Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What Really Happened...?

Ever notice how the PTB always seems to have a ready answer or explanation when something unusual happens somewhere?

It happens more than we can imagine. Not only here is the states, but all over the world. Here is an example of what I'm talking about...from Wales, of all places!

The Berwyn Mountain Incident

Photo credit: abovetopsecret.com

In January 1974, many reports were received of an enormous bang, tremors that shook the Earth, and a blazing light above the Berwyn Mountains in Wales. As many left their homes when they felt the tremor, they saw a blinding light on the mountainside.

Some people thought that a plane had crashed into the mountain. However, others described the light as a “pulsating orange-and-red glow.” When police searched the area, nothing was found, leading certain people to believe that a UFO crash had been covered up.

According to the official explanation, a meteorite had coincidentally crashed into Earth when an earthquake occurred. While this seems logical, many skeptics continue to believe that something else took place on the mountain that night.

I find it a bit strange that this sort of thing continues to happen even today. Sure makes a lot of coincidences, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Showers are expected again!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Strange Sickness For Monday Mystery...!

From time to time Mother Nature throws a true mystery at us that we just can't figure out.

Such was the case after a meteorite strike near Caracas, Peru and the resulting illnesses afterwards. Villagers and law enforcement officers alike were taken ill when attempting to discover more about this strange occurrence.

Meteorite Sickness

On September 15, 2007, residents of Caracas in Southern Peru, near the Bolivian border reported a massive explosion that rocked the village moments after a fireball appeared in the sky. Soon after, boiling water and steam emerged from the crater formed by the meteorite impact, and a strange smell appeared in the area. Over 200 villagers reported illness, and numerous animals in the village died. Government inspectors and police officers arrived in the area of the impact crater, but were taken ill as well, suffering vomiting. A state of emergency was then declared. Speculation points towards a bizarre reaction of Arsenic, Sulfur bearing rocks and groundwater with the meteorite, causing the village to be bathed in a chemical soup of rapidly forming volatile chemicals at the impact site. It has also been suggested that the Earth’s atmosphere failed to provide protection due to the elevation of the impact.

The article is from Listverse, but it doesn't say how long the illness remained, or how long the mysterious fumes were present. Hopefully it is gone by now and things are back to normal.

Coffee out o the patio this morning. Gotta go in for a check-up at VA later, but there is always time for coffee!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

No Post Today...!

I'm taking the day off. so there won't be any post today...OK? OK! Sorry if you wasted your time , but I need the day off today. Help yourself to the coffee though. You know where it is, right?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hiding In Plain Sight...!

Animals have some very unique ways of hiding in plain sight when they want to. They can, for lack of a better term, become invisible!

Often it may just blending in with their surroundings, hiding in hard to see spots, or even covering themselves with whatever is handy. Here are just a few examples of what I'm talking about!

Spring Attack

Even in our best ghillie suits, to animals, most humans still look like big, bumbling primates pounding through the woods. In other words, they can usually see us coming a mile away. In contrast, many animals are masters of disguise, which they can use to either hide or hunt without detection.

Setting aside the myriad of ocean animals that blend in perfectly with their surroundings, there are plenty of land animals like owls, moths, snakes, lions, insects and more that can make themselves invisible. Perhaps the most impressive display of camouflage is the leaf insect, which looks so astoundingly like a leaf it could easily fool anyone. They even have brown spots and areas that look like bites or wilts to make them appear more authentic, and when it walks, it moves side to side like a leaf rustling in the wind.

But by far, the most repulsive form of camouflage is that of the bird dropping spider, which disguises itself by looking like, yep you guessed it . . . poop. In particular: bird poop. Creatures that like eating feces are few and far between, so this spider stays relatively safe by hanging out in the trees all day waiting for unsuspecting moths to pass by (they release a pheromone that mimics the scent of female moths).

It’s obvious how concealed animals like lions and snakes could pose a threat to humans, but a swarm of otherwise harmless leaf insects could participate in our destruction as well. Could you imagine a tree full of leaves suddenly coming alive? Such an event would startle any human and give other, more dangerous animals time to launch a spring attack.

Yep, I'd say that if animals ever decided to team up and attack us, we would be in some deep sh**, for sure. Hard to defend against something if you can't see it!

Coffee out on the patio this morning where it's hot and muggy!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Murder Story For Freaky Friday...!

This story comes all the way from Tokyo, which in itself is unusual.

Lots of questions arise when you hear the story of this murder, none of which I can answer, I'm afraid. The whole thing is almost unbelievable, if you ask me.

Murder of Junko Furuta

Photo Credit: Find a Grave

Seventeen-year-old Junko Furuta was heading home from school on November 25, 1988, when four of her male classmates abducted her and held her captive in Adachi, Tokyo. There, Furuta was tortured, beaten, and raped by her classmates. The house Furuta was held in belonged to the parents of one of the boys and she would often beg the adults to help her, but both parents were deathly afraid of what their son would do to them should they intervene.

For 44 hellish days, Furuta was held captive. She attempted to escape multiple times but each attempt ended in failure. Malnourished, she eventually succumbed to her injuries. After her death, the four boys found a large oil drum; they dumped her corpse inside and filled the drum with concrete. All four boys were eventually arrested and charged with the crime, but none received the life sentence they clearly deserved.

I can't imagine a parent being so afraid of their child that they would allow this kind of behavior in their home. I hope that the parents were punished as accesories, at least!

Coffee in the kitchen once again. Still some rain outside.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ray Spider And It's Slingshot Web...!

I did a post here while back about a spitting spider, but this guy beats the spitter all to pieces.

Using a spider silk slingshot, he traps his prey while they fly by. Pretty neat trick, considering that the spider just senses when it's prey is starting to fly by. How he does that is still unknown, but it works pretty well!

The Ray Spider’s Slingshot Web

Photo credit: Akio Tanikawa

We’ve known about ray spiders for nearly a century, but little research has been done on them. The few species that we do know about are found all over the world, so it’s no surprise that this little Amazonian acrobat escaped the attention of mainstream science for so long. It’s been tentatively identified as the Naatlo splendida species by the graduate student who first observed it, but nobody’s quite sure about that, either.

What they are sure about is that the thing can put on a heck of a show. Rather than sit in its web and wait for insects to fly into it—like most web spinners—this ray spider has turned its web into a slingshot net that can nab insects out of the air.

The spider first spins its web like normal, but then it attaches a secondary string to a rock or branch behind the web. When the spider sits in the center of the web and reels in the string, the web stretches back like a rubber band. Whenever the spider senses an insect approaching (nobody’s figured out how it does that yet), the spider releases the string and shoots the web—with the spider still attached—into the oncoming insect.

The slingshot web is only about the width of a man’s palm, but that seems to be perfect for catching mosquitoes, which usually fly too slowly to stick to a spider’s web.

There is a video on YouTube that shows the slingshot web in action, if you want to see it. Just search for Ray Spider!

