Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Father Of Advertising...!

Here is a tidbit of history you may not know, the so-called Father of Advertising was Freud's nephew. Here is the story from Listverse.

Edward Bernay

Edward Bernays was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, so it makes sense that he had great insight into the human mind. Whereas Freud used his knowledge to probe deep questions on the psyche, Bernays wanted to make a quick buck. He achieved this with his 1928 book Propaganda. The book is now considered the fundamental text for public relations. It lays out how corporations and institutions can mold public opinion. Because of this book, Bernays has been called the father of advertising. Even though Bernays was Jewish, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels was a huge fan. Goebbels says he modeled his approaches after those in Bernay’s book. Bernay’s practices have been put to more benign uses as well.

Following the publication of Propaganda, Bernays’s first assignment was to help the Woodrow Wilson administration brand World War I as the US bringing democracy to Europe.[10] Advising Calvin Coolidge, Bernays was the first person to suggest that presidents eat pancake breakfasts with the electorate, a common practice today for politicians of any party. When women were not smoking cigarettes, he branded Lucky Strikes cigarettes as “torches of freedom” and put them in fashion shows. As a result, women started smoking cigarettes at unprecedented levels. Dixie Cups first became popular after he falsely claimed they were the only sanitary type of cup. Bernays helped organize the first meeting of the NAACP.

As important as those other campaigns were, his most scandalous was his work with the packing company Beechnut. When Americans were frequently just eating breakfasts of fruit, wheat, and milk, Bernays hired doctors to argue that people needed to eat hardier meals. These fabricated studies are the reason bacon and eggs are served at breakfast. It is hard to decide if Bernays’s legacy should be the man who helped the Nazis rise to power and give millions lung cancer or as the man who made bacon popular.

I'd say the man had a good mind for advertising and starting trends. Some I can agree with, others I don't. Maybe I should read his book, ya reckon?

Coffee in the kitchen again. Still too hot outside.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Squirrel Tooth Alice For Western Wednesday...!

In the days of the old west,many people were known by their nicknames. That was the case for Alice...better known as Squirrel Tooth Alice

Better known as "Squirrel Tooth Alice,” Mary Elizabeth "Libby" Haley Thompson was a popular "soiled dove” in the frontier cow towns of the American West, despite gap the in her teeth that earned her nickname.

She was born in 1855 in Belton, Texas to James and Mary Raybourne Haley. Growing up was difficult for Mary Elizabeth, as the family lost nearly everything during the Civil War. Towards the end of the conflict, things got worse for Libby when the family farm was raided by Comanche Indians in 1864 and she was kidnapped. She remained with the Comanches for three years until 1867, when her parents paid a ransom for her release.

Through no fault of her own, Mary Elizabeth was seen as a "marked woman” after her release. Though she was only 13 years-old, most people assumed that she had been "used” by the Indians during her captivity and she was shunned and ostracized from society.

Just a short time later, she met an older man who cared little about her past. Though the girl may have been happy with her suitor, her father was not and soon shot and killed the man.

Afterwards, the 14 year-old ran away from home and traveled to Abilene, Kansas. With few options to support herself, she became a dance hall girl and prostitute. It was in this role that she earned the nickname "Squirrel Tooth Alice,” for two reasons – one the prominent gap in her teeth, and the second, an odd penchant for making pets of prairie dogs, which she kept on a collar and leash. While in Abilene, she met gambler and gunman, William "Texas Billy” Thompson, brother to more famous Ben Thompson.

Before long, the pair became a couple and Libby followed Billy as he worked as a cowboy along the Chisholm Trail and she continued to make money as a dance hall girl in a number of places along the trail.

However, by 1872, they were back in Kansas, this time in Ellsworth, where Billy made his living gambling and Libby continuing to work the saloons. The following year, Libby gave birth to her first child and the two got married.

In August of 1873, Billy Thompson, in a state of drunkenness, shot and killed Ellsworth town Sheriff Chauncey Whitney. Billy was arrested but soon bailed out and the couple fled back to Texas. However, Texas Rangers caught up with Billy in October, 1876 and he was extradited back to Kansas to stand trial for the killing of Sheriff Whitney. Amazingly, the shooting was ruled an accident and Billy was let go. Later, they wound up in Dodge City, where Libby worked once again as a dancer and prostitute.

After leaving Dodge City, the Thompsons drifted to Colorado briefly but soon made their way back to Texas. In Sweetwater, they finally settled down, purchasing a ranch outside of town and Libby set up a dancehall and brothel in town.

Over the years, Libby had nine children, three of which were said to have been fathered by someone other than Billy. In the meantime, her Sweetwater brothel became prosperous.

In 1897, Billy died of stomach ailment but Libby continued to run her Sweetwater brothel until she finally retired in 1921 at the age of sixty-six. Most of her sons had turned to a life of crime and her daughters followed her into prostitution. Sometime later, she moved to Palmdale, California.

She lived a long life before finally dying at the age of 98 on April 13, 1953 at the Sunbeam Rest Home in Los Angeles, California.

Being a woman in the Wild West was not easy, as this article shows.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's hot out early.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

An Obviously Good Move...!

