Portrait of Anne Boleyn

There are evidently very few portraits of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. Actually just one, yet another rare portrait has been found and confirmed. The lack of portraits is due to Henry destroying many of the portraits after he had her executed. It would be interesting to see such a portrait. The accompanying picture with this post is from the Metropolitan Opera performance of "Anne Bolena". More can be found here.rareportraitofanneboleynidentified-2-28-15

How Sadie Hawkins Day Came To Be

Sadie Hawkins Day has become a bit of the cultural lexicon. It actually was thought up by Al Capp, the cartoonist of the Lil' Abner cartoon series set in Dogpatch. Lil'Abner had a 40 year run in the papers. I do remember the cartoon.

"The way Al tells it, Sadie was the daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins, one of the town’s first settlers, who had the dubious distinction of being the “homeliest gal in all them hills.” After waiting not-so-patiently for 15 years for a suitor to show up at her door, not a single prospective husband arrived to court her. With each passing year, Sadie became more and more panicky, as did her father, who did not relish the idea of supporting a spinster daughter for the rest of her days."

"For today’s young women, Sadie Hawkins Day doesn’t seem all that relevant anymore. But for a few decades in the middle of the twentieth century, it served as a social bridge between the years when women rarely left the home and the sexual revolution."

More about how it all came about in between then and its status now, find it here.


Russia is well known for a large number of artists - from composers, to poets, to ballet, to writers. One of the best was Fyodor Dostoevsky. His best known work was Crime and Punishment. I came across this information about how he and his writer colleagues were put through a mock execution in 1849 by Czar Nicolas I. This particular Czar was an autocrat and harsh on the peasant population. More about Dostoevsky's background, his work, and what inspired him can be found here.

The Plague

Interesting theory. Scientists now believe that the plague to hit Europe in the Middle Ages was more spread due to gerbils than due to rats moving from trade routes to on ships.

"What we are suggesting is that it was gerbils in Central Asia and the bacterium in gerbils that eventually came to Europe," Stenseth says. The scientists used climate records to check their theory, and they found a tentative link. When the climate in Asia was good, gerbils are thought to have thrived; but when it went bad, the population crashed. And about 15 years after each boom and bust, a plague outbreak erupted in Europe. The theory is that fleas carrying plague jumped from dead gerbils to pack animals and human traders, who then brought it to European cities. The research team's results appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More here.


In spite of working at trying to keep up a daily entry for the past 2.5 years in this blog, I have had to accept a forced hiatus from putting my thoughts and different informational items here. For some reason, my website software refused to export and publish my daily musings. There are still glitches yet I have gotten the site back to publishing but only by dropping or deselecting 1.5 years of entries. I am hoping they will have the kinks worked out soon and I can placed the other entries back with what is what will show on my site. It has been discouraging to say the least.
I may slowly go back and fill in the gap with interesting topics and musings. I have enjoyed doing this, actually much better than Facebook since it is my creation, not just bits and pieces placed in someone else's software media that makes them money.

What Happens In Vegas

I had to get up early today and catch a flight to Las Vegas. Plane was full and Las Vegas was sunny and warm, not hot. The airport is huge anymore since so many people travel to Vegas. it is a busy, crazy place. I was going to check in to the first day of the Western Veterinary Conference. Upwards of 15,000 people come to the conference. I stayed at the main conference hotel and it was crazy checking in. They were efficient in doing so and I had a nice room close to the elevators. The check in line snaked about 3-4 layers to the front desk as one can see in this photo.

Origin of Valentine's Day

Returning to my information trivia roots, there was a short informational email about the origin of Valentine's Day. A day where it seems everyone wants to dine out and the restaurants were full. Bob and I went to the movies for a change and for our Valentine's Day entertainment. We went to see the movie we had been anxious to get to see, American Sniper. A very good film and one that we both were glad we made it happen. The comments one would see about the movie of how the theatre was dead silent at the end were very correct. Our theatre was so quiet and solemn as we exited, plus a had a tear or two that wanted to clear a path down my face.
Well, on to the origin of Valentine's Day which can be found here.

"While not thought to be directly related to modern Valentine’s Day traditions, the beginnings of celebrating love (of a sort) in February date back to the Romans. The feast of Lupercalia was a pagan fertility and health festival, observed from February 13th through the 15th, that was celebrated at least as far back as 44 BCE (the year Julius Caesar was assassinated). Some historians believe it goes back even further, though with possibly a different name."

