The Horror in Smithville – Part SIX

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.The Horror in Smithville - Part Six

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        Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe and Part Six of ‘The Horror in Smithville’! I know that a lot of you, My Dear Readers, have been waiting for this to be published. From what I understand? From what I am HEARING? This story has become rather popular. That, in fact, it has its own little following! And, for these people… each and every episode is met with much anticipation.

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First, I am very flattered that something I write has garnered some popularity. Second, I am pouring everything I have into this story. This week… was very difficult for me. UPDATE – My doctor’s office called… the doctor that wants me to have the surgery? NOW? They want me to “come back in and discuss the test results…”

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There is only one thing I hate more than BS by doctors. A doctor, or the office, being CRYPTIC with me! OK.. forget all THAT!

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Today’s episode IS one of the very best, so far, out of the entire series! I have worked very hard on this episode, and it shows! Seriously? I really do hope that everyone takes the time to drop by and read THIS episode!

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Now… this… ‘hangs’ @ the end. It is supposed to ‘hang… It is a ‘cliffhanger’… Yet, next week’s episode… is a ‘MUST READ’ too! What happens.. NEXT? Well, it is really incredible… and the single most… gory… bloody… intense episode ever!  PERIOD!

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Now, without further adieu I give you Part SIX ‘The Horror in Smithville’!

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Part Six

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       And we are not talking about a really nice graveyard, eight. This graveyard looked to be from long long ago. The headstones were mostly broken, the names of the dearly beloved long ago forgotten to time. Gnarled trees, leaning half out of the ground, were the only remaining landscaping. Above, the moon hung full in the sky while a deep rolling fog moved over the ground.. It just then that Timmy felt the first deep chill, it was very cold and damp outside.

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 It was at this moment that Timmy took note of his clothes. He was not wearing his pajamas, as he was when he went to bed. Instead Timmy was fully clothed; wearing heavy denim-type jeans, a thick burlap shirt, a jacket made out of a heavy canvas, and a scarf wrapped around his neck. He thought that they were amazingly appropriate clothing, for his surroundings. He pulled the jacket tightly around him when it occurred to him. Something was missing, rather someone!

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Archer awoke to the sound of growling in the near distance. He is leaning up against a half-dead gnarled tree, dressed in light doeskin tunic, trousers, and jacket. He had calf-high boots that appeared to be made of the same light leather. He was in the tick of a forest, and rain was falling lightly, when he heard the sound again. It was a very low growling sound, which was coming from behind. He made his was, slowly, to his feet.

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Archer quickly looked around where he was sitting, making sure he wasn’t leaving anything, he might need later, behind. He reached into his pockets, to see if he had anything with which to fight. In his pockets he found; a long length of waxed cord or heavy thread, a tool of some kind made of bone, and in the other pocket he found a folding knife.

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The knife would be good as a tool, but insufficient to use for fighting. Looking up from his hands, he saw the trees to his left… rustle. It was not the wind, something… something was in the trees just off to his left. Whatever it was, he was in no position, yet, to fight. He turned, ever so slowly, to his right and took a step. He should have looked before he stepped.

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He set his right foot down on a branch, unknowing; he broke the branch beneath his foot.

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            Crack!

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Just moments before, Archer was sitting at the end of his bed. Now, looking around, Timmy could not see Archer anywhere close. Maybe he wasn’t close enough to see, but he was willing to bet he was close enough to hear. Timmy decided to call out, maybe Archer was close by, this time too.

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            “Archer! Hey, Archer, you here?”

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Timmy stood silently waiting for Archer to respond. Several moments passed without any reply. Just as Timmy was about to give it another try, something moved by his feet under the fog. Brushing against his right foot, Timmy went to move to his left only to find his feet unable to move.

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            ‘Great… what is it this time… I don’t have feet?’ Timmy thought to himself.

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He reached down to his lower leg and tried to pull up on his right foot. His foot came, slowly, upward making a glurping sound. Timmy quickly came to several realizations. First, he did have feet, and he was wearing boots… now covered in mud. The ground beneath his feet was soaking wet and turned into mud. He placed his right foot on the remains of a gravestone, and pulled his right foot out of the mud. Timmy began walking, the direction he was facing, towards a broken tree in the center of the graveyard.

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Archer set his right foot down on a branch, unknowing; he broke the branch beneath his foot.

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            Crack!

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The sound was so loud it echoed in the forest. Just as Archer was thinking he could have yelled for Timmy and made better use of making noise. Something jumped towards him… lunged is more like it, at him and snapped at his left foot. Archer bolted off to his right, running just as fast as he could manage in the forest. Right now, he was navigating his way through; brush, trees, fallen trees, logs and all the stuff that clutters up a forest floor. 

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Archer needed to find his way out of this forest and into some open ground. There he could break into a dash and gain some distance on this… thing. That is when Archer took a moment to think about what he had seen. Whatever had stuck its head out of the brush… well wasn’t normal. Its skull was barren of skin or flesh, with only its ear remaining on top of a skull. It looked like it had been a wolf, at some point. It had a snoot, like a wolf and canines at the front of the snot. What was chasing him looked like it was already… dead. Great, Archer had only been in this new world a few minutes and already he was alone and being chased by some kind of zombie-wolf.

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Archer kept scanning the forest to his left and right, trying to find the edge… a clearing. It was just when Archer was giving up hope, that he heard it! It came from far of to his… left but he was certain of its origin.  There was only one possible source for Archer hearing;

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            “Archer! Hey! Arrrcchherrr! Answer Doofus!”

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Timmy yelled at the top of his lungs as he made his way out of the bog like area of the graveyard. Glurp, goosh…  Walking through the mud his feet made some… entertaining sounds. Timmy looked around, surveying the landscape around him, could not see any sign of Archer. As Timmy approached the large gnarled tree, at the center of the graveyard, he had an eerie feeling of being watched.  He climbed up the small mound surrounding the tree. Sitting on the head of a broken gravestone, he picked up a broken tree limb and scraped mud from his boots.

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The graveyard surrounded, on all sides, with a thick forest. Timmy peered into the edges of the forest, hoping to catch a glimpse of what he knew was watching. Eyes moved over him, capturing his every move. Timmy kept working to get all the mud off of his boots. He was going to have to run, soon, he felt. He would be able to move much faster, once he removed all the mud.

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            “Where the heck is Archer?’ Timmy thought, as he finished scraping the last of the mud from his boots. This was not like the first dream, in that one Archer was very close to Timmy. As this thought crossed his mind, hackles went up all along the back of his neck. Deep from within the forest behind him, a long angry houl sounded.

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            “Hoowwwooouuuullll!”

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The sound of it made Timmy’s blood curl. Thatwhatever had just howled… that is what had been watching him since his arrival. The hair on Timmy’s arms were standing on end, and he shivered more out of fear than cold. Timmy stood up and did his best to figured out which direction he heard the howl. It had come from behind, and over to his left. Timmy slowly walked back the way he had come. He really wanted to call out for Archer.

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Timmy had been in this new place for almost an hour, now, and still there was no sign of Archer, anywhere. Timmy has nearly back to where he had entered the graveyard, when he heard rustling in the trees just beyond the graveyard. Well, this should be good… what is next in this dreamland? Timmy walked in the direction of the rustling, picking up a large piece of a broken headstone as he walked.

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            “Howwwlllll!” Followed by loud barking sounds… raspy barking sounds…

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This time, the sound came from directly in front of Timmy. ‘Well, what ever is going to happen next, at least I am in the right place!’ Timmy thought to himself, gripping the piece of stone in his hand firmly. Within seconds, the forest, just beyond where he stood, burst into a flurry of activity. Timmy strained to listen… he thought he heard foot falls in the forest… someone running. Man, if that is Archer… he is running faster than I have ever seen him run in gym class. Timmy raised the stone piece of headstone high over his head. Whatever was going to come out of the forest? Timmy was going to brain it a good one.

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The sound of the howl sent a chill through Archer’s veins. Whatever this thing was, it was fierce and blood thirsty. Boy, Archer really hoped that Timmy was close… and standing in a clearing. Archer was running out of steam, and breath. I had better yell out, now… before I run out of breath… Mustering all his energy left, Archer called out as loud as he could;

 

            “Timmmmyyyy!” BINGO! That was Archer!  

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Timmy now knew what was happening, and he had a plan. Archer was getting chased by… something like a wolf. Timmy was going to stand right at the edge of the forest, just where he thought Archer and his attacker would pop out. Just to make sure, Timmy called out to Archer.

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            “Archer. Archer! Head towards my voice.  I am ready and waiting… and RUN!”

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The voice was very close and just to his left. Archer turned on his heals and headed in the direction of Timmy’s voice. Straining his eyes, he could just make out a clearing ahead. The open area was getting close and closer, when Archer yelled out; … … …

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Ok, timing was going to be pretty important, here, or he would end up braining his friend… and getting attacked by an angry wolf. Timmy widened his stance, shifted his left foot behind him, and drew up the headstone as high as he could. Timmy took a deep breath… From the forest he heard;

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             “Ready or not Timmy… here I come!”

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Just then Archer came busting out of the forest. Timmy called out to Archer;

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            “Duck and roll past me… to my left, Archer… NOW!

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As if practiced, time and again, Archer bolted out of the forest. Turned quickly to his right, ducked below Timmy’s waiting outstretched arm, and rolled past his left foot. Not a second had passed when the wolf bolted out of the forest, hot on Archer’s tail. The wolf didn’t understand Timmy’s directions, so he headed right under Timmy’s waiting arm.

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BAM! Timmy brought the headstone down onto the wolf’s head as hard as he could. Timmy’s aim was true, and he hit the wolf right on the top of his head. The wolf yelped  as his head fell to the ground. He was stunned, but not unconscious.  Timmy realized, just looking at this wolf… thing… he had only one chance, it was them or the wolf. Without thinking further, Timmy brought the headstone down on the wolf’s head; again and again.

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It was Archer that finally grabbed Timmy’s arm, bringing it to a stop, over his head.

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            “Timmy… I think it’s dead. You can stop now, I’m OK… Timmy.”

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Timmy looked over at Archer, he was worse for wear and tear of running through a forest… but he was ok.  Timmy’s arm came down, and the chuck of headstone fell to the ground. Almost immediately Timmy put his arms around Archer… hugging him. For a second Archer hugged back, then they pushed each other back, and took each a step backwards. Timmy spoke first;

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            “So… you are, like, OK’… Right? He didn’t actually bite you… or anything, right?’

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As Timmy spoke those words he looked down at what had emerged from the forest. Timmy was looking it over, when Archer spoke;

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            “Yeah, I’m fine… but I almost wasn’t. This… thing… whatever it is came at me while I was walking trough the forest. I was just minding my own business… looking to find you. When it came out from behind some trees and tried to take a bite out of me!”

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Timmy was listening to every word Archer said, but he was looking at what had come out of the forest. Ok.. Everything that had happened, so far this night, had been, well… pretty weird. Granted. What was lying at Timmy’s feet was not weird it was down right wicked. Yes, at some point in time it had been a wolf. Rather, it had started out looking like a wolf. However, what lay at his feet, right now, was not a wolf… by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the fur, one this animal, was gone. Its hind legs were nothing more than bones, and patches of fur, from the feet up to the haunches.

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Its body was covered with hanging rotted feted flesh, where there was any flesh at all. The head, was nothing more than skull bones and teeth. Yeah, there was still plenty of teeth. Whatever this thing was, it was not alive in any sense of the word as we would use it. Timmy was thinking about that fact… when he saw one of its paws… twitch.

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Archer had finished telling his tale of the how and what’s of his arrival here, and his encounter with this… thing. Timmy put his hand on Archer’s shoulder, and spoke two words;

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            “It’s moving…”

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Archer had been so glad, to see Timmy again, he had totally forgotten the immediate peril that lay at their feet. Timmy had managed to knock, what ever the heck this wise, unconscious… For the moment. Now, again whatever the heck this sound the wolf is, was waking up again and Archer realized that he and Timmy had to make their escape. Archer had never been so sure of anything he said in his life before, is what he was fixing to say to Timmy.

