Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Sad Truth Of The Nobel Prize..!

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

Alfred Nobel And Ludvig Nobel

Photo credit: nobelprize.org

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

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

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Airplane Mysteries For Monday...!

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

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

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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

'Toons For A Cool Sunday Morning...!

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

And just one more...

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

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Animals Had It First...!

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


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

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

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again this chilly morning.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Death By Vegetable On Freaky Friday...

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

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

Canned Vegetables

Photo credit: moneysavingmom.com

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

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

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

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

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Mysterious Black Mist...!

Here is another one of Nature's mysteries that we can't explain...yet.

Imagine a strange mist that suddenly appears out of nowhere, then vanishes as quickly as it came. No explanations from anyone, no evidence as to the origin, nothing!

  The Black Mist Of Casa Grande Mountain

Photo credit: Kathy Christenson

According to locals, the roads and pathways around the base of Casa Grande Mountain in Arizona are subject to a strange black mist after dark. Legends state that if this black mist is allowed to engulf you, it will “plague you with uneasy feelings” or even transport you away to another dimension or time altogether.

Many of these legends are said to have their routes in the culture of the Hohokam Native American tribes, who once called the area home—until they disappeared themselves without any explanation around AD 1100. Many of their ruins still exist in the area, some of which remain a mystery as to their purpose even today. According to the legends, the black mist of Casa Grande Mountain contains the ancient, living essence of the desert and has a mind of its own and should be respected at all times.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be anywhere around that black mist.

Coffee out on the patio, where the air is dry and the weather is cool.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Railroad Survey Crew Killed...!

Doing railroad surveys, especially across Indian lands, was a dangerous undertaking. Attacks were not uncommon, and the surveyors were seen as intruders most of the time.

Regardless of the precautions that were taken, many on the survey teams lost their lives while trying to accomplish their task. In the end, the survey was finished, the mapping done, and the Transcontinental Railroad was built.

Indians attack transcontinental railroad survey crew in Utah

On this day in 1853, Paiute Indians attack U.S. Army Captain John W. Gunnison and his party of 37 soldiers and railroad surveyors near Sevier Lake, Utah. Gunnison and seven other men were killed, but the survey party continued with its work and eventually reported its findings to the United States Congress.

Gunnison was a West Point graduate who had led several previous topographical surveys before being assigned to conduct this survey of potential railroad routes across central Colorado and Utah. Gunnison’s mission was only one of four surveys dispatched by the U.S. Congress in an attempt to break a sectional deadlock over which route the proposed transcontinental railroad should follow. The whole idea of a transcontinental railroad was jeopardized by a bitter dispute between northern and southern politicians, with both factions stubbornly insisting that the line should have its terminus in their respective regions. Congress hoped that by turning the question over to the impartial and scientific surveyors of the topographical corps, a clearly superior route would emerge and break the deadlock.

Following Gunnison’s death at the hands of the Paiute, his lieutenant, E.G. Beckwith, assumed command. Beckwith eventually found a potential railroad route through Weber Canyon in the Unita Mountains and discovered two feasible passes over the northern Sierra Nevada. The survey also provided valuable information on the geology, flora, and fauna of the West and set a high standard for subsequent explorers to follow. However, the results of neither the Gunnison/Beckwith survey nor any of the others succeeded in breaking the deadlock in Congress. Since no clearly superior route emerged from the volumes of maps and data gathered, the decision remained a political rather than scientific one. The issue would only be settled after the southern states seceded from the Union, leaving the matter in the hands of northern politicians.

I got this info from the History website, where you can find out more about this major undertaking, if you wish.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, but you better bring a sweater or jacket.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tricking The Devil...!

We've all hard the many stories of folks making a bargain with the Devil , in trade for some favor or fortune. Most turn out badly.

Only a few individuals have managed to come out on the winning side of one of these bargains, if you believe the folk tales. Here is the story about one man who seemed to always be on top of his bargain.

