Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Like Meat? Avoid This Tick...!

Who would have believed that the single bite of any critter could cause you to not eat red meat?
Not only that, even some of the by-products of meat could make you sick! I'm not making this stuff up, folks. This is one nasty tick, let me tell ya! Here's the article from KnowledgeNuts that tells all about it.

The Tick That Can Make You Allergic To Meat
By Nolan Moore on Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vegans and vegetarians aside, everyone loves a nice juicy steak. Unfortunately, there are close to 1,500 people in the US who can’t enjoy a T-bone due to a nasty critter known as the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum). This arachnid packs a powerful bite, and for some mysterious reason, infects its human hosts with a dangerous allergy to red meat.

When was the last time you had a hamburger? Mike Abley hasn’t eaten one in over 20 years, but it isn’t because he dislikes beef or has moral qualms about eating meat. According to an article in Popular Science, Mr. Abley is one of approximately 1,500 people who are allergic to read meat . . . and it’s all thanks to an eight-legged parasite.

Known as the Lone Star tick, this bloodsucking bug lives all over the American South, and while it does hang out in Texas, this repugnant pest gets its name from the white blotch on the back of female ticks. It generally feeds on deer and turkeys, but of course, the Lone Star tick isn’t picky. In fact, it’s downright aggressive. While most young ticks are pretty laid-back, Lone Star larvae will drink human blood, which is extremely rare in the tick world. And unfortunately, a few of these creatures can turn carnivores into herbivores with a single bite.

Folks bitten by the Lone Star tick generally show symptoms three to six hours after eating beef, pork, or lamb. (Even products like marshmallows, JELL-O, and gel-cap vitamins can spark an attack thanks to gelatin, foodstuff made out of meat byproducts.) Once dinner is done, victims might break out in hives, start vomiting, and sometimes go into anaphylactic shock. And unfortunately, these allergic reactions are becoming more and more common. The Lone Star tick is working its way north, hitchhiking on deer and popping up in states like New York and Massachusetts. Even scarier, doctors aren’t 100 percent sure what’s going on.

Scientists know it has something to do with alpha-gal, a sugar that shows up in non-primate mammals like cows and sheep. Basically, it’s in every hot dog you’ve ever eaten. And if you’re bitten by the Lone Star tick, your body will produce huge amounts of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), an antibody that doesn’t get along with alpha-gal. When the two come into contact, your immune system freaks out and releases histamines, provoking some pretty deadly reactions. However, there’s still a lot researchers don’t know. Why does it take so long for symptoms to show up? Do all Lone Star ticks possess this power or just a few? And what about the tick’s bite is so dangerous? Is it the saliva, or something living in the tick’s stomach?

While scientists aren’t sure, they do know the number of alpha-gal allergies is increasing rapidly. In fact, people across the world are breaking out in rashes and suffering from abdominal cramps thanks to different kinds of ticks. In Australia, researchers have discovered similar cases thanks to the Ixodes holocyclus (a tick that usually prefers bandicoots), and other victims have been found in European countries like Spain and Sweden. Fortunately, the alpha-gal allergy will usually fade away after a few years . . . assuming you aren’t bitten by anymore ticks.

I hate the idea of having a single bite from a tick stop my eating steak or a juicy hamburger, ya know? Not to mention having to give up Jell-o and marshmallows!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Don't worry...no ticks around!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Carrier Pigeon For Monday Mystery...!

This mystery comes all the way from World War 2, or there abouts.

As in most mysteries, this one has several unanswered aspects to it. You know, like why and how and what the heck...?

The Homing Pigeon In The Chimney

In 2012, a man named David Martin was renovating his home in Bletchingley, England. After ripping out his fireplace, David was surprised to discover the skeletal remains of a small animal inside his chimney. Attached to the skeleton was a red capsule, which contained a note seemingly written in an undecipherable series of letters and numbers. Upon examination, it became apparent that the note was a coded message and that the skeletal remains belonged to a carrier pigeon from World War II. It seemed likely that the pigeon had been transporting its coded message on June 6, 1944, during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France.

Winston Churchill had ordered a complete radio blackout on D-Day, so the Allied Forces used homing pigeons to send reports about the invasion back to England. For unknown reasons, while presumably on its way to Bletchley Park, this pigeon somehow became trapped inside the chimney of David Martin’s home. The destination written on the pigeon’s message was “X02,” believed to be the code for “Bomber Command,” and it appeared to be signed by a “Serjeant W Stot.” There were a total of 27 codes on the note, each made up of five numbers and letters. Since most of the messages carried by homing pigeons on D-Day were not written in code, experts agree that this note must have been particularly important. Unfortunately, since the type of code on this message has not been used for several decades, all attempts to break it have come up empty.

Now all this makes me wonder just what it was that the message said. Why would a pidgeon go into a chimney in the first place? Like I said, lots of unanswered questions surrounding this mystery, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No rain yet today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

PC Is Back Up, So That Means 'Toons...!

Sorry about the lack of post from yesterday, but you know how it goes when the PC goes down.

I could have posted from my tablet, but that would have meant 1 finger typing. I'm slow enough using two! Anyway, I appreciate you all not giving me a bad time about missing the day. So let's get the show on the road!

Now for a little change of pace...

Looks like politics always shows up, know what I mean?

Ya know, I think there must have been a real shortage of women folk around, because Olive just don't seem all that pretty to me. But...to each his own!

Just think, there was a time when all the cartoons were in black and white! Boy, have we ever been spoiled over the years! Well, I need to go and finish up fixing my PC. Sooner or later I'm gonna be forced to get a new one!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's nice and cool!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

No Saturday6 Post...

Sorry, but I can't post today. PC crashed and you know what a pain it is to reset everything!

Try again tomorrow!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Deadly Bees For Freaky Friday...!

Now this one may just surprise ya. I know it did me!

I had no idea that Australia had such a problem as this. I have never been to Australia, but I'd go in a heartbeat if I could drive and not fly. I do not like to fly! Maybe I could take a boat, ya reckon?

You’ll Never Guess Australia’s Second-Deadliest Animal
By Morris M. on Thursday, September 25, 2014

If we know anything about Australia, it’s that it wants us dead. From box jellyfish to crocodiles to deadly funnel-web spiders, it seems everything in Oz has been lifted straight from H.R. Giger’s nightmares. But when scientists decided to rank Australia’s fauna by number of deaths per year, they got a surprise. The second most murderous animal wasn’t a snake, shark, or jellyfish, but the common honeybee.

In 1822, European colonists had a problem. Their new home on the southern continent lacked insects capable of pollinating the plants they’d brought over for food—meaning the work had to be done by hand. Then one day someone hit on an excellent idea: Why not just bring some bees over? Fast-forward to 2014 and the European honeybee has spread all over Australia, bringing with it death on an unprecedented scale.

Like most of Australia’s insects, honeybees are venomous. Unlike their indigenous cousins however, that venom doesn’t affect humans equally. While most of us can shrug off a beesting, it’s estimated that up to 3 percent of the population has a severe allergy to their venom; for some, a single sting is almost certainly a death sentence. And unlike most Australian creepy-crawlies, honeybees are everywhere.

In Western Australia alone, there are over 50,000 honeybee hives, with one 4-kilometer (2.5 mi) stretch of river discovered to be housing 175. By comparison, the media went into panic mode after 40 funnel-webs were spotted in Sydney in a single summer. As a result of this uneven distribution, the deadly funnel-web is known to have killed only 13 people in recorded history. The inland taipan—the world’s deadliest snake—isn’t thought to have killed any. Honeybees, on the other hand, kill two Australians a year.

In fact, the only creature statistically more likely to kill you is the box jellyfish which, being a jellyfish, is only a problem in coastal areas. So next time you’re in inland Australia, remember it’s not the crocodiles or snakes or dropbears you should be watching out for, but that innocent little honeybee.

Who would have guessed that the second deadliest animal in Australia would be a Honeybee? Certainly not me! In fact, that's the reason I made this article the star for Freaky Friday! I'd take Honeybees over spiders any day!

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Math Thoughts For Thursday...!

Baby Sis sent me this the other day and I thought I might share it. It shows just how far we have slipped in our education process.

New Math....

 I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried... Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1960s:

1. Teaching Math In 1960s (when I was in school). A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math in 1970s, A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math in 1980s. A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? Yes or No?

4. Teaching Math In 1990s. A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20, your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math in 2000s. A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's Okay).

6. Teaching Math In 2014. Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho? ANSWER: His profit was $375,000 because his logging business is just a front for his pot farm.

While this was originally meant to be a humorous piece, I feel there is more truth to it than we may want to acknowledge. Makes you wonder what we will be teaching in our schools in the next 10 years, doesn't it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Temps in the low 70s and that's good enough for me!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bill Carlisle For Western Wednesday...!

What makes this gentleman so interesting is his name. Somewhere in my family tree, that name Carlisle shows up. Doesn't mean we are related, but it's interesting just the same!

Bill Carlisle


Bill Carlisle was one of the last great train robbers of the American Old West, a career he took up on something of a whim. He’d been an orphan most of his life and spent his teenage years riding trains, working in the circus, and performing other odd jobs. In February 1916, he found himself in Wyoming with no prospects and only a nickel to his name. What he did have, however, was a gun. At that moment, he decided robbing a train was his best chance at making it through the spring.

Carlisle’s first holdup played out like a movie scene. He sneaked onto the train and fired a warning shot into the roof to prove it was a legitimate robbery (there were some doubters). With a white bandana covering his face, he swiftly gathered the loot, tossed a few coins to the porter to make up for lost tips, and gave a man a further silver dollar to pay for his breakfast. He made his exit by sidestepping a woman who tried to grab his gun, giving her a bow before leaping from the train. He was nearly tangled up under the train’s moving wheels, yet he survived the jump unscathed and $52 richer.

The “White Masked Bandit,” as he was then known, didn’t stop with that one heist. He robbed Union Pacific Railroad several more times until they eventually offered a $6,500 reward for his capture, dead or alive. Motivated by the large reward money, a posse caught him in May 1916, and Carlisle was sentenced to life in prison. He later escaped, was recaptured, and then was paroled in 1936 for good behavior.

Like other gentleman thieves, Carlisle had a moral code. He never hurt anyone and never stole from women, children, or servicemen. In one of his capers, he was attempting to rob a train when he realized it was full of soldiers returning from World War I. He let the men keep their money and claimed that he would have fought alongside them had he not been in prison at the time.

Seems to be sorta young for a bandit, don't you think? Still, I don't reckon that age was a factor back then.

Coffee out on the patio today. The temperature is cooler than usual and that's a good thing.