Monday, October 23, 2017

Magnets For Monday Mysteries...!

With all the knowledge that we have today, there are still some simple questions we don't have the answer to. Makes for an interesting topic, I think.

For instance, when I found this article on Listverse, it made me start thinking. Seems to me that as smart as some of the brainier types are in our world, surely someone can answer (or guess) one or two of these little mysteries.

How Exactly Do Magnets Work?

Magnetism is a widely observed phenomenon in our universe, but a lot of things about it remain unexplained. For example, why do particles charged with electricity create a magnetic field strong enough to physically move things from far away? And when they do, why exactly do they align themselves to two poles, north and south?

Explanations range from “it’s just one of those things” to particle movement at the quantum level, and MIT even has a whole laboratory dedicated to research on nothing but magnetism. We know that it’s happening, and we have a good idea of what exactly is happening, too—the particles align themselves in a way that adds up their charge in one direction, but it’s not very clear as to why the particles emit a magnetic field to start with. The fact that the Earth’s magnetic field is not well understood either further restricts our ability to understand magnetism.

After we get the questions involving magnets solved, we'll start in on the mystery of gravity...OK?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, if the rain has stopped.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Optical Illusions For Sunday...

Again this Sunday, we are going to do something a little different. Instead of tickling the funny bone, let's tease the brain a bit.

And one more...

OK...that's enough for today. Let's not overdo it.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Bacon Wasn't Cured...!

It seems that even in the Victorian times, severe mental problems were not that uncommon. The trouble is that many patients, once treated and pronounced "cured", were back on the streets again.

As you can imagine, this early release often had tragic and sad endings. Just like today, mental problems can often be misdiagnosed and remain hidden until some unknown trigger sets them free again.

Bacon The Butcher

Martha Bacon was from Lambeth, London. She had already done a stint in a mental hospital due to her erratic and sometimes violent behavior, but once she was deemed to be “treated,” she was released back into society and the arms of her family. Sadly, her psychotic behavior was far from cured and, on December 29, 1856, she took a butcher’s knife and brutally murdered her two young children, slashing at their throats almost to the point of decapitation.

After being questioned by police, she vehemently claimed that the murders were committed by a crazed intruder. The evidence did not back up her claims, and she was found guilty of murder by reason of insanity. She spent the rest of her life in a high-security mental hospital, using her spare time (of which she had plenty), to knit children’s clothes and practice needlework.

Even today, with all of our improved methods of treatment, some former mental patients are not fully prepared to face modern society without some form of supervision. It's sad, but sometimes it can't be helped.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning because it's trying to rain.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Siberian Stiff For Freaky Friday...!

Today I found a really strange story on Listverse that fits the bill for freaky Friday, I think.

Siberian Stiff

Photo credit:

On July 1, 2016, Russian authorities discovered the mummified remains of a man 15 meters (50 ft) up in a Siberian pine. Investigators revealed that he had been dead for eight months.

He died in a sitting position with his hands wrapped around the trunk. The man was found wearing a navy vest, sweatshirt, pants, and felt boots. He was discovered in Tomsk in a wooded area between Chekistsky Road and Mostovaya Street. Investigators are working to establish the deceased’s identity.

The man was found on a road leading to Seversk. Forbidden to foreigners, this “closed city” was omitted from Soviet-era maps. It is an epicenter of Russian enriched uranium and plutonium production.

In 2015, a container housing depleted uranium lost pressure and exploded at the Siberian Chemical Industrial Complex. In 1993, the Tomsk-7 Reprocessing Complex became site to one of the world’s greatest nuclear disasters after it released a cloud of radioactive gas.

I would say that this story qualifies as a good Freaky Friday entry, wouldn't you?

Coffee out on the patio if it isn't raining already.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

This Is A Very Tiny Boat...!

I have always been fascinated by miniatures. Anything done in miniature !

Over on Listverse, I found some very good examples of different miniatures and I wanted to share one with you.

That’s the pits

What to do with those pesky pits that we find in our everyday foods. For centuries those pits from peaches, plums, cherries and olives have been thrown away with the garbage. But for quite of few folks with the ache to create, and with an extremely steady hand, those very pits are the “core” of their calling. The inspiration for this list, Mott’s Miniature’s had quite a “large” collection of pit carvings that can be viewed at their website. The American artist Bob Shamey has been featured by Ripley’s Believe It or Not not just once, but twice, for his carvings. At the National Palace Museum in Taiwan there is an olive pit carving of a tiny boat, with working shutters and facial expressions on all eight passengers.

I don't think I have either the talent or the patience to attempt something like this. I wouldn't mind owning something like it to place on my bookshelf though.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cochise For Western Wednesday...!

I am often taken aback by how many of us don't know the names of the greater Native American chiefs.

You don't have to be a fan of their ways, but all of us should realize these chiefs helped to form many of our country's boundaries and taught us so much about the land we unfairly took from them time and time again. One name many of us can remember is the warrior chief Cochise.


Photo credit: Karen Gonzales/US National Park Service

Almost nothing is known about the childhood of one of the greatest Apache chiefs in history. In fact, no one is even sure when he was born. Relatively tall for his day, he was said to have stood at least 183 centimeters (6′), cutting a very imposing figure. A leader of the Chiricahua tribe, Cochise led his people on a number of raids, sometimes against Mexicans and sometimes against Americans. However, it was his attacks on the US which led to his demise.

In 1861, a raiding party of a different Apache tribe kidnapped a child, and Cochise’s tribe was accused of the act by a relatively inexperienced US Army officer.[8] Though they were innocent, an attempt at arresting the Native Americans, who had come to talk, ended in violence, with one shot to death and Cochise escaping the meeting tent by cutting a hole in the side and fleeing. Various acts of torture and execution by both sides followed, and it seemed to have no end. But the US Civil War had begun, and Arizona was left to the Apache.

Less than a year later, however, the Army was back, armed with howitzers, and they began to destroy the tribes still fighting. For nearly ten years, Cochise and a small band of fighters hid among the mountains, raiding when necessary and evading capture. In the end, Cochise was offered a huge part of Arizona as a reservation. His reply: “The white man and the Indian are to drink of the same water, eat of the same bread, and be at peace.” Unfortunately for Cochise, he didn’t get to experience the fruits of his labor for long, as he became seriously ill and died in 1874.

I think we might have been better off had we paid more attention to the words and warnings of the native Americans. But if history has shown us anything at all, it has pointed out that our leaders have never been much for listening to anyone holding counter views on policy.

Coffee out on the nice cool patio this morning.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scarface Goes To Prison...!

No matter how rich you are, how many lawyers you have, or how you try and avoid the legal system...sooner or later it all catches up to you.

It wasn't the murders or bootlegging that brought Al Capone down, in the end he was nailed for tax evasion.

Capone goes to prison

On this day in 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 to Italian immigrants. He was expelled from school at 14, joined a gang and earned his nickname “Scarface” after being sliced across the cheek during a fight. By 1920, Capone had moved to Chicago, where he was soon helping to run crime boss Johnny Torrio’s illegal enterprises, which included alcohol-smuggling, gambling and prostitution. Torrio retired in 1925 after an attempt on his life and Capone, known for his cunning and brutality, was put in charge of the organization.

Prohibition, which outlawed the brewing and distribution of alcohol and lasted from 1920 to 1933, proved extremely lucrative for bootleggers and gangsters like Capone, who raked in millions from his underworld activities. Capone was at the top of the F.B.I.’s “Most Wanted” list by 1930, but he avoided long stints in jail until 1931 by bribing city officials, intimidating witnesses and maintaining various hideouts. He became Chicago’s crime kingpin by wiping out his competitors through a series of gangland battles and slayings, including the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, when Capone’s men gunned down seven rivals. This event helped raise Capone’s notoriety to a national level.

Among Capone’s enemies was federal agent Elliot Ness, who led a team of officers known as “The Untouchables” because they couldn’t be corrupted. Ness and his men routinely broke up Capone’s bootlegging businesses, but it was tax-evasion charges that finally stuck and landed Capone in prison in 1931. Capone began serving his time at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, but amid accusations that he was manipulating the system and receiving cushy treatment, he was transferred to the maximum-security lockup at Alcatraz Island, in California’s San Francisco Bay. He got out early in 1939 for good behavior, after spending his final year in prison in a hospital, suffering from syphilis.

Plagued by health problems for the rest of his life, Capone died in 1947 at age 48 at his home in Palm Island, Florida.

The tax man can be relentless when he comes after you, that's for sure!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Temps are around the low 50s...