Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Fun Trade Paperback: The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen

Did you know that it was actor Jack Larson's performance on the 1950s TV show "The Adventures of Superman" that inspired a comic book about Jimmy Olsen, Superman's pal? It's true!
   So, in the 1950s, DC Comics began publishing "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen" (the photographer for the Daily Planet newspaper) comic book. It was a HUGE success. Jimmy got into all sorts of mis-adventures. It was a well-written and wonderfully illustrated series. I (Rob) recently enjoyed a special trade paperback collection called "The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen." I highly recommend this book, and will read it again and again!

ABOUT THE BOOK 
Superman (George Reeves) and Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larsen)
Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen has always been the Man of Steel's most loyal ally. But at times, Jimmy's overeager attempts the help in the never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way have proven a bit ... disastrous. Pills, potions and otherworldly gasses have strange effects on Jimmy, turning the young reporter into a gamut of bizarre creatures -- from a giant turtle-man to a howling werewolf to an out-of control genie! At times like these, Superman finds that he must not only protect Metropolis from Jimmy -- but Jimmy from himself!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Fun Paranormal Mystery: The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion No. 5)

Want a fun paranormal-flavored mystery? Read "The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion" (Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, No. 5) by Alice Kimberly. I (Rob) recently enjoyed the 5th in the "Haunted Bookshop Mysteries" series where book shop owner Penelope McClure is assisted by a Private Investigator Jack Shepherd, who was murdered in her book shop in the 1940s. Jack assists Penelope in investigations of her own!
  Like the 4 other novels in the series I loved this!! The ghost of Jack Shepherd has the ability to take Penelope back into his cases from the 1940s when she dreams. In this story, the case Jack was working on in the 1940s is tied to the case Penelope was working on in present day!
  Great characters, great mystery, and well-worth the read. I just wish book 6 would hurry and come out!
ABOUT THE BOOK: When the local mailman inherits a haunted mansion and demands an exorcism, bookshop owner Pen must act fast to save her favorite ghost? 1940s detective Jack Shepard?before it?s too late.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Outstanding Paranormal Photography Book: Haunted Historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia by Tim Scullion

   Tim Scullion, a photographer, historian, musician and teacher has put together a book of the most
amazing paranormal photos you will ever see in one book. He's also an historic guide in Williamsburg, Virginia (the original state capital before it was moved to Richmond). As a guide, he conveys all of the history of all of the historic buildings he photographed in the city.
   Tim has perfected a way to see the faces of people who haunt houses and buildings. He's identified several types of ghostly lights and shapes throughout his photos.
  In this 208 page book, you'll find each page with fascinating history and paranormal pictures like you've never seen before.
    Paranormal investigators are always hoping to catch a ghost in a photograph or video, and it's a rare thing when they do. I've caught only a couple that were not orbs (a rounded ball of light, the most simple form a ghost can take). This is one book you'll definitely want on your bookshelf and it will really inspire you to visit Williamsburg, Virginia.


ABOUT THE BOOK FROM THE PUBLISHER: 
Haunted Historic Colonial Williamsburg Virginia: with Breakthrough Ghost Photography by  Tim Scullion 
$19.99 
Join ghost photographer and researcher Tim Scullion on a two-year tour of Colonial Williamsburg, America’s haunted historic city of ghosts. Visit 43 creepy locations where Scullion describes his paranormal odyssey to capture and explain each apparition, a bit of historical and paranormal background of the building it appears in or over, and insights about these ghostly beings that he has learned from careful observation. With more eighteenth-century buildings and homes than any other place in America, Scullion has learned the secret to consistently capturing ghostly apparitions of all kinds on camera. Examine 230 paranormal images that are beautiful, ugly (if not horrifying!), bizarre, and defy explanation. He also provides historic accounts, ghost sightings, and narrative, insights, and introspection for each location. Colonial Williamsburg is a hotspot for ghosts!
Size: 7″ x 10″ | 246 color photos | 208 pp
ISBN13: 9780764350603 | Binding: soft cover

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Home Project: Laying Carpet Squares!

