Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reversals of Earth's Magnetic Field

Earth’s magnetic field is undergoing significant shifts, and South Africa has front row seats to observe the changes. Satellites and magnetic observatories have recorded stirrings in the magnetic field – some areas weakening, some strengthening – which suggest that our planet is headed for a reversal of its magnetic poles in the next few hundred years.
normally the geographic North Pole is a magnetic south pole 
The time spans of between reversals are randomly distributed with most being between 0.1 and 1 million years with an average of 450,000 years. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty

Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty

Dubbed "Ireland's Oskar Schindler", Hugh O'Flaherty masterminded a large-scale operation from within the Vatican, to help Jews and escaped Allied prisoners on the run from the Nazis during the second world war..
Often putting himself at serious risk, he used a series of safe houses and church buildings and sheltered an estimated 6,500 people.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the red diamond

They sell for about $1,000,000 a carat which makes them the most expensive gem in the world.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oscar Mayer's great grandson

Chuck Collins was set to inherit a fortune from his Oscar Meyer family.  Instead he gave the money away and dedicates his life's work to studying and remedying economic inequality. 
Chuck Collins (born 1959) is an author and a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is also co-founder of Wealth for Common Good. He is the great-grandson of 19th-century meatpacking mogul Oscar Mayer and the grandson of the U.S. pianist and composer Edward Joseph Collins, as well as Michael Collins, liberator of Ireland. 

autumn bonfire

jpr: Us hill folks likes a good burn in the fall.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

burial place of john the baptist

The burial-place of John the Baptist was at Sebaste in Samaria, and mention is made of his relics being honored there around the middle of the 4th century. The historians Rufinusa nd Theodoretus record that the shrine was desecrated under Julian the Apostate around 362, the bones being partly burned. A portion of the rescued relics were carried to Jerusalem, then to Alexandria, where on May 27, 395, they were laid in the basilica newly dedicated to the Forerunner on the former site of the temple of Sera.

 Shi'a Muslim tradition maintains that his head is interred in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. One of the features of the Umayyad Mosque is the tomb of Saladin, which stands in a garden that is adjacent to the wall of the mosque. This is the final resting place of Kurdish Ayyubid Sultan Saladin. The mosque also holds a memorial that may contain the head of John the Baptist, who is honored as a great prophet and preacher by both Christians and Muslims.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween - a different POV

But those dumb-as-a-rock Zombies are ruining the meaning of the Holiday.  Damned souless undead!

government health care

thanks Jeff Darcy
my man  (excuse some language)

jpr; lets hope it all wokks sune!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

burial place of st paul

 a tour of the basilica

St. Paul's stone coffin has been found beneath Rome's second largest basilica, but its contents remain a mystery. The sarcophagus dates back to about A.D. 390 and was uncovered in Rome's Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, named for its location beyond the ancient wall surrounding Rome's center.

Monday, October 21, 2013

More Halloween Trivia

According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack. Because he tricked the devil several times, he was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
The mysterious Houdini died on Halloween night in 1926.
In the pre-Halloween Samhein days, large bonfires were lite to encourage the sun to return in the spring. Druids would throw cows bones in the fire for good luck. These so called 'bone fires' are the root for the word 'bonfire.'
Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday of the year.
Evidence suggests the traditions are as old as 4000 BC.
The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time
France, Australia and other countries condemn Halloween as an example of unwanted American influence.
The Roman holiday of Pomona, the harvest goddess, influenced modern Halloween games like bobbing for apples.

Addiopizzo, Sicily

Addiopizzo (Goodbye Pizzo) is a grassroots movement established to build a community of businesses and consumers who refuse to pay "pizzo" –Mafia extortion money. It is a grassroots social-conscience motivated consumer movement analogous to Fair Trade. The group, led by a generation whose adolescence was characterized by the murders of anti-Mafia judges, journalists and businessmen, operates in the Palermo metropolitan area, traditionally a Mafia stronghold.

