Saturday, April 29, 2017

Something Amusing For Saturday...

I have had the handymen around all day yesterday working on my hall bathroom. I'm having it remodeled, new tube and tile and all new plumbing fixtures.They should finish up today, I think.

Any time you have a house that's as old as this one, some repairs are going to have to be made. Besides the age of the house, cracks had shown up in a couple of places in the sheetrock and that led to a leveling job. Sort of never ending, ya know? Anyway, today I wanted to show a couple orf animal videos for ya. Is that alright?





That's enough for now. I better get back to my supervisor position (which means watching while others work)!

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Freaky Murder By Unbrella...!

For today's freaky Friday story, let's go all the way back to 1978. You may remember this story as it was all over the news in the U.K.

The Poisoned Umbrella


Photo credit: Wikimedia

It’s a case that many people have heard of. In 1978, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident and a BBC journalist, was poked in the back of his leg by an umbrella held by an unknown man. The unknown man ran off, and sometime later, Mr. Markov complained that his leg had gone stiff.

The next day, Markov was taken to St. James’s Hospital, Balham, where he spoke up about the umbrella man. Markov was described as being “very toxic,” and he had a high fever. He was diagnosed as having septicemia, but the antibiotics failed to cure him. He died a few days later from cardiac arrest.

Markov’s body was inspected, and the doctors found a puncture wound on the back of his leg where he said he had been bumped by an umbrella. An X-ray revealed a platinum pellet inside the puncture wound. The pellet was removed, and inside two small holes that were drilled into the pellet, ricin was detected. The murder of Georgi Markov remains unsolved, but it is generally believed that it was carried out by the Bulgarian secret services.

It's my guess that the dead man must have got hold of some information he shouldn't have and paid the deadly price. Either that or could be he was just simply a spy that knew too much.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Gonna be a hot one with the temps around 91.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Female Daredevil For Thursday...!

In keeping with my effort to include a post of some women from time to time, I want to talk about female daredevil Sonora Webster Carver.

Not only was she a daredevil, she was the first female horse diver! It takes a lot of courage to do something like that, I'm thinking! I'm putting a short clip of one of her dives on this post as well!

Sonora Webster Carver



For a time in the early 20th century, a stunt involved forcing horses to dive from towers up to 60 feet high. Horse diving sometimes involved people actively riding the horse over the edge of the tower. Sonora Webster Carver was the first woman to become a horse diver.

William “Doc” Carver was the inventor of the act, and he placed an ad calling for “a girl who could swim and dive and was willing to travel.” Sonora Webster answered, and from 1924, she would mount a running horse as it climbed the ramp to the jump and ride it into a pool of water sometimes only 12 feet deep. She married Doc’s son, marrying into the family business.

In 1931, Sonora’s horse Hot Lips made a mistake and tumbled into the water face first, as did Sonora. The shock of the collision detached her retinas and totally blinded her. Despite this, she continued to dive horses for 11 years. Carver lived to be 99.

Imagine the shock of doing something like that with no sight! Heck, I couldn't do it with both eyes open!

Coffee out on the patio. Sorry, but it's getting pretty warm outside!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Native American Legends Of Giants...

For this post on Western Wednesday, something a bit different...Indian legends of giants.

Not only one nation or tribe, or even one area, but different locations. The only thing that seems to be the same is that all these stories involve what can only be described as giants!

Native American Legends Of White Giants



Photo credit: ancient-code.com

In 1857, a Native American of the Comanche tribe stood in front of a crowd and told them a story. “Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, [305 centimeters (10′) high], and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living here, inhabited a large range of country,” he said. “They drove the Indians from their homes, putting them to the sword, and occupying the valleys in which their fathers had dwelt.”

It seemed like a parable of what was happening now. But all that changed when what appeared to be a Greek medallion and two coins was found in Oklahoma. After that, genealogist Donald Yates started piecing together the evidence and realized that this wasn’t an isolated story.
The Choctaws also had a story about “a race of giants” with white skin who lived in what is now the state of Tennessee—and other tribes had some stories that were oddly similar. The Greek writer Strabo wrote about a “Western Continent,” suggesting that he might have had some knowledge of the Americas.

Yates believes that these native stories might not be entirely made up. Greek explorers may have actually made it to the Americas and fought with the people there, leaving behind a legacy that grew bigger every time the story was told.


Call me crazy, but this is one legend that I believe has some truth in it. For the stories to come from so many different areas, how could it not?

Coffee out on the patio again today. Won't be long until the 'skeeters start showing up, I reckon!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Deadly Hot Peppers...!

I now many folks that can gobble down jalapenos and other peppers like they were candy. I, however, can't.

Here is a case where someone decided, for a challenge, to put that hotness to the test. I can only imagine what the man went through and I don't want to go through it myself. Like they say I wouldn't do that on a dare!

Death From Peppers



Ghost peppers are one of the hottest in the world, so hot that they can be used to make grenades and even guns that cause temporary blindness. They are off the charts on the hotness scale, zeroing in on over one million Scoville heat units. And yet, we still can’t help but eat them.

In 2016, one man from California learned the hard way why this pepper was named the way it was. Challenged to a contest, he was able to devour a hamburger topped with a ghost pepper puree. (Keep in mind that a single seed can cause a horrific burning sensation that lasts up to a whopping half hour).

After drinking six glasses of water, the man couldn’t stop vomiting and was rushed to the emergency room with severe chest and stomach pain. All that retching resulted in a collapsed lung and a 2.5-centimeter (1-in) hole torn in his esophagus.

Death from a pepper isn’t very heroic, but a torn esophagus is downright gruesome. Without treatment, death from infection is a certain outcome. Fortunately, the man was hospitalized for 23 days and sent home with a gastric tube. It’s safe to assume that he’ll keep a wide berth around peppers from now on.

Wonder how long it will take him to chow down on something hot again? I would hope he learned his lesson, but knowing how people are I'd be willing to bet it won't be long.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Eye On Monday Mystery...!

Here's another little mystery given to us by Mother Nature, just maybe with a little outside help.

If this island didn't invoke some sense of mystery about how and why it was formed, I don't know what will. I've always heard that circles don't form naturally in nature. I don't know if that's true or not, but either way, this island is there and no one seems to have a good explanation as to how it was formed.

The Eye



In a swampy area of the Parana Delta near northeastern Argentina, lies an island with a difference. Named The Eye, the island is a near-perfect round circle of land surrounded by an equally round thin circle of water. The water is very clear and very cold in comparison to the other bodies of water in the area. The diameter of the island is said to be 130 yards (119 meters) across the outer circle. On top of all this strangeness, the island also seems to rotate (or float) slowly around its own axis. Comparing first images taken of it in 2003 and using the slider tool on Google Earth, clearly shows that the circle of land has moved around within the hole it is located in.