Better have our coffee inside today as the rain from the tropical storm in the Gulf is getting pretty wet!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Joe Meek On Western Wednesday...!

Not many of the well known mountain men realized that the lifestyle they loved so much was slowly coming to an end. Not so in the case of Joe Meek.

Not only did he see the end coming, but took action to create another lifestyle where he could not only prosper, but carry on in much the same manner as before. He must have been quite the character.

Mountain man Joe Meek dies

A skilled practitioner of the frontier art of the tall tale, the mountain man Joe Meek dies on his farm in Oregon. His life was nearly as adventurous as his stories claimed.

Born in Virginia in 1810, Meek was a friendly and relentlessly good-humored young man, but he had too much rambunctious energy to do well in school. At 16 years old, the illiterate Meek moved west to join two of his brothers in Missouri. In subsequent years, he taught himself to read and write, but his spelling and grammar remained highly original throughout his life.

In early 1829, Meek joined William Sublette’s ambitious expedition to begin fur trading in the Far West. For the next decade, Meek traveled throughout the West, reveling in the adventure and independence of the mountain man life. At 6 feet, 2 inches tall, the heavily bearded Meek became a favorite character at the annual mountain-men rendezvous, where he regaled his companions with humorous and often exaggerated stories of his wilderness adventures. A renowned grizzly hunter, Meek claimed he liked to “count coup” on the dangerous animals before killing them, a variation on a Native American practice in which they shamed a live human enemy by tapping them with a long stick. Meek also told a story in which he claimed to have wrestled an attacking grizzly with his bare hands before finally sinking a tomahawk into its brain.

Over the years, Meek established good relations with many Native Americans, and he married three Indian women, including the daughter of a Nez Perce chief. Nonetheless, he also frequently fought with tribes who were hostile to the incursion of the mountain men into their territories. In the spring of 1837, Meek was nearly killed by a Blackfeet warrior who was taking aim with his bow while Meek tried to reload his Hawken rifle. Luckily for Meek, the warrior dropped his first arrow while drawing the bow, and the mountain man had time to reload and shoot.

In 1840, Meek recognized that the golden era of the free trappers was ending. Joining with another mountain man, Meek and his third wife guided one of the first wagon trains to cross the Rockies on the Oregon Trail. Meek settled in the lush Willamette Valley of western Oregon, became a farmer, and actively encouraged other Americans to join him. In 1847, Meek led a delegation to Washington, D.C., asking for military protection from Indian attacks and territorial status for Oregon. Though he arrived “ragged, dirty, and lousy,” Meek became something of a celebrity in the capitol. Easterners relished the boisterous good humor Meek showed in proclaiming himself the “envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from the Republic of Oregon to the Court of the United States.” Congress responded by making Oregon an official American territory and Meek became a U.S. marshal.

Meek returned to Oregon and became heavily involved in politics, eventually helping to found the Oregon Republican Party. He later retired to his farm, where he died on this day at the age of 65.

It would have been fun to hear a few of the tales ol' Joe told, don't ya think? Good story tellers are hard to find now days...except in Washington, of course.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Story Of Kilroy...!

How much do we really know about how some fads got started? Some of them...not so much.

When you study fads like Kilroy, for instance, the history is more rich than you might think. That's the case with many fads and we should try and learn where more of these long lasting fads came from, in my opinon.

Kilroy Was Here

Photo credit: Luis Rubio

A war might be a strange source for fads, but soldiers need some way to entertain themselves, too. That is why “Kilroy was here” appeared during World War II. The piece of graffiti showed a bald man with a long nose sticking his head over a wall. It was simple, easy to draw, and lighthearted enough to become a popular recurring joke that endured even once the war was over.

Although Kilroy was firmly associated with America GIs, it was inspired by an older British drawing known as Mr. Chad. Chad, allegedly the 1938 creation of British cartoonist George Chatterton, also poked his bald head over the wall and said “Wot? No tea?” (Tea was substituted with sugar, tobacco, or whatever else was in short supply.)

By the end of the war, there were thousands of “Kilroy was here” drawings all over Europe and America, so this was clearly the work of thousands of soldiers, not just one guy bored out of his mind. But was there ever a real Kilroy? More than one person came forward as the real Kilroy, but the generally accepted origin is one James J. Kilroy, a shipyard inspector during the war. He had a habit of scribbling “Kilroy was here” in crayon on ships that passed inspection. In 1946, the Transit Company of America held a contest to find the real Kilroy, and James provided them with enough evidence to claim the prize, his very own trolley car.

Kilroy has had an interesting history, as have other fads. I'm sure that new ones will pop up all around us before long. Seems to be one of those things we are really good at for some reason.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. There may be a tropical storm headed our way, though.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Missing Flight For Monday Mystery...!

We don't often have a mystery involving planes as much as we do boats and ships, so today lets fix that.

This one is different due to the fact that when the plane went down, it's location was known. But then, it disappeared. How strange is that? Here is the story about this missing flight.

Transatlantic C-124 Flight

Photo credit: Walker Aviation Museum

This is a strange one. On the late afternoon of March 23, 1951, a US Air Force Douglas C-124 Globemaster II on its way to England ditched into the ocean. An explosion in the cargo hold and the ensuing fire forced the pilots to put the plane down in the Atlantic, a few hundred miles from Ireland. The exact location was radioed by the pilots, and the ditching itself was successful.

The 53 passengers and crew aboard the flight donned life preservers and climbed aboard well-equipped emergency rafts. A B-29 had already been en route with the intention of aiding the plane in its navigation to the nearest airfield. When it arrived at the location transmitted by the pilots, the crew of the B-29 observed the passengers and crew in their rafts. It seemed everyone was okay.

The B-29 then had to return to base, as it was running low on fuel. However, when rescue crews arrived, the plane and the stricken passengers had all disappeared without a trace. All that was left was a piece of charred plywood and a briefcase. Nobody knows what happened in those hours while help was on the way.

It just seems strange to me that in the time it probably took for the rescue plane to refuel, the downed plane and the passengers just vanished. Plenty of things could have happened, I guess, but it still seems strange to me.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, while it's still sort of cool.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cartoons For Father's Day...!

This isn't a typical Sunday...it's Father's Day. What does that mean, you ask? Cartoons, of course!

And maybe just one more...

Well, that's all. I hope that all you Fathers out there have a very good day. Just remember to say something nice to your Dad is he is still around, OK?

Let's have coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Remember This Place...?

There are a few towns right here in our great country that have had some really terrible disasters befall them, and most have never recovered.

The town mentioned here, Centralia, is one I'm sure you must have heard about before. Fire has been raging underground there for many years and, as of yet, no one has any idea on how to stop it.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

In 1962, officials decided to burn a huge pile of trash at Centralia’s dump. Unfortunately, the town’s dump—and much of the town—was located on top of an abandoned coal mine. After the fire had consumed the trash, it ignited the leftover coal.

