Thursday, October 31, 2019

Why The Carved Pumpkins...?

If you have ever wondered where the traditional Jack O'Lanterns came from, here is the answer as we know it. The actual origin was an Irish legend about "Stingy Jack".

The Legend of "Stingy Jack"

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form.

Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack-o’-lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

Regardless of the fact of where the carved faces in pumpkins came from, the jack o'lantern is a fun tradition. I hope it continues for a long time.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning...just to avoid the ghost and goblins out there.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

More Famous In Death...!

You know how it seems that some artist are not famous until they die? Well, it turns out that the same can be said for some folks of the Wild West.

Failed bandit Elmer McCurdy’s corpse had a more interesting life than the man did.

In 1911, Elmer McCurdy mistakenly robbed a passenger train he thought contained thousands of dollars. The disappointed outlaw made off with just $46 and was shot by lawmen shortly thereafter. McCurdy’s unclaimed corpse was then embalmed with an arsenic preparation, sold by the undertaker to a traveling carnival and exhibited as a sideshow curiosity. For about 60 years, McCurdy’s body was bought and sold by various haunted houses and wax museums for use as a prop or attraction. His corpse finally wound up in a Long Beach, California, amusement park funhouse. During filming there in 1976 for the television show “The Six Million Dollar Man,” the prop’s finger (or arm, depending on the account) broke off, revealing human tissue. Subsequent testing by the Los Angeles coroner’s office revealed the prop was actually McCurdy. He was buried at the famous Boot Hill cemetery in Dodge City, Kansas, 66 years after his death.

Guess in his chosen field of work, you just took your chances as to the outcome.

Coffee outside at least for one more morning.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

No Post...!

Sorry, but no post today.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Golden Owl For Monday Mystery...!

We all love an old fashioned treasure hunt...right? Here is one from Listverse you might find interesting.

The Hunt for The Golden Owl

In the early 90s, author Max Valentin hid a bronze sculpture of an owl in flight in mainland France. Valentin was the only person who knew the location of the owl. He then published a book called The Hunt for The Golden Owl effectively setting up a treasure hunt with no time limit. The book contained riddles that needed to be solve in order to find the little owl, with the prize being not only the bronze sculpture but a statuette of the original owl in gold and silver to the value of one million francs.

The book also included several rules including prohibiting the winner of the treasure hunt from speaking to the public or media about the location of the owl or the solutions to the riddles in the book.

Max Valentin has since passed away and his publishing company went out of business, but the location of the little bronze owl remains a mystery. The creator of the silver and gold owl, Michel Becker, regained ownership of it via a court ruling in 2009 but tried to auction it in 2014. Luckily the owl’s status was protected, and it had to be removed from the auction. Becker is still in possession of the owl today.

Max Valentin is said to have produced a book of solutions to the riddles in his original book before he died but his son is holding fast to that document; honoring his father’s wish that the bronze owl be found by someone who could figure out the riddles.

This is one of those mysteries that you kinda hope never gets solved, ya know? Half the fun is trying to figure out the clues, isn't it?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. Fresh gingerbread to go along with the coffee.

Friday, October 25, 2019

A Dead Jockey For Freaky Friday...!

Here is a strange story for Freaky Friday about a jockey winning a race, even though he was dead!The story comes from Listverse

Frank Hayes

Frank Hayes was a jockey who is most well known for being the jockey to win a horse race whilst dead! Hayes suffered a fatal heart attack in the midst of a race at Belmont Park in New York atop his horse “Sweet Kiss”. Despite carrying a dead weight, Sweet Kiss ran ahead of the field and won the race.

Heck of a way to be declared the winner of a race, if you ask me. After all, the poor horse had to do all the work...right?

Coffee out on the patio this cool morning.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Beware Of The Snakehead Fish...!

There is a species of fish showing up around Georgia that is troubling to many officials. The Snakehead is able to breath air or water and it is the only time I have ever heard of officials suggesting that people kill it on sight! They don't even suggest that for rattlesnakes!

Invasive Snakehead Fish That Can Breathe on Land Is Roaming Georgia



A fish recently found in Georgia has wildlife officials stirred up. In fact, they’re advising anyone who sees a northern snakehead to kill it on sight.