Jack O’Kent

Photo credit: spookyisles.com

Fiction is always quick to point out that a deal with the Devil is usually a terrible idea. Not all folktales bear this out, however. Jack O’Kent is one man who always seemed to come out on top in his dealings with Beelzebub.

Apparently, traveling magician Jack O’Kent made several diabolical deals. In one adventure, he offered the Devil a share of a herd of pigs. To decide who got which pigs, they split the animals according to their tails. Jack got the pigs with curly tails, and the Devil took those with straight tails.

Happy with the division, the Devil waited for his delivery, only to find that Jack had marched the pigs through a stream whose cold water twisted all the pigs’ tails. In another story, the Devil wanted half of Jack’s crop of wheat. Jack paid his debt with the bottom half, leaving the grain for himself. Enraged, the Devil demanded the top half of next year’s crop. Jack promptly planted turnips.

After years of being beaten, the Devil had had enough. He swore to take Jack to hell “whether he was buried inside or outside the church.” Jack had the last laugh by being bricked up in the wall of the church so as to be neither inside nor outside of it.

Even though Jack came out on the good side of his bargains, I'm not sure I would want to take a chance at making a bargain with the Devil. My track record at winning those kinds of bargains isn't the best.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Cold front moving in, or so they say!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Magnets For Monday Mysteries...!

With all the knowledge that we have today, there are still some simple questions we don't have the answer to. Makes for an interesting topic, I think.

For instance, when I found this article on Listverse, it made me start thinking. Seems to me that as smart as some of the brainier types are in our world, surely someone can answer (or guess) one or two of these little mysteries.

How Exactly Do Magnets Work?

Magnetism is a widely observed phenomenon in our universe, but a lot of things about it remain unexplained. For example, why do particles charged with electricity create a magnetic field strong enough to physically move things from far away? And when they do, why exactly do they align themselves to two poles, north and south?

Explanations range from “it’s just one of those things” to particle movement at the quantum level, and MIT even has a whole laboratory dedicated to research on nothing but magnetism. We know that it’s happening, and we have a good idea of what exactly is happening, too—the particles align themselves in a way that adds up their charge in one direction, but it’s not very clear as to why the particles emit a magnetic field to start with. The fact that the Earth’s magnetic field is not well understood either further restricts our ability to understand magnetism.

After we get the questions involving magnets solved, we'll start in on the mystery of gravity...OK?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, if the rain has stopped.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Optical Illusions For Sunday...

Again this Sunday, we are going to do something a little different. Instead of tickling the funny bone, let's tease the brain a bit.

And one more...

OK...that's enough for today. Let's not overdo it.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Bacon Wasn't Cured...!

It seems that even in the Victorian times, severe mental problems were not that uncommon. The trouble is that many patients, once treated and pronounced "cured", were back on the streets again.

As you can imagine, this early release often had tragic and sad endings. Just like today, mental problems can often be misdiagnosed and remain hidden until some unknown trigger sets them free again.

Bacon The Butcher

Martha Bacon was from Lambeth, London. She had already done a stint in a mental hospital due to her erratic and sometimes violent behavior, but once she was deemed to be “treated,” she was released back into society and the arms of her family. Sadly, her psychotic behavior was far from cured and, on December 29, 1856, she took a butcher’s knife and brutally murdered her two young children, slashing at their throats almost to the point of decapitation.

After being questioned by police, she vehemently claimed that the murders were committed by a crazed intruder. The evidence did not back up her claims, and she was found guilty of murder by reason of insanity. She spent the rest of her life in a high-security mental hospital, using her spare time (of which she had plenty), to knit children’s clothes and practice needlework.

Even today, with all of our improved methods of treatment, some former mental patients are not fully prepared to face modern society without some form of supervision. It's sad, but sometimes it can't be helped.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning because it's trying to rain.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Siberian Stiff For Freaky Friday...!

Today I found a really strange story on Listverse that fits the bill for freaky Friday, I think.

