Saturday, December 16, 2017

How About Some OTR...(Old Time Radio)?

Again today, we are doing something a bit different. Radio programs from long ago!

I used to listen to some of these programs when I was a young kid and didn't realize I could still find them on Youtube today! How cool is that?



They have some good old westerns on there as well, like gunsmoke, Paladin, and many others. Check it out, why don't cha?

Coffee in the kitchen again today.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Glenn Miller Disappears...!

It was a sad day for his many fans the world over, and even today the true fate of what happened to him is still unknown.

As of this minute, here is what we know for sure. This information comes from History.com.

1944
Legendary bandleader Glenn Miller disappears over the English Channel

General James Doolittle of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), hero of the daring “Doolittle Raid” on mainland Japan and later the unified commander of Allied air forces in Europe in World War II, offered the following high praise to one of his staff officers in 1944: “Next to a letter from home, Captain Miller, your organization is the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.” The Captain Miller in question was the trombonist and bandleader Glenn Miller, the biggest star on the American pop-music scene in the years immediately preceding World War II and a man who set aside his brilliant career right at its peak in 1942 to serve his country as leader of the USAAF dance band. It was in that capacity that Captain Glenn Miller boarded a single-engine aircraft at an airfield outside of London on December 15, 1944—an aircraft that would go missing over the English Channel en route to France for a congratulatory performance for American troops that had recently helped to liberate Paris.

It would be difficult to overstate the magnitude of Glenn Miller’s success in the years immediately proceeding America’s entry into World War II. Though he was a relatively unspectacular instrumentalist himself—he’d played the trombone in various prominent orchestras but never distinguished himself as a performer—Miller the bandleader came to dominate the latter portion of the swing era on the strength of his disciplined arrangements and an innovation in orchestration that put the high-pitched clarinet on the melody line doubled by the saxophone section an octave below. This trademark sound helped the Glenn Miller Orchestra earn an unprecedented string of popular hits from 1939 to 1942, including the iconic versions of numbers like “In The Mood” (1939), “Tuxedo Junction” (1939) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (1941), as well as Miller’s self-penned signature tune, “Moonlight Serenade” (1939).

The Glenn Miller Orchestra played its last-ever concert under Miller’s direction on September 27, 1942, in Passaic, New Jersey, and shortly thereafter, Miller entered the Army. After nearly two years spent stateside broadcasting a weekly radio program called I Sustain The Wings out of New York City, Miller formed a new 50-piece USAAF dance band and departed for England in the summer of 1944, giving hundreds of performances to Allied troops over the next six months before embarking on his fateful trip to France on this day in 1944.

The wreckage of Miller’s plane was never found. His official military status remains Missing in Action.

My folks loved Glenn MIller music. I am still very fond of it myself, and have several recordings of his around here somewhere.

Coffee inside once more. I'm baking bread today, so the smell is terrific!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Legend Of Shiprock...!

The very name of this natural wonder conjures up all sorts of images in the mind, doesn't it?

As bold as the images are, the legend is even more striking. Here is a brief story of the legendary Shiprock.

Shiprock

Legends surround this jagged rock formation in the New Mexico desert.



Rising high above the surrounding desert, the rock formation known as Shiprock has long been a point of fascination.

This striking volcanic plume was formed around 30 million years ago, developing as a plug within the vent of an active volcano. Over time, the rest of the volcano eroded away, leaving the jagged outcrop all alone in a vast expanse of plain. At over 1500 feet, it’s the tallest structure for miles and miles.

The structure is an epicenter of legend within the Navajo culture. Called Tsé Bitʼaʼí or “the rock with wings,” myth says that the Shiprock was a piece of land that became a bird, carrying the ancestral people of the Navajo on its back. At sundown, the enormous creature settled in its current desert location and promptly turned back to stone. The newly-arrived people settled on the rock’s peak, leaving only to collect food and water. However, one day the outcrop was unexpectedly struck by lightning, stranding members of the tribe among its shards. Since then, the rock has been forbidden to people, who may disturb the ghostly spirits of those left behind.

Although the steep, perilous sides of the Shiprock were once considered a great prize among rockclimbers, human ascents have been expressly off-limits since 1970, in accordance with Navajo custom.

Once again Nature furnishes a beautiful scenic wonder. How can we ever get tired of all the beautiful surroundings we have here on our little planet?

Coffee inside again this morning. Chocolate chip cookies are fresh.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Joseph Walker On Western Wednesday...!

When we think of the mountain men in our history, we should not forget Joseph Walker.

Here is a bit of history about Walker you might find interesting.

1798
Joseph Walker born in Tennessee

Joseph Reddeford Walker, one of the greatest trailblazing mountain men and the first Anglo-American to see Yosemite, is born in Tennessee.

Although he had little formal education, Walker was an exceptionally intelligent explorer and leader, possessing an extraordinary ability to read and remember the geography and topography of uncharted regions. When he was 20 years old, Walker joined an illegal hunting and trapping expedition into the Mexican-controlled territory in the southern Rocky Mountains. Arrested by the Mexican authorities, Walker served a brief prison term in Santa Fe, but then turned the situation to his favor by helping the Mexicans in their war against Pawnee raiders, earning rare trading privileges as a reward.

Walker’s journeys into the relatively unexplored far western regions of the continent began in 1832 when he met Captain Benjamin Bonneville, who asked him to join his trapping and trading expedition into the West. The following year, Walker, probably at the behest of Bonneville, embarked on a daring journey west into the Mexican province of Alta California, a feat that had only been accomplished by two other Anglos, Jedediah Smith and Peter Ogden. Ignoring the trails blazed by his predecessors, Walker instead led a small group of men on a new route through the Sierras that proved far more challenging than expected, and at several points the explorers were reduced to eating their horses to stay alive. But after crossing the Continental Divide on November 13, 1833, Walker and his men were rewarded with an amazing sight that no Anglo-American had ever before seen: the mighty redwoods and majestic waterfalls of the Yosemite Valley. Later in life, every man in the troop recalled that day of discovery as among the greatest of his life.

In subsequent years, Walker continued to use his voluminous knowledge of western geography as an employee of the American Fur Company and as a guide for explorers like John C. Fremont. He also led countless emigrant parties to California. His wide-ranging travels took him all the way north to the headwaters of the Missouri in Montana and led to memorable partnerships and adventures with other famous trailblazers like Kit Carson and Jim Bridger. When he finally settled down on his California ranch in 1867, nearly blind and approaching 70 years old, the intrepid mountain man remembered a single day as the best of his life, and asked that a remembrance of it be carved on his tombstone: “Camped at Yosemite, Nov. 13, 1833.”

I can only imagine what these brave men thought when they viewed the mighty redwoods for the first time. Had to be mind blowing, to say the least.

Coffee inside the kitchen again today. Still a bit chilly outside.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Grinch And Tony The Tiger...!

With Christmas right around the corner, I figured you might enjoy a little yuletide trivia.

This is one of those almost useless facts I have found when searching sites like Listverse, which can always be counted on to have some fun facts about all kinds of stuff.

Tony The Tiger Sang ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch’



Boris Karloff famously narrated the Dr. Seuss classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. But the horror film veteran had a little secret—he couldn’t sing. Instead, the production team called on voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft to handle the musical numbers. Ravenscroft’s singing was unknown for years, because he did not receive a credit on the telecast, leading many to believe it was Karloff who knocked the song out of the park.

Ravenscroft might not be a famous name to you, but you surely know his voice. He voiced characters on Disney rides and shows (including Buff from the Country Bears Jamboree) but is best recalled for his TV work. He played “Tony The Tiger” for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes TV commercials. You’ll never hear “they’re grrrrrrreat!” again without thinking of the Grinch.

There are actually two versions of “Mr. Grinch”, both of which get air play today. The original TV version features sound effects of crashes and booms (as the Grinch moves through the homes and liberates Christmas gifts). If you hear the sound effects version, that’s the version lifted from the show. The clean version was intended for radio play.

Some things are best left unknown, I reckon. I never would have known if I had not found the article.

Coffee in the kitchen again. Another cold front on the way.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dark Mysteries For Monday...!

I found some mysterious things on a video from Youtube that you might enjoy today.



Did you enjoy that? I figured you might.

Coffee inside again, but I made peanut butter fudge and fresh chocolate chip cookies to share.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Really Old 'Toons For Sunday...

When I say old, I mean some of these are even older than I am...and that's pretty old!

Not very funny by today's standards, but considering how long they have been around we'll overlook that, right?







And one more for good measure.



As you can probably guess, these old 'toons were silent and black and white. They were later set to music and colorized. Interesting, huh!

Coffee inside again. Fresh cookies to go along with the coffee!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Another Musical Saturday...!

For some unknown reason, I have western music running around my head. Theme songs from the movies mainly.

Don't worry...these are all instrumentals, no singing. There may be a little whistling now and then, but no singing. That ever happen to you, getting a tune or two roaming through you head?







And maybe just one more...



I do love the sound of the acoustic guitar. Haunting...

Coffee inside the kitchen. Snow yesterday, can you believe it?

Friday, December 8, 2017

How Old Is Pluto...?

I'm talking about the Pluto in space, not the Pluto from Disney.

The whole Pluto thing is a bit confusing. This article may explain it far better than I could.

When Will Pluto Complete Its First Orbit Since Its Discovery?

By Live Science Staff

The eighth planet from our sun was discovered on September 23, 1846. Neptune takes a very long time to orbit the sun 164.8 Earth years, in fact and today Neptune completed its first orbit of the sun since it was discovered. Congratulations!

Now, this got us wondering, when will Pluto complete its first orbit since its discovery? (Yes, yes. Our brains know that Pluto is no longer a planet, but in our hearts ... Pluto!) After all, Pluto is even farther out (most of the time ) than Neptune, and was discovered much more recently. Will we even be around to celebrate it's orbital birthday? To the mathmobile!

Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930. It takes the dwarf planet 248.09 Earth years to complete one orbit around the sun. Plug all that info into timeanddate.com's handy calculator, and we find that Pluto will complete its first full orbit since its discovery on Monday, March 23, 2178, just a few years after Neptune turns 2.

We all clear now? I'm glad that we have that little bit of confusion straightened out. On questions like this, I have to wonder...who really cares?

Coffee in the kitchen again today. It's cold outside!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mind Games For Thursday...!

Let's do something different for today...OK? Let's mess with your head a bit.



Well, I did tell ya it would be different, didn't I?

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. Cold and rainy outside.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Reno Boys Were Bad...!

As bad as some of the gunfighters and outlaws were in the Old West, the Reno brothers probably had them beat.

In their day, they made a lot of money. However, making it and living long enough to spend it are not quite the same thing.

1868
Train robbers reach the end of the line

A guard, who had been shot by brothers Frank, William, and Simeon Reno during a train robbery in May, dies of his wounds. His death so infuriated the public that a group of vigilantes yanked the three brothers from their Indiana jail cell five days later and hanged them. Although the Reno gang—which included another brother, John, as well—had a short reign of terror, they are credited with pulling off the first train robbery in American history and are believed to be the inspiration for criminal copycats like the legendary Jesse James.

On October 6, 1866, the Reno brothers committed their first heist. After stopping a train outside of Seymour, Indiana, they stole $10,000 in cash and gold. But they were unable to break into the safe; William Reno vainly shot it with his pistol before giving up.

Though fast on their feet, the Reno brothers didn’t have much luck evading the authorities, probably because they committed almost all of their crimes in the Seymour, Indiana, area. After the 1866 heist, railroad companies hired Pinkerton detectives to find the perpetrators, and at the end of 1867, John Reno was captured. In January 1868, he pled guilty to robbing a county treasury in Missouri and was sentenced to spend 25 years in prison

In his absence, the other Reno brothers continued to rob banks and trains in the area. On May 22, 1868, they stopped a train near Marshfield and beat a guard with pistols and crowbars before making off with $96,000—which was more than the James gang ever managed to score. In an attempt to lure the predictable criminals in, Pinkerton detectives floated a rumor about a big gold shipment and then nabbed the Renos when they stopped the train.

Although Frank and William went rather quietly when the vigilantes hanged them on December 11, their brother Simon put up a bitter fight. He even managed to survive the hanging itself for more than 30 minutes before finally succumbing to the rope.

All I can say is that these boys were tough...really tough! In the end, though, it didn't matter. Dead is dead, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Where Is Mata Hari...?

Ever wonder just what happens to some famous folks when they pass? I mean besides being dug up by archaeologist.

Seems like sometimes they just get lost. How can you lose a dead body...especially out of a museum? I guess it's easier than we think.

Mata Hari



We’ve mentioned Margarethe Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, quite a few times on Listverse. After all, she’s one of the most famous spies of the 20th century. Originally an exotic dancer, Mata Hari was hired by the French to charm information out of German officials. She was accused of working as a double agent and executed by firing squad in 1917. Historians debate whether she was actually guilty, but there’s one fact that no one can dispute—her body is missing.

When no one claimed her cadaver, the Museum of Anatomy in Paris swooped in and added her corpse to their collection. What happened next would have made Vincent Price faint in horror. Museum curators chopped off her head, dipped her dome in wax, and mounted the new trophy in their “notorious criminals” wing.

In 2000, the French government decided to shut down the anatomy museum, so the director set about cataloging all the valuable attractions the museum had to offer. At the top of the list were the heads of the dead and infamous, but when he started inspecting the skull collection, he realized Mata Hari’s head was gone. As if that weren’t bad enough, her entire body had disappeared, along with all the paperwork related to her acquisition. Some suspect her body was lost when the museum moved buildings in the ‘50s, while more macabre minds think a creepy fan might have stolen her skull. Either way, the dancer has disappeared for good, and that’s the naked truth.

Sounds to me as though there was some "hanky-panky" going on at the museum at some point in time. Pretty gruesome folks working at that museum, if you ask me.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning again. Cold and rainy out on the patio.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Salt Men For Monday Mysteries...!

