Saturday, June 30, 2018

Another Maritime Mystery...!

I don't know about you, but I never get tired of hearing all the haunting tales of maritime mysteries. Here is one that isn't really all that old.

The High Aim 6

The High Aim 6 was a Chinese ship that left the port of Taiwan back in October 2002. It was located in January 2003 near Australia, without any of its crew onboard. For a while, the mystery was why it was abandoned in the first place; it was stocked with food, was in good condition, and wasn’t smuggling immigrants.

The High Aim 6 made news again when a single remaining crew member was located. It was only then that it got some sort of story: The rest of the crew had murdered the ship’s captain and engineer then left to go back to their homeland. The reasons behind the murders or the locations of the criminals are both unknown.

At least we have a small part of the story, but I'm sure that there is much more to be told.

Coffee inside the kitchen this morning. A major dust storm all the way from Africa is giving us a fit here in Houston.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Crazy "Insanity Law"...!

Believe it or not, there was a time when women could be locked up as crazy just on the say so of their husbands or male family members. According to this article on Listverse, it was not that difficult.

Insanity Laws

Throughout much of the nineteenth century, a husband, father, or other male authority figure could—and did—have a woman declared insane as easily as getting two doctors to sign the certificate, and they didn’t even have to see the patient. A man’s testimony was enough to get a female relative locked up in secret indefinitely. Some women suffered from “puerperal insanity,” or post partem depression and other mental illnesses, but others were imprisoned in an asylum for no greater cause than disagreement with established norms (such as declaring women should get the vote), a medical condition like epilepsy, the ever popular hysteria, or infidelity. Treatments were crude at best, cruel at worst. Doctors considered female patients in danger of developing “erotomania” or hypersexuality, and took steps accordingly.

Now I am surprised that the PTB haven't tried to come up with a modern version of this series of laws, considering just how badly the present administration's treatment of the females appears to be. I may be wrong, but equality in both wages and job opportunities still seems to have a long way to go! Just my opinion, of course.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Let's see if we can beat the heat.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Don't Share Netflix In Tennessee...!

Sometimes you have to wonder just how so many stupid laws were ever passed to begin with. Here is one that might take you off guard regarding Netflix.

Sharing Your Netflix Password
Tennessee, US

Tennessee has a law forbidding residents from sharing their Netflix passwords with anyone. The law does not apply only to Netflix but to every entertainment site that requires subscription. The law is somewhat ironic, since Netflix allows users to share their passwords with up to four people.

The law is not a new one. It is actually an update of an already existing law to prevent cable TV subscription theft. Unsurprisingly, the update was backed by the Recording Industry Association of America, which was concerned with people illegally sharing music.

While the law is targeted at hackers who sell Netflix login details and subscribers who send their logins to too many people, legislators agree that innocent users can be arrested for breaking the law. Offenders who used up $500 worth of the service could be slammed with a $2,500 fine and a year of imprisonment, while offenders who go above $500 will get more serious penalties.

Guess I'm lucky to not live in Tennessee, even though I don't have anyone to share my password with. Don't want to break the law, ya know.

Coffee inside one more time today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Charley Parkhurst For Western Wedneday...

From time to time, women in the Old West had to disguise themselves as men to get along in the workforce. That was the case of Charley.

Charley Parkhurst was known as one of the greatest stagecoach drivers of the Old West. Parkhurst was short but strong, and even after retiring from driving, could outwork men half her age as a lumberjack. But after Parkhurst died, those who had known "him" for years were shocked to discover Parkhurst was a woman! Charlotte Darkey Parkhurst was born in New Hampshire in 1812. Dressed as a boy, Parkhurst worked in stables and learned the craft of a driver. She built a reputation as a skilled driver, then fled to Georgia, possibly over the threat of exposure. She moved west to California in 1851, where she again built a reputation as a skilled and talented driver. At least once her secret was discovered, but those who knew kept it confidential to preserve her dignity. After her death in 1879, doctors not only discovered Parkhurst's sex, but announced that she had at sometime in her life given birth! Nothing is known of the child. Parkhurst had also voted, which would have been illegal if her true sex was known.

