Friday, May 25, 2018

Virgin Birth For Freaky Friday...!

As I read this article from Listverse, I realized that in some ways the insect world was way far ahead of us humans.

Stick Insect Birth Hack

One animal that doesn’t need a man is the female stick insect. They are able to give birth through parthenogenesis, a method of procreation that doesn’t involve a mate. It is sometimes referred to as a “virgin birth.”

If well-fed, a female stick insect is able to lay unfertilized eggs all on her own, no mate required. Some scientists have reproduced this phenomenon in their own labs in hopes of applying this knowledge to human reproduction.

But this asexual reproduction goes deeper for the insects. They really just don’t want to mate at all. In fact, female stick insects are so opposed to getting in the sack that they have developed an anti-aphrodisiac chemical which they can spray at any randy male to diminish the temptation.

I can't help but wonder just why scientist are hoping to find a way to apply this ability to human reproduction, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio again today!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Deadly Green Color...!

Who would have ever thought that fabric could be deadly, simply because it was dyed a certain color? In this disturbing story from Listverse, the sheer scope of the damage caused went unknown for a very long time.

Scheele’s Green

Photo credit: Kathleen McGouran/The Ryersonian

If beauty is pain, then Scheele’s green is the most beautiful color ever.[4] Karl Scheele was a chemist in Sweden when he created the pigment in the 1770s. The pretty green hue he found was cheap to make and easy to use in all sorts of items, from clothing to wallpaper. And that’s really too bad, since Scheele’s green was made with arsenic. Oops.

The gorgeous green was used in ball gowns and curtains, pretty much any home fabric, and was so commonplace that it surrounded none other than Napoleon in his final days. In fact, the arsenic-infused pigment may have contributed to his death. Since Scheele’s green was a hot color in Victorian Britain and elsewhere in Europe, he certainly wasn’t the shade’s only victim.

Scheele’s green was used in fashion for about 100 years, a century of death, before another chemist decided to take a good look at the pigment and discovered its true nature.

Now that is some very disturbing history for ya. I would never think that the pigment used to dye fabric could cause so much trouble. Guess I learn something new every day, for sure!

Coffee out on th patio this morning!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Adolf Korn On Western Wednesday...!

In the days of the wild west, there were many cases of Pioneer children being kidnapped by Native Americans. Many of these children were eventually brought up as members of their captors' tribe, and did not want to be returned to the white man's way of life, as seen in the case of Adolf Korn.

Adolph Korn

After Adolph Korn was freed from his Comanche captors, his parents moved him far away from the tribe that had harassed them. Unlike the other children on this list, he had no way to get back to the people who had kidnapped him, so, rather than live with his own parents, he fled into the wilderness and spent his life alone in a cave.

Korn had been captured when was ten years old and sold to a childless Comanche woman. She took him in as his own, and although he was initially distraught over losing his family, he soon started to enjoy it. Living in a frontier home, he’d struggled to get any attention from his eternally busy parents. Now, though, he had an adoptive mother who focused every second of her energy on him. He felt more loved that he had ever felt before.

His parents managed to get him home three years later, but he never stopped being a Comanche. He would raid his neighbors’ farms and steal their cattle. Soon, he’d built up a long police record, and terrified they’d lose their boy to a different type of captivity, his parents moved far away to a remote ranch.

Korn, though, refused to become a white man. Instead, he left his parents’ home and moved into a cave, where he lived in solitude until the day he died. As a family member said, for the rest of his life, “Adolph kept a solitary vigil for the Comanche brothers whom he knew would never return.”

It saddens me to think that someone would chose a life of solitude rather than living with their birth family, but I reckon there is a lot more to the story than we will ever know.

Coffee out on the patio again, providing it doesn't start raining.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This Doesn't Seem Right...!

Sometimes I think that law enforcement agencies are a little careless with the rules regarding the property of others. This story from Listverse shows what I'm talking about.

Operation What Private Property?

Photo credit: James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle

Early one morning in 2012, Craig Patty got the weirdest phone call of his life. The owner of a small North Texas trucking company with only two trucks, Patty found himself being informed by a business partner that one of his drivers, hired only five weeks before, had been shot dead inside one of the trucks, which had been loaded up with with enough marijuana to, well, fill a truck. Stunned, Patty tried to figure out how he could have fallen in with drug dealers—but he hadn’t. He had fallen in with an undercover DEA agent, who had been using the truck to try to bust smugglers.

The operation had gone spectacularly awry when said smugglers attempted to hijack the truck and its shipment, killing the undercover operative in a hail of bullets in full view of a dozen federal agents and local police. The officers involved, not all of whom knew each other, even ended up shooting at each other in the confusion, with one Houston cop wounding a sheriff’s deputy.

A lawsuit brought by Patty against the DEA for more than $1.3 million was dismissed in 2015, finding that the DEA was not even liable for his bullet-riddled truck. The decision is currently being appealed.

Somehow this whole scenario just seems wrong to me. I realize that law officials have a job to do, but I do believe that they should take responsibility when things go wrong because of their mistake. Just my opinion...

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Monday, May 21, 2018

How Did She Get There...?

This story from Listverse raises many questions yet to be answered. Even given the amount of time that has passed since the incident took place, to the best of my knowledge the question has never been answered as to how she managed to travel 30 miles to the point where she was found.

The Devil’s Den

Photo credit:

In 1946, Katherine Van Alst, an eight-year-old girl who was with her family at Devil’s Den State Park, disappeared from their camp and got lost. Six days later, she was found sitting in a cave approximately 48 kilometers (30 mi) away and 183 meters (600 ft) higher than the spot from which she had disappeared.

The thing that perplexed the search party was Katherine’s remarkable calmness when they found her. She was reported to have walked peacefully out of the cave and announced, “Here I am.”

How an eight-year-old girl wearing only a bathing suit managed to travel such a distance and show no signs of harm is still a mystery. Many suggest that something chased Katherine, which was why she strayed so far from the camp. While it likely wasn’t a lumbering, radioactive Bigfoot, it cannot be denied that it was indeed mysterious and that something sinister could be lurking in the Devil’s Den park.

The natural world around us is filled with many mysteries, many that we will never have an answer to. That is a sobering thought.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Very Close Call...!

Normally we could expect some type of warning if a foreign object came too close to the Earth for comfort. Guess what...the warning never came. Not only that, but this asteroid wasn't even seen until the last day!

A Surprisingly Close Asteroid

Photo credit:

Over a century ago, an asteroid exploded over Tunguska and razed 500,000 acres of trees. In April 2018, out of nowhere, another space rock hurled past Earth. Called 2018 GE3, it was only spotted a day before its surprise flyby.

It was so hair-raising because it could have been bigger than the Siberian asteroid of 1908. 2018 GE3 measured between 48–110 meters (157–360 ft) wide. At the extreme, it was almost four times bigger than its Tunguska cousin.

Buzzing Earth on April 15, the asteroid chose an uncomfortably close lane at about 192,000 kilometers (119,400 mi) from Earth. The Moon was nearly double that distance from the Earth.

Although an impact would not have caused global damage, 2018 GE3 is nothing to laugh at. It was up to six times larger than another rock that burst over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. That event caused property damage up to 93 kilometers (58 mi) away and injured over 1,000 people.

Most sobering was 2018 GE3’s stealthy approach that avoided detection until the last day.

I don't know about you, but I would prefer to have more than a few hours notice about something coming this close to us. With all that fancy equipment, both in space and on Earth, I feel the PTB should be able to handle that. I found this article over on Listverse.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

George Orwell WAS "Big Brother"...!

I found a surprising bit of information over on Listverse that I figured you might like. It caught me totally off guard when I read it.

George Orwell Sold His Friends Out To The Secret Service

Photo credit: Branch of the National Union of Journalists

The man who warned us about a grim future in which spies and secret police drag people away for having dangerous thoughts wasn’t exactly as staunch of a freedom-lover as he might seem. In real life, he was more of a part of Big Brother than he was against it.

Orwell kept a secret list of people he’d met who he thought were secret communist sympathizers. Anyone he met who seemed a little too favorable to the idea of social welfare got their name jotted down on Orwell’s blacklist. And when he had enough names, he sent to the British Secret Service with a little note telling them: Never trust these people.

Orson Welles, Katherine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and dozens of other major names showed up on Orwell’s list. As it turns out, Orwell might not have liked communism, but he wasn’t above a little thought-policing.

Well, I don't know what to think about this information. Maybe the reason his vision of Big Brother was so vivid because he actually was living it, ya think?

Coffee inside the kitchen this morning. I had the AC fixed, so it's comfortable.