Monday, October 27, 2008

3rd Annual Great Pumpkin Contest 2008 (Updated Oct 31, 2008)

The 3rd annual HOSPITAL OF ST. RAPHAEL GREAT PUMPKIN CONTEST is officially underway. Last year we won with our beautiful "Cinderella's Coach" pumpkin. This year we decided to step out of the box and go in a whole new direction. With Marsha as our team captain we came up with the Hamburger Pumpkin.
Now the rules are simple. No cutting of the pumpkin is allowed. The pumpkin had to be turned in and put on display in our cafe by Monday the 27th.

With Marsha's vision we slapped a big old plain pumpkin, clay, paint, pins, foam paper and pumpkin seeds into a work of art. Even while getting the evil eye from some witchy co-workers (that have no life and hate anything positive) we still created a masterpiece as we fought off their accusations and moments of "ratism" (ratism: when you rat on co-workers to superiors because you lack true friends, a life and the ability to laugh.)

So here's to "Team Histology" for once again pulling off an incredible job!

The winner will be announced Friday (Oct. 31). It better be us. If it's not then it's fixed. Like that stupid Easter Egg Contest. You know, the one we should have won but didn't because someone stuffed the ballet box. You would say the same thing is you saw the ugly egg that won. Damn Them. (You think I still hold a grudge?) Only joking. They won fair and square. This time we'll win.. without cheating. (I had to throw that part in. Sorry).


Our pumpkin is pictured below. It's the Incredible looking pumpkin. We made everything you see in the picture, from the fries to the pickle.
The other pumpkins are the competition.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"We interrupt this program... " The True Story Of The Night Of The Martian Invasion

The year was 1938. Television was only a vision of the future in the United States and the world as most homes got their entertainment and news from radio.
3 out of 4 homes owned a radio and in this particular year over 5 million radios were sold as it's popularity grew.
People were glued to their sets in large numbers as early as 1932 as they listened to news updates on the hunt for the kidnappers of the baby boy belonging to Charles Lindbergh, a national hero, went on. Then listeners were stunned as they listened to the live broadcast of the arrival of the airship "The Hindenburg" which suddenly burst into flames as it docked in New Jersey.'
But things hit a fever pitch in September of 1938 as uneasy Americans listened to broadcast from Nazi Germany as the dark cloud of war loomed over the world.
All these events were a pressure cooker that was about to explode on the night of October 30th, 1938, the night the Martians invaded Earth.

Orson Wells was a radio actor that worked for the Mercury Theater Group, which put on a radio show each week. This particular week being the week of Halloween, he felt his audience might enjoy hearing a play based on the H.G. Wells novel "War Of The Worlds".
Wells thought it would be fun to put on the play as though it was a series of news flashes which would interrupt a fake orchestra broadcast that was also staged by the Mercury Theater Group.

Wells and the group put on plays several times over the radio but this new "real time" format of making it sound like actual news broadcast was a first and last of it's kind for several years to follow.
Wells changed the setting of the novel from England to the tiny town of Grovers Mill, NJ. which was picked by blindly sticking a pencil into a map. He also saw it was near NYC and decided to use real locations and landmarks in the broadcast which in turn would bring far to much realism to the unseen events that would unfold.

The broadcast stated with an open introduction in which they announced the name of the play and that it was being put on by the actors of the Mercury Theater. It was never meant to deceive any listeners.
What Wells didn't count on was the listeners that would tune in late and mistaken this play for a real invasion from another world.
This exact thing would begin to unfold as listeners who tuned into a rival and more popular broadcast on another station listened to the act of comedian Charles Mccarthy. After McCarthy gave his popular comedy routine a singer was introduced. Many listeners began to change the station in search of other entertainment. This is when many people came across Orson Wells and the Mercury Theater's broadcast of War Of The World.
These listeners would begin to listen in, 10 minutes after the play started and what they heard would start a wave of panic that would spread for several hours throughout the United States. What most people heard as they tuned in to CBS radio was an orchestra playing and then the music suddenly stop and a voice is then heard saying "We interrupt this program...".

As listeners sat stunned in front of their radios they listened to a reporter who spoke of a huge meteorite that fell from the sky and crashed into a farm in Grovers Mills, NJ.
Then horror struck the hearts of thousands of listeners as the reporter told of an opening that was forming in the meteorite and then the sound of explosions and screams began as he shouted in a panicked voice that it was no meteorite, but an alien ship from Mars.

These "news broadcast" continued as people spoke of huge three legged "tri-pod" alien ships that disbursed poisonous gas and destroyed everything and anyone that stood in their path as they made their way to NYC.
Thousands of people began to panic as they flooded radio stations, news papers and police stations with phone calls. Several people in the actual town of Grovers Mill, where the fictional alien attack was happening, armed themselves with guns and hunted the woods of the invaders. When several men came upon a huge water tower in the dark they mistakenly thought it was an alien "tri-pod" and fired upon it.

