The Musette: chocolate cake

View from the Back

A bit like little black dresses, a girl can never have too many recipes for chocolate cake in her armoury. I recently read about an Italian chocolate cake made with a particular red wine and decided I just had to recreate it, albeit with a twist. Mine was made with Rioja so I suppose that would make it Spanish!

I often find chocolate cakes that use cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate can be a bit dry but this time I reckoned the wine would counter the issue – and I was correct in my assumption. This is a lovely moist cake that, at a pinch, could be served warm as a dessert with either ice cream, creme fraiche or whipped cream.

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Loch Ness (Two Photographs) — Victor Rakmil Photography


My e-Book Nature Photography: Making Photographs with Impact is for sale, just click on the title. To view more of my photography please click on I visited Loch Ness a long while ago when it was far more difficult to fake a photograph than it is today, of what could be the monster. […]

via Loch Ness (Two Photographs) — Victor Rakmil Photography


In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be bringing you MORE of my home.  No longer am I confined to 280 characters and 2 minute/20 second videos as I was on twitter.  Which means longer videos, greater detail, expanded information on the topics.

I sincerely look forward to delivering the spirit, the history, the scenic beauty, the length and breath of my great land and will use every resource at my disposal, including family company historic documentation, clan and family archives, high definition video and high resolution stills.


Sacred Sunday: 15th Century Gothic Stained Glass

Sacred Sunday Title

With the advent of Gothic architecture, stained glass flourished as the expansion of immense window spaces in Gothic cathedrals demanded a new approach to the medium. Red and blue remain the predominant color choice and the tendency to fuse white glass in the composition allowing for more light gives way to completely filling up of space with ornate designs consisting of darker glass. A wide variety of geometrical shapes emerge as narrative becomes more important and complex juxtaposition of events are recorded in compartmental sequences.

Decorative borders and foliage become more formalized and intricate while experimentation with more naturalistic and volumetric forms appears in figurative work. The flashed glass technique is introduced, offering glaziers a means to achieve a variety of color gradations in a single piece of colored glass. The emergence of the Rose Window at St. Denis Cathedral and Chartres Cathedral, both in France, greatly influences the field throughout Europe as providing a means to depict more complex ideas as embellishments in Biblical narrative become prevalent.

Toward the end of the thirteenth century a desire for more illumination surfaced with an increase in non-figurative windows and concentric patterning that incorporated more transparent glass. One of the finest examples of this shift in taste is York Minster’s Five Sisters Windows, a remarkable display of grisaille glazing. Grisaille glazing was first favored by the Cistercian Order under St. Bernard, who found that figurative windows distracted monks from religious responsibilities. This labor intensive technique consisting of complex formalized leaf-like forms relying on an intricate pattern of lead and a great deal of painted detail and crosshatching became widespread throughout England and France.

As the palette became increasingly lighter, horizontal layers of colored glass and grisaille, or band windows, were incorporated in the figurative windows. As widespread adoption of elaborate stone window tracery occurred, figurative groupings fall out of favor and the individual figure resurfaces, but now framed by architectural canopies. Stained glass witnessed its greatest diversity in design, style, palette and sentiment during the Gothic period. This diversity in approach combined with the skilled artistry that developed with the formation of regulated guilds and a wide array of technological advances elevated the medium to a position of preeminence that would remain unsurpassed.

Charles VI c. 1400 Stained glass window Cathedral, Évreux

Charles VI
c. 1400
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Évreux

The Royal Window in the choir of Évreux Cathedral is outstanding representative of the International (or Soft) Gothic style, developed by 1400. The donation by Charles VI was probably commissioned from a workshop in Paris. The king occupies the centre of the four-panel window. Shown kneeling in a small vaulted space, he turns, with St Denis near by, toward the Virgin. The artistic virtuosity and lavishness of these panels exceed everything that is known elsewhere in France from this period.

Jacques Coeur Window 1451 Stained glass window Cathedral, Bourges

Jacques Coeur Window
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Bourges

Toward the middle of the 15th century, the influence of Flemish panel painting became increasingly noticeable in stained glass. In 1451, the rich and ennobled French merchant Jacques Coeur provided a liberal endowment for expensive stained glass to go in his chapel in Bourges Cathedral. The glass bears the stamp of Jan van Eyck’s style.

The central scene is divided into two panels. One contains the Archangel Gabriel, who is announcing the good news, the other contains the Virgin. Two further panels show the patron saints of the donor and his wife (not shown on the picture). The glass was produced by a workshop in the artistic tradition of the Paris school of stained glass, working to drawings by a Flemish painter.

The Annunciation c. 1450 Stained glass window Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, Bourges

The Annunciation
c. 1450
Stained glass window
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, Bourges

Charlemagne and King Arthur c. 1410 Stained glass window Town Hall, Lüneburg

Charlemagne and King Arthur
c. 1410
Stained glass window
Town Hall, Lüneburg

Lüneburg Town Hall conserves one of the very few examples of monumental stained glass with secular subject matter. The “Nine Worthies,” who include Charlemagne and King Arthur, were considered in the late Middle Ages as models of good government and were therefore often depicted in town halls.

Annunciation c. 1430 Stained glass window Cathedral, Ulm

c. 1430
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Ulm

After the mid 14th century, stained glass was increasingly found in urban parish churches. Enticed by commissions from leading citizens, glass painters came to towns where there had hitherto been no tradition of stained glass, for example to Ulm, where the choir of the minster was reglazed between 1390 and 1420. Around 1430-31, stained glass was provided for the chapel of the Besserer family on the south side of the choir.

The picture shows the Annunciation from the Besserer Chapel. Someone who was familiar with the output of the Master of Flémalle (Robert Campin) from Tournai must have worked on the Besserer commission.

Window with Saints 1440-47 Pot-metal and white glass with vitrous paint, 377 x 73 cm (each panel) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Window with Saints
Pot-metal and white glass with vitrous paint, 377 x 73 cm (each panel)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

These three windows of stained glass are from the Carmelite church of Saint Severinus at Boppard-on-Rhine in Germany. They are part of an ensemble of six that were originally installed three over three to form a single tall window. After Napoleon invaded the Rhineland and secularised its monasteries, the stained glass of the church was removed and dispersed.

The three panels represent St Catherine of Alexandria with the wheel and sword of her martyrdom, St Dorothea receiving a basket of roses from the Christ Child (in the centre), and St Barbara holding the tower in which she was imprisoned.

Adoration of the Magi (detail) c. 1453 Stained glass window Cathedral, Berne

Adoration of the Magi (detail)
c. 1453
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Berne

The first stained glass window in the Gothic choir of the Berne Cathedral was provided by the Ulm workshop in 1441. However, subsequent work, such as the Adoration of the Magi on the north side of the choir, was made by local artists. The design was by a painter who worked in the tradition of the Master of the Upper Rhine, Germany active in 1410s. Another of his works included “The Garden of Eden” in Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.

Adoration of the Magi (detail) c. 1453 Stained glass window Cathedral, Berne

Adoration of the Magi (detail)
c. 1453
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Berne

Transept Window 15th century Stained glass window Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

Transept Window
15th century
Stained glass window
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

This Gothic style window with fined coloured glass is on the end wall of the right transept of the church. The cartoons for St Paul and the upper part are attributed to Bartolomeo Vivarini, those for the Virgin, St John the Baptist and St Peter to Cima da Conegliano, and those for the lower part to Gerolamo Mocetto.

The Creation 1490s Stained glass window Duomo, Milan

The Creation
Stained glass window
Duomo, Milan

This stained glass panel in the Cathedral Museum in Milan was executed for the apse of the Cathedral. The Cathedral Committee, on account of a competition announcement, selected three glaziers, Franceschino Zavattari, Maffiolo da Cremona, and Stefano da Pandino, and commissioned to execute the three apse windows; but without assigning a precise stained glass to each glazier.

Artists arose from obscurity and began to be patronized by a new wealthy mercantile class. Individual artists were sought out across regional boundaries for specific skills and traits. Glass work was no longer anonymous and begins to be attributed to specific artists and workshops. Additionally, the depiction of artists and glass guilds within windows reflects stained glass’ increasingly elevated status.

Taste for jewel-like color, open space no longer constrained by architectural divisions and an increase in secular usage reflects new riches. Architecture is emphasized less as it takes on a new organic quality, foliage becomes more loose and warmer colors are used while greater attention is given to textile rendering. Images depicting secular activities such as masonry and glazing were juxtaposed next to sacred imagery.

During the sixteenth century a rise in the production of glass panels for private contemplation and personal devotion ensued, thus the narrative stained glass window now served as moralizing images. Beginning in the sixteenth century with the Reformation, the creation of religious imagery had severe penalties and glass makers had to seek secular commissions like moralizing roundels or heraldic panels in order to make a living.

Decline and Destruction

Political upheavals and religious unrest jeopardized the survival of stained glass beginning in the sixteenth century, making decline and destruction eminent. Calvinist iconoclasm ended production in the North, while Reformation attacks on Catholic churches destroyed a tremendous amount of glass, particularly in England. In 1547 the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered the destruction of all decorative glass in churches. In 1633, many of the glass factories in Lorraine, France were devastated by war. From 1642 through 1653 the Commonwealth of England destroyed thousands of stained glass windows.

Concurrent with the widespread destruction, Renaissance styles began to take precedence over Gothic style. Murals and frescoes were in higher demand and Italy was quickly becoming the cultural center of Europe. With the emergence of enamels in the sixteenth century, glaziers began to imitate Renaissance painters and applied thick coats of enamel to the surface, as if painting a canvas. Also, transparent glass gave way to heavily painted opaque glass. The more this was practiced, the more distant old stained glass techniques became.

The artistry and skill, that had reached their zenith during the Gothic period, became a lost art. During the nineteenth century Sir Joshua Reynolds and other luminaries completely disregarded the medium and continued using enamel in this vein. For approximately two hundred years stained glass fell out of favor due to massive destruction, religious iconoclasm, preference for Renaissance styles, the rise in enamels usage, and a lack of knowledge of old techniques. Stained glass was not widely produced and did not again receive critical attention until its revival in the nineteenth century.


Scotland’s End-of-the-year Events Calendar

tree in dundee.jpg

Celebrations, observances and holidays are starting to ramp up in Scotland as we begin the home stretch toward the end of the year!

Celebrating is what we do really well in Scotland, and if there is one day of the year where you’ll hear a lot of noise from us, it’s St Andrew’s Day (30 November) when Scots and Scots-at-heart celebrate the patron saint of Scotland and our national day with a holiday and fantastic events, which showcase the very best of Scottish culture.

Enjoy a lively programme of events and festivals happening towards the end of November, featuring uniquely Scottish line-ups of music, dance, food and drink.

ST ANDREW’S DAY 2019 Events:


Held in and around the land of MacDuff, the Fife town that bears our patron saint’s name, Savour St Andrews offers a range of innovative food and drink events throughout November. Events in previous years have included Get a flavour of what Fife has to offer at the Chefs Taster Lunch at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews while On St Andrew’s Day itself, top chefs from around the area, have joined forces to offer you a St Andrew’s Day dinner like no other.

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For the first time ever, Scotland will be celebrating Fair Saturday on the last Saturday of November with events all over the country. Fair Saturday is a global movement which began in Bilbao, Spain, in 2015. The proceeds will go towards worthy charities and causes which promote fairness and sharing around the world. There are over 70 events to choose from, ranging from dance and theatre to live music, some of which are ticketed, but many are free to attend with a donation.



The Saltire Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2019. To mark this milestone there will be plenty of exciting new events, alongside tasty treats at a range of food and drink experiences, fantastic live music and plenty of opportunities to delve into the past with history-themed experiences.


Head to the beautiful town of Oban on Scotland’s west coast in November to enjoy a huge range of fun events at the Oban Winter Festival, including traditional ceilidhs, whisky tastings, foodie markets, and a reindeer parade.

piper piping.jpg


The winter festivities at Stornoway’s cultural hub, An Lanntair, will take place from November – January 2020, starting off with an action-packed week of St Andrew’s Day fun, including cinema, food and drink taster sessions, a quiz night and, of course, the best contemporary and traditional music.

Paisley First Winterfest
23rd November – 30th December 2019, Paisley
Be sure to get your winter woolies on and grab the rest of the family to embrace the festivities. Santa and his reindeer get a day off on Christmas Day but you can be sure of a jolly welcome throughout the winter.

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Dundee Mountain Film Festival
28th – 30th November 2019, Dundee
Showcasing an international programme of speakers, as well as award winning films and exhibitions, held in Discovery Point, and Bonar Hall, Dundee.

