The Experiment Ends………

Blogging activities by the Skeptical Observer have been terminated. This blog is no-more. Time constraints and the need to concentrate on other activities have led me to decide that blogging at this time in my life is not a good idea.  I cannot devote the time necessary to write decent content. It’s been fun………………………………………..Many Thanks to my followers for taking the time to read my ramblings.


Twouble on Twitter……………………..

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I am sure glad I never acquired the Twitter habit. I am sure I would be in trouble by now, probably numerous times. Anyway, I was wondering why people bother using Twitter since Tweets seem to cause so much trouble. Take for instance Josh Hader, a MLB pitcher who apparently made some offensive Tweets back in his teenage years. Apparently some knuckle-head with way too much time on their hands and nothing more intelligent or worth-while to do brought these Twitter posts to everyone’s attention. Hader was immediately vilified like he was guilty of mass murder or something. He was ordered to undergo sensitivity training and he apologized for his behavior. Unfortunately in our modern era of cry-babies everywhere, that wasn’t enough. When the home crowd at a Brewers game gave Hader a standing ovation to support him, internet trolls decided these fans were just as ignorant and hateful as Hader is. Now the poor guy will probably be subject to all sorts of abuse when he plays in games away from Milwaukee. Isn’t there a statute of limitations on Twitter Tweets? My goodness, he was an idiot teen when he committed this error in judgement so give the guy a break. So what? He said something inappropriate. Whoopie freaking doo…….

As I get older the sheer quantity of things people get so easily insulted by is just staggering to me. Society needs to ‘grow a pair’ and stop being offended by everything and anything.



Is It BS or Fact, I Report You Decide………

After some vacation time and other responsibilities that required my attention I have returned to blogging. All images were acquired from the internet. Captions and theories are provided by Professor Glen Burnie, Head Master for the Institute of Inaccurate Historical Studies. Enjoy:

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For many years people have searched the Pacific Ocean for Amelia Earhart. Recently a team of anthropologists made a surprising discovery right here in America. What you are looking at is the carefully rebuilt remains of General Custer’s personal airplane used to survey the Battle at the Little Big Horn.  Custer was known to fly his plane over battles so he could better be able to direct his troops. Alas, this plane and Custer were eventually shot down at the Little Big Horn but this discovery is an important piece of American history.

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Recently found in a filing cabinet stored in the basement of Independence Hall this photo taken by one of George Washington’s Secret Service Agents shows that our first President actually landed in Jersey before his men did. It also shows what a dare-devil and adrenaline junkie ole George was.

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Actual photo of General Robert E. Lee attempting to feed his troops at Gettysburg. When his communication was abruptly cutoff causing his order to never arrive, Lee knew with certainty the Battle of Gettysburg was lost.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls contained a veritable treasure of historical photos. This one shows that Noah’s Ark included many amenities for the ship’s passengers including an Olympic sized swimming pool.

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We all know what happened to the Titanic when it struck an iceberg. But did you know that after resting on the ocean floor for a century, scientists have determined that the swimming pools on the ship are still full of water.

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We all know how quickly products like t-shirts and such are produced and sold after events  such as a World Series is concluded. Apparently after Julius Caesar was  assassinated some enterprising Roman artisan started selling Julius Caesar knife holders for the fashionable Roman kitchen. This one was unearthed in recently discovered catacombs under the Vatican.

All the info contained in this blog was researched and gathered from the internet. That means it has been verified as possibly being true. Some info cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt yet but may be proven someday. Custer’s plane for instance. No ownership records or a bill of sale connecting that plane to Custer have ever been found. Doesn’t make the story untrue, just means it is a theory. As that famous newsman from yesteryear Dan ‘The Blather’ Rather once said, “just because the evidence isn’t correct doesn’t necessarily mean the story isn’t true”.  Signing off for now. See ya…………………….



Dealing With Loss Today…….

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Ever since I started this blog a little less than a year ago my co-writer, editor and companion Zeus was always near. Hell, truth be told whenever I was home Zeus was near. Taking college courses on-line, Zeus helped me write a paper or two. Sitting in a recliner watching TV or reading, Zeus was there. For 17 years he was alpha cat of the house. No matter how many cats we had at any given time Zeus ruled with fairness and usually just a look from his eyes told the other male cats, ‘I’m in charge and don’t forget it”. My faithful companion passed this week. The picture above I took only 4 months ago. When he passed he was a thin shell of himself.  I ain’t much for sentimentality but truth be told I always had a soft spot for animals. As a matter of fact I get along better with my animals than I do with some people. Saying good-bye ain’t easy, but sometimes it is necessary.

