Weird But True

Pandas to Come Back After Nearly 30 Years to NYC?

pandasGood luck seems to be on everyone’s mind lately and some objects in certain cultures, people believe, bring you luck. Some examples are the rabbit’s foot, the four-leaf clover, a horseshoe, or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Adding to the list of good luck charms, pandas are also considered good luck. Representative Carolyn Maloney is heading to China to bring back a panda in nearly 30 years, as that the last one was loaned to the Bronx Zoo in 1987.

This panda would come from China and Chinese government does agree to do it. The Chinese government has invited her to visit “the Chengdu Research base of giant panda breeding in the Sichuan province.”

If all goes well, the panda would take over prime real estate at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. The zoo brings lots of tourism every year and right now, there are 12 pandas living in zoos around the country. These zoos included the Smithsonian National Zoon in Washington, D.C., the San Diego Zoo, the Memphis Zoo and the Zoo Atlantic. There is no question that the panda is a popular animal in zoos.

Interestingly, this is up for debate and is comparable to the American eagle, the symbol for the United States. Further, it costs roughly one million dollars a year to care for a panda and if the city approves it, officials would have to seek private funding.

Was Santa Elena the First Colonial City?

DiggingMost everyone is familiar with the story of how the United States began its journey into what it is today. We learn about the history of the United States in school, through our parents, grandparents and other influential people. A common known fact is that Jamestown, Virginia was American’s birthplace. But now a new place was deemed as the first colonial capital, Santa Elena located in South Carolina.

Since realizing this piece of history, archaeologists are now resuming digs properly to uncover what was ultimately forgotten. The site where the archaeologists are interested in is within the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Tourists are also attracted to this area when they visit South Carolina.

This discovery is going one step further. According to a news source, The National Park Service “plans to release a curriculum this fall on Santa Elena for middle and high school teachers. Spain has offered to provide software, documents and other artifacts to help tell the town’s story, as part of an agreement the U.S. signed with Spain last year on the initiative.”

Also, Santa Elena was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Despite this, the history books give an interesting timeline of the beginning for the United States. The history books talk about Christopher Columbus, to the 1607 to Jamestown and to the landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

The Santa Elena Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 2013 and hopes to open up a temporary center in 2014, with a permanent center in 2016. The Marine Corps expectations before the center opens that the artifacts found be collected, re-packaged and re-cataloged.

Tattooing on Heads?

Rob Ferrel TattooWhy is art such a mysterious thing that only the artist can understand? Because they express themselves for what they see and not what the naked eye sees. They see something in a plain format, which is then translated into a sculptor, painting or some other effect.

This idea is parallel to a writer’s way of thinking where they start with a blank sheet of paper and begin to form words that are not only poetic, but take you into a different word and as a result, authors are created.

Take tattooing for example. It is a form of art created on the body where the object or in this case, a portrait, is inked on a person’s body.

In Texas, artist Rob Ferrel, also known as “Rob the Original”, from Los Angeles is a barber and stylist. As a hairstylist, you not only have to keep up you reputation, but also come up with new styles. In Ferrel’s case, he makes portraits on the customers head.

Ferrel had a passion for art and hair because when he was younger, he used to cut his own hair. By combining the two passions, he was able to create these portraits. One of his very first portraits was on his brother and it was of the rapper Tupac Shakur.

Additionally, the types of portraits that he does are of music artists and San Antonio Spurs players and now with the World Cup playing, inspiration has gone to now soccer players.

The process of making the portrait starts with a picture of the person off of his phone. Then, he uses trimmer, straight razors, non-toxic eyeliner, and lip liner pencils to fill in the details and complete the drawing. Afterwards, he uses hair spray as a protective layer over the tattoo.

In addition to this tattooing, there are also 3D tattoos and on the down side, there is a law that is banning the tattooing of animals.

Bones Found and Human Bodies Created; But How?

BonesFor archaeologists and researchers alike, the thought of finding human remains or any kind of bones and other artifacts for that matter, is fascinating. They are able to get answers to questions that many researchers before them were unable to answer. Even though the world has gone digital, archaeologist stills uses old methods and discovers something new.

Dating back 430,000 years, researchers found bones that were able to be restructured into 17 skulls of early humanoids in the “Pit of the Bones” which is located in Madrid, Spain.