Most people share the opinion that the island is too perfectly shaped to be a natural formation, but if it was indeed man-made, what is the purpose of it? Conspiracy theories are rife, with the most popular of the lot being that the island is concealing an alien base below its surface.

A filmmaker is now working on a crowd-funding project to allow scientists and other experts to research the phenomenon and hopefully come up with an answer to the mystery.


This will be an interesting story to follow. You can read more about it right here!

Let's have coffee out on the patio. It's a little cool, but as they say "ain't no hill for a stepper", right?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

More Sunday Funnies...!

Since I can't put regular comics out of the Sunday paper on here, guess we'll have to settle for the cartoons from Youtube. Hope you enjoy them!







And maybe one more...?



Boy...some of these are really old! Maybe older than me, and that's old!

Coffee in the kitchen. Just a little cool outside.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

From Soap to Chewing Gum...

One of the really popular names in the chewing gum business got it's start in a very surprising way. More surprising than you may believe!

Wrigley



Famous for its chewing gums, Wrigley was started by William Wrigley Jr in 1909. Before then, he worked as a salesman for his father’s soap business. Wrigley Jr gave free umbrellas to whoever bought his soap, but the umbrellas faded in the rain, so he switched to giving free baking powder.

The baking powder proved more popular than the soap, so he dumped soap-selling to sell baking powder. He did not want to give free soap to whoever bought his baking powder, so he gave out chewing gums, which, like the baking powder, turned out more popular than the soap. Wrigley saw a business in selling chewing gum, and in 1909, he bought Zeno Manufacturing, the company that supplied him with the chewing gums and converted it into the Wm Wrigley Jr. Company.

This little bit of trivia was brought over from Listverse. I think it's a good way to show that the old saying about turning life's lemons into lemonade really proves true! Quite a swing from soap to chewing gum, isn't it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Cool front is due in later this evening, but that's OK.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Death Numbers That May Surprise You...

There are so many ways that death can approach us, there is just no telling how it will come.

However, it might just be a surprise to you to see the actual numbers of a few of the ways we depart. Certainly not the numbers I was expecting.

Sharks vs. Vending Machines



It is very unlikely to be killed by a shark—the United States experiences 16 shark attacks each year, with less than one fatality every two years statistically. Vending machines, on the other hand, claim the lives of 2.18 people per year, making your snack sources almost twice as likely to kill you.

Plenty of other causes pose a higher risk of death than shark attacks. Falling coconuts cause about 150 deaths annually, cows kill 20 people a year, and bees are responsible for 100 deaths each year. On a larger scale, almost 6,000 people die from tripping and falling at home each year, and mosquitoes claim the lives of over 800,000 people each year, mainly due to malaria in developing countries.

Who would have ever thought that the number of people that died at home as the result of a fall was that high? Certainly not me! Guess we need to be extra careful!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, with plenty of sun.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scientifically Proven: Older Folks Are Awesome...!

Of course, most of us had been thinking this for quite some and maybe we even stated it to others as fact. Turns out we were right all the time, and now we have science to back us up.

Here's what an article from Listverse had to say about the "getting older" crowd.

Their Brains Work Slower (Only Because They’re Full Of Wisdom)



While we young whippersnappers crack jokes at how excruciatingly slowly old people think and speak, they only do that because their brains have stored so much information. Combined with the fact that their brains need less dopamine than before, old people are also more thoughtful and far less likely to act on impulse than their younger peers. The elderly can still process new information, albeit at a slower pace for the same reason that they speak slowly.

These unique characteristics of an aging brain make up what researchers believe to be the biological root of wisdom. As University of Dallas Center for Vital Longevity’s Denise Park summarizes, “There’s a reason why we don’t have 20-year-olds running the world.”

You really should read the rest of the article! So many things that we have said over the years now have some solid backing. About time the elderly caught a break!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I hope it stays clear.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Jesse James Video For Western Wednesday..

In the story of the bad boys of the old west, the James boys and the Younger brothers probably stand out more than most.

Jesse James Leads James-Younger Gang



In this clip of The Real West, host Kenny Rogers highlights the life of the notorious James Gang. The James Gang is probably most well recognized by its lead man, Jesse James. The gang had a history of robbing banks but wanted to try something new. The James brothers attempted to rob a train, by removing it from its tracks. Find out if they succeeded and how the well-known Jesse James was finally killed by watching this clip.

I'm surprised that any of these guys lived very long at all, considering what a dangerous trade they had chosen. If y6ou made it past 30, that was an accomplishment. Thanks to the history channel for this story and video.

Coffee inside again today, because of (you guessed it) rain!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cleaning Up That Brain...

Sleep is far more important to our bodies than most of us ever thought. Even more importantly, it's very crucial to the health of our brain.

In order to do what it needs to do, our mind needs to rest. This is done while we sleep!

Brain Cleansing


Photo credit: nih.gov

During waking hours, toxins and other waste products accumulate throughout the cells of the brain and body. As the rest of the body shuts down when you go to sleep, your brain gets to work. Essentially, it opens a valve that allows cerebrospinal fluid (pictured above) to flow from your spine into your brain, rinsing the tissue and taking all the toxins with it.

This process is part of a larger cycle known as cellular respiration, a series of reactions that help cells create energy from nutrients and keep the body running. The toxins removed at night are “leftovers” from this process.

Although this cleansing occurs throughout the body, its effects are most noticeable in the brain, where inadequate sleep has noticeable effects. This brain gunk that remains is one of the main reasons you often feel lousy after a long night.

Looks like our folks were serious when they got after us about not getting enough rest. I hate to admit it. but I think I don't get enough brain cleaning at night, so does that mean that I have a dirty mind?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning due to the rain being here again!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Strange Jade Pendant For Monday Mysteries...

Ever notice how the finds of one archaeological dig can lead to a mystery about another? Sort of like a puzzle within a puzzle. The following find is one of those cases.

The King’s Necklace



In southern Belize, excavations at Nim Li Punit found a jade artifact. The 2015 find turned out to be an exceptionally rare and out-of-place pendant. Measuring 7.4 inches wide and 4.1 inches long (18.8 cm x 10.4 cm), the necklace was T-shaped and curiously, was discovered inside a platform with the same form. Thirty hieroglyphs describe its purpose and owner, making it the only pendant discovered with a historical account.

It belonged to King Janaab’ Ohl K’inich and was worn on his chest during important weather rituals. What it was doing at an outpost far removed from all Mayan cities, remains a mystery. Furthermore, it named his parents and possible links with faraway Caracol, a powerful city. The jade itself was mined from Guatemala, revealing political and trading relationships never before credited to Nim Li Punit. The king’s presence there was unusual. Even more so was that of the pendant and its odd burial, not with its royal master, but with other objects around A.D. 800 in what may have been a desperate offering to the Mayan wind god, during a time when their civilization was collapsing.

