Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Mysteries...!

Another group of mysteries from the folks over at Youtube. I hope you can see them OK.



Good or bad, this is an easy way to present more than one mystery to you at the same time. I do hope it is acceptable.

Coffee out on the patio again. Slightly cooler temps are on the way.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Riddles For Sunday...!

Instead of cartoons today, let's do a few riddles. OK?



Just one more for ya...



Well, that was a little different, wasn't it? Kinda fun for a change, I think.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Freshly baked peanut butter cookies to share!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seeing Faces...!

As we get older, we tend to hear or see things others sometimes can't. Imagination...? Maybe not.

Here is a story about a slightly older woman (younger than me) that had this happen to her, and was more than happy to discover the cause.

The Faces



University of Kentucky physicians were similarly perplexed by a 67-year-old patient who was experiencing disquieting symptoms. Although she had no history of dementia or mental problems, she had been seeing things hovering around her all the time. Specifically, faces . . . terrifying, disembodied, elongated faces with huge eyes and teeth.

Understandably afraid that she might be losing her mind, the woman was almost relieved to receive a diagnosis of Charles Bonnet syndrome, which occurs in patients with rapidly deteriorating vision. Accustomed to constant input, the brains of patients with this condition simply make up their own input to replace whatever is missing.

The resulting hallucinations are usually more benign, such as flashes of color or small animals. In this woman’s case, the bloodcurdling visions became less frequent once she was diagnosed.

I'm happy for this woman and glad there was a minor explanation for her visions. Getting older certainly isn't for sissies!

Coffee is gonna be outside again

Friday, October 13, 2017

House Of Horns For Freaky Friday...!

People collect all sorts of things...some strange, some ordinary. However, some are just plain Freaky. Take this collection of horns, for instance.

Jim's Horn House

A collection of 16,000 antlers crammed beautifully into a small shed.




For the last six decades, Jim Phillips’ favorite pastime has been to hike out into the Montana backcountry, braving the elements, for the sole purpose of picking up thousands of pairs of stray antlers. Since starting his collection as a 10-year-old boy, the “Antler Man” has amassed a grand total of 16,000 antlers, all of which are on display in one well-lit shed in Three Forks, Montana.

Most antlers in the collection are brilliantly white and in pristine condition, lining the 16-foot walls from top to bottom at such a high density that it’s nearly impossible to see the wood that lies beneath the horns.

Although Phillips could have easily acquired these antlers through purchase, he has been firmly committed to building his collection organically, and thus has never purchased a single set of horns. To collect the antlers, he drives out into the backcountry and takes long hikes, scavenging for antlers littered on the ground after being shed from moose, deer, and elk.

Some days, the turnout is low; Phillips once hiked for 26 miles and only to return empty-handed. But most of the time, Phillips’ efforts culminate in a truckload of bucks, with a record of 87 in one day (their horns only, of course; Phillips never kills for his collection). This painstaking process, which Phillips has been undertaking since 1958, makes for an incredible collection for the mere cost of gas money. If shed antlers are scarce out in the woods, he has a backup plan: Many hunters discard unused parts of their kill in waste bins, so dumpster diving serves as a great alternative way to expand the collection.

Although Phillips chose to sell 2,100 of the sheds to put his daughters through college, the collection in the Horn House is unfathomably large. And Phillips is still at it; he always has another “bone to pick.” According to Phillips, “now I’m over sixteen thousand and I know seventeen or eighteen thousand will not be enough. ”

See what I mean? Although I suppose that his collection isn't freaky, but it certainly falls into the strange category, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sad Death Of Tom Mix...!

One of the best known names of the "Old West" was actor Tom Mix.

Seemingly bigger than life at times, his death was sad to many of his fans, but his name lives on to this day as one of the first cowboy heroes of silent films.

1940
Silent-film star Tom Mix dies in Arizona car wreck; brained by “Suitcase of Death”

On this day in 1940, cowboy-movie star Tom Mix is killed when he loses control of his speeding Cord Phaeton convertible and rolls into a dry wash (now called the Tom Mix Wash) near Florence, Arizona. He was 60 years old. Today, visitors to the site of the accident can see a 2-foot–tall iron statue of a riderless horse and a somewhat awkwardly written plaque that reads: “In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the Old West in the minds of living men.”

According to Mix’s press agent, the star was a genuine cowboy and swaggering hero of the Wild West: He was born in Texas; fought in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War; and served as a sheriff in Kansas, a U.S. marshal in Oklahoma and a Texas Ranger. In fact, Mix was born in Driftwood, Pennsylvania; deserted the Army in 1902; and was a drum major in the Oklahoma Territorial Cavalry band when he went off to Hollywood in 1909.

None of these inconvenient facts prevented Mix from becoming one of the greatest silent-film stars in history, however. Along with his famous horse Tony, Mix made 370 full-length Westerns. At the peak of his fame, he was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning as much as $17,500 a week (about $218,000 today). Unfortunately, Mix and Tony had a hard time making the transition to talking pictures. Some people say that the actor’s voice was so high-pitched that it undermined his macho cowboy image, but others argue that sound films simply had too much talking for Mix’s taste: He preferred wild action sequences to heartfelt conversation.

On the day he died, Mix was driving north from Tucson in his beloved bright-yellow Cord Phaeton sports car. He was driving so fast that he didn’t notice–or failed to heed–signs warning that one of the bridges was out on the road ahead. The Phaeton swung into a gully and Mix was smacked in the back of the head by one of the heavy aluminum suitcases he was carrying in the convertible’s backseat. The impact broke the actor’s neck and he died almost instantly. Today, the dented “Suitcase of Death” is the featured attraction at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma.

At least Tom went out in a blaze of glory. Some of his films are still around for viewing, if you are interested.

Coffee out on the patio one more time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Strange Death Of Meriwether Lewis...!

Few deaths of prominent individuals have been as strange as the one for Lewis.

To this day, folks can't seem to decide whether it was murder or suicide. Coupled with the fact that no one came to his aide should have raised more than a few eyebrows, I would think.

Meriwether Lewis dies along the Natchez Trace, Tennessee

On this day in 1809, the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at Grinder’s Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.

Three years earlier, Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, had completed their brilliant exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and the Pacific Northwest. Justly famous and celebrated throughout the nation as a result, Lewis nonetheless found his return to civilized eastern life difficult. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him as governor of Louisiana Territory, but Lewis soon discovered that the complex politics and power struggles of the territory were earning him more enemies than friends. At the same time, bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., were questioning the legitimacy of some of the purchases Lewis had made for the expedition in 1803, raising the threat of bankruptcy if he were forced to cover these costs personally. Finally, some three years after the end of his journey, Lewis still had failed to complete the work necessary to publish the critically important scientific and geographical information he and Clark had gathered in their journals-much to the disappointment of his close friend and mentor, Thomas Jefferson.

For all these reasons, most recent historians have concluded that Lewis’ death was a suicide brought on by deep depression and the heavy weight of worries he bore. According to the account given by Mrs. Grinder, the mistress of the tavern along the Natchez Trace where Lewis died, during his final hours Lewis began to pace in his room and talk aloud to himself “like a lawyer.” She then heard a pistol shot and Lewis exclaiming, “O Lord!” After a second pistol shot, Lewis staggered from his room and called for help, reportedly saying, “O Madam! Give me some water, and heal my wounds.” Strangely, Mrs. Grinder did nothing to help him; she later said that she was too afraid. The next morning servants went to his room where they reportedly found him “busily engaged in cutting himself from head to foot” with a razor. Fatally wounded in the abdomen, Lewis died shortly after sunrise.