The history of the Pit of the Bones was first discovered in 1983 and the largest number of human remains that are ever recorded here. The age of the fossils are unknown, yet still being debated today and also what species of humans they represent.

Interestingly, the species called Neanderthal is the closet extinct species to our own and right next to that are the Homo sapiens that coexisted with humans thousands of years ago. To tell the difference between the two, Neanderthal skulls have human like features including a brain, jaws, and teeth.

The reconstructed skulls that were discovered, had the features in the face and teeth, but the brain could only accommodate a small skull. Further, it was not just the face that was restricted, but entire human bodies.

At the end of the study, the researchers were able to answer two of the questions, “who were these people? And when were they living on the landscape?”

Your Pet Can No Longer Get A Tattoo in NY

PetsIs it animal cruelty or showing your pet that you love them? Some acts that you do to your pet may seem completely normal, but to some they may be uncomfortable. Dressing dogs up, for example, is a fashion statement among many pet owners. Other owners may have a small house for them to sleep in as opposed to a simple doggy bed.

Having a pet does bring its unique challenges. In this case, they would have their dog tattooed or pierced. It sounds almost unreal, but people do it for all kinds of reasons.

Yet, being able to do this freely is not expected to stay around much longer. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. The law was passed by the New York Senate and Assembly that will ban people from having their pets tattooed or pierced.

The issue was first introduced in 2011 by Assembly member, Linda Rosenthal, but was brought up again this year after a Brooklyn tattoo artist posted a controversial photo on Instagram of his pet pit bull.

People may feel that this is a medical necessity, but it is not and animal rights groups are pleased that the issue is being addressed. Animals are creatures that help us in a time of need or bring us joy, yet are being banned from places like the circus. Similarly, there are exotic animals living right here in New York City. In the end, animal issues are always going to have two sides of every story.

So is this right or should pet owners be allowed to show their pet and others some kind of affection through tattoos and piercings?

From Pay Phone to a Wi-Fi Spot?

Pay PhoneEverything that use to be ‘the way of life’ is slowly becoming digital. There is less mail with paperless bills, there are reminders via a text message, being able to buy groceries online, and remember those phones that you use to put a quarter in and dial a number? Yes, the pay phones will soon cease to exist because they will be turning into Wi-Fi spots.

Currently, proposals are being made as to how the pay phone could be made into a Wi-Fi spot. Some features at minimum would include them being offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week use and be able to make free 911 and 311 phone calls.

The process for the Wi-Fi spots would extend throughout the five boroughs over the next 4 years and be overseen by the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

One interesting question that has not been resolved yet is what to the with the existing pay phone system? There are so many generations who are just use to the classic phones that it may be tough to get rid of them. Think about it. How do you get someone who has a flip phone, for example, to use a more upgraded phone with email, Internet and other advanced features?

The proposals would have to include this information as well. Yet, with this advancing technological world, it is certain, that someone will come up with a solution. We will have to see in the years to come what will happen.

Leech Therapy May Be Coming Back

LeechCan an age-old technique help with curing a wound? It is possible that what was once a treatment being used almost 200 years ago that could help someone today? The healthcare field changes more rapidly than most other industries because new technology is surfacing, new theories are being tested and more importantly, people are finding innovative ways to stay ahead of the crowd.

The technique we are talking about is leech therapy, also known as hirudotherapy as a fertility treatment. A leech is a small worm and the therapy that is used today is by placing the leeches on the patient’s stomach until they are attached. The purpose of the therapy and leeches is to increase blood circulation and microcirculation and also detoxify the liver.

The most recent use for leech therapy was in Brooklyn and it is not surprised that people will take it into their own hands to find treatments on their own and be willing to do anything to be cured.

Purposes and Uses of the technique

At one point, there was a belief that leeches were a ‘cure-all’ and a miracle to get rid of all diseases. This was not a bad idea for someone who lived during the 19th century.

The idea of leech farms was created so that farmers could produce their own leeches and thousands of leeches were sold showing the impact of the demand.


There were several other ways that the technique was being used, yet it has dwindled and then come back throughout the years. This is one of those kinds of treatments that not the average person would think of when trying to cure a wound. However, it is one of those kinds of treatments where at a glance it could not work and the only way for it to work, would be through trial and error. Who knows, with how advance technology is today, it may become a permanent kind of treatment in the future. Of course, explore all options and ask a lot of questions before starting any kind of treatment.

