House Blown to Smithereens

Wow, so that’s what smithereens look like. An aging infrastructure and increase in sink holes could make gas explosions like this huge one in Stafford Township, NJ more common.

Biscuit Recipe

Eatmore of gave me this biscuit recipe earlier this holiday season. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ahhh biscuits. Reasonably healthy, but still tasty: get a package of
Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking & Pancake mix & follow the biscuit recipe,
but I like to substitute soured raw milk or real buttermilk, because I
like the tang. And if it’s got enough fat, which mine does when I pour off
the top, no need for oil. For real Southern light empty calorie biscuits,
I mix White Lily flour, the soured milk or buttermilk, baking powder,
salt, and maybe a little baking soda. In each case, knead lightly, and cut
the biscuits with a Mason jar lid or the jar itself. I don’t really
measure, so I don’t know how much of each ingredient. If you knead too
much, you get my ex-wife’s hardtack. You always have dough left over when
you cut with the lid, and that gives you one more biscuit that isn’t as
light. One for the cook when it comes out of the oven. Can’t remember the
oven temps, but use whatever any common recipe has, and bake until done.

For soured milk I use canned evaporated skim milk and add a tablespoon or two of cider vinegar. I use a hot 400-450 oven and keep my biscuits T-N-T, tight but not touching.


Reading, Pennsylvania keeping ugly tree


Not the tree’s best angle.


The pretzel as a tree topper is an adorable nod the the long heritage of Reading.

Like many rust belt towns Reading, Pennsylvania has seen better days. Reading (sounds like red-ding) sits in the middle of Christmas Tree farm country. They had initially arranged to purchase a tree from a farmer in Schuylkill County. It rained heavily right before the tree was to be cut and delivered and the farmer wouldn’t allow the big truck needed to drive across his fields so they hastily came up with a plan B and went to a local park and cut the homely tree they have on display. After world wide weird news exposure they decided to keep the sparse spruce. Partly because City Council was too busy with real issues like budget deadlines to deal with a uh, holiday tree. Somehow it is fitting that the bedraggled downtown that has seen better days has come to terms with their tree. Here’s wishing Reading and all of you a happy, humble, and healthy start to your own holiday season. Big ups to the Reading City Council for having their priorities in order, too.

All images except for night view credit the Reading Eagle, Natalie Kolb | Tim Leedy

34_2 7   141124_ugly_tree

It’s a holly, folly Christmas: Reading reverses decision, says tree stays

Reading Eagle  |  November 24, 2014

Apparently unable to decide what they want for Christmas, city officials, who had agreed to remove the 50-foot holiday spruce from Penn Square, changed their minds on Monday.The droopy pine can stay in downtown as Reading’s official Christmas tree.

City Council President Francis G. Acosta didn’t reverse course until after the city endured a good needling over the “Charlie Brown tree” that has gained international attention.The decision to keep the tree came about 1 p.m. Monday after city workers spent the morning removing lights from the big tree and decorative fencing around it.

“It’s staying up,” declared Ralph Johnson, city public works director, over the noisy traffic.

Prehistoric European Cave Artists Were Female

There are recent articles about this same topic on some of those newsy newsiosh websites. A little research shows it is not an new idea and that it has been kicking around since at least 2009.



hand-stencil-copy_big  infrared-handprints_big


Prehistoric European Cave Artists Were Female  |  Thursday, October 28, 2010

June 16, 2009–Inside France‘s 25,000-year-old Pech Merle cave, hand stencils surround the famed “Spotted Horses” mural.

For about as long as humans have created works of art, they’ve also left behind handprints. People began stenciling, painting, or chipping imprints of their hands onto rock walls at least 30,000 years ago.

Until recently, most scientists assumed these prehistoric handprints were male. But “even a superficial examination of published photos suggested to me that there were lots of female hands there,” Pennsylvania State University archaeologist Dean Snow said of European cave art.

