Tuesday, July 31, 2018

One More Use For Coffee...!

I thought that I knew all the reasons that coffee was good for me, but I was wrong. I found one more excellent use for coffee over on Listverse and I wanted to share it. Might come in handy for your summer.

Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes are pesky and annoying. The little bloodsuckers can ruin a relaxing night outdoors. You will find yourself busy swatting them away instead of enjoying the time with friends and family.

Coffee grounds are an unusual solution to this annoying little problem. According to the EPA, coffee grounds are a safe and effective way to repel mosquitoes and other troublesome insects. A study also showed that coffee grounds and caffeine could kill larvae by preventing the development of adult mosquitoes. The insects were not able to build a resistance to coffee.

To burn coffee grounds to use as a repellent, start by grabbing your used grounds and placing them in a bowl covered in foil. Once the grounds have dried, burn them like incense. It is best to choose a spot upwind of your location, and you can add fresh bay leaves to the fire for extra repellent.

This is a cheap and effective way to prevent those bothersome insects from ruining your night.

I shudder when I think of how many grounds I've thrown away, not realizing that they could be used for insect repellent.

Coffee in the kitchen once more. Be sure to help me save the grounds...OK?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Admiral Byrd On Monday Mystery...!

Even though this took place a very long time ago, it seemed strange enough to me to post about it. I have to wonder why a man in the Admiral's position would make up such a story.

The Claims Of Admiral Byrd

Perhaps one of the most famous claims of a secret base is one of the first, that of the one reported in 1947 by Admiral Richard Byrd. While on a flight over the North Pole, he allegedly found an entrance to the Inner Earth, which led to lush, green vegetation and a base inhabited by beings who called the region home. Byrd was far from quiet about the encounter and even gave a press conference, telling all who would listen, even giving a warning that the beings residing there could cover the distance from the South Pole to the North Pole at incredible speeds.

Needless to say, Byrd was quickly “hospitalized” on the instructions of the US military and promptly banned from giving any such press conferences again.

One other thing of interest to mention is that Byrd claimed to have seen craft with swastikas on them. Were they proof that the Nazis had indeed established their Base 211 and, in turn, established communication with an inter-terrestrial race that could travel pole-to-pole at incredible speeds?

Was the Admiral just plain crazy...or did he actually see something worth reporting? Guess we will never know for sure.

Coffee back in the kitchen this morning.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Disney Classics For Sunday...!

Disney put out some cartoons that are classic even today. I know I've put these classic 'toons on here before, but here are three that I feel bear repeating.

And one more...

Well, hope you enjoyed that little trip down memory lane.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A Little Saturday Water Mystery...!

There are so many strange and marvelous unknowns in nature that, try as we may, we just can't figure them out. Here from Listverse is a good example of one.

The Mpemba Effect

Photo credit: Live Science

The Mpemba effect has blown educated minds throughout history, including Aristotle and Francis Bacon. They observed what seemed like a freak of nature—that hot water freezes faster.

This phenomenon was named after Erasto Mpemba, a Tanzanian high school student, whose studies confirmed the ancient thinkers’ observations in 1963. He showed that the effect happens when hot and cold bowls were left in identical subzero temperatures and the warm water turned to ice first.

There are several theories to explain this madness. In the 1980s, Polish physicists attempted (and failed) to prove that warmer water might have less heat-retaining gas. A more likely reason could be that when hot water steams, evaporation reduces the mass that needs to be cooled.

Another factor might be warm water’s coolest point. In a container, cold liquid sinks to the bottom and pushes the hottest layer to the surface. This creates a current that speeds up freezing. However, the precise process that enables hot water to chill quicker than its colder cousin remains a mystery.

I find this interesting and have no idea of the science behind it. I figure that it's just one more way Mother Nature has to confuse us.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Lemon creme cookies anyone?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Now This Is A Surprise...!

I'm sure that my folks never saw an article like this when we were kids. The rules around my house were pretty well established and had to be followed, that's for sure.