Addiopizzo Travel provides ethical tours of Sicily,  taking tourists to those businesses who have said “no” to the Mafia’s requests for protection money


jpr: This in a land where women have been murdered for stealing lemons.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween in Greenwich Village

New York' City’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is an annual holiday parade and street pageant run every Halloween (October 31) for 40 years. It is the largest, and perhaps weirdest, Halloween celebration  in the US and probably the world.  More than a mile long,  two million spectators enjoy at least fifty thousand costumed participants, dancers, artists, circus performers, floats with live bands, and a television audience of one hundred million worldwide.
Very ‘avant garde’  (some might say alternative) it began as a parade primarily for NYC gay community and the event remains open to anyone in a costume who wishes to march. It is an event everyone should see at least once.

decorating with pumpkins

Less is more!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

kindergarten halloween


Coming to a neighborhood near you

Friday, October 18, 2013

Witches, Wicca, Halloween, and The Samhein Tradition

Samhain or Samuin is the name of the festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter in Gaelic Ireland.  It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November and has become linked with Halloween and All Saints Day.  Referenced in Old Irish Literature from the 10th Century,  it is found in the earlier Irish verbal tradition, and is probably pre-christian in origin.  The name derives from the same word as summer.  Some evidence suggests it served as the Celtic new year.  
Ancient tradition held that the separation between the living world and the world of the dead was thinnest at Samhain, allowing the spirits to enter the world of the living.  Celebrations included the setting of places at table for the departed.  Wandering fairies crossed over as well and made mischief.   Twentieth century misinterpretation of history caused it to be linked with evil, black magic, witchcraft and the like. But that connection has no historical bases.  The relationship between Wicca and Samhain and/or neo-pagans originated with the revision of these movements in the 20th century.  Both groups incorporated Samhain (as a holy day in their contemporary belief system.

halloween flowers


Joshua: What do you get if you cross Bambi with a ghost?
Belia: What?
Joshua: Bamboo.

Eddie: What do you call a vampire that lives in a kitchen?
Red: What?
Eddie: Count Spatula.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Only In America Series

A toilet themed restaurant is about to open in LA.  With toilets for seating, bathroom tiles everywhere, and food served in urinals. Can it get any better than this?  And we wonder why the world thinks there might be something wrong with us.

facts halloween haunted house

not for children

The concept of the haunted house was capitalized on and commercial haunted houses sprung up all over the country. An estimated 3,500 to 5,000 professional haunted attractions operate in the United States.The typical haunted attraction averages around 8,000 paid guests. Some attractions mega haunted events attract over 40,000 to 60,000 guests .Today some haunted houses charge as much as $25.00 while most average around $15.00 per event. Major amusement park haunts charge as much as $65.00 for entry into their events.

jpr: I took my family on a horse drawn wagon (haunted hay ride) through a haunted park. We never saw the mother/wife so scared!  The kids loved it! I'd do it again in a heart beat.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The origins of Halloween are subject to considerable scholarly debate.  Clearly, it has roots in Celtic Christianity as Hallows Eve (‘even’ in Scots), the night before All Hallows Day (‘hallows’ mean’s saints).  All Saints Day marks a period in the liturgical year (hallowmas) dedicated to the memory of saints and the dearly departed.  Some scholars argue that, like many holy days, its a Christianization of pagan Celtic harvest festivals marking the beginning of winter and festivals of the dead, particularly the Gaelic Samhain.
The name itself comes from Scots Gaelic.  It came into use in the early 1500’’s.
The tradition of costumes  or ‘guising’ (from disguising) was common in Ireland and Scotland from pagan times.  People would disguise themselves and go from house to house singing songs in exchange for food.  (called 'souling' in early Christianity).  The costumes protected the singer’s identity from the fairies, who find it easier to enter the world during the winter months.  Giving food protected the home owners from them as well.  The Reformation condemned all such activities and there is no reference to Halloween in early American almanacs.   Mass Irish and Scottish immigration in the late 19th century brought the celebration to America.  The ‘pumpkin’ lantern replaced the traditional Celtic carved turnip.

haloween witch

          Margaret Hamilton was the best

The Hag

The Hag is astride,
    This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
    Through thick, and through thin,
    Now out, and then in,
Though ne’r so foule be the weather.

