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Lyle Zapato

The Birdmen of Cascadia

Lyle Zapato | 2007-03-24.0080 LMT | Cascadia | Technology | Paraterrestrials | General Paranoia

It's common knowledge that the Republic of Cascadia was home to the first modern sightings of paraterrestrial craft, colloquially known as UFOs. Although the 1947 sighting of "flying saucers" near Mount Rainier is the most famous, that was actually the second sighting following an incident three days earlier on Maury Island that also marked the operational debut of the Men in Black.

Not as commonly known though is that Cascadia was home to some of the first sightings of Unidentified Flying Humanoids (UFHs) -- mysterious individuals employing personal flying devices of unknown technology toward inscrutable ends.

It all started with a curious encounter on Jan. 6, 1948 by Chehalis, Washington resident Bernize Zaikowski (reported here from the Jan. 21 Walla Walla Union-Bulletin):

Chehalis Woman Sees 'Birdman,' Hears Whizzing

CHEHALIS, (UP)—They are seeing things in the skies in these parts again—this time a "whosit-whatzit."

Mrs. Bernice Zaikowski, 61, reported a "birdman" flipping around the roof of her barn earlier this month, could hear a "sizzing and whizzing" and added—"there he was, just 200 feet above."

She said the man had silver wings and appeared to manipulate controls strapped to his chest but there appeared to be no motive power. The wings didn't flap and there was no propeller, she said.

Chief of Police Thomas Murry has refused to investigate and McChord field army authorities, thinking of the flying saucers reports, are skeptical.

Only Mrs. Zaikowski is positive.

Here's another report with more details from the Jan. 21 Waterloo Daily Courier (I haven't been able to uncover a local report or the original UP wire report that these are presumably based on):

Saucer District Now Reporting Wings on Men

Chehalis, Wash.—(U.P.)—The state of Washington, where the first flying saucers were reported, outdid itself Wednesday.

A women reported that she had sighted a "flying man."

Mrs. Bernice Zaikowski of Chehalis said she saw a man with wings attached to his back fly over her barn at an altitude of 200 feet and disappear to the south.

Mrs. Zaikowski said the upright birdman made a "sizzing and whizzing" noise as he climbed and banked in flight, but that his wings neither flapped nor rotated.

She said she could see no motive power such as a propeller either above or in front of him.

Authorities greeted the report with an oblique "Huh?"

But the Polish-born Mrs. Zaikowski insisted she had a good view of the aerialist as he skimmed her barn on Jan. 6.

She said that some school children were with her at the time and ran to the back yard "for a better view."

Chehalis is not for from where the original "flying saucers" were reported about a year ago.

[UPDATE: 2016-01-27] A wire report from International News Service, reprinted in the Jan. 25 Fresno Bee, includes more details, as well as military denials and a refusal by the police to investigate:

Birdman Is New Aerial Mystery In Washington

CHEHALIS (Wash.), Jan 24.—(INS)—A mysterious birdman added today to the list of aerial apparitions that began with reports of "flying saucers" last Summer.

Mrs. Bertha Zaikowski, 61, insists she saw the birdman go "sizzing and whizzing" through the air 200 feet above her Chehalis barn January 6th.

An air force officer at McChord Field, near Tacoma, Wash., said the report "sounded like one of those saucers deals—I just can't put any stock in it." Police Chief Tom Murray of Chehalis refused with a chuckle to investigate.

Mrs. Zaikowski declared the birdman was equipped with big, silver wings fastened over his shoulders with straps. He seemed to handle controls strapped to his chest as he buzzed along.

Acquaintances do not question the Polish born woman's truthfulness. She claimed the "wings" drew near the man's body as he climbed and extended when he hovered, banked or flew on a level course.

She still wonders what made him go, for the "wings" did not flap and she could not see any propellor. It could not have been a one man helicopter, she declared, for the wings did not rotate.

