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Bizzare & Odd

House that Inspired ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ (Horror Version) is Up for Sale

If all you know about classic fairy tales and bedtime stories is what you’ve seen in Disney movies or children’s books, then you know nothing about the original telling of these stories and the sometimes horrific tales of murder and mayhem they really are. That should have been apparent earlier this month when the gravestone was discovered of the woman whose sad life as a tormented stepdaughter in a mining town where children and dwarfs were forced to work in cramped, dirty tunnels became the basis for the story of Snow White. Now, as the home that is said to have inspired the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears goes up for sale, we learn the real story of three all-male bears (surprise!) and who really messed up their house and stole their food before running off into the woods … or perhaps suffered a worse fate. Spoiler alert: the original title of this tale was “The Story of the Three Bears.” Sorry, Goldie!

“Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They each had a pot for their porridge, a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear, and a great pot for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had a chair to sit in; a little chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the Great, Huge Bear.

One day, after they had made the porridge for their breakfast, and poured it into their porridge-pots, they walked out into the wood while the porridge was cooling, that they might not burn their mouths, by beginning too soon to eat it.”

If you think you know who or what comes next, you don’t. No golden-haired girl looking for food. Most literary scholars say it was an old woman, based on “The Story of the Three Bears” that was believed to have been written by English poet Robert Southey. That story was published anonymously in one of his collections in 1837 and attributed to him in another collection published in 1848. More on Southey later because it turns out his was not the first telling of this tri-bear tale.

Some scholars attribute the story to Eleanor Mure, who wrote a version in 1831 for her nephew’s fourth birthday. She obviously wanted to scare the little boy because the mean old lady in her tale gets caught by the bears, who are so angry that they try and fail to set her on fire and drown her before they finally succeed in killing the poor porridge-pilfering woman by impaling her on a church steeple! Now try and fall asleep, my little nephew!

However, Mure’s version may not be the first either. There’s an earlier (by at least two decades) old English tale of a fox named Scapefoot who broke into a castle owned by three bears, stole their porridge, messed with their stuff and suffered the same fate as Mure’s old woman. Sweet dreams, my little kiddies.

Poet Robert Southey obviously wanted to sell more books, so he cleaned up the story, which he may have heard from his uncle. “Fox” was also a derogatory term for an old woman, so it became one who was nasty – she was thrown out by her family for being foul-mouthed, dirty and more (we’ve never been nice about our older women — some things never change) but at least she lives … when the bears find her asleep with a belly-full of porridge, the little bear’s cries awaken her and she jumps out of the window and runs away.

How did the story change from a nasty crone to cute little Goldilocks? That switch is generally attributed to Joseph Cundall, whose 1849 collection, Treasury of Pleasure Books for Young Children, included the story of the three bears but changed the old lady to a young girl named Silver-Hair. Wait, what? That version was retold many times and Silver-Hair evolved to Silver Hair, Golden Hair, Silver Locks and the winning choice — Goldilocks. The three male bears also changed to the familiar Papa, Mama and Baby Bear. Both changes were much more acceptable to illustrators, whose pictures were the real selling points of these collections. While Goldilocks moved to top billing, most kids even today still sympathize with the smallest bear, whose porridge was eaten and chair broken.

Why are we talking about Goldilocks and the Three Bears again?

Oh yeah – the house that inspired Robert Southey’s version is for sale.

“If you’ve ever dreamed of living in a fairytale cottage, this place is ‘just right’ – as the house which inspired the childhood story Goldilocks and the Three Bears goes on sale for £995,000.”

That’s 1.2 million in US dollars for the “fairytale cottage” — now called Burton Cottage – that sits on the edge of the New Forest National Park (a great place for an old woman burglar to hide out) and, at least from the outside, looks like a quaint home that would house three bears comfortably, with each having its own bedroom and one for ‘invited’ guests. However, the remodeled inside now screams “bull market” rather than bear. It’s all modern and elaborately decorated – there’s even chandeliers in the bathrooms. (Pictures here.) The huge refrigerator can hold much more than porridge and the kitchen has a microwave to heat up cold meals. All that plus the scenery and the Three Bears story and it might be worth $1.2 million.

However …

Burton Cottage is in Christchurch, Dorset, on the southeastern coast of England and has been up for sale before – the last time in 2017 at a higher asking price of £1.15 million ($1.4 million). According to his biography, Southey was born in Bristol, educated in London, lived with his first wife in Keswick, spent time in Scotland and the Netherlands, and died and was buried in Keswick. The earlier real estate listing says he lived in Burton Cottage from 1799 to 1805 and he came up with the story in 1813. Southey’s biography points out that this was about the time he and fellow writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge became involved in early experiments with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) conducted by the renowned scientist Humphry Davy and became a regular user – inhaling it in a gas chamber invented by steam engine inventor James Watt or mixing it with wine as a hangover cure. (Kids, don’t try this at home.)