    A Thorn or a Burr
    She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now,
    Through Brakes and through Bryars,
    O’re Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now....

by Robert Herrick (1648)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lowest Increase in Years

Good think I'm not planning on living forever or I'd be mad.

Early Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Allegheny & Birmingham

The history of the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, begins with a grant of land in 1763. Here the area located at the confluence of the Monongahela (foreground) and Allegheny (background) Rivers is depicted in 1871, with what was then known as Birmingham in the right foreground and Allegheny in the distance on the left. The following year four boroughs (South Pittsburgh, Birmingham, East Birmingham, and Ormsby) were annexed into the City of Pittsburgh, and are now known collectively as the South Side.

apple cider

apple cider
warning apple seeds should not be used

Collage of College
Sharpened carrot sticks
Twenty hundred lettuce leaves
We eat this salad

Fall Fails
Summer: The Sequel
Starring Flora S. Fallen
Directed by Son

Sweater Weather
Snow covered beignets
Cider and cocoa rivers
Gingerbread people.....

by ?????

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Kids and Halloween!

favorite names for cats

1. Sye
2. Nascar                            
3. Bean bag
4. Chibe
5. putty tat
6. Winny
7. Forrest
9. Edgar Allen Poe
10 Buddha

Friday, October 11, 2013

Can the Irish Hold a Grudge or What?

An Irishman, an Englishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman were all on an airplane together when one of the engines fails.  The pilot explains the situation to the all of the passengers. He tells them if someone doesn't jump out they will all be dead.  He asks who is prepared to die for the greater good, adding that they will be remembered as a hero forever.

The brave Scotsman says 'Ok then, i will do this for the glory of my country' and jumps out.  The pilot turns around and tells the remaining passengers that the plane is still going down and someone else must do the right thing.  The Welsh man tells everyone that as he is the oldest out of all the passengers, he will take the plunge, so he jumps out .Again the pilot turns around and says, its helping but we need 1 more to jump for the rest of the passengers to survive.

So the Irishman says 'well I hoped it wouldn't come to this, but I will do this for the greater good and for the glory of my country.  So he grabs the English man and throws him out the door.

some Irish

What's Irish and stays outside all year long?
Patty O'Furniture

Murphy says to the old man sitting in the corner of the pub, Were you in the war ? Aye said 
the old man, I was an Irish kamakazi pilot, Wow! said Murphy, what a hero, Aye said the old man, 44 missions in 15 days and it never did me a button na harm...

irish faces
speaking irish

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Otzi has cousins


Link to Oetzi the Iceman found in living 

Austrian scientists have found that 19 Tyrolean men alive today are related to Oetzi the Iceman, whose 5,300-year-old frozen body was found in the Alps.  Their relationship was established through DNA analysis by scientists from the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University.
The men have not been told about their connection to Oetzi. The DNA tests were taken from blood donors in Tyrol.  A particular genetic mutation was matched, the APA news agency reports.  Oetzi's body was found frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991.

The Antikythera mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. The construction has been dated to the early 1st century BC. 

.In 1900, some divers found the wreck of a Roman vessel off the Greek island of Antikythera. Among the other treasures remanded to the Greek government was an unassuming corroded lump. X-rays and advanced photography have uncovered the true complexity of the mysterious Antikythera mechanism.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Breaking News from the Vatican

What did they expect?

Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier

He is considered to be the "Father of Modern Chemistry".  Antoine met the guillotine during the French revolution.