Siberian Stiff

Photo credit: siberiantimes.com

On July 1, 2016, Russian authorities discovered the mummified remains of a man 15 meters (50 ft) up in a Siberian pine. Investigators revealed that he had been dead for eight months.

He died in a sitting position with his hands wrapped around the trunk. The man was found wearing a navy vest, sweatshirt, pants, and felt boots. He was discovered in Tomsk in a wooded area between Chekistsky Road and Mostovaya Street. Investigators are working to establish the deceased’s identity.

The man was found on a road leading to Seversk. Forbidden to foreigners, this “closed city” was omitted from Soviet-era maps. It is an epicenter of Russian enriched uranium and plutonium production.

In 2015, a container housing depleted uranium lost pressure and exploded at the Siberian Chemical Industrial Complex. In 1993, the Tomsk-7 Reprocessing Complex became site to one of the world’s greatest nuclear disasters after it released a cloud of radioactive gas.

I would say that this story qualifies as a good Freaky Friday entry, wouldn't you?

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

This Is A Very Tiny Boat...!

I have always been fascinated by miniatures. Anything done in miniature !

Over on Listverse, I found some very good examples of different miniatures and I wanted to share one with you.

That’s the pits

What to do with those pesky pits that we find in our everyday foods. For centuries those pits from peaches, plums, cherries and olives have been thrown away with the garbage. But for quite of few folks with the ache to create, and with an extremely steady hand, those very pits are the “core” of their calling. The inspiration for this list, Mott’s Miniature’s had quite a “large” collection of pit carvings that can be viewed at their website. The American artist Bob Shamey has been featured by Ripley’s Believe It or Not not just once, but twice, for his carvings. At the National Palace Museum in Taiwan there is an olive pit carving of a tiny boat, with working shutters and facial expressions on all eight passengers.

I don't think I have either the talent or the patience to attempt something like this. I wouldn't mind owning something like it to place on my bookshelf though.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cochise For Western Wednesday...!

I am often taken aback by how many of us don't know the names of the greater Native American chiefs.

You don't have to be a fan of their ways, but all of us should realize these chiefs helped to form many of our country's boundaries and taught us so much about the land we unfairly took from them time and time again. One name many of us can remember is the warrior chief Cochise.


Photo credit: Karen Gonzales/US National Park Service

Almost nothing is known about the childhood of one of the greatest Apache chiefs in history. In fact, no one is even sure when he was born. Relatively tall for his day, he was said to have stood at least 183 centimeters (6′), cutting a very imposing figure. A leader of the Chiricahua tribe, Cochise led his people on a number of raids, sometimes against Mexicans and sometimes against Americans. However, it was his attacks on the US which led to his demise.

In 1861, a raiding party of a different Apache tribe kidnapped a child, and Cochise’s tribe was accused of the act by a relatively inexperienced US Army officer.[8] Though they were innocent, an attempt at arresting the Native Americans, who had come to talk, ended in violence, with one shot to death and Cochise escaping the meeting tent by cutting a hole in the side and fleeing. Various acts of torture and execution by both sides followed, and it seemed to have no end. But the US Civil War had begun, and Arizona was left to the Apache.

Less than a year later, however, the Army was back, armed with howitzers, and they began to destroy the tribes still fighting. For nearly ten years, Cochise and a small band of fighters hid among the mountains, raiding when necessary and evading capture. In the end, Cochise was offered a huge part of Arizona as a reservation. His reply: “The white man and the Indian are to drink of the same water, eat of the same bread, and be at peace.” Unfortunately for Cochise, he didn’t get to experience the fruits of his labor for long, as he became seriously ill and died in 1874.

I think we might have been better off had we paid more attention to the words and warnings of the native Americans. But if history has shown us anything at all, it has pointed out that our leaders have never been much for listening to anyone holding counter views on policy.

Coffee out on the nice cool patio this morning.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scarface Goes To Prison...!

No matter how rich you are, how many lawyers you have, or how you try and avoid the legal system...sooner or later it all catches up to you.

It wasn't the murders or bootlegging that brought Al Capone down, in the end he was nailed for tax evasion.

