margin-top: 28px; The Unlikely Times: May 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Wilhelm Scream

There was a famous movie scream recorded way back when (earliest known use in "Distant Drums" - 1951) which made its way into stock sound f/x libraries and has become something of a Hollywood gag. It has been reused in almost every Star Wars film, Indiana Jones film, even in Disney cartoons. It supposedly showed up in the new Indiana Jones film, too, when Indy and Mutt were sliding under those tables in the library on the motorcycle -- a startled student shrieked it out. After you hear it once, you'll hear it everywhere.

LINK - a more detailed history of it over at
LINK - a hysterical compilation of Wilhelm screams from many of your favorite movies, over on YouTube.

So, if you're watching a movie or cartoon and some of the laughs or screams or miscellaneous sounds seem hauntingly familiar, don't be surprised if you really have heard them all before.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lions, Lions Everywhere!

Our four house cats are enough of a handful. I couldn't imagine trying to keep a wild cat as a pet. And certainly not a lion. However, there are a lot of wild pets out there, laws or no laws, and we tend to only hear about them when they get loose. I wondered how many pet lion incidents there could possibly be ...

Lambert the Lion (550 pounds) attacking cars on U.S. Highway 23 in Ohio. (LINK - Herald Times Online (AP) - 27 Nov 2007) "Agency investigates owner of escaped lion" (LINK - (AP) - 25 Nov 2007) Ohio currently has no laws against keeping exotic pets but (not surprisingly): "City may review wild animal issue." (LINK - Norwalk Reflector - 24 Dec 2007) From link #2: "It's difficult to estimate how many lions and tigers are privately owned in Ohio because so few are licensed."

Kitty the Lion has to move, Appalachian family fights to keep their 400-pound lion, but it can't stay in their neighborhood. (LINK - Living in the Wine Country - 18 May 2006)

Boomer the Lion loose around Ottawa. A young lion, only 150 pounds. (LINK - The Raw Story (AP) - 30 Apr 2008)

It's not as easy as you might think to identify which exotic pets might be a hazard, but lions clearly have the potential to be dangerous. "Ever since a woman wearing a leopard skin coat was attacked by a pet lion, there have been tight controls on keeping wild animals at home." New law in Britain tries to sort them out: (LINK - London Daily Telegraph - 10 Jul 2007) (LINK - The Times Online - 5 Oct 2007) The leopard skin incident was from 1976.

For an old classic, how about Christian the Lion, who was bought from a Harrods department store in 1969, grew too big for its owner, and its transition back to Africa was made into a documentary film?
(LINK - London Daily Mail - 4 May 2007 with good photos)

While I love animals, the power of a lion and how volatile they can be as pets is shown on this video of a pet lion in Pakistan having a bad moment and almost ripping a boy's arm off.

I don't have a big statement to make about this. Just collecting some links on an odd topic. Protect the animals, and you will protect people from themselves.

Lost & Found extremes

For some reason, stories of people losing and finding things always catch my eye. What makes the following stories "odd" is that the finders returned the goods. Nice to know there's still some honesty in the world.

Boy scout returns wallet with $800, after losing his own wallet not long before. (LINK from Associated Press - 30 Apr 2008).

A wallet with $2,500 in it, lost at sea? Found and returned by four teenagers in Florida. (LINK from the Post Chronicle - 29 Apr 2008).

How about a wallet with $20,000 in it? Would it ever be seen again? Yes. (LINK from Free Republic - 27 Jul 2004). Original article on ( no longer available.

And my favorite: I know it has been splashed around a bit, but you don't hear of a lost $4 million violin everyday. It was left behind in a New Jersey cab ... and returned! (LINK from Associated Press - 23 Apr 2008)

But the oddest loss in recent news? Pink Floyd was playing a gig at the Coachella Music Festival here in California. They lost a giant inflatable pig balloon that says "Obama" on it. It's bigger than a bus. It wasn't stolen or anything, it just floated away. If you see it, they would like it returned. There's a $10,000 reward! (LINK from Fox 5 Las Vegas - 30 Apr 2008).