Look, it's Judge Crater! No, wait, it's Elvis!!

June 08, 2007 by barbara

by barbara

One of the joys of blogging is that you never know from one day to the next where events will take you. Today, I discovered the world of pareidolia. Not to worry! It's okay.

My rusty Latin suggests the word might mean a couple of sad people. But no! Wikipedia tells us that the word pareidolia “comes from the Greek para — amiss, faulty, wrong — and eidolon — image (the diminutive of eidos — appearance, form),” and that it “describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hidden messages on records played in reverse.” Think Rorschach Test for starters.

What got me on this particular track was a story in today’s news about some citizens of Rosemont, Illinois who believe they are seeing the image of their recently deceased mayor, Donald Stephens, in the bark of a 50-foot sycamore tree that stands outside a health club. Read on!

Stephens went to the mat to save the tree from being destroyed, and now the tree is “guarded by a barricade and a single candle placed by well-wishers stands nearby.” The health club’s membership director is not convinced it is Stephens in the tree. “I see Jesus,” she says, adding that any resemblance to the late mayor is simply the “power of suggestion.”

Call it PTSD, but what came to mind immediately was the fate of the famous Nun Bun (see photo), snatched from a pastry shop in Nashville a few years ago. The cinnamon roll bears/bore the image of Mother Teresa, and spawned a wee cottage industry until thieves made off with it. Its fate is still unlearned, though a similar but not authenticated bun showed up in Seattle earlier this year. Hope is fading.

One thing led to another in my pareidolia search, and I discovered that some time back, thousands of people in Thailand rushed to the Had Sai waterfall in Pungna province to see a puddle shaped like Buddha’s footprint. It was being guarded by a frog, who was at the time of the story, growing weak and close to death. Why? Because people were rubbing it with talcum powder in the hope of seeing lottery numbers.

Closer to home, remember the Florida goat whose birthmark that looks like a large, white number three on her side? That brought Dale Earnhardt fans rushing to the farm for a closer look. The owner of the goat (named Li’l Dale) said he’d seen people “take pictures and get tears in their eyes.” One woman told him it “gave her chills.” No kidding!

There have been reports (and some photos) of Celine Dion in the World Trade Center’s smoke, of Rasputin in a kitten’s ear, and Elvis in a potato chip.

Clearly I have not been paying close enough attention to the world around me. Once, though, I did see a photo of George Bush and I could have sworn I saw Darth Vader lurking in the shadows behind him. Well, Darth Vader or Paris Hilton. Hard to tell for sure.

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Comments

paul Miller (not verified) | June 8, 2007 - 11:50am

not related to this post per se (maybe Bush once saw the image of Billy Graham on the bottom of a beer bottle) but sounds like Bush was nursing a hangover at the G8 and had to miss a few sessions - since the Wayne Madsen Report now costs I can't get the behind the scenes scoop. Anybody have any thoughts on GWB's boozing at the G8

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susan | June 8, 2007 - 1:38pm

Well, old stodgy me can't imagine he could do that at the G8 and get away with it. Maybe down on the ranch. But then again, he's hanging out with his good pal ("I call him Vladimir") Putin and it would be a slap in Vladimir's face to refuse the ceremonial vodka. Besides, as most teenagers know, vodka has the best chance of eluding the whiff test, so maybe.
Still, seems an unlikely setting for a boozy blow out. But then again, who'd a thunk a president could have a floozy blow out of another sort in the Oval Office? But I have no strong opinion -- nor info -- on this, sorry.
I once saw Castro's face in a blueberry pancake. I ate it.

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paul miller (not verified) | June 11, 2007 - 9:25am

if he's not on the booze he might want to think about getting back on it, from yesterday's presser:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Yesterday you called for a deadline for U.N. action on Kosovo. When would you like that deadline set? And are you at all concerned that taking that type of a stance is going to further inflame U.S. relations with Russia? And is there any chance that you're going to sign on to the Russian missile defense proposal?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thanks. A couple of points on that. First of all, I don't think I called for a deadline. I thought I said, time -- I did? What exactly did I say? I said, "deadline"? Okay, yes, then I meant what I said. (Laughter.) The question is whether or not there is going to be endless dialogue on a subject that we have made up our mind about. We believe Kosovo ought to be independent.

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barbara aka babs (not verified) | June 11, 2007 - 1:32pm

Lord all Friday, I saw that bit from the presser, too. And here is my true, honest, question seeking a true, honest answer. Are we really doomed to let George W. Bush and his merry band of pillagers stay in place for the balance of his term? Because this is a perilous, dangerous, totally out of control situation. What provision is there for that, constitutionally speaking? Tell me, wise ones. PLEASE. I can hardly stand the thought of another year and a half of this. I don't think our country and the world can withstand it? And what does that look like, the "not withstanding"? I dunno, but I do know it's not good. Is there such a thing as a civilian suit against the president of the United States? Yeah, I know. Naive question, probably, but I'm grasping at straws here. Did you notice??

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paul miller (not verified) | June 12, 2007 - 8:47am

Babs,

It's obvious the solution is not going to come from Harry Reid's leadership. What happened to the pending subpoenas of Harriet Miers and Karl Rove? I think we're stuck with Mr. Deluded because of the press's and the dem's willingness to act like bush is rational. I wonder if there has ever been anything to compare in our country's history. We have to invent new strategies, that's for sure.

Paul

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barbara aka babs (not verified) | June 12, 2007 - 3:14pm

Speaking of leadership, whatever became of John Murtha? Have I missed something? He used to be very vocal, and seems to have gone mute, too. Bad virus circulating amongst the Dems, eh?!

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susan | June 12, 2007 - 11:39pm

I've been wondering the same thing. All sorts of sturm and drang about subpoenas and we think, "finally, now it'll unravel" but -- nada. I'm not a presidential historian, but someone I know was at dinner with Doris Kearns Goodwin, who (duh) is, and she said that definitively, Bush is the worst president ever and that no, there's never been anything like this in US history. You asked.
Now, any new strategies in mind?

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paul miller (not verified) | June 13, 2007 - 11:38am

so will doris go on the record stating W is the worst ever in front of the mainstream meadia or will she wax poetically about the history of the BoSox?

My proposal is we get the Albanians to steal the rest of the emperor's clothes next time he does the Albanian rock concert gig. The white house lies so much that they can't even admit W's timex was pilfered.

Miers got subpoenaed today but it aint real til Karl baby gets his supoena.

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Anonymous (not verified) | June 27, 2009 - 6:00pm





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