Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Gossamer 9/27/09 The oldest spider web on record has been found encased in amber found on an East Sussex beach in the U.K. Scientists at the University of Wyoming have determined exactly what makes cobwebs so sticky. And about my Gossamer post, my sister's delightful comment: "The idea of forcing spiders to work in sweat shops is sort of deliciously sinister. Yes, many frights have occurred thanks to the rc tarantula. I had to draw the line at bringing it in the car."

Pig butchering 9/1/09 Reuters reported that one of the fastest growing do-it-yourself trends is butchering.

More mystery 8/23/09 Follower Kent Schnake was prompted by this Agatha Christie post to look up the most prolific authors, and was surprised by the answer.

Surviving rabies 8/18/09 Follower Megan McCabe sent me the link to this incredible story that aired on "This American Life" (Act I) last Halloween.

Ripley's Seeing is Believing 8/14/09 A story about Lee Redmond, who no longer holds the world's record for the longest fingernails, due to an auto accident.

Hummingbirds 7/28/09 An American designer has developed the eye2eye mask, a helmet with a built-in hummingbird feeder.

Dali and Disney 7/11/09 A photograph has just surfaced (above) showing Salvador Dali exiting the Paris Metro with his pets - a dog and an anteater! And this summer, a Houston, Texas, Salvation Army thrift store was auctioning off several Dali originals that had been donated anonymously to benefit the adult rehabilitation center.

Up in the air 7/5/09 More about fireworks and the Founding Fathers.

Spontaneous human combustion 6/9/09 Over the weekend, a very mysterious death that has the classic signs of SHC occurred here in Brevard County, Florida.

The art of David Teniers the Younger
5/22/09 I mention stolen works of art in this post, and read about the recovery of Picasso's "The Naked Woman" from a house in Iraq.

Iron lung
5/12/09 June Middleton of Australia, who spent 6 decades in an iron lung (and is pictured wearing a portable version) has died at the age of 83.

Marlin Perkins 4/21/09 My Dad had a major sighting to report from his home in Arizona late this summer: "There have been reports of a bobcat in our little community and today I SAW IT! I've never seen one in the wild, only in zoos. He was larger than I expected. He walked along rather casually, then jumped up on a 6 foot high wrought iron fence and leaped toward a couple of rabbits near a big bush. The rabbits and the bobcat went into the bush. I don't know if he made a kill. We were playing golf and had to keep going. Had we not been on the course I would have stayed and waited for him to come out..."

4/8/09 Video of elephants being outfitted with prosthetic legs.

Albinos 11/18/08 An albino otter was spotted on the Moray coast in the U.K.

Lying in state 11/7/08 In August, longtime reader Angie McLachlan awoke to find that someone had blocked her door, preventing her from answering any calls for embalming until the vehicle had been moved.

Petrified wood 9/30/08 The prize artifact displayed as a moon rock in a Dutch museum has proven to be just a piece of petrified wood.

Kutna Hora ossuary 9/29/08 A descriptive quote from Body of Work by Christine Montross, one of the first books I read on my Kindle: "Without question it is not the bodies that unnerve the most, or even the piles of bones that, if one begins to count how many lives are represented by each sacrum or jawbone, cause the mind to spin and reel. The most disconcerting element of the crypt is that the bones are used not just as memorials or relics but omni-presently as decor, which is injected with a creepy kind of whimsy. From the ceilings hang illuminated chandeliers of cantilevered arm bones and clavicles. The doorways between the chapels are outlined by a filigree of looping ribs. Half pelvises on the walls and ceilings overlap at a central point, flowering out in petaled whorls, and vertebrae are gathered in clusters, forming oddly beautiful wreaths. In some spots the collages of bone convey portentous, tempus fugit-style messages of mortality: The pointed base of one sacrum abuts the base of another so that they, outlined by matching clavicles, form the shape of an hourglass. Two scapulae branch out from the sides of a skull, like wings. On one ceiling the skeleton of a child is mounted - one of three nephews of Pope Urban VIII on display in the crypts. In one small hand, he holds a grim reaper's scythe. In the other the scales of justice, whose chains are made of finger bones, interlaced and dangling."

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