Today I Learned …

During World War II, John F. Kennedy was in command of the torpedo boat PT109, which was severely damaged by a Japanese destroyer. The survivors had to swim almost four miles in the South Pacific to reach an island where they were later rescued. Kennedy, who had been on the varsity swim team at Harvard, towed an injured crewman, Patrick McMahon, by cinching McMahon’s life jacket strap in his teeth.

New Book Website

Hey there, book fans! I wanted to tell you guys about a nifty new website that just launched, called Shepherd. Why? Because this site curates authors’ books, like a shepherd herding their sheep, keeping them all nice and tidy. And one of the cool things Shepherd does is to let authors like me gush about their favorite books by OTHER authors. (Most authors are also voracious readers.) Here’s my list: . I chose to make a list of nonfiction books that rock my world just as hard as a novel would. Nonfiction is not boring — it’s anything but! Go check it out! And do support Shepherd; they link to for book purchases, so if you choose to pick up one of the many, MANY books featured on the site, some of that moolah goes to support small bookstores. And Heaven knows indie bookstores can use the support. Go browse, and have fun!

Morbid Curious Issue 3 Is Out!

Hey there ghostie fans — I’ve got something absolutely wonderful for you! The new issue of Morbid Curious is available to order, and it’s got an article by the one and only me in it. (YES, my name’s misspelled on the cover. That makes it a collector’s item, don’t you know?) Join me to explore The Vigilante Massacre of the “Black Donnellys”. After you finish that story, feast your eyes on all the other creepy, spooky tales within these pages. It’s nearly warm enough to read on the porch, or by the pool, or in the garden, so treat yourself to this issue of Morbid Curious. Here’s the link to order:

Today I Learned …

Hummingbirds shut down their kidneys at night. Because of their small size and incredibly fast metabolism, hummingbirds have to keep just the right amount of water in their bodies. During the day, the birds take in water from nectar, and excrete it. But at night, they have to retain enough water to keep their bodies functioning. Slowing their kidneys down prevents water being lost.

Today I Learned …

A woman in Mauretania was granted a court injunction to make her husband, who was a farmer, stop using her instead of his cow to pull a plough through the fields. The husband explained that he was reluctant to use the cow because he believed his late mother was reincarnated in it. In Singapore, a young bride had to go to court to force her husband to stop letting his mother sleep under their bed. And in Chicago one Allen C. Farber brought a suit against his former in-laws, claiming that his ex-wife had been cautioned by her mother not to bear Farber any children because they might look like him. (From Bizarre World, by Bill Bryson)

Today I Learned …

Alexey Bykov from Omsk, Russia, faked his own death so that he could propose to his girlfriend. He hired a movie director, stuntmen, make-up artists and a scriptwriter to stage a bogus car crash. The ruse was so convincing that when Irina Kolokov arrived at the scene and was told that Alexey was dead, she broke down in tears, convinced she really had lost him. Alexey jumped to his feet and proposed, still covered in fake blood. She said yes! So what did YOU do for Valentine’s Day this year? (From Ripley’s Believe It or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)

Lights Out #95: Old Orphanage, Jennie Wade House

You’ll get a double dose of spooky with this episode of Lights Out! The people of Gettysburg didn’t go looking for a battle; the battle came to them. In this episode, we’ll visit not one, but two haunted places touched by the war. The Old Orphanage was a sanctuary for war orphans … until things went horribly wrong. And just across the street is the house where Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed in the battle, lost her life.

I’m very excited about this episode. Not only are we getting closer to Episode 100, but I’m getting better at the new video rendering program I’m using now. This means that you’ll be treated to an hour-long episode where the pictures match up to the sound much better than in past episodes. Enjoy, and thanks so much for watching!