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Legend of the tabby cat

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This is from Reining Cats.

This is the version Paul Harvey would broadcast each

year around Christmas.

As a cat owner, I always looked forward to Paul’s broadcast.

IF you look at the cat in the picture you can see the letter M.

Legend of the tabby cat

Author Unknown

And so it came to pass that a husband and wife journeyed to a small town called Bethlehem, as the king had decreed that all the people stand to be counted in the small towns and teeming cities from whence they came. The journey was long and hard for both, but especially for the young wife, who was very near to bringing her firstborn son into the world.

When they at last reached the crowded and noisy town, the expectant father searched hurriedly for a place for them to rest and where the child could safely be born. But at every door, he was told there was no available room. Finally, an old inkeeper, though having no space left in his inn, took pity on them and offered them shelter in the small stable used by his animals.

It was there that the child was born, surrounded by beasts of the field. As the night’s cold grew, the baby fretted and cried while his parents pondered how to make him comfortable. His father tried stuffing straw into the open places in the walls, and his mother tried warming him with her meager wrappings. But still, the baby cried on.

All the while, a tiny kitten watched from the corner. “Of course the little baby is cold,” she thought. “It has no fur to keep it warm! I will give it mine, and I will lullaby-purr it to sleep.”

A little jump brought the kitten into the manger where the baby lay. There, she quietly gave her humble gift of warmth and love, gently stretching out her thin, fragile little body over the baby’s, careful to cover all but the infant’s face. The crying was soon replaced by soft purrs and coos, and slowly, the infant smiled.

As Mary, the new mother, witnessed this gift to her child, she touched the little cat’s forehead.

“Thank you, Little Tabby, for your gift of love and warmth. As a sign of my grateful blessing, you and all your descendents will forevermore carry my initial on your forehead.”

And to this day, tabby cats are known by the remarkable “M” on their foreheads, and by their extraordinary gifts of love, so gently given.

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Another Thought about Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is for honoring our fallen military personnel and rightly so.

We should also remember other fallen heroes fallen the Police Officers and Firefighters.

They boldly go where Angels fear to tread they run in when everyone else runs out.

Police Officers run in when the shooting starts.

Firefighters run into to the fire to help save lives.

Here are links to their respective memorials.

Officer Down Memorial.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Here is a sample of the Officer Down page,

Officer

Harry H. Aurandt

Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch: Tuesday, December 20, 1921

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 47

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date:12/18/1921

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: Sentenced to life in prison

Officer Harry Aurandt died of wounds he sustained when he was shot while off duty as he was taking police action.

Officer Aurandt and a detective were rabbit hunting in a rural area of Tulsa on Federal Road. At about 9:00 pm the officers had returned to their car when they were approached by four armed men who exited a Buick touring car with the intent of robbing them. The detective attempted to fire his shotgun at them but it misfired. The four men started shooting at he officers while they were sitting in their car. Officer Aurandt, despite serious wounds in one lung, leg, and liver, drove one mile to a farmhouse where he collapsed.

Officer Aurandt died from his wounds two days later. The detective was paralyzed for life from leg wounds just above the knees.

The four suspects were later apprehended and sentenced to life in prison following a trial.

Officer Aurandt was survived by his wife, daughter and son. His son, Paul Harvey, later became a famous commentator, author, and columnist. Officer Aurandt was buried at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/1347-officer-harry-h-aurandt#ixzz32mz9rsNM

 

Legend of the tabby cat

Leave a comment

This is from Reining Cats.

This is the version Paul Harvey would broadcast each

year around Christmas.

As a cat owner, I always looked forward to Paul’s broadcast.

IF you look at the cat in the picture you can see the letter M.

th

Legend of the tabby cat

Author Unknown

And so it came to pass that a husband and wife journeyed to a small town called Bethlehem, as the king had decreed that all the people stand to be counted in the small towns and teeming cities from whence they came. The journey was long and hard for both, but especially for the young wife, who was very near to bringing her firstborn son into the world.

When they at last reached the crowded and noisy town, the expectant father searched hurriedly for a place for them to rest and where the child could safely be born. But at every door, he was told there was no available room. Finally, an old inkeeper, though having no space left in his inn, took pity on them and offered them shelter in the small stable used by his animals.

It was there that the child was born, surrounded by beasts of the field. As the night’s cold grew, the baby fretted and cried while his parents pondered how to make him comfortable. His father tried stuffing straw into the open places in the walls, and his mother tried warming him with her meager wrappings. But still, the baby cried on.

All the while, a tiny kitten watched from the corner. “Of course the little baby is cold,” she thought. “It has no fur to keep it warm! I will give it mine, and I will lullaby-purr it to sleep.”

A little jump brought the kitten into the manger where the baby lay. There, she quietly gave her humble gift of warmth and love, gently stretching out her thin, fragile little body over the baby’s, careful to cover all but the infant’s face. The crying was soon replaced by soft purrs and coos, and slowly, the infant smiled.

As Mary, the new mother, witnessed this gift to her child, she touched the little cat’s forehead.

“Thank you, Little Tabby, for your gift of love and warmth. As a sign of my grateful blessing, you and all your descendents will forevermore carry my initial on your forehead.”

