Make Leap Year Blogging History Today!


This goes out not only to my fellow bloggers, but to anyone out there who wishes to contribute to a very special commemoration to this Leap Year 2012.  Feb29th.net is a special blog created to carry this Leap Year into internet history.

What is Feb29th.net?

As per their website:

The aim of this project is simple – Stripped down blogging to its simplest form to record one special day in time across the globe. As soon as the first country’s time zone enters Feb29th.net this blog will be open to posts.

It’s simple.  All you need to do is complete a simple form, click “submit” and you’re part of it!  According to David Mitchell, Head Master at Heathfield Primary School in Bolton in the Northwest of England and creator of the project:

Feb29th.net is special because it is a stripped down version of blogging where people can post and leave an imprint in history with just one click. With help from the guys at CreativeBlogs.net this blog is here to capture posts from around the world on this extra day.

Originally aimed at students to familiarize them with a real live reading audience, this blog is open to people from all walks of life of all ages.  Please visit Feb29th.net and leave your special blog post.  Also be sure to comment on others.  It’s a great way to connect and share.

Happy Leap Year 2012!

Toad Slide


The dwarves were under the wood pile again.  The Valentine’s Day disaster had passed but the tension had not.  The clammy moldiness was a comfort.

Herp poked a toad that stared at him blithely.

Derp sighed.  “I don’t think Moribund will ever forgive us, but if you look on the flip side…”

“A what slide?” Herp’s bad eye meandered toward Derp.

“Flip side.  Flip.  FLIP!”

Something warty wetly struck Derp in the side of the head.  It clung a moment before sliding down.

“What?  You said ‘flip!’”

“No, I said toad slide,” he spat shoving the toad down Herp’s pants.

The above is my entry for the 100-Word-Challenge. The prompt this week was “…the flip side…”

Previous 100-word installments in the Moribund saga:

 

“JAWS” the Ride is Officially History


The infamous “Jaws” ride and the big attraction at Universal Studios Theme Park in Florida sadly is no more.  When they opened their doors in 1990 “JAWS” was their premiere attraction. But, on January 2, 2012, the final excursion of the Amity Island tour and interactive movie experience set sail.  The next day the ride was walled off and dismantling started so a new attraction could take its place. Another summer rite of passage and memories of younger days to be tucked into a shoe box under the bed.

Photos courtesy of The Shark is Still Working

The attraction celebrated the movie “Jaws” based on Peter Benchley’s novel by the same name and directed by Steven Spielberg.  It was released to theaters in the summer of 1975 and was a blockbuster smash.  It’s since become the prototypical watershed of the summer blockbuster.  It was the highest grossing film of all time that summer and was nominated for several awards.

Wikipedia gives the synopsis:  In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach, only to be overruled by the town council, which wants the beach to remain open to draw revenue from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody’s wife, Ellen.

I was just 13 years old that summer.  I had read the novel by Benchley the previous year.  Based on real life exploits of shark fishermen and the shark attacks on the Jersey Shore in 1916 it was ample fuel for my 13-year-old curiosity.  My thrill-seeking friends and I scurried to the local theater to see the monster shark and the havoc it wreaked on poor unsuspecting Amity Island.  As I recall, our parents cautioned us it might be too intense.

I have to laugh now.  I remember feeling so brave when the house lights went down, but by the time the thrum of the first few notes of that infamous first attack scene score vibrated my seat I was terrified.  I was so afraid I sat through the whole movie with my feet tucked safely under me on my seat.  I wasn’t going to risk having my legs bitten off by some unseen floor cruising shark!  I couldn’t even face the bathtub that night.

I’m sad to say I never experienced Jaws the Ride at Universal Studios but I remember wishing I could when the park opened.  Now it’s a thing of the past.  It was plagued with constant malfunctions, having been shut down several times during the 90s and then redesigned.  By 2005, the ride was shut down temporarily due to rising petroleum costs which fueled the pyrotechnics.  When it reopened months later, it was only as a seasonal attraction.  The Jaws attraction still remains open at Universal’s Osaka Japan location.

If, like me, you never experienced the attraction or you want to ride it one last time, here it is:

 

Love Dies an Ugly Death Under the Sink


Glenda Gloop, the Under the Sink Thing, rolled her one bulbous eye at Moribund the Shadow Thing.  She flutter-lashed and his belly trembled.

“You’re looking very… erm… gloppish today, Glenda.”

She giggled a drain-water gurgle.  Moribund fidgeted.  His valentine was being ignored after all he’d gone through.  He poked the box closer with a shadowy toe, hopeful.

To his horror, she yawned and began to snore.  He deflated like a punctured tire and glared at the two dwarves.

“It wasn’t my fault!” Derp squealed.  Herp fainted.

Exasperated, Moribund crammed his gift into her guzzawing mouth and swore off love forever.

The above is my entry for the 100-Word-Challenge.  The prompt was “It wasn’t my fault.”

Previous 100-word installments in the Moribund saga:

Strange Sounds Coming from the Sky


This is one of those articles I’ve been walking around all day chewing on.  Should I or shouldn’t I?  I hesitated on the side of vanity, because frankly I value my credibility and this could send that into the waste bin with some of my readers and I value my readers as much as I do my credibility.  This is also an inspirational blog and I’m straying a bit.  The only thing that spurs me on is the fact I experienced this phenomenon.  It’s being reported from many people all across the globe and I’m wondering if anyone else out there reading me now has too.

Okay, first let me wipe the sweat from my palms.  It’s that credibility thing squeezing at my stomach again.  I hope you don’t stop reading me after this.  I hope that you’ll at least give me the benefit of the doubt, because I have nothing to gain and everything to lose.  I guess the most logical way to say it is to just say it.

Two times during the past two weeks I have heard a strange sound I’ve never heard before.  Once was at night and I was here alone.  I haven’t lived in India even a year yet and a lot of things here are new, so even though this sound was strange, and it quite frankly frightened me a bit, I shrugged it off as my inexperience with all the sounds here.  The second time was in the afternoon.  Everyone was busy in their daily doings and it was anything but quiet.  The air was alive; a melting pot of sounds:  jets flying overhead making their approach to the Delhi airport, trucks and cars trundling down the main road, the generator from the petrol station, various car horns, people talking, children playing.

Then the sound came.  I recognized it immediately; the sudden loud hum rising and then falling then rising and falling again.  It swallowed everything else, vibrating through the floor and the bed I was sitting on.  I ran outside.  It was coming from everywhere all at once.  A few people were looking around, looking up just as I was; and we all looked confused.  Something, okay everything about the sound was “wrong.”  It was too loud.  It lasted too long.  It wasn’t moving.  It had no definable direction.

Just as my stomach was beginning to knot with the realization this was not something normal, it just stopped.  As is the case with this type of thing, everyone shrugged it off and went about their business.  I did too.  I flipped on my computer and lost myself in writing, the day passed, and the next, and the next.  I completely forgot about it; until last night.

Because I also write articles on HubPages I receive the featured Hub on my Facebook every day.  The featured Hub last night was about just this very thing.  Even as I read the title, it didn’t click.  It wasn’t until I started listening to some of the YouTube videos from people who claimed to hear “a strange sound” and recorded them that I remembered.  I more than remembered.  I was utterly shocked.  It was the same sound.

Search engines are supporting the sudden interest in this strange hum.  Google Trends shows internet searches for “strange sounds” has skyrocketed in the last 30 days.  My logic tells me it could be because everyone is just starting to talk about it, but so many reports of this hum have also been reported just prior to and during the same time frame so it’s very hard to tell if that’s even relevant.

Someone has gone to the trouble of actually plotting reports on a Google Earth map.  Again, I don’t know if this can be relied on for any type of accuracy.  It represents those who have reported witnessing the phenomenon, but I don’t know it’s reliable for assuming any kind of trending.

Of course no one knows what the strange sound coming from the sky is.  The only thing that’s certain is people are speculating.  This is a list of what I’ve found:

  • the harbinger of the end of the world
  • electromagnetic waves being released by the earth portending a mega earthquake
  • the heavens announcing the Second Coming
  • proof the world will end
  •  demons
  • the gates of hell opening
  • the sounds of an inter-dimensional doorway being opened
  • the choir of heavenly host
  • HAARP
  • a global secret weapon
  • magma movement
  • a viral 2012 end-of-world marketing hoax

You can view the HubPages article that I read here.

What do I think it is?  If I hadn’t heard it myself, I would vote for hoax.  But honestly, I haven’t a clue.  I wouldn’t even begin to guess.  I know it was strange.  I know I’ve never heard anything like it.  And I know I don’t know what it was.  Like others, I found it unnerving.  My curiosity is piqued.

So, if you haven’t decided that I’m a complete loon, freak or “one of those people” and you’re still reading, have you heard it?  What do you think it is?

The Power of “Awww!” — Baby Animals


Sometimes I like to take what I call an “awww break.”  There is just something about looking at pictures of baby animals that stops the gear grinding between my ears and throws open the doors of my heart.  It’s a reminder of simple, pure innocence and days of unbridled play, boundless curiosity and the kind of deep sleep that makes you wonder what they’re dreaming.

So, take a pause, pull up a smile and let a few “awww’s” flutter around your heart.  Enjoy.