Based largely on Mrs. Grinder’s story, most historians have argued that Lewis tried to kill himself with two pistol shots, and when death did not come quickly enough, tried to finish the job with his razor. However, in a 1962 book, Suicide or Murder? The Strange Death of Governor Meriwether Lewis, the author Vardes Fisher raised questions about the reliability of Mrs. Grinder’s story and suggested that Lewis might have actually been murdered, either by Mrs. Grinder’s husband or bandits. Since then a minority of historians has continued to raise challenges to the suicide thesis. But ultimately, nearly two centuries after the event, we may never be able to discover exactly what happened that night along the Natchez Trace when one of the nation’s greatest heroes died at the tragically young age of 35.

I'm certainly no expert on this stuff, but in my opinion, the facts seem to point more to murder than suicide. Guess we'll never know for sure, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Lost Story Of Jekyll And Hyde...!

Most writers know that some of their first drafts need to be edited, some more than others.

Here is an article about Jekyll and Hyde that can help to prove my point. It's also a cautionary tale for anyone considering having a piece edited while under the influence.

Jekyll & Hyde
 First Draft

 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde is one of the most famous horror stories ever written. The story examines the nature of the inner battle waged by humans between good and evil as well as their conscious and subconscious desires.

In fact, the book has made such an indelible mark on Western literature and culture that “Jekyll and Hyde” is now a commonly used phrase. But if Fanny Stevenson had not been such a harsh critic, you might never have heard of her husband, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Letters discovered in 2000 between Fanny and family friend W.E. Henley revealed that Fanny believed the book was simply bad, describing it as “utter nonsense.” She felt that the draft was a messy story about a scientist who turned into a monster, but it had no real purpose or message behind it. She suggested that the transformation should be used to symbolize the conflict of human nature, the theme for which the book is now most famous.

The original idea for the story came to Stevenson while he was in the midst of a cocaine-induced nightmare. Indignant that Fanny woke him up from his distressed sleep, Robert set to work writing the 30,000-word draft over the course of just three days.

This is the draft to which Fanny referred in her letter. She signed off by stating, “He said it was his greatest work. I shall burn it after I show it to you.”

And burn it she did, much to the chagrin of her husband. He immediately set to work on it again, this time with the helpful criticism of his wife in mind. The reworked version was completed and became a roaring success, saving the family from their financial woes.

But while you can pick up a copy of the revised book in almost any bookstore, the original, terrible draft is gone forever.

Even though the first draft was considered bad, I would have liked to have read it, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ancient Things For Monday Mystery...!

Some inventions from long ago still have no explanation as to what they are.

I would think that by now most, if not all, could have been well documented as to their use and purpose. I wonder what the problem is ?



That's all I had today. Just wanted to share that with you.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cartoon Sunday Again...!

It's Sunday again already. Time for some 'toons, I reckon.







And one more...



Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Let's Try Something Different Today...!

Sometimes I feel like we are getting into a rut here, so let's try something a little different.

I found a video that I thing will make you grin, at least, I hope it does. See what you think...



Well, did you grin? I thought you might.

Coffee outside on the patio. Nice north breeze cooling it off.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lovecraft On Freaky Friday...!

Did you ever read any of H.P. Lovecraft's work? Maybe you should...!

Some folks don't like to read creepy stories or books, but in order to get a broader prospective, it's important to read all kinds of literature. At least, that's my opinion.

H.P. Lovecraft

The Hermit Of Horror



Photo credit: salon.com

H.P. Lovecraft’s impactful and dark writings forever expanded the horror genre. He lived a life of isolation and prejudice that would cripple him from ever creating a name for himself during his lifetime. His legacy wasn’t born until years after his death.

Both of his parents had mental health issues that led them to the same insane asylum. More than likely, this reality was reflected in Lovecraft’s own delirium. His stories influenced many works by Robert Bloch, including Psycho (1959).

Lovecraft passed away penniless in 1937 at age 46. Though his dark perspective was something he could never escape, his stories inspired the creation of literary subgenres like “cosmic horror” and the work of icons like Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro.

Like I said, you should read all kinds of stories. After all, many of yesterday's science fiction is today's scientific fact!

Coffee out on the slightly cooler patio this morning.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Your Heart And Coffee...!

I just read an interesting article about coffee, and all the good things that it can do for you. Needless to say, I wanted to share part of this article with all of you.

Coffee And Your Heart



People have long considered coffee to be bad for the heart, but recent studies have debunked these misconceptions. There appears to be no link between increased risk of heart disease and coffee. To the contrary, emerging evidence suggests that coffee is actually good for the heart

Overall, coffee has been shown to be a powerful ally with respect to cardiovascular health. Although the effects are stronger in women, moderate coffee consumption has proven to slightly decrease heart attack risk for both genders.

If you really love coffee, here is some even better news: Three to five cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke. That’s actually quite a bit of coffee if you think about it. As if this was not big enough news already, java also helps to decrease the risk of congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease.

Of course, I've always known that coffee was good for me. Makes my heart happy to know my thoughts were correct.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning...OK?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Remington The Artist...!

For western Wednesday this time, let's find out some facts about Frederic Remington.

Not only was he talented and prolific as an artist, especially about anything western, but he was in high demand all across the country His works are still very highly valued today.

1861

Frederic Remington is born in Canton, New York

Frederic Remington, one of the preeminent artists of the American West, is born this day in 1861 in New York.

The son of a comfortable, if not wealthy, family, Remington was one of the first students to attend Yale University’s new School of Fine Arts. At Yale he became a skilled painter, but he focused his efforts largely on the traditional subjects of high art, not the Wild West. When he was 19, Remington’s father died, leaving him a small inheritance that gave him the freedom to indulge his interest in traveling in the West. As with other transplanted upper-class easterners like Theodore Roosevelt and Owen Wister, Remington quickly developed a deep love for the West and its fast disappearing world of cowboys, Indians, and wide-open spaces. Eventually buying a sheep ranch near Kansas City, Remington continued to travel around his adopted western home, endlessly drawing and painting what he saw.

In 1884, Remington sold his first sketches based on his western travels, and two years later his first fully credited picture appeared on the cover of Harper’s Weekly. After that, his popularity as an illustrator grew steadily, and he returned to New York in order to be closer to the largely eastern market for his work. Frequent assignments from publishers, though, ensured that Remington was never away long from the West, and gave him the opportunity to closely observe and sketch his favorite subjects: U.S. Cavalry soldiers, cowboys, and Native Americans. Remington’s output was enormous, and during the last 20 years of his life he created more than 2,700 paintings and drawings and published illustrations in 142 books and 42 different magazines. Though most of his paintings were created in his studio in New York, Remington continued to base his work on his western travels and prided himself on accuracy and realism-particularly when it came to horses. He even suggested that he would like his epitaph to read: “He Knew the Horse.”

When he died in 1909 in Connecticut, from acute appendicitis, Remington left a body of work that was popular with the public but largely ignored by “serious” museums and art collectors. Since then, though, Remington’s paintings, drawings, and illustrations have become prized by collectors and curators around the world, and prominent museums like the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, Wyoming) and the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art (Tulsa, Oklahoma) have created large permanent exhibitions of his work.

I doubt if any one artist did as much portraying the West as did Remington. He brought the West right into the living room of so many people, making sure that people world wide had a glimpse of the West he knew.

