Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About World War I-- Part 1

From the March 21, 2013, India TV. 

Fought 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918.

Called The Great War or World War until World War II.  It involved all of the world's great powers in two opposing alliances: The Triple Entente consisted of the United Kingdom, France and Russia.  The other one, the Central Powers, had Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy, though Italy did not join the war.  (I also thought the Ottoman Empire was in it.)

1.  There were 35 million civilian and military casualties.  Over 15 million were killed and 20 million wounded.

2.  The Germans used the first flamethrowers that could fire jets of flame 130 feet.

More to Come.  --Cooter

Friday, March 29, 2013

Some April Fools' Tricks

From the Mini Page.

In 1996, Taco Bell put out an ad saying it had bought the Liberty Bell, saying they were going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell, bring about thousands of protests.

In 2012, Kodak employees announced a new product that could print live kittens and that a large format printer was coming in 2013 that could print live elephants.

In 1878, a New York newspaper reported that Thomas Edison had invented a "food creator" that could turn dirt into cereal.  Many other newsppers believed them and reprinted the story.

IN 2000, Google employees announced Mental Plex Technology.  Simply look into a circle and think what you want and the computer would do it.

In 2009, Expedia announced flights to Mars for only $99, a savings of more than $3 trillion.

In 2002, NASA announced the Hubble Space Te;escope had discovered the moon really is made of green cheese.

IN 1957, the BBC announced the great spaghetti crop in Switzerland, showing farmers pulling spaghetti noodles off trees.

I'd Like My Elephant Now.  --Cooter

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Don't Be the Fool

From the March 23-29 Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus "The Mini Page: April Fool's Day."

As Mr. T. would say, "I pity the fool."  And, if you're not careful come monday, you might just become one.


Many cultures have a day for pranks and jokes in early spring.  Experts believe this custom in the west may have started in France in the 1500s.  At that time, many people celebrated the new year around April 1, at Easter time.  In 1564, the king moved new year to Jan. 1st.

When the new year was moved, many people got confused and in those days of slow news, many didn't hear about the move and showed up for New Year's celebrations on April 1st.  Those in the know called them fools and played tricks on them.

The French call April Fool's Day Le Poisson d'Avril, or April Fish.  Experts aren't sure how fish became a part of April 1st.  However, if in France that day, make sure no one puts a fish picture on your back.

Or, Maybe This is just April Fool's?

Everything Has Its History.  Now You Know.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Tuscarora War in NC 1711-1713

In 1711, the Tuscarora Indians started attacking colonists in outlying settlements and soon had then retreating toward the larger tons.    Some 130-200 settlers were killed.  The colonists screamed  "Massacre!!"

Colonists called for help from South Carolina and a force of 30 whites and 500 Indians led by Col. John Barnwell marched into North Carolina forcing the Indians to eventually retire to Fort Neoheroka.  By November 1812, King Hancock of the Tuscarora was executed.

The situation worsened in 1813 and another group from South Carolina, this time led by Col. James Moore, came to North Carolina.  They caused the Indians to fall back to Fort Neoheroka and a three-day siege ensued.  The Indian fort covered one and three-fourths of am acre and even had blockhouses.  Moore's forces approached it by building trenches, setting fire to the fort and burining it down, killing around a thousand Tuscarora.

Survivors fled to surrounding swamps and to Virginia.Many eventually ended up in New York, joining the Iroquois Confederacy. 

The site of Fort Neohheroka is on private land off NC Highway 58 in Snow Hill.  A highway marker nearby gives information and a new memorial was dedicated this past weekend.

The Story of a Great People. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

North Carolina's Tuscarora Indians-- Part 2

Not, only were colonists taking large numbers of Indians as slaves, but, of course, constantly taking their land.  No small wonder the Indians were being pushed to retaliate.

South Carolina was settled first, but in 1663, the Lords Proprieters in England prepared to settle the lands between that state and Virginia.  This would become the colony of North Carolina. 

John Lawson was sent to survey this new lands.  Along with surveying, he took careful notes on the flora and fauna as well as the inhabitants,  By 1705, the town of Bath was founded and later, New Bern by Swiss and Germans.

From these two towns, colonists began a steady push inland.

By 1711, the Tuscarora Indians had been pushed until they had to retaliate.

The Tuscarora War.  --Cooter

Monday, March 25, 2013

North Carolina's Tuscaroran Indians-- Part 1

Yesterday, I went to a presentation video about the Tuscaroran War in North Carolina as we commemorate its 300th anniversary of it this year.  The final blow to the Indians came with the fall of Fort Neoheroka, about 25 miles from Goldsboro.

G.M. Smith produced the video and was on hand to show it.  He said he wasn't a historian, but would try to answer questions afterwards.  It was based mostly on the "Onkwehonweh: The First People" by Marilyn Mejorado-Livingston.

'The Tuscarora War, 1711-1713, was a series of battles that ended the Tuscarora Confederacy.  The end brought about the destruction, through death or slavery, of 900 or more Tuscarora during the final battle at Fort Neoheroka.  The site of the fort is in present day Greene County, North Carolina."  Near Snow Hill.

The Tuscarora Indians were a democracy and controlled essentially the eastern third of North Carolina.  They were an advanced people, with towns and advanced medicine derived often from native trees in the area.

English settlers from South Carolina often attacked them with intentions of taking slaves for the lucrative trade of them with Barbados, where the expected life expectancy of Indians was about a year after arrival.  In 1713, and Indian slave was worth 10 English pounds, about $1,913 in today's money.  A definite fortune back then.

More to Come.  --Cooter

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Forgotten Tragedy: The Colonial Tuscorora War

From the March 21, 2013, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus.

This Sunday, March 24th, the Wayne County Museum in Goldsboro, NC, will be showing G.M. Smith's documentary "Forgotten Tragedy: The Tuscarora War."

It is about the fall of the Tuscaroran stronghold of Fort Neoheroka in present day Greene County.  For three weeks in March of 1713, a force of Colonial South Carolina troops and members of the Cherokee and Catawba tribes laid siege to the fort which held humdreds of Tuscaroran men, women and children.

The fort was set on fire and hundreds died while the remaining 400 were sold into slavery.

The site today remains as the single largest burial site of Indians in North America and marked the beginning of the end of Tuscaroran power in eastern North Carolina.

A Bit of History I'm Unfamiliar With.  --Cooter

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sixty-Three Spanish-American War Veteran Children Still Receiving Pensions

From the March 21, 2013, Mailonline (UK).

Yesterday, I wrote about two children of Civil War veterans still receiving pensions, almost 150 after the war ended.  They also had a table showing how many people are receiving pensions from subsequent wars.

From the U.S. Veterans and Dependents on Benefit Rolls as of September 2011.

War/ Veterans/ Children/ Parents/  Surviving Spouses

CIVIL WAR--  __/  2/  __/  __

INDIAN WARS--  __/   __/  __/  __

SPANISH-AMERICAN--  __/  63/  __/ 50

MEXICAN BORDER--  __/  10/  __/ 22

WORLD WAR I--  __/  2,371/  __/  2,734

WORLD WAR II--  269,418/  11,185/  29/  210,696

KOREAN WAR--  206,502/  2,347/  105/  65,900

VIETNAM ERA--  1,325,941/  4,051/  2,228/  191,488

GULF WAR--  1,214,,715/  3,220/  1231/  19,941

The last verified Civil War veteran, Albert Woolson was 109 when he died in 1956.  The last verified Civil War widow, Gertrude Janeway, died at age 93 in 2003.  She married John Janeway when he was 81 and she was 18 who received a $70 monthly pension check.

Of interest, two of former President John Tyler's grandsons are still alive, 140 years after the 10th president's death.

Interesting Numbers.  --Cooter

Monday, March 18, 2013

Top Ten Myths About Ancient Egypt

From the August 29, 2011, Listverse.

Again, go to site for the pictures and information.  I just list 'em.

10.  Cleopatra was beautiful
9.  Obsessed with death
8.  Aliens

7.  Fully discovered
6.  Didn't invent hieroglyphics
5.  Interiors of pyramids were really decorated
4.  Pharoahs always had their servants killed when they died t to serve them in afterlife

3.  Slaves built the pyramids
2.  The Israelites were enslaved as a race.
1.  The Curse of the Pharoahs

Everybody Walk Like an Egyptian.  --Cooter

Deaths: Invented the String Trimmer

GEORGE BALLAS (1925-2011)

Died Jan. 25, 2011

American entrepreneur.  Invented the first string trimmer, a great help and great bane to yard folks ever since.  The idea came from an automatic car wash.  Using a tin can laced with fishing string.  Toolmakers rejected it so he developed and sold it himself.

I have one sitting out in the garage that, unfortunately is an electric one, so moving that cord around was a pain. I still have it, but haven't used it for a real long time.  I should pitch it, but who knows when I'll need it.

Saw a Need, Did Something About It.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Top Ten Women of the Twentieth Century

From the August 30, 2011, Listverse.

10.  ELEANOR ROOSEVELT--  social reformer
9.  AYN RAND--  author, philosopher
8.  DOROTHY HODGKIN--  scientist

7.  SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR--  author, philosopher
6.  EMMELINE PANKHURST--  suffragette
5.  RACHEL CARSON--environmentalist
4.  ROSA PARKS--  Civil Rights Activist

3.  INDIRA GANDHI--  politician
2.  MARGARET SANGER--  birth control activist
1.  MARIE CURIE--  scientist

Again. you can go to the list and see pictures and more information.  I'm just listing them.  I'd never heard of 8, 7, 6, and 2.


