Monday, November 18, 2019

The Miniature Coffins...!

Many untold mysteries over time have gone completely unanswered, and remain so to this day. Here from Listverse is yet another.

Miniature coffins

In 1836 a group of boys set off for Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland to hunt rabbits. Intrigued by a concealed cave, the boys decided to peek inside. After pulling away the stones covering the entrance, they stumbled upon 17 miniature coffins, each with a wooden doll inside. The dolls had big eyes and were dressed in cotton clothing.

When the discovery was reported in the Scotsman newspaper, the article mentioned that the coffins were decorated with funeral trappings and it seemed that they had been placed inside the cave recently.

As is always the case with unexplained discoveries, multiple theories were presented to try and explain the coffins. Some people thought it might be children playing a trick, while others mused that witches might have used the coffins for rituals. Yet another theory said that the coffins may have been part of an ancient custom to give sailors who died at sea a Christian burial. A dark theory suggested that the coffins may have been set up in tribute of killers William Burke and William Hare who murdered 17 people.

The true purpose of the coffins and who placed them in the cave remains a mystery.

You would think after all this time, someone would have discovered the reason for the miniature coffins. One more unanswered tale of mystery, I reckon.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.Temps are supposed to be in the 70s.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Incubator Fairs...!

Sometimes folks have to go to great lengths to get an invention noticed. Such was the case in this next story from Listverse.

Incubated Babies Fairs

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Before the 20th century, premature babies had very little chance of survival. That was set to change when Dr. Martin Corney invented his incubator, but not many people trusted the machine. Hospitals rejected it, and investors were not forthcoming. To prevent the death of his invention and convince skeptics, Couney came up with a very strange and crazy solution. He built an exhibit in which premature babies will be put on display at fairs and parks. The first exhibit, or “child hatchery,” opened in Berlin in 1896. He soon moved to the US, where he opened an exhibit on Coney Island.

Couney’s exhibit looked like a normal hospital. He placed babies in wards and employed doctors and nurses to look after them. The only difference was that one side of the ward was glass, and people watched through it.

The exhibit was very successful. Parents brought their premature babies to Couney and did not have to pay for medical care. The customers were charged up to 25 cents for the show, and the money collected paid for all expenses. Most of the premature children on display survived. By the time incubated babies fairs ended four decades later, Couney had managed to convince everyone that his incubators were safe.

Not a traditional approach, but it seemed to have done the job. That's what counts, I reckon.

Coffee inside again, even though it is supposed to warm up some out on the patio.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

That Had To Hurt...!

You just never know when some bad Karma is gonna get you. Here is a story from Listverse that shows what I mean.

An Office Chair

Photo credit: Anorak

Office chairs have a small tank of compressed air underneath their seats that allow them to go up and down. Unfortunately, a line of chairs manufactured in China had a defect in the canisters. In 2009, a 14-year-old-boy named Xiaogang went to adjust his chair when it exploded while he was still sitting in it. Shards of broken plastic and metal shot through the cushion and directly into his anus. He was brought to the hospital, but he was bleeding so much that he died.

Since the original report of this incident was in Chinese, a group of English-speaking Internet sleuths on Skeptics Stack Exchange wanted to figure out how true this story actually was by translating Chinese news sites. It turns out that not only was this true, but several people had similar injuries. The chair was quickly taken off the market, and we can only hope that none ever made it overseas.

Sometimes ev3en the furniture is out to get us.

Coffee inside again this morning!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Frisco Gunfight For Western Wednesday...!

Most of what we think we know about gunfights in the old west is incorrect. Here is a story about a real gunfight to show what it was really like.

Frisco Shoot-Out

As far as one-sided shoot-outs go, there is probably none greater than the gunfight that took place on December 1, 1884 in Reserve, New Mexico. On one side, we had just one lawman by the name of Elfego Baca. On the other we had a group of angry cowboys numbering anywhere between 40 and 80 people.

It all started when Baca arrested a drunk by the name of Charlie McCarty for shooting his guns randomly. However, McCarty had a lot of dangerous friends who soon came demanding his release. Baca managed to fend off this initial attack when the leader was killed by his own horse toppling onto him.

By this time, word started spreading that there was some kind of Mexican uprising, so an angry mob formed to deal with it. When the mob arrived in town, Baca was holed up inside a small house belonging to a local. When William Hearne, the leader of the mob, tried to break down the door, Baca killed him with two shots, officially starting a shoot-out that would last a staggering 36 hours.

Supposedly, up to 80 people took part in the gunfight and shot up to 4,000 rounds into the house. None of them hit Baca. The reason: The house had a dirt floor, and he’d dug a hole into it, lending himself cover. Eventually, the posse ran out of bullets. When proper authorities arrived, they surrendered, leaving Baca victorious.

Guess this just proves that even the good guys can win once in a while.

Coffee inside this morning. Way too cold out on the patio.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

All Together Now, Boys...!

Nature sure can come up with some things we just can't understand. This case of the Fireflies is certainly one of them. Here is the story from Listverse.

Synchronous Fireflies

If you walk along the bank of Thailand’s Mae Klong river at night, you might witness one of the most incredible visual displays in nature—tens of thousands of fireflies blinking in perfect unison. Nobody knows why they do it, just that it’s part of their mating ritual.

But the real mystery is how they’re able to synchronize their pulsing lights. It’s a localized communication that spreads through the swarm like ripples in a pond—if you were to watch the light show from the beginning, you’d see it start with just a handful of fireflies, who found the right rhythm. From that small pocket, the rhythm sweeps through the rest of the population, until they’re all perfectly synchronized. What was chaos becomes machine-like precision.

It’s not just Thai fireflies that do it, either. The same phenomenon has been seen everywhere from Japan to Texas. All we know is that it’s a male-exclusive behavior.

It's almost like these guys are just showing off, ya know? Sure must be something to see, though.

Coffee inside again this morning!

Monday, November 11, 2019

The 3 Prodigal Sons For Monday Mystery...!

Sometimes a great mystery is found completely by accident. Sadly, when this happens, it opens up a myriad of questions. Here is the story from Listverse.

Prodigal Sons

In 1964, a farmer discovered the remains of three men in a pit grave on the flood pain of Sacramento River. They had died about 1,500 years ago, and all showed signs of extreme physical trauma. One victim had seven arrows embedded in his ribs. Obsidian blades were still lodged in the spines of the other two. This was not a proper burial. Their bodies were splayed out chaotically. There were no grave goods. Experts believe that 560 years ago, central California was a war zone marked by violent territorial battles. Fractured skulls, broken bones, and trophies made of human remains fill the archaeological record from this period.

Isotope analysis of their teeth revealed that the prodigal sons were born and raised locally, but had spent most of their adult life elsewhere—north of the Sacramento River, suggesting that hunter-gatherers had been even more mobile than previously thought. Why had the prodigal sons returned home? And who was waiting for them?

See what I mean? Just one more historical mystery that we will never know the answers to. We have a lot of those, don't we?

Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Camera Obscura For Freaky Friday...!

For some unknown reason, folks seem to have always been fascinated with crime scenes, especially those involving murder. This was a very common practice in the early 1900s. Here is the info from Listverse.

Murder in Miniature
The Raree Show

If one couldn’t make it to the murder scene in person, the next best thing was viewing a model at a fair or from a street entertainer. The customer paid the fee, put his eye to a hole in the side of a wooden box, and was able to view a recreation of the crime scene in miniature. The luridly painted backdrops (complete with the victim weltering in his/her gore) could be changed while the operator recited the story of the crime, which might also include the murderer’s hanging. At night, the scenes were dramatically lit with candles. For some reason, nineteenth century newspapers sometimes called these exhibitions, “camera obscura.” These exhibitions remained popular until the invention of the mechanical peep show.

I reckon this was the same thing as slowing down to gander at a traffic accident, such as we do today. Gruesome habit, I think.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's cold outside.