Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nevada Becomes A State...!

It's always interesting how the government can and will often change all the rules in order to meet their own agenda. That's how it went with the admission of Nevada to the ranks of the states, and securing support for Lincoln in the battle for the re-election to President.

The U.S. Congress admits Nevada as the 36th state

On this day in 1864, anxious to have support of the Republican-dominated Nevada Territory for President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, the U.S. Congress quickly admits Nevada as the 36th state in the Union.

In 1864, Nevada had only 40,000 inhabitants, considerably short of the 60,000 normally required for statehood. But the 1859 discovery of the incredibly large and rich silver deposits at Virginia City had rapidly made the region one of the most important and wealthy in the West. The inexpert miners who initially developed the placer gold deposits at Virginia City had complained for some time about the blue-gray gunk that kept clogging up their gold sluices. Eventually several of the more experienced miners realized that the gunk the gold miners had been tossing aside was actually rich silver ore, and soon after, they discovered the massive underground silver deposit called the Comstock Lode. Unlike the easily developed placer deposits that had inspired the initial gold rushes to California and Nevada, the Comstock Lode ore demanded a wide array of expensive new technologies for profitable development. For the first time, western mining began to attract investments from large eastern capitalists, and these powerful men began to push for Nevada statehood.

The decisive factor in easing the path to Nevada’s statehood was President Lincoln’s proposed 13th Amendment banning slavery. Throughout his administration Lincoln had appointed territorial officials in Nevada who were strong Republicans, and he knew he could count on the congressmen and citizens of a new state of Nevada to support him in the coming presidential election and to vote for his proposed amendment. Since time was so short, the Nevada constitutional delegation sent the longest telegram on record up to that time to Washington, D.C., containing the entire text of the proposed state constitution and costing the then astronomical sum of $3,416.77.

Their speedy actions paid off with quick congressional approval of statehood and the new state of Nevada did indeed provide strong support for Lincoln. On January 31, 1865, Congress approved the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning slavery.

Guess that's how it's done in the political world. If the rules and standards don't quite fit.;..change them, Problem solved!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone !

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Very Sad Childhood...!

Often when I read a story like this, I'm amazed that we, as humans, have managed to live as long as we have. In some aspects we haven't grown very much sympathetic with the impact of our actions on children, and how it will affect them as adults.

The Tragic Story Of The Dionne Quintuplets

BY M.ADMIN | JUL 25, 2015

“Money was the monster. So many around us were unable to resist the temptation.” —The Dionne Quintuplets, writing in “We Were Five”

Today, we live in an age of in vitro fertilization and fertility clinics, but in the 1930s, it was very, very different. Twins were miraculous enough, especially if they survived. When a set of five babies was born to a woman in Corbeil, Ontario, the world had seen nothing like it.

The girls weighed only about 1 kilogram (2 lb) each, and they were born about two months early. When they survived against all odds—with the help of women who donated breast milk and Canadian Red Cross nurses—they became a world sensation. They were miracle babies, and during the era of depression and repression, they were a symbol of hope.

Sounds great, at first, but it wasn’t long before things got dark.

The girls (named Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne) attracted the attention of the government when they were about four months old. Declaring that their parents weren’t capable of caring for five babies, they removed the girls to a house near the hospital they had been born at. There, they were under the supervision and care of a small army of nurses and doctors, constantly subjected to scientific scrutiny.

Doctors noted things like the girls’ tendency to pair off with each other; there were two sets of children that had been born in the same amniotic sac; these girls were closer to each other. The fifth didn’t have such a partner, and doctors suspected that there had been a sixth baby that had been miscarried. They took note of things like physical similarities and personality differences, and they were turned into a major tourist attraction.

Between 1934 and 1943, about three million people went to peer through the glass window and into the nursery where the girls were being raised. Sometimes, the girls were taken out, dressed alike, and introduced to visitors. Even though their parents lived across the street, they almost never went home. Their father, Oliva, sold postcards and merchandise, while pictures of them were licensed to companies selling everything from oatmeal to dish soap. A series of dolls were made based on their likenesses, fan letters kept the world updated on their growth and development, and holiday pictures were taken and run in papers across the world.

The family and the town started raking in the money. During the time they were on display, it’s estimated that they brought about $500 million in tourist dollars into Ontario.

They remained on display until they were nine years old, when they were returned to their parents. As they grew up, things didn’t go well. As adults, they remember bitter parents who often told them that life had been better before they had been born. Later, they would write a book about their experiences growing up, for the first time sharing that they had been abused by their father. The money that had been raised on their exhibition was mostly gone by the time they were entitled to their trust fund, and by that time, they were so sheltered that they didn’t know the difference between a nickel and a quarter anyway.

All five distanced themselves from their family as soon as they could. Emilie, who had chosen to become a nun, died in 1954 after suffering a seizure. Marie died in 1970, after suffering from a blood clot. Yvonne died in 2001. Even though three of the sisters married and had children of their own, they also continued to have rather unhappy lives, haunted by their early, formative years growing up behind a glass wall, on display for millions.

Sad story, isn't it? I wonder if it would be much better today?

Coffee out on the patio once again.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tomb Of The Red Queen...!

Often the quest of archaeologist leads to more questions about the past than it answers. Here is the story about the tomb of the so-called "Red Queen" from Listverse.

The Red Queen

Photo credit:

In 1994, archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzales Cruz and his team discovered a burial chamber in Temple XIII in the ruins of Palenque in Southern Mexico. Inside the chamber, they discovered a sarcophagus and an intact tomb. At one end of the sarcophagus, they found the skeleton of a young boy; at the other, they found the skeleton of a woman in her thirties. It is thought that they were sacrificed in order to accompany the woman whose remains were found inside the sarcophagus to the afterlife.