Letting teens sleep in could save the US over $9 billion dollars a year. Studies show teenage brains are wired to stay up and wake up late, they need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, and that school therefore starts too early. It is estimated that high school classes starting after 8:30 am or later would improve student health, boost graduation rates, raise lifetime earning potential, and lower the risk of fatigue-related car crashes, all of which could potentially contribute at least $83 billion to the US economy within a decade. Source

I really am not sure if I agree with this study or not. I'm sure not going to worry about it at my age though.

Coffee in the kitchen again.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Famous Alvin Kelly...!

Well, he probably isn't remembered by many of us today, but he was quite famous in his day. He had a very unusual occupation, you see. Here is his story.

Alvin Kelly

Alvin Kelly was a stuntman who decided in 1924 to climb a flagpole and sit on it to promote a nearby Hollywood theater. He stayed there for an amazing 13 hours and 13 minutes, launching a fad that required him to repeatedly break his own record. His final victory was a seemingly impossible 49 days.

Kelly kept his balance by placing his feet in stirrups while he was perched upon his seat, which was 33 centimeters (13 in) wide. He consumed only liquid nourishment and urinated through a tube in his pants, which directed the stream down the pole to the ground below. The stunt earned him $100 per hour for six years until the fad died out at the onset of the Great Depression.

It may have been a strange job, but it seemed to pay pretty well. That was a lot of money back in those days, for sure!

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Murrieta's Head For Western Wednesday...!

In the west, we often hear about hanging and shoot-outs between the law and outlaws...not very uncommon. However, one story that is brutally different is when the outlaw Joaquin Murrieta was beheaded by California Rangers in order to collect a reward.

California Rangers kill Joaquin Murrieta

In a macabre instance of rough frontier justice, California Rangers claim a $6,000 award by bringing in the severed head—preserved in whiskey—of outlaw Joaquin Murrieta.

In the early months of 1853, a wild band of desperadoes began terrorizing Calaveras County in central California. Law officers believed a shadowy character named Joaquin Murrieta led the outlaws, although confusion abounded since there were at least four other desperadoes named “Joaquin” in the territory.

Whatever the identity of the leader, the California legislature resolved to stop the outlaws. In the spring of 1853, the government created a special force of California Rangers led by a Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff named Harry Love. The state also offered a $6,000 award to anyone who brought in Murrieta—dead or alive. For several weeks, Love and his team of 20 rangers scoured the Calaveras countryside without success. The rangers got a lucky break, however, when they captured Murrieta’s brother-in-law and forced him to lead them to the outlaw’s camp on Cantua Creek.

Early on the morning of this day in 1853, Love and his rangers attacked the outlaw camp. Caught by surprise and badly outnumbered, eight of the bandits were killed, including Murrieta and his right hand man, Tres Dedos (also known as Three Fingered Jack). To prove they had indeed killed Murrieta and deserved their award, the rangers cut off the head of the outlaw. They also took the distinctive hand that gave Three Fingered Jack his nickname. The rangers preserved the gory body parts in whiskey-filled vats until they could exhibit them to the authorities in Stockton.

Later, some claimed that the severed head was not Murrieta’s. Love, however, gathered 17 affidavits from people who had known the outlaw and were willing to swear it was Murrieta’s head. The state agreed and gave the $6,000 award to Love and his rangers. Love further profited from the deal by taking Murrieta’s head on a tour of California mining camps, charging $1 to see it. Eventually, the head ended up in San Francisco Museum, where it was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1906.

This seems a little over the top to me, but I guess that the Rangers figured this was the best way to handle things.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning, if that's suitable to you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Some More Mysteries...!

Sometimes we can't get enough of some old fashioned mysteries, ya know ? With that in mind, here are some more.

That's enough. Don't want to overdo it, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where it's supposed to cool off a bit.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Unknown Queen On Monday Mystery...!

