God Makes Surprise Visit To Local NC Church

>> Monday, May 4, 2009

Now, this is some funny stuff.
God Visits Local NC Church

I love what the preacher said, "You'd think the Creator of the Universe would give us some warning, then we could put it in the bulletin, not that I'm complaining."

Photo: Machhu Piccu turned sideways ;)


Winning Backwards

>> Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You win these three events going backwards:

  1. Tug-of-war

  2. Rowing

  3. Backstroke (swimming)


The Gatling Gun

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

Forerunner to the machine gun, the Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Gatling in 1862, but the factory burned down before it could be produced for the war. He hoped that the creation of a gun that could fire 350 rounds per minute would be reduction of armies and less loss of life. Instead, this efficient killing machine, or rather its upgrades, was responsible for millions of deaths in World War I, as soldiers were sent over the top, into “no man’s land” and into the face of heavy machine gun fire, decimating nearly every offensive assault and leading to the stagnant entrenchment warfare that dominated the early stages of the war, before the invention of the tank. (It was called this so that spies would think they were creating a new type of “fuel tank”! The name stuck…)


Who Needs a Patent For This Web Thing?

>> Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tim Berners-Lee, who created the first internet browser (1990) and the term World Wide Web, decided that if he patented it, it would never take off. He got the idea from attempting to organize his notes along the lines of a Victorian encyclopedia his parents had, called Enquire Within. He wrote hypertext software that allowed him to link ideas using text as a jumping off point to data held elsewhere. Of course, all his friends told him “it’ll never take off.”


Eiffel Tower Saved by Radio

Paris, France’s Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Paris Centenniel Exposition, but was destined to only stand 21 years. Artists and other critics who called it a giant lamppost wanted it demolished immediately despite its popularity with visitors. However, in 1907 it was found to be an excellent transmitter of radio waves, which even reached America. It's functionality as a giant antenna saved the tower.


The Edison Electric Chair

>> Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thomas Edison was a proponent of direct current (DC), while George Westinghouse preferred alternating current (AC), which could be transmitted over greater distances. Thomas Edison hoped to defeat AC by showing how dangerous it could be, so in 1890 he created the first electric chair in secret, using animals (dogs, cats, etc) for tests, eventually holding public demonstrations. Westinghouse and AC won in the long run, due to ease of transport, and the electric chair became a new execution method. Edison wanted to call this “ampermort” or “dynamort”, a college liked “electricide”, and others thought “Westinghoused” (likely to disparage that name!) We seemed to have settled on “fried”. (oh, sorry: electrocution)


How We Got Corn Flakes

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was a diet freak disgusted with America’s bad eating habits. In 1900, he ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium and promoted good digestion (along with daily enemas and celibacy, bragging about “remaining celibate for forty years of married life” – they didn’t ask his wife about it!) He decided to create a “health food” available by mail order, and with his wife and brother came up with toasted corn flakes. The most effective ad campaign for them told people “please don’t buy it because we can’t produce enough”


Vote or Die

>> Friday, March 20, 2009

The island of Martinique is overlooked by a volcano, Mount Pelée. When it started smoking three days before 1902 elections, the local Governor Louis Mouttet feared it could hurt his election, so he blockaded the city and even visited the mountain to show that it was “safe”. However, on election day it erupted, and sent ash traveling 100 miles an hour through the city and killed all but two people within two minutes, including the governor. One survivor was a condemned man waiting underground to be executed the next day; Auguste Cipris had his sentence commuted, and toured with the Barnum and Bailey circus in a replica of his cell.


How We Got the Star Spangled Banner

The fifth game of the 1918 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs was held up over an hour as players refused to play unless given more money for the series. The owners appealed to their patriotism: the stands were filled with veterans from the Great War. The players gave in, and the owners played the “Star Spangled Banner” as a tribute to the soldiers. It was the first time this had ever occurred, and was the headline in the papers the next day. The song was not yet even the national anthem. Oh yeah, for sports fans: Boston won the series, their last of the century, and since they sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees (for $250,000, so the owner could finance a Broadway play, which failed), this became known as “The Curse of the Bambino”. The Red Sox wouldn’t defeat the curse until the next millenium, in 2004. (Several players got traded there on purpose, pitcher Curt Schilling publicly stating that “I’d like to help get rid of the curse, because it doesn’t exist.”)


Allied Invasion of Russia in 1918

Far prior to the Cold War, even before the World War II alliance, the US and Russia had a short and minor war. In 1918, the Allies feared the rise of communism, and with the Great War winding down, the US and Great Britain mounted an Allied Expeditionary Force to invade Russia, landing on the north shore near Archangel. With a paltry force of around 6000 men, the A.E.F. wasn’t large enough to become very effective and was easily turned away by the Russians (the U.S. lost less than a thousand before withdrawing), who had withdrawn from the war after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, so they had an entire army at their disposal. Whether Bolshevik supporters or not, all Russians will fight against invaders, as everyone should know by now. In fact, “partisans” (read guerilla fighters) did more damage to the withdrawing French army during the Napoleonic Wars than the original fighting did during the actual invasion. Over ninety-percent of the retreating French army did not make it back to France, being easily picked off from the forests and treetops by Russians with hunting guns. This forced the army into a tightly packed unit, easily shelled by artillery – Napoleon fled quickly with a small detachment and scurried back to France well ahead of the army. Estimates are that over a million invaded Russia, about 10,000 returned! When he reached the Elbe River, he asked the ferryman if any deserters had come back. He replied, "no, sir, you're the first."


