bells, craft a shield from bread, and you should be well on your way to warding them off.