Okay, so it isn’t always Jesus in the trees

November 18, 2011

Sometimes it’s Bert, from Sesame Street.


Jealous of pizza tray jesus, other family claims he’s really in a tree

March 11, 2011

I make that up. Oh, not the pizza tray part, or the tree part. Just the jealous part. I doubt they announced their “discovery” just because the bar guy is getting lots of attention right now. (Even I wound up writing about him.) I think they just wanted some attention, too, and the media is enabling them.

So anyway, this tree in McLean, Virginia. The Nortons had a limb removed from a tree in their yard weeks ago and as the wound dried, it created a pattern reminiscent of a faded Victorian portrait.

“I noticed the hair and then the beard and then it came together,” said Bella Norton, 12 Years Old.

“I think that is Jesus,” said Lamya Norton, mom.

Because everyone knows images of hair and beards can only be images of Jesus. Like no one else in history ever had hair and a beard…

I think they’ve been sitting on this “news” until they could spring it on a receptive audience, and what better time than Lent, eh?

She said her husband noticed it first weeks ago. She didn’t want to believe it, but on Ash Wednesday, she looked out her dining room window and saw it clear as day.

“It was a little emotional for me,” Lamya said.

Lamya’s mother, Marion Alany, used to own the house before selling it to her daughter. Alany said the tree has always been there, and now she believes Jesus has too.

“I had breast cancer,” said Alany. “But everything is fine and I’m doing well… There are bigger things in life, and just to go with the flow.”

Leading the overly gullible to think maybe Tree Jesus cured her cancer? Don’t think that won’t occur to some of them. Lamya certainly seems willing to make that bizarre connection:

Lamya is now sharing her discovery with her six children.

“It’s a sign that we’re all safe and it’s, everybody is loved in our family,” said Bella.

It’s a sign that people will see what they want to see. Nothing more.

It’s no Jesus in the clouds, but…

February 14, 2011

A 56 year old man dying of liver cancer claims he snapped a shot of God in the sky over his home in Picton, New Zealand recently. Terry Bowen describes the feeling:

Mr Bowen, who is suffering from terminal liver cancer, said when he saw the image in the cloud he felt a sense of hope – not just for himself but for other people.

“I always see these things drawing me out of the house, and they’re there to pick me up,” he said.

“I feel as if someone or something is looking over me and that there’s a reason why I’m still here. When I look at things like this it adds to my positive outlook.

“On Facebook a lot of people I’ve spoken to who are in a similar position to me say pictures like this really help them.” Picton Uniting Church pastor Geraldine Clarkson described the picture as “uplifting and inspirational”.

I just wonder what part of God he thought he caught on camera. Does he think it’s a guy in a dress with an arm pointing down (which I can see if I squint a bit) or something else?

This is why people still perform Rorschach tests, yes? A picture might be worth a thousand words but most of those words will be used to describe you…

Yet another believing is seeing moment

October 31, 2008

Why does the media report these things? A while back I mentioned a woman who claimed she’d found shells on the beach looking like Jesus and Mary.

This time around, it’s a lump of what might be bone or shell that some claim looks like the Virgin Mary. They’ve put a picture up showing a sculpture’s impression of what Mary might have looked like in robes beside the lump that bears zero resemblance to figure in the sculpture. Zero.

Benedict is not very religious, so he hopes to pass the shell along to someone who is, for the right price of course. “I think I’m going to sell it. I think I’m going to have to, just to see how many people want it and I feel like some people would care about it more than I probably would.”

He’s already put listed it on eBay. The bidding opens at $24.99.

Oh, to live in a world where people don’t get Madonna Fever.

If I’d seen that thing wash up, I would have thought it looked like a fish with a bulbous nose, or maybe a polar bear’s head. Like so:

Mystery shape

Mystery shape

Yes, definitely a polar bear with the harsh arctic wind ruffling his neck fur. Actually it’s like the bunnyduck. Do you see a fish or a polar bear? Can you look at both at the same time? Do you get a headache trying?

People see what they want to see – Jesus in the clouds, for example

October 29, 2008

“Unbelievable!” says the voice in the video. Yes, it certainly is unbelievable that anyone would stare at a cloud and start filming because he thought he saw Jesus.

But, some good news that they aren’t all dummies “down under” –

Eagle Vale Anglican Church minister, the Reverend Craig Hooper, told our sister paper the Macarthur Chronicle he was keeping an open mind about the cloud.

“There’s nothing to say that it couldn’t have been the face of Jesus in the cloud but we don’t really know what he looked like because there were no photos when he walked the earth 2000 years ago,” he said.

Attaboy. We don’t. Just because that’s the image this guy wants to see when he looks at that pattern of clouds, that doesn’t make it the real thing, if ever there was a real thing.

The article also mentions,

Interest in Raby’s holy cloud follows similar incidents like the toasted cheese sandwich which sold on eBay for US$28,000 in 2004.

A Florida woman believed she saw the face of the Virgin Mary burned into the sandwich and claimed it had not developed mould in the 10 years – leading up to the online auction which attracted more than 1.7 million hits.

Bread won’t mold unless it’s damp. The toasting process evaporates all the moisture. If you box it up for display for ten years where it’s going to remain dry, of course you won’t get any mold on it. Stupid woman. I wonder how much the casino that purchased it managed to raise for charity afterward. How much would it have sold for if she’d claimed it looked like Bette Davis? I think it looks like Bette Davis.

Ganesh, the new god of gardening?

October 24, 2008

I love the stories of people seeing things in things so it’s a nice switch to have a story not based on Catholic delusions. This time it’s a Hindu man’s fervent belief that Ganesh has healed him, thanks to the god’s appearance as an amaranth plant:

Lal believes the flower’s position – growing through concrete, facing a garage he converted to a prayer space – is evidence of a connection to Ganesh, revered as the Remover of Obstacles.

A manager at a Manhattan uniform company, Lal hurt his back lifting a box and was in pain for 3-1/2 months – but no more.

“I felt that healing power that came with it,” he said. “I’ve lived a religious life all my life. I feel my prayers have been answered through the deities.”

Friends and neighbors have already streamed to his 90th Ave. home to see the flower, and Lal said he’d welcome pilgrimages by Hindu faithful.

He knows some people will be skeptical and insisted he did nothing to sculpt the flower.

Heimerle said that wouldn’t be possible anyway, because the plant is too fragile.

“Nature is a strange thing, and it’s possible it may have just done that spontaneously, but who’s to say,” Heimerle said.

Who’s to say, indeed.

(H/T to Friendly Atheist for the story)

Trapped in a world that’s a distorted reality

October 1, 2008

Crowds gather to reflect on a reflection, yet again. This time, it’s in Springfield, Massachusetts and everyone’s convinced that the Virgin Mary is making herself obvious, including the voice on the video documenting the so-called “apparition”.

Why, oh why, do these kinds of moments get any serious treatment from media outlets? At least offer a rejoinder from the scientific community. Reflection, refraction, whatever causes patterns in glass when the light hits a certain way. If it didn’t vaguely resemble a human form, it never would have been noticed at all. Just another random smudge on a window, you know?

Humans, there’s no helping them… Why is it automatically Mary? It puts me in mind of this bearded man illusion. Is it always assumed by a large number of people to be Jesus? Why is that even possible? Nobody actually knows what Jesus might have looked like anyway. Popular Mechanics made a worthwhile attempt with an article on forensic anthropology and jesuspolice.com has all kinds of cool info about how Christ and company might have really been.

Also on the topic of cool:

A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world’s first known reference to Christ.

If they have translated the inscription right, it might read, “Christ the magician”. Now, doesn’t that clear up a few of those so-called miracles? Heh. Slight of hand and smoke and mirrors and suddenly he’s the Fantabulous Messiah! Multiplying the loaves and fishes, walking on water, water into wine. Riiiight…. Where’s Penn and Teller when you need them?