The fire began to spread throughout the mines. Carbon monoxide started to seep up from the ground, and people began losing consciousness in their homes. Sinkholes and cracks appeared throughout the town. After a 12-year-old boy fell into a burning sinkhole in the 1980s—he survived—authorities intensified their efforts to douse the fire. Nothing worked. The government realized that they could not stop the fire, and they relocated the residents.

Today, the town is nearly abandoned, and the fire still burns. The fire has consumed much of the mines: it destroyed all of the mine’s timbers and bracing. Parts of the mine could collapse at any moment, which makes the ground above dangerous to walk on. Even Centralia’s air is deadly. Sulfurous steam blows out of hundreds of fissures and holes in the mud. The gases poison the air, and they can suffocate a person.

There is a list of other toxic ghost towns, many here in the states, over on Listverse if you would like to take a look.

Coffee is gonna be out on the patio again. Soon we'll have to go inside due to the heat and the humidity.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wrong Punishment On Freaky Friday...!

England was very, very strict about their policies in regards to thefts in the old days. Age and the actual crime didn't seem to figure into things at all.

Michael Hammond

The English in 1708 were quite serious about hanging people for their crimes, no matter what the crime or the age of the person committing it. This lack of compassion, in addition to their issues with theft, led to the hanging of seven-year-old Michael Hammond and his 11-year-old sister, Ann.

King’s Lynn resident Michael is the youngest recorded person to be hanged for a felony offense, and his crime was reportedly stealing a loaf of bread. There’s no denying that stealing is wrong, but no one seemed to take into account during his trial or public hanging that the thief was only a young child.

I'm thinking that taking the kids out behind the shed for a good spanking would have been punishment enough for stealing a loaf of bread. Hanging a 7 year old seems a bit much to me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's Karma, I Tell Ya...!

How many times do we read about someone getting a taste of some good Karma? Not often enough, that's for sure.

James Harrison Donated Blood And Saved Two Million Babies

Photo credit: Kate Geraghty

When James Harrison was 14 years old, he nearly died. It took a major chest operation to save his life. The surgeons had to remove one of his lungs, allowing 2 liters (0.5 gal) of blood leave his body in the process. He only survived, Harrison understood, because people he’d never met had donated the blood that now filled his body—and he wanted to do that for someone else.

Harrison resolved that, as soon as he was old enough, he would donate blood as often as he could. He went through with it, donating his first pint of blood on his 18th birthday.

Doctors started to realize, though, that Harrison’s blood was unusual. It had antibodies that were basically the cure for rhesus disease, a blood disorder that can cause babies to be born with crippling brain damage or even die.

They asked Harrison to donate plasma regularly and let them run tests, and he agreed. His blood became the cure. Harrison, now in his seventies, has saved the lives of more than two million babies.

He didn’t just save stranger’s lives, though. When his own daughter, Tracey, became pregnant, she was diagnosed as being at risk for rhesus disease. Harrison’s blood donations ensured that her baby was born safely. Because he donated blood when he was 18, James Harrison was able to become a grandfather.

People like this are true heroes, that's for sure. Anyone that voluntarily gives blood, gives life! That's my opinion, anyway.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. Think of it as a caffeine transfusion!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Queho On Western Wednesday...!

Here is a tale about an outlaw that was used as a Boogeyman for kids back in the Old West days. He went by the name of Queho.


Queho was an enigmatic figure who wavered between serial killer, boogeyman, and scapegoat. Not much is known about his early life—or his life at all, really. He was born sometime in the 1880s, the child of a Native American mother and an unknown father. His mixed heritage made him an outsider from the beginning.

His first experience with murder was said to have been when he killed his brother, Avote, for killing another man. He left his home in Colorado and headed to Las Vegas, still a blossoming frontier town, sometime around 1910. It was there that he was completely corrupted by whiskey, and it wasn’t long after that his name was used to scare children into being good and dragged up in association with unsolved murders.

Within a few years, any mysterious miner death was being ascribed to Queho. He soon had a $2,000 bounty on his head and wisely dropped out of sight.

In February 1940, a mummified corpse was found in a cave not far from Hoover Dam. Based on its double row of teeth it was declared to be the elusive Queho. His remains traveled around for a while, used as the centerpiece of a Las Vegas Elks replica of his cave and later stolen, scattered, then recovered. He was finally buried, but it’s still unclear whether he was guilty, falsely accused, or perhaps a combination of the two.

Sounds to me like it didn't take much to make Queho into the boogeyman. He probably fit right in as a scary figure.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, but be warned...it's gonna be a hot one!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Space Can Be Strange...!

Just when you thought that space wasn't much of a mystery anymore, along comes this little tidbit. There is a Bermuda Triangle type area out there as well!

Now not only do the folks at NASA know about it, but certain precautions are made to avoid the area. Better read the article for yourself to understand it.

South Atlantic Anomaly

Did you ever wonder if there was a Bermuda Triangle in Space? No? Well you’re probably wondering it now, and you’re in luck! Because there totally is, and it’s called the South Atlantic Anomaly. The SAA is the area where the band of radiation known as Earth’s inner Van Allen belt comes closest to the Earth’s surface.

It’s an area centered just a bit off the coast of Brazil, and it’s responsible for numerous problems with satellites and spacecraft, from messing up their programs to actually shutting down their function. The Hubble Telescope is actually turned off from taking observations when passing through the Anomaly, and the International Space Station avoids scheduling spacewalks when passing through it (which happens up to 5 times a day). It’s not just technical problems, either—some astronauts report seeing “shooting stars” in their visual field as they pass through.

The cause of all these problems isn’t fully understood. The main suspect is the high levels of radiation that accumulate at the anomaly, but scientists aren’t sure exactly how or why the effects occur. So let’s just pin this one on aliens.

Pretty strange, don't you think? I think I'm fine not really knowing the cause of this. As they say...Ignorance Is Bliss!

Coffee out on the patio one more time. Hot weather is coming!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Three Hares On Monday Mystery...!

Once in a while, a symbol shows up from all over the ancient world, with no clear origin or meaning.

Judging the distances the images seem to have traveled, one can only guess at why they were considered so important. This is a case that has been studied for a very long time and as of yet, no solid answers have been agreed on.

The Three Hares

Photo credit: Ji-Elle, Ti’Michel

The Three Hares symbol itself is relatively simple. Three hares or rabbits are arranged in a rough triangle so that each appears to have two ears, even though there are only three ears in the design.

The design appears in ancient Buddhist cave temples and on Sui dynasty textiles made in the seventh and eighth centuries. It’s carved into medieval English churches and inscribed on Mongol coins from the era of Genghis Khan. It appears in historic Ukrainian synagogues and the cathedrals of France and Germany.

It’s not clear how the symbol became so popular or traveled so far, and there’s no agreement on what it’s supposed to represent. It may have originated in ancient Persia, where it was particularly popular. But that’s just a conjecture, and the story of the Three Hares looks set to remain a mystery

One more mystery from long ago that we still don't have a clue as to it's clear origin or meaning. You ust have to love a mystery like this!