Franklin received the boxes of new carpet
We're always coming up with home projects, and last week Tom installed new carpet squares in our den. Our den used to be our garage, but we converted it into a room in 2009 or so. We've got a TV in there, and our exercise
Old (with lines) vs. new carpet


equipment as well as some recliners. It's Tom's favorite "after work" room where he crashes. 
Tom installing the carpet on a Monday after work
  Once the den was completed, Tom found and installed really cool carpet tiles (that were about 2' by 2' each). Over the years, they've endured dog rescue "accidents" and just got dirty so we looked for new carpet. 
Tyler and Franklin testing out the new carpet
   The boxes of new carpet squares, a lighter color, arrived on a Monday, and Monday night after work Tom decided to install them. Of course, the dogs supervised. 
       

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Vaccinate your dog! IMPORTANT for THEM & YOU

Vaccinate your dog for their health AND YOURS
   Recently, here in the Washington, D.C. metro area, someone did not vaccinate their dog for rabies. That caused a lot of problems for many dogs AND People! 
   The dog died a horrible death of suffering from rabies.  Vaccines for dogs are equally as important as they are for people. (The story is below)
    There are uneducated people who think vaccines cause autism and that's totally false. Similarly, some pet parents Refuse to vaccinate their dogs. Well, if your dog is out among other dogs, or out of the house, then they risk contracting a disease AND they risk SPREADING it to all other dogs or dying a horrible, suffering death themselves. So, don't be foolish. Vaccinate your dogs, vaccinate your kids. 

WHAT IS RABIES? The rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves. The disease can only be diagnosed after the start of symptoms.   

DOES THE VACCINE WORK?  YES. 


CAN PEOPLE SURVIVE RABIES?  NO, not unless they are vaccinated in 6 days.
Rabies KILLS people and DOGS - unless you vaccinate your pets
In unvaccinated humans, rabies is almost always fatal after neurological symptoms have developed. Vaccination after exposure, PEP, is highly successful in preventing the disease if administered promptly, in general within 6 days of infection. Begun with little or no delay, PEP is 100% effective against rabies.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A DOG TO DIE FROM RABIES? 10 DAYS
The quarantine is set at 10 days because a rabies-infected animal can only transmit the disease after clinical signs have developed AND once these signs have developed, the animal will die within 10 days.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A PERSON TO DIE FROM RABIES? 
In rare cases, it can vary from 10 days to 2 years. The incubation period is shorter in children and in people exposed to a large dose of the rabies virus. The dose of virus depends on the size, severity and location of an animal bite or scratch. In animals, the incubation period depends on the species of animal.

In the News: IDIOTS WHO DID NOT VACCINATE THEIR DOGS:
1) Health officials seeking people, pets exposed to rabid dog in Arlington    
Health officials are attempting to locate people and pets who may have been exposed to a rabid dog treated in Arlington last month.
A bull dog from Washington has died of rabies and was last treated at Cherrydale Veterinary Clinic in Arlington, according to a county news release. The dog was seen at the veterinary clinic between 10-11 a.m. July 8 and from 3-3:30 p.m. on July 14.
   “Arlington County Public Health Division is working closely with staff at the clinic to identify and contact those people and their pets who may have been exposed to the bulldog there on July 8 and July 14 during the specified times,” Arlington Department of Human Services spokesperson Kurt Larrick said.  STORY:http://www.insidenova.com/health/health_arlington/health-officials-seeking-people-pets-exposed-to-rabid-dog-in/article_f8062742-7705-11e7-a55e-7ff7459d40c7.html

2)   A similar issue happened recently in Brooklyn, New York. 
People in Brooklyn not vaccinating Dogs!
Not a shot! Anti-vax movement prompts Brooklynites to withhold inoculations from their pets
http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/40/31/all-pet-anti-vaccination-movement-2017-08-04-bk.html?ncid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__080217

SYMPTOMS OF RABIES (from the Mayo Clinic)
The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to the flu and may last for days. Later signs and symptoms may include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Fear of water (hydrophobia) because of the difficulty in swallowing
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Partial paralysis


Friday, August 11, 2017

In the Comics: Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson Meets Superman

As both a scientist and a Superman fan, there was one story that DC Comics published in 2012 involved both Superman and Neil deGrasse Tyson... where Neil helped Superman see the last light from the exploding planet Krypton. 
 - There is a cool 6 minute video that explains how the story came together, too (see below).
- Rob