Grand Snowflake Ball
30th November 2019, Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central
4 course dinner, a wonderful floor show, and dancing to a big band sound.

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Christmas Party Night
30th November 2019, Dirleton, East Lothian
Spectacular dinner and dancing until the wee small hours at Archerfield Walled Garden.

The Flag Walk
30th November 2019, Drumpellier Country Park, Coatbridge
St Andrews day walk, two routes to choose from: A Wee Dauner (1 mile) or A Big Birl (3 miles). Everyone taking part will receive a Saltire flag to carry to celebrate the day.

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DECEMBER 2019 Events:

Edinburgh Santa Run
1st December 2019, West princes Street Gardens
Santa’s will run, walk and stroll around West Princes Street Gardens, raising money to grant the Wishes of children for When You Wish Upon a Star.

Jingle Bell Fun Run
1st December 2019, Barshaw Park, Paisley
Wear jingle bells on your hats, jackets, gloves, shoes or wherever you choose, and be part of an amazing Jingle Bell orchestra! Bells will be provided. Fancy dress is optional.

haggis dish.jpg

Dundee Santa Dash
1st December 2019, Dundee City Square
We will once again be raising money for The ARCHIE Foundation and are hoping to get over 1000 “Santas” taking part and getting into the Festive Spirit.

Edinburgh’s Christmas
16th November 2019 – 4th January 2020, Edinburgh
Centred around Princes Street Gardens. The Light Night, the Traditional German Christmas Market, Santa’s Reindeer Garden, The Edinburgh Wheel, The Great Scottish Santa Run and Winter Wonderland and more, for the ultimate festive experience.

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Christmas Shopping Fayre
3rd December 2019, Stirling Castle
Showcasing the very best of local Scottish brands, crafts and fine foods and drink.

The Big Sleep Out
7th December 2019, Edinburgh
Charity event, raising money with a worldwide sleep out to end homelessness globally.

Christmas Charity Festival
7th – 8th December 2019, Edinburgh
Great Scottish Events is a not-for-profit Social Enterprise. The main aim is to organise events on behalf of Scottish Charities, and the charities keep 100% of all money raised. Over 30 charity stalls, 5K and 10K runs, Christmas Walk, Tinsel Walk, The Santa Toddle, and The Santa Parade. Great fun for the whole family while helping deserving charities.

st andrews castle.jpg

Breakfast With Santa
7th – 8th December, Airdrie
Includes: Breakfast, children’s entertainer, meet Santa, reindeer dust and selection box.

Glasgow Santa Dash
8th December 2019, Glasgow
Santa Claus is coming to town. Step into your Santa suit and join him and thousands of other Santas for a festive 5K run!

Glasgow Christmas Markets
9th November – 23rd December 2019, St Enoch Square
Lots of food and drink plus traders from across the globe, as well as closer to home, selling artisan products and high quality crafts.

christmas lights.jpg

Peter Pan
14th – 31st December 2019, SEC, Glasgow
A swashbuckling family adventure as the Jolly Roger navigates the perilous high seas and throws anchor in the Clyde.

Santa Fun Run & Elf Dash
15th December 2019, Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith
Run as Santa Claus for a most worthy cause. Our festive Santa fun run through the magical woodlands of Dalkeith Country Park.

EDN SCO st o lights.jpgSanta And The Snow
16th November – 24th December 2019, INTU Braehead
Sing along on the New-for-2019 Polar Express Snow Train as you travel from INTU Braehead to Santa’s Workshop. Dance beside the Penguin Band and watch Santa’s Elves making toys for all the children around the world.n berwick highland games.jpgSanta Fun Run & Elf Dash
15th December 2019, Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith
Run as Santa Claus for a most worthy cause. Our festive Santa fun run through the magical woodlands of Dalkeith Country Park.

Irn Bru Carnival
20th December 2019 – 12th January 2020, SECC Glasgow
Europe’s largest indoor fun fair, with over 60 rides and attractions, as well as new and exciting additions for thrill seekers, families and more kids rides than ever.EDN fireworks.jpgEdinburgh’s Hogmanay
30th December 2019 – 1st January 2020, Edinburgh
The world’s greatest New Year party with days and nights of amazing events and fun, with the traditional torchlit procession, street performers, fireworks, concerts, ceilidh, and of course, the big Hogmanay party itself.

Hogmanay Midnight Fireworks
31st December 2019, Stirling Castle
Spectacular fireworks display and hot food vendors in the grounds of Stirling matts.jpgHogmanay Ceilidh
31st December 2019, Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton
Enjoy the party with a cocktail on arrival, a delicious 4 course dinner, fizz at the bells, Auld Lang Syne, and dancing til the wee hours.

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Whether you can join us in person or celebrate in spirit, I invite you to take a look at the links I have provided to know more of each celebration and observance.

The very best to you and yours in December with a happy St. Andrews Day, a joyful Christmas and a rousing Hogmanay!





Samhuinn/Halloween in Scotland


There’s just something about Halloween’s macabre theatricality which never fails to bring out in many.

Massively popular in the US and celebrated to a lesser extent in the UK and other countries in various ‘guises’ or disguises – people are often unaware of the celebration’s strong Scottish connections. With its atmospheric landscape and array of haunted castles, peculiar superstitions and occasionally morbid history, it’s not surprising that Halloween first took root here.

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh.png

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh.

Halloween or Hallowe’en takes its name from All Hallows’ Eve, the night before the Christian festival of All Hallows or All Saints Day. But it’s possible to trace its beginnings back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (Samhuinn in Gaelic), held on 1 November, which marked the culmination of summer and the harvest period with the onset of winter. Robert Burns’ 1785 poem ‘Halloween details many of the national customs and legends surrounding the festival, many of them pagan in origin, which had persisted even with the advent of Christianity.

The eerie Alloway Kirk in Ayrshire, scene of The Witches Dance in Tam O’ Shanter by Robert Burns.jpg

The eerie Alloway Kirk in Ayrshire, scene of The Witches Dance in Tam O’ Shanter by Robert Burns.

Here are some other old fashioned Samhuinn traditions from Scotland that you might want to incorporate into your own festivities this year:

Fires and ‘neeps lanterns’  To ward off potentially malevolent entities, large bonfires were lit in communities and it is believed that this practice survives today in the tradition of carving pumpkin lanterns with creepy grimaces. While the use of pumpkins is actually an American invention, in Scotland it has been custom to carve lanterns out of ‘neeps’ or turnips.


Carved turnip lanterns.

Guisin or ‘galoshin’ – Instead of trick-or-treating, children would literally disguise themselves as evil spirits by blackening their faces and dressing in old clothes to go guisin. According to folklore, this was so that they could venture out safely without being detected by wicked ghouls. Guisers also couldn’t simply knock on the doors of their neighbours yelling not ‘trick-or-treat’ but rather Please to help the guisers’ and expect sweets in return. They had to perform a ‘trick’ first by reciting a song, poem or joke before being rewarded with goodies.

Dookin’ for apples – A staple of children’s Halloween parties across the country, this time-honoured game involves trying to grab apples floating in a tub of water using your mouth, with your hands tied behind your back. If you want to up the stakes have a go at catching them with a fork.


Apple dookin’,

Treacle scones – Once again with your hands tied, this messy game challenges participants to take a bite out of treacle covered scones hanging from ropes.

Nut burning – Recently engaged? Find out if you and your beloved will live happily ever after. Toss a nut each into an open fire. If they quietly smolder amongst the flames your union will be a good one, but if they hiss and crackle you could be in for a bumpy ride!


Samhain/Halloween is a great excuse to get out to the cemeteries….at night, without appearing to bizarre.

Sausage rolls – The Witchcraft Act of 1735 forbid the consumption of pork pastries on Halloween. It wasn’t repealed until the 1950s and since then sausage rolls have been a popular treat at Halloween parties and gatherings.




Pre-Halloween Spookiness: Bigfoot Photographed in North Carolina?


A Bigfoot research group in North Carolina has released a photograph which they say shows the famed cryptid lurking in a forest.

The intriguing image was reportedly captured by the organization known as ‘Bigfoot 911‘ this past weekend during an exploratory expedition that culminated with what they describe as a rather chilling encounter with not one, but several of the mysterious creatures. According to group founder John Bruner, he and three companions were “scouting for new locations” to search for Sasquatch around Lake James when suddenly things took a wild turn.