Coffee out on the patio again today. Hope you don't mind...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

'Toon Time Cause It's Sunday...!

Here it is...another Sunday already. Of course, that means cartoons here at the Hermit's, right? Right!

And maybe one more...

Ok...that's all for this morning. Go out and enjoy some sunshine!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tom Ogle And His Carburetor...!

Ever notice how someone can come up with an invention that would really benefit mankind, only to have that invention blocked at every twist and turn by the PTB? That seems to be what happened to an inventor named Tom Ogle. Here's part of his story...

The Ogle Carburetor

Photo credit: craveonline.com

Everyone would like to get more mileage per fill-up, and some of the more recent hybrid cars have been able to do a great job of getting you farther with less gas. Unfortunately, we have yet to attain anything quite like the documented successes of mechanic Tom Ogle.

In the 1970s, this inventor created a new type of carburetor, the likes of which had never been seen. Much like today, gas and oil companies back then had a monopoly in the market. Although Ogle’s carburetor was tested and shown to travel up to 48 kilometers per liter (113 mpg), his invention was never produced commercially.

The revolutionary component worked by pressurizing gasoline into a vapor cloud, which was then injected into the firing chambers. Licensing setbacks and hurdles ensured that the carburetor was never mass-produced for use in vehicles, and Ogle died with its design information.

Does anyone besides me find it interesting that folks like Tom, who was blocked by forces we can only guess at, ended up dying with their design secrets unshared? Sadly, this happens more often than we might like to admit. After all, look what happened to Tesla and his design for free energy for all!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gut Fermentation For Freaky Friday...!

Here is a medical condition that you could have and not even know it. It could get you in a major bunch of trouble, though. Having it could even lead to you having an accident.

The Walking Brewery

Outside of Buffalo, New York, in 2015, police arrested a female motorist on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, with good reason: Her speech was slurred, she smelled of alcohol, and she had been weaving all over the road. She was found to have a blood alcohol content over four times the legal limit. But when the case was brought before a judge, the charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated was promptly dismissed—after evidence was heard that the woman’s body produces alcohol on its own.

The condition, known as Auto Brewery Syndrome or Gut Fermentation Syndrome, is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. Those affected must closely monitor their diets, as breads and other carbohydrates are most likely to produce the undesired side effect—in which some patients skip the “drunk” part and go directly to “terribly hung over.” Amazingly, the woman had had a few earlier in the day (not nearly enough to result in her titanic blood alcohol level) and had somehow not known she was afflicted with her condition until her lawyer’s research brought its existence to light.

I can only imagine how shocked the lady must have been to find out she has this condition, but she had to be pleased to some extent, as well. Thank goodness she had a lawyer that dug deep enough to find this condition and bring it to the attention of the court.

Coffee outside again this morning...OK?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Want More Milk? Name The Cow...!

This story just shows how naming the animals around us can be more satisfying both to the animal and beneficial to us humans. I reckon every farm that was dependent on a milk cow already knew this.

My Aunt Blanche had a cow that came when she was called by name. The cow was almost treated like a member of the family and was even sang to while being milked. It was soothing to her, I reckon.

Cows With Names Produce More Milk

Dairy farmers could potentially increase their incomes with one simple but weird trick—give their cows names. A scientific study published in Anthrozoos suggested that cows with names produce more milk than their nameless counterparts.

This bizarre study was conducted by Drs. Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, and it involved over 500 dairy farmers from the United Kingdom.

On average, cows produce 7,500 liters (2,000 gal) of milk over a period of 10 months. But Douglas and Rowlinson discovered that cows with names produced 260 liters (70 gal) more.

Many dairy farmers have long suspected that giving their cattle some “one-to-one attention” increases milk production, but this research was the first that tried to prove it scientifically. According to the study, cows that are herded as a group also produce less milk.

Doubting these facts? Speak your pet's name and watch their reaction. They can recognise it, even if spoken quietly. Animals respond favorably when treated kindly as do most people, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

William Quantrill For Western Wednesday...!

Sometimes we forget that all the well known bad men in the early days had mentors of some kind to show them the road to perdition, as it were.

Quantrill was more than happy to teach his murderous ways to all that would learn, evidently. Some say that no man is born evil, but perhaps Quantrill was the exception!

William Quantrill killed by Union soldiers

William Quantrill, the man who gave Frank and Jesse James their first education in killing, dies from wounds sustained in a skirmish with Union soldiers in Kentucky.

Born and raised in Ohio, Quantrill was involved in a number of shady enterprises in Utah and Kansas during his teens. In his early 20s, he fled to Missouri, where he became a strong supporter of pro-slavery settlers in their sometimes-violent conflict with their antislavery neighbors. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the 24-year-old Quantrill became the leader of an irregular force of Confederate soldiers that became known as Quantrill’s Raiders.

By 1862, Union forces had established control over Missouri, but Quantrill’s Raiders continued to harass the northern army and unguarded pro-Union towns over the next three years. Quantrill and other guerrilla leaders recruited their soldiers from Confederate sympathizers who resented what they saw as the unfairly harsh Union rule of their state. Among those who joined him was a 20-year-old farm kid named Frank James. His younger brother, Jesse, joined an allied guerrilla force a year later.

In August 1863, Frank James was with Quantrill when he led a savage attack on the largely defenseless town of Lawrence, Kansas. Angered that the townspeople had allowed Lawrence to be used as a sporadic base for Union soldiers, Quantrill and his guerrillas shot every man and boy they saw. After killing at least 150 male civilians, the raiders set the town on fire.

In May 1865, Quantrill was badly wounded in a skirmish with Union forces, and he died on this day in 1865. Since Quantrill’s men were guerillas rather than legitimate soldiers, they were denied the general amnesty given to the Confederate army after the war ended. Some, like Frank and Jesse James, took this as an excuse to become criminals and bank robbers.

It doesn't seem to take much for some folks to adopt the ways of the Lawless. Often the path to wrong-doing is just too enticing to ignore. Whatever personal needs were satisfied by following such a path remains a mystery to most of us.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

One Ugly Critter...!

Say what you want, but I don't want to have this critter anywhere near me...regardless how harmless it is!

Mother Nature must have designed this one to be a star in some horror movie, for sure. I'm thinking that I would have nightmares for a while if I saw one in person, ya know?

Tube Nosed Bat

Found in the rain forests of the Philippines, this endangered bat has one of the strangest faces among mammals. Its dark ears covered in yellow spots, crazy orange eyes and, especially, it’s tubular nostrils, give it an almost cartoonish appearance. This bat feeds mostly on figs and other fruit, but has been known to eat insects on occasion.

I swear this thing reminds me of a Dracula movie, especially in it's face! Tell me you don't see the resemblance!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Witch's Alarm Clock On Monday Mystery...!