Now this is a good example of putting the right people in the right job, in my opinion.

I feel that doing something like this is a good example of making the very best of the talents of others. According to the coordinator, the people involved had many things going for them. Makes good sense to me.

In 2006, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia began hiring prostitutes as nursing home caregivers. In an attempt to get sex trade workers off the streets and into the widely understaffed nursing home industry, they offered dozens of prostitutes the chance to train for a new career. The program coordinator said the use of prostitutes was ‘an obvious move,’ because they have ‘good people skills, aren’t easily disgusted, and have zero fear of physical contact.’

All I can say is BRAVO to the folks that tried out this program. We could use more innovative thinking along these lines.

Coffee outside again today. Soon it will be too hot to do this on the patio, shade or not.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Missing Tourists For Monday Mysteries...!

First of all, let me try and explain where I was over the last couple of days, and why I didn't post anything Sunday.

Actually I did a post late Saturday warning about not posting Sunday. We had about 5 or 6 instantences of power outages Saturday off and on all day. In between the power failures, I made an effort to tell everyone about not having any power, but my warning post never showed up. Go figure...

But enough about my personal mystery, let's look at the case of the missing tourists.

The Missing Germans

Photo credit;

Death Valley National Park is a vast area of barren land, sprawling over three million acres from California to Nevada. On a day that was 49 degrees Celsius (120 °F) in July 1996, four German tourists went missing without a trace. Their last known location was a small ghost town where they had written in a visitors’ book, “We are going through the pass.” Rangers assume that means the Mengel Pass.

When the family wasn’t on their flight home, Interpol was alerted. On August 14, they were officially reported missing. Their rental van was found abandoned on October 23 with three flat tires. No wallets or passports were ever found, leading many to believe that the group had been kidnapped.

However, in 2009, human bones were discovered in Death Valley. Authorities claimed that they were “fairly certain” that the bones belonged to the missing Germans. However, no one has heard any update on the case since.

Sorry again about missing all day Sunday. But when the power goes out, not a lot you can do.

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

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Now Pay Attention...!

Do you ever wonder if someone is paying attention to what you are talking about? Happens to me quite a bit, actually. Well, here is one way you can tell if they are really paying attention!

If you’re talking to someone and they start blinking a lot, they may have stopped paying attention. Blinking, much like closing your eyes, puts up a barrier against the outside world and allows your brain to focus on something else. Studies show that when a person starts to blink more rapidly, it suggests their mind is wandering.

Now, I hope you are better informed to know when someone is slacking off and not being attentive. Never know when it might come in handy!

Coffee out on the patio where it is hot!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Virgin Birth For Freaky Friday...!

As I read this article from Listverse, I realized that in some ways the insect world was way far ahead of us humans.

Stick Insect Birth Hack

One animal that doesn’t need a man is the female stick insect. They are able to give birth through parthenogenesis, a method of procreation that doesn’t involve a mate. It is sometimes referred to as a “virgin birth.”

If well-fed, a female stick insect is able to lay unfertilized eggs all on her own, no mate required. Some scientists have reproduced this phenomenon in their own labs in hopes of applying this knowledge to human reproduction.

But this asexual reproduction goes deeper for the insects. They really just don’t want to mate at all. In fact, female stick insects are so opposed to getting in the sack that they have developed an anti-aphrodisiac chemical which they can spray at any randy male to diminish the temptation.

I can't help but wonder just why scientist are hoping to find a way to apply this ability to human reproduction, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Deadly Green Color...!

Who would have ever thought that fabric could be deadly, simply because it was dyed a certain color? In this disturbing story from Listverse, the sheer scope of the damage caused went unknown for a very long time.

Scheele’s Green

Photo credit: Kathleen McGouran/The Ryersonian

If beauty is pain, then Scheele’s green is the most beautiful color ever.[4] Karl Scheele was a chemist in Sweden when he created the pigment in the 1770s. The pretty green hue he found was cheap to make and easy to use in all sorts of items, from clothing to wallpaper. And that’s really too bad, since Scheele’s green was made with arsenic. Oops.

The gorgeous green was used in ball gowns and curtains, pretty much any home fabric, and was so commonplace that it surrounded none other than Napoleon in his final days. In fact, the arsenic-infused pigment may have contributed to his death. Since Scheele’s green was a hot color in Victorian Britain and elsewhere in Europe, he certainly wasn’t the shade’s only victim.

Scheele’s green was used in fashion for about 100 years, a century of death, before another chemist decided to take a good look at the pigment and discovered its true nature.

Now that is some very disturbing history for ya. I would never think that the pigment used to dye fabric could cause so much trouble. Guess I learn something new every day, for sure!

Coffee out on th patio this morning!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Adolf Korn On Western Wednesday...!

In the days of the wild west, there were many cases of Pioneer children being kidnapped by Native Americans. Many of these children were eventually brought up as members of their captors' tribe, and did not want to be returned to the white man's way of life, as seen in the case of Adolf Korn.

Adolph Korn

After Adolph Korn was freed from his Comanche captors, his parents moved him far away from the tribe that had harassed them. Unlike the other children on this list, he had no way to get back to the people who had kidnapped him, so, rather than live with his own parents, he fled into the wilderness and spent his life alone in a cave.