It was near the end of the broadcast when Wells got word of the panic and interrupted his own broadcast to tell people it was only a play and not to panic.
Days after the broadcast there was a public outcry for something to be done about the mock news flashed filled program. Wells and the theater group were not charged with anything but CBS and other broadcast stations were told never to use the words "we interrupt this program" for dramatic purposes ever again.

Below is a link to the ACTUAL broadcast of Orson Wells and the Mercury Theater Group's "War Of The Worlds". When you listen to it try to remember that this was 1938, long before television and in a world that was already on edge.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Today's Pumpkins"

It seems that the days of the classic Jack-O-Lantern are over. The days when a carved Halloween pumpkin consisted of two triangled eyes and nose and a smile that housed a couple of square teeth are long behind us. The Halloweeners of the 21st century wouldn't dare to go simple. In today's complex word we insist on our pumpkins to be just as complex.
Todays pumpkins are more of a work of art then some hacked out squash grinning back at us. Below are some examples of "today's pumpkins".

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ghost Caught On Video Shown On CNN

This is a story of a possible ghost caught on video and shown on CNN. I'm not to sure what to make of it but it's pretty incredible. Just press the arrow at the bottom of the video to start.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Trail Of Terror 2008"

Last night I dared to brave the haunts on the "Trail Of Terror" in Wallingford, CT. This is a walking trail through the woods of Wallingford. It's heavily "haunted" with interactive scenes from such horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday The 13th and also a horrifying Santa's Village, graveyard and many other things that would scare the heck out of you.

Now I had the brilliant idea of bringing my 10 year old niece Lea and her friend Dominick with me. We got there before the Trail even opened and there was a line in front of us waiting to go in. We waited for about an hour and as soon as it was dark we were one of the first to enter, thanks to the more expensive "Speed Pass". This place is loaded with some of the scariest, fun filled Halloween excitement you could ever imagine.
I think people could hear my niece's screams of terror from 3 towns over. Her little friend Dominick literally was crawling up my back he was so afraid as we were taunted by Leatherface and his buzzing chainsaw.
We took a good 45 minute walk through twisted paths and old shacks as ghost, witches and some down right terrifying creatures of the night loomed all around us.
As we left the Trail I was partially deaf from Lea's screaming and little Dominick's finger's left a bruise where he was clutching my arm. But buzzing in the ears and bruises aside, this was a terrific time.

This place is not for the very young or the ones with weak hearts. But if you're looking for one incredible Halloween scare I would recommend this place in a second. Just get there early and still expect to stand in a long line... but the wait is totally worth it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

"HALLOWEEN" movie trivia

The movie"Halloween" is thought of as one of the scariest motion pictures ever made. The story centers around a homicidal maniac that escaped from a mental institution and begins stalking a teenaged girl while he goes on a murder spree on Halloween night.
"Halloween" is credited with being the first, and by far the best, of the "slasher films". But what isn't known by many is some of the amazing facts behind the film.

Halloween was shot in only 22 days in April of 1978. This was an extremely short time seeing that your average movie is shot in about a 4 month time period.

Made on a budget of of only $320,000, it became the highest-grossing independent movie ever made at that time.

The original script, titled "The Babysitter Murders", had the events take place over the space of several days. It was a budgetary decision to change the script to have everything happen on the same day (doing this reduced the number of costume changes and locations required) and it was decided that Halloween, the scariest night of the year, was the perfect night for this to happen.

Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store: a Captain Kirk mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes. The original mask that was going to be used was a clown mask!

The film was shot in April in California but took place in October in Illinois. In the background street scenes the trees are green and full. Because of the low budget on the film the crew painted fake leaves and placed them on the ground to make it seem more fall like. When the scenes were finished shooting, the leaves were collected and used again in other scenes.
You could also see palm trees in the distance in some scenes and all the cars have California license plates.

The cast had to wear their own clothes from home while filming because there was no movie left over for wardrobe.

"Halloween" was Jamie Lee Curtis' first film. She was chosen by director John Carpenter because he was a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and Curtis was the daughter of Janet Leigh who started in Hitchcock's "Psycho".

The character of Laurie Strode was named after John Carpenter's first girlfriend.

The film takes place primarily in fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Haddonfield, NJ is the home town of screenwriter Debra Hill.

Donald Pleasence, who played Dr. Sam Loomis in the film was paid $20,000 for 5 days work. Christopher Lee was the first choice to play the part but he turned the role down. He later said that it was the biggest mistake in his movie career.

The "Myers" house was a locale found in South Pasadena that was largely the decrepit, abandoned place seen in the majority of the film. However, as the house had to look ordinary (and furnished) for the early scenes with the young Michael Myers, almost the whole cast and crew worked together to clean the place, move in furniture, put up wallpaper, and set up running water and electricity, and then take it all out when they were through.

P.J. Soles, who plays Laurie's friend, says the word "totally" eleven times.

The now famous frightning music score was composed by John Carpenter in 4 days.

Carpenter's intent with the character of Michael Myers was that the audience should never be able to relate to him.

Even though "Halloween" is thought of as the first "slasher film", there is hardly any blood or gore seen in the movie.

