Wednesday, June 26, 2019

One Tough Woman...!

Many times we tend to overlook women in history. That's really a shame, as some of them were pretty dang tough. Here from Listverse is an article of one such woman.

The Woman Who Was Hanged (And Then Some)

Photo credit: W. Burdet

In 1650, housemaid Anne Greene was seduced by the grandson of her employer and became pregnant. But she told no one. She miscarried six months later and buried the body of her son by herself. When the body was discovered, Greene was charged with infanticide despite clear evidence that the child had been born dead.

Greene was found guilty and sentenced to hang. On December 14, she was “turned off” the scaffold, hanging by the neck for almost half an hour while her friends thumped her on the chest and pulled on her legs with all their might to shorten her ordeal.

Finally, her body was cut from the scaffold and was ordered to be sent to a surgeon for experimental purposes. As she was placed in the coffin, a guard heard Greene breathe. He jumped up and down on her chest a few times to finish her off as an act of charity—or so he said.

Despite this, the surgeon revived Anne Greene with “hot and cold cordials,” throat tickling, and a hot enema. The last one, it seemed, did the trick. Anne Greene was later pardoned, got married, and had three more children before finally dying in childbirth in 1665.


See what I mean? One tough ol' bird, I tell ya!

Coffee inside this morning.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Let's Talk About Physics...!

Nature certainly does a few things in Her own way, and sometimes we just don't know why. She is a smart ol' gal, it seems. Here from Listverse is a good example for ya.

Heat Induced Freezing



Water is the most important liquid on Earth. It’s is also one of the most mysterious and counterintuitive compounds in nature. One of water’s lesser know properties, for example, is that hot water freezes faster than cold water. It is not fully understood why, but the phenomenon, known as the Mpemba effect, was originally discovered by Aristotle over 3,000 years ago. The mysterious effect has been attributed to a range of phenomena, but it remains a mystery.

See what I mean? Just one more of Mother Nature's secrets, I reckon.

Coffee out on the patio before it gets too hot.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Golden Sword...!

Just imagine finding something like this on your property.You just never know when these things are going to show up. This reported find is from Listverse.

Gold-Hilted Sword



Photo credit: Paul Reid via the Archaeology News Network

While excavating a new soccer field, Scottish workers unearthed a treasure trove of Bronze Age artifacts. Among these, they discovered a mysterious sword with a golden hilt. Believed to be 4,000 years old, the sword is so delicate that researchers are unable to remove it from the ground. Their goal is to lift the entire block of surrounding soil and transfer it to a lab environment. Given its delicate nature, the find may be either a spear point or a broken sword.

Scotland is filled with Bronze Age sites. Researchers were recently able to recreate the likeness of a Scottish woman, “Ava,” who died 3,700 years ago. It turns out the Bronze Age inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands are physically indistinguishable from their modern counterparts. Work on the soccer field has been halted until archaeologists can investigate the site.

It is always amazing to me that objects buried that long in the ground survived at all!

Coffee inside because it is just to hot to sit on the patio.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Built In Lie Detector...!

Here is a little something you might find interesting. Seems we all have a built in lie detector. I didn't know that, did you? Here is the thinking behind this idea.

If you feel like someone is lying, even if you have no logical reason to think so, they probably are. It turns out your gut is much better at detecting lies than your brain. Studies show you’re more successful at determining whether someone is lying when you jump on your first instinct, because having too much time to think about it can make you wrong more often.

Just thought you might find that interesting. Read more about this study here.

Coffee on the patio this morning!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Need A Job? Try This...!

When times get hard for many of us, sometimes the answer is a second job. If you can qualify, this one might just fit the bill.

Professional Mourner



Photo credit: atlasobscura.com

The death of a loved one can be difficult to deal with, and everyone copes in his own way. Some people mourn for days before getting their lives back to normal. Others shut themselves away until they can be around people again.

Still others take it one step further and get professional mourners to do their grieving. Although it may sound weird to the rest of us, these mourners are dedicated professionals in quite a few parts of the world.

Professional mourning has been a thing for thousands of years in many regions, including Africa, China, and ancient Egypt. However, China is mostly where it’s still big business.

The job consists of showing up to the funeral and staging a believable session of mourning—complete with physically breaking down and wailing. This may sound alien to the rest of us, but it’s completely normal in Chinese culture. These pros can also earn quite a bit depending on how good they are.

I found this over on Listverse, of course.

Coffee out on the patio, where the temps are climbing every day.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

I Like This Version Best...!

Once in a while, a change in a recipe makes for a better product. At least, it did in my opinion, with ketchup. Here is the story of the change from Listverse.

Ketchup



Americans call it ketchup; others call it tomato sauce. Whatever you call it, the tomato-based sauce is slathered all over tons of meals every day. However, does squirting fermented fish guts on your breakfast sausages sound appealing? This was actually the origin of the sauce so many know and love today.

The Chinese ke-tsiap was a pungent sauce made from fermented fish. During the 18th century, the British tried to copy the unique flavor of this Asian sauce using foods such as anchovies, mushrooms, and nuts.

Tomatoes were eventually added to the recipe in the early 19th century, but the tomato-based ketchups spoiled easily. Ingredients such as coal tar were added to the mix in an attempt to improve the shelf life of the sauce.

It wasn’t until the late 1800s that a man named Henry Heinz decided to not only modify the type of tomatoes used but to take advantage of the fruit’s natural preservatives. He also added a healthy dash of vinegar to the mix to make the world’s favorite condiment we enjoy today.

I really like the taste of ketchup on certain foods, like french fries and hash browns. However I use it sparingly on other foods as well.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No ketchup in mine, thanks.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Jello Socks...?

It seems like everyday we are finding a new use for plants and animal by-products. All the rage right now is a plant based replacement for meat. However, think of all the other uses for the making of clothes and the like. From Listverse, here is an article about gelatin.

Gelatin



You know gelatin as the stuff in your JELL-O, some frosted cereals, and sometimes even yogurt. Where you won’t find gelatin is in your clothes.

Yet.

While you probably think of gelatin as being gooey and jiggly in consistency, it’s actually a powder made from crushed skin, cartilage, bone marrow, and other animal by-products. This makes it a perfect candidate for a sustainable, less wasteful material from which to make clothes.

Researchers have succeeded in spinning yarn out of gelatin. The yarn is then treated with a spray of formaldehyde gas and lanolin, producing a strong, warm yarn you can spin into gummy-bear mittens (sugary flavor not included).

Using gelatin to make clothes isn’t all that weird, either. The textile industry experimented with using vegetable and food by-products as far back as a century ago, until the petroleum-based industry took over.

