Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Flu Balls

I've got some posts on aliens and space jelly (mmm... jelly) coming up at the weekend and hopefully will return to my pre laptop disaster form. But in the meantime I'm making fun of flutards (new word, copyright me) over on Walk This World With Me

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A Shark On Your Doorstep

Hmm...a live shark left outside a newspapers offices. An Australian twist on the horses head perhaps?

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Ghosts Of Animals: Some Assorted Stories

The ghostly black dogs of Britain are a well known example of this strange phenomena.

Ask any crank medium and they will happily tell you that not only do animals have souls but they also have ghosts. I've often wondered if these mediums are thus vegan, or at least vegetarian, as I would find it somewhat perplexing to think they eat meat of an animal they believe to have an eternal soul. But it's not just them who believe it.

In 1815 there is a report of a ghostly bear being seen in the Tower of London (the former Royal Menagerie) by a guard who promptly attempted to bayonet it. However given that the story seems to be a mish mash of a couple of different Anne Boleyn ghostly encounters at the Tower I suspect this story is nothing but bunk.

Personally if there is any animal with the will and the determination to survive even death, then my money is going to be on cats. Cats laugh in the face of Death whom I'm sure they feel is just another annoying bipedal creature whose only function is to provide a constant supply of food. My theory seems to be born out with this ghost cat who hung around long after his 19th century owners had passed away...

In fact I think I might be on to something; ghost cats are everywhere. Here for instance. Then we have this rather creepy story. I've always been a cat person and I'm never surprised at the lengths my cats will go to to return home (my old cat Millie once returned to our previous house and waited outside for two weeks before realising we really weren't coming back so walked the ten miles back to our new house and settled in). But if my dead cat came back and meowed outside my window every night and then appeared on my bed with the injuries sustained before death being visible I would not be best pleased.

You thought Ceiling Cat was just an amusing internet meme? Think again, she's actually an unhappy cat soul.

Ghost cats? I can see that. And scary ghost dogs... I can see that. But your standard run of the mill pooch coming back to haunt us? Well seems there's a few reports out there...

Myspace can be blamed for many things but I think we can discount it as having too much of an influence in this story. Plenty more dog and cat stories here.

In a twist on the usual story we have the demonic return of a pet pig... just what is it with all these creepy things having red eyes? Shadow people, black dogs and now scary ghost pigs. There's gotta be something to that. Or it just makes for a good story.

In other farm yard frolics, we have the Phantom Cow of Yerba Buena.

So, it's all well and good having stories but where's the evidence? Well, hold on to your socks, here are some real authentic pictures of fluff bird spirits.

As long time readers know I'm a sceptical believer. I have seen a shadow person and thus I would be rather unfair to dismiss ghost stories of any sort. But I remain sceptical of the origins of ghosts and believe they are more psychological than real and thus feel I must take all these animal ghost stories with just as much of a pinch of salt as any other.

I've yet to be convinced that we humans have an eternal soul, let alone an animal having one!

And finally...

There was once the landlord of a public house who had a pet parrot. The parrot lived in the main room and was much admired by all the regulars.

Unfortunately, one day the parrot was chased by a cat the inevitable result was to be expected. The landlord was heart broken.

For the following year, the landlord was sure he sometimes heard his parrot talking to him. A year to the day after the parrot died, the landlord was sitting in his establishment after closing time doing the accounts. He looked up and saw the ghost of his dead parrot.

"Hello" said the landlord "what are you doing here"

"I'm a parrot who can't rest" replied the parrot "I can't go to parrot heaven and I've been stuck here as a ghost for the past year"

"What's the matter" asks the landlord "can I help?"

"Well" replied the parrot "when I met my end my tail came off and I can't go to heaven until my tail is put back on, I've had to carry it with me for the past year. Can you put my tail back on?"

"I'm sorry, I can't do that" replied the landlord "it would be against the law"

"Now just why would that be?" asked the ghost parrot.

"Well" said the landlord, "This is a licensed pub and it's against the law for me to re-tail spirits after closing time"

Oh... how very drool.

Further Reading

Ghost Pets and Spirit Animals - Jill Armitage (UK Amazon, US Amazon)

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Flying Robotic Penguins!

Sounding more like an exclamation of shock issued by Robin from the old Batman TV series, the title of this post is more than apt. No it's not some crazy cryptid, but the latest in robotic engineering.

