Friday Fun Facts- Strange Deaths of “Freaks”

October 27, 2017

I’ve always heard about freak shows but have never been to one. I actually don’t think I’d want to go because they seem a little sad to me. I could be way off base. IDKfreak-show-tillie

Not only were these people called freaks when they were alive, but freaky things happened to them in death. Read and see-

  1. Edouard Beaupre was a giant at 8’3″. He died at 23 of a pulmonary hemorrhage. His cause of death wasn’t unusual given his size. The circus, where he performed, had his body taken to a mortuary to be embalmed, but balked at the high price of shipping his body home.  16361                                                                                                             He convinced the family to let him be buried in St. Louis where they were for The Louisiana Purchase Exposition. (The family didn’t go to the funeral.) Instead of paying the mortuary, the guy skipped town and left Edouard to fate. They put his body in a storefront window for a while, but it caused too much traffic. His body was sold 2 more times! It went to a museum and then a circus where he was stored in a barn after the circus went bankrupt. A doctor then bought him, mummified him, and put him on display for 85 years.                                                                              Finally, a nephew in 1975 petitioned the university to get his uncle back. It wasn’t until July 7, 1990 that he was cremated and buried with dignity.
  2. Chang and Eng were “Siamese” twins born in Thailand (Siam). A Scottish merchant saw them while there and was amazed at how fast they could swim and move being conjoined. He paid a large amount of money to the family for adoption. He immediately put them in on the sideshow circuit. They did very well! Eventually, they settled in North Carolina, made a lot of money in business, married sisters, and fathered 21 children.  ch&e-wives                                                                                                                   The Civil War stripped them of  a lot of their wealth and Chang drank heavily. They did not share a circulatory system so Eng did not have the same drinking issues. But on Jan. 17, 1874, Eng woke up to find his brother dead from a cerebral blood clot. Terrified, he called doctors to do an emergency separation, but it was too late. He died 3 hours later. Some think it was mainly due to the shock of losing his brother.
  3. Grady Stiles was an evil, mean man and got more so the more he drank. He also had fingers that looked more like lobster claws and his feet and legs were also deformed. Even so, he had a good career at the shows, married and had a daughter. On the eve of his daughter’s wedding, he and the groom to be were at a party. Grady was drinking and he murdered the fellow in cold blood. He was found guilty but Grady played on the courts using his disability. Instead of life or an execution, he got 15 years on parole.    lobster-boy-1024x669                                                                                                             He never showed remorse and bragged about how he got away with murder. The abuse of those around him got so bad, his wife paid $1500 to another performer to assassinate him! He took 3 bullets to the head while watching TV.
  4. Betty Lou Williams was born in Georgia 1932. She was the youngest of 12 children, but the only one born with 4 legs and an extra arm. The parasitic twin’s head was lodged inside her torso. Her parents put her on the circuit by the time she was 2. she made a lot of money and managed to put all of her siblings through college and bought her parents a house. She, obviously, was very generous!  ischiopagus-4-betty-lou-williams                                     Betty Lou was also a beauty and never had problems dating despite her deformity. She fell madly, passionately in love with a man and they were engaged to be married. Unfortunately, she found out that he did not really love her, he liked her for her ability to bring in a ton of money. The revelation triggered a massive asthma attack which she died from, but her family insists she died from a broken heart.                                                                                                                                                   TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK…………95dbd479e3fc7cbeb560995801947436--carnival-signs-haunted-carnival

Friday Fun Facts- Knives

October 6, 2017
  1. . A pen knife is so named because it was used for sharpening a quill to make a pen nib
  2.  French gangsters in the early 1900s used a weapon that functioned as a revolver, a knife, and brass knuckles.outdoorhub-7-horrible-handgun-designs-that-made-it-into-production-2015-02-19_20-53-13
  3. In 2000, a Mexican woman successfully performed a C-section on herself with a kitchen knife and 3 glasses of hard liquor, while her husband was drinking at a bar.
  4. King Tutankhamun’s dagger was made of meteoric iron.download
  5. A sharp knife actually causes less cuts. Since you don’t have to push down as hard, there’s less of a chance you let the blade slip.
  6. There’s no such thing as true stainless steel.
  7. Over 34,000 Swiss Army knives are made everyday!8849449713694_celum_74896_320Wx280H
  8. There are many places that end with “sex” in their name. (Sussex, Middlesex etc.) It comes from the Old English word seax meaning knife. Sexsmith used to be a common last name- meaning one who made knives.
  9. The most expensive knife is called “The Gem of The Orient”. It sold for $2.1 Million!! In total, it has 153 emeralds (10 carats) and nine diamonds (5 carats). The weight of the gold in the knife is 28 ounces.  It took ten years to produce such knife.ReKvaKK
  10. The Russians make knives out of sapphires with bone handles. It doesn’t show up on any metal detectors.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  11. There is a knife (the WASP knife) that once inside the victim, forces over 800 psi of CO2 inside the victim, creating a basketball sized air pocket and freezing the surrounding internal organs. WASP-Injection-Knife-500x478

Friday Fun Facts- Tea!