Many things about the past in Egypt hold a fascination for us. The country has managed to hold on to many secrets for a very long time. Here is one mystery about an Queen, whose identity is yet unknown.

The Unknown Queen Of Egypt

Photo credit: Face2Face Africa

In 2015, archaeologists stumbled upon the tomb of a woman who was buried among the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. In her tomb were inscriptions calling her both “the wife of the king” and “the mother of the king.”

4,500 years ago, when this woman was alive, she would have been one of the most important people on the planet. She would have had greater power than any other woman in the nation. And nobody has any idea who she is.

Historians have dubbed her “Khentakawess III,” under the assumption that she was the daughter of Queen Kehntakawess II. They believe she may have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre and the mother of Pharaoh Mekahur—but they don’t really know. They’re just guessing.

If her name was Khentakawess III, then there are no references to her whatsoever in anything we’ve ever found. Whoever she was, she was once an incredibly powerful woman, but today, she is little more than an enigma.

I can't help but ask why someone so seemingly important remains unknown to this day. Quite a mystery...

Coffee in the kitchen. I have some strawberry bundt cake I'll share.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Famous Fido...!

Here is a little story from Listverse that can be the feel good story of the day. It's all about a pup named Fido.


There are plenty of stories of dogs who stood vigil for dead masters for years afterward. Among the most well-known loyal dogs were Hachiko, from Japan, and Greyfriars Bobby, from Scotland. Hachiko and Greyfriars Bobby have had numerous books and even films made about them. But the loyal dog who was most famous during his own lifetime is probably the least well-known. Fido was born in Italy sometime during World War II. He was found on the verge of death by a kiln worker who took him home and nursed him back to health. And for this, he’d have Fido’s unwavering loyalty for the rest of his life. Every day, Fido waited for his master at the same bus stop, refusing to move until he stepped off the bus—and this at a time when Italy was being bombed almost daily. But one day, Fido’s master didn’t return. He’d been killed in an air raid while at work. Fido, ever vigilant, still turned up to wait for him. Every day. For 14 years.

His tale spread across Italy until Fido became a constant source of media attention, both during the war and long after it ended. Surviving footage shows that huge crowds would turn up to watch him make his way to the bus stop every day, watch everyone get off, then walk away disappointed when the bus pulled off. He received honors and medals, but all he wanted was for his friend to come home. He never did. Don’t worry—it’s okay to cry.

OK...enough with the dog story this hot morning. Let's move on, shall we?

Coffee in the kitchen, where it's cooler than the patio.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Day Off...!

Due to the heat, I'm taking the day off. Sorry, but I need a break ...OK?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Get That Drone, Boy...!

Man can train many animals to serve them, mainly in hunting and such. How about training Eagles to take out drones? Pretty wild, huh?

Drone-Snatching Eagles

Photo credit: airspacemag.com

Even though these bald eagles were trained to do this, it’s still a very new and unusual behavior. The Dutch national police trained a troop of bald eagles to identify potentially dangerous mini drones in the airspace and, instead of steering clear of them, grab the drones in their talons and take them out of the sky.[8] This is an amazing example of how adaptable and intelligent these massive birds of prey really are. Capturing and relocating the drones is similar to their natural ability to catch prey and take it back to their nest. But what’s remarkable is that they can overcome any fear they might have of man-made technology.

I don't understand just how they know if the drone is a friend or foe, but I reckon the police have a way of letting them know.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Creative Practical Furniture...!

Something Different Today...just for a change. I found a video over on YouTube that shows all kinds of useful and inventive furniture. Some of these pieces are made for places that are short on floor space, so make a lot of sense to me. I think you might enjoy it.

I love the concept of Murphy beds and especially the Bunk bed version. I had a girlfriend in my younger days that had a Murphy bed...very cool!

Coffee inside again this morning. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wild Bill On Western Wednesday...!

So many stories and myths surround some of the folks from long ago. it's often to separate truth from fantasy. Here is a short article about Wild Bill Hickok you might find interesting.

