Monday, August 04, 2008

Jeremy the Skeptic Presents: Pareidolia Mondays!

In order to get my readers (however few there may be) through the seemingly endless feeling Mondays at work can often produce, I present to you the first ever installment of Pareidolia Mondays. From now on, at least one post Monday will present a news story that features a case of pareidolia, since there is usually one per week (if you search news websites hard enough). So, without further gilding the lily and no more ado, I present this week's story.

A Fox News affiliate (most of the pareidolia stories I've come across are from Fox News, coincidence?) reported recently that a family in Houston, Texas is in possession of a pancake with the likeness(es) of Jesus and/or the Virgin Mary.

The mother of the family, who was not named, was making breakfast for her son when she flipped the pancake in question. Once it came to rest in the griddle, she and another family member "James" noticed the allegedly holy image. James claims to see the images of Jesus and Mary Magdalene with *gasp* their baby. Doesn't he know that's a sacrilege? An image of Jesus and his mother I could understand, but why would God choose to portray his son in such a non-traditional light?

James alerted his friend (or family member, the article is not clear) Joe about the miraculous occurrence, and Joe maintains that the image depicts Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Despite the disagreement between the two men, they can agree that the pancake is a good omen. The family's not quite sure what they're going to do with the pancake, except that they're going to hang onto it. James said he thought it wouldn't be right to profit from it.

The video to go along with the story is worth a watch, if you want to see a local news anchor talk to the family and perform her own "test" of the image's authenticity. In order to "make sure it wasn't a fluke," the reporter made two of her own fairly misshapen pancakes on the same exact pan. What was the outcome? Neither creation offered an image similar to that of the holy pancake! That's proof enough for me! Where do I sign up to become one of those Christians you hear so much about?

My first reaction to the pancake? I think it looks like Ronald McDonald holding a sack of hamburgers while comforting his big, purple friend Grimace. But, I'll leave the decision up to my readers. Here is the picture that went along with the article:

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