Was “The Story of the Three Bears” inspired by Burton Cottage or was it from a laughing gas hallucination?

Ask the real estate agent. Maybe you can get them to knock off a few hundred-thousand from the price.

Source: Mysterious Universe


Bizzare & Odd

1947 film predicts smartphones and other modern technology

Inspired by Barjavel’s essay, a 70-year-old documentary offers the evolution of portable pocket television as well as a way people interact with objects. Today, parallels are drawn between the objects, like smartphones described in a short documentary.

Anne-Katrin Weber, television historian at Lausanne University, said:

People using miniature television devices in public places; professional meetings held by telephones with a picture; cars equipped with television screens; shops that advertise their products on television: these topics are from the 1947 short film Television: Oeil de Demain. Produced and directed by Raymond-Millet.

The film combines documentary and science fiction sequences, while also offering a television image in post-war France, as well as creative speculation about future developments.

While Raymond-Millet’s work is almost forgotten today, his film received a standing ovation for “predicting our present” and although the small portable devices used in the film have long retractable antennas that resemble the first cell phones, it shows that 70 years ago smartphones already existed. In fact, they mirror today’s smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person.

At the end of the film, the audience is transferred to the bedroom, where the man is having trouble sleeping. He seems to be “invoking” the hologram of a dancing woman who appears on the bed and looks at her while his wife is sleeping.

The film outline about upcoming television shows, really look like a fairly accurate forecast of modern digital media in terms of flexibility and hybridity of media technologies and their various forms of consumption.

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Bizzare & Odd

The time when US wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon

In the United States during the Cold War, there was a plan to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon as a “demonstration of dominance” before the Soviet Union. New details of the secret mission are revealed in a recently published book.

Intimidate the Soviet Union: Americans wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moonPhoto:

The secret mission, codenamed Project A119, was conceived at the dawn of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the US Air Force Division, located at the Kirtland Air Base in New Mexico.

A report written in June 1959, entitled A Study of Lunar Research Flights, outlines plans for an atomic bomb exploded on the Moon’s “terminator,” the region between the Sun-lit portion of the surface and the darker portion of our planet’s natural satellite.

The explosion would probably be visible to the naked eye from the Earth, because the military planned to add sodium to the bomb, which was supposed to glow during the explosion.

A nuclear explosion on the lunar surface was certainly “one of the stupidest things the government could do,” says John Greenwald, Jr., author of Secrets from the Vault.

According to the Daily Mail, a recently published book details some of the most surrealistic offers in history.

John Greenwald has been interested in the secrets of the US government since he was 15 and has filed more than 3,000 requests for freedom of information. He oversees The Black Vault’s online repository, which has collected about 2.1 million pages of previously classified documents related to UFOs, mysterious murders and other mysterious phenomena.

According to Greenwald, the US Air Force was developing a lunar project to “show US dominance in space over the Soviet Union and, ultimately, over the whole world.”

The plan, of course, has never been implemented – perhaps because of a potential “unprecedented scientific disaster,” as one declassified document says.

The existence of this scheme was first discovered in 1999 in the biography of the world famous astronomer Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Sagan was hired to work with him in Chicago by Dr. Leonard Raiffel, a physicist who was studying the possibility of creating a lunar nuclear bomb.

Leonard Raiffel (he died in 2017 at the age of 89) in an interview in 2000 claimed that the bomb would be as big as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

“It was clear that the main purpose of the proposed detonation was a PR act and a demonstration of sole domination,” the scientist told The Observer. – The Air Force wanted the mushroom cloud to be so large that it could be seen on Earth. The United States lagged behind in the space race.”


In 1958, Raiffel was approached by senior US Air Force officers who asked him to “expedite” a project to study the visibility and consequences of a nuclear explosion on the moon.

According to the scientist, he made it clear that as a result, the pristine lunar environment will be destroyed, and this will be a huge damage, “but the US Air Force was mainly concerned about how a nuclear explosion would be perceived on Earth.”

“If the project were made public, there would be protests,” Raiffel said.

Greenwald’s book also explores the 1959 Army project on building a military base on the moon, code-named Project Horizon. The aim of the project was to create a permanent lunar colony for 10-20 people by the end of 1966. To get equipment there, it was projected to require an average of 5.3 Saturn rocket launches per month from August 1964 to November 1966.

In the entire history of the American space program, only 19 Saturns were launched.

“Military power based on the moon will be a strong deterrent to war because of the extreme difficulty, from the enemy’s point of view, of eliminating our ability to strike back,” the project suggested.

In a 1959 memorandum, US Army Research and Development Head Lieutenant Arthur Trudeau argued that if the United States created a permanent base on the moon, the prestige and psychological advantage for the American nation would be invaluable in confronting the Soviets.

The report indicated that creating an outpost of 12 people and maintaining it in working condition over the course of the year would cost more than $ 6 billion (which is equivalent to more than $ 53 billion in modern money).

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Bizzare & Odd

The most unusual rains in human history

Science for a long time did not pay attention to this anomalous phenomenon, suggesting that it was nothing more than legends and fabrications. But then an explanation was found.

Exactly 80 years ago, something strange happened near the village of Meschera in the Gorky Region, which shocked local residents. Ancient coins fell on their heads right from the sky

Ominous sign filed by seaweed

On June 17, 1940, the inhabitants of the village of Meshchera with amazement rushed to collect silver coins of the 16th – 17th centuries. that fell from the sky. An unusual find was then handed over to the state – in total, about a thousand coins were counted.

According to the most common version, the weather became the cause of the money rain: first, the rain washed out of the  ground the treasure buried in the time of Ivan the Terrible, and then the hurricane lifted it into the air and scattered it around the neighborhood.

In July 2001, red rain poured in the Indian state of Kerala. With interruptions, it continued until the end of September, and the population was pretty frightened: in precipitation, similar to blood, people saw an ominous sign. Later, scientists reassured them: the rain became colored due to  spores of local algae.

In 2005, frogs fell from the sky near the Serbian village of Kaja Janovik. Its inhabitants were at a loss. Experts suggested that the blame for everything is the tornado, which dragged amphibians into its funnel from a nearby body of water.

Similar “precipitation” from frogs and toads was observed at different times in other countries. For example, in 1953 in Massachusetts, USA. Or in 2007 in  El Rebolledo, Spain.

Dinner fallen from the sky

Rain from animals is undoubtedly a rare occurrence, but not just mentioned in written sources. Such evidence is found among the ancient Greeks and Romans. The message about squirrels falling from the sky is contained in the Ipatiev Chronicle And in the XIX century, the press began to publish them. 

For example, the 1877 Scientific American magazine described snake rain reaching 18 inches (about 45 centimeters) in length that fell in Memphis. In June 1880, quail rained over Spanish Valencia, and in February 1861, Singaporeans saw thousands of fish fall from the sky along with a shower.

Fish rain in Singapore as described by the indigenous people

There have been reports of unusual precipitation from animals both in the last century and in the present.

 In 1969, in the city of St. Mary (USA), rain fell from dead canaries. In 1978, in New South Wales (Australia) – from shrimp. 

In 2007, residents of the Argentinean province of Salta watched spiders pouring from the sky, in 2011, earthworms began to fall on the students of one of the schools in Scotland (they had a physical education lesson in the stadium). 

The teacher was forced to interrupt the lesson and take the children away, and then he went out with them and collected these worms for a long time to give them for examination. Scientists suggested that the wind brought them, but the weather that day was sunny and calm.

For the city of Yoro, in Honduras, fish rain (in Spanish – aguacero de pescado) has become so commonplace that the local department holds the annual Fish Rain Festival, which attracts tourists.

 The action takes place in the time interval from May to July: a dark cloud appears in the sky, which is opened by a heavy rain, and after it hundreds of living fish remain on the ground. 

Both locals and visitors collect the prey and bring it to the kitchen, where they prepare a gala dinner. Fish rain is even mentioned in Honduran folklore.

Engraving depicting the “fish rain” (O. Magnus, 1555)

Can a frog spawn in the cloud?

Science for a long time did not pay attention to this anomalous phenomenon, suggesting that it was nothing more than a legend. 

Therefore, a version emerged that now looks like sheer absurdity. Namely: the creatures that fell from the sky themselves somehow originated in the clouds. In the 19th century, a near-scientific base was even brought up under this hypothesis: they say, along with water vapor, eggs of frogs rise into the atmosphere, where they grow and  live in clouds for some  time, and then fall to the ground with rain.

Nevertheless, the French physicist Andre Marie Ampère (the one whose name is used to name the unit of current strength) tried to explain the rains from frogs and toads with more rational arguments. Subsequently, they were accepted and developed by other scientists. 

Ampere suggested that strong winds are able to pick up large groups of toads, crawling out of the reservoirs on the grass, and carry them over distances of several kilometers. Actually, the scientific explanation of the phenomenon, which caused bewilderment and superstitious awe among our ancestors, boils down to abnormal weather phenomena – hurricanes and tornadoes.

Scientists have proven that they can raise fish and the same frogs from the surface of reservoirs, small animals from the ground, and intercept birds in flight. Unable to escape from the funnel of a tornado, animals soar higher and higher until the elements subside and its energy yields to Earth’s gravity.

There is another scientific explanation which denies the very existence of rains from animals. It is noticed that some species of fish are able to crawl along the grass, moving from one reservoir to another, like eels. 

If a person sees them immediately after the rain, he might think that they have fallen from a thundercloud. The same goes for frogs and toads. Even the ancient Greek philosopher Theofast suggested that amphibians do not fall from the sky with rain – this rain makes them crawl out of ponds and swamps into open areas.

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