Korn had been captured when was ten years old and sold to a childless Comanche woman. She took him in as his own, and although he was initially distraught over losing his family, he soon started to enjoy it. Living in a frontier home, he’d struggled to get any attention from his eternally busy parents. Now, though, he had an adoptive mother who focused every second of her energy on him. He felt more loved that he had ever felt before.

His parents managed to get him home three years later, but he never stopped being a Comanche. He would raid his neighbors’ farms and steal their cattle. Soon, he’d built up a long police record, and terrified they’d lose their boy to a different type of captivity, his parents moved far away to a remote ranch.

Korn, though, refused to become a white man. Instead, he left his parents’ home and moved into a cave, where he lived in solitude until the day he died. As a family member said, for the rest of his life, “Adolph kept a solitary vigil for the Comanche brothers whom he knew would never return.”

It saddens me to think that someone would chose a life of solitude rather than living with their birth family, but I reckon there is a lot more to the story than we will ever know.

Coffee out on the patio again, providing it doesn't start raining.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This Doesn't Seem Right...!

Sometimes I think that law enforcement agencies are a little careless with the rules regarding the property of others. This story from Listverse shows what I'm talking about.

Operation What Private Property?

Photo credit: James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle

Early one morning in 2012, Craig Patty got the weirdest phone call of his life. The owner of a small North Texas trucking company with only two trucks, Patty found himself being informed by a business partner that one of his drivers, hired only five weeks before, had been shot dead inside one of the trucks, which had been loaded up with with enough marijuana to, well, fill a truck. Stunned, Patty tried to figure out how he could have fallen in with drug dealers—but he hadn’t. He had fallen in with an undercover DEA agent, who had been using the truck to try to bust smugglers.

The operation had gone spectacularly awry when said smugglers attempted to hijack the truck and its shipment, killing the undercover operative in a hail of bullets in full view of a dozen federal agents and local police. The officers involved, not all of whom knew each other, even ended up shooting at each other in the confusion, with one Houston cop wounding a sheriff’s deputy.

A lawsuit brought by Patty against the DEA for more than $1.3 million was dismissed in 2015, finding that the DEA was not even liable for his bullet-riddled truck. The decision is currently being appealed.

Somehow this whole scenario just seems wrong to me. I realize that law officials have a job to do, but I do believe that they should take responsibility when things go wrong because of their mistake. Just my opinion...

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, May 21, 2018

How Did She Get There...?

This story from Listverse raises many questions yet to be answered. Even given the amount of time that has passed since the incident took place, to the best of my knowledge the question has never been answered as to how she managed to travel 30 miles to the point where she was found.

The Devil’s Den

Photo credit:

In 1946, Katherine Van Alst, an eight-year-old girl who was with her family at Devil’s Den State Park, disappeared from their camp and got lost. Six days later, she was found sitting in a cave approximately 48 kilometers (30 mi) away and 183 meters (600 ft) higher than the spot from which she had disappeared.

The thing that perplexed the search party was Katherine’s remarkable calmness when they found her. She was reported to have walked peacefully out of the cave and announced, “Here I am.”

How an eight-year-old girl wearing only a bathing suit managed to travel such a distance and show no signs of harm is still a mystery. Many suggest that something chased Katherine, which was why she strayed so far from the camp. While it likely wasn’t a lumbering, radioactive Bigfoot, it cannot be denied that it was indeed mysterious and that something sinister could be lurking in the Devil’s Den park.

The natural world around us is filled with many mysteries, many that we will never have an answer to. That is a sobering thought.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Very Close Call...!

Normally we could expect some type of warning if a foreign object came too close to the Earth for comfort. Guess what...the warning never came. Not only that, but this asteroid wasn't even seen until the last day!

A Surprisingly Close Asteroid

Photo credit:

Over a century ago, an asteroid exploded over Tunguska and razed 500,000 acres of trees. In April 2018, out of nowhere, another space rock hurled past Earth. Called 2018 GE3, it was only spotted a day before its surprise flyby.

It was so hair-raising because it could have been bigger than the Siberian asteroid of 1908. 2018 GE3 measured between 48–110 meters (157–360 ft) wide. At the extreme, it was almost four times bigger than its Tunguska cousin.

Buzzing Earth on April 15, the asteroid chose an uncomfortably close lane at about 192,000 kilometers (119,400 mi) from Earth. The Moon was nearly double that distance from the Earth.

Although an impact would not have caused global damage, 2018 GE3 is nothing to laugh at. It was up to six times larger than another rock that burst over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. That event caused property damage up to 93 kilometers (58 mi) away and injured over 1,000 people.

Most sobering was 2018 GE3’s stealthy approach that avoided detection until the last day.

I don't know about you, but I would prefer to have more than a few hours notice about something coming this close to us. With all that fancy equipment, both in space and on Earth, I feel the PTB should be able to handle that. I found this article over on Listverse.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

George Orwell WAS "Big Brother"...!

I found a surprising bit of information over on Listverse that I figured you might like. It caught me totally off guard when I read it.