Back Then In Wilmington, NC

From the November 2011 Wilmington (NC) Star-News Back Then column.

Always enjoyable to take these looks back at a time gone by.

NOV. 24, 1911

The new railroad line between Wilmington and Southport (downriver from Wilmington) opened.  Previously, other than a bad road, the best way to get between the two places was by steamer on the Cape Fear River.

NOV. 21, 1961

J.W. Grise, longtime educator in New Hanover County died. He was a veteran of World War I.

NOV. 28, 1961

When the battleship USS North Carolina arrived at Wilmington, it had 1.1 million gallons of bunker oil, diesel oil and lubricating oil aboard.  No one was sure why all that was left aboard as the ship had been towed from New York.  Some thought it might have been ballast.

The Battleship Commission was inviting bids to sell the oil with the proceeds going to help with the preservation and operation of the new museum ship.

Just a 'Lil Look Back.  --Cooter

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Catholic Church-- Part 4


England split off as well.  King Henry VIII was denied annulment of his marriage so he could marry Anne Boleyn by Pope Clement VII, who feared offending Emperor Charles V, nephew of Henry's current wife.

Also, doctrine said that the pope not only had power over the church, but over states and kings as well.  Definitely something the kings weren't keen on.

Then in the 11th century, the Catholic Church in Constantinople split with the one in Rome, a split that continues on to today with the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Three centuries later, the papacy also survived the push for parliamentary democracy which made the English king a figurehead.  Then, in the late 1400s came the Two Popes, one was in Avignon and one in Rome.

Pope Gregory VII, before he became pope, created the system where cardinals elect the pope... Some popes like John Paul II and Urban II wre great preachers. It was Urban II who called for the military expedittions to get the Holy Land back from the Muslims.  This led to the Crusades.

Surely, a Lot of History Here. 

The Catholic Church-- Part 3

Despite all the current outpouring of love and respect for Pope Francis, not everyone in the past has been so enchanted with popes.  Martin Luther once referred to the pope as as "ass" and the "Antichrist."  In the 1800s, Levi Boone (a relative of Daniel Boone) became mayor by exploiting anti-Catholic sentiment (The No-Nothing Party).  And, look at what happened to the Solid Democrat South after that party nominated John F. Kennedy for the presidency.

Indeed, some chapters of the papacy's 2,000-year history are extremely inspirational. but others not so much.


This structure was in the news a whole lot this past week.  It is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and an inspiring symbol of papal power.  Yet, its construction set in motion a series of events that cost the church millions of parishioners.

It cost a fortune and Pope Sixtus IV, the 15th-century pope for which it is named, and his successors didn't have the money.  To pay the bills, they authorized the sale of indulgences-- certificates attesting that the buyer had done penance and the amount of time in purgatory was reduced.

In Germany, a "pardoner" was someone who sold them.  This so angered a monk named Martin Luther that this was a major catalyst for the Protestant Reformation and Europe was split in two.  The south remained loyal to the papacy, but in the north, Lutheran, Calvinist and other non-Catholic churches were established.

More to Come. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Catholic Church-- Part 2

Pictures from the article.

Napoleon and his wife, Josephine, kneel as Pope Pius VII anoints the man who crowned himself emperor of France.  Five years later, Pius had to surrender the Papal States (in Italy) as a prisoner of Napoleon.

Pope Clement VII refused to annul Henry VIII's marriage.

Pope Sixtus IV, lent his name to the Sistine Chapel.  With frescoes by Michelangelo and Botticelli, it is a symbol of papal power, but paying for it by selling indulgences helped fuel the Reformation.

The Catholic Church-- Part 1

From the March 3, 2013, Chicago Tribune "The papal mystique endures" by Ron Grossman.

 There certainly has been a lot of news of late regarding the election of the new pope in Rome.  Wishing the new pope, Francis, the best of luck.

The Tribune ran an expanded focus on the Papal legacy.  Here is some information about the Catholic Church.

The pope presides over a church called Catholic, which means "universal."  The pope's Latin title "papa" comes from the way children address their fathers.  The papacy was already old when rival forms of Christianity were born and for centuries had a monopoly on defining faith.

Early kings and emperors learned how to run their countries from the popes.

The pope is the unquestioned spiritual leader and a territorial monarch, although his realm has now been reduced to Vatican City, but it once covered the entire Papal States.

And, the papacy has outlasted the Roman Empire, which was around when Christianity started and the Holy Roman Empire which replaced it.  Then, Napoleon's empire vanished and Pope Pius VII got the Papal States back which the emperor had taken from him.  Even Soviet leader Josef Stalin once dismissed the pope with "How many divisions has he got?" but his Iron Curtain is no more either.

More to Come. 