All over the world, there are things that just cannot be explained in a rational manner.

Tat's the case with the Witches Alarm Clock. Strange happenings occur when the clock is disturbed, as reported in the story from Listverse. Makes for an interesting tale, to say the least.

The Witch’s Alarm Clock

Photo credit: venetoworld.com

Near the Accademia Museum in the Dorsoduro District, there is something rather odd on the side of an old building. It is nothing but a centuries-old alarm clock. This has raised hundreds of theories as to why it is there, but not one has been agreed on.

The legend goes that an old witch used the clock to mark the time that invoices were due. When she died, no one wanted to live in the house due to their fear of the witch. A nearby merchant asked some workers to put an old alarm clock on the supposedly haunted building as a joke.

When the clock was taken down a few years later, strange things started happening, such as visions and strange sounds during the night. As soon as the clock was put back up, everything went back to normal.

Years later, the clock was taken down again. The odd happenings resumed, including unexplained disappearances of objects and accidents happening around the site. The clock was once again replaced, and these strange events ceased.

The clock was never taken down again. Now it can be found on the side of a house on the Calle della Toletta street in Venice.

Like I said, these types of things happen all over the world. Strange but true!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm hoping the rain has moved on.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Some More Sunday 'Toons...!

What would Sunday morning be without some good old fashioned cartoons to liven up the day, right?

Here are a few that I hope you like!

And maybe just one more...

Well, there ya go...that should be enough to get your day off to a good start. Have a good one, ya hear?

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. It's gonna rain some more!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

This Cure Is Gonna Hurt...!

Sometimes the cure for a particular ailment is more painful than it should be, ya know? Maybe that's because it's supposed to!

Bee Venom For Herpes

Known officially as apitherapy, the practice of using bee venom to treat medical conditions like rheumatism goes back for thousands of years, some believe as far as ancient Greece. So you would think that it’s something that would have been phased out at least a few hundred years ago, but that’s not the case.

Bee venom has recently been used by hospitals around the world as a treatment for arthritis, tendonitis, and herpes, among others. The treatment itself also varies: Some doctors will prescribe milked bee venom, while others will literally sting the patient with a live bee.

Interestingly enough, there has been a lot of research recently in the Western world for bee venom as a potential cure for cancer. So who knows, maybe it’s not as ridiculous as it might seem.

I'm thinking that this is one case where the cure is more painful that the ailment. I may be wrong, but I don't think I'll take the pain test to find out!

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. Still wanting to rain outside.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Christine Walters For Freaky Friday...!

Here's another story about someone that just disappears without a trace, but this time has enough time to reach out to her family. This whole story is chilling, to say the least!

The Disappearance Of Christine Walters

On November 12, 2008, a couple near the northern California city of Eureka found 23-year-old Christine Walters naked and bleeding on their doorstep. They took the incomprehensible young woman to a hospital, where she refused to explain what had happened to her. After she was discharged, Walters told her mother in Wisconsin that she had been chased by demons through a forest after she participated in a shamanic ritual. Her mother offered to fly to California to get her, but Walters insisted that she would fly back to Wisconsin by herself.

According to her mother, Walters acted paranoid on the phone over the next few days. She believed that the forest demons were trying to hunt her down. She couldn’t say why she was bleeding and naked that day because the demons would hear her. On November 14, Walters left her ID and backpack at a coffee shop and walked out. She was never seen again.

Walters had been staying on the West Coast for the four months preceding her disappearance. She had fallen in love with northern California’s natural beauty and alternative lifestyle scene. According to friends and family back home, she had met a group of like-minded spiritualists. Walters was a trusting person, and it’s possible that she might have become involved with a dangerous crowd among the alternative community.

So what do you think actually became of this young lady? Why would she just leave her I.D. and her backpack and fade away? Many, many questions and very few answers, I'm afraid.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, before it gets too hot.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Consider The Humble Pencil...!

So many of the everyday things in our lives just appear to be ageless that we never stop and consider their origins. Some of these simple commonplace tools have a very interesting origin. Items such as the pencil...


An ancient Roman writing instrument, the stylus, gave rise to the modern pencil. Some early styluses were made of lead. When graphite was documented in Borrowdale, England, in 1564, the mineral replaced the heavy metal. Graphite left a darker mark on papyrus, but it was so soft that it crumbled easily. To protect the graphite, a holder had to be fashioned for it. The first holders were nothing more than string wound around graphite sticks. Later, hollow wooden sticks replaced the string, and the early modern pencil made its historical debut, its mass production following in 1662 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Although Henry David Thoreau made his own pencils, the first one to be machine-made was manufactured by William Monroe in 1812, when war with England put an end to English imports. By the end of the 19th century, pencils were being mass-produced in the United States. Made of red cedar, they weren’t painted until 1890, the better to exhibit their fine finish. When they began to be painted, bright yellow was chosen because the color is associated with Chinese royalty, and the finest graphite came from China. Yellow pencils signified the royal quality of the mineral.

Who would have ever suspected that the wooden pencil had been around that long? Not I, certainly ! Another surprising fact from the folks over at Listverse ! Thank you again !

Coffee out on the patio again this morning, OK?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pearl Hart On Western Wednesday...!

For the most part, the crooks of the Old West were fairly organised, with robberies even planned in advance in most cases. Not so with some amateurs like Pear Hart and her boyfriend.

If ever there was a couple that didn't qualify as pros, they were it. Guess they did the best they could, but obviously it wasn't good enough to get by.

Pearl Hart holds up an Arizona stagecoach

Little is known about Pearl Hart’s early life. She was born in Petersborough, Ontario, in 1871, and moved to Toronto as a child. She eloped when she was 16, but her husband abused her and the marriage did not last. Eventually, Hart took up with a dance-hall musician and minor gambler named Dan Bandman, and in 1892 the couple moved to Phoenix, Arizona. When Bandman left to fight in the Spanish-American War, Hart relocated to the Arizona mining town of Globe, where she began an affair with a German drifter named Joe Boot.

Short on money, the couple determined to hold up a stage, though neither of them appears to have had any prior experience as robbers. On this day in 1899, Hart (dressed as a man) and Boot stopped a stage on the run between Globe and Florence. After taking $421 in cash from the three passengers, Hart took pity on them and handed back $1 to each so they could buy something to eat when they arrived in Florence.

Unskilled in the art of the getaway, Hart and Boot left an obvious trail and the sheriff of Pinal County arrested the couple four days later. Boot was jailed in Florence, but since the town had no detention facilities for women, Hart was jailed in Tucson. Within several days, Hart had apparently charmed several men into helping her and she escaped. Her freedom, however, was short-lived. A lawman recognized her in Deming, New Mexico, and returned her to Tucson.

Tried and convicted in a Florence court, Boot was sentenced to 30 years and Hart to five. Neither served out their terms. After several years of good behavior, Boot was made a trusty and walked off while doing fieldwork, never to be heard from again. After about a year in prison, Hart became pregnant. Eager to save the Arizona Territory the embarrassment of having to explain how Hart arrived at this condition while imprisoned, Governor Alexander O. Brodie pardoned her on December 19, 1902.

Hart’s life after her release is shrouded in myth. According to the romantic version, Hart leveraged her single experience as a stage robber into a career in show business, billing herself as “The Arizona Bandit.” Some said she traveled for several years on the vaudeville circuit, others that she toured briefly with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Historians have been unable to verify either of these claims. The more mundane but likely version has it that Hart quickly married an Arizona rancher named Calvin Bywater and settled down to a quiet life of domestic bliss. If Mrs. Cal Bywater was indeed Pearl Hart, she lived into her 80s and other people described her as “soft-spoken, kind, and a good citizen in all respects.”

Evidently Pearl finally found a little peace in doing something she was pretty good at. Good thing, as she didn't make much progress at being on the outside of the Law.

Let's take a chance and have coffee on the patio this morning.I'm game if you are!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

One More Pink Critter...!

Last week I did a post about a pink moth, so I figured that another post was needed for the champion of all of Mother Nature's pink critters. This one really takes the cake.

Female Orchid Praying Mantis

Like many insect species, the male and female orchid praying mantises of Southeast Asia have evolved to look very different from each other. The male is small and brown while the female mimics the visual appearance of the orchid flowers around which they live. This camouflage allows the females to attract insects as prey and allows the males to avoid detection while they look for a mate.

The result of this species’ evolution is a truly extraordinary female specimen. Female orchid mantises have perfected the art of masquerade. Their limbs are shaped like petals and sport spectacular pink and yellow hues. With bodies that look like fully formed orchids, they are easily mistaken for the real thing and can actually be better at attracting insects than the flowers they mimic. This is despite the fact that orchid mantis females do not mimic any particular species of orchid, but rather a generic combination of orchid-like features.

Seems to me that the females of the species are pretty far ahead in the game as far as looks go, but isn't that the case in most of the natural world?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Some more big storms are expected off and on all week.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Placebo Or Real...?

Ever get the feeling that some medicine just isn't working the correct way? About one that does everything it's supposed to, but then you are told the working one is a placebo.Would it matter to you...?

Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is when a person takes something they believe is medicine for an ailment they are suffering (which is not really a medicine), and they get better. A placebo is an inert substance, and when taken (with the advice from others that it will cure them) makes the person get better, simply because they were expecting or believed that it would work. Something similar, called the nocebo effect, is when a person takes fake drugs and thinks they are experiencing problems that would have been caused by the real drugs. They have been known to reduce pain as well. Why they occur is mysterious and they are only one of the many complicated things related to the body-brain connection. In fact, our own bodies hold many unsolved mysteries.

One thing about it, real or not youplacebo effect can bet that they cost a whole lot less that the real thing. Of course, that means that the drug companies make a lot less money, unless the folks at big pharma sneakily sold us the fakes as the real thing. They wouldn't do that, would they?

Coffee out on the slightly damp patio this morning!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

No Knife For Lincoln...!

Politics does seem to take it's toll on the men in office, but few had as many problems going into the fray as did Lincoln.

In many ways, Abe was a deeply troubled man with a history of depression and other issues. He seemed to handle them pretty well and , on the outside at least, kept them under wraps.

He Was Afraid To Carry Knives Because He Might Kill Himself

Photo credit: bladeforums.com

On the surface, Lincoln seemed like a fun-loving joker. He would go out with the mask of a smile on his face and crack filthy jokes, letting everyone think he was the cheeriest man alive. When he was alone, though, he struggled with crippling depression.

He told a friend that he “never dared carry a knife in his pocket”[1] out of fear that he’d kill himself. It wasn’t an unwarranted fear—he very nearly did it more than once.

In winter 1840, Lincoln spiraled into a terrible depression. He was engaged to Mary Todd but had fallen in love with another woman named Matilda Edwards. He couldn’t bring himself to call off his wedding. But the emotional struggle was tearing him apart.

In the words of a colleague, “Lincoln went crazy as a loon.” Lincoln had a mental breakdown, becoming unable to work or do anything but sit and talk about how horribly miserable he was.

He may not have carried a knife in his own pocket on any day, but his friends couldn’t trust him to have a blade anywhere in his home during his dark moments. They went through his house, pulling out every kitchen knife and shaving razor, convinced that Lincoln would kill himself if he was left alone for a second.

Truth be told, there were probably many famous leaders throughout history that had a few mental problems, some we never hear about until after the fact. In other cases, however, the signs are often quite obvious, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Nothing crazy about that!

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Little Pink For Freaky Friday...!

Somehow I never figured on the idea of pink bugs. When I think of insects, I tend to think in terms of greens and browns, ya know?

Well, it seems that Mother Nature had other ideas. She threw a few critters with a little more color into the mix, I'm certain just to impress us mere mortals with Her brilliance! It worked!

Elephant Hawk Moth

From caterpillar to fully-fledged moth, this species is a fascinating one. Its name is derived from the appearance of the caterpillar: a slimmer head and thorax than the rest of its body makes the caterpillar look like an elephant trunk.

However, like many moth caterpillars, it has evolved to disguise itself with markings that impersonate a snake, eyes and all, in order to fool potential predators into staying away. It even has a trick to mimic the blinking of an eye; the caterpillars have a growth called an anal horn that can palpitate rapidly to look like a blinking eye.

If the caterpillar can survive and make it to the cocoon stage, it will emerge as one of the prettiest moth species on Earth, and certainly one of the most distinct moths in its native United Kingdom. Unlike many moth species, which are typically gray or brown, the Elephant Hawk Moth is pink and olive-coloured. They are often mistaken for a pink butterfly, but they are nocturnal and have stout, fuzzy bodies, like most moths.

Actually, the pink is somehow very nice looking on this particular moth. I just never had thought of it before. The beauty of the internet (and sites like Listverse), is that the knowledge is out there for all of us to find. All we have to is open our eyes and look in the right places.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No rain in the forecast until later in the week-end.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Some Facts About The Toilet...!

An everyday fixture that we are all familiar with, I'm sure. What you may not know are these interesting facts about the poor unfortunate piece of plumbing we call the john.

1. The film “Psycho” was the first movie to show a toilet flushing – the scene caused an inpouring of complaints about indecency

2. Pomegranates studded with cloves were used as the first attempt at making toilet air-freshner

3. Hermann Goering refused to use regulation toilet paper – instead he bought soft white handkerchiefs in bulk and used them

4. Over $100,000 US dollars was spent on a study to determine whether most people put their toilet paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind; the answer: three out of four people have the flap in the front

5. King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760

6. The average person spends three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet

7. The first toilet cubicle in a row is the least used (and consequently cleanest)

8. An estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to proper toilet facilities, particularly in rural areas of China and India.