George Orwell Sold His Friends Out To The Secret Service

Photo credit: Branch of the National Union of Journalists

The man who warned us about a grim future in which spies and secret police drag people away for having dangerous thoughts wasn’t exactly as staunch of a freedom-lover as he might seem. In real life, he was more of a part of Big Brother than he was against it.

Orwell kept a secret list of people he’d met who he thought were secret communist sympathizers. Anyone he met who seemed a little too favorable to the idea of social welfare got their name jotted down on Orwell’s blacklist. And when he had enough names, he sent to the British Secret Service with a little note telling them: Never trust these people.

Orson Welles, Katherine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and dozens of other major names showed up on Orwell’s list. As it turns out, Orwell might not have liked communism, but he wasn’t above a little thought-policing.

Well, I don't know what to think about this information. Maybe the reason his vision of Big Brother was so vivid because he actually was living it, ya think?

Coffee inside the kitchen this morning. I had the AC fixed, so it's comfortable.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dangerous Obsession...!

We have all seen cases where an obsession has caused terrible and sometimes deadly results.

Although we often don't understand what led to the obsession, this particular case is one that we know the cause.

An Obsession Turned Dangerous

Photo credit: Harris & Ewing

Stalkers and deranged fans are another concern that celebrities have to deal with. John Lennon, Selena, and Dimebag Darrell are just a few entertainers who were killed by people obsessed with them. Many others were put in physical danger. And, as it turns out, this happened in the Golden Age of Hollywood as well.

We go back to Shirley Temple, who had a very close call when she was just ten years old. It was 1939, and Shirley was performing Silent Night on a live radio show when a woman tried to assassinate her. Fortunately, the would-be assassin was subdued in time.
Tragically, the woman’s daughter had passed away on the same day (allegedly the same hour) that Shirley Temple was born. Since then, she became obsessed with the idea that her daughter’s soul was trapped in the child star’s body and that she would be setting it free by killing the actress.

As far as Temple was concerned, she sympathized with her would-be killer. In her autobiography, she said that “the tale seemed understandable to me.”

We too often think that mental illness can affect the young and old, rich or poor, famous and not-so-famous equally. I feel that we often don't do enough, but what do I know?

Coffee inside today. Just too hot do do the patio thing.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

It Is Your Choice...!

Now this is something I didn't know, but I figured I should share it with you.

You might find this handy when trying to convince someone to do something they don't want to do...who knows?

When you want someone to agree to your request, using the phrase ‘but you are free to refuse’ can double your chances. While studies show it works equally well no matter the type of request, how or why it works remains unclear – but there are theories that it puts people at ease, because it shows respect and makes them feel like their freedom to say no isn’t being violated.

Interesting how the human mind works, isn't it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning...but feel free to refuse if you wish.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dick Fellows For Western Wednesday...!

Ever hear of an outlaw that was not good with horses? Meet Dick Fellows...not a good horseman or robber, it would seem.


Outlaw Dick Fellows is released

Dick Fellows, an inept horseman but persistent outlaw, becomes a free man after spending five years in the San Quentin prison.

Like many western bandits, Fellows drifted into life of crime when his efforts to make an honest living failed or provided only a poor income. Born George Lyttle in Kentucky in 1846, he came from an upstanding family and planned to become a lawyer. The outbreak of the Civil War put his ambitions on hold, though. While still in his teens, he fought with the Confederate Army until he was captured in 1863 and spent the rest of the war in a northern prison camp. After his release, he returned home and attempted to obtain a license to practice law, but his fondness for hard drinking apparently interfered.

With few opportunities available to him in Kentucky, Fellows headed West. He traveled to California in 1867, but failed to prosper there either. Low on funds, he began robbing stagecoaches near Los Angeles and adopted the alias Dick Fellows. Fellows found that robbing stages provided a reasonably good income, but he fled when lawmen began to close in on him. In an effort to go straight, he and a partner bought 600 hogs, but a fire burned the operation to the ground.

Fellows again turned to robbing stages, concocting a plan to hold up a coach carrying Wells Fargo’s chief detective, James B. Hume. A man of such importance, Fellows reasoned, must be escorting a major shipment of gold or money. In fact, Fellows was right–the coach was carrying $240,000. However, he missed his chance to rob the stage when the horse he had stolen threw him, knocking him cold for several hours. Refusing to walk away with nothing, Fellows stole a second horse and held up a different stage. He succeeded in taking the heavy treasure box, but only then realized he had forgotten to bring the tools he needed to break it open. When he tried to lift the box up on his horse’s saddle, he startled his mount and it, too, raced off, leaving him alone in the wilds with night falling.

Fellows had little choice but to lug the heavy box by hand. In the darkness, he fell over a high bluff, knocking himself unconscious for the second time that day. When he came to, he discovered that his left leg was broken and the treasure box had crushed his left foot. He managed to limp to a nearby construction camp, where he fashioned a crude pair of crutches and used a stolen axe to break open the box. The $1800 he found inside was trivial compared to the $240,000 he had missed, but it was better than nothing.