Sometimes strange things are found in the most unlikely places. Like these mummies found in a salt mine. That qualifies as strange in my book.

The Salt Men



Photo credit: Nasser-sadeghi

A functioning salt mine in Northwestern Iran has produced six naturally preserved mummies. Chehrabad Salt Mine’s “salt men” range in date from 539 BC to AD 640. Their beards, hair, and even clothing are often nearly perfectly preserved. In some cases, stomachs, colons, and last meals are intact.

The most recent discovery was made in 2007. Experts have identified this mummy as a Roman-era miner killed by falling rocks or an earthquake. The first five salt men discovered were given to scientists for research. However, the newly discovered mummy will remain underground. There is concern about the Iranian government’s lack of equipment and facilities to help preserve the salt man.

A Stanford folklorist believes the salt men might be connected with satyr legends. Their protruding jaws, snub noses, and hair bear uncanny resemblance to depictions of satyrs in ancient accounts, including St. Jerome’s tale of a satyr head on display in Antioch.

While I am all for the quest for knowledge in most cases, I can't help but wonder just what we can really hope to learn from these individual mummies. Why not let them rest in peace?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Raining outside.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Slightly Different Musical Sunday...!

There is a lot of beautiful music out there and some really talented folks making that music.

Here are a couple of tunes that are responsible for the sweet sounds coming from my patio this morning. I hope you like them.







And one more...



Well, there ya go. Some beautiful music on a beautiful day...brought to us by some very talented people. Enjoy it!

Coffee out on the patio today. I made chocolate chip cookies!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

More Good News About Coffee...!

I found an article over at Gizmodo that says coffee is once again supposed to be beneficial for those of us that partake.

Of course, I've always felt that coffee was good for me. At least, it made me feel more alert and awake. I like the feeling, the taste, and the fact that coffee is cheaper than whisky doesn't hurt my feelings, either!

Coffee Is Officially Good For You (Again)

By Gizmodo Australia on 24 Nov 2017 at 2:30PM



The pendulum of scientific opinion swings pretty dramatically when it comes to the effect (if any) coffee has on our health.

But now a review of 200 separate studies has shown even three or four cups a day is still more likely to benefit your health than harm it. Woohoo!

The researchers concluded that drinking coffee regularly resulted in a lower risk of heart disease and even death compared with drinking no coffee at all. They also found that drinking coffee lowered the risk of some cancers (including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer), type 2 diabetes, gallstones, gout, liver disease and dementia. Additionally, there seemed to be beneficial associations between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease.

However, there were some exceptions, namely women who are pregnant or at risk of fracture.

There was less evidence for the effects of drinking decaffeinated coffee but it had similar benefits for a number of outcomes. Increasing consumption to above three cups a day was not associated with harm, but the beneficial effect was less pronounced.

But - it is important to note - the studies used mainly observational data, which means lower quality evidence, which means no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. The findings do back up other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake, though.

So the official line is "coffee drinking appears safe within usual patterns of consumption, except during pregnancy and in women at increased risk of fracture", and testing in randomised trials should happen now to strengthen the evidence of benefits.

The research team was led by Dr Robin Poole, Specialist Registrar in Public Health at the University of Southampton, with collaborators from the University of Edinburgh.

Eliseo Guallar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says although we can be reassured that coffee intake is generally safe, doctors should not recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease - and people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons.

I don't really care if the health folks approve or not, I'm not changing or giving up my coffee habit until the government makes it illegal. Same with tobacco! As long as I can afford a smoke and a cup of coffee, I'm good to go.

Coffee out on the patio again, my friends.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sounds Like A Good Idea...!

Every once in a great while, some cities come up with an idea that is really good! This one is really benificial for everyone, I believe.

I can only imagine what a positive result would come if we had something like this in Houston. In a city with the amount of vehicle traffic we have, the potential for an abundance of food donations is staggering.

POPULAR “FOOD FOR FINES” RETURNING TO LEXINGTON



By: Echo Gamel Submitted: 11/17/2017 - 11:08am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Lexington Parking Authority is bringing back its “Food for Fines” Holiday Program

This will be the fourth year for the program that is run through LEXPARK. It starts on Monday, November 20 and goes through Friday, December 15.

Customers who bring in 10 cans of food will receive $15 off any LEXPARK or Lexington Police issued parking citation. Customers with multiple citations may bring in as many cans as they wish and receive $15 credit for every set of 10 cans. Past due citations are eligible.

The LEXPARK office is located at 122 North Broadway.

The Parking Authority says, since the program started, 24,500 cans of food has been collected, which is the equivalent of 12 tons or 16,000 meals.

All canned food donations received by LEXPARK will be donated to God’s Pantry Food Bank.

Canned vegetables donations need to be at least 14-15 oz.

Protein items such as canned meat, beans or peanut butter are suggested.

Expired, damaged or opened food donations will not be accepted.

LEXPARK says it reserves the right to revoke a customer’s participation in the program at any time.

So, what are your thoughts on this. Seems to me that a program such as this one could only help the local food bank(s) in providing food for a lot of needy folks.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Here Is Another "What Is It" For Thursday...

Something like this pillar is seldom found here in the states, especially in a National Forest.

One can only wonder what the original purpose was and who exactly made them. Just gotta love these types of historical mysteries, especially from an area so close at hand.

Mysterious Pillars



Photo credit: The Mountain Voice

Historian Louis Serna spied a ornate stone pillar in a hotel lobby in 2013. Intrigued by the symbols (including a Templar cross) carved on it, Serna tried to find out more about the pillar from the hotel employees. After being told that it was simply a trail marker, Serna realized he would have to get into contact with the original owner of the hotel if he was to get credible information. He was right. After he traced the original owner, the man told him that a rancher discovered the pillar in a New Mexico forest and that it had been on display at the hotel ever since.

Suspecting there was even more to this story, Serna eventually approached the US Forest Service, where he was informed that, in fact, there were two stone pillars found in Carson National Forest and that the second pillar is located among several other stones thought to be grave markers.

Serna remained skeptical about this information, believing that the pillars may have been markers used by ancient explorers during the colonization of the area. Serna also remains hopeful that archaeologists will look into his theory and come up with answers to explain the origin and purpose of the pillars.

I can't help but wonder if the other stones are really grave markers, and if they are something different, then what are they?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Getting to be a habit, isn't it ?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Marias River Massacre For Western Wednesday...!

Sometimes decisions made in the spur of the moment turn out to be monumental and deadly. Such was the case with the massacre at the Marias River.

Marias Massacre



Photo credit: Bozeman Daily Chronicle

The deadliest massacre of Native Americans in Montana’s history was a mistake. Colonel Eugene Baker had been sent by the government to “pacify” a rebellious band of the Blackfeet tribe.

Eventually, Baker’s men tracked the tribe to a village along the Marias River. On January 23, 1870, the men surrounded the village and prepared to attack.But a scout recognized some of the painted designs on the lodges and reported to Baker that this was the wrong band.

Baker replied, “That makes no difference, one band or another of them; they are all [Blackfeet] and we will attack them.”

Most of the Native American men were out hunting, so the majority of the 173 massacred were women, children, and the elderly. When Baker discovered that the survivors had smallpox, he abandoned them in the wilderness without food or shelter, increasing the death toll by 140.

The photo on this post is of Baker's men. I wonder if many of them had trouble sleeping at night after this engagement. Probably not.

Coffee out on the patio once again today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Truly Mad Scientist...!

Many times a true , original discovery is made by scientist purely by accident. Often they are searching for something completely different.

It doesn't hurt that many of these experiments are conducted by men considered by most to be a few bricks short of a full load, if you know what I mean. Here's a good example from Listverse.

Hennig Brand


Photo credit: Joseph Wright of Derby

Chemistry is known today as a factual and difficult science, but its early days were filled with decidedly unscientific methods. Before the arrival of proper chemistry, it was the science of alchemy which reigned supreme. Alchemy held the belief that some substances could be transmuted into gold. In 1669, an alchemist named Hennig Brand convinced himself of the possibility of transmuting urine into gold. He quickly gathered the pee of his wife and her friends and began a process of boiling 5,700 liters (1,500 gal) of urine in his basement.

Brand didn’t discover the secret to creating gold, but the boiled urine did have the odd attribute of glowing in the dark. After utilizing an alchemical process which involved letting the cold, glowing urine sit and emit gasses, Brand finally arrived at a white substance which we know today as phosphorus.

See what I mean? Many times it was like the old saying "the porch light is on, but no one is home!" Kids...don't try this at home!

Coffee out on the patio again today. Spring type weather still around.

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Different Monday Mysteries Today...!

Instead of having the same old type of mysteries all the time, I figured we would go to nature once again and borrow some of her's, ya know?





And one more...



I hope no one has a problem with me putting up videos instead of typing out the post. Sure does make it easier for me, and I can still share some neat stuff with my followers.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have some fresh peach cobbler I'll share!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Musical Sunday...!

Time again for something a little different. Here are some really unusual instruments and the wonderful sounds they can make. The first one is amazing!



I told ya this would be something different, didn't I?

Coffee out on the patio again today. Seems like Spring wants to return early.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

How About A Saturday Treasure Hunt...?

This hunt is a bit different. It's gonna be "find the animals." OK? Just something a bit different for the start of the holiday season, ya know?



Now that wasn't too bad, was it? I hope you found it entertaining.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning!

Friday, November 24, 2017

What Is It...?

Sometimes the strangest things can be found totally by accident. That's what happened in this next article from Listverse.

When it was found, no one seemed to know what it really was, or where it originated from. It wasn't small either, as is usually the case when unknown objects are found.

The Otradnesnky Fragment



Photo credit: RT

In 2012, a walk in the forest turned strange for locals from Otradnesnky village. They found a metal object bigger than a car. It was cylindrical and U-shaped, with one end tapering into a dome with ridges. The inside was visible, but it was empty. Assuming the 200-kilogram (440 lb) artifact had fallen from space, the villagers dragged it back to Otradnesnky. Local inspectors could not identify it and called the authorities in Moscow.[8] Rumors about the “UFO fragment” thickened when, in the dead of night, unspecified powers removed the object and placed it under armed guard.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos examined the piece. They declared it was not space technology nor radioactive and was partially made of ultra-strong titanium. NASA’s initial assessment ran along the same lines. Despite agreeing it was probably not part of a spacecraft, NASA made it clear they needed better data and images for a definite identification. Whether Roscosmos provided its American counterpart with more details is hard to say. Media releases beyond the original year and story are rare.

Pretty strange find, I'd say. What's even stranger is the way they showed up in the middle of the night and placed the thing under armed guard. I find that curious, to say the least!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Chilly out on the patio.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Need An After Turkey Nap...?

For years there has been a rumor floating around that turkey makes you sleepy. Sorry, but that's just an urban myth.

Here is a short version of the real reason you might want a nap after the Thanksgiving feast. All ot the other stuff!



Turkey doesn’t have enough tryptophan to make you drowsy. If it did, you’d get tired any time you eat a turkey sandwich. Eggs, cheese, spinach, and bacon all have more tryptophan per serving than turkey, which contains the same amount of tryptophan as chicken does.

Don't believe me? Hey, Snopes even checked out this claim and came to the same conclusion. I kid you not!

Coffee out on the chilly patio this morning. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone !!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nursing Home Nightmare...!

The idea of being confined to a nursing home or an assisted living facility just doesn't do much for me...at all!

I would much rather have the freedom to wander around my own home, keeping my own counsel, and living by my own rules. I guess that this was brought to mind because yesterday was my birthday and I began to ponder my own mortality a bit. Another reason to avoid places like nursing homes are mentioned in the article from Listverse that I found.

Wildlife



In 2016, a 911 operator in Deltona, Florida, received an unusual call from the Sterling Court Gracious Retirement Living center, with reports of staff and elderly residents being viciously attacked. The assailant in the unprovoked rampage was soon identified as a rambunctious squirrel with a penchant for causing mayhem. After biting a woman outside the nursing home, the furry creature made his way indoors, where the assault continued. “It’s jumping on people and biting them and scratching them,” the 911 caller said. “It’s still in there and people are bleeding.”

After the animal’s thirst for blood was quenched, the suspect fled the premises, leaving two residents and a staff member with “serious squirrel bites.” In the days following the attack, the lives of the traumatized victims began to return to normalcy, only for the squirrel to come back with a vengeance. This time, however, a staffer armed with a BB gun shot and killed the squirrel, bringing an end to the chaos.

Such brutality caused by wildlife pales in comparison to what happened to a resident of Brookdale Senior Living Center in South Carolina, also in 2016. While enjoying the scenery of the local pond, 90-year-old Bonnie Walker was torn apart after being attacked by an alligator. What was left of her remains was removed from the pond after staffers had realized that Walker was missing from the facility. The alligator was removed as well.

Any wildlife around me I would want to be of my choosing. Out of control tree rats, or alligators looking to ambush helpless old folks aren't real high on my list of critters I want around, ya know?

Coffee inside again this morning. I have some cookies I'll share.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Temple Of Reason...!

Imagine an ancient, hollowed out oak tree with a temple built inside. Wild, huh?

That's the story from Listverse about the Chapel Oak in France . Pretty amazing place, judging from the pictures.

Chene Chapelle


Photo credit: Ancient Origins

Elsewhere in France, there is an ancient church which eschews the use of stone at all. Chene chapelle (“Chapel Oak”) is located in Allouville-Bellefosse in northern France. The whole church is built inside an enormous oak tree.

A spiral staircase surrounds the tree and leads to two separate tiny chapels. Although trees have been used for worship in many places, this tree’s holy use came about in a unique way.

The oak tree is at least 800 years old. According to local legend, however, the tree is as old as the kingdom of France itself and William the Conqueror prayed under its branches before he left for England. In the 17th century, the tree began to be used as a chapel after lightning hit it.

The lightning ignited the wood inside the tree, burning it away. This left a hollow but still-living tree. Taking this as a divine sign, the local abbot and priest had the shell of the tree converted into a chapel.

When atheist revolutionaries threatened to burn down the tree, locals rescued it by renaming it a “temple of reason” to fit with the beliefs of the French Revolution.

Pretty unique church building, I'd say. Wouldn't you?

Coffee inside the kitchen this morning.I'm baking me some birthday cookies, so it smells good!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ever wonder if many of the unsolved mysteries we experience get solved? It would appear so.

According to Listverse, the oldest unsolved mystery in America has been solved. Better late than never, I reckon.

Solving America’s Oldest Unsolved Murder


In 1607, Jamestown, Virginia, became the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. For the last two decades, it has also been at the forefront of Colonial America archaeology since the Jamestown Rediscovery Project led to the reveal of the ruins of the original James Fort. Originally slated to last only ten years, the venture has been prolonged indefinitely due to the continued discovery of new artifacts and knowledge.

Part of the findings in 1996 included the skeleton of a young man given the designation JR102C. He had been shot in the right leg, and the lead bullet was found alongside the remains. His 400-year-old death became an unsolved murder.It took over 17 years since his rediscovery, but in 2013, forensic archaeologists announced that they had identified not only the victim but also his killer.

They believe JR102C was shot in a duel, as he was hit in the side of the knee, suggesting he was positioned sideways. Based on records and other evidence, researchers named George Harrison as JR102C and a merchant named Richard Stephens as his killer.[10] The two took part in a duel in 1624, in which the latter shot the former in the leg, with Harrison subsequently dying of blood loss.

Well, that's one more unsolved mystery out of the way. Now only a million or so left to solve, right?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. A little chilly out on the patio.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Turkey Day 'Toons...!

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I figured maybe some turkey 'toons would be a good thing.







One more and we are done...



Man! I have to say that these 'toons were some real TURKEYS! Worse 'toons I ever chose, I think. I should apologize to everyone, but what do ya expect for free?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

40 Years With No Sleep...!

Now this next story is hard for me to get my head around...maybe because I like to nap.

I found this article over on Listverse.

Thai Ngoc



Photo credit: Oddy Central

Vietnamese farmer Thai Ngoc suffered a fever in 1973, which seemed like nothing much at first. When the fever cleared up, he had developed a bad case of insomnia. Thinking it would go away in a week, he didn’t give it much thought. Now, over 40 years later, he hasn’t slept since the night of the fever. After over 12,000 nights of no sleep, you would think he’d be dead. However, after examinations, the only thing wrong with him were minor liver problems. The only complaint from Ngoc was that he’s a little grumpy from not experiencing sleep for over three decades. He tried countless home remedies and even tried drowning himself in alcohol. Nothing seems to work. So why is his insomnia persisting for so long?

One of the explanations could be a phenomenon called “microsleep.” Micro naps occur when a part of your brain gets tired and decides to quickly take a few seconds to nap. Most everyone has probably experienced these when tired—our brain temporarily shuts off and then goes back on again. Falling asleep while driving is a good example of microsleep. This could be how Ngoc has been getting by for so long.

Now I'm just the opposite here. I get sleepy when I read, when I watch a movie, even when I watch the occasional T.V. program. Doesn't take much to get me to nod off, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Still waiting on the cold front.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ed Gein For Freaky Friday...!

If ever a person deserved to be classified as creepy, it was Ed Gein.

I won't go into a detailed account of the many ways he acted out his madness, but this article from the History channel touches a small bit of it.

1957
Ed Gein kills final victim Bernice Worden

Infamous killer Edward Gein murders his last victim, Bernice Worden of Plainfield, Wisconsin. His grave robbing, necrophilia, and cannibalism gained national attention, and may have provided inspiration for the characters of Norman Bates in Psycho and serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.

Gein was a quiet farmer who lived in rural Wisconsin with an extremely domineering mother. After she died in 1945, he began studying anatomy, and started stealing women’s corpses from local cemeteries. In 1954, Gein shot and killed saloonkeeper Mary Hogan, piled the body onto a sled, and dragged it home.

On November 16, Gein robbed Worden at the local hardware store she owned and killed her. Her son, a deputy, discovered his mother’s body and became suspicious of Gein, who was believed to be somewhat odd. When authorities searched Gein’s farmhouse, they found an unimaginably grisly scene: organs were in the refrigerator, a heart sat on the stove, and heads had been made into soup bowls. Apparently, Gein had kept various organs from his grave digging and murders as keepsakes and for decoration. He had also used human skin to upholster chairs.

Though it is believed that he killed others during this time, Gein only admitted to the murders of Worden and Hogan. In 1958, Gein was declared insane and sent to the Wisconsin State Hospital in Mendota, where he remained until his death in 1984.

I' read a lt about Gein over the years and I have to admit being completely unnerved at some of the things he did. Crazy doesn't describe the man well enough.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Cold front moving in, but right now it's nice enough.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Something Different Today...!

Instead of havcing another post filled with useless facts or figures, let's look at some videos of strange and unusual animals...OK?





How about one more...?



I hope you enjoyed the videos. Something different for a change never hurts, does it? Thanks to YouTube for making them possible.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Might rain later, but let's take a chance.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Frances Slocum For Westen Wednesday...

What compels someone to stay with people that originally treated you as a slave? Some just didn't want to leave after a while.

Although the lifestyle might have began with rough treatment, soon many of the captives came to look to the Native Americans as their adopted family. That was the case with Francis.

Frances Slocum



Photo credit: Martha Bennett Phelps

In 1835, a trader named George Ewing met an elderly woman of the Miami tribe named Maconaquah. She was in her sixties and a respected woman among the tribe, a widowed grandmother whose husband had been their chief. And so you can imagine his surprise when this old woman told him she had born to white parents.

As a child, he soon found out, Maconaquah’s name had been Frances Slocum, the daughter of a Quaker family who had been stolen away from home by Seneca warriors when she was five years old. A Miami family had bought her for a few pelts, and they’d raised her as their own.

57 years had passed since her capture. She’d grown up among the Miami, gotten married, seen her husband rise to chiefdom, given him four children, and raised them until they had children of their own.

Frances’s brothers hadn’t stopped looking for her since the day she was captured. When word got out that she was still alive, her brother Isaac met with the sister he’d lost decades ago and begged her to come home.

Frances, though, had forgotten how to speak English. Communicating through an interpreter, she told him, “I do not wish to live any better, or anywhere else, and I think the Great Spirit has permitted me to live so long because I have always lived with the Indians.”

True to her word, she stayed with her captors until the day she died—and she was buried next to the man who had been her husband.

Bottom line here is that she just flat out did not want to go anywhere. She had lived with and made her home with the Indians for so long, it was the only life she knew. Can't say I blame her.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

No Post Today...!

Sorry, but I'm taking today off. No post...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Why Do We Yawn...?

Today for Monday Mysteries, we have another medical question. It's about yawning...

This is one of those things that we probably don't think about too much. Not only humans do it, but so does most of the animal kingdom. And another strange thing, it seems to be contagious!

