Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Enjoy your trick-or-treating, parties and dressing up. And remember starting tomorrow a different holiday fun.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One More Day Until Halloween!!!

Classic WNBNI

(Here is a Classic WNBNI from back in September of '03.)

Fill in the Word
(In which we make a fill in the blank story, which as you may know is completely useless.)

1.adjective ______________________ 2.noun plural _____________________
3.noun _________________________ 4.noun plural _____________________
5.verb __________________________ 6.verb –ing _______________________
7.verb-ing _______________________ 8. noun plural _____________________
9.verb ___________________________ 10.noun plural ____________________
11.noun _________________________ 12.verb __________________________
13.noun plural ____________________ 14.noun _________________________
15.adjective ______________________ 16.verb __________________________
17. noun ________________________ 18.month _________________________
19.noun __________________________ 20.color _________________________
21.color _________________________ 22.noun __________________________
23.noun _________________________ 24.verb __________________________
25.verb _________________________ 26.verb __________________________
27. noun ________________________ 28. noun __________________________
29.noun _________________________ 30. noun __________________________

Fall Fun
There are many 1 activities to do in the fall. The weather is nice and the 2 are changing 3. As the 4 5 off the trees, you can have fun 6 them into piles and then 7 into the piles.
This is also the time of the year when many 8 9. Many 10 enjoy going to 11 orchards. At many apple orchards you can do many things besides 12 apples. Often there are 13 of how 14 is made. There may also be 15 fresh made donuts to 16 with the cider. Some orchards even have 17 rides.
In 18 the pumpkins ripen. Finding you own 19 in a pumpkin patch makes for a fun outdoor afternoon. There are many types of pumpkins. They can be 2, yellow, 21 or even white. They also can be as small as a 22 or as big as a 23. Once you 24 your pumpkin, its time to make your Jack-o-lantern. There are many ways to make a Jack-o-lantern. If you don’t want to get messy, you can 25 your pumpkin. Or if you want a more traditional Jack-o-lantern you can 26 open the 27, remove its 28 and then cut a face on it. Then light it with a 29.
Over all fall is one of the most fun times of the 30.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quotes on Death

+ There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?
Woody Allen

+ Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Isaac Asimov

+ If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age.
George Burns

+ For three days after death hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
Johnny Carson

+ As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Leonardo da Vinci

+ Never knock on Death's door: ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!
Matt Frewer

+ A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
Joseph Stalin

+ The report of my death was an exaggeration.
Mark Twain

+ I suppose that I shall have to die beyond my means.
Oscar Wilde

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Classic Holiday Shows

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will be airing on Tuesday on ABC at 8p.m. Eastern. So far we have been unable to find any listings for the other Classic Halloween children’s show “Garfield’s Halloween Adventure”. So if you know if it is being aired please let us know. . . “Candy, Candy, Candy . . . . “

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

It Came From Ohio! My Life As a Writer By: R.L. Stine
Non-fiction: Biography 140 pages

We saw this book the other day in the library and said “Hey, why not read it, the Goosebumps shows are airing for Halloween and it’s not like it will take long to read, his stuff is always a quick read.” And so we read it. It was mildly interesting. We learned what R.L. stands for, about his childhood writings and that writing the stories on coloring books actually pays good money! So if anyone reading this publishes coloring books and is looking for a writer for them call me.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today in History

Today is the 1 year anniversary of Weird News BNI on-line in blog format. As many people who have read WNBNI for some time know it was also online as a web page for a short time earlier and before that was around since the early 90’s in either handwritten of typed format. (If you hate reading the typos we make, be glad you aren’t decoding our handwriting!) To read a brief history of WNBNI click here.
If you are wondering what is up with that name click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

Unexplained Michigan Mysteries: Strange but True Tales From the Michigan Unknown By: Gary Barfknecht
Non-fiction: mystery, true crime, paranormal, history 181 pages

This book runs the gamut of odd in Michigan from where is Hoffa to a person that could breathe fire. It includes well know stories like the Yugo that fell off of the Mackinac Bridge. As well as unknown ones like the man who may have flown five years before the Wright Brothers. Each entry is short, most are 1 to 3 pages long, but they proved enough information for the casual reader. They also tell you where each event happened in some detail ranging from the county to the exact location (i.e. room 401 of Grace Hospital in Detroit [Houdini’s death]). The back also has a place name index so you can look up things that happened in your area. The topics range from UFO’s, Bigfoot and ghosts to unsolved murders, early history of Michigan mysteries, and Great Lake disappearances. But, it is not just a book for locals; it also has many stories of interest for people in other areas.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

The Undertaker’s Widow By: Phillip Margolin
Fiction: Mystery, crime 312 pages copyright 1998

First I think that this title is misleading. The death that is being investigated in this book is not of an undertaker, but of a millionaire who happened to start off running his families funeral homes, but who’s son is now running them. That being said it was a fun read, with so many twist and turns its not until the final pages that the whole story of what happened it known. But, it’s not do to lack of the author providing information, its due to the complexity of the storyline that make you repeatingly step back and say, “Am I right on what I thought happened?”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today in Holidays

Today is Mole Day. It is officially celebrated between 6:02 am and 6:02 pm as the formula for finding a mole is 6.022 X 1023. It was started in the 1980’s and the National Mole Day Foundation was founded in 1991. It is part of National Chemistry Week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Today in History

According to James Ussher, a 17th century Anglican Archbishop and scholar, today on 4004 B.C. in the evening the world was created. Happy 17th century Birthday Earth!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Un-Halloween News

The Show “Pinky and the Brain” is back on TV!! Oddly it is being run on Toon Disney, but it is on at multiple times during the day!!!! Narf!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Game Review- Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords for the Nintendo DS

In this game you get to chose between four types of hero’s; Druid, Knight, Warrior or Wizard. You then go on quest in a world of mythical and magical creatures and people. But, unlike many games with an intro like that it isn’t all speed or fighting abilities that lets you win the game, it’s strategy. Each fight is played out on a game board much like the game “Bejeweled” and depending on who you are and your level the pieces you collect can be used for spells that might hurt your opponent or help you. This game is addictive even for someone not that good with puzzles as it also lets you try to defeat most opponents many times it you fail at first. It has a main story that you need to follow; however, there are lots of side quests that add to the story and your levels. Also you can just play puzzles against your choose of opponents or play with a friend who also has the game on the DS version. This game is also on or will soon be on the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2 and PSP and all are reasonable well priced as it is not a game of great graphics, but it’s not a case where it distracts from the game because of it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

The Great Plague: The Story of London’s Most Deadly Year, By: A. Lloyd Moote & Dorothy C. Moote
Non-fiction: History, medicine, science 302 pages copyright 2004

This is the story of the Bubonic Plague that killed thousands of Londoners in 1665 to 1666. It tells the story using writing of the people that actually lived thru it. It included parts of Samuel Pepys’ writings, the “Bills of Mortality” that was published each week, laws, maps of the plague and other information to tell the story of how the plague spread, what people did to cure it, what people did to avoid it, and how it effected life. It also ends with a chapter on modern science and medicine and how we now deal with things that connects well with growing fears over superbugs. I liked all that I learned reading this book; however, it was a very dry read and really was slow reading because of it. It might be interesting for people in medicine to see how thing were done at that time and how new discoveries in science caused vastly different methods to be used, ranging from using the four humors of Ancient Greece to looking in the bodies of dead plague victims to see how it spread in the body.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Famous Last Words

The following is a list of what various famous people have said on their deathbeds.

“Thomas Jefferson . . . still survives.” – John Adam (Who didn’t know that Jefferson had just died that same day.)