Capone goes to prison

On this day in 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 to Italian immigrants. He was expelled from school at 14, joined a gang and earned his nickname “Scarface” after being sliced across the cheek during a fight. By 1920, Capone had moved to Chicago, where he was soon helping to run crime boss Johnny Torrio’s illegal enterprises, which included alcohol-smuggling, gambling and prostitution. Torrio retired in 1925 after an attempt on his life and Capone, known for his cunning and brutality, was put in charge of the organization.

Prohibition, which outlawed the brewing and distribution of alcohol and lasted from 1920 to 1933, proved extremely lucrative for bootleggers and gangsters like Capone, who raked in millions from his underworld activities. Capone was at the top of the F.B.I.’s “Most Wanted” list by 1930, but he avoided long stints in jail until 1931 by bribing city officials, intimidating witnesses and maintaining various hideouts. He became Chicago’s crime kingpin by wiping out his competitors through a series of gangland battles and slayings, including the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, when Capone’s men gunned down seven rivals. This event helped raise Capone’s notoriety to a national level.

Among Capone’s enemies was federal agent Elliot Ness, who led a team of officers known as “The Untouchables” because they couldn’t be corrupted. Ness and his men routinely broke up Capone’s bootlegging businesses, but it was tax-evasion charges that finally stuck and landed Capone in prison in 1931. Capone began serving his time at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, but amid accusations that he was manipulating the system and receiving cushy treatment, he was transferred to the maximum-security lockup at Alcatraz Island, in California’s San Francisco Bay. He got out early in 1939 for good behavior, after spending his final year in prison in a hospital, suffering from syphilis.

Plagued by health problems for the rest of his life, Capone died in 1947 at age 48 at his home in Palm Island, Florida.

The tax man can be relentless when he comes after you, that's for sure!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Temps are around the low 50s...

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Mysteries...!

Another group of mysteries from the folks over at Youtube. I hope you can see them OK.

Good or bad, this is an easy way to present more than one mystery to you at the same time. I do hope it is acceptable.

Coffee out on the patio again. Slightly cooler temps are on the way.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Riddles For Sunday...!

Instead of cartoons today, let's do a few riddles. OK?

Just one more for ya...

Well, that was a little different, wasn't it? Kinda fun for a change, I think.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Freshly baked peanut butter cookies to share!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Seeing Faces...!

As we get older, we tend to hear or see things others sometimes can't. Imagination...? Maybe not.

Here is a story about a slightly older woman (younger than me) that had this happen to her, and was more than happy to discover the cause.

The Faces

University of Kentucky physicians were similarly perplexed by a 67-year-old patient who was experiencing disquieting symptoms. Although she had no history of dementia or mental problems, she had been seeing things hovering around her all the time. Specifically, faces . . . terrifying, disembodied, elongated faces with huge eyes and teeth.

Understandably afraid that she might be losing her mind, the woman was almost relieved to receive a diagnosis of Charles Bonnet syndrome, which occurs in patients with rapidly deteriorating vision. Accustomed to constant input, the brains of patients with this condition simply make up their own input to replace whatever is missing.

The resulting hallucinations are usually more benign, such as flashes of color or small animals. In this woman’s case, the bloodcurdling visions became less frequent once she was diagnosed.

I'm happy for this woman and glad there was a minor explanation for her visions. Getting older certainly isn't for sissies!

Coffee is gonna be outside again

Friday, October 13, 2017

House Of Horns For Freaky Friday...!

People collect all sorts of things...some strange, some ordinary. However, some are just plain Freaky. Take this collection of horns, for instance.

Jim's Horn House

A collection of 16,000 antlers crammed beautifully into a small shed.

For the last six decades, Jim Phillips’ favorite pastime has been to hike out into the Montana backcountry, braving the elements, for the sole purpose of picking up thousands of pairs of stray antlers. Since starting his collection as a 10-year-old boy, the “Antler Man” has amassed a grand total of 16,000 antlers, all of which are on display in one well-lit shed in Three Forks, Montana.