And to this day, tabby cats are known by the remarkable “M” on their foreheads, and by their extraordinary gifts of love, so gently given.

PAUL HARVEY FREEDOM TO CHAINS 1965 (BEST VERSION)

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What would Paul Harvey say about America in chains today?

Legend of the tabby cat

Leave a comment

This is from Reining Cats.

This is the version Paul Harvey would broadcast each

year around Christmas.

As a cat owner, I always looked forward to Paul’s broadcast.

If you look at the cat’s head you can see the letter M.

th

Legend of the tabby cat

Author Unknown

And so it came to pass that a husband and wife journeyed to a small town called Bethlehem, as the king had decreed that all the people stand to be counted in the small towns and teeming cities from whence they came. The journey was long and hard for both, but especially for the young wife, who was very near to bringing her firstborn son into the world.

When they at last reached the crowded and noisy town, the expectant father searched hurriedly for a place for them to rest and where the child could safely be born. But at every door, he was told there was no available room. Finally, an old inkeeper, though having no space left in his inn, took pity on them and offered them shelter in the small stable used by his animals.

It was there that the child was born, surrounded by beasts of the field. As the night’s cold grew, the baby fretted and cried while his parents pondered how to make him comfortable. His father tried stuffing straw into the open places in the walls, and his mother tried warming him with her meager wrappings. But still, the baby cried on.

All the while, a tiny kitten watched from the corner. “Of course the little baby is cold,” she thought. “It has no fur to keep it warm! I will give it mine, and I will lullaby-purr it to sleep.”

A little jump brought the kitten into the manger where the baby lay. There, she quietly gave her humble gift of warmth and love, gently stretching out her thin, fragile little body over the baby’s, careful to cover all but the infant’s face. The crying was soon replaced by soft purrs and coos, and slowly, the infant smiled.

As Mary, the new mother, witnessed this gift to her child, she touched the little cat’s forehead.

“Thank you, Little Tabby, for your gift of love and warmth. As a sign of my grateful blessing, you and all your descendents will forevermore carry my initial on your forehead.”

And to this day, tabby cats are known by the remarkable “M” on their foreheads, and by their extraordinary gifts of love, so gently given.

How “Dr.” Morell Made Hitler A Drug Addict: Injecting Cocktails With Cocaine And Amphetamine

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This is from War History OnLine.

Paul Harvey has a segment in his “Rest Of The Story” book called Going To Hell with Dr.Morell.

Hitler’s Doctor – Killing the Fuhrer One Injection At a Time.

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At last, a reasonable explanation for dictator Adolf Hitler’s maniacal behavior. The Fuhrer was on drugs thanks to Dr. Theodor Morell. Plagued with intestinal distress for most of his life, when Hitler met the charismatic doctor at a party in 1936, he was promised instant relief.  Morell had a reputation of treating an upscale clientele and his unconventional attitudes toward medicine enthralled the Nazi leader. Hitler’s own personal photographer claimed to be cured by Morell and recommended him highly.

First the good doctor treated Hitler’s digestive system with his own company’s prescription called Mutaflor which contained bacteria from the fecal matter of “a Bulgarian peasant of the most vigorous stock.” As is usual with intestinal problems, those problems soon passed. But Hitler was sure the Mutaflor was a magical drug. Thus began his complete trust of Dr. Morell, and soon the injections began.

Morell

Dr Theodor Gilbert Morell, personal physician of Adolf Hitler.

During the late 1930’s Dr. Morell injected Hitler several times per day with a mysterious concoction he would not explain beyond claiming they contained glucose and vitamins. But when a haggard and exhausted Fuhrer would wake in the morning he could barely raise his head. The doctor’s injection instantly revived the Nazi leader and he would be fully awake, talking, and sitting up in bed. No time lag for the glucose to be absorbed. People in the room saw an immediate and profound reaction to the shot.

According to a 47 page dossier compiled by the United States after World War II from eyewitness accounts and Dr. Morell’s personal records, it is now clear those injections contained methamphetamine. That’s right; the same stuff which ruins lives and families in the present time was being injected into the German leader’s veins. In fact, over time the Fuhrer became rather immune to the effects, forcing Dr. Morell to increase the dosages. By late 1944 those injections contained upwards of 700 times more meth than the first doses. No wonder he was a raving maniac.

The report also stated Hitler was likely high on one of these injections during a filmed session with Mussolini in 1943 where he rambled and spoke gibberish while shaking almost uncontrollably. Sounds like a junkie, all right. And he was the leader of a country at war to take over the world.  Why not a little help through drugs? It is well known Herman Goering, the second in command of the Reich, was a morphine addict. Soldiers were given Pervitin, an amphetamine stimulant with the battlefield name of “Panzerschokolade” or “tank chocolate,” to boost their energy.

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Beside the injections, the Nazi leader’s other doctors, who were suspicious of Dr. Morell providing over 100 pills to Hitler per week, picked one in particular to test. Perhaps it stood out being in a small tin container such as breath mints might be packaged and labeled. “Dr. Koester’s Anti-Gas Pills” displayed the ingredients gentian, belladonna, and extract of nux vomica. The real doctors knew what nux vomica was where Dr. Morell did not: a seed which contains a large amount of strychnine. The belladonna was known to cause excitement, confusion, hallucinations and even death if ingested in large amounts. Hitler’s surgeons were appalled and report their findings to the leader. He responded by firing them and defending Morell. He was known to have said, “I myself always thought they were just charcoal tablets for soaking up my intestinal gasses, and I always felt rather pleasant after taking them.” Hallucinations might actually feel good to a certifiable crazy person.

Toward the end of Hitler’s regime, Dr. Morell was still there, injecting and pumping into the Fuhrer a cocktail of over sixty different drugs including barbiturate tranquilizers, morphine and in combinations Dr. Morell always referred to as “What he needs.”  The aforementioned dossier stated Hitler was also injected with extracts from bull’s testicles to boost his libido and help create a more manly figure in public. What some men will do to get attention!

Dr. Morell, Hitler, and Mrs. Morell.
Dr. Morell, Hitler, and Mrs. Morell.

Dr. Morell himself wasn’t the picture of health. Morbidly obese, generally unkempt and dirty, the wafting of his revolting body odor and his own bad breath and flatulence problem cleared a path to Hitler. Even Eva Braun couldn’t stomach the Doctor and Hitler’s chief architect described Morell in this manner: “He has an appetite as big as his belly and gives not only visual but audible expression of it.” No wonder he had influence over Hitler, no one could stand being with Morell. The Nazi leader was quoted as saying, “I do not employ him for his fragrance, but to look after my health.”  So Dr. Morell stayed.

Toward the end of the war, Hitler demonstrated even more pronounced evidence of drug use. His stubborn decisions cost hundreds of thousands of lives in fighting the Russians. With trembling in his legs and tremors in his hands, Hitler also displayed other symptoms of prolonged use of amphetamines. His circulatory system and heart had deteriorated and probably experienced a heart attack in 1943.

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Dr. Morell remained at Hitler’s side in the fuhrerbunker below Berlin until almost the last days of the Fuhrer’s life. The Nazi leader seemed to accept his fate, sending his favorites out of Berlin to safety. Paranoid than Morell might inject something into him so his followers could spirit him away from the bunker, Hitler finally fired the doctor. Morell probably was fairly happy about that, as bombs were dropping on the city twenty-four hours per day.

The “Reich Injection Master,” as Herman Goering called Dr. Morell, escaped Berlin, but checked into a hospital with heart pains. It was there he was arrested by the Americans. He was not guilty of any war crimes, the investigators announced, and he was released. The unconventional doctor who punctured almost every inch of on the Adolf Hitler’s body died of a stroke in 1948.

Last Film Of Hitler

This propaganda footage, shot right before the fall of the Third Reich, was supposed to be destroyed. And for good reason – it reveals the medical condition Hitler tried to hide.

This Light Bulb Has Been Burning for 114 Years; Will It Ever Stop?

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This is from Mental Floss.

I remember Paul Harvey doing a story about this light bulb.

 

bulbhed

 

There’s a light bulb in Livermore, California that won’t go out. It hangs on a cord from the ceiling of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department’s Fire Station #6, and it has been burning since 1901. On June 27, there was a party held in the bulb’s honor to celebrate its one millionth hour of operation. There were refreshments and music and barbecue. Town officials toasted the bulb’s achievement. The light bulb, for its part, burned over everyone’s heads, like it always does.

About an hour east of San Francisco, Livermore sits in a valley surrounded by rolling hills made gold by the drought. The fire station is on East Avenue, and bulb tourists like myself must walk around back and ring the doorbell to get let in. Inside, fire engines and equipment dominate the space. The small bulb hangs about twenty feet overhead, glowing near a row of fluorescent shop lights which, unlike the bulb, were turned off. If it weren’t for the camera pointed directly at it (to broadcast a live web stream), the bulb would be easy to miss.

To be an on-duty firefighter at Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Station #6 means you have to both fight fires and give historical light bulb tours at a moment’s notice. The two firemen who hosted me said I was the second visitor of the day. Some days they have huge groups who come in—groups that have been known to bunch beneath the bulb and gawk crane-necked at it until the firemen get an emergency call. They then have to politely shoo the tourists outside while they gear up to leave the station, sirens blaring. These visitors will sometimes still be standing outside when the firefighters return, waiting to get let back in to look at the bulb some more.

BULB FACTS

Manufacturer: Shelby Electric Company in Shelby, Ohio (est. 1896, out of business 1912).

Manufacture date: c. 1898.

Designer: French electrical engineer Adolphe A. Chaillet (b. Nov 1867, d. ~1914).

Filament: Carbon, made by a “secret process” that is still unknown today. The filament forms a loop inside the bulb that, from below, looks like the word “no” written in cursive.

Wattage: The bulb is thought to be a 60-watt model (actual figure unknown), but it currently burns at about four watts.

Is it still on?: Yes.

Much of this info (and the information that follows) is from A Million Hours of Service, a book about the bulb written by Thomas Bramell, Livermore’s retired Deputy Fire Chief and foremost historian of the bulb. It is for sale at the fire station, along with bulb T-shirts and other bulb memorabilia. (Proceeds go to the Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Foundation, a non-profit that supports injured and fallen firefighters, the burn foundation, and other charities.)

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BULB AS *THE BULB*

firehouse

The bulb’s current residence.

