Category Archives: strange events

Court Tells Man, ‘Sorry–You’re Still Dead’

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(Thanks and a hat tip to Martin Selbrede)

There are a few pieces missing from this story, but what we have is, well, too strange to pass up.

A man showed up in a Rumanian court last week to try to prove he was still alive, but the court wasn’t having any. You’re too late, buddy: you were declared dead years ago, and that decision is final (

Assorted tests have verified that the man is who he says he is. He laments, “I am officially dead, although I’m alive.” He thinks being dead may impede his attempts to find a job.

It seems the guy took off for Turkey some 20 years ago, his wife got tired of waiting for him to come back, had him declared dead, and moved to Italy. When his papers expired, he was deported from Turkey–coming home to Rumania only to learn that he was legally dead. And last week he found himself in the extraordinary position of trying to prove, in person, that he’s actually alive–with the judge not buying it!

“Honest, your honor, I’m not dead! I don’t even feel dead!”

“Sorry, Charlie. The papers say you’re dead, and that’s that.”

Laments the man, “I’m a ghost. I can’t do anything.”

What do you want to bet he has to keep paying taxes?


Why Does Amazon Do This?

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Gee, I wonder why my Glass Bridge sales are so anemic. Could it have anything to do with the prices which lists for the paperback? Here they are, as posted:

*$1,993.62 (62 cents? eh?)

*2 used from $1,497.71 (what?)

*1 new from $1,993.62

Why is amazon doing this to my book, which never did them any harm? What kind of loon is going to pay those prices? What disturbed mind did those prices come from?

It may be that one of you out there knows why this happens. It can’t be doing my book any good! If you know, please let me in on it. Meanwhile, I’ll see if there’s any way I can get an answer from amazon.


Is ‘Alexa’ Creeping You Out?

My wife’s car couldn’t pass inspection because the computer in it has lost its memory. I don’t know why a car needs a computer. Its sole function seems to be to make repairs cost much more than they used to.

Gratuitous, superfluous technology. Which brings us to “Alexa,”’s cute little home gizmo that responds to voice commands of all kinds. Sometimes.

Lately, though, people have been reporting that their “Alexa” randomly laughs at them: you hear “a disembodied woman’s voice let out a short, mocking laugh” ( for no apparent reason. One user reported that Alexa “suddenly began listing names of local funeral homes and cemeteries, also unprompted.” Hmm…

Amazon says it’s just a wee malfunction that they’re working to fix.

Do we really need a computer to tell us what time it is, instead of us just looking at a clock or wristwatch? How much technology do we really need in our lives?

Maybe Alexa has good reason to laugh at us.

California’s Bigfoot Threat?

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No, I’m not making this up. A woman has sued the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and the Natural Resources Agency for refusing to recognize the existence of the Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot, and thereby leaving the state’s residents open to… “the threat of Bigfoot” ( The lawsuit has been filed in San Bernardino Superior Court.

The state is falling apart at the seams, and they’ve got time to hear a Bigfoot suit?

“People are totally vulnerable to these things,” the woman says. She is described as “well-known in the Bigfoot community.” Great Scott.

I wonder what the state of California would consider a frivolous lawsuit.

Chimp/Human Hybrid Born–Then Killed

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This whopper comes to us from The Sun, via the Drudge Report: once upon a time, about a hundred years ago, says a primatologist named Gallup, a Florida research center artificially inseminated a woman with chimpanzee sperm, resulting in the birth of a “humanzee” ( The baby was soon put to death out of “moral and ethical considerations.”

Uh, I find this, like, totally impossible to believe. No wonder people don’t trust the nooze media anymore. I am not able to say it’s physically impossible to somehow come up with an ape&human hybrid. But I am saying it’s impossible for something like this to happen and not be followed by a nice, juicy lawsuit.

Prof Gallup says humans can be hybridized with any and all the great apes–gorilla, orang-utan, chimpanzee, and gibbon. He has left it to our imaginations, what use there might be for a human-gibbon hybrid. Or why anyone who was not hopping-up-and-down loco would want to do this in the first place.

This story comes to us via Gallup’s recollections of some old guy’s reminiscences of an “experiment” done around 1920 for no apparent or even imaginable reason. It has been given prominent play on Drudge, and I cringe to think how many readers may have believed it.

Which is not to say there are not some nutty “scientists” out there who are actually trying to create human/animal hybrids. I’d be astonished if there weren’t. Although why they’d go to the trouble, when all anybody has to do anymore is “self-identify” as whatever, is another matter that eludes speculation.

Just In: Nutella ‘Riots’ Sweep France

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I find this story somewhat disturbing, although I’m not quite sure why.