By measuring and analyzing the Pech Merle hand stencils, Snow found that many were indeed female–including those pictured here. (Also see: pictures of hand stencils through time.)

—Photograph courtesy Dean Snow
Analyzing hand stencils dating back some 28,000 years in Spain‘s El Castillo cave, archaeologist Dean Snow concluded many of El Castillo’s artists had been female.”The very long ring finger on the left is a dead giveaway for male hands,” he said. “The one on the right has a long index finger and a short pinky–thus very feminine.”His findings suggest women’s role in prehistoric culture may have been greater than previously thought.

—Photographs by Roberto Ontanon Peredo, courtesy Dean Snow
Just as in prehistoric times, visitors today can leave behind handprints at Spain’s Maltravieso cave, a Paleolithic site dating back more than 20,000 years. “Elena’s hand [pictured] was typical for little girls,” said Snow.Hand proportions vary across populations. To assess prehistoric handprints from Europe, Snow used modern hands for comparison.”I had access to lots of people of European descent who were willing to let me scan their hands as reference data,” said Snow, whose research was supported by the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

—Photograph courtesy Dean Snow
In France’s Gargas cave, a late Paleolithic left-hand stencil glows green from a night vision camera. Archaeologist Dean Snow concluded the hand was female.”We don’t know what the roles of artists were in Upper Paleolithic society [roughly 40,000 to 20,000 years ago] generally,” he said. “But it’s a step forward to be able to say that a strong majority of them were women.”Snow’s research was limited to Europe, but he hopes others will do similar studies at prehistoric sites elsewhere.
—Photograph courtesy Dean Snow

Missing boy found safe playing inside toy claw machine


Another claw machine kid! I love these kids and apparently it is pretty common or at least it is in my weird world. For other claw or prize machine kids click here, and here and yes here.

giant claw machine kid

Missing boy found safe playing inside toy claw machine

Apr 15, 2014  |  Jenn Hatcher  |

A 3-year-old Lincoln boy disappeared Monday night and where he was found is pretty amazing.

After his mother called 911, the toddler was located across the street from their apartment at Madsen’s Bowling Alley and Billiards, inside the businesses, get this, claw machine.

Continue reading »

‘Snotty’ new jellyfish discovered in Tasmania



Many newly discovered species are teeny tiny little things, not these jellyfish!


New species of giant ‘snotty’ jellyfish found in Tasmania

Megan Levy  |  Fe

A previously unidentified species of giant jellyfish is invading southern Tasmania this summer, baffling scientists after one of the animals washed up on the beach.

And watch out – the new species is described as being a type of “snotty”.

The Lim family were collecting shells on a beach in Howden, south of Hobart, last month when they stumbled across a monster 1.5-metre jellyfish on the shore.

So unusual was the gigantic blob that the family took a photograph, and forwarded it to the CSIRO.

“In Tasmania, we don’t do jellyfish. This was something else. We’ve just never seen anything like it,” said Josie Lim of their find.

Little did the Lim family know that, over at the CSIRO, Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, who has been working with jellyfish for 20 years, had been hearing stories of this elusive animal in waters off Tasmania for more than a decade.

Continue reading »

Scientists confirm first two-headed bull shark



Scientists confirm first two-headed bull shark. Credit: Courtesy of Patrick Rice, Shark Defense/Florida Keys Community College.

Scientists confirm first two-headed bull shark.
Credit: Courtesy of Patrick Rice, Shark Defense/Florida Keys Community College.

Image Wagner, et. al, Journal of Fish Biology, 2013

Image Wagner, et. al, Journal of Fish Biology, 2013

Image from

Image from

Scientists confirm first two-headed bull shark  |  Date:March 25, 2013  |  Source: Michigan State University

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the first-ever, two-headed bull shark.The study, led by Michigan State University and appearing in the Journal of Fish Biology, confirmed the specimen, found in the Gulf of Mexico April 7, 2011, was a single shark with two heads, rather than conjoined twins.