Today, as we look for greener and less biologically harmful ways to live, scientists—and designers—are looking for more natural sources for what we wear. It might sound strange now, but you probably won’t give a second thought to wearing JELL-O socks, bamboo dresses, or sour milk shirts in the future.

I guess it's all fine and dandy to find alternative ways to use plants, but are we really to the point in our lives where this is a major concern? How about focusing on something a bit more important...like curing diseases. Worry about the jello socks later.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, June 17, 2019

What Became Of Richard Cox...?

Every now and then, a truly mysterious disappearance comes along that just defies explanation. From the folks at Listverse, this case is certainly one of those.

Richard Cox



Richard Colvin Cox was a cadet in the US Army, stationed in West Point, New York, in 1950. On January 14, he disappeared. He had told his fellow cadets that he was going to dinner with his friend George, who was never found despite extensive investigations by the police. Many theories abound as to what became of Cox, from joining the CIA to being imprisoned by the Soviets. Perhaps the most compelling is the he staged his own disappearance in order to run away with another male cadet. Despite the fact that Cox was engaged, evidence was found from both government files and firsthand interviews to suggest that Cox had same-sex encounters with other cadets.

In 1986, an anonymous letter was sent to a retired man who devoted much of his time to investigating Cox’s disappearance. The letter suggested that Robert Frisbee, who was a prime suspect in a separate murder case, was a person of interest. Following up on this lead revealed that Frisbee had previously been known as Robert Dion, and had been stationed with Cox. Furthermore, Dion had previously been involved in a fake-ID ring, so it’s possible that he not only created a new identity for Cox, but could have been masquerading as a man named George at the time of the disappearance. “George” had previously been seen visiting Cox before the night he disappeared, and descriptions of him matched up with Dion. Many people believe Cox actually lived an entirely new life and may still be alive today. He would be 85 years old.

Is it really necessary that we find Richard Cox, or discover what happened top him? I say leave the guy alone. It really isn't any of our business!

Coffee inside this morning. Rain is supposed to happen again.

Friday, June 14, 2019

What A Useful Invention, I think...!

The human mind is forever surprising with the crazy inventions that it can create. Although not of much use today, in their day these inventions of the Victorian age must have been handy. Here is one, taken from the pages of Listverse.

Multipurpose Cane



Admittedly, though bizarre, I can see the value in this particular invention. What this invention does is quite clear: it serves its standard function as a cane, as well as providing many other uses to its bearer. Some of the noble pursuits which the cane was tailored to were flute playing, horse measuring, and the capturing of butterflies. Should a gentleman ever be caught in the rain, fear not: for the cane contained an umbrella as well, keeping the man nice and dry to light his cane-pipe. I see nothing more bizarre about this invention than a standard Swiss army knife, and can you use a Swiss army knife as a cane? That depends upon how tall you are, but I have my doubts.


We may think of these inventions as useless now, but they did show quite a bit of imagination for their time.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Historical Bombing Of Wall Street...!

The people wanting to spread fear and chaos in our country have been doing so for a very long time. Luckily, not many achieved the level of mayhem they wished for. However, those that were more successful did some major damage to life and limb. Here is an article of the bombing of Wall Street from Listverse you might find interesting.

The Bombing Of Wall Street



At noon on September 16, 1920, a wagon pulled up in front of the Wall Street offices of J.P. Morgan & Co., the most powerful banking firm in the world. Its infernal cargo consisted of dynamite with window sash weights for shrapnel. The driver fled, and seconds later, a powerful explosion ripped through lower Manhattan.

Windows shattered. People were lifted from the street, including a young stockbroker named Joseph P. Kennedy. In an eerie foreshadowing of a future attack 81 years later in the same area, World War I veterans thought the bombs came from planes roaring through the skies. A mushroom-shaped yellow-green cloud of smoke and flame rose 30 meters (100 ft) over America’s busiest financial district. Ashen-faced people fled from the chaos that eventually killed 39 and injured hundreds more—the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

The bomb missed J.P. Morgan the man, who was on vacation, but wounded his son Junius and killed his chief clerk at his desk. The rest of the dead were unfortunate souls caught in the wrong place at the wrong time—ordinary messengers, clerks, stenographers, and brokers. A woman’s severed head was discovered stuck to the concrete wall of a building, with the hat still on. Mutilated bodies littered the ground. One victim, burned and half-naked, tried to rise and toppled back dead in the gutter.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and no one would be brought to answer for the atrocity. But the finger of suspicion turned to Anarchists, who had been harassing the Morgans with letter bombs. A message was found in a nearby mailbox which read: “Free the political prisoners. Or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchist Fighters.” It perhaps referred to anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, indicted the day before for robbery and murder.

Among the suspects taken in for questioning were well-known Anarchist Carlo Tresca and eccentric tennis champion Edward Fischer. Fischer had allegedly predicted the bombing to his friends, but he turned out to be simply mentally unhinged and was sent to Bellevue Hospital.

It is a sad and gruesome fact that the folks wanting to inflict death and destruction just to prove or labor a point...will always find a means to do just that. The targets are usually lost in a sea of innocents, and have no idea of the deadly message being sent.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Gonna be hot later, but it's still pleasant enough in the mornings.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dead And Still Saving Lives...!

Who would have ever thought that reading a book could help save a life. That's what happened thanks to Agatha Christie, and one of her novels. Here is the story from DidYouKnowFacts.



Despite being dead for over a year, famous author Agatha Christie saved a baby’s life in 1977.

Her novel The Pale Horse described thallium poisoning so well that a nurse who’d been reading it was able to diagnose a sick infant, who had doctors stumped.

The baby was immediately tested, they found traces of thallium, doctors changed treatments, and her life had suddenly been saved by a 16-year-old murder mystery novel.

You can read more about this right here. Good read, if you ask me.

Coffee out on the patio today!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

So That's The Problem...!

I probably have posted this one before, but I don't remember for sure. Anyway, even if I did, I am using it again...just because I think it's cool!

The physical act of passing through a doorway is the reason why you often walk into a room and completely forget what you were doing. Because going through a door signifies the beginning or end of something, this creates an ‘event boundary’ within your mind. Basically, every time you walk through a doorway, your brain starts filing away thoughts from your previous location to make room for a new group of memories in the next.

Now doesn't that make sense? C'mon...you know it does!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Ghost Ship Mystery...!

As most tales from the sea can go quite mysterious, the story of the ship known as the Baychimo is quite unique. Here is the story from the folks at Listverse.

The SS Baychimo



Some would call it a ghost ship, but the Baychimo was real—and she could still be out there.

Built in 1911, the Baychimo was an enormous steam-powered cargo ship owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Mainly used for transporting furs from northern Canada, the Baychimo’s first nine journeys were relatively uneventful. But on its final journey, in 1931, winter came early. Totally unprepared for the bitter weather, the ship eventually became completely trapped in the ice.

