Friday, April 29, 2016

Looking Back: Knucklin' Down for Sycamore Marble Championship in 1941

From the April 20, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Come on boys!  Knuckle down and get that shooting hand limbered up for Sycamore's Marble Tournament to be held at Central School grounds after school on Friday.    The True Republican will present a bronze plaque especially engraved for the occasion to be presented to the champion shooter of Sycamore as determined by the special elimination contest open to all boys of Sycamore schools under 14 years of age."

Wonder What Happened to All My Old Marbles.  Bet Mom Threw Them Out.  --Cooter

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Looking Back: Chief Shabbona's Family Wants Compensation for Land Unjustly Taken

From the April 20, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago.

"The visit to Sycamore on January 26 last of John Shabbona, grandson of the famous Indian chief Shabbona, was followed last week by the appearance of Chief Shabbona's daughter, mother of John, and said to be 90 years of age, and Zeboquay, her nurse, and grand-daughters of Shabbona by Maud's sister.

"They again examined the records in the recorder's office, and it is understood that effort will be made to obtain from the government for Shabbona's heirs compensation for the land in the county unjustly taken from Chief Shabbona."

I Wonder How This Came Out?  --Cooter

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Tale of Two Capitols-- Part 4: The "New" One

Well, it is not so new anymore.

Ground was broken on the current Illinois statehouse in 1868, and the building's first general assembly was held there in 1877.  The highest elevation in Springfield was chosen for the capitol building, and to thsi day, no structure in Springfield is allowed to be taller than the zinc-covered dome.

It  is a majestic example of French renaissance style and serves as the center of Illinois politics and government (what there is of it with our current group).

Spectators can watch the House and Senate proceedings from public galleries, visit legislative offices and learn about the history and current use of the building on daily free guided tours.

Is There a Dome In Your Future?  --DaDomer

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Tale of Two State Capitols-- Part 3: Walk It or Guide It

From 1898-1899 it was raised and a third floor added under it.

From 1966-1969, it was completely dismantled and rebuilt.

Visitors to the Old State Capitol can take a 30-minute interpreter-conducted tour or view the rooms on their own.   Also available is a 15-minute orientation video on the building's history.

The building is fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

#1 Old State Capitol Plaza.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Tale of Two Illinois State Capitols, the Old State Capitol-- Part 2 From State Capitol to Sangamon County Courthouse.

The Old State Capitol building in Springfield served as the center of government and Illinois political life from 1839-1836 and featured prominently in the lives of President Lincoln and Senator Stephen A. Douglas.  It is here where Lincoln delivered his famous "House Divided" speech, pleaded cases before the Illinois Supreme Court (while a lawyer) 1840-1860 and announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

He used  the governors rooms as headquarters during his 1860 presidential campaign.  It was also the scene of his final laying-in-state on May 3-4, 1865 and from where his body was removed for burial.

The building soon was inadequate for government of the state and it was decided to build a new, larger one which was opened in 1876.  From 1876, the Old State Capitol served as the county courthouse of Sangamon County and over the years was extensively restructured.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Tale of Two Illinois State Capitols-- Part 1: Abe Lincoln Spoke Here

From Springfield, Illinois, 2016 Visitors Guide.

In Springfield there are two state Capitols, so if you ask for directions to the Capitol, make sure to say "new" or "old," even though the "new" one isn't all that "new" anymore.

Actually, the two Capitols in Springfield are the third and fourth ones.  Illinois became a state in 1818, and the first two capitals were at Kaskaskia and Vandalia.  Springfield became the third and final capital in 1837.

Springfield's first Capitol is a red-domed Greek Revival-style building made of local Sugar Creekmlimestone.  This is where Abraham Lincoln served in the state legislature and where he gave his famous "House Divided" speech.  It is open for tours.  (The annual Route 66 International Festival in Springfield takes place around it.)


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Looking Back: DeKalb County, Illinois, in 1889: Dealing With Deadbeats and Whisky Peoria

From the October 15, 2014, MidWeek "Looking Back."