The skeleton inside the sarcophagus was covered in red dust, leading to it being nicknamed the Red Queen. Alongside it, Cruz and his team found a collection of jade and pearl objects. A diadem of jade beads was found around the skull as well as remains of what had been a funeral mask. Unfortunately, none of the findings pointed to the identity of the woman. Studies conducted on the remains revealed that she had been around 60 when she died and that she loved eating meat. It is believed that she was an important person, considering that her burial chamber was located next to that of Pakal the Great. The remains have since been returned to Palenque, and the research into her identity continues.

Being so close to halloween, this Monday Mystery seemed appropriate. Who could resist tombs and skeletons, and the like... Especially when those tales come so close to halloween.

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday 'Toons...!

Another Sunday, another round of cartoons. Almost seems like a vicious circle, wouldn't you say ?

And maybe one more...

That's all for today, folks. Don't forget Mystery Monday tomorrow !

Coffee out on the patio thos morning.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Jefferson Davis Was Charged With Treason...!

Although we think we know so much about famous people from our past, you might be surprised at this little tidbit of history. It's about non other than Jefferson Davis.

On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army, ending the US Civil War. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis had already fled the South’s capital in Richmond, Virginia. He wanted to escape to Britain or France, where he might reestablish a government in exile. However, before he could do so, members of the 4th Michigan Cavalry arrested him. At the time he was apprehended, Davis was sporting his wife’s black shawl. The Northern press tried to make him a laughingstock by accusing him of dressing as a woman in a desperate attempt to evade capture. However, Davis and his wife insisted that she had given him the shawl to stay warm for health reasons.

When Davis was indicted on a charge of treason in the federal court system, he stood before US Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon Chase, who was acting as a circuit judge at the time. Chase preferred to dismiss the treason charges, but another judge, John Underwood, wouldn’t agree to it. Davis’s defense team argued that he had already been punished by the 14th Amendment, which stopped him from serving in public office in the future.

As a former US House and Senate member before the war, Davis had taken an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution of the United States. Under the 14th Amendment, anyone who has taken such an oath and engaged in insurrection against the US cannot hold public office. According to Davis’s lawyers, that inability to hold public office under the 14th Amendment constituted punishment for his rebellious actions. To prosecute him for treason for the same rebellious actions would constitute double jeopardy under the 5th Amendment. Therefore, his lawyers argued, he could not be legally tried for treason.

However, the Chief Justice gave the Davis team another interesting argument for dropping the treason charge. Chase asked if a person could be prosecuted for treason against the US if he were not a US citizen. Clearly, no. Then Chase asked if there was a reference to the concept of a US citizen in the Constitution. Again, there was not. A person could only be a citizen of his state. Therefore, by proving that the US had no citizens, Davis couldn’t be tried for treason against the US. It was a clever argument that has never been used again as far as we know.

Although a deadlocked case in the district court would have automatically gone to the Supreme Court, it ultimately didn’t matter. President Andrew Johnson pardoned everyone who fought for the Confederacy on December 25, 1868, as long as they applied for the pardon. Although former officials of the Confederacy still couldn’t hold office or vote, they were now immune from prosecution for treason. In some circles, there wasn’t much appetite for trying Davis for treason anyway. Officials of the US government were afraid that Davis would prove that the South’s secession had been legal. However, the various amnesty provisions passed at that time never reinstated Davis’s citizenship. His citizenship rights were finally restored in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.

Sometimes you just have to love history, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Friday, October 26, 2018

You Gonna Eat That...?

Everyone that has read this blog for long knows about my love for peanut butter, right ? However, there are limits to nearly anything, and this sandwich combination might have found mine.

Peanut Butter & Mayonnaise Sandwich

Now largely forgotten, the pairing was once as popular as PB&J.

During the Great Depression, people valued high-calorie combinations of protein and fat. Meat and dairy were costly, and consuming enough energy could prove challenging. Enter peanut butter and mayonnaise on white bread. The combination became a staple in Southern households in the United States and, in some regions, it was as ubiquitous as peanut butter and jelly. For the next 30 years or so, the PB&M was a favorite in many American kitchens, perhaps because adding mayonnaise to the era’s rustic, coarse nut butter may have been key for spreadability. Newspapers from the 1940s in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Troy, New York, both advised adding mayonnaise to “moisten” or “thin” peanut butter before adding bacon or shredded American cheese.

In the 1960s, Hellman’s Mayonnaise debuted an advertisement suggesting fun ways to spice up the basic peanut butter & mayo sandwich. To make a “Double Crunch,” one simply added bacon and pickles. A “Funny Face” called for raisins and carrots (and some degree of artistic capability). The “Apple Fandango” featured sliced apples and marmalade, while the “Crazy Combo”—you’ve been warned—included salami, sliced eggs, and onions.

Today, a seemingly limitless array of sandwich ingredients are affordable, but peanut butter and mayonnaise remain a beloved combination among the many Americans who grew up eating them. It also continues to maintain standing as one of the cheapest, highest-calorie pairings out there (one tablespoon of either condiment contains about 100 calories). But while famished people struggling through the Great Depression replenished themselves with the dense snack, for 21st-century Americans, the combo of the two, gooey spreads is more likely to inspire a midday nap.