Mrs. Zaikowski said at least five other Chehalis people told her of seeing the man. She said:

There were a lot of small children coming home from school. They saw the man, too, and asked me if they could go into my back yard so that they could watch him longer as he flew toward the south end of the city.

Three months later, more birdmen were reported over Longview, in the direction the previous birdman was seen heading. Wire report reprinted in the April 11 Cumberland Sunday Times (MD):

Motorized "Birdmen" Mystify People In Washington Town

LONGVIEW, Wash., April 10 (INS)—Reports of three motorized birdmen soaring over Longview had the lower Columbia River area agog today.

Two laundry employes said they saw the human airplanes or animated comic strip characters fly over the city without the help of parachutes. In January a similar birdman, singular then, had been reported at Chehalis.

The Longview apparition was reported by Mrs. Viola Johnson and James Pittman, both employees of a laundry. They said they saw it at the same time.

Out Of Sight First

They called other workers, but before they could get outside the flyers were out of sight.

Mrs. Johnson, a 56-year-old widow, said:

"As far as I can judge they were about 250 feet high, in dark, drab flying suits. I'm not very good at judging distance though."

Pittman could not be reached.

Mrs. Johnson went on:

"They had some kind of apparatus on their sides that looked like guns, but I know it couldn't have been guns. They were going about as fast as a freight train.

"I couldn't see any propellers or any motors tied on them, but I could hear motors which sounded about like airplane motors, but not so loud."

Saw Feet Dangling

"I couldn't make out their arms, but I could see their feet dangling, and they kept moving their heads like they were looking around. I couldn't tell if they had goggles on, but their heads looked like they had helmets. I couldn't see their faces."

Other Longview residents reported hearing plane motors about the same time and seeing three planes circle at a high altitude.

The Chehalis report was made by Mrs. Bernice Zaikowski, 61, who said she saw a flying man go "sizzing and whizzing" about 200 feet above her barn.

Mrs. Zaikowski's flying man had big, silver wings and seemed to be working controls on his chest. Neither woman saw a propellor.

Given the timing and direction of their movements, a reasonable conclusion would be that these birdmen were passengers of the paraterrestrial crafts that made their initial incursions into our space/time at Maury Island and Mt. Rainier. However, while it's tempting to assume paraterrestrial, or at the very least the NWO, involvement in these incidents, especially considering the technology involved, this conclusion isn't certain.

Individuals seemingly unaligned with the major powers of the time who use advanced technology to move about are not unheard of. Perhaps the most famous example of this phenomena was Spring-Heeled Jack, a man who gripped Victorian London in a panic over his use of regenerative gait-enhancement technology to escape the repercussions of his mischief by leaping like an oversized flea. Spring-Heeled Jack and the Cascadian birdmen may have simply been their times' versions of hyperinventor John Quincy St. Clair, who is known to teleport himself over distances through hyperspace, sometimes by accident.

[UPDATE: 2016-01-27] On Oct. 30, 1976, Daily Chronicle (Centralia) sports editor Chuck Wilfong wrote a short article about UFHs (or "winged weirdies" as he called them), in which he gives an update to the Zaikowski sighting, claiming that the identity of the birdman had been discovered:

Beware! The mothman cometh

[...]

The sighting caused a minor sensation in the region at the time, with both the Seattle PI and Portland Oregonian giving it a big play.

Such coverage, however, did not exactly delight the Zaikowski family.

"They (the newspapers) made it seem so dumb," explained Mrs. George Zaikowski this week. "She (Bernize) was old country and when she tried to explain what she saw it sounded weird, hard to understand."

Particularly irksome was the fact that, while both metropolitan dailies played up the event, they did not give equal space to the explanation.

The Zaikowskis learned later that the apparition was a man in a "parakite," forerunner to the present day hang glider.

"It was about the time they were trying to find someplace to use hang gliders," Mrs. George Zaikowski recalls. "There were those who felt this area would have been a good place for it."

To Mrs. Bernize Zaikowski, though, born in Poland and used to old country ways, the contraption was something strange.

And it was really. Any flying man is.

While a convincing explanation for the orthonoid, it doesn't explain the fact that both Zaikowski and Johnson heard motor sounds but neither saw a propeller. There is no doubt that various winged personal flying contraptions such as parasails and hang gliders were being openly developed by known parties at the time, but they all used either propeller systems or were silent gliders. None had the retractable wings or chest controls described by Zaikowski.

The mystery of the Cascadian Birdman remains.

Lyle Zapato

Monorail Cat

Lyle Zapato | 2007-03-16.8970 LMT | Monorail Danger | Random Found Thing

First it was a monorail built exclusively for puppies, which the Monorailists hoped would lower people's natural resistance to monorails. At the time, I noted that the canonical psychotronic enamorment memeplex involves cute kittens and wondered why the monorailists would choose the non-standard cuteness vector of puppies.

Well, now the monorailists are closing the cuteness gap with their newest propaganda ploy. I introduce to you (assuming you haven't already seen it in the memeosphere):

MONORAIL CAT

As with the Toyger and Hitler cats, the Monorail Cat was bred by eugenicists to resemble something it is not. In this case, a monorail train.

Most likely building on the work of the controversial Munchkin cat breeders, the Monorailists have created a cat with only vestigial legs and a ventral groove that allows it to slide on its belly fur along smooth tracks. Soon they will have a whole army of Monorail Cats with which to slide across the railings and banisters in our communities, lulling naive people into acceptance of -- and, eventually, desire for -- monorailular movement.

I just hope breeding these cats for monorail-like traits hasn't resulted in them exhibiting the same propensity for spontaneous combustion as with real monorails.

More examples of Monorail Cat propaganda images are being spread via a cat fancier site called "I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?" (and possibly at monorailcat.com, which for now only says "Coming Soon!").

Lyle Zapato

"A New Dawn for the Tree Octopus"

Lyle Zapato | 2007-03-09.2560 LMT | Cephalopods | Cascadia | Fonts | Art | Crass Commercialism
poster

Introducing the poster "A New Dawn for the Tree Octopus", issued by the Cascadian Department of Cephalopod Conservation to raise awareness of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus's plight. It depicts a lone tree octopus in the coastal forests of Hood Canal waking from her coniferous lair to a New Dawn for her species. Are you doing your part to help save the tree octopus?

(The poster was created by artists employed by the Cascadian Works Progress Administration, which provides honest jobs for honest barter to unemployed Sasquatch trained in the vector arts.)

Currently I'm making the image available on a mini poster, large poster, and postcards. If anyone is interested in having it on anything else, let me know.

As a bonus, the poster uses my newest font: Enemy Sub! (Actually, I made the font over a year ago and just procrastinated putting it up.)

Also, I updated the Tree Octopus logo used on the merchandise in the shop. I ate my own dog food by using my Duarte Centenario font, which, while not as patriotic as the previously used Tahoma, does look better with the rough tentacle ribbon image. If you bought a product with the older image, it's now a valuable collector's item. Sell it on eBay and get rich!

Lyle Zapato

Another Colossal Squid Caught

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-23.5590 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature
Colossal squid

Around the beginning of this month, a 10m long, 450kg male colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) was caught in the Ross Sea by a fishing vessel. This is the largest squid ever caught, and it was captured live and intact. (It's now dead and on ice.)

This was all over the news yesterday, and I have added a special report on it on my Cephalopod News section. (I added it to the page with the report on the previous colossal squid catch when I noticed a huge number of hits to that page coming from Google searches.)

For the benefit of blog readers who haven't been paying attention to CephNews, factoids about this newest colossal squid can be read on the report page

UPDATE: 2007-03-08

According to Newsweek, video footage of the squid being hauled in was shot by Bennett and was sold to a production company in Auckland for an undisclosed amount. A documentary featuring the footage should be released sometime in April.

UPDATE: 2007-03-15

Removed factoids from above so I don't have to update two lists. Go read the report for all the details.

Lyle Zapato

An Open Letter To The Legislature

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-15.3100 LMT | Letters | Entertainment | Politics | Crass Commercialism

Dear Washington State Legislature,

I am writing to ask you to approve $100 of Washington State funds to help offset the $250 price of buying me a Nintendo Wii.

Before you decide, consider the positive impact on the local economy of my having a Wii: Not only would the state generate 6.5% sales-tax on every game I purchase (with additional tax revenue of upwards of 2.3% going to county and city tax districts), but a portion of the profits from those games would go to Redmond-based Nintendo of America, which employs over a thousand Washington State citizens. Could you honestly say to the voters that you were acting in the public interest if you turned down a plan that would increase both tax revenue and job opportunities for a mere c-note? I think not.

My request is very reasonable. Most of the purchase cost for the Wii will be covered by me or through other private funding, as will all costs associated with utilities, maintenance, and insuring against flying-controller damage. Please understand that I am not being greedy with this request; I could have pressed for the more lavish option of a Microsoft Xbox 360, which would do even more for the local economy (given the larger portion of profits remaining in the state and the 20% greater tax revenue from games), but would require my asking for more money upfront. Out of fairness to the taxpayers, I am willing to settle for the economically prudent option of a Wii.

While I understand that some short-sighted people will counsel you against diverting public funds to pay for my frivolous amusement, keep in mind that my proposal of $100 is significantly less than the $300 million you are already considering giving to Clay Bennett so he can build a facility in Renton in which to play games -- and not just in absolute terms, as he's asking you to cover three-fifths of his costs (plus another one-fifth from the city of Renton) whereas I'm only asking for two-fifths in total. The numbers do not lie; I am offering a much better deal here.

Furthermore, unlike Bennett I won't be using Washington State taxpayer's money to facilitate the exportation of millions of dollars of personal profits to Oklahoma. In fact, after the state has recouped its $100 -- through a combination of tax revenue from the games I buy and a lowering of public expenses attributable to the unemployment that I will have ameliorated -- I would be contributing to the state's common good at my own personal expense with no profit. Why would you deny the community this philanthropic act?

If you are unable to find $100 in the budget, Seattle has proved the fiscal viability of using eminent domain to forcibly buy land, waiting a few months, then selling it at a profit. I think a few square feet of Ray Allen's front yard should cover my requested funding.

I am reasonable, but my patience has its limits. If you do not act in a timely fashion to grant me the money to buy a Wii, I will be forced by economic conditions to take elsewhere the tax revenue and jobs that my gaming can create. While I can't comment on ongoing negotiations, let me just say that the Emperor of Japan has been very receptive to my proposal for $240 towards a Playstation 3.

Please, do what's best for the people of Washington and gimme $100.

Regards,
Lyle Zapato

Lyle Zapato

An Open Letter To Archie McPhee

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-01.6270 LMT | Kelviniana | Crass Commercialism | Letters

Dear Mr. McPhee,

Your company, Accoutrements, is well known for its exclusive line of action figures based on famous historical figures, common folk of interest, and proud indigenous hominoids. However, I have noticed one glaring omission in your otherwise well-rounded collection:

Why is there no Lord Kelvin action figure?

Besides developing the science of Thermodynamics, being instrumental to the unification of diverse fields of science under the aegis of Physics, and mapping the way for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics with his identification in 1900 of the two "Nineteenth-Century Clouds" hanging over the field, Lord Kelvin was the Kevin Bacon of Victorian science and technology, playing roles both minor and profound in most important developments of his time.

Consider some of his many claims to fame:

  • Was admitted to university at age 10, published his first mathematical paper at age 16, and was appointed to the chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow at age 22, where he stayed until his death at age 83
  • Was a champion rower in his youth and later in life traveled the seas in his yacht, the Lalla Rookh
  • First person on Earth to have electric lighting installed in his home
  • Headed the commission that chose AC over DC for national power grids
  • Discovered the material property magnetoresistance, the basis for hard drives
  • Had 70 patents, including an inkjet printer in 1867
  • Invented the technology that allowed for transatlantic communication cables and supervised their laying, thereby fathering the global Information Age that we currently live in
  • Coined the terms "thermodynamic" and "chirality"
  • Has a unit of temperature (the Kelvin), a lunar ridge (Promontorium Kelvin), and a refrigerator brand (Kelvinator) named in his honor
  • Incidentally launched the mathematical field of Knot Theory while exploring the idea that atoms are made of swirling vortices of aether -- a full 100 years before String Theorists proposed similar ideas
  • Defended Panspermia, the theory that life on Earth was seeded by "moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world"
  • Agreed with Tesla that life on Mars was trying to contact Earth via radio signals (UPDATE See: "On the Martians Signalling Earth.")
  • Is buried next to Isaac Newton

As can be plainly seen, it is a great injustice that someone as notable as Lord Kelvin does not yet have his own action figure. I dare say he even deserves a playset!

With December 2007 marking the Centennial of his passing, now would be an excellent time for you to take the lead and rectify this oversight.

Regards,
Lyle Zapato
Humble servant of Lord Kelvin.

Lyle Zapato

I've Heard Of Ambulance Chasers...

Lyle Zapato | 2007-02-01.5630 LMT | Monorail Danger | Crass Commercialism | Letters

...But monorail chasers?

Subject: Website Suggestion

Hello

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We have recently come upon zapatopi.net and we believe that your site's audience will take advntage of the service we provide. That's why we would like to inform you about our site and to propose submitting our link to your web page located at [Monorail Collision Over Seattle]

Our site information is:

URL: http://www.[REDACTED!].com
Title: Auto Accident Lawyer
Description: Find Auto Accident lawyers specializing in auto accident SUV rollovers, roadway lighting hazzards, commercial vehicle accident, DUI AUTO accident, catastrophic auto injury, elderly driver accident, auto seat belts, child auto restraints and more.

We would appreciate it if you could include a link to our site on your web page. Thank you and all the folks at zapatopi.net for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[REDACTED!]

Please note I am only the webmaster of [REDACTED!].com and not a lawyer. We are a marketing company promoting website visibility on the internet. Link exchanging is one way to build site popularity.

{To opt out from future emails, please reply to this message with "unsubscribe" in the subject box.}

Another reason to avoid monorails: they're magnets for sleazy lawyers.

Lyle Zapato

The Tragic Fall Of Emperor Norton I & The Rise Of The Bohemian Grove Cabal

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-27.5020 LMT | Cascadia | Bohemian Grove Cabal | NWO | Politics

Hans Delbruck (Scientist/Saint) asks in the guestbook:

Lyle, now that you've mentioned it in your blog, just what is the legal relationship between Cascadia and Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico? For example, does the Republic of Cascadia intend to bolster the confidence of investors by guarantying payment of imperial bonds issued during the reign of his late majesty?

All legal and diplomatic relationships with Emperor Norton I ended when the true Nortonian Empire ceased to be on January 8, 1880 following Norton's untimely death in the streets while heading to a speaking engagement at the Academy of Science. Since then, his dominions have been taken over by the Bohemian Grove Cabal, which is based in his former Imperial Seat of San Francisco, in the currently disputed territory of NoCal.

While the Republic of Cascadia had a friendly relationship with the United States when it was under the benevolent rule of Norton I, the Republic does not recognize this false continuation of the Nortonian Empire by forces aligned with the New World Order.

These pretenders to the throne, the Bohemian Grove Cabal, began life in 1872 as the Bohemian Club (and still use that name as a front). The Club was originally founded by San Franciscan newspaper men, led by an editorial writer for the Chronicle, who had conspired throughout Norton's reign to misappropriate his authority for their own ends by publishing false decrees and proclamations under his Imperial name.

The Emperor was aware of these imposters and in 1872 issued the following proclamation:

WHEREAS, there is every now and then a street report that the Emperor has received a telegram, or that he has done so and so, and on investigation found to be without foundation or fact;

WHEREAS, we are anxious that there should be no deception, and also that no imposter should make use of our authority;

KNOW, THEREFORE, all whom it may concern that no act is legal unless it has our imperial signature.

But the Bohemian Club's control over the Media was too great and the forgeries continued.

It's no coincidence that after Norton's death in 1880 the Bohemian Club underwent a coup that ousted the local newspaper men and put into power NWO-aligned Industrialists who sought to expand the Club's subversion of Norton's power on a grander scale, engineering the transformation of the local Club into the geopolitical Cabal that it is today. (This was also when they started using the Bohemian Grove compound to conduct their secret rites.)

The Cabal's first official act was to install Emperor-Norton-impersonator James A. Garfield as the US President. Shortly there after, their second official act was to have President Garfield ritually assassinated (possibly their first "Dull Care"), thus symbolically establishing their overthrow of the Nortonian Empire.

There is much suspiciousness surrounding Norton's demise and this shadowy transfer of power. When the Emperor's apartment (which was under the control of Masons) was searched after his death, all trace of his vast wealth was found mysteriously absent. With the expenses of a proper funeral befitting someone of Norton's stature unable to be covered from his unexpectedly bereft estate, the Pacific Club (an older secret society, now known as the Pacific-Union Club, that was involved in the Bohemian coup) conveniently stepped in at the last moment to pay for a coffin and interment in the Masonic Cemetery.

Were they trying to hide something in that rosewood coffin? Could it have been related to the telegram found on Norton's person from Czar Alexander II congratulating Norton on his betrothment to Queen Victoria? If there was the means to detect polonium assassination in 1880, there certainly wasn't a desire to look, and the Emperor's death was quickly ruled "sanguineous apoplexy" by Dr. William A. Douglass, who stole the only supposed evidence for this diagnosis -- Norton's brain -- during the autopsy.

Unfortunately, Emperor Norton's sad fate doesn't end there. It is rumored that, during the 1934 reinterment of Norton's remains, the Cabalists absconded with his bones (much like Yale's Skull & Bones Society -- now a Cabalist youth-recruitment organization -- did with Geronimo's skull) and that his skeleton to this day resides in the Pacific-Union's Flood Mansion clubhouse, propped up in full Imperial regalia at a table in the dining hall where it goes unnoticed among the club's geriatric members.

As to the Imperial Bonds: They're worth more on the collector's market than their stated value, so even if Cascadia were to assume the Imperial debts, it's unlikely that bond owners would wish to part with them.

Lyle Zapato

Book Review: Micronations

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-26.4350 LMT | Cascadia | Politics | Entertainment
Micronations cover

Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations by John Ryan, George Dunford, and Simon Sellars.

(My apologies to the authors for not getting to this sooner, like in time for the Year End Consumer Orgy. Also, book-review-reader beware: I am a very minor subject of this book -- three paragraphs and a flag worth -- and was sent a free copy by the publisher.)

Micronations is a colorful look -- both in the full-color photos and illustrations that appear on nearly every of its 156 pages and in the variety of colorful characters introduced -- at various nations that haven't yet been recognized by those bastards at the UN (not that it's any of their business).

It's about time a travel guide publisher has addressed these overlooked and underappreciated nations. While the unfairly diminutive prefix micro- has caused many to dismiss them as unimportant or even fictional, each and every one stands tall as a testament to the human desire for self determination (and they're all certainly more real than Belgium).

The guide's presentation is a mix of in-depth, 3-to-6-page articles on specific micronations -- going into their histories, personalities, and political intrigues (where applicable), as well as such travel-guide staples as things-to-do, driving directions, shopping and dining options, and accommodations (again, where applicable) -- with shorter boxed texts highlighting broader movements (Cascadian independence, mad Aussies, off-world colonies), topics of interest to micronationals (issuing stamps), and tidbits on micronations/micronationals that either can't sustain a fuller article (but whose presence is none the less welcome) or would require an entire book to do them true justice (Emperor Norton). The writing is light-hearted and entertaining while still being respectful of the subjects.

The micronations are divided into three loose chapters: "Serious Business", which includes those nations with compelling claims of legitimacy within the rules of the Establishment (or, barring that, their own television series); "My Backyard, My Nation", which mostly includes those who have exercised their Natural Right to seceded from their previous governments and plot their own destinies (here you would find Cascadia); and "Grand Dreams", for those nations fighting righteous causes in the face of Establishment opposition.

It's difficult to review a book like this beyond what I've already done since its topic is rather scatter-shot by nature and it can't really be judged on its practical utility as an actual travel guide (how many tourists can fit in Danny Wallace's Lovely apartment anyway?), so I'll just leave you with a smattering of the micronations included to whet your appetite:

  • Sealand, which has gotten a lot of mainstream press in years past (and continues to do so), is of course covered (it's the very first article).
  • The Republic of Molossia, an island nation adrift in a sea of Nevada whose currency is pegged to the price of Pillsbury cookie dough. They recently annexed some wetlands near Mexico.
  • The Principality of Trumania is sort of Cascadia's version of San Marino, located in the Puget Sound on Vashon Island (home of the bicycle-eating tree and the first modern incident involving a UFO and the Men in Black).
  • Whangamomona seceded from New Zealand in 1989 after a dispute over rugby league redistricting. Its most cherished former leader was a goat named Billy (or "Gumboots" to his inner circle of friends) whom some believe was assassinated.
  • The Republic of Kugelmugel consists of a 7.68m diameter wooden sphere covered in zinc-sheet that originally appeared in a vision to artist Edwin Lipburger. Tragically, control of this surface-area-minimizing nation was wrest away from Edwin when it was invaded and annexed by Austria -- if only he had covered it in aluminum!
Lyle Zapato

Two Bad Ideas

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-25.2416 LMT | Aluminum | Entertainment | Monorail Danger

Walter emailed me two bad ideas (not his)...

Brandon Flowers of the RIAA-approved music group The Killers is promoting a bad idea in an upcoming music video:

Dual Headed AFDB

While building an AFDB using a hardhat substrate is a valid, if somewhat harder to hide, method of beanie construction, connecting two of them together with an aluminumized tube that will allow psychotronic energies to be transmitted back and forth between two wearers is strongly unadvised. Yes, it will still protect you from most mind control, but do you really want some strange little Japanese kid piping his thoughts directly into your brain, nullifying your individual brain patterns and turning you both into a two-person hive-mind obsessed with Ultraman and sexual ambiguity? Try again, Brandon.

The next bad idea is from Mass Tram America, Inc. and is called The Highway In The Sky:

Highway in the Sky

They propose taking old Boeing 7x7 fuselages stripped of wings and tail fins, attaching them below monorail tracks hung from suspension cables on towers, and powering the whole system with solar cells and wind turbines. Even by monorail standards this is just daft. What happens when it bursts into flames and the cables melt? At least with traditional above-rail monorails the pedestrians below need only fear flying debris. When this system fails, the whole train will plummet to the ground like a streamlined bomb. And with no control surfaces, there's no way for the monorail captain to steer the flaming mass away from the innocents on the roads over which they propose to build these things. Try again, Mass Tram America, Inc. (perhaps by putting the repurposed fuselages safely inside tubes).