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            “Timmy… whatever the heck this zombie-wolf IS? You need to brain the heck out of it, again… and then I think we should run! As fast as we can… towards that tree… and then out the other side of the forest. You game?

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Timmy took no time thinking, before he responded. Not by speaking… but by beating!  Timmy picked up the piece of headstone, he had let go of earlier, and began beating on the skull of the zombie-wolf that lay at their feet. Bam… BAM… Bam… BAM! Four good bashes into the skull, and even a couple of teeth fell out on the ground. Just as he threw down the headstone, Archer and Timmy let out into a mad dash towards the tree.

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Side by side, stride by stride, the boys headed to the great gnarled tree in the very center of the graveyard. If they could make it there, before the zombie-wolf caught up to them, then they could climb up the tree and stand a chance at survival. The tree grew closer and closer, Timmy looked over at Archer… One thing! At least they were back together, whatever happened they would stand against it side-by-side. Archer looked over at Timmy, they smiled at each other… just as they both disappeared into an oval-shaped doorway of light.

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Timmy saw it happen to Archer, as he too passed through an egg shaped… doorway, of light. Timmy took a bit of a tumble, as he found himself… somehow… transported to a entirely new and different place. ‘It figures…’ Timmy said to himself, upset; ‘just as soon as I finally find Archer… I am kicked someplace else!’  Timmy kicked at the ground beneath his feet, frustrated by this turn of events. He looked, up from his feet, and made a survey of this new area.

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Archer had seen it happen to Timmy. They were running along, side-by-side, they had smiled at one another. Back together they felt certain that, between then both, they would find a way to outwit the zombie-wolf and get to safety. No sooner had Archer felt… safe, they were once again separated. Archer sat, with a huff, in the tall grass of the clearing he had appeared. He put his head in his hands, when he heard a voice…

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Timmy started scanning his surroundings, right to left. He was at the edge of a long clearing, set at the edge of a… forest? Looking behind him, Timmy was confused at what he saw. There were the remains of buildings… old buildings overgrown and mostly taken back by a forest. Directly in front of him was a large, and wide, clearing. In the center of the clearing laid a long, dark… thing. It was too far to make it out clearly, but it looked like a long metal’ish strip. Dark gray metal band that lay in the middle of the clearing, it stretched as far as the eye could see to the left and to the right.

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Timmy was completing his 360 survey, of this new area, when the most amazing thing caught his eye. Standing, to his immediate right, was… a rat! Not any ordinary rat, either. It was standing on it back two legs… and it wore clothes. Timmy went to raise his left hand to wave at the rat. When, just then, the rat took off its hat bowed and spoke!

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            “Good evening, kind sir. I hope the sight of me does not disturb. You are not of this world, are you? My name is Princess Nadia, and it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

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OK! Now, Timmy had seen everything. This rat, Princess Nadia, was fully dressed. She wore a fancy hat with some kind of feather in one side. She had on boots that came up to the top of her legs, some denim-looking trousers, a very fine looking shirt or blouse, and she had a long-tailed jacket. Over her shoulders draped a cape, with a hood built into the cape. The hood was down so Timmy could see that Princess Nadia had fine flowing dark hair. Standing there, Timmy noticed that Nadia had her tail wrapped around her left arm. It curled and wrapped around her arm, looking almost like another item of clothing, it twitched as she spoke. Timmy was struck speechless, at first, then he spoke.

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            “Hello Princess Nadia, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance .My name is Timmy… and Yes, I am from another place… at least that is what I think. I was running… from a zombie-wolf… with my best friend… when… well, it appears we were both engulfed in a doorway of bright light.”

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Princess Nadia listened intently to what Timmy said and did not even flinch when Timmy said “zombie-wolf”. Princess Nadia looked back towards the band that lie in front of them both, then spoke;

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            “Timmy, I am so sorry to hear that you and your friend… are being chased by a zombie-wolf… and that it, now, appears that you two are separated.”

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Suddenly Timmy hears a great roaring sound, coming from his left, and the metal strip in front of them, begins to spark madly. Timmy looks off the his left and can barely make out something… riding the metal strip… heading their direction. His gaze is pulled from the oncoming object by the sound of her voice, again.

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            “Timmy, might I make two suggestions? First, there is a train coming on the track in front of you. You will want to turn away and shield your face and body as it passes. These trains often throw off debris, which can cause harm. Second, I am not sure that you are aware of it… Timmy, you have a large sword… strapped to your back. Our folklore tells that if you can separate the head of a dead, or undead, creature from its body. It will fall lifeless to the ground.”

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As Timmy is listening, the train is drawing closer, he reaches around and feels the sword that is strapped to his back. DANG! Why the heck didn’t I realize that… earlier.’ As Timmy is thinking this, he turns toward Princess Nadia, she speaks, again… this time almost yelling to be heard over the oncoming train.

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            “My dear Timmy… the universe only works when it is in harmony. It is my belief that, shortly, you will find yourself back with your friend… being chased, yet again, by this ‘zombie-wolf’. Timmy, stop running… from life, and this monster. Take your sword in hand, and with your friend, stand your ground against this beast. Separate its head from its body, and I feel sure you will PREVAIL! Good luck, dear Timmy, I hope that our paths cross, yet again!”

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As Princess Nadia finishes speaking, the train is upon them. Timmy turns away from the train and covers his face with his jacket, ducking close to the ground for cover. When the train has passed, Timmy stands up again and turns to thank Princess Nadia. He sees that she has taken off running across the field, so he yells after her;

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            “Thank you Princess! Thank you for your help! I wish you well on your journey, too. I hope our paths cross, again, soon!”

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Timmy strains, looking at her form getting smaller and smaller. He is pretty sure he sees he lift her hat and wave it back towards Timmy. He takes a deep breath, and pulls the sword out of the sheath. It sees that it is a light sword, not like the broadswords of knights of long ago. It is not very heavy, at all. Which helps Timmy to explain why it had been on his back, all this time, without his notice. Timmy swings the sword to his left, and then around to his right. It is quite light, indeed. It has a double edge, which should help to increase his chance of actually cutting the zombie-wolf. With sword still in hand, Timmy sets one foot in front of the other, forward towards the crazy snake-like band the train rode. No sooner had Timmy started walking, when another oblong doorway of light opened before Timmy. He drew himself up, mustered his courage, and stepped through the doorway ready to fight whatever lay in his path!

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Archer heard a voice coming from over his left shoulder. He stood up, and looked in that direction. Archer was taken aback by what met his eyes. It was a really big rat… and it was riding a ferret!  Archer just knew that his jaw had dropped open, and he was likely standing there with his mouth hanging open. The rat spoke, again.

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            “Hello there… I am sorry if I have startled you kind sir. I take it you are not ‘of this world’ as I just saw you emerge from an oval of bright light. My name is Alexander, may I ask what is yours?”

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Sure enough, Archer was standing at the edge of a large clearing. A forest was reclaiming a deserted city, to his back. In front of him was a near human-sized rat riding atop a very large ferret. ‘Any why not?’ thought Archer, as he slowly closed his mouth. Where last he was, there was a zombie-wolf chasing them, hell-bent on attacking himself and Timmy. ‘Why not?’ A well dressed SPEAKING rat riding atop a bridled and reigned ferret?

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            “Alexander, my name is Archer, and it is my pleasure to meet you. May I ask… is that a ferret on which you ride?” Seemed like a perfectly reasonable question to ask, under the circumstances. Alexander… answered;

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            “Yes, my good friend Archer, I am riding a ferret! Now, on to you… You appeared out of an oval of light… and you feel… pretty hard, upon your arrival. You were running… from something, am I right?”

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Not only was this a rat riding a ferret… this was a smart (and fully clothed) rat riding a ferret. Archer was still taking this all in, but did not want to appear rude, so he answered Alexander.

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            “Yes, Alexander, in my world… well… the last world I found myself, my best friend Timmy and I were being chased by a… … .. ‘zombie-wolf’! I know how that sounds, but it chased me out of the forest and Timmy and I are trying to get away to climb into a tree… to get away.”

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The ferret moved restlessly under Alexander’s saddle. Alexander reached down to its neck, stroked the ferret’s neck and spoke soothingly into its ear. The ferret calmed, as Alexander pulled the reign to his left and rode silently up to Archer’s side. This gave Archer an opportunity to get a better look at Alexander. His face was black around his eyes, yet straight through the center of his face was a blot of white fur. Alexander wore a complete set of clothing; a fine white hat sat on his head. His upper body was covered by a shirt that was made of a fine shiny material almost like silk, his upper legs were covered by trousers that looked to be made of a very light leather. He had boots that covered his feet and went up to the top of his lower leg. Then, Alexander spoke again;

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            “Mr. Archer… I am not one to judge, however, it seems you would have two choices in the situation you faced. Either you can continue to run… make your way to the tree… and end up ‘treed’ like an animal with nowhere to go. Or, you could take that bow off your back, take an arrow from your quiver… and stand and FIGHT this ‘zombie-wolf’ that chases you and your friend. Personally, I would rather face death standing and taking my best shot, rather than meet my fate up a tree… like a cat!”

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OK! Now, Archer had no idea just how he had missed the fact that, on his back, was strapped a bow and a quiver of arrows. Regardless, Alexander was right! Archer would much rather face his attacker, with bow and arrow. If he failed to hit… they could always make for the tree. Archer turned to Alexander to speak;

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            “Thank you, Alexander, for your kind advice. You are correct, it is better to face one’s foe… take your best shot… and fight! Now, all I have to do is figure a way to get back to where I was… back to Timmy!”

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Alexander pulled the reigns in his hands, turning his mount to the left, preparing to leave Archer when he spoke, one last time.

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            “Archer… I think it is rather entertaining… that your name is Archer… and that is what you are! Regardless, Archer, I am a rat of science. In my studies I have found that the nature of the universe is balance. You being here, and not at your friend Timmy’s side, makes both our world’s out of balance. I would venture, that all you need do is strike out walking and the universe will find a way to return you to where you belong.” With that, Alexander smiled and tipped his hat at Archer. As Alexander rode off, Archer shouted out behind him;

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                        “Thank you Alexander for your help! I wish you well on your journey, and I hope our paths cross, yet again!”

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Again, Alexander takes off his hat to wave it at Archer. Then, Archer could have sworn he heard Alexander say just one sentence “In time, we will!”  With that, Alexander rode off into the forest, and Archer started walking forward. Archer had not taken more than three steps, ahead, when the bright Oval appeared, again. Archer took the bow, from his back, pulled an arrow from the quiver, placed the arrow against the bowstring, and walked through the portal of light.

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No sooner had Timmy appeared, back in the graveyard, that two things happened. The zombie-wolf made a leap right at Timmy. Second, Archer appeared at Timmy’s side! Timmy drew his sword back, in anticipation of the zombie-wolf getting in range of his sword. Just as soon as Archer appeared, he kneeled down on one knew, and drew back the arrow in the bow. Just as the zombie-wolf came to the height of its attack leap, Archer let go his arrow. Timmy raised his sword above his head, to his right side, ready to bring it down and sever the zombie-wolf’s head from its body.

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Archer’s arrow grazed the left flank of the zombie-wolf, just enough to cause it to yelp and fall, instead of landing on its feet in attack. Timmy took a big swing at the zombie-wolf. He missed the wolf’s head and his blow clove the zombie-wolf in half at just below the rib cage. Now, the remaining head, shoulder and arms were pulling and snapping at Timmy. The back legs, and lower torso, could not stand and fell to the ground. Archer placed another arrow into the bow, and drew back ready to fire. Timmy held up his hand, against Archer’s chest, indicating that he should not waste another arrow.

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The zombie-wolf snapped, a few more times, at Timmy. Then it seemed to realize it had failed at its task… and began to howl… and Howl…. And HOOOWWWLLL!!! This took Archer, and Timmy, by complete surprise, as well as set both their blood to curl in their veins. The howl was wicked and it seemed to reach inside the two boys, striking fear into their hearts. Just as Timmy turned to look at Archer, and Archer the same, they both heard more howls! This time, the howls were in answer and coming from the forest all around!

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It seemed that many zombie-wolves would soon set upon Timmy and Archer! One, they could handle… immobilize if not end. Several, on the other hand, would represent more of a challenge than they thought they might handle. Timmy turned to Archer and spoke;

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            “Good to see you back, Archer! Like you bow and arrow! You are pretty darn good with it, too! Umm… I had a real story to tell you… a talking rat… a giant train… a talking rat! But, right now does not seem to be the right time. Looks like the forest is about to bust open with ‘zombie-wolves’. You have any suggestions?”

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Archer laughed… a little… then he laughed really hard! He put the arrow back into the quiver, placed his hand on Timmy’s shoulder and spoke;

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            “Yeah… my ‘talking rat’ rode a ferret! Didn’t see any trains… but had a nice conversation with a ferret riding rat… named Alexander. Oh, nice sword! You sliced this guy apart like a hot knife through butter. Yeah, I do have an idea. The zombie-wolves are coming from all directions. So, I don’t think heading back into the forest is the best idea…. Right now. My idea? We both get up into the tree. I do my best to nail as many of these wolves… in the head. Slow them down or kill them. Once done, you should be able to jump down, I will cover you, and you slice and dice the rest. Sound like a plan?”

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Timmy took a deep breath… sighed… Then looked Archer directly in the eyes, and spoke;

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            “Archer, I trust you… Seems we have little choice… outside your idea. So, let’s get up into the tree… and we will both give this the best we have to give. But, I gotta tell you, Archer… Of all the people in the world? I just couldn’t ask for a better person to have at my side… than you, Archer. Let’s do this thing!”

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Both the boys climb into the half-dead gnarled tree. They climb as high as they can get, and Archer gets his bow and arrows ready. They turn to each other and shake hands… as the forest surrounding the graveyard bursts open with zombie-wolves!

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the (cliff-hanger) end of Part Six – ‘The Horror in Smithville’.  Yes, I did just leave you all hanging in a tree while waiting for an army of ‘zombie-Wolves’ to attack our two heroes, Timmy and Archer! Yes,  DID THAT! J

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It is, right now, 7:00OPM Pacific Time… and I am very tired. Actually, I ma very much surprised that I finished this, today… tonight. I have been working on this… off and on… ½ on… ½- ¾ off… ½ on… and so on. I can only write for so long before I have to stop… rest… take some pain medication… and return to writing. Now… PLEASE!

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IF you see small mistakes… typos and the like? PLEASE UNDERSTAND? Tomorrow, or the next day, I will go over this at both sites and clean it up. I apologize for any and all mistakes. It is just that I just spent HOURS working… and I promised to have it published today! Thank you for your understanding!

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Finally, this chapter… it really is some of the very best work of my recent life. I am VERY proud of what I have done here; mixing two character’s timelines together, weaving characters from TWO DIFFERENT stories together into one story. I am doing things I have just imagined before in my life. I am breaking barriers, here My Dear Readers. As well, I am creating MY writing style! One that will prevail for the rest of my writing career.

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I hope that you enjoy every word… I hope that you KEEP coming back for MORE.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

 

 

Daniel’s Personal & Medical Update – April 16th, 2014

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.Danny

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        Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. I return to you, today, after a difficult and troubling day. Yesterday I went to see an Infectious Disease specialist at Memorial Hospital/Orange Coast. It was my pleasure to meet this doctor, for the first time, yesterday. Little did I imagine that, in just the space of a few hours, I would be seen by not only her but also several other doctors.

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As I have mentioned, I have a lump on the right side of my face at the jaw line. It has been evaluated by an Otolaryngologist, just two weeks ago. It was his opinion that it was an “enlarged lymph node” and gave me a order to have a C.T. (computed tomography) scan of my jaw and neck. I had procrastinated setting up this imaging, due to scheduling conflicts with my caregiver. Now, back to yesterday.

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I meet with the Infectious disease specialist, I explained my reoccurring fevers, fatigue, and elevated white counts in blood tests. Within moments an Oncologist was in the room, examining the growth. Now, I have a bit of a decision to make… Because; the oncologist feels that this growth is not a enlarged lymph node but a “growth”. The oncologist wants this “growth” removed as soon as possible and examined.

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Yes, in just a matter of a day my enlarged lymph node has graduated to a growth in need of “immediate removal”. They wanted me to see a surgeon, yesterday, too. I was a bit overwhelmed, so I asked to be given some time to consider all the new information. I am awaiting a phone call today, with the results of the blood tests. They took four vials of blood from me. To run several blood tests; a CBC (Complete Blood Count), WBS included, an ‘E Sed Rate (Electronic Sedimentary rate), another HIV (I just had one in October that came back negative), a BUN/Creatin level, and a couple of other tests I did not recognize.

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Once these tests results are available, I will make them known to you, My Dear Readers. I just have to say, I feel  a bit like a ping pong ball. Bouncing from one diagnosis to the other, within weeks of each other. I really was not prepared for surgery when I left yesterday. I mean, I am agreeable to having this thing removed. Yes, I want to know what the growth is…

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Its just I was mentally and emotionally prepared for a visit to diagnose my infectious disease. I have frequent fevers, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches, growing burning sensation in my neck… along with all the pains, and physical shortcomings from my degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. I just wasn’t emotionally prepared to see an oncologist. That was just, kind of, dropped on me.

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So, I apologize for not writing, yesterday. It was a long and trying day. When I got home I was just very tired and somewhat introspect. I am feeling a bit better, today. Resolved to discover what this… “growth” is and hopeful that out of all the blood tests done, yesterday, a better understanding of my health will appear. Earlier, today, I published this week’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’. I do hope that everyone takes some time to look at the incredible images I have shared.

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As well, I have an absolutely wonderful video for this week’s ‘Sunday Funnies’! Alexander is back and he is really entertaining in this week’s episode. Be sure to drop by on Sunday to check that out. I have already started working on Thursday’s ‘The Horror in Smithville’, and I must admit I am very much satisfied with how this story is progressing. Do you remember? When we last left Timmy and Archer, Timmy had fallen asleep, again and found himself standing in a graveyard!

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There is so much more coming, this week, to The Other Shoe. Rest assured that no matter the test results… no matter the surgeries… I will do everything in my power to keep presenting great and entertaining articles and stories for all of you My Dear Readers!

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

Lost in Space – April 16th 2014

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.Galaxy M106

(Galaxy M106)

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           Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe, and welcome to this week’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’. As with every week, I have already picked out the images for your viewing pleasure. Boy, do I have a great batch of stellar eye-candy for you to view. Just like every other week, I have also done a bit of research for each image I present. Having said, I simply must tell you, My Dear Readers, that the universe around us is a wondrous place filled with amazing sights and incredible science.

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I do hope that I never loose a sense of wonder and that neither do you, My Dear Readers, too. If you ever feel that a day or a week, or a single horrible event has just sucked all the joy from life? Find a very dark place, far from all the lights of the city and industry. Find a clean dry place to lie on your back, and wait for the sun to set. Once set, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty and wonder held in the stars.

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My Dear Readers, I was raised in Southeast Texas; first Houston then a small’ish town named Pearland. I was quite fortunate that, if I rode my bike for about an hour, I could find myself far removed from all sources of background light. It was on just such an adventure that, for the first time, I saw the Milky Way galaxy on edge. We live on one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, However, ever so often you can catch a glimpse of our own galaxy from the inside out. Countless stars… literally so many stars that it is impossible to count.

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It was while I was living in Colorado Springs, that for the very first time in my life I was witness to fields of stars. There were the brightest stars, in the foreground of the sky. Then, not as bright but far more in number, I could see the next field of stars. They spread from horizon to horizon all around me and in many colors they sparkled and gleamed. Then, behind the other two fields of stars, I saw a third field of stars. It was then that I realized that I was privy to a sight… a precious and wondrous sight. I bore witness to a band of stars that make up our home galaxy, The Milky Way.

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Only in places, like up high on Pike’s Peak I saw field after field of stars. I saw… bore witness to stars of all colors, all sizes and all shapes. I did this all with my naked eyes, and I never wanted the sun to rise again. My Dear Readers, once you see our universe and all the stars that make up a clear, and background light pollution free, sky you understand. Understand the wonder that drove mankind to venture; first off of the European continent and later off of our home planet, Earth. I fell in-love with all things ‘space’.

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My Dear Readers, it has been more than thirty-five years since I have seen stars in fields behind fields, behind fields. Many nights I fall asleep with fear in my heart (one, that I won’t wake up the next day) that I will never see stars like that, again. It may well seem a poor substitute, the images I share here in ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘The Mars Report’. It may well, be just that, but… it ‘keeps the deep longing at bay’. I pray that some day I will be able to look up at a night sky and see stars two or three fields deep. I hope, when/if that day comes that I have a very good camera with me, so that I might capture some of that wonder and share it with you, My Dear Readers. Now, without further adieu, I bring you this week’s ‘Lost in Space’!

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The very first image I have to present to you, today, is of DEM L 190.[1] AKA N 49 this remnant from a massive star is a close neighbor to our own Milky Way. The fibers of star-remnant came to life in the barely imaginable explosion or this dying star, in a supernova. Amazing that such a horrific and massive (barely comprehendible by humans) can result in an image that captures beauty and wonder. Blues, reds, yellows and white strands all intertwined, threaded, in a shape that might well be imagined as a serving of ‘Galactic Cotton Candy’ void of a wrapper to serve. As if made my the hand of God himself, just for a reminder that in a world gripped in; poverty, strife, political unrest and hunger there can still be beauty. If we look long enough, hard enough, and past the borders of our own solar system.

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DEM L 190

DEM L 190

(DEM L 190)

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Known as ‘M 51’ or ‘Messier 51’[2] for its discoverer this whirlpool galaxy, and its companion (M51B), are one of the most known and popular galaxies among professional astronomers and amateur astronomers alike. This image, captured by the Hubble Space telescope, are (likely) wallpaper to millions of computer desktops around the world. If you look closely, at this image, you can see the spiral arm, at the top of the image, is being pulled into the companion galaxy. The spiral arm of M51, being too far from the center of the home galaxy, drawn in by the greater gravitational force coming from the companion galaxy.

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Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy

(Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy)

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I might have mentioned this, in one of the earlier editions of ‘Lost in Space’ but all the images I share are from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble is the single greatest human achievement, in the field of telescopic sight. In, just, the twenty-four years since its launch into orbit the Hubble has given mankind more and better images of deep space than in the previous thousand. I think mankind should endeavor to put space telescopes; on the Moon, Mars and Io (a moon of Saturn). We are learning so much, every day, from the images from Hubble and the Martian rover Curiosity. They more than pay for themselves.

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The next image for our stellar trek, today, comes from a nebula with a very subdued name ‘The Butterfly Nebula’[3][aka NGC 6302]. The ‘Butterfly Nebula’ is anything but subdued or dolce. The center star of this nebula is a ‘White Dwarf’ and only discovered in 2009. Known of since 1888, drawn and described in 1907 by Edward Emerson Barnard this gaseous nebula looks more like a graphics for a modern day science fiction movie than a nursery for the stars. The outgases, that make up the brilliant blue and red lobes of this nebula are actually stellar debris and gasses moving at 600,000 miles per hour.

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Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302

Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302

(Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302)

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Our next image, and member of our galactic neighborhood, is a mere 1,500 light years from our solar system. What makes the following image distinct is that it is the “single sharpest image ever” of… … … (drum roll please)… The Orion Nebula[4]. Yes, even the ‘lay’est’ of laymen has heard of the Orion Nebula. There are more pictures/images of this particular nebula than (I believe) any other nebula in the Milky Way. The Orion is a textbook nebula with more than 3,000 stars of various sizes and stages of development. The study of just this one nebula can give mankind more understanding of the life, death and development of stars than any other single place in the known universe. That is why this incredibly sharp image, taken by Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, is so very important to astrophysicists and scientists alike.