Guess her disguise was pretty good to go that long without revealing her true gender.

Coffee in the kitchen again today...OK?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Shameful Record Of Deaths...!

In the next story, I am at a loss as to why this woman wasn't charged with multiple counts of murder.

Perhaps the worst thing of all was the efforts to maintain a cover-up. Shameful...absolutely shameful!

A Shocking Report Revealed Mass Deaths At An English Hospital

Photo credit: The Independent

Dr. Jane Barton may soon be infamous. This week, a shocking report into patient care at Gosport War Memorial Hospital placed her firmly at the heart of a scandal that unfolded between 1988 and 2000. Set up in 2014 by the UK government, the official Gosport inquiry claimed this week that Dr. Barton routinely prescribed dangerously powerful opioids that led to the deaths of between 456 and 650 people.

There is no suggestion that Barton was a serial killer. However, there is plenty of suggestion that she ran a horrifically incompetent regime on her ward. She pressured patients to take unnecessary drugs to knock them out and lighten her workload and forced nurses to routinely give patients potentially lethal doses of painkillers without medical justification.

Perhaps even worse is the evidence the inquiry found of a cover-up, suggesting the NHS and local police closed ranks to protect Dr. Barton. The families of the dead are now demanding that she be prosecuted. For her part, Dr. Barton has blamed the deaths on her being overworked.

This article makes me feel sick to my stomach, to say the least. Thanks to Listverse for this horrifying story.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Still too hot out...

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Gurning Man For Monday Mystery...!

It's been a while since we had a good mystery on here, so let's change that this morning.

When something like this happens to one person, it can be passed off to dreaming or seeing things oreven ma vivid imagination. However, if more than a single sighting of something like the Gurning Man is noted, there must be more to the story.

The Gurning Man

Photo credit:

In the 1970s, several women in Glasgow, Scotland, reported a strange and terrifying phenomenon. A man who appeared to be in his fifties had started harassing them in a weird way.

One woman reported seeing the man sitting at the end of her bed when she woke up around midnight one evening. The man, later dubbed the “Gurning Man,” grinned at her while rubbing his hands up and down his chest. Yelling for her husband to wake up, the woman was astonished to find the man had disappeared without a trace.

Two teen girls also had a run-in with the Gurning Man one night as they were walking home. They both reported seeing an extremely skinny, bald man dressed in what looked like a leotard standing underneath a streetlight. As the girls passed him, he gave them a weird grin but didn’t speak. When they looked back, he was gone.

Seventeen complaints were filed between 1976 and 1979, six of which stated that the Gurning Man was inside the complainant’s home. Most of the reports also stated that the man seemed to be extremely agitated. To this day, no one knows who he was or why he behaved so strangely.

I picked up this story from the folks at Listverse, so any inaccuracies can be reported to them...OK?

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

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Let's Do A Few 'Toons Today...!

It's been a while since we had any cartoons on, so let's do that this morning...OK?

And one more...

Well, there ya go, folks. Once again we have some 'toons on Sunday.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

An Unknown Hero...!

Not many of us can name the man that was responsible for creating the vaccine for the mumps, plus many more.

His name was Maurice Hilleman, and he did discover and create the vaccines for a whole slew of diseases.You would think we would at the very least know his name, right? Not so, I'm afraid...

Maurice Hilleman

Photo credit: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp

Not all achievements require bravery and self-sacrifice. Take Maurice Hilleman, for example. Maurice found other ways to change the world; he created a number of vaccines.

He developed the mumps vaccine after his daughter contracted the illness in 1963. He took a swab of the back of her throat, drove to his laboratory in the middle of the night, and figured out a way to turn that into the vaccine that we use today. And he didn’t stop there.