The bulb had been burning without much fanfare for 71 years before Mike Dunstan, a reporter for the Livermore Herald and News, starting asking around about it in 1972. Through interviews, Dunstan was able to confirm the bulb’s longevity.

The bulb was likely given to the fire department in 1901 as a gift from local businessman Dennis F. Bernal. One of Bernal’s children recalled to Dunstan that her father had given away a stash of business and personal items in 1901 and that this stash probably included the bulb. Older residents remembered passing the fire station and seeing the bulb during walks to and from school in the early 1900s. John Jensen, a former volunteer firefighter who served in Livermore in 1905, said he recalled the light being on at all times as far back as he can remember. Because it worked as a sort of emergency light to help firefighters see at any time of the day, the bulb was never turned off.

The light has been burning so continuously, the few instances when it has been turned off can be printed on a small bookmark:

1906: The bulb was moved from a fire house on Second Street in Livermore to a new fire station on First Street.

1937: The bulb was turned off for about a week when the station underwent renovations that were part of a WPA project.

1976: The bulb was moved to the newly built Fire Station #6. It was off for about 22 minutes during that move, plus a few seconds after it was installed and wouldn’t work. (City electrician Frank Moul slightly rotated the bulb’s socket switch, rectifying the problem.)

May 20, 2013: The bulb went out in the early morning hours when its uninterrupted power supply malfunctioned. A man in Australia watching on the bulb web cam noticed the outage and frantically tried to get in touch with the fire station from the other side of the Pacific Ocean. The bulb wound up being off for about nine hours.

To fix it, firefighters bypassed the uninterrupted power supply with an extension cord. Worryingly, it burned about four times as bright as normal when it was turned back on, raising fears that it was about to surge out. Over the next few days, however, it returned to its normal brightness level, which is to say about as bright as an overzealous nightlight.

THREE THEORIES ON WHY THE BULB HASN’T BURNT OUT

1: Consistency: Matt, one of the firefighters who showed me the bulb, tossed out this theory (which he identified as “a theory,” meaning that it is in no way definitive). As described above, the bulb has been turned off and on so infrequently that the filament has burned at a steady rate without having to cool down and heat back up repeatedly. This results in a sort of “thermal momentum.” (“Thermal momentum” is my phrase, and I thought it sounded super smart when I said it during Matt’s explanation and am including here for posterity, hoping it gets reprinted in further reports about the bulb, granting me a slice of the bulb’s immortality).

2. It’s just one of those things: Joel, the other firefighter present during my visit, added to the previous theory by calling the whole thing a “perfect accident” (which I concede is a much better phrase than my “thermal momentum” mumbo jumbo—mumbo jumbo, it turns out, that is already a term in the physics community and not a term coined by yours truly; thus my immortality burns out). “The Shelby bulbs are hand-blown,” he explained, and the uniqueness of its shape, size, filament, and other factors that can’t be achieved during mass production all contribute to this “perfect accident.”

3. Planned Obsolescence: On December 23, 1924, executives from the world’s major light bulb manufacturers met in Geneva to hatch a plan. GE, Philips, Tokyo Electric, Germany’s Osram, France’s Compagnie des Lampes, and others joined together to form what is known as the Phoebus Cartel. The cartel divided the world into market zones they would individually control and instituted sales quotas to keep each company equally dominant. They also decided to limit their lightbulbs’ average operating lives to 1,000 hours, about half the number of hours the companies’ existing bulbs were capable to burn.

“The cartel took its business of shortening the lifetime of bulbs every bit as seriously as earlier researchers had approached their job of lengthening it,” writes Markus Krajewski in the trade magazine for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. “Each factory bound by the cartel agreement—and there were hundreds, including GE’s numerous licensees throughout the world—had to regularly send samples of its bulbs to a central testing laboratory in Switzerland. There, the bulbs were thoroughly vetted against cartel standards.”

The cartel unraveled by the 1930s, partly due to government intervention and fair trade legislation, and also because smaller competitors were able to disrupt the manufacturing giants by selling cheaper bulbs.

While the cartel’s shelf life was as short as the bulbs they produced, its legacy has lasted much longer. Accusations of planned obsolescence are routinely pointed at companies nowadays, and every time someone’s smartphone breaks after its warranty runs out, the ensuing complaints (justified or not) have their roots in the Phoebus Cartel’s scheme.

If this all sounds like the plot of a paranoid novel, it’s because it is. Thomas Pynchon wrote about the Phoebus Cartel in Gravity’s Rainbow. They appear in a section about “Byron the Bulb,” a plucky talking light bulb who never burns out and becomes a target of the the cartel. While Pynchon was obviously writing fiction here—lights bulbs don’t talk, not even famous ones hanging in California fire stations—the Phoebus Cartel was very much real.

Seeing as Gravity’s Rainbow was published in 1973, it’s possible that Pynchon, who lived in California, had read Dustan’s coverage of the fire house bulb in the Livermore Herald and News and used it as inspiration for Byron the Bulb (he’d have to have quickly put it in the book he had been working on for years, though).

Either way, the centennial bulb has become a smoking gun of sorts for people who believe that companies still conspire to shorten products’ operating lives for profit. It was featured in the 2010 documentary The Lightbulb Conspiracy, and a British film crew traveled all the way to Livermore to film the bulb, glowing away in humble glory.