“Wild Bill” Hickok kills a soldier

A drunken brawl turns deadly when “Wild Bill” Hickok shoots two soldiers in self-defense, mortally wounding one of them.

William Hickok had earned his reputation as a gunslinger a decade earlier after shooting three men in a gunfight in Nebraska. He parlayed his standing as a sure-shooting gunman into a haphazard career in law enforcement. In 1869, he was elected interim sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. Hays City, the county seat, was a rough-and-tumble frontier town, and the citizens hoped Hickok could bring order to the chaos. Unfortunately, after Hickok had killed two men in the line of duty after just five weeks, they concluded that he was too wild for their tastes and they elected his deputy to replace him in November.

Unemployed, Hickok passed his time gambling, drinking, and occasionally working as a hunting guide. He quickly became bored and was considering taking work at the nearby Fort Hays as an army scout. On this day in 1870, Hickok had been drinking hard at Drum’s Saloon in Hays City. Five soldiers from the 7th Cavalry stationed at Fort Hays were also at the bar. They were drunk and began to exchange words with the notoriously prickly “Wild Bill.” A brawl broke out, and the soldiers threw Hickok to the floor. One trooper tried to shoot Hickok, but the gun misfired. Hickok quickly pulled his own pistols and opened fire. He wounded one private in the knee and wrist, and another in the torso. The three remaining soldiers backed off, and Hickok exited the saloon and immediately left town

A clear case of self-defense, Hickok was cleared of any wrongdoing. Yet, one of the soldiers, Private John Kile, later died of his wound and Hickok’s chances of becoming an army scout evaporated. He spent the next six years working in law enforcement, gambling, and appearing in Wild West shows. He was murdered in a Deadwood, South Dakota, saloon in 1876.

Guess you had to be pretty tough and foul tempered to make it in the old days. Probably smelled fairly ripe as well.

Coffee in the kitchen again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

One Bad Goose...!

Anyone that has been chased by a goose knows just how scary this fowl can be. Now imagine that nightmare made BIG!

The Big Angry Goose That Used Its Wings To Fight

Photo credit: blogs.plos.org

In ancient Italy, there was once a giant goose called the Garganornis ballmanni—and if you’ve ever been chased by a modern goose, you’ll understand why this was a creature worth being afraid of.
The Garganornis was a 23-kilogram (50 lb) beast with massive wings that it used to beat up other animals rather than to fly. Its wings were full of sharp, bony knobs that were specially designed to slap other animals in the face.

Garganornis didn’t necessarily go out looking for fights. It was a flightless herbivore that spent most of its time looking for plants to eat on dry land. While doing so, it might be attacked by some predatory bird that would swoop down and try to eat Garganornis. Probably the only meal found by the attacker was a hard knuckle sandwich from the Garganornis’s massive, bony wings.

One more good article from Listverse. I know I don't want this crazy goose after me...and that's the truth.

Coffee in the kitchen due to the heat.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Purple Slime For Monday Mystery...!

I think that this is one I may have posted before, but I will go ahead and post it again now, just in case.

Purple Slime In Lyngen Fjord

Photo credit: Roger B. Larsen/UIT

In August 2015, fishermen fishing off the coast of Northern Norway began reporting a strange phenomenon in the area. A thick, purple, mucoid slime had appeared almost overnight, covering millions of cubic meters around the Lyngen Fjord.

Experts who investigated the phenomenon likened the texture of the slime to that of margarine and initially believed it to be the remains of dead jellyfish. The slime covered the fish that the fishermen were catching and even messed with their sonar equipment. A fisheries expert said that he had never seen anything like the purple substance in the fjords.

However, now almost three years later, no real confirmation has been given that the slime did indeed come from a type of jellyfish. Therefore, the reason for its existence remains a mystery.

This story is another mystery from the folks over on Listverse, bless their hearts.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Cartoons Once More...!