News from October 16, 1889,:  "A subscriber who owes us a little bit said he would call last week and pay us if he was alive.  He still appears on the street, but as he did not call, it is naturally supposed that he is dead and is walking around to save funeral expense."  (Perhaps he is an early "Walking Dead?)

**  "A disorderly crowd of young hoodlums was near the Methodist Church on Monday night, but no special or regular police could be found.

**  "Peoria is a synonym for whisky.  It smells of whisky, tastes of whisky, and is built on whisky.

**  "Twelve persons have now been shot and killed in the continuance of the Hatfield-McCoy feud in West Virginia."

How Do I Get to Peoria?  --Cooter

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Titanic Items at Auction

From the April 19, 2016 Fox News "Titanic artifact reveal gruesome discovery of tragic ship's last lifeboat" by James Rogers.

Photos and a handwritten note detailing the grisly discovery of the tragic ship's last lifeboat are to be auctioned later this week.

The phots were taken May 13, 1912, almost a month after the sinking.  It shows the RMS Oceanic's find of what is thought to be the last lifeboat to leave the doomed ship.  Inside were three decaying bodies of passengers.

This was known as "Collapsible A."

The corpse wearing a dinner jacket was first-class passenger Thomson Beattie.  A wedding was found on the boat which had belonged to Swedish passenger Elin Gerda Lindell, who briefly reached the boat but later drowned.

Always the Titanic.  --Cooter

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Borden Milk Plant in Sycamore, Illinois

From Images of America:  Sycamore.

The Borden Milk Plant opened in 1907 and was a thriving industry until 1932 when a grass fire started at the nearby Chicago and North Western Railway tracks and spread to and destroyed the facility.  The tracks were used to take the milk to Chicago and other places.

Milk was hauled from area farms in metal cans to the plant in Sycamore where it was poured into a large tube accessible by an outside ramp and then carried by gravity into the plant and then put into glass bottles.

The plant was not rebuilt after that.  But there is still a Borden Avenue in Sycamore.


A Milk Strike in Sycamore, Illinois, in 1916

From the April 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back"

1916, 100 years ago:

"The army of fighters representing milk producers-- a full 100 strong-- began arriving in automobiles in Sycamore this Friday morning and by evening had established an effective cordon barrier on the outskirts of town on all roads leading into Sycamore.

"The first man to appear with a load of milk was Gunard Johnson, who lives on the outskirts of Sycamore-- at the end of DeKalb Avenue.  He drove toward the Borden plant from the north when the early watchers happened to be over by the Organ residence at the other side of the plant.

"When the bunch saw Johnson approaching the plant with milk they started to run toward the plant to intercept him, but their fur coats and heavy clothing made running rather slow, and Johnson seeing the 'bunch' of 25 men or so approaching, whipped up his horses and got to the plant ahead of the men and got his milk unloaded."

I wonder what they would have done if they had caught Johnson?  --Cooter

Monday, April 18, 2016

Drunk and Disorderly in DeKalb County in 1916

From the April, 6, 2016 MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back)

1916, 100 years ago.

"It was current about the streets on Monday that 15 men had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly on Sunday evening.  The facts are that only three were arrested.

They were a couple of Russian shoemakers and a friend said to have come from Freeport.

They engaged in a fight in the rooms of some of the men upstairs in the neighborhood of the Rothengast barbershop.  One of them was seriously bruised.

Wonder if the Russians were spreading Marxist sayings?


Britain Insists Australia and New Zealand Represented in World War I Centenary Plans

From the January 1, 2014,  Global Post.

Prime Minister David Cameron said it is "completely wrong" to suggest ANZAC troops were being airbrushed out of the centenary events in favour of troops from other parts of the former empire.

Reports from Australia suggest otherwise.

From 1914 to 1918 62,000 Australian and 18,000 New Zealand troops died.

These ANZAC troops will be fully honoured next year on the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in Turkey.

British Spellings.  --Cooter

Friday, April 15, 2016

Death of Franklin McCain in 2014, One of the Greensboro Four

From the January 10, 2014, WBTV 3 News.

A North Carolina Civil Rights  Attended North Carolina A&T University and was best-known for his involvement at the Greensboro sit-in.