Unfortunately, the luckless Fellows never had a chance to spend his ill-gotten gains. The Wells Fargo detectives soon tracked him down, and he was sentenced to eight years in the San Quentin prison. Pardoned and released on this day in 1881, Fellows made yet another stab at earning an honest living, working briefly for a newspaper and even teaching Spanish for a time. Again, the money was inadequate to Fellow’s tastes, and he returned to robbing stages. By the time he was recaptured in February 1882, Fellows had become a celebrity. While in jail in San Jose, he received more than 700 visitors.

Sentenced to life in Folsom Prison, Fellows devoted part of his time there to teaching a course in moral philosophy to his fellow inmates. Pardoned in 1908 at the age of 62, he returned to his home in Kentucky and faded from the historical record. It is tempting to lampoon Fellows for his inept horsemanship and astonishingly bad luck, but as one biographer noted, “For daring, he is the equal of any outlaws with whom I ever had dealings.”

Sounds to me like Fellows wasn't the sharpest tool in the toolbox, ya know? Still, he seemed to be popular enough.

Coffee out on the patio where the temps are going to be about 97.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The First Known Hacker...!

When we think of the term "hacker", most of us imagine a shadowy computer nerd type...or at least I do.

Surprisingly, the first known "hacker" showed up a very long time ago. This story from Listverse will tell you a little history of the man and of his famous hack.

Nevil Maskelyne Hacked A Wireless Telegraph Demonstration: 1903

Photo credit: Perpetual Efforts in Futility

The second it became physically possible to hack into something, somebody did it. That somebody’s name was Nevil Maskleyne, history’s first hacker, and he was around a lot earlier than you might expect. He hacked into a live telegraph demonstration in 1903.

Maskleyne didn’t even wait for wireless telegraphs to go on the market; he hacked into one of the first demonstrations. Its creator, Guglielmo Marconi, was putting on a presentation to show how it worked. Marconi wanted to prove to the public that his wireless telegraphs were secure and that anything they sent would be completely private.

As the presentation began, though, his telegraph started tapping out a strange message. First, it just beeped out the word “Rats” over and over again. Then it started punching out a limerick. “There was a young fellow of Italy,” it said, poking fun at Marconi, “who diddled the public quite prettily.”

Marconi was publicly humiliated. He didn’t have to wait long, though, to find out who was behind it. Maskleyne wrote papers bragging about what he’d done. He’d done it, he insisted, for the public good. They needed to know that if they were going to start sending messages without wires, their information wouldn’t stay private.

Well, now we know a bit more about the man and the door he opened to the rest of his kind. Funny how things like this always seem to get started as "for the public good", isn't it?

Coffee out on the patio this mornng.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A Very OLD Mystery...!

From our earliest history, we seem to have been fighting and killing one another almost without pause.

To prove my point, here is a mystery from Listverse that tells of deadly attack from 1,500 years ago. I guess the hunter/gatherers in this case didn't fair that well.

Prodigal Sons
A.D. 500

In 1964, a farmer discovered the remains of three men in a pit grave on the flood pain of Sacramento River. They had died about 1,500 years ago, and all showed signs of extreme physical trauma. One victim had seven arrows embedded in his ribs. Obsidian blades were still lodged in the spines of the other two. This was not a proper burial. Their bodies were splayed out chaotically. There were no grave goods. Experts believe that 560 years ago, central California was a war zone marked by violent territorial battles. Fractured skulls, broken bones, and trophies made of human remains fill the archaeological record from this period.

Isotope analysis of their teeth revealed that the prodigal sons were born and raised locally, but had spent most of their adult life elsewhere—north of the Sacramento River, suggesting that hunter-gatherers had been even more mobile than previously thought. Why had the prodigal sons returned home? And who was waiting for them?

Appears to me that war is just part of the human make-up...and that's pretty sad.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have to tell ya, however, it's likely to start getting hot earlier and earlier.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

No Post Today...!

I'm taking the day off. Too lazy to post...OK?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Special Saturday...!

Here is a little something special for this Saturday. A test specially made for older folks! Have fun!

Coffee out on the patio again today...OK?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Geckos For Freaky Friday...!

Here is a good question for ya. How can a Gecko walk up a wall so easily? Actually this explanation is the best that I could find. The folks over at Listverse solved this mystery for me.

Geckos And Power Adhesive

Admit it: At some point in your life, you’ve been a bit jealous that geckos can effortlessly walk up walls. The mystery of the wall-climbing lizard has puzzled observers for millennia. It was finally solved in 2002, when researchers discovered millions of tiny hairs on the gecko’s feet called setae. The setae help to produce weak, short-range electrostatic forces called van der Waal’s forces.

While there have been many proposed applications for this feat of nature, one in particular has been successful in its own right: a product called Geckskin. Three enterprising graduates from the University of Massachusetts Amherst created this reusable super adhesive inspired by the mechanics of gecko feet. The sticky material can hold up to 317 kilograms (700 lb) on a smooth wall. Since its debut, Geckskin has won accolades from organizations and news outlets including CNN, Bloomberg, and The Guardian (the last of which referred to it as “flypaper for elephants”).

Although I have no idea what I would use it for, I would love to have some of this "Geckskin" handy. Surely I could find some use for it, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Summer is starting to set in.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Why Is It Called That...?