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Hubble's Sharpest View of the Orion Nebula

Hubble's Sharpest View of the Orion Nebula

(Hubble’s Sharpest View of the Orion Nebula)

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Boy, it seems as if I am on quite a roll, here today, in presenting better and more impressive images one after another. So impressed, I am, with the visuals of this nebula I have elected to include two images in this edition. Two images, in one edition, is unheard of in the month that I have published this stellar series. As I was saying the Orion Nebula has 3,000+ stars in all sizes, all stages of development and gives mankind a very unique opportunity. A unique opportunity to study thousands of; births, life-spans and deaths of stars all in one place. Further, being in the same nebula the same quadrant of space and under the same gravitational influences, it creates a laboratory like environment for astrophysicists and scientists of all disciplines. However, I am just struck by its beauty, and depth of visual spectacle.

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The subject of the next two images is the Carina Nebula[5]. The first of the next two images (both of Carina Nebula)  is a Fifty Light Year View of this nebula. That makes this (top of the two) image the single LARGEST IMAGE EVER taken by the Hubble Space telescope. That is a huge (pardon the pun) achievement for NASA/JPL and mankind. As well, with the Carina Nebula we have a unique opportunity to observe a stellar nursery at the very dense arm of a spiral galaxy. The Carina Nebula is giving birth to a spiral galaxy identical to our own, the Milky Way galaxy. Witnessing this birth, is like witnessing the birth of our own sun Sol. Our own solar system and perhaps even our own planet Earth! Please take a close look at the following two images as they could well reveal the very creation of another Earth. I hope you enjoy these two images as much as I do.

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The Carina Nebula Star Birth in the Extreme

The Carina Nebula Star Birth in the Extreme

(The Carina Nebula Star Birth in the Extreme)

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Carina Nebula

Carina Nebula

(Carina Nebula)

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Now, for out very last image for this edition of ‘Lost in Space’. Not leaving the Carina Nebula I wanted to share another brilliant image. This image shows an image of a stellar jet in the Carina nebula. The image was taken ultraviolet/visible light and is terribly revealing and educational. This image, taken with the Wide Field Imaging Camera and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph aboard the Hubble space telescope, shows us an aspect of the life-span of a star mankind had never seen previously. See, I hadn’t even arrived at this point in the research, when I stated as much, in the paragraph above. Honestly, the way I research and upload/download these images just keeps me guessing up to the moment I press ‘Publish’.  \J

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Hubble WFC3 image of a stellar jet in Carina

Hubble WFC3 image of a stellar jet in Carina

(Hubble WFC3 image of a stellar jet in Carina)

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the very end of this week’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’. I really do hope that you have enjoyed this article just as much as I have enjoyed; picking out the images, researching the galaxies and stars, downloading the images to my computer, uploading them to my blog(s) [both] and integrating the images and the narrative I have written. Yes, it is a lot of work. Both ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘The Mars Report’ have the exact same construction, writing, editing and publication processes.

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It is all worth it to me to enlighten and entertain you, My Dear Readers. You see I LOVE the stars. Everything about stars and galaxies and nebula, and all the science that goes into their study, brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. I simply love sharing, what I can, of space and the stars with you, My Dear Readers. So, when all is said and done this is a joy for me, and I hope it brings joy to you!

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Now, if I may… and I do apologize if this is ‘Bad Form’. If you would please take a moment and press the ‘Like’ button just below the bottom of this article. That way I know that I am reaching people, that this series of articles is a success and I can pass this information along. I would very much appreciate your ‘Likes’.

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As well, if you are on Facebook and see this promoted there? Would you Please consider… ‘Sharing’ this edition of ‘Lost in Space’ with your friends? I understand that is asking a lot… but I really do believe that your friends will likely enjoy this article, the images from space and the science and information just as much as you, My Dear Readers. Thank you for your time and consideration regardless of your choice. My Dear Readers, it is you that I get up for every single morning.

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Thank you for coming by, and thank you for all your time and efforts.

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Adieu!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014


The Mars Report – April 14th 2014

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            Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Well, since I last published about Mars, April 7th, there has been some hubbub about… well, a light… on… Mars! Yes, as on can well imagine, this had the blogo’sphere burning daylight. ‘An independent light source seen on Mars!’ Had very nutcase and shut-in burning up their ISPs with radical ideas about its source, and reason. My Dear Readers, if that is the ‘kind of’ blogging you are looking for… then this is not the place for you. Please exit stage left…

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However, if you want the scientific explanation, then you have arrived at the correct blog. First, let’s get all the anticipation out of the way. Below is one of the images that has raised all the fuss.

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First Martian Image with Light source

First Martian Image with Light source

(First Martian Image with Light source)

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Now, from the left eye camera, within seconds of the image above, there is no light source.

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SAME Spot Left EYE within one second

SAME Spot Left EYE within one second

(SAME Spot Left EYE within one second)

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Anyone with experience with photography will understand; if it is does not appear in both camera images… at the same time. Then it is likely not a ‘Martian trying to signal our rover’. More likely thatn not, what we have here is a very shiny natural source somewhere in the foothills of Mount Sharp. A rock surface with a very shiny surface which, when viewed at this spot from a very particular angle reflects in a camera lens. It is quite likely that, if there were humans there, they might very well not see this reflection.

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Further proof of what (and NASA) have proffered as an answer, is the image below?

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        “A pair of Navcam images in the same direction from the previous afternoon has a bright spot similarly located in the right-eye image.”[1]

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Same camera previous afternoon

Same camera previous afternoon

(Same camera previous afternoon)

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At least for me, this is more proof that what we are witness, is nothing more than a lens flare. If you have ever had photography as a hobby, and made either rock concerts or landscapes your forte then you will have been exposed to (even lost great images, too) lens flares. Below is our final image in this conversation. I have taken the liberty to copy and paste the text from NASA.

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        “This image from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover includes a bright spot near the upper left corner. The sun is in the same direction, west-northwest, above the frame. Bright spots appear in images from the rover nearly every week. Typical explanations for them are cosmic rays hitting the light detector or sunlight glinting from rocks.”[2]

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Bright Spot Toward Sun in Image from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

Bright Spot Toward Sun in Image from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

(Bright Spot Toward Sun in Image from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover)

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So, for me at least, this puts this whole matter to bed. However, If sometime in the future… by some galactic fluke, these images crop up in the news again. I will take the time to address them… again. Honestly, there is so much ‘good science’ happening with the “Mars Science Laboratory – Rover Curiosity’ that all this is a merely a distraction. ‘Good Thing’? These images brought Curiosity, and the science NASA is involved, on the Martian surface into the view of the public. Like the old saw ‘Any exposure is good exposure’.

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Sitting here, and putting this article together, I thought to myself… ‘I would certainly be remiss to just publish about this lark…’ Looking at the published images (refined, categorized and ready for press release) there really isn’t anything new since my last edition of ‘The Mars Report’. Honest, I looked at several of the sites.

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Now, I do not wish to be remembered as ‘that guy who never went the extra mile…’ So, I have managed to put together some images I had taken a pass on, before, that have real scientific merit. For all of My Dear Readers? Those wonderful regulars that come often and stay long? I am writing this Sunday afternoon at 6PM, long after the publication of ‘A Week in Review’. This week promises to be very busy and I am working to get ahead of the curve.

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Our next image is the strongest evidence, so far, NASA/JPL has found of flowing liquid water on Mars. Now, for science junkies and the like, this a majorly important image. Rather than work to paraphrase what NASA/JPL has released with this image. Let me present to you their words, exactly as presented with this image.

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        “The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock that was formed by the deposition of water and is composed of many smaller rounded rocks cemented together. Water transport is the only process capable of producing the rounded shape of clasts of this size.”[3]

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Sounds reasonable to me, how about you? Now, let me share the image they wrote about.

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Link to a Watery Past

Link to a Watery Past

(Link to a Watery Past)

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Since we are on the topic of fluid water on the Martian surface, let me bring you another image as evidence. In an outcrop called Shaler’. In the Yellowknife Bay of area of Mars’ Gale Crater this outcrop was found. In this image we see inclined layering called ‘cross-bedding’. This only occurs as the result of passing fluid water and is indicative of sediment-transport in stream flows. Thus adding to the growing scientific evidence that fluid water once flowed on the Martian surface. Me thinks that it is surprising (and also rather revealing) that science like this does not make the news… yet lens flares, somehow, do. What curious creatures we American humans, are.  Yes?

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'Shaler' Unit's Evidence of Stream Flow

'Shaler' Unit's Evidence of Stream Flow

(‘Shaler’ Unit’s Evidence of Stream Flow )

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Week, before last, I ended this series with an image of the Earth from Mars. I am always working to keep things in perspective. How small our planet is, when view from the Martian surface. It gives me pause, and should serve as food for thought. Tonight, I bring you yet another image of perspective. In this image, if enlarged enough, one can see our Earth and the moon from the Martian surface.[4]

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Earth and our Moon from Mars

Earth and our Moon from Mars

(Earth and our Moon from Mars)

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With that, we come to this week’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I really do enjoy bringing this series, and these images, to you My Dear Readers. I can only hope that they, and I, have brought some wonder and even joy… to you.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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P.S. Just a little FYI for all of you, My Dear Readers. ‘The Mars Report’ has become the #1-article aeries here at The Other Shoe. Last week’s edition gathered 31 ‘Likes’ in less than one week! Be a part of the phenomenon and be sure to ‘Like’ this edition, too. I must admit… when I started this blog… I never imagined I would be publishing two weekly series looking to the stars. Thank you!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

 


Coming This Week – April 13th 2014

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.danny-2007

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                Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Welcome to my weekly preview article for The Other Shoe. Each week I tip my hand and give you all, My Dear Readers, a preview of the articles I have planned for publication over the next seven days. Now, you may have noticed that the past two weeks were devoid of ‘Sunday Funnies’.

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This is simply because Alexander has not done anything… entertaining while I had my camera handy. I apologize for this shortcoming. However, rest assured that the article series IS still viable and just as soon as my camera and his antics cross, we will have another edition of ‘Sunday Funnies’. Now, let me ask you, My Dear Readers, if there is anyone out there that is handy with a pen or pencil and paper.

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I am looking for an amateur cartoonist or someone that is just handy with a pencil or pen. I can provide the narrative or captions, all I need is someone to provide the people… even stick figures. I am looking to replace Alexander, in the ‘Sunday Funnies’, with a weekly political cartoon or animation. If your fit the bill contact me via Facebook, this blog or any way you see fit. Joe Tilbury, if you are still out there and can still draw? Contact me, k? It pays NOTHING, so far. However, just as soon as this blog makes a profit I will cut you in for a share.

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Now, for the upcoming week. I can promise that there will be another edition of; ‘The Mars Report’, ‘Lost in Space’, ‘The Horror in Smithville’, ‘Coming this Week’ and ‘A Week in Review’. Beyond that I am not really sure, My Dear Readers. As you all know, by now, I will do my very best to make sure I write all the regular articles. As well, when I have the time and my body is not preventing me, I will do my best to bring even more articles. I have been toying with several ‘New Series’ and bringing back so older article series.

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‘MMORPGs And YOU!’ May well be making a come back with the arrival of ‘Elder Scrolls On Line’. Launched late last month, I have yet to be able to afford; the game, game time or any ‘Beta’ or promotional copy of the game. Unfortunately, I do not see any resolution to this dilemma on the horizon. Rest assured, just as soon as I have a copy of the game, I will get it installed, updated and get into the game. Once in-game I will make; ‘In-Game Videos’, take tons of screenshots, and write up outlines of the crafting procedures, the plot based questing and an evaluation of the PvP (player vs. player) part of the game. I really hope to get this together, for your viewing and enlightenment, just as quickly as is humanly possible.  

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The Elder Scrolls is a wonderful intellectual property. It is being brought to the MMROPG world by Zenimax and Bethesda the people that brought us one of the GREATEST RPGs of the twentieth century, ‘Fallout’ and ‘Fallout – New Vegas’. With these two companies working on the Elder Scrolls IP I have great faith it will be a very enjoyable game. I do wonder… why they didn’t convert ‘Fallout’ from RPG to MMORPG… but I will take Elder Scrolls and run with it. Now, if there is anyone that might want to sponsor my work… a benefactor to assit me obtaining the game for purposes of writing and sharing on this blog. Please contact me as I will do pretty much anything… in return for sponsorship.