On February 1, 1960, he sat at a whites-only lunch counter at the Woolworth's on Elm Street along with Ezell Blair Jr., Joseph McNeill and David Richmore.  This extremely brave move on their part started a nationwide movement.  The next day they were joined by 25 other A&T and other Greensboro school students.

The movement gained momentum.  By the end of the month there were similar demonstrations in 250 other cities across the country.

Mr. McCain once said:  "One of two things was gonna happen to me.  I was going to jail for a long time or I was gonna have my head split open in a pine box.  That was it, those were the only two options."

It took an incredible amount of heroism to right a horrible wrong, but he did it.

Quite the Hero.

Lost in 2014: Jim Fregosi and the Eisenhower Tree

JIM FREGOSI.  Died February 14, 2014.  Age 71.

Baseball player 1961-1973 with Los Angeles/California Angels, shortstop.  Was part of an amazing double play combination with Bobby Knoop, regarded as the American League's top hitting shortstops.

Also played with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Pirates.

At age 36, he managed the California Angels.  Also with the Chicago White Sox from 1986-1988.


A 100-125 year-old loblolly pine tree at Augusta National Golf Club.  In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower lobbied to have it taken down because it interfered with his golf game.

Eisenhower, a member, hit it many times.  The tree was finally taken down because of severe ice damage.

Further Research on the Seventh HMS Looe

I just spent about an hour doing further research on the seventh HMS Looe, the one that was a Bangor-class minesweeper, laid down in 1941 in Hong Kong, renamed HMS Lyemun while on the stocks, but captured by the Japanese at the fall of Hong Kong Dec. 25, 1941.

It was later completed as the Nan Yo and used as a Japanese navy ship until sunk later that year.

I found some material which will be posted later today on my World War II blog, "Tattooed On Your Soul."


Interesting Histories to Former Ships By the Name HMS Looe

From Wikipedia.

There were seven ships in the British Navy of this name.  Of them, were wrecked, two became breakwaters, one was a former privateer and one was captured by the Japanese in 1941 and became a Japanese ship.

1st:  32-gun fifth rate launched 1696, wrecked 1697

2nd:  32-gun fifth rate launched 1697, wrecked 1705

3rd:  42-gun fifth rate launched 1707, reduced to harbor service 1735, sunk as breakwater 1737

4th:  44-gun fifth rate launched 1741, wrecked 1744  (Our HMS Looe)

5th:  44-gun fifth rate launched in 1745, sunk as breakwater 1759

6th:  30-gun fifth rate, formerly privateer Liverpool, purchased 1759, sold 1763

7th:  To have been a Bangor-class minesweeper.  Laid down 1941, renamed HMS Lyemun while still on stocks, but captured that year by the Japanese who completed it and launched it as the Nan Yo in 1943, lost later that year.

Wreck Me, Break Me.  --Cooter

Thursday, April 14, 2016

HMS Looe-- Part 2: Runs Aground

In 1743, Captain Ashby Utting took command.  It was lost in the early morning of 5 February 1744 after having captured a Spanish merchant ship just after midnight when it struck a reef, soon followed by the merchant ship.

The crew had to escape in three small boats and were worried about being captured by a Spanish warship.  The three boats were unable to save the entire crew.  Just as things were looking particularly bleak, they spotted a nearby Spanish sloop and captured it.

The two grounded ships were salvaged of provisions and then set afire.  .  the crew escaped in the small boats and sloop.  The sloop got to Port Royal, South Carolina and two of the boats made it to safety.  Utting was court-martailled, but acquitted.

The key was named after the Looe and the wreck is now part of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.


HMS Looe-- Part 1: Fifth Rate Frigate

From Wikipedia.

44-gun fifth rate frigate grounded on Looe Key on 5 February 1744 during the War of Jenkins' Ear.  Ordered 22 December 1740 from Thomas Snelgrove to the design of the 1733 Establishment.  It was the fourth Royal Navy ship of that name, named for Looe, Cornwall, England.

Completed 3 April 1742 at Deptford Dockyard.  Commissioned January 1742.

124 feet long with 35.8 beam, 250 crew.  Armament:  Lower deck twenty 12-pdrs., Upped deck twenty 9 pdrs. and Quarterdeck six 6-pdrs.

