Category Archives: strange events

Saudi Arabia Grants Citizenship to… a Robot

Image result for images of robot as ventriloquist dummy

If it’s your vacuum cleaner, it’s only a machine and you don’t think twice about it. But make the machine complicated enough, and next thing you know, people who are supposed to be sane, and maybe aren’t quite all there, start treating it like it’s one of the boys. Or one of the girls.

Saudi Arabia has made a robot a citizen. The UPI news report describes the glorified vacuum cleaner as “hot robot Sophia.” (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2017/10/27/Saudi-Arabia-grants-citizenship-to-robot/5521509080746/) Hot? They’re kidding, right? And the article is peppered with the expression, “Sophia said.”

Can it be that there really are people out there who honestly don’t understand that even the best and most lifelike robot in the world can never be anything more than a simulation? And all this talk about “Artificial Intelligence”–uh, don’t they know what “artificial” means?

Crikey, we don’t even know what real intelligence is; so how are we supposed to produce it artificially?

But i think, judging by all this carrying-on over a robot–who, when all is said and done, is little more than a hi-tech souped-up ventriloquist’s dummy–we can say what it isn’t.


A Bit of Mythological Silliness

Image result for images of jason and the clashing rocks

One way to get your ship through the Clashing Rocks…

You do wonder about some of the things that go on in Greek mythology.

Jason and the Argonauts have to get through the Clashing Rocks that guard the Bosporus, without the ship getting cracked like a nutshell. In the Ray Harryhausen movie, this giant merman-thing (pictured above) comes up and holds the rocks apart for them. In other versions of the story, this doesn’t happen. Instead, for instance, they send a dove through the rocks and, after they move apart again after squashing the poor bird, the Argonauts are able to row real fast and get through, with only the Argo’s stern ornament bitten off.

Uh, guys… why didn’t you beach the Argo and haul it overland on rollers, as ancient sailors often did with their ships, and put it back in the water when you’d passed by the Clashing Rocks? No one seems to have thought of that. One is reminded of Laurel and Hardy in The Music Box, lugging the piano up those horribly steep stairs when they could’ve just carted it around the block to the front door. Duh…

Oddly enough, in later centuries, Greek and Roman ships routinely passed through the strait without seeing hide nor hair of the Clashing Rocks. The myth says that after Jason got through, the rocks didn’t clash together anymore. Perhaps their failure to crush the Argo made them give it up. Who knew great big rocks can get down-hearted?

Ah, well, they don’t call it mythology for nothing.


Pumpkin Spice Shuts Down High School!

Image result for images of pumpkin monster

Last month it was the shocking discovery that pumpkin spice latte is racist. Now pumpkin spice is in the news again. And this time it’s worse!

A high school in Baltimore had to be evacuated this afternoon. The fire department was called in, and then a hazmat team, and finally two students and three adults had to be taken to the hospital “with unknown injuries.” (http://www.wbaltv.com/article/cristo-rey-jesuit-hs-evacuated-in-baltimore/12788221)

Why?

Because somebody plugged in a pumpkin spice air freshener and it kinda smelt funny and, well, I guess everybody panicked. We do not know how five people got injured so badly that they had to be taken to the hospital. Running heedlessly down the stairs, maybe, fleeing the dreadful menace of the pumpkin spice?

We dare not imagine what will be pumpkin spice’s next caper. Today a hazmat team; tomorrow, the Navy SEALs?

P.S.–“Hazmat” is short for “hazardous materials.” It does not denote a nomadic Central Asian people with hairy hats.

 


The Killer Cats of Britain

Image result for images of monster cat

Well, scarier than that!

In the early Middle Ages it was “Palug’s Cat,” a giant cat that lived on the island of Angelsey and knocked off some 180 warriors before Sir Gawain finally killed it: so says Welsh and French lore of the 12th century.