Most of the crew were rescued by plane, but the Baychimo‘s captain and a few crew members decided to stick it out, making camp in sight of the ship. One day, a fierce blizzard blew up, obscuring the ship. When the storm abated, the Baychimo had vanished. A hunter eventually spotted the steamer and alerted the remaining crew. After salvaging what they could, they set the ship adrift, fearing it wouldn’t last the winter in the thick pack ice

As it turned out, the Baychimo was tougher than anyone gave her credit. Over the next few decades, she was repeatedly sighted all across the Arctic, often drifting aimlessly out to sea. The last sighting was in 1969, a full 37 years after she was abandoned.

In 2006, the Alaskan government finally launched a “ghost ship” project to track down the Baychimo. Despite their efforts, the ship has not been found. For all intents and purposes, the Baychimo has now disappeared without a trace.

This is the kind of mystery that you kinda don't want to end. Being an open ended mystery can only make it longer lasting, I think.

Coffee on the patio this morning!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

No Post Saturday...!

Starting today I am not going to do any posting on Saturday or Sunday. I had already stopped posting on Sunday, so now I'll have the weekend off. Just didn't want anyone to worry, ya know?

Have a great Saturday...

Friday, June 7, 2019

Just Like The Nursery Rhyme...!

Once in a great while, life does seem to follow a nursery rhyme. In this case, I think the farmer involved was making a statement that just happened to involve sheep. It was pretty cool, though.

They Go To School



Photo credit: dailyhunt.in

In 2019, French parents heard that a class at a local school might shut down due to dropping student numbers. They were understandably upset. After all, the “drop” was small. For some reason, the national education authority decided it would be the best move after numbers went from 266 to 261.

The primary school, located in the French Alps, served the village of Crets en Belledonne. One of the village’s farmers took his flock of sheep and went to the school. He had a plan.

After arriving at the school, he produced birth certificates for 15 sheep and enrolled them as students. In most other places, the act would have caused a legal incident, a call to the police or animal welfare, or perhaps a psychiatrist.

However, in this case, the woolly students were signed up during a ceremony watched by the school’s staff, children, and the kids’ parents. Although the sheep never sat through a history lesson or received homework, the initiative worked. The class stayed open.

Seems like the showy demonstration did the job. All without violence or fighting...COOL!

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. More rain expected.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A Common Household Poison...!

Have you ever noticed just how many everyday things we have around the house that could be poison to us? Here is one that might surprise you.

Toothpaste



You may have never noticed the poison warning that the FDA requires on every tube of toothpaste. This is largely because a staggering 95 percent of toothpaste in the United States contains fluoride.

While the severity of effects ranges in tandem with the amount consumed, the FDA urges you to contact a poison control center if you consume even just a bit more than used for brushing. The Fluoride Action Network explains that the dental community has “failed to educate the public about the dangers of swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste.”

Shockingly, most toothpastes suggest using only a pea-size amount. However, advertisements depict much larger portions, which can be dangerous. This can be especially harmful to children, who may not accurately gauge the amount of toothpaste needed or even overindulge because of artificial flavoring.

The FDA originally required the aforementioned poison warning because overconsumption of fluoride toothpaste in children can result in acute fluoride poisoning and even death. Another major risk factor of toothpaste is dental fluorosis, which is a side effect that attacks tooth enamel and can result in severe reactions.

Toothpaste, ironically intended to keep us hygienic and healthy, can ultimately be deadly.

Trying to keep up with the list of things that could be bad for us is becoming a full time job.

Coffee inside cause it's raining on the patio.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Some Killer Weather...!

As bad as we think the weather is locally, there have been sme rather disturbing cases where the weather, namely smog, was responsible for deaths. Here is a case from the folks at Listverse.

London’s Killer Smog



December 5, 1952

Photo credit: N.T. Stobbs

Killer smog sounds like the plot of a horror movie, but this was the real thing. For five days in December 1952, a smothering cloud descended on London, killing thousands.

December 5 was a cold day, and as Londoners woke, they stoked their fireplaces and lit their coal stoves, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. Smoky diesel-fueled buses carried people to work, and factories belched tons of pollution into the air.

Unfortunately, on this day, an inversion set in, trapping pollutants on top of the city. With no wind to clear the air, the smog had nowhere to go. By noon, it had turned a sickly yellowish brown and began to smell like rotten eggs. Parents were warned to keep their children home from school, for fear they might become lost in the vaporous haze. The air was so thick that people couldn’t see their feet, and river traffic was halted on the Thames. Birds died when they flew into buildings, and livestock suffocated. People suffered similar fates.

It is estimated that as many as 12,000 people died of respiratory ailments related directly to the sulfurous air. Finally, after five nightmarish days, a fresh breeze blew in and whisked the killer smog out to sea. It was not until 1956 that a clean air act was finally passed.

Makes the weather in my area seem pale in comparison, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio until the rain starts.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Is This The Grail...?

As far back as I can remember, folks have been talking about finding the Holy Grail. Did it actually exist? Where could it be? Does it really have healing powers? So many questions and so few answers. From Listverse, here is an interesting look at a cup fragment that is worth looking at.

The Nanteos Cup



Photo credit: National Library of Wales

The Nanteos Cup, considered by some to be the Holy Grail, is a wooden cup (or, more precisely, the remains of what used to be a wooden cup). Originally kept at Strata Florida Abbey in Wales, the cup is now on permanent display at the National Library of Wales.

The cup has long been believed to have the power to heal. The cup’s poor condition is probably due to the habit of lending it to the sick, the lame, and the dying. No charge was made for the loan of the cup, though borrowers were required to leave their most valuable asset as a deposit to ensure its return.

The cup was stolen in 2014 but returned safely via an anonymous source a year later. It is not known whether the thieves took the cup for its mystical properties, though police might have considered investigating anyone who had recently made a miraculous recovery.

I guess it would be nice if this legend would come true, but I fear there would be fighting and war over ownership. Maybe we should leave it alone in the museum.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, June 3, 2019

What Are These Spheres...?

That question has been asked by many folks a lot smarter than I, believe me. I'm not sure if we will ever know what they are. Here is the story from Listverse.

Purple Spheres of the Arizona Desert





Early this year, a woman named Geraldine Vargas and her husband were walking through the desert near their home in Tucson, Arizona, when they came across a phenomenon that, so far, has completely baffled scientists. They discovered a large patch of land covered in strange, purple spheres with no perceivable explanation for what they were or how they came to be.

They appear to be a jelly-like fungus, but botanists in Arizona have so far been completely stumped as to their cause or composition. The spheres ooze a liquid substance and some people have speculated that they must be of an extraterrestrial origin considering nothing like them has ever been seen in the area, and no one has the slightest clue how they came to be there in the first place.

