Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Strange Stories, Amazing Facts

A little over two years ago Courtney and I ventured out to Minnesota to visit Ellie, one of my friends from Italy for a few days before we all headed out to Idaho to visit Anneke, another friend from Italy. We stopped in at one of Ellie's favorite coffee shops and as we sat sipping our coffee, I found much entertainment from a book laying on one of the tables. It was Strange Stories, Amazing Facts. I fell in love with this book and asked if I could buy it. The lady there at the time didn't have say over the books but called me back the next day with the glorious news that I could purchase the book! I think this book may have begun a new phase in my life which should be easy to guess -  my fascination with anything strange or amazing! 

Since purchasing this book, I have found many other books of the same sort. I realized the other day that I had not read it for quite some time so I remedied that by reading some to Courtney and Emily as we drove around by Pike's Peak. (I don't think they appreciate it as much as I do.)

I thought I would share a story with all of you as well! I didn't spend muhch time picking this story out. In fact I just chose to you the one that appeared when I opened it up. This story if from the "Footsteps into the Unknown" section.

Strange case of the two Titanics

A floating palace sailed from Southampton in 1898 on her maiden voyage. It was the biggest and grandest liner ever built, and rich passengers savored its luxury as they journeyed to the United States. But the ship never reached its destination: Its hull was ripped open by an iceberg, and it sank with heavy loss of life. 

That liner existed only on paper, in the imagination of a novelist named Morgan Robertson. The name he gave to his fictional ship was Titan, and the book's title was Futility

Both the fiction and the futility were to turn into terrifying fact. Fourteen years later a real luxury liner set out on a similar maiden voyage. It too was laden with rich passengers. It too rammed an iceberg and sank; and, as in Robertson's novel, the loss of life was fearful because there were not enough lifeboats. It was the night of April 14, 1912. The ship was the RMS Titanic

Passenger's preview of doom
In many other ways than the similarity of their names the Titan of Robertson's novel was a near duplicate of the real Titanic. They were roughly the same size, had the same speed and the same carrying capacity of about 3,000 people. Both were "unsinkable." And both sank in exactly the same spot in the North Atlantic.

But the strange coincidences do not end there. The famous journalist W.T. Stead published in 1892, a short story that proved to be a preview of the Titanic disaster. Stead was a Spiritualist: He was also one of the 1, 513 people who died when the Titanic went down. 

Backward recollection
Neither Robertson's horror novel nor Stead's prophetic story served as a warning to the Titanic's captain in 1912. But a recollection of that appalling tragedy did save another ship in similar circumstances 23 years later. 

A young seaman named William Reeves was standing watch in the bow of a tramp steamer, Canada-bound from England in 1935. It was April - the month of the iceberg disasters, real and fictional - and young Reeves had brooded deeply on them. His watch was due to end at midnight. This, he knew, was the time the Titanic had hit the iceberg. Then, as now, the sea had been calm. 

These thoughts took shape and swelled into omens in the seaman's mind as he stood his lonely watch. His tired, bloodshot eyes strained ahead for any sign of danger, but there was nothing to be seen; nothing but a horizonless, impenetrable gloom. He was scared to shout an alarm, fearing his shipmate's ridicule. But he also was scared not to do so. 

Then, suddenly, he remembered the exact date of the Titanic accident - April 14, 1912. The coincidence was terrifying - it was the day he had been born. He shouted out a danger warning, and the helmsman rang the signal: engines full astern. The ship churned to a halt - just yards from a huge iceberg that towered menacingly out of the night. 

More deadly icebergs crowded in around the tramp steamer, and it took nine days for icebreakers from Newfoundland to smash a way clear. 
The name of the ship that nearly shared the Titanic's fate was, ironically, the Titanian.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saying Farewell (for now at least...)

Exactly four months ago, my dream of getting dreads came true! While I am thoroughly glad I got them, I have decided that my hair is not very conducive to maintaining the knotted look. 

I have asked Matt to shave my head when he comes out to Indiana in September but until then I decided to chop my hair myself! I chopped all of the dreads out and then Nealy helped me shape it up a bit. But it really looked pretty good right after I just hacked everything off! 

I'm hoping Matt chooses to accept my proposition and then I have this crazy hope that my hair will grow back frizzy so I can get some good looking dreads that will last!

For a more thorough viewing of this farewell process, you can visit my facebook page.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slingin the Slang

After our visit to Pike's Peak on Saturday we went to Columbus to enjoy a little dessert at Zaharakos. It was a really neat old ice cream parlor that had been closed for a couple of years and just reopened in June. As soon as we were seated, we were entertained by our enlightening placemats. I particularly liked this one that has a bit of early 1900s lingo on it. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Indiana Mountain

For those of you who don't remember or perhaps did not see my post about Pike's Peak, IN I'd like to direct you back to that post so you can better appreciate this post. 

The other day Courto and Emily, a friend from IWU and myself went to check out the mountain in Indiana! Here we are at the summit of Pike's Peak, Elev. 840 ft. 

We took some back country roads through Brown County territory (up in highlands) to get there. Besides the mountain, I didn't really know what to expect from Pike's Peak, IN. Our directions ended shortly after turning onto Bellsville Road. We drove by Crouch's Market but it still looked a little rural so we decided to trek a little further to find the heart of town. However, in a mile or less we saw a church bearing the name "Harmony" and decided to retreat to Crouch's Market. Apparently, the market is the heart of town as it is the only business and non-residential establishment besides the Church of Christ. 

The market was a mini Walmart, faithfully serving the needs of the community at the foot of Pike's Peak. In the back corner was this fantastic little section that filled  with hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, all at least 20 years old or more. I absolutely loved these shirts and am proudly modeling my find in the picture!

 As a little bonus to our trip to Pike's Peak, IN we found this great little stone head mile marker just outside of town. We decided to have our lunch by him. Apparently all of the motorists who drove by thought this was funny but I didn't get to see their humored facial expressions because my back was to them. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dining Alfresco

Last Sunday Courto, Danielle and I went on a picnic. We had chicken salad and lemonade in my new glass bottle! And of course we got to use my new picnic basket! It was simply magnificent. However, I will admit to a few flaws. I was the creator of the chicken salad and I chose not to have the chicken diced really small (Courto did the cutting). I wasn't really thinking about how they can be a bit sloppy in a croissant and small pieces help it stay inside better.Plus, it just spreads the chicken goodness around more! The other fault of the chicken salad is that I forgot to put the walnuts in! I made the salad on Saturday afternoon and didn'twant the nuts to get soggy. So I'm not sure what's better... soggy nuts or no nuts. But to make up for my chicken salad mishaps, I did make some pretty good sour cream cookies. 

P.S. Sorry for the sloppy layout. I gave up on Blogger!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coffee News

The other day I stopped in at The Bean Cup and picked up the latest issue of Coffee News. These things are simply fantastic! It is filled with local news, random quotes, trivia and interesting facts. And you can enter to win a $200 prize pack! Why have I not paid better attention to these gold-mines of information and opportunity?! For those of you who may also have been neglecting your local Coffee News, let me share some interesting facts for you that I have learned from my issue. 

A Quoteable Quote:
"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."       Albert Einstein

Did You Know...
The average hippopotamus can hold up to 400 pounds of food in its belly. Despite its tremendous size, it can run short distances at 30 mph, faster than an Olympic sprinter.

Let Us Mend Our Pace

I have just begun reading The Pilgrim's Progress and am finding the old English to be rather entertaining. One quote I have especially enjoyed is made by Pliable after Christian has been explaining the wonders of the heaven: "Well, my good Companion, glad am I to hear of these things; come on, let us mend our pace." I can't wait to tell someone to mend their pace when they are being a bit too putsy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I really need to hit the sack but I just discovered something so exciting I would burst if I could not share it somehow! 

A while ago I learned about Sechler's Pickle Factory and wrote it down in my notebook as a place of interest after learning you could get orange, lemon, apple cinnamon and raisin flavored pickles. 

Tonight I thought I'd find out where where this place was at and in the process I learned another wonderful bit of information about Sechler's... they have a Pickle Festival in August! And at this 13th Annual Pickle Festival one of the many great things you can do is acquaint your taste-buds with pickle ice cream!