Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Bet you thought the thong was a relatively modern invention, amirite? Negatory, my friends. In fact, the modern thong is a surprisingly old innovation that Greenlandic Inuits have been rocking for several hundred years.
Called a Naatsit, it’s made of seal fur, chosen for its durability and insulation. And get this kids – it’s stitched together with reindeer or whale sinews and was made fashionable with decorative beads or the head of the seal. You heard me, right? The head of a freakin’ seal. Fun Fact: When the Danish missionaries showed up they tried to get the Inuits to wear something less revealing. Didn’t work.

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Narrowed down from about 50. Did you own any of these? Chances are you did not.  Anywho, feel free to bask in other people’s catastrophic failures . . .

[run your mouse over the photo to read the witty captions]

 

I hate this guy.

Have you heard of Michael Sparks? No? He’s a guy who walked into a thrift store back in 2006, made a really cheap purchase, and soon discovered he’d found the mother of all finds. But first let us regress a couple years . . .

In the early 00s a Tennessean named Stan Caffy had been asked by his wife to clean out the garage and ditch all the junk he’d acquired through the years. He complied, and reluctantly took an old copy of the Declaration of Independence off his garage wall and donated it, along with other odds and ends, to a local thrift store. Caffy had bought the copy for $10 at a yard sale 10-years prior. Keep that in mind.

Soon thereafter, another Tennessean named Michael Sparks strolled into the same thrift store (the Music City Thrift Store in Nashville), a normal part of his weekly agenda. He picked up a candelabra, a set of salt and pepper shakers and that old copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

He paid $2.48 for it.

I’ve seen Declarations of Independence in thrift stores before,” said Sparks. “This one was so beautiful I thought it was an engraving. I look for things that have quality to them. I decided to look into it further.”

Yep, what you are thinking is true. The copy happened to be one that John Quincy Adams commissioned William Stone to make in 1820. Stone finished printing just 200 copies in 1823. Only 35 of these documents were known to exist until Michael Sparks purchased number 36 at a freakin’ thrift store in Nashville, Tennessee for $2.48.

Read that again. Michael Sparks purchased one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence for $2.48.

But wait, there’s more.

Although the original appraisal was for over $200,000, Sparks sold the artifact to a Utah investment firm for $477,650.00.

You read that right. $477,650.00.

Listen, I’m no math wizard, but I believe that’s a profit of $477,647.52 minus the auction house’s take and whatnot. Unbelievable.

And if Stan Caffy wasn’t feeling badly enough for giving away nearly half a million bucks, Michael Sparks left him with this zinger:

“I guess it just doesn’t pay to keep a clean house.”

Ouch. Unnecessary, Mike. Unnecessary.

George Washington died in 1799. The first dinosaur fossil was discovered in 1824. George Washington never knew dinosaurs existed.

Well, some of you. If you’re under 30 perhaps not. Anyway, many of us older folk can remember the way old supermarkets looked, as well as the old country, small town stores. What follows is a look back at a simpler time, 20 photographs along with my comments. Point, click and scroll. Do it man.

Sure, put a ship nearby. What could go wrong? Wahoo and Umbrella were code names for two underwater tests conducted in 1958. Wahoo was conducted on May 16, 1958 and Umbrella was conducted on June 8, 1958. Pat Bradley, the cameraman who photographed these events recounts his first hand experience of seeing these tests and being on the island as the tests took place. Crazy stuff.

While perusing the worldwide interweb late last night I stumbled across this little mind-blowing nugget. The pilot episode of a TV series called The Lone Gunmen, broadcast on March 4th, 2001, featured a plot to hijack a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center. That, my friends, is chilling. Watch and try not to feel all freaky and whatnot:

Aaaand, speaking of predictions . . .

Cool.

 

I came across a pretty fascinating story the other day from the late 1920s, and it involved . . . wait for it . . . floating airports. But let’s start at the beginning . . .

Back in 1927, there was a cat named Charles Lindbergh who was the first to sail across the Atlantic Ocean all by his lonesome. You may have heard of him. Anywho, before this accomplishment nobody had ever even thought about traveling overseas with an airplane as a means of transportation. However, after Lindbergh’s flight folks started seeing things a little differently. One of these people was an inventor by the name of Edward Armstrong.

First, you should know that when Lindbergh made his flight in the Spirit of St. Louis, over half its take-off weight was gasoline. It was essential that you turn your plane into a flying gas tank in order to have enough fuel to make it.

Note: When Burt Rutan’s airplane Voyager circled the world nonstop in 1986, its takeoff weight was eighty percent fuel.

Anyway, because of the whole weight and distance problem it was thought that crossing the Atlantic wouldn’t be feasible. Then along came Armstrong, who actually had a plan in the works years before Lindbergh’s flight.

Here’s the deal – Armstrong planned to build floating airports, called seadromes, across the Atlantic. A seadrome was to weigh fifty-thousand tons and have an 1,100-foot-long deck. Its flotation system would extend about 180-feet into the water. To hold it in place, Armstrong went to John A. Roebling and Sons. Roebling had invented wound-steel cable, and his company had built the Brooklyn Bridge 40-years earlier. Now they designed a deep-water anchoring system for Armstrong.

And get this – each seadrome would include a 40-room hotel, café, lounge, bar, and other cool stuff.

