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


Friday Fun Facts- A Cornucopia of Facts!

April 21, 2017

I started poking around the internet and before I knew it, I had lost two hours! Sigh. I know learning is never a waste, but it sure can be a time suck. Check out some of the tid-bits I dug up!

  1. In 1986, a volcanic lake in Africa let out a cosmic sized burp of sulfuric acid and killed 1746 people within minutes!! Holy Moly!! I had no idea this could happen.tin
  2. There was a Harley Davidson motorcycle built to look like a giant hamburger………………….. why?
  3. In the past 20 years, scientists have found over 1000 plants outside of our solar system. Really? Have you heard about this?
  4. If you started with a penny and doubled your money everyday- you’d be a millionaire in 27 days!pennieswithpurpose
  5. You can’t kill yourself by holding your breath.
  6. In France, it is legal to marry a dead person. (Things that make you go hmmmmm)
  7. It’s considered good luck in Japan if a sumo wrestler makes your baby cry.2080_05
  8. The oldest marathon runner was 100 years old when he finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada. Fauja Singh crossed the line in 8hrs., 25min., and 16sec.
  9. The Spanish national anthem has no lyrics.
  10. The full length Greek national anthem has 158 verses. Well, that’s from the sublime to the ridiculous!
  11. Tupac Shakur’s ashes were smoked, along with marijuana, by his friends.
  12. A full head of hair is strong enough to support 12 tons of weight! Another holy moly in my book!!14-Simple-Tricks-To-Make-Your-Hair-Grow-Faster
  13. In 1567, the man who was said to have the longest beard, died trying to run away from a fire. You guessed it! He tripped on his beard.
  14. Did you know you could dance yourself to death? Yes! Yes, you can! There was such a thing called The Dance Fever which occurred in 1518 in Strasbourg. Inexplicably, hundreds of people danced for a whole month. Many of them danced themselves to death.f23892673e56c2cb72ea744be7e3e29b
  15. Light doesn’t necessarily travel at the “speed of light”. The slowest light has been recorded moving is at 38mph. Who knew?!?!?

Friday Fun Facts-Do You Know Abraham Lincoln?

October 14, 2016

This president is on our penny. We read about him all through grade school. We think we know all about him…but do we?

  1. Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender.pitch_dark-cocktail-20_zpsc29eb665
  2. Lincoln’s assassin was a famous actor of the time and the President was a big fan of his.
  3. Here’s a weird one- Abraham’s son was saved from a train accident by John Wilkes Booth’s brother. There’s some kind of karma going on there!
  4. He was the first major leader of the U.S. that felt women should have the right to vote. Go Abe!!
  5. Abe Lincoln is enshrined in The Wrestling Hall of Fame having only lost once in 300 matches!!maxresdefault
  6. His dog was also assassinated. 😦
  7. Abraham Lincoln did NOT have a college degree.
  8. He dreamt of his assassination before it happened.
  9. In 1876, a gang tried to steal his body and hold it for a $200,000 ransom.
  10. Abe Lincoln had a secret message engraved into his pocket watch. It was not discovered until 2009.abraham-lincoln-watch-hidden-message-631-jpg__800x600_q85_crop
  11.  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/lincolns-pocket-watch-reveals-long-hidden-message-57066665/?no-ist
  12. Did you know that President Lincoln created the Balloon Corps to help fight in the Civil War? Hot Air Balloons!int-inflate-balloon1

Simon Says…William Simon That Is

April 21, 2011

By: Stacey A. Purcell

If you get stuck writing your novel, bring in a man with a big gun! – William Simon

How many people do you shoot in your novels?

Since I write suspense, death and mayhem show up on my pages with great frequency. There’s nothing worse than watching a movie or reading a book when you come across something that you KNOW is wrong. It pulls you completely out of the story.  We need to avoid this at all cost! If the reader puts your book down, all bets are off as to whether they’ll pick it up again, especially if you just annoyed them.

I’d like to introduce William Simon who is the owner and lead investigator of a professional investigations firm specializing in computer forensics and computer evidence. He is asked to participate on cases across the country and has worked with multiple branches of the law. His fiction has been published in the anthology MURDER BY MAGIC, “Suspense Magazine”, and the forthcoming THRILLER 3 from International Thriller Writers.

Hi Everyone. Thanks for having me here at Muse Tracks.

A couple of months ago, Stacey and Jennifer put together a night trip to a local gun range.  Several of the members had never fired a gun before, and everyone had a great time.

Over the course of the evening, we all talked about guns and shooting as shown in the movies and television, and there was enough conversation about it that Stacey asked me to write a blog about it.

Starting off, my all time favorite is the Hero inching his way along a wall to the corner so he can shoot Bad Guys.  Almost without exception, he’s holding the gun pointed up, near his face with his finger on the trigger.  If he pulls that trigger by accident, here’s what will happen: he’ll get gunpowder and shrapnel in his face, possibly his eyes, he won’t be able to hear properly for a while, if ever again.  If it’s night, he’ll be night blind for a considerable amount of time, not to mention disoriented.  Bad move, all the way around.  Professional law enforcement officers know better, and hold a drawn weapon pointed downwards and way from themselves.

Snatching a pistol from someone’s hand is a wrong move.  Period.  It always makes me cringe to see that.  When a pistol is loaded and the hammer’s back, it takes very little force to move the trigger.  And once the trigger moves, we know what happens next.

Tucking a just fired weapon down the belt right above the crotch area…. YEOUCH!  First off, firing a full cylinder of six or a clip of eight or more, and the barrel of the gun is almost hot enough to light a cigarette.  Sure, people have done that, just jammed a gun down their waistband.  It’s happened often enough, there’s a name for it: “testicide”.  Use your imaginations, you can guess what happens!

Holding an automatic pistol sideways is a guarantee that hot cartridges are going to smack you in the face.  Just what you want in a serious situation.

Here’s the really big one:  Guns MUST be reloaded.  Revolvers usually hold six shots, although some of the newer models can hold seven or eight.  Okay, fair enough, but that’s nowhere near enough to cover some of the gunfights in the movies.  Automatic pistols can hold more, usually between ten to sixteen.  The famous Beretta 92F does have a specially made clip that can hold thirty-two rounds, but it sticks out from the butt a good inch or so, making impossible to conceal, and adds substantial weight.

A fully loaded pistol is heavy.  Specially made belts are needed for a comfortable concealed carry; clipping the holster to your beltless pants doesn’t work in real life.  Neither does shoving the gun into a back pocket.

Holsters are a different matter altogether.  Shoulder holsters look cool, but are awkward to draw from.  Simple physics:  in an emergency, using your strong hand, you have to reach across your body, pull the gun, then reverse the move to be on target.  It may not seem like a long time, but in a crisis, that half a second can make the difference.

If you’re writing a scene where there’s a gunfight, be sure and do your research!  Gun collectors can be fanatical about spotting errors, and they won’t hesitate to let you know you got it wrong!