Whatever these things are, they are very pretty to me.

Coffee out on the patio.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Trip To The Past...!

Today I want to do something a bit different. On this video is some of the important and memorable inventions of the time, and the year they were first introduced. Boy, I'm getting old!



Remember any of these?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Can't Win For Losing...!

Did you ever have a seemingly good idea that turned out to be disastrous? This man did, for sure. From Listverse, here is his story.

Thomas Midgley Jr



Thomas Midgley was an American chemist who invented both leaded petrol and CFCs. Though lauded during his time, he has come to be known as having “had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth history” and “the one human responsible for more deaths than any other in history” due to his inventions. He eventually contracted Polio and lead poisoning and was left disabled in his bed. This caused him to create an elaborate system of pulleys and ropes in order to lift himself from bed. He died at the age of 55 after being strangled by one of his pulleys and is notable for the fact that both his inventions, leaded petrol and his pulley operated bed, contributed to his death.

Seems as if this poor guy was snakebit, if you know what I mean.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

What A Crazy Speeder...!

Did you know that there was an actual arrest made in the case of the first speeder, and the auto was an electric? Yep...that's right!

The First Driver Arrested For Speeding Was Traveling 12 Miles Per Hour



Photo credit: gizmodo.com

On May 20, 1899, 26-year-old Jacob German was the first motorcar driver arrested for speeding. Officer John Schuessler (aka The Scorcher’s Terror) was renowned for chasing down and arresting those in horse-drawn carriages and on bicycles speeding on the streets of Manhattan.

German worked for the Electric Vehicle Company, a taxi service with an all-electric fleet. He was doing 19 kilometers per hour (12 mph) at the time he was spotted by Officer Schuessler of the Bicycle Squad of New York. At the time, New York laws forbade drivers from exceeding 13 kilometers per hour (8 mph) on roads and 6 kilometers per hour (4 mph) when going around corners.

Schuessler went after German’s car with his bicycle and arrested the lawbreaker. Reporting the news, The New York Times wrote that German was traveling at “breakneck speed” and “so reckless a rate.” German did not get a ticket for speeding, but he spent some time in jail.

Sounds pretty crazy by today's standards, doesn't it? Certainly made sense at the time though.

Coffee out on the patio, but you already knew that...right?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How About Those Stump Houses...?

We all know that coming up with adequate shelter was probably one of the hardest endeavors for the early pioneers. In some cases though, they did have a little help by using the leftovers from logging operations.
Early Settlers In The Wild West



Photo credit: boingboing.net

After loggers swept over the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800s, many pioneers were just coming across on wagon trains to settle down with their families. To their surprise, these early settlers discovered a mauled landscape dotted with enormous, towering tree stumps that the lumber companies had left behind.

Some of these sturdy stumps were 3 meters (10 ft) tall. These old logging sites that had cleared the forest seemed perfect for farmland. So some of the thriftiest pioneers had the wise idea to homestead these areas. They settled in what became known as “stump homes.”

[10]Basically, all the settlers had to do was put a roof on top of the stumps and attach a door. While some lived in these homes with their families, others used them for storage or chicken coops.

For some stumps that remained on the property, the pioneers came up with other creative uses. Some were leveled off at the top into flat platforms where the people would have social gatherings, like “stump dances” to folk music. One of these stump homes became the first US Post Office in the remote Olympic Peninsula, and it still stands today as a historic landmark.

This is a case of making lemonade when life gives out lemons. At least all those stumps could be used for something, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Tricky English Language...!

I've heard from many folks that the english language is one of the hardest to learn for people that are primarily english speakers. This little exercise from DidYouKnowFacts will show why.

“I never said she stole my money” has 7 different meanings depending on which word you emphasize when you speak it aloud.

Try it…

I didn’t say she stole my money – someone else said it.

I didn’t say she stole my money – I didn’t say it.

I didn’t say she stole my money – I only implied it.

I didn’t say she stole my money – I said someone did, not necessarily her.

I didn’t say she stole my money – I considered it borrowed, even though she didn’t ask.

I didn’t say she stole my money – only that she stole money.

I didn’t say she stole my money – she stole stuff which cost me money to replace.

I can see how it could get confusing when there are so many different ways this simple sentence could be interpreted, can you?

Coffee out on the patio one more time.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Plant Or Animal...?

Here is a case of nature's ability to confuse us all. This critter can change from plant to anima...and back again. How is that for strange?

Mesodinium Chamaeleon



Photo credit: Ojvind Moestrup/Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology

Microscopic in size, Mesodinium chamaeleon has scientists stymied. It’s not a plant, but it’s not an animal, either. As an animal, it uses its hair-like cilia to swim about, devouring plants. After feeding, it turns into a plant itself and is able to photosynthesize. After a while, it consumes the chlorophyll granules it obtained by eating the plant and reverts into an animal to begin the process of transformations anew. The bizarre creature dwells at the bottom of the ocean. In 2012, it was discovered off the coast of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Scientists are mystified by it. They can’t describe it in detail, and they haven’t been able to determine the amount of energy it obtains from photosynthesis. They also don’t know why it eats the chlorophyll granules it acquires. Further discoveries await “getting this animal-plant established in a culture in our laboratory,” says Ojvind Moestrup, a professor in the Marine Biological Section of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Biology.

I found this article over at Listverse. Seems to me this certainly qualifies as a good Monday Mystery, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio today, where it's gonna be dry and hot.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

How About Those Wolves...?

Here is something a bit different for you this morning. It includes a 4 minute video that I hope you'll watch.

Wolves can shape the ecosystem and physical geography of the land they live on.

When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in ‘95 after a 70-year absence, trees grew faster, animal populations increased, and rivers even changed their behavior because new vegetation helped reduce erosion.



Pretty neat, isn't it? Let nature just do Her thing.

Coffee out on the patio again.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Some Cereal History...!

You wouldn't think that something as common as breakfast cereal would ever cause a controversy, but it has. Some of the controversy goes back to a time long ago.

Elijah’s Manna



Photo credit: New York Times

Cereal controversy has gone on as far back as the 1800s.

Seventh-Day Adventist Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, were trying to develop a food that went with their church-recommended vegetarian lifestyle to feed patients at their sanitarium. They would not go on to officially market corn flakes until 1906, which allowed a former patient, C.W. Post, to take his own stab at the idea.

After C.W. Post finished creating Grape Nuts, he decided to try his own take on corn flakes that he would call Elijah’s Manna. This began a major controversy, with clergymen denouncing the product as sacrilege, and Britain even barred it from being imported into the country. Though Post tried to defend his brand, he eventually gave in, and in 1908, the cereal went on to become Post Toasties.