Most antlers in the collection are brilliantly white and in pristine condition, lining the 16-foot walls from top to bottom at such a high density that it’s nearly impossible to see the wood that lies beneath the horns.

Although Phillips could have easily acquired these antlers through purchase, he has been firmly committed to building his collection organically, and thus has never purchased a single set of horns. To collect the antlers, he drives out into the backcountry and takes long hikes, scavenging for antlers littered on the ground after being shed from moose, deer, and elk.

Some days, the turnout is low; Phillips once hiked for 26 miles and only to return empty-handed. But most of the time, Phillips’ efforts culminate in a truckload of bucks, with a record of 87 in one day (their horns only, of course; Phillips never kills for his collection). This painstaking process, which Phillips has been undertaking since 1958, makes for an incredible collection for the mere cost of gas money. If shed antlers are scarce out in the woods, he has a backup plan: Many hunters discard unused parts of their kill in waste bins, so dumpster diving serves as a great alternative way to expand the collection.

Although Phillips chose to sell 2,100 of the sheds to put his daughters through college, the collection in the Horn House is unfathomably large. And Phillips is still at it; he always has another “bone to pick.” According to Phillips, “now I’m over sixteen thousand and I know seventeen or eighteen thousand will not be enough. ”

See what I mean? Although I suppose that his collection isn't freaky, but it certainly falls into the strange category, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sad Death Of Tom Mix...!

One of the best known names of the "Old West" was actor Tom Mix.

Seemingly bigger than life at times, his death was sad to many of his fans, but his name lives on to this day as one of the first cowboy heroes of silent films.

Silent-film star Tom Mix dies in Arizona car wreck; brained by “Suitcase of Death”

On this day in 1940, cowboy-movie star Tom Mix is killed when he loses control of his speeding Cord Phaeton convertible and rolls into a dry wash (now called the Tom Mix Wash) near Florence, Arizona. He was 60 years old. Today, visitors to the site of the accident can see a 2-foot–tall iron statue of a riderless horse and a somewhat awkwardly written plaque that reads: “In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the Old West in the minds of living men.”

According to Mix’s press agent, the star was a genuine cowboy and swaggering hero of the Wild West: He was born in Texas; fought in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War; and served as a sheriff in Kansas, a U.S. marshal in Oklahoma and a Texas Ranger. In fact, Mix was born in Driftwood, Pennsylvania; deserted the Army in 1902; and was a drum major in the Oklahoma Territorial Cavalry band when he went off to Hollywood in 1909.

None of these inconvenient facts prevented Mix from becoming one of the greatest silent-film stars in history, however. Along with his famous horse Tony, Mix made 370 full-length Westerns. At the peak of his fame, he was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning as much as $17,500 a week (about $218,000 today). Unfortunately, Mix and Tony had a hard time making the transition to talking pictures. Some people say that the actor’s voice was so high-pitched that it undermined his macho cowboy image, but others argue that sound films simply had too much talking for Mix’s taste: He preferred wild action sequences to heartfelt conversation.

On the day he died, Mix was driving north from Tucson in his beloved bright-yellow Cord Phaeton sports car. He was driving so fast that he didn’t notice–or failed to heed–signs warning that one of the bridges was out on the road ahead. The Phaeton swung into a gully and Mix was smacked in the back of the head by one of the heavy aluminum suitcases he was carrying in the convertible’s backseat. The impact broke the actor’s neck and he died almost instantly. Today, the dented “Suitcase of Death” is the featured attraction at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma.

At least Tom went out in a blaze of glory. Some of his films are still around for viewing, if you are interested.

Coffee out on the patio one more time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Strange Death Of Meriwether Lewis...!

Few deaths of prominent individuals have been as strange as the one for Lewis.

To this day, folks can't seem to decide whether it was murder or suicide. Coupled with the fact that no one came to his aide should have raised more than a few eyebrows, I would think.

