pennsylvania two

At approximately 5AM on 4 August, 2002, 39-year-old Todd Sees departed his home in Mount Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania, to drive two miles to Mt. Montour to assess the deer population. Hunting season was fast approaching. At around the same time, a number of separate witnesses reported seeing a disc-shaped object floating in the sky over Mt. Montour. One of the witnesses reported seeing a flicker of sparks coming from the wires that run across the top of the mountain. Another witness reported seeing a beam of light coming down from the UFO and then the body of a man being levitated by the beam of light.

When Sees did not return home, his son went out searching for him and found his car. Beside the car he found his father’s neatly folded clothes. A search party was assembled and they scoured the surrounding area. Two days later, his body was found in some underbrush in an area that had already been extensively searched the day before. Sees was naked except for his undergarments and was said to have an expression of horror on the face. Additionally, his body was extremely emaciated. With no external or internal injuries, the results of the autopsy were inconclusive. Many people believe that what took place that morning on Mt. Montour was something otherworldly. 

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Penny: Hey, Twitch, did you ever watch The Bachelor?

Twitch: No, actually. I’m just kinda winging this.

Penny: Heh, that’s okay. That’s the best we can all do, right?

Twitch: Yeah…and thanks for talking to me, by the way. Eden stood here watching videos for an hour until I talked to her.

Penny: Ooh, that’s rough.

WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME IT WAS THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS?!?

Turns out they’re not from Pennsylvania whoops

If any other of you Northeastern United States guys are getting pounded by this late Nor'easter, I just wanted to say: Please stay safe. Most schools and some businesses are already closed down, so please don’t go out if you don’t have to. Your safety should be your #1 concern.

Squirrels at CMNH

by John Wible

Like many people in western Pennsylvania, I share my yard with gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). Other than the mammalian pets in our houses, gray squirrels are the mammals we are most likely to see on a daily basis. They amuse us with their acrobatic antics at our bird feeders, their chattering vocalizations, and their skirmishes with their squirrel neighbors.

Gray squirrels are rodents with large, ever-growing incisors that help them open nuts and seeds. They belong to the squirrel family (Sciuridae), which also includes chipmunks, woodchucks, and flying squirrels. In fact, there are more than 200 species of squirrels that inhabit all continents except Antarctica, although humans brought them along to Australia.

A typical adult gray squirrel in western Pennsylvania is about two feet from head to tail tip. That is not a baby gray squirrel below it in the picture above. That is an adult of the world’s smallest squirrel, the African pygmy squirrel (Myosciurus pumilio)! It measures about 5 inches and weighs 16 grams, less than half an ounce. They are found in lowland tropical forests in west central Africa (Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea). They are omnivores, foraging constantly, eating bark, fruits, and insects. Their conservation status is generally okay, but deforestation is a threat.

The African pygmy squirrel is the only squirrel that travels frequently both upside down and right side up along branches. What a treat it would be to see how one of these would get to my bird feeder!


John Wible, PhD, is the curator of the Section of Mammals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. John’s research is focused on the tree of life of mammals, understanding the evolutionary relationships between living and extinct taxa, and how the mammalian fauna on Earth got to be the way it is today. He uses his expertise on the anatomy of living mammals to reconstruct the lifeways of extinct mammals. John lives with his wife and two sons in a house full of cats and rabbits in Ross Township.

Southeastern Pennsylvania, Part Two

While in the area of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, back in 2012, I ventured out to take some images of what I might find. One shot was of Three Mile Island, seen in yesterday’s post, and the other is this track-side image in Middletown.

This is the former Pennsylvania Railroad between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. We are looking up the tracks toward Harrisburg, twelve to thirteen miles up the line. Pondering this image now, I find it curious that one of the three tracks, to the left side of the image, is not electrified. I assume it is a freight-only line.

