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Carol the Dabbler

The WTF Thread

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Be the weird one? :D 

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On a good day she seems like a fun companion though.
I like people with unpredictable questions. I'd be more likely to entertain them with equally weird answers if I think the situation is safe.

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Or -- I sometimes enjoy taking people at face value and doing my best to answer their questions.  Admittedly they sometimes get bored and wander away....

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2 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Or -- I sometimes enjoy taking people at face value and doing my best to answer their questions.  Admittedly they sometimes get bored and wander away....

Them wandering away is usually the best case scenario, yes? :D 

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Depends!  Sometimes we get into a really interesting conversation.  Or at least a fairly congenial one.

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My brother Bobby was mowing Mom's grass last weekend, and when he got to the back yard, he found a stack of old newspapers that none of us had put there.  Even stranger, these were not assorted issues of the local papers from last week, they were all exactly the same, a color insert of car ads from 1989.  Most of them were still in a fairly neat stack by the garage, but some (also the same) had blown further back.

True, somebody could have gotten into the yard easily enough (climbed the fence or discovered that the padlock on the gate isn't actually locked), but why?  Nobody would be likely to have a stack of 30-year-old car ads unless they were interested in old cars, in which case they'd most likely either keep them or sell them to other car buffs.

So do y'all have any ideas?

After scratching his head for a while, Bobby finally came up with a bizarre explanation that actually makes sense to me:

 

They fell out of a helicopter.  Honest!

Shortly before these papers showed up, a long string of assorted helicopters had flown directly over Mom's property -- not from the military or a utility company, but apparently owned and flown by copter buffs.  (Several of them were Vietnam-era Hueys. <-- if that's invisible, just mouse-over it.)  Bobby figures that somebody who's interested in old choppers might also be interested in old cars, and might therefore have a stack of old car ads (most likely to sell at a car show).  And considering that helicopters can be flown with their doors or windows open, the papers could have accidentally fallen out.

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Helicopter is unlikely as inertia, downdraught, and wind would have blown them all over. Someone just dumped them there to be rid of them. Why they kept them in the first place is another question altogether.

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I see that I neglected to mention that the string of copters was at very low altitude, so the factors you mention would have had only a short time to work.  Other factors could have acted to hold the stack together, such as friction between the individual copies.  And it's possible (though as yet not supported by direct evidence) that the stack was originally a bundle, but the string (or whatever) came loose and blew away.

While it's entirely possible that someone came along and dumped them, why would they bother getting into someone's fenced back yard to do that?  Why not just dump them in the trash -- or in an unfenced back yard, like the one right next door to Mom's place?

Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention:  Bobby told me that one or more of the very bottom copies were a bit shredded, as though they'd been chewed by mice. While it's possible that the stack had been chewed by actual mice while in storage, it's also possible that this is another clue as to where the papers came from, but I don't offhand see where it would tie in.

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If they weren't bound together there is no way they would stay in a stack even after falling from 2 meters. At work, we use to throw our paper waste through the window on the second floor into a container that stands directly under it. No stack stays together.

Maybe someone was a newspaper deliverer and forgot this stack in his cellar, and after he found it, getting rid of them in someone else's garden might be a good idea.

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The Case of the Mysterious Newspaper Stack.

I also find it odd that it was just a stack of ads, not entire newspapers. Why would something like that exist? However, as usual, I have no clue to … any of it. As I think I've said before, I'd make a lousy detective. But I do agree that it seems unlikely it came from the helicopters. But then, a string of civilian-piloted helicopters flying low over someone's house is also unlikely, at least around here. 

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The whole thing seems pretty unlikely to me!

I was discussing the incident with my brother again today, and asked him how many copies there were.  Turns out it was only about a dozen.  I'd still guess someone had come across them and was planning to sell them at an old-car show.  But as to how they got in Mom's back yard, nothing seems any more plausible to me than the helicopter theory -- not that that one sounds particularly obvious either!

On 6/14/2019 at 2:43 PM, J.P. said:

If they weren't bound together there is no way they would stay in a stack even after falling from 2 meters. At work, we use to throw our paper waste through the window on the second floor into a container that stands directly under it. No stack stays together.

Maybe someone was a newspaper deliverer and forgot this stack in his cellar, and after he found it, getting rid of them in someone else's garden might be a good idea.

I also asked him how neat the stack was.  He said it looked sort of like it might have been a tidy stack on the garage roof, then slid off and landed on the ground -- so, not particularly tidy when he saw it.

And you didn't know that there were only a dozen or so copies, which makes me wonder all the more why -- if they actually intended to get rid of the ads -- they didn't just throw them in their own trash can.  After thirty years, who would care?  So my best guess is still that they didn't intentionally leave them there.

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Clearly, a future @Pseudonym travelled into the past. Gathered the copies. Placed them in your mum's garden. Returned to the future and is now reading the ensuing chaos in this thread in the archives with great mirth. Fiendishly subtle. 

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3 hours ago, Sheerluck said:

Clearly, a future @Pseudonym travelled into the past. Gathered the copies. Placed them in your mum's garden. Returned to the future and is now reading the ensuing chaos in this thread in the archives with great mirth. Fiendishly subtle.

Finally -- an explanation that makes complete sense!  And what a clever ploy, Future @Pseudonym!

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Oh dear. Now I'm wondering what strange thing I'm going to find in my yard....

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Oh dear. Now I'm wondering what strange thing I'm going to find in my yard....

Relax, Arcadia -- you're not related to me!

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Plus it's too freakin' hot and muggy to go out in my yard today, I might get devoured by mosquitos. Or dissolve into a puddle of gloop. We're supposed to have 100% humidity tonite, but only 10% chance of rain. WTF????

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I think all your rain is falling over here.  I've seen more standing water today than ever before, plus creeks and rivers flooding over a wider area.  And the lowest probability of rain in the ten-day forecast is 33% (on the day that they're calling "mostly sunny").

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19 hours ago, Arcadia said:

We're supposed to have 100% humidity tonite, but only 10% chance of rain. WTF????

100%? Isn't it what they call liquid air?

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No, thank goodness!  It's not absolute humidity, it's relative humidity.  Warmer air can hold more water than cooler air.  Let's say it's 75 degrees outside, so the air could maximally hold X amount of water, but it's currently holding only 90% of that -- so the relative humidity is 90%.

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I see, you were speaking figuratively, in which case I fully agree!

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4 hours ago, J.P. said:

100%? Isn't it what they call liquid air?

I don't know, but that's what it feels like. You break a sweat just walking out the door.

21 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I think all your rain is falling over here.

Oh dear, then what's that stuff cascading outside my window right now?

4 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

No, thank goodness!  It's not absolute humidity, it's relative humidity.  Warmer air can hold more water than cooler air.  Let's say it's 75 degrees outside, so the air could maximally hold X amount of water, but it's currently holding only 90% of that -- so the relative humidity is 90%.

Okay … but I still don't get it. Right now it's 86 degrees, it's pouring rain … but the humidity is only 59%. Double WTF??? :D 

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3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Right now it's 86 degrees, it's pouring rain … but the humidity is only 59%. Double WTF???

The air is cooler at cloud level, and the cooler the air, the higher the relative humidity.  (I've seen it snow at around 40 degrees, too, presumably because it's down to freezing up there.)

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Now I'm even more confused. :unsure: 

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Cooler air can hold less water than warmer air.  And the air at cloud level is usually cooler than the air down here, so the relative humidity up there is usually higher than the relative humidity down here -- which, come to think of it, is why clouds are usually up there (rather than down here).

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