Feeding the Birdies

Bye, bye, Birdie?

 DATELINE: Keep Your Eye on the Birdie

Not quite having devolved into the state of Nikola Tesla feeding pigeons in Central Park, we have nonetheless taken a turn toward pity toward fellow creatures.

With the overnight ice storm, the ground is a white frozen tundra and the little chickadees and finches in the backyard seem forlorn. They hop in and stand there as if frozen to the ground.

So, we went out to spread good cheer and a little birdseed.

What then transpired from the vantage of the patio window was Nature’s call in spades. It was an all-you-can-eat bonanza in town. It was also the only eatery open. So, the birds descended like Hitchcock nightmare.

It was like McDonald’s drive-thru with crash cars. IN an expanse, the birds came crashing down on top of the previous eater, knocking him away. So much for good manners. It was also eat and run.

The chickadees seemed to take one seed and fly up to the tree to eat in peace. They returned a few seconds later to repeat the ritual dining.

A little flinch stayed and gobbled up all he could as fast as he could. These are notorious sloppy eaters. If you drop a seed, the next bird quickly devours it. Table scraps are at a premium. The birds clocked in every three seconds.

We found they went for the large black seeds first. They disdained the small white seeds, and only when the first choice was gone did they partake of the left-overs.

We had our culinary lesson of the year. Birds do not keep social distance when it comes to a food fight.

Tesla was on to something by watching this sideshow.

Bogged Down on Oak Island

Erin Helton

DATELINE: Erin Goes Wild

We haven’t seen quite a powerful reaction to a new member of the cast as has been given to Erin Helton, the new resident cartographer. Curse of Oak Island has a new big star.

Somebody has noticed, as she now makes a weekly appearance, and this time she was right at the top of the show with her theories being encouraged and appreciated by the Laginas—not your usual first reaction from them. Marty flatters her for having one of the “best minds.” Wow.

Some have asked if she is Rick’s new girlfriend, which is fairly amusing. Erin is young enough to be his daughter and smart enough to see what she’d be getting. In fact, ciphers are here specialty. She tells us that Zena’s Templar map has shown exactly where the treasure vault is.

More and more dating on the island discoveries is going deeper into the past. Seven weeks after finding that Chinese coin, they bring is a numismatist who tells them it is over 1000 years old. Speculation centers on that it was a lucky coin until someone lost it. But when were lucky coins popular, and where did you keep them? We doubt that Knights Templar had wallets or pockets.

Gary Drayton is still the best worker on the show—taking Peter Fornetti out and finding a wharf pin that he estimates is older than 1700 era.

Dr. Eric Taylor is now the on-site archaeologist and works on the Serpent Mound, putting it again, at least 1000 years ago. It is now becoming evident that Templar, or even pre-Templar treasure was placed on Oak Island.

For good measure, Erin Helton puts in a second appearance by telephone later in the show. That’s the power of stardom.

 

Nikola Tesla Would’ve Loved It

Tesla Nephew William Turbo

DATELINE: More Tesla Myths Tested

The opening episode of the Tesla’s Death Ray: Murder Declassified  is the sort of use of science that Tesla might have laughed about and agreed it was the right way to go.

Unfortunately, the series from 2018 is the brainchild of three non-experts who never do give their credentials other than the obvious. To call the episode “Mad Scientist of Long Island,” may seem a bit disrespectful, sort of like using the Tesla coils as a backdrop in a Frankenstein movie.

The show takes great pleasure in pointing out that the FBI released hundreds of Tesla-related documents in 2016, and these guys were on the spot with a desire to re-create the mythic “death ray,” and prove the scientist was murdered at age 86.

If you’re looking for murder, it isn’t in the opener. Instead, the hotshot hosts are ready to gallivant around the country to prove the existence of a Death Ray weapon of mass destruction. In doing so, they do uncover some interesting interview subjects.

First up is an old man named William Turbo (no pun intended) who is the grand-nephew of Tesla, perhaps the last man alive who actually met and knew the scientist. His memory as a nine-year old is quite distinct: Tesla was in chaos as far as his filing and notes were concerned, even a child saw that.

Mr. Turbo gave the show the idea to look for tunnels under Wardenclyffe. And, they are off to the races.

A second pit-stop is with the great-grandson of Stanford White, the notorious architect murdered because of his pedophile relationship with actress Evelyn Nesbit, now purported to be one of Tesla’s best friends. Sebastian White reveals that Tesla stayed in the home of Stanford often—and was seen wandering in the garden at 3 am because of his insomnia.

The grounds of Wardenclyffe are off limits for digging, but the town gives permission to dig outside the private property where sink holes indicate a tunnel may be located.

Tesla would have loved the ground-penetrating radar and other means of using electrical impulses to look deep underground. He also would have loved sending these ‘researchers” on a wild goose chase.

Oak Island Star Emerges

Erin Helton

 

DATELINE: Busy Week

If you need to boost ratings on a sagging treasure hunt that seems to go nowhere and digs up the same old coin and broken axe weekly, you could not do worse than cartographer icon Erin Helton.

She made another appearance and a bigger splash than Carmen Legge or Dr. Ian Spooner. Has she taken the place of Dr. Brousseau?

Erin knocked the War Room for a loop with her latest discovery that crossed out the boundary of map reading. She announced that the famous cross of the Templars found by Gary Drayton on the shoreline is not necessarily what you think.

She told them to use the misshapen cross like a protractor and draw some lines to overlay on a map of the island. Hmmm. Has she found something?

Dr. Spooner showed up for a couple of intriguing moments: he went out into the swamp with Rick Lagina to discover a road or platform over 70 feet wide. And later he took Alex Lagina out to examine the old eroded shorelines to figure out what it looked like 1000 years ago.

Alex looks like he has been eating too much during the pandemic, locked up with his father, and so he jumped at the chance to go out looking at sonar to find ship wrecks along the island shore.

And, Carmen Legge confirmed Gary Drayton’s immediate judgment that a piece of metal was a 1700 pot belly stove from a ship.

These findings set the table for more fascinating developments.

 

 

 

By Any Other Name, President-Elect

Club Elect

 DATELINE: Un-Elected Dis-Elected 

Now that the Electoral College has voted, let’s call a spade a spade.  Joe Biden is President-Elect.

If our logic is correct, that makes the present occupant of the Oval Office the President-Unelect. It seems we have too many presidents buzzing around. If you count all those deadbeats who gather together in a little club, you have five or six others too.

They have been unelected for years, but show up for historic photos now and then, all smiling and friendly. Well, that’s about to end. One new member of the Un-elected President Club will surely be black-balled from the White House.

Trump has already been disinvited from funerals and other functions that, like Groucho Marx, he won’t attend with other presidents that will have him as a member.

Trump has not invited the latest President-Elect to the White House, and the other President-Unelecteds have also stopped coming around for photo oops.

Sen.-Diselect Lindsay Graham has now claimed he will not call the President-Elect by that title, but will refer to him as Just Joe. It seems a bit unjust, Joe.

By Jan. 20th, Graham will be called Mudd when President Un-Elect Trump will be in Florida, helping Ivanka prepare to run for the next President-Elect job.

None of this should confuse you when it comes to the role of Attorney General, which is now Dis-Barred.

Another Smart Woman on Oak Island

Cartographer Erin

DATELINE: Cartographer Erin

So much for that dumb Fellowship of the Dig. They wouldn’t know what they have or where to look if it weren’t for the occasional drop-in woman scientist. The latest is named Erin Helton, and she is a cartographer with IT skills.

She has taken the 1397 map Rick Lagina found with the help of an elderly woman five years ago, Zena. She claimed it was drawn by the Templars of Oak Island. It contained many written site markers that can still correspond to the Island today, but several items are vague and unknown.

She has taken her computer skills to find east-west markers of great precision that correspond to the map. It even makes Marty Lagina sit up and take notice. She identifies the “anchors” on the map, heretofore a mystery. They may be located and could provide data to triangulate a Templar find.

When the key members of the group go out (Alex, Jack, Gary, and surveyor Steve) to find the stones, they are small and precisely where they ought to be.

It is Alex Lagina who draws a parallel to a Templar carving in Westford, MA, that is of a sailing ship, thought to be from 1347. He thinks there is a vague outline similar on another rock. If these are accurate, the team has found something of significance as markers of treasure.

Another smaller finding has Rick Lagina go out with Gary, usually a sign that something big may happen: they locate a hinge from what Gary calls a Victorian cabinet. We never doubt him, and we never need the so-called experts to arrive to confirm his insights.

Small findings, on the surface, may mean bigger news later.

 

 

Kubrick Monolith Inspires Monkeys Everywhere!

DATELINE:  Ape Uses Bonehead?

With the news that the late Stanley Kubrick has sent a monolith to Utah, we have had flashbacks about the meaning for humankind.

In Kubrick’s movie, this led to rediscoveries on the Moon and on an orb going around Jupiter.

The heavy footed plodding of officials have muffed all chance of finding footprints or other characteristics of a forensic nature. We have some reports that the metal object is made with screws: no word on whether they are Phillips head.

It is interesting that the item is in a remote and difficult to reach place, presumably dropped there by chopper or UFO. We would have been much more impressed if the item had been found at the White House Rose Garden, or even in Joe Biden’s basement.

There is no word if this indicates we will have a cure for coronavirus soon, or whether it means the Dow will hit 30,000 for the first time.

We feel that it supersedes having Xmas decorations needed during a national crisis. The government should send everyone in the United States, who is eligible, a postcard photo of the monolith. It will replace stimulus checks.

The strange object is illegal, of course, but the meter maids have yet to stick a parking ticket on the shiny silver object.

We think someone has usurped the season’s findings at Oak Island. This monolith was supposed to be found by Gary Drayton’s metal detector next to Captain Kidd’s treasure.

The real impact of the monolith has been dulled because we do not hear the Gregorian chants emanating from its radio dial.

 

Death in Venice Part 2

Death in Venice and Washington?

DATELINE: Drips for Drips

Not since Death in Venice when Dirk Bogarde’s bad dye job melted during a pandemic have we seen such a just dessert.

Yes, that’s Rudi Giuliani playing the role of a lifetime: the man who catches the coronavirus while chasing young electoral college voters! In the famous Visconti movie, Von Aschenbach loses his youth to bad makeup under the unrelenting conditions of Venice at its worst.

Now, Rudi loses his cool to bad mascara dripping off his sideburns under the unrelenting conditions of Trump at its worst.

We did not realize that Rudi had been cast in a remake of the great classic tale of unremitting moral decay in the face of losing an election.

Trump has simply drained his hair of all color, and Rudi has not taken the cues properly. His master will not be pleased to turn his press conferences into streaming jokes with streaming bad dye dripping.

The other case of drips came when the Wicked Witch of the West stole Toto and was pressed by the Electoral College to return the mutt to a Kansas voting booth. 

All bad taste aside, when you’re paid $20,000 a day to represent the POTUS, you likely don’t have a potus to put hair dye in.

 

Fake Melania Now Escorting the President to Fake COVID Rallies

WILL THE REAL MELANIA PLEASE SHUT UP?

DATELINE: BOGUS FLOTUS

Some time ago we first reported on the shocking case of a fake Melania. This body double hoodwink now has become a scandal.

This story is known as the Bogus FLOTUS.  And only one word is an acronym. The other is a fake.

It seems the real Melania hates to hold hands with Trump in public and slaps his attempts at a finger roll. So, Trump has done what any billionaire with the resources and will to power may:  he has found a lookalike who willingly goes out on the campaign trail in large Jackie O sunglasses.

Now perhaps Trump likes the Jackie O look, or perhaps this is all part of the ruse to hide as much of the First Lady’s face from the public and media as possible.

Some gritty analysts now have taken to counting her teeth—and found that the broad smile on fake Melania contains different shades and shapes of upper choppers. All the better to eat fast food on Air Force One.

We grew increasingly suspicious that the First Lady Fakery is at hand, foot, and face, when Trump starts to introduce the First Lady by saying, “She’s here.”  We know that whenever he makes a statement, the opposite is more likely the truth.

So, who is this lookalike?  We may never know. As we proposed two years ago, this was done in a Hollywood movie in the 1940s when a Hitler fake went around to all the big political rallies.

The ending was disturbing as the fake Hitler’s wife makes a successful attempt at assassinating the Nazi leader. We don’t know how good Secret Service is, but the SS of Hitler were hardly slouches when it came to body protection of doubles.

We await the election results when the fake Melania may show up at the fake victory celebration.

 

 

  Machine That Made Us? Really?

DATELINE: Gutenberg, Not McLuhan 

Docudrama re-enactment from 1880s, not real scene.

A quaint British documentary made over a dozen years ago thrusts the premise at us that the Gutenberg Press is the most important invention of civilization. Hmm, we are skeptical as usual.

As host and presenter Stephen Fry notes, it may be more important than the car, the computer, or other accoutrements of the latest centuries. The little one-hour film The Machine That Made Us never mentions Marshall McLuhan, which is a shame.

Fry is a bibliophile, which is to say he loves books, though that is hardly historical or cultural expertise. He is also an excellent actor and charming as  host for a travelogue and investigation into Johannes Gutenberg and his invention.

There are no pictures or illos of Gutenberg or his press. One early image from Albrecht Durer of a press is 50 years later. So, all pictures and lithographs are actually re-enactments imagined, just like in today’s so-called documentaries.

There are those, however, who’d point out that books are fading fast. That includes authors who find that their sales are now comprised mostly of e-books. We print out of nostalgia for the most part.

Nobody really wants dust-collecting libraries in their homes or even in their universities. When Fry walks down miles of stacks of books, we think the cost of protecting them (miles and miles of books) is staggering. You could probably fit them all in a file cabinet of Kindles.

Fry is no technocrat—and he leaves the making of an original press to a woodworker, and the making of the actual letters to another metallurgist. Since it would take a few years to make one page of letters to print up a Bible, they send to America for pre-made, and use their one “E” in the print block.

Vellum too would mean the death of hundreds of cows, so paper is made the old-fashioned way of 1439 and it is cloth bits into pulp. You make Bible pages between the Black Death that gripped your pressings with old clothes.

There are only a handful of the original Bibles left from Guttenberg’s endeavor—and he never made money from publishing. That fell to his creditors. And, the beautiful illustrations in the margins were always hand-done anyhow.

It is fascinating to watch, but a tad dull—and we never see them actually bind a book or stich it together. When Fry thumbs through one of the surviving books in cotton gloves, you fear he might sneeze on the book and let water vapor take its course.

Endeavour’s Seventh: Crime Goes On!

DATELINE: Night at the Opera

 Shaun Evans, not Groucho.

To kick off the seventh season of egghead murder mystery, Endeavour once again turns to star hotshot, Shaun Evans, to direct the first episode of Endeavour.

He is even better the second time around: with aplomb when it comes to set-ups, color, and the new modern police office settings. He seems to have wasted time filming in Venice for a few scenes that could have been faked without much notice in a studio. Producers even created an opera for the clueless.

The series has grown darker, starting with Endeavour’s heavy narrative opening about the comedy and tragedy he is about to face. Even his boss, Thursday, is now fed up with grisly killings and his humor is turning sour while Morse goes on vacation to Venice.

The episode is over-wroughtly titled “Oracle” when “Psychic” would have done well.

It’s 1970 now, and a waitress at the New Year’s bash is killed walking home from work. It is the heavy-handed start of women’s equal rights—and it is played historically nasty. Most men of the era saw it as a fad and did not take it seriously. If you use this show as history, you see something far more sinister.

Crime goes on, even at Oxford’s new fangled psychic research center where remote viewing experiments are in their infancy.

The red herrings, as usual, pile up in this show, which now have caught Roger Allam’s Thursday short-tempered.

Endeavour (Evans) remains the kiss of death, or so we suspect, as he succumbs to an operatic affair in Venice that is over before vacation ends.

There are a few intrigues that may trip you up: an old former classmate, a millionaire bon vivant seems gay and has an interest in Endeavour, and who could blame him? However, it is the petty jealousy of fellow detective Jim Strange (Sean Rigby) that is most amusing.

Psychic research is given a once-over effectively here and respectfully. If you don’t have it, you can’t fake it—and the ending is going to be a surprise for most.

The series is now in serial form, not self-contained mystery. The three-parts will meld into one.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump’s New Doctor Expert

DATELINE: Demons & Dr. Stella

Dr. Stella Immanuel.

Before you can say that it proves he isn’t misogynist, you should look more deeply at the female pediatrician that holds a  license for medicine—and is now the expert Trump most trusts.

It seems that Dr. Stella Immanuel is going along with the hare-brained ideas of Trump. That’s enough for him. You know, he likes women if they are insane or child molesters. Just ask Ghislaine Maxwell, buddy and crony of Jeffrey Epstein.

When pressed at a news conference about her claims that there is a secret cure for COVID-19 and not to wear masks, Trump said he knew nothing about her personally, but she is an important voice.

He then walked away from the media, refusing to answer any more questions. It sounded a great deal like his support for Ghislaine, a woman he met hundreds of times, but of whom he knew nothing about her crimes.

In case you missed it, Dr. Immanuel has been re-tweeted by the Tweeter Bird in Chief without much concern for her other medical ideas. That’s demon sperm you must avoid. The incubus is among us.

Quackery is not merely consigned to the White House. Dr. Immanuel believes that warts are caused by dreams of having sex with the devil or demons.

More to the point, Trump’s expert on cornonavirus thinks that space aliens are directly responsible for many of the ills that are besetting humans. All this from a man who appeared on Ancient Aliens and Unidentified to dismiss the idea of UFOs invading our world.

There appears to be a disconnect in Trump’s world. Well, there is a disconnect in Trump’s brain. So, we should not be surprised that the stable genius is having stability problems.

Next time you hear a voice crying out, “Stella! Stella!,” it will not be Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire, but a president in an Election named Catastrophe.

 

 

Gone, Forgotten, and Dismissed: Obit for a Colleague

DATELINE: Corona of Career

It’s minor and troubling to almost no one, except perhaps me.

A colleague of many years passed away not quite ten years after retiring. She was on the faculty of our small college for thirty years, same time and same length as I.

As Robert Frost once said, happiness reaches in height what it lacks in length. We were the disgruntled, unhappy “employees” of the College, even denied being called “faculty” by administration in our living and breathing careers.

The rank of professor meant nothing much, a professor emeritus was denied to us.

How much worse can it be when we die off?

The announcement of her death form the Human Resources Center came from a director who never knew her. It was a pithy two sentences saying she had “worked” at the college in Nursing Department for many years. Because of the pandemic, there would be no services. There was no additional information.

And apparently no other remembrances or comments. This was her final moment on the college register. No eulogy, no thanks, no appreciation, no nothing.

It shall be the same for me. In a tight-knit department like Nursing, she was anathema: disliked by her colleagues for being a stickler for the regulations, and not participating in the social life of fake camaraderie among those with whom you share no politics. So it was for me.

There once existed a half-dozen of us from differing departments who sat together, a huddled small group, at all faculty meetings. We recognized each other as pariahs of the school. If we didn’t sit together, no one would sit with us.

In the past decade we retired to no particular fanfare. Now we are dying to no particular notice.

I visited her at her office now and then, gave her copies of my books that were published, and she was appreciative. Two other faculty of that ilk have also died in recent years. We were a grim little group of despised faculty members: not by students, but by our fellow faculty.

If no department head colleague will do cheerleading of your credentials, hard work, accomplishments at the college at death, then there is nothing more to be said.

You are relegated to non-person, name stricken from the record, students never to breathe your name unless in curse for a low grade.

Thus, the end came for another kind associate. It made me hope the college will be one of those they say may close its doors in a few years: let all of them on faculty for those decades  share the same fate.

This memorial eulogy is anonymous for an unnamed, unknown faculty member from a breed of small liberal arts colleges that are fading away one by one.

 

 

More Walking, Less Skin on Skinwalker Ranch.

DATELINE: Dragonfly in the Ointment!

What’s underneath the Secret of Skinwalker Ranch? If you recall the scene from the original Thing, the explorers in the Arctic form a human ring around something under the ice: it turns out to be oval, like a saucer.

This week with GPR, the radar indicates something is about 20 feet under the ground near a hotspot at the ranch. When Travis Taylor connects the dots, it turns out to be saucer shaped. And two stories tall.

Of course, you have to take Taylor with a grain of salt and a damaged brain cell or two. He is at the abandoned homestead and is told not to pick up a heavy cover to a well. He never listens. Immediately he is hit with the equivalent of 20,000 X-rays. He felt a tad unwell, as you might expect.

One of the security guards leaders nicknamed Dragonfly, who is a pip, states he has no opinion because he lacks a PhD. Well, there you have in a nutshell the anti-intellectual and anti-scientific attitude of viewers, according to History Channel demographics. There is a dragonfly in the ointment.

What have we got here? A series that offends science and lies about truth. Robert Clotworthy’s sonorous tones tell us that the federal government studied the place for 10 years and learned nothing. Earlier we heard that former owner Robert Bigelow had all kinds of information, but refused to release it.

Taylor is clearly furious with the billionaire boss and his dragonfly that he had to defend the idea of drilling to find out what he was hired to study. We may never have seen such flaring anger in Dr. Taylor in any of his previous TV appearances.

Someone is withholding truth. You may want to pursue this series for a few more episodes, but it is now called History’s “new hit” in ads. What that means for the future only space aliens can tell.

 

 

 

Carthage: A Bad Roman Holiday

DATELINE: Rome’s Unbuilt Day

 Hunky Scholar!

You have to love Dr. Richard Miles, not your usual host of these archaeological dig histories. We dig him and are dismayed that he gave up a media career to stay in academia. If you want history with a twist of lemon, try Carthage: the Roman Holocaust.

Miles is your quintessential media hunk—with credentials to kill for: Cambridge University, notable scholarship, and a presence to walk among the ruins with sharp observations.

Make no mistake, Dr. Miles has an axe to grind: he does not like the Roman Empire. Indeed, what they did to Carthage he compares to Hiroshima. They obliterated a city brick-by-brick for defying Roman authority. They attempted genocide on a people after 150 years of war. Talk about overkill.

Wearing an assortment of t-shirts and jeans, Richard Miles stops his perambulations now and then to smirk into the camera with one of his zinger one-liners.

Miles walks miles and miles before the end of this saga.

He is not shy about gruesome details either—if you want the uncivilized and unvarnished tale of two Punic Wars.

Dr. Miles puts emphasis on two individuals, one from Carthage and the other from Rome. They turn out to be metaphoric representations of the mind of ancient political and military philosophy: which is not too far removed from contemporary times,

In the corner of Carthage you have Hannibal. Miles shares many little-known details about the man with elephants at the gates of Rome. He was the bogeyman that terrified Rome for the rest of the Empire’s length. He was their worst nightmare come true.

On the other hand, you have the master race Roman version of Hitler in Cato, the jingoistic and nationalistic white supremacist of the Seven Hills. He wanted only the utter destruction, annihilation, and decimation of the arch-rival for Rome.

You can view this priceless documentary in two parts or one long one on Prime. Alas, Dr. Miles forsook a career in TV and moved on the Australian and the University of Sydney where he seems to prefer academic administration.

In our experience, there is not much difference between the Roman Empire and college admin than in a Roman holocaust.