Category:
Regionalism

Ghost Riders in the Sky

I don't think we heard enough of Vaughan Monroe's big hit in yesterday's Forest Service post, so here's the whole thing.

We know here at WU that mortal cows are deadly--so just imagine how evil a ghost cow is!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 19, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Music, Paranormal, Regionalism, 1940s

The Elves of Iceland

Maybe the Icelandic banking meltdown can be remedied with pots of elvish gold.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 10, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Cryptozoology, Fictional Monsters, Eccentrics, New Age, Paranormal, Regionalism, Religion, Foreign Customs, Europe

German Humor

Some might regard the phrase "German sense of humor" as an oxymoron. Nevertheless, the Caricatura Museum, recently opened in Frankfurt, is dedicated to exploring exactly that subject. According to the Telegraph:

Visitors are greeted at its entrance by a large sculpture of a moose wearing a hat and overcoat - a sight which Germans apparently find amusing. They are also fond of jokes which might not have much appeal beyond their borders. In one, a coast guard receives a distress call from a ship at sea: "Help, help, we are sinking." The coast guard replies: "Dass ist very interesting. Vot exactly are you sinking?"

It's first event: a Mohammed lookalike competition.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 28, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Humor, Regionalism

Lost in Translation

I'm posting this from a Starbucks in Bremen, Germany. (I'd prefer to be in a German cafe, but Starbucks turns out to be the easiest place to find an internet connection.)

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Most Germans speak very good English. Which means it's not common to find the kind of bizarre translation errors that are a common feature of Japanese or Chinese English. But they do pop up occasionally. I walked past this sign outside my hotel in Bremen at least ten times before I noticed that something was wrong with it.

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This German department store would probably have to change its name if it wanted to open a chain in America.

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Finally, when I saw these "Berliners" (jelly donuts) on sale, it reminded me of one of the most famous mistranslation urban legends of all time: the claim that when Kennedy proclaimed "Ich bin ein Berliner" to a crowd in Berlin on June 26, 1963, that he was actually proclaiming he was a jelly donut. Yes, a Berliner is a jelly donut, but the word can also mean a citizen of Berlin, and everyone in the crowd would have known what he meant.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 27, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Regionalism, Signage, Travel

Chow Mein Sandwiches

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I was talking about food recently with a friend, and he mentioned enjoying Chow Mein Sandwiches while growing up in Fall River, Massachusetts. Chow Mein Sandwiches? I had never heard of such a thing.

Chow Mein Sandwiches are a Fall River specialty, and there's not many other places you can find them. Even in Fall River, they're becoming increasingly rare. According to Flavor & Fortune magazine, a Chow Mein Sandwich is:

a mixture of minced meat (pork), celery, onions, and bean sprouts in gravy over deep fried noodles. This combination or blend of ingredients is more like a thick sauce or a stew. It is placed between a hamburger bun or between two slices of white bread. For the latter, brown gravy is ladled over the works.

The key is that the noodles have to be crunchy. In other words, you can't slop Chow Mein from your local Chinese restaurant on a bun and expect it to taste like a real Chow Mein Sandwich. If you want to try one, and you don't live in New England, your only option seems to be to mail-order the "Original Hoo Mee Chow Mein Mix" from the Oriental Chow Mein Company in Fall River, and prepare your own.

The thumbnail is from Wikipedia.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 12, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Regionalism

Babies On Parade

How did this fabulous event ever come to cease?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 30, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Babies, Games, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, 1950s

Tiger Trouble

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So far as I can tell, the tiger stalking Galveston is still on the loose. But the Galvestonians could have it much worse. Consider the plight of the citizens of the Sundarbans in India.

I first learned of the reign of man-eating tigers here ten years ago, watching this series of PBS's NATURE show. One episode revealed how the natives had to wear human face masks on the backs of their heads to avoid tigers pouncing on them and eating them. (It was not a totally successful tactic.) I believe this bit later showed up in the wonderful Calvin and Hobbes strip, with Calvin trying the same tactic to avoid Hobbes's attacks.




Well, the tigers of Sundarbans continue to feast on human flesh, as we learn in this new report. Read, and be happy no tigers roam your city's streets.

This photographer, who goes by the handle of Jimbojack, has some wonderful photos of the region for you to look at.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 21, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Death, Regionalism, Television, India

Ruth Grace Moulon, RIP

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Last week, we coincidentally featured Nancy Luce, the Chicken Lady. Today, we must sadly report the death of the Duck Girl.

Ruthie the Duck Girl was a New Orleans character famed for her pet ducks. You can read her history at the intriguing site known as ECCENTRIC NEW ORLEANS, and then read her LOS ANGELES TIMES obituary here.

A documentary was made about her, and shown on WYES TV, but I can't find any online video of it.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 16, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Celebrities, Death, Obituaries, Eccentrics, Pets, Regionalism

The Living Stump

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On my recent trip to Oregon, I stopped at the Rogue River Gorge. And there I saw...

THE LIVING STUMP!

I did not snap a picture, but fortunately I could borrow one from El Sylvan's Flickr set.

The Living Stump is the remnant of a tree whose roots became symbiotically intertwined with a neighboring tree. So that when one tree was cut down, the partner tree continued to nourish the stump, which did not decay as any other chopped-down tree might be expected to.

Yes, folks, this is A ZOMBIE TREE!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 13, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Celebrities, Death, Nature, Photography and Photographers, Regionalism

Nancy Luce, Chicken Lady of Martha’s Vineyard

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A few years ago, visiting the island of Martha's Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast, I learned of Nancy Luce (1814-1890). An eccentric loner artist who self-published her own poetry--mainly devoted to her beloved pet chickens--and buried the birds with fully engraved headstones, she is the subject of a biography still available on the island at various gift shops: Consider Poor I by Walter Magnes Teller. You can read what The New York Times had to say about the book here. You might even be so moved as to purchase a lovely woodcut print of Luce here.


Perhaps we should commemorate Luce with a sample of her poetry:

POOR LITTLE HEARTS
Poor little Ada Queetie has departed this life,
Never to be here no more,
No more to love, no more to speak,
No more to be my friend.
O how I long to see her with me alive and well,
Her heart and mine was united,
Love and feelings deeply rooted for each other,
She and I could never part,
I am left broken hearted....




Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 10, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Animals, Domestic, Eccentrics, Literature, Books, Writers, Regionalism, Nineteenth Century

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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