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. IDK
Not only were these people called freaks when they were alive, but freaky things happened to them in death. Read and see-
- 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. 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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! 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…………
September 19, 2017
I’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.
That’s your basic set of skills. Do you want to be more like Macgyver? Well, here you go- these are sooooo cool!
April 28, 2017
Most people know writers tend to live in their own little worlds. I can hear many of you laughing already because you know me! Yes, we are different…but some are even more interesting than you think!
- Stieg Larsson, who created The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, stated the heroine was based on what Pippi Longstocking would be like when she was grown. Hmmmm, not what I would have thought about Pippi.
- Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers, fought his first duel at the age of 23. He has the unusual distinction of having his trousers fall down during the event! I think it was better he wrote about fighting instead of participating!
- Before finding fame as a novelist, The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown was a pop singer. One of his solo albums was called Angels and Demons.
- Bram Stoker, Dracula, was a crazy conspiracy theorist! One of his best theories is that the Queen Elizabeth that we all studied about was really a man in drag! Supposedly, the real Elizabeth got sick and died when she was 10.
- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, was kinda weird. For instance, he always positioned his bed northward- he said it sparked his creativity. He had a thing for the dead. One of his favorite past times was hanging out in the morgue- he even spent a few Christmas and New Years Days at the Paris morgue……
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, thought Houdini was magical. After his son died, he spent a great deal of time studying mysticism and trying to talk to the dead. Somehow along the way, he decided his friend, Houdini, had magical powers even though Houdini was constantly trying to prove to him otherwise.
- Norman Mailer, The Executioner’s Song, was a raging alcoholic who stabbed his wife and beat up actor Rip Torn. Many considered him to be a world renowned jerk! He also ran for mayor of New York City claiming he would outlaw private cars, have trial by jousting and turn the city into the 51st state. The stories only get better from there- I just don’t have space to write about so many!
- John Steinbeck used 300 pencils to write East of Eden and was known to use up to 60 pencils in a day.
- When Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham, was stuck writing his books, he would go to a secret closet filled with hundreds of hats and wear them till the words came. Something else to make you go hmmmmmm.
- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, once took home the urinal from his favorite bar, arguing he’d ‘pissed away’ so much of his money into it that he owned it.
- Sting wrote the song ‘Every Breath You Take’ at the same desk which Ian Fleming used to write his James Bond novels. It was at the ‘Fleming Villa’ at GoldenEye on the island of Jamaica.
- D. H. Lawrence, Women In Love, liked to climb trees buck naked because he wanted to stimulate his creativity.
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!
- 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.
- There was a Harley Davidson motorcycle built to look like a giant hamburger………………….. why?
- In the past 20 years, scientists have found over 1000 plants outside of our solar system. Really? Have you heard about this?
- If you started with a penny and doubled your money everyday- you’d be a millionaire in 27 days!
- You can’t kill yourself by holding your breath.
- In France, it is legal to marry a dead person. (Things that make you go hmmmmm)
- It’s considered good luck in Japan if a sumo wrestler makes your baby cry.
- 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.
- The Spanish national anthem has no lyrics.
- The full length Greek national anthem has 158 verses. Well, that’s from the sublime to the ridiculous!
- Tupac Shakur’s ashes were smoked, along with marijuana, by his friends.
- A full head of hair is strong enough to support 12 tons of weight! Another holy moly in my book!!
- 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.
- 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.
- Light doesn’t necessarily travel at the “speed of light”. The slowest light has been recorded moving is at 38mph. Who knew?!?!?
February 10, 2017
The only fact you need to know today is that Moms are AMAZING!
I love this!! Moms are pretty special people. I know because I’m one of them…just kidding, just kidding. Well, I mean, I am a mom but I wasn’t claiming the “special” part. 🙂
My son is coming home from college for the weekend and I probably won’t get to see him again until Spring Break. I’m so excited, I can hardly sit still to write this! I will get to do extra loads of laundry (because he saves it up for me), cook many extra pounds of meat, wash a ton of extra cups and protein shake (nasty) bottles, and many of my kitchen towels will be mixed in with the car rags and will be covered in oil and axle grease (the boys are restoring a 1970s 280Z).
But…I wouldn’t have it any other way. Enjoy the video.
I love you, Mom and I miss you everyday.
February 3, 2017
Yes, you read that correctly. I bet you didn’t know there was any interesting information about potato chips! Check this out-
- The United States potato chip industry employs over 60,000 people. Let’s hear it for crispy jobs!!
- There’s a tale that says the lowly potato chip was born out of frustration. A New York chef who worked for Cornelius Vanderbilt was so fed up with the mogul complaining about his potatoes being soggy, or bland, or mushy, he decided to teach him a lesson. He shaved the potato paper thin and then let it fry until it was golden colored and too stiff to eat with a fork and knife. To his surprise, Mr. Vanderbilt loved it and the first potato chip was born. Great story, but there are numerous folks who say that it’s a folk tale.
- That may be a great story but Americans do own the chip! We had them around before the UK had their crisps. In 1822, there was a found recipe, but it calls for the potatoes to be 1/4″ thick. Chips really do trace their roots back to Saratoga, New York, but it wasn’t until a man by the name of Herman Lay brought it to his Nashville company that it became a national phenomena.
- Frederic Baur, the inventor of Pringles, died in 2008. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in one of their cans.
- In the UK, numbers show that a ton of crisps are eaten every 3 minutes. A telephone box could be filled with eaten chips every 43 seconds and an OLympic sized pool could be filled every 14 hours………..that’s a lot of crisps!
- When the US entered WWII, potato chips were declared non-essential food and production was called to a halt! Manufacturers were not happy and set on a campaign to convince the government chips were necessary. They won (Phew) and chips sold better during and after the war than they ever had before.
- You’ve heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys’s feud, right? That was nothing compared to Pringles vs. the potato chip industry. Pringles had the gall to make their product from dried potatoes and not from a slice of fresh potato. After 10 years of fighting they lost the right to call it a chip so it is a crisp. Whoa.
- Your bag of chips doesn’t just have air in it. It’s pumped full of nitrogen to keep it fresher longer.
- The largest single bag of potato chips was 18 ft. tall and had more than 2515 lbs. of potatoes in it- all of which were cooked in a single batch to fulfill the Guiness Book of Records’ requirements! It took over 17 hours to fry.
- Flavored chips came to be in the 1950s. We have our usual barbeque, sour cream etc., but there are some unusual flavors for sale! Have you ever tried OLd Bay crab seasoning chips? How about fried pickle flavor? Got to Greece and you might get Oregano, Japan, there’s soy sauce flavor and seaweed. Other countries might sell you mayonnaise, paprika, or mint, but I know you’d really like the hoisin duck or Cajun squirrel ones the best!!!!
- Laura Scudder came up with the idea to put chips between 2 pieces of wax paper and ironing the ends shut. Voila! The first bag of chips.
- Some engineer spent 6 years studying the “crunchiness” of chips……….I got nothing…….
January 27, 2017
Happy Friday, everyone! Today is January 27, 2017. Have you ever wondered if this date was special? I thought it’d be fun to check out the 27th and see how it stacks up in history. Let’s see what happened:
- American born sumo wrestler, Akebono Taro, was the first foreigner to be promoted to the highest rank of Yokozuna. 1993
- Germany observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 1996
- Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. 2006
- The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”. Not our finest moment. 1825
- Lenigrad was liberated from Germany after 880 days. The loss? 600,000 killed. 1944
- The US and North Vietnam come to a “cease fire” thus ending the longest US war and military draft. 1973
- 3 astronauts aboard the Apollo 1 die while still on the launch pad. They were practicing for a two week mission in space. 1967
- 60 countries signed The Outer Space treaty which stated that no country would place nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction into orbit around earth. If any country were to do this, no country would be safe again. 1967
- Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire while he filmed a Pepsi commercial. 1984
- The Red Army liberates Auschwitz in southern Poland. It was the largest of all the concentration camps and is believed that 1,000,000 people were killed there. 1945
- The US government conducts the first nuclear bomb tests in Nevada. 1951
- Coca Cola starts distribution in the Soviet Union. 12 years after Pepsi, I might add. 1985
- The first sorority is created- Kappa Alpha Theta. 1870
- After accepting the 15th Amendment, Virginia is readmitted to the Union. 1870
- Thomas Edison patents the first electric incandescent lamp. 1880