No matter how well-made those pre-Phoebus bulbs are, 114 years is still a ghastly overachievement for Livermore’s little light.

When I asked the on-duty firefighters about the theory of planned obsolescence, they shrugged and were democratically noncommittal as to whether or not their station’s nightlight pointed to a global conspiracy.

Landesarchiv Berlin

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN/IF IT BURNS OUT?

After that close call in 2013 when it was off for nine hours, the keepers of the bulb saw its life flash before their eyes. Should the centennial bulb burn out for good, they don’t want to be without a strategy for saying goodbye to it with dignity. While nothing is official yet, they want to have a full funeral procession through town, finishing at the historical society where the bulb will be displayed in a resting place of honor.

If you show up and quietly do your job without fuss for long enough, there’s a chance you’ll be celebrated like a head of state when you die.

Murmurs of a replacement bulb also abound. A supposedly unused Shelby model just like the current centennial bulb has been acquired by a party who may be willing to part with it when the time comes. Keep in mind, these plans all hinge on the bulb actually burning out, something that hasn’t happened for 114 years.

Don’t be surprised if it buries us all. Long live the bulb.

 

The Signers of The Declaration of Independence

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This is from My Church Cares.WordPress.com.

This is from a monologue by the late Paul Harvey

I am sure you have heard or read these words.

Please read them again.

Our Congressional members have little or no sacred honor.

They would not pledge the considerable fortunes they have acquired.

 

“Americans, you know the 56 men who signed our Declaration of Independence that first 4th of July–you know they were risking everything, don’t you? Because if they won the war with the British, there would be years of hardship as a struggling nation. If they lost they would face a hangman’s noose. And yet there where it says, ‘We herewith pledge, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,’ they did sign. But did you know that they paid the price?

* * *

“When Carter Braxton of Virginia signed the Declaration of Independence, he was a wealthy planter and trader. But thereafter he saw his ships swepted from the seas and to pay his debts, he lost his home and all of his property. He died in rags.

 

Thomas Lynch, Jr., who signed that pledge, was a third generation rice grower and aristocrat–a large plantation owner–but after he signed his health failed. With his wife he set out for France to regain his failing health. Their ship never got to France; he was never heard from again.

Thomas McKean of Delaware was so harassed by the enemy that he was forced to move his family five times in five months. He served in Congress without pay, his family in poverty and in hiding.

“Vandals looted the properties of Ellery and Clymer and Hall and Gwinett and Walton and Heyward and Rutledge and Middleton. And Thomas Nelson, Jr. of Virginia raised two million dollars on his own signature to provision our allies, the French fleet. After the War he personally paid back the loans wiping out his entire estate; he was never reimbursed by his government. And in the final battle for Yorktown, he, Nelson, urged General Washington to fire on his, Nelson’s own home, then occupied by Cornwallis. And he died bankrupt. Thomas Nelson, Jr. had pledged his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor.

“The Hessians seized the home of Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey. Francis Lewis had his home and everything destroyed, his wife imprisoned–she died within a few months. Richard Stockton, who signed the Declaration of Independence, pledging his life and his fortune, was captured and mistreated, and his health broken to the extent that he died at 51. And his estate was pillaged.

Thomas Heyward, Jr. was captured when Charleston fell. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside while she was dying; their thirteen children fled in all directions for their lives. His fields and gristmill were laid waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves and returned home after the War to find his wife dead, his children gone, his properties gone. He died a few weeks later of exhaustion and a broken heart.

“Lewis Morris saw his land destroyed, his family scattered. Philip Livingston died within a few months of hardships of the War.

John Hancock, history remembers best, due to a quirk of fate–that great sweeping signature attesting to his vanity, towers over the others. One of the wealthiest men in New England, he stood outside Boston one terrible night of the War and said, “Burn Boston, though it makes John Hancock a beggar, if the public good requires it.” He, too, lived up to the pledge.

“Of the 56 signers of the Declaration, few were long to survive. Five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes–from Rhode Island to Charleston–sacked and looted, occupied by the enemy or burned. Two of them lost their sons in the Army; one had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 died in the War from its hardships or from its more merciful bullets.

“I don’t know what impression you’d had of these men who met that hot summer in Philadelphia, but I think it’s important this July 4, that we remember this about them: they were not poor men, they were not wild-eyed pirates. These were men of means, these were rich men, most of them, who enjoyed much ease and luxury in personal living. Not hungry men– prosperous men, wealthy land owners, substantially secure in their prosperity. But they considered liberty–this is as much I shall say of it–they had learned that liberty is so much more important than security, that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. And they fulfilled their pledge–they paid the price, and freedom was born.”

-Paul Harvey

And now you know – the REST of the story…

Never Forget the Time Dan Quayle Misspelled “Potato”

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This is from Mental Floss.

Paul Harvey addressed this story, it seems Vice President Dan Quayle was correct when he added an e to the word potatoe.

As it is spelled this way in The Oxford English Dictionary and Now You Know The Rest Of The Story.

I am 61 years old and I was taught to spell potatoe and tomatoe this way.