I reckon this is the main reason folks study archaeology to begin with...they are hooked on solving puzzles. I found this story over at Listverse, in case you are interested.

Coffee out on the patio, where Summer seems to have taken up residence.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I'm Taking Easter Off...

I figured that since today was Easter...I'd take the day off and reflect on the past year.

It's been good in some ways and not so good in others. Seems like all holidays are like that to me lately! But I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way.

anyway, I'm off but I'll be back Monday...OK?

Coffee out on the patio, but no Easter eggs to hunt, I'm afraid.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Are Nouns Of Association...?

Simply put, they are words that describe groups of similar objects...like a Litter of kittens. There may be a few that you don't know, so I'm gonna point them out to you. How's that?

1. A clowder of cats

2. A parenthesis of cellists

3. A coalition of cheetahs

4. A shock of corn (with stalks included)

5. A brace of dogs (2 dogs) 

6. A leap of leopards

7. A coterie of Orchids

8. A dray of squirrels

9. A midden of shells

10. A murder of crows

11. A thought of barons

12. A knot of toads

13. A parliament of owls

14. A covey of quail

15. A passel of piglets

16. A rascal of boys

17. A rafter of turkeys

18. A skein of geese (in flight)

19. A shrewdness of apes

20. A cete of badgers


Most of these I didn't know myself, but you may have. After all, I don't know everything...no matter how I act sometimes.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Alright with you?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cooking For One Is A Pain...!

Even if you have all the knowledge in the world, trying to cook for one person and doing it in a healthy manner is hard.

Some of my favorite foods from my younger days are out of the question, merely because there just isn't any way to justify the cost for one person. I don't care for fast food much, so I am always on the look-out for inexpensive ways to fix something tasty but healthy at the same time, ya know?

I decided to try cooking using Sous Vide, know what that is? It's basically cooking something in a controlled heat. Immersion cooking without having to fry or bake or broil, letting the food baste in it's own juices.

You start off by sealing the food in a ziploc bag or the equivalent with the seasoning and then letting the controlled temperature do the work. It takes a while, but the meat or chicken comes out so tender you can cut it with a fork. Plenty of recipes and videos on YouTube showing all about this style of cooking.

My next adventure will be an Instant Pot, which is a newer version of the pressure cooker...only a lot safer! Again there are a multitude of YouTube videos showing all about this stuff, if you are interested.

I like the idea of eating a little healthier, not having a lot of leftovers to deal with, and especially being able to avoid the crowds at the fast food places!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Let's Talk Playing Cards...!

No one would ever believe that the ordinary playing card has such a long and interesting history, but it does.

It must be a fairly profitable business to make the cards and it is watched fairly closely to make sure that all the guidelines for manufacturing are followed.

Snap



Fact: It is glue, not plastic, that makes playing cards “snap”.

Contrary to popular belief, it is glue that makes playing cards snap, not plastic. Quality playing cards are known for their feel, spring and snap. The tension and elasticity is important for the durability and feel of each card. But while cards feature a plastic coating (usually dimpled, to give a little bit of a slide), it’s layers of glue that give each card its backbone. 

Each card is like an Oreo, where laminated sheets of cardboard are the cookies and glue is the cream filling. The combination provides a curiously strong, thin and pliant piece of paper perfect for a shuffle or a trick. 

Bonus detail: The plastic surface on the paper does not completely enclose each card. The sheets of cardboard are laminated before the gluing process. You can spill a drop of water directly on the center for a few seconds without ruining the card, but if the water gets to the edge? Ruined. The water seeps into the card’s paper like a sponge.

Who would have ever guessed that cards had so many facets to look for? Certainly not me. I found this article over at Listverse.

Coffee outside on the patio this morning

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Desert Galleon For Western Wednesday...!

Folks have been dreaming about finding gold or treasure from a pirate ship for a very long time, but probably not in the Colorado desert.

This following story has been around so long, it makes me wonder if it has any truth in it. Know what I mean?

The Lost Ship In The Desert

If there’s any place you don’t expect to find a lost Spanish galleon, it’s probably the Colorado Desert. But in the 1870s, there were rumors galore about the lost ships. According to the Los Angeles Star, a treasure hunter finally found what he was looking for in November 1870. On December 1, a man named Charley Clusker claimed to have found an extraordinarily well-preserved Spanish galleon, but nothing was ever brought back from his expeditions into the desert. The ship was a pirate vessel and the treasure was still on board.

It might sound insanely farfetched, but there’s a small possibility that there actually was truth in the story. The Salton Sink is a massive depression created millions of years ago in the Colorado Desert, a depression that has been known to turn into a lake. Evidence of flooding includes the presence of oyster beds high in the San Felipe Mountains. It’s possible the pirate ship made its way up the Gulf of California and then ran aground. The crew would have ultimately died, leaving the galleon baking in the sun. Whether or not that’s really the case is still up for debate, but the sheer number of reports about a lost desert ship are enough to spark the imagination.

Call me crazy, but I kinda wish this was a true story. Never hurts to keep a dream alive, does it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Be Good And Eat Your Medicine...?



Sometimes we never stop and remember that most most medicines came from humble trial and error beginnings. I don't know who the first people were that served as the first lab rats, but I'd say that they were pretty brave...or desperate!

Kaolinite

Kaolinite
Photo credit: GOKLuLe
 
Kaolinite is the mineral name for China clay. It is a beautiful, white clay named after Kao-Ling Mountain in China. It is used to make all kinds of ceramics and is also safe to eat. While eating clay may sound strange, people have been swallowing kaolinite for years. It is used in medicines as well as toothpastes. 

Up until the late 1980s, the anti-diarrhea drug Kaopectate had two active ingredients: kaolinite and pectin. The odorless sugar compound pectin is a soluble fiber and thickening agent used to make jellies and jams, while kaolinite is excellent at absorbing fluids. The combination of the two was effective against the runs. People old enough to remember the original Kaopectate may also remember its distinctly chalky, clayey smell. That is the smell of the mineral kaolinite.

I don't remember any medicine we had to take that really tasted good...and the only thing we got when we ate any clay was someone yelling at us to stop, ya know?

Coffee inside just because it's supposed to rain again here.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Musical Mystery For Monday...!



Ever wonder why some folks are considered mysterious? This story might explain a lot and at the same time cause us to wonder about the source of his talent.

Giuseppe Tartini

4
 
Photo credit: Wikimedia
 
Giuseppe Tartini is the musician on this list that only expert violinists will know. He was born 1692 in the Venetian republic and was the first known owner of one of the famous Stradivariuses. In 1765, just a few years before his death, Tartini had a dream in which he met the devil. The devil played him a piece on the violin, and Tartini, after waking up, tried to write it down. 