Good-bye old friend, I will miss ya as will the entire family.





Observations, Skeptical and Otherwise……..

A flamingo in flight over a Miami beach, May 2018.

I wonder if this escape was broadcast with a PINK alert. Seems the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita had a flamingo escape in 2005.  The fowl was found missing during a bed check when a plastic flamingo was found in its cell at the zoo. (OK I might have made that up). Unfortunately the impostor wasn’t discovered until morning. Anyway, Kansas has apparently been looking for this flamingo for over 13 years. Reports of sightings of this escaped con have been reported in Texas, Louisiana and Wisconsin. No name given to the flamingo on the lam but his prisoner # is 492. If seen please call authorities immediately. No word on whether the flamingo is armed or dangerous.

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A pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers was recently fired from his job because he ‘allegedly’ called some-one a spider monkey and the description hurt someone’s feelings. Several stories have been released all of which name, un-named sources so getting the truth will be near impossible. I guess in today’s politically correct culture no telling when someone might be offended or what they even might be offended about. Crazy that you might get fired saying something to someone in a private conversation that is overheard by someone else who you’re not even talking too. I guess that is the price you pay when you live in a society filled with cry babies.

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A bad couple of weeks for Netflix. First the streaming company signed the Obama’s to produce content and the companies shares went down a bit as some subscribers cancelled. Now Netflix has been accused of showing content that has a child porn scene included. The film is question is from Argentina and is titled ‘Desire’. Poor Netflix, first you waste money on the worst President in history and to compensate they turn to showing porn.

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The Canucks up north are no strangers to strange news and strange people. Seems a recent 911 call to report a case of child abuse turned into a bizarre situation. When police arrived at the Nova Scotia home where the call originated from, they found the caller was a 12-year-old who had been abused. The abuse in this case was the child was forced to eat a salad with his dinner and he hated salad.  The Mounties got their man (boy in this case). Not sure if any charges are pending.

Remember: God is great, beer is good and people are crazy……………………………..

Irritating Beyond Belief………….

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I have been trying really, really hard to ignore the news and write a blog with less complaining and more humor. Sometimes however observing our world and cultural just isn’t easy. Some things brought to my observation really get me angry and I have to express my opinion or explode.

Irritating idiots number 1. Simon G & Mr. Cool, have you heard about them? No, well let me inform you concerning who these two asshats are. They are You Tube ‘stars’. Their latest ‘hit’ on You Tube is called the Baby Dance. They dance and sing about sexually molesting babies. Yeah that is correct and not a misprint or misinterpretation. When complaints were sent to You Tube about this disgusting video and it’s content You Tube refused to take the content down. Apparently You Tube’s standards for decency are non-existent. I am not surprised since You Tube also offers videos on how to eat Tide Pods and snort condoms. A Supreme Court Justice once said “I know what pornography looks like when I see it”. Well sir, I know disgusting content when I see it and brother this is disgusting. Even IF this is supposed to be a parody it is tasteless and disgusting.  I am all for free speech but come on now!!! Some boundaries just shouldn’t be crossed especially if the goal is to get enough publicity to become famous. Frankly, if I ever had the displeasure of meeting these two idiots on the street, they would be performing future videos singing thru wired jaws. For legal purposes I meant this threat as satire, not to be taken literally but referring to my object hatred and disgust for any asshats I might meet.

Irritating idiot number 2 comes from my birth city of Philadelphia. Democratic Representative Brian Sims is a typical Liberal/Progressive meathead. He hates Republicans, the President and frankly anyone who disagrees with his idiotic beliefs and ideas. So much so that instead of using civil discourse and debating his point of view with facts and figures he chose to pose for a photo session flipping the middle finger to our President and Vice President. Way to go moron. Like a typical Democrat he can’t back up his viewpoints with evidence because there is none to be had. Like most Liberals he resorts to name calling, ‘finger-pointing’ and anger. Anybody who votes for this douche should commit themselves into an insane asylum.

OK, for my own sanity and in order to control my blood pressure I believe I will stop ranting now. There are certainly more irritating people doing irritating things but I feel a little better now that I have ranted. It ain’t easy staying calm when civility and decorum seem to have left town on a permanent vacation. Sad to say many people in today’s society put up with the vile people mentioned above and even praise them. Sad, very very sad in my opinion.