COLLEGE STATION, TX - JANUARY 20:  Former President George H. W. Bush (R) greets former Vice President Dan Quayle at an event honoring the 20th anniversary of the Persian Gulf War on January 20, 2011 in College Station Texas. The Gulf War was waged against Iraq from August 1990 to February 1991 during President Bush's administration.  (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

Who knew a simple tuber could do so much damage?

In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle was visiting Rivera Elementary School in Trenton, New Jersey, and jumped in to help facilitate a spelling bee. William Figueroa, age 12, was called to the board to demonstrate how to spell “potato.” With a stick of chalk and perfect penmanship, Figueroa carefully spelled the word correctly on the board. The student stepped back, satisfied—until the Veep himself urged the young man to tack another letter on to the end to make the spelling “correct.”

P-O-T-A-T-O-E.

Despite the ensuing applause from the adults in the room, Figueroa knew he had spelled it correctly the first time. “I kept thinking, ‘How the hell did I spell ‘potato’ wrong?’” he latersaid.

What most people don’t know (or don’t remember) is that Quayle was looking at a flash card provided by the school that had the “correct” answer on it, spelled incorrectly. So, yes, Quayle did mess up—but so did the school.

Whether Quayle should have known better (yes) or the school should have known better (yes), that one little letter was the vowel heard ‘round the world, damaging Quayle’s credibility and adding to the public’s perception that the vice president wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box. Quayle was embarrassed, of course. He later wrote in his memoir Standing Firm that “It was more than a gaffe. It was a ‘defining moment’ of the worst imaginable kind. I can’t overstate how discouraging and exasperating the whole event was.”

10 Facts That Will Change How You View Thomas Edison

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This is from ListVerse. 

As Paul Harvey used to say “Now you know The Rest of the story.”

Edison has long been a staple of school history books, and most people know him as the inventor of the lightbulb, but in more recent years, Edison has become an extremely controversial figure. As the Information Age entered full swing, people started questioning everything, and many people started saying that Edison does not deserve as much credit as people give him. Around the same time, a Tesla revival movement kicked off to honor the mad Serbian scientist. Unfortunately, this movement decided that Tesla couldn’t be built up without tearing Edison down. This has led to a plethora of misinformation about Edison spreading around the Internet, leading to massive confusion about the man who brought us the first phonograph. While Edison wasn’t perfect, he was hardly the mustache-twirling villain some people claim he was, and his rivalry with Tesla was not all it’s cracked up to be.

10The Confusion Over His Credit For The Lightbulb

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Many people were taught when they were young that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, and when they were older the Internet told them they were wrong. Now, many confused people are wondering what exactly is going on and what all the confusion is about. Well, as it turns out with many things, the answer is a little complicated. And, as is often the case with inventions, more than one person deserves credit. Back in 1875, two men named Woodward and Evans designed a primitive lightbulb which they patented, but they were never able to make the money to experiment with it properly and come up with a good, working prototype. Around the same time period, another man named Joseph Swan was also working on a lightbulb. That was when Edison entered the story. He saw potential in the lightbulb idea and purchased the rights from Woodward and Evans.

While multiple people were working on something similar, and he bought the rights to the idea, Edison and his researchers still spent years in the laboratory in order to make the lightbulb into something worth using. Edison did not invent the lightbulb, but for all practical purposes he was the first to make one that lasted long enough to be used. His first attempts lasted a little over half a day, but eventually his efforts led to a bulb that could burn for 1,200 hours. We also tend to take for granted all the little switches and fuse boxes that make the lightbulb work and keep us from electrocuting ourselves—that was Edison’s work, too.

9Direct Current Is Actually Extremely Useful And Could Make A Comeback

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Many people think that alternating current (AC) beat direct current (DC), and that was the end of the story. Also, as it has become a part of the Tesla versus Edison narrative, it has reached a point where it’s almost seen by some people on a moral scale—as in, right versus wrong. However, while alternating current did beat out direct current for a lot of things, and it is still the main system used to deliver our power, the truth is that DC is actually better for some applications, and it is used very commonly today. For example, nearly all of our cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices charge using DC power—they all require a DC adapter to plug into the wall.

Also, in some cases, new wind turbines and other technology are actually using DC power, and then the energy companies are going to great expense—and wasting energy—to convert it back to AC power because that’s still how the grid is set up. This has led some companies to start heading toward the possibility of switching back to DC power again. One of the biggest problems with DC was that it was hard to move the power over long distances, but if distance isn’t a big issue, DC is often more efficient when it comes to power use. Not only has DC never stopped being useful, but there is reason to believe it may start to make a comeback in the next few years and could end up one day being used more than AC power overall. Perhaps one day Edison will win the war of the currents after all.

8His Rivalry With Tesla Is Greatly Exaggerated

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Photo via Wikipedia

Most people love a good hero versus villain story, and so it goes that people have spun the rivalry between Tesla and Edison into a tall tale. As it often happens, the truth is much more complicated to properly ascertain and was likely not nearly as intense as most people imagine. The story goes that when Edison was first working on his DC system, he asked a young engineer for help making a better system and Tesla came up with an AC system instead. According to Tesla, Edison offered him a large sum of money for the work and then told him it was a joke when Tesla requested the payment later.