Frist commander was Captain George Carnegie.

Along with HMS Deal Castle, went looking for privateers from Ponta Nova in 1742.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cannons in Fort Came from British Shipwreck-- Part 3: Tracing the Fort's Cannons

The 1950s newspaper articles also said the Looe Key cannons bore insignia indicating they belonged to the British Crown but the markings have disappeared after decades of New York winters.

In 1967, an arson fire destroyed many of the fort's records pertaining to the acquisitions.  A project began in 2014 to measure and document all of the Fort William Henry's 49 replica cannons and 19 historic ones.  This led to the research on the HMS Looe cannons.

The researchers discovered the caliber of the nine cannons matched that of ones that had been on the HMS Looe when it sank.

British Ship Cannons in a British Fort in New York.  --DaCannonCoot

Cannons in Fort Came From British Shipwreck-- Part 2: Fort William Henry

The original Fort William Henry was built in 1755 during the French and Indian War and destroyed two years later after the French captured it.

A full-size replica fort was built on the same footprint as the original on the Adirondack village of Lake George.  It opened in the summer of 1954.  The new fort's owners wanted to obtain some Colonial-era cannons to display.  Among them were nine cannons discovered a few years earlier off Looe Key in the Florida Keys.

Local newspapers reported the cannons were bought from Art McKee, a Florida treasure hunter who salvaged them after the Smithsonian Institution recovered other artifacts from Looe Key, named after the British ship thought to have sunk there along with a captured Spanish ship it was escorting..


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cannons in Fort Came from a Sunken British Ship-- Part 1: HMS Looe

March 30, 2016, Chicago Tribune "Project confirms N.Y. fort guns from Fla. shipwreck" by Chris Carola.

Research has determined that nine cannons displayed for the past 60 years at a re-created French and Indian War fort in upstate New York were originally aboard a British warship that sank in the Florida Keys in the 18th century.

Joseph Zarzynski said a study of all 68 cannons at Fort William Henry found that some, if not all, of the nine iron cannons likely came from the HMS Looe, which sank after hitting a reef in 1744.

He said  that when the fort originally opened in 1954 on the southern end of Lake George that some of the cannons came from a British shipwreck in the Keys.  The HMS Looe was a 44-gun frigate built in England in 1741.


A World War I Eastchurch Kitten Fighter Plane Restored in England-- Part 2

This pro-type plane was built so that it could be launched from platforms on battleships, cruisers or even torpedo boats.  It was to be a disposable, one-operation plane able to "go up, intercept and shoot down the airship, then ditch in the sea.

The first flight of one was made September 1, 1917, but it was found to be unstable.  Alterations were made, but by then the threat of airship attack had passed and the project was dropped.  A photo accompanied the article and it is very small.

The Daily mail says it had a 45 horsepower engine with a 20-foot wingspan and a Lewis gun.

Classified as a Port Victoria P.V.8 Eastchurch Kitten.  The replica was rebuilt with an original wood frame and recycled parts.

Just Another Aspect of War Technology.


Monday, April 11, 2016

A World War I Eastchurch Kitten Fighter Plane Restored in England-- Part 1

From the Nov. 10, 2014, Press (U.K.) "First World War fighter plane, the Eastchurch Kitten is restored at Yorkshire Air Museum" by Haydin Lewis.

It was a little-known fighter of 1917.  The Eastchurch Kitten only had three prototypes built and would have been forgotten except in the early 1980s, a very faded and sketchy print of  its plans was found.

Some plane enthusiasts decided to build one and the project really took off in 2012.  Their reproduction was planned as a non-flying exhibit for the First World War Centenary.

It was originally an Admiralty project in the war to design a high altitude fighter to combat the German Zeppelin Airships.

--Fly Me to the Zep.  --Cooter

Hollywood Starlet by Norman Rockwell: Mardee Hoff

From the Saturday Evening Post 2016 Calendar--  March.

"Hooray for Hollywood!  By the 1930s, America's obsession with celebrity was in high gear, and Rockwell immortalized one of its rituals -- the star interview.  Within two weeks of the picture appearing on the Post cover, his model Mardee Hoff, an aspiring actress, landed a contract with 20th Century Fox --  a testament to Rockwell's influence."

Hollywood Starlet appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, March 7, 1936.

One thing nice about this 2016 Saturday Evening Post calendar is that there are so many Rockwell prints that I've never seen before.

I was unable to find out anything about her on Wiki or imdb.  I did find a picture of her wearing short shorts and saying that in 1935 she was selected as having the most perfect figure.  Not bad judging by the photo.

Thanks Norman.  --DaCoot

Young Artist by Norman Rockwell: Rain Slickers

From the Saturday Evening Post 2016 Calendar for February.

"Be My Valentine.  Fashion fads come and go, but young love lasts forever-- at least until the next downpour.  In the 1920s, rain slickers were all the rage.  Acutely aware of the need to stay current, Norman Rockwell tuned in to timely ideas saying, "I just keep my ear to the wind and, when I heard of a craze or fad ... I'd do a cover of it."

A young boy painting a pair of hearts on the back of a young girl.

Young Artist appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, June 4, 1927.

Keeping Dry and in Love.  --Cooter

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Pharmacist by Norman Rockwell

From the Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell 2016 Calendar for January.

The Pharmacist appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post March 18, 1939.  Judging from the face and mustache, I'd say he is the same model Rockwell used for Dreams of Long Ago, James Van Brunt, one pf his favorite models.

"For Better or Worse?  The hometown pharmacist was once the go-to guy for what ails you.  But while the apothecary carefully concocts a healing elixir, the boy with the bad cold has one question on his mind:  What will it taste like?

"A storyteller with a brush, Norman Rockwell had a knack for the direct hit, creating images that instantly connected with viewers."


10 Examples of Confusing Etiquette in Other Countries-- Part 2: Doggie Bags?

5.  DOGGIE BAGS--   Does it mean you're cheap?  In ancient Rome it was perfectly acceptable.

4.  TIPPING--  Don't do it in Japan.

3.  EATING WITH YOUR HANDS--  Eating a taco or burrito with a fork and knife in Mexico is generally frowned upon.  Not to mention somewhat difficult.

2.  BEING ON TIME--  In Tanzania it is considered disrespectful to do this.

1.  COMPLIMENTS--  Don't give them in the Middle East or some African countries.

I Always Take a Doggie Bag, Even Though We No longer Have a Dog.  --Cooter

10 Examples of Confusing Etiquette in Other Countries-- Part 1: Sticking Out Your Tongue

From the Feb. 3, 2015, Listverse by J.D.Louie.

10--  SPITTING--  Members of the Maasai tribe in Africa spit on each other the way we shake hands.

9.  SLURPING--  In some Asian countries it is seen as high praise for a meal.

8.  STICKING OUT YOUR TONGUE--  A New Caledonia it is a wish for wisdom and energy.  With the Maoris in New Zealand it is a show of disrespect.

7.  FLOWERS--  A bouquet of white flowers in China means "Drop Dead."

6.   CLEANING YOUR PLATE--  In some places, the hostess will automatically put more food on it.

Don't Give Me No Flowers.  --DaCoot

Northern Illinois University: Impact on Local Area-- Actor Joe Minoso-- Cost of Attending NIU-- NIU Foundation-- Anthropology Museum

From Northern Now Spring 2016, Alumni Magazine.

**  NIU's Impact On Northern Illinois Economy:  A conservative estimate puts its economic impact at $900 million a year.  There are 12,900 jobs directly connected with NIU and total payroll of $423 million.

**  Actor Joe Minoso, Class of '04, plays firefighter Joe Cruz on one of my favorite dramas, NBC's "Chicago Fire."

**  Estimated cost to attend NIU for one year (tuition, fees, room and board).
1970--  $1,700
2015--  $$25,051

**  $14.9 Million in NIU Foundation scholarships provided to students over past ten years.  Including 8 scholarships from us.

**  James B. and Rosalyn L. Pick Museum of Anthropology in Cole Hall.  I didn't know about this one.  Cole Hall was where the St. Valentine's student murders took place but has been repurposed and renovated.