Basic Skills That Are Headed for Extinction……………………………….

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A study in Great Britain recently showed that dependence on technology was making some basic skills obsolete. Since technology is wonderful but fickle, these skills should still be taught because you never know when that gadget or technologically advanced do-dad might stop working.

1- Reading a map. Seems simple enough but with GPS widely available who even buys printed maps anymore let alone uses them. Luckily I am old enough to know how to use a map to get where-ever I might be going but unfortunately folding the map properly after I am finished using it is still a mystery to me.

2- Using a compass. I was never a Boy Scout so this is one piece of old tech that is a mystery to me. I know a compass will point true North but if I want to go any other direction I will probably be the old guy fumbling around unfolding that paper map.

3- Tying knots: I can tie my shoelaces but any knot other than that I can-knot.

4- Darn socks: I usually say that phrase as I am tossing those socks with a hole in them away. Sorry, sewing is not one of my super powers.

5- Looking something up in an actual book: Ah, I do use this method to find quotes in my Bible, and I am old enough to remember using reference books and encyclopedias to do my school work.

6- Cursive hand-writing:  You betcha I still practice my cursive writing skills on occasion. I did not suffer all that pain from having wooden rulers smacked across my knuckles when writing sloppily as a child in grade school. Pain is a great motivator.

7- Understanding weights and measures: Not a problem for me. Pounds, ounces, feet or inches I got it covered. Now if you try to use that metric system made popular is some foreign, uneducated country like Canada, well sir aside from knowing the 9MM is a popular bullet caliber my metrics is messy.

8- Good spelling and grammar: Well I admit spell chick er check is my friend while blogging or writing e-mails. If I am writing I will look up a word I  might have trouble spelling correctly. Used to use and old-fashioned book dictionary but now Google works just fine. Grammar? Well I do the best I can but I still feel a cold draft when I have a dangling participle.

9- Starting a fire from scratch: I usually have matches handy so this skill is beyond me. Since I stopped smoking cigars my Zippo has been retired. Might have to look at some survival videos to learn this skill.

10- Knitting or crocheting:  Now I am manly enough to admit I did attempt to learn these skills but like ironing, I realized my limitations and surrendered quickly.

11- Recall phone numbers: Since I became a cell phone user I have to admit there are very few numbers I have committed to memory. 911, sure. Other that that……what was I talking about?

12- Identifying tress, insects and flowers: OK now let me see if I can do this…..Trees are the usually big wooden looking things with green leaves that provide shade in the summer and raking chores in the fall. Insects are those tiny buzzing critters that annoy me when I am outside in the heat and humidity of summer. Flowers are those colorful green things coming up from the ground that either smell wonderful or cause my eyes to water and make me sneeze. How did I do?

13- Touch typing: No sir, tried it and don’t like it. But in my defense I  can hunt and peck at a keyboard enough to blog or e-mail at will.

14- Baking bread from scratch: Well if I had a recipe handy and the ingredients required I probably could. Otherwise the bakery at my local supermarket is convenient.

15- Altering pants: Needle and thread ain’t my thing. I admit it. Rolling up the pants leg will have to do for this old guy.

16- Wiring a plug: Now I have successfully done this without electrocuting myself or burning the house down. However I don’t tempt fate often and will ask for help from someone I know who has a far more knowledgeable intellect concerning electricity.

Well there you have it. Basic skills that technology is replacing. How many can you perform skillfully?


It Be Science So It Must Be True…………

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I consider myself to be of average intelligence but now I may have to rethink my self observation. According to a recent scientific study I actually exhibit several signs that point to me being very intelligent. How do you measure up:

Are you an oldest child? If so chances are you are highly intelligent. Older siblings are usually the go to person when younger siblings have questions or issues. As an only child I guess technically I am the oldest sibling to myself.

Did you take music lessons as a child? Well if you did studies show that children as young a 4 have shown an increased mental capacity for verbal intelligence after just a month of music lessons. Not sure what music does for verbal intelligence, but if science says so it must be true, right? I took accordion lessons as a young person. Come to think of it I remember my music teacher telling me on several occasions to stop talking and start playing. I guess my verbal truculence was actually a by-product of those lessons.

