Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Road For Western Wednesday...!

Even the great projects of the western days were more often than not held up by politics. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about!


Congress authorizes survey of Cumberland Road

Congress authorizes surveying to begin for the construction of the Cumberland Road, which sped the way for thousands of Americans heading west.

Four years earlier, Congress had recognized the importance of building a network of national roads to facilitate western immigration. The 1803 act that admitted Ohio into the Union included a provision setting aside money from the sale of public lands to use in “laying out, opening, and making roads.” By 1806, enough funds had accumulated to begin surveying a proposed national road from Cumberland, Maryland, through the Appalachian Mountains to Wheeling, Virginia, on the Ohio River.

The task of surveying the route for the new national road went to the Army’s Corps of Engineers, setting an important precedent for the military’s involvement in building transportation routes that would be used for non-military purposes. The Corps of Engineers also built the road once construction began in 1811. Progress was slow, and the Corps did not complete the 130-mile road until 1818. Its value, though, became apparent well before it was completed. Stagecoaches, heavy freight wagons, and droves of stock animals soon crowded the route in numbers far surpassing those expected. The Corps even had to maintain and repair older sections of the road before the entire route was completed.

The Cumberland Road proved such a success that Congress agreed to continue extending it westward. By 1850, this National Road, as it came to be called, reached all the way to Indianapolis. By that time, mid-western excitement over the National Road was fading in favor of a fever for canal building. The Cumberland-National Road, however, set the precedent for further government involvement in road building. The resulting network of roads greatly facilitated American expansion into western territory, and parts of the route blazed for the Cumberland Road are still followed to this day by interstate and state highways.

Pretty amazing that we managed to get anything done from the old days to now. Involving politics seems to always slow things down more than a little .

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. We are expecting high winds and possibly hail as a storm system moves through later

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Beautiful But Closed Forever...!

Seems like a shame to have something so pleasing to look at closed and listed as unsafe, don't you think? That's the case with this subway station in New York.

Abandoned Subway Station


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Photo credit: weburbanist.com
 
Imagine arriving at a station and slowing down but never actually grinding to a halt to let people off. This is exactly the case for City Hall subway station in New York City. Built in 1904 with the sole purpose of being the glamorous station for the city’s brand-new subway system, it was designed to attract people into the subway type of transportation with its beauty.

It worked for a while. Over time, however, the severe lack of passengers and redesigned trains that made the station unsafe ultimately rendered it unsuitable for use. Thankfully, due to its beautiful look and the potential renovation cost, the city decided to leave the station there.

At the end of 1945, it was closed forever. Today, although deemed unsafe to get off at the station, the No. 6 train always passes slowly through City Hall station and takes passengers back in time to witness the beauty of this regal station.

I'd like to actually see this place, but I don't want to go to New York city to do so. Guess I'll just have to pass!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, providing you don't mind the 85 degree temps.

Monday, March 27, 2017

N.A.S.A.'s Floating Turd Mystery...!



Certainly something different today for Monday Mystery. Like all good mysteries, this one is still unsolved.

NASA Has An Unsolved Turd Mystery

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 Photo credit: vox.com

Waste management has always been one of space travel’s more unpleasant yet completely necessary subjects. Although modern astronauts use high-tech toilets, the first spacefarers had nothing more than plastic bags to tape to their butts.

This led to an interesting discussion between the members of Apollo 10 on Day 6 of their mission. While orbiting the Moon, Commander Tom Stafford uttered the memorable phrase, “Give me a napkin quick. There’s a turd floating through the air.”

Once he retrieved the item in question, Stafford asked where it came from. Both lunar module pilot Eugene Cernan and command module pilot John Young denied it was theirs. In the words of Cernan, “If it was me, I sure would know I was sh**ting on the floor.”

Nine minutes later, the trio was interrupted by another floating piece of poop. They all dismissed the event with laughter, but none of them admitted the turds belonged to them. The mystery remains unsolved to this day.

I would have never guessed that this kind of problem could or would occur on one of the space flights. Guess you just never know what to expect in space, right?

Coffee out on the patio yet again, but don't worry...nothing floating around out there!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Some Real (Fake) News...



With all we've reading about and hearing about lately is a thing called "fake news."

This kind of news story isn't a new thing at all. In fact, it was fairly common in the days of the Great Depression...namely the crash of the stock market! Exaggeration of the news, especially in newspapers, was and is a fairly common practice Here's an example...

Stock Market Crash Suicides

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Photo credit: Wikimedia
 
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 is widely credited with two things: causing the Great Depression of the 1930s and leading to a mass suicide of stock brokers. The former is still taken quite seriously, but the latter has become a bit of a dark joke. Any film set during the crash is guaranteed to include legions of distraught bankers leaping from the windows of office buildings.

But only two men leaped to their deaths on Wall Street that day. A few more killed themselves by hanging and shooting afterward, but overall, suicides were fairly rare. In fact, the suicide rate was significantly lower than the previous summer when, ironically, the market peaked. 

As is usually the case, exaggeration was to blame for this complete non-story. Newspapers billed the few actual suicides as a full-on national tragedy, claiming New York pedestrians had to “pick their way among the bodies” in the streets. And the rest was (completely nonsensical) history.

Like I said, nothing new about "fake news" other than the fact we hear so much more and much faster than ever. Still, fake news is still fake!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Close Call For Coffee...!



Can you believe that at one time, coffee nearly became against the law in England? True, so help me!

Seems that those of us that enjoyed the fellowship of other coffee drinkers and the establishments  (think coffee houses) that sold the stuff were considered ne'er-do-wells by the King. The law passed, but lucky for us, was abolished before taking effect. Here is the terrifying story for ya.

Coffeehouses

3coffee


In 1675, Charles II of England issued a proclamation to end the legality of coffeehouses. According to him, too many people spent the whole day in coffeehouses doing nothing other than gossiping and spreading rumors about the government. The law did not stop there. It also forbade people from selling coffee, chocolate, sherbet, and tea from any shop or house.

Back then, coffeehouses were centers of gossip. The phrase “coffeehouse politician” was even coined to refer to men who spent the whole day in coffeehouses, doing nothing other than discussing politics. The law was passed on December 29, 1675, and was supposed to become active on January 10, 1676, but it was abolished on January 8. The undoing of the ban was backed by several ministers of Charles II, who themselves were lovers of coffee

Like I said, that was a close call for all us coffee drinkers. I'm certainly glad that the law was abolished, because if it had remained in place and had found it's way to the states...that would NOT have been a good thing! Know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio again today. Let's be thankful that no such law has ever been passed here...yet!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Boy, What A Miser...!

Hard to believe that some folks can be such penny pincers, even when they have enough money to do anything they want anyway. Human nature, I reckon!

Hetty Green
1834 – 1916
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Hetty Green was an eccentric miser who became known as the “Witch of Wall Street”. With her business acumen she accumulated such wealth that she was the richest woman in the world. In order to save money, Hetty would work out of trunks at her local bank so she wouldn’t have to pay rent. When her son fell ill, she disguised herself and took him to a charity hospital; when they realized who she was, she fled claiming she would cure her son herself. Unfortunately he contracted gangrene and had to have his leg amputated. She always wore the same black dress and never changed her underwear unless it wore out. She moved back and forth between New York and New Jersey in order to avoid the taxman.

I can't imagine anyone living like that on purpose. Guess she was not only rich, but probably a bit touched in the head as well.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How About Some Riddles...?

Everyone loves a good riddle, right? If that's the case, let's have a few! OK?

Q: What has a foot but no legs?
A: A snail

Q: Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?
A: Nothing

Q: What comes down but never goes up? 
A: Rain

Q: I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? 
A: A candle 

Q: Mary’s father has 5 daughters – Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughters name? 
A: If you answered Nunu, you are wrong. It’s Mary! 

Q: How can a pants pocket be empty and still have something in it? 
A: It can have a hole in it. 

Q: In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink! What color were the stairs? 
A: There weren’t any stairs, it was a one story house! 

Q: A dad and his son were riding their bikes and crashed. Two ambulances came and took them to different hospitals. The man’s son was in the operating room and the doctor said, “I can’t operate on you. You’re my son.” How is that possible?
 A: The doctor is his mom! 

Q: What goes up when rain comes down? 
A: An umbrella! 

Q: What is the longest word in the dictionary?
A: Smiles, because there is a mile between each ‘s’ 

Q: If I drink, I die. If i eat, I am fine. What am I? 
A: A fire! 

Q: Throw away the outside and cook the inside, then eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it? 
A: Corn on the cob, because you throw away the husk, cook and eat the kernels, and throw away the cob. 

Q: What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? 
A: Short 

Q: What travels around the world but stays in one spot? 
A: A stamp! 

Q: What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in one thousand years? 
A: The letter M 

Q: What has 4 eyes but can’t see? 
A: Mississippi 

Q: If I have it, I don’t share it. If I share it, I don’t have it. What is it? 
A: A Secret. 

Q: Take away my first letter, and I still sound the same. Take away my last letter, I still sound the same. Even take away my letter in the middle, I will still sound the same. I am a five letter word. What am I? 
A: EMPTY

I know, I know...some of them are childish. But you have to admit there are some pretty good ones scattered in there as well, right? Besides, they are kinda fun for a change!

Coffee outside again today! Predicted high of 84 again!