Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Careful Of The Hairy Frog...!

Some animals have the strangest of defenses built in. Take this "hairy frog" critter from Listverse, for instance.

Frog Defense Hack

Photo credit: Gustavocarra

The Trichobatrachus robustus (aka the “hairy frog” due to the hairlike fibers found on the male’s skin) has the gross ability to break its own bones to fight off prey. When under attack, these frogs will quickly contract their muscles, snap the bones in their hind feet, and push the bones out of their skin to create protruding claws.

Due to the formation of collagen in the frog’s toe bones, it is possible for these creatures to break the tips of their toes and not their whole legs. This strange form of defense allows the hairy frogs to both fight off and completely terrify their prey.

It can be used against humans, too. In Cameroon, the frogs are hunted for food by the indigenous people. To avoid getting hurt by these froggy weapons, the hunters have to use long spears to catch these creatures.

I am sure NOT gonna mess with one of these guys, let me tell ya!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Canvey Island Monster For Monday...!

Here is a mystery well worth looking at, in my opinion. Why do I feel this way, you ask? Mainly because it turns out that there was a second one that washed up as well.

Canvey Island Monster

‘Canvey Island Monster’ is the name given to an unusual creature, whose carcass washed up on the shores of Canvey Island, England, in November 1954. A second, more intact carcass was discovered in August, 1955. The 1954 specimen was described as being 76cm (2.4ft) long with thick reddish brown skin, bulging eyes and gills. It lacked forelimbs, and its hind legs were described as having five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet with concave arches – apparently well-suited for bipedal locomotion. Its remains were cremated after a cursory inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public. The 1955 specimen was described as being similar to the first – it was much larger, however, at 120cm (3.9 ft) long weighing approximately 11.3kg (25lb). It was sufficiently fresh for its eyes, nostrils and teeth to be studied, though no official explanation was given at the time as to what it was or what happened to the carcass.

Call it whatever you want...it's still ugly as sin to me. One more reason I don't swim in the ocean.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Half And Half...!

Sometimes nature throws out a surprise or two, just to keep us on our toes. This article from Listverse shows a great example of that.

The Half-Sider Cardinal

Photo credit: Live Science

In 2019, Shirley Caldwell from Pennsylvania photographed a cardinal. Although males are red, the females have tan bodies. This one was split down the middle: The right side was red, and the left was tan. The bird was half male, half female.

Experts call such animals bilateral gynandromorphs (aka “half-siders”). These two-toned wonders also show up in butterfly and crustacean species. This cardinal probably split due to a chromosomal mix-up early in its development.

It is believed that half-siders are formed when an egg cell contains two nuclei instead of one. Each develops as a different gender and results in a perfectly halved chick.The cardinal probably cannot sing, which is something only the males can do. However, it might raise a family as a female. As its left side is female, fertile eggs could happen. This is because only the left ovary in birds actually works. Indeed, the photographer noticed that a male cardinal courted the half-sider as if it were fully female.

I never heard of this before, and I found it very interesting. Nature sure knows how to blow our collective minds from time to time, I'd say.

Coffee out on the patio where it's already feeling like Summer.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Stolen With A Curse...!

Many of us have probably picked up something off the ground while visiting a park or historical place, intending to keep it as a small souvenir. Maybe that isn't such a good idea...it might be cursed.

Petrified Forest Rocks

Photo credit: Jon Sullivan

At Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park, the temptation to pocket souvenirs most be particularly great because they are everywhere. One giant pile is known to rangers as the “conscience pile,” all returned by thieves over the years.

A pair of writers discovered at least 1,200 letters accompanying the returns, dating back to 1934. They collected around 50 of the most incredible into a book, from those whose conscience suddenly wouldn’t leave them alone to others that . . . well, just take a read:

“Upon returning home we first found out that my stepmother had kidney failure, then our dog died . . . I had a really close call in having a bad auto accident, our truck broke down needing major repairs, our cat died and last night . . . A gas well blew out a cap causing us to be evacuated from our home a while. So please take these pieces back before we have any more bad luck . . . ”

Apparently Roman, Maori, Egyptian and Native curses have nothing on very, very old trees.

I may not always agree with the idea of curses, but I figure why take a chance, ya know? Better safe than sorry! Read more about stolen artifacts with curses here!