Do you own a cat? A study in 2014 showed that people who owned dogs were more outgoing than people who owned cats, but cat owners were on the whole more intelligent. I actually live with several cats so I will assume I am smarter than the average cat owner.

Were you bottle fed or breast-fed?  Apparently breast fed babies develop IQs that are 7 points or higher, than bottle fed babies. Good to know. Until now I figured being breast fed as a baby was the reason why I preferred chicken breasts over drum sticks or wings.

Did you have sex in high school? Apparently high schoolers who engage in sexual activity have lower IQs than their fellow students. Probably because the kids who weren’t getting any were home studying instead of, well you know…..I guess this behavior continues into the college years, since students who party all the time are generally dumber than the kids who study.

Are you funny? Well if you have a talent for making people laugh you are apparently a very intelligent individual. Funny people tend to score higher on intelligence tests. Just an observation, maybe this is because funny folks aren’t taking the test as seriously as unfunny folks. Just a theory.

Do you have a small circle of friends? I have always had just a few friends that I consider good friends. No, I ain’t talking about Facebook or Twitter friends. I mean people who I have actual face to face contact with. Anyway, people with above average intelligence get along nicely in life with a smaller group of friends than the average bloke.

I encourage readers to see how many signs of above average intelligence that exhibit. Share if you like.


Avoiding the News……….

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Once upon a time I felt that keeping up with the news made me a better citizen, an informed American and increased my knowledge concerning current events and issues. Somehow the news media in America has turned into a hate filled propaganda machine that is difficult to watch, impossible to believe and an insult to my intelligence and beliefs. My solution is a simple one, I tune all news channels out with extreme prejudice. No CNN, FOX or MSNBC for me. Even most newspapers are worthless as far as I’m concerned. The Sunday paper in my area of Pennsylvania offers one section I still enjoy reading, namely the funnies. Even that section has grown smaller over the years but I still enjoy a few comics like Pearls Before Swine or Garfield. So one might ask what has happened to my brain and knowledge base since I gave up the news. Well:

Frankly, I feel happier. Oh, I’m still concerned about my government being too big as well as some politician’s screaming to take my rights away but overall I feel good. I tuned out the hate filled rhetoric and opinion spewing talking heads who only wanted to tell me what to think instead of just giving me the news and letting me make up my own mind. Freed from all that propaganda and agenda driven news has helped me think more clearly. I now focus on what is good in my life and that has led me to a more peaceful and stress free attitude.

I am more productive with my time since I tuned out Wolf, Shep and Rachel Madcow. I have time to blog, research and read my own trusted news services that actually promote thought and decision-making, as opposed to telling me why I should agree with CNN or FOX networks version of stories. I guess tuning out the news has actually increased and accentuated my critical thinking skills. Thanks CNN, FOX etc. you have made me a better thinker and decision maker.

My frustration levels with the news and the long line of opinionated talking heads that pollute these networks is reduced to very manageable levels. Why in the heck should I give a rats bum about what some supposed expert on some subject of importance thinks when I never heard of these experts or even know why they are considered experts. They appear no different from any other person who has an opinion or viewpoint. Just because CNN believes they have something worthwhile to say doesn’t necessarily mean, they do have something worthwhile to say. Everybody has an opinion but everyone can’t be on TV to speak that opinion. I talk to people everyday who I consider much smarter than Juan Williams, Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper. Why waste my time watching people I consider to be morons when I can engage real people who have real opinions in an actually face to face conversation. Just saying……..

I am a blogger and therefore quite a bit of the news I read comes from other blogs and internet sites. Now before anyone thinks I don’t do my homework before verifying a story I read, I usually check stories on several sites to verify the event did in fact happen. I also take little if any news from Yahoo or Google to heart since I really don’t care what the Kardashians or Jenners are up to. Most sites using trending news are usually filled with mindless info and outright BS. I have trained my brain to filter that nonsense right out. That filtering is another by-product of eliminating Main Stream news from my mental diet.

Like I said previously, I am still a concerned citizen when it comes to my country, beliefs and freedoms. I just don’t need the professional news media to tell me what I should be concerned about. I know right from wrong, good from evil and Don Lemon ain’t going to convince me any different. My opinions and views have been formed over the years by what I have experienced, learned and consistently research. Ironically with all our currently technology, it seems that finding trusted news and real informative news is harder than ever. Strange times we live in.

So if you haven’t yet tuned out the cable news networks, give it a try. You will be happy you did.