The Heart Shape

Where did the heart symbol come from? We recognize it world-wide. With Valentine's Day tomorrow, it is worth taking a look and understanding where the symbol derives. Find it here.

"Something like the familiar heart symbol goes back many thousands of years. Specifically, several pieces of pottery going back as far as 3000BC clearly show the unmistakable symbol. However, in these instances, the symbol is noted to be a simplification of either a fig or ivy leaf, not a crude representation of the human heart, and seemingly, at least initially, not having anything to do with love. Fast-forwarding through history and we find many cultures using a similar symbol, such as depicted in Grecian, Cretian, Minoan, Mycean, Roman and Corinthian pottery, along with many others. In these instances, again, the symbol doesn’t appear to be representative of a heart, but of various leaves.

For example, the early vine leaf imagery in Greek culture was mostly used to represent Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility, and ecstasy, among other things. For a more straightforward example of the ivy leaf imagery having a double, suggestive meaning, in the city of Ephesus around fourth century A.D, the symbol was used to represent a brothel."

Coyote Checking It Out

Here is another photo from the trail camera's photos from the last group of pictures. In this one the coyote is sniffing around where the three deer had been 20 minutes before. He is checking on his prey I would assume.

Picturesque Winter Towns

I came across this link showing 30 of the most picturesque winter towns. Beautiful photos and fun to look at.

The Bold Into Space

Well before man projected himself into space, others pioneered the path they took so people could follow. Those other were animals, usually monkeys or dogs. To read more about their exploits, it can be found in this random thought column here. They led the way in our space race.

The Crusades

Our President recently insulted Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast. As a Christian, I certainly feel his comments were insulting and beyond what the President should do or say. That he is not like any other prior President and seems to care little what other Americans like or want (even his supporters at times) is evident.His comments also tended to misrepresent Christianity's role in the Crusades. Here is information the author says is the real history of the Crusades.

Coyote picture

A two week check on our trail camera. No night shots this time, only day photos with some deer and one coyote who is following the deer track. Interesting photo.


I like maps. In fact, I love maps. Old maps are the coolest and such a snapshot of history "then". I came across this article about some maps that have helped shape the world. Check them out here.

Three Short Horror Stories

I came across online one time some links to online stories and books. One portion covered some favorites of shorter horror stories. Here is a set of three labeled, "Pigeons From Hell" by Robert E. Howard.

Freight Farms

Parts of agriculture could be changing. Hobby farms are out there. Someone has come up with a concept of mini-farms. Could it make farming better in some ways. Interesting concept on freight farms - farms inside shipping containers. Look here.

Radio Signals

Bob is better at noting this since he would listen to the radio when he lived up in Quincy and he would be able to hear the powerful stations from San Francisco at night. Occasionally when we listen to AM radio while driving we can find certain stations on a night trip. So why does AM radio travel farther at night? Listen here.

The Admirable Crichton

I came across this blog with the unusual name of "Gladlylerne,gladlyteche". The subject of this particular post was the story of a man, an individual who was a prime example of rising quickly and burning out, dying at a young age. This refers to The Admirable Crichton. Quite a career this young man had from Scotland through the European Continent. Read about it here.

"If you have heard of the Admirable Crichton at all, which may be unlikely, it is probably in connection with J. M. Barrie’s once-famous play of that name (1903). The Admirable Crichton is an imaginative satire on the theme of the British class system, sort of a combination of Downton Abbey and Lord of the Flies. It is rather brilliant, but now probably hopelessly “dated”."

Full Moon

We were fortunate to have a clear night and a rising full moon. This is a cell phone photo so not my favorite mode but the closest camera around. I love to watch the moon come up over the mountains. So striking.

Cheez Whiz

With all the snacks with chips and dips, cheese whiz has to be among them. Certainly mixing some of this type of cheese with salsa and heating it in the microwave makes a nice nacho cheese dip for chips. Great for watching the big day of the Super Bowl and snacking. We won't be participating with other people so no socializing. Funny thing to read about Cheese Whiz being developed to use in Britain to make Welsh Rarebit (funny story behind the making of this dish).
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