Nearly every character in "Halloween" was named after someone that director John Carpenter knew or idolized.

From a budget of $325,000 the film went on to gross $47 million at the US box office. In 2008 takings that would be the equivalent of $150 million, making "Halloween" one of the most successful independent films of all time.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ghost captured On Film 2008

We're still haunting "Rick's Time On Earth" for Halloween. I'm posting some really good pictures where people claim to have captured ghost in them. CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE FULL SIZE.

The above two pictures show footage from a closed circuit camera at the palace of Henry VIII (Hampton Court Castle) just outside London. Security was concerned about a fire exit that was often found open and checked the footage to find this ethereal figure opening and then closing the doors. The figure appears to be wearing long, flowing robes, and could be a woman - maybe King Henry's 3rd wife, Jane Seymour who died on the premises shortly after giving birth. This footage was taken in December, 2003.

This picture is a group portrait of Sir Victor Goddard's squadron. These men had served in the R.A.F. in WW II. If you look in the top row at the fourth man from the left you will see a ghost like face behind him.

Two days before this photograph was taken a mechanic by the name of Freddy Jackson died in an accident. Jackson's funeral had actually been held on the same day the group photo was taken. Squadron members have said they could recognize the face in the picture as that of Freddy Jackson. Did Jackson show up for the group photo even though he was dead?

This picture was taken at Boothill Graveyard. A man dressed up like a cowboy and had his picture taken to bring home as a solveinere. When the picture was developed he noticed that there was a man in the background standing close to a gravestone. The height of the man to the ground shows the man is half way below the ground.

When the woman that snapped this picture of her grandmother she was shocked to see her grandfather standing in the background. Her grandfather died years before this picture was even taken.

Can you spot the ghostly image in this picture?

I posted this picture last year and felt I needed to re-post it because of it's "chill factor."
In 1995, as the town hall in Shropshire, England was being engulfed in flames, a man snapped several pictures of the burning building. After he developed the photos he notices standing amongst the raging fire was a little girl staring back at him. You could see her on the right side of the photo.
In 1677 on this very spot, several timber houses burned to the ground. A small girl was one of the victims of that fire. Could this be the same little girl? (click on picture to enlarge it)

This picture was taken in a living room in West Haven, Connecticut. When the picture was developed there was a blur going across the picture. When the blurred area was blown up, several faces of what appears to be Civil War soldiers in uniform could be seen.

This picture of a group of friends was taken on a man's cell phone camera. He intended to have seven people in the photo. When he looked closer he realized an eighth came to join them,

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Which Witch Is Which ?

Here's a look at some famous "Hollywood Witches". Let's see if you could tell which witch is which. Match the letter next to the witch with the correct name. The answers are in the comment section (press the "comment" tab under this post.) Let me know how you did.

1. Hermione, 2. Aunt Clara, 3. Hazel, 4. The Sanderson Sisters, 5. Elphaba, 6. The Halliwell Sisters, 7. Samantha, 8. The Owen Sisters, 9. Endora, 10. Queen Jadis, 11. Sabrina, 12. Glinda

Click On The Picture To See FULL SIZE

Friday, October 03, 2008

Halloween Riddles Part ONE

Here's some Halloween humor for you. Hope you laugh until you die... oops, I mean cry. What's a mummies favorite type of music?

Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?
Because demons are a ghouls best friend.

Why did the ghost get arrested?
Because he didn't have a haunting license.

Why didn't the skeleton dance at the party?
Because he no body to dance with.

What is a vampires favorite holiday?

What do little monsters call their parents?
Mummy and Deady.

What instrument do skeletons play?

Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
Because he had no guts.

What's it like to kiss a vampire?
It's a pain in the neck.

How does a girl vampire flirt?
She bats her eyes.

Why did Dracula take cold medicine?
To stop his coffin.

What d you call 2 witches living together?

Why don't mummies take vacations?
They're afraid they'll relax and unwind.

Who did Frankenstein take to the prom?
His ghoul friend.

What's a monsters favorite dessert?
Ice Scream.

What happened to the guy who couldn't keep up his payments to his exorcist?
He was repossessed.

Why did the ghost go into the bar?
For the boos.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Walk On Halloween Night

Seeing it's October I thought I'd start off the scariest month of the year with an original Halloween poem by yours truly:

"A Walk On Halloween Night"

It's a time of pumpkins, tricks and scares,
It's a night full of goblins, monsters and fears.

A pumpkin's evil grin by candle light aglow,
The sound of the fall leaves rustling as the cold wind begins to blow.

Ghost will rise from their cold, damp grave,
Looking for victims because it's a soul they crave.

Ghouls come back from the dead into the night,
Bringing you fear to add to the fright.

All creatures of the night are free to roam,
You begin to walk faster so you'll be safe at home.

In the distance you hear the hiss of a cat,
As you pass by a tree, the squeak of a bat.

For the one that walks alone they need to beware,
All eye are on you and that's something to fear.

Into your home you're now safe and sound,
But under your bed there's a monster to be found.

Witches on their broomsticks all will take flight,
And soar by the moon on this Halloween Night.