That death sentence might sound extreme, but there’s good reason for it. The northern snakehead, which can survive for brief periods on land and breathe air, is an invasive species in North America. With one specimen found in a privately owned pond in Gwinnett County, the state wants to take swift action to make certain the fish, which is native to East Asia, doesn’t continue to spread. Non-native species can upset local ecosystems by competing with native species for food and habitat.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is advising people who encounter the snakehead—a long, splotchy-brown fish that can reach 3 feet in length—to kill it and freeze it, then report the catch to the agency's fisheries office.

Wildlife authorities believe snakeheads wind up in non-native areas as a result of the aquarium trade or food industry. A snakehead was recently caught in southwestern Pennsylvania. The species has been spotted in 14 states.

Sometimes it seems that Mother Nature is getting a little payback for everything, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Texas Jack And Soapy Smith For Western Wednesday...!

One thing you have to give to some of the gunfighters of the Old West, is that they had some great nicknames!


Soapy Smith

John “Texas Jack” Vermillion was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War, then a lawman, and then an outlaw. The origin of his nickname, “Texas Jack,” is unknown, but when asked why that was his nickname, he famously replied, “Because I’m from Virginia.” He took part in the 'Earp Vendetta Ride' that was glorified in the movie Tombstone, and afterwards joined the Soapy Smith Gang in Denver, Colorado.

Jefferson “Soapy” Smith was a famous con artist and crime boss, who gained his sobriquet “Soapy” after his most famous scam - a prize-package soap-selling racket. He was known for his swindles all across the US, including rigging city and state elections and cheating clientele in gambling halls he ran.

Texas Jack was with Soapy in 1889 at an Idaho train depot when a rival gang tried to assassinate Soapy. In 1898, Soapy tried to rob a man of $2,700 worth of gold (around $80,000 today) in a game of three-card monte, and the next day he was fatally wounded in a gunfight known as the Shootout on Juneau Wharf. Texas Jack either drowned in 1900, or died peacefully in 1911.

No matter how they died or what name they went by, these gentlemen were certainly say the least!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Private Fear Of Stephen King...!

Who would have ever thought that one of my favorite writers of all times had a fear of anything? Certainly not I, that's for sure. It turns out that he has a fear of the number 13 as reported by Listverse.

Stephen King Is Scared Of The Number 13

Photo credit:

Stephen King is the most popular and successful contemporary horror writer in the United States. He has published over 260 titles, sold over 350 million copies worldwide, and continues to produce best-selling literature at a rate of about one book per year.

As the creator of The Shining (1977), Cujo (1981), Pet Sematary (1983), IT (1986), and Misery (1987), King has built the reputation of being the godfather of modern horror, both psychological and supernatural. Many believe that his taste for the horrific means that King is comfortable with the darker side of literature and life and has nothing to fear himself. But as King described in 1984, he is mortally afraid of the number 13.

Fear of the number 13[9] (aka triskaidekaphobia) can result in physical symptoms, such as panic attacks, and affects up to 10 percent of the US population. For King, this phobia manifests itself in more impractical ways. For example, he has to take the last two steps of a 13-step staircase in one stride, meaning that he only takes 12 steps. He also refuses to finish reading if he lands on pages 94, 193, 382, and so on, because the individual digits within these numbers all add up to 13.

King is especially frightened of what he calls “triple-whammy years,” in which Friday the 13th occurs three times. It’s even worse when these dates are 13 days apart. In one of these years, 1984, King stated that he was particularly fearful because he had been married for 13 years, had a 13-year-old daughter, and had published 13 books to date.

To King’s relief, most hotels do not have a 13th floor, many airplanes do not label the 13th seat, and France promotes the hiring of a professional 14th guest to avoid having 13 people sit at a dinner table.

I thought I knew a lot about Mr. King, but I reckon I was wrong. I didn't know of his fear of the number 13, but he is still one of my favorite writers.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Monday, October 21, 2019

An Elderly John Doe For Monday Mystery...!

It is a sad thing when someone dies, and their identity is unknown. Stranger still is when the investigation shows multiple identities used by the same man. Here is the story from Listverse.

