“My Coulrophobia”.

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What is “Coulrophobia”?
It is the irrational fear of Clowns.
Since it is not an old phobia, but one that has increased in recent decades, little is known about coulrophobia.
Scientists and doctors now agree that it is a result of not knowing who lies behind the excessive makeup, red nose and hair color.
Some researchers believe that coulrophobia cases increased after the 1990s, when Steven Spielberg classic horror film “IT” depicting a murderous clown was released.
Social implications
The phobia can cause a state of panic, difficulty in breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and feelings of fear.
Coulrphobia may seem absurd for some, however, many people suffer so much, that it prevents them from eating a hamburger in that famous fast food chain.
It is not a trivial matter either and coulrophobia shouldn’t be treated lightly.
Although the fear of clowns develops most of the time during childhood, when children are very sensitive to an unfamiliar face, it is also prevalent amongst adults.
My Pathetic Story:
I have had Coulrophobia since being a child when my Dad took me to a small Aussie circus behind the Maid of Auckland Hotel on South Road, Edwardstown in South Australia.
It would have been in the mid 1950s.
Apart from falling down between those horrid walk boards while I was trying to find my seat I was terrorised by an evil looking Clown with a stick and a rubber horn. He scared me shitless.
He barked like a dog and I was so terrified that I screamed like a little girlie and ran away and have been mortified by Clowns ever since.
Being shoved out the front of the crowd at John Martin’s Christmas Pageant and having poorly made up clowns blowing trumpets and poking balloons in my face didn’t help either.
At least they could have offered some hard boiled sweets.
People thought I was joking when I couldn’t bear to watch “Bozo” or was it “Bobo” the Clown on Channel 9 Kid’s Television in the late 1950s in Adelaide?
It’s all true you know and strangely enough my nine year old grandson Seamus is now a sufferer.
Am I responsible for that?
Rod Parham

Pearl Curran, Ghostwriter for Patience Worth (deceased).

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Artistic Rendition of Pearl Curran.
Many moons ago I lived. Again I come. Patience Worth my name. Wait, I would speak with thee. If thou shalt live, then so shall I… Good friends, let us be merrie.
On July 8th 1913, after months of experimentation, a St. Louis housewife named Pearl Curran finally had a breakthrough with her Ouija board.
From this initial correspondence, Pearl Curran wrote (or depending on your perspective, transcribed) millions of words she attributed to a seventeenth-century poet who called herself Patience Worth.
Historical novels, religious tracts, and lyric poems were published and embraced by mainstream scholars as authentic examples of early American literature mediated from beyond the grave.
The figure of Patience Worth was commended as an exemplary writer by organizations such as the Joint Committee of Literary Arts of New York.
She was included in journals alongside such future canonical authors as Edna St. Vincent Millay and she appeared in collections such as the Anthology of Magazine Writing and the Yearbook of American Poetry.
All the more amazingly, readers and critics agreed that this was new work by a woman who claimed to have been dead for more two and a half centuries.
Please read on via Ghostwriter and Ghost: The Strange Case of Pearl Curran & Patience Worth | The Public Domain Review.

Life of Riley: “I had a crap 2016 and it cost Money.”

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Last year Bridgewater in the Adelaide Hills was hit with a hail storm accompanied with the worst winds in 20 years.
The mercury plunged to around 0.9 degrees around 11.00am.
In the past 12 weeks 553mm of rain has fallen up here.
We had four trees lopped at the top and branches were strewn about like feathers and some acted as spears entering the soft ground by up to 100 to 150mm.

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The hail lasted around 20 hours before melting. Our power supply was off for approximately 14 hours.
Fortunately, the Rileys have a combustion wood heater, but no fan.

Boo Hoo!

The Toff      

Why The Famous 1917 Russian October Revolution Was In November.

In 1917, Russians marched against their monarchy over the scarcity of food with riots and strikes.
These riots erupted in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) on two separate occasions; 7 March, in what is known as the ‘February revolution’ and 7 November, in what we now called the ‘October revolution’.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed the weird thing here; why do we call a revolution that started in March as the February revolution and the one that started in November as the October revolution?
Well, even though it does seem confusing, there’s a very simple explanation behind this “paradox”.
It all had to do with the fact that in 1917, Russia had not yet switched from the old Julian calendar to the new Gregorian calendar.
As a result, because the Julian calendar was 11 days behind the Gregorian calendar, when they finally made the switch after the Bolshevic Revolution, both of the events were recalculated and converted under the new calendar and that’s the reason why the events appear to be in the following month.
Simple, isn’t it?
Source: Why The Famous October Revolution Was In November And The February Revolution In March? – I’m A Useless Info Junkie

“The Mongolian Death Worm” lurks in the Gobi Desert.

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It sounds like a fantastic, lethal creature that might be found in a 1950s pulp science-fiction novel (or sci-fi television movie), but some people believe that a large, deadly worm-like creature called the Mongolian Death Worm exists in the Gobi desert.
According to British biologist Karl Shuker in his book “The Unexplained: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Paranormal Mysteries” (2002, Metro Books) “One of the world’s most sensational creatures may be concealed amid the sands of the southern Gobi desert. …
It is said to resemble a large fat worm, up to 1 meter (3 feet) long and dark red in color, with spike-like projections at both ends.
It spends much of its time hidden beneath the desert sands, but whenever one is spotted lying on the surface it is scrupulously avoided by the locals.”
According to legend, the dreaded Mongolian Death Worm — which local people call olgoi-khorkhoi or loosely translated, “large intestine worm” — has lived up to its name.
It can kill in several fearsome ways, including spitting a stream of corrosive venom that is lethal to anything it hits, and if that doesn’t do the trick it is said to be able to electrocute its victims from a distance.
Rarely seen and never photographed, it was mentioned in a 1926 book by paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, who didn’t believe in the animal’s existence but noted that stories of it circulated in Mongolia.
Read on via Mongolian Death Worm: Elusive Legend of the Gobi Desert.

A Short History of “Gas Masks.”

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Primitive respirator examples were used by miners and introduced by Alexander von Humboldt already in 1799, when he worked as a mining engineer in Prussia; long before that there was a Plague doctor’s bird beak shaped mask/face piece filled with herbs.
The forerunner to the modern gas mask was invented in 1847 by Lewis P. Haslett, a device that contained elements that allowed breathing through a nose and mouthpiece, inhalation of air through a bulb-shaped filter, and a vent to exhale air back into the atmosphere.

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According to First Facts, it states that the “gas mask resembling the modern type was patented by Lewis Phectic Haslett of Louisville, Kentucky who received a patent on June 12, 1849.”  U.S. patent #6,529 issued to Haslett, described the first “Inhaler or Lung Protector” that filtered dust from the air.

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Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse (above) in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s.

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