Cutbacks with Limes, Really?

LimesCutbacks are commonly talked about these days with people and companies being so price conscious. But we have to face it because it is true. With rising costs, demands are going up, supplies are going down and there seems to never be way out.

From traditional cutbacks in the office, to people spending less at the store, airlines are now cutback as well. If you ever flown before, you know that there is a variety of snacks and beverages available. However, for those that like limes in their vodka tonic, will notice that the lime is no longer there on Alaska Airlines. The reason for this is because of a shortage and a price hike with the fruits. Because of the frigid winter, Mexican and India lime prices have soared; for Mexico, the biggest impact was in Jalisco.

United Airlines is making do with offering lemons and Alaska Airlines are expected to have a normal supply of limes back in late May. This pattern is not new and started in the 1980s with American Airlines. Here the CEO decided to remove one olive from every salad offered and saved $40,000 a year.

Note though, that not all airlines have changed their drink service, it is just a small annoying setback that is only temporary.

Tips Can Go a Long Way

tipsDo you tip? Many people and those that do, think that everyone should do it. Tipping should be a personal choice and for not tipping, you should not be looked down upon. Whether you tip or not, is not really the matter, it is the aftermath, like this story.

People take the waitress, the bartender, or pizza delivery job to put themselves through school or to help pay the bills. In Oregon, a pizza delivery driver received a 33 cent tip on an order that was $22.67. Now, most people would react, argue and think that the .33 cents was absolutely nothing. But the man turned a negative into a positive.

He did this by appreciating the tip and being grateful that it would help him get through school because 2/3 of his paycheck is relying on tip money. The next day when the man went into work, he was given a note that was left by the couple that gave him the .33 cent tip. The note simply stated, “To the driver who delivered our pizza last night around 9 p.m. – A thank you note.” Inside was the remainder of what they should have originally left for him.

Like most people, the couple did feel bad about forgetting the tip and were able to make the situation right to the best of their knowledge. It is people like this, that we need to thank for having in the world to remind that times are tough for everyone. However, doing the right thing in the end is truly worth it and a simple thank you note is something that is very appreciative.

Lizards, Mice, and Rats, Oh My!!

unwelcome1It is called fast food for a reason. You go in, order your food and leave, right? Well, it is not natural to go in and see animals or their nests and then realize that your favorite food place is now infested with their unwelcoming and it has to shut down for a few days. This seems to be a new hype in New York City at two places; Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring Street and a Dunkin Donuts in the Garment District.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

The bakery was closed down due to a mice infestation found when health inspectors were inspecting the building on April 3rd. Since opening in 2011, the bakery received a health grade of an “A”. This means that they have kept up with all of the safety standards that every other bakery and food place has to follow. It includes anywhere from ovens being calibrated to the right temperature to items being dated and labeled in proper containers.

The employees did take part in a deep clean of the store for several hours. With several tasty treats, the bakery is most known for Cronuts which are a croissant and donut filled with crème. For those that enjoy the bakery, it is scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 7th.

Dunkin Donuts

For this bake shop, rats were the unwelcomed visitors that left customers unhappy. Here, as employees reloaded the bake goods overnight to beat the morning rush crowd and rats had appeared.

Dunkin Donuts did mention that it takes pride in the quality of its food and beverage offerings. A certified operations manager did ensure that all appropriate standards are being followed and took immediate action upon learning about the situation.

First there are lizards, then mice, and now rats. There are too many unwelcomed animals being found in food. Customers except quality service and those who frequent certain places, have high expectations on the food and to not suffer quality for quantity. At least, the appropriate people are being told the concern and taking action immediately.

State Facts That You May Not Already Know

Map of United StatesEvery state is so unique by having its own identity and lingo to it, only the people from that state may understand it. Since we have readers all over the country, it is only fitting that we give you one fact of many that are weird but true to that state. Did you know about the fact from your state?