San Angelo John Doe

On March 31, 2005, an elderly man was shopping at a thrift store in San Angelo when he suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack. Identification showed that his name was “Roger Smith.”

However, it turned out that his ID was fake and that he had lived in Texas under three other false identities over the years. Amazingly, the man had deliberately smoothed off and done damage to his own fingerprints.

Since fingerprint identification could not be made, this man was suspected of hiding some sort of criminal history. At one point, facial recognition experts believed that he might be the wanted Australian fugitive Elmer Crawford, who vanished after murdering his wife and three children in 1970.

However, DNA testing ruled out this possibility. Until he can be identified, the man will simply be known as “San Angelo John Doe.”

I wonder just what can anyone do about the folks going around that don't want to be identified, even when they die? Do they have a Potter's Field type place where they are buried? Just makes me wonder, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Now This Is Really Strange...!

You know that when I say something is strange, then that means it is! I know that I post something that is weird and certainly different, but this one takes the cake...believe me! This comes from Reuters.

Paris zoo unveils the "blob", an organism with no brain but 720 sexes

PARIS (Reuters) - A Paris zoo showcased a mysterious new organism on Wednesday, dubbed the “blob”, a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal.

This newest exhibit of the Paris Zoological Park, which goes on display to the public on Saturday, has no mouth, no stomach, no eyes, yet it can detect food and digest it.

 The blob also has almost 720 sexes, can move without legs or wings and heals itself in two minutes if cut in half.

“The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature’s mysteries”, said Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, of which the Zoological Park is part.

 “It surprises us because it has no brain but is able to learn (...) and if you merge two blobs, the one that has learned will transmit its knowledge to the other,” David added.

 The blob was named after a 1958 science-fiction horror B-movie, starring a young Steve McQueen, in which an alien life form - The Blob - consumes everything in its path in a small Pennsylvania town.

 “We know for sure it is not a plant but we don’t really if it’s an animal or a fungus,” said David.

 “It behaves very surprisingly for something that looks like a mushroom (...) it has the behavior of an animal, it is able to learn.”

If anything deserves to be called "unworldly", I would think this guy would certainly fit the bill.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Another Ocean Oddity...!

I had never heard of this particular sponge until today, when I found it during my browsing. Of course, I got it from Listverse.

Lyre Sponge

The Lyre sponge (Chondrocladia lyra) also referred to as the harp sponge, due to its shape that resembles a harp, is a little bit different and a little more creepy than your average sponge. It has continued to prove the lengths to which nature will go to survive in inhospitable conditions, and it doesn’t get much more inhospitable than 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface.

The lyre sponge is a candelabra-shaped, carnivorous animal that attaches itself to the ocean floor. Long, finger-like extensions protrude from its veins which can vary in number from two up to six. Small barbs on the “fingers” snare passing fish, which are encased in a membrane and digested. To make things a little creepier, bulbs at the ends of these protrusions contain packets of sperm which are released into the current and absorbed by nearby sponges, which swell after fertilization. It has been less than two decades since scientists first discovered carnivorous sponges. Since then, new species are being uncovered regularly.

You just never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, due to the rain.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Chief Seattle For Western Wednesday...!

I think that we have talked about Chief Seattle before, but it never hurts to have another look at such a man as he.

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 firmly believe that this man was very respected in his day, as was proper.

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Unintended Victim...!

Strange how history revels many stories of collateral damage or victims caused by horrific acts . Here is one from Lincoln's assassination that you may not know.

The Lincoln Assassination’s Forgotten Victim

The Lincoln assassination was one of the saddest events in United States history. High-ranking members of the American government including Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward were targeted that night by Booth’s co-conspirators. One unintended victim intended was not: Clara Harris. A tangential involvement with the Lincoln assassination led to her death too.

Clara Harris was not even supposed to be at Ford’s Theatre that April night in 1865. She and her then beau major Henry Rathbone attended at First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s request. Following the recent victory of the Civil War, the theatre-goers were in a celebratory mood. But, as history well knows, the celebration was cut short when John Wilkes Booth barged into the president’s box and shot him in the head. Trying to apprehend the assassin, Rathbone grabbed Boothe’s arm but Booth stabbed him. With the bloody dagger still in hand, Booth escaped.

Years later, Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone married. Unable to part with her blood-stained dress, Clara had preserved it behind a walled off closet. She believed it might summon Lincoln’s ghost. Spirits talked to Rathbone too. Guilt driven for not stopping the tragedy, Rathbone heard voices in the walls. They blamed him for Lincoln’s death and ordered him to avenge the fallen president. With a murder straight out of The Shining, Rathbone recreated the assassination on Christmas Eve in 1883. He shot Clara and stabbed himself with a knife. Clara died. He then attempted to attack his children before groundskeepers could pull him off. Henry spent the rest of his life in an asylum.

The human mind is a strange and curious place, full of mysteries we will probably never understand. This is but one example.

Coffee out on the cool patio this morning.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sad And Unsolved Mystery...!

No one knows for sure just how many unsolved murders occur in the United States every year. Sadly many of them are children, which makes them even more heartbreaking. From Listverse is an example of one such case.

Little Miss Nobody

In a small grave in Yavapai County, Arizona lies the remains of Little Miss Nobody. She was found just off Alamo Road on 31 July 1960 and believed to have been between 5 and 7 years old. The little girl’s hair had been dyed and her finger- and toenails painted red. Since she had not suffered any broken bones, her cause of death remains undetermined, but officials agree that it was homicide.

Investigations over the years have proved unfruitful. No suspects were ever arrested, Little Miss Nobody has never been identified and her relatives never found. In 2018 the case was reopened, as investigators are hoping that modern technology might help solve the mystery.

Nerly every day I read in thew Houston paper about some child being injured or killed by a parent and I have to wonder...just want are we becoming? Seems many of us are losing our humanity and sanity.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Friday, October 11, 2019

A Little Known Food Fact...!

Something I haven't had in a while is a 7-Up! I used to drink it a lot when I was younger, but lately...not so much. Wonder if this is the reason why.

Feel Good With 7-Up

Fascinating Fact: 7-Up – invented in 1920 contained Lithium – the drug commonly prescribed now to sufferers of bi-polar disorder.

The drink was originally marketed as a hangover cure – due to the inclusion of lithium citrate. It was released just a few years before the Wall Street crash of the 1920s and it was marketed under the name “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” – quite a mouthful! The name was changed to 7-Up shortly after its release but lithium remained one of the ingredients until 1950. Some popular myths surround the name of the drink – but the name is most likely due to the original recipe containing 7 ingredients (with the “up” portion relating to the lithium) or the fact that lithium has an atomic mass of 7.

Seems to me that a very large number of our popular soft drinks today started out with a lot of ingredients that were not exactly good for us, if you know what I mean.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The "Anti-Memorial" Of Plot E...!

This article may seem a bit strange at first, but then when you think about it, it sorta makes sense.

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery

Photo credit: Stranger20824

Oise-Aisne American Cemetery Plots A–D are standard enough—they’re used to represent 6,000 American soldiers who died in World War I fighting in France. They’re well maintained, easy to access, and a timeless honor for those who have passed.

To those who visit the cemetery, it’s easy to believe that plots A–D are the only plots the cemetery holds. But there is another plot that’s surrounded with overgrown shrubbery and not mentioned on the cemetery’s website or map. The only way to access it is to walk through the cemetery superintendent’s office—and even then, the door to it is usually locked.

This is the fate of Plot E, a cemetery with 94 bodies of people executed for crimes committed around World War II, including rape, murder, and desertion. Each “gravestone” is a marker the shape and size of an index card, which is embedded in the grass with just a number to identify it.

The people buried in Plot E are positioned so that their backs are turned away from the main cemetery site. No US flag is allowed to fly over Plot E, either. Due to this, Plot E has been labeled an “anti-memorial,” which acts as a stark contrast to the honored dead in the other four plots.

I had never heard of this before, but as I makes sense in a strange way.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

No Post Today...!

I won't be posting anything today. Taking the day off.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Surviving The Lava Bomb...!