The Mrs was spared execution but died quite young.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gov't Food Police Limit Food Freedom, Protests Planned

Citizens, a call to arms by those of us who have had enough of gov't interference in our basic rights to food, to eat, to dine as we wish.  The Constitution grants each if us the right 'life, liberty, etc' yet the gov't of President Obama and his lackeys continues to deny basic food liberty.  Scottish haggis may not be imported simply because it uses sheep lung as an ingredient.  And Cazu Marzu, a classic Sardinian delicacy more commonly known as maggot cheese because it is served with maggots in place, and Chinese blood-sickles are two more on the banded list.  Its time to end this abuse, write congress and demand your food rights.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Battle of the Mystics: St Hildegard of Bingen, composer, abess, mystic voted best in the tri-state.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen,  also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mysticBenedictine abbessvisionary, and polymath.She founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.
She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias.
Although the history of her formal recognition as a saint is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by parts of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church.
Her musical compositions are absolutely ethereal magic.  And you didn't have to sit on her.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

So Wise

Go with the Flow

outrageous chocolate

Chocolate comes from the cacao plant, and cacao is extraordinarily rich in flavanols, a type of flavonoid phytochemical...good for the health!

“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” 
― Katharine Hepburn

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thanks for the stink bug post JP; here's another solution

catch un-poisoned stink bugs and put em a 4 quart pot; boil water for 6-10 minutes; drain and place bugs in fry pan or roast pan and either fry with olive oil or roast with seasoning.  Serve with intravenous whiskey drip.

maternity leave and pediatric coverage for seniors

  • Insurers must include maternity and newborn care as essential benefits in plans under the Affordable Care Act. "This includes insurance policy for seniors."
jpr: This is news even for those DC politicians we voted out as representatives for our State.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Pirate in a bar.

A seaman meets a pirate in a bar, and talk turns to their adventures on the sea. The seaman notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook, and an eye patch.

The seaman asks, "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?" The pirate replies, "We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out, a shark bit my leg off."

"Wow!" said the seaman. "What about your hook"? "Well", replied the pirate, "We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand off."

"Incredible!" remarked the seaman. "How did you get the eye patch"? "A seagull dropping fell into my eye," replied the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?," the sailor asked incredulously. "Well," said the pirate, "it was my first day with my hook"

political debate

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rene Descartes walks into a bar...

the bartender greets him and asks "would you like a drink?"
Rene says "I think not" and then disappears.

Faces of Otsi, The Ice Man

 most likely appearance of the IcemanOtzi the Iceman's face reconstructed (pictures): the new reconstruction depicts a prematurely old man with leathery skin.

Reconstructions 2008, 2011

Otsi is a well-preserved natural mummy of a 45 year man who lived about 3,300 BC probably in southern Europe.
The mummy, wearing sophisticated clothes, had several tattoos,  was found in September 1991 in the Ă–tztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy. He is Europe's oldest natural human mummy and died from injuries received from an arrow wound.  His face has been reconstructed twice, with the 2011 employing new technology.

how well does facial reconstruction work

Bet you can't tell which image is a digital reconstruction?
The technique works...QED

see the answer for the real image :

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

how to kill stink bugs by the hundreds

Bayer Home Pest insecticide ~$11
The stink bug is a "roach", or they will die like one. I used the above pesticide after trying others! I sprayed
(once) around the outside of my house where ever they gather or hide. The stuff kills them (slowly) on contact and lasts for weeks. Every A.M. I sweep away  hundreds of dead bugs.

Warning, the stuff will run and drip over head, and stink for a while. Keep pets away. Cover you head, arms & hands , eyes, and mouth & nose.

Ancient Bog Girl

The identity of Moora —nicknamed after Uchter Moor, where the remains had been found in 2000 —remained a mystery until 2005. That year, peat workers found a hand at the same spot where the bog body had been found and scientists  were called in. The hand was physically a good fit for the body, they found. What's more, by radiocarbon-dating the peat on the hand determined that Moora died about 650 B.C