This is True
Randy Cassingham

Randy Cassingham’s Blog

Historical Details and Author’s Notes from This is True®
— Weird News Online Since the Internet’s Dark Ages.

  Loyalty Oath

I have quite a bit to say about the lead story this week. Let’s start with the story, from the 23 November 2014 issue:

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  My New Hobby

My New Hobby ...is drones. Nah, not the things that drop bombs from ten miles up, but, basically, a flying camera.

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  Ask Me Anything

A reader thought I should go on Reddit and do an AMA, or "Ask Me Anything" event. I do have a Reddit account, but I've been far from active there, and I'm a bit dubious that I'm known there. It'd be pretty icky to do an AMA and not have anyone show up.

But after pondering it for several months, I thought I'd do an AMA outside of Reddit, and invite the Premium subscribers to ask the questions. It was set up using an online survey site so that it would be easy to make it anonymous (but questioners were allowed to leave their names if they wished), and promised to answer the most interesting questions in my blog.

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  NASA Outreach on Social Media

As a life-long NASA geek (and former employee of a NASA center), I pay reasonably close attention to the goings on at NASA. I spotted something in my Facebook feed, though, that made me roll my eyes about how not to inform the public about something that should be of great interest.

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  Florida: Really? Grief?

Tom in Nevada asks, “Given the amount of grief you give the well deserved Floridians, is there an disproportionate number of subscribers from Florida or maybe a disproportionately low number that might be turned off from the constant, once again well deserved, coverage of their exploits? Just curious.”

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  Never a Dull Moment

It’s Always Something Around Here! Last Tuesday night, we were awakened at 4:00 a.m. by screaming. Took us a little bit to wake up to figure out what was going on, but we realized it was a baby bear that was screaming. Not a good sign: they usually scream because they got separated from momma. Kit popped down to the garage to check the cats (they sleep there, since it’s a safer place than outside!), and “heard them moving around” so she came back to bed.

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  Shooters Grill

A reader seemed a bit dubious about the lead story last week (6 July 2014, Issue 1047). So let’s start with the story, and then the comment by John in the U.K.:

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  20 Years ...and Counting

This Week Marks a Huge Milestone for This is True: the end of its 20th year. It started as a bulletin board item outside my office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The first one, dated 26 June 1994, was written to go into my business plan. I hadn’t actually gotten distribution set up. As I was working on that, though, I kept writing a new column each week and, when it went online in July 1994, it was an instant hit, quickly ramping up in circulation.

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  Sometimes You Lose One

I was taking Kit to a medical appointment in town (in the next county), and there was an ambulance call. Not for us, so we continued on. Then there was a second call. Also not for us, but that meant both ambulances are now out. We arrive at the appointment, and I go in with Kit — and my pager goes off. A third call, and it sounds really serious. I lock eyes with Kit. "If they don't have a third crew available, I'm the closest." And that's not good, because we are 20 minutes from the call, and that's with lights and siren. I don't hear anyone responding, so I told her I'd come back for her and dash out to my car. I get on the radio and ask Dispatch if anyone has responded to the call. "Negative." I make the decision to order up an ambulance from Montrose, in the next county, to take the call, and ask Dispatch to get them going. And I head toward the call, which is at one of our County buildings.

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  Shopped Sleeves

Sometimes a story needs the photos discussed to be complete. Let's start with the story, from True's 8 June 2014 issue:

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