Here's the story of how it came to be from the American Museum of Natural History:
 Action Comics #14, published in November 2012 by DC Comics, reveals that even Superman visits the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium—and not just to see the Space Show.
The superhero, it turns out, comes once a year to see images of his far-off home planet, Krypton, said to orbit its home-star every 382 days. To locate the fictional planet in the actual sky, DC Comics worked with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium. “When an artist’s muse leads to scientific themes,” says Tyson, “we are there to help out.” Tyson elaborates on the process in this video.
VIDEO ON HOW THE STORY HAPPENED: https://youtu.be/uZYLN_Ouu5U

CAPTION: During a roundtable discussion with journalists, Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson explains how he helped Superman find his home planet of Krypton. Tyson appears as a character in the recent DC Comics' ACTION COMICS #14, "Star Light, Star Bright." In real life, he consulted a star index and found a real star that supported the backstory of the comic.  The red dwarf star designated for having the ability to support a Krypton-like planet is located in the constellation Corvus 27.1 light years from Earth. The star, designated LHS 2520, possesses a red, highly turbulent surface, somewhat cooler and smaller than the Sun. To find it in the night's sky, amateur astronomers and Superman fans can follow these coordinates: J2000
Right Ascension: 12 hours 10 minutes 5.77 seconds
Declination: -15 degrees 4 minutes 17.9 seconds
Proper Motion: 0.76 arcseconds per year, along 172.94 degrees from due north


FIRST TASK: TYSON DETERMINES KRYPTON ORBITED STAR LHS 2520 IN CORVUS CONSTELLATION
Tyson’s first task was to figure out where the planet Krypton would be located in the galaxy. Using the facts of Superman’s fictional life—such as his age, about 27—Tyson studied published catalogs of known stars to determine a few possible candidates about 27 light years from Earth, around which Krypton might orbit.
After hearing about the candidates, DC Comics homed in on one—a star known as LHS 2520—because it was within the night-sky constellation Corvus, which is Latin for crow. As Superman aficionados know, the mascot of Smallville High School—which Clark Kent attends growing up—is the Crow.
Superman and Tyson
A panel from Action Comics #14, featuring Superman and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
© DC Comics
Back on Earth, astronomers don’t know whether LHS 2520 has any planets orbiting it. But over the past two decades, many astronomers have discovered planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. Though only a small portion of the sky has been surveyed so far, about 800 of these exoplanents have already been discovered, with thousands more observed but not yet confirmed.
Still, distant stars like LHS 2520 are not easily observed; in fact, no telescope today is strong enough to see details of planets as far off as the fictional Krypton would be. To actually see a planet 27 light years away, says Tyson, a telescope “would have to be the width of the Earth!”
Instead, today, exoplanet researchers mostly observe exoplanets indirectly, by watching the effects of a planet’s gravity on the star, or the tiny eclipses that occur as planets “transit,” or cross, a star.
But astrophysicists can combine the powers of telescopes placed at a distance from one another to amplify their powers of observation. Called interferometry, this method, for now, utilizes small telescopes, not powerful enough to observe far-off Krypton-like exoplanets.
SECOND TASK: TYSON DEVISES PLAUSIBLE METHOD BY WHICH SUPERMAN CAN SEE HIS FAR-OFF HOME
To make the comic’s key plot point—Superman observing his home planet’s destruction—scientifically plausible, Tyson combined fact with fiction. In the comic, every actual visible-light telescope on Earth observes Krypton at the same moment, in effect creating a massive interferometer—a feat only possible in comics.
Superman Rose Center
© DC Comics
Sadly for Superman, this amazing technology allows him to observe the long-ago explosion of his home planet, the light from which has taken 27 years to reach Earth. “The Planet Krypton has been gone for years,” reads the comic. “But as far as Superman is concerned—Tonight is the night Krypton died.”

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fascinating Book: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil's amazing book
As a scientist (meteorologist) and someone who works with astrophysicists, I had to read the brand
new book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. In this 208 page book, you'll get a great idea of what the cosmos is made up of, and how things work.
   The book is easy to read, and although I've been working with astrophysicists for about 17 years, this provided some great basic science facts I never picked up. You'll learn about light, dark matter, dark energy, what's between planets, exoplanets, how scientists observe objects in various forms of light from Infrared to ultraviolet. You'll learn about radio waves from space, microwaves, gamma-rays, cosmic rays, etc. You'll understand how looking at objects tell us what they are made of.
   One of the lessons that stuck with me was "Matter tells space how to curve, and space tells matter how to move." That's because matter can warp space (like a magnifying lens).
   There are so many amazing things in this book that I didn't learn in college - and of course, there have been SO many findings on a daily basis with all the satellites we have observing the cosmos.
The day I met Neil at NASA in 2016
   In my job I also work with all of the Hubble Space Telescope findings on a daily basis, so this book as really "brought those to light" and made the findings even more exciting to me.
 - If you're an armchair scientist, love science, love the stars, or just like looking up, you should read this.There is so much more beyond this tiny speck called Earth and you'll be fascinated for a lifetime.
  BTW, I did get to meet Neil DeGrasse Tyson when he came to NASA in 2016. He's a cool guy!   - Rob

