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Who'd win in a fight: a werewolf, or a kid in a wheelchair?
The answer may seem tragically obvious, however things get complicated when that kid's wheelchair has a motorcycle engine and he's armed with a box of fireworks.
Dan Attias' Silver Bullet tells the story of a paraplegic boy named Marty who finds out the dark reason behind a series of town murders. Believing (and knowing) it to be an unlikely resident who's actually a werewolf, he does his best to warn the town, and wages war against the beast behind the brutality.
Having watched the movie about a year ago, my memory of the movie may be a little fuzzy. However, what I remember most from this movie was its use of practical effects and overall campy atmosphere.
I loved the use of practical effects in this film. While the werewolf itself looks kind of like a teddy bear, it's surprising to know its not even the best use of practical effects in the film. The werewolf transformation scene, along with the Reverend's nightmare showcase the most gruesome effects in the film. As a matter of fact, I'd say his dream is the most detailed sequence! The film compensates for the monster's lackluster detail by putting both the characters and audience in vulnerable situations where the werewolf has the advantage.
As for the characters, I like both Marty and his Uncle Red. While Red's eccentric behavior is brought out by the infamous Gary Busey, Marty's character is transcedental. He begins as a brat in the beginning of the film, however as the werewolf takes the lives of people he knows he begins to value his family more and more. My personal favorite Marty scene is when he sends a letter to the werewolf telling him to kill himself .
Overall, Silver Bullet has all the elements of a classic werewolf story. A small town setting, a murder mystery, and a lone protagonist are what help make The Silver Bullet an iconic werewolf movie. If you're looking for a lycan-themed movie that isn't too scary but still chills to the bone, Silver Bullet is a perfect choice.
Author's Note: Having been busy as well as enduring a rather disappointing Halloween, it's speculative as to whether or not I'll actually complete this series. However I'll do my best to. Thank you for reading!
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Here is a selection of the cryptozoology papers that I've come across in scientific or semi-scientific publications.
Caddy (Cadborosaurus willsi)
- Bousfield, E.L., & LeBlond, P.H. (1995). An account of Cadborosaurus willsi, new genus, new species, a large aquatic reptile from the Pacific coast of North America. Amphipacifica, 1(suppl. 1), 3-25.
- Bousfield, E.L., & LeBlond, P.H. (2011). Pipefish or pipe dream? Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25(4), 779-780.
- Woodley, M.A., Naish, D., & McCormick, C.A. (2011). A baby sea-serpent no more: reinterpreting Hagelund's juvenile "cadborosaur" report. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25(3), 497-514.
- Woodley, M.A., Naish, D., & McCormick, C.A. (2012). Response to Bousfield and LeBlond: shooting pipefish in a barrel;, or, sauropterygian "mega-serpents" and Occam's razor. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 26(1), 151-154.
California Giant Salamanders
- Myers, G.S. (1951). Asiatic giant salamander caught in the Sacramento River, and an exotic skink near San Francisco. Copeia, 1951(2), 179-180.
- Rodgers, T.L. (1962). Report of giant salamander in California. Copeia, 1962(3), 646-647.
Cryptic Big Cats
- Dratch, P.A., Roslund, W., Martenson, J.S., Culver, M., & O'Brien, S.J. (1996). Molecular genetic identification of a Mexican onza specimen as a puma (Puma concolor). Cryptozoology, 12, 42-49.
- Naish, D., Sakamoto, M., Hocking, P., & Sanchez, G. (2014). ‘Mystery big cats’ in the Peruvian Amazon: morphometrics solve a cryptozoological mystery. PeerJ, 2, e291. doi:10.7717/peerj.291
- Miller, D.L., Mietus, K.J., & Mathers, R.A. (1978). A critical examination of the social contagion image of collective behavior: the case of the Enfield monster. The Sociological Quarterly, 19(1), 129-140.
- Woodley, M.A. (2011). Introducing aequivotaxa: a new classificatory system for cryptozoology. Kraken: Archives de Cryptozoologie, 3, 63-85.
- Jeffreys, M.D.W. (1944). African pterodactyls. Journal of the Royal African Society, 43(171), 72-74.
Loch Ness Monster
- Borsje, J. (1994). The monster in the river Ness in Vita Sancti Columbae: a study of a miracle. Peritia, 8, 27-34.
- Halstead, L.B., Goriup, P.D., & Middleton, J.A. (1976). The Loch Ness Monster. Nature, 259(5539), 75-76.
- Mortimer, C.H. (1973). The Loch Ness monster - limnology or paralimnology? Limnology and Oceanography, 18(2), 343-345.
- Scheider, W., & Wallis, P. (1973). An alternate method of calculating the population density of monsters in Loch Ness. Limnology and Oceanography, 18(2), 343.
- Scott, P., & Rines, R. (1975). Naming the Loch Ness Monster. Nature, 258(5535), 466-468.
- Sheldon, R.W., & Kerr, S.R. (1972). The population density of monsters in Loch Ness. Limnology and Oceanography, 17(5), 796-798.
- Sheldon, R.W., & Kerr, S.R. (1973). The Loch Ness monster: reply to C.H. Mortimer. Limnology and Oceanography, 18(2), 345-346.
Madagascar Mystery Animals
- Burney, D.A., & Ramilisonina. (1998). The kilopilopitsofy, kidoky, and bokyboky: accounts of strange animals from Belo-sur-mer, Madagascar, and the megafaunal "extinction window". American Anthropologist, 100(4), 957-966.
- Oren, D.C. (1993). Did ground sloths survive to recent times in the Amazon region? Goeldiana Zoologia, 19, 1-11.
- Oren, D.C. (2001). Does the endangered xenarthran fauna of Amazonia include remnant ground sloths? Edentata, 4, 2-5.
Megalodon (Otodus megalodon)
- Roesch, B.S. (1998). A critical evaluation of the supposed contemporary existence of Carcharodon megalodon. The Cryptozoology Review, 3(2), 14-24.
Minnesota Iceman (Homo pongoides)
- Heuvelmans, B. (1969). Note préliminaire sur un spécimen conservé dans la glace d’une forme encore inconnue d’hominidé vivant Homo pongoides (sp. seu subsp. nov.). Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, 45(4), 1-24.
- Loofs-Wissowa, H. (1994). The penis rectus as a marker in human palaeontology. Human Evolution, 9(4), 343-356.
- Sanderson, I.T. (1969). Preliminary description of the external morphology of what appeared to be the fresh corpse of a hitherto unknown form of living hominid. Genus, 25(1/4), 249-278.
North American Biofortean Review
- Most issues of the North American Biofortean Review containing articles on various cryptozoological subjects
Northwest Anthropological Research Notes
- A collection of sasquatch-related papers from various issues of Northwest Anthropological Research Notes
- Bodley, J.H. (1988). Sasquatch footprints: can dermal ridges be faked? Northwest Science, 62(3), 129-130.
- Coltman, D., & Davis, C. (2006). Molecular cryptozoology meets the Sasquatch. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 21(2), 60-61.
- Lozier, J.D., Aniello, P., & Hickerson, M.J. (2009). Predicting the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America: anything goes with ecological niche modelling. Journal of Biogeography, 36(9), 1623-1627.
- Meldrum, D.J. (2004). Midfoot flexibility, fossil footprints, and Sasquatch steps: new perspectives on the evolution of bipedalism. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 18(1), 65-79.
- Meldrum, D.J. (2007). Ichnotaxonomy of giant hominoid tracks in North America. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 42, 225-231.
- France, R.L. (2016a). Historicity of sea turtles misidentified as sea monsters: a case for the early entanglement of marine chelonians in pre-plastic fishing nets and maritime debris. Coriolis, 6(2), 1-25.
- France, R.L. (2016b). Reinterpreting nineteenth-century accounts of whales battling ‘sea serpents’ as an illation of early entanglement in pre-plastic fishing gear or maritime debris. International Journal of Maritime History, 28(4), 686-714.
- France, R.L. (2017). Imaginary sea monsters and real environmental threats: reconsidering the famous Osborne, ‘Moha-moha’, Valhalla, and ‘Soay beast’ sightings of unidentified marine objects. International Review of Environmental History, 3(1), 63-100.
- Naish, D. (2001). Sea serpents, seals, and coelacanths: an attempt at a holistic approach to the identity of large aquatic cryptids. Fortean Studies, 7, 75-94.
- Paxton, C.G.M. (1998). A cumulative species description curve for large open water marine animals. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 78(4), 1389-1391.
- Paxton, C.G.M., & Holland, R. (2005). Was Steenstrup right? A new interpretation of the 16th century sea monk of the Øresund. Steenstrupia, 29(1), 39-47.
- Paxton, C.G.M., Knatterud, E., & Hedley, S.L. (2005). Cetaceans, sex and sea serpents: an analysis of the Egede accounts of a “most dreadful monster” seen off the coast of Greenland in 1734. Archives of Natural History, 32(1), 1-9.
- Paxton, C.G.M. (2009). The plural of ‘anecdote’ can be ‘data’: statistical analysis of viewing distances in reports of unidentified large marine animals 1758–2000. Journal of Zoology, 279(4), 381-387.
- Paxton, C.G.M., & Shine, A.J. (2016). Consistency in eyewitness reports of aquatic “monsters”. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 30(1), 16-26.
- Woodley, M.A., Naish, D., & Shanahan, H.P. (2008). How many extant pinniped species remain to be described? Historical Biology, 20(4), 225-235.
- Burns, M. (1962). Report on a sample of skin and hair from the Khumjung yeti scalp. Genus, 18(1/4), 80-88.
- Edwards, C.J., & Barnett, R. (2015). Himalayan ‘yeti’ DNA: polar bear or DNA degradation? A comment on ‘Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti’ by Sykes et al. (2014). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20141712. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.1712
- Gutiérrez, E.E., & Pine, R.H. (2015). No need to replace an “anomalous” primate (Primates) with an “anomalous” bear (Carnivora, Ursidae). ZooKeys, 487, 141-154.
- Hill, W.C.O. (1961). Abominable snowmen: the present position. Oryx, 6(2), 86-98.
- Lan, T., Gill, S., Bellemain, E., Bischof, R., Nawaz, M.A., & Lindqvist, C. (2017). Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284, 20171804. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1804
- Melton, T.W., Sartori, M., & Sykes, B.C. (2015). Response to Edward [sic] and Barnett. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20142434. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.2434
- Milinkovitch, M.C., Caccone, A., & Amato, G. (2004). Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate extensive morphological convergence between the ‘‘yeti’’ and primates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 31, 1-3.
- Schiefke, R.W. (1982). Comparison of alleged "yeti" hair with known animal families. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, 15(1), 35-41.
- Sykes, B.C., Mullis, R.A., Hagenmuller, C., Melton, T.W., & Sartori, M. (2014). Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20140161. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0161
- Tschernezky, W. (1960). A reconstruction of the foot of the 'abominable snowman'. Nature, 186(4723), 496-497.
- Tschernezky, W., & Cooke, C.R. (1975). The unpublished tracks of snowman or yeti. The Mankind Quarterly, 15(3), 163-177.
- Ward, M. (1997). Everest 1951: the footprints attributed to the Yeti - myth and reality. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 8, 29-32.
This subject has come up in some thread, so I thought I'd re-post this little commentary.
I must admit at first I was against Corporationism. In the old days when we had a sort of democracy I was pretty happy with it. Then, of course, came The Big Crash. In its aftermath I could understand the single party rule. We needed strong leadership if ever we were to revive our economy. The many (temporary it was said) changes to our Constitution at that time seemed reasonable, a requirement to gain stability of our society.
Now that prosperity has returned, our form of government has changed again. It has been a dizzying time for all of us. Corporationism seemed the logical answer to our past problems. The management of our economy by those who create and maintain our economy was seen by most to be the answer.
But, some of the new laws seem to me to be an over compensation to our previous problems. In the beginning of this new regime we were mostly untouched by Corporate Rule. Now, however, recent regulations have been unsettling. Although we are still free to choose products as we will, competition among the great Corporations has taken a new and I think dangerous turn.
The newly imposed obligation of requiring citizens to advertise the products we buy seems to me to be going too far. The transition has already begun. Most of the clothes we purchase now have corporate advertising already sewed onto them.
Also, requiring we consumers to pay for the right to purchase products just doesn’t sit well with me. It used to be, we just paid for the product, and that was it it. Now, we must pay an entry fee to enter the store of our choice. Not only that, but the purchase fee is added on to the price of the product, as well, along with the various required corporate taxes.
I think this is going too far, as I said. Furthermore we all know there is legislation being considered that would oblige us to buy a workers card before we would be eligible to apply for a job. The detail now being discussed is whether this privilege will be applied retroactively. We will also be required to purchase products manufactured by our employer. Purchasing similar products from another company would be cause for dismissal.
There are even plans to oblige us to advertise the products we buy ourselves. Small billboards placed in our yards, for instance. Advertisements stuck to our vehicles is another idea making the rounds.
Then there is Corporate music, which is the popular music of today’s culture, which is nothing but musical commercials. I can remember the time when music was independent of commercialism. That time has passed, I’m afraid. Now, the pop stars are nothing but human commercials, the biggest celebrities funded by the largest corporations.
Movies, always a popular entertainment, now are full of commercial messages. There are even movies being made that are nothing but long advertisements with the slimmest plot added to them. Television programming, as well, has fallen to a very low level. The enhancement of consumerism is its only objective.
Our Corporate politicians say the next faze will be the requirement to spend all of our yearly income on consumer goods. There will be no more saving of money, as banks will no longer offer savings accounts. The use of credit cards will be mandatory, the required amount of debt depending on one’s income. It is said all this will lead to a secure and stable economy.
In the future, most of our free time must be spent buying. We will all be wealthy, they say. We will own more and more products, and that is to our own benefit and to the benefit of our financial system. Zero unemployment is the goal. Everyone working and everyone enjoying the fruits of their labor, with no one left out.
Before the Big Crash, consumerism was not well organized, and was therefore an inefficient and fragmented economic system. Corporationism is the answer to all our previous difficulties in organizing a prosperous society for all. Is this not what we have desired in the past, a stable economy with its consumer goods available equally to everyone?
This ultimate goal will be achieved, our politicians tell us, and we will finally live in a utopian society of plenty. Nonetheless, I sometimes yearn for a previous era when idleness was not against some law, when we had time to enjoy some useless and contrary activity without the watchful eye of some Corporate Authority encouraging us to ever more activity as busy consumers, and when we could just relax for a while, pursuing some personal pleasure that was not related to materialism.
Ah well, those tranquil times will forever remain in the dim past of recollection. Sadly, I must stop here. The newest city mall has just opened, and I must continue my task to accumulate as many of the latest products available, as is required according to my meager earnings as a social commentator.
This may be my last commentary, however. My profession as an independent journalist has been abolished. From now on, I must become an advertising consultant to one of the great corporations. Next time you read a billboard or watch a television commercial, please think of me as I once was. Though you will probably have forgotten me by then.
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Hello everyone. Its been a long time since I've written a blog. Mostly because I really haven't had much to say. Today though I realize it's actually because of much more then that. I have basically been in a stand still funk. So much so that it has begun to effect everything around me. Including my marriage. It isn't comfortable opening my soul for all to see, but I need an outlet. Yesterday morning my wife had given me a very hard pill to swallow. She doesn't even know if this relationship is worth saving anymore. For the sake of our two sons, we are not going to make any drastic moves. It would seem at the moment though, as far as she is concerned we are basically separated, while still living together. I spent the better part of yesterday doing my best to not lose control. It was a very difficult day, to say the least.
Something amazing happened to me this morning though. I awoke at 3 am, and instantly began to stress, picking it up right where I left off from the day before. I sat like I do every morning in front of this computer. Difference today was I didn't give a crap to read, or reply to any of the things I would normally. I just stared at the black screen, like I was looking into my very soul. Suddenly it all became so clear. I felt as though I were looking into the eyes of God himself, and found myself lacking. Not in a negative way though. More like just actually seeing something that was so obvious that it stirred what I believe to be a natural change in my very soul.
Now she is the one who brought me here, and no matter what happens between us I will be forever grateful that she led me to this place of self realization. Today, not because I'm trying to be what she wants me to be, but because I, through simple truth, feel a deep change within. Beginning right now, I am going to be a good husband. I'm going to be an even better father (that part I have always been good at). Thing is, for this marriage it might be to late. I have wasted years. Its also possible she wont believe that I have actually changed, and will think the changes I'm about to make aren't real. None of this I have any control over. All I can do is my half, and let the cards fall where they may. With or without her, my new life begins right now. Its when we find ourselves looking over the edge of the cliff, is when we change.
I know I could have written this blog much better. I could have gone into much more detail etc. But Its difficult for me to even think straight right now.
Thanks for stopping in folks.
As long as I can remember, I have some very strange and interesting experiences. Some people have told me that they would afraid to go to sleep at night. I had mentioned in one of my blogs that over 20 years ago I had a very strange experience that I can't explain. People who know me have believed me but can't understand how these things happen to me. People that don't know me have often reacted very negatively to me telling me I had mental health issues, a hidden drug or medical problem (which I don't have) or have attacked me personally (verbally that is).
Very basically I might have had a experience with a UFO, Talking on a pay phone but not remembering what I said or who I called, Out of Body experience while driving, possible encounter with space aliens or something not of this world, being guided to a restaurant that I wanted to go to but couldn't remember where it was and then getting to a meeting on time even though I was over an hour away. The strangest thing about this was the reaction that my mother had when I came home (at the time I lived with her).
She was upset with me and basically said to me, "You tapped into something you shouldn't have. What were you thinking or doing?" Do you want a visit from someone who isn't happy with you? When I asked her if someone had come to the house, she wouldn't answer me. It seemed like she was upset and afraid at the same time. She wouldn't talk about it. At the time I didn't have a cell phone and had had no contact with her to my knowledge after I left the house that morning. What did my mother encounter? From the brief conversation I had with her it seemed like she knew about the phone call at the pay phone.
One person suggested that I tapped into something that was in a different plane or field or I was disconnected from reality. I wonder then if I was disconnected from reality how I was able to drive a vehicle to where I needed to go and act and function normally during this times.
Would there be a way to tell what this experience was because it seems to be a combination of many different things.
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Welcome to the first blog of the Wïççåñ`ś Bėåçöñ where I'll be touching base upon the basic info and FAQ regarding to becoming a Wiccan! If at any point there's further into you'd like to see here or want a answer to a question. Post down below and I'll add it here or in upcoming blogs. So let's begin!
What is the belief system/(s) does a Wiccan have?
Some Wiccans base their beliefs upon the equality of both the Goddess (Feminine) and God (Masculinity) while there's others believe in the balance within the universe. With that being said no matter what belief you pick as a Wiccan we all have the Divine power within.
What are the rules for Wicca?
the Rede/Creed which is the main focus within our practice which is "If you harm none, do what you will." Meaning you shall not place a spell upon another against their Freewill as this will need end well upon your behalf. It's pretty much karma what goes around will come around whether it's positive or negative.
Take FULL responsibility for the everything u do. Meaning if u treat someone poorly you must make amends why? Because u need to take responsibility for your action(s)/word(s).
What types of Wicca paths are there available for me?
Here are some paths briefly summarised for u all to find ur inner Wiccan each type that's highlighted in blue is a link to further information upon each path:
Alexandrian: Wiccan path who follow the philosophy of Alexandria.
Celtic: Path of Wicca that involves the Celt and their languages.
Dianic: A tradition that focuses upon only the Goddess and feminine forces.
Eclectic: Alternative Wiccan the one who mixes and matches other paths to suit their beliefs and needs.
Faerie: The Wiccan who believes in the fae and works with the realm of fae.
Hereditary: A path of a Wiccan who continues their magical path from generation to generation within a family.
Gardnerian: The Wiccan green thumb of the group
Shamanic: This is a path that's a combination of Shaman and Wicca.
Traditional: Follows the only traditional path of Wicca.
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Welcome to the first blog of Ałł Thïñgš Tåröt to kick this blog off let's begin with the simple basics of Tarot and some FAQ. If there are other questions you'd like to know about tarot pls comment them below and I'll both the question and answer to this blog.
What are tarot cards?
Are a deck of 78 cards which are separated into Major Arcana which are 22 cards which represent life lesson. The remaining 56 cards are our Minor Arcana which are then split into four suits Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands.
Within the Minor Arcana we have the court cards who are the Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages who provide the 16 personality characteristics to your readings.
Why are tarot cards used?
They are used to help provide information regarding to a situation, person or event which helps make decision making easier.
How do I use tarot cards?
1. Once you have a question in mind begin shuffling the cards in your hands. Stop shuffling when you are ready to begin the reading.
2. Pull out the amount of cards that a the spread calls upon that you are using.
3. Now refer to your deck's guide book (if you don't have one because you have either lost it or don't own one. Look up the card's meaning online).
4. Record the reading for future reference (optional) keeping a record on your readings helps you develop a better understanding towards Tarot and yourself as a tarot reader.
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There isn't much to tell about my earliest experiences, there were some odd things that happened to me that I cant explain. I would, even as a kid try to rationalize the things I saw, heard or felt, but this wasn't always possible. Even since I've grown up, there are a few things that simply couldn't be rationalized.
The first of these memories deals with the house I grew up in. Both my brother and I experienced, what you might call, bad vibes; feelings of unease, anxiety, and of being watched. It was very common for the room to go dead silent. No ambient noise of any kind. It was at these times you could feel the air get stale and heavy. It wasn't restricted to any specific time of day, either. I remember feeling this just playing in my room. Night time was the worst, though. I would be laying in bed an feel my hair being twirled by fingers. My grandma said this was the Devil plying with my hair; something about it being because I lied (I don't know how much I believe that. Old German wives tale, I think). There was many occasions where I dreamt that I was laying in bed awake at night. The room was dark, but I could see everything. I could see under the door that the hall light was on. I would just stare towards my door rom my bed. Then a shadow would appear in the middle of the crack under the door as if someone was standing just on the other side. Its as if my vision would then zoom in to that spot. I would see yellow eyes staring back at me from under the door. I would always wake up from this dream sweating and completely freaked out.
It only really occurred in that one room of the house. My brother and I would switch rooms every few months to, in an odd, unspoken way, take turns. My mother just assumed that we got bored of the room we were in or both of wanted the bigger of the two rooms (the scary one). Actually my mom never actually found out the full story about the room and why we were always switching back and fourth. It wasn't until I was about 30 that we were talking and she mentioned something about my sisters not liking that room either. She asked if I thought it was the same reason me and my brother didn't like it (though she didn't know what that reason was). I told her is was the exact same reason and then I told her what that reason actually was. She went wide eyed and pale. She had never noticed. I then proceeded to tell her about my other experiences throughout my life and she was shocked.
I will be sharing those other experiences throughout this blog. That's about all the time I have for today.
Thanks for reading.
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Around 11, Mum and Dad came home from the OP Shop. Mum handed me a bright yellow box which was the Rider Tarot Deck by Pamela Smith for $2. I was amazed by the price and the condition that the cards were in. The deck itself is usually $150+ when I was given the deck it lifted up my mood for pretty much rest of the day.
Since they were second hand I needed to heavily cleansed the deck before further usage from me. While I was shuffling I picked upon a female voice who introduced me to herself as "Pamela" which at the time I didn't know who created the deck till I saw the author. Anyways for my test reading of the new deck I done a reading on the effects of the Blood Moon which I'll be uploading as well on here to share.
Lately ive been having a lot of technical difficulties which I'm not understanding and it's a real head **** to deal with. Pulled a couple of cards to figure it out which was the Star in reversed and the High Priestess. "It's the electric impulses from the moon" that screamed in my head. The original meaning behind the the Star reversed really confused me but the High Priestess was simple because she represents the Moon and intuition. So I needed to be patient and the answer revealed itself as a scream.
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John 12:20-33 Some Greeks Seek Jesus
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
“Seeing the Glory of Jesus Christ” Year B
A couple years ago my wife and I got to visit Washington D.C. It was my wife’s first time there, so it was awesome to be able to show her all the breathtaking sights of our nation’s capital. We went to all the major places...like the White House, the Capital Building, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. We even got to see and tour the United Methodist Building.
Another great thing about this trip was how we got to see the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. When we were there, I discovered something I was just fascinated by...The Jefferson Bible. Have any of you, my readers, ever heard of it? When it came to religion, the great Thomas Jefferson was what you call a deist. This is a belief where God creates and sets everything in motion, but is withdrawn from humanity. Deism was a really popular view back then and other founding fathers were Deists as well.
So as a deist, Thomas Jefferson rejected belief in the God of the Bible. He didn’t believe in things like the Trinity or in miracles. He felt that the Gospels had been hijacked by Jesus’ followers to advance their own agendas and ideologies. But in spite of all that, he loved the teachings of Jesus. He adopted His teachings as a moral code to guide his life. He said that Jesus taught "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
And that leads us to the Jefferson Bible. Using a razor and glue, Thomas Jefferson meticulously cut up four copies of the Gospels in English, French, Greek, and Latin. He kept only certain passages, the ones he felt were authentic sayings of Jesus and without the miracles. Jefferson’s version ends with Jesus’ burial on Good Friday. There is no resurrection and no Easter Sunday. He felt all of that was a myth. Jefferson called this version “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. As a history lover, it’s such an interesting story and it’s fascinating that he took all the time and effort to make that book.
So at the Smithsonian I got to see the original from 1820, encased in glass. And I was also able to buy a Smithsonian Edition copy that was created from high resolution photographs of the original.
But I think what’s most interesting about that story is the fact that…like the Greeks in our text….he really wanted to see Jesus. But what kind of Jesus? Was it the real Jesus? Or was it a Jesus entirely of his own making?
And when we fast forward to today, all of that brings us to an interesting question. How do Americans see Jesus Christ today? I think it’s safe to say that almost everybody has an opinion about Jesus. And as I was preparing for this sermon, I got curious about where people stand.
So, I did what you always do when you get curious about something….I typed the question into Google. The results were interesting. The vast majority of Americans believe that Jesus was a real historical figure…approximately 92%. But the next Barna survey result was really interesting. 83% of Americans still describe themselves as “Christians”…..but only 56% of that number believes that Jesus is actually divine and that He literally rose from the dead. 26% felt that Jesus was only a great moral teacher, much like the Buddha or the Prophet Mohammed. Another 18% said they just weren’t sure about His divinity. So in sum….at least 92% of Americans still want to see Jesus. But is it the real Jesus? Or is it a Jesus of our own making?
In my essay this morning, I’d simply like to explore this request…”we wish to see Jesus.” So it’s my hope that after today, each of us, dear readers, will be able to see the glory of Jesus Christ more clearly. And to do that, we have to lift our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to the Cross. May the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit open our minds to the understanding of His word and open our hearts so that we may feel His love coursing through us.
To begin, our Gospel lesson is set in the context of the Passover festival. As I said recently, Passover was one of the holiest feast days of the Jewish faith. Thousands of faithful pilgrims would have flocked to the Temple from all over the Mediterranean to celebrate and make their offerings to God.
But not everybody who came….were Jews. John says, “Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, Sir we wish to see Jesus.” Now the question is why. Why would these Gentiles come all the way from Greece to see Jesus?
Well, for one thing…there was no Instagram. It’s hard to believe, but in those days you couldn’t just hold up a phone…take a picture or a video….and then send it to all your friends in a few seconds. If you wanted to see somebody…you actually had to get up out of the house and do it. Imagine that? And we complain about our connection speeds….first world problems!
For another….I suspect news of Jesus…had already travelled that far….with no help from social media. See, I think they’d probably gotten wind of some of the things He was teaching. Jesus was saying and doing some pretty radical things. He taught with authority. He broke all the rules of social convention. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. He had real compassion for the poor. He put down the religious leaders for their false piety. Then He told little children that they would be the greatest in God’s Kingdom.
And then there were the miracles. Turning water in to wine. Calming storms and walking on water. Healing sick people and casting out demons. Maybe most importantly….Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead….and that’s a pretty big deal. So no doubt all of this stuff was traveling far and wide. They were probably hearing all these wild stories…all the way in Greece….and these people were like….”is this for real?” They wanted to see Jesus…because they were curious.
In other words, these Greeks were no different than…say….Thomas Jefferson…or Americans today. Curiosity is the great motivating force of research and discovery. And like Thomas Jefferson and so many of us today…I’m sure they had their own preconceived notions about who Jesus was. I’m sure they’d taken a mental razor and cut out the things they didn’t like or believe and glued in the things they did like and believe.
I imagine they probably had their own Jefferson Bibles by the time they reached Jesus and the Disciples. Now after they made their request to Philip, he did what a lot of us church leaders do when outsiders come to our doorsteps seeking God….he formed a committee. He went and told Andrew. They probably debated about it for an hour. Then maybe they took a vote. Annnnnnddd then they told Jesus.
Their minds had to have been racing. They might’ve thought these would be the first Gentile followers of Christ. Or maybe they were apprehensive. Aren’t you here for just us Jews? I’m sure those two disciples had their razors and their glue just as the Greeks did. But on that day…none of them saw a Jesus of their own making.
They saw the real deal. Now we don’t know this for sure, but I imagine Jesus turned and said these things to the entire crowd…Jews and Gentiles alike. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
This is the real Jesus. We can say we want to see Jesus, but is it the real Jesus or is it the Jesus we want to see? We can spend endless hours with our razors and our glue. We can glue in a safe Jesus, a Jesus we can control.
We can glue in a Jesus who says some nice things, but we aren’t sure if He’s really divine. Or we can glue in Jesus who’s a divine butler who exists solely to grant our wishes and doesn’t ask for anything in return. We can do a lot of work with our razors and our glue.
But when we encounter the real Jesus, the glass cases of our own Gospels shatter. The pages crumble…they fall apart and wither in to dust. You see, that’s one of the key purposes of John’s Gospel.
He wants us to see Jesus as He actually is….beyond our limited perception of reality…beyond our physical and our mental understanding….beyond our razors and our glue. He wants us to see the great spiritual reality of Jesus Christ….and to respond by believing and trusting in Him as the one sent by God. The thing is, though, seeing Christ in His real glory isn’t all that easy to do because it flies in the face of just about everything we do believe in. Let me explain.
This concept of life from death would’ve made very little sense to the original audience of this Gospel. It’s widely accepted that this Gospel and all the writings attributed to John the Beloved Disciple are the products of a Johannine community of churches in Asia Minor. They were dedicated to preserving the teachings of John, but like most of the other early Christian communities, they were persecuted heavily…by both Romans and Jews.
And as they were being persecuted and martyred…they had to wonder….how can death possibly bring life? Here they were living in another place and time...and they wondered...where is this supposed glory of Christ? These questions are similar for us today, too. As a culture we try to avoid thinking about death. We cling desperately to the good things we have because we want life and still waters. And yet, our lives our filled with little deaths.
Sometimes our circumstances shift and the old securities go and the only roads before us…go right through the valleys. So we wonder. How can the fallen wheat of our lives really bear fruit?
In fact, I originally wrote this essay during the Christian season of Lent…I think this is the heart of what Lent really means. Our symbolic gestures of giving things up, our extra time spent in prayer…all of those things are important, yes. But the reality of Lent is that Lent comes to each of us in its own due time. At its heart, Lent is “Media vita in morte sumus ”…”In the midst of life we are in death.” “In the midst of life we are in death.”
No one’s immune from suffering, loss, the fear of death, or death itself. In other words…Lent isn’t always about choosing our losses…no….it’s the season for acknowledging them…for coming to grips with them. It’s the awareness that even as we’re living and drawing breath….we’re also dying. Heavy stuff.
And this is why our razors and our glue are useless. If we try to create a Jesus of our own making, then we miss this spiritual reality. We miss the full expression of what God is offering to us through Christ.
We miss seeing Christ in His real glory, and so we miss our opportunity to be lifted up…even in the midst of our own deaths, big or small.
So what is the real glory of Christ? The glory of Christ is the Cross and the fact that life will be offered to all people through death. Now that just might be the most theologically complex sentence I’ve ever said…so naturally, we’re going to have to unpack it. I think it’s safe to say the meaning of the Cross is the most difficult thing to understand and explain in all of Christianity. I bet most of us get a headache whenever we even try to think about it.
And it’s been debated from the earliest days of the church right up to our time. There’s entire classes in seminary devoted to making sense of it. Some have said that the Cross was a ransom…a payment that bought the world freedom from sin and death. Some have said that the Cross was substitutionary…that Christ took on victimhood and died in our place to atone for our sins and guilt.
Some have said the Cross is our “moral exemplar”….that through His life and death on the Cross, Christ shows us how to live. Now I think there’s validity to all these theories. I think all of them might reflect part of the truth of this great Mystery.
But what’s interesting for our message today…is that all these “classical theories” of Atonement are completely absent from John’s Gospel. John focuses on one thing. He’s focused completely on the restoration of the relationship between God and humanity.
When Jesus turns to Philip and Andrew and the Greeks He’s saying “If You want to see me as I am, if you want to see me in glory….then you have to see this…you have to see the Cross.” Why? It’s the sign of His true glory because it reveals God’s everlasting, self-emptying, self-surrendering love for all of humanity. He becomes what we are and He endures what we endure. The doubts, the fears, the little deaths, the weaknesses of the ‘Father, save me from this hour’ moments…He takes those things all onto Himself because…He loves us that much. So in the end, the Cross isn’t ultimately about paying ransoms or substitutions and the need for someone to be punished because of sin.
Through His death on the Cross, Jesus Christ is creating a new reality. It’s a new reality that says you are reconciled to God. You are loved and accepted by God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Indeed, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Out of His death He brings us new life.
So if we want to see Christ in glory, then we have to look at Him as He’s being raised up on the Cross….because the Cross is our signpost that points to the limitless bounds of His love and the unfathomable depths He will go to…just to be in relationship with us.
In the words of the great Saint Catherine of Siena: “As a child who sucks the milk from his mother’s breast, likewise we, in love with God, draw love from Jesus crucified, always following His footsteps and walking with Him on the path of humiliation, pain and insults. We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross. Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved, and in him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!” My sisters and brothers…this…this is how life comes from death.
This is how the dying wheat that falls to the ground bears fruit. All we have to do is put away our razors and our glue and see the glory of Jesus Christ. And when we look on Him who was raised up for us, we should also be raised up. Maybe you’re cast down today. Maybe you’re grieving over the death of a loved one. Maybe you’re having financial troubles.
Maybe your marriage is strained or you’re fighting with members of your family. It’s in these moments...as the wheat is falling where we feel the most vulnerable and the most alone. But if we let go….if we just let the wheat fall….we’ll see that we’re not alone.
We’ll see that we’re not just God’s second-class citizens clinging to words in a 2,000 year old book…no….we’ll see that He’s here….that He’s with us….and that He’s lifting us...and all people up and drawing us to Himself....in the power of His reconciling love that flows from the Cross.
Today I’m going to leave you with the words of a poem written by an Eastern Orthodox Monk by the name of Fr. Seraphim Rose, a poem that beautifully sums up the true glory of Christ bringing life from death on the Cross.
And it’s a poem that has brought me comfort and hope as some of my own wheat fell to the ground. My friends, may it be so for you as well:
"Come to Me, says the Way,
The way seems long only because you cannot see the end.
But when you reach the end and look back, the way will seem so very short.
And you will see that you could have never known happiness
Unless you had known this sadness.
You will be thankful.
You will be glad things happened just as they did.
That they are just as they are.
You will be thankful in the harbor, if only you can endure to the end.
To be empty is to be filled. To be tattered is to be renewed.
Follow Me, says the Way, Descend into the Valley,
Enter the city, and then be raised with me in ignominy
Torn and Tattered, Dragged down to the most abased place on earth, Atop the highest tree
On the highest hill outside the city.
Follow me, says the Way
Hollow, empty, selfless
Resting in forsakenness, There abide in Me as I abide in You.
Abide in the highest, You who have been abased in the depths with Me.
Be filled with Me, you who have been emptied with Me,
Be renewed, you who have been tattered with Me.
Taste incorruption, You who have lain in the grave with Me.” (Taken from Christ the Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene)
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Mention must be made of an archaic cultural site discovered in the Valley of Mexico in the 1920s, which has come to be called Niven’s Buried City. William Niven started his investigations in that same valley in the early nineteen hundreds (1910), and in the course of his research, he encountered enigmatic stone artifacts and tablets, which had no discernible connection with any other Mexican cultural sequence. This was curious! However, it was not until the period of 1921-23 when he hit archaeological "pay dirt" at Santiago Ahuizoctla, a hamlet contiguous to Amantla. At that time, he discovered the "infamous" tablets and the evidence of an archaic culture of a high order. For a short time, his discoveries set the archaeological world afire with rampant enthusiasm. Then, most sadly, his discoveries were summarily discredited by the mainstream academic culture and its media. He was made to look a fool, while his artifacts were carried off and scattered far and wide. William Niven died a broken man in Austin, Texas in the 1930s. It is sad to contemplate that he died without ever having his work properly evaluated by the scientific prowess of today’s world. We know not where to find his works though there is rumor that some are hidden away at a distinguished eastern university. Such is an example that could face us with this project.
Teotihuacan, the great city near to Niven’s excavations in the Valley of Mexico, has always caught my imagination, even as a boy. It looks like a great space port with pyramid-like structures lined up on a 4 kilometer rampway for travelers departing and arriving for destinations now long forgotten. At an early age, I can recall thinking upon great flying machines, perhaps saucers, sitting on top of all those little launch pads lining the road of the dead (dead-our idea, not theirs). Too many space movies; one would think that the MIR space station would have ended such dreams!
It has been estimated that Teotihuacan supported a population of 200,000 persons at one point in its florescence. Many of middle American’s old cities seem to have this otherworldly look of high sophistication that was either emulated by other cities at a later date, or were part of an older civilization that was to some degree very advanced. Teotihuacan represents more than that, it has the engineering built into its structure to suggest more than what is told to us by today’s archaeologists. Were the cities of Mexico old memories of a time far away in the minds of their well educated priests? Or, could they have been the whispers of a very ancient Enmayi tradition that bled through to show itself 4 million years later? To do this, the Enmayi had to have a seat of civilization somewhere on Earth that lasted as the stalwart to carry these traditions forward. Where is such a site?
Teotihuacan presents another feature that is also arcane to the extreme. Peter Tompkins, Graham Hancock and other historical writers have pointed out, time after time, that enormous, thick sheets of mica were found by Leopoldo Batres on the fifth level of the Sun Pyramid in 1906. Later, at 350 meters down from the Sun Pyramid, reported by the Viking Foundation, another mica slab was found of considerable size: some 27.4 meters square (90 feet square). To the astonishment of all archaeologists, it was identified as a type of mica that is found in Brazil, and nowhere else. This begs the question of why was this particular type of mica removed and transported some 3218.6 kilometers (2000 miles) to be incorporated into the building site at Teotihuacan? How could something this large be transported in a stone age period of history? It is also to be noted that similar finds of Brazilian mica were discovered in certain Olmec sites. This is the "silver bullet" of the archaeological world which proclaims that the technology of the ancients is far removed from what we consider it to have been. Mica is utilized as insulation to atomic expressions.
In my estimation, the importance of the discovery of mica, which had been transported thousands of kilometers from its place of origin to its final resting place, is equivalent in historical importance to Dr. Oppenheimer’s comment upon the detonation of the first atomic explosion in the deserts of New Mexico. At the time of the explosion, he was heard to remark that "it was the second [ time ] for humanity to experience such." He was, of course, referring to the old Sanskrit tradition that the first atomic device was detonated in the area of the ancient Indus Valley civilizations some 8,000 years ago. The very old ruins of Mohenjo-Daro certainly reflect that this is indeed what occurred, with thousands of its fallen resident’s bones recently found radioactively "hot" in the bottom of the old streets of the city.
In the old Mahabharata, we find that there were references to flying machines and a frightening white flash of an ultimate weapon that destroyed cities, and caused the survivors to rush to the rivers to cleanse themselves of the unseen killer. The evidence of classic radiation sickness, such as hair and nails falling form the body before death, are everywhere in the ancient writings. With all this strong corroboration of evidence from our planetary past, we should not decline the information offered by all this data that our celestial messenger has poured forth in the last few weeks.
From my vicarious youth, I have wondered about Mexico. Were those old tribes a part of this powerful technological base that peeks to us between the lines of mythological history? The gods seem to appear out of space and time, as did the Sons of Annu, the Sumerian god of gods. One wonders if Claronu’s nickname for Anjona — Annoo-a was the same leader of the Niberu, as translated by Zecharia Sitchin in his body of highly informative and passionately charged books about the Earth Chronicles. Annu was the Anunnaki god who brought genetic engineering to Earth. We have data that supports some of these researchers, so why do we not announce the truth to humanity?
Today, expeditions into the volcanic wastes of Mexico are showing that cultures were present earlier than the Olmecs as Niven believed. Were these first people the sons of the Enmayi who had risen in technology over and over again through the cyclic volatility of this unstable planet of garden-like beauty? Cast back into the barbaric states of human evolution time and time again, they continued to climb back out of the agglomeration of defeat to strive once more up the ladder of be-manship. While the poles of the planet wobbled around the globe, they fought to maintain their traditions, each time of destruction, they restarted the flame of the hand that sees – becoming the minds that move. Even the art attributed to the Olmecs seems more modern, with their head-mounted lenses on space helmets that often seem to have support systems attached to their bodies. It is all more relevant now, after having this immense data before us from out of Time.
This year has been one of the most growth-inducing years of my life. It began with a break up after a 3 month relationship I expected to go further than it had. I went through depression of course, not knowing what I did wrong, and desperately trying to fix the relationship any way I could. I had my mind set on suicide once the pain got unbearable. I planned out goodbye letters, and had other information written down so things could be taken cared of when I had gone. Something in my mind told me to pray for help instead - so I did. February came along and I began researching Archangels because of one I heard of shortly after praying. Archangel Michael was the first one I had researched, and the more I looked, the more curious I became and once I knew I could ask them for help, I started calling out to them and praying every night for something to happen. It started the domino effect that paved the road towards my Spiritual awakening in March, then Kundalini awakening in April. I've been visited by many of the Archangels in the last 6 months, and I have a direct cord connecting me to Michael. It's so powerful, when he's with me I can feel heat cascade down my entire back. I have many experiences to voice about, and I plan to do so in this blog. All events are true, and I use to be an atheist, so if people are concerned with me making this stuff up - there is no way I could possibly make things of this significance up!
Until next time, have a good day!
Just over 12 years ago I joined this site. I was in my early 20s and noticed something strange in the sky. I took photos then went online on my old PC and came across this forum to share my experience. It was great and opened up my mind to so much more. Since then I’ve learned to look beyond what we can see. I don’t post very often but I read very often. Personally I don’t have many experiences that are worthy of sharing on here but I do appreciate others stories and experiences.
That leads to me, now. For most of my adult life I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety. It’s getting worse. Realising that 12 years has passed since that day I registered on here is a major eye opener. Then I had a few ideas and dreams of where I wanted to be in the future. I’ve not achieved much of that. I bet most of us would think that in a decade into the future from now, loads of things would have changed! Aliens would be here, ghosts and monsters would be easily detectable but nope, all is as it was. It’s a good thing though because no matter how much technology progresses, those same questions we asked years ago still remain.
Ive began looking for personal answers. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Is it all just random events or is the simulation theory real? If so then are any of us really in control? Are we the highest power or are we just left alone to think we are? Are we insignificant like that random ant hill in Africa?
Having depression is strangely soothing for me. I can’t get excited and I’m used to feeling alone and disappointed. If we are alone and are just a freak of nature doomed to disappear when the sun explodes then fine, I can deal with the pointlessness of it all. But what if we’re not a freak of nature? What if we’re here for some reason? Test? Experiment etc?
Who gets those feelings of “there’s something more than this”? I do constantly. I’m not religious but I do believe there’s something out there with a degree of control but I have no idea how to find out! I’ll keep searching!
I try to ignore the distractions in life, they seem to be set up for us like TV, sport, video games and so on. They seem to mask or hide something. Why do we need to be entertained when we have the instinct to explore? There are so many unanswered questions but we ignore them and instead go shopping or go drinking or fall asleep watching TV!
The people on here, keep up the good work! Keep searching and asking! Share what you find! Silent observers like myself appreciate it .
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So yesterday, my three cousins and I were laying in bed watching movies. It was around 11:30pm or 12:00pm, and the door in my cousins room started shaking slightly. We were a little creeped out, but just assumed it was the fans in and outside of the room. It continued after a while, so we just opened the door and put some things in front of it. Today, it started again. My aunt claims it has never happened before, because I'm just visiting when it happened. We turned off any fans or air circulating through the house. No windows or doors were open. The door continued to shake, but much harder. When we would open it, no one was outside. Nothing. So we just cracked the door, due to heat, and the door once again shook. While it was open. Later, all of the doors started to shake slightly while closed. Not really sure what's going on here, any thoughts?
You breathe the air of your sweat, light and shallow.. the liquid air around you without breath to give you respite. The sun above does little more than remind you that your flesh can cook in the steam just like that nice batch of veggies you dressed with a cool cucumber dressing last night.
Then you hit the shade while the hot wind does whip up-blowing the debris of seasonal blossoms gone to seed and dust from the streets... and it's a cool blessing. You are happy that the sweat pops up to be blown off.. and take a moment to drink deep of that iced beverage.. swat a sweat fly or two. Too hot for skeeters to be bugging, even their spawn is dying in the water tanks, much to the dismay of the birds that like to eat and drink while perched on the ledges.
The high light of summer is already past us, and has been for a couple weeks. We are now on the hot steel slide into the dark.
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Short post. My Photo. The Arseniev Museum in Vladivostok. Second floor. Hall of Archeology. On the left under the glass are the medieval bronze mirrors. The Jurchen Empire. The Primorye Territory of our Far Eastern region is very rich in these historical relics.
Well, all the search parties have returned. It turns out that the first search party had already come back and just went straight to bed (apparently they emphasized the “Party” part of their title)… Stern notes were posted in the personnel folders of all involved…
This year’s route has been selected and without further ado, here it is:
The race will begin in the Grand Central Square, in the heart of the UM Complex… All racers will be sorted by their teams, in order of talent, winning records (and bribes of course)… Each team will be lined up in one of the many (mostly) straight (and mostly paved) streets that radiate out from the Grand Square (it’s not really square shaped – it’s just named that to confuse people)… When the starting bazooka is fired, the racers will all rush inward onto the (mostly circular-ish) traffic circle (known as a roundabout to some), and will speed around counter-clockwise for three full circuits… At this time the Grand All-High Inquisitor Mod will pull the lever that opens the “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” (which have been mostly covered with the cheapest grade of plywood we could find – so that it forms a 15 mile long 60 degree spiral down ramp…
The “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” were the result of a Public Works Project by a group of Inquisitor Mods a few thousand years ago… The original plans were for this to be a rather short spiral staircase down 15 meters to a lavish train station, which was to be built to begin linking UM’s far flung areas together… However, the designers abbreviated 15 meters to 15 m which the construction crew mistook for 15 miles… After the construction crew had gotten started, it was discovered that no one had invented trains yet, so the Inquisitors scrapped the project but neglected to tell the furiously digging crews… When the bottom was reached it was discovered that they had dug down into a series of ancient lava tubes, Prehistoric mammoth-gopher tunnels and some of the original dungeon levels…
Upon reaching the bottom of the “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” those racers that survive will be directed by rapidly strobing neon lights down the twisting tunnels and chambers, along the Ancient Grand Gallery with its view that overlooks 30 deeper levels (watch out – no safety rails!) and finally along the Ancient Underground Sea (be cautious… there are “things” that live in there and they have tentacles!)…
The racers will then find themselves emerging from the underground at the base of the World famous Icanseemyhousefromhere Mountain and across the lovely and scenic Misty Marsh of Miasmic Wonder… (The Race Committee would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thank you to the many “volunteers” (and their next of kins) who worked so hard (and for so little pay) to layout the plywood over the swampy ground to form the roadway for the racers to use…)
After crossing the Misty Marsh, the racers will travel through the Eastern Artillery Impact Zone (B), where as they speed along they will have the pleasure of witnessing the production testing of the latest model of Rocket Assisted Pogo-sticks for Seniors – which should amuse the racers to no end…
Once across the Impact Zone (which will most definitely be probably not receiving artillery hits at the time of the race – but you never know!) the racers will pull into the courses sole rest stop, where they can stretch their legs, get a cold frosty beverage (on sale from the Renegade Beer Balloon Fleet) and change their pants (as necessary), The Noggin’ Knockers Band will be providing musical entertainment (for a small fee they will move on and play somewhere else) and everyone is encouraged to polka for a bit before getting back on with the race…
The next leg of the race is perhaps the most dangerous… It is across the heart of UM’s “Land of Lost Tax Accountants”… Racers are advised to make all speed through here as the Tax Accountants are likely to ensnare you into a lengthy and hideously boring Tax audit – so beware!
After escaping the clutches of the Tax Accountants, it is directly into the Eastern Squiggle Reserve, where the racers will attempt to evade the rather lonely squiggles who are just looking for someone to pet them and take them home – racers are reminded that Squiggle Anti-Dote, chain-mail gauntlets and anti-itch cream are NOT on sale at the final rest stop – so bring your own!
And the final leg of the race is into the Eastern Oubliette Zone of the Central Complex, where the teeming mobs of fans will be waiting excitedly for the racers to speed past as they pelt them with rotten fruit, water balloons and glitter bombs…
So that’s the route for this year’s race… Study it, form your strategies and remember that June 3rd is the final day for Bribes to be placed (unless of course you bribe the officials to accept later bribes) – and may the best tricyclist (and best briber of course) win! (or at least survive)…
Spyro the Dragon is quite possibly one of the single most influential and important parts of my life. That may sound strange given that Spyro is just a simple little polygonal 90's platformer videogame about a miniscule purple dragon who collects gems and breaths fire, but to me personally it has meant so much more...
(Images Above - cover art from the original trilogy games released for the Sony Playstation console)
I had a rough childhood dealing with abuse (that I won't go into detail here), and so my mind was already naturally an escapist. I've always been an avid daydreamer who would escape the problems of the real world mentally into my own little fantasy world in my head. I've done so as far back as I could remember. So when I first came in contact with the first Spyro the Dragon game when I was only five or six years old, I was instantly transported to a whole other magical world that I had the freedom to explore.
It was the first video game I ever played, and it was introduced to me by my father (the source of my abuse) of all people. In it you could travel to other worlds, each with a life of it's own. Filled with magic and mystery, as well as interactive things in the environment. The game actively encouraged exploration. To look over every nook and cranny for hidden treasure. To travel (and escape) to all sorts of different, new, and exciting worlds. I played it every time I went over to my father's house for visits. It was my means of coping. You played as a little purple dragon who was the smallest of the bunch, and didn't have much in terms of abilities. But he had a lot of spunk, and wasn't afraid of anything. By playing as Spyro, I felt as though I could take on the world. Like no matter how big the challenges are, and no matter how small you are, those challenges could be overcome. It gave me great encouragement and inspiration. Spyro was my hero growing up.
Spyro was actually even my first ever imaginary friend (Lol, clearly I didn't have many friends growing up). And in fact, one of my most precious possessions is Spyro stuffed animal my dad gave me. He spent hours and even days on ebay bidding for it until he finally got it just for me. It wasn't for a holiday or special event, he just did it out of the kindness of his heart because he knew how much Spyro meant to me. To this day, it's the only true gift my father ever gave to me. After getting it though, I exchanged my imaginary friend Spyro for the stuffed animal Spyro. I treated that thing like they do in those old Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. It rarely ever left my side, and I treated that thing like a member of my own family.
I may sound like a total mental case by saying all this, but Spyro truly has been the single most influential part of my childhood. And it affects me on up to this day into young adulthood.
I've always loved videogames, and Spyro is undoubtedly what got me into gaming in the first place. But it was never about 'gaming' for me per say. It was all about the escapism. Call it, a 'fantasy simulator' if you will. It never needed to be complex or super dark or realistic or have brilliant game mechanics or whatnot. That's why I honestly fell out of the gaming craze around high school really. Partly because of what I just mentioned, but also partly because I honestly didn't have much money to keep up with all the new consoles and didn't feel like my money would be best spent on new games that I only half cared for. I just can't get into all these stat-heavy RPG's or FPS clones personally. I miss the old days where gaming was simple. I love old school 3-D collectathon platformers. That's why I'm so happy that 3-D platformers seem to finally be making a come back! And most importantly, so is Spyro!
Yes, Spyro the Dragon is coming back, completely remastered (or should I say remade) from the ground up!
Enter: The Spyro Reignited Trilogy
For those who don't know, Spyro the Dragon has been suffering as a franchise in recent years (most notably ever since the release of Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly in 2002, which pretty much single-handedly killed the franchise from being so bad). The first 3 games that were released on the original Sony Playstation system in the late 1990's are regarded by fans to be the greatest in the series. However after the 3rd game, the development team behind the originals lost the rights to Spyro and thus the franchise spiraled downward pretty much in a verticle fashion from that point onward. The franchise has suffered through 2 different reboots (each one completely different from all the rest), with the second reboot being basically an entirely different game series that merely used the brand name 'Spyro' as a subtitle so as to bring in more original Spyro fans as a cheap marketing gimmick. Needless to say, Spyro the Dragon has been pushed ever more onto the back burner for quite some time now...
However, now thanks to the new Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the original 3 games are coming back with brand new amazing HD graphics and re-released as one single game 3-in-1. Just check out the side-by-side comparisons here:
And for all new images released thus far:
I never would've imagined in my wildest dreams that my childhood idol and mascot, the original 3 videogames that helped me cope with horrendous circumstances, and helped to define such an incredibly core aspect of who I am, would ever see such a triumphant return like this. This is not just another reboot of the franchise, or some brand new game entirely. It's a 100% complete remake of the originals, simply eith better graphics, better sound quality, better everything. It's like the videogame gods looked down and read my mind and magically turned what had always been a hopeless fantasy to me, never to even in the least bit see the light of day, and made it into a reality. I'm simply amazed. Words can't even begin to express how much this remake means to me.
Spyro is more to me then just a game. And the Reignited trilogy is more than just a simple remake. They aren't just remastering a 20-year old videogame, they're remastering my childhood. You may find it silly and weird for me to still be so invested in what is essentially a kids game, but certain things like this stick with us for the rest of our lives. Spyro will always be the #1 most defining aspect of my early childhood, and I'm incredibly grateful to be able to now play the new Reignited Trilogy in all it's HD glory!
Thanks for letting me share this tidbit of my soul with all of you.
This is Aquila King, signing out.
I have just looked back through this blog. I am shocked to find that I started it mote than 11 years ago, My original intention was to blog my thoughts on... well any thing I had a thought about really.
In those more than 11 years I have had several periods where I have not made an entry for years on end. In fact this will be only the 83rd entry. It seems that I have less than 8 thoughts a year.
Why is it when people divorce they use the kids to get what they want? It is like a game to see who can get the most out of it. Why? I'll tell you why. People can't grow up and see what they are doing to the kids. It's like the kids can't do one thing without hurting one of the parents. They are pulled and thrown around as if they are nothing but something to be owned.
Now that I'm older, here is what I have discovered --
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.
I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.
It's funny, but I don't remember being absent minded.
All reports are in ... Life is now officially unfair.
If all is not lost, where is it????
It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
Some days you are the dog. Some days you are the hydrant.
I wish the buck stopped here, I could use a few.
Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
Accidents in the back seat cause . . . kids.
It is hard to make a comeback when you have never been anywhere.
The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you are in the bathroom.
If God had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
When I am finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?
It is not hard to meet expenses . . . they are everywhere.
The only differences between a rut and a grave are the depth and one has the ends kicked out.
These days I spend a lot of time thinking about the here after.....
I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I am here after.......
If I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts, it may be a good indication that I have died during the night.
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Paranormal activity in my house is starting to become a thing of the norm around here. Im not sure what i want from this post, but i do want to share some of the things that have transpired since last winter, maybe hear an outside opinion. So the strange thing about all this, is that everything seems to only happen in one room of the house, the living room, but also, only seems to happen when there are a number of people around to witness. It is a rarity that anything happens when I'm alone. I guess I'll share one story, the one that seems the hardest to explain. My buddies and i were in my living room, facing the TV, with our backs toward the entrance of the room. We have hardwood floors so footsteps are more defined. But as we watch TV, we hear footsteps fast approaching behind us, but they made a slapping noise on the floor, as if somebody was barefoot. I turn, because, there are other people in my house. The noise wasnt even a concern initially. But i turn back and simultaneously get hit in the face by a light breeze, one you would feel as somebody quickly passes by you. The footsteps continued on past me into a wall. I turn to my friend next to me, who i know realize has tears rolling down his face asking "you just felt that too?" My buddies on the other side of the room, frozen in fear, not able to put words together of what we all just witnessed. I was never a believer of ghosts. It all seemed a little like quakery. But there is no denying now, that something is out there. Ive never felt comfortable in my own home since that night
Recently I have received instructions from The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People of Mnomomopolous, advising me to safeguard my psychic powers. I must admit, my psychic powers have mysteriously been on the wane lately. The Adept Zondor told me of a conspiracy by unknown paranormal Cosmic entities are determined to suck up all the paranormal energy in the universe to increase their own metaphysical powers.
Actually, I did have a premonition about this situation. It was a sort of déjà vu experience in reverse. I had the feeling that I hadn’t been somewhere before, but that I will be there in the future, and then I’ll recognize it. This has put me on edge lately, as you can imagine.
I also had a synchronistic experience. I had my palm read. I usually don’t go in for palm reading as I consider this a too physical exponent of psychic abilities, but I was worried after all these unnerving telepathic experiences. The result of the Palmist was, I would soon be contacted by someone who was an exponent of necrology and an interpreter of ancient runes, and this person would introduce me to a Spiritual Master who would relate further specific information.
The Palmist also told me I would soon meet a tall, dark stranger, and to watch out for women who buy their clothes at Walmart or wear too much makeup.
At any rate, this Spiritual Master would reveal an ancient prophecy relating to the Oracle of Thesphus, whatever that is. You see, this is the problem I’ve been worried about: I don’t understand any of this stuff. Well, except for The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People of Mnomomopolous, who I’ve known since childhood. See, when I was about twelve years old He appeared unrepentantly in my mother’s garden during a thunderstorm. It seems he had had an emergency landing. Somehow his astral projector had become attuned to random lightening strikes. I think he fixed that problem later, but I’m not sure.
Well, Zondor and I immediately hit it off. It was synergistic. Also, we both had a fascination for cryptozoology and the more frightening aspects of shadow people and black-eyed children, and we both admitted we look with trepidation under our beds at night before we go to sleep. Funnily enough, we also had read and enjoyed the obscure, Professor Melman’s “Encyclopedia of Psudo-Mythic Entities, Bio-Psychic-Anomalies and Precognition As It Applies To Telepathic Empathy and Remote Viewing”. A hefty tome, indeed, and unusual for two strangers to have read this rare and singular volume. I believe this is not mere coincidence, as Zondor explained it as an example of mutual and personal synchronicity.
Well, as I was saying, The Adept Zondor related that these mysterious and secret entities are collecting psychic vibrations for their own personal use and power. This frightens me, I must admit. This is because, if it is a real conspiracy, we all know conspiracies are always evil in intent. I have never known a conspiracy to be benevolent in nature. So I live in fear. I mean, who wants their psychic abilities drained off by some strange and mysterious secret society, like the Mormons, Shriners and Freemasons, for instance?
I’m just saying, we who have the psychic gift and are attuned to the metaphysical and paranormal should be on the alert. I must therefore advise astral travelers to beware of unforeseen detours that may be lurking unnoticed. There are malevolent forces about, perhaps emanating false vibrations as an evil web to catch unsuspecting voyagers on the astral plane.
Out of body experiences may have to be curtailed for a while as well until this mystery is cleared up. We all want to get safely back into our bodies, right? Perhaps for a while we should just install mirrors on our bedroom ceilings.
Clairvoyants may have already picked up some of these distortions in the Cosmic Consciousness. All information of these anomalies should be psychically reported to The Adept Zondor, King of the Dwarf People on Mnomomopolous. This now is the Celestial Clearing House for such information, even if one considers these intimations only rumor, gossip between local palmists and fortune tellers, or even hearsay among alchemists and pseudo-scientists. One can not be too careful.
Be ever on the alert.