Coffee once again out on the patio.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Rainbow Squirrel...!

Here is another example of just how creative Mother Nature can be when giving Her creations a little something extra. I found this jewel on Listverse, of course.

Rainbow Squirrel

Photo credit: thedodo.com

In 2019, an amateur photographer uploaded images of a squirrel to Instagram. They were a smash hit. This was no ordinary squirrel. The animal appeared to have been dyed in sections or perhaps digitally altered.

The good news is that the rainbow-colored rodent is 100 percent organic. Called Malabar giant squirrels, they hug trees in the Indian peninsula. This particular specimen was a beautiful example of their bright fur that could include orange, purple, and indigo.

Sadly, not every Malabar has a technicolor dreamcoat. It is more common to see animals with different shades of brown like beige, rust, and tan. Either way, both could play a role in camouflage and looking good for the opposite gender.

The creatures are also impressively large. Measuring about 1 meter (3 ft) long, they rarely leave the safety of high branches. When they feel like traveling to the next tree, they launch their bright bulk up to 6 meters (20 ft) through the air.

Just goes to show that nature wins all the contest for decorating nearly every time.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dora Hand For Western Wednesday...!

Not all of the women in the days of the Wild West were considered "soiled doves", but the legend of many was enough to make them famous. That was the case with Dora Hand.

Dora Hand

The smiles of Dora Hand, some pioneers recalled, caused more revolver fights than those of any other woman in the West. A popular singer in Dodge City, Kansas, the beautiful woman was shot and killed in 1878 by a cowhand named James “Spike” Kenedy. A posse was quickly organized to chase the killer down and bring him to justice. Among the members of the posse were Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Charlie Bassett and Bill Tilghman. When they apprehended Kenedy, he was tried for the murder, but acquitted. Legend has it Hand was the only woman to be buried at Boot Hill. – Courtesy Kansas Heritage Center, Dodge City –

She must have had a loyal following considering the names that rode with her posse. Kenedy must have had a very good lawyer...very good!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Historical Disappearance...!

There are many cases of historical people just disappearing and some of them just may surprise you. Here is one case in particular that you may find interesting from Listverse.

Theodosia Burr

Disappeared Circa January 2, 1813Theodosia_Burr_Alston_by_John_Vanderlyn,_1802

Founding father Aaron Burr served as the third Vice President of the United States, but he is probably best known for his 1804 duel with Alexander Hamilton. Burr was also quite the womanizer, but his fondness for ladies extended past the bedroom. He genuinely believed women were the intellectual equals of men. This philosophy extended to his daughter, Theodosia, who received an uncommonly extensive education.

Theodosia married Joseph Alston, a landowner who would later go on to become Governor of South Carolina during the War of 1812. When Burr returned to New York City after spending some time in Europe, Theodosia boarded the schooner Patriot in Georgetown, South Carolina on December 31, 1812 to travel north and visit her father. Patriot never arrived at its destination. The perils of such a journey were many and there are several theories as to the ultimate fate of the ship. Some claim it is most likely that Patriot was wrecked on Cape Hatteras, which is infamous for sandbars and rough waters. Others claim the vessel was intercepted by pirates, who would no doubt have slaughtered everyone aboard and taken their valuables. More than 200 years later, no trace of the ship has ever turned up.

Interesting, isn't it? I never knew about this disappearance until I read this article.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Unsolved Library Murder...!

You would think that of all the places you would safe in, the library on a college campus would be one of the top spots...right? Maybe not. Here is a long standing case from the folks over at Listverse.

Betsy Aardsma

One of the most baffling unsolved homicides in American history took place on November 28, 1969. A 22-year-old graduate student named Betsy Aardsma was doing research in the stacks section of Pattee Library at Pennsylvania State University when she was suddenly stabbed through the heart with a knife. Her body was found after an unidentified man said “Somebody better help that girl” to the desk clerk before exiting the library.

Because Betsy was wearing a red dress, blood was difficult to spot, so no one even realized she had been stabbed. When they did realize it was murder, the unidentified man was long gone before he could be pursued as a suspect. While no one else in the library saw anything, some of them claimed to have heard screams. Betsy’s murder was completely puzzling since she was not known to have any enemies.

