29.8.15

Most Terrifying Stalker Story I've Ever Read

written by reddit user sweetmercy

A week or so before my 10th birthday, I walked to the corner store with a $5 bill and picked up a jar of Ragu for my mom. On my way home, a man I’d never seen before fell in step with me and began talking.

“Hi!” he said, cheerfully. “My name is Dr. Ramsey. I’m a pediatrician. Do you know what a pediatrician is?”

I walked along silently, not replying and fervently hoping he would take that as a sign he should leave me alone. Subtleties were not his strong suit, though, because he kept right on chattering.

“Are your parents looking for a pediatrician for you? Of course, you’re almost a big girl now, you’ll be needing another kind of doctor soon, won’t you? That’s okay though. They can still bring you to me until then. What’s your name? You have beautiful hair. I was just on my way to get some suckers for the candy jar in my office. Do you like suckers?”

Thankfully, we were nearing my house, so I ran forward, up the back steps and into through the kitchen door. I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of a very long, very scary ordeal. It didn’t take long after that for “Dr. Ramsey” to begin showing up. At first, it seemed benign enough…at least to a kid. He would drive by nearly every day, smiling and waving. I told my mom, who said maybe it was on his way home from work. But then, the phone calls began.

My dad called me into the living room, and sat me down. He asked about the day Dr. Ramsey followed me home, and if I talked to him. He said I wasn’t in trouble, but that I needed to tell him the truth. I told him no, and he asked if I was sure…could I be forgetting something? I told him no again, and he frowned, then asked “Then how does he know your name?” I didn’t know.

It turns out, that was not all he knew. He knew my sister’s name as well. Pretty soon, neither my sister or I were allowed to answer the phone. He called several times a day; at first, neither of us knew what he was saying. Then, one night, one of my brothers told us that he was telling my parents that he was going to hurt me (and later, my sister).

Things got complicated after that. My dad had called the police, but as this was before there were any stalking laws, there was not a lot they could do. They told my parents to call back if he “tried anything”. My dad then called a friend of his from back in the day, who happened to be a cop. For the next month, my dad’s friend escorted me to and from school. Suddenly, life as I knew it came screeching to a halt. I couldn’t walk to school alone, I couldn’t play outside, I couldn’t walk to SuperAmerica (sort of like a 7-11 for those who don’t know).

When access to me was completely denied, things escalated. It was around this time he began threatening my sister as well. Then one afternoon my sister, two of my brothers, my mom and I were in the kitchen. One of my brothers saw a glimpse of someone in the garage; they’d seen him too. Dr. Ramsey came bolting out of the garage, my brothers chasing after him. They ran all the way to Cherokee Park, where he lost them in the trees. My parents called the police again, but nothing came of it. The only information they had was a description and a name that was almost certainly fake.
A couple weeks later, we woke to find our dog hanging from the side porch. She was a gorgeous saddle-back German shepherd, born the same day I was. We were all devastated. The cops said there was no evidence it was him, and ruled it accidental, but none of us believed that.

His phone calls became more informative in the meantime. He would talk about who was home, and who wasn’t. If my brother would say my dad was home, he would tell him who was really in the house. He also would talk about the house itself…about the window in the kitchen he could easily open with a knife from the outside even when it was locked, and about the french doors that connected the living room to the side porch and how the lock could be finagled from the outside if you jiggled it just right. That night, my dad put in some carpenter nails at the bottom of the french doors until he could get a new lock ordered.

My parents had to go to a company event for my dad’s work. My older brothers were at Saints West roller skating rink. My sister was on the phone with her best friend. My little brother was on the floor asleep. I was watching Devo on the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. It was late. Suddenly, the top of the french doors swung inward, and in the few miliseconds before the nails in the bottom caused them to snap back, I could see his silhouette. My sister whipped the phone at the television, and we ran up the stairs. About halfway up, we realized our little brother was still asleep on the living room floor. As quietly as we could, we slipped back down the stairs to get him. We all went into our bedroom and didn’t turn on the light; this way we could see outside. We watched out the window for a while, and when we didn’t find him, we crept down the hall to our brothers’ room to look. We looked down and could see someone standing at the backdoor. He knocked, loudly.

“What do you want?” my sister asked out the window. He stepped back and said “Is this the Mercy residence? I have a pizza for delivery. Can you come to the door?” She scoffed at him, declaring she was not stupid, she could see he didn’t have a pizza, and she was calling the cops. He left.
A short while later, my brothers returned home. We told them what happened and they walked around the yard, watching for him. They came back in, and things settled down. By now we’d pretty much given up calling the cops because it never helped, so we just went back in, each of us (except my youngest brother, still asleep) carrying a knife from the kitchen “just in case”. Eventually, one of my brothers went into the kitchen to get a bowl of cereal as a snack.

You know that sensation you get when you can just feel someone watching you? Yeah, he had that in spades. He kept looking around the kitchen, through the doorway into the dining room, at the windows. He didn’t see anything, but he could still feel eyes on him, so he went closer to the door to try to see better. The kitchen lights were reflecting on the windows of the door (it had 3 rows of 3 windows), so he still couldn’t see. He stepped closer, then closer again, until he was right up to the door, then cupped his hands on either side of his head so he could see. There on the other side of the window pane was Dr. Ramsey, smiling back at him. He turned to yell for my older brothers, and when he looked back again, he was gone. They went out again to look for him, but didn’t see him.
The next night we were at the table playing crazy 8’s, and my brother was restless. My sister asked him what’s wrong, and he said he always felt like any minute now there would be a ‘boom boom boom!’ on a door or window. Almost immediately after he finished his sentence, “BOOM BOOM BOOM!” on the window right behind him. In the chaos, the two eldest ran out, but he was already gone.

A couple of weeks later, I was at school and we were outside on the playground during recess. I was swinging upside down when I saw that now-familiar blue Ford Galaxy cruising by, moving slowly. There he was, smiling and waving. He called my name, and I ran to the teacher and told her. The school had been told all about him, and she took me inside right away and called my mom. That same day my mom had gotten a call from the school office asking her to verify that my dad was picking me up, as he’d called to say he was on his way. He wasn’t.

Not long after that, I woke up one night, thirsty. I went down to the kitchen for a drink and there, sitting alone in the dark, was my dad. On the table, a gun. He was tired of the the police waiting until Dr. Ramsey “tried something”, he was tired of his children being terrorized, he was tired of being afraid every time he left for work that something would happen to us while he was gone. I sat with him for a time, watching, before he sent me back to bed.

These events, and many more, took place over a period of around 18 months. Then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. He had vanished from our lives; the phone calls, the drive-by with the creepy waves, everything. For a long time, during and after the Dr. Ramsey days, I would have a recurring nightmare in which I would wake up to find him standing over me as I slept. It took a long time before I felt like a kid again.

I found out years later that when he was calling, Dr. Ramsey would tell my parents that he was going to rape and kill me, and later my sister…and that there was nothing they could do about it. I don’t know what happened to him when he disappeared. I don’t know if he was in a car wreck, locked in prison, in a coma…but sometimes I wonder if the wait ended for my dad when he was sitting in the darkened kitchen one night. I don’t know, and I’m not sure I want to.

22.8.15

The 20 Wisest Philosoraptor Quotes

source: smosh

Philosoraptor: one part prehistoric killing machine, one part contemplative thinker. He's not afraid to ask the really hard questions about life, the universe, and everything. Here are some of his most profound musings....




















15.8.15

10 Mind-Boggling Paradoxes

source: mental_floss


A paradox is a statement or problem that either appears to produce two entirely contradictory (yet possible) outcomes, or provides proof for something that goes against what we intuitively expect. Paradoxes have been a central part of philosophical thinking for centuries, and are always ready to challenge our interpretation of otherwise simple situations, turning what we might think to be true on its head and presenting us with provably plausible situations that are in fact just as provably impossible. Confused? You should be.

 

1. ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE

The Paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise is one of a number of theoretical discussions of movement put forward by the Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea in the 5th century BC. It begins with the great hero Achilles challenging a tortoise to a footrace. To keep things fair, he agrees to give the tortoise a head start of, say, 500m. When the race begins, Achilles unsurprisingly starts running at a speed much faster than the tortoise, so that by the time he has reached the 500m mark, the tortoise has only walked 50m further than him. But by the time Achilles has reached the 550m mark, the tortoise has walked another 5m. And by the time he has reached the 555m mark, the tortoise has walked another 0.5m, then 0.25m, then 0.125m, and so on. This process continues again and again over an infinite series of smaller and smaller distances, with the tortoise always moving forwards while Achilles always plays catch up.
Logically, this seems to prove that Achilles can never overtake the tortoise—whenever he reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he will always have some distance still left to go no matter how small it might be. Except, of course, we know intuitively that he can overtake the tortoise. The trick here is not to think of Zeno’s Achilles Paradox in terms of distances and races, but rather as an example of how any finite value can always be divided an infinite number of times, no matter how small its divisions might become.

