Friday Poll: What Was That?

In September, a live video cam of an eagle’s nest seemed to capture something else walking below on the ground. There’s now excitement that this might be a recording of a Sasquatch. (In the embedded video, the action occurs in the upper right corner of the recording, and is enhanced and placed in a circle in the center of the screen.)

See, Some see Bigfoot photo-bombing Michigan eagle’s nest cam.

What was that?

Friday Poll: Amtrak’s Seven-Month Response Time

Amanda Carpenter, a sometime political operative and current CNN commentator, became stuck in an Amtrak station elevator in February, and she posted on Twitter at the time to describe her situstion. Seven months later, an Amtrak representative tweeted back to ask if she still needed help:


Carpenter obviously pushed the elevator’s help button also; her tweet was a way to hold Amtrak publicly accountable at the time.

So, was Amtrak surprisingly slow in its response, about as expected, or surprisingly fast in reply (where about expected and surprisingly fast are about your estimation of Amtrak’s abilities, not whether someone should be rescued promptly). Needless to say, the elevator should have been working properly so that passengers never risked being stuck inside.

Friday Poll: Hidden Monkey on Plane

If a passenger sneaks a monkey on to a plane, what should authorities do?

On a flight from Ohio to Nevada, a flight crew discovered that a passenger was concealing a service monkey:

Frontier Airlines spokesman Richard Oliver says the incident happened Tuesday night on a flight from Columbus, Ohio, to Las Vegas.

Oliver says the passenger broke policy by not informing the airline that he was bringing a service animal onboard, and then refused to turn over documents verifying the monkey’s status.

McCarran International Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews says law enforcement officials met up with the plane and determined that the monkey was a certified service animal.

Oliver says the animal was brought surreptitiously onto the plane in a duffel bag and never became loose or uncontained during the flight.

SeeHidden monkey on Las Vegas-bound flight causes stir @ Yahoo! News.

Friday Poll: Flight Attendant’s Exit Strategy

A Houston television station reports that a United Airlines flight attendant used an evacuation slide to leave a packed airplane, despite the absence of any emergency:

According to an official with United Airlines, the incident happened around noon after Flight 1246 landed in Houston after traveling from Sacramento. Julia Price deployed an evacuation slide when the aircraft reached Gate C43 and came to a full stop….

After sliding down the chute, Price lands and takes a few steps before grabbing the bag she threw down first and walking away.

Some passengers on the plane didn’t even realize what happened because their attention was on a medical emergency at the back of the plane. A man was having trouble breathing and needed to be escorted off the flight in a wheelchair….

Via United flight attendant fired after emergency slide exit at IAH.

So, was this a clever way to avoid congestion or an impermissible use of emergency equipment?

Friday Poll: A Sea Monster in the Thames?

There are periodic claims about a monster in Loch Ness, but the British press is now asking about a sea monster in the Thames, supposedly sighted from someone riding a cable car.  The video has now been viewed over two million times, showing that there’s a high, ongoing interest in sea monsters or other strange creatures.

See, Loch Ness Monster River Thames YouTube Video Has Experts (And Everyone Else) Totally Baffled.

What do you think?

Friday Catblogging: Cat’s Unplanned Trip

A very happy ending to an extraordinary story, all thanks to a microchip!

Posted by Grove Lodge Veterinary Group on Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Siamese cat survived eight days in a packing box after she climbed in shortly before her owner sealed the container:

After traveling for 260 miles, Cupcake arrived in Worthing, West Sussex, on the other side of the country….

Cupcake was reunited with her tearful owner on Saturday. “I feel terrible about what’s happened, you know,” Baggott told BBC South Today.

“I mean, I put everything in the box and I sealed it straightaway, so I don’t know how she managed to get in there,” she added. “It was a miracle because she was alive, she’s managed to survive that awful ordeal.”

SeeCat Survives 8 Days In Box After Owner Accidentally Mails Her Across England.


Friday Poll: The Unexpected Kinkajou

An elderly woman in Florida awoke recently to find a kinkajou, apparently escaped from someone else’s house as they’re not native to Florida, sleeping on her chest.  Woman and kinkajou are now fine, although the woman was at first frightened by the encounter.

What would you think of this – unpleasant encounter or great story to tell?

Friday Poll: A Fake Elderly Resident

In Rhode Island, a local senior affairs director, Sue Stenhouse, persuaded a middle-aged, male van driver to dress as an elderly woman during an event highlighting services for senior citizens.  The story is now viral, and the senior affairs director is now out of her job. (Ms. Stenhouse was also accused of using students “gleefully [to shovel] snow from a pile Stenhouse arranged despite the lack of snowfall.”)

Was dressing the van-driver as an elderly woman a legitimate technique to boost the senior affairs center?

Friday Post: A Martian Mouse?

photo credit: Could this be a Martian mouse? NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
    Photo credit: Could this be a Martian mouse? NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

An amateur astronomer reviewing NASA photographs from Mars thinks he’s identified a strange creature:

“…an amateur astronomer believes he may have spotted evidence of a real-life rodent race on the Red Planet, after trawling through images captured by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

According to a video on YouTube channel ArtAlienTV, a picture that appears to show a giant mouse scurrying across the surface of Mars was taken by the rover’s right-hand mast-cam at 04:46 on November 1, last year, close to the ridge of the 154-kilometer-wide (96 miles) Gale Crater. While no official announcement about the discovery of alien mice on Mars has yet been made by NASA, Joe White, who owns ArtAlienTV, says that the creature is “plain as day” and could be about “two or three feet [60 to 90 centimeters] long.”

Plain as day?  What do you think: has the publisher of ArtAlienTV spotted an extraterrestrial animal?

Friday Poll: Rabbits v. Humans of Langley, Washington

In Langley, Washington, people are complaining that rabbits are overrunning the town:

Hundreds of bunnies are running wild around Langley, on Whidbey Island. They’re burrowing holes in school football fields, destroying the foundations of buildings and posing health risks to people and their pets, according to local officials.

“There is feces everywhere and there are some illnesses that can be carried and transmitted,” Brian Miller, facilities director for the South Whidbey School District, told NBC affiliate KING 5.

Countless wild rabbits are digging up a middle school football field in Langley, Wash. KING5
The bunnies are even digging up a middle school football field that the district just spent $80,000 to restore.

“Every day there are new holes, and the ones we’ve filled in are dug out, again,” Miller said.

In a battle between rabbits and the people of Langley, who wins?

Friday Poll: Who Invented Chess?

Here’s a surprising headline:

World Chess President Claims He Was Abducted By Space Aliens — And They Invented Chess

“They came in a flying saucer, picked me up, and I spent a whole day in outer space.”

The story‘s over at the Huffington Post, where current International Chess Foundation president – and former president of the Russian republic of Kalmykia – Kirsan Ilyumzhinov describes his supposed encounters:

It was not in our Russian space vehicles, but with aliens. They came in a flying saucer, picked me up, and I spent a whole day in outer space.

It was from my apartment. They flew in and picked me up. They were wearing yellow spacesuits. I remember this moment exactly. We went off to their interplanetary ship, and I started to feel a lack of air, a lack of oxygen. They gave me a spacesuit as well.

One of the aliens pointed to his chest and indicated that the oxygen supply could be regulated by turning a dial. So this is what I did.

Ilyumzhinov also contends that chess was likely an extraterrestrial invention:

“My theory is that chess comes from space. Because it’s the same rules — 64 squares, black and white, and the same rules in Japan, in China, in Qatar, in Mongolia, in Africa — the rules are the same. Why? I think maybe it is from space.”

Below, Ilyumzhinov describes his supposed encounter with beings not-of-this-world:

Bears Overrun Russian Town

Years ago, one might have had concerns over the Russian bear, but now it’s ordinary Russians worrying about ordinary bears.

In the first video below, residents describe how bears are taking over their town.

In the second video, Russian law enforcement – always ready with the most sophisticated animal-control techniques – cleverly uses a siren to scare away one of the bears, leaving that animal able to return later in the day.

Captions are available if one selects the small CC box at the bottom of each video’s screen, and then the option to translate into English. The translations into English are from YouTube’s auto-generate feature, and either they’re not accurate translations into English, or the residents of Luchegorsk are somewhat addled.