Believe it or not, I used to work with a guy that had a pb&m every day for lunch. At the time, I thought he was crazy, but now I see where he got the idea. One of these days I might have to try it myself. BTW, I got this from a site called Atlas Obscura.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Now This Is Really Sad...!

I have to wonder what kind of sick mind is willing to perform experiments on children...any children. In my opinion, this action should never be allowed, at all!

Little Albert

Photo credit: Timeline

In the late 1910s, behavioral scientist John B. Watson was studying whether emotional reactions could be conditioned in humans, after the manner of Pavlov’s dogs. One of his subjects was a baby named Albert, aged nine months. Albert was exposed to a series of stimuli, including a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey, masks, and burning newspapers. Initially, Albert showed no fear of any of these objects.

Then, as Albert was exposed to the rat, Watson made a loud noise by hitting a metal pipe with a hammer, whereupon Albert cried. After being repeatedly presented the white rat followed by the loud noise, Albert began to cry as soon as he saw the rat.

Watson must have conducted the experiment many times because he collected enough data to discover that not only did the kid cry at white rats, but he also began to cry at anything that might possibly look like a rat, including a variety of white objects and an equally large assortment of furry objects (including, at one point, a Santa Claus beard).[4] Even those objects which he had previously played with began to frighten him if they bore any resemblance to a rat (or if they were handed to him by a man wielding a hammer).

Watson didn’t bother to decondition Little Albert at the end of the experiment, and it is unknown whether his fear of vermin, loud noises, or psychologists remained with him. Sadly, Albert died at the age of six. It is unknown whether his mother, who was paid a grand total of $1 for his participation, ever realized what it was they were doing when they came to play with her son.

I don't care what kind of information you are after, using children as guinea pigs shoud never be allowed!

Coffee inside this morning. It's wet outside.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Deacon Miller On Western Wednesday...!

Sometimes the outward appearance of some of the most vicious killers in the old west were deceiving, to say the least. While they might appear to be honest and non-violent publicly, some were in fact serial killers. Here is one such story from Listverse.

James Miller

Photo credit: Legends of America

James Miller, aka Miller the Killer, was a murderer-for-hire. He was also called Deacon Miller because he would regularly attend church and seemingly had no vices; he didn’t smoke or drink. Despite his pious behavior in public, James obviously had a darker professional and private life. He would often kill people he didn’t like. When his sister was engaged to be married to a man whom James despised, the fiance was mysteriously murdered. James are arrested and convicted of the murder, but the charges were overturned on a technicality. James would eventually turn his passion for killing into a profession, charging large sums of money to have someone executed.

Because of James’s pious outward appearance, no one in his community had any idea what he was capable of. He actually had a brief stint as a lawman. James’s downfall ultimately came when he assassinated a former deputy US marshal. This caused an enraged mob to lynch him. Right before he was hanged, he reportedly shouted, “Let her rip!

In some cases, their private activities fooled many people, but his true nature was finally revealed.

Coffee inside due to the cool rain that's falling...OK?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Window Tax...!

We all are familiar with how the government can try and make money by taxing nearly everything in sight, right? Well, at one time the folks in England became the proud owners of the "Window" Tax. That's right, windows! Here from Listverse is the article.


The window tax was one of the weirdest and most hated taxes in England. Introduced in 1696, it was initially payable only by landlords of houses with 10 or more windows. While the exemption was intended to protect the poor, it only helped the poor who lived in personal small houses in the villages.

The poor in the cities lived in big rented apartment buildings with more than 10 windows. The landlords paid the taxes on the windows and increased rents in response. To avoid these payments, some landlords bricked up the windows of their existing houses and built new houses with insufficient windows. The landlords could not simply reduce the size of the windows because even the smallest hole was counted as a window and taxed accordingly.

As more landlords bricked up their windows, the law was amended to reduce the minimum number exempted from the tax from 10 to 7. This forced landlords to brick up more windows in the already poorly ventilated homes.

The tax was very unpopular, and people soon started speaking up against it. Doctors blamed the poorly ventilated homes for the increasing cases of diseases like cholera and smallpox. The tax was finally repealed in 1851, after decades of protests and public backlash.

Now I'm thinking that the window tax must have been a real "pane" in the backside. Sorry...just couldn't resist!

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Train Related Story For Monday Mystery...!

We've covered some mysteries involving ships and boats before, but this article from Listverse happens to be train related. We don't get many of them.

The Murder Of Rashawn Brazell

On the morning of February 14, 2005, 19-year-old Brooklyn resident Rashawn Brazell failed to show up for any of his scheduled appointments. Witnesses would later report seeing Rashawn outside his apartment at approximately 7:30 AM, after an unidentified man rang the buzzer. Rashawn was then seen entering the Gates Avenue subway station with the man. There were also unconfirmed sightings of the two men at the Nostrand Avenue station later that day. In the early morning hours of February 17, transit workers at the Nostrand station found two bags next to the subway tracks. One of them contained some tools and bloody drill bits. The other contained some of the dismembered remains of Rashawn Brazell.

Over the next few days, more of Rashawn’s body parts would be discovered in trash bags at a local recycling plant. His head was never found. A medical examination concluded that Rashawn was likely alive for two days following his disappearance, so he may have undergone torture before his death. Since Rashawn was known to be homosexual, there was some speculation that his murder was a hate crime, but no evidence could be found to support this theory.

However, there was one intriguing clue in the form of the bag containing the bloody drill bits, which was a type sold exclusively to employees of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Since Rashawn’s remains were discovered in an area of the subway station usually only frequented by employees, it’s been theorized that the killer might be a transit worker. It’s unknown if Rashawn’s killer is the same man seen with him outside his apartment, and an investigation has so far failed to turn up any solid suspects.

The story is gruesome as it is, but the fact that it still remains unsolved makes it even more scary.

Coffee out on the patio once again.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

How About Some Sunday 'Toons...?

Nothing like a good collection of funnies to start the day off right, wouldn't you say? Well, here ya go then...

And maybe one more to go.

Hope you all have a good day.

Coffee out on the patio...alright?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Champion Female Sniper...!

Often we think of women as the weaker sex, but I'm here to tell you from experience that is certainly NOT the case. Here is a story out of Listverse about the deadliest woman sniper in the world, who just happened to be Russian.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Photo via Wikimedia

With a confirmed 309 kills, Lyudmila Pavlichenko still holds the record as the deadliest female sniper in the world. As a young woman, she competed with the neighborhood boys in marksmanship and later attended snipers’ school to perfect her shooting skills. Even so, she studied to be a teacher and scholar at Kiev University.

Her goals changed in 1941 when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union. Eager to fight for her country, she managed to prove herself and secure a place in the Red Army’s 25th Chapayev Rifle Division. Her first battle had her paralyzed with fear until a young soldier was shot right next to her. That propelled her to make the first of her many kills.

One hundred of her kills were German officers. She would spend days in sniper battles and was so well-known by the enemy that they would call for her by name on radio loudspeakers to try to bribe her.

After being promoted, she was pulled from combat and toured the world. Pavlichenko became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt and received gifts wherever she went. On her tours, Pavlichenko would push aside sexist questions and instead promote support for the second (Western) front. She retired with the rank of major and was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

See? Like I said, I know from experience that women are just as tough as men, and can be an excellent partner or a dangerous enemy...depending on the situation, make no mistake!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Pennsylvania Hermit...!

How about a hermit tale for this freaky Friday? I have just the thing for ya.

William ‘Amos’ Wilson

William Wilson’s story begins in 18th-century Pennsylvania and involves his sister Elizabeth. She was tricked into having sex with a man named Joseph Deshong, who pretended to have marriage on his mind. In reality, he had no intention of marrying her. When she gave birth to twins, he followed her home and lured Elizabeth and the newborns into the woods, where he murdered the babies and then fled the scene. Elizabeth was convicted of the crime and sentenced to death. William pleaded with the governor to release her, and eventually a pardon was granted. He raced home to save her, but he was too late—she had been hanged moments before he arrived.

Discouraged and saddened by his sister’s fate and by the injustice of society (Deshong was never found), William headed back to his birthplace and lived in a cave for the last 19 years of his life, gaining the nickname “The Pennsylvania Hermit.” He supported himself by making millstones, eschewing any other contact with civilization. After his death, his writings were published in a number of different newspapers.

Kinda makes you wonder what he did about food, doesn't it? Guess you could hunt and trap, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Carson "Paper" Shortage...!

Just to show how gullible some folks can be at times, it's not unusual for something said as a joke by a celebrity to be taken as fact. Here is one such story from Listverse.

Carson and the Toilet Paper Shortage

In 1973, perhaps having no more pressing concerns, a Wisconsin congressman named Harold Froelich voiced a concern that the United States faced an impending paper shortage in the coming year. The story made very minor headlines, and would have ended there if the staff of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” hadn’t happened across the article. Like today’s late show hosts, Johnny Carson was well known for riffing on the headlines, but on December 19, 1973, viewers took him quite seriously when he warned of a nationwide shortage in toilet paper. The next day, shoppers went wild, buying every roll off their store shelves and hoarding it. Some stores took advantage, price gouging customers on this suddenly scarce commodity. Although Carson took to the air the following night to assure his viewers the warning had been meant in a purely tongue-in-cheek fashion, the damage had been done.

Now I can understand why the importance of stocking up on t.p. is recommended as as part of being prepared, but I wouldn't go crazy just on the word of a talk show host or any other celebrity.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Victorio For Western Wednesday...!

Some of the greatest Native American warriors from history are almost unknown to us today. I found a great deal of information about some of the greatest chiefs at Listverse and decided to pass it on to you.


Photo credit: Pinterest

A member of the Apache tribe, Victorio was also the chief of his particular band, the Chiricahua. He was born in what is now New Mexico in 1809, when the land was still under Mexican control. For decades, the United States had been taking Native American lands, and Victorio grew up in turbulent times for his people. Because of that experience, he became a fearsome warrior and leader, commanding a relatively small band of fighters on innumerable raids.

For more than ten years, Victorio and his men managed to evade the pursuing US forces before he finally surrendered in 1869. Unfortunately, the land he accepted as the spot for their reservation was basically inhospitable and unsuitable for farming. (It’s known as Hell’s Forty Acres.) He quickly decided to move his people and became an outlaw once again. In 1880, in the Tres Castillos Mountains of Mexico, Victorio was finally surrounded and killed by Mexican troops. (Some sources, especially Apache sources, say he actually took his own life.)

Perhaps more interesting than Victorio was his younger sister, Lozen. She was said to have participated in a special Apache puberty rite which was purported to have given her the ability to sense her enemies. Her hands would tingle when she was facing the direction of her foes, with the strength of the feeling telling how close they were.

As I look at some of the pictures of the chiefs and warriors, I can't help but notice how fierce most of them look. I sure wouldn't want to face them in battle.

Coffee out on the patio again, where it's still nice and cool!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Story Of Chief Seattle...

There is often a lot of history lost in the myths and legends of the old days. One bit of history is about Chief Seattle.

Chief Seattle

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Born in 1790, Chief Seattle lived in present-day Washington state, taking up residence along the Puget Sound. A chief of two different tribes thanks to his parents, he was initially quite welcoming to the settlers who began to arrive in the 1850s, as were they to him. In fact, they established a colony on Elliot Bay and named it after the great chief. However, some of the other local tribes resented the encroachment of the Americans, and violent conflicts began to rise up from time to time, resulting in an attack on the small settlement of Seattle.

Chief Seattle felt his people would eventually be driven out of every place by these new settlers but argued that violence would only speed up the process, a sentiment which seemed to cool tempers. The close, and peaceful, contact which followed led him to convert to Christianity, becoming a devout follower for the rest of his days. In a nod to the chief’s traditional religion, the people of Seattle paid a small tax to use his name for the city. (Seattle’s people believed the mention of a deceased person’s name kept him from resting peacefully.)

Fun fact: The speech most people associate with Chief Seattle, in which he puts a heavy emphasis on mankind’s need to care for the environment, is completely fabricated. It was written by a man named Dr. Henry A. Smith in 1887.

I can only imagine the dignity that this old man must have had, and I hope that his passing was a peaceful one.

Coffee out on the chilly patio this morning, if that's OK.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Anton Pilipa On Monday Mystery...!

Most of the time when someone goes missing, there seems to be some clue as to where they went. In this case from Listverse, not only were there no clues, but there were many questions about how this young man managed to get so far from home without any I.D. or papers.

Anton Pilipa

Photo credit: News Cult

Anton Pilipa disappeared from Toronto in 2012, shortly before he was due to appear in a local court on assault and weapons charges. As the years rolled by, it seemed less and less likely that Pilipa, who suffered from schizophrenia, would ever be found.

However, in early 2017, Pilipa was found wandering around near Manaus in the Amazon rain forest. Amazingly, he traveled across ten borders without documentation or any form of identification before landing up in Buenos Aires, where he was refused entry. From there, he headed to Brazil. Police found Pilipa and took him to a hospital, from which he escaped and then disappeared into the forest. He was later discovered again (in the forest), and his family was notified via social media.

It remains unknown just how Pilipa managed to travel that far without anyone suspecting anything strange regarding his lack of documentation and why he disappeared in the first place.

I will admit that the crossing of that many borders is a mystery, but another question might be how he managed to earn any money without some form of identification for all those years.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Taking Sunday Off...!

I have decided to take today off. There will be no further post until Monday...OK?

Have a great day, everyone!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Almost Killing A Child With Food...!

Although the title is a bit misleading, the crime isn't. Here is a case so bizzare from the article on Listverse, that it is almost unbelievable!


Abuse: Parents nearly kill child with Vegan Diet.

A pair of parents in Queens nearly killed their infant, through negligence. And by negligence, we mean that they refused to breast feed it or give it any milk or dairy products. In fact, all they allowed the baby were fruits, veggies and legumes. In other words, they had already turned their infant child into a vegan. They consider “Veganism”, to be like a religion to them. The two parents were sentenced to five to twenty five years, because the judge felt that they should simply have understood that a baby is too young for a vegan diet and needs better nutrition.

You have to wonder just what was going on in the minds of these parents. They certainly did NOT deserve to have this child and treat it this manner. I believe the sentence was almost too lenient, but that's just my opinion.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Kinda Dumb Terrorist...!

Sometimes you just have to wonder how some people can function in the world at all. A few seem to be lacking enough brain power to open the door on their own.

The Terrifyingly Stupid Terrorist

Photo credit:

Terrorists are not exactly known for their intellect at the best of times. They blow themselves up (deliberately), spend much of their time preaching nonsense that nobody understands, and very rarely get dates. Even so, Afghan Taliban commander Mohammad Ashan has to represent one of the least cerebral of these operatives.

The United States believed that Ashan was involved in plotting IED attacks against US and Afghan forces. In response, officials targeted the Paktika province, where Ashan and his insurgent followers operated, with a flurry of wanted posters. The flyers promised informants $100 for any information that led to the commander’s capture.

In 2012, the bizarre happened. A cash-strapped Ashan sauntered into a checkpoint in the Sar Howza district and handed himself over. Suffice it to say, Afghan troops were somewhat bemused when Ashan tried to claim the $100 bounty. Clutching a wanted poster with his own mug shot, the clueless rebel essentially demanded payment for his own capture.

“This guy is the Taliban equivalent of the Home Alone burglars,” stated one US official.[3]Biometric scans confirmed the man’s identity. He did not get his reward, unsurprisingly. It seems unlikely that the commander’s superiors will promote him beyond his “low-level” grade anytime soon.

I almost feel sorry for the folks that are this far down the ladder when it comes to common sense.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where the temps are nice and cool for a change.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Few Space Facts About Mercury...!

We all look to the heavens and wonder about the stars and other celestial bodies on a regular basis, I'm sure. Well, here is some interesting facts about Mercury that you may not be aware of.

A Single Day in Mercury Can Last 1408 Hours or More

Mercury is definitely one of the most unique planets in our solar system. Though it is the closest planet to the Sun, it isn’t the hottest as that title belongs to Venus. What really makes Mercury so special is its diurnal cycle that determines the length of days and nights. One single year lasts for only 88 days on Mercury but due to its very slow rotation, it takes about 176 Earth days for the Sun to complete one cycle. From recent radar measurements, it was found out that Mercury completes 3 rotations on its axis every time it finishes two orbits around the Sun. Therefore by taking into account the rotational velocity, it can be calculated that it takes about 58 days for a single rotation. Here’s the real kicker. This might make some assume that every day in Mercury lasts for 58 Earth days but that is not the case. Due to the fast orbital velocity and slow sidereal rotational aspects, one day in Mercury is actually equal to 176 Earth days.

This information might give you something else to think about the next time you do any star gazing.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

'Longhair Jim' For Western Wednesday...!

Some of the lawmen in the old west were badder than the outlaws they were supposed to protect the townsfolk from. That was the case of 'Longhair Jim' Courtright. Here is his story from Listverse.

‘Longhair Jim’ Courtright

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to his untamed locks, Timothy Isaiah “Longhair Jim” Courtright was known for his skill as a gunman, performing at one time as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Always a controversial character, he was the first elected marshal of Fort Worth, Texas. He also ran protection rackets in the local saloons and gambling houses. He is rumored to have killed several business owners who declined his offers of protection. His enthusiasm for his work often ran away with him. At one point, he was employed to track down cattle rustlers, but he ended up killing both rustlers and homesteaders.

Courtright finally met his end in 1887 in a duel with Luke Short, a saloon owner and former friend of Courtright’s. Short had told Courtright to “go to hell” when the former had offered the latter protection. In the middle of the street, the two men met in one of the very few face-to-face gunfights to have actually taken place in the Wild West. After a tense standoff, both men drew their pistols at the same time. Short fired first, blowing off Courtright’s thumb. Courtright tried to shift his gun to his uninjured hand, but as he did so, Short shot him in the chest.

I reckon that he didn't care if you were friend or foe, his racket came first.

Coffee outside on the patio this morning!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

One Roof Town...!

Now even though I live in a big city, I don't think I want to be this close to my neighbors. In fact, I know I don't ! Privacy must not be much of a concern for these folks.

A Town Under One Roof

Photo credit: Jessica Spengler

In Whittier, Alaska, nearly the entire population of 218 people resides in a single building! This 14-story condominium was originally designed as an Army barracks during the 1950s and was made a residence in 1969, about five years after the Army moved out. The building, now known as Begich Towers, doesn’t just have people living in it but is nearly a fully functional tiny town under one roof. The building also serves as a church, the police station, a convenience store, and the post office for the town, 100 kilometers (60 mi) south of Anchorage.

In this so-called “town under one roof,” keeping secrets is much more difficult than in other small towns. However, since Whittier is situated between mountains and the sea, the town, or rather building, can mostly only be accessed by boat from long distances. Or, you can take a very long one-lane tunnel that runs one way underneath the mountains for certain portions of the day. While this setup might look strange, isolated, and perhaps even uncomfortable, Whittier’s residents seem to get along quite well and are a very close-knit community.

I found this article over on Listverse, for what it's worth. I'm not sure why these folks want to all live under one roof, but I reckon whatever rocks their boat.

Coffee out on thew patio again today!

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Sibiu Manuscript Mystery...!

Often we are amazed at how advanced some of our relations of the past were and at the extent of their knowledge. Maybe we don't give them the credit they least some of them.

The Sibiu Manuscript

Photo credit: Conrad Haas

It took until 1961 for someone to discover a document named the Sibiu manuscript. The document contains 450 pages and dates back to the 1500s. The writing inside, however, is what has stumped experts. It includes technical specifications regarding artillery, ballistics, and multistage rockets.

The manuscript also details the successful launching of a multitiered rocket in front of thousands of witnesses in the city of Sibiu in 1555. The author of the manuscript, Conrad Haas, included drawings of the rocket, which he designed and built. It is believed that the Sibiu manuscript is the first document detailing the science of rocket-building. Haas also detailed the idea of modern spacecraft, rocket fuel, liquid fuel, and delta wings.

How it came to be that someone figured out rocket science hundreds of years before astronauts in the Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury programs used the technology remains a mystery.

I found this article over at Listverse, but I have a question about this article that maybe you can help explain. If the manuscript was written in the 1500s, why is the photo credit given the same name as the author? I just found this interesting, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, while it's still cool.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The House Of Doom...!

As we all know, the criminal mind can be very twisted and cunning at times. Here is a story that could be right out of a fiction novel. I got this little gem from the folks over at Listverse.

The FBI Agent And The House Of Doom

Photo credit: Surprise Police Department/AP

An FBI agent was injured after being shot from a booby-trapped wheelchair on a property in Oregon.

On September 7, several law enforcement officers were called to the home of 66-year-old Gregory Rodvelt (pictured above) in the small town of Williams. They were there at the request of the real estate lawyer tasked with selling the place after Rodvelt was forced to forfeit the property.

It seems that Rodvelt placed several traps before leaving. He was charged with assault for injuring the agent, and court documents described the event as a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Perhaps most telling was a circular hot tub which was turned on its side and rigged to roll over anyone who triggered a tripwire. Also inside were spike strips and the wheelchair that injured the FBI agent.

The makeshift trap consisted of a wheelchair fitted with shotgun ammo and other items that caused an explosion when a person stepped on a fishing line. An X-ray found a shotgun pellet in the officer’s leg.

Although Rodvelt has been in jail in Arizona since April 2017, he was released this August for a few weeks to prepare for the property forfeiture. Presumably, that is when he rigged all the traps.

I get the feeling that this was not a very nice man, ya know? I sure wouldn't want him for a neighbor.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

How About Some Spider Music...?

As we all know, nature has endowed her creatures with some pretty amazing skills. What you may not know is the extent that music plays to some of Her critters.

They Play Music On The Web

A spider plays music on its web, using the vibrations as though it were a plucked guitar string. This fetches information about its mate, its prey, and even the strength and flexibility of its web. “Most spiders have poor eyesight and rely almost exclusively on the vibration of the silk in their web for sensory information,” says Beth Mortimer of Oxford University. “The sound of silk can tell them what type of meal is entangled in their net and about the intentions and quality of a prospective mate.”

The echoes also give accurate information about the condition of the web. Spiders can feel these incredibly small vibrations through organs on their legs (known as “slit sensillae”). By tuning the silk, spiders can control and adjust the properties of the silk as well as the way the individual threads interconnect with one another.

Researchers have shot bullets and lasers at the silk to measure its vibrations. Spider silk is tough but still able to transfer even the slightest information effectively. For humans, these sonic properties may inspire the creation of new lightweight technologies such as intelligent sensors.

Maybe if we were a bit more in tune with Nature, we could tune in on some of their music. On second thought, man could never be quiet long enough to hear much that nature has to offer...sadly.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Friday, October 5, 2018

A Truly Big Sinkhole...!

Once in a great while, nature fights back at us by creating something so fearsome, we are at a loss as to how to deal with it. Such is the case of the Sinkhole of Guatemala.

The Great Guatemalan Sinkhole
BY ADMIN | MAR 15, 2018

Mother Nature is always unpredictable, and in some corners of the Earth, extremely unforgiving too. Some places in this world experience horrendous hurricanes or catastrophic earthquakes, whereas others experience extensive droughts or devastating tsunamis. But, if you happened to be in Guatemala in 2010, you would have been a witness to something much more bizarre – a direct tunnel to the core of our planet.

Just south of Mexico is the sunny region of Guatemala, a country which is jam-packed with beautiful attractions and scenic views. If you’re looking for a tranquil getaway, then Lake Atitlan would be a perfect option. Alternatively, if you want to hop in a time machine and travel back through history, the ancient Mayan City of Tikal would fit the bill.

But, one thing that Guatemala has an abundance of is volcanoes, and that’s exactly what the residents of Guatemala City fear the most. You see, when it comes to volcanoes, most people would be petrified about the possibility of a ferocious eruption with tons of fresh lava spewing out. However, with Guatemala City, it’s the fact that it’s situated on top of weak volcanic pumice.

Now, you’re probably wondering why that’s such a bad thing, right? Well, as the foundations are so unstable, the area has a serious problem with sinkholes. If you’re not aware of what they are, just imagine a ginormous hole in the ground; they happen because the weak pumice succumbs to the pressure from above. On Sunday 30th of May 2010, though, a particularly bad sinkhole opened up.

With no warning or prior indication, the Earth just suddenly crumbled, and within seconds there was a huge hole in the ground that dug down miles and miles. Let’s just say, anyone or anything that dropped down there would never be coming back up. Smack-bang in the middle of the city is where it occurred, and the rough size of the thing was 60-feet wide and 30-stories deep.

Unfortunately, as it was in the middle of the city, it meant a three-story building and an innocent individual’s abode was sucked into it. Of course, panic erupted, partly because there’s a big dangerous hole present and partly because they knew it was going to be there for a while. Why? Because it’s fair to say Guatemala isn’t exactly blessed with great finances, and the current state of the infrastructure there means sinkholes are difficult to fill in.

So, if you ever take a trip to Guatemala, be sure to keep a beady eye out for humungous holes in the ground that just casually blend into the surroundings. Oh, and if you live in Guatemala City, just pray the event of 2010 doesn’t repeat itself because the last thing you want is your home spiraling into the depths of a sinkhole.

I got this story from the folks at Knowledgenuts, where you can see another picture of it from the air.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Who Really Invented The John...?

The history of man wouldn't be complete without a look at how we have managed our waste over the years. Maybe it's time to finally lay this "crap" to rest with this little history of the toilet.

Who Really Invented The Toilet?
BY SEAN TUOHY | MAY 26, 2018

Contrary to popular belief, there was no man named John P. Crapper who invented the flush toilet. However, a man named Thomas Crapper did make numerous improvements to the flush toilet that had been invented more than two centuries before Crapper was born. He is also known for having promoted modern-day indoor sanitary plumbing with his inventions and products, which he sold through his company, “Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd”. In addition, the expression “using the John” and the slang term “crap” do not originate from Crapper’s name at all. The term, “John” originated from Sir John Harington, who is credited as the original inventor of the flush toilet. The slang term “crap” is a word that is derived from Middle English and earlier from Dutch and Old French. However, The reference to the toilet as “The Crapper” originated with US soldiers returning from England after WWII who saw the company name on the logo which was stamped on Crapper’s products at the time.

Did you ever wonder where the expression “I need to use the John” came from or another expression regarding the waste we deposit in the toilet referred to as “crap”? Many incorrectly believe the inventor of the toilet was a man named John P. Crapper whose name is the supposed source of the above terminology. His assumed middle initial “P.” is thought to refer to what is produced when we urinate. However, John P. Crapper is a made up name, though not completely. Actually, the word “crap” originates from Middle English, where the term was used to reference rubbish or chaff, but its reference to human waste originates from two earlier words, including the Dutch word “krappen” meaning to cut off and Old French, “crappe”, meaning waste or rejected matter.

The truth is that there really was a man named Thomas Crapper (1836-1910) who is credited with greatly improving the flush toilet and promoting modern day indoor sanitary plumbing. Among his improvements to the flush toilet are the “floating ball cock” and the “U-bend”, which were incorporated in the toilets he sold with his company, “Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd”. This led to many US soldiers stationed in England during World War II to refer to a toilet as “The Crapper”, since the company’s name appeared in the logo which was stamped on Crapper’s products. From there, the reference was brought back to the United States as soldiers returned at the end of the war. However, the original flush toilet was actually invented in 1596 by a man named Sir John Harington, where it is thought that the expression “I need to use the John” came from. He invented the first flushing toilet and installed a prototype version in the palace for Queen Elizabeth I, who was his godmother.

However, the foul smell from the plumbing below was a problem he would never solve. Alexander Cumming later patented a design of the flush toilet utilizing what is known as an “S-trap” in 1775, which is a curvature in the plumbing below that retains some water in the piping to block the foul smelling gases from entering the residence. Later, in 1778, a man named Joseph Bramah invented the first practical flush toilet.

Though not the original inventor of the flush toilet, Crapper made some key improvements to the design and promoted the use of sanitary indoor plumbing with his company that sold his flush toilets as well as numerous Victorian bathroom fittings. Today, Crapper’s company name, inscribed on manhole covers in Westminster Abbey, is still a minor tourist attraction in London.

Now that we have that mystery all solved, I feel much better...don't you?

Coffee out on the slightly wet patio this morning!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Bill Tilghman For Western Wednesday...!

Ever wonder just what some lawmen did before working for the law? A few had some close with the law themselves. Here is Bill's story, thanks to Listverse.

Bill Tilghman

Photo credit: Robert G. McCubbin Collection

Bill Tilghman was born in Iowa but moved to Kansas. When he was still a young man, Tilghman became a hunter, and he claimed to have killed 12,000 bison in only five years, much to the annoyance of the local Native Americans, for whom this meant food. During an exchange in September 1872, Tilghman is said to have killed seven Cheyenne braves. It wasn’t his only scrape with the law. Two years later, he just barely escaped being lynched after he was accused of murdering a man in Granada, Colorado.

In 1875, he opened a saloon in Dodge City, Kansas, and in 1878, he became the town’s deputy sheriff. He is said to have collected more rewards for bringing in outlaws than anyone else. During his time as sheriff, he was accused of corruption and selling whiskey to the Native Americans. He was also arrested several times for running a brothel and facilitating gambling.

Tilghman was shot on November 1, 1924, while trying to arrest a corrupt Prohibition officer. Karma?

Seems to me that what goes around, comes around...ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Denver Spiderman...!

Sometimes the criminals in the movies get some crazy nicknames. Come to think of it, that happens in real life as well. Here is just such a case of a crazy nickname.

The Strange Tale Of The Denver Spiderman

BY M.ADMIN | NOV 16, 2013

In 1941, a man was found murdered in his house, with all the windows and doors locked. It looked like the case would go unsolved until a year later police heard strange noises coming from a tiny crawl space in the attic. The killer had been inside the house the whole time.

In September 1941, Philip Peters was found bludgeoned to death at his home. What police couldn’t figure out was how it happened. All the doors and windows in Peter’s home were locked from the inside, and there were no signs of forced entry whatsoever. It looked like the mystery would go unsolved.

Eventually Philip Peter’s widow and son returned to live in the house after a hospital stay. They soon started hearing noises at night: shuffling and knocking. Even neighbors reported seeing “odd lights.” So, the family came to believe that the house was haunted. And there was still the mystery surrounding the death of Mr Peters. The police responded to these reports of ghostly sounds by searching the house, but coming up empty. The family had had enough and moved out. However, the police, not willing to let the case go, and not willing to buy into the “ghost” theory, began to carry out surveillance.

One day, that surveillance paid off. Almost a full year after the initial murder, in July 1942, two police officers on a stakeout outside the house saw something move in an upstairs window. They rushed inside and up to the attic where they saw a man trying desperately to squeeze into a tiny gap. They pulled him out and found that he’d been living in a tiny cubby hole in the wall this whole time, occasionally making brief forays downstairs for food and water. Although the hole was too small for most men, the man was able to contort himself to fit into it. It turned out his name was Theodore Coneys, a homeless man who’d been living in the attic for quite some time. Philip Peters had startled him one day as he foraged for food resulting in the initial murder. He was dubbed the Spiderman for both the weird length of his fingers and for the length of time he’d spent living in his spider-hole in the attic.

I'm surprised that we don't hear of more cases like this. Just thinking about it makes me nervous, ya know?

Coffee inside once again this morning!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Mysterious Grave Of John Renie...!

Every once in a while, someone plays a prank on us from their final resting place. Were they being mean, or just going out with a chuckle?

John Renie

Photo credit: Robert Cutts

Welsh house painter John Renie died in 1832. The unusual inscription on his grave takes the form of a grid, 19 squares across and 15 squares high. In each square is a letter. The center row, for example, reads “o J s e i L e r e H e r e L i e s J o.” You can make out some clear words. “Here” and “Lies” are in that in that string above, and you can see the start of “John.” But why the jumble?

After 170 years, a local TV station finally analyzed it, determining that it was a type of acrostic puzzle. Starting at the H in the very center and working outward, the sentence “Here Lies John Renie” can be read in 46,000 different ways.

Some people say Renie was trying to fool the devil, to keep his soul safe. The local vicar thinks they’re taking the inscription too seriously. He expects it “was just a bit of fun” meant to provide entertainment for those that saw it.

I actually think that this is a cool way to be remembered after you pass. Kinda leave them thinking about the riddle and not feeling too sad.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.