Meriwether Lewis dies along the Natchez Trace, Tennessee

On this day in 1809, the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at Grinder’s Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.

Three years earlier, Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, had completed their brilliant exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and the Pacific Northwest. Justly famous and celebrated throughout the nation as a result, Lewis nonetheless found his return to civilized eastern life difficult. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him as governor of Louisiana Territory, but Lewis soon discovered that the complex politics and power struggles of the territory were earning him more enemies than friends. At the same time, bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., were questioning the legitimacy of some of the purchases Lewis had made for the expedition in 1803, raising the threat of bankruptcy if he were forced to cover these costs personally. Finally, some three years after the end of his journey, Lewis still had failed to complete the work necessary to publish the critically important scientific and geographical information he and Clark had gathered in their journals-much to the disappointment of his close friend and mentor, Thomas Jefferson.

For all these reasons, most recent historians have concluded that Lewis’ death was a suicide brought on by deep depression and the heavy weight of worries he bore. According to the account given by Mrs. Grinder, the mistress of the tavern along the Natchez Trace where Lewis died, during his final hours Lewis began to pace in his room and talk aloud to himself “like a lawyer.” She then heard a pistol shot and Lewis exclaiming, “O Lord!” After a second pistol shot, Lewis staggered from his room and called for help, reportedly saying, “O Madam! Give me some water, and heal my wounds.” Strangely, Mrs. Grinder did nothing to help him; she later said that she was too afraid. The next morning servants went to his room where they reportedly found him “busily engaged in cutting himself from head to foot” with a razor. Fatally wounded in the abdomen, Lewis died shortly after sunrise.

Based largely on Mrs. Grinder’s story, most historians have argued that Lewis tried to kill himself with two pistol shots, and when death did not come quickly enough, tried to finish the job with his razor. However, in a 1962 book, Suicide or Murder? The Strange Death of Governor Meriwether Lewis, the author Vardes Fisher raised questions about the reliability of Mrs. Grinder’s story and suggested that Lewis might have actually been murdered, either by Mrs. Grinder’s husband or bandits. Since then a minority of historians has continued to raise challenges to the suicide thesis. But ultimately, nearly two centuries after the event, we may never be able to discover exactly what happened that night along the Natchez Trace when one of the nation’s greatest heroes died at the tragically young age of 35.

I'm certainly no expert on this stuff, but in my opinion, the facts seem to point more to murder than suicide. Guess we'll never know for sure, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Lost Story Of Jekyll And Hyde...!

Most writers know that some of their first drafts need to be edited, some more than others.

Here is an article about Jekyll and Hyde that can help to prove my point. It's also a cautionary tale for anyone considering having a piece edited while under the influence.

Jekyll & Hyde
 First Draft

 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde is one of the most famous horror stories ever written. The story examines the nature of the inner battle waged by humans between good and evil as well as their conscious and subconscious desires.

In fact, the book has made such an indelible mark on Western literature and culture that “Jekyll and Hyde” is now a commonly used phrase. But if Fanny Stevenson had not been such a harsh critic, you might never have heard of her husband, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Letters discovered in 2000 between Fanny and family friend W.E. Henley revealed that Fanny believed the book was simply bad, describing it as “utter nonsense.” She felt that the draft was a messy story about a scientist who turned into a monster, but it had no real purpose or message behind it. She suggested that the transformation should be used to symbolize the conflict of human nature, the theme for which the book is now most famous.

The original idea for the story came to Stevenson while he was in the midst of a cocaine-induced nightmare. Indignant that Fanny woke him up from his distressed sleep, Robert set to work writing the 30,000-word draft over the course of just three days.

This is the draft to which Fanny referred in her letter. She signed off by stating, “He said it was his greatest work. I shall burn it after I show it to you.”

And burn it she did, much to the chagrin of her husband. He immediately set to work on it again, this time with the helpful criticism of his wife in mind. The reworked version was completed and became a roaring success, saving the family from their financial woes.

But while you can pick up a copy of the revised book in almost any bookstore, the original, terrible draft is gone forever.