The Violin Sonata in G minor or “The Devil’s Sonata” became one of his most famous works. It is such a complicated and difficult piece that people in his time murmured that Tartini must have six fingers to be able to play it. (It was also rumored that everyone who played the complete piece would inevitably lose his soul to the devil. Would you try it? Find the sheets here).

Like all artist, many musicians are sometimes surrounded by an air of mystery . Just part of the whole package, I suppose.

Coffee out on the patio again, OK?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Another Sunday Spider Story...!



Once again today we look at one more horror story brought to us from Mother Nature. She has a way of hiding these little jewels all over the place.

Trogloraptor

trogloraptor
 
 
Not since 1890 has a newly discovered spider in America required a new genus, family, and species to classify it. Meet the trogloraptor, living proof that there are very few places on land, regardless of condition, that a spider cannot call home. This handsome guy was discovered in late summer 2012 living in cave systems in Oregon.

This spider, unlike any other, has special serrated talons at the end of each arm. This trait is where it gets its charming name, which means “cave robber.” When it was found, it was using these talon arms to suspend itself from the cave ceiling by a strand of its own silk.

As of now, there are theories that it could be a relative to the goblin spider, but very little so far is known about these cave dwellers. Attempts to feed the captured specimens have failed, showing that they prefer a specific diet. This spider is so alien to us that even what they eat remains a mystery.

Remind me not to go prowling around any caves if I ever visit Oregon. It would be my luck that this bad boy would find me to be his dream of a perfect meal!

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Another Plant That Wants To Kill You...!



We talked a bit about some of the nasty tricks that Mother Nature sometimes pulls on us, but one of the most deadly is in plants like this one.

Sometimes Jimson Weed is used to get high, but that is almost guaranteed to cause the person trying it some serious health problems.

Jimson Weed

Datura_stramonium_flower

Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) is known by the common name devil’s snare. Many may remember this name as Harry, Hermione, and Ron came face to face with it when searching for the sorcerer’s stone. However, the real devil’s snare is more diabolical than that found at Hogwarts. True devil’s snare is a tall, flowering plant that produces funnel-shaped flowers and prickly seed pods. Native to Asia, the toxic plant has made its way to the West Indies, Canada, and the United States. 

Although the devil’s snare seems plain and unassuming, this plant is packed with a powerful punch. The devil’s snare contains a mixture of tropane alkaloids which can affect nearly every aspect of the human body but are particularly debilitating to the brain. Commonly used as a psychedelic drug, devil’s snare can cause dilated pupils, blurred vision, frightening hallucinations, confusion, euphoria, delirium, combative behaviors, as well as tachycardia, and dry mouth. 

Devil’s snare typically enters the body directly; a person will suck the juices from the plant stem or flowers, or simply ingest one of the seeds from the prickly pod. And while death is not always certain, devil’s snare will take you on a trip that is not going to be pleasurable.

I often wonder why it is that people continue to try and get high on plants that might get them high, and kill them in the process. Stupid is as stupid does, I reckon!

Coffee again is out on the patio. The temps will be in the mid 70s, so it should be pleasant!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Zombie Spiders For Freaky Friday...!



As if we didn 't have enough bad stuff floating around, now we have zombie spiders!

Thanks to Mother Nature for her part in this particular little horror. I'm sure She has many more surprises just waiting for us to discover them. I'm the first to admit I'm in no hurry, know what I mean?

The Walking Dead

2-wasp-and-spider
 
Photo credit: Answers In Genesis
 
Researchers recently uncovered a special aspect of the relationship between a parasitic variety of wasp and a certain species of spider. It’s long been known that the wasp uses spiders to build extra-strong nests for its cocoons, but it’s how the wasps are able to do this that is unusual—by turning the spiders into mind-controlled zombies.

Specifically, a female wasp lays an egg on the belly of a spider. Once hatched, the larva attaches itself to the spider’s nervous system, subsisting on its blood and releasing a chemical that causes the spider to become a mindless construction worker for an ultra-durable wasp nest.
The modified strands reflect ultraviolet light instead of absorbing it like regular webbing, negating its effectiveness at trapping prey. Once finished, the larva thanks its zombie slave by eating it and then happily builds its cocoon.

Talk about a horror show...this has to rank way up there with all the others. Not only does the spider get turned into a zombie, when it's work is completed, it becomes dinner!

Coffee out on the patio again One more gorgeous day.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Printing Out Food...!



It's almost like something from the Star Trek series. Replicators that can copy food or drink.

Researchers have managed to find a great way to use 3D printing. They can produce food...actual edible food! To me this is one of the greatest things to happen in a long, long time!

The Replicator

cellpod-blueberries
 
Photo credit: Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) via Science Daily
 
Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre has prototyped a device which it believes could be the future of urban farming. Called the “CellPod,” it is an appliance resembling a lamp, small enough to fit on any kitchen shelf. All it needs are the undifferentiated cells of a plant in a microscopic amount, and within a week, it will have 3-D printed enough food for a healthy meal
.
Since the cells contain the genetic code for the entire plant and only the most desirable parts are replicated, the resulting substance is even healthier than a naturally grown plant. Researchers admit that the currently bland taste needs work, but the implications for food production in impoverished or high-population areas are staggering. The device is even able to produce viable foodstuffs from the cells of some nonedible materials such as birch

I can only imagine what a boon this would be for the hungry in many countries around the world. Who caresw if it taste bland, as long as it can keep folks from starving to death!

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Something Is Missing, I Think...!


 


I can only imagine what this poor man must have thought when he got the word that he wasn't all there.

It's amazing that he managed to function at all, but it only goes to show just how much we don't understand about our own bodies. I've seen people that had more upstairs than this gentleman, but acted like they might have more missing than in his case!

The Ten-Percenter

ten-percent-brain

  

When a 44-year-old French man went to the doctor complaining of weakness in his left leg, a CAT scan was ordered, which was typical. What wasn’t typical was the resulting image.

Diagnosed during childhood with fluid buildup in the brain, the man had been treated with a shunt until age 14, when it was removed. Apparently, fluid had continued to fill the man’s skull cavity for the next 30 years—slowly eroding his brain as it did so.

Although the unidentified man is a functioning, healthy adult, only ten percent of his brain remains. Scientists are at a loss to explain how a man missing many regions of his brain is able to function at all, let alone normally. It is hypothesized that the man’s brain is in a constant state of “relearning,” implying that the locations in the brain associated with specific functions may be far more flexible than previously thought. 

I'm surprised that he doesn't have headaches or something. Still, it's amazing what we can get used to, I reckon. This story came from the folks over at Listverse!

Coffee inside this morning. We have a little cold snap moving in.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Colored Rains Of India...!



