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August 31, 2005

It's Ghost Hunting Wednesday!

I'm taking a break from my food and political blogging to bring you Ghost Hunting Wednesday. I like doing this. It's lots of fun. Everyone knows I'm a skeptic, but I like ghost stories. I have liked them since I was a child. They appeal to the folklorist in me. I like the history that comes out in a lot of ghost stories. Plus, I think that ghost stories, especially ghost stories revolving around urban legends, reveal a lot about what makes people tick.

I'm watching "Ghost Hunters" on Sci-Fi. The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) is going to investigate another haunted lighthouse - Ledge Light. They investigated one during the first season. Lighthouse keepers would hear noises on the second floor of the lighthouse that they couldn't explain. The story is that a lighthouse keeper haunts the lighthouse after throwing himself off of the top of it. Two of the guys found a cold spot in "Ernie's Room", but it's hard to tell exactly what it could be. Some Japanese students claim to have had objects thrown at them in "Ernie's Room", but Jason (one of the TAPS leader) noted that no one else has reported anything remotely close to that, so he wondered if the story was a hoax. Jason thinks the lighthouse is more lore than fact. I agree with him.

Next, the TAPS folks went to the Merchant's House Museum in New York City. The house was built in 1832. There were seven funerals in the house. Some have reported hearing the piano playing when no one was sitting at it. A chandelier and a cast-iron stove shake. A figure of a woman in 19th century garb has been seen at the end of the hall on the second floor. She may have been Gertude Elizabeth Tredwell. Cold spots. A reporter was pushed from behind.

Oh, my God! The guys were robbed right on the street! Some guy ran off with a case of their equipment. The guy dropped the case and kept on running. At least the guys got their case back, which was what mattered.

Welcome to New York. evil_smiley.gif

It turns out that the chandelier moving could have been caused by someone walking on the floor above. They didn't detect anything else on their equipment. The two investigations this time were a bust, but it was still enjoyable watching the show.


Here are some fun links:

Did you think that only houses were haunted? Here are some chilling tales from a haunted airplane.

Due to the success of summer shows "Lost" and "Medium", there will be a lot of spooky new shows on TV this fall. I'll probably check out all of them, but "Threshold" sounds like it will appeal to me the most. I've seen some ads for it, and it caught my attention.

Last week, I posted a picture of the ghost on the Tulip Staircase. This week, I'm posting another one of my favorite purported ghost photographs - the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. I've known about this one since I was a kid.

Here is the Brown Lady:


Posted on August 31, 2005 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nero Fiddles While Rome Floods


Posted on August 31, 2005 at 07:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Latest Chinese Threat

A Chinese researcher has "warned of a new threat to public health and morality."

Is it single mother homes, a favorite threat, especially in America?

Is it a typhoon that would outclass hurricane Katrina?

Is it the shrinking birth rate?

No, it's Nude Web Surfing.

Who is doing this? Well, "[u]p to 20,000 Chinese Internet users log on to chatrooms each night in which users in various states of undress talk to each other with the help of Web cams, the Shanghai Daily newspaper said Tuesday, citing China Youth Association researcher Liu Gang."

I don't think there is anything to worry about. Most Internet users already have a bad reputation for sitting around in their parent's basements, buried in bags of Cheetos, and surfing the 'Net in their skanky underwear. Now, you can see all that!

I changed my mind. This is definitely a national crisis.

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 04:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

University of California Rejects Creationist Fantasy Textbooks

... and the Fundies are screaming "Lawsuit! Lawsuit!, courtesy of The Association of Christian Schools International and Calvary Chapel Christian School. These Fundie-Cum-Political organizations will do anything to get this swill introduced in higher education.

According to the article, "other courses rejected by UC officials include "Christianity's Influence in American History," "Christianity and Morality in American Literature" and "Special Providence: American Government." According to the lawsuit, UC's board of admissions also advised the school that it would not approve biology and science courses that relied primarily on textbooks published by Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books, two Christian publishers. Instead, the board instructed the schools to "submit for UC approval a secular science curriculum with a text and course outline that addresses course content/knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community." "

Good for them. Creation "science" is garbage that doesn't belong in any school.

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 04:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Need A College Scholarship?