An assistant professor named Richard Haefner is considered one possible suspect, as he reportedly dated Betsy for a short time before her death and would face scandalous accusations of molesting young boys later on in his life. However, he died in 2002 and has never been placed in the library at the time of the murder. For over forty years, authorities have pursued thousands of leads, and it’s even rumored that Betsy Aardsma’s ghost haunts Pattee Library (because of course it does). However, her killer and their motive are still unknown.

I can't help but wonder why the cases such as this remain unsolved after so many years. People heard the scream, but no one investigated...really? Many questions seem to go unanswered here, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Want Some Really Strong Coffee...?

Now here is an interesting find for your consideration. There is a coffee out there called "Black Insomnia" and it is supposed to be the strongest coffee in the world. Maybe you would like to try some.

Black Insomnia is the world’s strongest coffee. Doctors discourage consuming more than 400mg of caffeine in a day, which is equal to about 4 cups of regular coffee, 10 cans of soda, or 2 ‘energy shot’ drinks- but drinking a cup of Black Insomnia would give you almost double that amount, because just one 12oz serving has 702mg of caffeine.

Now while I do like some strong coffee, I think I'll stick to Folgers. I have a feeling this brand might be just a tad too much for me, know what I mean?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Let's Talk More About Memories...!

Those of us in our "Golden Years" have a thing about memories. At least, I do. Yet when I recall something with my sister, or another person that was present, we seem to have a slightly different memory of what actually took place. Finally, thanks to this article I found, I might know why.

Memories are like playing a game of ‘Telephone.’ Every time you recall an event, your brain distorts it a little more. So, while you may think you have a memory of something that’s happened, you’re actually just remembering the last time you remembered it.

You can read more about this right here. Makes sense to me...kinda.

Coffee out on the patio once again.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Creepy Spider Story...!

What would the week be without some good old fashioned creepy story to make a fun day of it? From Listverse, here is an article that I reckon fills the creepy bill pretty well.

The Snake-Eating Spider

Spiders are creepy enough by themselves but throw snakes into the mix, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a heart attack. If you’re one of those unlucky people who suffer from both arachnophobia and ophidiophobia, you might want to skip this entry for the good of your health. But that wasn’t an option for poor Tania Robertson when she went to work one fateful Tuesday morning in 2004. Tania was just your average receptionist, working at an electrical firm in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and as she parked her car in the company lot that day, she was totally unaware of the Lovecraftian horror awaiting her inside.

As Tania rounded her desk, she came face-to-face with a scene straight out of David Attenborough’s worst nightmares. There was a five-inch Aurora house snake in the corner of her office, hanging limply from the web of a brown button spider. The brown button spider shares an striking resemblance to the black widow (pictured above), and while its bite doesn’t pack quite the same punch, it has enough venom to kill a snake, along with the appetite to eat one. While Tania spent all day Tuesday trying to find someone brave enough to take on Shelob, the spider kept an eye (eyes?) on its kill. As Wednesday rolled around—and Tania still hadn’t found someone willing to risk becoming dessert, the spider got down to business. It spun a web around the snake and began dragging it farther off the ground, all the while pigging out on its legless prey. Fortunately for Tania, she eventually found an arachnologist willing to capture the spider and dispose of the serpent. Hopefully, he also figured out how the snake got in there in the first place.

Now that would be enough of a reason to turn around and go back home, I do believe.

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wrestling Honest Abe...!

Did you know that Abe Lincoln was a wrestler and even in the wrestling Hall of Fame? He was and is...and here is a short account of that bit of history from Listverse.

President Abraham Lincoln And The Wrestling Hall Of Fame

Photo credit: thoughtco.com

Abraham Lincoln is arguably one of the greatest American presidents, so it might be surprising to learn that he has been honored in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. As he had rather long limbs, Lincoln was thought to be a good wrestler as a young man. In fact, he was only defeated once in 300 matches.

In true wrestling style, he was known for talking a little smack in the ring. In fact, it was stated in his biography that Honest Abe actually challenged a crowd after winning a match: “I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.”

