Friday, June 20, 2008

Weird world

Not possible, I thought. Lake Delton gone? Vanished? How could it be? Following massive rainstorms and violent winds less than two weeks ago, the Wisconsin vacation lake simply "barreled though the woods, taking with it a roadway, several houses, boats, fish and the lake bed," according to the Chicago Tribune. The lake emptied into the Wisconsin River, leaving behind only trickles of water and an exposed lakebed. Home of the breath-taking Wisconsin Dells, Lake Delton has been a vacation hotspot since it was created in the 1920s. My nephew, Brian Gutman, is working at a camp at what used to be Lake Delton. Camp continues but obviously with a hugely revised sports program. As in, no water-skiing on the lake. I asked Brian what it's like up there, and his description has the feel of other-worldly. "Everything has been out of this world," Brian wrote. "We were in bathrooms for about eight hours in one day as three tornadoes touched down within an hour. For two days it was raining harder than anything I have ever seen. "At camp we have entire roads washed into the river ... Although the rain stopped two days ago, the drainage ditches still sound like rushing rapids," he said on June 11. "On June 8, we were told that we needed to get our boats out of Lake Delton ... My understanding is that within 20 minutes of us getting notified of the original dam break, the lake was nearly gone. "We went down there today. It is now a puddle with dead fish all around," Brian said. News articles indicate the lake probably won't be restored this year but the Army Corps. of Engineers, government hydrologists and city officials hope they can restore the lake by summer 2009. While truly bizarre, Lake Delton's disappearance does not stand alone in the world of strange news items. I've collected a few to share with you during the last few weeks. How about this one? "Woman sues Victoria's Secret, claims injury from defective thong." For real. You can check that one out on Then there's this piece of scientific information of value to chocoholics everywhere: "Chocolate craving determined by bacteria." So when you're indulging in creamy chocolate whatevers, you could blame your body's bacteria for their robust appetites, according to a British study in the London Telegraph. Anything missing in your life? Has something disappeared? Could be the fault of the universe. According to the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA, "Two of the Milky Way's spiral arms go missing." It would appear our galaxy does not have the pinwheel shape we are so used to seeing in graphics but rather has two arms, according to the infrared studies. So actually, while arms are missing, it's not likely anything you need has vanished. You can find more information about this galactic phenomenon at www.spitzer.caltech.educ. Then there are the headlines about human feet washing up near Vancouver, B.C. Apparently the last one was not human but an animal's paw stuffed inside a human shoe. As in a sick hoax. But officials remain puzzled by five other feet they have recovered. Those are real. Worried about the housing slump? So are owners of a Florida housing complex. To hopefully combat slow sales, they have started a new project. "Condo owners hope clothing-optional pool will increase sales." I'm not too sure about the appeal of nude swimming and wonder what kind of response this airiness will bring. In a Sherlock Holmes-like mystery, officials really could use the fictional character's deductive skills to help them solve the case of the bloody bumbershoot. The headline reads, "British detectives hunt Cold War killer who used poison-tipped umbrella as murder weapon." A few weeks ago, another story picked up by the wire services did not help the image of Chicago's far South Suburbs. "Illlinois man orders custom beer can coffin." It's true. The guy lives in a suburb about 20 miles from our place in Tinley Park. But no, we don't know him. Oh, what brand of beer? Pabst Blue Ribbon. Finally, I ask. Why would the following study report be a headline? It's not news that "Poll says most say US on wrong track." Duh. Bummer. As I finished this blog, I noticed my little blue hearing aid had fallen apart. The thin plastic wire that goes into the ear separated from the delta-shaped receiver. And of course, the hearing aid guy is out until Tuesday. So if you call or see me and I seem to be having same old hearing prob, you'll know why. I'll update you on this next week. And of course it is under warrantee. Have a good weekend.


photo by sarah gross

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About Me

Tinley Park, Illinois
As a longtime newspaperwoman who left the business to freelance, I want to keep in touch with the world. This is my place to reach out with words.