I just can't seem to get away from the old 'toons from long ago. Must be an age thing, I reckon. Anyway, here are some for you to enjoy.

And just one more...

OK...that's enough fun for now. Let's have another cup of coffee.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Another Surprise From Mother Nature...!

How many trees does it take to make a forest? The answer just might surprise you as it did me.

The Forest Made Of One Tree

Photo credit: Mateus S. Figueiredo

Nature is full of surprises. Just when she has you believing that it takes several trees to make a forest, bam! You get hit with the largest cashew tree in the world, found in the city of Natal, Brazil. Planted in 1888 by a local fisherman, this tree covers about 7,500 square meters (81,000 ft2) and has a perimeter of about 500 meters (1,600 ft). That’s about the size of 75 tennis courts. The Natal cashew tree currently holds the Guinness World Record for largest cashew tree in the world.

So what makes this tree so gargantuan? It has two unusual genetic traits that cause it to grow like it does. For one, the branches grow to the side instead of upward. The second anomaly is kind of freaky: The side-growing branches eventually get so heavy that they touch the ground. But instead of just resting there, the branches sprout roots. The newly rooted branch then starts growing upward as if it were a new tree. During harvest time, it’s estimated that the tree produces more than 60,000 cashew fruits.

Thanks to this article from Listverse, I now know that the surprises from Mother Nature just keeps on coming. I'm glad, because I really like cashews!

Coffee out on the patio this morning once again.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Plants Can Send An SOS...!

Lately more and more has come to light about our friends in the plant world.

Turns out that I'm not as smart as I thought I was about plants. It seems that I may have to reconsider everything I thought I knew about the plant kingdom in general.

Sending Out An SOS

You would think that living in the middle of a remote forest would make it difficult for help to arrive when needed, but that’s not the case for plants. They may be immobile, but they’re definitely not helpless when it comes to invading herbivorous insects.

Some plants have a rather impressive line of defense against being eaten: When they sense that they’re being munched on, they release a chemical into the air that attracts the invading insect’s natural enemy. The enemy swoops in and attacks the bug, thus saving the plant from being devoured. This is basically the plant kingdom version of getting your older brother to beat up that kid who steals your lunch money.

I got this article from the folks over at Listverse. I thank them for keeping me educated about this stuff!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yes, We Have No Bananas...!

Somehow over time, man has managed to take foods that were never meant to be eaten by men and fooled with their make-up enough to make them edible. Take the innocent banana, for instance.


It seems like bananas were practically designed for us primates: They’re soft, seedless, tailor-made for the grip of our hand, and even come with a tab for easy opening. In reality, wild-type bananas are mostly inedible, and the plantains we eat today are completely different after genetic modifications. Wild-type bananas, which are tiny, tough, and filled with pit-like seeds, sometimes produce mutant variants without seeds.

Humans have been playing with this specific mutation for at least 6,500 years to produce all the varieties of seedless bananas available today. The banana’s design might even be too popular at this point; today’s mass-produced bananas are considered too genetically uniform, making them susceptible to diseases. Looks like we have some more work to do.

I have read somewhere that bananas were the number one eaten fruit in the world. I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know I like them... a LOT!

Coffee out on the patio again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Buckskin Frank Leslie , Killer...!

Some of the characters in the old west were mean and ornery, to say the least. Seems like killing came easy to fellows like Buckskin Frank Leslie.

“Buckskin” Frank Leslie murders a prostitute

In a drunken rage, “Buckskin” Frank Leslie murders his lover, the Tombstone prostitute Blonde Mollie Williams.

Leslie was an ill-tempered and violent man, especially when he drank. He told conflicting stories about his early life. At times, he said he was from Texas, at other times from Kentucky. He sometimes claimed he had been trained in medicine and pharmacy, and he even boasted that he had studied in Europe. Supposedly, he earned the nickname “Buckskin” while working as an Army Scout in the Plains Indian Wars. None of his assertions can be confirmed in the historical record.

