Archive for October, 2012

New post from Anibalan’s Ghost Cities Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog welcomes the latest treat from Anibalan’s Ghost Cities Blog!

New post on Ghost Cities


Happy Halloween!

by anilbalan


Just as a special treat I thought I’d include with today’s post a selection of past Halloween-themed posts that have appeared on this site. Enjoy!

As The Days Grow Shorter…

A Halloween Tale

October Dreams

A Treat for All Hallows’ Eve

The Day of the Dead

anilbalan | October 31, 2012 at 8:02 am | Tags: Halloween | Categories: Folklore, Horror, Legend, Mythology, Religion, Short Story, Tall Tale, Urban Legend | URL:

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Brigitte’s Pick: ARE THEY CRAZY??!!

October 31, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog’s answer to Brigitte’s question is an unequivocal YES!

Insane Bar

Time For a Break!

Very Lucky Driver

It’s Just Another Day!

Sitting On the Edge

Just An Incredible View!

Just Camping Out!

Sleeping In the Clouds

Insane Construction Worker

Insane Rock Climber

Insane Rock Climbing

Nice Place to Sit!

Chilling On the Edge

Working With No Fear

Just Hangin’ Out!

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Leonie’s View: Blonde jokes

October 30, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog received the following from correspondent, Leonie. In southern Africa ‘blonde’ (for some reason) means ‘dumb’.

A friend told a blonde man: “Christmas is on a Friday this year.”
> The blonde man replied, “Let’s hope it’s not the 13th.”

> ————————————————————-

> Two blonde men find three grenades, and they decide to take them to a police station.
> One asked: “What if one explodes before we get there?”
> The other says: “We’ll lie and say we only found two.”
> ————————————

> A blonde man is in the bathroom and his wife shouts: “Did you find the shampoo?”
> He answers, “Yes, but I’m not sure what to do… it’s for dry hair, and I’ve just wet mine.”

> A blonde man goes to the vet with his goldfish.
> I think it’s got epilepsy,” he tells the vet.
> The vet takes a look and says, “It seems calm enough to me”.
> The blonde man says, “Wait, I haven’t taken it out of the bowl yet”.
> ————————————

> A blonde man spies a letter lying on his doormat.
> It says on the envelope “DO NOT BEND “.
> He spends the next 2 hours trying to figure out how to pick it up.

> ————————————

> A blonde man shouts frantically into the phone, “My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!”
> “Is this her first child?” asks the Doctor.
> “No”, he shouts, “this is her husband!”

> ————————————
> A blonde man was driving home, drunk as a skunk. Suddenly he has to swerve to avoid a tree, then another, then another. A cop car pulls him over, so he tells the cop about all the trees in the road.
> The cop says, “That’s your air freshener swinging around!”

> ————————————
> A blonde man’s dog goes missing and he is frantic.
> His wife says “Why don’t you put an ad in the paper?”
> He does, but two weeks later the dog is still missing.
> “What did you put in the paper?” his wife asks.
> “Here boy!” he replies.

> ————————————
> A blonde man is in jail. Guard looks in his cell and sees him hanging by his feet.
> “Just WHAT are you doing?” he asks.
> “Hanging myself,” the blonde replies.
> “It should be around your neck” says the guard.
> “I tried that,” he replies, “but then I couldn’t breathe”.
> ————————————

> An Italian tourist asks a blonde man: “Why do Scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”
> To which the blonde man replies: “If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat.”

Ghost Cities New Post: Winter Masks and Halloween!

October 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog welcomes another fine bit of writing by a student of the supernatural, Anibalan. His posts are consistently fascinating and thought provoking. Also very erudite. The man’s a scholar as well as a researcher and writer. MR James has written my favourite ghost stories. Anibalan in my opinion will be his successor.