In total, Maurice Hilleman has single-handedly developed more than 40 different vaccines, including eight commonly given to children in order to prevent measles, mumps, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia, and Haemophilus influenzae. His work has probably saved millions of lives and prevented serious complications as a result of the diseases. The MMR vaccine alone has been given to over a billion children around the world.

And all because his daughter got the mumps.

Sounds like a man with a passion for helping others, doesn't it?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The rain is gone, so it's hot.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sleep Deprivation Is Scary Bad...!

Here i8s an eye opening article from The Telegraph in Great Britain you might want to take a look at. It might surprise you as much as it did me!

Sleep deprivation can cause brain to start 'eating' itself

26 MAY 2017 • 2:25PM

A lack of sleep can cause parts of the brain's synapses to be 'eaten' by other brain cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

Astrocytes are a cell in the brain that clean out worn-out cells and debris. Scientists studying the brains of mice found these cells were more active when the animals had been deprived of sleep, breaking down more of the brain's connections.

“We show for the first time that portions of synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss,” research leader Michele Bellesi told New Scientist.

However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as most of the synapses affected were larger and more mature: “They are like old pieces of furniture, and so probably need more attention and cleaning,” said Bellesi.

A more worrying finding was that 'microglial' brain cells, which seek out damaged cells and debris, were also more active in brain experiencing chronic sleep deprivation.

“We already know that sustained microglial activation has been observed in Alzheimer’s and other forms of neurodegeneration,” Bellesi said.

Previous research has found that chronic sleep deprivation increases so-called plaques in the brain thought to be a main cause of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

All I know is that I go to sleep when I'm sleepy and wake up when I want. If my brain is "eating itself", then I'm pretty sure that it's hungry as hell right about now, considering there wasn't much of a snack left at my age!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The rain is supposedly gone for a while.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wonder What Happened To It...?

As far back as I can remember, we have been dreaming about flying cars. I know I was, for sure!

It seems that as far back as the 1940s, folks were working on and building their own version of a flying car. Here is the story from Listverse.

Jess Dixon’s Flying Auto

This flying car is almost a legend, and besides this photo and a brief mention of the vehicle in a newspaper clipping from Andalusia, Alabama, it might as well have not existed at all. According to the story, the photo above is of Jess Dixon; it was supposedly taken sometime around 1940. Although it’s considered a flying car by aviation history buffs, the machine is actually closer to a “roadable helicopter,” due to the two overhead blades spinning in opposite directions. In other words, it’s a gyrocopter that can also roll.

The Flying Auto was powered by a small forty-horsepower engine, and foot pedals controlled the tail vane on the back, allowing Mr. Dixon to turn in mid-air. It was also supposed to be able to reach speeds of up to one hundred miles per hour (160 kph), and was able to fly forwards, backwards, sideways, and hover. Not bad for a flying car that was never heard from again.

The thing that struck me right off the bat was the total lack of any kind of head helmet at all! Not a wise move, I'm thinking.

Coffee in the kitchen once more today!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Bravery Of Sitting Bull...!

We have all heard the many stories that involve Sitting Bull, I'm sure. This one, from talks of his bravery during a battle.

Sitting Bull was credited with several legendary acts of bravery.

Sitting Bull was renowned for his skill in close quarters fighting and collected several red feathers representing wounds sustained in battle. As word of his exploits spread, his fellow warriors took to yelling, “Sitting Bull, I am he!” to intimidate their enemies during combat. The most stunning display of his courage came in 1872, when the Sioux clashed with the U.S. Army during a campaign to block construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. As a symbol of his contempt for the soldiers, the middle-aged chief strolled out into the open and took a seat in front of their lines. Inviting several others to join him, he proceeded to have a long, leisurely smoke from his tobacco pipe, all the while ignoring the hail of bullets whizzing by his head. Upon finishing his pipe, Siting Bull carefully cleaned it and then walked off, still seemingly oblivious to the gunfire around him. His nephew White Bull would later call the act of defiance “the bravest deed possible.”

