Friday, April 28, 2017

Freaky Murder By Unbrella...!

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

The Poisoned Umbrella


Photo credit: Wikimedia

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Female Daredevil For Thursday...!

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

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

Sonora Webster Carver



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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Native American Legends Of Giants...

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

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

Native American Legends Of White Giants



Photo credit: ancient-code.com

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Deadly Hot Peppers...!

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

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

Death From Peppers



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

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

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Eye On Monday Mystery...!

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

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

The Eye



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

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

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


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

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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

More Sunday Funnies...!

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







And maybe one more...?



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

Coffee in the kitchen. Just a little cool outside.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

From Soap to Chewing Gum...

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

Wrigley



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

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

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

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Death Numbers That May Surprise You...

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

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

Sharks vs. Vending Machines



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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scientifically Proven: Older Folks Are Awesome...!

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Jesse James Video For Western Wednesday..

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

Jesse James Leads James-Younger Gang



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

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

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cleaning Up That Brain...

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

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

Brain Cleansing


Photo credit: nih.gov

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

Strange Jade Pendant For Monday Mysteries...

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

The King’s Necklace



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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I'm Taking Easter Off...

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

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

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

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

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Are Nouns Of Association...?

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

1. A clowder of cats

2. A parenthesis of cellists

3. A coalition of cheetahs

4. A shock of corn (with stalks included)

5. A brace of dogs (2 dogs) 

6. A leap of leopards

7. A coterie of Orchids

8. A dray of squirrels

9. A midden of shells

10. A murder of crows

11. A thought of barons

12. A knot of toads

13. A parliament of owls

14. A covey of quail

15. A passel of piglets

16. A rascal of boys

17. A rafter of turkeys

18. A skein of geese (in flight)

19. A shrewdness of apes

20. A cete of badgers


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

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cooking For One Is A Pain...!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Let's Talk Playing Cards...!

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

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

Snap



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

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

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

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

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

Coffee outside on the patio this morning

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Desert Galleon For Western Wednesday...!

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

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

The Lost Ship In The Desert

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Be Good And Eat Your Medicine...?



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

Kaolinite

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Musical Mystery For Monday...!



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

Giuseppe Tartini

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again, OK?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Another Sunday Spider Story...!



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

Trogloraptor

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

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Another Plant That Wants To Kill You...!



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

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

Jimson Weed

Datura_stramonium_flower

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 7, 2017

Zombie Spiders For Freaky Friday...!



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

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

The Walking Dead

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again One more gorgeous day.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Printing Out Food...!



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

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

The Replicator

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

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

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Something Is Missing, I Think...!


 


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

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

The Ten-Percenter

ten-percent-brain

  

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Colored Rains Of India...!



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

Red Rain in Kerala
Red Rain Kerala

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

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

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, April 3, 2017

One More Secret Of The Jungle...



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

The Amazon Rings

 
Amazon Ring
 
 Photo credit: Heiko Prumers

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Music And 'Toons...!

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

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







Maybe just one more...



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

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

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Pretty But Poisonous...!

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

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

Rhododendron spp.
 Toxic Principle: Andromedotoxin

Bright Azalea2

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

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

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

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