Ever wonder about the reason some planets are named what they are? Well, here is a bit of planetary history that might help just a tad. From the folks over at Did You Know, here is the story.

Pluto was named by an 11-year-old British girl. One day, Venetia Burney was having breakfast with her grandpa, who was reading about the new planet and wondering what it would be called. She had read about Greek and Roman legends, so she asked him, “Why not call it Pluto?” Grandpa later passed on her suggestion to an astronomer at Oxford University, and the rest is history.

Poor old Pluto...just can't seem to catch a break, no matter what.

Coffee out on the you didn't know.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mari Sandoz On Western Wednesday...!

At a time when most writings about the old West treated the Indians as savages, Sandoz strongly defended them in her writings.

Western writer Mari Sandoz is born

Mari Sandoz, the author of several histories that demonstrated sympathy for Indians that was unusual for the time, is born in Sheridan County, Nebraska.

Sandoz had a difficult childhood on a Nebraska homestead. Her father, Jules, was a bitter, tyrannical man, who took out the frustrations of homesteading on his wife and children. Unusually bright and studious, Sandoz eventually escaped to the University of Nebraska, which she attended irregularly from 1922 to 1930. She never earned her degree–though the school awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1950–but found that she enjoyed the life of the scholar. After working as a schoolteacher for a time, she gradually devoted herself to historical research and freelance writing.

Sandoz authored a number of novels, but today she is remembered for her meticulously researched non-fiction histories. Her 1935 biography of her father, Old Jules, is a bittersweet and moving history of homesteading on the Great Plains. Even more valuable, though, were Sandoz’s histories of the Plains Indians. In 1949, she published Crazy Horse, a biography of the great Sioux warrior who participated in the 1876 defeat of George Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. For decades after Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse was usually portrayed as a bloodthirsty savage who helped murder a great American hero. Sandoz’s biography revealed a noble and admirable man dedicated to his people and to resisting white theft of their traditional lands.

Sandoz’s 1953 book, Cheyenne Autumn, was equally unusual for its many appealing and sympathetic portraits of Indians. Painstakingly researched, the book remains valuable to this day for its thorough treatment of Indian history and folkways. Cheyenne Autumn is a moving condemnation of the brutal war waged by the U.S. to deprive the Cheyenne of their lands and traditional ways. The book was also the inspiration behind John Ford’s 1964 movie of the same name. Cheyenne Autumn was one of the first Westerns to abandon the old racist stereotypes of the Indian as a vicious savage and emphasize the tragedy of the Indian experience.

Strong willed, ambitious, and dedicated to providing an accurate history, Sandoz’s work marked the beginning of a movement that greatly revised how Americans viewed the history of western settlement. The Indians were not the villains in this great historical drama, Sandoz suggested, but the victims. Mari Sandoz died in 1966, just as many Americans were starting to embrace her more compassionate view of the Native American.

What I found most interesting about Mari was how dedicated she was about her research and strived to tell the factual truth at a time when it was not at all considered wise.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Two-Tone Monument...!

I probably would have never guessed that the Washington Monument was two different colors until I saw this picture.

I guess that once you read the explanation for the difference, it slowly makes a little sense. Still, once you see can't be unseen.

Washington Monument Marble Stripe

Look closely and you’ll notice that the color changes a third of the way up the tower. 

Construction on the Washington Monument began in 1848 with funding coming entirely from private donations. But within six years the eponymous Washington Monument Society had burned through its budget, and work on the obelisk ground to a halt. The 152-foot tall marble stub was capped with a wooden roof, and the project sat dormant for years as a source of national embarrassment.

At the time, the federal government had more pressing business to attend to than memorial building—namely fighting the Civil War and then reconstructing the South. The project finally resumed 20 years later in 1878, and the Army Corps of Engineers took over construction of the monument. The only problem was that the original marble quarry, Thomas Symington’s in Baltimore, was no longer in operation.

The engineers did their best to find a match, signing a contract with a nearby quarry owned by Hugh Sission and completing the monument in 1884. The Army Corps of Engineers official history of the project notes that by 1900, high levels of interior condensation “began penetrating the joints of the outer walls, causing the [new] marble ashler to discolor.” The effect has grown more dramatic over the years, and today the two sections are quite apparent. While some see the color disconnect as an architectural flaw, others view the marble stripe as an ugly but interesting wrinkle in the Washington Monument’s history.

It's kinda typical of the way things go in D.C., I guess. We start so many projects that we don't have the funds available to finish. I reckon the way governments like ours can blow through so much money on some things, we shouldn't be surprised.

Coffee out on the patio where it's gonna be hot!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mad Barber Mystery..!

Isn't it strange how we always seem to assign some crazy names to people that are a mystery?

Sometimes the names seem to fit and sometimes they don't. This is one case where I do believe the name fits all too well.

The Phantom Barber

Photo Credit: Ronny Robinson / Flickr (CC)

This incredibly strange rash of crimes occurred over two months in 1942 in the small town of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Someone was creeping into people’s homes and cutting off locks of hair from the sleeping residents.

