Saturday, June 14, 2014

Teaching Prairie with a Symphony

The temporary  performance shelter
Photo: Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle
  Each year in an effort to teach people about the Flint Hills Tall Grass Prairie in Kansas people are invited to a symphony performance.  Crews set up a large shelter/tent for the Orchestra and smaller tents for the teaching aspect.
  It's an interested way to teach, people go each year, this year is sold out, and enjoy the time and the music.
  That Prairie is some of the last remaining of it's type in Kansas and Oklahoma, it was never plowed because of the "flinty limestone" just under the surface.
  See the article:

Still setting up.  Look at those Mammatus Clouds (storm).
Photo: Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

The Flint Hills - click to enlarge


Friday, June 13, 2014

Elmbank - one house, more stories

Photo: Bangor Public Library via Bangor in Focus
  In 1868 Henry E. Prentiss, a lawyer and lumber baron built Elmbank.  It is a very large white building on the corner of Kenduskeag Avenue and Division Street in Bangor, Maine.  It had many rooms, one room was a ball room that could accommodate 400 people, parties were well attended by the wealthy and often included Hannibal Hamlin who was Abraham Lincolns first Vice President.
  It was sold at the death of the Prentiss family and soon became a hospital for people with "nervous conditions" run by Maurice Gay, it had 17 rooms and shock treatment.  It was sold to James G. Utterback, a Brewer car dealer and renamed the Utterback Hospital.
  The building today is an apartment building with 13 apartments, and 2 apartments in the Carriage House.  There are still traces of the "hospitals" in some rooms, the grounds are in good shape and one of the two copper beech trees in Maine (that I know of) is on the property.
  Just a couple of weeks ago a female Eagle fell from a nest in a pine tree on the property and has been treated for toxins and release, two Eaglets are still in rehabilitation, the male Eagle fell from his perch and was electrocuted by landing on a live wire.
  For more:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cooling off war worries in Bangor, 1914

A Float in the Bangor Parade
Photo: Bangor Public Library via Bangor Daily News
  While the Mexican Civil War was raging, and the U S Navy invaded Vera Cruz (over the Tampico affair), people in Bangor were worried.  One sailor had been injured in Tampico, and several civilians worked in the area of Vera Cruz.  A young Army Corporal from Bangor wrote about soldiers being shot by snipers.  The City Council decided to ease the worry for a day and have some fun.
  The parade was short, several floats and motor cars filled with young ladies and women made up the whole thing along with the Bangor Band, it was well attended.  A carnival came to town and the fun continued with a "motorcycle endurance race" from Bangor to Rockland by several Harley Davidsons and on Indian motorcycle.
  A lawn fete was held at Elmbank* as a fundraiser for The Bangor Anti-Tuberculosis Society, that was well attended too.
  As the week wore down news was received that the Archduke Francis and his wife had been murdered in Sera Yavo**.  He was the Heir to the throne of Austria-Hungry.  His murder was the starting point of World War One.
Read more:

*More on Elmbank tomorrow
** Sera Yavo was the spelling of Sarajevo as we know it now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hot times in Tampico

US Battleships steam south
Photo: US Naval Historical Center via
  An incident during the gunboat USS Dolphin to Tampico, Mexico in April 1914 either started or ended the whole affair at Tampico, Mexico.  She entered the harbor and sent 1 officer and 8 sailors to get fuel for the boat.  The men were interrupted by members of the Mexican Army and since none of them spoke the other language the sailors were taken prisoner.
  At the time U S President Woodrow Wilson had refused to recognize the Mexican President as legal holder of that office - times were already strained.  The prisoner/sailors were released but the Governor and President of Mexico refused to return the salute the Dolphin had given when entering the harbor and a near all out war ensued.  Battleships steamed south, the Marines were readied along with groups of Navy landing forces.
  Read more:  and find out tomorrow what got me interested in this story.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Watch this spot

I really don't have much today.  I had planned to start a maybe two part story but the homework is not done, and I didn't have a good night.  So watch this spot tomorrow.    .

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fun with advertising

Illustration: Bausch & Lomb
  Here is lutein in an approved form, but it's expensive.  50 capsules will cost about $17.00 for this product.  30 capsules of lutein, 6mg, at Wal-Mart cost less than $5.00.  So just choose which one you would buy.  The Ocuvite is a good product I've tried it myself, but why spend the extra.

  One of the COPD inhalers (there's a big rush on) shows a woman with an elephant sitting on her.  Admittedly it's a small elephant but never the less.  She walks on the beach with the critter following behind.  Notice that the elephant does not leave any footprints!  Wow, that's one light weight elephant.

  In an ad for Chantix a man works in his garden.  There are leaves we can see of beets and carrots, but he picks eggplant and peppers.  He does pick on beet.  With no dirt on it!  Amazing.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A message. Or not?

Illustration and Photo by: Andrew van der Mewe
Click to enlarge
  Along a stretch of beach in South Africa there appear a series of writings.  Are they from "out of space"? No.  Artist Andrew van der Mewe takes great care and patience to inscribe the symbols in the sand with tools he has made for that purpose.
  The symbols are partially real, used in some languages on the African Continent, and some are just drawings.  They are interesting to look at too.
   Read more, see more:

Illustration and Photo by: Andrew van der Mewe