He explained that the group, who had been in a boat on the lake, ventured into a small cove near a patch of forest where area residents had recently reported hearing strange howls. After shutting off their engine, Bruner recalled, they “immediately heard movement on both sides of the cove” followed by a series of “wood knocks.” Sensing that something sizeable may be nearby, the group scanned the shoreline with night vision cameras in an attempt to locate what was behind the odd noises. It was then, Bruner said, that “I immediately locked on to this creature,” which he believes was Sasquatch, “and watched it for five minutes.”

He estimated that the possible Bigfoot was seven-and-a-half feet tall and observed that it appeared to be swaying side to side. Although the group were only about 50 yards away from the creature, Bruner observed that they did not feel particularly threatened by the close encounter since it seemed as if the Sasquatch was at ease because they were in a boat and not in any position to pose any danger to it. Chillingly, he noted that the creature that he was observing was not making the wood knock sounds, leading Bruner to speculate that “at least” three Bigfoot were in the area at the time.

Following the five-minute-long sighting, Bruner said, the creature departed from the area and disappeared back into the wilderness, although the group continued to hear strange sounds coming from the forest for another 45 minutes. Upon their return from the expedition, they posted some of the 121 pictures from the incident to their Facebook page along with an account of their experience. They now hope to return to the area in the not-too-distant future to conduct a more thorough investigation of the location where they think that they saw the Sasquatch.

This encounter over the weekend along with a pair of recent incidents suggest that North Carolina may be something of a Bigfoot hot bed. To that end, this past August, a researcher snapped what he believes is a photo of the creature and, earlier in the summer, a woman was featured on a local newscast claiming to have had several Sasquatch pass through her backyard. Marion, the town in which Bigfoot 911 is based, also made national news last year when it declared Bigfoot to be the ‘official animal’ of the community.

Note:  I posed this same question to my tweety followers, so I will ask you.  In this age of phenomenal photographic equipment, how is it we are still getting crappy images of Bigfoot (and UFOs) that are no different from the 1960s and 70s?  Case in point is the infamous Patterson–Gimlin film shot in 1967 in Northern California.



Pre-Halloween Spookiness: Creepy Clown Frightens Family in Iowa


clowning around.jpgAuthorities in Iowa recently responded to a call from a frightened woman who says that her family was being harassed by a creepy clown.

The bizarre incident reportedly occurred in the city of Fort Madison last week when the unnamed resident phoned police at around midnight with concerns that a clown “was trying to attack her.” Chillingly, the woman also told the cops that this was not the first time that her family had seen the haunting harlequin.

According to Fort Madison police chief Mark Rohloff, the woman revealed that the clown “had been harassing her son for the past few days, but they don’t know who he is.” In a testament to the diligence of the city’s police department, cops actually arrived at the family’s residence in under two minutes and actually caught sight of the mysterious stranger, who managed to evade capture by jumping over a fence and running away from the scene.

While searching the area, the responding officers discovered that the perpetrator had ditched their clown mask and costume under a car during the escape. The Fort Madison incident seemingly confirms that we’re now fully in the midst of creepy clown season as it follows an unsettling sighting that occurred last week in Arkansas as well as a mid-September case in which one of the harlequins threatened a boy in England. With October having just begun and Halloween weeks away, it’s a safe bet that this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing of the creepy clowns and their mischievous ways.


20 ‘New’ Moons Spotted Orbiting Saturn


Astronomers have discovered 20 previously unidentified moons orbiting Saturn, which gives the gas giant the title for the planet with the most satellites in our solar system. The record-breaking finds were reportedly made by a team of researchers from the Carnegie Institute of Science. The discovery brings the total number of moons circling Saturn to 82, which is three more than have been found orbiting Jupiter.

Each of the ‘new’ moons measures around 3 miles across and seventeen of the bodies orbit in the opposite direction of the planet’s rotation. “Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation,” lead researcher Scott Sheppard explained in a statement announcing the discovery.

As for what the moons will be called, the Carnegie Institute is actually turning that task over to the public by way of a contest in which people can submit suggested names for the newfound celestial bodies. However, before you start petitioning to have one of them named after you, there are some restrictions as, in honor of Saturn’s sizeable nature, “the moons must be named after giants from Norse, Gallic or Inuit mythology.”