Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Half-nude in Portland?

Well, it's going to be an interesting weekend on Congress Street, according to an announcement that appeared in the latest issue of the West End News...
Topless March Planned for Congress Street
What is being billed as 'Portland's First Ever Female-Bodied and Allied Topless Adventure' is being planned for Congress Street on Saturday, April 3rd. The event will include both men and women marching topless from Longfellow Square to Tommy's Park.

The event is scheduled from 1:00pm - 3:00pm, and is meant to point out the inequality in the social acceptance of male toplessness as compared to female toplessness. Full topless nudity is strongly encouraged, but for the more modest, pretty electrical tape will be in supply.

Personally, I can think of a number of more pressing issues that could use this kind of attention and effort, but maybe they just want to lighten things up a bit (not many things out there are lighter than skin after a Maine winter!!!). Or perhaps someone just wants an opportunity to see lots of happy skin out in the open? Who knows...

Illustration is from an edition of Lysistrata translated from the Greek of Aristophanes with illustrations by Norman Lindsay.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

TONIGHT! Umbrella Cover Museum on TV

Nancy 3. Hoffman announced this good news about a show airing tonight on the Weather Channel at 9:00pm:
Dear Fans of the Umbrella Cover Museum -

BIG NEWS - The Umbrella Cover Museum will be on The Weather Channel this weekend! It will be on Cantore Stories at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday and Sunday nights, March 27th and 28th. It's on a segment about places to go in Maine, so don't give up if it's not the first part of the show. THANKS for all your support and encouragement!

Don't forget to join the Umbrella Cover Museum Facebook Fan page if you are on Facebook. Also you can hear the theme song and see a tour video on YouTube.
It sounds like USA Today carried a travel section featuring the Umbrella Cover Museum on Friday, March 5th, earlier this month. It's been a great year so far for them!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Umbrella Cover Museum (which perches on the coast of Peaks Island at 62-B Island Avenue, a short ferry ride away from downtown Portland), it is dedicated to the appreciation of the mundane in everyday life. It is about finding wonder and beauty in the simplest of things, and about knowing that there is always a story behind the cover.

To see a short video that Nancy3 put together about the museum, you can click below or go to the page on YouTube. Watch out -- expect accordion music!! :)

Old view of Eastern Cemetery

This is an old postcard showing a view of Portland's oldest cemetery, the Eastern Cemetery, located at the corner of Congress and Mountfort Streets.  This view shows a considerably different appearance than the cemetery has today.  I'm planning on making a trip up to the East End to take photos there sometime this spring, so everyone will have a point of comparison to go from when looking at this old piece, which was printed by the Leighton & Valentine Company, in New York City.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Maine Extreme Paranormal podcast

PIR Radio (Para Investigators Radio) hosted the local group Maine Extreme Paranormal as their podcast guest in late March. They discuss how the group started and why it has developed on its own path with the founder, Debbie Perkins. They discuss past investigations, group philosophy, methods and the equipment used to capture evidence.

At the link below you can either listen to a streaming feed of the interview, or download the mp3 file for later use.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

EVENT: Calling all zombies!

The First Annual West Fest block party is including a zombie kickball game!

WHAT: West Fest block party
WHEN: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010, 2:00-4:00pm
WHERE: Game will be played outside on the Reiche School field (or inside in the gym)

Like Zombie Kickball events in the past, you know the drill-- come on down in your best zombie get-up, and have some fun!
The annual Zombie Kickball is still TBA for this year, but should take place sometime during the summer on the East End. Zombie Kickball is looking for a new wrangler/captain/organizer/manager (loosely speaking), if you're up for the job let us know your contact info and we'll forward it appropriately. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Portland part of Worldwide Obscura Day

A guest post by Loren Coleman:

On Saturday, March 20th, at 80 different sites around the world, an international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places will be occurring. It is called "Obscura Day" (http://
), and is the brainchild of the people behind Atlas Obscura, a compendium of the world's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica.

A location right here in Maine has been chosen to be one of the special sites, the International Cryptozoology Museum at 661 Congress St., Portland, from 10 am to 7 pm. The event at the museum will occur for their usual small admission fee of $5.00 per person, but with a wide variety of extras too.

"Since the Obscura Day celebrations are fast approaching this coming Saturday, March 20th, we recommend visitors merely show up; no reservations necessary at this point," said Jeff Meuse, the museum's chief docent coordinator. "We will have staff available to assist in signing up people for the tours of the museum. We'll have special Bigfoot cookies and Loch Ness Monster treats for sale for people who
are waiting for the short time until the next tour begins. Also the unique Green Hand Bookshop is at this partner location for visitors to browse."

Here is Atlas Obscura's paragraph on the Maine event from their website:

Over the years, Loren Coleman has amassed an unrivaled collection of replicas and artifacts relating to world's famous and lesser-known cryptids, ranging from the fanciful (P.T. Barnum's Feejee Mermaid) to the factual (like the coelacanth, long thought to be extinct but discovered alive in 1938). For Obscura Day, Coleman has generously agreed to lead a band of curious souls on a tour of his newly opened
International Cryptozoology Museum.
"I think this happening on the same weekend as the 50th anniversary of my getting into the field of cryptozoology, which is the investigation of all kinds of little-known cryptids, in addition to
the better known Abominable Snowmen, Bigfoot and Nessies, seems more than a coincidence," noted Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum. "It feels like a cosmic acknowledgment of the wonder of all those new species that remain to be discovered and the hard work it took to have this museum come to life. For Maine, my home for the last 30 years, to be picked this
way, is terrific."

For further information, please email Loren Coleman at lcoleman[at] or for a phone interviews, contact the museum at 207-518-9496, Wed-Fri this week, from 11 am to 6 pm Eastern.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

EVENT: New horror with Joe Hill TONIGHT!

7:00 PM at the Borders in South Portland, ME, and another reading tomorrow, again at 7:00, at the Borders in Bangor. It's Maine's own son of horror!

As the man himself says, "Come on out, it’ll be just like seeing your favorite band in concert (if they didn’t bring their instruments, and didn’t actually play anything, and hid off stage while I read from my book)."

(photo from Joe Hill's site)


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Eagle with bells on

Yet another peculiar article has emerged in my hunt for other material through the Victorian newspapers of Maine. Remarkable stuff!
Aerial Sleighbells

"Rings on his fingers
Bells on his toes
He shall make music
Wherever he goes."

Thus runs the old nursery rhyme, the latter part of which applies to the big eagle with sleighbells attached to his legs, which merrily jingle as he sweeps through the air. The "belled eagle" was seen last week flying over Woolwich by the Sasanoa Bluff cottages. He is a Kennebec bird but makes quite often "flying" visits to New Hampshire and Mass., having been reported as seen over portions of Boston. It is now many years ago when Charles Hunnewell, now a selectman of Woolwich, captured the eagle, then an eaglet, and wired the bells upon him. He has jingled them ever since.

[Source: Bath Independent, July 28, 1888, page 1]