The record does tell us that in 1880, Leslie opened the Cosmopolitan Hotel in the mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. Shortly thereafter, he committed his first known murder, shooting Mike Killeen in a dispute over the man’s wife. The killing was officially ruled to have been in self-defense, but suspicion of foul play arose when Leslie married Killeen’s widow two months later.

Two years later, after Leslie badly pistol-whipped a man outside the Oriental Saloon, many Tombstone citizens began to suspect Leslie was a dangerous man. When the famous Tombstone gunslinger John Ringo was found murdered, suspicions again focused on Leslie, though law officers were unable to prove his guilt. Billy Claiborne, a friend of Ringo’s, was so certain Leslie was the murderer that he called him out. Leslie shot the inexperienced young man dead.

Even among the notorious rabble of gunslingers and killers in Tombstone, Leslie was unusually violent. The people of Tombstone finally had their chance to get rid of him in 1889. Two years earlier, Leslie had divorced his wife and taken up with a Tombstone prostitute named Blonde Mollie Williams. The relationship eventually soured, and in a drunken fit of rage, Leslie shot the defenseless woman dead. With testimony from a ranch hand that had witnessed the killing, a Tombstone jury convicted Leslie of murder and sentenced him to 25 years.

Seven years later, Leslie won parole with the aid of a young divorcee named Belle Stowell. He soon married Stowell and seems to have made an effort to live a more peaceful life. He even reportedly made a small fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush. He moved to San Francisco in 1904. His fortunes thereafter quickly declined, and he disappeared from the historical record. He may have eventually committed suicide, but the true manner and date of his death remain unconfirmed.

I know I wouldn't want this man for a neighbor, for sure. Sounds like a really bad man to me!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Death By Carrot Juice...!

Of all the stories I've posted on here about strange and unusual deaths, this has to be one of the strangest.

Carrot Juice Addiction

Easily having the most prolonged cause of death on this list, Basil Brown was an English health food enthusiast who proudly touted the health benefits of carrots. Said to have “a low opinion of doctors,” Brown ignored their warnings about his habits, which included drinking up to 3.8 liters (1 gal) of carrot juice per day. All of this drinking eventually led to him becoming addicted to carrot juice, as well as a severe case of jaundice.

In 1974, over the course of ten days leading up to his death, Brown consumed, in juice and pill form, 10,000 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. Already warned by doctors about the danger presented by his enlarged liver, this massive dose prompted the organ to shut down, and Brown died.

I think the key word here is moderation. I have always been told that it's best to be moderate in all things, and I reckon that is probably good advice.

Coffee outside for a change this morning. No carrot juice, I'm afraid.

Monday, July 9, 2018

London Hammer On Monday Mystery...!

Now here is a little mystery that you can ponder on. This story came from my friends over at Listverse (of course).

The London Hammer

Photo credit: Ley Lines, Vortex, Magnetic Current: Lost Civilizations & Forgotten History/Facebook

In the middle of 1934, Max Hahn, a resident of London, Texas, discovered an odd-looking rock on a ledge beside a waterfall. The rock was apparently very happy to see him, judging by the piece of wood protruding from it. Max took it back to introduce it to his family, and being the curious kind of folk they were, they cracked the rock open with a hammer and a chisel. Much to their surprise, the rock was hiding part of an old hammer inside. They filed into one of the beveled sides of the hammerhead to ensure that it was made of metal. It was.

When the rock was cracked open, the metal hammerhead was exposed to the light of day for the first time since the rock formed around it. The problem is that the rock is purported to be up to 400 million years old. Humans aren’t supposed to have evolved until hundreds of millions years later. One explanation is that the mineral concretion around the hammer itself is not 400 million years old, regardless of the age of the area it was found. Others, however, tout the London Hammer as supporting evidence for creationism.

I find this pretty interesting, especially since the rock was found in Texas. Strange, but interesting.