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Last, My Dear Readers, I have (already scheduled) an appointment with an Infectious Disease physician on Tuesday. I am working to get a BUN/Creatnine test scheduled on Monday or Wednesday. Further, I simply must get a C.T with Contrast scheduled as quickly as possible. My follow-up visit with Dr. Gorlick is May 6th and I would very much like to have all the results prior. If I get these tests scheduled for this week, that will put a big dent in my ability to get all regular articles written and published this week. Barring the postponement till next week, of some of the; tests, scans and appointments. Then I will be able to meet all my writing/publishing deadlines.

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the very end of this week’s preview article. I am really looking forward to the coming week of writing and publishing. OH! I totally forgot! When it comes to Part SIX of ‘The Horror in Smithville’… remember… we left off with Timmy in a GRAVEYARD!       Oui! That was quite a cliff-hanger, huh? We know that the next adventure starts in a graveyard… that has so much potential! A little spoiler… the first five parts… are the most mellow out of the whole story! Upcoming will be parts that I will assure you push the very limits of juvenile fiction. There may come a time when many of my readers… refuse to allow their children to read the work.

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It will not be; sexual, ultra-violent… but it will be; bloody, gory and fairly violent. As I have been working out the upcoming episodes… the plot development… the character development. Well, the story is taking me in unexpected directions with unexpected results. I do promise that I will warn all readers prior to the start of an episode of any above PG-13 content. I cannot simply tell you the images, or acts, that I have planned. However, I can tell you there will be physical violence that will scare and frighten.

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There, that brings us to the end of this wonderful preview of the articles to come in the following week at The Other Shoe. I would like to thank you for coming by and taking a look see. I hope that you enjoyed getting a ‘heads-up’ of the week to come… I hope that I can count on YOU for being here for some great reading over the next seven days.

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ENJOY!

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Adieu!

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

A Week in Review – April 12th, 2014

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Daniel Hanning of The Other Shoe

Daniel Hanning of The Other Shoe

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Welcome back MY Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Well, I am usually here, spot on time, Saturday afternoon. I must express my apologies for my being tardy. As I will discuss, later today, in my ‘Update and Medical Status’ my pain has overcome my strength to fight. My in ability to use my hands, overcame my desire to express. I refuse to lie, or hide, my condition. Nor will I hide the ravages it reaps.

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Right now, I can hardly move my hands and the pain in my neck is quite severe. However, I have been absent and I simply must return. Today I will do my best to provide you with this weekend’s ‘A Week in Review’ and publish it as soon as possible today, Sunday. There will not be a ‘Sunday Funnies’ coming later today. I will do my best to provide you with a ‘Coming This Week’ preview article. However, just sitting here and writing what I have so far, has caused my neck to snap and pop, uncontrollably. What I wouldn’t give for a Ghost Writer! J

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This week I did manage to publish seven articles, including this weekly review. Next week, I have at least two appointments; a visit with an infectious Disease specialist and I am hoping to squeeze in the much needed C T Scan with contrast. Regardless, I will do my best to produce the normal number of articles and content. Thank you for your understanding and support.

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Now, without further adieu I bring you ‘A Week in Review’:

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  • The TRUTH about Danny… : “Dear Friends, Family and Followers at The Other Shoe and here at Facebook,
    As many of you all know, my life (outside my writing at my blog) has taken a turn for the worse. My cervical spine is in a continual state of decline, pain and relentless popping grinding and decay. I do my BEST (honest, I try VERY hard) to keep a ‘Good Attitude’ and NOT to let… ‘Dark Thoughts’ past.”
    Very dark, indeed. As one can easily guess my depression has been getting the best of me. I do my best to keep this monster at bay… some days I am better at it than others. I dislike laying my woes at the feet of others, it was not how I was rised. Yet, frankness with people that rely on me for entertaining content… well, I feel compelled. Compelled to advise you all of my ability to provide said content, regularly. So far, so good. However, if my health should fail… you will notice that I do not publish… produce. I am hoping that tonight, I can rest… relax and recharge my batteries, so to speak. I need to… in order to produce this coming week, and get to the appointments that I need.
  • Coming This Week, to The Other Shoe – April 6th, 2014 : “Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. As well, welcome to this the third edition of what is now a regular here, ‘Coming This Week’. It is in this series I preview the articles to come in the following week. Now, My Dear Readers, I am just coming off one of the single most prolific week’s in recent memory, here at The Other Shoe. With the publication of nine articles, in just seven days, last week. I have my sincere doubts of my ability to produce nine articles this week, too.” Not ambitious or anything, was I? I managed to produce just about everything I had promised, except for one article. I was unable to bring you this week’s edition of ‘The Deep Web’. Mostly because I just could not move my hands, either of them, for two days. I am on a better, stronger, pain medication. For the most part it has been an overwhelming success. However, as it is with all things there are days when even this new drug fails me. Starting late Thursday night, this failure plagued me, I found myself in terrible and unrelenting pain. This went on until earlier this morning, when I managed to find some relief. I am still finding the use of my hands… difficult, at best. I hope to be back writing everyday… soon. Thank you.
  •  The Mars Report – April 7th, 2014 : “Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. I hope that everyone is having a Good Monday, a great start for a wonderful week. I am most pleased to announce that I have a rather nice batch of images, from Mars, to share with you today. Now, I will be the first to admit, they are not as stellar (did you get that?) as my offerings last week. Our intrepid adventurer the rover, Curiosity, has made progress and has arrived at the next waypoint, the Kimberly.” A very ambitious start to a very difficult week. The article, itself, was/is wonderful. Curiosity is making splendid progress and the images coming back are spectacular. It is this series, and ‘Lost in Space’ that are the pride and joy of this blog, The Other Shoe. In these articles… I feel… I pluck the starts from the sky, and bring them just to you! My love for the stars, and the world of space flight, is no mystery to any of you, My Dear Readers. Finding this images, researching their origin and bringing it all to you is how I share this love of space and stars, with you.
  • New from Around the World – April 8th, 2014 : “Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It is time, again, my friends to take a spin around the world and see what news there is to share. Today I will touch on several and varied subjects that reach from our own personal lives to the far reaches of the globe. My Dear Readers that is the goal of this weekly article series. To expose you, My Dear Readers, to matters close to home and around the world. A better informed; family, friend(s), co-workers make for better and stronger relationships that will last generations.” With an all new logo, this article series is quickly becoming a regular here at The Other Shoe. This week I talked a bit about a Medical Travesty that I know MILLIONS of Americans were used. A lie built, in part, through limited medical knowledge and sold as a treatment for; obesity, irregularity, and even Autism. Unfortunately it is a LIE, and nothing more. I hope that EVERY American gains this knowledge, and SOON!
  • Lost In Space – April 9th, 2104 : “Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. My Dear Readers, it is not often that I take time to revel in my achievements, bathe in the glory of success. That changes, for today, now! Last week saw the second edition of this article series ‘Lost in Space – April 2nd, 2014’. By today, Sunday, this second edition has garnered more ‘Likes’ than the first. It is this success that I celebrate and enjoy. In the past two weeks I have painted this blog with stellar images from distances many can hardly conceive. Scrolling over my creation, I feel a sense of great joy and overwhelming pride.” Yes, it is with great pride that I present this series to you, My Dear Readers. It takes me several hours, just to find and download… then upload just the images I use each week. Then I spend another couple of hours writing up the information I have researched, and present it to you. Two of this type of series, in one blog, is more work that I knew when I started. It IS worth it, if it brings all of us closer… brings more traffic here… and brings happiness to all those who view. ENJOY!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Five : “At first, he thought that it was just a shadow in the room. The curtain, with the help of the breeze, causing a shadow to form… somehow. That or perhaps the curtain flew up and blocked his view. Then it formed in his vision. Like black smoke condensing and taking form, right before his eyes. It was tall! I mean really really TALL. This was the kind of tall where the person actually has to stoop over in order for him to walk in a door, or pass through a doorway. The blackness formed more clearly and Timmy saw that the figure had a black hat, on his head.” Yes, My Dear Readers, this week we all met ‘The Tall Man’. If you have yet to read this week’s installment, I will say no more… Except GO READ THIS! This installment is exciting and thrilling… and even a little scary, too. I (we) are building a great base for this story, and for many adventures in the future, too. I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment, I am already working on next week’s, too.  

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With that, My Dear Readers I bring you full circle, back to the beginning of yet another week. I promise to do my best to deliver, to bring another week’s enjoyment and thrills, right here to you.

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I would stay a bit longer, but my hands say no! Please remember to ‘Like’ and to ‘Share’ that this the way we grow. Again, I apologize for the absence, and the brevity of this article. My left hand is in torture, and my neck sounds like a cement mixer. With that, I will take my leave…

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Adieu!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

The Other Shoe eBay Store

www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt.

The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

The Horror in Smithville – Part Five

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The Horror in Smithville - Part Five

          Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today is Thursday so that means it is time for another episode of ‘The Horror in Smithville’. This brings us up to the Fifth episode of this thrilling piece of homespun literature. Now, if you have not read the previous four episodes? I strongly suggest that you go back, and do just that, read the previous four episodes.

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Today, I am going to do something a little different with this episode. Looking back, at Part Four, I realized that (in my haste to publish) I left out a very important scene. That will happen with an episodic story which is written then published on-the-fly as this one… is. Therefore, I have taken the liberty to backtrack about a half a page. So, the first couple of paragraphs… just might seem familiar.

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Familiar because you would have read… some… part… of what you are reading, last week. However, I strongly suggest that you go ahead and read it… over again. Reason? There is a very important… moment… meeting that takes place, today, that should have last week. That’s right, today’s revision includes an all new character. Having said, you will want this first impression of this… critical character.

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Now, with that said and done, I leave you with ‘Part Five – The Horror in Smithville’.

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ENJOY!

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Part Five

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Standing there, Timmy felt a cool breeze passing under the door. Now, he knew that he and Archer had kept the window in his bedroom closed. As hard as it was raining, outside, an open window would have drenched the bed and sleeping bag. He leaned over to the right, slightly, looking at the space between the bottom of the door and the sill below. Sure enough, there was a light on in the room. It was lighter that what his ‘Adventures of Princess Nadia’ nightlight created, too. Timmy screwed up his courage, wrapped his hand around the doorknob, and turned the knob.

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As Timmy opened the door, air whooshed out and bathed him in a cold breeze. Just as the breeze blew past Timmy another chill ran up, and then back down, his spine. Timmy didn’t think he had hair on his back, yet, but it sure felt like someone’s hair was standing up on the back of his neck. Timmy leaned into the room, not stepping in, just enough to look around the door into his bedroom. First he saw that, yes, the overhead light was on in the room. Panning from the far left of the room, to the right, he next saw that, yes, the window was somehow open. His glance next feel in the space between his bed and Archer’s sleeping bag.

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At first, he thought that it was just a shadow in the room. The curtain, with the help of the breeze, causing a shadow to form… somehow. That or perhaps the curtain flew up and blocked his view. Then it formed in his vision. Like black smoke condensing and taking form, right before his eyes. It was tall! I mean really really TALL. This was the kind of tall where the person actually has to stoop over in order for him to walk in a door, or pass through a doorway. The blackness formed more clearly and Timmy saw that the figure had a black hat, on his head.

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It was one of those stovepipe hats, like what President Lincoln wore. There was dark curly hair protruding out form beneath the black… felt or what was this material. Timmy kept trying to get the hat in focus, but the hat was not cooperating. It was as if the hat, itself, kept forming and unforming. Or, the material that the hat was made from was… moving.  This realization sent another chill right through Timmy. It was as if the blood in his veins had turned into ice water. His blood was replaced with ice water at the sight of this… man?