Creepy places to go

Stay on Main hotel (Cecil hotel), Los Angeles, California 

- Multiple suicides, murders, and unexplained deaths

- Just generally creepy as fuuuck

The Museum of Death, Los Angeles, California

- Original crime scene pictures

- Educational but in a, “I shouldn’t want to know this but I definitely want to” way

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia

- Was in operation between 1864 and 1994

- Inactive hospital for the mentally ill

- When active, uncontrollable patients were often locked in cages

- Overall creepy

The Mütter Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

- Two floors full of preserved human specimens

- Just seems interesting. Full of bones and shit

DudleyTown in Cornwall, Connecticut

- Village of the damned

- Complete ghost town tbh

- Settlement for farmers in the 1700s

- Supposedly cursed  

West Virginia State Penitentiary 

-  Most violent correctional facilities and the final stop for almost 1,000 criminals

- Tons of prisoner led riots

-  Many men were hanged or killed in the electric chair

- Others were murdered by other prisoners 

- Closed in 1995

Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky

- Held hundreds of tuberculosis patients

- Closed in 1961, reopened in ‘62

-  Urban legend claim that “63,000 deaths” occurred at the Sanitorium

- 152 deaths per year

- 162 people died in 1945

- Just seems creepy


So I think that’s it. Im sure I’ll add more eventually but thats all for now. My list of places I want to road trip

6

On March 8, 2012, 30-year-old John Shick entered Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania armed with two handguns and opened fire. He shot six people, one of them fatally, on the first floor of the facility before unsuccessfully attempting to gain entry to a parking garage on the second floor. After running back down the stairs, he began firing at the front doors while police were entering. Another group of officers managed to get behind him and killed him. Authorities released a postmortem photograph of Shick the day after, as he was not identified immediately, due to there being no identification on him.

Shick was diagnosed as schizophrenic during involuntary commitments in New York and Oregon while he was staying there, and he was seeing doctors regularly at the time of the shooting. At his apartment, there were ramblings all over the walls, and his neighbors had grown wary of him for messages he used to post on his door, such as “Now cleaning up vomit of pancreatitis. Please do not disturb.” The day before the attack, he sent an email to his mother that read: “You are murderers. I have already reported the doctors refusing to help or treat worms to the police, including Interpol. There will be no one helping, other than ruffians employed by UPMC to shoot me in the head while I am sleeping in my bed at 3 a.m. to destroy the evidence of that corporation’s accessory to murder. You stole over $3,000 from me, and I need the money now. Send this money now. You are murderers and liars.” His mother suggested he go to the doctor, so he called and was taken to the hospital around 5 p.m. after claiming he was throwing up blood and had worms in his stool. They released him shortly after.

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No, this isn’t the start of a sci-fi horror film… it’s just awesome science. 

In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two robotocists have harnessed the sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beattie and Denise Wong hope these initial experiments with nano bio-robots will provide a platform for future medical and micro-engineering endeavors.

3

News anchor’s racist Facebook rant is everything wrong with how we talk about crime

It’s heartwarming indeed that a journalist tasked with informing the public about important issues could feel compelled to share casually racist wisdom on her Facebook page. 

Wendy Bell wrote the above passage about a crime that occurred March 9 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, where two shooters kill six people at a backyard barbecue, all of the victims were black. Not a single suspect has been identified as of Thursday, by the way. Bell later issued an apology on Facebook.

The new 57-story One Pennsylvania Plaza (Kahn & Jacobs, 1972) with the Madison Square Garden Sports Center (Charles Luckman & Associates, 1968) and the 29-story Two Pennsylvania Plaza (Chrales Luckman & Associates, 1968) in this aerial view looking northeast in fall 1972.

Photo: James Doane.

Source: "New York City. International Edition Five Languages". New York, N.Y. Manhattan Post Card Pub. Co., Dexter Press, Inc. 1975.

I mean I have a gorgeous gf and I’ve talked about her but this time I wanna focus on my mom’s friends. You don’t hear enough about middle aged wlw. They’re probably in their 40′s and 50′s though.

I met em both today. The one has two kids (15 year old girl, 19 year old boy) from a previous marriage. When mom mentioned the one had a girlfriend I confirmed it meant in the dating way rather than the het woman way of referring to friends. 

They live in a cute but small house in suburban Pennsylvania. They have two cats and want to get a dog someday (they recently lost their old one unfortunately). They have a hammock in their little yard and it seems to be a cute 2 floor 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom home.

It was a small detail, but at one point we subject of ear wiggling came up. The one woman (the one with the kids) could wiggle her ears, and showed us. I was pretty impressed as I never grasped how to wiggle your ears.

In response to this, her girlfriend said, “Yep, she’s very talented. And she’s all mine.”

The 19 year old boy, who was in the room, kinda half rolled his eyes and was like, “See, this is what I have to deal with. This is why I spend all my time in my room.” But you could see by his tone he wasn’t intentionally being a dickhead, he was just kidding around and it can feel awkward to see someone talking romantically about your mom, regardless of gender. It was a small but sweet moment.