Pres. Garfield, a Victim of Bad Doctoring

>> Thursday, March 19, 2009

President James Garfield was shot walking through a train station on his way to a college reunion in July of 1881. He was shot by a disgruntled lawyer denied a diplomatic post.

Doctors could not find the bullet, and turned a 3-inch wound into an infected 20-inch cannonball hole and they punctured his liver!. Garfield struggled all summer and died in September, and they found the bullet in an autopsy in a non-life threatening location. Sometimes, “no medicine is the best medicine.”

Assassin Charles Guiteau based his defense on blaming the doctors, but was convicted and hung anyway.


The Ghost of Lincoln

While in office, Lincoln held séances in the White House and was a student of psychic research. Lincoln’s ghost has been often been seen in the White House, including by Holland’s Queen Wilhemena in 1945. Lincoln’s personal secretary was named Kennedy. John F. Kennedy’s personal secretary was named Lincoln. Richard Nixon used to have “private conversations” with Lincoln’s portrait during his troubled years when his administration all faced criminal charges.


World War I Catalyst Was an Accident

Try, try again but don’t stop the car for directions!

World War I almost didn’t get its catalyst. On June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Sophie, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, visited Bosnia, the streets of Sarajevo were filled with admirers and assassination conspirators. One threw a bomb at the car that the Archduke batted away. Later he spontaneously wanted to visit the aide injured by the bomb in the hospital, but the driver didn’t know the way. He came to a bridge, stopped as an official said “that’s the wrong way”, and was about to turn around when one of the failed conspirators, standing nearby and consoling fellow conspirators about their failure, spotted the car. Gavrilo Princip, only 19, shot both Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, who tried to put herself in front of her husband. Both died within minutes, sparking “The Great War”, which killed over 10 million. Ironically, the war continued long enough without U.S. involvement that it was able to “get fat” by selling arms to both sides before entering the war near the end when the outcome was not in doubt. The U.S. lost less than 50,000 soldiers.


The World's First Fax Machine in 1857

Invented in 1857, and called a “pantelegraph”, Italian Giovanni Caselli was a priest who thought that telegraphs could also reproduce pictures. His device recognized ink on the page to be copied, causing a signal to write at the other end. It took six years to perfect, and consisted of pendulums, wires, and batteries. By 1868, it was sending over 100 faxes per hour. After the Prussian invasion of 1870, it ceased to be operated, and wasn’t thought necessary until over a hundred years later! (By the way, “fax” stands for facsimile, which some think means “fax a mile”!)


Bush Is Back!

>> Saturday, February 14, 2009

This was too funny to pass up, a special Inauguration day campaign to "Shave the Date", organized by Kristen Chase, who said "take pride in knowing you've rid your world of bush, once and for all."

Here's the original story at Salon.com:
Shave the Date Campaign

That was Bill Maher's take, when he lamented on a Sept. 19 episode of "Real Time With Bill Maher," "Bring back a little pubic hair. Not a lot. I'm not talking about reviving that 1973 look that says I'm liberated ... and I'm smuggling a hedgehog. I just want a friendly, fuzzy calling card that tells me I'm not going to get arrested."

Author of the Salon article, Lisa Germinsky, says, "So while some women shave themselves silly on Jan. 20, I plan to enter this new era with a tailored modern mini-bush and a reclaimed sense of womanhood. Maybe, if the bikini line theory plays out, we'll all go back to the Telly Savalas sooner or later. But the promise of a new America under an Obama administration gives me greater optimism. I envision a country where we can one day have it all -- a booming economy, national security, a healthy respect for sexuality and even a little bush. I say, Yes we can."


Giant Muffin Plunges From Sky, Crushes Car

>> Friday, February 13, 2009


Nothing Says I Love You..

..Like a diamond and a shotgun!

Some jewelry retailer in Florida is now running this campaign for Valentine's Day:

"A free shotgun worth $300 with any diamond purchase of $400 or more!"


President George Jefferson

>> Thursday, February 12, 2009

A buddy of mine caught Rachel Maddow (on CNN?) yesterday saying this:

"Obama is not being compared to earlier U.S. Presidents like George Jefferson or Ben Franklin."

Holy Toledo! Illiteracy rules, even on CNN, apparently.


67 Computers Missing from Weapons Labs

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It now appears there are at least 67 computers missing from the nation's nuclear weapons labs. Of course, they like to stress "nothing classified is missing", which means that it's highly likely there has been a theft of classified info. We'll only know after the fact, like 911, how our security and intelligence failed us again.

Here's the story at Usa Today:
Missing Computers


Pictures from the War Front

>> Monday, February 9, 2009



My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist


The truth is a mobile army of
metaphors, metonyms, anthropomorphisms, in short, a sum of human relations which were poetically and rhetorically heightened, transferred, and adorned, and after long use seem solid, canonical, and binding to a
nation. Truths are illusions about which it has been forgotten that they are illusions."
-- Nietzsche (in Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes This World)

  © Blogger templates Sunset by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP