Freaky Friday – American Mad Gassers

In abnormal psychology in college I heard about the Mad Gasser of Mattoon mass hysteria case. It was one where people claimed they were gassed in their homes by something that made them ill. I thought this an odd thing to become mass hysteria but creepy clowns just happened so who am I to just reasonable hysteria? Then I started looking into the Mad Gasser and found there was more than the 1944 case in Mattoon, Illinois. There were cases 11 years earlier in Boutert County, Virginia. some in Lake County, Florida 9 years before Mattoon. These weren’t mentioned in the case study I read so was there something going on? Was it all group madness? Was it a combination of both?

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Thursday Throwback – The last Spring Break

1987-kite-flying-on-beach

Spring 1987

It was Spring 1986. Mike was about to graduate college the next quarter. Yes quarters then not semesters. I was just a year from graduation. We were on our last Spring Break of our life. It was a cool windy March in Florida and in the ocean was a bit cold on the windy day so we flew a kite. About the shorts? What can I say it was the 80s and neon was cool baby.

Wednesday Words – Don’t Dot Your I Tittle It

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-9022" src="https://marylouiseeklund.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/p-757-internet-book-archive-flickr-04oct16.jpg&quot; alt="Image from page 757 of “Specimens of type, borders, ornaments, brass rules and cuts, etc. : catalogue of printing machinery and materials, wood goods, etc” (1897) posted to Flickr by Internet Archive of Book Images. No known copyright restrictions. ” width=”640″ height=”344″ /> Image from page 757 of “Specimens of type, borders, ornaments, brass rules and cuts, etc. : catalogue of printing machinery and materials, wood goods, etc” (1897) posted to Flickr by Internet Archive of Book Images. No known copyright restrictions.

This is no news to my fellow geeks that love fonts. That’s not a dot on your i it’s a tittle. Yep, that’s the real word for it. Why it is call that I don’t know. Maybe when putting the tittle there it’s titillating for some? Sorry, I had to have fun with this word for an object we all know we use a generic word for, but has a very real specific name. So font geeks I tip my hat to you for teaching us about our own language. Thank you.

Tuesday Thoughts – Viceland’s Balls Deep

The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique

The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique

I have an unique taste in TV. I’ll admit it. Generally my favorite series get cancelled after the first season (Firefly, Flashforward, Dresden Files). I also primarly watch true crime shows. (Most of my set recordings are ID Network). However since moving here I discovered the Viceland network. It’s quirkly off beat and edgy. One series that I record from there is Balls Deep. It is a series starring Thomas Morton where he immerses himself in a subculture to better understand the members.  He’s a very unassuming man with a quiet deameanor but he’s game to experience various cultures.

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Monday Marginalia – A fine Violet Postcard

Violet postcard frontViolet postcard back

This is a lovely embossed design on the card. All the flowers are embossed to give them depth and texture. I just found it lovely and imagine it cost more than regular cards at the turn the of the century so I expect the Leo was trying to impress Freedy on her birthday. Continue reading

Freaky Friday – UVB-76

Buzzer by Matthew H on Flickr. He granted use of the photo under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

Buzzer by Matthew H on Flickr. He granted use of the photo under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

UVB-76 is an old call sign for a Russian station at 4625kHz known as The Buzzer. It’s been in operation at least since 1973. It has pretty much been continuous for over 40 years with occasional breakdowns and short outages. It buzzes about 25 buzzes per minute but the rate has varied over time. Occasionally it is interrupted by a heavily accented Russian voice reading common first names, Russian phonetic alphabet, and numbers. Many believe it is a peculiar type of numbers station.  But why the constant buzzing?  Do the shifts in tone and frequency have meaning? Despite the fall of the Soviet Union it continues. Who are the messages for? What do they mean?   Is it an apocalypse dead man switch to nukes?

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Throwback Thursday – The Best of Frienemies

1991-pc-and-belle

The year is 1991. This is Popcorn the Siamese and Belle the Carolina Dog (it wasn’t a breed then but got her in South Carolina and she had the traits). Popcorn came first by several years then we brought home this stinky puppy. They both grew into fine loving pets but as much as Belle smiled and call Popcorn her buddy. Popcorn all Siamese regal acted put out with the dog. Yet, should Belle be gone guess who was yowling and looking for her? Who wouldn’t eat and fretted? Yep, Popcorn. They were the Odd Couple of pets. Belle the happy go lucky smart dog version of Oscar and Popcorn the clean fastidious Felix (what an appropriate name for a cat eh?). Still to this day I dream of them most often of my pets that are gone now.

Oh and yes Popcorn wore a harness and leash when we traveled.  She had a litterbox in the car and used it and roamed about at will, except on the driver.  We’d worked hard with her on that from a very young kitten knowing the Navy life would have us traveling.