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Obscure Wars-- Part 5

9.  THE JAYBIRD-WOODPECKER WAR--  As a result of Reconstruction after the Civil War.  In Fort Bend County, Texas, 1888-1889.  Pitted two shite groups, the "Woodpeckers" who were allied with blacks and "Jaybirds" who were not.  After a gun battle, the "Jaybirds" prevailed.

9A  THE KIRK-HOLDEN WAR in North Carolina.  In the counties of Alamance and Caswell, there were attacks by the Ku Klux Klan which prompted Governor W.W. Holden to declare martial law in 1870. He sent in militia under former Union Colonel George Kirk.  This move was so controversial, Holden was impeached.

10.  THE PASTRY WAR--  A French pastry chef in Mexico was annoyed that local soldiers had looted his shop and complained to France's King Louis-Phillippe. In 1838, the king demanded compensation and sent a fleet, which fought the Mexicans around Veracruz and won a promise of payment.

I Had Not Heard of Most of These Wars.  --Cooter

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Obscure Wars-- Part 4

7.  THE WENDISH CRUSADE--  Everyone knows the Crusades involved Christian Armies trying to get the Holy Land back from the Muslims, but an offshoot of the Second Crusade was called the Wendish Crusade in the mid-12th century, where non-Christian Slavic peoples were attacked in present-day Germany (called the Wends).  They were given the choice of converting or dying.

8.  THE WAR OF THE OAKEN BUCKET--  A twelve-year war that started in 1325 in Ital between the city-states of Modena and Bologna.  It started when a soldier from Modena stole a wooden bucket from Bologna.  Bologna demanded it back and it escalated into war and thousands died.

Modena displays the bucket to this day.  (This shouldn't be confused with the annual Old Oaken Bucket football game between Purdue and Indiana.)

Bucket, Bucket.  Who's Got the Bucket?  --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Obscure Wars-- Part 3

5.  THE TOLEDO WAR--  Holy Toledo!!   The Toledo War was fought in 1835-1836 between the Territory of Michigan and the state of Ohio.  Hundreds of men took up arms, but only one wounded and none died.  It was over the strip of land from Toledo west to Indiana.  In a compromise, Ohio got Toledo and Michigan got the Upper Peninsula.  I'm sure Wisconsin was all happy about that one.

5A.  THE HONEY WAR--  was an 1839 conflict between the territory of Iowa and state of Missouri as to how the border between the two was to be drawn.  There were no casualties except for three trees containing bee hives cut down by Missouri tax agents.

6.  THE PUNIC WARS--  Between Rome and Carthage from 264-146 BC (three of them) is quite famous among ancient wars, but not many know about them today, even with Hannibal and his elephants.  However, they can claim the honor of being the longest-running war(s).  The mayors of the two cities didn't sign a peace treaty until 1985, ending the 2,249-year-old conflict.

So, You Didn't Know.  --Cooter

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Obscure Wars-- Part 2

3.  THE MILK WAR OF OCTOBER 1935--  Hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk were spilled, many beatings, two bridges burned down, a railroad track blown up and two dead.  Started over low prices of milk and a faction of dairy farmers in northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin tried, and nearly succeeded in blocking all milk deliveries to Chicago and Elgin.

For two weeks, much of the milk delivered to Chicago was accompanied by armed guards.

4.  THE FENIAN BROTHERHOOD WARS--  Much is made about Americans and Canadians sharing the "world's longest undefended border" but from 1866-1871 Canada was fortifying its border on the frontier to stop invasions into Canada from the private Irish-American of the Fenian Brotherhood seeking to put pressure on Britain to free Ireland. 

Hundreds of fighters crossed the border.  the Fenians failed but did push Canada's provinces toward unification.

Never heard of these last two wars.

Wars to the Right.  --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Obscure Wars-- Part 1

From the Feb. 3, 2013, Chicago Tribune "10 things you might not know about OBSCURE WARS" by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer.

Our intrepid knowledge-gatherers are back at it again, this time writing about wars you've probably never heard of.

This article is based on President Obama's declaring that "a decade of war is now ending" in his recent inaugural address.  Of course, just the week before, the US had signed an agreement with Niger in Africa to station troops there to support French troops in neighboring Mali which has all sorts of problems.

Could this be the next Afghanistan or Iraq?

1.  THE WAR OF JENKINS' EAR--  Britain was angry at Spain's publicized incident in which English sea captain Robert Jenkins' left ear was cut off near Havana.  The war began in 1739, and three years later became part of the "less interestingly named War of the Austrian Succession."

2.  THE QUASI-WAR, or HALF-WAR--  We were thankful of French help in the American revolution, but then the French had their own revolution and we got into a dispute over debts and trade.

This was primarily a war at sea (I find that many American Naval commanders in the War of 1812 were veterans of this war).  Fought 1798-1800.  "It ended so quietly it barely makes the history books."

War to the Left.  --Cooter

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Post Office Cut Back in 1950, Too-- Part 2

Bcak in 1950, only62% of U.S. households had telephones and amil was the most reliable way to stay in touch.  And, even back then, the mail was fairly fast (for you snail-mailistas.  A first-class letter posetd in the morning from New York, Washington, DC or Los Angeles usually arrived in Chicago the next morning.  After the 1950 cuts, it took another day.


The Post Office Cut Back in 1950, Too-- Part 1

From the February 8, 2013, Chicago Tribune Instant Flashback "With delivery cuts in 1950, Americans felt he loss" by Stephan Benzkofer.

If Congress approves, say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery starting in August.  Oh well, talk to grandma via e-mail or call her or text.

But, back in 1950, when we were paying just 3 cents a letter for regular or 6 cents for air mail.  The post office would correct a mistake or incomplete address, postal collection boxes were emptied every day and mail was delivered to your house TWICE a day.

But, back then, the post office had a $500 million annual deficit and in April 1950, announced the end of twice-a-day delivery.  Business twice-a-day continued until 1970.

Did Stamp Price Go Up?  --DaCoot

Ten Really Old Companies Still Operating Today

From the August 12, 2011 Listverse.

10.  Sotheby's--  1744--  auctions
9.  Twining's Tea--  1706
8.  Lloyd's of London--  1688--  insurance

7.  Sveriges Riksbank--  1668--  Swedish bank
6.  London Gazette--  1665--  newspaper
5.  Royal Delft--  1653--  pottery
4.  Fiskars--  1649--  Finland--  iron

3.  Haig--   1627-- Scotch whisky, Scotland
2.  Grolsch--  1615--   beer--  Netherlands
1.  Beretta--  1526--  guns

That's Some Kind of Old.  --Cooter

Saturday, March 9, 2013

For What Ails You: "Medical Beer" of the 1920s

That's right, drink your way to better health.

From the February 3, 2013, Chicago Tribune "Ale for what ails you: 'Medical beer' in 1920s" by Stephan Benzkofer.

"The idea of legalizing a drug by arguing its medicinal qualities is hardly new.  The movement for medical marijuana, which Illinois legislators may consider for legalization this year, is more than 15 years old."

Even during Prohibition, when "drys" ruled, there was allowance for medicinal wine and whiskey.  Doctors could-- and did-- prescribe lots and lots of these, giving new meaning to "Doctor's Orders."  It was a huge loophole in the Volstead Act. 

And, those who chose to drink legally, not the millions and millions who did so illegally, they got a huge boost in March 1921, when US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, a few days before leaving his post, issued an opinion that the Volstead Act didn't in fact prohibit medicinal beer."

Doctors would be allowed to prescribe a patient up to 96 bottles of beer a month, or, as the Chicago Tribune decreed "Three times a day."

Sadly, Congress closed the "Beer" hole before the year was out.

St. Patrick's Day Wouldn't Be the Same.  --DaCoot

And a Happy Belated Birthday to the 16th Amendment

From the February 1, 2013, Chicago Tribune "Happy birthday, 16th Amendment" by Gary Barron.

In case you're wondering what the 16th Amendment is, you're likely working on it right now.  This gave Congress the power to tax us which led to our beloved Internal Revenue Service.

February 3rd marked the 100th anniversary of its ratification.  "Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived...."  At first it was just 1%, plus a graduated surtax of up to 6%.

"The Revenue Act of 1913 begat the Revenue Act of 1916, which begat the Revenue Act of 1917."  Over the years, many, many, many, many more acts came to be.

"The IRS is my shepherd, I shall not cheat.  It maketh me to file my return timely."

For Me, It's Pay and Pay and Pay.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Evolution of the Personal Computer-- Part 5

1984--  Apple's Macintosh debuts during a $1.5 million Super Bowl commercial.  The Mac is the first successful computer to feature a mouse and user-friendly graphics.  (That mouse was huge.)

1990--  The World Wide Web is invented.  (Huge)

The first successful version of Microsoft's Windows 3.0 launches.

1995--  Amazon and eBay both debut, revolutionizing the way we shop.

1998--  Google and PayPal debut, transforming information searches and financial transactions.

Apple's iMac becomes the first in its line of iProducts.

2007--  Apple's iPhone goes on sale, boasting up to 8 gigabytes of memory in a pocket-size phone.

2008--  Apple launches the iPad, selling more than 300,000 on the tablet's debut day.

2012--  iPhone 5 debuts

Well, That's About It for Me.  --DaCoot

Evolution of the Personal Computer-- Part 4

1976--  Steve Wozniak creates the Apple I.  Its sales allow Wozniak and Steve Jobs to start Apple Computers.

1977--  The Commodore PET, Apple II and Tandy Radio Shack's TRS-80 all debut.  (Imagine Apple having the next new thing each year?)

1981--  IBM calls its mini-computer the PC, turning the description into a brand.  Sales soar.

1982--  GRiD Systems release Compass, the first laptop.  Price $8,150.

Time names the computer "Machine of the Year" in a story written on a typewriter.  (How ironic.  Let's see, it would be Apple VII by then?)

1983--  Compaq Computer Corp. makes the first PC clone, 100% compatible with IBM's PC.  First-year sales: $111 million.  (And, I'd still never touched a computer keyboard.)

Technology Scares Me.  --Cooter

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Evolution of the Personal Computer-- Part 3

1965--  The PDP-8, made by Digital Equipment Corp., debuts and becomes the first minicomputer success.  Price: $18,000.

1969--  The Department of Defense establishes the first computer network called ARPAnet--  later renamed the internet.

1971--  ARPAnet transmits the first email.

1972  Atari releases Pong, kick-starting the video game industry.  We even got one by 1974, which, until Mom got me the new iPad this past Christmas was the closest I'd ever been to "current" with all this stuff.

1975--  Popular Electronics puts the Atair 8800 computer kit on its January cover, and it maker, MITS, is flooded with orders.  memory: 256 bytes.

Loved That Pong, But Thought Odyssey Made It.  --DaCoot

Evolution of the PC-- Part 2

An interesting THEN and NOW comparison.

Then first  Now second

1962 LINC  -//-  2012 iPhone5
about eight square feet  -//-  5 x 2 inches
1 kb of memory  -//-  16 gb of memory
1,000 bytes  -//-  16,000,000,000 bytes
sold for $43,600 (in '62 dollars)  -//-  Sells for $199

Of course, when they compare the 2012 iPhone5 to whatever the new thing is in five years, the comparison will be similar.

It's All Greek to Me.  --Cooter

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Patti Andrews Dies, Last of the Andrews Sisters-- Part 1

From the Jan. 31, 2013, Chicago Tribune by Rebecca Trounson.

"They were the swinging, sassy voice of the homefront for U.S. service personnel overseas during World War II, singing such catchy tunes as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Rum and Coca-Cola hat delighted Americans and catapulted the Andrews Sisters to the very top of the pop charts.

When the war ended in 1945, it was even the Andrews Sisters who announced it to 5,000 GIs during a USO concert in Italy as the men were preparing to head for duty in the Pacific.  The troops' commanding officer had interrupted the show, handing the women a note that was read aloud by the youngest, Patty Andrews.

'At first there was dead silence,' her sister Maxene told the Los Angeles Times years later. 'Then Patty repeated the message.  'This is really true,' she told them, and then started to cry.  Suddenly there was a roar.  They knew that they would be going home, and they did.'"

Patty Andrews, the group's lead singer, youngest and last-surviving member died Jan. 30th.  Maxene, the middle sister, died in 1995 and Lavern, the oldest, in 1967.

Singing for the Greatest Generation.  --GreGen

Evolution of the PC-- Part 1

From the November 2012 AARP Bulletin. by Betsy Towner.

"Fifty years ago, a computer pioneer said, 'There is no reason to suppose the average boy or girl cannot be master of a personal computer.' Soon after. PCs arrived--and now we grownup boys and girls cannot imagine our lives without them."  Well, I could.  I'd sure have a lot more time to do other things.  Actually, even with computers, I had a lot of time before I began these doggone blogs.

But the idea of being able to do one of my favorite things, research, right from this desk in the basement has been an enjoyable thing for me.

Sadly, the PC's days are definitely numbered.

Anyway, AARP has this on its Power of 50 page and it gives a short chronological history of the personal computer.

1962--   THE LINC (Laboratory Instrument Computer) begins processing data in an MIT lab to assist with biomedical research.  The microcomputer paves the way for PCs.  Before this, computers were really, really huge.

More Typing to Come.  --DaCoot

Deaths: One Day At a Time


Died March 1st.  Star of one of my favorite TV shows, "One Day At a Time" from the 1970s about a divorced mother, Ann Romano trying to raise two young daughters and make her way in the world.  Developed by Norman Lear, this ground-breaking show was set in Indianapolis.

It premiered on CBS December 1975, just five years after the network had balked at having Mary Tyler Moore be divorced in her show.

The kids were Mackenzie Phillips, daughter of John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas from his first marriage and previously unknown Valerie Bertinelli.  The show ran until 1984 and was Top Ten for its first seven years.

My own personal favorite was Pat Harrington Jr, who played Dwayne F. Schneider, the building superintendent.

Ten Adorable Animals from Cartoons

From the March 15, 2010, Listverse.

10.  Scrat--  the squirrel from the "Ice Age" movies.  (My personal favorite.  The new Wiley Coyote.)
9.  Robin Hood, the fox from "Robin Hood."
8.  Mickey Mouse, a little of him goes a long way.

7.  Spirit, the stallion in "Cimarron"  (I don't know this one.)
6.  Dumbo
5.  Donkey "Shrek"
4.  The Lions "Lion King"

3.  Bambi
2.  Toothless the Night Fury from "How to Train Your Dragon."  How do you make a dragon look sweet?
1.  Hobbes the tiger from "Calvin and Hobbes.

Get the Acorn!  Get the Acorn!  Talk About Your One-Track Minds.  --Cooter

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Really Old Bowling Alleys-- Part 2

Three restored lanes built by the Brunswick Balke-Collender Co. are America;s oldest operational lanes.  Student bowlers sit on a wooden ledge at the back of the lanes and hop down, reset the pins and return the balls to their wooden and metal rails.  Now, that is old school, kind of like the Wrigley Field scoreboard.

I can remember being in a bowling league back in the late 70s with neighbors and we had to enter scores manually, then, it was done electronically, no doubt cutting down on some cheating.

Tenpins didn't have standardized rules for equipment or play until the American Bowling Congress was founded in 1895.

The Holler House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was built in 1908 and its two basement lanes are still set by hand.

Bowling's heyday is considered to be the 1950s and 1960s.  Television made superstars out of the professional bowlers.  There were as many as 12,000 bowling alleys across the United States, with just half that number remaining today.

The largest bowling alley is the 90-lane Thunderbowl in Allen Park, Michigan.

The, There Were Those Really Smelly Rental Shoes.  --DaCoot

Really Old Bowling Alleys-- Part 1

From the American Profile "Landmark Lanes" by Marti Attoun.

Not saying that the Garden Bowl in downtown Detroit is old, but...they have been bowling there since 1913.  Joe Zainea, 78 says it used to be "the workingman's country club."  His father bought it in 1946 and today, he works it with his sons Dave, 51, and Joe, 45.

His brother George, 80, bowls in a league four times a week.  He remembers in the 40s and 50s when every industry and business sponsored a team.  Now, bowling alleys are designed more for family activities and parties.

A form of bowling has been played since 3200 BC in Egypt and variations can be found in most countries' histories.  Immigrants brought the game with them to the Americas.  In New York, the oldest park is named Bowling Green because of the lawn bowling of the Dutch colonists.

America's oldest surviving bowling alley was built in 1846 by businessman Henry Chandler Bowen at Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut.  On July 4, 1870, President Grant enjoyed it during a visit.  Mr. Bowen was a temperance man, so no drinking, smoking or card playing was allowed in his house.  Grant got a strike and wanted to celebrate with a cigar, but was informed he'd have to smoke it outside.  I guess he did.

Oh No, a 7-10 Split!!  --Cooter

Monday, March 4, 2013

Attention "Born to be Wild" Motorcyclers

While looking to find out where hawa was (it's in Canada), I came across a list of notables from that town.  And among them were the Edmonton brothers who were born there: Dennis and Jerry.

These boys became rock and rollers, joining a band called the Sparrows there which later had one John Kay join them and they went on to become Steppenwolf.  Dennis Edmonton wrote the rock and roll classic "Born to Be Wild."  But had left the group by the time this song hit it big.  But brother Jerry stayed with the group.

Stuff You Didn't Know.  --Cooter

U.S. World War I Subchaser in Canada

From the Oshawa (Can) Express "Subchaser of the First World War' by Jennifer Weymark.

Oshawa's harbor is home to the Harry H which has been there for decades, but the ship started out way back during World War I as the SC-238, with SC standing for Sub-Chaser.

In the summer of 1916, two German submarines operating off the US coast sank 5 ships during the summer, spurring the Navy to design an effective anti-submarine vessel.  At the time, most shipyards were building destroyers and larger vessels out of steel which was in short supply, so it was decided to build the sub-chasers out of wood and in smaller yards.

They were crewed by 2 officers and 24 enlisted men and originally carried two- 3-inch guns and two machine guns.  Later the 3-inch guns were replaced with a depth charge projectors.

By the end of World War I, 441 sub-chasers had been constructed and some even served in World War II.  Others were sold for civilian use, like the Harry H.

Little Boats, Big Job.  --DaCoot

Top Ten Evil People From Ancient Times

From the May 30, 2012, Listverse.

10.  Empress Wu--  China 690-705
9.  Qin Shi Huang--  China-- 1st emperor--  221 BC to 210 BC.
8.  Godfrey of Bouillon--  1099, Frankish knight of First Crusade.

7.  Herod the Great--  King of Judea--  37 BC to 4 BC.
6.  King John--  England--  1199-1216--  Magna Carta and Robin Hood (who had better publicists)
5.  Tamerlane the Great--  14th century conqueror Western, Central and South Asia.
4.  Nero--  Romes 5th Emperor, 54 to 68 AD

3.  Caligula--  Rome's 3rd Emperor, 37-41 BC
2.  Attila the Hun--  434-453--  ruler of the Huns and conqueror
1.  Genghis Khan--  1206-1227, Mongolian Empire.