We all know that nature can send some bad things our way every now and then. Those are the times that a little luck sure comes in handy. From Listverse, here is what I mean.

Struck By A Lava Bomb

May 2018 saw the Puna district of Hawaii’s Big Island inundated with lava flows from the opening of numerous fissures. Many people evacuated, but some remained in a bid to protect their homes and those of their neighbors. One such resident was Darryl Clinton, who lived to the east of the Leilani Estates neighborhood, which was hit by quite a bit of volcanism.

Darryl knew the dangers. While lava flows are generally slow and easily avoided, “lava bombs,” ejected gobs of molten rock, are of greater concern. For five days, he and others would hose houses down when they were struck by flying molten rock from Fissure 17, and they were proficient in watching for the lava bombs, gauging where they’d land, and making sure they weren’t standing in the bombs’ paths. Darryl’s luck ran out on May 19.

That day, Darryl was standing on the third-floor lanai of his neighbor’s house and talking on his phone. A lava bomb which Darryl would later describe as moving less in an arc and more like a rifle shot hit him in the ankle, flipping him off his feet and sending him into a couch, which promptly lit on fire. A friend rushed to his aid. Darryl looked at his ankle and saw bone protruding from his flesh. His foot was hanging off the rest of his leg “like a hinge,” and he was bleeding profusely. At this point, all Darryl knew was excruciating pain and the fear that he’d bleed to death.

Darryl’s friend got a tourniquet on him and dragged him downstairs and into her truck. She called 911 and sped off to meet up with first responders. Darryl was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, fully expecting to lose his leg. Amazingly, doctors managed to save it. Darryl said of the lava bomb that hit him, “It was a mean one. And I mean, it could have hit anywhere else and it would have been all over.” Despite his brush with death, Darryl has no plans for leaving the area and described seeing the lava flows up close as “the event of a lifetime."

Either this guy was very lucky on that particular day, or he had an Angel on his shoulder! Could be a combination of both, I reckon...

Coffee out on the patio, where the temps are much cooler today.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lincoln's Unread Secret Message...!

I may have covered this one before, but I find it is interesting enough to revisit. I hope you don't mind.

Secret Message In Lincoln’s Watch

Photo credit: Smithsonian Museum via Mashable

On April 13, 1861, Jonathan Dillon, an Irish immigrant and watchmaker, carved a hidden message in Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch. Employed by M.W. Galt and Co. jewelers in Washington, DC, Dillon was repairing the president’s watch the day Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, which led to the US Civil War. The message would remain hidden until the Smithsonian opened the timepiece in 2009.

Dillon’s inscription read: “The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a president who at least will try.” Dillon and the president never met, and Lincoln never saw the message hidden within his timepiece.

In the 1850s, Lincoln purchased the gold pocket watch from George Chatterton, a jeweler in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln tended away from the ostentatious, but the gold watch was a sign of his prominent law career. In 1958, the 16th president’s great-grandson, Lincoln Isham, donated the watch to the Smithsonian.

Imagine wearing something like that watch for all those years and never knowing there was a secret message inside. Outstanding if you ask me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Zambia In Space...?

This next story is so strange that I felt it certainly qualified for Freaky Friday. I found it on Listverse.

Zambia Joined The Space Race

Photo credit: Cristina De Middel

Zambia is one country you do not hear about often. It is a landlocked country tucked somewhere in south-central Africa. In 1964, it joined the space race and planned to land a man on the moon before the US or the Soviet Union ever did. This was five years before Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon.

The Zambian space program was the private project of Edward Mukuka Nkoloso, a schoolteacher and founder of Zambia’s National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy. Mukaka recruited twelve prospective astronauts including a 16-year-old girl called Matha Mwamba for the planned moon landing.

Mukuka lacked funding for his space project. The Zambian government was not interested in a partnership and the United Nations, United States, Soviet Union and Israel had ignored his funding requests. Nevertheless, he continued to train his astronauts using an old drum he had found.

The trainee astronauts entered the drum, which was then rolled round a tree or down a hill to imitate flight conditions. The astronauts also learned how to walk on their hands, which Mukaka claimed was the only way a human could ever walk on the moon.

