In This Week’s Show, episode 257, we dive into the spooky, scary, skeletons in Planet X’s murder closet!
Join us tonight at 6:30pm Mountain Standard time (Denver) for another rousing episode of 4 More Beers, our free-to-patrons second show! We’ll be recording live, having beers, and chatting with you on the YouTubes! If you want a link visit https://patreon.com/w4w where for as little as a buck a show you’ll get to hear me talk about Planet Hole 9 and get a link to the live show later tonight!
Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Makemake hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying their patience!
Shea’s Life Lesson
This week I learned that when you fall off your parents insurance, it’s basically the same as your manufacturer’s warranty expiring.
Jenn’s Actual Lesson
Did you know that Aleistair Crowley (aka The Beast, aka The Wickedest Man Alive) had himself a castle in Scotland? On the shores of Loch Ness? That was later bought by Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page to indulge in lots of drug-fueled occultism and attempts to harness magick.
That castle’s seen some shit is what I’m saying.
But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!
This Week’s Beer
Budweiser Discovery Reserve from Shea
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29/409610/
- BA Rating: 3.53 out of 5
- Style: American Amber/Red Lager
- ABV: 5%
- Aaron: 4
- Steve: 5
This Week’s Show
Prezzies from Steve-E…
Reply to awesome listener Tara’s voicemail.
Hangover cures that work and don’t: episodes 193 & 194
Update from Jenn: I learned this week on Dan’s Cummings Time Suck Podcast that there is a remaining group of Lemurians still around. They’ve moved into hidden caverns within Mt. Shasta.
The Dark Side of Planet 9!
We’re not strangers to the mysterious 9th planet. Some say it inhabits the outermost rim of the solar system, beyond the smallest-still-a-planet-if-you-ask-me Pluto where, somehow, it’s warm enough for lizard people to live.
Others suggest that it orbits the sun perpendicularly to the rest of the planets in the solar system. The idea being that its orbital plane is roughly 90 degrees off of the sun’s equatorial horizon. To give you an idea of just how far off axis that is, the most steeply tilted known objects are Eris, a dwarf planetoid at 44.0445 degrees, nearly twice that of “make make” whose orbital inclinations is about 29 degrees.
Fun fact, the discovery of Makemake is part of what contributed to downgrading Pluto from a planet to a sad ball of frozen rock no one gives a shit about.
Oh yeah, this is a science story… mostly.
Interestingly, Makemake has a radius of about 444.28 miles, is the second largest known object in the Kepler belt, has a 309 year… year, and one moon. Makemake, actually pronounced mah-kee-mah-kee, is also the god of fertility and creator of humans in the Rapa Nui mythology. Before its discovery was publicly announced the planetoid was given the codename “Easterbunny” as it was found shortly after Easter.
Looks at your phone now to see an orbital diagram of Makemake
So, why does all of this matter?
For starters, it’s interesting. But for our story, it’s a fun introduction to the discovery that Planet X is actually black hole X!
Our Solar System Might Have a Black Hole From the Dawn of the Universe
Black hole news: Planet Nine could be black hole left over from the Big Bang
The Express also went with
Planet 9 breakthrough: Is the mystery Planet Nine actually a black hole?
Wonder what Betteridge would have to say about that…
Planet 9 may not be a planet at all, but rather a ‘primordial black hole,’ shocking study suggests
Sadly, Discover Magazine says
Planet Nine Might Be a Black Hole the Size of a Baseball
NBC News went with
Our solar system’s mysterious ‘Planet 9’ may actually be a tiny, ancient black hole
A new theory suggests that a so-called primordial black hole may lurk beyond Neptune in the outer solar system.
The Metro.co.uk went with
The Sun thought the headline could use a few facts, so they went with
X FACTOR Mysterious Planet X may be black hole that’s ’10 times heavier than Earth but the size of a bowling ball’ on edge of our Solar System
And a bazillion other sites came up with similar headlines all of which were just as silly.
A few managed to be a little less shit…
Popular Mechanics said
If Planet 9 Is Actually a Black Hole, It Completely Changes How We Understand Our Universe
So, do we have a doomsday black hole circling the Sun waiting to collide with whichever poor planet it’s lopsided orbit intersects with?
No, of course not.
Most astronomers refer to Planet Nine as “Planet X” and assume it would have a mass between 5 and fifteen times that of Earth and lies between 45 and 150 billion kilometers from the Sun (roughly Neptune’s distance).
Recently a group of scientists suggested that Planet X may not be the mythical home of our space-nazi dopleganers, but instead be a basketball sized black hole. If it were a planet-mass blackhole, the researchers suggest it would be surrounded by a billion miles of gravitational debris and would release gamma ray flashes that would allow its detection.
Published on the preprint website arXiv, two scientists suggest the otherwise undetectable hole wouldn’t be a collapsed star but a primordial black hole sized “somewhere between a baseball and a bowling ball,” said Jakub Scholtz, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology at Durham University in the United Kingdom, and one of the authors of the new study.
Though they have not been directly observed a primordial black hole is one thought to have been developed shortly after the Big bang when density fluctuations across the early universe created small, super-dense pockets of matter.
“Sometimes they’re said to be relics of the Big Bang,”
said study co-author James Unwin, a theoretical particle physicist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lizard aliens aside the idea of planet 9 comes up as we track “trans-Neptunian objects” or clusters of asteroids and comets in the Kuiper Belt whose highly elliptical paths suggest the gravitational influence of an object roughly 15 times as massive as Earth.
So how do we know it’s a primordial black hole? Short answer, we don’t.
Scholtz and Urin posed the question as a hypothetical. The idea being that we have some evidence of the odd behavior of things in the Kepler Belt, but no evidence of a planet. So what’s something that could effect the same force but not be detectable? A black hole of course. And that’s the length of it. They published a “what if” to get people thinking. “By saying it’s a planet and looking for it as if it’s a planet, you’re limiting the tools you use to actually search for this thing,” says Unwin.
So there ya go. What if it were a black hole?
Well, for one answer
“We have a lot of problematic nuclear waste, and that’s a good place to dump it,”
jokes Unwin. (Both Scholtz and Unwin admit that launching nuclear waste out of Earth’s atmosphere poses problems of its own.)
“Maybe not the best plan, but it’s a fun thought,”
The last of these quotes comes from PopMech, who actually did a pretty good job of ending with “it’s all a thought experiment.”
Show Story – The True Terror Behind Trick or Treating!
It’s week two of October so it’s time for the next installment of our Halloween-creep-o-thon!
Since Shea has fled the country I’m putting off the story I had planned until his return. Since he’s so easily frightened, I decided to use this week to discuss trick or treating, the good, the bad and the ignorantly embellished.
I pick this also because it’s easier to discuss things that have actually happened in real life when it’s only Steve and Aaron. Shea likes the fanciful tales, Steve less so.
To start things off, what is one of the, if not THE, best thing about being a kid for Halloween? I’ll hear a few answers, but dressing up for trick or treating is the right one.
For those of us who were little kids in the late 70s, ALL the 80s and/or early 90s in the US, however, there was a new and insidious threat infecting the country, spreading chaos and fear… That’s right, the newly formed, politicized religious right. And one of their loudest drums to beat was that of the Satanic Panic, with bloody-thirsty, devil-worshipping cults and their ilk lurking inside every cereal box and afterschool program.
I may do an in depth story on this looney 80’s craze one of these days, but for today I’m mainly referencing how the ignorant zealots tried to leech every drop of fun out of Halloween, trick or treating included. Since minions of Satan were legion in suburbia, every piece of candy, every block of your neighborhood, every household pet, was soon to be infested with evil, poison and possibly sacrificed.
There was the repeated tales of razor blades in candy apples, pins and needles shoved into chocolates, angel dust on your Dip n Sticks… Everyone knew someone who knew someone who knew a kid who gushed a geyser of blood after a huge bite of Kit Kat con Gilette. Animal shelters were said to not adopt out black cats or dogs during the month of October because they would be sacrificed.
But back to treats, according to one of the Chick Tracts my dad brought me from the prison chaplan where he worked, there were special potions and spells put on candies handed out by cult members that would lower the children’s resistance to Satan’s influence. Of course some were just poisoned to kill them, but they had to recruit too.
I’m not kidding, I actually found a pic of those specific panels:
Now Jack Chick had an unbelievable hard-on for the Satanic Panic in all its forms. As far as Halloween was concerned, per Chick, it was created by Druids who worshipped the entity Samhaim and sacrificed children on Halloween if the kids’ families were too poor to give them bribes or something. Then they would put a jack-o-lantern with a candle made of human fat by the door so other murder-Druids would know they had been skinned already. Thus was born Satan’s holiday!
None of this is true of course: Samhaim was one of the 4 major holidays/festivals/changing of the seasons of early Celtic peoples (predating Christianity by… a lot) and not an entity. It was a harvest festival and celebration, not a prequel to The Purge.
Now it WAS in Ireland (home of many of these dirty pagans) where the idea of trick or treating seems to have first appeared, but it was in the past few centuries not back into antiquity. In a harvest-time custom, children and the poor would go from home to home to beg for food donations, or ‘treats’. Usually something like apples, small pies, things like that.
Nary a sacrificed victim to be found.
Of course, anytime Christianity bulldozes its way into a culture and appropriates the existing holidays and customs there is some loss of detail and nuance, but I’m fairly certain carved pumpkins didn’t originate with human-fat candles.
So back to treat or treating in the modern era. Were we 80s kids mutilated and scarred by the hundreds due to the resurgence of druidic devil worshippers and their weapons of very, very small scale destruction? Pretty much not really.
This isn’t to say that a kid never got a pretty bad trick played on him while candy hunting. Almost all were pranks being played by another kid or sabotaged for attention by the candy-owner himself. Since 1959 there have been around 80 accounts of sharp objects put into candy with supposed harmful intentions, but have almost all been chalked up to pranks or hoaxes. In fact, until the year 2000 there hadn’t been a single proven case of candy handed out at Halloween causing a child harm. It was in that year that 49 yr old Minneapolis asshole James Joseph Smith admitted to putting pins in all the candy bars he handed out. Dick move, Jim. But in this case, there were only a few cut mouths and lessons learned about knocking on the door of the weird middle-aged bachelor in the neighborhood.
(One quick aside, in 1970 a 5yr child died suddenly and the family turned over a bag of Halloween candy laced with heroin. Turns out, however, it was a cover up by the family after the little kid accidentally found his uncle’s drug stash.)
Now, I’m not sure if you noticed my wording in the previous story, but there has been one fatality of a child from Halloween candy. (So yes, warning now, the remainder of my story is a case that involves the death of a child, so if you’d rather not hear that sort of thing you can skip the show chapter to next week’s beer. No gratuitous or gruesome details will be covered, for those of you staying with me.) It was 1974 in Pasadena, TX and 8yr old Timothy O’Bryan was out trick or treating with his 5 yr old sister, father and a neighborhood man and his son. The kids had a successful haul and when Timothy and his sister returned home there was the time-honored tradition of ‘dump it all out on the floor and dig around in it to see what you got’. Their dad, 30yr old Ronald O’Bryan, said that each kid could have one piece of candy before bed and pointed out the enormous, 22in long pixie sticks each had in their piles.
These candies were not just unusual because of their size but because of how they had gotten them. While the little group was out they had approached a house where they received no answer, but Ronald had hung back after the others walked away. When he finally caught up he had a number of the giant pixie sticks. Per investigationdiscovery.com, according to Ronald “he had stumbled upon “some rich neighbors” who gave him the “expensive treats.”
The ID article goes on “O’Bryan distributed a giant straw to each of the three kids. He later gave one to Bates’ daughter, who had stayed behind, and another to a 10-year-old boy from the O’Bryans’ church they encountered while out trick-or-treating”.
Now back home, Ronald urges his kids to try the pixie stick as their one treat before bed. Fortunately, little Elizabeth was a headstrong girl and chose a different candy but Patrick did as his father suggested and took the pixie stick. He didn’t finish it, though, complaining it had a bad, bitter taste.
As I’m sure you have guessed, Ronald is a fucking monster and had passed out cyanide-laced candy to 5 children that Halloween night. Timothy O’Bryan died within just a few hours of ingesting the candy. It turns out he would not have been the only one, as the neighbor’s son had tried to eat his pixie stick that night, but was unable to pry off the staple that Ronald had used to reseal the plastic after putting in the poison. Luckily for the other children, the cyanide worked quickly enough on poor Timothy that police were able to confiscate the other packages before they were eaten.
Not only was Ronald a heartless monster, he was also a fucking idiot. It was discovered there were substantial life insurance policies out on his children, so he decides to poison them and 3 other kids to make it appear “random”. Or maybe a shadowy group of “rich neighbors” would be blamed? (It seems he was barely able to contain his eagerness for the kids to eat the poisoned candy, so subtleness was definitely not a strong suit. ) When interrogated about the home that gave out the pixie sticks (to him alone, you recall), he claimed he only saw an arm.
After several days he suddenly decided to blame another neighbor who turned out to have an air-tight alibi, as he was on shift that night as an air traffic controller (they don’t mess around with knowing which shifts are covered). By this point the detectives had had enough of his bullshit. Again from ID: “They (the detectives) began digging into the optician’s past and discovered he had been fired from an astounding 21 jobs over 10 years. He was also struggling with major financial issues, including $100,000 of debt. The possibility that money could be a motive for Timothy’s murder became crystal clear after investigators uncovered life insurance policies totaling $60,000 O’Bryan recently had taken out on his son and daughter.
“I found an adding machine tape,” said Nassif, the former Pasadena detective sergeant. “It had all of his bills written out next to the numbers on an adding machine tape. It came to almost the exact amount of what he stood to collect.” Detectives later found out O’Bryan called insurers the morning after his son died to find out about claiming a payout.
He also appears to have asked anyone who stood still long enough to hear him about the lethalness of cyanide, what was the more poisonous out of different types, the best way to administer them, etc.
Well, O’Bryan never did admit to it. His wife and the children’s mother claimed she had no idea about his plan and testified against him. He was found guilty in 1976 after jurors deliberated an entire 45 MINUTES. Yeah, there wasn’t much doubt there. He was sentenced to death, dying by lethal injection in 1984. (Last meal: steak, fries, peas, and Boston cream pie, because in addition to be a monster and an idiot, he was the most boring steak and potatoes chump.)
Side note: some news outlets at the time and sometimes even now he is referred to as ‘The Candy Man’. This is not to be confused with the serial killer (also from Texas) Dean Corll who is by far the more infamous ‘Candy Man’. Seriously, he was killed in 1973, just before Timothy was poisoned, and his crimes began to come to light. Ronald may have been a boring, stupid monster, but Corll was in a league of awful above and beyond.
You know I love me some true crime, but I won’t be getting into his crimes EVER. Texas just needed to be more creative when naming murderers.
So there you have it, some history, mystery and Texas justice regarding trick or treating. In a nutshell, talk to strangers, don’t eat candy from your family and if you ever see a Chick Tract, read it. It’s comedy gold.
Next Week’s Beer
Cannoneer – Pegasus City Brewery
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/51047/313204/
- Untappd: 3.67/5
- Style: Bold Amber
- ABV: 7.4%
Ocean Cleanup Makes History by Successfully Collecting First Plastic From Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Ocean Cleanup Makes History by Successfully Collecting First Plastic From Great Pacific Garbage Patch
After one year of testing, The Ocean Cleanup organization announced this week that their System 001/B vessel is successfully capturing and collecting plastic debris.
The patch is a massive island of trash drifting halfway between California and Hawaii. Over a trillion pieces of debris have collected there because of the swirling vortex of current—a floating mass roughly twice the size of Texas.
After discovering the patch in the 90s, scientists said it would take thousands of years to clean it up—but Slat quickly made a name for himself after he presented a TEDx talk in which he claimed that he could do it in less than ten
Slat dropped out of college so he could bring his plans to life. In addition to crowdfunding $2.2 million for his idea
“After beginning this journey seven years ago, this first year of testing in the unforgivable environment of the high seas strongly indicates that our vision is attainable and that the beginning of our mission to rid the ocean of plastic garbage, which has accumulated for decades, is within our sights,” said Slat.
“Our team has remained steadfast in its determination to solve immense technical challenges to arrive at this point. Though we still have much more work to do, I am eternally grateful for the team’s commitment and dedication to the mission and look forward to continuing to the next phase of development.”
Learn more and hear from the scientists: https://youtu.be/e-fI4ahyHNg
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