Coffee in the kitchen again today. Rain is trying to hang around.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How About Some Blue Lava...?

To tell the truth, I really don't like the idea of being around ANY lava, no matter what the color is. Just doesn't hold any interest for me.

I'll admit that it's probably pretty to look at, but I'll be just as happy looking at the pictures...thank you very much!

Blue Lava



Photo credit: National Geographic

One of the most destructive occurrences in our world is the explosion of a volcano. But in Indonesia, the Kawah Ijen crater on the island of Java appears to spout blue lava instead of the traditional yellow and orange tones we are all used to.

The most interesting part is the confusion this produces. The lava is not inherently blue. Instead, this event is produced by the combustion of a high concentration of sulfur in the area of the volcano. When sulfur ignites, it burns with a blue flame. So when the high concentration of sulfur comes in contact with the lava, the lava appears to turn blue.

In reality, it’s only the blue flames from the sulfur flowing down the mountain. That’s why this effect only appears at night.

Nature can sure surprise us, either in a good way or a bad one. I prefer to take the good, I reckon.

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

Monday, October 2, 2017

Unsolved Murder On Monday Mystery...!

Here's a story that is every parent's worse nightmare. The death of a child.

To lose a child is sad beyond belief, but to have that child murdered and not have the guilty party caught? Well, that only intensifies the anguish the parents go through, I'm sure.

The Murder Of The Grimes Sisters



On the evening of December 28, 1956, 15-year-old Barbara Grimes and her 13-year-old sister, Patricia, went to see a movie at the Brighton Theater in Chicago. When they didn’t return home, their mother reported them missing. A massive search was conducted for the Grimes sisters, but they were not found until January 22, 1957, when their frozen, nude bodies were discovered in a ditch near Willow Springs. Their bodies contained numerous bruises and marks, including three unexplained puncture wounds in Barbara’s chest. There has always been controversy about how and when the Grimes sisters were killed. The initial autopsy report concluded that they died on the same night they went missing, but the chief investigator believed they lived for several more days and were still alive when their bodies were dumped.

One suspect was a drifter named Bennie Bedwell, who had been seen with two girls resembling Barbara and Patricia on December 30. Bedwell was charged with their murders after making a confession, but he claimed the confession was coerced. The charges were dropped once it was discovered that Bedwell had an alibi during the time the girls went missing. However, one of the case’s strangest leads came from an unlikely source: Ann Landers, the famous advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Ann received an anonymous letter from a girl who claimed she saw a young man forcing the Grimes sisters into a car. The girl even provided a partial license plate number. Police suspected the letter might have actually been written by the murderer and wanted to question Ann, but she felt obliged to never discuss the letters she received. As a result, that lead went nowhere, and the murder of the Grimes sisters has never been solved.

I got this sad story from Listverse and I have to say, there are so many more of these stories it makes me worry about the human condition at times.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday 'Toons...!







And one more...



That's all for today. See ya tomorrow, if the creek don't rise!

Coffee out on the patio once again.

Friday, September 29, 2017

No Post Today...

I'm not feeling well, so no post today.

From Black Holes To Wi-Fi...!

Sometimes it's interesting to find out the origins of everyday objects, don't you think?

So many things end up being used for purposes far removed from what they were intended for. This is but one of many.

Wi-Fi Started As A Way To Detect Black Holes



Photo credit: hotforsecurity.bitdefender.com

Wi-Fi started with a physicist named John O’Sullivan. He had read Stephen Hawking’s theory that small black holes may evaporate, sending out radio signals when they do, and O’Sullivan wanted to prove it.

In theory, we should be able to detect these signals from Earth. These radio signals would be slight and hard to spot, but O’Sullivan worked hard to develop a mathematical tool to find them. For a long time, he stared out into space but he found nothing.

Then, in 1992, he took a job with a company that was trying to make wireless computer networks. Nobody could pull it off until O’Sullivan applied his black hole detection tool to the network—and it worked.

O’Sullivan’s ideas melded into what became Wi-Fi—a tool that was originally meant to spot black holes.

I found this information over on Listverse. Pretty cool stuff over there.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

It's All About The Search...!

Think about it for a minute, if you will. Without the tireless work of the many early explorers searching for answers, so many parts of our great country would not have been discovered and mapped for many years.

1542
Cabrillo discovers San Diego Bay

On this day in 1542, the Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovers San Diego Bay while searching for the Strait of Anian, a mythical all-water route across North America.

Cabrillo was not the first to search for a water passage across the North American continent, and he would not be the last. Ever since the voyages of Columbus, Europeans had dreamed of finding a shorter trade route to the Orient. Once it became clear that North America was not India, as Columbus had believed, but an entirely new continent, explorers hoped that an all-water route through the New World might still be found. Vastly underestimating the breadth of the continent, early 16th and 17th century explorers like Cabrillo believed that one such route might be the elusive Strait of Anian, a navigable passage some sailors claimed linked the Pacific with the Gulf of Mexico.

In June 1542, Cabrillo departed from the West Coast of Mexico and sailed northward to probe the complex broken coastline of the Pacific. Repeatedly turning east to follow any inlet that held the promise of being the Strait, Cabrillo was the first European to explore many of the Pacific Coast bays and inlets. Though San Diego Bay–as well as all the other inlets he subsequently explored–never led to the mythic Strait of Anian, Cabrillo did succeed in mapping many of the most important features of the California coast, though he missed discovering San Francisco Bay.

Despite the failure of the Cabrillo mission, other explorers continued to search for the Strait of Anian and its northern cousin, the Northwest Passage, for many years to come, though with no more success. Ironically, a passage across the continent actually did exist, and in 1905, the Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to make an all-water crossing of North America. But Amundsen’s cold and treacherous far-northern route was hardly the shortcut to the Orient Cabrillo and countless other explorers had dreamed of, and died for, over the course of more than five centuries.

In the end, it all comes down to the fact that early explorers took on the challenging and often dangerous job of doing the initial leg work for future expansion of the United States. So many great discoveries and natural wonders were found all because of the love of the search.

Coffee out on the patio again. Temps are in the 70s, so it's pleasant.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wild Bill For Western Wednesday...!

Here is a case where what seemed like a good idea at the time just didn't quite work out.

What started out to be a solution for one problem kinda led to another. The simple fix didn't solve the problem, but instead made it seem even worse than before.

1869
Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok proves too wild for Kansas

Just after midnight on this day in 1869, Ellis County Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok and his deputy respond to a report that a local ruffian named Samuel Strawhun and several drunken buddies were tearing up John Bitter’s Beer Saloon in Hays City, Kansas. When Hickok arrived and ordered the men to stop, Strawhun turned to attack him, and Hickok shot him in the head. Strawhun died instantly, as did the riot.

Such were Wild Bill’s less-than-restrained law enforcement methods. Famous for his skill with a pistol and steely-calm under fire, James Butler Hickok initially seemed to be the ideal man for the sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. The good citizens of Hays City, the county seat, were tired of the wild brawls and destructiveness of the hard-drinking buffalo hunters and soldiers who took over their town every night. They hoped the famous “Wild Bill” could restore peace and order, and in the late summer of 1869, elected him as interim county sheriff.