Why Do We Yawn?



Everybody yawns. It’s not even just humans who do it—most animals yawn, too. But not matter how universal yawning might be, we have absolutely no idea why we do it.

People have been trying to figure out why we yawn since the fourth century BC. Hippocrates suggested that it might be to get rid of “bad air” and take in “good air.” Today, most people think it decreases carbon dioxide and increases oxygen levels in the blood, which means the same thing but makes you sound a lot smarter.

The problem with this explanation, though, is that it doesn’t really explain why we yawn when we’re tired. The logical explanation is that it has to do with the brain, but yawning doesn’t really seem to change the oxygen levels in the brain.

So why are we doing it? Why don’t we yawn when we really need that extra oxygen? Why don’t we yawn when we exercise?It doesn’t really make any sense, and we don’t really have a clear answer yet. As it turns out, that’s the case for a lot of things. We have our theories, but the truth is that there are a lot of aspects of the universe we just don’t understand

I don't exactly know why we yawn...but I do know that a yawn is just a silent scream for coffee!

Coffee out on the warm patio again this morning!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Slightly Cool Sunday 'Toons...

Even though it really in't cold, it is a little cooler. So, being as how it is Sunday again, let's do some cartoons to pass the time.







And maybe just one more...



OK...that's enough for this morning. Go back to the funny papers now.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Am I Going In Circles...?

Sometimes the seemingly easiest things are not easy at all.

For instance, why can't we walk in a straight line when blindfolded? We do OK when we can see, but cover our eyes and ...BAM! We go in circles. Worst part is, no one knows why.

Why Can’t We Walk In A Straight Line With Our Eyes Closed?



Try this: Go out to a park, put on a blindfold, and try to walk in a straight line. When you take your blindfold off, you’ll discover something strange, other than that your wallet’s now missing. No matter how careful you were, most people will end up spinning around in circles if they don’t have a clear target to walk toward, and nobody knows why.

Scientists have done multiple experiments on this effect, watching how people walk visually and even mapping out how they move with GPS. They’ve learned a few things: We know that the darker the sky is, the more people spin in circles, but we still don’t know why it happens.

There are certainly theories. Some scientists have speculated that it’s because of brain dominance, and others think it’s due to differences in the lengths of our legs—but the only thing experiments have been able to prove for sure is that every theory we’ve ever come up with is definitely wrong.

I pretty much can't walk a straight line at the best of times, even with my eyes wide open. I tend to lean a lot and bump into things. Maybe I'm just clumsy or something...who knows?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's chilly, but nothing we can't handle.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Surprising Good News About Coffee...!

Want to do more to help Mother Nature do her thing...like attracting bees? Furnish more coffee!

Actually, I'm referring to the coffee plant and not the finished product. I found an interesting article over on Listverse that talks about how bees are attracted to the caffeine in the coffee plant flower. I mean, who knew?

Coffee Contains Caffeine To Attract Bees



Every other coffee list on the Internet will tell you that coffee was discovered by goat herders, whose goats got a little jolly after munching on coffee berries. But why does coffee contain caffeine to begin with? Well, it’s toxic to slugs and other pests, but it turns out it also has an effect on pollinators such as bees. In fact, scientists think they get—wait for it—a buzz from the caffeine in the flowers of plants.

Scientists found that consuming caffeine helped bees to improve their long-term memories. The caffeine acts on the brain chemistry of bees in a way that makes the flowers more memorable, so the bees are more likely to return to plants of the same type. Though bees and humans are very different, some experts suggest the capacity to be affected by caffeine could be as old as the common ancestors we share, as it impacts our neurological activity on a very fundamental level.

See? Coffee drinkers and bees have more in common that you thought! How cool is that?

Coffee inside again this morning. Still a bit cool out on the patio.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A June Bug Epidemic...?

Most everyone in the South (and probably other parts as well) know what June bugs are.

Here around my house they can be seen in the Spring, climbing on the screens and generally making a pest of themselves...no pun intended. I would say that I can't remember them ever causing an epidemic, though. Here's a case where some folks thought otherwise.

The June Bug Epidemic

Photo credit: Patrick Coin

Here’s an odd one. The June bug epidemic refers to an incident in summer 1962 when a worker in a textile mill in the USA claimed to have been bitten by some sort of dangerous insect. Convinced that the latest batch of fabric that the mill had received from England was infested with creepy critters, the woman refused to go back to work. She complained of headaches, dizziness, and a painful rash. Before long, more than 50 of her colleagues were also insisting that they had been bitten by the elusive “June bug.”

Understandably, the mill was closed down for inspection, and officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta were dispatched to deal with the outbreak. But to their surprise, they could find zero evidence that such a creature even existed. The health inspectors found only two biting insects in the entire plant, neither of which could have caused the symptoms described by the workers.

Despite this dumbfounding discovery, they decided to have the mill sprayed for insects anyway. After all, there was nothing else they could do. But the most incredible part of the story is this: After the mill had been sprayed and reopened, not a single person complained of June bug bites again. Was there really something hiding in the fabric?

Something sounds a little fishy about this story, if you ask me. I've been around June bugs all my life, playing with them, picking them up and such. Never had one bite me that I know of.

Coffee in the kitchen. Kinda cool on the patio and it's misting rain.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Herman Lehmann For Western Wednesday...!

Herman was one of those children that was kidnapped by the Indians, but didn't want to leave and go back home.

He had become so much a part of his adopted tribe, he was made a warrior and minor chief. Wanting to stay with their captors was not all that uncommon. Many refused to leave, or ran away when returned to their true families. Here is Herman's story from Listverse.

Herman Lehmann



Photo credit: Alchetron

Herman Lehmann didn’t see himself as a white boy living among the Apaches. To him, he was an Apache warrior through and through. He was kidnapped at age ten, and it changed him so much that when he was found eight years later, he couldn’t even remember his own name.

By then, Lehman was a respected warrior in his tribe who called himself “En Da.” He’d been made a petty chief for his ability to fight, and he’d joined the Apaches in raids and battles, even leading a charge right into a fort full of Texas Rangers.

All that changed, though, when a medicine man killed his adoptive father, an Apache warrior named Carnoviste. Lehman took his revenge and killed the medicine man. He then had to flee into the wilderness. For a year, he lived alone, hiding from the Apaches and the white men alike, until he finally settled down in a Native American reservation.

When his mother heard there was a white-skinned, blue-eyed boy on the reservation, she came out, praying it was her son. At first, she didn’t recognize him, and Herman was less than friendly. “I was an Indian,” he explained, “and I did not like them because they were palefaces.” But Herman’s sister spotted an old scar only he could have and, overcome with joy, cried out, “It’s Herman!”

The sound of the name puzzled him. Somehow, Herman thought he’d heard it before. It took a long moment, Herman would later recall, before he realized that he was hearing his own name.

No one knows for sure what made the captors stay when given the choice...but it was their choice and should have been allowed.Just my opinion, of course.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, but you better bring a sweater!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Very Tiny Church Chapel...!