Coffee in the dry kitchen this morning.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sunday Cartoons Are Back...!

I know I said I wasn't going to do them again, but I couldn't help myself. You don't mind that much, do ya?

And maybe one more...

Better have our coffee inside this morning.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Another Ghost Story For Saturday...!

When I was younger, my sisters and I loved to watch the scary movies on Saturday night television. Of course, they weren't filled with all the blood and gore that today's films seem to be cursed with. Fun days, for the most part!

Here is a story that could have been in a movie at that time. Weird and a little scary at the same time.

SS Ourang Medan

Ghostship6In February, 1948, distress calls were picked up by numerous ships near Indonesia, from the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan. The chilling message was, “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This message was followed by indecipherable Morse code then one final grisly message… “I die.” When the first rescue vessel arrived on the scene a few hours later, they tried to hail the Ourang Medan but there was no response. A boarding party was sent to the ship and what they found was a frightening sight that has made the Ourang Medan one of the strangest and scariest ghost ship stories of all time.

All the crew and officers of the Ourang Medan were dead, their eyes open, faces looking towards the sun, arms outstretched and a look of terror on their faces. Even the ship’s dog was dead, found snarling at some unseen enemy. When nearing the bodies in the boiler room, the rescue crew felt a chill, though the temperature was near 110°F. The decision was made to tow the ship back to port, but before they could get underway, smoke began rolling up from the hull. The rescue crew left the ship and barely had time to cut the tow lines before the Ourang Medan exploded and sank.

To this day, the exact fate of the Ourang Medan and her crew remains a mystery.

I may have posted this story before, but I don't remember. At my age, they say the second thing to go is the memory. What's the first...? I don't remember.

Coffee out on the patio for a change.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Zombie Insects For Freaky Friday...

Now here is a little video that is almost guaranteed to make you a little uncomfortable, or at least it should. I wouldn't want to watch it again, not by myself!

Perfect for watching on a rainy Friday night. You might want some company though.

Coffee in the kitchen due to the ongoing rain. Keeps the temps down a tad, however.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

America's First Serial Killers...!

Here is another part of our history that somehow got left out of the history books in school. I reckon that is because the information is in no way pleasant.

The Harpe Brothers

The Harpe Brothers are often referred to as America’s first true serial killers. Regardless of the assessments factuality, Micajah (“Big Harpe”) and Wiley (“Little Harpe”) left an endless trail of mutilated corpses throughout Kentucky and Tennessee, casting fear in the hearts of frontier families. They murdered not for financial gain, but for the love of the sport. Their lust for death proved even too much for fellow outlaws to bear, casting the brothers out of the Cave-in-Rock territory. Nevertheless, they continued their murderous spree of torture and disembowelment, with no discrimination pertaining to age, gender, or race. No one was spared. Their victim count is estimated to be between 25 to 50, although the actual number has never been known.

Big Harpe met his end from the blade of a tomahawk in July 1799. Subsequently, he was decapitated, and his head was fixed to a tree where it remained for ten years. Little Harpe escaped authorities and later joined the forces of Samuel Mason’s gang. After beheading Mason, Little Harpe strolled into town with the intention to claim his rightful reward only to be immediately recognized by officials. Consequently, Little Harpe was arrested and hanged in 1804.

I can see why these two were not mentioned in the books, although I do wonder if not teaching the bad history as well as the good is a good thing. What do you think?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Celebrating With Lewis And Clark...!

Just because you may be far away from civilization, there is no need to forgo the 4TH of July celebrating. Follow the lead of Lewis and Clark.

Lewis and Clark celebrate July 4

Staging the first-ever Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi River, Lewis and Clark fire the expedition cannon and order an extra ration of whiskey for the men.

Six weeks earlier, Lewis and Clark left American civilization to depart on their famous journey. Since their departure, the party of 29 men–called the Corps of Discovery–had made good progress, traveling up the Missouri River in a 55-foot keelboat and two dugout canoes. When the wind was behind them, Lewis and Clark raised the keelboat sail, and on a few occasions, managed to travel 20 miles in a single day.