Huskie Fan For Life.  Cooter

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dreams of Long Ago Painting, Norman Rockwell "The Old Cowboy"

From the Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell Calendar for 2016, month of April.

I first met this old cowboy on a cover of a Pure Prairie League album.  They used his likeness on several of their albums.


"Wild West.  Tapping into the public's fascination with Western lore and legend, Rockwell depicted an aging cowboy, listening to a gramophone, surrounded by memories of days gone by.

"When Rockwell met model James Van Brunt, he was drawn to his magnificent, eight-inch mustache.  'You couldn't help admiring it," said Rockwell, who used Van Brunt as a model in several Post cover illustrations."

Dreams of Long Ago appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, August 13, 1927.


Looking Back to 1941: Fox Hunt and Chicken Pox in DeKalb County

From the Feb. 3 and Feb. 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back"

1941, 75 years ago.

**  "The fourth annual fox hunt will take place this Sunday in a spot agreed upon by local sportsmen who gather Sunday morning at 8 a.m. in front of the Central Illinois Light Company, before going off to the woods in the search of the elusive fox."

Something you don't hear about much anymore.

**  Twenty-nine homes were placed under quarantine for a time in January in DeKalb according to the report of City Health Commissioner Dr. J.C. Ellis.  In his report the health commissioner states that there were 23 homes isolated because of chicken pox, three because of dog bites, and one each for lobar pneumonia, broncho pneumonia and influenza pneumonia.

Watch Out for That Chicken Pox.  But Mighty Fun Popping Those Guys.  --Cooter

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Looking Back to 1915: Bringing Electricity to Waterman, Illinois

From the March 19, 2016, Mid Week (DeKalb County, Illinois)

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"For a long time Waterman has been feeling the need for electricity for lighting and power purposes and now it begins to look like Mayor Wiltberger and his council will soon be able to interest the big companies in extending their lines to that town."

Something we take for granted these days, but not so back then.


Is One of Jack the Ripper's Victims Buried in Illinois?-- Part 2: Thomas Neill Cream

I also read that Daniel Stott had come from Canada after a previous wife had run off with her lover.

Find-A Grave for Thomas Neill Cream (the man suspected to have been Jack the Ripper)

Cream was buried at Newgate Prison Cemetery in Newgate, Greater London.  he was executed by hanging, and event that attracted a huge crowd.

Daniel Stott's wife , Julia Stott, moved to New Milford, Illinois, and stayed with a sister until she vanished.  New Milford is a small town on the outskirts of Rockford, Illinois.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Is One of Jack the Ripper's Victims Buried in Illinois?-- Part 1: Daniel Stott

There is a likelihood that there is a body buried in Garden Prairie Cemetery off US-20 between Marengo and Belvidere, Illinois.  It is west of Burma Road and east of garden Prairie Road.  The cemetery is well-maintained and has many older burials, the more recent ones on the west side.

Daniel Stott, born 1820, died 12 June 1881.  Row 11, section 23A

Find-A-Grave says that Mr. Stott is the only male victim of Dr. Thomas Nell Cream, suspected as being the Jack the Ripper.


Michigan's Role in World War I-- Part 3: A Huge Impact

XContinued from January 19, 2014.

According to Dennis Skuppinski, World War I was a "transformational period" for Michigan and Detroit.  because of the engineering taking place here, Michigan was the fastest growing state and Detroit was the fastest growing county in the country.

A regiment was raised in Michigan a month after the U.S. entered the war in April 1917.

The auto industry retooled for war.

A captured German submarine was used to raise Liberty Bonds and was sunk in Lake Michigan.


10 Wild Facts About Reindeer-- Part 2: The Invasive Reindeer of South Georgia

5.  Ancient Artwork--  The first-known prehistoric art is of a horse on an antler.

4.  Transforming Eyes--  only known animal whose eyes change color.

3.  Invasive Reindeer of South Georgia--  British island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America.  Introduced by Norwegian whalers around 1900.  Originally 22, today 5,000.

2.  Quebec's Mass Drowning--  They migrate thousands of miles each year.  In 1984, up to 10,000 drowned when Hydro Quebec let water out from a dam.

1.  Reindeer Racing--  Can run up to 50 miles per hour.  They pull humans on skis in Finland.

Rudolph's Buddies.  --CootDeer

Monday, April 4, 2016

10 Wild Facts About Reindeer-- Part 1: Reaindeer Battalions

From the December 23, 2013, Listverse by Alan Boyle.

10.  Castrate by Biting--  The Sami people in Scandinavia and Russia.

9.  Radioactive Reindeer--  The ones in the Chernobyl area which have up to 97% radioactivity in their meat.

8.  Reindeer Meat Storage--  The meat is very popular in Europe

7.  Reindeer Battalions--  Used by the Soviet Union in World War II

6.  Flying Reindeer--  The idea originated in 1822 with Clement Clarke Moore's "The Night Before Christmas."  But actually had been depicted as long ago as 4,000 years.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Deaths in 2013: Mikhail Kalashnikov, Rifle Designer, AK-47

Age 94.  Wanted to make farm equipment, but ended up harvesting a lot of blood with his AK-47 assault rifle, the world's most popular firearm.

Mr. Kalashnikov felt personally untroubled by his contribution to history and blamed wars on politicians.

The AK-47, Avtomat Kalashikov went into production, though not especially accurate, it was extremely rugged and simple.  It was favored by guerrillas, terrorists and soldiers.  There are an estimated 100 million in the world.

During the Vietnam War, American soldiers would throw away their M-16s and grab AK-47s and bullets from dead Vietnamese soldiers.

These guns were suitable for jungle or desert warfare.

Born in Siberia and joined the Red Army in 1930 and showed mechanical skills in inventing modifications to Soviet tanks.  In 1941, at the Battle of Bryansk, a shell hit his tank.  While recovering from his wounds in a hospital he began brooding about the superior German automatic weapons and began tinkering.

Thus, the world had his namesake rifle.

Navy Ready to Launch a New USS Milwaukee in 2013

From the December 17, 2013, On Milwaukee "Navy ready to launch a new USS Milwaukee in Marinette (Wisconsin).

It will be a littoral combat ship (LCS-5).  There will be a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, December 18.

The ship is 388 feet long and will be the fifth USS Milwaukee.

1st--  Was a Civil War double-turreted river monitor.

2nd--  Was a St. Louis-Class cruiser, C-21, lost in 1916 attempting to free a grounded submarine.

3rd--  Omaha-class light cruiser (CL-5)  Served during World War II in the Atlantic.

4th--  A Wichita-class replenishment oiler (AOR-2)  decommissioned 1994.


Deaths in 2013: William C. Lowe, 72-- Father of IBM Personal Computer

Died October 19, 2013.

In 1980, it was decided that IBM should develop a personal computer that could be mass marketed to reach beyond business into people's homes.

In 1981, there came the IBM 5150 PC for $1,565, not including the monitor.

Other companies were already making computers as early as the 1970s.  Mr. Lowe convinced his bosses that he could assemble a team and make one.  He, however, didn't learn how to use one himself for a while.  he was described by his daughter as a "slow Adapter."  He joined IBM in 1962.

That's Why I Sit here a Typin' away.  Thanks Mr. Lowe.


10 Politically Incorrect Vintage Cartoons-- Part 2

5.  "Injun Trouble"  1938, 1968--  stereotyping.

4.  "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap"  Popeye.  World War II propaganda.

3.  "Herr Meets Hare"  Bugs Bunny.  Nazis.

2.  "Winston Cigarette Commercial"

1.  "Rhapsody Rabbitt"--  Bugs Bunny.  Violence


10 Politically Incorrect Vintage Cartoons-- Part 1

From the October 17, 2013, Listverse by S. Gray Grant.

10.  "Coal Black And De Sebbon Dwarfs"  One of eleven permanently banned cartoons deemed too offensive "Censored Eleven."  Racial Stereotyping.

9.  "Jungle Jitters"  "Censored Eleven."  Racial stereotyping.

8.  "Plane Dumb 1932.  Tom and Jerry   Stereotyping.

7.  "Ha! Ha! Ha!"  1934.  Betty Boop.  Glorified drug use.

6.  "Tokio Jokio"  World War II propaganda.