Check out this video to see how first the scientists at Festo built an underwater robot with abilities that are based on our favourite marine bird, but also surpass them, then combined their findings with airship technology to create some of the most beautiful and serene flying robots I've ever seen (not that I make it a mission to see flying robots might I add).

I've informed Jim of what I would like for Christmas :D

Story yoinked from Gizmodo

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from
his wishlist

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Alien Attack!!!

Aliens are all around us here in the United Kingdom. They walk, fly, slither and grow most any place you can imagine. Some are worried, but most don't seem to care.

Is David Icke's prediction finally becoming accepted fact? No. For we are talking about plain old, but not quite boring, ecological alien invasion.

Take me to your leader!
Copyright Jason Alexander 2005

Grey squirrels and Canada geese are so common and recognisable that they feel almost like natives. But there are other, more unusual creatures, which have also come to call our islands home.

Wallabies. Yes, wallabies, have managed to survive, if not thrive, here in Britain. In this 2006 article there were supposedly 51 sightings of wallabies over the preceding six years. (There were 5,931 sightings of big cats yet wallabies in Britain aren't controversial but big cats are... go figure!).

Once, beyond perhaps an occasional nip by a pike, a Brit could be assured that when stepping into lakes for a dip their digits and dangly bits were in little danger. But no longer as turtles and terrapins have begun to appear all over the place. Reports come from Kent, the Midlands and Cornwall among many other places. My favourite turtle story was of a rather aggressive snapping turtle which had alluded a park keeper for 17 years before finally being caught. Snapping turtles are no joke when they give you a quick "nip".

But could even more dangerous reptilians be stalking the unwary from our ponds, lakes and rivers? Some claim to have seen crocodiles in such places as Swansea, Staffordshire and an alligator in the Midlands. Perhaps we might need to keep an eye on more than just our toes when taking to the water.

Any suggestion that she had been replaced by a crocodilian alien was quickly denied by a spokesman for Her Majesty (pictured) last night

Most of the animals typically reported are obviously headline grabbing but some are slightly more worrying, well for arachnophobics anyway! Check this story for examples of alien spiders in Britain and for another growing trend: the prediction of future alien invasions. These days no story about an alien invasion can be complete without the end warning of the imminent approach of *insert ever more scary species here*.

A Chinese Mitten Crab attempting to take over a Natural England tactical command post

In our rivers foreign crabs and crayfish threaten our flora, fauna and even our river banks! As you can imagine this sends our press into a frenzy of ecological xenophobia. They are so used to this that when an extinct native species is returned, such as the beaver, they are torn between terror and jubilation. It's interesting to watch.

Personally I think it's time we reevaluated the way we deal with invasive species. Many species we consider perfectly acceptable in this country such as hares, rabbits and pheasants are in fact simply successful invaders. Invasion of new territory by more well adapted species is called progress. Yes things will change. Yes species will die. But perhaps we should spend more time worrying about keeping our planet healthy and less about keeping it "genetically pure".

Don't get me wrong, I think efforts to protect the red squirrel, our native crayfish and other species and habitats threatened by invaders are extremely well intentioned and very worthy. But perhaps we should try merely to keep them alive for their beauty and the joy they bring and not just because they are native and other animals aren't. Let's not let humanity's racist thoughts blind our policy towards the environment. A healthy environment free of plastic, toxins and other trash might enable native species to expand back to ranges lost which might ensure a longer term future for them whilst allowing space for change and evolution from the more exotic members of Britains ever changing family of flora and fauna.

Further Reading

Fauna Britannica - Duff Hart-Davies (UK Amazon, US Amazon)

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Polar Bears: Cute But Not For Cuddles!

Polar bears are the world's largest land carnivore. Males can be up to 3 metres long. The largest male ever recorded weighed a metric tonne! So I think now all understand... going head to head with a polar bear is a bad idea. Nobody surely would be as stupid as to jump into a polar bear enclosure, even if it did contain the world famous Knut?

Yes. Someone really was that stupid.

Funnier attack here!

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Friday, 10 April 2009

New (Old) Laptop

So... my job has now turned from a temporary position into a permanent one and my other half just bought a new laptop meaning: I get their cast off. Which equals: new posts starting next week!

Moonlight Investigation is back in business.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist