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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Frogs And Skeeters...!

Mother Nature has a way to protect some of her critters that many of us would like to share. This is about one of them

Now many of know that the skeeters can be bad after a lot of rain, especially if you live on the coast. Some folks can really get eaten up by the little blood suckers, while others may seem to not be bothered much. As this article from listverse explains, humans aren't the only ones bothered. Mother Nature comes to the rescue of some, but not all.

Natural Repellent


Photo credit: Froggydarb
Mosquitoes are the bane of every terrestrial animal. They kill more people through disease every year than any other animal on earth. Every year, 725,000 people die from mosquito-borne illnesses. Even snakes have to put up with the vicious biting insects. No animal is safe from their bite—except frogs. Yes, frogs secrete repellents that makes them virtually immune to mosquitoes, which is good for the frog since they share a lot of the damp swampy environments that mosquitoes love. No other vertebrate that we know of is resistant to mosquitoes. Researchers are currently testing different formulas to see which one works best. Right now, frog juice isn’t quite as effective as the chemical repellents we use, but it is all natural and better for the environment. Unfortunately, frog juice stinks to high heaven, so we may not be wearing it any time soon.

Ya know, after all the rain we've had and the skeeter problem around my house, I would wear some frog juice no matter what it smelled like.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Got your skeeter spray?

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Count On Monday Mystery...!

I guess that all through history there have been men that many folks wondered about. That's certainly true of this man.

It would appear that no one could agree about who he really was, or where he came from. That would make him a perfect candidate for Monday Mystery, don't you think?

The Mysterious Man Who Claimed To Never Age
By Gregory Myers on Saturday, February 15, 2014

One of the strangest figures in history is The Count of Saint Germain. This man’s origins were never truly known. He was believed by many to be immortal and didn’t appear to age or eat. While some believe him to have died, others say he disappeared just as mysteriously, and some people still claim sightings of the alleged ageless man to this day.

After being forcibly removed from England for alleged spying, the count appeared in France in the mid-1700s in the court of King Louis the XV and soon became a frequent and much-loved guest. However, it quickly became clear that this man was much more than first met the eye. He was said to be a master of pretty much any language you threw at him, from Arabic to Chinese, German to Sanskrit, and everything in between. He was said to also be incredibly skilled at the arts: He was a violinist and was said to have written a great many works. Many people were greatly intrigued by this young man of impeccably good manners, whose origins were completely shrouded in mystery. Legend says that the count was particularly reticent about discussing his origins and once said that he was 500 years old, in what people at the time thought was an attempt to deflect discussion elsewhere.

Others of course, had far different theories. For you see, the count was also insanely rich. He would carry bags of jewels with him and never seemed to be wanting for money, but no one could tell for sure where he got his money from or how. He was said to never take any food in public whatsoever and was said to never wear any colors but black or white. Some accounts say that he formed the Freemasons, or was one himself, while others connect him to the Rosicrucians and he was said to study all sorts of occult practices including Alchemy and teachings of Kabbalah. This led many people to speculate that he may have learned how to create an actual, functioning philosopher’s stone and thus have all the money and youth he could ever want. As recently as the 1900s, people have claimed to still sight the count and many claim he never truly died. Part of the legend is down to the fact that some records state that he died in 1784, but others state that is impossible because he was doing ambassadorial work for the French Masons a year later.

There is of course, one other strange theory regarding the count. Some people may have heard of the legend of the wandering Jew. The old legend states that a Jew saw Jesus on the way to be executed and made fun of him, setting off a terrible punishment for his crime. To make sure this insulting individual got his just desserts, Jesus supposedly made him wander around the earth without dying until he returns to sit on his throne of judgment. According to some theories, the Count of Saint Germain is this wandering Jew. Those who subscribe to this theory point out that he only wore black and white, never appeared to require food, and had a strong knowledge of ancient language. While many of these theories may sound fanciful, it is certainly a mystery as to where this man came from and how he came to exert such influence on his surroundings.

You really have to wonder where men like this came from and how they managed to remain a mystery for so long. In my way of thinking, there has to be a grain of truth somewhere in the myth, right? This probably is one of those mysteries we will never know the answer to. It's still fun to speculate, though!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Even Adults Like Some Cartoons...!

Let's face it. Grownups do like some 'toons now and then. After all, you're here and watching, right?

If you don't think that the theme songs are well known, let the grandkids here the 'toons starting up and watch them come running. Some 'toon music calls them faster than others, though.

Disney 'toons seem to have some of the most recognized theme songs around, but they have been at it longer than most.

Guess many of the older 'toons had good music most of the time, and some didn't.

OK...enough of this foolishment! Time to go play in the rain, or something. Summer is almost over, or so they tell me. To tell the truth, I'm ready for some cool, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Remember These Toys...?

Back in the day when no one said we couldn't play with stuff because it was dangerous, we had some really cool toys!

Heck, we even played in the dirt...with sticks and the like...and rode bikes without wearing helmets! I'll bet that more than a few of us even went so far as to swim in some nasty ol' drainage ditch...without chlorine or even adult supervision! Man, we took some crazy chances back then, but the best thing was the awesome toys!

 The Most Dangerous Toy In The World (Cost $50)


By Debra Kelly on Thursday, September 18, 2014

A.C. Gilbert was the founder of one of the largest toy companies in the world—even if you don’t know his name, you know the toys he created. While many of the Gilbert toys, like the Erector set, were educational toys that would result in a few pinched fingers at worst, others ranged from bizarre to downright deadly. Their microscope kits came complete with insect parts, while their Gilbert Kaster Kit allowed kids to use molten metal to pour their own die-cast figures. And we can’t forget about the Atomic Energy Lab, which came with a few different kinds of uranium and instructions for mining your own.