“How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?” – P.T. Barnum

“Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

“I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.” – Humphrey Bogart

“I must go in, the fog is rising.” – Emily Dickinson

“All my possessions for a moment of time.” – Queen Elizabeth I

“I’ve never felt better.” – Douglas Fairbanks

“Is it the fourth?” – Thomas Jefferson (who died on the 4th of July)

“Go on, get out, last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” – Karl Marx

“I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and God damn it, died in a hotel room.” – Eugene O’Neil

“Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms.” – Alexander Pope

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist. . . . “ – General John Sedgwick (killed in battle.)

“I’ve had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that’s the record.” – Dylan Thomas

“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.” – Pancho Villa

“Go away. I’m all right.” – H.G. Wells
“Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” – Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Last “Witch” Convicted in Europe

There are efforts to clear the name of one Anna Goldi in Switzerland. (Note: the name has the two dots over the o, but I’m too lazy to put them on and then find it didn’t work right in Blogger and then find a different way etc. . .) She was convicted of witchcraft in 1782 and beheaded for the crime, making her the last witch executed by the government in a European country for witchcraft. This happened during the Age of Enlightenment, centuries after the Spanish Inquisition refused to try people for witchcraft due to lack of evidence and even after the Salem Witch Trials in America. In fact in Switzerland the story of Anna Goldi is told much the same way that Americans teach about the Salem trials. There are books and films about her life and even a small museum in the area that she lived in. But, unlike the “witches” of Salem there were no questions on why she was killed for witchcraft. It was a case of political power and intrigue. Miss Goldi was only the maid to a powerful family in Switzerland at that time, but thru her job she meet many important men, men that were younger then her and married, but still felt drawn to her bed even in a time when adultery was considered a very serious crime that could end their careers. This was fine for a time until she rejected a man and complained to authorities about his attempted affair. He countered with witchcraft charges and she was arrested, tortured and beheaded. For a short video on this story click here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How Werewolves are Created in Myth and Lore:

- Upset an old gypsy woman (Note: in folk lore and stories any bad thing can happen to you by pissing off an old gypsy woman, NEVER upset old gypsy women if you find yourself in some olden European like world.)
- Upset a witch.
- Wear the skin of a wolf during a full moon or at a magic ritual.
- Eat human flesh.
- Be at a sacrifice on Mt. Lycaeon.
- Be born with hair or hairy or have a birthmark.
- Be born on December 24th.
- Be born during the new moon.
- Have parents that are werewolves.
- Have unbalanced humors.
- Drink water out of the footprint of a wolf.
- Drink a magical potion.
- Be the seventh son, or the seventh son of the seventh son.
- Make a pact with the devil.
- Be bitten by a werewolf. (Note: most often they must be in wolf form at the time, but not always.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How to Stop or Kill a Vampire

To Kill
- Decapitation
- A wooden/metal stake in the heart
- Stake head to ground
- Setting on fire
- Sunlight
- Destroy their coffin
- Repeat their funeral
- Exorcism
- Shoot with a gun
- Drown
- Cut out heart and burn it

To Stop
- Garlic
- Holy Water
- Crosses/Crucifixes
- Rosary beads
- Stay on consecrated ground
- Run across moving water
- Branches of wild roses
- Hawthorn plants
- Mustard seeds
- Aloe Vera
- Mirrors
- Amulets
- Scattering small objects like sand or seeds around grave (they will stop to count them)
- Give them a sack of rice (same as above)
- Place a spell written on paper on their forehead
- Place a piece of wood on doorway

Friday, October 12, 2007

In Other Words- Ghost

Restless spirit
Disembodied soul
Place memory

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween: Life and Death

People born on Halloween

King Fernando I of Portugal
King Duarte of Portugal
King Wladislaus III of Poland
Writer John Evelyn
Artist Pierre Pual Puget
Pope Clement XIV
Founding Father James Lovell
Poet John Keats
Nobel laureate Adolf von Baeyer
King Louis of Portugal
Founder of Girl Scouts, Juiette Low
President of China Chiang Kai-shek
Singer and actress Ethel Waters
3rd wife of Roy Rogers, Dale Evans aka Frances Octavia Smith
Photographer Helmut Newton
King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia
Nobel laureate John Pople
Astronaut Michael Collins
Actor Michael Landon
Singer Tom Paxton
Actor Brian Doyle-Murray
Actress Deidre Hall
Drummer Bob Siebenberg
Comedian John Candy
Anchorwoman Jane Pauley
Director Peter Jackson
Actor Dermot Mulroney
Actor Rob Schneider
Rapper Adam Horovitz
Rapper Vanilla Ice
Singer Linn Berggren
Guitarist Roger Stevens
Guitarist Frank Lero