Unsurprisingly, no one stood up to wrestle the future 16th president of the United States. Due to his wrestling talent, he was given the honor of an “Outstanding American” at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Lincoln also was one of the only presidents to hold a U.S. patent! Really...look it up.

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Let's Talk Tires...!

Most of us that have a car have had to replace the tires from time to time, I'm sure. Ever wonder just what becomes of the old tires? In some cases, they can become a real problem. Here from KnowledgeNuts is an article about the problem in some countries.

In Kuwait Lies 7 Million Dead Tires in the World’s Largest Rubber Graveyard
BY ADMIN | DEC 27, 2018

Despite the fact that vehicle tires are quite resilient and can withstand years worth of wear and tear through multiple seasons of rain, sunshine, sleet, and snow, friction does eventually take its toll. In most countries, tires are shipped out to be recycled but in Kuwait, that’s not the case and is the primary reason why you can see a sea of tires from space in Sulabiya. The landfill houses over seven million tires, although not all of them originating from Kuwait itself as surrounding countries are allowed to pay a fee to have their own tire waste shipped to the landfill.

The Environmental Hazards of the Landfill
As most of us know, landfills pose massive environmental risks as waste gets piled sky high and left to sit for hundreds or thousands of years. In a lot of cases, the waste that is being dumped cannot disintegrate into the earth’s soil as it is not biodegradable, meaning that the waste either never gets broken down or the chemicals that leak from the waste pollutes the environment. In the case of the Kuwait tire graveyard, if a fire were to break out, a lot of toxic chemicals would be released into the air. Back in 2013, this occurred, with millions of tires catching fire and burning for days. It took a joint effort between firefighters, soldiers, and the Kuwait Oil Company to put it out.

Why Tire Disposal in Landfills is Illegal In Most Countries like Britain
In order to avoid the environmental disaster and the release of toxic chemicals both into the earth’s atmosphere and ground, shipping tires out to landfills is illegal in the majority of countries including the entirety of Europe. In 2006, Europe banned the disposal of tires in landfill sites, ensuring that over 480,000 tonnes of tires were shredded and recycled. With this ban in effect, more than eighty percent of the tires that are generated in Britain are processed and recycled through their Responsible Recycler Scheme, ensuring that the tires are reused in an environmentally friendly and acceptable way. Often, they will be used to create artificial sports pitches, carpet underlays, equestrian arenas, children’s playgrounds, and running tracks.

In future, recycled tires are going to be turned into “crumbs” to be used to create road surfaces that are quieter than traditional asphalt roads. According to a test done on one of Scotland’s busiest roads, not only does the recycled rubber surface allow for better grip and skid resistance but it still allows for proper drainage and creates a quieter, more comfortable drive. As of right now, there are about 20,000 miles of road made out of recycled tires, with more countries like China, Brazil, Germany, and Spain taking on the idea and re-surfacing their busier roads, thus cutting traffic noise by about twenty-five percent.

As more and more environmental hazards are becoming apparent from the dumping of tires in landfills, more countries and governments are committing to banning the process. If you are interested in learning more about the Sulabiya, Kuwait tire graveyard, simply search up the name and you’ll be able to see those who have visited and journeyed across this massive landfill on foot. Be wary though, it is a desolate experience.

This is one more example of how we are destroying our own environment, and I have absolutely no idea on how to prevent it. To be completely honest, until I read this article, I had no idea the problem even existed. Out of sight, out of mind...I guess. Guilty as charged, I'm afraid.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning, OK?

Monday, April 15, 2019

James Boyd Mystery...!

Far too often it seems that people just disappear without a trace. In this case from Listverse, it seems that this case was different than most because of the history surrounding the man himself, James W. Boyd.

James William Boyd

Photo credit: Wikipedia

In 1865, Captain James William Boyd, an officer of the Confederacy, was released after having been captured by the Union. He was due to meet his son and travel to Mexico when he vanished without trace. Boyd’s disappearance is the subject of a conspiracy theory that he was killed after being mistaken for John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Boyd was said to somewhat resemble Booth and shared the same initials, none of which seems to be hard evidence, and the theory has been proposed, discounted, ridiculed, and fictionalized by a whole host of historians and writers, most of whom relegate Captain Boyd to a subplot in someone else’s drama.

