Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Government And George Orwell...!

Sometimes what we find out about folks we thought we knew is a shock. That's the case with Orwell!

Who would have guessed that the person responsible for the book 1984 could willingly work for the government? Certainly not me! Here is the story from none other than Listverse.

George Orwell Was A Government Informer

Although he was officially a socialist, most people probably associate Orwell with antiauthoritarianism. His most famous novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, are dire warnings about state intrusion in our lives, and his terrifying Thought Police satirized government informers in the creepiest way possible. Yet outside his fiction, Orwell wasn’t totally opposed to state interference. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, he even helped the British government spy on its own citizens.
In 1949, a frail Orwell volunteered to draw up a list of suspected communists and Russia-sympathizers for the UK’s Foreign Office. Included among the 135 names on Orwell’s list were left-wing government figures, playwrights, poets, the mayor of New York, and Charlie Chaplin. Alongside each one, Orwell scrawled personal information, ranging from comments like “v. stupid” to assumptions about their political leanings and racial background. The annotations were so specific that journalist Alexander Cockburn later claimed they showed a deep mistrust of Jews, black people, and homosexuals.
Although there’s no evidence Orwell’s list was ever used to persecute anyone, it still caused many commentators to question why a man so dedicated to ideas of personal liberty would deliberately spy on his political bedfellows.

Wonder just what Orwell's thinking was on this action. Hard for me to figure it out, I'll tell ya!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Weather is acting all crazy and stuff.

Monday, April 27, 2015

B. Traven For Monday Mystery...!

Now here is a good mystery for all the researchers out there. Who was this man really?

This is another one of those mysterious men that show up once in a while, yet remain almost completely unknown to most people. Talk about protecting your privacy! You may not know him, but I'll bet you are familiar with some of his work.

B. Traven

Photo credit: British Authorities

It’s not uncommon for writers to publish works of literature under a pseudonym, but few of them went to greater lengths to conceal their identity than a mysterious author named “B. Traven.” Over the course of two decades, B. Traven published 12 novels and several short stories under this pseudonym. His most famous novel is probably The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a 1927 adventure story that was eventually adapted into an acclaimed, Academy Award–winning film starring Humphrey Bogart. Yet in spite of writing such an iconic piece of work, Traven managed to take the secret of his true identity to his grave. When he died in 1969, he left behind a will claiming his real name was “Traven Torsvan Croves” and that he was born in Chicago in 1890. However, there is no evidence that anyone named Traven Torsvan Croves actually existed.

It is believed that B. Traven spent the early part of his life living in Europe, as many of his works were written in German before they were translated into English. Traven wrote most of his novels while living in Mexico and worked hard to maintain his privacy. He limited his interactions with other people, and very few photographs of him exist.

There are many theories about who Traven might be, but the best candidate is Ret Marut, a German actor who disappeared after fleeing Europe in 1924. Shortly afterward, B. Traven started publishing his novels in Mexico. Marut was also known for being very protective about his identity, and it is speculated that he previously lived under a different name before he became an actor. Were Ret Marut and Traven Torsvan Croves the same person? Whatever the real truth, the identity of B. Traven continues to remain a mystery.

It always amazes me at how many true mysteries you can find over at Listverse, where I got this one. They really do a good job.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Plenty of sunshine, I hope!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Already Sunday Again...?

Yep! Guess it is! Seems like it was Sunday only a few days ago, doesn't it?

Well, at least we are here to welcome yet another Silly Sunday... and that is a good thing, I reckon.

And one more just for good measure!

So...do ya think the older 'toons are better in black and white, or should they all be in color? Just wonderingt!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Morning Theme Songs...!

Remember all the great shows that came on television Saturday mornings? Good theme songs on some of those old shows, that's for sure!

I figured I would dig up a few of them and post them here. See if any take you back a few years.

Of course we watched some other shows besides westerns. I know you may have watched this one as well!

You know, it's hard to find a stopping point when you start something like this! There were swo many frun shows back then and the music seemed to kinda stay with you, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Hoping for a good day today.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Death Valley Runner For Freaky Friday...!

I have to ask myself why anyone would want to do this. My answer...because they could!

The freaky part comes from the idea that someone, reportedly of sound mind, wanted to run across Death Valley...in costume! To me that's just plain freaky!

The Darth Valley Run

In 2010, a 42-year-old man named Jonathan Rice decided for no particular reason that he wanted to run a mile through Death Valley on the hottest day of the year wearing a Darth Vader outfit. So that’s exactly what he did, managing an impressive time of 6 minutes and 13 seconds.

The following year, again for no particular reason, Rice decided to do it once more. Then again in 2013, making a slightly slower time of 6 minutes 31 seconds due to an ankle injury. What initially started out as some guy doing something just for the hell of it exploded when the international media caught wind of the fact that, in 2013, Jon may just have run the fastest and hottest mile ever recorded—dressed as Darth Vader! But that’s not all. Soon after he ran his mile in 2013, it came to light that he’d run the distance while enduring 54 degrees Celsius (129.2 °F) of heat, a temperature that was only 2 degrees off of the supposed hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

So, the next time you don’t feel like exercising, just remember that a 40-year-old man ran a mile in just over six-and-a-half minutes on literally one of the hottest days ever recorded—dressed in a Darth Vader costume. Then, you should have all of the motivation you need to go for that jog

Now don't get me wrong. I admire the guy for following his dreams, but it certainly wouldn't be a dream of mine. But...as they say, to each his own! Thanks to Listverse for this article.

Coffee out on the patio today. Let's have some cinnamon toast!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2 Ingredient Biscuits For Thursday...!

I know this sounds ridiculous, but not only are these the easiest biscuits I've ever made...but the taste id outstanding! Tasty and easy really go together, ya know?

I made these biscuits last night and was very pleased with how they turned out. Mom liked them as well, so that's a good thing.

One thing I might mention. It calls for self rising flour, and I found out that using any other kind just won't get the job done. Same with buttermilk. Be sure to use whipping cream and self rising flour for the best results! Trus me on this one!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Biscuits and honey sound OK?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Myth Of Violence In The Wild West...!

Living in Houston, I'm always amazed at the actual number of violent acts committed here yearly. I think most large cities have a similar problem.

What I was really surprised at was the actual figures of crime in the old west towns. Ruins my mental picture of how bad the Wild West actually was. See what you think!


Shootouts, bank robberies, highly-choreographed bar brawls—if we know anything about the frontier, it’s that it was one hell of a violent place.Or was it?

Turns out the popular image of the Old West as a place where manly men solved their differences by shooting those differences in the face simply isn’t true. People were more likely to cooperate than fight—in a harsh and lawless world, it was better to side with your neighbor for mutual benefit than start shooting. Bank robberies, too, were virtually unheard of. One estimate places the number at about a dozen for the entire frontier period.

Then you have the low-homicide rates. The highest annual body count Tombstone ever experienced? Five. From 1870 to 1885, Dodge City and Wichita had murder rates of 0.6 per year. However you cut it, daily cowboy life was nowhere near as violent as we think.

Do I wish we had less violence here? Certainly! Do I want to go back to the Wild West days? Not on your like...except maybe for a short visit! Very short, know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio again today! I'm thinking lemon cake for all, OK?