September 22, 2017

I love tea. I drink it hot and cold. My day is bookended by a hot, steaming mug of Tetley’s British Blend tea. Mmmmmm I’m sipping one right now.VictorianVioletsBoneChinaTeapot

But…did you know:

  1. Iced tea was invented at The 1904’s World’s Fair in St. Louis. It was so bloody hot, mugs of tea weren’t selling. Richard Blechynden decided to pour it over ice and BOOM, it was an instant success!
  2. Tea bags were invented by accident as well! In 1908, a salesman created small silk bags to give out samples of tea to customers. Some of them thought they were supposed to put the whole thing in the pot instead of emptying it out, like a metal diffuser. It worked so well, it became a thing.images (1)
  3. There are 4 major types of tea black, white, green, and oolong, but they all come from the same plant. It’s how the leaves are treated that make the difference.
  4. The art of reading tea leaves is called tasseography.
  5. There is a legend that tea was discovered, by accident again, by a chinese emperor. A leaf supposedly blew into his bowl of hot water and the rest is history. Hmm, urban legend?
  6. Another accident! Many people , like me, drink hot tea with milk. That practice was started because they used to pour milk into the delicate china cups to protect it from the boiling water. It’s no longer necessary, and they discovered it was yummy!
  7. For centuries, tea was only used as medicine. It took over 3000 years for it to become an everyday drink.pick-longjing-tea-768
  8. Black teas are made from fermented leaves that have been allowed to dry.
  9. Tea bags are good for about 6 months before they lose their flavor and quality.
  10. In Tibet, Butter Tea is served. It is made from black tea, yak butter, and salt.
  11. Tea is believed to have arrived in Europe, thanks to a Jesuit priest.He visited China in 1590 and was allowed to bring some of the plants home with him.
  12. The most expensive tea in the world is grown in the mountains of Ya’An in the Sichuan province of China. Workers fertilize the tea bushes using the waste from local pandas whose bodies take in only a small amount of nutrients from the food they eat. The tea costs the equivalent of around $200 for a small cup.ss-160826-twip-05_8cf6d4cb83758449fd400c7c3d71aa1f.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000

Link Of The Week- Survival

September 19, 2017

wilderness-survival-fireI’ve watched a show called The 100 for the last two weeks on Netflix. It’s a good show, but the characters are forced to survive in the wild. Some of the characters in my book do too! This is a good link for basic survival skills. Make sure you read through the questions and answers at the end- there’s a lot of good information there.wilderness-survival-guide-6

http://www.wikihow.com/Survive-in-the-Wild

That’s your basic set of skills. Do you want to be more like Macgyver? Well, here you go- these are sooooo cool!

http://www.skilledsurvival.com/survival-hacks/hqdefault


Link Of The Week- Weather Watch

September 5, 2017

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As writers, we often need to know things about the weather for our books. My first published one talked about an “Ice Tsunami”. I had never heard of that phenomena, but I knew I wanted to put it in.Dszpics1

This past week and a half has had weather on all of our minds with Hurricane Harvey. Jenn and I are both proud native Texans and are horrified at the loss our great state has incurred. Now, we have Hurricane Irma barreling down on islands in the Caribbean and will slam into Florida soon. After that? The models have conflicting reports.

Here’s a place for great research and current weather happenings! Stay safe.

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https://weather.com/


Link Of The Week- Self Publishing Authors Podcast

August 15, 2017

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They are called the SPA (Self Publishing Authors) Girls, and let me tell you, they know their stuff! The podcasts are free and informative with a ton of humor thrown in. This business can be overwhelming- they sift through the cacophony to find the true bits of guidance we all need. Enjoy listening and learning from interviews with Mark Dawson, Roxanne St. Claire, Brian Meeks and more!

http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/

 

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They also have a book that is fantastic! Here’s the link for that as a bonus-

https://goo.gl/rB5ByH

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Friday Fun Facts- Route 66

August 11, 2017

By the time you get up and read this, I will be on the road somewhere between the mountains of New Mexico and the sheer vastness of the state of Texas. Part of the way will be on the historic Route 66. Bet you didn’t know some of these facts!download

  1. It is 2448 miles long and has been described as “The Mother of All Road Trips”. (8 states and 3 times zones)
  2. John Steinbeck used it as the inspiration of his novel The Grapes of Wrath. He left Chicago in 1937 heading west. He called it the great “concrete path” and in the book it was referred to as the “Mother Road”.download (3)
  3. The Great Depression paved Route 66. From 1933 to 1938 thousands of male youths looking for work became members of the “Road Gangs” and paved all the remaining dirt sections.
  4. Route 66 won’t be on any modern maps! It was decommissioned from the original 1926 grid. The route was considered irrelevant and was replaced by the interstate highway system.
  5. “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was sung by Nat King Cole. It almost wasn’t to be because when the composer arrived in LA to pitch it, the song was only half completed. Mr. Cole helped finish it and then recorded the song.download (4)
  6. It is also nicknamed “Will Rogers Highway”. The beloved writer spent many years travelling the Route and writing about the people along the way. When he died in a plane crash, radio stations from coast to coast on the road went silent for 30 minutes in honor of the man who wrote about them.
  7. The Kansas section is the shortest- only measuring 13 miles!
  8. The highest point is on the Continental Divide in Gallup, New Mexico at 7245 ft. high!!
  9. One of the most famous motel chains along the Route was The Wigwam Motels. The rooms were designed to look like an Indian teepee. There are only 2 left located in San Bernadino and the other in Holbrook, AZ.
  10. Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon in Oatman, AZ along the Route.
  11. Phillips Petroleum chose a spot on the Route as the location for their first gas station in 1927. It’s still standing in McLean, Texas!download (1)
  12. The first EVER McDonalds opened on Route 66 in California in 1948.download (2)
  13. A WWII prisoner of war camp was set up 2 miles east of 66 in McLean, Texas. It operated from 1943-1945 and housed up to 3000 German prisoners.images (1)