“Nutella” is a hazelnut and chocolate spread, very popular in Europe, although I’ve never seen it here. When the manufacturer decreed a 70 percent discount, mobs descended on supermarkets all over France. Violence broke out, and the police had to come in to keep it from getting out of hand (

Uh, just how good is this stuff? Is it worth a cracked head? I mean, I love Marshmallow Peeps, but I would never riot for them–not even with a 70 percent discount.

What’s up with France? Their countries being taken over by Muslims, and this is what excites them? France went crazy once, in 1789, the French Revolution. Could it happen again–or did all that business with the guillotines and Napoleon get it out of their system for good? As you can see by my name, I have roots in France: but that doesn’t mean I understand it. Half the time I don’t understand America.

And lest we feel tempted to sneer–well, how many times have you seen American shoppers do exactly the same thing?

The motivation for shopping riots totally eludes me.

Encore (and Then Some!): ‘Blessed Assurance’

Blessed Assurance has been in my mind lately, and so has Fountainview Academy. When I went to youtube this morning to select a hymn, I soon settled on this. Then, returning here to post it, I first noticed I had a new message from “thewhiterabbit”–requesting Blessed Assurance as the hymn for the day.

Now that is cool!

So here it is, words by Fanny Crosby, performed by Fountainview Academy. And if the background scenery looks funny, it’s because the kids were visiting Italy at the time.

Good Grief! Eating Detergent Pods?

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This just in, courtesy of my chess buddies on my Playground Player site:

It has become necessary to plead with teenagers not to eat Tide detergent pods (

First there was a problem with toddlers putting these things in their mouths, probably because they look like candy, with sometimes fatal, and always serious, results. But then it took off as a youtube fad among teenagers: “the Tide Challenge.” Uh, you can get sick and die from this…

So just how stupid have we become? Meanwhile, we are lumbered with the biggest and costliest “education” system ever known in history, and those who pass through it seem to be getting dumber and dumber and dumber.

I wonder if it was something like this that happened to the Indus Valley civilization.

The Ringing Rocks Revisited

A lot of you weren’t here in 2013 when I posted “The Mystery of the Ringing Rocks,” and now seems as good a time as any to revisit. Besides, by now I’ve learned how to post a video to go along with it, so you can hear the rocks ring.

Yes, they ring: when tapped with a hammer, some of the rocks in the boulder field produce a musical tone. But not all of them! Which is hard to understand. And if you put in the time, you could probably find a way to play a tune on the rocks. “Happy Birthday,” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It’s been done by others.

What makes them ring? After studying them for going on 200 years, nobody knows.

Ringing rocks are found, as far as we know, in only seven places, world-wide: in England, Scotland, Australia, Mexico, Montana, and at two sites in Pennsylvania. Why are they so rare? No one knows. I’ve visited Ringing Rocks Park in Upper Black Eddy, PA, and heard the rocks ring. Back then you were allowed to climb around the boulder field and play with the rocks; I don’t know if you still can.

Just as puzzling as the rarity of this phenomenon, if you break a rock into two or more pieces, the pieces won’t ring anymore. It’s as if something spilled out and was lost. Even more puzzling, if you remove ringing rocks from one of the two boulder fields in Pennsylvania, they won’t ring anymore! Well, they will, sort of–but the sound is too low-frequency to be detected by the human ear. But if you remove a ringing rock from the other field, only a few miles away from the first one, it will still ring.

Something Biblical about it all, isn’t there?

Meanwhile, if you think you’ve got God’s creation all figured out, the ringing rocks should make you reconsider your position. And this is Mr. Nature, signing off for now.

Where ‘The Jersey Devil Lurks’

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I wish I could have found a full-color image of this painting. Unfortunately, the original was lost years ago, and this black-and-white is all I could get. In the original, the prevailing color scheme is a rather sinister yellow. I saw a color photo of it many, many years ago in Life Magazine, and never forgot it. I think I must have been ten years old or less.

If you’ve never passed through the Jersey Devil’s home territory, the New Jersey Pine Barrens, I can tell you there’s no other place quite like it. Technological progress left it behind early in the 19th century, the local economy shriveled up, most of the people moved away, and their towns, homes, and factories fell into ruin. The region is known for its odd place names–Ongs Hat, Double Trouble, Speedwell–and its sandy tracks that may or may not accommodate your car and may or may not lead somewhere, or nowhere. A part of it features large vistas of stunted pines that plays tricks on your eyes. You’d swear, from your vantage point on the road, that the pines were full-size. And then a child comes walking through them, and you startle because you think you’re seeing a giant little girl.

All in all, it’s just the kind of country the Jersey Devil would choose to live in, if it lives at all. No one knows. There’s only belief or disbelief.

But when you find yourself alone on one of those deserted, feeble imitations of a road, disbelief is a little harder to come by.

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