To see why, go to site.

Bad Boys and One Gal.  --Cooter

Saturday, March 2, 2013

While On the Subject of the Titanic

From the December 29, 2011, AFP "Titanic artifacts up for auction in NY in April."

More than 5,000 artifacts will be offered in one lot at an auction 100 years to the date of the famous ship's sinking.  Premier Exhibitions, owns the sole salvage rights to the ship )and only from the debris field, has engaged New York auctioneers Guernsey's to do it.

No reserve price is set, but in 2007, the lot was appraised at $189 million.  Some of the artifacts are on display in Brazil and Singapore now.

No reason for the auction was given, but Premier exhibitions has a $2 million second quarter loss.

A new 3D version of director John Cameron's 1997 "Titanic" is to be released April 6th in Canada and the United States.

In a lot that size and expensive, I hope that if someone buys it, they will keep it available to the public and not to go to a private collector and hidden away.

And, I'm Getting Real Tired of All This 3D Junk.  --DaCoot

Ten People Who Did Not Board the Titanic

From the December 8, 2011, Listverse.

10.  Robert Bacon--  US ambassador to France, booked passage, but his replacement arrived late so had to stay.

9.  Baron M. von Bethmann--  tossed a coin and didn't go.

8.  Norman Craig--  Scottish member of Parliament just decided not to go.

7.  James Martin Gray--  reverend Reformed Episcopal Church left a week earlier.

6.  Edgar Selwyn--  Famous American theater actor from first half of 20th century.

5.  David Blair--  of the White Star Line.

4.  Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt I--  from the rich family.

3.  J.P. Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, J. Horace Harding

2.  Rev. J. Stuart Holden--  vicar of St. Paul's Church in London

1.  Milton Hershey--  businessman and owner of Hershey Chocolate Company.

You Never Know Why Some Don't Go in Things Like This.  --Cooter

Friday, March 1, 2013

Illinois Naval Militia-- Part 2: The Ships

The Naval Militia was set up to train sailors and keep former sailors up to date on their skills.  An 1896 Chicago Tribune article said that the officers were usually US Naval Academy graduates and that Lt. Cmdr. Stedman was in command.

Five ships at one time or another were in the Illinois Naval Militia, one a captured Spanish ship from the Battle of Manila Bay.

USS NASHVILLE (PG-7)  Gunboat launched in 1895 and fought in the Spanish-American War.  In 1909, the ship was sent to the Great Lakes, unarmed, through Canadian canals.  It caused an incident between Canada and the U.S.  when it was rearmed in Chicago, in violation of the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817.  Served in World War I.

USS DUBUQUE (PG-17)  Commissioned in 1905 as a patrol combatant ship.  Operated off Cuba and back to the US Navy in 1914.  During World War I served on the east coast and Caribbean.  In World War II trained merchant marine crew gunners in the Chesapeake Bay.

USS ISLA DE LUZON  Formerly of the Spanish Navy, a second-class protected cruiser.  Built in Britain for Spain.  Scuttled after the Battle of Manila Bay , raised and taken into the U.S. Navy.

USS SOMERS (TB-22)  Torpedo boat, purchased by US Navy in 1898 for Spanish-American War.

USRC PATROL Revenue Cutter built in Jerseyville, Illinois and launched in 1899.

The Ships of the Mighty Illinois Naval Militia.  --Cooter

Illinois Naval Militia-- Part 1

From Wikipedia

Talk about something most, including myself, have never heard of?

The Illinois Naval Militia was formed by the General Assembly in 1893, to go along with the state militia/National Guard.

As originally planned, there were five divisions: three in Chicago, one in Moline and one in Alton.  The Chicago ones consisted of 250 men, Moline 100 and Alton 500.

It was disbanded in 1988 and in 2006 reauthorized by Governor Bladgojevich.

During its early existence, four ships were assigned to it:

Nashville 1909-1911
Dubuque 1911-1914
Isla de Luzon 1914-1918
Patrol 1915- unknown date.

More to Come.  --DaCoot

Top Ten Alleged Autistics in History

From the Dec. 4, 2011, Listverse.

Of course, autism is a fairly new term, but evidently, these people exhibited certain characteristics of it.  I'm listing, but go to Listverse for pictures and why.

10.  Hans Christian Anderson, author (1805-1875)
9.  Lewis Carroll, author (1832-1898)
8.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer (1756-1791)

7.  Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (1889-1951)
6.  Michelangelo (1475-1564)
5.  Stanley Kubrick, film director (1928-1999)
4.  James Joyce, novelist (1882-1941)

3.  Nichola Tesla, inventor and engineer (1856-1943)
2.  Albert Einstein, physics (1879-1955)
1.  Thomas Jefferson, president  (1743-1821)

Bill Gates, you know (1955-)

Interesting Reasons.  Check It Out.  --Cooter