The Phantom Barber never hurt or killed his victims and didn’t steal anything except the hair. Regardless, and understandably, citizens were on edge. Eventually, a man named William Dolan was arrested. He was convicted for attempted murder in another case, but never for the Phantom Barber’s crimes—which a lie detector test cleared him of in 1951. Today, it’s unclear if Dolan committed any of the crimes, let alone the Phantom Barber's. The shearing sneak could still be out there.

The idea of someone coming into my house undetected and taking just a lock of hair from anyone there is beyond creepy to me. Guess I need to get a dog!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where it's reaching the low 90s.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Rubber Ducky On The Loose...!

Do you ever get the feeling that once in a while Karma is waiting to prank us? Here is a story that might just make you a believer.

The Duck Rampage

Photo credit:

The people of Des Moines, Iowa, were besieged last Tuesday evening by a giant inflatable rubber ducky roaming the city streets. Residents watched in “horror” as the runaway duck mildly inconvenienced motorists on Southeast Sixth Street.

The inflatable animal named Quacky was owned by Youth Emergency Shelter and Services (YESS). He was on display in the city to promote the organization’s upcoming 11th annual Duck Derby—a race in which 37,000 rubber ducks will be released into the lake to raise funds for kids in crisis.

Due to strong winds, Quacky became untethered and began rolling down the street. He made it almost two blocks before coming to a stop.[5] YESS staff members came to retrieve him soon after. The organization’s CEO, Stephen Quirk, later reported that Quacky was back home in his nest, safe and undamaged. At this moment, police don’t suspect “fowl play.”

I can only imagine what an unexpected addition to the commuter traffic this was. Might make you consider passing on that second beer, right?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. No rubber ducks that I can see.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Old Tip's Memorial...!

Sometimes the loyalty shown by an animal is beyond comprehension by most of us. That is the case of Tip, the sheepdog.

Here is the story from the folks over at Atlas Obscura.

Memorial to Tip the Faithful Sheepdog
The heroic tale of a remarkable pup who refused to leave her master's side, no matter what.

The memorial alone can’t quite convey the whole story: “In commemoration of the devotion of Tip. The sheepdog which stayed by the body of her dead master Mr. Joseph Tagg on the Howden Moors for fifteen weeks from 12th December 1953 to 27th March 1954.”

The simple stone marker sits just north of the west tower of the historic Derwent Reservoir Dam, a testament to canine loyalty and sheepdog grit.

Tip, a mature 11 years old at the time, was raised by the veteran trainer Tagg, a well-known breeder that locals called “Old Joe.” At 86, he was getting on in years too, but on the 12th of December in 1953 off they went to look after a flock in the Upper Derwent Valley. When they hadn’t returned by the next morning, a rescue team set out to search for the pair.

Sadly, no luck. As the weeks wore on hundreds of hikers joined the search, but with fairly brutal conditions that winter, the going was tough. It wasn’t until the 27th of March—105 days later—that a couple of workers on the moors noticed what they thought was an old coat wedged in a ditch. As they got closer they saw it was Tip, guarding the body of her beloved master after 15 weeks alone in the elements. She was in bad shape, but her instincts kept her to task no matter what.

Tip made it back to be honored with the Bronze Medal of the Canine Defence League, and she lived out her last months in comfort. She was laid to rest on Derwent Edge, looking down on the quiet reservoir, not too far from those unforgiving moors.

I figure that I would gladly take a loyal sheepdog as my companion if it were my time to go. It beats going alone, I would think.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Justice In Action...!

I found this article at Listverse just in time for freaky Friday's post. I figured this one certainly qualified.

Using The Toilet

If your diet is less than ideal, it might already feel like every trip to the commode leaves you with injuries. But even your worst struggle with the porcelain throne pales in comparison to what happened to Michael Anderson Godwin in 1989.

An inmate in South Carolina, Godwin was multitasking by taking care of business and fiddling with the wires on earphones connected to his cell’s television set. As he sat on the metal throne, he bit into the wire, which sent a strong current through his body and electrocuted him to death.

Ironically, the convicted murderer had won an appeal to reduce his sentence from death to life without parole.

I'm thinking that just maybe a higher power had a hand in making things turn out in the way they did. Could be wrong, but the again I could be right!

Coffee out on the patio again today. Temps are getting close to the 90 mark.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Banana Bread Story...!

As you may know, I like all kinds of food. That includes nanana bread and cookies, for sure!

While searching the internet for an interesting subject for today's post, I ran across this story on Bored Panda. It is a good one, at least to me.

So my mom told me a story…

Growing up, my mom and her siblings would make banana bread every week.

Literally every week since the first one of them learned how to make it, they started making banana bread- lo and behold though, they liked it with walnuts and they all knew their dad hated walnuts.

So they made a special loaf of banana bread just for him every week, just for him to eat. Nobody else was allowed to eat it because that was his banana bread, baked especially for him.

So anyways, they did this once a week from middle school up until every last one of them moved out of the house (and considering there was at least 10 years difference from the oldest to the youngest, this was quite some time). So that’s like… 16 years of weekly banana bread. And he always finished it. He, without fail, ate the whole loaf of bread by himself.

That’s approximately 835 loaves of banana bread.