People who died on Halloween

Emperor John VIII Palaeologus
Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici
General Joseph Hooker
Founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell
Magician Harry Houdini
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Nobel laureate Robert Mulliken
Author Joseph Campbell
Actor River Phenix
Actress Rosalind Cash

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War, By: Max Brooks
Fiction: Sci-fi, horror 342 pages, 2006

This book is a documentary on the Zombie War as told by the survivors. It looks at a war with zombies in a very serious way that a real documentarien would starting at the first cases of zombie outbreak and ending at a post-zombie war world in which people are still dealing with zombies and the destruction on the world they caused. It was clear that the author clearly defined a “science” to zombies and was working from that in the writing of his book. (Most likely contained in his earlier work “The Zombie Survival Guide”.) It was a well written book; however, it was not what I was expecting as I knew that the author was the son of the famous comedy director Mel Brooks and has worked in comedy himself in the past, so I wasn’t expecting this to be the serious sci-fi book that is in many places is. Also Paramount has gotten the rights to make a movie out of the story and it is currently in the pre-production stage.

Today in Holidays

Today is Leif Erikson Day, a day in honor of a man that might have been one of the 1st Europeans to set foot on America and one of the first Europeans to set up a village in America.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Columbus Day

Today is Columbus Day, a day honoring a man that didn’t discover America, thought he was in India and never had to prove the world was round. The post office will think of any reason to skip work.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

The Garden of Evil (originally The Lair of the White Worm) By: Bram Stoker
Fiction- horror, 220 pages

One would think that a book written by the man who’s most famous book has been used in countless movies, shows and books as the definitive book on the vampire (Dracula) would be good at writing horror stories. (Sure, Dracula is not that scary of a book, but that is because one is well versed in the story years before reading it so you know what’s going to happen.) But this book sucked!!! For starters it took 5 chapters to get to all the main characters. Not that there were many, only 9, but they spend so much time on things less then important or interesting. Also, they would start to say something important and then go, “wait, we can’t talk now, the servants will hear.” And five pages later they get to it and half the time it’s something that is most likely common knowledge or myth that the servants would already know! Also it contains pysdo-science, archaic spelling and racism that often ruins the flow of the book for modern reader as they stop to think over what the writer was trying to say or in surprise at what he wrote.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Old fashion Jack O’ Lanterns

As many of you know Halloween stared with the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which goes back to the Druids of pre-Christian Ireland. Many of the things that were part of that holiday are still with us in Halloween, including the lighted, decorated vegetation that we call Jack O’lanterns. But pumpkins are a New World crop so what did the ancient peoples use? They used turnips and beets. And after New World crops were transplanted in Ireland and England it wasn’t the pumpkin that was there first chose in a new veggie to use, but the potato!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Not Halloween Holidays in October

1-World Vegetarian Day
2-Feast of the Guardian Angels
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
4- St. Francis Day
World Animal Day
Simchat Torah
5-World Teacher’s Day
Diversity Day
8- Canadian Thanksgiving
Columbus Day
9- Leif Erikson Day
12- Navratri
13- Eid ul-Fitr
U.S. Navy Day
14- Clergy Appreciation Day
Children’s Day
18- Durga Puja
Alaska Day
19- Chung Yeung Festival (not technically Halloween, even if about remembering the dead.)
20- Sweetest Day
21- Dussehra
Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day
23- Mole Day !!!!!!!!!!!
24- International Forgiveness Day
U.N. Day
28 Mother-in-law’s Day
29- Karva Chauth
The Internet’s Birthday

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Today in Holidays:

Today is the feast day in honor of St. Francis of Assisi the patron saint of animals and ecology/ the environment. It is also World Animal Day, which was chosen to take place today because of it being St. Francis’ feast day. Both events are celebrated by blessing animals. It is also a time to be thankful for the animals in your life and work on improving live for all animals.

Today is also Simchat Torah starting at sundown. It is the day that is the ending and begaining of the annual cycle for reading the Torah. It has nothing to do with animals; however, it does have singing, dancing, a parade and other fun activites.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

Death’s Door: The Truth Behind Michigan’s Largest Mass Murder By: Steve Lehto
Non-Fiction, true crime 213 pages copyright 2006

This book tells the story of the largest mass murder to take place in Michigan. A case where the killer was never found and at this time will likely never be found as all who knew was really happened are most likely dead by now. It is known as the Italian Hall tragedy which took place on December 24, 1913 in Red Jacket (also know as Calumet) in Michigan’s copper country in the U.P.(upper peninsula for non Michiganders) A man called fire in a crowded building where a Christmas party was taken place and 73 or 74 people (depending on the source) were killed the vast majority of them were children. According to most everyone there was no fire. Also, most believe it was connected with the mining strike that had been going on for ½ a year as witnesses near the man saw a pin like that that the pro-mine owners wore and the hall was filled with children of the striking miners. This was an event that was sung about in Woody Guthrie’s “1913 Massacre” and later used by Bob Dylan, although many people in the area were upset at the inaccuracies in the song. This book was written by a lawyer from Michigan who looking into this case as a lawyer would. He read accounts of the event and the events surrounding it from that time from all the sources possible. He also used interviews, other later recordings of the people involved talking about the event and pictures and drawings of the hall at that time in order to dig threw it and find out what most likely happened. Some sources were almost completely unreliable such as the town paper and police that were controlled by the mine owners. Some sources were less then optimal because most of the miners involved spoke English as a second language (often not very well), but were often forced to give their testimony on the event in English with no translators and were questioned by people with an agenda to take any blame away from the minds and so the questions they were asked were not the questions that we would like asked and the answers are often short and not completely understandable. But by taking all this information and putting it together a picture of what most likely happened develops making this a good starting point for anyone interested in this part of Michigan history.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

About Halloween Time Books Reviewed

As we at “Weird News Batteries Not Included” informed you earlier starting October 1st we were writing about holidays and holiday type stuff almost exclusively. But that isn’t going to stop us from reading lots of books, and so during the month of October we will be reading books in someway connected with Halloween in subject matter. They could be books on vampires, zombies, and werewolves or books on fall, harvest time and how people deal with death, but all Halloween time books that are reviewed will have some connection with this time of year.

Halloween Time Books Reviewed

The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire, By: Susan Ronald
Non-fiction: history, 383 pages copyright 2007

Dead Pirates always seam to love Halloween and this book has some that make the ones in horror films seam nice by comparison. (And they were alive at the time!) It also tells you a lot about how people that today would be called pirates lived. (The term wasn’t in use at the time, and many of the pirates were working secretly for the Queen making them see themselves differently then we would.) You also learn all the things about the great English explorers and adventurers you learned about in school that they wouldn’t teach you in school. Which is of course all of the bad things that they were really up to and all of the pirate booty they got doing it. And the only things you really wanted to know. Sure Sir. Francis Drake was the 1st English man to sail around the world but he also killed a mutineer, attacked the Spanish, stole a major part of the spice trade from the Portuguese with no power to do so, and renamed ships left and right, occasionally using highly inappropate names. This book is also in-depth on the politics of the day making it a good read for people into political history, or who just want to know more about real pirates.

Monday, October 01, 2007

In Other Words- Halloween

All Hallows Eve
All Hallows’ Eve
Hallow Eve
All Saints’ Eve
Vigil of All Saints
Pooky Night