Saturday, September 23, 2017

Some Early History Of Billy The Kid...!

I reckon most of us have heard of William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. However, here are some early facts about him you may not know.

Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time

On this day in 1875, 15-year-old Billy the Kid is arrested for the first time.

An older acquaintance of Billy’s had stolen a bag of clothes from a Chinese laundryman as a joke and convinced the always affable Billy to hide it for him. When Billy was literally caught holding the bag, a Silver City policeman threw him in the local jail to teach him a lesson. Languishing in a cramped cell for this petty offense, Billy discovered a deep-seated terror of confinement. After enduring his imprisonment for two days, he took advantage of his diminutive frame to worm his way up a chimney and escape. From that day forward Billy would be on the wrong side of the law, though he would soon be guilty of crimes far more serious than hiding a stolen bag of laundry.

Born in New York City in either 1859 or 1860, the boy who would later achieve an almost inexplicable level of worldwide fame as Billy the Kid, was at various times known as Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney, reflecting the uncertain identity of his real father. The young Billy’s home life was equally uncertain and perhaps even abusive, and he had a rootless childhood that took him to Indiana, Kansas, and finally Silver City, New Mexico, where his mother settled down and ran a boarding house. Although she was plagued by tuberculosis, Billy’s mother, Catherine, was reportedly “a jolly Irish lady, full of life and mischief.” She died when Billy was just 14, leaving the boy to eke out a meager existence on his own.

Unquestionably, Billy’s childhood was a hard and difficult one, but no more so than that of thousands of other young orphans. For a time the boy even seemed to be headed for an unremarkable life as a hard-working, honest, and unusually friendly young man. The owner of a hotel where Billy worked for his room and board later even praised his young employee as “the only kid who ever worked here who never stole anything.” Only after his unjust arrest and imprisonment for hiding a bag of dirty laundry did the good-natured and hardworking William Bonney start down the road to becoming the ruthless murdering outlaw Billy the Kid.

Once again it seems as though the youngster got an early start on the road of crime and lawlessness. Even if he had a rough childhood, the path toward being a career outlaw was his own choice.

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Milky Frogs For Freaky Friday...!

Now you talk about something freaky, how about this story straight off Listverse. I'm pretty sure it qualifies as the right material.

Before Fridges, People Dropped Frogs In Milk



Photo credit: drinksfeed.com

Before refrigerators were invented, most people’s diets were very different. There’s a lot of food that just isn’t practical if you can’t keep it cold. For example, milk goes bad quite quickly without a fridge to put it in, so most people just didn’t drink it that often.

But not the Russians. The Russians found a different solution. They put frogs in their milk.

In some parts of Russia, people would drop frogs into buckets of milk to keep it from spoiling. That sounds a little strange, but oddly enough, it actually worked. The frogs’ skins were coated in an antibiotic peptide that kept bacteria from contaminating the milk, which actually made it safe to drink for a longer time.

Not that the Russians knew that. We didn’t figure that out until about five years ago. The people who did this had no idea that the frogs were keeping their milk from going bad until just recently. They were just dropping frogs into milk for reasons that no one can quite explain.

I can't help but wonder what started the whole "frog in the milk" thing to begin with. Seems more than a little strange to me, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio, but it might rain some more so be ready to move inside.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mosquito Free Zone...!

I just found an article that I thought was very interesting, especially after all our recent floods.

Turns out there are a handful of countries in the world where there are no 'skeeters...none at all! Iceland is one of these places.

Iceland only has one mosquito — and it lives in a jar of alcohol

Visit Denmark, Greenland, Scotland, or Norway, and you're bound to encounter at least one Draculaic pest.

In nearby Iceland, not so.

The tiny country is among a handful of others that claim no mosquito population whatsoever.

That is, unless you count the one that has lived in a jar of alcohol at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History ever since the 1980s, when a scientist captured it in an airplane.

"I chased it around the cabin until I got it," Gisli Mar Gislason, a University of Iceland biologist, told the New York Times. "It's the only mosquito I've ever found in Iceland."

There are a couple theories why the nation is mosquito-free.

In much of the Arctic, Greenland especially, there are numerous shallow ponds where mosquitoes lay eggs that hatch into larvae, which eventually become blood-hungry mosquitoes. In Greenland, the insects can get so big that they can take down baby caribou.

Those shallow ponds are important because they are the first to heat up and thaw once the temperature begins to rise.

"The mosquitoes go through their development faster which means there are fewer days to be eaten by a predator," Dartmouth ecologist Lauren Culler told Motherboard last year. "Lab studies, field studies, and population models show that a warming climate means more mosquitoes survive until adulthood."