I'm not sure if this speaks to his bravery or to his lack of common sense. Certainly was more brave than I would have been.

Coffee in the kitchen once again this morning!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

History Of The Tin Can...!

To most of us , the thought about the origin of the tin can is non-existent. However, think how bear our pantry would be if we didn't have canned goods.

The tin can was first used much further back than most of us would have ever thought. Regardless of when it was invented, I can't imagine life without canned goods today.

Peter Durand
Tin Can

Photo credit: BBC

Peter Durand received the first patent for the tin can. However, Nicholas Appert from France was the first person to preserve food by packing it in glass jars. He would then cook the food for a few hours until it was sterilized.

Durand applied the same method with his tin can. He placed food in a container and sealed it. Next, he placed the container in cold water and gradually brought it to a boil. Finally, he opened the lid slightly and then sealed it again.

He originally got the idea from Philippe de Girard, also from France. Girard communicated his idea to Durand and used him as an agent to help patent it. However, Durand’s name was the only one visible on the patent, which was granted by King George III in 1810.

I got this surprising story from Listverse, so if there is a problem with it...blame them. I never knew it was patented that long ago.

Coffee out on the patio if it's dry enough, in the kitchen if it's not.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Where Did They Go...?

When a single person goes missing, it really doesn't create much of a newsworthy story. When a whole village disappears at the same time, then it draws a lot of notice...sometimes world-wide.

The Anjikuni Lake Incident

Photo credit: Nicolas Perrault II

While seeking somewhere to rest for the night in November 1930, fur trapper Joe Labelle came across an Inuit settlement near Anjikuni Lake in Nunavut, Canada. Although a fire was burning beneath a pot with scorched food inside, there was no trace of the 30-strong community.

Furthermore, each hut still contained each resident’s personal possessions. The community’s food and fish supplies were full and untouched. As unlikely as it was that the entire village had just up and left at a moment’s notice, it was even more unlikely they would do so without taking their clothes, weapons, and community food supply.

Labelle informed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) from the nearest telegraph office. They sent a unit to the isolated settlement. On the way, the Mounties stopped for refreshments at the home of local trapper Armand Laurent. He informed them of a strange gleaming object that had flown over his property several nights earlier. It had headed in the direction of Anjikuni Lake.

Upon arriving at the Inuit village, the RCMP confirmed that it was completely abandoned. In addition, the graves on the edge of the settlement were all broken open and missing their respective bodies. Even more bizarre, the stone markers were neatly placed in two piles on each side of the graves.The case remains unsolved despite two investigations by the Canadian authorities in the early 1930s.

This one certainly has me puzzled. Why would these folks take off without their food supplies and weapons ? What is the deal with the missing burials? Lots and lots of questions, for sure!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Raining again.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

How About Some Riddles...?

Once in a while, I feel like figuring out some good old fashioned riddles. we go (cause I know ya want some, too)

And this one...

OK...that's enough for today. Go and make Dad some pancakes or something. After all, it is Father's Day!

Coffee in the kitchen again, just in case of rain.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Breaking A World Record...!

Something that many folks might like to do is setting a new world anything! The folks in this story did it the hard way, and probably didn't even know it!

Broke A World Record

Photo credit:

Two people have broken a world record while in a persistent vegetative state, namely the record for the longest time spent in a persistent vegetative state.

The first was Chicago-born Elaine Esposito, who fell into a coma at age six in August 1941 after undergoing a routine operation to remove her appendix. Despite a bleak diagnosis from doctors, the girl lived a further 37 years, three months, and 20 days. She died as a Guinness World Record holder in November 1978.

Esposito’s record stood for nearly three decades until it was broken by Edwarda O’Bara, who had fallen into a diabetic coma as a high school student in January 1970. A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, O’Bara survived both of her parents before dying in November 2012. She had been asleep for 42 years—said to be longer than anyone else in history.

