Friday, May 27, 2016

Cannibals At Jamestown Colony...!

The harshness and hardships of the first colony in Jamestown is a matter of record, but I wonder if we realize just how rough it really was.

A recent discovery shows clearly that times were more desperate than we ever could imagine. From Listverse this the hard truth.

A Cannibalized Body At Jamestown

Jamestown, Virginia, is known as the first permanent English colony in America. It is now one of the most revered historic spots in the United States, and many researchers still go there to unlock more secrets from that time.

However, in summer 2012, historians made a disturbing discovery in a hole that contained butchered horse and dog skeletons. They knew immediately that this hole had probably been dug during a severe famine, but what they found when they dug deeper only shocked them further.

The body was that of a 14-year-old English girl who had undoubtedly died in winter 1609. The winter was so harsh and the food supplies so low that it became known as the “starving time”. It was well-documented how far the colonists of Jamestown went. In 1625, George Percy, governor of Jamestown during the starving time, wrote a letter describing how colonists ate their horses, vermin, and even leather boots. He then went on to say that some had even dug up the dead in desperation.

The young girl found in 2012 was the victim of this starvation. There had been strikes to the back of her head to get to her brain, which would be the most desired tissue. The attempts were clumsy by whoever was trying to harvest her flesh. It was clear that the person had never done this before.

I'd say that the main reason for the failure of the colony had to be very poor planning on the part of the leaders. Now days we know to plan for the worse, and hope for the best!

\Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Several more inches of rain are headed this way.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Socks Of John Logie Baird...!

Who would ever think that someone could go from working on the television to making socks ?

However, the socks invented by Baird became so important that we still used them when I was in basic training . Kept our feet dry, but they still smelled!

John Logie Baird’s Socks

Photo via BBC

John Logie Baird is remembered prominently for his work on the television. Although many people had contributions that led to the TV as we know it today, Baird is usually considered the inventor of television for building and demonstrating the first working mechanical television system in 1926.

Most of his later career was spent working on improvements for the television. However, his earlier work was much more varied. Baird made several inventions, including a glass razor and pneumatic shoes for people with flat feet. These never really went anywhere, but Baird eventually found success with a new type of sock.

In 1915, Baird tried to enlist for World War I but was declared unfit for duty, so he instead worked for a munitions factory. During that time, he became aware of trench foot, a common problem for soldiers who had to wear wet socks for long periods of time. If left untreated, this resulted in infection and could even lead to amputation.

That’s how the Baird Undersock was born. It was simply another pair of socks (or “gents’ half-hose,” as it was called back then) that was worn under the regular pair to soak up moisture. It was also coated with borax, which acted as an antiseptic.

The Baird Undersock was very successful and allowed Baird to quit his job and start selling it full-time. It also benefited from a creative marketing campaign that included soldier testimonials and women walking the cities with sandwich boards promoting the undersock.

I always wondered why we had to wear two pairs of socks. I figured it was to prevent blisters. Oh learn something new every day!

Coffee inside this morning. Rain is supposed to start again this weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Joseph Walker For Western Wednesday...!

This ld man may look like he is a little past it, but I'll just bet it ain't so !

His accomplishments are a matter of record and he was an active scout for many years. Truly it was men like Mr. Walker that helped to establish the West into a productive part of the great union we are today !

Joseph Walker

Photograph of Joseph Walker. (Credit: Public Domain)

Like Jedidiah Smith, Tennessee native Joseph Walker was a born explorer who pursued fur trapping and scouting as a way of financing his wanderlust. He first ventured west in 1820 as part of an illegal trapping expedition to Spanish-controlled New Mexico territory, and later served as a guide for the likes of Benjamin Bonneville and John C. Frémont. While working for Bonneville in 1833, Walker led an expedition that bushwhacked its way from Wyoming to California across the Sierra Nevada. His party was forced to eat their horses just to survive, but after exiting the mountains they became the first white men to encounter giant sequoia trees and the wonders of the Yosemite Valley. It was a sight Walker would never forget. He even had the words “Camped at Yosemite” inscribed on his tombstone.

Walker later worked as trapper, scout, wagon train guide and ranch owner, but he continued to explore the blank spots on the map at every opportunity. In 1861, at the age of 62, he set off on a two-year prospecting expedition across New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. By the time his failing eyesight forced him to retire in 1867, he had spent some five decades on the frontier and served as a guide for hundreds of soldiers and pilgrims. Amazingly, during all of Walker’s years blazing new trails and traveling through hazardous territory, only one man is reported to have died under his command.

His isn't a name that I'm familiar with, but I'm gonna see if I can read some more information on Mr. Walker.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. All went well at the heart check-up so we'll celebrate !

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Right Out Of A Coloring Book...!

One thing you have to admit about Mother Nature, she can really paint a pretty picture !

The beauty and wonder of how nature can create such beauty is something most of us will never understand, I reckon. Almost as though nature had some other worldly help, know what I mean ?

The Painted Peaks

In China, there exists a mountain range unlike any other on Earth. The Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park may be a bit of a mouthful, but it makes up for its wordiness with absolutely breathtaking views.

For miles and miles, the jagged landscape is striped with a rainbow of colors. Rich reds, bright yellows, and vibrant whites are all layered atop one another, lending a bizarrely cartoonish atmosphere to this massive landform. It’s so strikingly unique that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.

The strange stripes are the result of layers of red sandstone and various mineral deposits being laid down one after the other over tens of millions of years and then raised by tectonic activity. Either that or Dr. Seuss spontaneously exploded on a Chinese hiking excursion. As much as I would love to believe the latter, I’m afraid I’ll have to side with the geologists on this one.

I would have never known of this place but for Listverse. That's where I found this story and picture. Thanks to those folks!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have to leave early for a V.A. check up with the cardiologist, but you know where the coffee is so help yourself!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Death Of Yuri Gagarin...!

Sometimes I think that we forget the fact that famous foreign figures have been killed in mysterious ways.

While their names are not as familiar to us, the fact that their deaths are clouded in mystery should attract a little more attention than it does. Here is a case in point.

The Death Of Yuri Gagarin

Photo credit: SAS Scandinavian Airlines

In 1968, just seven years after Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight in 1961, he was flying in a training jet with a flight instructor when his plane crashed, killing both. The official Soviet inquest report into his death said that Gagarin had tried to avoid a bird, and the aircraft had subsequently spun out of control. That explanation has been widely challenged by everyone from his fellow cosmonauts to the KGB, who conducted a separate, secret inquest into Gagarin’s death.

Alexei Leonov was in the area where Gagarin crashed that day and reported hearing two sonic booms just seconds apart. Leonov also noticed an Su-15, a new fighter jet that was being tested that day, flying lower than it was supposed to. The official inquest made no mention of the Su-15, but Leonov believes the Su-15 pilot could have accidentally killed Gagarin by flying too close to his aircraft and causing Gagarin’s aircraft to enter into a spin.

The KGB, on the other hand, believed that flight controllers might have killed Gagarin by giving him poor weather information. Other theories range from sabotage to Gagarin being drunk on the day he piloted his spacecraft. Whatever the truth, the mystery remains.

I'm not saying that we should dwell on the fact that famous folks from other countries die, but the strange circumstanses surrounding his death are worth a second look. Am I right ?

Coffee out on the patio today. I hope the rain is gone for a couple of days.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Memories Of Treats From Long Ago...!

When I was a young guy (back in the stone age!) we would sometimes have special treats while watching Saturday cartoons or shows like Zorro, or The Lone Ranger...those kinds of shows.

Now we weren't poor, but I don't think my folks had a lot of extra money either. Homemade treats were as special as store bought, maybe even more so. Most of the time the treats were simple, but boy  howdy did we gobble them down. I'm talking about things like home made yeast bread and rolls Put some butter and honey on them and man ! Good stuff !

Then from time to time, we would have some sugar toast! Butter some bread, sprinkle a little sugar on it and stick it under the broiler for a second! You could add some cinnamon and turn it into cinnamon toast in a heartbeat! Then came the old standby...white Karo syrup with peanut butter, mixed all together and served on toast! Easy to make and very, very tasty! Pretty filling, as I remember.

I remember that Karo syrup was a special thing around our house. Most of the time, we had home made sugar syrup and that was plenty good enough for us !

One thing that I remember very clearly was regular ol' saltine crackers, spread with butter and stuck under the broiler long enough to just melt the butter! I had so many fond memories about this one that I made them not long ago! Somehow it wasn't the same. I don't know if it was because my sisters weren't there to pick on and tease, or maybe the Saturday shows were the missing ingredient !

Well, those days are long gone. Plenty of memories to think back on, though. It's funny how sometimes food can cause a sudden rash of good memories to pop up, isn't it?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning because of the rain. Hey...anyone in the mood for some flour gravy and fresh biscuits?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I Hate Spiders...!

I really do hate spiders...all kinds of spiders! I haven't found one thing to make me think kindly of them at all !

Because I have such a dislike for the creepy things, you can bet I'll never live in this next town ! The folks living there are much braver than I, let me tell ya ! I want no part of it !

A Town Is Taken Over By Tarantulas

Tarantulas are not venomous enough to actually kill a human and they generally don’t attack unprovoked, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not potentially dangerous. A fully grown tarantula’s fangs are large enough that its bite is no laughing matter. Recently, a diving species of tarantula was documented for the first time. This species is called the diving tarantula because of its ability to create air bubbles to breathe underwater. Like other tarantulas, its venom can’t kill you, but it is still strong enough to make you sick. People who are bitten report vomiting.

Normally, tarantulas only swarm together in numbers of about 100, but in 2015, the small town of Maningrada, Australia, dealt with a situation straight out of a horror movie. For some unknown reason, roughly 25,000 diving tarantulas descended upon the town and made it their home. While residents were likely less than thrilled, some scientists believe that the swarm could lead to important breakthroughs.

The fact this particular tarantula’s venom is so strong intrigues scientists, and they wonder about the possible medicinal applications. Also, given that this tarantula had only recently been documented, scientists were thrilled at having so many together in one place to study. The simple fact that so many are together is an intriguing anomaly. They also suggest that over time, it could be a big economic boom, but many residents are likely skeptical of this and wish that their town wasn’t infested by hairy, eight-legged monsters.

Thanks to the folks over at Listverse, I have enough creepy thoughts for about a months worth of nightmares ! You know I appreciate it !

Coffee out on the patio today Supposed to get close to 90.