WHAT IS THE MOST VENOMOUS SNAKE IN AMERICA?




As luck would have it, everything you ever learned from those old cowboy films appears to be true. Well, at least when it comes to venomous snakes. It turns out that after much research, Rattlesnakes are in fact the most poisonous snake in north America.

The Rattlesnake is easily identifiable by the tell-tale rattle on the end of its tail. Rattlesnakes are actually a part of the Pit Viper family, and are capable of striking out at up to 2/3rds of their body length.

The Eastern Diamondback in considered the most venomous rattlesnake species in North America. Surprisingly, juveniles are considered more dangerous than adults! This is because they are unable to control the amount of venom injected. Most species of rattlesnakes have hemotoxic venom which destroys tissue, degenerates organs and causing coagulopathy (disrupted blood clotting).

Some degree of permanent scarring is very likely in the event of a venomous bite, even with prompt, effective treatment. In extreme cases this can lead to the loss of a limb or death. Difficulty breathing, paralysis, drooling and massive haemorrhaging are also common symptoms. Thus, a rattlesnake bite is always a potentially fatal injury. Untreated rattlesnake bites, especially from larger species, are very often fatal. However, antivenin, when applied in time, reduces the death rate to less than 4%.

Venomous snakes that are found in each state

Of course, there are other venomous snakes native to North America and so the following list is designed to list the venomous snakes of each state, but should in no way be considered an authoritative list.

Let's face it, many if not most people have some anxiety about snakes and with good cause. Snakes are wild reptiles that will bite and defend themselves if threatened. For the welfare of both humans and snakes, it is best to leave them alone and to avoid contact.

In the United States there are 4 types and 20 species of venomous snakes, which cause even greater concern, due to the potential pain and lethality of being bitten.

Currently, there is at least one species of venomous snake found in every State in the U.S. with Alaska being the only exception. This will surely change as global warming continues and since snakes play such an important part in the ecosystems where they are found, it is a tragedy for them to be  killed, due to fear and ignorance.

Some basic information about snakes in general and venomous snake in particular, can go a long way in lessening our fears, while maintaining our respect for snakes and their role in nature.

My condolences to those living in Arizona - they have the most species of venomous snakes in the entire United States.

Alabama
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Alaska◦
No venomous snakes have been recorded in Alaska

Arizona ◦
Animas Ridgenose Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi obscurus ◦Arizona Black Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus cerberus ◦Arizona Coral Snake - Micruroides euryxanthus euryxanthus ◦Arizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi willardi ◦Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi ◦Colorado Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes laterorepens ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Grand Canyon Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus abyssus ◦Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Hopi Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis nuntius ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Sonoran Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cercobombus ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus ◦Tiger Rattlesnake - Crotalus tigris ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Western Twin Spotted Rattlesnake - Crotalus pricei pricei

Arkansas◦
Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

California◦
Colorado Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes laterorepens ◦Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus ◦Panamint Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii stephensi ◦Red Diamond Rattlesnake - Crotalus exsul ◦Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus helleri ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox

Colorado◦
Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Connecticut◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Delaware ◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen

Florida◦
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Georgia◦
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Hawaii ◦
Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake

Idaho◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis

Illinois◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Indiana◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Iowa◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Kansas◦
Broad-Banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Kentucky ◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Louisiana ◦
Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Maine◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Maryland◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Massachusetts ◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Michigan◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus

Minnesota◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Mississippi◦
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Missouri◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Montana◦
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis Nebraska ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

Nevada◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Panamint Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii stephensi ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

New Hampshire◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

New Jersey◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

New Mexico◦
Animas Ridgenose Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi obscurus ◦Arizona Black Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus cerberus ◦Arizona Coral Snake - Micruroides euryxanthus euryxanthus ◦Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Mottled Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus lepidus ◦Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox

New York◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

North Carolina◦
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

North Dakota◦
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis

Ohio◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Oklahoma◦
Broad-Banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Osage Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Oregon◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus

Pennsylvania◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Rhode Island◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

South Carolina◦
Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius miliarius ◦Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius barbouri ◦Eastern Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius ◦Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus adamanteus ◦Florida Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

South Dakota ◦
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis

Tennessee◦
Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Texas◦
Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi ◦Broad-Banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ◦Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Mottled Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus lepidus ◦Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix ◦Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus ◦Trans-Pecos Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster ◦Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma ◦Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox ◦Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus ◦Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

Utah◦
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus ◦Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor ◦Mojave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes ◦Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis ◦Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

Vermont ◦
Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Virginia◦
Eastern Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus ◦Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Washington◦
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus

West Virginia◦
Northern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Wisconsin◦
Eastern Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ◦Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Wyoming◦
Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor ◦Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis viridis  

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WHERE WAS ABRAHAM LINCOLN FROM?




Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, the second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln (née Hanks), in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky - now LaRue County. Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Abraham, had moved his family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, where he was ambushed and killed in an Indian raid in 1786, with his children, including Lincoln's father Thomas, looking on.

Thomas was left to make his own way on the frontier. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, was the daughter of Lucy Hanks, and was born in what is now Mineral County, West Virginia, then part of Virginia. Lucy moved with Nancy to Kentucky. Nancy Hanks married Thomas, who became a respected citizen. He bought and sold several farms, including Knob Creek Farm. The family attended a Separate Baptists church, which had restrictive moral standards and opposed alcohol, dancing, and slavery.

Thomas enjoyed considerable status in Kentucky where he sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, and guarded prisoners. By the time his son Abraham was born, Thomas owned two 600-acre (240 ha) farms, several town lots, livestock, and horses. He was among the richest men in the county. However, in 1816, Thomas lost all of his land in court cases because of faulty property titles.

The family moved north across the Ohio River to free - as in non-slave - territory and made a new start in what was then Perry County but is now Spencer County, Indiana. Lincoln later noted that this move was "partly on account of slavery" but mainly due to land title difficulties.

In Indiana, when Lincoln was nine, his mother Nancy died of milk sickness in 1818. After the death of Lincoln's mother, his older sister, Sarah, took charge of caring for him until their father remarried in 1819; Sarah later died in her 20's while giving birth to a stillborn son.

Thomas Lincoln's new wife was the widow Sarah Bush Johnston, the mother of three children. Abraham Lincoln became very close to his stepmother, and referred to her as 'Mother'.

In 1830, fearing a milk sickness outbreak along the Ohio River, the Lincoln family moved west, where they settled on public land in Macon County, Illinois, another free, non-slave state. In 1831, Thomas relocated the family to a new homestead in Coles County, Illinois.

It was then that, as an ambitious 22-year-old, Lincoln decided to seek a better life and struck out on his own. Canoeing down the Sangamon River, Lincoln ended up in the village of New Salem in Sangamon County. In the spring of 1831, hired by New Salem businessman Denton Offutt and accompanied by friends, he took goods by flat-boat from New Salem to New Orleans via the Sangamon, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers. After arriving in New Orleans, and witnessing slavery first-hand, he walked back home.

In 1832, at age 23, Lincoln and a partner bought a small general store on credit in New Salem, Illinois. Although the economy was booming in the region, the business struggled and Lincoln eventually sold his share. That March he began his political career with his first campaign for the Illinois General Assembly.

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Image acre of http://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/tag/abraham-lincoln/
Based on an article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

WAS ABRAHAM LINCOLN A VAMPIRE?




Was Abraham Lincoln a Vampire? What kind of  question is that? Of course, when you consider his gaunt features, pallid face and tall, gangling frame, he does start to fit the conventional stereotype that out modern perspective expects of a vampire. And what about that beard!

To be fair, Abraham Lincoln looks more like a Gothic Muslim than a vampire.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves, vampires are not real. Vampires are fictional and therefore Abraham Lincoln cannot possibly be a vampire.

Besides he died in the infamous and successful assassination attempt
at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. He was shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth.

If Abraham Linciln was really a Vampire then he would have survived the shot to his head. However, an Army surgeon, Doctor Charles Leale, was sitting nearby at the theater and immediately assisted the President.

Dr Charles Leale wrote a report on Abraham Lincoln death just hours after the presidents death and was included in an official report in 1867 to Representative Benjamin F. Butler's House commission investigating the assassination, Leale's account of Lincoln's death was not publicly revealed until the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in 1909.

In that year Leale spoke on "Lincoln's Last Hour" to the New York commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. His 1865 written report of 22 pages was thought lost until 2008, when a photocopy of a version available in the Records of the Adjutant General at the National Archives and Records Administration was found in the Georgetown University Library and published.