We do know Edison told the young inventor that his ideas were “splendid” but “utterly impractical.” Tesla was always a very sensitive soul, and having his ideas rejected by one of the best-known inventors of the day did not sit well with him.

While Tesla always claimed he left the company after Edison laughed off his promised bonus, Edison’s secretary tells a different version where Tesla left after his immediate boss (not Edison) refused him a small raise. At the time, Tesla was a relatively low-level employee in Edison’s company which was something the proud Tesla likely had trouble accepting.

While there was certainly some bad blood for a while, there is little historical evidence that either of them spent a large amount of time ruminating on the other. They were both busy inventing things and promoting their ideas. Once Tesla sold most of his AC rights to Westinghouse, the battle for the currents was mainly between him and Edison, while Tesla worked on other pet projects in his own right.

Also, while it’s impossible to know for sure the veracity of the story or how much they really disliked each other, Tesla once said later about Edison, “I was amazed at this wonderful man who, without early advantages and scientific training, had accomplished so much. I had studied a dozen languages, delved in literature and art, and had spent my best years in libraries . . . and I feel that most of my life has been squandered.” Edison also once offered to let Tesla use some of his laboratory space in New Jersey after once of Tesla’s labs burned down. While this is not evidence they were friends or ever settled their differences, it does suggest that their rivalry was more complicated and probably a lot less hateful than many people think.

7Edison’s Main Opponent In The War Of The Currents Was Not Tesla

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Photo via Wikipedia

Due to the incredible amount of work Tesla put into making AC a viable system, when people think of the war of the currents, they often think that it was a battle of Edison versus Tesla, wherein Edison was trying as hard as he could to crush the spunky little guy who was opposing him. However, as we mentioned earlier, once Tesla had sold his rights to Westinghouse and moved on to personal projects, he really didn’t have any involvement in the ongoing current war. Of course, he thought his AC system was superior, but from a practical standpoint he no longer had skin in the game, and Edison had no reason to discredit him specifically.

Edison’s real rival was the powerhouse George Westinghouse (pictured), who had originally made his fortune by designing air brakes for trains. After that, he took an interest in electrical power systems and formed his own company. There is an apocryphal story that claims that Westinghouse once came to Edison with some interesting ideas, and he was snubbed by Edison who said he should stick only to air brakes and not mess with electricity. The legend claims that then Westinghouse literally started his company out of spite. In actuality, Westinghouse was already quite interested in the subject when he visited Edison’s lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey, and at the time they were quite cordial with each other.

It was only when Westinghouse started a seriously competing business that Edison started to get truly annoyed, and some historians say he never actually hated Westinghouse or Tesla, but he was passionate about what he had invented and would do whatever was necessary to see it come to life. Some people believe Edison was acting in bad faith, but some historians think that Edison was so blinded by his discovery and the time and energy he had invested in it, that he truly believed AC was dangerous and could not see the superiority of the system he opposed. The trope that Edison was the well-funded man beating down an underdog is also false. While there are plenty of questionable means that Edison used in his campaign to discredit DC, his chief rival, George Westinghouse, was far better equipped when it came to handling legal challenges and building infrastructure, as he already had a large personal fortune and many big-money allies due to his business connections. Considering the claims that Edison was not particularly hateful toward his rivals, perhaps it could be said the war of the currents was really Thomas Edison against AC, or even Thomas Edison against himself, unable to accept that his system was not the superior one.

6The Phonograph Was Truly Revolutionary

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Sometimes when people talk of Tesla they say that he was a man who was out of place for his time, but in a way this is true of all revolutionary inventors, and Edison—as Tesla would have agreed—was no exception. When most people talk about Edison, it is either to castigate him for his mythical treatment of Tesla or to argue whether he did or did not invent the lightbulb. However, people rarely talk about the phonograph, an invention that was never really given the attention it deserved during its time but changed things far more than most people could realize.

At the time, the phonograph would have been like the very first computers; it filled a need no one thought needed to be filled. The capability to record sounds and play them back later was completely unheard of and was one of the many things for which Edison earned the title “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” Today, we take for granted that we can listen to music anywhere and play back recorded sounds, but before Edison it wasn’t just that no one had invented it. No one had even conceived of the possibility. Later on, Edison would be inspired to use this technology with some other ideas he had to create some of the first moving pictures, making him one of the early pioneers of cinema as well. No one is suggesting that Edison was the sole creator of the lightbulb, or movies, but his work on both was integral to bring us to where we are today.

5Thomas Edison’s Work For The USA In World War I

La Releve (Relief), Great War memorial Monument aux Morts (Monum
Due to his status as a celebrity scientist, Edison was once asked to help the US Navy in preparing for the possibility of large-scale war. They did not ask Edison for his opinion solely when it came to scientific advances, but they also asked for his advice on preparing for war in general, putting him in charge of the Naval Consulting Board in advance of World War I. It is possible that his efforts at helping to industrialize the world marked him as the type of person with the big ideas they were hoping for. However, while he did do his best to put his mind to the task, and he believed we should be prepared for war, he was not the type who believed in creating large-scale weapons of war or mass destruction, and he never put his talents toward making things that could kill people.