There have been other species of sharks, such as blue sharks and tope sharks, born with two heads. This is the first record of dicephalia in a bull shark, said Michael Wagner, MSU assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife, who confirmed the discovery with colleagues at the Florida Keys Community College.

Continue reading »

Ten Commandments statue with typos opens doors for Satanic monument.

Usually, I feature one story at a time, but these are so closely related I will post them both. One must admire the tenacity of the non-Christians to use the same freedoms as those who erected the Ten Commandments sculpture to erect one too at the State capital. The fact that the original Ten Commandments statue has typographical errors only adds to the mayhem of this intersection of church and state.



It should be Sabbath, not Sabbeth. Image from

It should be Sabbath, not Sabbeth. Image from

That should be "maidservant" not "maidseruant" Image from

That should be “maidservant” not “maidseruant” Image from

A view of the whole monument. Image from

A view of the whole monument. Image from

Satanists Unveil Design For Oklahoma Capitol Monument

Jan 06, 2014   |  By Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY – A group has unveiled designs for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan that it wants at the Oklahoma state Capitol.

The New York-based Satanic Temple released an artist’s rendering of the monument Monday. A spokesman says the group has formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds.

The statue features a goat-headed Satan sitting in a throne with children next to it.

The Satanic Temple says Oklahoma’s decision to put a Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol opened the door for its statute.


Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves says it’s moving forward with plans to have its monument approved, despite the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission’s decision to place a moratorium on new requests.

The commission says it’s waiting until a lawsuit over the Ten Commandments has been settled.


Misspellings Mark Ten Commandments Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol

By Chris McKinnon, News 9  |  |  Nov 16, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – A new monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol honoring the 10 Commandments was unveiled Thursday morning but Friday, the buzz was all about two mistakes carved into the granite stone.In the commandment “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy” the word “Sabbath” was misspelled as “Sabbeth.” A second mistake was in the commandment “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant.” The word maidservant was spelled as “maidseruant,” replacing the “v” with a “u.”This six-foot tall monument cost about $10,000 and was installed Thursday at the State Capitol. Broken Arrow Representative Mike Ritze’s family funded the monument after the Ritze pushed a bill in 2009.The American Civil Liberties Union is also weighing legal action because this could be a violation of separation of church and state.

A similar monument installed at the Texas Capitol raised similar concerns in regards to the separation of church and state but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow that monument to stand.



Beached Whale in New Jersey Becomes Frat Graffiti Mural

Way to keep it classy Tau Epsilon Phi!

Atlantic City Whale

tagged whale cu

Beached Whale in New Jersey Becomes Frat Graffiti Mural

Denver Nicks  |  May 2, 2014 |

The corpse of beached whale in New Jersey appears to have been spray painted with graffiti letters of a fraternity that has chapters at nearby schools. It’s not immediately clear what killed the animal, but it’s not uncommon for whale corpses to wash ashore in the area

The corpse of a beached Minke whale in New Jersey became a canvas for graffiti artists, Atlantic City police confirmed Thursday.

Continue reading »

Neighbor fatally shot over plate of food in Indiana County PA

This story really reads a lot like a soap opera or an old fashioned country song.


State police: Neighbor fatally shot over plate of food in Indiana County

James Buterbaugh, 59, charged with homicide in death of David Ackerson

May 26, 2014  |  Ashlie Hardway  |

GRANT TOWNSHIP, Pa. —With the help of a walker, 59-year-old James Buterbaugh was put in a state police cruiser Sunday night, charged with homicide in the shooting death of his neighbor.

State police in Indiana County said Buterbaugh and David Ackerson, 51, got into an argument over a plate of food at Ackerson’s Grant Township home just before 6 p.m. Sunday.

Buterbaugh told state police that around 8 a.m. Sunday, he was awakened by Ackerson as Buterbaugh slept inside his pickup truck. He said the two men drank beer before Ackerson left for church and Buterbaugh fell back asleep inside the truck.

Continue reading »