By early July, the expedition had reached the northeastern corner of the present-day state of Kansas. The fertility of the land astonished the two leaders of the expedition. Clark wrote of the many deer, “as plenty as Hogs about a farm,” and with his usual creative spelling, praised the tasty “rasberreis perple, ripe and abundant.”

On this day in 1804, the expedition stopped near the mouth of a creek flowing out of the western prairie. The men asked the captains if they knew if the creek had a name. Knowing none, they decided to call it Independence Creek in honor of the day.

The next day, the travelers resumed their journey up the Missouri River toward the distant Pacific Coast. They would not pass by their pleasant camping spot in Kansas again until their return journey, two years and many adventures later.

No matter how you plan to celebrate the 4TH, please do so safely and in a manner respectful of those around you.

Coffee out on the patio until the rains start.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Time To Move On, Swan...!

Mother Nature has instilled a few of her critters with some rather aggressive attitudes when protecting their nest and young. Sometimes this can be more than a little dangerous for folks not meaning any harm. That turned out to be the case with a couple of swans in Austria.

Gay Swans Versus Austrians

A gay swan couple had to be forcibly removed from a lake in Austria after they launched several violent attacks to protect their nest from pesky humans.

Most people know that wild animals tend to behave more aggressively when they have young to care for. They also know that swans, in general, tend to be antagonistic jerks. The residents of Grundlsee took this into account when dealing with a pair of local swans, but they finally said “enough is enough” and had the animals relocated.

The waterfowl began their attacks last summer, targeting people and boats that got too close to their nest. They became far more aggressive this year, though, with several people requiring hospital care. The most dangerous attacks occurred when the swans jumped onto swimmers and tried to keep them underwater. Mayor Franz Steinegger decided to act before tragedy struck and enlisted the help of wildlife expert Alexander Groder to remove the birds from the lake.

After they were captured, we learned two interesting things. Both swans are males, and the valuable cargo they were protecting wasn’t eggs or cygnets. It was a colored plastic cup.

The swans now live in a special pond in Tyrol. Groder believes that their atypical relationship could have been a source of their extreme aggression, as one of the males was likely strongly suppressed by the other.

I sorta feel bad for the swans. After all, they were only protecting what they considered to be an unwanted move into their nesting area. Far better for the swans to be relocated (along with their plastic cup) than to have them killed.

Coffee inside again...due to the heat.

Monday, July 2, 2018

60 lbs. Of Treasure...!

No matter how you count it, 60 lbs. is a lot of coins, silver spoons, and another 200 assorted gold items. Hey, it all adds up, ya know?

Britain’s Biggest Roman Treasure

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

When his metal detector buzzed a Suffolk field in 1992, Eric Lawes was looking for a hammer, not lost treasure. After he picked up a signal that led to gold and silver pieces, Lawes called the authorities. At nearly 27 kilograms (60 lb), the precious metals represented the biggest Roman cache found in British soil.

One of only 40 hoards ever discovered, it contained 15,234 coins, dozens of silver spoons, and 200 gold items. The so-called Hoxne Hoard is priceless to researchers. Most of it was excavated within the original context, unlike most troves that are run over by farming equipment. This allowed valuable insights into the owners’ lives.

Experts cannot agree on the Hoxne treasure’s age but believe it was buried around the time that Roman citizens in Britain were abandoned by their failing empire in AD 410. Violent invasions from other groups increased and may have been behind the family’s decision to hide their wealth in the ground.

I took this article from the folks over at Listverse. I have to say, that seems like a pretty good find to me.

Coffee in the kitchen once again.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Old Fashioned Sunday 'Toons...!

It's been a while since we did this, so today let's see some Roadrunner 'toons.

And one more for the road...!

That's all folks! Enjoy the rest of the day.

Coffee inside the kitchen this morning!