I sure hope these families had some good health insurance, because I know the hospital bill must have been astronomical!

Coffee outside because the rain has cooled things off a bit.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Coffee And The Civil War...!

Seems as though coffee played a much larger part in the Civil War that we might have thought.

This story from Listverse shows exactly what I'm talking about. Not a pretty story, if you ask me.

The Union Was Obsessed With Coffee

Photo credit: NPR

For the Union, coffee was a big deal. In fact, the word “coffee” shows up in Union letters and diaries more often than any other word—including words like “war,” “bullet,” “Lincoln,” and “mother.”

Coffee was a more regular part of soldier life than fighting. Every soldier was given a ration of 16 kilograms (36 lb) of coffee per year, and they drank it every morning. One rifle company even made a rifle that had a coffee grinder in the stock. Since most troops only fought two weeks per year, the coffee grinder ended up being used more than the bullets.

The Confederates, on the other hand, hardly had any coffee. Union blockades kept the Confederates from getting their daily caffeine fix. Some Confederate soldiers were so desperate for a java fix that they would brew potatoes and rye until they turned black, just to have a caffeine-free, bitter drink that the soldiers could pretend was coffee.

Caffeine actually made a strategic difference in the war. One Union general would time his attacks based on when his men were most buzzed on caffeine, convinced that the extra rush from coffee gave his men a fighting advantage.

On top of everything else, not having some coffee for comfort food must have made things even seem worse for the troops of the South. By itself it's not a big thing, but must have been really bad for troop moral.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, but that's due to the fact that the rain has finally decided to pay us a visit!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Rock Island Wreck Mystery...!

A case of a train wreck caused deliberately and never solved is a haunting one.

One might think that after all this time, some clue as to who was actually responsible would turn up. Apparently not, since it remains unsolved to this day.

The Case Of The Rock Island Wreck

Photo credit: Lincoln Journal Star

On August 9, 1894, a locomotive carrying two passenger cars derailed off a 12-meter (40 ft) trestle in Lincoln, Nebraska, killing 11 people. An inspection quickly revealed that the wreck was the result of sabotage. Spikes had been pulled out of the track, ties had been gouged with a crowbar, and the rail had wrench marks. This act of sabotage was the largest mass murder in the history of the state, alongside Charles Starkweather’s 1958 killing spree.

A black man named George Washington Davis was arrested two days later. Witnesses claimed to have seen him with a lantern at the crash site.[4] He was convicted during a second trial but was paroled ten years later by Governor John Mickey. Nobody else was ever charged.

Davis had a lot of support, both then and now, claiming he was nothing but a convenient scapegoat for a community out for punishment. Others believed that he was involved, but he didn’t act alone. The lack of a motive led them to conjecture that Davis might have been hired to sabotage the rail, perhaps by a Rock Island competitor. However, even now, over a century later, all of this remains pure speculation.

Sounds to me as if the man convicted was, indeed, a scapegoat. One of those things I reckon we will never know for sure!

Coffee inside the kitchen again. The is just too hot outside to be comfortable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Roosevelt For Western Wednesday...!

Like a story right out of the old West, the tale of Roosevelt's fight in a bar can't help but make you grin.

Roosevelt's Bar Fight

Though it may seem like a typical tall tale of the Old West, Theodore Roosevelt once found himself in a bar fight in Mingusville, MT (now Wibaux, MT), 35 miles west of Medora. Roosevelt never specified the exact date of the event, but the incident likely occurred in the summer of 1884. That year, Roosevelt was still relatively unknown in the area and grieving the loss of his wife and mother earlier that year.

