I have plumbed the depths of the interwebs, and found this gem.

It is called the Mandela Effect.


Until last Saturday I didn’t know that was a thing.

Here is the basic gist. People remember the past differently. Apparently large groups of people. The prime example is the death of Nelson Mandela–from which the name comes. Mandela died in 2013 (at least in our timeline) but many people report his death in the 1980s while still in prison. Their memories include television coverage of the funeral. The explanation for this difference in memory is that there are alternate, somewhat parallel universes, that have crossed over into each other.

People who remember Nelson Mandela’s funeral in the 1980s are from a different universe where he did actually die in the 1980s. That would be a very sad universe indeed.

untitledThere are host of things Mandela Effect people point to. Confusion about the name of the Berenstain Bears (Berenstein Bears) is one. Froot (Fruit) Loops is another. So is a portrait of Henry VIII holding a turkey leg that apparently never actually existed, except a lot of people remember it. I mention this one, because I am one of them. I distinctly remember learning about Henry VIII in school and seeing that portrait.

The concept was first introduced by Fiona Broome in 2010. Click here to visit her website. Better yet, google Mandela Effect–That’s how I got sucked in. Believers in this theory point to these remembered differences as proof of parallel universes with a leaky valve.

One theme on this tangent is that the leaky valve is caused by CERN–the large atom smasher in Switzerland.

Do I believe in the Mandela Effect?

Of Course not. Don’t be ridiculous.

Although this might explain the dilemna dilemma (click here for a dilemma dilemna).

People do remember things differently, but this is more about the brain, false memories, and perfectly logical and provable tricks that our memories play on us. We always color our memories, and we get confused. Easily confused.

I don’t think I lived in another universe where there was a portrait of Henry VIII with a giant turkey leg. I think I misremember it because of a television show, a bad textbook, or a misprint. Mandela Effect believers remind me of those Ancient Alien people. They have some data right–people misremember things, there are odd artifacts–but they come to the wrong conclusion about what caused it.

The value of the Mandela Effect for me, though, is the possibilities for science fiction. I bet someone has already gotten there ahead of me, but I see a great treasure hoard of material in the idea of sliding in and out of universes. Some of this has been done, of course, in big ways like Star Trek, 12 Monkeys, Asimov and Philip Dick, but I think the surface is only being scraped, especially if we think about large groups of people with different histories–What joyous conflict could be hatched, for example, if some people remembered the U.S. losing the Revolutionary War, while others remember our current history? Or Hitler. Or Shakespeare?

Oh, that is good. Someone who loves Shakespeare, but then realizes she or he is in a universe that never had Shakespeare.

Yeah, that is what I’m talking about. *rubs hands together with glee, then stares out into the distance with a far-away look in his eyes*


What year is it again?  Someone remind me.


Its either Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or, if you want something milder maybe Back In Time from Huey Lewis, via the film Back To The Future.  Pick your theme song.

But we need one or the other, because I can’t figure out what year it is.  Here is why.

1.  People keep talking about the movies Mad Max, Terminator, and Star Wars.  Oh, and Poltergeist opened this week.

2.  Two top candidates for President of the United States are named Clinton and Bush.

3.  Outlaws rode into Waco, Texas and had a shootout.

4.  My copy of Texas Monthly arrived and Urban Cowboy featuring John Travolta is on the cover.


I’m beginning to think we are stuck in an infinite time loop, caused by a merging of lack of creativity, nostalgia, and cultural dementia.  My sources tell me if we can find the flux capacitor and get Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick to break it, then we can return to real time.  It also occurs to me, maybe only Texas is caught in the time bubble?  If that is the case, then the fix involves Sarandon and Bostwick have to eat chicken fried steak while breaking the flux capacitor.

image from



As you probably know, Greenbean is not a superstitious person.  I trust in the Lord, and he is not whimsical.

However, I enjoy a good spooky story.  Not gory, but spooky.  One of my favorite things about pastoring was every year at children’s camp I would tell a spooky story (okay, age appropriate spooky for 4th graders) around the campfire.  My book has the word “Haunting” in the title and my new novel (hopefully published next year) has elements of spooky in it, so I really like a frightening tale.  I even have my own line of monster stories, Deep Cove and Deep Cove: The Party Crasher.

So, I give you a gift today on this Friday the 13th.  I give you five free plots for a story that I think would be frightening, or at least, freakish.  The first and the last are my favorites.

Plot One:  In the year 4023 religion has melded with pop culture so much that towns all across North America sacrifice bunnies on an altar of chocolate every Easter as atonement for sins.  A group of misfit students discover the truth in ancient writings they found buried on the “world wide net” and they decrypt it.  Eventually, they attempt to convince their traditionalist bunny slaughtering elders to change their ways and return to the true way of faith.

Plot Two:  Come to find out, cockroaches and mice are sentient and have formed an alliance against humanity and cats.

Plot Three:  During a freakish meteor storm, the magnetic poles of the earth change and everybody in North America begins speaking with an Australian accent and Australia begins to systematically invade countries in the Middle East.  Meanwhile, Russia begins growing coffee and Brazil becomes world’s largest exporter of rice.

Plot Four:  In the not too distant future time travel is invented but it is controlled by McDonald’s and the Wal-Mart.

Plot Five:  This is a mash-up.  Because the wizards in the wizardry world of Harry Potter keep causing so much trouble in the real world, MI6 sends James Bond to Hogwarts to solve the problem.  After seducing the much older Hermione, he teams up with the noble Ron to stop the ever growing power of the megalomaniac Harry Potter.  Turns out, a wand is much slower than a Walther PPK.

So there, some free plots to think about on this Friday the 13th.