In this age of scientific knowledge and know-how, it's unusual to find something that is seemingly impossible to decipher. The colored rains of India are, however, just that!

Red Rain in Kerala
Red Rain Kerala

 From 25 July to 23 September 2001, red rain sporadically fell on the southern Indian state of Kerala. Heavy downpours occurred in which the rain was colored red, staining clothes with an appearance similar to that of blood. Yellow, green, and black rain was also reported. According to locals, the first coloured rain was preceded by a loud thunderclap and flash of light, and followed by groves of trees shedding shrivelled grey “burnt” leaves. Shrivelled leaves and the disappearance and sudden formation of wells were also reported around the same time in the area. A study commissioned by the Government of India found that the rains had been colored by airborne spores from a locally prolific terrestrial alga. Then in early 2006, the colored rains of Kerala suddenly rose to worldwide attention after media reports of a conjecture that the colored particles were extraterrestrial cells. The origin of the rain is still unknown today, despite worldwide efforts to discover the cause and true nature of the rain.

Sometimes these mysteries will haunt us for many years to come. Other times we just accept them Perhaps that's the best way to go! This story came from Listverse.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, April 3, 2017

One More Secret Of The Jungle...



There are so many secrets in the different jungles around the world, we will more than likely never know the mysteries that surround them. Some things we are just not supposed to know, I reckon.

The Amazon Rings

 
Amazon Ring
 
 Photo credit: Heiko Prumers

 A series of ring-shaped ditches can be found throughout the Brazilian Amazon, which predate the rain forest itself. These structures remain a complete mystery, and archaeologists are unsure what to make of them. It is suggested that they served as burial grounds or a form of defense, but no one knows for sure. A further-fetched theory is that they are marks left by UFOs that once landed there before the forest grew. These blemishes are similar to the Nazca lines in that there is no confirmed reason as to why they exist. It is assumed that these rings were constructed by the early people who inhabited the area.

A further question is, “How did the early men get the tools to create them?” This is also unanswerable, as there is no proof that any tools sophisticated enough to have created the rings even existed at the time they were constructed.

See what I mean?  Secrets with-in mysteries...all unknown and apt to stay that way!

Coffee out on the patio one more time. Freshly baked Snicker-doodles are available.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Music And 'Toons...!

What we have is a little something for everyone. Cartoons with a music theme!

I know some folks don't care for cartoons, but nearly everyone likes music of some kind, right? Then this is the spot for the3m.







Maybe just one more...



Who says we don't have culture in our 'toons?

Coffee inside this morning, 'cause it's gonna rain!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Pretty But Poisonous...!

Like many things in nature, this beautiful plant is a pleasure to look at, but if you eat it...watch out!

It always amazes me at how many toxic plants we have around us, often growing them because of the beauty and soothing colors. Nothing wrong with that as long as we understand that many of them can be harmful to us or our pets, so be aware.

Rhododendron spp.
 Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin

Bright Azalea2

Azaleas are a very common plant, found in gardens all over the world. Its evergreen leaves and brilliant flowers make it an exceptionally attractive plant for many gardeners. Its flowers are white to deep pink, red, yellow, purple, blue and orange.

Despite its popularity, an underwhelming common knowledge of its toxicity exists. All parts of the Rhododendron are highly toxic, and may be fatal if eaten. Symptoms from ingestion include over-salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficulty breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs and coma, usually leading to death. How beautiful and attractive!

How many plants to you have around the house that are toxic? Just don't eat them or even chew on the stems...OK?

 Coffee out on the patio this morning. Big rain coming in a day or two.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Long History Of Sandals And Socks...!

I can't really say just when socks were first worn, but according to this article I found, they have been around for a very long time!

Seems to me that one of the things we might find crazy in the way others dress in today's diverse fashion world was not that uncommon way back when. In fact, the first appearance of knit socks go much further back than we might have imagined...as in Egypt!

The First Socks Were Worn With Sandals



10-ancient-egyptian-socks

 Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

Today’s classic fashion faux pas was actually the first method of wearing this clothing item. The earliest-known knit socks are from Egypt, dating back to the 3rd–6th centuries AD.

Most of sock history occurred in colder climates, so why there were socks in ancient Egypt is a mystery. These were constructed of knitted wool, often in bright colors, with a division between the first two toes to allow for use with sandals. Basically, they were the first fashion socks because they were probably not needed for warmth.

The Romans also wore socks with their sandals. Bare-toed Roman soldiers suffered in damp northern climates like Britain, and archaeological evidence (the Vindolanda tablets) shows they would write home to request more socks be sent.

How do we know they wore them with sandals? A dig in Britain turned up a sandal with fabric fibers caught on pieces of metal inside the shoe. So, yes, this world-conquering empire expanded at the hands of armed warriors on the frontiers who wore sandals with socks.

I knew that socks had been around for a while, but never that long...and I had no idea that Roman soldiers ever wore them with sandals. Somehow it makes the typical dress code at some of the resorts around seem a lot more fashionable, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Some Of Nature's Beauty...!



Believe it or not, but I have never been to Yellowstone Park. My family went at one time, but I didn't. Don't know why...

As much as I used to like camping, I am surprised I never made it there. Guess I need to put it on my bucket list, ya know?

Yellowstone National Park

yellowstonea

 

 Almost thirteen hundred kilometers (800 miles) away from Crater Lake is Yellowstone National Park. The park is a unique combination of flora, fauna, and fountains that shoot steaming water into the sky. Yellowstone is well known for the geyser “Old Faithful,” whose regular blasts can reach up to 56 meters (185 feet). Other rare sights include the Yellowstone Sand Verbena and Yellowstone Sulfur Wild Buckwheat. They are endemic to the area, meaning they are only found in the park. It is not uncommon to see bison, moose, wolves, and bears after spending only a few hours inside the beautiful landscape.

However, there is a dangerous history to Yellowstone. Many people know about the potential of the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting in our future. What few know about are the three major explosions that overtook the land before it became a national park. 

Dating back 2.1 million years, the park was home to three massive eruptions. The strength of these explosions reached up to 6,000 times the strength of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption. The resulting calderas, plants, and animals are what now makes up most of the park today. 

It would be my luck that if I went, that's when the next eruption would happen. Don't relish that idea at all!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I think the rain is all gone for now!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Road For Western Wednesday...!

Even the great projects of the western days were more often than not held up by politics. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about!


Congress authorizes survey of Cumberland Road

Congress authorizes surveying to begin for the construction of the Cumberland Road, which sped the way for thousands of Americans heading west.

Four years earlier, Congress had recognized the importance of building a network of national roads to facilitate western immigration. The 1803 act that admitted Ohio into the Union included a provision setting aside money from the sale of public lands to use in “laying out, opening, and making roads.” By 1806, enough funds had accumulated to begin surveying a proposed national road from Cumberland, Maryland, through the Appalachian Mountains to Wheeling, Virginia, on the Ohio River.

The task of surveying the route for the new national road went to the Army’s Corps of Engineers, setting an important precedent for the military’s involvement in building transportation routes that would be used for non-military purposes. The Corps of Engineers also built the road once construction began in 1811. Progress was slow, and the Corps did not complete the 130-mile road until 1818. Its value, though, became apparent well before it was completed. Stagecoaches, heavy freight wagons, and droves of stock animals soon crowded the route in numbers far surpassing those expected. The Corps even had to maintain and repair older sections of the road before the entire route was completed.

The Cumberland Road proved such a success that Congress agreed to continue extending it westward. By 1850, this National Road, as it came to be called, reached all the way to Indianapolis. By that time, mid-western excitement over the National Road was fading in favor of a fever for canal building. The Cumberland-National Road, however, set the precedent for further government involvement in road building. The resulting network of roads greatly facilitated American expansion into western territory, and parts of the route blazed for the Cumberland Road are still followed to this day by interstate and state highways.

Pretty amazing that we managed to get anything done from the old days to now. Involving politics seems to always slow things down more than a little .

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. We are expecting high winds and possibly hail as a storm system moves through later

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Beautiful But Closed Forever...!

Seems like a shame to have something so pleasing to look at closed and listed as unsafe, don't you think? That's the case with this subway station in New York.

Abandoned Subway Station


9-city-hall-subway-station
 
Photo credit: weburbanist.com
 
Imagine arriving at a station and slowing down but never actually grinding to a halt to let people off. This is exactly the case for City Hall subway station in New York City. Built in 1904 with the sole purpose of being the glamorous station for the city’s brand-new subway system, it was designed to attract people into the subway type of transportation with its beauty.

It worked for a while. Over time, however, the severe lack of passengers and redesigned trains that made the station unsafe ultimately rendered it unsuitable for use. Thankfully, due to its beautiful look and the potential renovation cost, the city decided to leave the station there.

At the end of 1945, it was closed forever. Today, although deemed unsafe to get off at the station, the No. 6 train always passes slowly through City Hall station and takes passengers back in time to witness the beauty of this regal station.

I'd like to actually see this place, but I don't want to go to New York city to do so. Guess I'll just have to pass!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, providing you don't mind the 85 degree temps.

Monday, March 27, 2017

N.A.S.A.'s Floating Turd Mystery...!



Certainly something different today for Monday Mystery. Like all good mysteries, this one is still unsolved.

NASA Has An Unsolved Turd Mystery

3-early-fecal-bag-nasa

 Photo credit: vox.com

Waste management has always been one of space travel’s more unpleasant yet completely necessary subjects. Although modern astronauts use high-tech toilets, the first spacefarers had nothing more than plastic bags to tape to their butts.

This led to an interesting discussion between the members of Apollo 10 on Day 6 of their mission. While orbiting the Moon, Commander Tom Stafford uttered the memorable phrase, “Give me a napkin quick. There’s a turd floating through the air.”

Once he retrieved the item in question, Stafford asked where it came from. Both lunar module pilot Eugene Cernan and command module pilot John Young denied it was theirs. In the words of Cernan, “If it was me, I sure would know I was sh**ting on the floor.”

Nine minutes later, the trio was interrupted by another floating piece of poop. They all dismissed the event with laughter, but none of them admitted the turds belonged to them. The mystery remains unsolved to this day.

I would have never guessed that this kind of problem could or would occur on one of the space flights. Guess you just never know what to expect in space, right?

Coffee out on the patio yet again, but don't worry...nothing floating around out there!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Some Real (Fake) News...



With all we've reading about and hearing about lately is a thing called "fake news."

This kind of news story isn't a new thing at all. In fact, it was fairly common in the days of the Great Depression...namely the crash of the stock market! Exaggeration of the news, especially in newspapers, was and is a fairly common practice Here's an example...

Stock Market Crash Suicides

5
 
Photo credit: Wikimedia
 
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 is widely credited with two things: causing the Great Depression of the 1930s and leading to a mass suicide of stock brokers. The former is still taken quite seriously, but the latter has become a bit of a dark joke. Any film set during the crash is guaranteed to include legions of distraught bankers leaping from the windows of office buildings.

But only two men leaped to their deaths on Wall Street that day. A few more killed themselves by hanging and shooting afterward, but overall, suicides were fairly rare. In fact, the suicide rate was significantly lower than the previous summer when, ironically, the market peaked. 

As is usually the case, exaggeration was to blame for this complete non-story. Newspapers billed the few actual suicides as a full-on national tragedy, claiming New York pedestrians had to “pick their way among the bodies” in the streets. And the rest was (completely nonsensical) history.

Like I said, nothing new about "fake news" other than the fact we hear so much more and much faster than ever. Still, fake news is still fake!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Close Call For Coffee...!



Can you believe that at one time, coffee nearly became against the law in England? True, so help me!

Seems that those of us that enjoyed the fellowship of other coffee drinkers and the establishments  (think coffee houses) that sold the stuff were considered ne'er-do-wells by the King. The law passed, but lucky for us, was abolished before taking effect. Here is the terrifying story for ya.

Coffeehouses

3coffee


In 1675, Charles II of England issued a proclamation to end the legality of coffeehouses. According to him, too many people spent the whole day in coffeehouses doing nothing other than gossiping and spreading rumors about the government. The law did not stop there. It also forbade people from selling coffee, chocolate, sherbet, and tea from any shop or house.

Back then, coffeehouses were centers of gossip. The phrase “coffeehouse politician” was even coined to refer to men who spent the whole day in coffeehouses, doing nothing other than discussing politics. The law was passed on December 29, 1675, and was supposed to become active on January 10, 1676, but it was abolished on January 8. The undoing of the ban was backed by several ministers of Charles II, who themselves were lovers of coffee

Like I said, that was a close call for all us coffee drinkers. I'm certainly glad that the law was abolished, because if it had remained in place and had found it's way to the states...that would NOT have been a good thing! Know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio again today. Let's be thankful that no such law has ever been passed here...yet!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Boy, What A Miser...!

Hard to believe that some folks can be such penny pincers, even when they have enough money to do anything they want anyway. Human nature, I reckon!

Hetty Green
1834 – 1916
300 88747.Jpg

Hetty Green was an eccentric miser who became known as the “Witch of Wall Street”. With her business acumen she accumulated such wealth that she was the richest woman in the world. In order to save money, Hetty would work out of trunks at her local bank so she wouldn’t have to pay rent. When her son fell ill, she disguised herself and took him to a charity hospital; when they realized who she was, she fled claiming she would cure her son herself. Unfortunately he contracted gangrene and had to have his leg amputated. She always wore the same black dress and never changed her underwear unless it wore out. She moved back and forth between New York and New Jersey in order to avoid the taxman.

I can't imagine anyone living like that on purpose. Guess she was not only rich, but probably a bit touched in the head as well.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How About Some Riddles...?

Everyone loves a good riddle, right? If that's the case, let's have a few! OK?

Q: What has a foot but no legs?
A: A snail

Q: Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?
A: Nothing

Q: What comes down but never goes up? 
A: Rain

Q: I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I? 
A: A candle 

Q: Mary’s father has 5 daughters – Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughters name? 
A: If you answered Nunu, you are wrong. It’s Mary! 

Q: How can a pants pocket be empty and still have something in it? 
A: It can have a hole in it. 

Q: In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink! What color were the stairs? 
A: There weren’t any stairs, it was a one story house! 

Q: A dad and his son were riding their bikes and crashed. Two ambulances came and took them to different hospitals. The man’s son was in the operating room and the doctor said, “I can’t operate on you. You’re my son.” How is that possible?
 A: The doctor is his mom! 

Q: What goes up when rain comes down? 
A: An umbrella! 

Q: What is the longest word in the dictionary?
A: Smiles, because there is a mile between each ‘s’ 

Q: If I drink, I die. If i eat, I am fine. What am I? 
A: A fire! 

Q: Throw away the outside and cook the inside, then eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it? 
A: Corn on the cob, because you throw away the husk, cook and eat the kernels, and throw away the cob. 

Q: What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? 
A: Short 

Q: What travels around the world but stays in one spot? 
A: A stamp! 

Q: What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in one thousand years? 
A: The letter M 

Q: What has 4 eyes but can’t see? 
A: Mississippi 

Q: If I have it, I don’t share it. If I share it, I don’t have it. What is it? 
A: A Secret. 

Q: Take away my first letter, and I still sound the same. Take away my last letter, I still sound the same. Even take away my letter in the middle, I will still sound the same. I am a five letter word. What am I? 
A: EMPTY

I know, I know...some of them are childish. But you have to admit there are some pretty good ones scattered in there as well, right? Besides, they are kinda fun for a change!

Coffee outside again today! Predicted high of 84 again!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Remembering Broncho Billy...!

We often forget about how the cowboy movies really got started. We can all thank Broncho Billy for that.

His real name was Gilbert Anderson, and he became well known as the famous Broncho Billy seen in the first westerns to hit the silver screens.

“Broncho Billy” Anderson born

Gilbert M. Anderson, the first western movie star, is born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Better known as “Broncho Billy,” the name of the western hero he played in over 300 short films, Anderson was the first western movie star. Furthermore, he played several small parts in one of the first movies ever made, The Great Train Robbery. In 1903, Anderson won a role as a bandit in the film after telling the director he could ride like a Texas Ranger. When it became clear that Anderson could hardly get onto a horse, he was made an “extra” and played several minor parts. Later that year, the 10-minute movie received an enthusiastic reception from the public, and Anderson decided to make a career in the promising new business of telling stories in moving pictures.

Anderson moved to Chicago, which was becoming a minor moviemaking center. After a few years directing and occasionally starring in movies produced by others, Anderson decided to create his own production company. Forming a partnership with old friend George K. Spoor, in 1907 Anderson created the Essanay Company, which would later be credited as one of the best of the early movie studios.

At first, Anderson made comedies, but remembering the brilliant success of The Great Train Robbery, he eventually turned to Westerns. Anderson was one of the first movie producers to realize that the public needed a central character in the movies, a “star” on which they could focus their attention. In 1909, though, there were no movie stars and stage actors were reluctant to risk films. Anderson decided to make himself the star, creating the character “Broncho Billy” out of ideas about the West culled from popular dime novels.

In 1909, Anderson released his first western, Broncho Billy and the Baby. It was an enormous success and convinced Anderson that he should stick with Westerns starring the Broncho Billy character. Over the next five years, Anderson made over 300 short one- or two-reel movies featuring Broncho Billy. Physically, Anderson was not especially handsome or dashing, but audiences liked Broncho Billy for his courageous virtue and bravery.

In 1915, Anderson released his last film in the series, Broncho Billy’s Sentence, and thereafter turned to writing. A few years later he attempted a comeback, but by then the western field was dominated by more dashing actors like Tom Mix and William S. Hart. He made comedies for several years before retiring. Later recognized and honored for his pivotal role in the development of the Western, in 1965 he made a cameo appearance in a modern Hollywood Western called The Bounty Killer, his first talking picture.

Anderson died in his sleep on January 20, 1971, at the age of 88.

I think that Broncho had a great idea in giving the public a hero to focus on. Not to mention being responsible for making the whole "cowboy movie" trend popular. Thanks Mr. Anderson!

Coffee out on the patio, where it feels more like Summer than Spring!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Can You Name This Fruit...?

What I am about to show you is from a list of strange and uncommon (at least here) fruits. I wanted to share this with you as I had never seen it before and thought it was pretty nice!

Myrciaria cauliflora



Jabuticaba, or the Brazilian grape tree, is a very strange plant native to the South Eastern parts of Brazil. What makes this plant so strange is that it fruits from its trunk. No, I did not make that up, and no the picture has not been photo shopped. Initially, yellowish white flowers will appear all over the trunk and main branches, these flowers will then turn into fruit, about 3 – 4cm in diameter. Inside the thick purple skin is the soft gelatinous flesh of the fruit, along with 1 – 4 black seeds. The fruit is sweet and can be eaten as is or made into a wine or liqueur. Unfortunately, the fruit does not keep long when off the tree and will start to ferment after about 3 or 4 days. I believe this would be a fascinating tree to have in the yard, but I'll bet I couldn't get it to grow. Isn't that always how it goes?

If you want to see some more strange and marvelous fruit plants, you can find the at Listverse, with pictures of the fruit.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. High of 84 or so is predicted.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jean Spangler For Monday Mysteries...!

Once in a while, even movie stars can become a part of an unsolved mystery.

While Jean Spangler wasn't as well known as many were, she certainly had the potential to become better known in the movies. Instead she became the focus for a missing person case that seemed to have no answer.

Jean Spangler



One of the biggest mysteries in Hollywood history occurred on the evening of October 7, 1949 when 26-year old Jean Spangler disappeared. Spangler was a model and aspiring actress who had done bit parts in a handful of films. She left her daughter with her sister-in-law and claimed she was going to meet her ex-husband to talk about child support before going to work on a film shoot. However, there were no film shoots scheduled that night, and Spangler’s ex-husband claimed he never saw her. Spangler’s purse was found in Griffith Park two days later.

Things took a bizarre turn when a note was found in the purse which read: “Kirk, Can’t wait any longer. Going to see Dr. Scott. It will work best this way while mother is away”. Spangler had recently worked as an extra on a Kirk Douglas film and some eyebrows were raised when Douglas contacted police to confirm he wasn’t the “Kirk” in the note before they even considered questioning him. Police also heard rumors of a local man named “Scotty” who was known for performing illegal abortions, leading to speculation that Spangler was pregnant and that he was the aforementioned “Dr. Scott”. Spangler was also rumored to be involved with an organized crime figure named David Ogul, and there was even a sighting of them together in Texas three months after she disappeared. In spite of all these theories, the Jean Spangler saga is still a mystery.

Seems to me that folks can disappear as easily in Hollywood as anywhere else, maybe easier. So many times there doesn't seem to be any trace of them anywhere. At least with a body, you know what the result of their disappearance was, if not the cause. Sad, really!

Coffee outside again today. temps are back up to the high 70s and low 80s.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Let's Watch Them Again...!

Sometimes the 'toons are worth seeing again, so let's do that! Better the second time around, right?







And maybe one more...

Coffee out on the patio again this morning, whadda ya say?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

It Cost How Much...?

Sometimes even the rich folks get stuck with a bill they have trouble with. This story is about one such bill and a man named Henry Ford.

Ford Disliked Experts



Photo credit: Richard Arthur Norton

Ford greatly disliked experts and refused to employ them. In his 1924 book, My Life and Work, he said, “I never employ an expert in full bloom. If I ever wanted to kill opposition by unfair means, I would endow the opposition with experts.”

As a consequence, Ford Motor Company did not have any employees with advanced engineering or design engineering skills. In fact, it did not even have a proving ground and instead opted to test cars on public highways.

This lack of experts on-site often proved financially disastrous. One time, for example, when Ford’s electrical engineers couldn’t solve a problem with a massive generator, they employed the electrical engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz (pictured above) to help them. On-site, Steinmetz rejected all help and solved the problem in two days with the aid of a notebook, a pencil, and a cot.

On the second night, Steinmetz climbed on top of the generator and made a chalk mark on its side. Then he told Ford’s engineers to remove a plate at the mark and replace 16 windings from the field coil. Once that was done, the generator performed perfectly—to the delight of Ford.

But his delight only lasted until a bill for $10,000 came. Flabbergasted, Ford requested the bill to be itemized. Steinmetz responded to Ford’s request with the following:

Making chalk mark on generator: $1
Knowing where to make mark: $9,999

I hate to say it, but this makes perfect sense to me! Gonna dance...gotta pay the piper!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Temps are going up to 79 !

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bennington Triangle for Freaky Friday...!

Ever notice how some places seem to attract bizarre happenings? That's the case here.

The Bennington Triangle



Between 1920 and 1950, Bennington, Vermont was the site of several completely unexplained disappearances:

On December 1, 1949, Mr. Tetford vanished from a crowded bus. Tetford was on his way home to Bennington from a trip to St. Albans, Vermont. Tetford, an ex-soldier who lived in the Soldier’s Home in Bennington, was sitting on the bus with 14 other passengers. They all testified to seeing him there, sleeping in his seat. When the bus reached its destination, however, Tetford was gone, although his belongings were still on the luggage rack and a bus timetable lay open on his empty seat. Tetford has never returned or been found.

On December 1, 1946, an 18-year-old student named Paula Welden vanished while taking a walk. Welden was walking along the Long Trail into Glastenbury Mountain. She was seen by a middle-aged couple that was strolling about 100 yards behind her. They lost sight of her when she followed the trail around a rocky outcropping, but when they rounded the outcropping themselves, she was nowhere to be seen. Welden has not been seen nor heard from since.

In mid-October, 1950, 8-year old Paul Jepson disappeared from a farm. Paul’s mother, who earned a living as an animal caretaker, left her small son happily playing near a pig sty while she tended to the animals. A short time later, she returned to find him missing. An extensive search of the area proved fruitless.

So far as I can tell, none of these disappearances have ever been solved. It always bothers me when no explanation can be given for someone vanishing like that. Makes me wonder if we are overlooking some clue, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio where it's cool, but what the heck...!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sorry, I forgot Again...!

What can I say? I forgot to post again. Seems to be happening a lot lately!

I know they tell us that the memory is the second thing to start fading and, to tell you the truth, I don't remember what was the first. All I know is that sometimes things just slip my mind all together. Surely it can't be an age thing, right? Anyway, whatever the reason...I did forget the post today. To make up for it, here is something Baby Sis sent me. It could be considered off color, I reckon, but we won't go there.

An old married couple no sooner hit the pillows when the old man passes gas and says, 'Seven Points.'His wife rolls over and says, 'What in the world was that?' The old man replied, 'its fart football.' A few minutes later his wife lets one go and says, 'Touchdown, tie score...'After about five minutes the old man lets another one go and says,'Aha. I'm ahead 14 to 7.'Not to be outdone the wife rips out another one and says, 'Touchdown,tie score.'Five seconds go by and she lets out a little squeaker and says, 'Field goal, I lead 17 to 14.' Now the pressure is on for the old man.He refuses to get beaten by a woman, so he strains real hard. Since defeat is totally unacceptable, he gives it everything he's got,and accidentally poops in the bed. The wife says, 'What the hell was that?'The old man says, 'Half time, switch sides!

There ya have it. If you need something to help you sleep at night, maybe this is the answer.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning, OK?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Henry Plummer For Western Wednesday...!

Ol' Henry couldn't decide weather to be a good guy or a bad man, so he became both.

I have to wonder why people kept on putting him in office, given his background and all. Just no accounting for some people's common sense, I reckon.

Henry Plummer



In 1856, Henry Plummer was elected sheriff of Nevada City, California and served two terms before he was convicted of second-degree murder for killing his mistress’ husband. Having served only six months in San Quentin before being pardoned by the governor, Plummer returned to Nevada City, this time he was elected to Assistant Marshal. Avoiding prosecution for killing a man in a whorehouse brawl, Plummer fled in 1861, ultimately settling in Idaho where he took up with a gang of highwaymen.

Due to his influence, the gang became known as “The Innocence” who robbed and murdered travailing miners. In 1863, “The Innocence” followed Plummer to Bannack, Montana, where he was elected sheriff. While in office, Plummer ran an effective and deadly criminal ring, providing his henchmen with the routes of gold shipments, as well as their protection, all the while the gang ran rampant in Bannack without the fear of ramification. After the robbery and murder of more than 100 locals, a team of nearly 2,000 settlers turned vigilantes captured and hanged a weeping Plummer and two of his men on the same gallows the crooked sheriff had prepared for another.

Seems like Henry must have been a good politician, or else he wouldn't have been elected as often as he was. Probably should have remained on the side of the law. It would have been better for his health, for sure!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Freshly baked sugar cookies are available.