Even though the first draft was considered bad, I would have liked to have read it, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ancient Things For Monday Mystery...!

Some inventions from long ago still have no explanation as to what they are.

I would think that by now most, if not all, could have been well documented as to their use and purpose. I wonder what the problem is ?

That's all I had today. Just wanted to share that with you.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cartoon Sunday Again...!

It's Sunday again already. Time for some 'toons, I reckon.

And one more...

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Let's Try Something Different Today...!

Sometimes I feel like we are getting into a rut here, so let's try something a little different.

I found a video that I thing will make you grin, at least, I hope it does. See what you think...

Well, did you grin? I thought you might.

Coffee outside on the patio. Nice north breeze cooling it off.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lovecraft On Freaky Friday...!

Did you ever read any of H.P. Lovecraft's work? Maybe you should...!

Some folks don't like to read creepy stories or books, but in order to get a broader prospective, it's important to read all kinds of literature. At least, that's my opinion.

H.P. Lovecraft

The Hermit Of Horror

Photo credit: salon.com

H.P. Lovecraft’s impactful and dark writings forever expanded the horror genre. He lived a life of isolation and prejudice that would cripple him from ever creating a name for himself during his lifetime. His legacy wasn’t born until years after his death.

Both of his parents had mental health issues that led them to the same insane asylum. More than likely, this reality was reflected in Lovecraft’s own delirium. His stories influenced many works by Robert Bloch, including Psycho (1959).

Lovecraft passed away penniless in 1937 at age 46. Though his dark perspective was something he could never escape, his stories inspired the creation of literary subgenres like “cosmic horror” and the work of icons like Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro.

Like I said, you should read all kinds of stories. After all, many of yesterday's science fiction is today's scientific fact!

Coffee out on the slightly cooler patio this morning.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Your Heart And Coffee...!

I just read an interesting article about coffee, and all the good things that it can do for you. Needless to say, I wanted to share part of this article with all of you.

Coffee And Your Heart

People have long considered coffee to be bad for the heart, but recent studies have debunked these misconceptions. There appears to be no link between increased risk of heart disease and coffee. To the contrary, emerging evidence suggests that coffee is actually good for the heart

Overall, coffee has been shown to be a powerful ally with respect to cardiovascular health. Although the effects are stronger in women, moderate coffee consumption has proven to slightly decrease heart attack risk for both genders.

If you really love coffee, here is some even better news: Three to five cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke. That’s actually quite a bit of coffee if you think about it. As if this was not big enough news already, java also helps to decrease the risk of congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease.

Of course, I've always known that coffee was good for me. Makes my heart happy to know my thoughts were correct.

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Remington The Artist...!

For western Wednesday this time, let's find out some facts about Frederic Remington.

Not only was he talented and prolific as an artist, especially about anything western, but he was in high demand all across the country His works are still very highly valued today.


Frederic Remington is born in Canton, New York

Frederic Remington, one of the preeminent artists of the American West, is born this day in 1861 in New York.

The son of a comfortable, if not wealthy, family, Remington was one of the first students to attend Yale University’s new School of Fine Arts. At Yale he became a skilled painter, but he focused his efforts largely on the traditional subjects of high art, not the Wild West. When he was 19, Remington’s father died, leaving him a small inheritance that gave him the freedom to indulge his interest in traveling in the West. As with other transplanted upper-class easterners like Theodore Roosevelt and Owen Wister, Remington quickly developed a deep love for the West and its fast disappearing world of cowboys, Indians, and wide-open spaces. Eventually buying a sheep ranch near Kansas City, Remington continued to travel around his adopted western home, endlessly drawing and painting what he saw.

