The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Mysteries'

Who Was Marion Kinnaird?

January 15th, 2014 · 3 Comments

In 1932, a certain Marion Kinnaird had a choice assignment: to write children’s books based on two grand old comic strips, Frederick Opper’s “Happy Hooligan” and James Swinnerton’s “Little Jimmy.”  They were published by McLoughlin Bros. in a large format (10″ x 13″), with four-color  covers and three-color interiors.  For Opper, he or she came […]

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Tags: Books · Cartoons · Mysteries

An Ullage Excursion to Bannerman Castle

September 3rd, 2010 · 4 Comments

On July 28th, members of the Ullage Group took a field trip to Bannerman Castle, organized by Dr. Mamie Caton.           For train passengers, a partial and too-brief view of Bannerman Castle can be had just south of Beacon, NY.  The castle is situated on a small island once called Pollepel […]

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Tags: Dead Media · Eccentrics · Mysteries · Places

On Marriage

August 8th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The debate over gay marriage is, perhaps, misguided.  Rather than extend the franchise, why not just scrap the practice? I admit that I’m biased against marriage by observation of my parents.  It seemed to be an arrangement in which a male alcoholic slumped in a chair, binge-drinking and channel-surfing; he had a whistle around his neck to call an unhappy female, who waited on […]

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Tags: Misconceptions · Mysteries · Suggestions

Defining “Spiritual”

January 1st, 2010 · 4 Comments

I’m puzzled by the word “spiritual.”  I understand it as a noun, meaning a genre of vocal music.  But as an adjective, it has me stumped. When I meet someone who spatters his or her sentences with it, I sometimes ask what it means.  She or he usually refuses, often with projectile hostility.  One woman […]

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Tags: Education · Language · Mysteries

The Panther at the Airport

November 17th, 2009 · 2 Comments

There are many reports of Alien Big Cats (ABC’s, as their devotees like to call them) in the fortean database.  This one, which I found in the French daily Libération (July 25, 1994), and passed along to the INFO Journal at the time, seems to have been overlooked.  I was unable to find a follow-up, […]

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Tags: Animals · Forteana · Mysteries · Places

Another of Life’s Troubling Moments

October 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I found this anonymous pencil drawing at a flea market.  There’s probably a story behind it; perhaps it’s just as well that we don’t know what it is. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Diversions · Education · Ephemera · Mysteries

Debriefing: Straight Talk About Hoaxes

October 13th, 2009 · 2 Comments

A holiday weekend marred by beautiful autumn weather and massive transit disruptions didn’t keep the curious from turning out for the Ullage Group’s presentation, “Straight Talk About Hoaxes.” Anthony Matt’s multimedia exegesis of the 1969 “Paul is Dead” hoax was a rousing success. Original tapes of radio shows and phone calls, furnished by the DJ […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Bulletins · Clubs and Associations · Forteana · Misconceptions · Music · Mysteries

The Magic Door of Massimiliano Palombara

September 5th, 2009 · 4 Comments

You can find la Porta Magica in Rome, on the Piazza Vittorio.  It’s what remains of the villa of Massimiliano Palombara, a 17th century occultist. There are at least two competing stories about it.  One is that an archetypical mysterious stranger visited Palombara, and asked for funds and a room to test his alchemical know-how.  Palombara agreed; the stranger […]

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Tags: Mysteries · Places · Symbols · The Ineffable

Teenage mumbo-jumbo?

August 19th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I think my high school offered one basic course in psychology, which I did not take. Surely it dealt in stripped-down basics – the classification of emotions, some de-sexualized Freudian theory, and maybe a little Jung thrown in for the artsy kids. I’d like to think, if I’d had the opportunity to take a class […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Belief Systems · Education · Forteana · Hoaxes · Mad Science · Mysteries · The Ineffable

The Star Lodge

June 9th, 2009 · 3 Comments

The Star Lodge, or Summer Palace, outside Prague, is another of those curious buildings that dot the Czech Republic.  The Letohradek Hvezda was designed and built in 1555 by Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol; it was supposedly a hunting lodge, but the fact that it’s shaped like a six-pointed star, with four stories, each keyed to a […]

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Tags: Eccentrics · Mysteries · Places