NEXT: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Meets Superman (well, sort of) 

ABOUT THE BOOK:  The #1 New York Times Bestseller: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.
While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

House Project: Assembling a Garden Takai Lantern

Franklin made sure we were assembling it correctly!
Have you heard of a Takai Lantern? In addition to renovating and updating things inside the house,
we're always looking for things to do in the backyard to make it more welcoming. Tom recently ordered a bench made of composite wood that won't deteriorate. Most recently we saw a 3 foot high stone garden Takai Lantern structure.

   In fact, it was about 3 years ago that we saw one in the front yard of a neighborhood house, and we really liked it. We hadn't been able to find one until recently though. 
The assembled Takai Lantern
   The "Takai Lantern" is a four piece structure, and stands about 3 feet as each piece is stacked vertically on top of another. The trick was getting it stacked correctly (we looked it up on Google.com).  
  Actually, the hardest part was transporting it. In total it weighs 376 pounds!!!  
We lifted the pieces into the back of our pick up truck, and once we got home, had to carry them together one at a time to the backyard. 
  Since we bought the lantern off a neighbor, and it was scattered in pieces all over the ground, we were unsure how it was supposed to be assembled. It took a couple of tries, and an internet search to find out how it was supposed to look.
  We put the lantern together in one of the backyard vegetation beds next to tall grasses and a plum tree.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tom and Rob's Talk: Ghosts of Causey Mansion

Tom explains the geography of the mansion
On Aug. 4, we gave a talk called "Explore the Ghosts
of Causey Mansion" about an investigation we did last year. We gave the talk at the monthly meeting of the Inspired Ghost Tracking group in Maryland.
  We talked about our private investigation of this historic Delaware mansion turned really amazing Bed and Breakfast. We were personally invited by the owners to do an investigation to find out who the friendly ghosts are the reside there (there's nothing scary going on, just odd things).
  Tom and I provided an overview of the history and the previous owners of the property. In fact, 2 of Delaware's governors owned the mansion and lived there!
  As a result of our investigation, we were able to confirm two friendly ghosts who live there. Again, they're benign, and just want to live in peace, so they don't bother anyone. They may make your stay more entertaining though, but they don't always make themselves known.

SKETCHING THE GHOSTS: 
Charlie the ghost: confirmed
I (Rob) often sketch what a ghost looks like whenever we go on investigations. Based on what Tom and I experienced I sketched two ghosts - a man and a woman.
 
Margaret the ghost: confirmed.
CONFIRMATION:   After the investigation, we were shown an old photo from the late 1800s early 1900s of a group of people that played tennis on the property and my sketches looked just like 2 of the people who appeared in the photo. The ghosts are friendly and just enjoyed the property then as they do today from the afterlife.

The mansion is an active bed and breakfast and not a place for paranormal seekers, but it's a great place to stay and enjoy the gardens, the historic house, the music (played on the piano by one of the owners), and wonderful breakfasts!
Margaret Ehrlich manager of Inspired Ghost Tracking does introductions
   

**********************
To read about other haunted locations and Rob's encounters, check out his books "Ghosts and Spirits" and "Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead" in paperback and E-book on Amazon.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rob in new video: A Few Odd Minutes: Ghostly Cat in Envy Salon!


  The Video series "A Few Odd Minutes (in Howard County) just published their latest video about a Ghost Cat at the Envy Salon in Ellicott City, Maryland. Rob Gutro, author/medium was interviewed about why the cat may linger. 
   On this episode, we visit a beauty salon with a couple of "permanent" guests. One is a ghost named Catherine and the other is a feline friend that sometimes makes her presence known to the customers.
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/a7-0IUOqoFw

IN THE NEWS: The Health Benefits Of White Wine!



Tom enjoys a glass of wine and there's good news in every glass. Here's the latest findings about white wine that will make you want to pour a glass! 

The Health Benefits Of White Wine, Because There Actually Are Some


By Julie R. Thomson, Huffington Post

Red wine is often lauded for its positive health attributes, but no one stops to consider white.
Now that warm weather is on the horizon, and the need for something refreshing is upon us, it’s time to take a closer look at white wine. Lucky for all you chardonnay and pinot grigio lovers, it actually comes with its own host of good health benefits.

Three of them, to be exact ― enough reason to pop a cork. Here’s what you can get out of a glass of white:

1. White wine can help with heart- and metabolism-related improvements. In a study published in 2015, researchers assigned people with type-2 diabetes to either drink red wine, white wine, or water with dinner for two years while follow a strict mediterranean diet. While red wine drinkers saw the most improvements in heart and metabolism-related improvements, those who drank white also saw improvements. And that’s better than none.

2. Just like red, white wine can help improve cholesterol levels. Another study tracked 146 people over a year, half who drank red and half who drank white. Researchers found that the participants who worked out twice a week and drank wine ― of either kind ― had a significant improvement in cholesterol levels.
Coffee has twice as much antioxidants, but wine is good, too!

3. White wine is good for lung function. Research from the University of Buffalo suggests that drinking white wine ― more so than red ― can help keep your lungs healthy. The link between the two is unclear ― it might be thanks to its antioxidant-rich content, which combat free radicals ― but more research still has to be done.

Of course, it should be noted that most varieties of white wine do have a little more sugar than red, so keep that in mind before you serve yourself a second glass.

And remember, the key to getting health benefits from wine at all is to drink it in moderation.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Who was the actor who played Superboy in the unaired 1961 Pilot?

Yesterday we posted the 29 minute video of the unaired 1961 TV pilot of Superboy. I got curious about the actor, though. His name is Johnny Rockwell!  Here's an article from the "Superman Super Site" that explains who he is and how he wound up doing the show. (the pilot was good, so see yesterday's blog to watch it). - Rob
Johnny Rockwell, then and now

Meet the Actor Who Played Superboy for a 1961 One-Shot TV Episode
 

Johnny Rockwell starred as Superboy in the unaired pilot for 1961's Adventures of Superboy. The plot revolves around Jimmy, Clark Kent and Lana Lang's friend, being ashamed that his father works as a doorman at the Smallville Theater. His opinion changes when Superboy is able to thwart a robbery with Jimmy's father's help.
"I first studied acting with Agnes Moorehead at 20th Century Fox and then did a Playhouse 90 show as an extra. Paul Newman was the star and he suggested to me that I go back to New York and study with Sandy Meisner. It just so happened that Sandy once came out to see him, and I said, “I want to be in this class.” They said, “We're only taking professionals,” but I talked my way into the class. And who was in the class... Barbara Rush, John Erickson, Dyan Cannon and Terry Moore... a few people. Before the Superboy pilot, I did a few things at ZIV, including Lockup, with MacDonald Carey. I also studied at Warner Brothers. They had an acting school. Ty Hardin and I did a film together called As Young As You Are for Paramount.
Stills from the TV show

"When Superboy was casting, I was on the lot working on a pilot called Time Out for Ginger. As soon as I heard about the part being available, I went over and found out where the office was on a break. I walked in and Whitney Ellsworth was playing gin rummy with the head of the studio. I told him, “You don't have to look any further. I can fly.” I was also a very good gin player at the time, so I said I would play the winner. Whit won, so I started playing him and began winning. At that point I more or less knew I had the job. I did have to read a few lines, but I think I got the job because I was a good gin player.” – Johnny Rockwell, Superboy 

Source: http://www.supermansupersite.com/rockwell.html

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Found! An unaired 1961 TV Pilot of "Superboy"

After George Reeves, the 1950s TV Superman was found dead, TV producers decided to create a "Superboy" TV show in 1961. I found this after searching for information about the Superman TV show (which I've been watching again recently on DVD). Here's the link if you want to watch this 1961 TV black and white pilot.
 Description:  Unsold Pilot of Superboy made after the death of George Reeves. Was a good production. There were 13 episodes written, but only this one was filmed.
NEXT: Who was the Actor who Played Superboy in the 1961 show? 

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/a_3F_G2A3V4

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14