In 1884, Remington sold his first sketches based on his western travels, and two years later his first fully credited picture appeared on the cover of Harper’s Weekly. After that, his popularity as an illustrator grew steadily, and he returned to New York in order to be closer to the largely eastern market for his work. Frequent assignments from publishers, though, ensured that Remington was never away long from the West, and gave him the opportunity to closely observe and sketch his favorite subjects: U.S. Cavalry soldiers, cowboys, and Native Americans. Remington’s output was enormous, and during the last 20 years of his life he created more than 2,700 paintings and drawings and published illustrations in 142 books and 42 different magazines. Though most of his paintings were created in his studio in New York, Remington continued to base his work on his western travels and prided himself on accuracy and realism-particularly when it came to horses. He even suggested that he would like his epitaph to read: “He Knew the Horse.”

When he died in 1909 in Connecticut, from acute appendicitis, Remington left a body of work that was popular with the public but largely ignored by “serious” museums and art collectors. Since then, though, Remington’s paintings, drawings, and illustrations have become prized by collectors and curators around the world, and prominent museums like the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, Wyoming) and the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art (Tulsa, Oklahoma) have created large permanent exhibitions of his work.

I doubt if any one artist did as much portraying the West as did Remington. He brought the West right into the living room of so many people, making sure that people world wide had a glimpse of the West he knew.

Coffee in the kitchen again today. Rain is trying to hang around.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How About Some Blue Lava...?

To tell the truth, I really don't like the idea of being around ANY lava, no matter what the color is. Just doesn't hold any interest for me.

I'll admit that it's probably pretty to look at, but I'll be just as happy looking at the pictures...thank you very much!

Blue Lava

Photo credit: National Geographic

One of the most destructive occurrences in our world is the explosion of a volcano. But in Indonesia, the Kawah Ijen crater on the island of Java appears to spout blue lava instead of the traditional yellow and orange tones we are all used to.

The most interesting part is the confusion this produces. The lava is not inherently blue. Instead, this event is produced by the combustion of a high concentration of sulfur in the area of the volcano. When sulfur ignites, it burns with a blue flame. So when the high concentration of sulfur comes in contact with the lava, the lava appears to turn blue.

In reality, it’s only the blue flames from the sulfur flowing down the mountain. That’s why this effect only appears at night.

Nature can sure surprise us, either in a good way or a bad one. I prefer to take the good, I reckon.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's raining outside.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Unsolved Murder On Monday Mystery...!

Here's a story that is every parent's worse nightmare. The death of a child.

To lose a child is sad beyond belief, but to have that child murdered and not have the guilty party caught? Well, that only intensifies the anguish the parents go through, I'm sure.

The Murder Of The Grimes Sisters

On the evening of December 28, 1956, 15-year-old Barbara Grimes and her 13-year-old sister, Patricia, went to see a movie at the Brighton Theater in Chicago. When they didn’t return home, their mother reported them missing. A massive search was conducted for the Grimes sisters, but they were not found until January 22, 1957, when their frozen, nude bodies were discovered in a ditch near Willow Springs. Their bodies contained numerous bruises and marks, including three unexplained puncture wounds in Barbara’s chest. There has always been controversy about how and when the Grimes sisters were killed. The initial autopsy report concluded that they died on the same night they went missing, but the chief investigator believed they lived for several more days and were still alive when their bodies were dumped.

One suspect was a drifter named Bennie Bedwell, who had been seen with two girls resembling Barbara and Patricia on December 30. Bedwell was charged with their murders after making a confession, but he claimed the confession was coerced. The charges were dropped once it was discovered that Bedwell had an alibi during the time the girls went missing. However, one of the case’s strangest leads came from an unlikely source: Ann Landers, the famous advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Ann received an anonymous letter from a girl who claimed she saw a young man forcing the Grimes sisters into a car. The girl even provided a partial license plate number. Police suspected the letter might have actually been written by the murderer and wanted to question Ann, but she felt obliged to never discuss the letters she received. As a result, that lead went nowhere, and the murder of the Grimes sisters has never been solved.

I got this sad story from Listverse and I have to say, there are so many more of these stories it makes me worry about the human condition at times.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday 'Toons...!

And one more...

That's all for today. See ya tomorrow, if the creek don't rise!

Coffee out on the patio once again.