Today I Learned …

Crawfish communicate with each other by shooting streams of urine out of pores on the sides of their heads. Clusters of fan-like appendages direct the spout straight into the face of the other crawfish during a fight or during courtship. The urine contains hormone derivatives that give clues to the sprayer’s current level of fitness, and indicates whether or not that particular crawfish would make a fearsome adversary or a healthy mate. (And aren’t you JUST glad you’re not a crawfish?) (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Today I Learned …

Ilha de Queimada Grande, known as “Snake Island”, located 20 miles off the coast of Brazil, is home to thousands of highly venomous Golden Lancehead vipers — as many as five per square yard. The snakes are so dangerous that people are forbidden to land on the island. It is the only place in the world that is home to the deadly viper, whose potent venom can not only kill people but also melt human flesh. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Tea and Conversation, Anyone?

I’ve been having some really wonderful chats with podcast hosts in the past couple of months. I’ll be posting links to their shows as they become available; here are a couple of them.

The Gritty Hour: “We spoke with Sylvia Shults, author of “Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital” about her particular interest in that hospital, once known as the Illinois Asylum. Her time as a paranormal investigator has given her many interesting stories involving the supernatural, which she expertly describes in her books, which include the above title and “Days Of The Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories”.” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ghosts-and-the-paranormal-with-author-sylvia-shults/id1570694082?i=1000581446622

The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey: “Like me, Sylvia Shults is a collector of ghost stories and author but she is also a paranormal investigator. We had a fun conversation about our activities, what we had learned from them and about how she likes the historical context of the stories.”

Here are links to both the podcast and the YouTube version of our talk together.

https://podcasts.apple.com/cz/podcast/the-magical-world-of-g-michael-vasey/id1518198271?i=1000585297945

Today I Learned …

A bonsai tree survived the atomic bomb that devastated the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 — even though it stood less than two miles from ground zero. First planted in 1625, the ornamental white pine was presented to the American people in 1976 as a gift for the Bicentennial celebrations. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Today I Learned …

On Friday June 13, 2014, miners in Russia’s Irkutsk region found a nugget of gold that they nicknamed “the devil’s ear” because of its shape. When weighed, the nugget tipped the scales at 6,664 grams — handily incorporating the “devil’s number” of 666. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Today I Learned …

The Romanian village of Costesti is home to strange rocks called trovants that can balloon 1000 times in size when it rains. Trovants are balls of sand that appeared on Earth following powerful earthquakes six million years ago. They grow when they come into contact with water. Stones as small as .03 inches can swell up to 26 feet across. Scientists believe that beneath their outer shell, the stones have a high mineral content, and when the surface gets wet, the minerals spread and the sand expands. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Today I Learned …

Togbe Ngoryifia runs a car repair garage in Frankfurt, Germany, but is also an African king with 200,000 subjects whom he rules via Skype. He became King Banash of the Hohoe people in southeast Ghana in 1987, after being named as the successor to his grandfather’s throne. His father and older brother were not permitted to rule because they are left-handed, a sign of dishonesty among the Hohoe. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Grave Deeds and Dead Plots is on the air!

Spotlight – Grave Deeds and Dead Plots

Ron’s Amazing Stories. On the podcast this week we will have a special Ghost Stories With Sylvia. Sylvia and I will be discussing her brand new book Grave Deeds and Dead Plots. It is the first volume of an exciting new series. These collections of ghost stories feature spine-tingling tales of true crime … with ghosts added. Each story is a tale of murder, passion, or cold-blooded killing—and each case has resulted in an eerie haunting. I have had the chance to read this book and I can tell you there are stories that will blow your mind. Did you think that you knew it all about the Hamilton and Burr conflict? Sylvia tells a whole new chapter of that amazing saga. Or how about the early days of Abraham Lincoln and his encounter with cold blooded killer Isaac Wyatt. You might want to leave the lights on for the story at The Haunted Crossroads where Tom Otter meets his maker in a most hideous way. These are just a few of 30 stories found in Sylvia’s new work.This book reads like a dream and you can binge it or enjoy it at your leisure. Sylvia has taken the time to fully research each story and gives you the facts. But not in a cold dry manner. No, each story is told with passion and you will feel it deep in your bones.

So on the podcast this week we will talk about this amazing book. You can listen to us, this Thursday, at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from Apple Podcasts, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link

Grave Deeds and Dead Plots:You can find the book on Amazon, of course, but you might also want to try Bookshop.org. When you order from Bookshop.org, part of your money goes to support independent bookstores, which is amazing.

Make Every Day Spooky!

The 2023 Days of the Dead calendars are HERE! Just $15, and that covers postage to send it straight to your doorstep. The calendars are a generous 8 1/2 by 11, with plenty of room to write in coming events: dentist’s appointments, frat parties, fun things like that. To order, simply click on the Contact Me link at the top of the page. Thanks, and make every day spooky!

Days of the Dead Now Available With the Click of a Mouse!

Well, here’s some fun library news! Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories, is now available on Biblioboard. What does this mean? It means that if you’ve got a library card, you can read Days of the Dead for free in ebook format. And you can skip the hold shelf — with Biblioboard, there’s no waiting, and you can order the ebook online. Just follow this link: https://library.biblioboard.com/…/c0a8deba-e4bf-4d3f… , have your library card handy, and with one click of a button, you can be enjoying a year’s worth of true ghost stories. Just be sure to keep the lights on!

Today I Learned …

On the day Judy Garland died, a tornado struck Kansas. Judy Garland was found dead at her London home late on the morning of June 22, 1969, twelve days after she had turned 47 years old. An F3 tornado touched down in Saline County, Kansas, on June 21. Sixty people were injured, but no one was killed. The tornado struck at 10:40 pm on the 21st … which, in London, was 4:40 am on the 22nd, at the presumed exact time of Garland’s death.

Review of Grave Deeds and Dead Plots

So every month or so, I head on over to Ron’s Amazing Stories, and Ron Hood and I chat about the paranormal for a while. Ron was kind enough to get himself a copy of my brand-new book, and even better, he wrote up a glowing review of it. Here it is:

“I have had the chance to read this book and I can tell you there are stories that will blow your mind. Did you think that you knew it all about the Hamilton and Burr conflict? Sylvia tells a whole new chapter of that amazing saga. Or how about the early days of Abraham Lincoln and his encounter with cold blood killer Isaac Wyatt. You might want to leave the lights on for the story at The Haunted Crossroads where Tom Otter meets his maker in a most hideous way. These are just a few of 30 stories found in Sylvia’s new work.

This book reads like a dream and you can binge it or enjoy it at your leisure. Sylvia has taken the time to fully research each story and gives you the facts. But not in a cold dry manner. No, each story is told with passion and you will feel it deep in your bones.”

Thank you so much, Ron, for those kind words! If you’d like to check out this episode of Ghost Stories With Sylvia, where we chat about the book, and I read a story from its pages, please follow this link here.

Today I Learned …

How long does it take for a flower to replenish its nectar supply?

It all depends on the creature the flower evolved to attract, says Gary Krupnick of the Museum of Natural History. Nectar is a sugar-based substance that lures pollinators so their bodies transfer bits of fertilizing pollen from flower to flower. Plants adjust their nectar production to match the needs of their pollinators. Small blue borage flowers, which attract bees and butterflies, can replenish their nectar in two minutes. Agave plants, which attract needle-nosed bats, produce nectar only at night. A recent study found that evening primrose is even able to detect the specific sound frequencies of its bee pollinators. When it does, it produces fresh nectar in three minutes to attract them.