Iceland has no such lakes in which the mosquitoes can breed. And as the Times reports, the country's ecology is such that its sees three main freezes and thaws throughout the year. Mosquitoes may simply not have enough time to mature in the warmer temperatures before it gets cold again.

In case you needed another reason to be concerned about climate change, scientists suspect that Iceland might not be mosquito-free forever. A warming planet means the insects would have a better chance at reproducing without cold weather getting in the way.

That would drop the list to just three places without mosquitoes: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and The Seychelles.

For everyone who doesn't want to move: Invest in repellent.

I don't know what a wet season here in the South would be like without the troublesome 'skeeter around. I'd be willing to try and do without, but I really hate to move! Plus, I don't handle the cold very well!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jim Bowie On Western Wednesday...!

One name comes to mind very quickly when we talk about weapons of the old west...Jim Bowie.

What made Bowie famous was his well known knife and Bowie's willingness to put it to use. They both developed quite a reputation, both good and bad!

Jim Bowie stabs a Louisiana banker with his famous knife

After a duel turns into an all-out brawl on this day in 1827, Jim Bowie disembowels a banker in Alexandria, Louisiana, with an early version of his famous Bowie knife. The actual inventor of the Bowie knife, however, was probably not Jim Bowie, but rather his equally belligerent brother, Rezin Bowie, who reportedly came up with the design after nearly being killed in a vicious knife fight.

The Bowie brothers engaged in more fights than the typical frontiersman of the day, but such violent duels were not uncommon events on the untamed margins of American civilization. In the early nineteenth century, most frontiersmen preferred knives to guns for fighting, and the Bowie knife quickly became one of the favorites. Rezin Bowie had invented such a nasty looking weapon that the mere sight of it probably discouraged many would-be robbers and attackers. Designs varied somewhat, but the typical Bowie knife sported a 9- to 15- inch blade sharpened only on one side for much of its length, though the curved tip was sharpened to a point on both sides. The double-edged tip made the knife an effective stabbing weapon, while the dull-edge combined with a brass hand guard allowed the user to slide a hand down over the blade as needed. The perfect knife for close-quarter fighting, the Bowie knife became the weapon of choice for many westerners before the reliable rapid-fire revolver took its place in the post-Civil War period.

Good or bad, the name Jim Bowie will likely be well known for many years to come as a legend in the stories of the Old West.

Coffee on the patio again today. Won't be long before we'll be forced inside because of the 'skeeters.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Strange Mass Disappearances...!

We have talked before about some folks disappearing without a trace, but usually it is just one or two people.

The following video is about mass disappearances that go pretty far beyond strange. Sadly, so far there have been no answers as to what happened to these missing people.



You really can't help but wonder what happened to all these people. At least I can't!

Coffee out on the patio again, if that's OK.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Colonel William Shy On Monday Mystery...!

We sometimes think that forensics can solve just about any medical related mystery out there, but it turns out we are wrong.

In the strange case of William Shy, it took a while to answer the questions raised by his burial. The experts were baffled at the time, even though the answer was closer than they thought.

Colonel William Shy’s Grave



The Facts: On December 15–16, 1864, the city of Nashville became a battleground for the already bloody American Civil War. William M. Shy, a Confederate Colonel of the 20th Tennessee Regiment, was shot in the head at point-blank range on the second day of the Battle of Nashville. This is where the story should have ended, but a 1977 excavation of his grave site proved that Colonel Shy was not yet through with the world.

The Weird: In December 1977, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass arrived in Nashville to investigate a case of vandalism at William Shy’s grave. The grave had been excavated, and a headless body had been propped upright on top of a 19th-century cast-iron coffin. The body appeared to be in an advanced state of deterioration and decay, but some discernible flesh and joints were still completely intact. Dr. Bass and the other forensic experts on the case made the natural assumption that the body had not belonged to the colonel, because his body should have already decomposed to dust.

After further examination, Dr. Bass declared that the body had been dead less than a year, and therefore definitely could not belong to Col. William Shy. But the inconsistencies kept piling up. Soon after the initial investigation, the body’s head was found—with a gunshot wound through the skull. Further, the clothes and casket did seem to be authentic Civil War-era artifacts. The answer was almost laughably simple, but it kept the forensic experts baffled for weeks. The cast-iron coffin—which was a rare privilege reserved for someone of Col. Shy’s social status—was secure enough to keep out all moisture, insects, and oxygen that would have progressed the decomposition process. With none of those present, the body was essentially trapped in a time capsule.

Now, I have to say that I didn't know this fact about the cast iron caskets. I would have been just as baffled as the experts, even if I had their knowledge.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Some Old 'Toons For Sunday...!

Been a while since we had some really old 'toons on, right? So let's have a few now, OK?






How about one more...?



Well, I did tell ya they were old! Coffee out on the patio today!