The oceans and seas remain one of the most mysterious realms on Earth. We still know more about the surface of our moon – and perhaps the surface of Mars – than what all lies beneath the world’s deepest waters.
Recently Australian photographer Kristian Laine took pictures of a truly remarkable submarine creature: the world’s only documented pink manta ray. Spanning about 11 feet and nicknamed Inspector Clouseau, after The Pink Panther, the animal lives near Lady Elliot Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef.
“I had no idea there were pink mantas in the world, so I was confused and thought my strobes were broken or doing something weird,” Laine told National Geographic.
Project Manta, established to study and preserve the creatures within Australian waters, discovered Clouseau in 2015. Organization officials were able to conduct a skin biopsy on the animal and determine its unique coloration is not due to disease or its diet; rather, it’s the result of a genetic mutation called erythrism, which causes reddening in melanin expressions. Most manta rays are black, white, or a combination of the two.
This is individual, however, is unbelievably astounding and proves just how fascinating our own planet really is!
As if the Kennedy assassination and the TV show “Dallas” didn’t give Texas’ second-largest city a bad reputation, we now have this beauty: the quaintly-named “Leaning Tower of Dallas” – what’s left of an 11-story building scheduled for complete demolition on February 16. Most everyone loves a good carefully-planned building collapse, and people who dismiss a new library dedication as boring will rise at the butt-crack of dawn to see a large structure – any large structure – disintegrated. And, on this Sunday morning, all initially proceeded as planned. The explosives detonated, the ground trembled, and the building began to crumble. But, as the dust cleared, everyone realized something was amiss: the building’s core – which contains the elevator shafts and stairwells – remained standing. Nearly two weeks later, it’s still standing. The debacle has been pure porn for social media mavens; Twitter and Instagram overrun with bad puns and cheeky comments.
It begs for the optimist – pessimist debate: an edifice strongly and securely built, or what happens when a city awards a contract to the lowest bidder.
I’ve come to view this fiasco as indicative of my life. I’ve been pounded and beaten, but while I seem to have collapsed from all the trauma, my inner core remains intact – albeit slightly atilt.
‘Contraband include items marked ‘Bag Full of Drugs’.’
‘Donald Trump admits he’s not qualified to be president.’
Guess which one of these is real.
I almost know what you’re thinking: it’s the pigs, right?
Law enforcement officials have one of the toughest jobs in the world – especially in the U.S. and especially in Florida. (Florida has become legendary for its plethora of criminal oddities.) But a routine traffic stop on February 1 turned into an unexpected bonanza, when a police dog alerted his handler to the possible presence of drugs in the car. A quick search yielded – hold your breath – 2 small bags marked…‘Bag Full of Drugs’.
If I had read this online, I would have checked the source more than a few times. But it’s for real. Inside the bags, police found 75 grams (2.6 ounces) of methamphetamine, more than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the date-rape drug GHB, 3.6 grams (0.12 ounces) of fentanyl, plus ecstasy, cocaine and assorted paraphernalia.
The Drug Enforcement Agency could only have dreamed of this good fortune with “El Chapo” Guzman!
And I wish I was making this up because it would prove just how twisted The Chief’s mentality can be on the day before the Saturday after Valentine’s Day! As if you, dear readers, need anymore proof!
The moral of the story? Hell if I know! That’s why I’m telling this story to you people!
When I earned my English degree from Ellis University – then part of the New York Institute of Technology – one issue frequently discussed was the veracity of sources. In the old days (e.g. before Google), people conducting research on essays and theses had to drag themselves to a notable library and scour catalog files for appropriate resource materials. Along with physically going to said library, carting armloads of books and binders could be considered a bodybuilding class.
But, at Ellis, one source NOT considered valid is Wikipedia. It’s one of those ubiquitous Internet sites – kind of like online ads for pillows, vibrating toothbrushes and butt paste. A number of my fellow writers and bloggers have referenced Wikipedia. However, in vicariously perusing some Wikipedia entries, I’ve noticed the site itself will note – in vibrant red or blue lettering – that some items need further clarification or verification. Supposedly Wikipedia is a generic, quick-pick type of site; a place – much like a cafeteria – where people can choose whatever they want to consume. Therefore, it’s not considered a valid archive of information.
A while back I came across the name of an adult film model who went by the name Belladonna. Her real name is Michelle Sinclair, and she entered the world of porn in 2000 at the age of 19. I actually remember seeing her on an ABC News special hosted by Diane Sawyer several years ago. I found Belladonna interesting because she chose to dye her natural blonde hair black. In an industry where fair-haired vixens seem to rule, this was somewhat (forgive me) refreshing.
But, in looking her up on – where else? – the Internet, I came across her Wikipedia entry and zeroed in on a peculiar statement: ‘She thought she had contracted herpes in 2002…it was later discovered that it was a skin rash…’.
For some ungodly (read: perverted) reason, I found that unbelievably hysterical! The flippant nature of that specific verbiage – how it’s worded – jump-started my laugh meter. If anything, it proved what higher education has already declared: you can’t trust Wikipedia that much.
Now place that “skin rash” statement in the context of other situations:
Is that mole really melanoma?
Naw, it’s just a skin rash.
Did a spider bite you?!
Calm down! It’s just a skin rash.
You still have all those bruises from the pool party?
No, they’re just skin rashes.
That bee sting must have hurt like hell!
Oh no! It’s just a skin rash.
Are you pregnant?
God no, mother! I just have a skin rash.
That looks like such an awful sunburn.
Calm down, boss! It’s just a skin rash.
Please feel free to devise your own predicaments that include a “skin rash”.
Since it’s still Friday, the 13th, here in the U.S., I feel it’s appropriate to present this oddity: the world’s largest Ouija board, which was set up recently in Salem, Massachusetts.
The monstrosity measures 3,168 square feet (294 m) and weighs over 9,000 pounds (4.0823 mt). Considered the world’s largest Ouija board and known as Ouijazilla, it debuted in October through the Talking Board Historical Society in Salem. The TBHS is dedicated “to research, preserve, and celebrate the history of talking boards” and the people “behind them”, including those (what I call the fools) who use them.
A close friend of mine recently noticed this in the meat section (where else?) of a Dallas grocery store. I know what you people are thinking. And I’m as shocked as you are. Isn’t USD 3.88 a bit pricy for any fowl food?
Two of my least favorite things: Spam and pumpkin.
This pumpkin spice craze has gone too far and needs to be stopped! I don’t know what fool created pumpkin spice, but they need to be shipped to a small rocky island in the South Atlantic in June with a box of crackers and a jug of tap water and spend the rest of the winter thinking about the culinary Frankenstein they’ve unleashed upon humanity.