Now Skip ahead a few years…

and they’re all visiting and baking banana bread and they start making a dad’s bread and their mom comes in, “I don’t think he can handle eating one more slice of banana bread!”

“What are you talking about? He loves banana bread! He had it all the time!”

This is when my grandma, their mom, broke the news that my grandfather loathed banana bread with every fiber of his being. He just adored that his kids loved him enough to make him a special loaf of banana bread every week (and he didn’t have the heart to tell them that he couldn’t stand banana bread) and he was incredibly, utterly upset that my grandma told the kids his big secret.

My grandfather was a loving, patient, gentle man who absolutely hated banana bread but loved his kids so much more and I just wanted to share that with you guys. I think this story is just about the perfect example of the kind of person he was.

This story is an example of the steps that grandparents and parents will go in order to show their love, especially to their children.

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Calamity Jane On Western Wednesday...!

Here is a little history about someone we probably all have heard about...Calamity Jane. Remember her?

She was another one of those folks that the truth and the myth were kinda mixed up. Hard to tell where one left off and the other took over. Well, maybe this will help a little in that regard.

Calamity Jane is born

On this day, (April 1, 1852) the adventurer and performer Calamity Jane is born near Princeton, Missouri.

The myths and fabrications concerning the life of Calamity Jane are so numerous it is difficult to discover her true story. Legend has it that at various times Jane worked as a dishwasher at Fort Bridger, a laborer on the Union Pacific, a scout for General Custer, and a teamster. Some claim that Jane’s parents died when she was only eight years old and the event led to her nickname “Calamity,” but serious historians have never found any solid evidence for any of these legends.

What reliable records do exist indicate that she was born Martha Jane Canary and spent the first 13 years of her life in rural Missouri. In 1865, she and her family moved west to the booming gold rush town of Virginia City, Montana. There she grew into a tall and powerfully built young woman who liked to wear men’s clothing and spend her time in the company of men. Like many young frontier women, Jane learned to ride and shoot at an early age, and she apparently bridled at the narrow limits placed on women in her era.

By the early 1870s, Jane appears to have been out on her own. She was able to find occasional work in Virginia City as a laundress, one of the few occupations that were open to women at the time. In 1875, she joined a scientific expedition into the Black Hills of South Dakota, probably working as a laundress and camp follower rather than the teamster of legend. Still, Jane’s participation in the expedition put her in the Black Hills during the height of the subsequent gold rush to the region from 1876 to 1880. She eventually settled in the rugged boomtown of Deadwood, South Dakota.

Given to hard drinking and carousing, she attracted public attention with stunts like riding a bull down the main street of Rapid City. By the 1890s, many Americans were already fascinated with the rapidly fading days of the Wild West, and a wild woman like Jane was extremely interesting. Jane catered to this fascination with boasts of her supposed exploits, claiming to have been a uniformed army scout for General Custer, for example, though there was no evidence this was true. Ultimately, Jane was a performer, providing the public with the appropriately grand and mythic image of the West.

By 1896, Jane’s hard living had begun to take a toll, and she was suffering from the debilitating effects of severe alcoholism. Nonetheless, she accepted an offer to appear on the stage in Minneapolis in her self-created persona of Calamity Jane. In 1901, she was even invited to the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Wherever she went, Jane brought along copies of her hopelessly inaccurate autobiography, which she sold to credulous fans for a few pennies.

One of the most persistent legends has been that Jane was married to the famous gunslinger and lawman Wild Bill Hickok, and that she may have given birth to his child. Yet again, biographers have been unable to establish any connection between Jane and Hickok. There is some evidence Jane may have given birth to a daughter, but if the child existed at all, its paternity was uncertain. Mostly likely, Jane simply fabricated the affair with Hickok, although she eventually may have come to believe that this-and other stories about her life–were actually true.

Two years before she died, she seems to have finally have tired of living the self-created persona of Calamity Jane. Found sick and drunk in an African-American bordello in Horr, Montana, she grumbled an uncharacteristic wish that the world would “leave me alone and let me go to hell my own route.” She died at the age of 51 on August 1, 1903, in Terry, South Dakota.

Like many well known folks the fame and all that goes with it finally caught up to her and wore her down. That's a shame really, but it happens to many in the public eye more often than not...even today.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Thinking About The Past...!

Today I decided to see just how long I've been blogging. Turns out I've been doing this a lot longer than I thought.

My first post was way back on 11/17/2007...that's a long time ago. Total post during that time comes to 3802, counting today. Even when I don't have a real post, I try and let folks know that there won't be a post coming or that I'm taking the day off. I don't want anyone to worry if I miss a day or to wonder if I'm sick, ya know? I figure that as long as I put something on here folks will know all is good.

We have lost a few good friends during that time and that's always sad. I think of all my friends that are on the blogs with me as my second family. Most I have never met face to face, but I feel as though I know each and everyone of them like they lived right next door.

Anyway, I wanted to take this little trip down memory lane this morning. I appreciate all of the people that check up on me daily, and I hope we can spend many more mornings out on the patio together with a fresh, hot cup of coffee.

Oh, and watch out for the little kitties...won't ya!