Today, most toys come with rounded edges, safety features, bright colors, and warning labels for all those pesky bits that they couldn’t get exactly 100 percent harmless. There are consumer safety warnings, there’s extensive testing done to make sure no one’s going to accidentally hurt themselves with whatever they’ve just gotten for their birthday . . . and parents can buy things assured they’ve been checked and double checked and rechecked again.

It wasn’t always like that, of course. Toys used to be epic.

Especially those made by the toy giant A.C. Gilbert. Named for its founder, the company was a leading toy manufacturer between 1909 and 1964. One of their first toys is perhaps the most iconic: the Erector set. The idea was developed by Gilbert when he was on a journey by train, and passed the time by watching men erecting power lines to run the brand new electric trains. It was just one of many toys that he designed to be fun and educational, most with an angle toward teaching kids all about construction, architecture, science, and physics.

Fortunately, this was before the days of warning labels.

For only $6.50, kids could purchase the Gilbert Kaster Kit. The machine allowed them to make their own metal-cast figurines and toy soldiers, simply by heating a bit of lead to 200 degrees Celsius (400 °F) and pouring it into the molds.

There were a number of different microscope kits for sale, and kids could choose from those that included things like bits of minerals to bits of insects, all ready for examination under the microscope. And we certainly can’t forget their chemistry sets. Quite the contrast to today’s chemistry sets (some of which, bizarrely, advertise that they’re so safe they don’t even contain any actual chemicals), the Gilbert chemistry sets had all the fun stuff. Kids could experiment with mixing and heating chemicals like sodium nitrate, ammonium chloride, and cobalt chloride—some even included different types of cyanide.

Then there was, of course, the Gilbert Glass-Blowing Kit, which allowed boys who were interested in creating their own test tubes and beakers to try melting and shaping glass from scratch—blow-torch required.

The Gilbert U-238 had a rather short-lived run, but its inclusion of four different types of uranium makes it one of the most ridiculous of the Gilbert toys. Kids could learn how to use a Geiger counter (also included in the kit), play with the miniature cloud chamber, and read all about radioactive materials in the included books. Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom tells kids all about how nuclear energy is made, and there was also another booklet that gave kids a crash course on how to find their own uranium.

(There was a reorder form included if your attempts at finding uranium in your backyard failed, and you still wanted a few more tries at the Geiger counter and cloud chamber.)

It also urged kids to go out and find those new uranium sources, because the government was going to pay for them! It would have allowed their parents to recoup some of the hefty $50 that the kit cost in the first place. But really, who are we to put a price tag on learning?

Does anyone but me wonder how we ever made it this far? Seems that somehow we did, despite all the foolish stuff we did, the dangerous fun toys we had, and the fact that kids just being kids wasn't such a bad thing. Simpler times, my friends!

Once again it's coffee in the kitchen.Fresh peaches and cantaloup anyone?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Total Silence For Freaky Friday...!

I'm sure that most of us have wished for total silence more than once.

However, it seems that total silence may not be all we think it should be. In fact, some folks think it can be bad for your mental state. Here's an article from KnowledgeNuts about the effects of total silence.

True Silence Will Drive You Mad
By Debra Kelly on Monday, June 2, 2014

The quietest room in the world is at Orfield Labs in Minneapolis. Engineered to keep out as much noise as possible and absorb noise rather than reflect it, it has an average sound level of about –9 decibels (while most of us would call about 30 decibels a comfortably quiet level). Spending time alone in the room means that you can hear nothing but your own organs working, and it’s such an unsettling experience that it’s led to hallucinations and a record time spent in the room of 45 minutes.

Some days, all we want is silence. We’ve spent the whole day listening to phones ringing, people talking, music playing, and kids screaming, and it can seem like there’s nothing more needed than some time spent in complete and total silence.

But just what is silence?

On average, we think of a room with a sound level of 30 decibels as being pretty comfortably quiet. The ambient sounds of a peaceful country setting—birds, water running in the distance, the rustling of trees—is somewhere around 40 decibels, and the sound of our breathing is about 10 decibels.

The anechoic chamber is a room that has a sound level of –9 decibels. The term means “no echo,” and these specially designed chambers absorb sound rather than reflecting it, creating a chamber with an amazing amount of absolute nothingness. The walls are lined with sound-proof, wedge-shaped structures and the floor is a mesh material. Any sound that you do hear, you hear exactly as it is created, with no echoes, reflections, or distortions.

Most anechoic chambers are built for universities or government research facilities, but there’s an independently owned one in Orfield Labs in Minneapolis and it’s been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Quietest Place on Earth. The lab was, ironically, once a sound studio that hosted artists like Bob Dylan and Prince. Now, it’s home to this deeply, deeply disturbing room that does have a practical purpose—testing experimental technology from computer parts to medical supplies and hearing aids. When your phone lights up or the lights on your car’s dashboard come on, you don’t hear it at all—and that’s probably in part because it’s been tested in a chamber like the one in Minneapolis.

Anechoic chambers are even used by NASA to train astronauts to cope with the complete lack of sound that they can experience. They need a crash course in this, because no matter how crazy a day we’ve had, absolutely silence can drive us crazier.

Absolute silence is filled by the sound of your own body. You can hear your breathing, your heart beating, you can hear the blood in your veins. You can hear your pulse, you can hear your bones rub against each other, you can hear your skin sliding over your muscles. You can hear tendons creak, organs churning . . . and that’s usually about the point where people start hearing things that aren’t really there.