Tall, athletic, and sporting shoulder-length hair and a sweeping mustache, Hickok cut an impressive figure, and his reputation as a deadly shot with either hand was often all it took to keep many potential lawbreakers on the straight and narrow. As one visiting cowboy later recalled, Hickok would stand “with his back to the wall, looking at everything and everybody under his eyebrows–just like a mad old bull.” But when Hickok applied more aggressive methods of enforcing the peace, some Hays City citizens wondered if their new cure wasn’t worse than the disease. Shortly after becoming sheriff, Hickok shot a belligerent soldier who resisted arrest, and the man died the next day. A few weeks later Hickok killed Strawhun. While his brutal ways were indisputably effective, many Hays City citizens were less than impressed that after only five weeks in office he had already found it necessary to kill two men in the name of preserving peace.

During the regular November election later that year, the people expressed their displeasure, and Hickok lost to his deputy, 144-89. Though Wild Bill Hickok would later go on to hold other law enforcement positions in the West, his first attempt at being a sheriff had lasted only three months.

I reckon this is one reason Bill got the name Wild Bill. Have to admit he did what was asked of him, even if it ruffled a few feathers.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Murder Of Little Augie...!

Back in the days of organised crime, there were a lot of folks that went missing, kidnaped, or just ended up dead. Such was the case for Little Augie.

1959
Little Augie Pisano is murdered

Mob assassins shoot Anthony Carfano, known as Little Augie Pisano,to death in New York City on Meyer Lansky’s orders. Lansky, one of the few organized crime figures who managed to survive at the top for several decades, was estimated to have accumulated as much as $300,000,000 in ill-gotten gains by the 1970s. Still, the government was never able to prove any wrongdoing.

Meyer Lansky, the son of Russian immigrants, had an eighth-grade education, which put him far ahead of many other criminals. According to legend, Lansky was a straight arrow until one day in October 1918, when he joined a fight between teenagers Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano over a prostitute. After the three were charged with disorderly conduct, Lansky and Siegel became friends and began running a high-stakes craps game.

The two later expanded into bootlegging, car theft, and extortion, and helped form the New York “syndicate.” Lansky, a ruthless leader who would not tolerate disloyalty, ordered the murder of a thief who failed to provide an adequate kickback. Although he was shot several times, the thief survived to name Lansky as one of the assailants. Lansky then poisoned his hospital food, and though he survived a second time, the threat was enough to change his attitude toward testifying. Later, he even rejoined Lansky’s gang.

In June 1947, Lansky ordered the death of his old friend Bugsy Siegel in Beverly Hills, California. Siegel, who had been sent to the West Coast in order to establish a new mob presence, came up with the idea of building The Flamingo, Las Vegas’ first major casino. The casino had been built with mob money, and Lansky was angry over the pace of Siegel’s loan payments.

When Lansky ordered the murder of Anthony Carfano 12 years later, Carfano had been intruding on Lansky’s gambling interests in Florida and Cuba. His death eliminated all competition and opened up emerging markets for Lansky in South America. During the 1960s and 1970s, Lansky made a special effort to stay out of the public eye and was fairly successful. He died of lung cancer in 1983.

I'm sure that organised crime is still around now days, but they keep a much lower profile than in the early days. The old school fellas like Lansky are few and far between.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I gotta go to VA, so help yourself...OK?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Kaz II On Monday Mystery...!

Somany sea faring mysteries still exist out there, it's hard to pick another one to think about. Here is yet another still unexplained.

The Kaz II Ghost Yacht



The Mary Celeste has gained a somewhat eerie notoriety following its discovery, apparently having been abandoned by its crew, with nobody remaining on board. This ghost vessel phenomenon seems to repeat itself, remarkably, in the modern case of the Kaz II.

In April 2007, the Kaz II was traveling with its three-man crew along the northwest Australian coast, when air surveillance noticed it drifting oddly. Upon boarding, no trace of the crew members could be found. However, no sign of trouble was discovered either. A laptop computer was still running, and the engine was on. Eating utensils were laid out on the table, while life jackets remained in their cases. The bizarre and disturbing mystery of the Kaz II essentially remains unsolved.

According to Jon Hall of the Queensland Emergency Management Office, “What they found was a bit strange in that everything was normal; there was just no sign of the crew.”

The state coroner eventually ruled that “the brothers fell overboard while attending to mechanical problems—however, the ruling is still only speculation.”

Considering how much of our planet is covered by ocean, it's no surprise there are so many mysteries connected to the sea.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday's Post Is Short And Sweet...!

I ran across this clip from YouTube that shows a very rare animal...two of them, in fact! Instead of showing cartoons today, I wanted to show it to you. It's short, but very impressive to watch, OK?



That's all I had today...I promise. See? Not a single 'toon!

Coffee out on the patio where the mornings are fairly cool!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Some Early History Of Billy The Kid...!

I reckon most of us have heard of William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. However, here are some early facts about him you may not know.

Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time

On this day in 1875, 15-year-old Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time.

An older acquaintance of Billy’s had stolen a bag of clothes from a Chinese laundryman as a joke and convinced the always affable Billy to hide it for him. When Billy was literally caught holding the bag, a Silver City policeman threw him in the local jail to teach him a lesson. Languishing in a cramped cell for this petty offense, Billy discovered a deep-seated terror of confinement. After enduring his imprisonment for two days, he took advantage of his diminutive frame to worm his way up a chimney and escape. From that day forward Billy would be on the wrong side of the law, though he would soon be guilty of crimes far more serious than hiding a stolen bag of laundry.

Born in New York City in either 1859 or 1860, the boy who would later achieve an almost inexplicable level of worldwide fame as Billy the Kid, was at various times known as Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney, reflecting the uncertain identity of his real father. The young Billy’s home life was equally uncertain and perhaps even abusive, and he had a rootless childhood that took him to Indiana, Kansas, and finally Silver City, New Mexico, where his mother settled down and ran a boarding house. Although she was plagued by tuberculosis, Billy’s mother, Catherine, was reportedly “a jolly Irish lady, full of life and mischief.” She died when Billy was just 14, leaving the boy to eke out a meager existence on his own.

Unquestionably, Billy’s childhood was a hard and difficult one, but no more so than that of thousands of other young orphans. For a time the boy even seemed to be headed for an unremarkable life as a hard-working, honest, and unusually friendly young man. The owner of a hotel where Billy worked for his room and board later even praised his young employee as “the only kid who ever worked here who never stole anything.” Only after his unjust arrest and imprisonment for hiding a bag of dirty laundry did the good-natured and hardworking William Bonney start down the road to becoming the ruthless murdering outlaw Billy the Kid.

Once again it seems as though the youngster got an early start on the road of crime and lawlessness. Even if he had a rough childhood, the path toward being a career outlaw was his own choice.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Milky Frogs For Freaky Friday...!

Now you talk about something freaky, how about this story straight off Listverse. I'm pretty sure it qualifies as the right material.

Before Fridges, People Dropped Frogs In Milk



Photo credit: drinksfeed.com

Before refrigerators were invented, most people’s diets were very different. There’s a lot of food that just isn’t practical if you can’t keep it cold. For example, milk goes bad quite quickly without a fridge to put it in, so most people just didn’t drink it that often.

But not the Russians. The Russians found a different solution. They put frogs in their milk.

In some parts of Russia, people would drop frogs into buckets of milk to keep it from spoiling. That sounds a little strange, but oddly enough, it actually worked. The frogs’ skins were coated in an antibiotic peptide that kept bacteria from contaminating the milk, which actually made it safe to drink for a longer time.

Not that the Russians knew that. We didn’t figure that out until about five years ago. The people who did this had no idea that the frogs were keeping their milk from going bad until just recently. They were just dropping frogs into milk for reasons that no one can quite explain.

I can't help but wonder what started the whole "frog in the milk" thing to begin with. Seems more than a little strange to me, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio, but it might rain some more so be ready to move inside.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mosquito Free Zone...!

I just found an article that I thought was very interesting, especially after all our recent floods.

Turns out there are a handful of countries in the world where there are no 'skeeters...none at all! Iceland is one of these places.

Iceland only has one mosquito — and it lives in a jar of alcohol

Visit Denmark, Greenland, Scotland, or Norway, and you're bound to encounter at least one Draculaic pest.

In nearby Iceland, not so.

The tiny country is among a handful of others that claim no mosquito population whatsoever.

That is, unless you count the one that has lived in a jar of alcohol at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History ever since the 1980s, when a scientist captured it in an airplane.

"I chased it around the cabin until I got it," Gisli Mar Gislason, a University of Iceland biologist, told the New York Times. "It's the only mosquito I've ever found in Iceland."

There are a couple theories why the nation is mosquito-free.

In much of the Arctic, Greenland especially, there are numerous shallow ponds where mosquitoes lay eggs that hatch into larvae, which eventually become blood-hungry mosquitoes. In Greenland, the insects can get so big that they can take down baby caribou.

Those shallow ponds are important because they are the first to heat up and thaw once the temperature begins to rise.

"The mosquitoes go through their development faster which means there are fewer days to be eaten by a predator," Dartmouth ecologist Lauren Culler told Motherboard last year. "Lab studies, field studies, and population models show that a warming climate means more mosquitoes survive until adulthood."

Iceland has no such lakes in which the mosquitoes can breed. And as the Times reports, the country's ecology is such that its sees three main freezes and thaws throughout the year. Mosquitoes may simply not have enough time to mature in the warmer temperatures before it gets cold again.

In case you needed another reason to be concerned about climate change, scientists suspect that Iceland might not be mosquito-free forever. A warming planet means the insects would have a better chance at reproducing without cold weather getting in the way.

That would drop the list to just three places without mosquitoes: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and The Seychelles.

For everyone who doesn't want to move: Invest in repellent.

I don't know what a wet season here in the South would be like without the troublesome 'skeeter around. I'd be willing to try and do without, but I really hate to move! Plus, I don't handle the cold very well!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jim Bowie On Western Wednesday...!

One name comes to mind very quickly when we talk about weapons of the old west...Jim Bowie.

What made Bowie famous was his well known knife and Bowie's willingness to put it to use. They both developed quite a reputation, both good and bad!

Jim Bowie stabs a Louisiana banker with his famous knife

After a duel turns into an all-out brawl on this day in 1827, Jim Bowie disembowels a banker in Alexandria, Louisiana, with an early version of his famous Bowie knife. The actual inventor of the Bowie knife, however, was probably not Jim Bowie, but rather his equally belligerent brother, Rezin Bowie, who reportedly came up with the design after nearly being killed in a vicious knife fight.

The Bowie brothers engaged in more fights than the typical frontiersman of the day, but such violent duels were not uncommon events on the untamed margins of American civilization. In the early nineteenth century, most frontiersmen preferred knives to guns for fighting, and the Bowie knife quickly became one of the favorites. Rezin Bowie had invented such a nasty looking weapon that the mere sight of it probably discouraged many would-be robbers and attackers. Designs varied somewhat, but the typical Bowie knife sported a 9- to 15- inch blade sharpened only on one side for much of its length, though the curved tip was sharpened to a point on both sides. The double-edged tip made the knife an effective stabbing weapon, while the dull-edge combined with a brass hand guard allowed the user to slide a hand down over the blade as needed. The perfect knife for close-quarter fighting, the Bowie knife became the weapon of choice for many westerners before the reliable rapid-fire revolver took its place in the post-Civil War period.

Good or bad, the name Jim Bowie will likely be well known for many years to come as a legend in the stories of the Old West.

Coffee on the patio again today. Won't be long before we'll be forced inside because of the 'skeeters.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Strange Mass Disappearances...!

We have talked before about some folks disappearing without a trace, but usually it is just one or two people.

The following video is about mass disappearances that go pretty far beyond strange. Sadly, so far there have been no answers as to what happened to these missing people.



You really can't help but wonder what happened to all these people. At least I can't!

Coffee out on the patio again, if that's OK.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Colonel William Shy On Monday Mystery...!

We sometimes think that forensics can solve just about any medical related mystery out there, but it turns out we are wrong.

In the strange case of William Shy, it took a while to answer the questions raised by his burial. The experts were baffled at the time, even though the answer was closer than they thought.

Colonel William Shy’s Grave



The Facts: On December 15–16, 1864, the city of Nashville became a battleground for the already bloody American Civil War. William M. Shy, a Confederate Colonel of the 20th Tennessee Regiment, was shot in the head at point-blank range on the second day of the Battle of Nashville. This is where the story should have ended, but a 1977 excavation of his grave site proved that Colonel Shy was not yet through with the world.

The Weird: In December 1977, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass arrived in Nashville to investigate a case of vandalism at William Shy’s grave. The grave had been excavated, and a headless body had been propped upright on top of a 19th-century cast-iron coffin. The body appeared to be in an advanced state of deterioration and decay, but some discernible flesh and joints were still completely intact. Dr. Bass and the other forensic experts on the case made the natural assumption that the body had not belonged to the colonel, because his body should have already decomposed to dust.

After further examination, Dr. Bass declared that the body had been dead less than a year, and therefore definitely could not belong to Col. William Shy. But the inconsistencies kept piling up. Soon after the initial investigation, the body’s head was found—with a gunshot wound through the skull. Further, the clothes and casket did seem to be authentic Civil War-era artifacts. The answer was almost laughably simple, but it kept the forensic experts baffled for weeks. The cast-iron coffin—which was a rare privilege reserved for someone of Col. Shy’s social status—was secure enough to keep out all moisture, insects, and oxygen that would have progressed the decomposition process. With none of those present, the body was essentially trapped in a time capsule.

Now, I have to say that I didn't know this fact about the cast iron caskets. I would have been just as baffled as the experts, even if I had their knowledge.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Some Old 'Toons For Sunday...!

Been a while since we had some really old 'toons on, right? So let's have a few now, OK?






How about one more...?



Well, I did tell ya they were old! Coffee out on the patio today!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saint Simons Tree Spirits...!

Sometime we forget just how creative and artistic some folks can be. Here is just one reminder.

Saint Simons Island Tree Spirits
Carved faces add a touch of magic to this island's impressive oak trees.



Carved faces peer out from the old oak trees scattered around Saint Simons Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. The weathered wooden facades, dubbed the “tree spirits,” are a beloved addition to the island’s towering flora.

Saint Simons is known for its impressive oaks. In the island’s early years, it boasted a prosperous lumber industry. Timbers from Saint Simons were even used to construct the Brooklyn bridge in 1874.

Though they may look like an ancient source of forest magic, the tree carvings were created by local artist Keith Jennings, who says the faces are a reflection of his personal connection with the trees on his island home. The individual oaks influence each unique work of art.

Jennings began bringing the tree spirits to life in the 1980s. Each face is carved by hand and takes anywhere from two to four days to create. According to local legend, the spirits immortalize the sailors who were lost at sea while journeying aboard ships made from Saint Simons oaks.

I found this article over at AtlasObscura.com, if you want to see more pictures.