You’d think that would’ve been the end of it–but no! There are still stories today. The Beast of Buchan haunts Scotland, and has been reported there since the 1930s. The Beast of Bodmin has haunted Cornwall since 1983, scaring hikers and mauling livestock, despite a British newspaper’s “investigation” that supposedly revealed it to be an ordinary cat (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/beast-bodmin-moor-mystery-solved-4812877).

Over here we’ve got Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and Chupacapra. Over there they’ve got giant wild cats–and there are no zoo or circus cats missing. Indeed, there are similar “big cat” stories from Australia–lots and lots of them. Australia has no native cats at all, and only small wildcats are native to Britain.

Why do people keep on saying they’ve seen big cats in places where there are no big cats? Who thought up the old, old story of Palug’s Cat, and what inspired it?

God made the world a bit more complicated than we like to think sometimes.


Mr. Nature: Behold the Mighty Stegosaur

Image result for images of miller toy stegosaurus

Of all the Miller Co. wax dinosaurs I had in my childhood, only a couple of these Stegosaurs survive, a big one and a little one. For some reason, these were much less apt to be broken than the others.

And speaking of Stegosaur survival, there are persistent rumors that in the largely unexplored Likouala Swamps of the Republic of the Congo, a creature very like a Stegosaur still lives. The few people who live there call it mbielu-mbielu-mbielu, which means, I think, “What the hell was that?”

In western North America are found the best and biggest fossil Stegosaurs, Stegosaurus ungulatus and S. Stenops. Other species have been discovered in Europe, Tanzania, China, India, and, most recently, Australia (just footprints there, so far). So they must have been quite a successful group of animals.

There’s only so much we can learn from bones, though. Still puzzling are the exact arrangement of the armored plates along the Stegosaurus’ back and the seemingly inadequate size of its brain, indicative of a belief in socialism.

But we will learn much more when somebody finally captures a live mbielu-mbielu-mbielu.

And no, it’s not a fake fact I made up on the spot!

P.S.: Edgar Rice Burroughs, in his “Pellucidar” (prehistoric world inside the hollow earth) novels presented the Stegosaur as being able to glide through the air by lowering its back-plates, but he never found many takers for that theory.


He Came in Carrying a Severed Head…

Image result for images of idol worship

Once upon a time a news story like this would have been a national sensation. Today it’s just another bizarre incident, soon to be replaced in the headlines by yet another one.

In a town in Oregon, a man came into a store carrying a severed head and then proceeded to stab a store employee (http://www.kgw.com/news/crime/person-stabbed-at-estacada-grocery-store-officials-say/439651514). The rest of the employees tackled him and held him down until the police could arrive.

It seems they were already looking for this man in connection with the murder of a woman elsewhere in town.

We are not told whose head he was carrying.

Do you think there might be something going kind of wrong with our culture?

This is post-Christian America. Not that we were all that short of murders, years ago. But now these incidents just barely raise an eyebrow. Now we are expected to “accept” and “affirm” behavior that once would have gotten its owner committed to a mental institution.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong. I’ll thank you for it. Reassure me that our culture isn’t collapsing wherever you look.

But I say we need to turn around and go back the other way. It may be God will lead us back to sanity. If we listen to Him.


Here Be Dragons

Image result for images of valley of gwangi

Before I get into any of the depressing news of the day–if I get into it at all–I’d like to devote a little more thought to this weekend’s topic of conversation: creatures that shouldn’t be there, but maybe they are.

Linda told us of her husband’s experience as a member of a recon unit in Vietnam: they found a gigantic spider web occupied by a gigantic spider. How gigantic? Big enough so that he worried that if a man blundered into that web, he’d never get out alive. But he couldn’t get his commanding officer to authorize a return to that location. It was a war zone, and no one had time for giant spiders.

And Marge told us of someone, whom she has no reason to disbelieve, who claims to have seen living Dimetrodons somewhere in Vietnam’s jungles.

