My Favorite Halloween Movies and TV Episodes

Thursday, October 10, 2019 0
My Favorite Halloween Movies and TV Episodes
Every year around Halloween I try to make time to watch a few films and tv episodes during the season. Not all of them are Halloween themed specifically but they're suited for this time of year. Some of these shows and films are more about nostalgia for me. As is the case with many of the reasons why people watch certain shows and movies throughout October. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

Ernest Scared Stupid

Ernest P. Worrell was one of my favorite characters in movies when I was a child. This film is no different and I've seen it quite a few times. It's a good film for nostalgia's sake.

The Hollow (2004)

There are a lot of people who don't like this film because of who stars in it (Nick Carter). And this was before the accusations against him. Ignoring his presence in the film as much as you can, this movie is an okay retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Further down the article I will also be highlighting a much better film based on Washington Irving's story.

Casper (1995)

1995's Casper film, starring Christina Ricci, goes along great with the Casper cartoons. The cartoons, which were also a favorite of mine growing up. We had a few episodes of them on those VHS tapes that'd you get from Ames (remember them?) and Kmart. Anyways, about the Caspar movie, the story is really good and the acting is also, in my opinion. The fact that CG in a film, from the mid-90s, looks as good as it does is also a plus.

Disney's Scary Tales (1983)

I used to watch this Disney special every year, during the month of October, when I was younger. In fact, this one was just about a must to watch when I was a child. You can find a few other Disney Halloween specials listed on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scary_Tales

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

No list is complete without this classic. Another Halloween cartoon I would watch every year growing up.

Wait Till Helen Comes

This is a more recent movie but was a story that I read as a child. I'd only remembered the name of the book once advertisements for the film were being shown online. The story stuck in my mind from my childhood and the film isn't all that bad.

Trick 'r Treat

I only found out about this film because I was watching True Blood and was looking for other similarly-themed stuff that starred any of the people from the HBO show. Specifically Anna Paquin. Trick 'r Treat was the film that fit the bill. Sam is an excellent standout character and one that makes this film itself stand out from many Halloween-season films of recent years. 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Last, but not least, is the 1980 movie, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", starring a young Jeff Goldblum who makes for the perfect Ichabod Crane. This adaptation of the Washington Irving story is much much better than The Hollow above. And it's far more atmospheric, partly owning to the age of the film and how it was filmed. Like The Hollow, it is also a made for tv film. I recommend watching this after watching The Hollow though. Maybe even on Halloween night if you have the time. The full version is currently available on YouTube.

I've probably forgotten quite a few of the greats for watching during October and during the Halloween season. So feel free to leave a comment about some of your Halloween tv and movie favorites.

On Believing in Ghosts - My Experience

Friday, September 27, 2019 0
On Believing in Ghosts - My Experience
On the existence of spirits, spiritual energy, ghosts, whatever you call them, I certainly believe that such energy exists that we cannot explain. That our scientific understanding cannot explain. With a universe of an unknown expanse and many dimensions (in physics terms/definitions), we cannot discount the fact of there being something more. Even without what's learned from the world's faiths, religions, and belief systems the majority of us feel that there's another world beyond this one. A feeling of an existence that's deeply embedded within us, our spirits, our souls, our DNA, what have you. To deny an existence of such 'other worlds' and energies would be ignorance.

With that said, on to my experience. This was from one summer when I was either fourteen or fifteen years old. I don't remember all specifics about this night but we, my siblings and I, used to sleep out in a tent in the yard. I remember the moon being bright in the sky that evening when we got into the tent. We went to sleep without a problem but were woken up around (my estimate) two in the morning. Immediately, I was hearing this sound coming from the woods, which the woodline began  right up next to the eastern edge of our yard. The sound itself though was further away and wasn't in a directly discernible area. Possibly because of the distance from us. Maybe a few hundred feet or so. At least that's what it sounded like. Not too close but not far away. But definitely too close for comfort.

Anyway, this sound was of a girl softly crying. So here we are, in our yard way out in the country, listening to the sound of a girl weeping early in the morning. A continual weeping that didn't sound like any animal, it was definitely human. It wasn't a cry of pain but more like a deep sadness. To be honest, even thinking about it still gives me chills. To the extent that I still feel for whoever this/they were or it was. I still hear the sound of their weeping in my memory. And this is the part that freaks me out, saddens me the most. I thought that during this experience I heard a soft teary, unclear whisper of them saying something. The whole experience was more saddening than scary.

So there I stood, with my scared siblings now out of the tent, trying to figure out the exact direction to no avail. I remember the small feeling I had at that time. Not fear, but yes, the sadness of their crying and the whisper I thought I heard got to me. Almost like a strange worry. It was like the voice was in the air everywhere roughly to the east of where we stood. After around ten minutes or so the sounds of the weeping faded out into the night as we were still standing outside. Which I was glad the moon was bright that night or I wouldn't have stayed outside to listen to the whole time. After it stopped, we all went back into the house to sleep. We never slept outside in the tent ever again.