Finally, on October 22nd, 1929, the New York Times announced that construction of the first seadrome would begin within 60-days. This was actually happening, man. People were pumped.

Alas, seven days later on what we now call Black Tuesday the stock market crashed, the Great Depression was upon us, and Armstrong’s grand scheme went to hell.

Of course, the advancement in technology regarding airplanes rendered all this meaningless anyway within a few years and Armstrong’s plan of floating airports vanished in the mists of time.

PS- The Japanese actually built a 1-kilometer-long floating airport in 1999. They called it Megafloat. That’s cool, man.

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Japanese Megafloat.

Henry Ford is the only American mentioned favorably in Adolf Hitler’s semi-autobiographical book “Mein Kampf.” In 1931, Adolf Hitler called Ford an “inspiration.”

 

It was a different time. In many ways better, in some ways not.

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Know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Yeah, I’m referring to WWI airplane technology, and it was wild stuff. Read on . . .

See, during WWI (also known as The War to End All Wars, wishful thinking at its finest), airplanes were still a very new technology. Planes that could fly for extended periods of time were only a few years old, and people were still trying to figure out how they would work in combat.

One of the most logical steps was to add a big gun to the front of a plane so it could shoot down other planes and kill people and whatnot. Machine guns were a logical complement to aircraft, but there was one problem –  how to stop the bullets from hitting that big propeller in the front? Early propellers were made of wood, man, and one mistake and you’d be shooting your own self right out of the damn sky.

Anyway, machine guns were mounted on the top of the fuselage, directly in front of the pilot, but that position placed the gun directly behind the propeller. The gun had to be designed to fire through the propeller without hitting it, which basically sounds insane considering how fast the propeller was spinning. Well, being the innovative folks that we were, we sure enough did it.

What we invented was something called synchronization gear, which restricted the machine gun so it could only fire in between the propellers. It involved an irregular-shaped disk that triggers the gun to fire once per revolution, at a specific point. This produces a high rate of fire without the risk of hitting the propeller. Diabolical, man.

Anyway, check out the cool slow-mo video below to see this in action. Just remember that the propeller was moving infinitely faster while in flight. Amazing really.

People seem to think of school tragedies as relatively recent events. And although they do seem to be getting more deadly and more frequent, the fact is school shootings go back as far as the 1760s. Most were isolated events though, and not pre-planned attacks aimed at killing large numbers of people. You can check this link to see how often it’s happened, and it might surprise you.

I think the first time I was ever really aware that something like this could even happen was back in 1979 when Bob Geldof wrote the song “I Don’t Like Mondays” for his band The Boomtown Rats. The song was about Brenda Spencer, a 16-year old girl who lived across the street from Cleveland Elementary School in California. She opened fire on the school and killed a principal and a custodian. She also injured eight children and a police officer. As she was still in the house and before the police busted in to arrest her, a reporter called her and asked her why she was doing this. Her response was “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” Geldof read about this, wrote the song, and it went straight to #1. Here’s the weird, chilling video if you’d like a look:

I have a vague recollection of Charles Whitman and the University of Texas tower shootings as a kid, and I’ve since read a book about it as well. Still, the more recent attacks at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and of course the latest at Parkland are the events mentioned whenever people talk about school tragedies. However, there’s one horrific event that rarely gets mentioned among the others, and although guns weren’t involved it remains the oldest and deadliest school massacre in U.S. history – the bombing of Bath Consolidated School in Bath, Michigan.

The year was 1927.

Andrew Kehoe was a seemingly regular guy who resided in Bath. He graduated from Michigan State and was a part-time treasurer at his local school. He also farmed and was a member of the Bath school board. As far as anyone knew he was happily married and living a contented life.

They were wrong.

What a lot of folks around Bath didn’t know was that the bank had foreclosed on Andrew Kehoe’s farm, and he blamed local taxes that had recently been put in place to build the new school. In addition, his wife had been sick. Little did anyone know that Andrew Kehoe was about to snap, and he was going to take out his anger on the new Bath School and its inhabitants, 250 students in grades kindergarten through 12th.

Bath School, before the bombing.

In the days leading up to May 18th, Kehoe stacked about 500 pounds of explosives in the school’s basement. Because he did odd jobs around the school he had unlimited access. The dynamite was to be detonated by a timer at 8:45am.

As fate would have it, only some of the explosives went off. Amid the chaos and minutes after the blast, Kehoe drove up to the school and got out of his car. Nobody is sure exactly how he knew Kehoe was involved, but Principal Emory Huyck ran over to him. Kehoe saw Huyck coming, then grabbed his gun and fired it into his trunk, setting off explosives he’d placed there. That blast killed him, Mr. Huyck and an innocent person standing nearby.

All told, 44 people were massacred that morning, 38 of them children between the ages of 6 and 8. Another 58 were injured. Had the other explosives detonated, the toll could have been upwards of 250.

Later, authorities found that Kehoe had murdered his wife in the days leading up to the massacre.

Why has this incident been lost over time? One reason is that Andrew Kehoe died that day, so the case was over with no trial. Another is that shortly after the bombing, Charles Lindbergh made the first flight across the Atlantic and that news dominated the newspapers for months.