Some of these controversies seem a bit much to me, but what do I know. I'm more of a bacon and eggs person myself.

Coffee out on thew patio again today!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Little Known Inventor...!

Once in a while, I run across someone that was very creative in the useful gadgets department, even though their name is mostly forgotten. That was the case with Walter Hunt. I think when you see some of the things he invented, you'll agree.

Walter Hunt



Walter Hunt was an American mechanic born in New York in 1796. Throughout his life he worked as an inventor and he managed to create a variety of different devices. The lockstitch sewing machine, safety pin, a forerunner of the Winchester repeating rifle, a successful flax spinner, knife sharpener, streetcar bell, hard-coal-burning stove, artificial stone, street sweeping machinery, the velocipede, and the ice plough are his most notable creations.

Many of his creations have served as indispensable additions and improvements to basic activities and devices in modern times. This is especially true for things like the simple safety pin and the complicated sewing machine. Unfortunately, none of his extremely useful inventions managed to win him an award throughout his life (nor afterwards).

As many times as I have used a safety pin, I never even though about who invented it. Crazy, huh?

Coffee out on the patio again.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Mostly Unknown Chief Gall...!

There are so many historically important people from history that we never hear about. Gall was certainly one of those most of us know nothing about.

Gall

SIOUX CHIEF


WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

LAST UPDATED: Apr 12, 2019 See Article History

Gall, (born c. 1840, near Moreau River [in present-day South Dakota], U.S.—died 1894, near Oak Creek, S.D.), Hunkpapa Sioux war chief, who was one of the most important military leaders at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25, 1876).

Orphaned at an early age, Gall was adopted as a younger brother by the Sioux chief Sitting Bull. In many clashes with settlers and the U.S. Army, Gall distinguished himself as an excellent tactician and strategist. At the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Gall is credited with having turned back an initial Indian rout and then luring Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer and his men into an indefensible position, annihilating his force. After this victory, Gall and Sitting Bull faced continual skirmishes and battles with the military, and in May 1877 he followed Sitting Bull into Canada. The Canadian government would not give them a reservation, the herds of buffalo were gone, and Gall and his people faced starvation. He eventually abandoned Sitting Bull and surrendered to the U.S. Army (c. 1880). Once on the Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Gall urged his people to become more acculturated with the whites. His breach with Sitting Bull (who eventually lived on the reservation) became complete when Gall was persuaded to sign the treaty of 1889 that broke up the so-called Great Sioux Reservation and ceded much territory to white settlers.

One more name that wasn't considered important enough to be considered in history class, I guess.

Coffee out on the hot patio this morning.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Let's Go To The Spam Museum...!

One of my favorite foods actually has their own museum...really! I never knew this until I read this article from Listverse. This is one place I'd love to go, for sure.

Spam Museum
Austin, Minnesota



Photo credit: exploreminnesota.com

Many of us shudder at the thought of eating “Spam,” the highly processed tinned pork that Hormel Foods first introduced to the US market in 1937. While the long-life convenience food certainly had its place as a staple for troops during World War II, the square tin of meat has become a much-maligned product in more recent years.

Yet there is actually a Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. Hormel Foods first established a small museum in a mall in 1991 before moving to a bigger, more accessible site in recent years.

Here you can learn the history of Spam production and its role during the war years. You can even taste Spam varieties. Yes, there are different types sold throughout the world. Visitors can even pick up some Spam recipes for their next dinner party.

Personally I like Spam, always have! I eat it fairly regularly. Call me crazy, but meat is meat and Spam is made from ham.

Coffee outside before the heat sets in again.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Another Sea Mystery...!

We could study the sea with all of it's mysteries for many years and never really scratch the surface. Here is another one for Monday Mystery, taken from the pages of Listverse.

The Green Flash



Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory

For hundreds of years, men of the sea, most notably pirates, have repeatedly reported a strange phenomenon that has come to be known as the green flash. It is said that when the sky and the horizon are both completely clear, a sudden flare of emerald-green light can flash across the sky as the Sun sets.

Reports of the flash go all the way back to the 1600s, with pirates being the ones who reported it most, as they would have had the longest sea voyages. While this phenomenon has a completely rational explanation, pirates claimed that anyone who saw the flash would gain the ability to read the souls of others.

I'd be interested in knowing what this rational explanation is that they mention, wouldn't you?

Coffee out on the patio before it gets too hot. Fresh peanut butter cookies await!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Your Tax Dollars At Work...!

There is just no doubt among any of us that the PTB waste millions and millions of OUR money foolishly, but some of these outlandish studies are a bit much. When you read this one from Listverse, I think you'll agree.

How Do Shrimps Fare Walking On A Treadmill?

What do you think when you look at shrimp?

For the foodies, it may be all about their texture and what they could be paired with. For the casual observer, they may look like just another one of the countless marine species that have no significant impact on our lives. For the scientists who carried out this study, though, the first question that came to their minds was: “So what if we put them on a treadmill?”

Under the guise of studying the effects of stress on marine life when they were only trying to decisively answer a ridiculous question by one of their kids, a couple of scientists injected some shrimp with bacterial infections and put them on a tiny underwater treadmill to see what would happen.

In a result that would not surprise—or even interest—anyone anywhere whatsoever, they concluded that uninfected shrimp performed better than their infected counterparts. The best (or worst) part? The study got $682,570 of taxpayer funding from the National Science Foundation.

I mean, I know these guys need to study marine creatures for all sorts of reasons, but this is going a tad too far! Just my opinion...

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Bamboo Holds A Record...!

Did you know that a certain kind of Bamboo plant grows faster than anything else you can name? True...! This plant is so versatile because it has so many uses, and sadly we are not making use of many of them. From Listverse, here is a quick rundown of how fast it can grow.

Bamboo Holds A Guinness World Record



Photo credit: Wikimedia

A certain type of bamboo actually holds the world record as the fastest growing plant ever. This bamboo was able to grow as fast as 35 inches in a single day! This translates into nearly 1.5 inches per hour. You could literally sit there and see the bamboo growing before your eyes. If that is put into speed, it comes out at 0.00002 miles per hour.

Bamboo is also able to grow very tall, with the tallest ever recorded in the United States of America at 65-98 feet and 130 feet in Europe. Due to how fast bamboo grows, it is considered one of the most renewable plants on earth. As soon as the bamboo is harvested, it just starts growing again, making it an ideal material for all sorts of uses.

I think you'll agree that this is some pretty amazing stuff. I think I'll plant some in my backyard.

Coffee out on the patio today.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Want Some Bug Bread...?

I like bread...probably too much. My favorite is wheat, but freshly baked white bread is great as well. I don't think I want to try this crazy bread I found over on Listverse, no matter how much I want a sandwich.

Bug Bread



Photo credit: Live Science

Certain bugs are very nutritious but a bit outdated for the modern menu. However, as the global population grows and farming land becomes an issue, the answer could be insect farms that require less space. The problem is selling the idea of eating insects to people who have no desire to buy grasshopper pie.

In 2018, Italian scientists came up with a solution—hide the insects so well that the food appears “normal.” Thus, they baked bread with powdered crickets. While it left no obvious trace of the goobers, there were some drawbacks.

Although highly nutritious, the taste was described as “cat food.” Apart from the flavor fail, the more cricket powder it contained, the less the bread rose. It also lost its chewiness.

The worst danger was bacterial spores. Scientists are working on eliminating spores that might piggyback on insect powders, like sterilizing them with gamma irradiation. But it might be a tougher challenge to make the bug bread taste or even look appetizing enough for shoppers to be fine with sending their kids to school with insect sandwiches.

First they want to use cricket powder in the bread and then they want to shoot it with gamma rays? Sounds like a bad horror film to me! Think I'll pass!

Coffee out on the patio today. No bug bread, I promise!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Second Try At Justice...!

It always amazes me at how quickly folks could turn into vigilantes in the old days. Some of it was understandable, I guess, but so many so-called "reasonable" folks turned so quickly, it seems crazy.

1856
 Second vigilante committee organizes in San Francisco

Angered by the shooting of a prominent journalist, San Franciscans form their second vigilance committee to combat lawlessness.

The need for vigilance committees in San Francisco was obvious. Only two years after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, San Francisco had grown from a sleepy little village with 900 inhabitants to a booming metropolis with more than 200,000 residents. The sudden influx of people overwhelmed the city. Harried law enforcement officials found it nearly impossible to maintain law and order, and chaos often reigned in the streets, which were lined with saloons and gambling parlors. Attracted by the promise of gold, marauding bands of Australian criminals called “Sydney ducks” robbed and extorted the people of San Francisco with near impunity.

San Franciscans formed their first vigilance committee in 1851. About 200 vigilantes enrolled, most of them from the elite professional and merchant class of the city. They had headquarters along Battery Street, where they could temporarily imprison criminals, and the ringing of the city’s fire bell would summon the vigilantes to action. A handful of men who were found guilty of serious crimes like murder were hanged from a nearby derrick normally used to haul freight into the second story of a warehouse. More commonly, though, the vigilantes simply deported criminals like the “Sydney ducks” back to their homelands.

Whether due to the vigilante actions or because conventional law enforcement became more effective, things eventually quieted down in San Francisco and the first vigilance committee disbanded. In 1856, however, a rigged election put an Irish-Catholic politician named James P. Casey on the city board of supervisors. James King, a crusading editor of the Daily Evening Bulletin, accused Casey of being involved in criminal activity in the city. On May 14, 1856, Casey confronted King in the street and fatally wounded him with a Colt navy revolver.

The next day, angry San Franciscans created the second vigilance committee. This time, however, they could not claim that the city government was not enforcing the law–the sheriff had already arrested Casey and put him in the county jail pending trial. Acting more like a raging mob than an instrument of justice, 500 vigilantes surrounded the county jail and removed Casey from the sheriff’s custody on May 18. After a short but reasonably fair trial, they hanged him.

Some historians have argued that the second vigilance committee was less interested in suppressing crime than in attacking its political enemies. Casey’s election signaled a shift in power to the dominant faction of recently immigrated Irish-Catholic Democrats. The vigilantes, who were largely native-born Protestants, reasserted their control by arresting and exiling their political opponents from the city. As before, they hanged several men.

Regardless of the vigilantes’ true motives, a number of Irish Catholic leaders did leave the city and the Protestant elite managed to regain control of the government. Late in 1856, the vigilance committee formally disbanded and never again became active.

Did you notice the name of the journalist that was killed? He had the same name I have! How about that?

Coffee out on the patio today!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Sad And Strange Death...!

We often forget about the sacrifices made in the name of science and medicine, but from I have seen and read about over the years, it is never a good idea to experiment on yourself. This story is from Listverse.

Horace Wells (January 21, 1815 – January 24, 1848) [Britannica]

Manner of death: Used anesthetics to commit suicide



An American dentist, born in Vermont and educated in Boston, Horace Wells was one of the pioneers in the field of anesthesia. Weary of screaming patients, (it was known to upset him terribly, he often debated leaving the field of dentistry altogether), he was one of the first practitioners to see the value of nitrous oxide or laughing gas as an anesthetic.

After a failed experiment and falling out of favor with the medical community, Wells became a traveling anesthetic salesman and European expert for his former partner, Gardner Quincy Colton. His ‘investigations’ led to a chloroform addiction that would be his down-fall. In 1848, delirious and deranged after a week of self-experimentation, Wells ran into the street and assaulted two prostitutes with sulfuric acid. He was arrested and confined at New York’s infamous Tombs Prison. Recovering from the drug induced psychosis; the true horror of his actions came home to roost. Unable to live with this shame, Wells committed suicide by first inhaling a substantial dose of chloroform and then slitting his femoral artery.

I'd say this old boy definitely had some problems upstairs, if you know what I mean.

Coffee inside today due to the rain.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Paul Whipkey On Monday Mystery...!

For those of us that enjoy a good mystery, this is a good one. I found this little gem on Listverse and I think you will find it fascinating.

Paul Whipkey



In the early 1950s, Lieutenant Paul Whipkey found himself in a high position within the United States Air Force at Fort Ord, California. He was one of the first men to witness the atomic bomb tests. In 1957, he began acting strangely. He also lost all of his teeth, suffered from constant colds, suddenly lost weight, and developed black moles and warts all over his body. While on post, he was often seen talking to two men dressed in suits, but they have never been identified. Colleagues noticed that he was often tense and not himself after seeing them.

On July 10, he told his friends he was visiting the nearby city of Monterey. He left in plain clothes and never returned. The day he went missing, he had checked into a hotel 560 kilometers (350 mi) away. A day later, a man dressed in military clothing was seen driving Whipkey’s car. That same day, the Army quickly cleared out his apartment. A month later, after no sign of his whereabouts had surfaced, he was classed as a deserter. It took eight more months before the military began to search for him. His car was found in Death Valley with the keys still in ignition and surrounded by cigarette butts, which was suspicious because he didn’t smoke. Even more suspiciously, the Army destroyed all files on Whipkey in 1977. Years later, seemingly out of nowhere, they changed his status from a “deserter” to “killed in action.”

