Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Temporary Home For Lewis And Clark...

Since it's Western Wednesday, let's talk abut Lewis and Clark for a moment.

The folks on the expedition didn't just sit idle, but built a fort as a temporary home. I'm sure they needed some resting time and a chance to regroup before returning home. I know I would.

1805 Lewis and Clark temporarily settle in Fort Clatsop

Having spied the Pacific Ocean for the first time a few weeks earlier, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark cross to the south shore of the Columbia River (near modern-day Portland) and begin building the small fort that would be their winter home.

Lewis, Clark, and their men deserved a rest. During the past year, they had made the difficult trip from the upper Missouri River across the rugged Rockies, and down the Columbia River to the ocean. Though they planned to return home by retracing their steps in the spring, the Corps of Discovery settled in the relatively mild climate of the Pacific Coast while winter raged in the mountain highlands.

For their fort, Lewis and Clark picked a site three miles up Netul Creek (now Lewis and Clark River), because it had a ready supply of elk and deer and convenient access to the ocean, which the men used to make salt. The men finished building a small log fortress by Christmas Eve; they named their new home Fort Clatsop, in honor of the local Indian tribe.

During the three months they spent at Fort Clatsop, Lewis and Clark reworked their journals and began preparing the scientific information they had gathered. Clark labored long hours drawing meticulous maps that proved to be among the most valuable fruits of the expedition. After talking with local Indians, the two men determined that they had taken an unnecessarily difficult path through the Rockies, and planned alternate routes for the return journey. Meanwhile, the enlisted men and fellow travelers hunted and trapped-they killed and ate more than 100 elk and 20 deer during their stay.

While the stay at Fort Clatsop was peaceful, it was not entirely pleasant. The Clatsop Indian tribe was friendly, but Clark noted that the Indians were hard bargainers, which caused the expedition party to rapidly deplete its supply of gifts and trading goods, and eventually caused some resentment on both sides. Most vexing, though, was the damp coastal weather–rain fell all but twelve days of the expedition’s three-month stay. The men found it impossible to keep dry, and their damp furs and hides rotted and became infested with vermin. Nearly everyone suffered from persistent colds and rheumatism.

The expedition departed for home from soggy Fort Clatsop on March 23, 1806. The region they explored later became the state of Oregon–Lewis and Clark’s journey strengthened the American claim to the northwest and blazed a trail that was followed by thousands of trappers and settlers.

Can you imagine what those days must have been like...seeing sights never seen by white men before and having a first hand view of the Pacific Ocean? Exciting times I would imagine!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, before the cold front moves in!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Shrimp Just Showing Off...!

Nature can come up with some fancy camouflage for her critters, but She also can dress them up nice and pretty as well.

This guy doesn't seem to fear that he may be attacked or eaten, so he just lets it all hang out! Kind of in your face, isn't it?

Emperor Shrimp

The tiny, colorful emperor shrimp looks looks more like a piece of candy than a living thing, but its striking color serves a very important purpose . . . actually, we have no idea why they’re so colorful, despite the fact that they’ve been studied since 1967. It’s possible that they just have no need for camouflage. Emperor shrimp live almost exclusively on the backs of a type of sea slug known as a nudibranch, specifically the Hexabranchus marginatus, which has few predators because it absorbs toxins from its food. There’s really nothing out there that would attack them anyway, so maybe they’re just showing off.

To me, it looks like the white on his body could almost be lace. Certainly is eye-catching, don't you think?

Coffee in the kitchen once again!

Monday, December 5, 2016

What Happened To Auto Polo...?

Today's mystery is a question...what caused the end of Auto Polo?

I mean, it's similar to the destruction derby' right? Maybe it was a case of common sense finally setting in, but I doubt it!

Auto Polo

Photo credit: Bain News Service

In 1912, a Kansas Ford dealer held what he hoped would be the first of many sporting matches with an eye toward generating business. It was held between the two inaugural teams, the Grey Ghosts and the Red Devils, of America’s newest sport: Auto Polo. It was played pretty much exactly as one might expect, like traditional polo but with cars instead of horses.

As cars were initially marketed as a replacement for horses, this makes a strange sort of sense. In this first match, held in a Kansas alfalfa field, two teams of three men competed: two men to drive the car and one to swing a giant mallet at a basketball-sized rubber ball. Despite (or perhaps because of) the likelihood of crashes, injuries and deaths, the sport skyrocketed in popularity for the next several decades, with the last matches taking place in the mid-1950s.

Seems to me that we take part in equally dangerous sports today. It might be fun to catch one of the old Auto Polo matches for a change. I'm sure that the horses would appreciate having a replacement

Coffee in the kitchen again today. Wet and chilly outside!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Funnies...

Let's have some cartoons today. Haven't had any for a while.

And one more...

Kinda fun seeing the older ones again, don't ya think?

Coffee in the kitchen where it's nice and warm!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Something Fishy Here...!

This critter belongs in it's own horror show!

It's scary all the way through and I can imagine having nightmares if I caught one or even saw it in person!

Bobbit Worm

There’s nothing about the bobbit worm that isn’t grotesque or morbid. Even its name came from a court case in 1993, involving a woman named Lorena Bobbitt, a knife, and . . . something else that looks like a worm. Equal parts Tremors Graboid and unholy hellspawn, the bobbit worm can grow up to three meters long (10 ft). It burrows into the sea bed, leaving a small portion of itself above the surface. When a fish wanders by, the worm lunges out, snags the fish with its massive pincers, and drags it underground.

Most specimens haven’t been found in the ocean—but accidentally stowed away in saltwater aquariums. They hitchhike into the aquarium in rocks and gravel taken from the ocean, then slowly grow under the radar. In 2009, a giant bobbit worm was found in Blue Reef Aquarium in England. It was noticed when the aquarium workers took apart the tank to figure out why all their fish were disappearing.

This is NOT something I want in my aquarium at home, let me tell ya! It would weird me out!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's chilly outside!

Friday, December 2, 2016

How Crazy Is Crazy Enough...?

At some level, every killer is crazy. That's my opinion, anyway.

I'm not talking about killing in time of war, but everyday, run of the mill murders! I'll never understand what drives folks liker this.

Amy Archer-Gilligan

Archer-Gilligan, who’s also the basis of Joseph Kesselring’s “Arsenic and Old Lace,” is believed to be responsible for the deaths of her two husbands, plus close to 20 residents at the convalescent home she ran. (Some estimates claim she may be responsible for many more deaths.)

The breadth of Archer-Gilligan’s suspected killings led The Hartford Courant to re-dub the Archer Home for the Elderly and Infirm as the “Murder Factory.” The paper reported that “between 1907 and 1916, 60 residents died at the home, 48 of them in the prior 5 years alone.” All of her victims were male.

However, Franklin Andrews’ demise led authorities to become suspicious of Archer-Gilligan. On the day of his death, the 61-year-old was seen working on the lawn; by night he was mysteriously dead. After the media got on the case, Andrews was exhumed, where officials discovered elevated amounts of arsenic in his system. Then her second husband and four residents were exhumed—and they found arsenic or strychnine poisoning at play in their systems as well.

Though she was originally sentenced to death for Andrews’ death,“the verdict was eventually reversed on a technicality and during a second trial she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment,” the New York Times wrote. In 1924 she Archer-Gilligan was deemed insane and sent to a hospital, where she died in 1962 at 89.

I reckon this lady just didn't like men, especially older men. If you ask me, she was just plain bat-shit crazy(pardon the French)!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, but you'll need a jacket!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Yellow Balloon Mystery...!

Sometimes the simplest things turn into a major mystery. That's the case with this next story!

Yellow Cuban Balloons

In 1967 during the Cold War, a crate was discovered floating off the coast of Florida, near Hallendale. It contained seven inflated yellow balloons and was addressed to the institute of mineral resources in Cuba, from Leningrad.

Investigations revealed that the crate had been floating in the ocean for at least eight weeks, and there was only air in the balloons. There was no indication of toxic substances inside or surrounding the balloons. A similar but empty crate was found 217 kilometers (135 mi) away, off Marathon. Both boxes were marked as weighing 50 kilograms (110 lb), but the balloon-filled crate weighed only 14 kilograms (30 lb).

The Coast Guard wasn’t convinced that it was all a hoax. The purpose of these balloons, why they were inflated, or how they ended up floating in the ocean remains a mystery.

This seems to be another tale of the sea that will remain a mystery forever. I certainly don't have any answer for it.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning!