Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Victorian Murder Bottle...!

Did you ever get some advice from someone that turned out to be very bad for ya? Boy, the Victorians sure did! As this article from Listverse points out, the worse advice came from someone called Mrs Beeton, the household guru of the day.

Baby Bottles

Photo credit: Baby Bottle Museum

Roman mothers used hollow horns to feed their babies, and baby bottles were nothing new in Victorian times.[2] What was new was a special glass bottle fitted with rubber tubing and a teat. The idea was the infant sucked on the rubber tube, like sucking cola through a straw.

These bottles were backed by a popular marketing campaign and given names such as “The Little Cherub” or “The Princess.” Mothers loved how an infant could feed themselves; it was a source of great pride. These feeding bottles became the go-to accessory for the modern Victorian mother—but with deadly consequences.

There was a basic design flaw: The rubber tubing was set into the glass and nearly impossible to clean. Inside the bottle, warm milk made it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The advice given by Mrs. Beeton, the household guru of the day, didn’t help. Writing in 1861, she declared it wasn’t necessary to wash the bottles for two to three weeks.

The result was babies drinking a soup of bacteria, often with fatal consequences. Indeed, the bottles soon gained another name: “murder bottles.” This, along with the condemnation of doctors, should have stopped their use. But it didn’t. Sadly, many mothers were taken in by advertising and continued using them regardless.

It seems to me that the smell of sour milk remaining in the bottle would have been enough of a signal to the mothers to clean the bottles, no matter how hard it must have been. Not enough common sense, I guess.

Coffee inside once again. The rain just keeps on coming!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Prince Of Hangmen...!

Many of the bad guys of the old west had to meet the hangman at some point in their career, but I'm sure they were in no hurry to do so. Still, when the time came, they would be lucky to get a hangman with enough experience to earn the name "Prince of Hangmen." Here from Listverse is the brief story of this hangman.

George Maledon

Photo credit: True West Magazine

He was called the Prince of Hangmen, but much of his story is unknown. George Maledon probably began hanging men in the state of Arkansas in 1873. Some accounts claim that he hanged 50 men during his career, while other reports say he hanged 88 men before he retired in 1891.

Unlike other hangmen, Maledon appeared to take his job seriously. According to a newspaper article published in 1896:
A hanging by Maledon was worth going miles to see. It was a thing of scientific beauty. From the moment the subject began to prepare for the march to the scaffold, the little Dutch hangman was at his heels. He had been up before daylight, greasing his ropes, oiling the hinges of the gallows trap, and adjusting and readjusting his noose.

Maledon was always eager for the job to get done. If the condemned would falter in any way, Maledon would say, “Oh, come on, now. It’s nothing at all. You won’t feel it, and I’ll have it all over in a jiffy.”

Experience taught Maledon how to kill with a noose. He had bungled his first few executions, with one man slowly choking to death and another man nearly decapitated by the fall. To ensure a quick and bloodless death, Maledon began practicing his technique on bags of sand, each bag weighing anywhere from 41 to 102 kilograms (90–225 lb). After his study of weights and heights, hanging the condemned became almost second nature to him.

More than likely he even used a new rope to do the actual hanging. Just speculation on my part, you understand.

Coffee inside again today!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Cat Connection...!

As you know, I have a cat...several cats, as a matter of fact. I like having them around, and even feed the almost feral cats outside. I finally discovered why I like them so much in this article from Listverse.

Cats Are Often Our Main Connection To Nature

Despite being man’s best friend, dogs haven’t become nearly as Internet popular as cats. Dogs and humans evolved alongside each other and and (most) dogs are smart enough to figure out how to coexist with humans so easily that there’s really not that much strangeness compared to living with a cat.

But when we have pet cats, we are living with tiny pumas. As we noted, humans have become so far removed from nature that we often don’t even think about nature until we’re shoveling snow or bracing for a hurricane. We have the same brains as our hunter-gatherer ancestors but can go for days at a time without really venturing outside, even though being in nature often makes us feel happier. Sharknados aside, we’ve pretty much removed ourselves from the food chain. But by surrounding ourselves with cities and walls, we’ve also erased our connection to all the other animals on this planet. It’s lonely at the top.

Cats are our furry little reminders that there’s a whole animal kingdom outside our walls. Knocking over papers, sleeping on laptops, or breaking into the pantry and eating all the Rice Krispies provides us with a much-needed connection to the wild world. So, thanks cats, for reminding us where we came from and who we really are.

I think this article pretty much says it all for me. Makes a lot of sense to this old man!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning once again.

Monday, February 25, 2019

He Left But Came Back...!

Many times what starts off as a good mystery becomes even a better mystery when solved. That is the case in this article from Listverse.

Jacque Verges

Photo credit: Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Jacque Verges was one of France’s most controversial lawyers, until he died of a heart attack in August last year. He was nicknamed “The Devil’s Advocate” for taking on clients like Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, and terrorist Djamila Bouhired, whom he saved from from being sentenced to death for bombing innocent people. Because of cases like these, it should come as no great surprise that Verges was well known by the public and closely watched by the media. It would be natural to assume that when he went missing in 1970, it was by the hand of one of the countless enemies he likely racked up over the years. Only we know for certain that that’s not what happened, because eight years after disappearing, Verges reemerged and carried on with his life as if nothing happened. He began practicing law again in 1979, still defending the worst people he could find, such as his old friend Khieu Samphan, who was convicted of committing genocide while he led the Khmer Rouge, a Cambodian communist party.

Many theories have been put forward as to where Verges was for those eight years. Some say he was an advisor to Pol Pot, another former leader of the Khmer Rouge, who was in power from 1975 to 1979. Others claim he was trained by the KGB. Verges himself never explained where he was for those eight years, simply saying that he was on holidays “very much to the east of France.” He also said he enjoyed reading his own obituaries, and the fact that nobody had any idea where he lived for almost a decade.

So where do you reckon this ol' boy was hiding all those years...and why? Strange stuff, for sure!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

To Help You Stay Warm...!

Here from history is a bit of a fashion tip for those living in colder areas. I'm not sure how practical is really is, but I reckon the only way to tell is to try it!

Greenlandic Seal Fur Thongs

Photo credit:

Mostly, clothes have become skimpier throughout history. But the modern thong is a surprisingly old innovation that Greenlandic Inuits have been rocking for several hundred years.

The naatsit is a traditional G-string-like undergarment made of seal fur, chosen for its durability and not-too-hot and not-too-cold level of insulation. It’s stitched together with reindeer or whale sinews and made fashionable with decorative beads or the head of the seal attached to the codpiece.

Men and women both wore the undergarment. They might conceal it beneath a thicker pair of seal fur trousers or just sport the naatsit itself when chilling about the house, much to the shock of visiting Danish missionaries.

I'm just guessing here, but these must have been comfortable. Not sure about how warm they were, though.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Along With The Riches Comes Guilt...!

I really don't believe for a moment that when someone invents something that makes them rich that they feel any guilt at all. Even when they find out that the product they invented is totally out of control. Somehow I just can't place rich and guilty together in the mind of most folks.


If any of us had invented a product that was helping to devastate the environment, we might well feel regret about it, and so it is for the inventor of the Keurig pod, more commonly referred to as the K-Cup. The man in question is John Sylvan, who developed the idea for the single-use plastic coffee pods during the early 1990s. The concept ended up being worth billions. The big problem with these pods is that the plastic that is used to manufacture them is not biodegradable and generally can’t be recycled, and thus, it ends up as waste.

As with so many of the other visionaries on this list, Sylvan now argues that he did not realize his invention would become so big in the US that around one in three homes has a machine for the pods—he saw them as something that would only be used in offices. Then again, he also admits that he knew that their easy disposability and the addictive nature of coffee would almost certainly make them a success, so it does seem like he could probably have guessed at the actual outcome.

Don't get me wrong. I like the coffee pods and use them myself from time to time, but I'm not buying his argument that he feels guilty they got so popular and became a problem for the environment. Surly he was smart enough to see the possibility.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No guilt trips allowed, though.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Check Out This Burger Recipe...!

One of my all-time favorite meals is a great big juicy ol' hamburger. I haven't had one in a while and this article from AtlasObscura reminded me of that fact. I'm just crazy enough to think that I would like to try this burger, ya know?


A now-shuttered Missouri drive-in brought local acclaim to patties topped in peanut butter.

One small drive-in burger joint in the city of Sedalia, Missouri, introduced fast-food fans to a peanut butter–slathered hamburger known as the Guberburger. The Wheel Inn, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Kansas City, attracted customers with their well-loved patties, the most unique of which featured peanut butter, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato as its signature toppings. Hungry drivers pulled up for roadside service from the 1940s until 2007, when a highway expansion project compromised the building.

A former employee took the initiative to reopen The Wheel Inn in a new location, extending the guberburger’s life for a few more good years. Unfortunately, the second location shuttered in 2013. Even though the original location and the business behind the guberburger are gone, other local joints have taken it upon themselves to keep the legacy alive. You can still find peanut butter–topped hamburgers at eateries in Sedalia today, a result of The Wheel Inn’s nearly 70 years as a local staple.

I reckon many folks will hate the thought of peanut butter on a burger, but I think it might be kinda tasty! Might have to try this one at home, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Donner Party For Western Wednesday...!

Hopefully none of us will ever have to undergo the trials and hardships suffered by the Donner party in their effort to reach California. Just shows how adventurous some folks can be, I reckon

Donner Party rescued from the Sierra Nevada Mountains

In the summer of 1846, in the midst of a Western-bound fever sweeping the United States, 89 people–including 31 members of the Donner and Reed families–set out in a wagon train from Springfield, Illinois. After arriving at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the emigrants decided to avoid the usual route and try a new trail recently blazed by California promoter Lansford Hastings, the so-called “Hastings Cutoff.” After electing George Donner as their captain, the party departed Fort Bridger in mid-July. The shortcut was nothing of the sort: It set the Donner Party back nearly three weeks and cost them much-needed supplies. After suffering great hardships in the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert and along the Humboldt River, they finally reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains in early October. Despite the lateness of the season, the emigrants continued to press on, and on October 28 they camped at Truckee Lake, located in the high mountains 21 kilometers northwest of Lake Tahoe. Overnight, an early winter storm blanketed the ground with snow, blocking the mountain pass and trapping the Donner Party.

Most of the group stayed near the lake–now known as Donner Lake–while the Donner family and others made camp six miles away at Alder Creek. Building makeshift tents out of their wagons and killing their oxen for food, they hoped for a thaw that never came. Fifteen of the stronger emigrants, later known as the Forlorn Hope, set out west on snowshoes for Sutter’s Fort near San Francisco on December 16. Three weeks later, after harsh weather and lack of supplies killed several of the expedition and forced the others to resort to cannibalism, seven survivors reached a Native American village.

News of the stranded Donner Party traveled fast to Sutter’s Fort, and a rescue party set out on January 31. Arriving at Donner Lake 20 days later, they found the camp completely snowbound and the surviving emigrants delirious with relief at their arrival. Rescuers fed the starving group as well as they could and then began evacuating them. Three more rescue parties arrived to help, but the return to Sutter’s Fort proved equally harrowing, and the last survivors didn’t reach safety until late April. Of the 89 original members of the Donner Party, only 45 reached California.

I can only imagine the joy felt when the rescue party showed up! Not something that I would ever want to experience first hand...the despair, not the rescue.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Peach cobbler if anyone wants a taste.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

No Post Today...!

Sorry, but I need to take a rest. I'm not feeling very well as of late, so I'm taking the day off. Sorry about that!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Orb Spiders On Monday Mysteries...!

Not many critters in all of nature's collection are as mysterious as spiders. The very idea of spiders can cause many of us to get chills down the spine and shudder at the very thought of this scary creature. No matter what we feel about the spider, some things about them are very mysterious, as shown in this article from Listverse.

Orb Spiders Of Madagascar

The orb spiders of Madagascar are known for their unique ability to create gigantic webs. Their webs are so massive that they can wrap around a Volkswagen Beetle. Despite this, orb spiders are smaller than the thumb of an average adult.

There are two reasons why the orb spiders of Madagascar are extraordinary. First, their silk is stronger than that of other species. Second, they build their webs over running water like streams and rivers, which is something that baffles scientists. There are several theories but no conclusive data as to how they are able to do this.

In addition, scientists are perplexed as to why orb spiders build such massive webs. Does this mean that their prey is also gigantic in size?

I would like to know why they build such massive webs as well, but I'll just wait for the guys that study that sort of thing to let us know..'cause I certainly ain't gonna get that close to one of those ugly things.

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

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Another Item Having "Supernatural" Powers...!

Yesterday's post was about a mummified hand, and today we cover the item known as the "Witches Ladder". I had no idea that our ancestors were such a gullible bunch! Here from Listverse is the story about this strange piece of string.

The Witch’s Ladder

Photo credit: England: The Other Witin

In 1911, the widow of a famous anthropologist donated items found in an attic to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. The objects included four brooms and a piece of string. The string was around 1.5 meters (5 ft) long, with a loop at one end. Feathers had been poked into the string along its length.

This was the only known example of a genuine witch’s ladder. The ladder was said to have belonged to an old woman, and thus a suspected witch, and was thought to be used for “getting away,” or stealing, the milk from her neighbor’s cows.

Unfortunately, nothing is known about how this worked, and though there is still speculation about the purpose of the ladder, aspiring witches today will probably find a trip to the supermarket a bit easier.

Folks had some strange ideas back then, but I reckon that years from now we will have people saying the same about us.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Friday, February 15, 2019

A Very Spooky Hand...!

According to those that believe in such things, this mummified hand is good for many uses. From the folks at Listverse, there is even a recipe for making your own version.

The Hand Of Glory

Photo credit:

Whitby Museum in Yorkshire, England, holds the mummified remains of a human hand, known as a Hand of Glory. The Whitby Hand was discovered in the early 20th century hidden inside the wall of an ancient thatched cottage, and it is thought to be the last example in existence.

Supposedly formed from the pickled right hand of a convicted criminal, cut from the gallows while the body was still fresh, the Hand of Glory can be used as a candle by burglars, with the fingers being dipped in special wax and set alight. If a finger refused to catch fire, it meant that someone in the household was awake. The light cannot be extinguished by water or pinching but only by being doused in blood or blue milk. And where are you going to find blue milk?

The hand was not only a perpetual source of light, but it was also cheaper than paying a lookout, which could be useful.

If you fancy making your own Hand of Glory, and you have the right arm of a recently executed felon at hand, you will need to wrap the hand in a winding sheet, squeeze out the blood, and put it in a clay pot, adding saltpeter, salt, and pepper (for flavor, presumably). Leave it for two weeks, and then expose it to the sun “in the dog-days.” If you are not experiencing dog-days, you could dry it in an oven lined with ferns. Next (and this bit might be tricky), you need to make the candle wax from the fat of a hanged man, virgin wax (not from an actual virgin), and Lapland sesame (an oil from a plant now extinct).

Oh well. You could always use a torch.

I really don't care what you call it, I don't want that thing anywhere close to me, thank you very much! I will simply use a flashlight instead.

Coffee out on the patio again today, where we can catch a little sunshine.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

This Cocktail Has WHAT...???

At times we can come up with some very strange names for alcoholic drinks, but I reckon that is the nature of the beast. However, one of the strangest has to be from the Yukon according to the folks over at Listverse.

Human Toe Cocktail

Photo credit: The Guardian

Bars are known for alcoholic creativity. However, one cocktail is hard to beat. To order the sourtoe cocktail, one must travel to Yukon territory in Canada. The next step is to find the Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City.

Ask for this particular drink, and the bartender fills a tumbler with spirit (often whiskey). The final ingredient—a mummified human toe—is then plonked inside.

The drink comes with one rule. Your lips must touch the toe. When that happens, the saloon hands over a certificate. So far, over 100,000 people have earned their certificates.

The drink’s history is just as weird. It was born in 1973 after an entrepreneur found the frostbitten toe of a rum smuggler. The digit had been kept in the smuggler’s shack since the 1920s and was around 50 years old upon discovery.

The entrepreneur started the drink as a way in which people could prove themselves as worthy Yukoners. The original toe was swallowed in 1980, but several frostbitten toes have taken its place since.

This is one of those things you might have to be drunk already before trying, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Better Hold That Baby More...!

Ever wonder if you are holding a baby too much? According to this study, the more we handle a baby the better it is for them.

Holding a baby can change its DNA. Studies show children who have low physical contact as infants end up with DNA cells that are less mature than usual, which can result in delayed growth and development. This means the effects of denying physical affection to babies aren’t just behavioral- they’re genetic.

Interesting, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio for a change this morning!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hey, Ladies Can Duel Also...!

We often think of dueling as something done by "gentlemen" to prove their honor, but there have been a few duels in which women took part. From Listverse, here is the tale of one such duel.

Lady Almeria Braddock And Mrs. Elphinstone

Photo credit:

Dueling was not confined to gentlemen. Sometimes, gentlewomen got in on the action, too. In 1792, it was reported in Carlton House Magazine that Lady Almeria Braddock and Mrs. Elphinstone were taking tea when insults were said to have been exchanged. Mrs. Elphinstone had the temerity to tell Lady Braddock that she “had been” a beautiful woman.

Lady Braddock took exception to the past tense and took greater exception when the indiscreet Mrs. Elphinstone questioned the lady’s stated age, saying she was nearer to 60 than 30. Lady Almeria demanded satisfaction, to which Mrs Elphinstone is said to have replied, “Name your weapons. Swords or pistols?”Lady Almeria responded, “Both!”

On the morning of the duel, Mrs. Elphinstone put the first shot through Lady Almeria’s hat, which incensed the lady further. They set upon each other with swords, and Mrs. Elphinstone took a blow to her arm before the ladies judged honor to have been satisfied and ceased hostilities.

Seems to me that sometimes the "gentlewomen" of that time were anything but gentle. Nice to know that the settlement of disputes could be done without any killing being done.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Murder Dolls...!

Sometimes it seems as though a mystery almost refuses to die. Long after a mystery is solved and almost forgotten, a reminder pops up and brings the whole thing back to mind again. That's the case in this article from Listverse.

Burke and Hare Murder Dolls

In the late 1820s, two men in Edinburgh, Scotland, began a grisly cottage industry. William Hare (who owned a boarding house), and William Burke were Irishmen who became friends. When a tenant at Hare’s house died, the pair sold his body to Ediburgh University. They quickly realized they could make a pretty penny doing this, but unfortunately bodies were in short supply. So they decided to create some of their own. All told, they killed 16 people, mostly by smothering, and sold their wares to a Dr. Knox at the University. One day, a tenant at Hare’s boarding house found a body and went to the police. They managed to dispatch with the corpse before the police arrived, but Burke & Hare’s crime spree was over.

Hare turned over on his accomplice in exchange for his freedom. Burke’s fate would mirror that of his victims; after his execution, he was dissected in public. Hare vanished, never to be seen again.

But the story doesn’t end there. Shortly after the murder spree, a young boy playing in a cave in Edinburgh came across a collection of carved wooden dolls in a cave. There were 17 in all, about the size of a finger, each secreted in its own tiny coffin. It didn’t take long for people to realize that the dolls greatly resembled the victims of Burke & Hare in both number and appearance. DNA tests on the macabre toys against the remains of Burke yielded no results. Only 8 of the 17 are still known to exist; they can be seen at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Just who created these morbid effigies, and what they were meant to represent, will never be known.

We could discuss a mystery like this one 'till the cows come home, but I doubt we would ever figure it out. Still, nothing like a good old fashioned mystery to get the brain cells working, right?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning...OK?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Strange And Lonely Ending...!

Many older folks have a tendency to keep to themselves, but that doesn't mean that they want to be completely forgotten. Often the term is used " alone but not lonely" is used to describe how they feel. From Listverse, here is a story that is more or less along those lines.

The Twins

Photo credit: The Press Democrat

In a suburban neighborhood of Chattanooga, Tennessee, there was a well-kept house occupied by two elderly men. Neighbors hadn’t seen the identical twin brothers for some time, although the lawn was well maintained and the mail never piled up. Family members had last attempted to check on them a few years earlier but had been unable to gain entry. The pair normally kept to themselves.

When police finally forced their way in to do a welfare check at the insistence of neighborhood residents, they were met with an eerie sight: the skeletal remains of the two brothers, side by side in their respective easy chairs. They had apparently died as they had lived—in isolation.

And so they remained silently sharing each other’s company for over three years until they were discovered. No signs of foul play were found, which does nothing to make this story any less creepy.

Now I live alone, or I did until I let my oldest move in for a while, but I never felt lonely and I enjoy being alone. All it takes is a pet to keep you company. In my case, a cat does the trick just fine. Still, when I pass I do hope it won't take 3 years before someone finds me. That would be kinda sad, don't ya think?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have some peach cobbler to share.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Another Totally Gross Food...!

I'm not even sure that this next item can even be classified as a food, although I'm sure many folks would do just that. They would say "it's strange, but it's still food!" I might have to disagree, though.


So it’s a hard-boiled egg. What’s weird about that?

Think again because lurking beneath the innocent-looking shell is a tiny duck fetus that’s been boiled alive. Nice. To make it, fertilized duck eggs are incubated for up to 20 days and then cooked to create this gruesome delight.

Eating the balut is an involved process. Crack it open, and you’ll see a tasty broth. It’s here where sensible people stop while the fearless go full throttle for that embryotic goodness.

Take a trip to the Philippines, and you can casually devour this delicacy with a beer. But let’s be honest. It’s going to take more than that to wash this fowl dish down!

I'm afraid I would need to be very, very drunk before I tried to eat something like this...know what I mean? BTW, these tasty morsels came from the folks over at Listverse, so don't blame me.

Coffee inside once again today. The cold weather is back.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

I Think I'll Pass On The Wine, But Thanks Anyway...!

Around the world there are many different foods available, as you can imagine. Some are seemingly pretty good, while others are what you might call Questionable. This wine falls into the latter category, in my opinion!

Mice Wine

Photo credit: The Independent

Having a nice glass of wine is a much better idea . . . if it has baby mice in it. Then again, what’s wrong with a nice Merlot? Why is stealing mice from their parents and fermenting them in rice wine a better idea?[3] Are we just throwing in all things that rhyme together? Let’s put some lice, dice, and an ancient sacrifice in there while we’re at it.Anyway, the baby mice are left there for around a year. Then it’s “probably safe” to drink this “health tonic.” The Chinese believe that it can help with asthma, although it apparently tastes like gasoline. We’ll stick with the Merlot, thanks.

I do believe that I'll stick to the coffee, thanks all the same. Mice wine just doesn't do it for me.

Coffee out on the patio again today. Cold again tomorrow, so let's enjoy it while we can!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Dalton Gangs History...!

A very large number of outlaws tried their luck robbing trains and banks, but not many did as poorly at train robbing as the Daltons.

Dalton Gang commits its first train robbery

The members of the Dalton Gang stage an unsuccessful train robbery near Alila, California–an inauspicious beginning to their careers as serious criminals.

Bob, Emmett, and Grat Dalton were only three of Lewis and Adeleine Dalton’s 10 sons. The brothers grew up on a succession of Oklahoma and Kansas homesteads during the post-Civil War period, when the region was awash in violence lingering from the war and notorious outlaw bands like the James-Younger Gang. Still, the majority of the Dalton boys became law-abiding citizens, and one of the older brothers, Frank, served as a deputy U.S. marshal.

Ironically, Frank’s position in law enforcement brought his younger brothers into lives of crime. When Oklahoma whiskey runners murdered Frank in 1887, Grat took Frank’s place as a deputy marshal and recruited Emmett and Bob as assistants. Disillusioned by the fate of their older law-abiding brother, the three Dalton boys showed little respect for the law and began rustling cattle and horses to supplement their income. The brothers soon began to use their official law enforcement powers for their own ends, and in 1888, they killed a man for pursuing Bob’s girlfriend.

Such gross abuses of authority did not escape attention for long. By 1890, all three men were discredited as lawmen, though they managed to escape imprisonment. Taking up with some of the same hardcore criminals they had previously sworn to bring to justice, the Daltons decided to expand their criminal operations. Bob and Grat headed to California, leaving Emmett behind in Oklahoma because they felt he was still too young for a life of serious crime. In California, they planned to link up with their brother Bill and become bank and train robbers.

The Dalton Gang’s first attempt at train robbery was a fiasco. On February 6, 1891, Bob, Grat, and Bill tried to rob a Southern Pacific train near Alila, California. While Bill kept any passengers from interfering by shooting over their heads, Bob and Grat forced the engineer to show them the location of the cash-carrying express car. When the engineer tried to slip away, one of the brothers shot him in the stomach. Finding the express car on their own, Bob and Grat demanded that the guard inside open the heavy door. The guard refused and began firing down on them from a small spy hole. Thwarted, the brothers finally gave up and rode away.

The Daltons would have done well to heed the ominous signs of that first failed robbery and seek safer pursuits. Instead, they returned to Oklahoma, reunited with young Emmett, and began robbing in earnest. A year later, the gang botched another robbery, boldly attempting to hit two Coffeyville, Kansas, banks at the same time. Townspeople caught them in the act and killed Bob, Grat, and two of their gang members. Emmett was seriously wounded and served 14 years in prison.

Of all the criminal Dalton brothers, only Emmett lived into old age. Freed from prison in 1907, he married and settled in Los Angeles, where he built a successful career in real estate and contracting.

It's good to know that at least one of the gang was able to turn his life around toward the end and live a productive life.

Coffee out on the patio where the temps are supposed to reach the 79 degree mark.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Where Are All The Great Daredevils Today...?

Back in the "old days", certain folks would gladly risk life and limb, mere to please an audience. You might not remember them by name, and some of the acts they did were nothing short of amazing! Most would not be allowed today for reasons of safety, but you can certainly bet they were popular in their time. Here is one of those acts from back then.

Aloys Peters, the Man with the Iron Neck

In the 1930s, the Great Peters, as he was billed, thrilled and terrified audiences with his dangerous “hangman’s act,” during which he climbed seventy-five feet to a rigging suspended in the air, put an elasticized rope with a noose around his neck, and swan-dived to the ground.

Like a modern bungee, the rope would snap back before he struck, sending him flying upward, and he’d make a controlled descent. He died at the age of 45 in 1943 when something went wrong during the stunt and his neck broke. His body dangled high in the air for 20 minutes in front of a crowd of 5,500 horrified spectators while the St. Louis fire department struggled to reach him and cut him down.

Like I concerns would not let these acts be performed in this day and age. Shame really! You can read about more of these acts at Listverse.

Let's have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. I have some peach cobbler ready!

Monday, February 4, 2019

The "Wonderman" For Monday Mystery...!

History is filled with people that little is really known about. Here is one such story from the folks over at Listverse.

Comte de Saint Germain

The Count of St. Germain (allegedly died February 27, 1784) was a courtier, adventurer, inventor, amateur scientist, violinist, amateur composer, and a mysterious gentleman; he also displayed some skills with the practice of alchemy. He was known as ‘Der Wundermann’ — ‘The Wonderman’. He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace.Since his death, various occult organizations have adopted him as a model figure or even as a powerful deity. In recent years several people have claimed to be the Count of St. Germain. (Note that St Germain was never regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church – the “st.” before his name refers to his alleged home).

Like I said, so many mysterious people throughout our history that we know next to nothing about. Really makes you wonder about someone like this, doesn't it?

Coffee in the kitchen today.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Toilet Plant...!

Sometimes Mother Nature adapts in some strange and pretty disgusting ways, at least in our way of thinking. What appears gross to us, works for nature...or so it would seem. Here, from Listverse, is an example.

Nepenthes lowii—Toilet Plant

If this strange looking pitcher reminds you of a commode, it should; though capable of trapping and digesting live prey, this species has adapted over time to an even more abundant and far more disgusting food source; its sweet, sticky secretions are also attractive tree shrews, and seem to have fast-acting laxative properties. Some lowii specimens studied in 2009 appeared to have been subsisting exclusively on tree shrew feces, and also made use of stray bird droppings caught in their gaping gullets.

Like I said, it works for nature. Still it sorta grosses me out, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning!

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Underground City...!

The very idea of living completely underground doesn't seem very inviting, does it? At least not to me. However, it seems that to a certain group of individuals, it did at one time. Here from the folks at Listverse is a story about one of these mysterious underground cities.


Stepping away from fiction for a moment is the curious case of the underground city known as Derinkuyu. Located 76 meters (250 ft) below the Earth’s surface, its earthwork walls and buildings descend deep into the ground and span 18 floors. While many modern edifices and structures can dig deep into the recesses of the Earth, having an ancient variation on this idea traverse such subterranean depths is truly an astounding feat of ingenuity and versatility.

Of course, all of this raises the question of “Why?” Unfortunately, little is known about Derinkuyu and its enigmatic ancient inhabitants. While the origin of this city may never be known, the fact that it still stands and can accommodate up to 20,000 people shows just how impressive these ancient Turkish builders truly were.

What ever reason these folks had for wanting to live underground like this, it must have been a good one. Digging out this city was no small task, I would imagine. I do hope the man hours involved turned out to be worth it.

Coff in the kitchen again this morning!