Image result for images of dimetrodon

Those are just two of hundreds, maybe thousands, of cryptozoological reports that crop up every year. People are always seeing animals that shouldn’t be there. From the Lake Murray, New Guinea, tyrannosaur to the Jersey Devil in the New Jersey pine barrens, there are still a lot of odd corners in the world, possibly with very odd things living in them.

Which, at least to my way of thinking, makes it all the more interesting.


Oops! Media Almost Set Off WWIII

Image result for images of north korea parade

There’s fake news that’s done on purpose, and then there’s fake news that just happens because people make mistakes.

This weekend, the world almost went to war because of a cock-up by a couple of nooze agencies (  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-14/chinese-media-almost-sets-world-war-3-erroneous-north-korea-headline ).

North Korea was having its annual “Day of the Sun” parade, honoring the depraved homicidal maniacs who run the place: this after repeatedly declaring they were going to test a nuclear weapon, breaking an international treaty, and threatening to bomb America’s allies and military bases. So that made a lot of people nervous.

Well, they haven’t set off the nuke yet. What they did was to trot out their new improved long-range missile for the parade.

First China’s Xinhua news agency reported–oh, boy!–“North Korea Fires Projectile.” Shoulda been North Korea displays projectile. America’s Bloomberg news agency picked up the Chicoms’ fumble and ran with it, full speed to the wrong goal line. And it seems there was a bit of a military scramble started until someone sorted out the error before anyone could start shooting.

Remember, in Jaws, Roy Scheider sees the giant monster shark and tells Robert Shaw, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”? And Shaw doesn’t listen to him, does he–and his boat gets wrecked and sunk and he gets eaten by the shark.

We need a bigger boat than the one designed and built by what passes for human wisdom.

God is the only one who has such a boat. Reminds me of a boat He once lent to Noah and his family…


Free With Your Salad–Live Scorpion!

Image result for images of live scorpion in bag of spinach

I’m not even sure why I’m reporting this news. Like, we already know it’s a fallen world and falling farther by the day.

A couple in Chevy Chase, Maryland, was a bit put off this week when they found a live scorpion in their bag of spinach ( https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/weird/Couple-Finds-Live-Scorpion-in-Bag-of-Spinach-419101614.html ). Check out the video in the link: it’s alive, all right.

They bought the spinach at a Giant supermarket.

Not to be confused with the folks who, a few days earlier, found a dead bat–yup, I said a dead bat–in their bag of salad mix, purchased at a Wal-Mart store in Florida.

What’s going on with our food packaging? Have our tech companies been put in charge of it? That’s about what I’d expect from them.

I dunno. What’s going on with the rest of our civilized institutions? Will free universal college cure it? How’s about everybody in the USA has to stay in school until they get a Ph.D.? Then we’ll be the smartest nation of idiots that ever graced the earth.


I Wake Up Screaming

Image result for images of monarch butterflies

Monarch butterfly: God’s stuff is still sane and beautiful. A lot of our stuff isn’t.

Once when I was a toddler, my aunts took me to the circus and the clowns freaked me out, which led to a sleepless night for all concerned.

But those clowns were nothing, compared to what we’ve got to cope with today.

Our debased secular culture’s pursuit of ugliness now features some male “actress”–that’s what he calls himself, five o’clock shadow and all–denouncing “outdated beauty standards” and declaring that “body hair norms need to change” ( https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2017/04/05/red-carpet-appearance-makes-gender-nonbinary-actress-question-body-hair-standards/ ).

As Major Hoople would say, “Fap!”

If this is beautiful, then the word “beauty” has lost its meaning.

It is not beautiful. It is the stuff of nightmare. If what this person has done to himself doesn’t bum you out, then nothing can bum you out. Unless you’re a liberal. Then it’s the good things that bum you out.

I was going to write this as a humorous piece, but the photo embedded in the news story put the kibosh on that idea. This stuff is not sane. Linda, who sent me the link to this item, calls it demonic. I am compelled to agree.


%d bloggers like this: