Monday, January 12, 2009

David Hufford lecturing today at Rice

Bit of a last minute update here, but folklorist David Hufford will be at Rice University today at 5pm to give a lecture entitled “The Folklore and Reality of Supernatural Assault Experiences: Comparativism and the Spiritual”. Definitely worth checking out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It was a cheese pizza, by the way…

With the recent alleged appearance of the salsa splatter Virgin Mary on a kitchen wall in California, I’m reminded of simulacra that occurred in Houston last year. A cafeteria worker at Pugh Elementary was scrubbing a pizza pan on Ash Wednesday when she noticed the image of Mary:

Interestingly, the cafeteria work claims that she tried to rinse & scrub the image off at least three times before acknowledging that it was a miraculous image. After conferring with her fellow cafeteria worker about the image, a PTA official absconded with the pan to set up a shrine. HISD, not pleased at having official property, miraculous or not, stolen, asked for the pan back. This resulted in the PTA holding a religious demonstration match from the shrine to the elementary school to hand over custody of the pan. As of right now, the pan is apparently safely locked away in the administrative offices.

For a more in-depth look at the event, here’s an article I snagged from the Chronicle’s archives when the story first broke.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bigfoot is a 281er?

Yikes… Well, I’ll pass the blame for my three month delay in updating to Hurricane Ike and the disruption it caused. Anyhow, by now things in Houston have firmly settled back into their routine, including me blogging on a regular basis.

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, skunk ape, ts'emekwes, whatever you call it, the possible existence of a bipedal ape-like humanoid cryptid existing in North America has fascinated many and long been the topic of heated debate. I myself was a fervid believer as a kid, but have since become considerably more skeptical. Interestingly, Texas happens to rank 5th in state Bigfoot sightings, edging out Florida and following closely behind Ohio. And, at least two of Texas’ 169 Bigfoot sightings over the past 20 years have been on the outskirts of Houston.

So, is Bigfoot lurking just outside the beltway? I wouldn’t bet on it. But, it’s still more feasible than the Pecan Bat Man cryptid that made an appearance in Houston back in the early 50’s. But, that’s another update entirely…

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Cash-Landrum Incident

"To ufologists, the case is perhaps the most baffling and frustrating of modern times, for what started with solid evidence for a notoriously elusive phenomenon petered out in a maze of dead ends, denials, and perhaps even official deviousness." - Peter Brookesmith

And it all happened right here in Houston, nearly 30 years ago.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And you thought the killer bees were bad…

Since the last update, I've dealt with moving, getting (then quitting) a new job, vacation, and a head injury. I know, excuses, excuses. Sorry for the two month delay in updates; I'm aiming for a steady stream of updates once or twice a week.

Anyhow, according to their wikipedia page (which, as we all know, is just the most reliable source on the internet), scientists have still been unable to correctly scientifically identify Houston's favorite cryptid, The Crazy Rasberry ant. It's been six years and no one is exactly sure what these guys are or even how we can kill them. Meanwhile, they slowly spread throughout the gulf coast, shorting out electronics big and small.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thou shalt not eateth pungent cheese on the Sabbath…

In Houston it is illegal to buy Limburger cheese on Sunday…At least, according to the internet. In fact it’s even listed on Limburger’s wikipedia page under the trivia section! I was actually fairly surprised by both how wide spread this rumor was and by how many people believed it. Scanning over various online legal forums, people concocted a number of far stretched explanations for why this ‘law’ existed; the most popular of which being that it was somehow related to Texas’s Blue Laws.

Now, it is true that until 1985, the blue laws here prevented the sale of items like hammers, nails, washing machines, pots, pans, and other housewares (not to mention booze) on Sunday, but there’s no mention of cheese being banned. Besides, if Limburger were banned by the blue laws, it would be a state wide, or at the very least, county wide ban, not city wide. I decided that I needed to get to the bottom of this. Scanning over both Houston’s Municipal Codes and the TABC Codes I found absolutely no mention of a cheese ban. It seemed like there was only one way left to verify that this was all nonsense; I’d have to go buy some cheese.

So, last Sunday I strolled on down to Central Market, picked up a brick of Limburger, and boldly walked up to the cash register…Where I was rung up with out a problem. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the receipt so you can see for yourself:


So, yes, you can buy Limburger cheese on a Sunday in Houston. And, despite what people say about it doesn’t smell that pungent and it has a delicious taste.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One of my favorite little haunts…yuk yuk

Once in a while I’ve heard someone mention that La Carafe, a great little watering hole and Houston’s oldest bar, is haunted. I’ve never really paid that much attention to such talk, figuring that any building that old (pre-Civil War) is bound to get some rumors and stories attached to it. That is, however, until I stumbled upon this little video about it:

I’m not convinced the place is haunted, but I’m defiantly more interested in the subject now. I’d like to go to one of the séances that the guys in the vid hold at La Carafe, but the $20 price tag irks me a bit.

One interesting note, at around 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the video, the bartender discusses a ghost which pushes women down the stairs and the last time I was at La Carafe, a woman did fall down some stairs. Although, I wonder if it was a ghost pushing her or the combination of a couple of drinks, high heels, and a poorly lighted, narrow stairway…