Roosevelt had been riding for his own enjoyment through the badlands and the prairies of western Dakota Territory and eastern Montana Territory for many days when he arrived at the Nolan’s Hotel in Mingusville. There, he encountered a bully who, like others had done who did not know Roosevelt well, teased him about his glasses. Roosevelt described the incident in his own words in his autobiography:

“It was late in the evening when I reached the place. I heard one or two shots in the bar-room as I came up, and I disliked going in. But there was nowhere else to go, and it was a cold night. Inside the room were several men, who, including the bartender, were wearing the kind of smile worn by men who are making believe to like what they don’t like. A shabby individual in a broad hat with a cocked gun in each hand was walking up and down the floor talking with strident profanity. He had evidently been shooting at the clock, which had two or three holes in its face.

…As soon as he saw me he hailed me as ‘Four Eyes,’ in reference to my spectacles, and said, ‘Four Eyes is going to treat.’ I joined in the laugh and got behind the stove and sat down, thinking to escape notice. He followed me, however, and though I tried to pass it off as a jest this merely made him more offensive, and he stood leaning over me, a gun in each hand, using very foul language… In response to his reiterated command that I should set up the drinks, I said, ‘Well, if I’ve got to, I’ve got to,’ and rose, looking past him.

As I rose, I struck quick and hard with my right just to one side of the point of his jaw, hitting with my left as I straightened out, and then again with my right. He fired the guns, but I do not know whether this was merely a convulsive action of his hands, or whether he was trying to shoot at me. When he went down he struck the corner of the bar with his head… if he had moved I was about to drop on my knees; but he was senseless. I took away his guns, and the other people in the room, who were now loud in their denunciation of him, hustled him out and put him in the shed.”

By the next morning, the bully had left town on a freight train. Before coming to Dakota, Roosevelt was a successful boxer at Harvard. Roosevelt maintained an interest in various martial arts throughout his life, including judo, kendo, jiu-jitsu, boxing, and wrestling, practicing many of them at the White House.

Seems like ol' Teddy was more than a windbag, doesn't it? Maybe we could use a leader like him again...ya know, with more muscle and less mouth.

Coffee inside one again this morning. Got another storm brewing out in the Gulf.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Strange Looking Mantis...!

Mother Nature sure has some scary looking creatures in our world and NO, I don't mean your neighbor next door!

Take this bad boy, for instance. If I saw it raised up to full height, I would probably run the other way. This rascal is just downright evil looking.

Devil’s Flower Mantis

Idolomantis Diabolica

One of the largest types of praying mantis, the Devil’s Flower Mantis is also one of the strangest. And that’s saying a lot when you’re talking about praying mantids. Females of the species can measure up to 5 inches (13 cm) long, and have developed a range of natural coloring that allows them to mimic the Devil’s Flower, a type of orchid.

Mantids are predators, and their hunting style usually involves sitting motionless until their prey comes within reach, and then whipping their forearms out at lightning speed to snag flies, beetles, even, in some cases, birds. The Devil’s Flower Mantis uses color patterns that mimic a flower to actually lure its prey within reach.

Say what you will, but in my eyes this guy is way beyond scary!

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning!

Monday, June 11, 2018

A "Moving" Monday Mystery...!

Did you ever walk into a room and swear that an object had somehow mysteriously moved on it's own from it's regular place? Spooky, right?

Now multiply that feeling many times over, as the owner of a business or museum. From Listverse here is a story about a statue that seems to have a mind of it's own.

The Spinning Relic

At the Manchester Museum, a 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue has frightened curators and observers alike for many years. The statue, known as Neb-Senu, is a 25-centimeter-tall (10 in) soul container that was made sometime around 1800 BC for a single man. The statue has reportedly frequently moved inside its glass case.

Despite some sensationalist stories about how the statue may be related to the “curse of the pharaohs” unleashed by Howard Carter, a hired team of experts apparently deduced that outside car traffic, along with foot traffic from visitors, explained why the statue moved so often. Still, many observers remain baffled that vibrations alone could cause an ancient stone relic to spin almost completely around.

I have watched the video several times and I'm convinced it is genuine. Strange, don't you think?

Coffee in the kitchen because it is HOT outside!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Better Cover Your Head...!

I know we are all familiar with the term "when the sh*t hits the fan", right? Well, in this case that saying is taken to a whole new level.

Falling Poo Over Canada

Photo credit: Susan Allen

The city of Kelowna in British Columbia has an unusual problem on its hands—poo is raining from the skies.

This all started on May 9. Local resident Susan Allen and her son were stopped at a red light when a brown, smelly liquid started falling onto their car. Unfortunately for them, they had the sunroof open, and both mother and son were pelted with the foul fluid. They made an emergency stop at the nearest car wash to hose themselves off.

Allen waited for weeks before coming forward, as she was embarrassed by the incident. Eventually, she decided to share her story after becoming convinced that authorities were giving her the runaround.

Kelowna Airport officials said they received and reviewed a complaint but that there was no aircraft in the vicinity at the time of the incident. Allen disagrees, saying she saw an airplane flying over shortly before the feces started falling.

Since then, several other people have come forward with similar experiences, and Transport Canada has launched an official investigation.[1] Some experts believe this is the result of the phenomenon known as “blue ice.” It happens when sewage or other liquids leak and freeze on the outside of the plane mid-flight at high altitudes. As the aircraft descends, and temperatures get warmer, the blue ice melts and falls off.

What ever the cause, I don't think I would driving around with the top down for a bit, ya know...just in case.

Coffee out on the patio one more time.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Think You Are Having A Bad Day...?

Having a bad day is part of life, but somewhere, someone is having an even worse one...believe me. Watch and you'll see what I mean.

Makes my day start to look not so bad after all!

Coffee out on the patio again.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Tax On Witchcraft...!

Did you know that in Romania, they have a tax on witchcraft? I didn't know either. Pretty strange if you ask me...and it might not be a good thing to mess with, just in case!


Witchcraft and fortune-telling is big business in Romania, where many people still believe in superstitions. However, the trade was not recognized by the government and, thus, was not taxable. This changed when Romania found itself in recession.

To generate more money, the government imposed taxes on several occupations it had previously not been taxing. This included controversial professions like witchcraft, fortune-telling, and astrology as well as less questionable jobs like diving instructors, valets, and embalmers. According to the new law, they were all required to pay 16 percent of their income as tax.

The tax divided opinion among Romania’s witches. While some viewed it as the official recognition of their job by the government, others disagreed. They were hostile toward the new tax and threatened to cast spells on the government. The witches warned that they would gather at the tip of the Danube River and throw a mandrake plant into the water to curse the politicians who had created the new tax.

I'm not so sure how they figure that valets and embalmers are questionable jobs, but I reckon that a government has to do what it has to do. They will anyway!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Only supposed to reach 92 which is better than it has been.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Little Wisdom From Mark Twain...!

There is no way I could possibly cover all of the jewels of wisdom from Mark Twain in this post, but here is one I found interesting.

Mark Twain loved to travel and once wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Source Source 2

This quote from Twain makes a lot of sense to me, for some reason.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. This heat is getting to me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

William Quantrill On Western Wednesday...!

Many of us know of the man because of his name, but little else. Here is a brief history of the the man simply called Quantrill.

1865 William Quantrill killed by Union soldiers

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

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

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

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

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

Just one more example of how blood-thirsty things could get back in the early days.

Coffee inside this morning. It's too hot outside.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A True Sherlock Holmes Story...!

It may seem strange, but the character of Sherlock Holmes created by Arthur Conan Doyle was actually a crime investigator at one point, working on more than one case. Here is the story behind that bit of information.

The inventor of Sherlock Holmes also solved crimes in real life. In the early 1900s, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle noticed inconsistencies in the closed cases of 2 men he believed to be falsely accused. He investigated the cases, solved them both, paid for some of the court costs, got them released from prison, and the publicity from his efforts led to the UK’s creation of an official Court of Appeals. Source, Source 2

I find it interesting that the man who invented the famous detective became quite a detective in his own right. Only seems fair to me, though.

Coffee inside this morning. Rain is expected first thing.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Another Haunted Ship On Monday Mystery...!

If you look hard enough, there is always another tale of a haunted ship to be found. Every country that has a history of sailing ships has them.

Bristol, England

In 1852, the newly built vessel Good Times was launched from Bristol. In the beginning, superstitious sailors pegged Good Times as a lucky ship: no one was hurt during construction, she launched ahead of schedule, saved 8 days on her maiden voyage, and on the same trip made an $18,000 profit. But soon, always between midnight and 4 A.M., the men aboard began hearing a muffled voice crying “Oh, my” beneath the main hatch. A comprehensive search of the ship revealed no stowaways, but the voice continued to be heard every night. The unnerved sailors threatened mutiny. After several months of the phenomena repeating, the ship was sold, and Good Times’ reputation as haunted was sealed.

Like I said, there is no shortage of stories of haunted ships. This is just one more.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Big Moola For A Melon...!

Some folks just like to show off a bit when it comes to foolish ways to spend their money. This article shows what I mean.

Pair Of Melons Sold For $29,000

Photo credit: AFP

An auction in Hokkaido set a new record when it sold two Yubari melons for 3.2 million yen ($29,300).

The winning bidder was Shinya Noda, president of Hokuyu Pack, a fruit and vegetable packaging business. Right off the bat, he was determined to make a record-setting bid in order to celebrate his company’s 30th anniversary.[2] He plans to keep the lavish purchase on display until the end of the month. Afterward, the melons will be cut into small pieces, which will be given to customers as gifts.

The melons in question are actually hybrid cantaloupe cultivars made only in the small city of Yubari. They’re always expensive, although typically no more than $100. The ones that command high prices at auctions have something special: They are the first Yubari melons sold during that harvest season. Even though there were over 500 of these cantaloupes sold at this year’s auction, only the first pair sold for a record-setting price. They are valued as a status symbol more than anything else, meant to show off your success as well as the flourishing Japanese economy.

The previous record was set in 2016, also at a Japanese auction, where another pair of these extravagant melons fetched a price of three million yen. far as I am concerned, you can spend your money anyway you want. I just don't see the point in spending that kind of money for something I can get for less than $2 at my local grocery store, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio, unless it starts to rain.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wolves Can Be Our Friends...!

Did you ever wonder just what would happen if an animal was reintroduced to an area after a long absence? Maybe what happened in Yellowstone National Park can help to answer that question.

Here is a video that explains the whole thing much better than I can.

Pretty impressive, wouldn't you say?

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

Friday, June 1, 2018

Nature Takes It Back...!

We have all seen places that nature has reclaimed as Her own again, I'm sure. Here is a good idea of what I talking about.

Gouqi Island

Photo credit:

A naturally breathtaking island with tall mountain peaks and a beautiful coastline, Gouqi Island has been on a journey to eliminate all evidence of civilization from its land since the population began dispersing in the 1990s. Here, ivy and moss can be seen climbing up walls, taking over buildings, and hiding them from view.

The eerie allure of a city frozen in time has made the island a busy tourist attraction. If you are looking for greenery and neglected buildings, Gouqi Island is a must-see.

Gouqi Island is part of the Shengsi Islands in the Zhoushan Archipelago outside of Hangzhou Bay in China. The island relied heavily on fisheries as its primary industry in the past. Then the diversification and development of secondary industries caused fishermen to move to the mainland where transportation and distribution of goods was easier.

Some of the fishing villages are still inhabited, and fishermen visit the island yearly to catch fish. But the majority of the island and its structures have been abandoned.

Actually, I think that this place is really pretty. After Nature takes over a place, she decorates it very well, I'd say!

Coffee on the patio for a change. It's still pretty hot, but we need to get some fresh air, ya know?