Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Note on Titles

The following is an actual report of a book; this is different from a book report from W.N.B.N.I. See this is a report on a book that was actual read by the people writing the review on it. Unlike most W.N.B.N.I. book reports that are based off of movies, cover art and/or the title of the book with out so much as reading the back cover or a book summery. We just wanted to let you know the difference now, because in the past the difference was not clearly noted. Also the same goes for movies, TV shows, songs or reviews on anything else that would take time to fully study. We well try to let you know if we are actually reporting on the book, movie etc. Also on actual reports of books we will try to estimate what reading level the book is at. As we mostly were reading at a year or more above the reading level for our age throughout school this will be based off of the complexity of words, length of story we remember being assigned works in school and age of characters. (In fiction designed for kids the main characters are almost always all older then or the age of the targeted audience.) So our reading levels may be totally off, and you would want to view the book itself before giving it to someone based off our information. Thank you, and enjoy.

An Actual Report of a Book – The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree by: Ray Bradbury
Science fiction and History, 181 pages (paperback edition) 6 grade reading level, first printed 1972

This book is a great start to a study of the history of Halloween. In it a group of friends travel through time on Halloween in order to save the life of their friend Pipkin and to learn more about the holiday. They explore how people dealt with winter and the connected ideas of death from the earliest humans to modern day. Although this book is fiction it was well researched while still being interesting. It is also a quick read perfect for Halloween night.

To learn more about Ray Bradbury click here

Monday, October 30, 2006

Famous Vampires and Undead

* Dracula/ Vlad Tepes (the Impaler)
* Lilith
* Judas
* Countess Elizabeth Bathory
* James Spalding
* Betala/Vetala
* Grigory Rasputin (apparently a psychic vampire - which eats life force not blood)

Impossible Quiz – Are You Psychic?

Note: All answers are based on when the quiz was originally written down on paper. This was last night around 8 p.m. Also although we at W.N.B.N.I. prefer to use the royal we in cases when the plural we would not be correct, this would sound silly in this case. So we will use the writer instead in this case.

1. What color ink was this originally written in?
A. Blue B. Black C. Green D. Red
2. What TV network is the writer watching?
A. Food Network B. Disney Channel C. History Channel
D. Comedy Central
3. What color socks is the writer wearing?
A. White B. Gray C. Black D. Green
4. What is the writer’s cat doing?
A. Cleaning itself B. Resting C. Biting the writer’s hand
D. There is not cat
5. What number is the writer thinking of?
A. 3 B. Pi (3.14. . .) C. 97.53312 D. 12
6. What shape is the writer’s cat’s tag?
A. Heart B. Circle C. Diamond
D. I already said there is no cat
7. What is the writer sitting on?
A. Sofa B. Bed C. Chair D. Beanbag
8. What is the writer holding in their left hand?
A. Pen B. Green Squishy Stress Ball C. Paper bee face
D. Nothing
9. What was just found on the writer’s shoe?
A. Green Pig sticker B. Toilet Paper C. Pink post-it note
D crayon marks
10. What commercial is on now?
A. Kohl’s B Barbie dolls C. ESPN D. Political ad

Answers to follow scoring, so you aren’t reading the answer for number 10 before you answer it.

0-3 Right:
Statically if you randomly picked an answer you would get this score. Go on try it. Roll a die: on 1 the answer is A, on 2 the answer is B, on 3 it’s C, on 4 it’s D, and 5 or 6 means reroll.

4-6 right:
You’re a good guesser.

7-8 right:
Maybe you are a psychic.

9-10 right:
You should go by some lotto tickets, but you knew we would write that.

1.B 2.C 3.B 4.B 5.D 6.B 7.A 8.C 9.A 10.C

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Raising the Dead

To prepare for Halloween here are some ways to let the dead or undead in to your life in movies and legends.

  • Answer the phone - Not necessarily how the dead are allowed into your life, but still a main stay of horror films.
  • Go to sleep – This not only allows monsters that invade dreams to attack, but makes it easier for vampires to control you, but only if you have met before.
  • Say their name 3 times into your mirror in a darkened bathroom – This only works with killers and in some legends they slowly materialize in the mirror, in which case if you turn the lights on quickly they will disappear.
  • Just invite them in – This works for vampires and all other demons or partial demons and is most likely based on the Christian belief that Christians can’t be possessed without letting the demon into their lives i.e. “Evil must be invited in.”
  • Get an old Gypsy lady mad at you – In legends just about any bad thing can happen to you if you piss off an old Gypsy woman.
  • Build your house over a gate to Hell – This is really a duhh!!! problem, “well, this is really a great location; the only thing is the portal to the netherworld in the middle of the land.” “Oh, that’s OK, we’ll just put the basement there.”
  • Build your house over a graveyard and don’t move the bodies – Another duhh!!!! Always remember to check out the land before building a house.
  • Build your house on an ancient Indian (Native American, not people from India) burial ground (And no I have no idea why they are not called ancient Native America burial grounds, may be you get stuck with whatever is the politically correct name for your people at the time you died.) – In this case it doesn’t matter if you move the bodies or not. If you don’t you have the same problems as building on a graveyard, if you do then the ghost are mad because even in death the white man’s stealing their land. Maybe if it is of certain tribes African Americans and Hispanic people could move there as the tribes let them join them in life, but you shouldn’t risk it.
  • Move into a house where a gruesome and/or unsolved murder took place - If moving to an older house ask neighbors if it’s haunted, in California the realtor must inform you if a house is haunted in some other states they must tell you if any murders or suicides took place there.
  • Have brains – Zombies will attack anything with brains.

    Well we hope that helps you not get attacked by the dead or undead this Halloween, for more thoughts on the ways of the paranormal check out this website from our friend who spends much more time think and reading about these things.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Daylight Savings Time

As we all know Daylight Savings Time ends tonight or to be exact 2 a.m. tomorrow. Many of you also know it was invented by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Who is number 3 on the “Great Big List of Guys Who Invented Everything.” But what you may not know is why he invented it. Sure in school they might have said something about how it helped to make the most of the changing patterns of daylight throughout the year, but they also stated that most people were farmers back then too. And we all know that farmers get up at the crack of dawn when their rooster crows, so that can’t be the reason. What they don’t teach you in school is that Ben Franklin loved to drink. He is famous for saying, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” and “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” (Ben Franklin theology: Alcohol= loving God = happiness) Which is not to say he was an alcoholic or as they were called in his day a drunkard. Just that he enjoyed his alcohol and like most drinkers occasionally did things he wouldn’t normally do when drinking. This is how he got in a bet to play the biggest prank in the colonies and win. You see back then clocks were a lot harder to set, especially the big clocks in the clock towers of large towns, which often required three or four trained professionals to reset. So by thinking up a way to make them reset the clocks not once, but twice (EVERY YEAR!!!) he beat out all the other ideas for pranks. For example Samuel Adams suggested that he start a brewery even though everyone knew that he made the worst beer in the colonies. And then years later get people to put his name on award winning beer to confuse people. Aaron Burr said he would challenge everyone in Rhode Island to a duel and not show up. And John Handcock wanted to write “I was here” on every outhouse in New England in really big letters.
So, when you change your clocks tonight remember to set; the wall clocks, table clocks, desk clocks, your watch, the oven, the microwave, the fridge, the phone, the answering machine, the Playstation, the Gamecube, the X-Box, the TV, the VCR, the printer, the alarm clocks and you car’s stereo. And remember you’ve just been Punk’d by a founding father.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Note on our Name

The full name of the paper is Weird News: Batteries NOT Included, but from its start it has always been written as Weird News B.N.I. or when abbreviated in print as W.N.B.N.I. Although with a name like Weird News one would expect it to be a paper about news and most likely odd or weird news stories, this is not necessary true. It may not be weird or news, but still be in the paper. This is not to say that the 2nd half of the name is not true. There are no batteries included in this paper. This is not to say that there is any need for batteries when reading this paper. In fact for most of the history of the paper it was handwritten or typed, so there would be no need for batteries at all. If this is at all confusing to you remember it did come from the mind of a pre-teen girl.

A Brief History of W.N.B.N.I.

W.N.B.N.I. was created in the school bus on the way home from school one Friday around 1992. It's 1st story was a peice on how to tell if your pet is secretly a different type of animal then you think it is. Soon it's compeditor/sister paper "Unexplained Weirdness Copy" by Devon Smith was born. In the hayday of W.N.B.N.I. "'93-'94" it was a daily paper. It covered such diverse topics as aliens, the X-Files, X-Men, and Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman. Including many talks on 1st Jimmy Olsen compared to 2nd Jimmy Olsen. (2nd Jimmy although cuter was less Jimmy like was the general agreement of our readership and should have been writen in as Jack from the 1st season.) As this paper was mostly writen in history class before lunch it was also the start of the W.N.B.N.I. quiz. (We would like to add that even writing a paper in class everyday we did get A's & B's in the class.) This breakneck pace had a huge toll on the paper. After a year the paper went from a daily to a quarterlyish paper. And as far as we know "Unexplained Weirdness Copy" went defunct as our friendship was destroyed by Vampire (the R.P.G. which may actualy have a different name, we don't remember.) Anyway the paper slowly declined with only 1 or 2 being writen in a year. Then it picked up for a few short years untill it became a web paper. At which time the web editor put the names of the editors on the paper. Which had never been done before even though everyone knew who the editors were. After a few months of monthy publishing the writers quit (in part over not being allowed to put phony names on the by-line which had previously been common in the paper.) In the next couple of years a faw papers were written untill someone actualy said that they were looking forward to the next edition. This brings us to the present day where we hope to bring out a new paper about every month or so by letting the writers write a piece every few days.