What is known is that Boyd was held as a prisoner of war by the Union until February 1865, when he was released so that he could return home to take care of his seven children, his wife having died while he was incarcerated. His son is said to have received a letter telling him to meet Boyd in Brownsville, Texas, but Boyd never showed up for the rendezvous, and no further word was ever received from him.

No matter what the reason, Boyd seems to have made good on the disappearing act. I'm fairly certain that the truth of his disappearance will never be known to us.

Coffee out on the sunny patio this morning. Did ya miss me?

Friday, April 12, 2019

Mini Vacation...!

I won't be posting anything for the next few days, as I'm taking a small break from blogging. I'll be back on Monday the 15th. I hope you'll join me then.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The War That Wasn't...!

It would be nice if more of the conflicts around the world could be like this one.

The Spanish town of Hu├ęscar was at war with Denmark for nearly two centuries. Not a single shot was fired, and no one died – because as soon as war was declared in 1809, everyone completely forgot about it. A peace treaty was finally signed in 1981, when a historian happened upon the official declaration and realized they technically should have been fighting each other for the past 172 years.

You can read more about this unknown conflict here.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where the temps are still rising.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Billy The Kid On Western Wednesday...!

I know we have all heard the name of Billy the Kid, A.K.A William H. Bonney, but here is a little more history about this outlaw.

Billy the Kid convicted of murder

After a one-day trial, Billy the Kid is found guilty of murdering the Lincoln County, New Mexico, sheriff and is sentenced to hang.

There is no doubt that Billy the Kid did indeed shoot the sheriff, though he had done so in the context of the bloody Lincoln County War, a battle between two powerful groups of ranchers and businessmen fighting for economic control of Lincoln County. When his boss, rancher John Tunstall, was murdered before his eyes in February 1878, the hotheaded young Billy swore vengeance. Unfortunately, the leader of the men who murdered Tunstall was the sheriff of Lincoln County, William Brady. When Billy and his partners murdered the sheriff several months later, they became outlaws, regardless of how corrupt Brady may have been.

After three years on the run and several other murders, Pat Garrett finally arrested Billy in early 1881. Garrett, a one-time friend, was the new sheriff of Lincoln County. On this day in 1881, a court took only one day to convict Billy of the murder of Sheriff Brady. Sentenced to hang, Billy was imprisoned in Lincoln’s county jail while Sheriff Garrett gathered the technical information and supplies needed to build an effective gallows.

On April 28, while Garrett was out of town, Billy managed to escape. While one of the jail’s two guards was escorting a group of prisoners across the street to dinner, Billy asked the remaining guard to take him to the jail outhouse. As the guard escorted him back to his cell, Billy somehow managed to slip a wrist through his handcuffs. He slugged the guard and shot him with a pistol either that he took from the guard or that a friend had hidden in the outhouse for him. Hearing the shot, the second guard ran back to the jail, and Billy killed him with a blast from a shotgun he found in Garrett’s office. Reportedly, Billy then smashed the gun and threw it down on the dead guard, yelling, “You won’t follow me any more with that gun!”

After murdering the guards, Billy seemed in no hurry to flee. He armed himself with two pistols and, according to one account, “danced about the balcony, laughed and shouted as though he had not a care on earth.” Apparently, the people of Lincoln were either too fearful or too admiring of the young outlaw to act. After nearly an hour, Billy rode off.

He was not able to ride far enough. Upon his return to Lincoln, Garrett immediately formed a posse and set off to recapture the outlaw. On July 14, 1881, Garrett surprised Billy in a darkened room not far from Lincoln and shot him dead.

Like so many others of that time, Billy was killed at a fairly young age. Long life was not in the cards for too many outlaws of that era.

Coffee on the patio again this morning. Want some fresh ginger snaps with that?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

How About The Rainbow Tree...!

We all know that nature can provide us with some spectacularly beautiful plants from time to time, but in this case, She may have outdone Herself! From Listverse, here is an article about the Rainbow Trees.

Rainbow Trees

Photo credit: amelia

Do you like rainbows? How about trees? Ever wondered what the combination of the two would look like?

Well, here we have Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus. Native to the Philippines and other tropical areas, it can grow up to 76 meters (250 ft).

Most of the year, the tree has a smooth orange bark. But in summer, the tree loses this husk to reveal a multicolored bark which gives it the name of “rainbow.” Streaks of green, red, orange, gray, and even purple cover the bark.

Now this is one tree I certainly would like to see up close. I have an Idea that pictures just don't do it justice!

Coffee out on the patio where the temps are supposed to reach the high 80s.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Artistic Mystery...!

Once in a while, we have to divert away from the typical murder mysteries and such to take a look at others in fields such as art. Never considered art as being mysterious? Here is an article from Listverse that may change your mind a tad.

David’s Secret Weapon

Photo via Wikimedia

Controversy surrounds the question of whether Michelangelo’s David was holding a secret weapon, a fustibal, in his excessively large right hand. A fustibal was a sling to hurl stones as far as 180 meters (600 ft).

According to the Bible, David had his sling, five stones, and a shepherd’s staff with him when he fought Goliath. Only the sling is visible in Michelangelo’s sculpture from the early 1500s. But some scholars argue that the straps of the sling connect to an unidentified item in David’s hand, believed to be a handle for the staff which would function like a golf club.

The statue was originally meant to be placed on top of the Florence Cathedral, where the weapon would have been hidden from view. David’s fustibal was visible in other artists’ paintings of the time, which these experts believe influenced Michelangelo’s rendering of his famous sculpture.

However, they think that the staff wasn’t mounted on the handle for political reasons. “A shepherd staff wasn’t fitting with the political meaning of the statue, which became the first public Italian monument,” said art historian Sergio Risaliti. Not all experts agree with this theory, so the mystery of the object in David’s hand remains unsolved.

I reckon we can always find a mystery if we look hard enough. I just honestly never thought of how such a thing of beauty could be part of a mystery, did you ?

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

What A Way To Wake Up...!

Sometimes folks can be their own worst enemy, I believe. Take the very act of waking up, for instance.

Before Alarm Clocks, People Nearly Wet Their Beds To Wake Up

There were a lot of ways to wake up before the alarm clock was invented. People living in towns had the chimes of the church bells, and people living on farms had roosters to crow them awake. But not everybody kept it that simple. In some places, people made getting up in the morning a much stranger experience.

Native Americans would make sure they got up early by drinking as much water as physically possible before falling asleep. That way, the water would fill up their bladders while they were sleeping. Pretty soon, they’d be so full that they felt like they were going to burst. So they’d either get up early and get a head start on the day—or else just burst.

In England, it was a bit easier. You could pay a “knocker-upper” to get you up in the morning. Your knocker-upper would come to your house first thing in the morning and bang on your window with a long stick. And if he wanted to make his shilling, he’d keep banging until you got up and shared with him the customary curse words of morning.

Ya know, when I was working I often had trouble getting up. However, since I've been retired, I find myself waking up at the same time every day...even though I could sleep in! I wonder why that is?

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Friday, April 5, 2019

This Saved Nintendo...?

Believe it or not, the company we all know as Nintendo didn't always make video games. In fact, they had tried so many different products, they almost went broke as a company. Here from Listverse is their story, or part of it.

The Ultra Hand

Photo credit: beforemario.com

The Ultra Hand might not sound like much, but it was a big deal for Nintendo. It was one of those extendable toy claws you can use to grab things, sort of like that stick you use to reach things at Walmart when you don’t feel like getting off your scooter. And believe it or not, it saved the company in the late 1960s.

Nintendo sold more than a million of these things, right at a point when their stocks were dive-bombing straight into bankruptcy. It was the invention that put the company back in the black and that, in time, would lead Nintendo to make video games.

The inventor, Gunpei Yokoi, who started off as the company’s janitor, made the Ultra Hand for fun in his spare time. After he brought it to the CEO, the company made so much money that they made it a policy to green-light any idea Yokoi proposed. That was a huge moment for the company—because that former janitor would end up pitching the Game & Watch system, Nintendo’s first video game system. He would also create the Nintendo Game Boy.

That was the turning point in the company’s history: an extending claw that let you grab things from high shelves. And if Nintendo hadn’t sold it, they never would have made a single video game.

Sometimes the best ideas come from the most unlikely sources, right? Just show it pays to listen to all input, just in case.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

What Would We Do Without It...?