Nobody knows exactly why, but although it remains our nation’s worst ever school attack, Andrew Kehoe and the Bath School Bombing has been largely forgotten.

Sometimes people just stumble into cool idea, ya know? For instance, some dude named Percy Spencer was experimenting with a new vacuum tube called a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation in 1945. During one experiment the candy bar in his pocket began to melt. Boom! The microwave was invented.*

*Fun Fact: The first microwave oven was called a Radarange, and it weighed 750 pounds, was 5 1/2 feet tall and cost about $5,000. That’s wild.

Anyway, other stuff like x-rays, artificial sweeteners and even penicillin were invented by mistake. Seriously, look it up. I wouldn’t like to ya. But on to the point of this blog, and that is what foods were invented by accident. Let’s do the thang . . .

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yep, the delicious goodness called Chocolate Chip Cookies were a mistake. It happened in the 1930s when a restaurant owner named Ruth Wakefield added pieces of chocolate to her cookie mix, hoping the fragments would melt and turn the batter into a chocolate brown. The chips remained solid, however, people loved them, and the chocolate chip cookie was born. And thank God for that, right?

Note: My niece Sasha can cram more chocolate chips into a chocolate chip cookie than any human being on earth. That’s a fact.

POPSICLES

The popsicle was invented by an enterprising 11-year-old kid named Frank Epperson in 1905. You see, young Frank left a glass of soda on his San Francisco front porch by accident one night with a stirring stick still it. The next day, after a chilly night, the drink had frozen. Frank pulled the stick out and, to his surprise, the drink came with it. He went ahead and licked it and found it to be quite tasty. That fateful morning stuck with him, and years later, when he was 20, he patented them as Popsicles.

POTATO CHIPS

In 1853 there was a chef named George Crum at Moon Lake House Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York. After a customer sent back a batch of fried potatoes complaining that they were not thin enough, Chef Crum got pissed. He sliced the next batch of potatoes as thinly as he possibly could, fried and salted them, and sent them back out to the complainer. That’ll teach him! However, to George’s amazement the customer loved them, and soon the word of these crunchy fried potatoes spread across the region. The Potato Chip was born.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

First off, this has to be the most widely mispronounced word in the English language, amirite? People always say Worchester Sauce when it’s really Worcestershire sauce, damn it. Anywho, it was invented by the British chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins in the 19th century. The pair were asked to create a tangy sauce for a client who liked Indian cuisine, but the product they created was so strong it was inedible. So, they put it away for a few years. Alas, when they pulled it off the shelf a few years later and tried it again they were stunned to find it was now perfect. Viola!

THE SANDWICH

Wait. What? ‘Tis true! The sandwich is named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. It’s said that the Earl, who was quite the gambler, ordered his servant to bring him meat held between two pieces of bread so that he didn’t have to stop to eat a proper meal. Hence, the sandwich!

Note: This story is widely disputed. Still, I like it so I choose to believe it.

NACHOS

Ah, nachos. So good. But here’s how they came to be. Ignacio Nacho Anaya was a maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. One day in 1943, a group of ten military wives crossed the border from Fort Duncan Army base and demanded some grub. Unable to track down the chef and faced with the ten hungry ladies, Anaya decided to improvise—he covered a plate of tostadas with grated cheese, passed it through a salamander (a broiling unit that heats food from above), and topped the whole thing off with jalapeños. Of course the women loved it, and one of the women dubbed the dish “Nacho’s Special”, which was later shortened to just “Nachos” when Anaya took the dish to his own place—Nacho’s Restaurant.

BEER

We’re pretty sure the Mesopotamians invented the delicious Barley Pop about 10,00 years ago. What happened, you ask? See, when Mesopotamians began storing grains for bread, their storage spaces occasionally became damp which caused the grains to ferment. This fermentation process resulted in a liquid that was the earliest beer. Some lucky Mesopotamian sampled the strange liquid, got a buzz, and the rest is history. On a related note, three years later the first beer gut was spotted.

HOT & SPICY CHICKEN

Hot & Spicy Chicken was invented in Nashville, and its origins are at the world famous Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Restaurant lore traces the recipe back to current owner Andre Jeffries’ great-uncle Thornton Prince, an infamous womanizer. When she thought he was cheating, one of his jealous lover’s fed him extra-spicy chicken out of vengeance. Problem was, Thornton liked it so much that he began cooking it at his restaurant. Crazy but true.

COKE

Coke was invented in 1886 by a guy named John Pemberton. Pemberton was a wounded veteran who had become addicted to morphine, so he tried to create a replacement to stave off his addiction. Through some messing around in his pharmacy, he created a tonic that eventually became the original Coca Cola formula. As you may have heard, it contained small amounts of cocaine as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut. Let’s just say the original Coke could give you quite the high. Anyway, in 1887, another Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Candler, bought the formula for Coca Cola from Pemberton for $2,300. By the late 1890s, Coca Cola was one of America’s most popular fountain drinks.

CHEESE PUFFS

Here’s what happened. The Flakall Company up in Wisconsin invented a machine that crushed grains for animal feed without hulls and grain dust. A bro named Edward Wilson noticed that workers poured moistened corn kernels into the machine to reduce clogging. The machine got so hot that the moist cornmeal came out in puffy ribbons, hardening as it hit the air and fell to the ground. Wilson took the ribbons home, added oil and seasoning, and made the first cheese curls. Genius!