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Timmy’s eyes moved down the figure’s frame, from his head down to his shoulders. Timmy was sure that, whatever he was wearing was deep black. Again, his clothes just kept… changing? Moving? It was almost as if this person was dressed in shadows and only his height and width could be seen clearly. Just as Timmy’s eyes were making their way down his frame… Timmy could have sworn he heard… laughter. He looked back up, towards the figure’s head. His (yes, Timmy was sure from the cut of the jacket and the hat on its head, whatever this was… it was a male) shoulder’s, Timmy could clearly see, his shoulders were bobbing up and down. Just like when a person is laughing, like, really hard or deep.

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Then, Timmy heard the laugh. It wasn’t so much a ha-ha laugh. It was deeper and had a gravel-ish quality. Like small rocks… gravel, or bones bouncing in a hollow stone, box. The laugh part… echoed. Timmy had a small-ish room, and the walls were mostly covered with posters. There wasn’t an echo, in his room, that he had ever heard. Yet this Tall Man had a course and deep laughs that echoed in Timmy’s tiny room. Now Timmy’s icy blood was moving rapidly through his veins.

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His arms and face, exposed to the cold air coming in through the window, were chilled to the bone. His breath formed small clouds, when he let his breath out. The man was, still, laughing… almost silent. Then Timmy could have sworn he heard him… speak. It was only one word. His back was squarely facing Timmy and the word spoken between bouts of ominous laughter. The ‘Tall Man’ did not turn to speak. He did not say his name, nor did his hands make any movement. All Timmy, thought, he heard was one word.

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            “Beware.”

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The word, spoken in a raspy yet deep and rumbling, voice. This ‘Tall Man’ had an almost ‘Caretaker’ appearance. Like the man that comes to pick up the body of a loved one, when they pass away. The gravely laughter, the raspy and deep rumbling voice. The clothing, and hat, that seemed to be made of shadows and smoke. Timmy was trying his best to focus… and remember. Remember all of these characteristics when the man… Well, the “Tall Man’. When ‘The Tall Man’ just began to turn into smoke.

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Slowly the breeze coming in through the window swirled smoke around the ‘Tall Man’… as he became undone. First went his ‘Stovepipe’ hat, into wisps of black smoke and then out the window. Then went his curly locks of deep dark hair, into wisps of smoke… then out the window went this dark smudgy smoke. Then his shoulders, slowly caught up in the breeze, they turned into wisps of black smoke. Wisps of black, dark, smoke that went lofting out the bedroom window. Then his chest and torso dissipated, slowly turning from solid form into wisps of black smoke, too, leaving out the window.

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Finally, his waist and legs and… yes, black boots? (Timmy couldn’t really tell… they could have been boots… or they could have been… hooves) They all shifted, dissipated, and then turned into wisps of black smoke lofted out of the bedroom. Out of the bedroom and out through the open bedroom window. When the last wisp of black smoke made its way, out the bedroom window, the window…  slowly…  closed.

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All by itself, without a single sound, it closed. Timmy was shaking from his head to his toes. He was so chilled… and frightened, that his teeth were chattering, too. Then, just as soon as the window shut? The light, in the room, went out.  All by itself. Just then Timmy felt something pushing him. Something was pushing against his chest. First lightly, then with greater force it pushed Timmy out of his bedroom doorway. Then, to his amazement, the door… too, shut. All by itself. A shudder went up and down Timmy’s spine.

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            “Archer, what did you see, just now?”

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Much to Archer’s confusion, Timmy turned around and shut the bedroom door behind him. Archer thought that they were headed into the bedroom, and quickly too so they didn’t get caught! When Timmy turned around Archer was struck by two things; first Timmy was as white as a sheet. Second, Timmy was shaking from his head to his toes! Just as soon as Archer had processed that information, Timmy asked the strangest question. ‘What did you see…?”

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All Archer had seen was Timmy open the bedroom door, stand in the doorway for a few seconds, and turn his head from left to right. Archer had figured that Timmy was just checking the room to see if one of his parents had gone into the room… or something. It took Archer by complete surprise when Timmy closed the bedroom door, turned around and asked his silly question. So, Archer decided he was going to get Timmy into the bedroom. Then Timmy could ask all the silly and/or crazy questions he wanted. Archer responded firmly;

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            “Timmy, I didn’t see anything… now be quiet… open the door… and let’s get inside your bedroom before one of you parents catches us out here and grounds us BOTH!”

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Not sure if it was the firmness of his voice, or the words he chose, Timmy seemed to snap out of his daze, some. He turned around and opened the door to the bedroom. Again, Timmy looked around, before stepping into the room. Yet, this time Timmy actually went into the bedroom. Archer was right on Timmy’s heels, as he went into the bedroom, and he closed the door silently behind them both. With their backs to the door, they both slid down the door and sat on the floor. Archer was the first to speak.

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            “Timmy… WHAT happened to you? You are as white as your sheets… You are shaking ALL over… and you look frozen!”

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Archer reaches over and carefully touches Timmy’s closest arm to him, his right arm. It is cold to the touch. He reaches over Timmy and touches his left arm. It, too, is cold to the touch… and they both have goose bumps on them, too. Archer gently puts his fingers under Timmy’s chin, slowly turning his face towards Archer. Sure enough, Timmy’s pupils are as big as dinner plates. Something scared the punk out of Timmy, and that wasn’t easy from what Archer knew. Cold skin on both arms, goose bumps on both, shaking all over and eyes the size of dinner plates. If Archer hadn’t known better he would think that Timmy had seen a ghost!

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Archer sat there, in complete silence, and waited for Timmy to; speak, laugh, cry, yell, do something. They had been sitting there for, about, five minutes when Archer let out one of his infamous burps. Archer was so good at burping; he was the very first of his grade to actually speak in burps. This time, he didn’t say anything but it must have been just enough of perfectly timed. Just as soon as the burp quit resounding in Archer’s gut, Timmy began to laugh.

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Archer quickly joined in, and before either of them realized it, they were laughing and rolling on the carpet. Suddenly Timmy put his hand over his mouth and the other over Archer’s mouth. Then, for the first time since they came up the stairs, Timmy spoke.

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            “Archer, now I want you to be completely truthful… OK? Don’t, like, lie to make me feel better or anything. I can count on you to do that, right?”

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Timmy knew the answer to that question even before asking, but Archer answered anyway.

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            “Of course, Timmy, you know that I would never lie to you. Not even to spare your feelings… not for any reason. Timmy… you look like you just saw a ghost or something. You have goose bumps, you arms… both of them, are cold as ice and your eyes are as big as dinner plates. Whatever happened, when you stuck your head into the bedroom, you can talk to me… ask me questions… anything!”

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Timmy was very comforted by Archer’s words. As well, he felt comforted by one thing he did say. Archer said that his arms were cold! Timmy looked up at the window. Right now, it was closed… tight. But, had they remained closed, while they were in the kitchen… while they are blueberry cobbler and while they made their way back up stairs and into the room? How the heck did his arms, both of them, get cold? This was turning into a mystery… and nothing more kept these two boys up, late at night, like a mystery.

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            “Archer, when we came up the stairs, did you… at any point… see light under my door? At any time, since we left the room, coming down the stairs, or coming back up did you see any more light than what is thrown off by my ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia” nightlight?”

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Archer and Timmy were both going to be teenagers in a matter of months. You would think that having a nightlight would be… something Archer would kid Timmy about. Thing of it was? Both Timmy and Archer loved ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’… the books… the movies that it was not only ‘OK’ to have a nightlight based on the stories, it was considered cool.

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            “No, Timmy, there was no light from anywhere once we got up the stairs. I looked hard under your door… and under your parents. I was scared to death… that whatever was going on with you… we were going to get busted. Glad that you stayed quiet. Timmy.”

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Timmy spoke

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            “It wasn’t easy Archer… not easy at all. Archer, I am going to tell you… what happened, when I opened the door. Now, no matter what you think… you have to know I am telling you the truth. I saw what I saw…

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After the ‘nightmare’ they both just shared Archer’s mind was open to pretty much any tale Timmy could tell. For whatever reason, every since he and Timmy had decided to make going to this Haunted House such a major priority, things got weird. It was time to get up off the floor, before Timmy explained what had happened.

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            “OK, Timmy, but first let’s get up off the floor. You have a better chance of warming up sitting in bed.”

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Then they both got up and got in bed. Timmy stopped Archer from getting into the sleeping bad saying;

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            “Hey, Archer, why don’t you sit up here, with me, for a few minutes? That way when we talk, I can actually see that you have a face.”

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Archer laughed, climbed up in Timmy’s bed, and put his bathrobe over his feet to keep them warm. He looked up at Timmy and thought… ‘It’s really nice to see his face, again. It’s really nice to have a face, again.’

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They both just sat there, looking at one another, for a couple of minutes. Timmy got under his sheets and blankets, to keep them warm. The lightening struck, and the room filled with a wash of white light. Both boys began to count.

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            “One Mississippi… Two Mississippi… Three Mississippi…”   Thunder breaks their count. Then Archer speaks.

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            ‘Funny, the storm seems to be kind of parked over town. It hasn’t moved in more than an hour, has it?”

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Archer was right and Timmy though he knew why the storm hadn’t moved. The storm had brought something with it, or… something had brought the storm to town with… it! The time had come for Timmy to tell Archer everything he had seen… and heard standing in the doorway. One of two things would happen; Archer would think Timmy was just spinning a yarn to try and scare him, or Archer would believe Timmy and end up as frightened. Timmy honestly thought Archer would believe him. There was no reason for Timmy to lie, and Archer had felt his freezing arms right after. Well, here goes nothing!

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Timmy started by telling Archer that he saw the light on in his room, from under the door. He explained why he left Archer standing in the hallway; he didn’t know why the light was on in his room. Archer sat hanging on Timmy’s every word. Timmy explained how, when he opened the door, it appeared to him the overhead light was on. The room was freezing, the window was open and the curtain was flapping in the cold breeze.

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Then Timmy told Archer how he had thought he saw… a shadow. How the shadow had taken form, like smoke forming into a person. Then Timmy described ‘The Tall Man’ to Archer. Explained how the stovepipe hat… seemed to be constantly moving. How this ‘man’ was somehow clothed in shadows and difficult to see. Archer intently listened, as he pulled his knees up close to his chest, wrapping his bathrobe around him tightly. Now, Timmy described the laughter. How deep and gravely it sounded, like rocks or bones shifting in a stone… box.

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Now Timmy could see that it was Archer’s eyes, that were as big as dinner plates, and Timmy saw it clearly. Best to just tell the rest and let it be done. Timmy explained how The Tall Man’s laughter faded into a rumbling warning. The single word, “Beware”, which was spoken. Then, Timmy did his best to explain how a more than six foot tall man, just disappeared into wisps of smoke. How the smoke drifted out the open window. How the window shut, all on its own. Last, he told Archer how it felt like someone had pushed him out of his own bedroom, shutting the door in front of him.

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When Timmy had finished explaining… telling his tale to Archer, they both just sat there on the bed. Sat there, for what felt like forever, not saying a single word to each other. There silence as broken by another flash of light that filled the room with an eerie glow. Before either could acknowledge the lightning flash, Crack! The sound of a thunderclap filled the room, and both boys jumped nearly out of their skins. As the light in the room faded, back to normal, their eyes met.

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Both were shaking, and it was not from the cold, either. Timmy pulled his sheets and blanket up tight around his neck, and motioned for Archer to climb up beside him. This was no normal circumstance, so Archer put bravado aside, and climbed in the bed and under the sheets and blanket. He grabbed one of Timmy’s pillows, from behind his head. Timmy hardly noticed, and just turned to fix his remaining pillow so he could sit up in bed.

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They both sat there, speechless, for some time. Timmy got out of the bed, opened a drawer and pulled out another blanket. He threw the blanket over both of them, and got back into the bed. They both shifted and sorted out the sheets and blankets, till they both were comfortable… and completely covered.  Then, Archer was the first to say something, but his speech was halted and he sounded nervous… even scared.

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            “Timmy, I am really glad that it was you and not me that saw The Tall Man. I have no idea why I couldn’t see what was happening. Except that maybe I wasn’t meant to see…yet.”

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Archer took a moment to gather his thoughts. As they both sat there, again, the room filled with sickly light from the lightening. They both started counting; “One Mississippi… Two Mississippi… Three Mississippi… Four Mississippi… Five Mississippi Their counting stopped by a clap, then rumble, of passing thunder. The storm, finally, was moving away from the house. Without saying so, both boys hoped that as the storm passed, so would their bad dreams. Timmy was the first to speak, this time.

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            “Look, Archer, its… like, ok… if you don’t sleep on the floor… tonight. It will be a lot warmer, in the bed. I’m still chilled from… well, from standing in the doorway with the window… open.”

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It was with those last few words that the memory of… what happened, earlier, flooded back for both the boys. Neither, really, wanted to be totally alone. In the back of both their minds was the fear that, when they fell back asleep, they would return to a nightmare world. They hadn’t faced the first one alone. They didn’t want to face… another one alone. Archer responded.

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            “Yeah, no problem, Timmy. I don’t mind not sleeping on the floor… for sure.”

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They both, kind of, laughed under their breath. Then, at the same time, they sighed. Just then, they both went to speak, at the same time.

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(In stereo, at first…)

            “If I start to…” Now only Archer spoke “If one of us seems to be having a nightmare?”

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Timmy finished the sentence

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            “The other will wake him up… right?”

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They both nodded at each other, and relaxed. They both visibly relaxed for the first time since they had come back up the stairs. The storm was moving off. It was only about midnight. They had the rest of the night to get some sleep. It was Timmy that spoke first, this time.

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            “Good night, Archer. Don’t let the bedbugs bite!”

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They both laughed, then Archer told Timmy ‘Goodnight’. They pulled their sheets and blankets up around their faces, and hoped they would just fall asleep.

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No sooner had Timmy closed his eyes, when he felt an unnerving feeling. He started feeling the strange but familiar… pulling at his feet! Timmy panicked and tried to kick his feet, loose. He tried to fight with the sheets, pull them back, and kick them off, something! Something to signal Archer, lying right beside him, that he was not going off to a quite sleep. No, Timmy could feel it. Timmy was getting pulled someplace he did not want to be.

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Suddenly Timmy was surrounded by darkness, but he wasn’t wet. Wherever Timmy was headed, at least he wasn’t going to be drowning. ‘Count your blessings.’ Timmy thought to himself, as he worked to open his eyes. He felt his eyes open, but he could not see anything for the pervasive darkness. He opened his mouth, and he breathed!  What ever was in store, Timmy thought to himself, at least I can breathe. He reached up his hands to his face.

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He touched his face with his hands. He had eyes. He had a nose. He opened his mouth, and tried to speak. Nothing came out, but he could open his mouth. Timmy was greatly relieved. He had a whole face. Timmy signed deeply, and strained to see if he could see anything. You ever wish for something…, like, really hard… Only to seriously regret it just as soon as it happens? Timmy now knew that feeling.

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As Timmy looked around, straining to see, the world around him began to come into focus. The regret soon followed because… Timmy soon realized he was standing… in a graveyard!

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to the end of Part Five of ‘The Horror in Smithville’ here at The Other Shoe. Today, you met… ‘The Tall Man’. This is the meeting that I had forgotten when I wrote the last of Part Four. With last week’s episode… corrected and today’s episode done. Now we can move forward, next week, with more of the story to unfold.

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I hope that everyone has enjoyed our adventure, today. I hope that you remember to ‘Share’! I just love to see your ‘Likes’, yet it is your ‘Shares’ that get more My Dear Readers coming to visit and read. We leave with Timmy standing in a graveyard, Archer nowhere to be seen. Nobody knows what is going to happen, next. Not even me!

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I look forward to spinning even more of this tale, just for you My Dear Readers. So, drop on by next week on Thursday for more of ‘The Horror in Smithville’. Well, drop by anytime and take some time away from the daily grind and read. Again, thanks for dropping by and I do really hope that you enjoyed today’s episode.

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Thank You!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

The Other Shoe eBay Store

www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning

 

 

Lost In Space – April 9th, 2104

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                 Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. My Dear Readers, it is not often that I take time to revel in my achievements, bathe in the glory of success. That changes, for today, now! Last week saw the second edition of this article series ‘Lost in Space – April 2nd, 2014’. By today, Sunday, this second edition has garnered more ‘Likes’ than the first. It is this success that I celebrate and enjoy. In the past two weeks I have painted this blog with stellar images from distances many can hardly conceive. Scrolling over my creation, I feel a sense of great joy and overwhelming pride.

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For the enjoyment, entertainment and edification of you, My Dear Readers, I have reached to the stars and brought them to these pages. Again, I extend my reach to the stars and pluck them down for you to enjoy. Today I bring you more images of celestial bodies far flung and lifetimes away. Incredible to view they remind us that there is so much more to existence, life and beauty than that which is earthbound.

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All of today’s images come from the incredible space telescope Hubble. Hubble has allowed man… empowered mankind to see further in space, and further back in time, than ever before. In its twenty-four years of service it has returned, on American’s investment, a million-fold and allowed us to see back to the beginning of time. My Dear Readers this is the reason that I choose Hubble images for the first three editions of ‘Lost in Space’.

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However, starting next week we will depart from images light years away. Starting next week I will begin a Tour of our Solar System here in ‘Lost in Space’ at The Other Shoe. I will be using images from; Hubble, Cassini, Voyager, and Magellan spacecraft to bring to you a tour of our Solar System. Well now, let’s not get too far ahead of myself. Today, we look to the stars!

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For very first image for the day, is an artist’s rendition of visible-light observations of an exoplanet. This exoplanet is one of the closest to our solar system, just a mere 63 light years away. Known as HD 189733b[1], our image shows this blue planet close to its sun. This planet orbits its sun every 22.3 days. With a daytime surface temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and howling winds of 4,500 miles per hour. The blue color is not from surface oceans, like here on Earth, it comes from high clouds laced with silicate particles. 

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Artist's Concept Shows Exoplanet HD 189733b

Artist's Concept Shows Exoplanet HD 189733b

(Artist’s Concept Shows Exoplanet HD 189733b)

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For our next image I take you a mere 55 million light years away, to another spiral galaxy named Messier 61[2]. Roughly the same side as our own Milky Way with an approximate diameter of 100,000 light-years. In our image, here today, Messier 61 looks directly into the Hubble space telescope. Giving us a wonderful on-side view of this galactic body, just for us to enjoy here today. Just think, My Dear Readers, we live at the very extreme spiral arm of a galaxy very much like this one.

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Messier 61 Looks Straight Into Hubble's Camera

Messier 61 Looks Straight Into Hubble's Camera

(Messier 61 Looks Straight Into Hubble’s Camera)

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WE now bolt back over millions of light years to arrive at only 150 light years from earth. Our destination is the star cluster Hyades[3], in the constellation Taurus. Our image is of a dead star who’s orbit is polluted with the debris of planets. All the planets that, once, made up its solar system destroyed in the sun’s fiery death.  This is an image of an intergalactic graveyard, but it makes for a spectacular image for us to view.

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Finds Dead Stars 'Polluted with Planet Debris

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Finds Dead Stars 'Polluted with Planet Debris

(NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Finds Dead Stars ‘Polluted with Planet Debris)

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Known, collectively, as Arp 142 this intergalactic collision of two star systems. The spiral galaxy NGC 2936[4] and the elliptical galaxy NGC 2937[5] are intertwined in a galactic dance of death. Now, the Hubble page says that this looks like a bird. I disagree, I think that it looks like the head of a dolphin. Either way, bird or dolphin it is an incredible site for human eyes, and I have it here for you, My Dear Readers.

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Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight

Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight

(Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight)

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Just keeping the eye-candy going, here at The Other Shoe, even the web site labels our next entry as a ‘Galactic Spectacle’. Who am I to argue with them? Our next stunning visual image is a composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold), and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). A mere 62 million light years away, these colliding galaxies are creating a spectacle just for our… entertainment? I often find myself wondering if there is life being lost in some of these images? I hope now, but that will not stop me from sharing.

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A Galactic Spectacle

A Galactic Spectacle

(A Galactic Spectacle)

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As always, saving the best image for the last we bring this edition of ‘Lost in Space’ to a close. The subject of our final image is the spiral galaxy of NGC 1084[6]. A near perfect specimen of a spiral galaxy this particular one has been host to several supernova explosions, just in the time mankind has been able to watch. Incredible to think that at any given point, suns like our own, our very near to us could collapse and turn super nova, destroying life for millions of light years around. Kind of makes you wonder… everything we have… everything we know could be blotted out… in the middle of the night… never to be seen again, by a super nova star.

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Hubble Sees a Spiral Home to Exploding Stars

Hubble Sees a Spiral Home to Exploding Stars

(Hubble Sees a Spiral Home to Exploding Stars)

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My Dear Readers, that brings us to the end of this week’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’. It brings me great joy to collect and share these phenomenal images just for you, My Dear Readers. I do this for everyone’s enjoyment, for your entertainment and for nothing more. I battle pain… while I do this work… I just do my best to put it out of mind… and push on.

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I hope that everyone enjoys this week’s edition, I hope that maybe it inspired thought and joy. If you have enjoyed this article, please remember to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’. That is the way I know I did well, that I reached another person somewhere, out there.

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Hubble reveals the Ring Nebula's true shape

Hubble reveals the Ring Nebula's true shape

(Hubble reveals the Ring Nebula’s true shape)

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Thank you!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

The Other Shoe eBay Store

 http://www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

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New from Around the World – April 8th, 2014

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News from Around the World

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       Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. It is time, again, my friends to take a spin around the world and see what news there is to share. Today I will touch on several and varied subjects that reach from our own personal lives to the far reaches of the globe. My Dear Readers that is the goal of this weekly article series. To expose you, My Dear Readers, to matters close to home and around the world. A better informed; family, friend(s), co-workers make for better and stronger relationships that will last generations.

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Now, as promised, my very first subject is one that is very close to home; our health. Having spent a decade in clinical health care settings and home health, I find myself drawn to subjects I feel some people my be lead astray, or harmed, by engaging in their personal lives. Today I am here to debunk a very harmful misnomer about diet. Today I am here to debunk the very harmful myth of ‘Gluten Allergies’.

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The very first myth I would like to debunk is; ‘Going Gluten-Free can CURE Autism’. I wanted to start with this myth, because I feel it is doing the most harm. Families with Autistic children can feel tremendous pressures, not the least of which social pressures. I feel it is particularly heinous and disturbing to extend a possible cure for a genetic disease by merely changing the child’s diet. FACT: There is no scientific evidence that halting an Autistic child’s gluten intake will ‘cure’ their Autism.

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Yes, it is true that a great many Autistic children suffer with gastrointestinal problems. Sometimes, these children can experience momentary/temporary relief by removing gluten rich foods from their diets. However, as I explain below, this is only a temporary measure and that extended removal of gluten has more and far reaching negative health effects. Again, there is no scientific evidence that a ‘Gluten Free Diet’ can ‘cure’ Autism.

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NEXT. There are several myths circling the diet blogs and community all based in misnomers and myths about a cereal gain protein that has been the human diet for the better part of 40,000 years. Gluten is contained in three cereal grains; Wheat, Barley and Rye grains. It is a protein containing fibrous material. It naturally occurs in all three of these grains, yet is separated during this refining process.

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First, the myth that ‘a gluten free diet is a healthy diet’ created by certain health gurus that are more focused on rapid weight loss than the health and welfare of their… ‘Customers’ (more like marks, from what I have read). Yes, if you completely remove all processed food stuffs with gluten from your diet, you will experience what appears to be weight loss. What you are actually experiencing, is so far more insidious.

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What you are experiencing is muscle mass loss! Gluten is an essential protein and dietary fiber. Once you remove this source of protein from your diet, you will see muscle loss! Your body uses protein to create and maintain muscles in your body. As well, I told you that gluten is a dietary fiber. Once you remove any source of fiber from your daily diet, you will experience… weight loss… because of the ensuing diarrhea. That’s correct, once you remove a major source of dietary fiber from a human’s diet, you will end up with loose bowels. This is because of the loss of dietary fiber but also because these ‘Gluten Free’ foods contain more; saturated FATS, and SUGARS to make up for the lost fibrous material in the baking process. SO, by engaging in and purchasing ONLY ‘Gluten Free’ products? You are increasing the amount of sugar and saturated fats while decreasing your intake of; dietary fiber and protein.  

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However, you will also experience; significant dehydration, which looks like, weight loss but is actually just massive dehydration. So, you have an unscrupulous diet guru which is placing your health in danger just to create the illusion of ‘weight loss’ while damaging your overall health. Further, the American Medical Association has concluded a study debunking the myth of ‘Gluten Allergies’[1]. As well, they have sent out millions of letters to Primary Care Physicians to stop engaging in ‘Allergy Testing’ in their offices.

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You see, My Dear Readers, you can be allergic to wheat… or barley… or rye. One can be allergic to a certain cereal grain but there is no such thing as a ‘Gluten Allergy’[2]. Any doctor that tells you that there is (and does not refer to it as ‘Celiac Disease’) is a charlatan and you should stop seeing that doctor. You see there is a disease that, if you eat gluten bearing foods, it can cause gastro distress. However, this disease affects only ONE in every One Hundred Americans.

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My Dear Readers, engaging in a ‘Gluten Free’ diet not directed by a doctor can cause significant health damage! I am not kidding. You are robbing your body or essential proteins and dietary fiber! That is a crime and one that I hope that I can help to stop. Understand that yes it will look like you are loosing some weight… at first! After the first few days, all you really are doing is damaging your long-term health based on a misnomer now debunked by the America Medical Association. If you have a family history of Celiac disease, have your doctor check you out and do the proper medical tests.

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Finally, I have included links (below) to one article and one video debunking this health harming myth about ‘Gluten Allergies’. I wanted to include some scientific proof of my assertions, and they are at the end of these links. I think that it is a crime that people are actually using their (limited) medical knowledge to cause harm to their fellow man. Honestly, I believe that anyone that furthers this terrible myth, without giving all the information available, just to take advantage of people that are desperate to loose weight are criminals and should be treated as such. I really do hope that all of you, My Dear Readers, take heed of my advice, read up on the science and protect your health. Thank you.

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Next, I take you across the Pacific ocean to the single most isolationist regimes on the face of the planet, North Korea. South Korean news sources are reporting that O Sang-hon, a deputy minister at the Ministry of Public Security, was executed by flame thrower during a continuing purge.[3]  This purge started last December when the current dictator’s Uncle, Jang Song-taek, was executed. Loyalists to Mr. Jang are now being rooted up and either summarily executed or sent to political prison camps. This follows the 2012 execution by motor fire of the ‘Vice Minister of the Army’. Dictator Kim Jung-un ordered the execution saying that “no trace of him should be left behind, not even his hairs…”[4].

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This is just a continuation of the harsh, and at times sick, dictatorship of Kim Jung-un, son of the late Kim Jung-ill. North Korea is the single most backward industrialized nation on the planet. It is the only such nation with no internet access for its people. As well, astronauts traveling in the shuttle and/or the International Space Station say that when they pass over it at night, the country is completely devoid of any sources of light. It is said that the northern par of the Korean continent is a black hole in the continent. IMHO executing a person, regardless of their crime, by flamethrower is… well, it is sickening for sure… but it violates any sense of common decency.

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Now, for some news… from, what I would call, the bizarre bag of news. This story comes out of Germany, today. Elements of Germany’s Right-Wing Extremist Neo-Nazi(s) are using… … … (wait for it…) The Cookie Monster to spread their hateful propaganda. That’s right, good ol’Frank Oz’s cookie eating creation has been corrupted and used to stand with, and for, Neo-Nazi and racist propaganda. If you haven’t really read much about Germany, in the past couple of decades, there are far ‘Right-Wing Extremeists’ that are having real difficulties with the changing racial make-up of modern day Germany.

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Falling back on, banned, images of Adolf Hitler, and adopting much of the dictator’s (and the ‘Third Reich’s’) hate filled prejudiced rhetoric. Two German men, both in their thirties, have been arrested by police in conjunction with the crimes. They had been dressing in a Cookie Monster outfit and handing out leaflets that claimed ‘To be German is Cool!”. Following the arrest homes of the two men were searched and computers were found that had more Neo-Nazi materials on their hard drives. One of the images, found on the computers, was of Adolf Hitler and the Cookie Monster with the caption “Who Ate My Cookie?” Meant to allude to ‘ill-legals’ taking food from the mouth’s of German (white) citizens.

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The use of the Cookie Monster is seen as just another new way of spreading their message of “Volkstod,” or “National Death” campaign. This is how these ‘Right-Wing Extremists’ is used to describe what they believe as the degradation of the German society my multi-nationalism.

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        These extremists are trying to trivialize their dangerous ideology by using simple language, by creating ironic cartoons and by increasingly using social media to reach adolescents,…” [5]

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And, in our final story for the day we take a trip to South America, Brazil to be exact. If you are not a follower of soccer, or the ‘World Cup’ you might not be aware that the competition is headed for Brazil! With the coming of this great honor the legal authorities in many of Brazil’s major cities are working together to crack down on child prostitution. Prostitution, for anyone over the age of 18, is completely legal in Brazil. However, child prostitution is not, but is prevalent in many of the major cities in Brazil.

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Now, the government of Brazil has promised to eradicate child prostitution prior to the arrival of The World Cup competitions. This is no easy task, I have to tell you. According to estimates made by ‘National Forum for the Prevention of Child Labor’ there are a Half Million child sex workers in Brazil. The city of Fortaleza[6] in Brazil, is seen as the capital of the child sex industry. Many planes and charters have Fortaleza as their destinations with the resorts there acting as hubs for child sex.

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There is widespread poverty in Brazil and few opportunities for education. There are many opportunities to make money, “easy money” (according to statements made by many of these children) in underage prostitution. Honestly, if you have ever read anything about Brazil, studied the history of the country or had visitors from Brazil, you would already know of the ‘Boys of Brazil’. That child prostitutions is/has been a huge problem for Brazil for many decades. European underground sex services offer sex tours in Brazil, featuring stops in cities like Fortaleza. The city police and the government of Brazil are stating that they will have the child sex trade halted in time for the beginning of the World Cup competitions.

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However, if you ask the children on the streets and even the legal prostitutes, you will hear a different story. Their story is that they may succeed in getting the children off of the street corners, and out of the city centers but that the trade is so very prevalent it is unlikely they will end the child sex trade. Local police are cracking down on the underage street trade, local and national organizations are running new ads on local and statewide television. These ads explain the tougher enforcement and threaten severe penalties for continued trade.

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Only time will tell if Brazil can finally take a substantial bite out of their child sex trade. I, for one, am hopeful that they will take measure to assure that this trade does not flourish, again, just as soon as all the footballers leave town. Truthfully, if more opportunities for education and employment are not created in Brazil? There really is no hope of ending this sick and deviant trade. 

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Well, My Dear Readers, that grings us to the end of another edition of ‘New from Around the World’. I would like to thank everyone for dropping by and sharing some time with me. I hope that everyone is having a safe and productive week. Be sure to drop by tomorrow for a new edition of ‘The Mars Report’ right here at ‘The Other Shoe’.

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TTFN – Ta Ta For Now!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

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The Mars Report – April 7th, 2014

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Martian Northern Hemisphere & North Pole

Martian Northern Hemisphere & North Pole

(Martian Northern Hemisphere & North Pole)

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                Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. I hope that everyone is having a Good Monday, a great start for a wonderful week. I am most pleased to announce that I have a rather nice batch of images, from Mars, to share with you today. Now, I will be the first to admit, they are not as stellar (did you get that?) as my offerings last week. Our intrepid adventurer the rover, Curiosity, has made progress and has arrived at the next waypoint, the Kimberly.

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Ok, I kind of got things bass-ackwards. Let me tell you about the image above. This article opened with an spectacular image of the northern hemisphere of Mars, showing the Martian North Pole. My Dear Readers, until the 14th of this month, you can get a better look at Mars than anytime since 2008. For, you see, Mars is only 56 million miles from Earth for the next week. That is less than 1/5 of the greatest distance Mars travels away from us, at 256 million miles.

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You see, My Dear Readers, Mars has always held a special fascination for me. Even as a boy, looking through a telescope I made with paper towel cardboard tubes and lenses from a broken pair of binoculars, I would spend hours looking up at the Martian surface. Granted I could not make out more than patches of dark and, in the spring, the glow of the northern pole. This great red orb in the sky fascinated a young Danny. I had always hoped to own a better telescope.

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Now, I spend hours upon hours viewing images at NASA and JPL. Devouring all that I can read, see and glean Mars still captures my fascination and imagination. You now know my reason for ‘The Mars Report’, eh? Having said, let’s get started with today’s images, and the stories they tell.

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As I mentioned, above, Curiosity’s next waypoint is the Kimberly. Our next image, for today, is from Curiosity’s ‘NavCam’ (Navigational Camera) on the 588th Martian day, or Sol day. This position was picked as a vantage point for extensive viewing of the various rock types. In the background, the horizon of this image, are the primary science destinations for this mission. The lower slope of Mount Sharp. In the coming weeks, and months, watch with me as this destination gets closer and closer.

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Curiosity's View From Before Final Approach to 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

Curiosity's View From Before Final Approach to 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

(Curiosity’s View From Before Final Approach to ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint)

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In our last edition of ‘The Mars Report’ I shared a map showing the journey, so far. Today I have a similar offering, for our next image. The image below was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. There were two images, to choose from, showing this path. One was in black and white, the other was in color. I picked the color image for today’s publication. So, here is a nice splash of color for your enjoyment.

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Map of Curiosity Mars Rover's Drives to 'the Kimberley' Waypoint

Map of Curiosity Mars Rover's Drives to 'the Kimberley' Waypoint

(Map of Curiosity Mars Rover’s Drives to ‘the Kimberley’ Waypoint)

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Oh, what the heck, I looked at the black and white image and it shows a lot more of the journey Curiosity has made so far. Therefore, below is a large image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Showing several of the pervious waypoints, this image gives us a better idea of just how far our intrepid rover, Curiosity, has driven.

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Curiosity Mars Rover's Route from Landing to 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

(Curiosity Mars Rover’s Route from Landing to ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint)

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The next to the last image, for today’s edition of ‘The Mars report’ I give you ‘The Kimberly’ waypoint. This image was taken on Martian Day number 589, April 2nd, 2014. Taken by Curiosity’s navigational camera (NavCam) shortly after arrival this image marks a major accomplishment. The center of the image shows an outcrop called  “striated” by the project scientists.

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Curiosity's View From Arrival Point at 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

Curiosity's View From Arrival Point at 'The Kimberley' Waypoint

(Curiosity’s View From Arrival Point at ‘The Kimberley’ Waypoint)

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The final image… well, I have saved the very best image for the very last image. Taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter this spectacular image is of a recently made crater in the Martian surface. The very center of this crater measures 100 feet in diameter (30 meters) and appears blue in this image. The bluish color is due to the fact that all the red soil, customary to the Martian surface, was ejected on impact. The explosion created the blast area seen around the center crater. This blast zone is several miles in diameter, and the blast threw ejecta (the term used for displaced soil in a crater) as far as 9.3 miles.  

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A Spectacular New Martian Impact Crater

(A Spectacular New Martian Impact Crater)

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That brings us, My Dear Readers, to the conclusion of this week’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I hope that you all have enjoyed the images I have shared, here today. I look forward to any comments or suggestions. If images from space strike your fancy? Then drop back by, later in the week, for this week’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’.

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Until then, I hope that everyone has a great beginning of their week. Come back often, as I plan to have a full week of material, stories and more images from space. Thank you for your time and your support.

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Martian Southern Pole

(Martian Southern Pole)

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Thank you!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

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http://www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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The Other Shoe's Daniel Hanning February 2014

 

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