"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Link Dump


Strange company is looking up this week.


The cats always do.

This week's Roundup of the Weird:

Let's kick things off with what is probably the quintessential What the Hell Are These link.

If the Voynich Manuscript isn't a hoax, then what the hell is it?

Who the hell was Lori Ruff?  An eerily fascinating case of a woman with multiple identities.

What the hell happened to Elisa Lam?

A real-life "Poseidon Adventure" that makes the fictional tale sound like a Girl Scout camping trip.

Because you just can't get enough stories about fossilized Sasquatch heads.

A certain Egyptian spirit is unhappy.  And you know what happens when Egyptian spirits are unhappy.

Or maybe Osiris just wants to get on "Dancing With the Stars."

Don't worry, there was an unpublished feel-good sequel where all these animals wreaked a terrible revenge on their owners.

If this thing is for real, why doesn't someone use it to kill the threat of any more "Twilight" sequels?

Before you read this story, get out the world's biggest freaking can of Raid.

Oh, just another photo of an all-girl vaudeville act serenading cows.

Haunted painting?  Or really cool publicity stunt aimed at getting an otherwise worthless piece of junk off their hands?  You make the call.

Pianos as instruments of torture.  Bloody hell, in the wrong hands they're weapons of mass destruction.

England had cave-dwellers a lot more recently than you think.

A delightful archaeological variation on the classic "locked room murder mystery":  A hundred-year-old watch has been found in a tomb...that's been sealed for the last four hundred years.

Salvador Dali swimwear.  In case you don't feel like going to the link, I can assure you that it looked pretty much like you'd expect it to look.

Speaking of Dali, I think he designed this river as well.

When Barbie and Ken wind up in Hell, this is what they'll find.

Ah, the Victorian era:  If the dumplings didn't kill you, the coconut shies would.

Our old friend Anna Kingsford has a Japanese protégée.

A Frenchman visits Whitechapel, 1859.  Hilarity ensues.

And, finally, the Video of the Week:  A cat.  In a shark costume.  Riding a Roomba.  While chasing a duck.  You're very welcome. (h/t @GlennWhidden)



In other news, I’ve recently become addicted to watching old episodes of “Midsomer Murders,” the show with a bigger body count than the Black Plague.  Aside from the fact that I’ve developed a weird sort of crush on John Nettles, the show has given me many valuable lessons in life. As a public service, I’ll share some of them here.

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM MIDSOMER:

1. An excellent way to kill your neighbor is by pinning him down on his croquet field and using a trebuchet to hurl bottles of his extremely expensive wine at him.

2. An excellent way to kill your neighbor is by drowning him in a giant pot of gazpacho.

3. An excellent way to kill your neighbor is by battering her with a giant hunk of cheese.

4. An excellent way to kill your neighbor is by pretending he was abducted by aliens.

5. An excellent way to kill your neighbor is by having his liquor cabinet fall on him.

6. Do not attend the village fete. Someone is certain to be killed there, and that Someone will probably be you.

7. Do not go into the woods. Someone is certain to be killed there, and that Someone will probably be you.

8. Do not have an extramarital affair. Someone is certain to be killed as a result, and that Someone will probably be you.

9. Do not speak in favor of land development in your area when everyone else in the village is set against it.  Someone is certain to be killed as a result, and that Someone will probably be you.

10. Do not blackmail anyone. Someone is certain to be killed as a result, and that Someone will definitely be you.

11. However, it is virtually impossible to follow rule #10 above, as everyone you know has a deep dark secret they are desperate to protect.

12. It is perfectly normal to have Upper Warden at the lower part of a valley and Lower Warden at the upper part.

13. Every sweet, precocious, angel-faced child you meet is a psychopathic killer.

14. And perhaps most importantly:  You never need to ask your neighbors "How are you?" because the answer is almost invariably "Dead."

That wraps it up for now. See you on Monday, when I’ll present what is probably the strangest story to appear on this blog to date:  A tale set on a small island in the Caspian sea, featuring three inexplicable deaths and a mysterious buried stone.

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