In fact, when asked in an interview, Edison once said, “Science is going to make war a terrible thing—too terrible to contemplate. Pretty soon we can be mowing down men by the thousands or even millions almost by pressing a button.” These words were quite prescient, as the first atomic bomb was dropped to the tune of unimaginable destruction roughly 30 years after Edison’s statement. Edison worked with the Navy on designing apparatus for keeping submarines from being detected and detecting enemy vessels, but he was never interested in creating the true machinery of war.

4Edison Took The Same Risks As His Hired Researchers

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There is an incident in the life of Edison that some people like to point to when they want to paint him as a dastardly villain, and that is the story of Edison’s research into X-rays and the injury of his assistant Clarence Dally. X-ray technology was a total unknown at the time, and like most inventors, he found it hard to shy away from something new that needed discovering. So, Edison and Dally began experimenting with X-rays in the hopes of making the entire process better and more efficient. Unfortunately, their lack of knowledge of the true dangers of the X-ray cost both of them dearly. Dally gained awful burns on his arms and sores all over his body, and he lived several painful years before succumbing to radiation poisoning. He was the first person to achieve this dubious milestone in the US.

Edison himself was not unaffected by the radiation. It caused permanent damage to his left eye and to his stomach as well. Edison stopped the experiments after the damage to himself and his assistant and told the press that he was afraid of X-rays. While many people wish to see Edison as a man motivated by profit and nothing else, he did not even attempt to patent his work on X-rays but simply moved on from the project, thinking them too dangerous to mess around with even for a scientist of his experience and caliber.

3He Wanted To Reform The Federal Reserve

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Today, many people decry the Federal Reserve because they say our system is based on nothing more than promises, hopes, dreams, and words. Some people want to go back to the day when our system was backed by gold because they feel it would make the economy more stable. Other people think that gold was never a good way to back currency to begin with, and that something like gold that doesn’t have much practical worth (aside from being a really good conductor) should not be the basis of anyone’s monetary system. Back when gold was the standard, Thomas Edison felt that the system needed a stronger backing than gold. But, unlike some people from his time, his solution was not to switch to another precious metal like silver. Quite the contrary, Edison wanted our money system to be backed by something that was truly useful and, in his opinion at least, fairly stable and mostly static.

Edison wanted our money system to be based on the output of America’s farmers, who would receive interest-free loans from the government in order to help them afford to grow their crops. According to experts who analyzed this plan, a few of the most important commodities would basically become money and would act as collateral in loans provided by the government. This would ensure, in Edison’s view, that our money system was backed by something that was “relatively constant” and also something that had real, actual value to the American people. While it’s hard to say if such an idea could actually work, as it has never been attempted, Edison was clearly thinking ahead of his time and would be lauded by many today for wanting a more solid backing for US currency.

While the specifics of Edison’s idea were difficult to implement, a commodity-backed currency would later be proposed by such prominent economists as John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and John Nash.

2Edison Lost Much Of His Hearing In A Childhood Accident

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Many people know that Edison was hard of hearing, but it’s a detail often glossed over in favor of other parts of the myth. While many people may not think of it this way, Edison had a severe hearing problem and still became one of the greatest and most lauded scientists of his age. Not only that, but one of his inventions, the phonograph, dealt directly with recording sounds despite the fact the man could hardly hear. A great scientist like Edison overcoming a disability would normally be an inspirational story, but unfortunately many people today only wish to see Edison as a villain. Of course, while we know he had trouble hearing, even Edison was never clear on how exactly he lost his hearing.

The most likely explanation is that he lost much of his hearing during a bout with scarlet fever when he was a child, but according to Edison himself, his hearing may have been ruined, or at least made worse, by an incident onboard a train. One story claims that Edison got his ears boxed by a train employee, while another story claims he was running to catch a train and his hearing was damaged when someone helped him onboard by pulling on his ears. While Edison himself changed his story over the years, he was always good-natured about his disability and never let it get him down or stop him from achieving his goals.

1He Had More Empathy Than You May Think

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As we have pointed out, modern-day sources often make Edison out to be a ruthless individual with a moral compass that is always pointing south, but life in general is always more complicated than that. Thomas Edison was an inventor, a businessman, and he had faults just like everyone else. But he was not an evil villain cackling and conspiring to destroy others. Like many men, he was competitive, but there is no evidence of him trying to destroy Tesla’s career, and some historians believe his crusade against AC was to an extent a genuine belief that it would not be entirely safe for people to use. This is not that hard to believe, as Edison believed greatly in creating safety switches and the like to go along with his electronic apparatus, and he was very concerned if any of his researchers became sick while experimenting.

Nowhere was this more apparent than with Clarence Dally. As we mentioned, Dally and Edison both worked on X-rays studying the effects of radium and polonium. The exposure was so bad that Dally ended up losing both of his arms, and he suffered for nearly eight years before he finally died from the radiation poisoning. Edison was greatly upset by all this, and it affected his thinking for the rest of his life. He would not go near radioactive materials and advised others against doing so. He also promised to take care of Dally and his family and keep him on payroll (even when he could no longer work) because Edison felt horrible about what happened. That was despite the fact that Dally had entered into the experiments willingly and neither of them could have known the danger. Edison may not have been perfect, and he may not have always been the best to his business rivals, but the man certainly had a heart.

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