There are many theories on what happened to Paul Whipkey. Even after he started to behave strangely, his family and colleagues insist that he was a perfect soldier who was unlikely to have deserted. Some theorize that he was recruited by the CIA and died in a secret mission, while others believe there was a military cover-up after he died of radiation poisoning.

So what do you think happened to Paul? This is one of those strange mysteries that reek of some kind of government involvement.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Strange Salamander...!

We already know that nature can create some wickedly strange critters, but here is one that I thought you might like to read about.

ET Salamander



So far this newly discovered salamander species doesn’t have a name, but it’s been dubbed the “ET salamander” because of its resemblance to ET the Extraterrestrial from the 1982 film. Found in the rainforests of Ecuador, this salamander has one truly incredible adaptation—it has no lungs. Rather, it “breathes” through its skin, absorbing oxygen from the air around it. The researchers at Conservation International described it as “remarkably ugly,” which is definitely an apt description of the tiny amphibian.

So far, we still don’t know much about the salamander, and more expeditions are being planned to explore the unique biosphere of the Ecuadorian rainforest.

This planet is filled with so many strange critters (humans included), we could never know them all.

Coffee inside again due to the rain and hail possibilities.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The "No News Day"...!

Did you ever get the feeling that nothing good was coming out of the news channels? Seems like the folks at BBC have had this happen more than once, so it does seem to be possible.

The BBC Once Reported That There Was No News



The BBC is famous for its news. However, it is also famous for not reporting the news. On April 18, 1930, the BBC did not report any news because it had no news. At 8:45 PM that day, a broadcaster went on the air and said, “Good evening, Today is Good Friday. There is no news.” Then the BBC went on to play piano music for the next 15 minutes.

There is always news, so it is surprising that the BBC said there was none. This was because the BBC had a monopoly on news reporting in Britain at the time. This meant that it also had a monopoly on what it considered newsworthy.

The BBC only reported news it felt would improve the morality of the British. And it was willing to forgo the news instead of reporting on things it considered distasteful. However, some have claimed that the action was actually an attempt by the BBC to prove it was independent of the British government.

At the time, the British government was trying to dispel a scandal that had been covered in the newspapers the previous day. The newspapers did not print on April 18 because it was Good Friday, so the government probably switched to the using the BBC to inform citizens of their position. However, the BBC could have decided to not report the news at all rather than report news to support the government.

I don't think our stations would get away with that in this day and age. Anyway, we always have the Internet, right?

Coffee out on the patio, I think.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

No Post Today...!

Sorry folks, but there won't be a post today. I guess this could count as a post, though.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Attack On Columbus, New Mexico...!

Sometimes the people we like to set up as folk heroes...aren't! This story of the attack on Columbus is a good example of how things can get ugly when neighbors turn on one another.

Battle Of Columbus



Photo credit: Bain News Service

Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa was active along the United States border throughout the Mexican Revolution and during World War I. Villa constantly infuriated American authorities by conducting raids on trains and causing havoc on the border. However, his boldest move came in 1916 when he attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico.

A garrison of 600 troops was guarding Columbus, but bad information led Villa to believe that he had the advantage with his 400 soldiers. On March 9, 1916, his soldiers cut the border wire, and Villa led them into town. The Mexican attackers stormed through Columbus, looting houses and businesses. Civilians fought off the raiders as the US Army quickly mobilized to repulse Villa’s forces. Commanders organized their men into fire squads, and they even brought in machine guns to fight off the attackers.

It soon became clear that the defenders had the upper hand, and realizing he’d lost the element of surprise, Villa ordered a retreat. The bandit managed to escape with his men . . . but at great cost. He lost nearly 100 troops during the attack.

As for the US, 18 Americans lay dead, and parts of Columbus had burned down. Outraged, President Woodrow Wilson ordered a 6,000-man expeditionary force (commanded by General John Pershing) to enter Mexico and capture Pancho Villa. For a year, the Americans had the full cooperation of the Mexican government, but in 1917, Mexican authorities asked the expeditionary force to leave.

While Villa managed to evade Pershing, the massive military response convinced the outlaw to never attack American territory again.

Sounds to me as though things could have been a lot worse in Columbus. Glad that they weren't!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Raining outside...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Anus Sausage Anyone...?

Proofreading is one of those things that seems such a minor detail, but skipping it can lead to some major embarrassments. From Listverse, here is a great example.

Anus Beef Sausages



Photo credit: news.com.au

Just one little letter can provide a whole new meaning to a word. It seems that some of us have a bit of a beef with the word “Angus” when describing the meat from Aberdeen cattle.

A number of photos can be found on the Internet of fast-food chains that have misspelled the word on advertising billboards for their burgers. Shoppers in Adelaide, South Australia, could be forgiven for being a little “put off” by a spelling mistake made on supermarket meat packaging.

Sausage casings may traditionally have been made from animal intestines, although synthetic casings may now be more popular. The exact contents of sausages are also questioned at times. However, shoppers were left asking just how much offal was in the sausages labeled as “Anus Beef.”

Someone forgot to spell-check the meat supplier’s labels for their Angus beef sausages. Once again, this went viral on social media with predictable comments.

I think we all wonder what goes into our sausage at times, but I really don't want to see it on the label, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning if it isn't raining.

Monday, May 6, 2019

What The Heck Is This...?

sometimes people find the strangest things and we all start wondering what it is they found. The questions always seem to be where was it found, what was it used for, and what is it? This article from Listverse is about one such object.

The Williams Enigmalith



In 1998, a hiker named John J. Williams noticed a strange metallic protrusion in the dirt. He dug up a strange-looking rock which, upon cleaning, turned out to have a weird electrical component attached to it. The electric device was clearly man-made and somewhat resembled an electrical plug.

The rock has since become a well-known mystery in UFO enthusiast circles. It has featured in UFO Magazine and (according to Williams) Fortean Times, a famed magazine devoted to mysterious phenomena. Williams, an electrical engineer, says the electronic component embedded in the stone has not been glued or welded into the granite. In fact, the rock probably formed around the device.

Many believe that the so-called Williams Enigmalith is a hoax, as Williams refuses to break it (but is willing to sell it for $500,000). Also, the stone device does bear a certain resemblance to heat rocks that are commonly used to keep tropical pet lizards warm. Still, geological analysis has apparently determined that the stone is around 100,000 years old, which (if true) would mean the device inside can’t possibly be of human creation. Williams is confident enough to let anyone research the Enigmalith on three conditions: He must be present, the rock must remain unharmed, and he will not have to pay for the research.

You just never know what you are going to run across on the Web, do ya?

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A "Note-able" Mistake...!

Did you ever stop and wonder just how many handy inventions came about by someone's mistake? I found several on Listverse and I wanted to share one with you.