Coffee out on the patio, where the weather is starting to heat up again.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Santeria On Freaky Friday...!

Every so often, a story comes along that is so strange I wasn't sure if it was even real. Turns out it was true and not just made up.

The strange, dark journey of LeRoy Carter's head

In 1981, law enforcement found the body of a man named LeRoy Carter Jr. in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park… but just his body. Carter's head was missing, and pieces of a chicken had been partially stuffed inside the body.

Enter Sandi Gallant, a special intelligence officer who was involved in the investigation at the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. According to BlumHouse, Gallant was something of an expert in the realm of crimes committed with an eye toward black magic, the occult, and various types of witchcraft and spiritualism. Clearly, this was right up her alley. The LA Times reported that she guessed the crime scene had something to do with Santeria, and she put together a profile that included practitioners spending the next 21 days using parts of the man's head to cook up a ritual brew, then another 21 days of sleeping near the head. She also predicted that on day 42, the head would be returned to the scene of the crime.

And it was, showing up in the weeds near Alvord Lake exactly 42 days after the murder. No one saw whoever dropped the head back off on the scene, and the case went cold — but Gallant says that it was something of a wake-up call that dark stuff like this was actually possible.

Now, I don't know what part of this story I find the scariest...the actual crime, or the fact that someone in the police department actually knows all about the ritual itself! The whole thing is off-the-wall strange, if you ask me!

Coffee out on the patio again.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Some Strange Anomalies To Think About...!

We have talked many times about the many mysteries of nature, and our inability to explain them. Here are 5 more to consider.



Well, there ya go. Just a little food for thought this morning.

Coffee out on the patio again today. We can talk things over out there.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

From The Wild West To The White House...!

Many of us would like to just take off from time to time and get away from it all.

That's exactly what Teddy Roosevelt did when things became too much to deal with back east. Who would have ever guessed that he would end up being President of the United States?

An adoptive westerner becomes president of the United States

On this day in 1901, the 42-year-old Theodore Roosevelt is suddenly elevated to the White House when President McKinley dies from an assassin’s bullet. But while McKinley’s untimely death brought Roosevelt the presidency, 17 years earlier two other deaths had sent the young Roosevelt fleeing to the far West where his political ambitions were almost forgotten.

In February 1884, Roosevelt’s young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Devastated by this cruel double blow, Roosevelt sought solace in the wide open spaces of the West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching “my regular business.” Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House. Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality.

From an early age, Roosevelt had been convinced of the benefits of living the “strenuous life,” arguing that too many American males had succumbed to the ease and safety of modern industrialized society and become soft and effeminate. Roosevelt thought more men should follow his example and embrace the hard, virile, pioneer life of the West, a place where “the qualities of hardihood, self-reliance, and resolution” were essential for survival. Roosevelt’s own western experience was hardly as harsh and challenging as he liked to claim, yet the eastern tenderfoot did adapt quickly to the rougher ways of ranch life. He earned the respect of Dakotans by tracking down a gang of bandits who had stolen a riverboat and once knocked out a barroom bully who had taunted him. Though he spent the vast majority of his life in the East, Roosevelt thereafter always thought of himself as a westerner at heart, and he did more than any president before him to conserve the wild western lands he loved.

Even though he was born in the East, I think his heart always belonged to the the Wild West. I can certainly understand that.

Coffee out on the patio once again this morning.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

So Long, Hopalong Cassidy...!

So many people I know, including myself, grew up with one of their heroes being Hopalong Cassidy. He just always seemed to show up when he was needed the most.

Of course, the road to success for the so-called "horse operas" on television wasn't an easy one. Thanks to folks like Hopalong, Gene Autry, Cisco Kid, and Zorro for the hard work it took to bring these shows (and so many more) to our living rooms.

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.

Seems to me that we could use a few more shows like these in today's market. Most of these shows at least had a message or moral to them, and I know that is something we could all use a bit more of today.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Different Monday Mysteries...!

We are going to change things up a little today.

Instead of having just one mystery, we are going to have several. Thanks to the folks over at Youtube, I'm going to offer a video of some recent disappearances, none of which have been solved.



That should give everyone something to think about today, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

How About Some Sunday 'Toons...?

I know it's been a while, but here are some 'toons to start off your day. Hope you like them.







And maybe one more...



OK...that's enough for today. I'm ready to go do something, even if it's wrong!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Don Williams Has Passed...!

Often called the Gentle Giant passed away on Sept. 8, following a brief illness. He was one of my favorite all-time singers. With his mellow voice and smooth delivery, each and every song became special to me.







And just one more...



What a great voice the man had! Thank goodness we can still hear his music, even though the man himself is gone.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Freaky Meat On Freaky Friday...!

I don't know about you, but I am a little put off by the idea of eating anything grown in a test tube.

Seems to me that creating food in a lab somewhere just can't end well, ya know? Regardless, that seems to be the next step and those lab grown meats could be on the grocery shelves as soon as 2018. That is just plain scary to me, for some reason.

Hamburgers



Photo credit: qz.com

Nicknamed “schmeat,” the first lab-grown burger in the world debuted in London in 2013. It was created in the Netherlands by Dr. Mark Post, a professor of vascular physiology. His goal was to produce meat that didn’t cause “undue animal suffering and environmental harm” as traditional meat sources do. The project took him five years and $325,000 to complete.

After his success, Post went on to found Mosa Meats. Other companies also jumped at the chance to produce lab-grown meat of their own. Memphis Meats, a start-up in San Francisco, created lab-grown meatballs in 2016. They also grew chicken strips—a world first.

However, these aren’t estimated to be available to the public until 2021. Another California company, Hampton Creek, unveiled plans to get lab-grown meat onto store shelves by 2018.

I picked up this article from the folks over at Listverse again. So what do ya think? Would you eat lab grown food? I guess it would all depend on how hungry we got, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where it's still in the 70s.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Got Good News And Bad News...!

The good news is that my AC is fixed and running fine (for now ) and the house is starting to get back to a comfortable temp again. Jesse, the AC repairman, got here around  6:40 PM and in no time had it cooling like it is supposed to.

For those that don't know, I write my post ahead of time and set them to publish at 12:00 AM  This is where the bad news starts! I'm sitting here at my computer about 9:30PM or so Wednesday night, when I hear this loud CRASH coming from one of the spare bedrooms. Scared me enough to make me jump, 'cause it was fairly quiet at that time!

Long story short, when I went to check where the crash came from, I found a large portion of the ceiling sheetrock and insulation on the floor! I was pretty certain that wasn't where it was supposed to be, know what I mean?

Oh well...things could be worse. I'm still in much better shape than so many others here in the city and surrounding areas. I must be living right, or something. Just counting my blessings and thanking the Lord for the good stuff, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where the temps have cooled off thanks to a cool front that came through  early Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Crazy Horse For Western Wednesday...!

Crazy Horse is a name most of us remember as one of the Chiefs that defeated Custer at Little Big Horn.

Here is a little more information about him from the History Channel.

1877
Crazy Horse killed

Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse is fatally bayoneted by a U.S. soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. A year earlier, Crazy Horse was among the Sioux leaders who defeated George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana Territory. The battle, in which 265 members of the Seventh Cavalry, including Custer, were killed, was the worst defeat of the U.S. Army in its long history of warfare with the Native Americans.

