Editing this after the fact to acknowledge the horrible slaughter in Norway. I won’t even bother asking why. There is no adequate explanation as to why humans are so ruthlessly callous toward other human beings. My heart goes out to the families whose children were yet more innocent victims to the idiots claiming it’s some kind of jihad. (The shooter may have been blond but message boards show the acts were claimed by terrorist groups.)
Murder isn’t a religion. War isn’t a religion. Blaming religion for your blood thirst is as sick and heinous as the act itself. If anything, claiming such inexcusable horrors as religion qualifies as a hate crime against the religion, too.
On a lighter note…
My brother was born spectacularly hyperactive. We’re not talking about the disease du-jour version that has entirely too many kids on Ritalin these days. We’re talking about a child who was so off the deep end at age 2, 3 and 4 that he was a danger to himself and others. My mom watched him like a hawk and he STILL managed to get inside my school when I was in kindergarten.
And did I mention on top of everything else, he had a nasty case of the chicken pox at the time?
That doesn’t take into account the random pyromania, biting, and tearing apart everything he encountered, climbing on roofs, etc. A leeeeetle bit beyond the norm for the average toddler.
For my part, I was born with a hyperactive weird gene. Over the years it’s served me well and I’ve done my part to cultivate it in all ways legally possible, with the exception of chemical enhancements. (Yes, there are legal chemicals and yes I did consider them from time to time.) Actually I don’t think there’s a medical treatment for it, but when in doubt I’ve learned to hide the trait.
Fortunately I found vocations and hobbies which accommodated it beautifully so hiding it was rarely necessary.
With that kind of history, how could I NOT be intrigued by a book entitled Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children? It’s a children’s book, I gather, and one in which the author took Miss Poolie‘s weird picture concept a step further. The author of Peculiar Children dug up a collection of real, bizarre vintage photographs and apparently built his story around them. Levitating Victorian girl? Great! Firestarting boy? Awesome, throw him in there! And it goes on from there.
At left is one of the examples. The cover is the aforementioned levitating girl. Look it up for yourself, and look closely at the images of the cover.
Now, I’ll take the weird one step further.
When I was much younger – on the order of 7, 8, something like that – I could walk on air. It was a determination and a technique. I would effectively take step 2 before step 1 hit the ground. I remember it being extremely exhausting so I couldn’t keep it up for very long, and that I scared the bejesus out of a friend who was walking along with me at the time.
A dream with some serious verisimilitude? Possibly. Probably, even. But to massively bastardize Shakespeare, there are a heck of a lot of things in the world that mankind pretends aren’t true, just because mankind doesn’t have a flipping clue and doesn’t want one. I threw the memory out on a forum of folks interested in the supernatural and got a lot of responses. Most were scoffing. A few recalled similar experiences. The ones who recalled tended to state their case simply and without any of the “look at me!” sensationalism you’d expect on the type of forum.
I found a lot of similar situations online. People recounted eerie and bizarre situations, sticking by their guns when hit by the predictable skepticism, but refusing to spin the tale into the realm of batshit craziness. If you don’t count the original claims of batshit craziness, anywho.
It’s kind of sad, really. Thousands of people report encountering bigfoot-type creatures. These encounters have been reported for hundreds of years in some parts of the world. There have been footprints, photographs, videos. The general consensus is that bigfoot is pure fake. Why does science dismiss the anecdotal and hard evidence? Because fellow scientists haven’t been able to replicate the experience.
Yet similar experiences are heralded daily as “proof” of finding new species. A photograph, or even a random claim that someone saw an example. Hello? Hey kettle, you’re beyond black and well onto your way to oblivion.
I don’t know for certain that bigfoot exists in the way we typically portray the creature. I’m certain there are a lot of animals out there that we have yet to officially recognize. And likewise we know there’s SOMETHING out there when we say UFO’s. Alien, as in “from another planet?” Maybe, maybe not. Being a UFO simply means being an Unidentified Flying Object. Which technically is anything overhead you can’t identify. That’s kind of the whole definition. I am on the fence when it comes to origin but damned if I’ll dismiss the phenomenon outright. Living in Arizona in the era of the Phoenix Lights made a believer out of a lot of people.
For how long did science dismiss claims of giant squid? The coelacanth? Eyewitness accounts of one person – okay, alcohol and other factors should be taken into account, as well as humankind’s propensity for telling whoppers. Eyewitness accounts from hundreds, maybe thousands of people from different parts of the globe? Not so reasonable to ignore them, regardless of whether any of the witnesses has scientific credentials.
And when it comes down to it, even scientists get dismissed when they bring something to the table that their fellow scientists don’t want to hear. The trend didn’t go out with Galileo. I’m just sayin’.