ICE CREAM CONES

At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice-cream vendor had run out of bowls. Back then that’s how everyone ate ice cream, from a bowl. Earnest Hamwi, a neighboring concessionaire, rolled the waffle-like pastries he was selling (they were called Zalabis) into a cone so his neighbor’s ice cream could be held inside, just to lend a friend a hand. People loved it, and the Ice Cream Cone was born.

SLURPEES

Omar Knedlik, owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Kentucky, had a fountain machine that kept breaking down, so he had to store his sodas in the freezer, sometimes for too long. His customers didn’t mind, though. In fact, they kept on ordering “those pops that were in the freezer a little bit longer.” Realizing that his disaster had turned into an opportunity, Knedlik built a new machine to deliberately produce that strange, frozen drink that everyone loved. Later, the ICEE dispenser was bought by more than 300 companies before 7-Eleven licensed it in 1965 and renamed the drink “Slurpees.”

And there ya have it, cool foods that were created entirely by accident? Cool, right?

For all you youngsters out there, what you are about to see may cause you wonderment, confusion and possibly even consternation. For you older folk, it will bring forth a feeling of nostalgia and a possible longing for a simpler time. What I’m talking about is automobiles and what isn’t in them anymore. Hey, it’s been a slow day. Let’s take a gander . . .

BENCH SEATS

What you see below, kids, are what we called bench seats. None of this bucket seat bullshit. Since we never wore seatbelts Dad could take a hard left turn and we’d all go flying into the opposite door. Good times. On a related note, these seats came in handy when taking your girlfriend to the drive-in. I’ll stop right there.

 

TAILFINS

Next we have something you never see anymore, something we called tailfins, and they were spectacular. A side bonus was the fact that you could back into an unsuspecting pedestrian and impale the hell out of his spleen. Seriously though, cars are boring these days compared to these beauties.

 

ASH TRAYS

What you see below, kids, is something that was located on your car’s dashboard, and it was called an ashtray. That little knob on the left was a lighter. See, almost everybody smoked like a fiend back then so of course you needed a handy way to get your cancer stick fired up. We’ll get to all those little buttons and knobs above it shortly.

 

TRUNK SPACE

Seems like everyone drives an SUV these days, but back in the 60s and 70s everyone either drove a regular car or a truck. I had a luxurious Catalina Brougham, and that thing rode like a damn hovercraft. Anywho, most of the cars had enough trunk space to hold a Shetland pony, and I’m pretty sure my friend Cluck snuck 7-people into the Fiesta Drive-In in the trunk of his ’68 Chevy Impala once. Seriously, look at all that space. Now that I think of it, most cars don’t even come with a regular spare tire anymore. Sad really.

 

FLOOR MOUNTED DIMMER SWITCH

This next one is really gonna blow the minds of youngsters far and wide. That little doohickey you see below was on the floor of your car, to the left of the brake and gas pedal. What was it for, you ask? It was your headlight dimmer switch. Not even kidding. And it made a satisfying little click whenever you stepped on it to dim or brighten your headlights.

 

VENT WINDOWS

These were called vent windows and every car had them. You’d open them for a little fresh air, but mainly to flick your ashes out of so they wouldn’t fly back and burn your kid’s eyeballs out like they might if you tried flicking them out your regular window.

 

HORN RINGS

That thing you see on that steering wheel? It was called a horn ring. You simply pressed on it whenever you wanted to frighten a passing child on the sidewalk. On a related note, every car horn sounded like a damn tugboat horn. None of that beep-beep crap back in the day, man.

 

CRANK UP WINDOWS

See that weird looking thing? Young folk, back in the barbaric days of yore people actually had to reach down and roll up their own damn windows. Gasp!

Thought: Why doesn’t every car still come with these as a backup? You know, when you’re automatic windows inevitably stop working?

 

METAL DASHBOARDS

Here’s something else you never see anymore – metal dashboards. None of that wussy padding for the Greatest Generation, man. Hey, if you’d gone to war against the Nazis a few sharp objects on your dashboard didn’t bother you a whole lot. Just sayin’.

 

TAPE PLAYERS

Check it out! Kids, that’s what we called an 8-track tape player! See, you jammed the tape in there and it played the music of your favorite musical artist!

Note: Remember when the music would start dragging and you’d have to stick a matchbook or something under it to get it to play right? Sometimes I long for the old days.

 

CASSETTE PLAYERS

Soon, my children, tapes and the tape player became obsolete and was replaced by cassettes and this little contraption, the cassette player. Sometimes the tape in the cassette would get all tangled up and you’d have to rewind it back up with a pencil. I’m serious. I included a photo below the cassette player pic. That’s what separates me from your average blogger right there, people. I go the extra mile.

 

 

ANTENNAS

What the hell is that, you ask? That, my friends, is an antenna. You could pull that thing down real far and let it whip back and lacerate your friend’s face, just for fun. Gas stations use to give out little antenna toppers that you could stick on the top of it, too. I once had a Union 76 ball that flew off and nearly killed an old lady behind me on the freeway. Fun!

PS – Photo of identical antenna topper included below!

PPS – It has been pointed out to me that some cars still have antennas. Really?

PPPS – Antennas gradually grew shorter and shorter until they disappeared into the windshield. Sad really.

 

REAR FACING SEATS

Check it out, man. Rear facing seats! Andy Anderson and I rode all the way to Boulder, Colorado and back riding in the rear of a 1967 Buick Sport Wagon. It was sort of a weird vibe watching the world go by backwards like that, lemme tell ya. You never knew where you were until you were past it.

 

DIAL RADIOS

Finally, we have the dial radio. Yes, you could either set a station by pushing a button or just roll through the stations manually. Barbaric but effective.

Aaaaaand, that’s all I can think of. Knowing my loyal readers like I do, however, I’m sure somebody will quickly point out something obvious I missed and make me feel stupid. Thanks in advance!

Admit it, you’ve never heard of Aloha Wanderwell, and that’s a damn shame. Here’s why . . .

Aloha Wanderwell was born on October 13th, 1906 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and would later become a United States citizen. Keep in mind that this was 14-years before women were allowed to vote, kids. Also, her birth name was Idris Welsh bit that was way to boring for our girl. Hence Aloha.

Anyway, she went on to become an internationalist, explorer, author, filmmaker, and aviatrix, because of course she did. While still a teenager, Aloha began her adventuring career when she met her traveling companion Walter “Cap” Wanderwell, in 1922. Walter was married at the time but that didn’t last long after the arrival of Aloha. They married in 1925 and had two children. As they continued to travel the world, Aloha performed on stage doing travel lectures while next to her a silent movie, “Car and Camera Around the World”, played. The Wanderwells recorded their world journeys on 35mm nitrate and 16mm film, which all reside in the vaults at The Academy Film Archives out in Hollyweird. You can find some of the stuff on YouTube, and it’s cool as hell.

But that’s not all. In 1930 and 1931, Aloha learned to fly a German seaplane named “Junker” that she would later land on an uncharted part of the Amazon River. After landing they set up camp at a ranch in a place called Cuiabá. They made several flights with the seaplane, once running out of fuel on the Paraguay River and becoming stranded. At this point Aloha lived among the Bororo people for 6-weeks. She even recorded and documented her time spent with them. Tough lady indeed.

In 1932, her husband Walt was shot and killed on his yacht in Long Beach, California, but authorities are 39% sure Aloha didn’t do it. Aloha later married another dude named Walter, this time with the last name Baker, and continued her travels. She ultimately visited over 80 countries and 6 continents while driving over 500,000 miles. She’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first woman to make that drive around the world. I presume she took a boat here and there, but with Aloha you never know.

So, let’s reiterate. Adventurer, around-the-world traveler, pilot, explorer, author, and film maker, all while the vast majority of women were staying at home, raising children and minding the house while their husband worked.

Quick note – You realize all of this was accomplished before Amelia Earhart, right? This was a woman way ahead of her time, folks.

Anyway, meet Aloha Wanderwell, forgotten American heroine. Amazing lady.

 

Yeah, you read that right. Here’s the lowdown . . .

Many of you have heard of Adam Vinatieri, the great NFL kicker who won the Super Bowl for New England back in 2002. Vinatieri has gone on to a Hall of Fame career with not only New England but also the Indianapolis Colts. Anyway, were it not for a fateful decision by General George Custer, Adam would not only have missed making the NFL, he wouldn’t even exist.

You see, Felix Vinatieri was Adam’s great-great grandfather. He was a musician and composer and served as George Armstrong Custer’s bandmaster during the Civil War general’s Indian campaign. Custer loved music and he believed the band boosted his troops’ morale and that they were good entertainment on long trips.

In the spring of 1876, when Custer led the Seventh Cavalry out of Fort Abraham Lincoln into North Dakota and its eventual destruction at the hands of Crazy Horse and his Sioux warriors, Custer decided that his band would stay behind.

Nobody is sure why he made this decision, but one thing is certain – had Felix Vinatieri not remained at Fort Lincoln, there probably wouldn’t be any Vinatieris, no Adam, and perhaps no Patriots 2002 Super Bowl victory.

And that’s how General George Armstrong Custer helped the New England Patriots win a Super Bowl.

Listen, everyone knows I think that we as a society go w-a-y overboard on all the politically correct crap that seems to have taken over our lives. Everyone needs to lighten up and chill, as the kids say. That said, man, were we sexist, chauvinist idiots back in the day. What you’ll find below are some amazingly in-your-face sexist ads that would never, ever see the light of today now, and for good reason. Check ’em out:

Because everyone knows the perfect wife keeps a clean house while staying skinny. Ugh.

I can’t believe this stuff actually existed. Thank God nowadays both women AND men can cry to get what they want.

Wait. What? Women used Lysol for feminine hygiene? I am beyond confused right now.

So this ad is saying, “Ladies, don’t use Midol because it makes you feel better. Use it so your man will enjoy being around you.” Sigh.

This is basically an ad promoting rape, is it not? What the hell, man?

Honest to God, I’m getting pissed right now. I can’t believe my mother didn’t read something like this and immediately punch someone in the throat.

This car was advertised as being simple enough for even a lowly woman to drive. Somewhere, Danica Patrick’s head just exploded.

I love how they always had the woman in a dress in these ridiculous ads. And the “we all know a woman’s place is in the kitchen” line is so 50’s it hurts.

Because we all know that every woman’s dream is to have a new kitchen appliance.

Honestly, I can’t argue with the main point of this ad, and that is that the beer is O.K.

What the hell is that dude doing with a shirt and tie on in bed?

Because nothing sells coffee like domestic abuse.

No. No she will not.

“Respond to non-verbal cues, like the snapping of fingers.” No words, man. No words.

You’ve all heard of the 1980s movie Gremlins, right? What you may not know is that the little creatures in the movie were based upon allegedly real entities which, during the World War II and even before, plagued pilots with all manner of mischief and outright vandalism. In the skies of WWII crews of various aircrafts from all sides described seeing essentially the same thing –  bizarre impish beasts that were there with the sole intent of causing enough problems to bring down airplanes from the sky.

One of the first mentions of the creatures can be traced back to the early 1900s in a British newspaper called the Spectator:

The old Royal Naval Air Service in 1917 and the newly constituted Royal Air Force in 1918 appear to have detected the existence of a horde of mysterious and malicious sprites whose whole purpose in life was to bring about as many as possible of the inexplicable mishaps which, in those days as now, trouble an airman’s life.

Yikes. That’s wild stuff. The legend of the gremlins really took off in 1923 when a British pilot crashed his plane into the sea and later reported that the accident had been caused by tiny creatures which had followed him aboard his plane, created havoc, sabotaged the engine, messed around with the flight controls, and ultimately caused the plane to crash.

That story spread, and it wasn’t long before other British pilots began to complain of being harassed by similar miniature troll-like creatures with a mastery of technology and machinery which caused engine failures, electrical malfunctions, communications shutdowns, bad landings, freak accidents, and pretty much anything else that could possibly ever go wrong with an aircraft.

Gremlins were also said to engage in such a bunch of bad behavior like sucking the gas out of tanks through hoses, jamming radio frequencies, screwing up landing gear, blowing dust or sand into fuel pipes or sensitive electrical equipment, cutting wires, removing bolts or screws, tinkering with dials, knobs or switches, jostling controls, slashing wings or tires, poking or pinching gunners or pilots, banging incessantly on the fuselage, breaking windows, and a wide variety of other crazy acts.

They were also reported to be seen sitting out upon the nose of the plane or the wings of aircraft in midflight tampering with the wings or even the engines. On occasion the gremlins were said to shout, giggle, whisper, growl, or otherwise make noise so as to distract aircraft crews. Bottom line, by the end of the 1920s almost anyone who flew a plane had claimed to have seen the little beasts.

One of the most famous alleged gremlin accounts from this period was made by none other than Charles Lindbergh as he was taking his historic nonstop solo flight over the Atlantic from New York to Paris in May of 1927. In the 9th hour of his flight Lindbergh reported that he suddenly found himself surrounded by several strange looking beings in his cockpit, and they spoke to him and demonstrated incredibly complex knowledge of navigation and flight equipment. In this case, however, rather than cause mischief, Lindbergh said that the gremlins actually kept him alert and reassured him that he would remain safe on his journey.

Lindbergh kept this experience to himself for years until the account was finally published in his 1953 book The Spirit of St. Louis.

What did Gremlins look like, you ask? Well, actually the little monsters in the Gremlin movie were based on their description. They were said to look animalistic, with hairy bodies, large, pointed ears, deep red or even glowing eyes, and horns. Other reports spoke of gremlins as having hairless grey skin, being sort of reptilian in appearance, and having enormous mouths filled with pointy teeth. Some were even described as having bat-like wings. Holy moly.

One common trait in all reports is that through whatever means, gremlins were known to be able to adhere to the outer fuselage of planes and to withstand incredible temperature extremes, high altitudes, and violent winds.

Gremlins seemed to reach their peak during World War II when reports reached an all-time high. In fact, during the Battle of Britain gremlin reports were so prevalent that the British Air Ministry acknowledged the problem and even made serious attempts to investigate the phenomenon.

Hell, the Ministry even went as far as to have a service manual written up by a gloriously named “Gremlorist,” Percy Prune, which included the creatures’ exploits, how to placate or distract them, and various ways to avoid accidents due to their presence. You cannot make this stuff up, folks.

It wasn’t just the British who saw the little pranksters, either. German pilots saw them, Americans too, and the only common denominator was that they were almost always seen over European soil or water. Strange but true.

One of the stories told by an American pilot is a rather chilling one. He said he looked outside to his right and saw a freakish “entity” outside of the plane’s window and latched onto the plane. He described a creature that was about 3-feet tall with abnormally long arms, grey hairless skin, deep red eyes, a gaping mouth full of teeth, and pointed ears with tufts of black hair at the ends like “owl ears.” He said it was just staring in at him from beyond the glass. When the terrified pilot looked to the nose of the aircraft he was astonished to see yet another one of the creatures apparently dancing about out there and pounding away haphazardly at the fuselage. He said that the strange creatures appeared to be laughing maniacally, and that they gleefully cavorted about outside of his plane pulling on whatever they could get their clawed hands on, banging on the aircraft with all of their might, obviously trying their best to bring the plane down.

Good God almighty.