His show! And over to him!

anilbalan posted: "With the fateful day not far away now, it struck me recently that Halloween is all about masks. When I was a child everyone seemed to wear them – and not just on All Hallows’ Eve. It all started with the perception that people seldom said what they really"

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New post on Ghost Cities


Winter Masks

by anilbalan

With the fateful day not far away now, it struck me recently that Halloween is all about masks. When I was a child everyone seemed to wear them – and not just on All Hallows’ Eve. It all started with the perception that people seldom said what they really felt about anything. I wasn’t sure why, but I soon learned that apparently there was something impolite about frankness, and politeness was something that I took seriously growing up. I also came to believe that success or failure in life might be measured by how one handled one’s mask. The most famous actors of the day – Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise etc – were born with wonderful masks, or maybe they grew up with them, I didn’t know for sure. But in any case they handled them brilliantly and so putting on a mask, I thought, was a wonderful thing. If I could have got away with it, I think I would have worn one all the time – which made Halloween just about my favourite time of year! When I was young Halloween wasn’t something that you spent a lot of money on. Not many children went around in full costume as werewolves, witches, devils or what-not, but masks – which rarely cost more than a couple of pounds at most back in those happy days – were another matter. Each year the challenge became picking a mask that you could cobble up a matching costume for with little or no money. Eventually not just Halloween but the entire final third of the year became associated with masks and masquerades for me. As the old poem goes: ‘The winter light is pale and bright, and so the serpent basks. On snowy floor we waltz the score, we masquers are our masks’.

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anilbalan | October 28, 2012 at 3:00 am | Tags: Halloween | Categories: Legend, Sightings, Tall Tale, Urban Legend | URL:

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Getting ready for Halloween with beetles and sweeties

October 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is being sucked into this incoming Halloween thing.

Neighbours are putting up pumpkins, planning a parade, taking it seriously. Peer pressure.

I’m no party pooper and have bought seven rhino beetles (I’m keeping two, they are so beetle-ish and charming and totally indifferent to Syria, or Islamic insurgents, or the weather or rice exports or anything else).

They are deliberate beetles.


Feeding, grappling with rival beetles, mating to provide more beetles – that’s their only concern.

The beetles are a surprise treat and come with sticks of sugar cane to sustain them.

I’ve also bought lots of sweeties for the losers who can’t answer my ghostly quiz and don’t get a beetle.

I can’t see young Angus getting a beetle.

Last time I asked him a jolly question hoping (foolishly) to give him a prize and make his life richer he answered

“I don’t do questions.”

Scottish brat!

A rat seems to have eaten a bit of my rubber life-sized Mummy bought in China town and our jack-o-lanterns are defective. No surprise there. Anything bought in China Town has the life expectancy of a Mayfly.


Hugh in Bangkok

PS and Update: Beetles can be a bit too stoic for their own good. I’ve just had to bash one on its back, repeatedly, to dislodge very small red ants that had burrowed a hole in its carapace without any resistance from the beetle. The beetle, named Beet, doesn’t seem the worse for wear…but things could have gone badly for Beet. The ants seemed intent on hollowing the poor fellow out and making a nest of him. My advice to beetle owners in the tropics is a bit of vigilance. Red ants can be orrible little bastards! Sugar cane brings them in, but when they see your beetle, sugar cane is forgotten. They want beetle!

Petitions: Meet the Care2 Campaign Team

October 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that if you are planning a petition these are the folks to get it going global. None of the petitions I’ve signed – and I’ve signed a lot – have had any measurable effect but some of the petitions actually do make positive changes. I received an email titled “Do you know what you have done?”

And I thought, ‘Blimey they saw me doing it! I’m doomed!’

Fortunately they had no idea what I’d done (and I’ve no intention of telling you what it was)– it was just a round-up of recent petition success stories. Some, particularly in the nature conservation field, were encouraging. You can’t shoot mountain lions in your garden any more If you live in California.

For example.

Best wishes from Bangkok!


And read on!