Sometimes, out of nowhere, a simple landmark pops up that totally surprises you. That's the case with this little chapel.

The Wayside Chapel is one of those places that just grabs your attention as you drive by. Here is an article about it.

MONROE, WASHINGTON

Wayside Chapel
The tiny church offers succor to travelers driving by, but only eight at a time.



While driving by on the Stevens Pass Highway, about six miles east of Monroe, Washington, you’ll see a tiny chapel that invites any travelers on the highway to stop and take a little break—but only eight at a time.

“Pause, Rest, Worship” reads the sign outside the miniature structure, and weary travelers from any faith can enter at any time, to look around the one-room, unstaffed church or pray for a few moments before continuing on their way.

Inside, there is a pulpit, four two-person pews, and some flower vases. And that’s about it.

The charming chapel was dedicated in October 1962, when Seattle was hosting the World’s Fair. It has seen some surface changes, but remains much the same as it did then.

It is a favorite with locals, some of whom have even gotten married or renewed their vows in the tiny wayside chapel.

Cute little rest stop, don't you think? Might be just the place to stop and give yourself a bit of time to get the mind calmed down.

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Somerset Slime For Monday Mystery...!

I've posted about this stuff before, but that was way back when it was called "star jelly!"

The last time the information was old and outdated. Even this information is newer, it isn't much more helpful than what we had before.

Somerset Slime



Photo credit: AOL

Scientists were stumped by the strange jelly-like slime that appeared in a nature reserve in Somerset, England, in 2012. The bizarre substance was found in several locations. Experts were unable to explain its origin, although a few guesses were hazarded. The reserve’s spokesman, Tony Whitehead, suggested the slime might be Nostoc, a form of cyanobacteria.

Other guesses held it might be the regurgitated viscera of amphibians and their spawn. Whitehead said, in past centuries, the substance was “known variously as star jelly, astral jelly or astromyxin,” and folklore associated it with meteors. Other speculations suggested it lacked DNA, although it appeared to be alive. Experts didn’t know what to make of the slime. Visitors to the reserve were warned not to touch the substance, whatever it was.

You don't have to tell me twice to not touch the stuff...I intend to leave it alone! I don't know what it is, where it came from, and what it might do! I flashback to the movie with Steve McQueen called "The Blob", ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday Means Cartoons...!

Guess maybe I should change things around a bit and not be such a creature of habit. Not today, though.

Today it will be the 'toons like usual. Don't want to disappoint anyone, ya know?







And maybe just one more...



That's all I have today. Hope you enjoyed them.

Coffee out on the patio again. I hope you set your clocks back!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sad And Creepy Story Of Ruby...!

Dolls have been favorite playthings for many children for a long time and many have become sought after by doll collectors over the years.

However, many dolls have become the center for stories of hauntings and possession and just downright creepiness! Here is one such story about a doll named Ruby.

Ruby



Photo credit: Week in Weird

The story of Ruby is a bit more sad than creepy. It is said that Ruby was the favorite possession of a little girl a long time ago. The little girl got very sick and eventually died with Ruby in her arms.[8] Ruby was then passed on through generations of the little girl’s family, more often than not ending up in a box in a basement because of her less-than-cute appearance. Also, the family members claimed that Ruby walked around, made weird noises, and, much the same as Peggy, caused nausea and headaches.

Ruby eventually ended up in the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult, where even stranger things started happening. Almost half of all visitors to the museum started taking Ruby in their arms and rocking her and comforting her as you would do with a crying baby. When being made aware of what they were doing, the visitors would be shocked, not having realized their actions. One visitor also found a picture of Ruby on her phone after visiting the museum, and she swears she didn’t take any photos of the doll. It is believed that the little girl who died is still connected to Ruby somehow and is making her presence felt with the help of her favorite doll.

My mother was a doll maker, as you may know, and she left many dolls here when she passed. My sisters, nieces, grandkids and everyone else I could think of was allowed to take any or all of the dolls with them. Very few did, however. I still have about twenty or so dolls here, nearly all with handmade clothes. I reckon that no one plays with dolls, even with porcelain handmade ones.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Almost hot outside today!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sweet Truth About Candy Corn...!

Since we are gearing up to enter into what I like to call the "food holidays", I figured I would post a little fact I discovered about Candy Corn.

This sweet treat has always been one of my favorites, taking second place only to chocolate. Chocolate will always be my first choice, but Candy Corn is close.

The Real Deal With Candy Corn


Photo credit: Evan-Amos/Wikimedia

Candy corn has been around since the 1880s, and it has always been one of those things that most people claim to hate. Those who do love it probably already know about National Candy Corn Day, which is October 30.

The recipe for candy corn has not changed, and it is still made with fondant, corn syrup, marshmallow creme, vanilla, and sugar. In the early days, when each kernel was handmade, the original name was “Chicken Feed,” and it was first designed to tap into rural America’s most familiar images for a treat that was available year around. Its association with autumn is no coincidence, as it was part of a group of candies (that also included candy turnips, chestnuts, and clovers) that symbolized the fall harvest.

According to the National Confectioners Association, candy corn is the favorite Halloween treat of a whopping 12 percent of the population.

That's all I have for today. Gotta go celebrate with the rest of the town, because of Houston winning something called the "World Series!" for the first time ever...!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nixon Broke The Gavel...!

Who would believe that some of the original tools used in the Senate are 200 years old? I'm talking about the gavels, not the politicians!

The U.S. Senate Has Been Using the Same Ivory Gavels for Over 200 Years
They only got a second one after Nixon broke the first.


BY ERIC GRUNDHAUSER                                       OCTOBER 26, 2017

WHEN THINGS GET UNRULY IN a courtroom, the judge can grab his gavel and start hammering on the podium to get everyone’s attention and restore order. It’s not so terribly different in the United States Senate, where they’ve been using the same ivory gavels in their attempts to bring order for over 200 years.

The U.S. Senate has a number of hidden traditions (we see you, candy desk) and historic artifacts that have been in use for generations, but perhaps none symbolizes the body’s adherence to its own past more than the senate gavels. While the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives generally uses a traditional mallet-style gavel, often comically over-sized and prone to breaking, the leaders of the Senate floor have only ever used one of two hourglass-shaped mauls since the assembly began in the 1700s.

No one is quite sure of the exact origins of the first Senate gavel. “Many of the tools that the Senate uses have long been considered just that. Tools of the legislative process,” says Melinda Smith, current Curator of the United States Senate. “At the time that they were acquired, nobody ever thought that they would be such prized possessions or that there would be such intrigue to them. We haven’t yet found that golden nugget of information. We have a lot of leads, but none of them are on a record.” Smith adds that traditionally it’s believed that the original ivory gavel, or one just like it, has been used since the Senate’s first meeting in 1789.

The original gavel, which measures two-and-a-half inches tall, was used through the 19th century and well into the 20th century. According to the Senate website, the old ivory nub had begun to fall apart by the 1940s, after over a century of use. Then in 1952, the original gavel was reinforced with silver plates affixed to both ends. But even with the extra support, the gavel was in trouble.