After the victory at Little Bighorn, U.S. Army forces led by Colonel Nelson Miles pursued Crazy Horse and his followers. His tribe suffered from cold and starvation, and on May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse surrendered to General George Crook at the Red Cloud Indian Agency in Nebraska. He was sent to Fort Robinson, where he was killed in a scuffle with soldiers who were trying to imprison him in a cell.

What a shame for him to have to die this way. Being old school as he was, I reckon being locked in a cell was NOT going to happen.

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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It's Raining What...?

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that lately we have had some really abnormal weather all across the country.

However, this is a case where strange weather takes a huge leap forward. To say this is scary is like saying the ocean is a little wet. I only know that if or when this happens, I don't want to be anywhere around, ya hear me?

Raining Cats And Dogs . . . And Spiders?



Photo credit: elitedaily.com

One of the many laws of the universe is that everyone is either a dog person or a cat person. These two options encompass all of humanity. While virtually everyone loves animals, it would not be healthy to love them so much that one would want them to literally fall from the sky. If you love animals that much, maybe you should seek professional help. But before you do, we have good news for you.

While not a common occurrence, flightless animals falling from the sky is an actual weather phenomenon. While typically not dogs or cats per se, many animals have been recorded falling from the sky along with rainwater. Some examples include frogs, tadpoles, spiders, fish, eels, snakes, and worms (not a pleasant picture in any scenario).

The current leading theory is that these animals were lifted into the sky by waterspouts or tornadoes occurring in their natural habitat. Sadly, this has never been witnessed or recorded by scientists.

If this theory happens to be true, it does not explain a similar circumstance where raw meat fell from the clear Kentucky sky in 1876. Yeah, figure that one out.

Now, if this type of rain isn't strange, I don't know what is. I got this article from Listverse, so thank them for the nightmares.

Coffee out on the patio once again.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Missing Plane For Monday Mystery...!

Time to get back on some sort of schedule here at the Hermit's house.

Slowly things are getting back to (semi) normal here. I figured I'm better off trying to stay busy instead of sitting around fretting over things I can't control. So anyway, here is a little case of another missing plane for Monday mystery, OK?

N844AA



Photo credit: Mike Gabriel

On May 25, 2003, a Boeing 727, registered as N844AA, was stolen from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport in Angola. Shortly before sunset, two men boarded the aircraft: American pilot Ben Padilla and mechanic John Mutantu. Neither were certified to fly the 727, which normally flies with a flight crew of three. It is believed that Padilla was the one at the controls. The aircraft made its way onto the runway without clearance and without communicating with the control tower. With its lights switched off and a few erratic maneuvers, the plane thundered down the runway and took off, heading southwest over the ocean.

Since then, neither the two men nor the aircraft have been seen. The disappearance of N844AA prompted a worldwide search by the FBI and the CIA. Despite this, no trace of the aircraft has ever been found.

Ya know, I can't help but wonder why these guys stole this plane. Did they have a buyer for it, were they planning to use it to run drugs, maybe as a get away vehicle in some bizarre robbery. It does make you wonder.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Cooler out there than inside, since the AC is still out.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

No Post Today...!

It's been a hell of a week here in Houston and all across southern Texas. Record shattering storm, high water, flooding and so much destruction I can't even begin to talk about.

Because of that, I am taking Saturday and probably Sunday off. I just didn't want anyone to worry about me, OK? I'm tired and pretty much done in by everything from this week and need the time off.

Thanks to everybody for all the well wishes and prayers. They are greatly appreciated by all of us !

Help yourself to the coffee this morning. You know where it's at!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Trumpapillar...!

Mother Nature can throw us a surprise from time to time, as we've talked about before. Here is one more example for ya!

You may notice a slight resemblance of a famous person, but let me assure you this is just the way nature made these guys. I had nothing to do with it!

Trumpapillar



This fuzzy little fella is called the flannel moth caterpillar, but researchers who encountered the critter in the Peruvian Amazon nicknamed it the “Trumpapillar” due to its similarity in color and style to Donald Trump’s hair. These caterpillars actually come in a range of colors, including white, pink, red, and yellow.

The hairs that adorn the caterpillar’s body closely resemble tarantula hairs, and they are covered in little venomous spines which cause an excruciating rash upon contact.[12] This defense method is so successful that, in an example of Batesian mimicry, the chicks of an Amazonian bird called the cinereous mourner look almost exactly like the fuzzy yellow caterpillar. When in danger, the baby bird will even mimic the caterpillar’s movements precisely so as to deter predators such as snakes and monkeys who wish to avoid contact with the venomous Trumpapillar at all costs.

I found this creepy crawler over on Listverse, so I didn't have manipulate any pictures or anything like that. Besides, if I saw one of these around, I sure wouldn't want to touch it!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. AC is still broke and it's HOT inside!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

You Would Get A Bang Out Of This Bread...!

Never doubt that mankind can get very sneaky when it comes to making new ways to kill.

Given the right incentive, something as simple as freshly baked bread could be turned into a weapon. Don't believe me...? Take a gander at this article from my friends over at Listverse.

Aunt Jemima Flour Bomb



During World War II, George Bogdan Kistiakowsky, a soldier and scientist working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner to the CIA, developed an edible baking flour that doubled as a bomb. The flour was called Aunt Jemima, after a popular brand of flour sold in the United States, and was a mixture of normal baking flour and a deadly explosive called HMX.

Aunt Jemima could be baked into bread or muffins like normal flour and eaten, even though resistance fighters were severely warned against doing so, since it could cause serious stomach upset. It was supplied to Chinese resistance fighters during the war and was intended for use against the occupying Japanese forces.

When the flour wasn’t baked into bread or muffins, it was made into an improvised bomb. And when it was baked into bread or muffins, the “baker” only needed to add a detonator to turn it into a bomb.

The worse thing you can get from my baking is a tummy ache, but it won't explode...at least, I hope it won't!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. With my AC still down, it's cooler out there than inside!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ishi Discovered In California...!

Can you imagine being alone and just wandering around, knowing you are the last of your people?

That was the case when they discovered Ishi, the last Stone Age Indian known to exist. What a startling culture shock that must have been for Ishi. Here is his story.

1911
Ishi discovered in California

Ishi, described as the last surviving Stone Age Indian in the contiguous United States, is discovered in California.

By the first decade of the 20th century, Euro-Americans had so overwhelmed the North American continent that scarcely any Native Americans remained who had not been assimilated into Anglo society to some degree. Ishi appears to have been something of an exception. Found lost and starving near an Oroville, California, slaughterhouse, he was largely unfamiliar with white ways and spoke no English.

Authorities took the mysterious Indian into custody for his own protection. News of the so-called “Stone Age Indian” attracted the attention of a young Berkeley anthropologist named Thomas Waterman. Gathering what partial vocabularies existed of northern California Indian dialects, the speakers of which had mostly vanished, Waterman went to Oroville to meet the Indian. After unsuccessfully hazarding words from several dialects, Waterman tried a few words from the language of the Yana Indians. Some were intelligible to Ishi, and the two men were able to engage in a crude dialogue. The following month, Waterman took Ishi to live at the Berkeley University museum, where their ability to communicate gradually improved.

Waterman eventually learned that Ishi was a Yahi Indian, an isolated branch of the northern California Yana tribe. He was approximately 50 years old and was apparently the last of his people. Ishi said he had wandered the mountains of northern California for some time with a small remnant of the Yahi people. Gradually, accident or disease had killed his companions. A white man murdered his final male companion, and Ishi wandered alone until he reached Oroville.

For five years, Ishi lived at the Berkeley Museum. He and Waterman became close friends, and he spent his days describing his tribal customs and demonstrating his wilderness skills in archery, woodcraft, and other traditional techniques. He learned to understand and survive in the white world, and enjoyed wandering the Bay area communities and riding on the trolley cars. Eventually, though, Ishi contracted tuberculosis. He died on March 25, 1916, at an estimated age of 56. His body was cremated according to the customs of his people.

What a feeling of loneliness Ishi must have felt, given the circumstance. Tragic to say the least. At least he had a friend to assist him.

Coffee out on the soggy patio this morning. I'm hoping to see a little sunshine today, since the rain seems to have stopped!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

9 Trillion Gallons And Counting...!

There is no way I can explain how totally devastating the storm called Harvey continues to be. I found the best article in the Washington Post that puts it in much better perspective than I can. Here is an excerpt from them, with a link to the whole article.

Putting this much rainfall into perspective is challenging; after all, the sheer volume of water is incredibly tough to visualize. Fortunately, we crunched the numbers — here’s how they stack up.
So far, just the rain that has already fallen across the greater Houston area and Southeast Texas tallies to 9 trillion gallons. That’s only what has already come down, and keep in mind that 5 trillion to 10 trillion additional gallons could fall before things wrap up midweek.

The 9 trillion gallons of water dispensed so far is enough to fill the entire Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City — twice! It would take nine days straight for the Mississippi River to drain into Houston and equal the amount of water already there. If we averaged this amount of water spread equally over the lower 48 states, that’s the equivalent of about 0.17 inches of rain — roughly the height of three pennies stacked atop each other — occupying every square inch of the contiguous United States. Imagine one downpour large enough to cover the entire country!

This amount of water could fill 2.3 percent of the volume of the mountain range containing Mount Everest in Nepal and is enough to occupy 33,906 Empire State Buildings, from basement to penthouse.

But here’s the kicker: Just how unprecedented is this? Well, remember the flooding that New Orleans experienced with Hurricane Katrina? Most places saw about 10 to 20 feet of water thanks to levee failure, inundating about 80 percent of the city. Now, if we took the amount of rainfall that Texas has seen and spread it over the city limits of New Orleans, it would tower to 128 feet in height — roughly reaching as high as a 12-story office building.

So there ya have it. A LOT of water has fallen, with more on the way. Pretty damn scary, for sure!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. You may have to swim to get here, though.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday Morning Update...

Sorry that it has taken so long for me to get an update together for everyone, but I just got my internet and all back on.

Not just the Net was down here, but my Television was off the air as well What that means is that for two days (Saturday and Sunday) I couldn't get a weather report or comment on the questions asked on the blog. This morning, though, everything seems to have made it back on...except for the A.C. !

That's right, folks. My AC is kaput for now. However, my house is dry on the inside and I have no leaks in the roof, so I'm in good shape compared to many in this area. From what the weather guys say, we have had around 30 inches of the rain so far, and the end isn't in sight until about Wednesday or so.

So many folks around town are saying that they have never seen the flooding as bad as it is right now, even during past hurricanes. We definitely need a break from the rain. I just heard a report that over the last 24 hours, there have been over 100 tornadoes spotted here in the Texas area. I know of at least 6 or more here in our area. Very nasty things and lots of destructive power in their wake.

Anyway, compared to some, I'm lucky. My home is dry, I have plenty to eat (thanks to my preps), enough coffee to last for a while, and more than enough books to last me.

I would say coffee inside this morning...but the governor is requesting we all stay indoors and avoid traveling. Sounds like good advice to me !

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Stormy Sunday Cartoons...!

Before I get back to reading, thought I'd take the time to share some 'toons for a stormy Sunday.

If the weather folks are right, the rains are going to stick around for another couple of days. Got plenty of coffee laid in, so I'm OK.







Maybe just one more...



Well, the rain has started back up, so guess I better get back to my book.

Coffee in the kitchen again.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Glow In The Dark...?

Here is a bit of information I borrowed from the Grunge. I think you'll find it interesting, to say the least!

Sabin Arnold von Sochocky



The awesomely named Sabin Arnold von Sochocky invented glow-in-the-dark paint, which he cleverly called Undark. He imagined entire houses bathed in Undark's glow and had a successful factory producing thousands of glowing watch dials daily. That is, until his workers started dropping dead, because his product was freaking radioactive and, like, super deadly.

Despite a lawsuit being settled in the surviving workers' favor in 1928, these watch dials and many more insane radioactive products continued to be produced right up through the end of World War II. At that point, the dangers of radioactivity began to be a bit more properly understood. Decontamination studies at the site of Sochocky's plant started in 1983, and the site wasn't fully decontaminated until 2016. Sochocky himself succumbed to radiation poisoning in 1928. His time of death was probably noted on one of his stupid killer watches.

Well, here is a little update on what's going on with the hurricane. It's now a category 4, which ain't too good. I'm posting this Friday night to publish on Saturday at 12 a.m. The storm is supposed to move in overnight to make landfall, and that's when the real fun begins. Just a heads-up here...I may lose power and the Internet Saturday or Sunday, so if I don't check in, that's the reason.

Needless to say, coffee in the kitchen this morning. Kinda wet outside, ya know?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Why Are Most Barns Red...?

I've kinda wondered about that myself over the years. Finally, thanks to the folks over at the Farmer's Almanac I have a reasonable answer!

Why Are Barns Painted Red?

Ever wonder why old barns are usually red in color? Red is (or, perhaps, was) a popular color for barns due not to its color shade but for its usefulness.



Many years ago, choices for paints, sealers and other building materials did not exist. Farmers had to be resourceful in finding or making a paint that would protect and seal the wood on their barns. Hundreds of years ago, many farmers would seal their barns with linseed oil, which is an orange-colored oil derived from the seeds of the flax plant. To this oil, they would add a variety of things, most often milk and lime, but also ferrous oxide, or rust. Rust was plentiful on farms and because it killed fungi and mosses that might grow on barns, and it was very effective as a sealant. It turned the mixture red in color.

When paint became more available, many people chose red paint for their barns in honor of tradition.

Well, I am certainly glad we got that out of the way. No more having to lay in bed at night wondering about it, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Maybe you've heard...we have a storm coming in.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Watch Out For The Nutmeg...!

Here's a little bit of information I picked up while doing some research. It just may surprise you.

This is a spice that many of us use in our cooking, especially around the holidays. Adds just a touch of the exotic to whatever we add it to. I don't remember when I last used it, but I'm sure I have.

Scary Spice



Weird Fact: Nutmeg is poisonous

Nutmeg is a hallucinigenic drug which is regularly used to flavor such lovely things as custard tarts and fruit cakes. It is also a poison which will kill you while you suffer a variety of extremely revolting (and one or two not-so-revolting) side-effects on the way. Ingesting 2 grams of nutmeg will give you similar feelings to having taken amphetamines (the not-so-revolting side-effect) but will also cause nausea, fever, and headaches. Ingesting 7.5 grams will cause convulsions, and eating 10 grams will cause hallucinations. Eating a whole nutmeg can lead to “nutmeg psychosis” which includes feelings of impending doom, confusion, and agitation. There have been two recorded cases of death by nutmeg (one in 1908 and one in 2001)

Now I do hope none of my readers are going to rush right out and buy some nutmeg to try out the effects they say it can produce. Probably best just to leave this one spice alone, just in case.

Coffee inside this morning. They say we have a really bad storm headed our way.