About a year later, we'd found out from an older neighbor that a girl had fallen in a well and died on that wooded property, which was once a yard with a house that was long gone. This was an event that occurred even before his time. I don't know many details, besides what we heard from the neighbor, but they didn't reach her in time or the well collapsed or something like that. Maybe it was her spirit that we heard? Or maybe a replay of history recorded by some phenomena that we don't understand? Who knows? But it's an experience still burned into my memory. It was the experience, of my few 'paranormal' experiences, that still stands out most in my memory.

So yes, I do believe in spirits. I do believe in ghosts. We all have an energy about us and everything has a memory. Even nature itself. As we feel, so does it. So does everything.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, NYC

Saturday, September 14, 2019 0
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, NYC
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, also known to many as the Central Park Reservoir, is a reservoir that is no longer in use as a water supply. It was 'retired' back in 1993 after it was determined that it was vulnerable to contamination and was also made obsolete by superior methods of supplying some of the water supply for the city. The reservoir was still considered a part of the city's water supply, for emergency use during droughts, until 1999. As for being renamed, that happened in 1994 to honor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Related: 131-Year-Old Reservoir Is Deemed Obsolete

The street view panorama below was taken during the January 2016 blizzard

Other quick facts about the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir:

The reservoir comprises an area of 106 acres.
Starting in 1858, Irish immigrants were the main workers working on the reservoir.
The reservoir was initially known as the Croton Reservoir prior to its subsequent names.

Video from 2013:

More information about the reservoir and Central Park:
The Early History Of New York City’s Central Park
12 HIDDEN SECRETS in Central Park | New York City
Central Park Conservancy - Reservoir
The Central Park Reservoir

More Street Views of Central Park locations in Winter
Minton Tiles at Bethesda Arcade
The Mall and Literary Walk
Skater's Road

Tulip Poplar - Quick Facts and Pictures

Wednesday, September 04, 2019 0
Tulip Poplar - Quick Facts and Pictures
The tulip poplar goes by a few names, including yellow poplar, tulip tree, saddle-leaf tree, and its scientific name, Liriodendron tulipifera. There is also a similar species in China and Vietnam that has the scientific name, Liriodendron chinense. The tulip poplar, related to the magnolia tree, is a hardwood tree native to the eastern regions of the United States, except for the Northwest United States. It also grows in a few regions of Ontario, Canada, including from the Southern shores of Lake Huron, the Northern shores of Lake Erie, and the Niagara Peninsula region.

Given the right conditions, a tulip poplar can grow 150 feet in height or taller. There are records of tulip poplars reaching upwards and above 190 feet in height. On average though, a tulip poplar will be anywhere from 70 to 100 feet in height. Being a quick growing tree, you'll have a good beginning of a shade tree within a few years. What's also good about tulip poplars is that they are long-living and can live for a couple hundred years.

As for the flowers of the tulip poplar, they won't appear until the tree is around fifteen years old. From then on, the flowers will develop in the spring in southern areas and in late spring in northern areas. The flowers are typically yellow but can also be a pale green. The tulip-shaped flowers of the tree are good for attracting bees and if provide an abundance of nectar for bees' production of poplar honey.

Read More:
Tulip Poplar Tree Facts, Uses, and Planting Tipsand-Planting-Tips

Tulip Poplar Seeds
Tulip Poplar Leaf in Autumn
Tulip Poplar Flower
Tulip Poplar Leaves

Protecting the Night of a Nation - International Dark Sky Association

Friday, August 23, 2019 0
Protecting the Night of a Nation - International Dark Sky Association
Protecting the Night of a Nation 
International Dark Sky Association
Leo Smith, IDA’s Northeast Regional Director and Chair of the Connecticut Chapter, is a strategic leader working to build momentum for dark sky protection across the United States. As a long time dark sky advocate well-versed in public policy and lighting regulations, Smith is equipped with the tools and experience to make a meaningful impact.

According to the article, Leo Smith became personally involved in protecting the night sky from light pollution when, in 1999, a large patch of land was sold to a developer for the development of what I'm guessing were cookie-cutter homes (McMansions) practically in his backyard. He became concerned about how the lighting from the development, especially street lighting, would lead to an amount of light pollution that would obscure the night sky. So he began to speak with the developer and they came up with a plan for the light fixtures that would shield the glare from the lights. It was at this time that he learned of the International Dark Sky Association. Soon enough, he joined the network.

Katelyn Nicole Davis ♥ Forever Missed