Ill Wind

When air hits the Alps, it sometimes drops its moisture on the windward side and descends into the land beyond as a warm, dry wind.

When this happens, headache and depression increase in Central Europe. The “murder winds” have even been blamed for heart attacks and suicide.

No one has explained the effect.


In 1858 Mark Twain had a vivid dream in which he saw his brother Henry lying in a metal burial case. On Henry’s chest lay a bouquet of white flowers with a red rose at its center.

A month later, Henry lost his life when his steamboat’s boiler exploded. A grieving Twain arrived to discover his brother’s body in a metal case—the other victims had been given wooden coffins, but the ladies of Memphis had taken up a fund for Henry, touched by his youth and good looks.

As Twain stood there, an elderly woman approached and placed a bouquet of white flowers on Henry’s chest. At its center was a single red rose.

See also A Premonition.

Double Talk

Here is the longest correct sentence of ‘thats’ which we have yet seen:

‘I assert that that, that that “that,” that that that that person told me contained, implied, has been misunderstood.’

It is a string of nine ‘thats’ which may be easily ‘parsed’ by a bright pupil.

Boston Journal of Education, cited in Bizarre Notes & Queries, November 1887

Owen Parfitt

In June 1768, bedridden tailor Owen Parfitt was put into a chair at the door of his Somerset cottage while his sister made his bed. She emerged after 15 minutes to find only the empty chair.

A search continued throughout the rural village through the night and all the following day. No trace of him was ever found.