Archive | April 15, 2018

THE SPHINX—-LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

_______________________________________________________________________

https://www.newsmax.com/international/france-syria-gas-attacks-chemical/2018/04/14/id/854536/

_______________________________________________________________________

The Editor:   What is the title about, LL ?

Gumbo Cat:   Nawlins is celebrating 300 years.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/04/12/new-orleans-celebrates-300-years-survival-against-storms-floods-revolts-and-non-stop-influx-newcomer/486176002/

Two-thirds  ( 2/3 )  of Millennials have never heard of Hitler.

http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2018/04/12/survey-66-percent-millennials-u-s-not-know-auschwitz-part-holocaust/

Putin wants to test his satellite killer.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/putin-polishes-his-satellite-killer

Drones will soon be able to kill without human involvement,  what could go wrong with that ?   Who is the fool in charge of this ?    We can’t even make the White House secure from hackers.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Voices/2018/04/11/Drones-will-soon-decide-who-to-kill/3561523449841/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=2

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Space Shuttle Rising
Image Credit: NASA

Explanation: What’s that rising from the clouds? The space shuttle. Sometimes, if you look out the window of an airplane at just the right time and place, you see something unusual — in this case a space shuttle launching to orbit. The featured image of Endeavour’s final launch in 2011 May was captured from a NASA shuttle training aircraft. Taken well above the clouds, the image can be matched with similar images of the same shuttle plume taken below the clouds. Hot glowing gasses expelled by the engines are visible near the rising shuttle, as well as a long smoke plume. A shadow of the plume appears on the cloud deck, indicating the direction of the Sun. The US Space Shuttle program concluded in 2011, and Endeavour can now be visited at the California Science Center. Planned for tomorrow, however, is a different launch — that of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Tomorrow’s picture: north of the king

TODAYS ACCIDENTAL INVENTION

Most inventors strive for weeks, months, or years to perfect their products. (Thomas Edison tried thousands of different light bulb filaments before arriving at the ideal mixture of tungsten.) But sometimes, brilliance strikes by accident. Here’s a salute to the scientists, chefs, and everyday folk who stumbled upon greatness – and, more important, shared their mistakes with the world.

Image result for potato chips

The first potato chips were meant as an insult.

Hotel chef George Crum enjoyed a wonderful knack for cooking. From his kitchen at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Mr. Crum could “take anything edible and transform it into a dish fit for a king.” That skill came in handy – the upscale Lake House attracted customers who were used to being treated like kings.

In 1853, a cranky guest complained about Crum’s fried potatoes. They were too thick, he said. Too soggy and bland. The patron demanded a new batch.

Crum did not take this well. He decided to play a trick on the diner. The chef sliced a potato paper-thin, fried it until a fork could shatter the thing, and then purposefully over-salted his new creation. The persnickety guest will hate this, he thought. But the plan backfired. The guy loved it! He ordered a second serving.

Word of this new snack spread quickly. “Saratoga Chips” became a hit across New England, and Crum went on to open his own restaurant. Today, that accidental invention has ballooned into a massive snack industry.

*
*

In the old days…..

Image result for life was tough in the old days

 The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500’s.


They used to use urine to tan animal skins.  Families would all pee in a pot, then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.  If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”.  But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot – they “didn’t have a pot to piss in”, and were the lowest of the low.


Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell . .. . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.


Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”


Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs..”


With the thatched roofs there was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.


The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed across the entrance-way to keep the thresh in. Hence: a thresh hold (“threshold”).


(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)


In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”


Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat”.


Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.


Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust”.


Cups made of lead were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination of the lead leached out by the alcohol would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a “wake”.


England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through a hole in the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the “graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell. Thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer”.


And that’s the truth! Now, whoever said History was boring?

*
*