Alabama Audemus jura nostra defendere is the official state motto; translated it means “we dare defend our rights”.
Alaska The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
ArizonaThe original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
Arkansas Pine Bluff is known as the world center of archery bow production.
California Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California’s 58 counties. It has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.
ColoradoThe 13th step of the state capital building in Denver is exactly one mile high above sea level.
Connecticut PEZ® Candy is made in the city of Orange.
Delaware The 87-foot Fenwick Island Lighthouse was painted in 1880 for a total cost of about $5.00.
Florida The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art in Coral Gables, is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the preservation, diffusion, and promotion of Hispanic and Latin American Art.
Georgia is the nation’s number one producer of the three Ps–peanuts, pecans, and peaches.
Hawaii There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet. The vowels: A, E, I, O, U and the consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W.
Idaho The Lewis & Clark Highway (United State Highway 12), is the shortest route from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast and the longest highway within a national forest in the nation.
Illinois’ state dance is square dancing.
Indiana’s shoreline with Lake Michigan is only 40 miles long, but Indiana is still considered a Great Lakes State.
Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels.
Kansas won the award for most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.
Kentucky’s Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured in Bowling Green.
Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties; its political subdivisions are called parishes.
Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state.
Maryland 16 of the 23 Maryland counties border on tidal water. The combined length of tidal shoreline, including islands, is 4,431 miles.
Massachusetts The first U.S. Postal zip code in Massachusetts is 01001 at Agawam.
Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.
Minnesota The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields — 9.5 million square feet.
Mississippi Root beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, Sr.
Missouri Kansas City has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.
Montana In Montana, the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans.
Nebraska The largest porch swing in the world is located in Hebron, Nebraska and it can seat 25 adults.
Nevada The state’s Highway 50, known as the Loneliest Highway in America, received its name from “Life” magazine in 1986. There are a few road stops in the 287 mile stretch between Ely and Fernley.
New Hampshire It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make approximately one gallon of maple syrup.
New Mexico has far more sheep and cattle than people. There are only about 12 people per square mile.
New YorkNew York City has 722 miles of subway track.
New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the diner capital of the world.
North Carolina The State Motto is Esse quam videri (To be rather than to seem).
North Dakota When Dakota Territory was created in 1861 it was named for the Dakota Indian tribe. Dakota is a Sioux word meaning friends or allies.
Ohio Some well-known personalities were born in Ohio including Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Annie Oakley, Arsenio Hall and Clark Gable.
Oklahoma is one of only two states whose capital cities name includes the state name. The other is Indianapolis, Indiana.
Oregon’s state birthday is on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.
Pennsylvania Hershey is considered the Chocolate Capital of the United States.
Rhode Island shares a state water border with New York.
South Carolina The Upper Whitewater Falls is the highest cascade in eastern America; it descends for nearly 411 feet.
South Dakota The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are sculpted into Mount Rushmore the world’s greatest mountain carving.
Tennessee The name “Tennessee” originated from the old Yuchi Indian word, “Tana-see,” meaning “The Meeting Place.”
Texas Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. The Dublin Dr Pepper, 85 miles west of Waco, still uses pure imperial cane sugar in its product. There is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.
Utah is the only state whose capital’s name is made of three words. All three words in Salt Lake City have four letters each.
Vermont Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. state capital without a McDonalds.
VirginiaThe state motto is “Sic Semper Tyrannis”. (Thus always to tyrants)
Washington Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.
West Virginia has the oldest population of any state. The median age is 40.
Wisconsin The falls in Niagara has the same geological feature as Niagara Falls, New York.
Wyoming has the lowest population of all 50 United States.

A Clown on Staten Island?

clown25n-2-webThere are but only a few holidays out of the year where people get dressed up and celebrate. But someone had thought to pull a stunt early and if the goal was to get people talking and questioning, it sure did.

Living in Staten Island just got weird, not to mention that it already feels a little secluded from the rest of New York. It is not every day you hear about a clown just roaming the streets on Richmond Avenue.

The person that wore the clown costume is unknown, but resembles Stephen King’s terrifying character Pennywise from “It”. The clown wore a yellow outfit, red shoes, and a mask. Being that the island is small, everyone knows almost everyone and the stunt may be linked to Fuzz on the Lens Productions, a Staten Island film company. The stunt started out as a prank and then turned into a project, but was by no means meant for a promotional stunt. That would be hard to believe since the video that was made went viral and people were talking about it.

Whether you are creep out or think it is wrong, the clown was not disturbing anybody, so the police were not involved; the clown was just creating attention.

The clown may just be part of a marketing stunt and the video that was made by Vic Dibitetto and went viral soon after it was made through the social networks of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.