9. The Roman army didn’t have toilet paper so they used a water soaked sponge on the end of a stick instead!

10. The toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime than at any time during the year.

11. 90% of pharmaceuticals taken by people are excreted through urination. Therefore our sewer systems contain heavy doses of drugs. A recent study by the EPA has found fish containing trace amounts of estrogen, cholesterol-lowering drugs, pain relievers, antibiotics, caffeine and even anti-depressants.

12. Lack of suitable toilets and sanitation kills approximately 1.8 million people a year, many of them children.

13. The toilet handle in a public restroom can have up to 40,000 germs per square inch.

14. While he didn’t invent the toilet, Thomas Crapper perfected the siphon flush system we use today. He was born in the village of Thorne – which is an anagram of throne.

15. In a 1992 survey, British public toilets were voted the worst in the world. Following quickly behind were Thailand, Greece, and France.

Now that should give you something to ponder on while taking care of...business!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Weather isn't too hot yet.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Two Spirited Natives On Western Wednesday...!

While many folks have questions about how we deal with and handle sexual preferences in this day and age, but as far back as we care to go in our history the questions have been handled in many different ways.

Even the Native Americans, considered by many to be "savages", dealt with the issue far better than some of us in this era of enlightenment. Maybe we should take some pointers, ya think?

Native Americans

Photo credit: The Numinous

The phrase “two-spirited” has become an LGBT catchphrase. It’s something a lot of people embrace, imagining a precolonial America in which LGBT people were celebrated. In a way, they were—but it was a bit different than most people imagine.

The concept of “two-spirited” people existed in about 130 North American tribes, which is a lot, but there were more than 500 tribes, so it was by no means the majority. Every tribe was different, too, so the details were never exactly the same.

Generally, though, a two-spirited person was someone who didn’t fit gender norms. If a young boy showed an interest in sewing, for example, or a girl showed an interest in hunting, some tribes would say that they had two spirits and would give them a special role in the community.

A two-spirited man might end up wearing women’s clothing and doing a woman’s work, but he wasn’t necessarily gay. It was perfectly natural for a two-spirited person to be heterosexual or even to switch between male and female clothes from day to day.

For savages, I'd say they handled the situation in a manner that was peaceful and certainly with more dignity than some today. More power to them is all I can say.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, needless to say. Another storm moving in masquerading as a cold front.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Someone Lost A Tooth...!

Actually, it was a tooth from what appears to be some sort of gear. The strange part is the rest of the story, as it appeared on Listverse.

The Russian UFO Tooth Wheel

A Russian man found a strange piece of machinery from Vladivostok, the administrative capital of the Primorsky Krai area. The object resembled a piece of tooth wheel and was embedded in a piece of coal he was using to light a fire. Although discarded pieces of old machines are not uncommon in Russia, the man became curious and showed his find to some scientists. Testing revealed that the toothed object was almost pure aluminum and almost certainly artificially made.

Also, it was 300 million years old. This raised some interesting questions, as aluminum of this purity and shape can’t form naturally and humans didn’t figure out how to make it until 1825. Curiously, the object also resembles parts that are used in microscopes and other delicate technical devices.

Although conspiracy theorists have been quick to declare the find a part of an alien spaceship, the scientists researching it are not willing to jump to conclusions and wish to run further tests in order to learn more about the mysterious artifact.

If indeed this gear came from a piece of machinery, my guess is that it isn't working too well any more. That is, of course, unless it was replaced!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, unless the rains start back up!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Space Wonder On Monday Mystery...!

It seems to me that the more we learn about everything around us, the more mystery we are faced with, know what I mean?

Instead of a mystery concerning murder and mayhem today, let's travel to a place that will more than likely always remain a big mystery to us all...space!

Ahuna Mons

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/LPI via Space.com

Ahuna Mons (aka “the Pyramid”) is located “in the middle of nowhere” on the dwarf planet Ceres, which mystifies NASA’s Dawn spacecraft mission science team member Paul Schenk, a geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. Normally, such formations are associated with craters. Nearly 6.5 kilometers (4 mi) high and 16 kilometers (10 mi) wide, the pyramid-shaped peak is also mysterious for another reason: Inexplicable “bright streaks” run down its sides, resembling the equally mysterious bright spots that appear inside Ceres’s Occator Crater.

Initially stumped as to the origin of Ahuna Mons, scientists now believe it may be “a gigantic ice volcano.” Erupting saltwater from the planet’s interior caused the Pyramid to form gradually, over millions of years. David A. Williams of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration says scientists hope to see “some venting” as Ceres approaches the Sun.

So here we are, stuck for the time being on the planet Earth, and we are trying to figure out what's going on in a place far, far away. Does that seem logical to you? Most of us are having a hard enough time trying to figure out what is going on around Washington, ya know?

Coffee inside this morning, as they are predicting rain

Sunday, May 21, 2017

More Sunday Funnies...!

Back to the old way of doing thing, I reckon. Cartoons on a Sunday seems natural right now!

And one more...

That's enough...I gotta get back to work...OK?

Coffee inside in case it rains today. Smell that home baked bread?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It Only Takes A Minute...!

Here are a few facts that you may or may not know. Considering the time frame...it's all pretty amazing!

What Happens in One Minute Around the World?

A minute is a funny amount of time. It’s long enough to notice—reading this article will take just about a minute—but it’s too short to do much of anything with. There are famously only about five hundred thousand of them in a year.
But when you add all of humanity together, a lot starts to happen in that lowly minute. Here at The Atlantic, we did some calculations and consulted research, and—as you’ll see in the video above—a minute of life on Earth is almost unbelievably full of life. Before the second hand of a clock completes one rotation:

25 Americans will get a passport, according to the U.S. Department of State.

58 airplanes will take off around the world, according to the International Air Traffic Association.

116 people will get married, according to data from the United Nations and some Excel handiwork.

144 people will move to a new home, according to Gallup.

11,319 packages will be delivered by UPS, according to UPS.

83,300 people will have sex, according to the (offline) Atlas of Human Sexual Behavior.

243,000 photos will be uploaded to Facebook, according to Facebook.

5,441,400 pounds of garbage will be created, according to the World Bank.

136,824,00 pounds of carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere as a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, according to the CIA World Factbook.

7,150,000,000 human hearts (according to the United States Census Bureau) will beat…

500,500,000,000 times, according to the American Heart Association, as their bodies create…

858,282,240,000,000,000 new red blood cells, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Pretty mind blowing, wouldn't you say?

Coffee out on my messy patio this morning!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Right Hand For Freaky Friday...

Some things that seem really creepy just can't be explained away logically.

If this next story doesn't creep you out at least a little, nothing will. It's not a story I would use to put the kiddies to bed with, I don't think!

Saint Stephen (“The Holy Right”)

We may not have access to Saint Stephen’s entire body (it seems that only his right arm was incorrupt), but his right fist takes part in a yearly parade on his feast day in Hungary. It’s known as the “holy right,” unless you’re an incorrigible local youth, in which case you might refer to the relic as the “monkey paw.”

For founding the Christian Hungarian state, Saint Stephen was canonized in 1083, and, when his body was exhumed, the Church found his right arm to be completely intact. They promptly removed it (as you do) to be venerated. It went on a bit of a journey due to the Tartar invasion – to Croatia, where it was cut in two so it could be shared with a church in Vienna – before returning to Hungary in 1771. During WWII, it was removed once again, this time to Austria for safekeeping.

It’s now back home at the Basilica of Saint Stephen in Budapest, where you can see it…briefly. A light will shine on the relic if you deposit a coin, but only for about 30 seconds at a time.

Which, honestly, is probably more than enough time to stare at a mummified fist.

I'm sorry , but I don't find anything holy about this fist. Reminds me way to much of the Mummy movies, ya know?. Nice visit from Baby Sis yesterday. She and her hubby just got back from a trip all the way to Ireland and other very scenic places.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Contractors are finished with my hall bath, so it's quiet again!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Very Short War From Hermit's History...!

Why is it that they never taught us about the real cool history stuff in school? Too much trouble, I reckon!

Well, here is the Hermit's view of something that they should have mentioned...the shortest war in history! If we have to fight a war, maybe we should follow this example, ya know?

The Shortest War In History

Photo credit: Richard Dorsey Mohun

A mysterious death. A shady relative. A colonial British presence. The perfect ingredients for war.

In 1896, Hamad bin Thuwaini was ruling over Zanzibar, a protectorate of the British Empire, after being instated as a “puppet” sultan by the British. His reign had lasted just three years when he suddenly died in his palace on August 25. Rumor has it that his cousin Khalid bin Barghash had him poisoned, a belief seemingly confirmed by the fact that Barghash quickly moved into the palace and assumed the status of sultan without British permission.

Basil Cave, the chief British diplomat in the area, caught wind of the affair and didn’t approve of the change in leadership. Cave requested the assistance of British military warships stationed nearby. While he awaited permission from Britain to open fire, Barghash gathered his own surprisingly well-armed forces.

At 9:00 AM on August 27, Cave gave the order to begin bombarding the palace. At 9:02 AM, Khalid’s army was essentially destroyed and the palace began to crumble. By 9:40 AM, the sultan had pulled down his flag and the British ended their attack. In 38 minutes, the shortest war in history was over.

See what I mean? History doesn't have to be long, dull, and boring. Dates we would never remember, names we never could pronounce. Instead trhey should have taught us some really interesting like this from Listverse! Would have been much more fun!, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio. Just pardon the contractor's mess!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Geronimo On Western Wednesday...!

Been a while since we did a post about of of our better know names from long ago. Here is a bit of history about Geronimo...remember him ? Of course you do!

Geronimo flees Arizona reservation

For the second time in two years, the Apache chief Geronimo breaks out of an Arizona reservation, sparking panic among Arizona settlers.

A famous medicine man and the leader of the Chiricahua Apache, Geronimo achieved national fame by being the last American Indian to surrender formally to the United States. For nearly 30 years, Geronimo and his followers resisted the attempts of Americans to take away their southwestern homeland and confine them to a reservation. He was a fearless warrior and a master of desert survival. The best officers of the U.S. Army found it nearly impossible to find Geronimo, much less decisively defeat him.

In 1877, Geronimo was forced to move to the San Carlos, Arizona, reservation for the first time, but he was scarcely beaten. Instead, Geronimo treated the reservation as just one small part of the vast territory he still considered to belong to the Apache. Fed up with the strictures and corruption of the reservation, he and many other Apache broke out for the first time in 1881. For nearly two years, the Apache band raided the southwestern countryside despite the best efforts of the army to stop them. Finally, Geronimo wearied of the continual harassment of the U.S. Army and agreed to return to the reservation in 1884, much on his own terms.

He did not stay long. Among the many rules imposed upon the Apache on the reservation was the prohibition of any liquor, including a weak beer they had traditionally brewed from corn. In early May 1885, Geronimo and a dozen other leaders deliberately staged a corn beer festival. Reasoning that the authorities would be unlikely to try to punish such a large group, they openly admitted the deed, expecting that it would lead to negotiations. Because of a communication mix-up, however, the army failed to respond. Geronimo and the others assumed the delay indicated the army was preparing some drastic punishment for their crime. Rather than remain exposed and vulnerable on the reservation, Geronimo fled with 42 men and 92 women and children.

Quickly moving south, Geronimo raided settlements along the way for supplies. In one instance, he attacked a ranch owned by a man named Phillips, killing him, his wife, and his two children. Frightened settlers demanded swift military action, and General George Crook coordinated a combined Mexican and American manhunt for the Apache. Thousands of soldiers tracked the fugitives but Geronimo and his band split into small groups and remained elusive.

Crook’s failure to apprehend the Indians led to his eventual resignation. General Nelson Miles replaced him. Miles committed 5,000 troops to the campaign and even established 30 heliograph stations to improve communications. Still, Miles was also unable to find the elusive warrior. Informed that many of the reservation Apache, including his own family, had been taken to Florida, Geronimo apparently lost the will to fight. After a year and a half of running, Geronimo and his 38 remaining followers surrendered unconditionally to Miles on September 3, 1886.

Relocated to Florida, Geronimo was imprisoned and kept from his family for two years. Finally, he was freed and moved with this family to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. He died of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909.

In my opinion, this man was one tough and wise old bird. I certainly wouldn't want to ever face him in battle! Know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, but it may rain later, so be ready!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I'm Back With A Story About The "Arm Pit..."

First of all, let me thank everyone for all the good wishes and positive thoughts sent my way over the last couple of days! It means a lot when you are under the weather.

Now this arm pit isn't the kind that belongs to the guy on the bus that you wish wasn't sitting next to you. Instead it's another example of how men can come up with some strange ways of putting the hurt on their fellow men.

A Pit Of Amputated Arms

Photo credit: phys.org

A team working in France found a horrible glimpse into our past: seven severed arms that had been brutally hacked off and thrown into the bottom of a pit 6,000 years ago.

The people whose limbs were buried there, the archaeologists believe, were farmers—although one was torn off the body of a child. After their arms were thrown into the pit, dozens of full bodies were piled on top of them. Their arms were still intact, but their skulls had caved in.

It’s not clear exactly what happened to these people. The only thing we know for sure is that a horrible massacre happened here. Only losing an arm, the researchers believed, may have been a mark of social status—a more merciful penalty for living with a tribe that was to be wiped out.

The rest is unclear. We don’t know who killed them or why their arms were removed. This pit, though, along with others like it, supports the idea that life in 4000 BC was often brutal and violent.

I'm sure glad that I didn't live back then, that's for sure! Whatever these poor farmers did, it must have pissed someone off big time!

Thanks again to all out there that sent me all the good wishes. That's why I consider you all my special friends! Coffee out on the patio this morning! Cookies for everyone!!