 

2. THE BOOTSTRAP PARADOX

The Bootstrap Paradox is a paradox of time travel that questions how something that is taken from the future and placed in the past could ever come into being in the first place. It’s a common trope used by science fiction writers and has inspired plotlines in everything from Doctor Who to the Bill and Ted movies, but one of the most memorable and straightforward examples—by Professor David Toomey of the University of Massachusetts and used in his book The New Time Travellers—involves an author and his manuscript.
Imagine that a time traveller buys a copy of Hamlet from a bookstore, travels back in time to Elizabethan London, and hands the book to Shakespeare, who then copies it out and claims it as his own work. Over the centuries that follow, Hamlet is reprinted and reproduced countless times until finally a copy of it ends up back in the same original bookstore, where the time traveller finds it, buys it, and takes it back to Shakespeare. Who, then, wrote Hamlet?

 

3. THE BOY OR GIRL PARADOX

Imagine that a family has two children, one of whom we know to be a boy. What then is the probability that the other child is a boy? The obvious answer is to say that the probability is 1/2—after all, the other child can only be either a boy or a girl, and the chances of a baby being born a boy or a girl are equal. In a two-child family, however, there are actually four possible combinations of children: two boys (MM), two girls (FF), an older boy and a younger girl (MF), and an older girl and a younger boy (FM). We already know that one of the children is a boy, meaning we can eliminate the combination FF, but that leaves us with three equally possible combinations of children in which at least one is a boy—namely MM, MF, and FM. This means that the probability that the other child is a boy—MM—must be 1/3, not 1/2.

 

4. THE CARD PARADOX

Imagine you’re holding a postcard in your hand, on one side of which is written, “The statement on the other side of this card is true.” We’ll call that Statement A. Turn the card over, and the opposite side reads, “The statement on the other side of this card is false” (Statement B). Trying to assign any truth to either Statement A or B, however, leads to a paradox: if A is true then B must be as well, but for B to be true, A has to be false. Oppositely, if A is false then B must be false too, which must ultimately make A true.
Invented by the British logician Philip Jourdain in the early 1900s, the Card Paradox is a simple variation of what is known as a “liar paradox,” in which assigning truth values to statements that purport to be either true or false produces a contradiction. An even more complicated variation of a liar paradox is the next entry on our list.

 

5. THE CROCODILE PARADOX

A crocodile snatches a young boy from a riverbank. His mother pleads with the crocodile to return him, to which the crocodile replies that he will only return the boy safely if the mother can guess correctly whether or not he will indeed return the boy. There is no problem if the mother guesses that the crocodile will return him—if she is right, he is returned; if she is wrong, the crocodile keeps him. If she answers that the crocodile will not return him, however, we end up with a paradox: if she is right and the crocodile never intended to return her child, then the crocodile has to return him, but in doing so breaks his word and contradicts the mother’s answer. On the other hand, if she is wrong and the crocodile actually did intend to return the boy, the crocodile must then keep him even though he intended not to, thereby also breaking his word.
The Crocodile Paradox is such an ancient and enduring logic problem that in the Middle Ages the word "crocodilite" came to be used to refer to any similarly brain-twisting dilemma where you admit something that is later used against you, while "crocodility" is an equally ancient word for captious or fallacious reasoning

 

6. THE DICHOTOMY PARADOX

Imagine that you’re about to set off walking down a street. To reach the other end, you’d first have to walk half way there. And to walk half way there, you’d first have to walk a quarter of the way there. And to walk a quarter of the way there, you’d first have to walk an eighth of the way there. And before that a sixteenth of the way there, and then a thirty-second of the way there, a sixty-fourth of the way there, and so on.
Ultimately, in order to perform even the simplest of tasks like walking down a street, you’d have to perform an infinite number of smaller tasks—something that, by definition, is utterly impossible. Not only that, but no matter how small the first part of the journey is said to be, it can always be halved to create another task; the only way in which it cannot be halved would be to consider the first part of the journey to be of absolutely no distance whatsoever, and in order to complete the task of moving no distance whatsoever, you can’t even start your journey in the first place.

 

7. THE FLETCHER’S PARADOX

Imagine a fletcher (i.e. an arrow-maker) has fired one of his arrows into the air. For the arrow to be considered to be moving, it has to be continually repositioning itself from the place where it is now to any place where it currently isn’t. The Fletcher’s Paradox, however, states that throughout its trajectory the arrow is actually not moving at all. At any given instant of no real duration (in other words, a snapshot in time) during its flight, the arrow cannot move to somewhere it isn’t because there isn’t time for it to do so. And it can’t move to where it is now, because it’s already there. So, for that instant in time, the arrow must be stationary. But because all time is comprised entirely of instants—in every one of which the arrow must also be stationary—then the arrow must in fact be stationary the entire time. Except, of course, it isn’t.

 

8. GALILEO’S PARADOX OF THE INFINITE

In his final written work, Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences (1638), the legendary Italian polymath Galileo Galilei proposed a mathematical paradox based on the relationships between different sets of numbers. On the one hand, he proposed, there are square numbers—like 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, and so on. On the other, there are those numbers that are not squares—like 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and so on. Put these two groups together, and surely there have to be more numbers in general than there are just square numbers—or, to put it another way, the total number of square numbers must be less than the total number of square and non-square numbers together. However, because every positive number has to have a corresponding square and every square number has to have a positive number as its square root, there cannot possibly be more of one than the other.
Confused? You’re not the only one. In his discussion of his paradox, Galileo was left with no alternative than to conclude that numerical concepts like more, less, or fewer can only be applied to finite sets of numbers, and as there are an infinite number of square and non-square numbers, these concepts simply cannot be used in this context.

 

9. THE POTATO PARADOX

Imagine that a farmer has a sack containing 100 lbs of potatoes. The potatoes, he discovers, are comprised of 99% water and 1% solids, so he leaves them in the heat of the sun for a day to let the amount of water in them reduce to 98%. But when he returns to them the day after, he finds his 100 lb sack now weighs just 50 lbs. How can this be true? Well, if 99% of 100 lbs of potatoes is water then the water must weigh 99 lbs. The 1% of solids must ultimately weigh just 1 lb, giving a ratio of solids to liquids of 1:99. But if the potatoes are allowed to dehydrate to 98% water, the solids must now account for 2% of the weight—a ratio of 2:98, or 1:49—even though the solids must still only weigh 1lb. The water, ultimately, must now weigh 49lb, giving a total weight of 50lbs despite just a 1% reduction in water content. Or must it?
Although not a true paradox in the strictest sense, the counterintuitive Potato Paradox is a famous example of what is known as a veridical paradox, in which a basic theory is taken to a logical but apparently absurd conclusion.

 

10. THE RAVEN PARADOX

Also known as Hempel’s Paradox, for the German logician who proposed it in the mid-1940s, the Raven Paradox begins with the apparently straightforward and entirely true statement that “all ravens are black.” This is matched by a “logically contrapositive” (i.e. negative and contradictory) statement that “everything that is not black is not a raven”—which, despite seeming like a fairly unnecessary point to make, is also true given that we know “all ravens are black.” Hempel argues that whenever we see a black raven, this provides evidence to support the first statement. But by extension, whenever we see anything that is not black, like an apple, this too must be taken as evidence supporting the second statement—after all, an apple is not black, and nor is it a raven.
The paradox here is that Hempel has apparently proved that seeing an apple provides us with evidence, no matter how unrelated it may seem, that ravens are black. It’s the equivalent of saying that you live in New York is evidence that you don’t live in L.A., or that saying you are 30 years old is evidence that you are not 29. Just how much information can one statement actually imply anyway?


11.8.15

24 Of The Cutest Parenting Moments In The Animal Kingdom

source: cuteoverload

A parent’s love for their child knows no boundaries, and this is true both of us and of our animal friends. In these heartwarming photos of animal parenting, you’ll recognize many of the same tender and stressful childhood moments that you may have also experienced as a parent or a child.
























8.8.15

Dogs In A Photo Booth

source: Tranquil Monkey


Photographer Lynn Terry had an amazing artistic idea: she put two dogs in a photo booth so as to capture some amazing moments. But she could never expect how sweet the results would turn out to be…