Sunday, January 22, 2017

Very Old Medical Book...!

Here is an amazing fact. Some ancient medicinal formulas are useful today in combating certain conditions.

Anglo-Saxon Eye Salve

Photo credit: Wikimedia

In 2015, scientists recreated a ninth-century Anglo-Saxon treatment for eye infections. Composed of onion, garlic, wine, and cow bile, the ancient salve flabbergasted researchers by effectively combating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus—or MRSA. Discovered in an ancient medicinal text called Bald’s Leechbook, the salve could be the key in combating antibiotic-resistant super-bugs. Researchers discovered that the ancient salve killed 90 percent of MRSA bacteria cultures. They do not believe one ingredient is the key but rather the entire concoction’s antibiotic properties.

Bald’s Leechbook is one of the earliest examples of a medical textbook. Researchers believe the Anglo-Saxons practiced something similar to the scientific method with an emphasis on observation and experimentation. Scientists were blown away to discover that people were carrying on detailed studies of infection centuries before the discovery of microbes. Researchers believe there are many other ancient texts with treatments for what appear to be bacterial infections.

Maybe we should look a bit closer at some f these old books and see if perhaps the knowledge in them could be harvested for use today. Might have to alter some of the ingredients a bit.

Coffee inside again Rain and really high winds (30 to 40 mph) are predicted with gust up to 50 mph!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Smart Birds...!

I've mentioned before about crows being one of my favorite birds because they seem to be so smart. Here's more proof for ya.

Higher Intelligence In Birds And Primates

Photo credit: Mdf/Wikimedia

Several bird species, notably crows, are considered to be among the most intelligent animals on the planet. They display uncommon ingenuity in nature, and city-dwelling birds have been seen to adapt easily to human behaviors such as waiting for traffic to stop before venturing into the street.

In a 2004 meta-analysis, two Cambridge University professors observed that despite having completely different brain structures, crows and primates use a remarkably similar set of mental tools absent in nearly every other species—anticipation and natural reasoning—to solve problems. Most primates and other intelligent animals (such as dolphins) that share these qualities are social, like crows, and have large brains, again like crows, which have enormous brains for their size, about the same size as that of a chimpanzee brain.

Crows are also among the only animals other than primates to make tools, like hooks for catching prey. Crows from different regions will construct different tools for the same purpose. Another large-brained bird, the Western scrub jay, is able to remember and apply context to social interactions, such as remembering the bird that stole their food and not allowing that individual bird to see where their food is stored in the future.

Gotta keep an eye on those scrub jays as well. A vindictive bird with a sharp beak isn't one to mess with!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain and high winds call for it!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ghost Story For Freaky Friday...!

Nothing likely to get the ol' juices flowing like a good ghostly tale, right?

This one comes all the way from Scotland. The old country has more than it's fair share of ghost tales and the like. This is just one of many!


Photo credit: John Clegg & Co via Mother Nature Network

Although only ruins remain of the village of Lawers in Scotland, the site has been put up for sale. However, the offer comes with a warning: The village has allegedly been cursed by the Lady of Lawers.

The Lady, who was a soothsayer from the 17th century, reportedly cursed an ash tree. She was also buried next to the tree after her death. A farmer by the name of John Campbell cut down the cursed tree in 1895 and was gored by his own bull soon afterward. He died from his injuries, and a neighbor who tried to help him later went insane and was taken to a mental institution. A horse that was used to drag the tree away also died without apparent cause.

Sightings of a female ghost continue at the site, and a lot of visitors are convinced it is the Lady herself haunting the ruins.

Despite having a bad reputation and history, the place looks very peaceful to me. Not saying I'd spend the night there or anything, ya understand.

Coffee inside this morning. The flooding rains might be back!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Unlucky Chevy Malibu...!

Imagine sitting in your living room, watching television, and suddenly hearing a loud crash. It would cause a bit of concern, don't you think?

Meteorite crashes into Chevy Malibu

On this day in 1992, 18-year-old Michelle Knapp is watching television in her parents’ living room in Peekskill, New York when she hears a thunderous crash in the driveway. Alarmed, Knapp ran outside to investigate. What she found was startling, to say the least: a sizeable hole in the rear end of her car, an orange 1980 Chevy Malibu; a matching hole in the gravel driveway underneath the car; and in the hole, the culprit: what looked like an ordinary, bowling-ball–sized rock. It was extremely heavy for its size (it weighed about 28 pounds), shaped like a football and warm to the touch; also, it smelled vaguely of rotten eggs. The next day, a curator from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City confirmed that the object was a genuine meteorite.