Just two years after the silver pieces were added, it finally broke for good. It was during a late-night debate on whether or not to allow the commercial use of nuclear power. Then-Vice President Richard Nixon took hold of the gavel to call the room to order. Slamming it down, a large chunk of the ivory hammer chipped off, although the breakage likely had more to do with wear and age than any over-exuberance on Nixon’s part. “He just happened to be the person who was holding it,” says Smith. “It could have been anybody.”

In an attempt to salvage the historic gavel, the broken chunk was screwed back on, but the gavel was no longer fit for government work, and the hunt for a replacement began. According to a New York Times article from 1982, it was Nixon himself who went searching for a suitable piece of ivory that could replace the one that had broken in his hand. After a few (no doubt unruly) gavel-less months, the Vice President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, presented the assembly with a replacement ivory gavel that looked nearly identical to the original save for a decorative floral collar etched around the pinched middle. He said that he hoped it would lead to debate “with freedom from passion and prejudice.”

Let's hope that the future gavels are only used in common sense debates, and last at least as long as the originals.

Coffee out on the patio where it seems that Spring has come back with temps in the mid 80s.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Uncle Billy" Bites The Dust...!

Some of the most memorable folks from the era of the old west were the good guys, not always the bad.

Often thought to be one of the most honest and effective lawmen around at the time, he met his end while still upholding the law.

1924
Legendary western lawman is murdered

On this day, William Tilghman is murdered by a corrupt prohibition agent who resented Tilghman’s refusal to ignore local bootlegging operations. Tilghman, one of the famous marshals who brought law and order to the Wild West, was 71 years old.

Known to both friends and enemies as “Uncle Billy,” Tilghman was one of the most honest and effective lawmen of his day. Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1854, Tilghman moved west when he was only 16 years old. Once there, he flirted with a life of crime after falling in with a crowd of disreputable young men who stole horses from Indians. After several narrow escapes with angry Indians, Tilghman decided that rustling was too dangerous and settled in Dodge City, Kansas, where he briefly served as a deputy marshal before opening a saloon. He was arrested twice for alleged train robbery and rustling, but the charges did not stick.

Despite this shaky start, Tilghman gradually built a reputation as an honest and respectable young man in Dodge City. He became the deputy sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, and later, the marshal of Dodge City. Tilghman was one of the first men into the territory when Oklahoma opened to settlement in 1889, and he became a deputy U.S. marshal for the region in 1891. In the late 19th century, lawlessness still plagued Oklahoma, and Tilghman helped restore order by capturing some of the most notorious bandits of the day.

Over the years, Tilghman earned a well-deserved reputation for treating even the worst criminals fairly and protecting the rights of the unjustly accused. Any man in Tilghman’s custody knew he was safe from angry vigilante mobs, because Tilghman had little tolerance for those who took the law into their own hands. In 1898, a wild mob lynched two young Indians who were falsely accused of raping and murdering a white woman. Tilghman arrested and secured prison terms for eight of the mob leaders and captured the real rapist-murderer.

In 1924, after serving a term as an Oklahoma state legislator, making a movie about his frontier days, and serving as the police chief of Oklahoma City, Tilghman might well have been expected to quietly retire. However, the old lawman was unable to hang up his gun, and he accepted a job as city marshal in Cromwell, Oklahoma. Tilghman was shot and killed while trying to arrest a drunken Prohibition agent.

Uncle Billy was around much longer than most in his profession. Sad ending to a good lawman.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Sad Truth Of The Nobel Prize..!

Sometimes it's easy to make a mistake with the cause of what makes a person famous. Often times it's the back story that tells the whole truth. Here is a case in point...

Alfred Nobel And Ludvig Nobel



Photo credit: nobelprize.org

Alfred Bernhard Nobel is remembered as the founder of the Nobel Prize, which includes the famous Nobel Peace Prize. Ironically, he is also the inventor of dynamite, a deadly explosive used for variety of purposes, including warfare.

To be fair, Alfred Nobel invented dynamite for use in mining, demolition, and construction and not as a weapon. Nevertheless, the military found other purposes for the deadly explosive and Alfred never openly supported nor condemned its use in warfare.

Alfred Nobel rethought his invention when Ludvig, his brother, died in 1888. Newspapers erroneously published Alfred’s obituary and accused him of becoming wealthy by killing people. One newspaper even announced his death with the headline “The Merchant of Death is Dead.” This devastated Nobel.

Wanting to repair his name, he willed a huge chunk of his wealth to create the Nobel Prizes.

Like I said, we shouldn't judge until we know the whole story.

Coffee out on the patio again.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Airplane Mysteries For Monday...!

Instead of writing out a post about some of the mysterious airplane vanishings over the years, I thought we would share a video about them instead...OK?



We could go on and on listing the other flights that have disappeared over the years, but it seems rather pointless until the mysteries just listed have been solved. Just my opinion.

Coffee out on the patio one more time. Maybe the sun will shine a bit.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

'Toons For A Cool Sunday Morning...!

Since we have another cool front in today, I figured it must be time for some fun 'toons. Nothing like a little laughter to warm things up, right?







And just one more...



I guess that the moral of the story is...you don't always get what you want, but instead get what you need.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Animals Had It First...!

Just when we are patting ourselves on the back for some major discovery, we realize that the animals have been doing the same thing, but for much longer.

Cloning



After the controversy over Dolly the sheep, you might have assumed that cloning was a new and strange phenomenon. If you want an alternative opinion, though, ask a starfish (aka sea star).

Starfish have been asexually reproducing with no difficulty well before cloning was even a word. Not only that, but starfish that clone themselves live longer and healthier lives than starfish that reproduce sexually.

So cloning obviously suits these creatures rather well. Additionally, if a starfish breaks a limb or even breaks its body in half, the creature will simply regrow and regenerate itself as needed. Some species even have the ability to produce a new body from part of a severed limb.

Starfish are evidently the experts when it comes to cloning, so perhaps we ought to leave it to them?

Sounds like a good idea to me. Leave it to the real experts!

Coffee out on the patio again this chilly morning.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Death By Vegetable On Freaky Friday...

Over and over again, mankind has shown that the ability to kill each other comes almost naturally.

It seems to me that the imagination never shuts down when it comes to creative killing. However, this next story is certainly off the beaten path and is beyond creative, I think.

Canned Vegetables



Photo credit: moneysavingmom.com

In summer 2015, Linda Clarene Jackson of Lake Los Angeles, California, was arrested for murder and faced allegations that she used canned foods as a deadly weapon. Jackson was accused of fatally beating her boyfriend, David Ruiz, with cans of peas, carrots, and chicken broth.

Police had been called on reports of a man who was injured and bleeding. They found Ruiz unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said Jackson’s motive was unclear.

If convicted, she faced life in prison for her canned food killing. But her sentence has already been completed. On June 8, 2017, she died of natural causes behind bars while awaiting trial

I guess you could say she went to the "can" for her crime. Gotta be a moral in there somewhere.

Coffee out on the patio again today.