Shell shock of another kind.

September 24, 2008

This is not a well written piece of journalism. It’s the written word form of a 5 second sound bite, which is what it might have been. It looks like WESH is a television station in Orlando, Florida and affiliated with NBC.

An Orlando woman claims she has found Jesus and Mary on some shells.

She was on the beach, found an open shell that looked like it had Jesus inside and a little later found one that looked like it had Mary and and Baby Jesus. She also says that she’s had nothing but good luck since finding them.

No pictures of the shells or the woman.
The author of the piece isn’t named.
The woman isn’t named.

Is this what passes for journalism now? I could do this. I could ask a random person on the street if anything happened to her this week and then roll with it. Who cares if it has the interest level of navel lint? Who cares if I don’t provide any proof of picture or name of person to verify and validate what I’ve written? Hell, I could just pull a story out of my ass and it could wind up as a FARK headline, too, which is the place I found this story.

Ah, right, I forgot Drew’s motto: “It’s not news, it’s FARK.” It’s crap that passes itself off as serious broadcasting and FARK celebrates that type of thing. FARK exists because of that type of thing. It’s perfectly reasonable to find it on FARK.

It’s perfectly unreasonable for it to have been published in the first place. If WESH.com is a serious news source, stories like this shouldn’t be ranking third in the headlines, above “Are you an undecided voter?”

Actually, that one isn’t news either; they’re looking for people who can’t make up their minds and want to ask why. I guess it has the potential to be hard-hitting journalism but I don’t think their survey of average American voters will roust out anything that hasn’t been said elsewhere for the past, what, year and a half?

All in all, that was very disappointing.

Believing is believing, regardless of what you see?

September 20, 2008

From Arkansas City, Kansas:

The image appeared at the One Stop Body Shoppe, a low-impact weight loss clinic for women, after a rain storm.

“A client was laying here looking up and told me, Michelle, you have Jesus on your ceiling. I just kind of looked at her, and she said you do, Jesus on the ceiling,” said Michelle Beech, Manager.

“I think its the silhouette and kind of a partial beard,” said Dominique Sartin, Body Shoppe staff member. “She said if it had leaked a little more it would be a beard on the other side too.”

So is seeing believing?

“Believing is believing. Regardless of what you see,” said Sartin.

And a money maker is a money maker. They’re considering selling the water stained tile on eBay. I hope the money they get for the sale goes towards actually fixing the leaky roof.

This face in the drywall, though:

John and Omar have been doing this kind of work for 30 years or more and they’ve never seen anything like this. “I’m not a religious man by any means, I mean, I believe in God and stuff like that but when I seen that, that’s the first thing to come to my mind.”

His brother-in-law is not so sure. “It’s just open to personal interpretation of what you see. I do see a face. As far as putting what that face looks like, I don’t want to go that route,” says Gissendanner.

Whatever it is or looks like, one thing is certain according to Gissendanner, “For drywall finishing this was a pretty exciting day.”

Other people who have seen the image agree it looks familiar. Many think it does look like Jesus but, Moses, Sasquatch and Charlie Manson have also been mentioned as possibilities.

I think it looks more like Edgar Allen Poe. But, I approve of the brother-in-law’s rational outlook here. He’s not swayed by religious fervor. It’s a stain that maybe looks a little like something. So can clouds, so can tree bark, so can rotting grapes.

Why is this even reported?

August 30, 2008

I’d say go look at the so called Jesus Moth article I found via plime.com but why should this silly thing get another viewing?

Cripes. Once again, people are seeing just what they want to see and nothing more. Once again, the media is willing to give someone their 15 minutes of fame for no sensible reason.

It is a natural thing for people to look for patterns in the chaos that is reality. A natural thing. So why do people insist of thinking natural things have supernatural origins? Why? Why!? Why!!???


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