Crazy stuff, man. So what are gremlins? A figment of a bunch of pilot’s imaginations? What were all of these people seeing or experiencing? It’s been pointed out that the lack of adequate pressurization of aircraft back in those days may have led to hallucinations, but why would so any people have basically the same hallucination? Some have said that gremlins may have been an excuse for human error, with pilots blaming accidents on these creatures. “Captain, I was doing one helluva job flying my plane until those damn gremlins made me crash.” Seriously?

To this day nobody knows for certain, but one thing is undeniable – to thousands of pilots who flew back in the early 1920s up through to the end of World War II, gremlins were real.

So, next time you’re flying somewhere and feel a little turbulence or bouncing of the plane, or maybe you hear a strange noise outside, take a gander out the window. You just might see a gremlin peering back at you.

PS: You know the old Twilight Zone episode where the monster is on the wing? It was inspired by gremlins. A couple pics above were taken from the 80s remake of that episode.

PPS: Disney even had a book about gremlins. That’s cray-cray.

 

Thoughts?

So Paris Hilton went and tweeted this out a couple days ago . . .

Of course this wasn’t true and the worldwide interweb proceeded to make the necessary corrections. Enjoy . . .

[click the photo to enlarge]

Attaboy, internet.

Ever find an old photo and think, “Holy shit, grandma was hot!” Yep, we always seem to think of our parents and grandparents as old, but they too had their heyday. What follows is photographic proof of that, along with comments by people who found them. Check it out, and click on the photo to read the caption.

This Picture Was Next To My Grandmother’s Coffin At Her Funeral

 

Hey, let’s give these folks a break. They didn’t know asbestos, DDT, cigarettes, and eating butter like you’d eat a Milky Way could kill you. They were also a little slow in the uptake with the “women being equal” thing. Pretty funny to look back and see how much times have changed.

This is not misogynistic at all, other than in every way possible. I bet Trump makes this acceptable again.

I have no idea what this means and I have no desire to find out. I do prefer my Mimsys clean though. I think.

This was used in many a building back in the day until we figured out it also caused cancer. Good times.

We know now that DDT can cause a malady of problems, like cancer, and can even lead to Alzheimer’s. Oops?

One of my very sick players did this before a game years ago. It worked.

For you youngbloods out there, cigarettes actually used to be recommended by doctors for pregnant women. True story.

This one actually was ahead of its time, amirite?

Hey, I ain’t mad at them. This is exactly the way I ate butter as a kid.

Because nothing says “Let’s Party” like getting your 8-year old daughter sauced.

Rough indeed.

Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, and naturalist, who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He was also either the most daring, toughest SOB who ever lived or he was crazy as a loon. You be the judge. What follows are 11 of the wildest things my man TR ever did.

HE GOT SHOT IN THE CHEST AND PROCEEDED TO GIVE A 90-MINUTE SPEECH

Yep. That’s the shirt.

In October of 1912, Roosevelt was on the campaign trail stumping for the Bull Moose Party. During a speech in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by some crank named John Flammang Schrank. Because our man Teddy deduced that he was not coughing up blood, he elected to continue his speech, because hell yes he did. We’re talking about a man very familiar with the effects of gunshot wounds. He’d already shot and killed pretty much every animal on the planet (more on that later) and had watched men bleed out on the battlefield during his military service. Then he had the would-be assassin brought to him and told him “It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” Jesus that’s badass. Then, before he spoke, Roosevelt declared, “I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet… the bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.” When people in the crowd questioned this he simply opened his jacket to show his blood-soaked shirt. 90-minutes later the speech ended.

And oh, by the way, Roosevelt carried the bullet in his chest for the rest of his life.

HE OVERCAME CHILDHOOD ILLNESS THROUGH SHEER FORCE OF WILL

When young Teddy Roosevelt would have asthma attacks, his father, Theodore Sr., would take him on carriage rides to force air into his lungs. And when young T.R.’s illnesses would prevent him from keeping up with other children his age, his father simply said to him: “You have the mind but you have not the body. You must make your body.” Young T.R.’s many health ailments would soon recede as he took up athletics, hiking, and hunting. Only Teddy R could fend off sickness without medicine and with only pure force of will. Teddy, man.

HE’S BASICALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MODERN FOOTBALL AS WE KNOW IT

Football was once a bloody, brutal, potentially deadly sport. In 1904, there were 18 football related deaths and 159 serious injuries. On a related note, today’s players are wussy-like pansies of the highest order. Anywho, in order for the sport to survive, modern rules needed to be put in place. T.R. invited the head coaches of the top collegiate football teams to the White House on several occasions, strongly urging them to reconsider the rules of the game. He wrote at the time that his goal was not to emasculate the game – but simply to make it less lethal. By 1906, radical rule changes to the game of football were implemented.  “I believe in rough games and in rough, manly sports. I do not feel any particular sympathy for the person who gets battered about a good deal so long as it is not fatal.” Seems logical enough, amirite?

TEDDY AND HIS SON KILLED 512 ANIMALS IN ONE SAFARI

Listen, everyone knows I’m a big animal guy. No excuse for this bullshit. And turning an elephant’s foot into a trash can takes a special kind of crazy. If you ever take a tour of The Summer White House, Roosevelt’s Long Island home at Sagamore Hill, you will notice that it is full of such disgusting and sometimes wondrous animal trophies. Numerous elephant foot trash receptacles. A rhino foot pen holder. Bear and mountain lion rugs. Bison, moose, and deer wall ornaments. An elk hat rack. The North Room, at his estate on Long Island, is truly a spectacle to behold. Visit it. You will be amazed.

DURING HIS HONEYMOON HE SNUCK OUT TO CLIMB THE FREAKING MATTERHORN

Seriously. During his honeymoon. Dead serious. While a student at Harvard, Dr. Dudley Sargent had warned Roosevelt, who had been a sickly child that, because of a weak heart failure to lead a sedentary life could have fatal consequences. TR would have none of it. “Doctor, I’m going to do all the things you tell me not to do. If I’ve got to live the sort of life you have described, I don’t care how short it is.” A year after graduation, Roosevelt took time from his European honeymoon with wife Alice to scale the 15,000-foot Matterhorn.

HE ONCE STAYED UP 40-STRAIGHT HOURS TO WATCH 3-OUTLAWS HE’D CAPTURED

After his wife and mother died – on the same damn day – T.R. grieved in his own unique way: by leaving the city behind for the wild of the American West to become a cowboy, because what the hell else would you expect from him? He operated a cattle ranch in Little Missouri in the Dakotas for a few years, learning to ride, rope, and hunt. He worked alongside men who made him tougher, stating that they “took the snob out of him.” During his years in the West, he wrote several books on the subject, before returning home and running for office. Anyway, while living in North Dakota T.R. became a deputy sheriff, which by now should be in no way surprising. During this time, he once pursued three boat thieves through a frozen river. After capturing them, he personally took them to the town of Dickinson for trial rather than allow them to be hanged by vigilantes. On the journey, he watched them for 40-hours straight without sleep. Of course, he read Tolstoy to keep himself occupied. “I kept guard over the three prisoners, who were huddled into a sullen group some twenty yards off, just the right distance for the buckshot in the double-barrel.”  Bad. Ass.

HE HAD A HUGE TATTOO OF THE ROOSEVELT FAMILY CREST ON HIS CHEST

Yes kids, Teddy Roosevelt was the only US president who was inked up. That is all.

HE WENT ON AN UNCHARTED JOURNEY DOWN AN ANACONDA AND PIRANHA-INFESTED RIVER IN SOUTH AMERICA

Listen to this one – Accompanied by his son Kermit and famed explorer Colonel Candido Rondon, they set off on a journey down a river in South America known as the River of Doubt. Things were not going great, and by not going great I mean things were going horrifically wrong. They lost 5 of 7 canoes. They were in close vicinity to cannibalistic tribes. One sailor died in the rapids. Another was murdered by a crew member gone mad. Then, incredibly, things got worse. T.R. badly cut his leg trying cross the river in order to free two jammed canoes. His injury led to an infection, which led to a fever. Near death, he pleaded with his son to leave him behind to die, but Kermit refused. In the end, T.R. of course finished the journey, albeit 60-pounds lighter.

HE WAS BLINDED IN ONE EYE DURING A BOXING MATCH

Roosevelt’s love of boxing can be traced back to his Harvard roots, where he competed as a light heavyweight with moderate success. His exploits at Harvard were legendary. He continued to box he was the New York City Police Commissioner, the Governor of NY, and the President of the United States, because who the hell was going to tell Teddy Roosevelt he couldn’t? His last boxing match came in 1908, when a young military aide who had been invited to spar at the White House landed a devastating punch that dislocated Roosevelt’s left retina, leaving him mostly blind in that eye for life. Didn’t slow him down for a second.

HE GAVE HIS 9-YEAR OLD SON A WILD BADGER AS A PET. OH, AND ALSO A WILD HYENA

Annnnnd, there it is.

Because what else would Teddy Roosevelt give his son? Yessir, Archie was just 9-years old when his father decided it would be appropriate to give him a wild badger as a pet. Josiah the badger was supposedly quick to anger but had a “good heart” according to T.R. According to young Archie: “He bites legs sometimes, but he never bites faces.” Good to know! Other Roosevelt family pets included Bill the Lizard, a quintet guinea pigs named Admiral Dewey, Dr. Johnson, Bishop Doane, Fighting Bob Evans, and Father O’Grady, Maude the Pig, a blue macaw named Eli Yale, a hen Baron Spreckle, an owl because why not, a rabbit named Peter, Algonquin the family pony, and of course they had this – an actual wild hyena.

AT 58-YEARS OLD HE VOLUNTEERED TO LEAD A REGIMENT INTO WORLD WAR I

At the outbreak of World War I, the 58-year-old ex-president was eager to return to the front lines. If this surprises you then you haven’t been paying attention. Roosevelt vehemently lobbied President Woodrow Wilson to send him to France at the head of a 200,000-man expeditionary force. Around the country, supporters of the hero of San Juan Hill staged rallies of support, but Roosevelt would not get called to fight in the war that eventually claimed his son Quentin, who was killed in action when his plane was shot down over France in 1918. It’s a damn shame he was turned down, because I’m pretty sure the war would have ended a lot sooner.

So there ya go. And hey, I never even mentioned his exploits as leader of the legendary Rough Riders. Anyway, early 1900s? That was when men were men and Teddy Roosevelt was either batshit crazy or a bona-fide American badass. I’m thinking he was a little of the former and a lot of the latter.