Now here is a product that I know we all have used at one time or another...Scotch Tape. However, did you ever wonder how it was invented? Here's the scoop on that from Listverse.


A conglomerate corporation owning popular adhesive products such as Post-It Notes and Scotch Tape, 3M didn’t see much success in its early years. It started off as five men setting up the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, or 3M for short. They began work at Crystal Bay in the 1900s to mine corundum, a mineral rumored to be very tough. Instead, they discovered it was a very soft mineral with weak abrasive properties.

With not much more to lose, 3M went into supporting experimental products by adopting the mantra “listen to anybody with an idea.” They made a breakthrough with Scotch tape in 1923 after hearing the woes of a car engineer who wanted a tape that didn’t react with paint on a car. Along with other creative inventions, 3M slowly built into the company we know of today.

I wish I knew just how many miles of this tape I've used over the years wrapping gifts. More than I can imagine, I'd bet!

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Ride That Pony, Mailman...!

Believe it or not, it was in 1860 that the Pony Express came into being. Although it never made a profit, it was a ground-breaking experience for the delivery of mail.

Pony Express debuts

On this day in 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated America’s imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland postal system. It also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad.

The Pony Express debuted at a time before radios and telephones, when California, which achieved statehood in 1850, was still largely cut off from the eastern part of the country. Letters sent from New York to the West Coast traveled by ship, which typically took at least a month, or by stagecoach on the recently established Butterfield Express overland route, which could take from three weeks to many months to arrive. Compared to the snail’s pace of the existing delivery methods, the Pony Express’ average delivery time of 10 days seemed like lightning speed.

The Pony Express Company, the brainchild of William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell and Alexander Majors, owners of a freight business, was set up over 150 relay stations along a pioneer trail across the present-day states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Riders, who were paid approximately $25 per week and carried loads estimated at up to 20 pounds of mail, were changed every 75 to 100 miles, with horses switched out every 10 to 15 miles. Among the riders was the legendary frontiersman and showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917), who reportedly signed on with the Pony Express at age 14. The company’s riders set their fastest time with Lincoln’s inaugural address, which was delivered in just less than eight days.

The initial cost of Pony Express delivery was $5 for every half-ounce of mail. The company began as a private enterprise and its owners hoped to gain a profitable delivery contract from the U.S. government, but that never happened. With the advent of the first transcontinental telegraph line in October 1861, the Pony Express ceased operations. However, the legend of the lone Pony Express rider galloping across the Old West frontier to deliver the mail lives on today.

We certainly have come a long way since those days. Communications in all forms has improved so much, it's almost unbelievable!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Scary Health Fact For Ya...!

I've been thinking about this issue for quite a while now, and the more I study it, the more disturbing it seems.

Medical error is estimated to be the 3rd biggest killer in the US. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine concluded that over a quarter of a million people died in 2013 due to mistakes made by health care professionals. That number, which was based only on people who died inside a hospital, is more than double the number of suicides, firearm deaths, and motor vehicle fatalities combined.

If you want to read more about these findings, check out this link.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Monday, April 1, 2019

What The Heck Is This...?

So often items are found in places that certainly they don't belong in. Such is the case of this piece from Russia found in a piece of coal.

The Russian UFO Tooth Wheel

A Russian man found a strange piece of machinery from Vladivostok, the administrative capital of the Primorsky Krai area. The object resembled a piece of tooth wheel and was embedded in a piece of coal he was using to light a fire. Although discarded pieces of old machines are not uncommon in Russia, the man became curious and showed his find to some scientists. Testing revealed that the toothed object was almost pure aluminum and almost certainly artificially made.

Also, it was 300 million years old. This raised some interesting questions, as aluminum of this purity and shape can’t form naturally and humans didn’t figure out how to make it until 1825. Curiously, the object also resembles parts that are used in microscopes and other delicate technical devices.

Although conspiracy theorists have been quick to declare the find a part of an alien spaceship, the scientists researching it are not willing to jump to conclusions and wish to run further tests in order to learn more about the mysterious artifact.

I'd like to know just what the thing is myself. Just curious, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio in the sun this morning. It's cool, but we can handle cool...right? BTW...APRIL FOOL'S DAY !!