Scientists estimate that the Earth is bombarded with about 100 pounds of meteoric material every day. Meteorites are pieces of asteroids and other debris made of rock, iron and nickel that have been orbiting in space for billions of years. Some are as tiny as dust particles and others are as huge as 10 miles across; most, however, are about the size of a baseball. Astronomers and other people who pay attention to the night sky can easily see them: When a meteorite enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it blazes across the sky like a fireball. (What most people call “shooting stars” are actually meteorites.) Thousands of people in the eastern United States saw the greenish Peekskill meteorite as it streaked toward Knapp’s Malibu and many heard it too: one witness said that it crackled like a very loud sparkler. Scientists have determined that it came from the inner edge of the main asteroid belt in space, between Jupiter and Mars.

While meteorites are fairly common, a meteorite hitting a car is not: A car is, after all, a very small object on a very large planet. In fact, as far as scientists know it has only happened twice before–once in Illinois during the 1930s and once in St. Louis. Eventually, the famous Knapp meteorite was sold to a collector and two fossil dealers, who broke it into smaller chunks and sold those to a handful of other collectors and museums. The car, meanwhile, sold for $10,000 to Lang’s Fossils and Meteorites in Cranford, New Jersey. It has been on display in New York, Paris, Munich and Tokyo.

I would imagine that the owner of that 1980 Chevy Malibu was more than happy to accept the $10,000. It certainly was a good deal, especially considering what the body work would have cost to fix the car, ya know ?

Coffee out on the still wet patio this morning.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Long Lasting Texas Family Feud...!

Normally you think of family fueds as something that happened long ago, but a few lasted longer than you would expect!

Boyce-Sneed Feud

In 1911, a Texas woman, Lena Snyder Sneed, told her husband, John Beal Sneed, she planned to leave him for another man, Al Boyce Jr. After hearing his wife’s confession, Beal Sneed had her committed to a sanitarium. With the Boyce’s help, Lena soon escaped the institution and the pair fled to Canada, where they were arrested. Lena eventually was sent back to her husband, while Boyce’s father, Albert Sr., a former manager of the massive XIT Ranch, helped to get the kidnapping charges against his son dropped. In January 1912, Beal Sneed shot and killed Boyce’s father in a Ft. Worth hotel lobby. The high-profile court case ended in a mistrial after the jury was deadlocked in favor of acquittal. That March, Beal Sneed’s father was gunned down, and Beal Sneed believed the killer was linked to the Boyces. In September, Beal Sneed fatally shot Al Boyce Jr. outside a church in Amarillo. Sneed went on to be acquitted in the slayings of both Boyces. (Asked by the press why Beal Sneed was acquitted of killing Albert Jr., a juror said, “because this is Texas” where a man is allowed to “safeguard the honor of his home.”) In 1922, Beal Sneed was sentenced to two years in prison for bribing a juror in a lawsuit. When he got out, he shot a man who had killed his son-in-law. Beal Sneed’s victim survived, and later tried to murder Beal Sneed (who went on to be acquitted of shooting the man). Beal Sneed and Lena remained married, and in the Lone Star State, until his death in 1960.

I'm thinking this ol' boy must have had some strong influence down the line, ya know ?

Coffee out on the patio. Still wet from the morning rain, but we don't mind...right ?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Tuesday Morning Treasure Hunt...!

We haven't done a treasure story for a while, so I figured we would do so this morning! We all love a good story about buried treasure, right?

Mosby’s Treasure

John Singleton Mosby

In early March 1863, the Confederate ranger Colonel John Singleton Mosby and his band of guerrilla raiders surprised more than 40 Union troops at the Fairfax Courthouse and overcame them without firing a shot. From the lodgings of Union General Edwin Stoughton, Mosby reportedly took a burlap sack stuffed with more than $350,000 worth in gold, silver, jewelry, candlesticks and other family heirlooms, all of them taken from the homes of wealthy Virginia planters. While Mosby was transporting Stoughton and the other prisoners back to the Confederate line, his scouts warned him of a large detachment of Union soldiers nearby. In case of a battle, Mosby told his men to bury the sack of treasure between two large pine trees, which he marked with his knife. Mosby’s raiders avoided the clash and got back behind Confederate lines, but when he sent back seven of his men to retrieve the riches, they were caught and hanged as accused guerrillas. Mosby never returned to get the treasure, and never told anyone else its exact location—as far as we know, it remains buried in the woods of Fairfax County, Virginia, today.

There are many tales from the Civil War Era about lost or hidden gold or treasure. Some of them might actually have a grain of truth to them, ya recon?

Coffee inside this morning. Fresh baked bread with honey is available, OK?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Mysteries On YouTube Video...!

For today's mysteries, let's do it a little differently. Just a small change of pace, OK?

Instewad of having to read all about a single mystery, I'm gonna show you a video that has a number of unsoled mysteries on it. See how I'm watching out for you?

I realize that this is a little longer than my regular post, I was thinking that something a little different might be welcome, ya know?

Coffee inside again this morning. I have some fresh gingerbread I'll share!