It starts with hallucinations of noise as the brain tries to fill in what we’re so used to being surrounded by. That can lead to nausea and panic attacks. With no sound, there are also no echos to orient yourself, and that just makes the sensations worse.

Sit in the dark, and it’s much, much worse. Without external stimuli, coordination and balance fail, hallucinations start, and within minutes many people are asking to be let out. Most people are insufferably uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. The rare person can last 45 minutes or so, but that’s about the limit of our ability to deal with such complete silence.

After reading this article, I think that I may settle for what passes as silence around here. Maybe I don't need it to be as quiet as I think, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen again. Pesky rain is still hanging around!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

History Of The Jacuzzi...!

It's amazing what some parents will do to help their children. Sometimes the ideas from desparate parents end up helping us all!

Now many of us never even consider where ideas like this come from, but are glad just the same to enjoy the benefits of having them around and functioning.

Candido Jacuzzi

Candido Jacuzzi was the youngest of seven inventive brothers whose family left a small town in Italy for Berkeley, California in the early 1900s. By the 1930s, the brothers were the owners of Jacuzzi Brothers, Inc., which designed submersible pumps for agriculture. It was Candido who made “Jacuzzi” a household word after a devastating illness struck his son.

In the winter of 1942–43, Ken Jacuzzi wasn’t quite two years old; he caught a fever that eventually left him crippled “from neck to knees” with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Candido sold off property so that he could afford to spend more time at home with Ken. He paid for physical therapists and all kinds of cures—everything from goat’s milk to gold injections—though nothing seemed to work. But Candido found a real chance to make a difference for Ken when doctors discovered that hydrotherapy helped relieve the child’s pain.

The nearest hospital with a hydrotherapy unit was a long drive away, and Ken found the trip exhausting. So Candido went to work redesigning a sump pump that pulled water out of basements to create a water jet. Then he added an air inlet mixing the water and air that shot from the jet. The resulting pump created a whirlpool in the family bathtub, so Ken could have frequent hydrotherapy at home to relieve his pain. Doctors were pleased at how well the boy’s blood was circulating. It kept his limbs from atrophying. Dad was glad he was finally helping Ken.

At the request of a doctor, Candido patented his invention and sold it for medical use. In 1966, he invented a tub with a built-in pump and was issued a patent for the first version of the Jacuzzi “hot tub.” Eventually known simply as “Jacuzzis,” these outdoor whirlpools became popular throughout the world for recreation, and for giving their owners a “celebrity lifestyle,” a term that referred to Hollywood sexcapades. It’s likely that someone reading this very list owes his or her conception to Candido’s Jacuzzi.

While the inventor may have never known what uses his wonderful invention would be put to, you can bet that the "Jacuzzi" was and is appreciated by many folks around today!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. We can watch the hummingbirds at the feeder!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The XIT Ranch For Western Wednesday...!

Ya know, sometimes the folks in Texas have a tendency to slightly exaggerate how big things are here. In some cases though, big really is big!

This story from History.com tells of the biggest ranch in Texas. This place was BIG, even for Texas folks. No exaggeration needed here, folks...it's all documented history!

Nov 2, 1912:
XIT Ranch sells its last head of cattle

On this day, the XIT Ranch of Texas, once among the largest ranches in the world, sells its last head of cattle.

Despite the popular image of the cattle rancher as an independent and self-reliant pioneer, big-city capitalists and stockholders owned many of the most important 19th century ranches. The Chicago capitalists behind the XIT—also known as the Capitol Syndicate Ranch—were trying to get rich by catering to the growing American passion for fresh western beef. They received the land in exchange for financing a state capitol building in Texas.

Given the aridity of the region, the Chicago capitalists determined that ranching would be the only profitable use for their new land. They quickly built up a massive but highly efficient cattle-raising operation that stretched over parts of nine Texas counties. At its peak, the XIT had more than 160,000 head of cattle, employed 150 cowboys, and encompassed nearly 3 million acres of the Texas panhandle—an unusually large tract of land even by western standards.

As land prices increased in Texas and cattle prices fell, the owners of the XIT realized they could make more money by selling their land. By 1912, the XIT abandoned ranching altogether with the sale of its last herd of cattle. The corporate managers gradually sold the remainder of their property to farmers and smaller ranchers throughout the first half of the 20th century. By 1950, the once-mighty XIT had control of only 20,000 acres

The truly amazing thing is that they only had 150 cowboys working for them. That's not many to cover 3 million acres, if ya ask me! Lots of time in the saddle, I'm thinking!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain is still in the area!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

So Wheaties Started The Whole Thing...!

You know those annoying commercial jingles that get caught in your head and refuse to go away? We can thank Wheaties for that!

Seems as though the Wheaties jingle was the first commercial jingle to show it's face in public. It really started something, I'll tell ya! Trying to get one of those jingles out of your head when it's stuck there is almost impossible, but you already know that, right?

The First Commercial Jingle Saved A Cereal Icon
By S. Grant on Saturday, September 13, 2014

Long before jingles on TV commercials became mainstream, these short, memorable tunes made their debut on radio stations. Of course, advertisements, and even musical ads, were around since the very beginning of radio, but it wasn’t until 1926 that General Mills introduced the first, legitimate commercial jingle. The ditty was promoting Wheaties breakfast cereal and was so successful that it saved the brand and motivated businesses everywhere to create their own jingles.

Similar to the Internet today, early radio broadcasters were operating in a new industry and faced the challenge of figuring out how to make money while giving away free content. It seemed selling ad space was the best (and perhaps the only) way to monetize their stations. And so radio ads were born, after which melodies naturally worked their way into the ads, and then those tunes gradually evolved into jingles. Thus, jingles have been around in one form or another since the start of commercial radio in the 1920s.

Since they were developed gradually over time, no one can claim to have “invented” the jingle. However, General Mills is recognized as being the first company to create a stand-alone, commercial jingle. It aired on Christmas Eve 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and featured an a cappella group, known as the Wheaties Quartet, who sang the following lines in a rhyming, albeit somewhat slow tempo (especially compared to today’s jingles):

Have you tried Wheaties?
They’re whole wheat with all of the bran.
Won’t you try Wheaties?
For wheat is the best food of man.
They’re crispy and crunchy
The whole year through,
The kiddies never tire of them
and neither will you.
So just try Wheaties,
The best breakfast food in the land.

The jingle was such a success that it saved the now-famous breakfast cereal from being discontinued. In 1929, General Mills was going to put the kibosh on the failing brand until the advertising manager pointed out that over half of all Wheaties boxes were sold in the Minneapolis area—the only place the jingle was being aired at the time. Instead of giving up on the cereal, General Mills decided to run the ad nationwide, and it didn’t take long for Wheaties’ sales to skyrocket. Even after 80 years, it is still one of the most popular cereals out there.

The success of the “Have You Tried Wheaties” song was the spark that lit the fire of the jingle movement, and by the 1930s businesses were using catchy, repetitive melodies to advertise everything from food to tobacco to personal hygiene products. Besides being an easy, memorable way to expose potential customers to brands, advertisers also liked jingles because it allowed them to skirt a certain broadcasting rule. Radio stations were forbidden from broadcasting direct advertisements during prime time hours, but because these songs were often placed at the beginning or end of radio programs and viewed more as entertainment than a sales pitch, advertisers could get away with playing them any time of day.

Ultimately, we have Wheaties to thank for launching the genre and ensuring certain songs never (ever) get out of our heads.

If you want to hear the original jingle, you can find a recording of it, you can find it right here. Don't let it get stuck in your head...OK?

Coffee in the kitchen once again. C'mon in...plenty of room!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Watery Monday Mystery...!

Sometimes a good mystery can come from somewhere far away, just like the one today. This little gem comes all the way from China!

Like many of our mysteries, this one has never been figured out. Unsolved is the way we like 'em here at the Hermit's, right?

Poyang Lake, China
The Place Of Death

Poyang Lake

Poyang Lake is located in the north of Jiangxi Province, China. It is the largest freshwater lake in the country, measuring 3,500 square kilometers (1,350 mi2) with an average depth of 8 meters (26 ft). The lake is home to an amazing variety of aquatic life and migratory birds, including the finless freshwater porpoise.

Despite its relatively shallow waters, Poyang Lake is known for being deceptively dangerous. Since the early 1960s, more than 200 boats have been swallowed up by the lake, resulting in the disappearance of over 1,600 people. The disappearances are so frequent that the lake is often referred to as the “Bermuda Triangle of the East” or “The Place of Death” by locals.

The mystery of Poyang Lake also lies in the fact that despite the high number of missing vessels on the lake (including a massive Japanese Navy ship), no wreckage or artifacts, including human remains, have been found. The Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology has devoted a great deal of time and effort over the last few years, to unraveling the mysteries of Poyang Lake. Their last expedition at the lake took place in 2012 but yielded few results and so the mystery endures.

We can thank the fine folks over at Listverse for finding this mystery for us to ponder. Good source for all manner of facts and stories!

We better have our coffee in the kitchen again today. How does some fresh baked bread sound?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wet Sunday 'Toons...!

Rain or shine, come Sunday you can count on the 'toons here at the Hermit's place.

I never could understand Donald, ya know? Talks like a duck!

Guess some things never change, even in the 'toons!

Gotta have a happy ending at some point, right?

OK...that's enough for this morning. Guess we ought to do something constructive today, right?

Coffee inside again today.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Let's Hear It For The Ladies...!

Women have been first in many things in our history, though many of their accomplishments are just now coming into focus. We've had a few on here before, but this one was news to me!

The First Computer Programmers Were Women

By Kristin Lovett on Friday, September 12, 2014
In today’s universities, computer science course work is statistically dominated by men. However, the study of computing and automated arithmetic has not always been so male-dominated. In fact, the person regarded as the “world’s first programmer” was Ada Lovelace  the daughter of writer Lord Byron. Her contributions included designing an algorithm for execution on a theoretical adding machine.

The idea of a mechanical device to compute arithmetic faster than the human brain’s capability was once a dream. Nowadays, it’s a forgotten feature of a device we all carry in our pockets. However, it is an unfortunately buried fact that many of the pioneers in automated computing were women. Another entry in the long list of things women accomplished but lack recognition for due to historical (and indeed modern-day) sexism.

In the early days, most of what we would now call “computer science” was all theoretical. With electricity still in its early days of adoption, the capacity for mechanical devices to perform computations wasn’t quite there. Few would have imagined that machines would soon have the capability to perform computations independently, rather than aiding a human like an abacus would.

One of the earliest ideas for a computing device was Charles Babbage’s adding machine. Mainly a conceptual device, it fell to Ada Lovelace, daughter of the great writer Lord Byron, to present a potential algorithm to run on this adding machine in a lecture. She was chosen for her mathematical ability, making her an early pioneer of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Her work with Babbage also grants her the honor of being considered the first programmer. The modern programming language ADA is named after her, though her recognition seems to be minimal, considering her place as the first computer programmer.

Later, in World War II, when computing became more and more important in regard to code-breaking and code-making, groups of brilliant women skilled in mathematics were used to calculate various tasks, which could be written into algorithms and eventually programmed into early, vacuum-tube computers. However, history scorned many of these women due to an unfortunate tradition of sexism and discrimination. They were not even invited to a celebratory dinner following their work.

Even the more modern concept of wireless data transmission is a creation in part by a forgotten woman, Hedy Lamarr, who patented the concept of wireless signal cryptography, meaning that signals intercepted by malicious individuals could not be deciphered, making transmissions between distant individuals much safer and more secure. These advances are considered to be the backbone of modern telecommunications, but little credit or recognition was given to these ladies in their lifetimes.

Women in STEM fields are certainly present, though far too often their work seems to be buried or the credit stolen. Currently, the wage gap between men and women in STEM fields is quite large, and women are less likely to be hired for a position in the first place. We can only hope that this is something that will soon change.

Seems like we tend to forget that women made a lot of very useful discoveries for us in the past, and continue to do so even today! Let's give a big round of applause to the women of the world!

Coffee inside this morning. Raining some outside, ya know?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hidden Shoes For Freaky Friday...!

I don't really know if this could be considered as Freaky, but I'd have to admit it does seem a little strange to me.

Imagine finding something so out of place that you couldn't come up with a logical explanation as to why they were where you found them. Even the experts had no answers, only guesses. Of course, that's often the case, right?

Hidden Shoes In Egyptian Temple

Photo credit: Franco M. Giani
Archaeologists discovered an unusual “treasure” during an expedition in Egypt in 2004. In a jar, placed in the middle of two other jars and set into a small open space between two mud-brick walls, were seven shoes. Two of the pairs were children’s shoes, and the remaining shoes belonged to an adult that possibly had a limp. Archaeologist Angelo Sesana stated that this “shoe jar” had been hidden deliberately more than 2,000 years ago.

Andre Veldmeijer, an expert in ancient footwear, has called the discovery of the shoes “extraordinary” because of the excellent condition they were found in. He analyzed the shoes and theorized that they were quite expensive and meant for status. He added that there’s mystery surrounding the hiding of the shoes and how the owners never retrieved them. Veldmeijer speculated that there may have been some form of unrest in the area, causing someone to hide their shoes for reasons unknown and flee the scene.

It's not like this was something that the original mummy was taking to the afterlife, ya know? Still, there are lots of questions as to why these shoes were hidden, and by who! That makes it freaky enough for me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Now...About Those Taxes !

Here's a little bit of history about the revolution times that you may not know.

While most of what we know about early taxation was correct, there were certain things left out of most history books. I reckon it was because of the reference to that ol' "Demon Rum!"

American Rum And The Revolution

Schools teach us that the colonists living in America rebelled because of unfair taxation, which is a pretty accurate statement. They also teach that a tax on tea fired the colonists up, culminating in 1773′s Boston Tea Party. In reality, it didn’t all start there. First came a tax on molasses—molasses used for making rum.

Rum was a hugely popular drink in the American colonies, with hundreds of distilleries all manufacturing their syrupy version of the Caribbean drink. As North America’s climate was ill-suited for growing sugar, most of it was imported, to the tune of about six million gallons of molasses in 1770.

Molasses and sugar came from British- and French-ruled areas. To secure trade for themselves, the British used the Molasses Act of 1733 to slap a heavy tax on molasses that didn’t come from their own colonies. A revised act in 1764 imposed the tax on both sugar and molasses, allowing for the seizure of any cargo imported in violation of the law.

Suddenly, tax was having a very real impact on the success of a major colonial business, leading to the beginning of the rebellion against the idea of taxation without representation.

No matter how you look at it, the colonies were tired of being charged all those high taxes, especially when it came to sugar, tea, and molasses. Seems like the makings for some wild and fun parties were being taxed, and businesses started to hurt. Sounds like a good reason to revolt to me, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Another hot and dry day here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hopalong Cassidy On Western Wednesday...!

I know we've talked about Hoppy before, but I wanted to touch on some of his history again!

This man became the symbol for the genuine "good guy" to so many kids during his time spent on television and the movies that nearly everyone knew who he was. To this day many young folks still know who he was, but it's the folks that grew up in the 1950 era that were the most familiar with him.

Sep 12, 1972:
Hopalong Cassidy rides off into his last sunset

After nearly 40 years of riding across millions of American TV and movie screens, the cowboy actor William Boyd, best known for his role as Hopalong Cassidy, dies on this day in 1972 at the age of 77.

Boyd's greatest achievement was to be the first cowboy actor to make the transition from movies to television. Following World War II, Americans began to buy television sets in large numbers for the first time, and soon I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners were standard evening fare for millions of families. But despite their proven popularity in movie theaters, westerns were slow to come to the small screen. Many network TV producers scorned westerns as lowbrow "horse operas" unfit for their middle- and upper-class audiences.

Riding to the small screen's rescue came the movie cowboy, William Boyd. During the 1930s, Boyd made more than 50 cheap but successful "B-grade" westerns starring as Hopalong Cassidy. Together with his always loyal and outlandishly intelligent horse, Topper, Hopalong righted wrongs, saved school marms in distress, and single-handedly fought off hordes of marauding Indians. After the war, Boyd recognized an opportunity to take Hopalong and Topper into the new world of television, and he began to market his old "B" westerns to TV broadcasters in Los Angeles and New York City. A whole new generation of children thrilled to "Hoppy's" daring adventures, and they soon began to clamor for more.

Rethinking their initial disdain for the genre, producers at NBC contracted with Boyd in 1948 to produce a new series of half-hour westerns for television. By 1950, American children had made Hopalong Cassidy the seventh most popular TV show in America and were madly snapping up genuine "Hoppy" cowboy hats, chaps, and six-shooters, earning Boyd's venture more than $250 million. Soon other TV westerns followed Boyd's lead, becoming popular with both children and adults. In 1959, seven of the top-10 shows on national television were westerns like The Rifleman, Rawhide, and Maverick. The golden era of the TV western would finally come to an end in 1975 when the long-running Gunsmoke left the air, three years after Boyd rode off into his last sunset.

I'd say that he made quite an impression for someone who only made "B" movies, wouldn't you? Most of his films were well received by the public and made money...and that says a lot!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have to warn ya...it's already HOT!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Power Of Forgiveness...!

Saying that you forgive someone for a slight against you is one thing, but proving it is another. This story shows just how forgiveness really works.

The (Forgiven) Japanese Pilot Who Bombed Oregon In World War II
By Nolan Moore on Saturday, September 6, 2014

With only a handful of exceptions, few groups have ever attacked the United States on its own soil. In fact, most people probably believe the only aerial assault on the American mainland occurred on September 11, 2001. However, in 1942, the Japanese military ordered a pilot named Nobuo Fujita to bomb the town of Brookings, Oregon. While the mission was a spectacular failure, the bombings sparked a strange story of friendship between the citizens of Brookings and the pilot who tried to destroy their town.

The date was September 9, 1942. The Soviets and Nazis were duking it out in Stalingrad, and just a few days earlier, US and Australian forces had beaten the Japanese at Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Most Americans were following the war on their radios and in their newspapers, and they pictured a war taking places in faraway lands with strange names like Anzio, El Guettar, and Guadalcanal. So despite all the fear-mongering posters and East Coast blackouts, most probably would’ve been shocked to learn there was a Japanese submarine sitting off the coast of Oregon, just waiting to launch an attack on mainland USA.

The plan was to unpack a small Zero floatplane, catapult it into the air, and have it bomb the woods around the logging town of Brookings. If all went according to plan, the bombs would start massive forest fires, sending Americans into a panic, and drawing the US fleet away from its strongholds in the Pacific islands. The man chosen for the mission was a pilot named Nobuo Fujita, and along with his observer, Shoji Okuda, the two set off toward Oregon, planning to unleash hell.

Only the mission didn’t go according to plan. As it was autumn, the forests were damp and cool and not exactly conducive to forest fires. The bomb took out a few trees but didn’t start any raging blazes. A few weeks later, Fujita returned and dropped two more bombs into the Oregon forest, but while he started a few small fires, the residents of Brookings quickly put them out. Even though the Japanese had three incendiary bombs left, they decide to call off the assault. The invasion of Oregon was over . . . but the real story was just starting.

In 1962, Fujita was back in Japan, running his own hardware store, when he received a startling invitation. Much to his surprise, the citizens of Brookings had invited him to be the grand marshal of their annual Azalea Festival. The Oregonians wanted to improve American-Japanese relations, and the folks in Brookings had pooled $3,000 together for his flight. As you might expect, Fujita was rather skeptical. After all, he had tried to bomb their town. Worried they might hate him for his wartime activities, he took along the 400-year-old samurai sword he carried into combat. If everything went well, he’d present it to the people of Brookings. If things took a turn for the worse, he’d use it to commit suicide.

Fortunately, the citizens of Brookings were totally sincere in their invitation. They welcomed Fujita into their town with open arms, and the ex-pilot was so moved that he donated $1,000 to the local library to purchase books on Japan, encouraging peace between future generations of Americans and Japanese. In fact, Fujita even promised to pay for several Brookings teens to one day visit the Land of the Rising Sun. Even though he eventually went bankrupt, he scrimped and saved, and in 1985, he sponsored three children as his guests.

This trans-Pacific friendship lasted all the way into the ‘90s, and during his lifetime, Fujita flew to Brookings three more times and even planted a few trees in the spot he dropped his payload. Shortly before his death of lung cancer in September 1997, town officials declared Fujita an “ambassador of good will” and made him an honorary citizen. Today, his katana still hangs in the Brookings Library, a 400-year-old testament to the power of forgiveness.

I'm thinking that there is a real lesson here that we all could use. If these folks could forgive, then just maybe a few more of us could find some forgiveness to offer up, ya know? Sure couldn't hurt to try, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Bring some 'skeeter spray!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Strange Doorway For Monday Mystery...!

Some of the most mysterious places are ones that make you wonder...what were the builders thinking?

Of course, that's part of what makes the mysterious things so intriguing, isn't it? Someone, at some time, had a plan but what it was, we'll probably never know.

Aramu Muru


The Incan Doorway of Aramu Muru in Peru is a large square carved into a surface of rock. It’s 7 meters (23 ft) on each side, smoothed into a flat surface on an outcrop. In the center of the square at the bottom is an alcove a few feet wide and about as tall as a person. It looks like someone had started carving a building into the rock and just gave up.

The door has gained a cult following among believers in the paranormal, who say it’s a magical portal. Locals say it leads to the underworld and can be opened by magicians with special keys or enchantments. Some say it opens at midnight and there is a city on the other side. It’s even been suggested as a gateway to a distant part of the universe

Could South American natives really have accomplished magical interstellar travel thousands of years ago? It would be nice if that’s what they were attempting. The alternative is that someone was forced to give up their awesome construction project, and that’s just a little bit sad.

I reckon what it boils down to is that we have to decide if we really want to know the answers...or do we want things like this to remain a mystery to be pondered. Maybe not knowing is the best way to go.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. There is still some rain hanging around and the 'skeeters are flying in formation, ya know?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday After The Mob Means Cartoons...!

Pretty good get-together yesterday, so back to work today.

Baby Sis and her hubby are headed out to Spain Thursday, so today we'll dedicate these 'toons to them!

Well. I reckon that's enough to get us started, don't you?

Looks like it might rain, so coffee is in the kitchen this morning!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Another No Post Day...!

Today is our family reunion, so I won't be doing a real post.

I don't understand why we still have these things, except for my Mom's sake...and I reckon that's reason enough. Still, I'd rather be somewhere else, doing anything else, ya know?

So...sorry about not posting but you know how these family things kinda take over everything else. Help yourself to the coffee. You know where the pot is, right?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fake Funerals On Freaky Friday...!

Well, I have to admit that this is one of the more freaky things I've ever heard of.

Imagine someone having to attend their own funeral and be put in a coffin, all in order to make them a better person!

South Korea’s Fake Funerals
By Nolan Moore on Thursday, January 9, 2014

Have you ever wondered what it’s going to be like after you die? Well, if you’re curious, you can visit South Korea and attend a fake funeral. These “well-dying” courses are meant to inspire people to live better lives as well as combat the rising suicide rate. At your fake funeral, you’ll participate in a number of macabre activities that culminates in a fake burial.

Everybody dies, but in South Korea, some people die twice . . . sort of. Fake funerals are all the rage in the Land of the Morning Calm, and—among other bizarre activities—feature healthy people crawling into their own caskets. But despite their ghoulish nature, these bogus burials aren’t actually celebrations of death. Quite the contrary: They’re more like motivational seminars, complete with catchy names like the “Coffin Academy.”

Fake funerals are part of a South Korean movement known as “well-dying.” The idea is to inspire people to live better, fuller lives by confronting them with the reality of death. After attending their own internments, it’s hoped that attendees will get along better with their families, live a life without regrets and even become better workers. Not surprisingly, big businesses are totally down with that. Hoping to motivate their work force, Samsung required 900 of its employees to attend. That’s nothing compared to the Kyobo Insurance Company which ordered every single one of its 4,000 employees to take part in the meetings.

However, there’s a darker, more serious reason behind these fake funerals. South Korea is a rapidly developing country, and its schools and businesses are fiercely competitive. All that pressure to succeed coupled with the self-inflicted deaths of several Korean celebrities has led to a staggering number of suicides. In fact, South Korea has more suicides than any other nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Many believe that fake funerals are a way of combating this disturbing trend by showing people what death is really like and how their deaths will affect their loved ones.

And what exactly goes on during one of these fake funerals? While there are several companies, they all provide basically the same experience. First, participants put on yellow hemp robes, which are traditional death garments, and then pose for photos that will be used during services later on. After getting dressed up, the groups participate in a series of rather morbid activities. Often, the soon-to-be-deceased write out their wills and read them in front of the group. Many times, they’ll create their own epitaphs or work on goodbye letters to their families, encouraging their loved ones to live better lives. Eventually, it’s time for the funeral, and the attendees crawl into their own caskets. The lids are nailed on, and the “dead” are plunged into darkness. While they think about their lives, they can hear someone sprinkling dirt on top of their coffins as “mourners” cry in the audience. Ten to 15 agonizing minutes later, the lids are removed, and the dead are “reborn,” hopefully having learned not to take life for granted.

I really don't want to attend my own funeral until it's totally necessary, ya know? Guess I'm just funny that way!

Coffee out on the patio today. Peach pie on the side!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

You Hear Those Ghost...?

I don't know how many of you believe in ghost or spirits, but here's an interesting article from KnowledgeNuts that you might find interesting.

It seems that some of the things that folks experience can actually be explained by science. That makes all the difference, don't ya think?

The Strange Ties Between Low-Frequency Sound And Ghost Sightings
By Kristin Lovett on Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It’s called infrasound: This refers to a sound which has a frequency lower than 20 khz. This frequency is at the very bottom of the typical human range of hearing, and while it may not always be processed as sound, the body certainly registers it unconsciously. This can lead to some very strange reactions and may be linked to ghost sightings.

Hearing is a very interesting facet of the human brain. After all, sound is just a wave of energy, which you can actually draw on paper in the form of a sine wave. It is rather remarkable to think, then, that your brain can register these waves and convert them into meaningful information. Most humans have a hearing range from approximately 20 Hz to approximately 20,000 Hz.

Things get weird when you approach these limits of human hearing. Hitting the high frequencies can be damaging to the eardrum, but these high frequencies are not very common in nature. The lower end of the scale, however, is quite common in the modern world we inhabit. The sounds of trains passing and wind blowing are often enough to create the ultra-low-frequency infrasounds. They were first studied properly in the ’60s by a French scientist. He discovered the effects of the sound while in his laboratory: He and many of his assistants reported pain in their ears and heightened feelings of anxiety.

When a human is exposed to these sounds, things start to happen psychologically. Experiment participants report feeling chills, a sense of anxiety often tied to the feeling of being watched, and inexplicable sadness. It’s as if these sounds impart a set of human emotions and fears into the minds of the listener that are not their own. In addition to this, many people report slight hallucinations in their peripheral vision, usually the form of a gray blob, causing them to be very wary of their surroundings. This leads to the theory that these infrasounds can be often linked with areas where ghost sightings are frequent, as the common effects of infrasound are similar to the alleged presence of a ghost. This association likely has something to do with the way we regard thunderstorms and other natural events as frightening (sort of a no-brainer, considering how dangerous they are). The low-frequency sounds they generate make us more alert and worried, which makes sense in terms of survival.

Measurements taken at such places have often showed the presence of such frequencies, but not enough experimentation has been done to say anything conclusively. Some of the best research done on this subject was performed by university lecturer Vic Tandy. He was one of the first people to propose a link between infrasound and the paranormal. He measured the presence of infrasound in various locations, including the reputedly haunted London Underground. He also concluded that the main frequency that produced these effects was 19 Hz, where many people may not consciously register that they are hearing sound.

The only thing that remains is to explain why this is the case. Predictably, explanations vary and are largely speculative. The main idea remains similar throughout: This is that humans evolved to be agitated and frightened by low sounds, which would be useful in avoiding danger such as avalanches or storms. Whatever the reason, it is undeniable that low-frequency sound causes strange feelings in a large amount of humans.

So even if you can't hear the noise or the sound, it still may be there, right? Not only that, but the sound may bve causing you to "see" the ghost? I reckon all that goes back to the old saying that "just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get ya!"

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chinese Massacre On Western Wednesday...!

Many times in our history we have been shown that we have an ugly side. Lucky for us, it doesn't show up much.

However, this bit of history is about a time when the Ugly Side showed up big time. We can only hope that incidents like this don't happen too much anymore!

Sept. 2, 1885:
Whites massacre Chinese in Wyoming Territory

On this day in 1885, 150 white miners in Rock Springs, Wyoming, brutally attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15 others, and driving several hundred more out of town.

The miners working in the Union Pacific coal mine had been struggling to unionize and strike for better working conditions for years. But at every juncture the powerful railroad company had bested them. Searching for a scapegoat, the angry miners blamed the Chinese. The Chinese coal miners were hard workers, but the Union Pacific had initially brought many of them to Rock Springs as strikebreakers, and they showed little interest in the miners' union. Outraged by a company decision to allow Chinese miners to work the richest coal seams, a mob of white miners impulsively decided to strike back by attacking Rock Spring's small Chinatown. When they saw the armed mob approaching, most of the Chinese abandoned their homes and businesses and fled for the hills. But those who failed to escape in time were brutally beaten and murdered. A week later, on September 9, U.S. troops escorted the surviving Chinese back into the town where many of them returned to work. Eventually the Union Pacific fired 45 of the white miners for their roles in the massacre, but no effective legal action was ever taken against any of the participants.

The Rock Springs massacre was symptomatic of the anti-Chinese feelings shared by many Americans at that time. The Chinese had been victims of prejudice and violence ever since they first began to come to the West in the mid-nineteenth century, fleeing famine and political upheaval. Widely blamed for all sorts of social ills, the Chinese were also singled-out for attack by some national politicians who popularized strident slogans like "The Chinese Must Go" and helped pass an 1882 law that closed the U.S. to any further Chinese immigration. In this climate of racial hatred, violent attacks against the Chinese in the West became all too common, though the Rock Springs massacre was notable both for its size and savage brutality.

Just goes to show that justice was very slow in coming to certain areas of the young country, and sometimes it is still slow to make itself known, even today.

Coffee outside this morning. Fresh peaches anyone?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How About Those "Crazy Ants...?"

You probably know all about these destructive critters, but I figured we would talk some more about them.

Man, these guys are bad to have around. Not only do they do a lot of damage, but they are really hard to get rid of.

Ants That Eat Computers


In certain states in the Southeast US, fire ants are being slaughtered. That’s good news for most people, but their replacement might be even worse. In 2002, a species of invasive ant was discovered by an exterminator in Texas. Dubbed “crazy ants,” they were killing all the fire ants in sight. But crazy ants are becoming infamous because of the bizarre way they invade electronics, chew through the circuitry, and kill themselves when they reach the live electric wiring.

But as they die in a puff of smoke, they send out a chemical that calls other ants to the electric source to avenge their death. The result is a swarm of ants attacking the wiring in computers, cell phones, and TVs.

And they’re spreading. What started in Texas quickly moved across Mississippi and Florida, and is now moving north through Georgia. Crazy ants have a knack for reproducing faster than native ant species, out-competing them for food, killing everything that’s left, and taking over their nests.

Now, I don't know about you but I could go a long time and be happy not seeing any of these bad boys around. I'm funny that way, I guess!

Coffee in the kitchen in case the rain comes back, OK?

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Bird Mystery For Monday...

I try to find an interesting subject for Monday Mysteries and this one might just fit the bill.

While the mass deaths of some birds here in the states are more and more common, this one from India seems even more strange. I found this story over sat Listverse.


Article-2144624-12Fec67B000005Dc-324 634X410

Birds have been dropping dead worldwide in recent years, and this is a lot worse than finding your pet canary at the bottom of its cage. In Kentucky, hundreds of sterlings and robins were found on one woman’s property. In Chile, thousands of flamingos, 1,200 penguins and 60 pelicans died over the course of 2 months. Mass bird deaths are happening with alarming frequency in recent years, but one place in particular stands our more than any other: Jatinga, India. Every year in this small village, birds will fly themselves into the ground. There are many mysteries surrounding this case: Why do they do this at all? Why does it affect different types of birds? Why do the birds only do this along a small stretch of the road? Why does it only happen in September? And why do the birds do this after sunset, when they are usually only active in daylight? Many people visit this spot every year to see the phenomenon occur for themselves.

You have to admit there is something really mysterious going on with all these mass deaths involving birds. Whatever it is, I'm glad it doesn't happen close to where I live!

Coffee in the kitchen again today. there may be some more rain coming.