From: Colleen H., Care2 Action Alerts [mailto:actionalerts]
Sent: 28 October 2012 01:03 PM
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: Meet the Care2 Campaign Team

Care2 subscriber since Jul 16, 2012 Unsubscribe | Share on Facebook | Read More

Meet the Team

Have you ever wondered who’s behind all those emails you get from Care2? Here at Care2, we have a team of dedicated activists working hard to ensure our community can truly make a difference on important issues.

Meet the Campaigns Team

Dear Hugh,

At Care2, our mission is to help activists around the world make a difference. This is more than just a job for us, though. We are a passionate group of dedicated activists who organize for causes we care about online and off!

Meet the campaigns team.

Have you ever wondered about the folks behind the photos at the bottom of your Action Alerts? Here are some faces you might recognize, along with some facts about us that you probably won’t!

Come say hi! We’d love to get to know more about you and the issues you care about.


The Care2 Campaigns Team

you have 750


redeem credits | about butterfly rewards
Care2 subscriber since Jul 16, 2012 Unsubscribe | Share on Facebook | Read More

Thai Days: multi-coloured jellies! An unexpected marine glory from Trat!

October 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog strongly suggests that if you are near Muang district in Trat that you head for the sea. Don’t dive in! It’s full of jellyfish.

They come in almost every colour. Purple, blue, white, a dash of yellow – it’s a spectacle!

Locals say tides and plankton movement bring this extraordinary fleet of largely surface feeders into Trat every year at about this time.

I wish I could send you photos. They are just amazing. At first glance I thought some fiend had chucked half a million plastic bags into the sea. But, no, jellyfish!

I dived in the freshwater jellyfish lake in Palau and that was an unearthly experience. Alien looking things pulsing gently past, graceful, very different to my world. The guide in Palau said they had lost their stings because they didn’t need them for protection. An oik from New York put one on his head for a photo op and the jelly stung his lip. Shame! He complained to the guide.

I’ve no idea what species these Trat visitors are – from the complex mosaic of colours perhaps there are many.

If you are in the area have a look! And send this blog a photo or two?

Best wishes from stuck in a Bangkok power cut (not jelly watching in Trat)


PS For a glimpse of the jellies check the Bangkok Post website

Thai Days: Tiger cubs – not born to be wild

October 28, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog reports that a man driving a pickup truck with sixteen tiger cubs has been apprehended in Khon Kaen province. The cubs aged between six weeks and two months had embarked (involuntarily) in Bangkok. The driver, who has yet to reveal their intended final destination, was paid a paltry 15,000 baht. Just a gopher. What is most important is not where the cubs came from (somebody’s breeding them in Bangkok but that wouldn’t be the first time) but where they were going to.

I’ll keep you posted!

Cheers from Bangkok!


Wildlife Trust of India

October 26, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog suggests that if you are interested in India and wildlife conservation in India you give this website more than a fleeting glance. I met Vivek, the driving engine a long time ago and liked him at first sight. I like Vivek and what he’s accomplishing, still!

To quote my wife who just bumped into Vivek in Bhutan during a tiger conservation conference several million miles above sea level, “This is the website of the Wildlife Trust of India led by Vivek.
It looks like a seriously active organization!”

Have a look at…

Thai Days: Deep South Tak Bai travel advisory

October 25, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that visitors to Thailand avoid travel in the deep south particularly today – the eighth anniversary of the Tak Bai army crackdown on Islamic separatist demonstrators. Tak Bai was a case of over kill, quite literally. 85 demonstrators died, 78 of them due to suffocation in overcrowded vehicles transporting them to detention centres. There has been a guerrilla war ever since with shootings, school burnings, the occasional beheading, car bombs etc. In recent days the terrorist incident rate has risen sharply and although police and army are currently on extra-high alert there is likely to be trouble.

Stay away chaps! This is not your business, not your war!

Enjoy the rest of Thailand which is, thankfully, peaceful.

PS: General Boonlert Kaewprasit, leader of the anti-government Pitak Siam movement has caused a few ripples with his announcement that he’d “love to see a coup because…this puppet government is here to rob the country.” Thailand, historically, has been prone to coups but I don’t see this one being remotely likely.

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