The whole thing was so hilarious that international reporters started to consider it a joke. Mukaka never clarified his intention even though he seemed to be serious about it. He once told an interviewer “I’ll be laughing the day I plant Zambia’s flag on the moon.”

The space program fell apart when the trainee astronauts started asking for money. Two of Mukaka’s top astronauts also got drunk and never for returned for training. A third joined a movie troupe. The program finally ended when the only female trainee astronaut got pregnant.

If nothing else, you have to give the man credit for chasing his dream, right? Something I believe more of us should do.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Buffalo Bill Almost Made The Movies...!

During the times when the world was totally entertained by the Wild West Shows, the movies were coming of age. Folks like Buffalo Bill saw the writing on the wall, and made plans accordingly.

Buffalo Bill

Photo credit: Moffett

In 1913, Buffalo Bill (aka Colonel William F. Cody) complained that movies were taking audiences away from Wild West shows and circuses. Both would soon be out of business, according to him, with people wanting to sit indoors to see the sights of the world on a large screen. This probably explains why, in 1915, newspapers announced that “Buffalo Bill Breaks Into The Movies” with the film Patsy of the Circus.

Unfortunately, his movie career was over before it even truly began. Buffalo Bill died on January 10, 1917, in his sister’s home in Denver, Colorado.

I can't help but wonder just what will be our next big form of entertainment. Will we be mere spectators, or perhaps unwilling participants in that upcoming drama?

Coffee out on the patio this morning...OK?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Revolution Begins...!

Sometimes I think that I forget about some of the important things I've learned about the history around me until I read an article that brings it all back in my feeble mind. Age does that to many of us, I reckon. I remembered this tidbit of Texas history in reading about a cannon, of all things...go figure!

First shots of the Texas Revolution fired in the Battle of Gonzales

On October 2, 1835, the growing tensions between Mexico and Texas erupt into violence when Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, sparking the Texan war for independence.

Texas–or Tejas as the Mexicans called it–had technically been a part of the Spanish empire since the 17th century. However, even as late as the 1820s, there were only about 3,000 Spanish-Mexican settlers in Texas, and Mexico City’s hold on the territory was tenuous at best. After winning its own independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico welcomed large numbers of Anglo-American immigrants into Texas in the hopes they would become loyal Mexican citizens and keep the territory from falling into the hands of the United States. During the next decade men like Stephen Austin brought more than 25,000 people to Texas, most of them Americans. But while these emigrants legally became Mexican citizens, they continued to speak English, formed their own schools, and had closer trading ties to the United States than to Mexico.

In 1835, the president of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, overthrew the constitution and appointed himself dictator. Recognizing that the “American” Texans were likely to use his rise to power as an excuse to secede, Santa Anna ordered the Mexican military to begin disarming the Texans whenever possible. This proved more difficult than expected, and on October 2, 1835, Mexican soldiers attempting to take a small cannon from the village of Gonzales encountered stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia of Texans. After a brief fight, the Mexicans retreated and the Texans kept their cannon.

The determined Texans would continue to battle Santa Ana and his army for another year and a half before winning their independence and establishing the Republic of Texas.

Sounds to me as though the folks in Gonzales wanted to keep their cannon.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

A Three-Eyed Snake...!

Snake are fairly scary to most of us, or at the very least make us nervous. Here is one that I'm sure will get your attention.

The Three-Eyed Serpent

Photo credit: Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife

Wildlife authorities from Australia reported the discovery of a snake with three eyes.

The baby carpet python was found in March on a highway in Northern Australia, near the town of Humpty Doo. X-ray scans revealed that the snake did not have two heads that formed together but rather a third eye socket in its skull. All three eyes appeared to function normally. Snake expert Professor Bryan Fry believed that the deformity could have been the last bit of a twin that had been absorbed during development.

The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service took charge of the unique reptile. Wildlife officers nicknamed him “Monty Python,” although people were more inclined to think of Game of Thrones, which has the Three-Eyed Raven.

Sadly, Monty died a few weeks after it was found. While cause of death is undetermined, the reptile was struggling to eat due to its malformation.

Just when you think you have seen it all, nature throws another curve ball.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!