Happy Birthday Kitty.

Pictured: Seamus and Kitty Parham.
My Daughter Candace turns 33 years old today. Good one kiddo.
You have gone from being a screaming little baby brat to being a crazy young metalled punk rocker mummy.
But what a great mother you have been to young Seamus who is such a beautiful boy who loves his Mum.
Happy Birthday Kitty,
from Danny the brother and a bloody Old Man.

The case of the glowing cross.

Molesworth Street, Lismore. IMAGE CREDIT: Trove
by Tim the Yowie Man
A lonely country cemetery in northern NSW is the site of one of Australia’s most unusual unsolved mysteries.
IN 1907, FOLLOWING a fatal attempt to stop a runaway train at Mullumbimby, a young rail worker, William Steenson was laid to rest in the North Lismore Pioneer Cemetery. The epitaph on his tomb paid tribute to his courage and valour. Soon after his death the cemetery ceased taking new burials and became overgrown.
Fast-forward to a clear night in 1978 when, following a clean-up of the graves, a local man noticed Steenson’s cross, carved from Balmoral red granite, glowing brightly.
After national newspapers splashed his astonishing account across their front pages, word of the strange phenomenon spread fast and within days the luminescent cross was attracting crowds of curious onlookers from all over Australia.
Soon teams of expert stonemasons, geologists and physicists descended on Lismore, trying to explain the phenomenon. Some claimed the glow was due to rare properties of the red granite. But the most popular explanation was that the well-polished cross was simply reflecting a nearby source of light, such as the Moon.
This theory was, however, promptly dismissed when the cross was observed glowing on moonless nights. Meanwhile, some men of faith claimed the glowing cross was a miracle and pilgrims flocked from far and wide to rub it for good luck.
Although the cross continued to inexplicably glow, interest eventually waned and Steenson’s gravesite returned to relative anonymity, until 1986 when, in the dead of night, the glowing cross vanished.
For the past 20 years ex-Lismore men Steven Fawcett and Jeremy Fenton, who both admit to being “transfixed by the cross” during their childhood, have run an unsuccessful national campaign to locate it.
“It’d be great to see the cross back on its pedestal where it belongs, not hidden in the back of someone’s garage, or covered in silt at the bottom of the river,” says Steven, who believes the cross was probably pilfered during a local treasure hunt.
“We’d also like to see it back so that further scientific studies can be undertaken,” Jeremy adds. “With today’s technology we may be able to explain its mysterious luminescent properties.”
One theory still bandied about by Lismore locals is that the glow may have been the result of ossified remnants of glow-worms embedded in the cross. But Dr David Yates, director of CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, pours cold water on this.
“Granite is igneous rock, so doesn’t contain fossils or petrified remains,” he explains. “The site of the cemetery is also entirely the wrong microhabitat for living glow-worms.”
Could the cross have been a piece of red granite with rare glowing properties? Not according to Ian Williams, Professor Emeritus at the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University.
“While there are some minerals that fluoresce under UV light, they aren’t in red granite,” he says. “As a natural phenomenon, I think this is case unsolved.”
Source: The case of the glowing cross

The Bundy Brothers torn apart by their Time Clock.


It was a disaster for the families.
But it started well. The inventor of an early version of the time clock was a jeweler, Willard Legrand Bundy of Auburn, New York.
His brother, Harlow Bundy, an entrepreneur, formed Bundy Manufacturing Company in 1889 to produce Willard’s time clock.
Their “workman’s time-recorder” captured on paper tape the arrival and departure times of employees. Businesses and factories across the country began using the recorder.
In 1900, Bundy Manufacturing merged with other companies to form international time recording, which later became IBM.
But the brothers, who worked together, had disagreements, starting with the firing of one of Willard’s sons.
Willard eventually left the company , too. His sons formed a rival time recording company using a new patent. Harlow’s company hammered them with lawsuits for years.
Family disputes aside, the value of the time clock was immediately obvious. It’s ability to accurately track workers’ hours helped workers, who had proof of time worked.
And managers received data more accurately and efficiently than from human time recorders.
via Two Brothers Time Clock | Orbital Shift.

The tragic Burke and Wills Expedition of 1860.


The Disastrous Burke and Wills Expedition of 1860.
Robert O’Hara Burke was born in Ireland in 1821. Because of the Victorian gold rush, there was a shortage of police and so he joined the Victorian police force.
William John Wills was born in England in 1834 and had come to Australia when he was eighteen. He was a surveyor, meteorologist and astronomer. 
Wills would have made a much better leader than Burke, although he too, had no experience as an explorer.
Although the colony had grown, much of Australia was still undiscovered.
Also, a route for an overland telegraph line was needed and the Victorian government offered a prize for the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north.
Although Burke had no experience as an explorer or a bushman, he was chosen to lead the expedition together with a man called George Landells.
However, it was not long before Burke had an argument with Landells and replaced him with Wills. Their well-equipped expedition set off 1860.
Burke was afraid that he would be beaten by John Stuart to be the first to explore inland Australia, and so he set off on camel with his expedition. Meanwhile, unknown to Burke, John Stuart had turned back and so there was no need now for Burke to hurry or take risks.
Burke was very impatient and would not let the expedition slow down for any reason. In addition, he set off without his medical officer and 2 other important members of the expedition.
Unfortunately, there was no one in the group who was a good bushman. Burke was so impatient to reach the Gulf, that he left some of his party behind with supplies at Menindee and set off with a party of nine men.
Burke then decided to push on towards the Gulf, even though it meant travelling in the heat of a northern summer. He took with him, Wills, King and Grey. He left the rest of the party at the Cooper’s creek camp with orders that the party was to return to Menindee in three months if the explorers hadn’t returned by then.
After nearly two months the party reached the Gulf of Carpentaria, but were unable to see the waters of the Gulf because of the mangrove swamps.
Burke would not wait to rest, and after only one day set off on the return journey which was made worse by fierce storms which turned the ground to mud. There was also a lack of food.
Grey became ill and probably half mad when he stole food from their supplies. Burke was in a rage and gave him a severe thrashing from which he never recovered. Grey became ill and died of scurvy a week later.
In addition the party who were supposed to be waiting at Cooper’s Creek for Burke to return, had left that morning and the depot was deserted. Brahe had waited 4 months and only left then because his men were getting sick from scurvy.
Wills wanted to stay at Cooper’s Creek, feeling sure that help would arrive. Burke ignored his advice and decided to set off for a police station at Mt. Hopeless. As leader of the expedition, he ordered that they all go on.
Unfortunately, he did not leave a message at Cooper’s Creek, and when Brahe returned, he did not know that the party had been there. The camels were dying, there was no food and the water was all gone.
Both Burke and Wills were too weak by then to travel.
First Wills, and then Burke died.
For three months, friendly aboriginals cared for John King, who was the only survivor, until help arrived. He was rescued by a search party from Melbourne.
Although Burke and Wills died, they had proved that there was no inland sea and were the first to cross Australia from south to north, providing more valuable information on inland Australia.
via Burke & Wills 

Germs & early Ice Cream Street Vendors.

An ice cream vendor in New York hands a young girl an ice cream, circa 1920.

An ice cream vendor in New York hands a young girl an ice cream, circa 1920.
Image Credit: Elizabeth R. Hibbs/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Before the tinny melody of “Pop Goes The Weasel” brought swarms of sweaty kids to the streets for an ice cream cone, mobile ice cream vendors used more primitive—and less sanitary—means.
In the late 19th century, vendors sold dishes of ice cream from carts cooled with ice blocks, which meant customers would lick their dish clean and then return it to the seller to use for his next customer. Not exactly a model of hygiene.
Before widespread milk pasteurization, ice cream also came topped with the threat of bacteria that could cause scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and other extreme ailments.
The frozen treat became safer to order after studies of typhoid in New York implicated raw milk, causing most cities to require pasteurization, and inventions like the ice cream cone made that whole sharing dishes issue disappear.
Technological advances around the same time made refrigeration easier and scoopers traded in their carts for cars.
Ice cream trucks, which first appeared in the 1920s, have seen something of a resurgence in recent years as other food trucks have flourished and anything vintage has become hipster cool, but the once-ubiquitous carts tend to remain relegated to zoos, amusement parks, and other touristy areas.
Source: 8 Summertime Treats We Should Bring Back | Mental Floss

Selling a Wife by Auction, 1879.

Image copyright Illustrated Police News
Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. The spark goes, the flame flickers, the fire dies – whichever combustible cliche you favour, love has a regrettable habit of fizzling out.
But for everyone bar the wealthiest men in Victorian Britain, divorce was out of the question.
That may explain, if not excuse, why a navvy in Stacksteads, Lancashire who’d grown tired of married life, reverted to an old English custom.
He offered up his wife for auction to the highest bidder, staging the sale – as an additional insult – at the home they’d shared together.
“Despite Solomon’s testimony as to a woman being more precious than rubies, and notwithstanding that the spectators were numerous, the highest offer was only 4d,” said the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent in 1879.
“The seller wanted to ‘throw in’ three children, but the buyer objected, and the bairns were left on hand.
The wife, however, went joyfully to the home of her new owner, and seemed to be quite glad to get away from her late liege lord as he was to part with her.”
And the buyer? His next-door neighbour.
Source: 10 bizarre Victorian love stories – BBC News
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