The Royal Spawn will go to college next year. We'll get all of that sorted out before he graduates from high school. We will take the usual routes as far as getting him scholarships go, but here is an article about some really ... unusual ... scholarships.

You may qualify for a $500 scholarship from the Klingon Language Institute if you are planning to study languages and creativity.

The food bloggers will be interested in this one: "Even your apple pie recipe may be worth $4,000. The Culinary Institute of America dishes out 14 scholarships to high school juniors and seniors. In addition to $4,000 top Gold Medal honors, there are regional $1,000 prizes."

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today Is Blog Day

Did you know that today is Blog Day - 2005? Here is the description of Blog Day from its web site:

BlogDay was created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest. On that day Bloggers will recommend other blogs to their blog visitors.

With the goal in mind, on this day every blogger will post a recommendation of 5 new blogs. In this way, all Blog web surfers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, previously unknown blogs.

As a switch from recommending Political Blogs, which I normally do anyway, I wanted to recommend some Food Blogs:

The Accidental Hedonist - Kate has all kinds of interesting information about food. I especially liked her post about poisons in food. That post brought out the other royal in me - Lucretia Borgia.

Meathenge - Meat, meat, and more meat. You'll be dying for a cookout after visiting this blog. Besides that, I love the blog's name. Now I want to build a stonehenge out of ground beef. Smiley1

Chocolate and Zucchini - Clotilde has an entire category devoted to chocolate. I'm definitely going to try out some of those recipes.

Cooking With Amy - This is the first food blog I ever found.

Amuse Bouche - French for "amuse your mouth". There are several interesting posts about wine at this blog, including a post about the problems DuBoeuf has been having after having been accused of mixing sub-standard wine with the premium stuff.

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

There Sure Was A Lot Of Lousy Music When I Was In High School

I found this fun game at Body and Soul. The same game is listed at Amanda's and Roxanne's.

Go to musicoutfitters.com

Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year

Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

[Wow, there sure are a lot of songs I hate. Underlining my favorite was tough. I liked both "We Are The Champions" by Queen and "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty. I'm in a mellow mood today, so I chose "Baker Street".]

Here is my list:

Top 100 Hits of 1978 / Top 100 Songs of 1978
1. Shadow Dancing, Andy Gibb
2. Night Fever, Bee Gees (Gack! This list has an explosion of Bee Geez. They suck.)
3. You Light Up My Life, Debby Boone
4. Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees (Every time I hear this song I think of that scene in "Airplane".)
5. Kiss You All Over, Exile
6. How Deep Is Your Love, Bee Gees
7. Baby Come Back, Player
8. (Love Is) Thicker Than Water, Andy Gibb
9. Boogie Oogie Oogie, A Taste Of Honey
10. Three Times A Lady, Commodores
11. Grease, Frankie Valli
12. I Go Crazy, Paul Davis
13. You're The One That I Want, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
14. Emotion, Samantha Sang
15. Lay Down Sally, Eric Clapton
16. Miss You, Rolling Stones
17. Just The Way You Are, Billy Joel
18. With A Little Luck, Wings
19. If I Can't Have You, Yvonne Elliman
20. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Chic
21. Feels So Good, Chuck Mangione
22. Hot Child In The City, Nick Gilder
23. Love Is Like Oxygen, Sweet
24. It's A Heartache, Bonnie Tyler
25. We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You, Queen (Us kids used to bang our fists on the tables in the cafeteria in time with this song; that is, when we weren't throwing knives at the ceiling.)
26. Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty
27. Can't Smile Without You, Barry Manilow
28. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
29. Dance With Me, Peter Brown
30. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, Meat Loaf
31. Jack And Jill, Raydio
32. Take A Chance On Me, Abba
33. Sometimes When We Touch, Dan Hill
34. Last Dance, Donna Summer
35. Hopelessly Devoted To You, Olivia Newton-John
36. Hot Blooded, Foreigner
37. You're In My Heart, Rod Stewart
38. The Closer I Get To You, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
39. Dust In The Wind, Kansas
40. Magnet And Steel, Walter Egan
41. Short People, Randy Newman
42. Use Ta Be My Girl, O'Jays
43. Our Love, Natalie Cole
44. Love Will Find A Way, Pablo Cruise
45. An Everlasting Love, Andy Gibb
46. Love Is In The Air, John Paul Young
47. Goodbye Girl, David Gates
48. Slip Slidin' Away, Paul Simon
49. The Groove Line, Heatwave
50. Thunder Island, Jay Ferguson
51. Imaginary Lover, Atlanta Rhythm Section
52. Still The Same, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
53. My Angel Baby, Toby Beau
54. Disco Inferno, Trammps
55. On Broadway, George Benson
56. Come Sail Away, Styx
57. Back In Love Again, L.T.D.
58. This Time I'm In It For Love, Player
59. You Belong To Me, Carly Simon
60. Here You Come Again, Dolly Parton
61. Blue Bayou, Linda Ronstadt
62. Peg, Steely Dan
63. You Needed Me, Anne Murray
64. Shame, Evelyn "Champagne" King
65. Reminiscing, Little River Band
66. Count On Me, Jefferson Starship
67. Baby Hold On, Eddie Money
68. Hey Deanie, Shaun Cassidy
69. Summer Nights, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
70. What's Your Name, Lynyrd Skynyrd
71. Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, Crystal Gayle
72. Because The Night, Patti Smith
73. Every Kinda People, Robert Palmer
74. Copacabana, Barry Manilow (Watch the Countess gouge out her ears with an icepick over this one.)
75. Always And Forever, Heatwave
76. You And I, Rick James
77. Serpentine Fire, Earth, Wind and Fire
78. Sentimental Lady, Bob Welch
79. Falling, LeBlanc and Carr
80. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Santa Esmeralda
81. Bluer Than Blue, Michael Johnson
82. Running On Empty, Jackson Browne
83. Whenever I Call You "Friend", Kenny Loggins
84. Fool (If You Think It's Over), Chris Rea
85. Get Off, Foxy
86. Sweet Talking Woman, Electric Light Orchestra
87. Life's Been Good, Joe Walsh
88. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges
89. You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On), High Inergy
90. It's So Easy, Linda Ronstadt
91. Native New Yorker, Odyssey
92. Flashlight, Parliament
93. Don't Look Back, Boston
94. Turn To Stone, Electric Light Orchestra
95. I Can't Stand The Rain, Eruption
96. Ebony Eyes, Bob Welch
97. The Name Of The Game, Abba
98. We're All Alone, Rita Coolidge
99. Hollywood Nights, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
100. Deacon Blues, Steely Dan

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 02:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Food Blogs

As my regular readers can tell, I'm checking out the food blogs. Reading them makes me hungry! I have found many very good food blogs with great tips, food history, and wonderful recipes. I'll keep linking to them as I read them. I'm going to add a "Food Blogs" typelist to my blog shortly. That way, I can easily keep track of the ones I like best.

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


I must thank the Count for introducing me to Campari. It is one of his favorite drinks. I like the peppery, bitter tone that it has. We haven't had it in awhile, and after reading this post at Accidental Hedonist, I'm in the mood for it again.

Here is a brief history of Campari, from the Accidental Hedonist blog:

Campari is one such apertivo, introduced in Italy in the 1860's by Gaspare Campari. Gaspare was a master drink maker at the Bass Bar in Turin by the age 14. His recipe for Campari contained more than 60 natural ingredients including herbs, spices, barks and fruit peels.Campari initially named his scarlet colored drink Bitter all'uso d'Hollandia, to capitalize on the popularity of Dutch cordials at the time. Obviously the apertif had no connection with Holland. That didn't stop the unique drink from catching on.

Go to the blog to read more about Campari.

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Unusual Recipes With Tea

My favorite caffeinated tea is Earl Gray. I use it to make iced tea. I found what looks like a delicious Creme Thé Chocolate recipe at À La Cuisine! Creme Thé Chocolate is a "a baked earl grey custard topped with an earl grey chocolate sauce and whipped cream."

I have my own herbal tea recipe that I frequently make when I'm in the mood for tea. Here are the ingredients:

1 teaspoon spearmint leaves
1 teaspoon raspberry leaf
1 teaspoon rose hips
1 teaspoon licorice root
5 star anise pods

Add more of the licorice root and star anise if you like the taste. I usually add more.

This makes a nice small pot of tea for you and your loved ones to enjoy. It's a delicious tea that leaves a breezy aftertaste in your mouth.

Posted on August 31, 2005 at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)