Post-it Notes



Post-it Notes would have to be one of the most useful items of stationery. The sticky little squares of paper can be found in any home or office. We use them to bookmark pages, stick handy reminder notes to the fridge or computer, and leave phone messages.

Yet this common stationery item was developed by mistake. Dr. Spencer Silver was a chemist working for 3M in 1968. His research into a super-strong glue seemed to have failed when instead he came up with a very weak adhesive that would only stick things together for a short time. What good was that to anyone?

It wasn’t until 1973 that the worth of this new adhesive was recognized. Arthur Fry, one of Dr. Silver’s colleagues, began using this temporary glue to bookmark the pages in his hymnal.

By 1980, 3M was producing small squares of paper lined with a coating of glue along one edge. Today, we use more than 50 billion of these handy little sticky notes each year.

I don't even want to think about how many of these little notes I've used in my lifetime, but it would be a LOT!

Coffee inside this morning. Rain in the forecast.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The " Fake News" Horse Race...!

Ever have a joke backfire on ya and had to scramble to try and cover it up? That's what this next post is all about. Here is the story from KnowledgeNuts.

How A Bad Joke Triggered History’s Greatest Horse Race

BY M.ADMIN | OCT 25, 2014.

In the late 19th century, there wasn’t much to do in Chadron, Nebraska. The town had only come into existence in 1884, in anticipation of a railroad being built in the area. When the railroad was actually built a few miles away, the townsfolk simply packed up and moved to meet it—taking the buildings with them. By 1893, a couple of local cowboys had taken to amusing their buddies by planting wildly exaggerated stories of life on the range in various tenderfoot eastern newspapers. One of their hilarious hoaxes claimed that 300 cowboys were planning an epic 1,600-kilometer (1,000 mi) race from Chadron to the World’s Fair in Chicago. The distance was ludicrous and the article spiced things up by declaring the mild-mannered town fire chief “the deadliest shot in Nebraska” and a local 11-year-old “a daring rider” who was sure to win. Other entrants included such hardened cowpokes as “Cockeyed Bill” and “Dynamite Dick.”

The whole town thought it was hilarious—until thousands of letters started arriving. The jokers had accidentally captured the imagination of the country, and the townsfolk of Chadron faced national humiliation if they backed down. They soon realized that they had no choice but to keep up the bluff and actually go through with the race.

Helped by a generous purse put up by Buffalo Bill Cody, a genuine field of rough riders was soon assembled. The early favorite was Doc Middleton, the infamous gunfighter and leader of the Pony Boys gang, said to have stolen over 2,000 horses in a two-year period. His main rival was Joe Berry, famous as a mail rider during the Indian Wars, who had to borrow a horse to enter. Other contenders included Rattlesnake Jim Stephens (so-named for the rattlesnake rattles that lined his hatband) and an enormously fat cowboy called Joe Gillespie.

Doc Middleton, the Snidely Whiplash of our story, immediately started playing dirty, demanding that Berry be disqualified since he had helped to stake out the route. The judges agreed, but an outraged Berry announced that he was going to ride in the race anyway. Even if he couldn’t win the prize money, he could still prove he was the best.

Thousands of eager spectators gathered for the start, only to be disappointed when the riders all sensibly set off at a walk. Thirteen days and 16 hours later, Berry, too exhausted to even hold his head up, arrived in Chicago in first place. In second was Emmet Albright, who was set to get the prize until it was revealed he had shipped his horses part of the way by train. Third to arrive was the fat man, Joe Gillespie, who might even have beaten Berry if he hadn’t paused halfway to take part in a parade. After attempting numerous cunning tricks (and allegedly trying to poison the other horses) Doc Middleton finished last.

You can read more about this crazy race right here. BTW, the prize was a thousand bucks!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Strange Smelling Candy...!

As anyone that knows me will tell ya, I do love most candy...especially chocolate. However, I found this strange little bit of information about a strange candy from an article on Listverse.

Musk Sticks



Photo credit: ABC News

What looks like bubblegum toothpaste and has a perfume-like flavor? Musk sticks, of course! The strange candy loved by many Australians and New Zealanders may be off-putting to others. Musk sticks are basically pink cylinders made of gelatin and icing sugar with a musk-like essence.

The candy dissolves slowly in the mouth, and many people associate the taste with a strong cologne. A baker from Australia wrote about a woman in her blog who described the candy as “tasting like the smell of old ladies at the bus stop & yet kind of nice.” It’s weird, and the appeal is hard to understand, but the candy has been going strong for a century in Australia. Woolworths alone sells around 24 million musk sticks per year. If these candies don’t sound appealing, you could always use them as an air freshener instead.

I don't think you can call this a passing fad, since the stuff has been around for more than a century. I might want to smell it, but I don't think I'm up for tasting it just yet.

Coffee out on the patio, but we may have to move inside if it starts raining.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Death By Bird...!

Now this is something I truly do not understand. Why anyone would want a pet bird that is known to be dangerous, even to zookeepers, is beyond me. I'll stick with cats, thanks just the same.

Cassowary Attacks



Photo credit: sciencealert.com

The world’s most dangerous bird is the cassowary. At first glance, it seems a bit harmless, just a large flightless bird with a bright neck. But this Australia and New Guinea native is so dangerous that experienced zookeepers avoid being alone with it. Cassowaries have been recorded kicking tourists off cliffs or cornering them up trees.

In 2019, a man in Florida was killed by his pet cassowary. The severe injuries that cost the 75-year-old his life were probably due to the bird’s middle toe. Each foot has three digits with formidable nails, but the middle one is practically a dagger. A kick can cause horrific damage.

The choice of pet had bird experts shaking their heads. Indeed, Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission views cassowaries as “Class II Wildlife,” which involves danger to people and a lot of permits.

You would think that at his age, he would know better. But I reckon that older doesn't always mean wiser, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Careful Of The Hairy Frog...!

Some animals have the strangest of defenses built in. Take this "hairy frog" critter from Listverse, for instance.

Frog Defense Hack



Photo credit: Gustavocarra

The Trichobatrachus robustus (aka the “hairy frog” due to the hairlike fibers found on the male’s skin) has the gross ability to break its own bones to fight off prey. When under attack, these frogs will quickly contract their muscles, snap the bones in their hind feet, and push the bones out of their skin to create protruding claws.

Due to the formation of collagen in the frog’s toe bones, it is possible for these creatures to break the tips of their toes and not their whole legs. This strange form of defense allows the hairy frogs to both fight off and completely terrify their prey.

It can be used against humans, too. In Cameroon, the frogs are hunted for food by the indigenous people. To avoid getting hurt by these froggy weapons, the hunters have to use long spears to catch these creatures.

I am sure NOT gonna mess with one of these guys, let me tell ya!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.