This long-lost report by Dr Charles Leale records the efforts taken to help the mortally wounded president and details how Leale found Lincoln paralysed, comatose and leaning against his wife.

 The Army surgeon - who was sitting 40 feet from Lincoln at Ford's Theater that night in April 1865 -  saw assassin John Wilkes Booth jump to the stage, brandishing a dagger. Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury.
'I commenced to examine his head (as no wound near the shoulder was found) and soon passed my fingers over a large firm clot of blood situated about one inch below the superior curved line of the occipital bone. The coagula I easily removed and passed the little finger of my left hand through the perfectly smooth opening made by the ball.'
The historians who only recently discovered the report, believe it was filed, packed in a box, stored at the archives and not seen for 147 years. While it doesn't add much new information about the tragedy, "it's the first draft" of history, said Daniel Stowell, director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.

'What's fascinating about this report is its immediacy and its clinical, just-the-facts approach. There's not a lot of flowery language, not a lot of emotion.'

A researcher for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, Helena Iles Papaioannou, found the report among the U.S. surgeon general's April 1865 correspondence, filed under "L" for Leale. Physicians continue to debate whether Lincoln could have lived with modern medicine and whether actions such as probing the wound as Leale did contributed to his demise.

Trauma treatment was in infancy in 1865, and Leale's report illustrates the helplessness of the doctors. He doesn't say that but you can feel it. Leale wrote a report for an 1867 congressional committee investigating the assassination that referenced the earlier account, but no one had ever seen it, said Stowell, whose group's goal is to find every document written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime.

Leale, who was 23 and just six weeks into his medical practice when Lincoln died, never spoke or wrote about his experiences again until 1909 in a speech commemorating the centennial of the president's birth.

While Leale's report includes little sentiment, Ms Papaioannou believes the way he described the moments after Booth disappeared shows how deeply he was affected. "I then heard cries that the 'President had been murdered,' which were followed by those of 'Kill the murderer' 'Shoot him' etc which came from different parts of the audience," Leale wrote.

'The theatre was well filled and the play of 'Our American Cousin' progressed very pleasantly until about half past ten," he reported, "when the report of a pistol was distinctly heard and about a minute after a man of low stature with black hair and eyes was seen leaping to the stage beneath, holding in his hand a drawn dagger. I then heard cries that the 'President had been murdered,' which were followed by those of 'Kill the murderer' 'Shoot him' etc. which came from different parts of the audience. I immediately ran to the Presidents box and as soon as the door was opened 'O Doctor, do what you can for him, do what you can!'I told her we would do all that we possibly could.'
So now you know, and if you can't trust the words of Doctor - who can you trust? Just remember Mengele!

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The Titanic
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Was Abraham Lincoln a Vampire?
What is the Flying Dutchman?
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When is Thanksgiving?
Where was Abraham Lincoln from?
Where is Sissinghurst?
Who was Abraham Lincoln?
Who was Guy Fawkes?
Who was Julius Caesar?
Who was Queen Victoria?
Wyatt Earp
Cowboys and Lawmen: Who was Wyatt Earp?

WHEN IS CHRISTMAS?


The Christmas festival is probably the most widely celebrated holiday across the world today. This occasion is marked every year as a bank holiday on the 25th December, but this is also usually combined with a second bank holiday known as 'Boxing Day' following on the 26th December.

Although you will have Christmas Eve - 24th December -  noted on the Gregorian calender it isn't a bank holiday although most employers allow their workers to go home after the mornings work is complete.

What is Christmas?

The Christmas holiday is arguably the most awaited and celebrated holiday in the Christian world. However, Christmas as we know it today is a relatively modern affair having almost died out in England during the 17th century. Why? Because it was banned by Oliver Cromwell in 1644 in the belief that it was a wasteful festival that threatened core Christian beliefs. Consequently, all activities relating to Christmas, including attending mass, were forbidden. Not surprisingly, the ban was hugely unpopular and many people continued to celebrate Christmas secretly in their homes!

Of course the Christmas holiday is stronger than ever after being re-invented and then given a new lease of life by the genius that was Charles Dickens. This Christmas renaissance was solely down to the publication of his most famous book 'A Christmas Carol' that was introduced to the English speaking world in 1843.

Bans on Christmas

From the middle of the 17th century until the early 18th century the Christian Puritans suppressed Christmas celebrations in Europe and America.

The Puritan movement began during the reign of Queen Elizabeth in England (1558-1603). They believed in strict moral codes, plenty of prayer and close following of New Testament scripture.

As the date of Christ's birth is not in the Gospels the Puritans thought that Christmas was too strongly linked to the Pagan Roman festival and were opposed to all celebration of it, particularly the lively, boozy celebrations inherited from Saturnalia. In 1644 all Christmas activities were banned in England. This included decorating houses with evergreens and eating mince pies.

Victorian Christmas

After a lull in Christmas celebrations the festival returned with a bang in the Victorian Era (1837-1901). The Victorian Christmas was based on nostalgia for Christmases past. Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) inspired ideals of what Christmas should be, capturing the imagination of the British and American middle classes. This group had money to spend and made Christmas a special time for the family.

The Victorians gave us the kind of Christmas we know today, reviving the tradition of carol singing, borrowing the practice of card giving from St. Valentine's day and popularising the Christmas tree.

Although the Victorians attempted to revive the Christmas of medieval Britain, many of the new traditions were Anglo-American inventions. From the 1950s, carol singing was revived by ministers, particularly in America, who incorporated them into Christmas celebrations in the Church. Christmas cards were first sent by the British but the Americans, many of whom were on the move and away from their families, picked up the practice because of a cheap postal service and because it was a good way of keeping in contact with people at home.

Christmas trees were a German tradition, brought to Britain and popularised by the royal family. Prince Albert first introduced the Christmas tree into the royal household in Britain in 1834. He was given a tree as a gift by the Queen of Norway which was displayed in Trafalgar Square.

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Photos care of http://www.craftypod.com/2007/12/20/a-brief-history-of-christmas-ornaments/  and http://most-expensive.net/charles-dickens-book http://www.virtual-shropshire.co.uk/towns/clun_town.shtml
and http://www.inspirationline.com/Brainteaser/AprilFool.htm and http://catsmeatshop.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html

THE WORLD'S GREATEST ADVERT




Created by the Leo Burnett' advertising agency in London, this advert has tapped into Hollywood sci-fi thrills for Kellogg's breakfast cereal - Crunchy Nut. This latest advert in the revitalised 'The trouble is they taste too good' campaign called 'Dinosaur', launches a new variant of the celebrated breakfast cereal- Kellogg's Crunchy Nut with Cranberries, Almonds and Yogurty Flakes.

So, why is it (in my opinion) the 'World's Greatest Advert'? Well, it has the best dinosaurs of any advert that I have seen which makes it alright with me.

 Although clearly based on the kitchen scene in the first Jurassic Park film, these are not velociraptors.

In my uneducated opinion they look like allosaurus, but I am happy to accept a more definitive identification.

'Dinosaur' facts

Dinosaur was directed by MJZ’s Rocky Morton, who also worked recently on Hanes Kittens, with creatives Ed Morris and Andy Drugan also lending their expertise. Rocky’s vision and use of cinematic lighting set a really terrifying atmosphere even before Framestore created the dinosaur.

CG Supervisor Alex Doyle designed the star of the piece in-house, saying “I designed a unique dinosaur from an amalgamation of real species in the form of concept art to present to our clients. Once we had an approved version Mary Swinnerton our Lead Modeller created the CG Asset using Maya, ZBrush and Mari. The result was an extremely realistic and intimidating dinosaur.”

The biggest challenge for Lead Animator Nigel Rafter was fitting the 10-foot creature into the pretty cramped kitchen. The animation also had to fit around the physical effects that had been achieved in camera to make it smash through the room realistically. To add further realism, Anelia Asparuhova created a muscle system to help add weight to the dinosaur.

The CG was then comped by Lead Compositor Simon Stoney using Nuke, with dust, debris, sparks, saliva and lighting effects being used to help sit the dinosaurs into the backplates. The spot was graded at Framestore by Simon Bourne, who worked with Rocky to achieve a dark and moody feel while keeping all the subtle colours and picking out all the lights and reflections around the kitchen.

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The World's Greatest Advert

Images care of http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/1153806/Kelloggs-Crunchy-Nut-dinosaur-Leo-Burnett-London/
Based on an article from http://www.framestore.com/work/kelloggs-crunchy-nut-cornflakes-dinosaur

HOW TO MAKE FIREWORKS




Most people attend firework displays every year, but few understand how they're actually made. The process of designing and manufacturing fireworks ranges from the creation of a holding cell and the mixing of ingredients, through to the specific reaction used when a firework is lit and fired for an explosion. Fireworks are typically made to European and UK safety standards, and it’s worth reviewing some of the more general safety issues associated with using them. An understanding of how fireworks work can enhance how people work with them, while avoiding common mistakes:

1 - Shell Creation

The shell effectively represents the tubing that the firework is exploded from. Shells are hand-crafted using treated cardboard and thick paper, which is then filled with the ingredients that go into making the firework.

The firework fuel or powder is combined with pressurised oxygen and a resin binding to prevent it from falling apart. In terms of the actual shapes created by fireworks, these come from ‘stars,’ which are placed at the bottom of the tube, and represent pellets in particular shapes. These can either be precise shapes or dough-ball like sizes, and create the particular effects of individual fireworks.

2 - Developing Ingredients

As well as the stars, fireworks contain multiple ingredients. Dextrin can be applied as a binding agent, as well as either flash powder or black powder for ignition.

Black powder in fireworks typically consists of 75 per cent potassium nitrate, 15 per cent charcoal, and 10 per cent sulphur. Some makes also use potassium chlorate instead of potassium nitrate for its faster oxygenation process.

In terms of the colours created by different fireworks, calcium and salt formulas produce different reactions. Strontium carbonate is used for violet colours, barium for emerald and greens, and lithium salts for reds.

3 - Reaction and Lighting

When a firework is lit, the wick lights and causes an initial combustion causing the shell to be launched into the air. A second timed wick within the firework then causes a reaction between oxygen and the potassium and charcoal mixture to cause a combustion that explodes the shell.

Explosions tend to take place at 3 metres per second, with the excess energy state of the exploding atoms becoming visible as wavelengths of light and colour. The firework’s explosion at different stages in the air means that we tend to see them before we hear them explode, as light travels faster than the speed of sound. The stars and calcium mixtures then cause the particular shapes of fireworks, as well as wavelengths which show up as colours.

5 - Safety

It is important, however, to remember some key safety issues when dealing with fireworks. The temperature generated by sparklers alone can cause serious burns, while poorly fitted fireworks can lead to explosions on the ground.

Spectators should be 840 feet away from a firework launch, while the fireworks used should conform to BS 7114 and CE safety markers. Similarly, do not be tempted to approach a firework that doesn't seem to have launched, as the fuse may still be burning, and the black powder mixture ready to explode.


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WHAT ARE BATS?




As freaky looking as they are, bats are mammals - like us! They are often mistakenly called 'flying rodents' or 'flying rats', but despite their obvious, superficial similarities they are not directly related to rodents, and much less to birds, and strangely do not have any closely related orders. Furthermore, their uniqueness can be demonstrated by the fact their closest living genetic relatives are thought to be carnivorans, certain hoofed animals, such as alpacas and hippopotamuses, and sea mammals, such as dolphins!

The forelimbs of a bat form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly, and can only glide for short distances.

Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread-out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium.

Bats represent about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with about 1,240 bat species divided into two suborders: the less specialized and largely fruit-eating 'megachiroptera', or flying foxes, and the more highly specialized and echolocating 'microchiroptera'.

What do bats eat?

About 70% of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species, such as the fish-eating bat, feed from animals other than insects, with the vampire bats being the only parasitic mammalian species.

Bats are present throughout most of the world, performing vital ecological roles of pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds.

Many tropical plant species depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.

Bats are also very important in eating insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides.

How big are bats?

The smallest bat is the Kitti's hog-nosed bat, measuring 29–34 mm (1.14–1.34 in) in length, 15 cm (5.91 in) across the wings and 2–2.6 g (0.07–0.09 oz) in mass. It is also arguably the smallest living species of mammal, with the Etruscan shrew being the other contender.

The largest species of bat are a few species of Pteropus and the giant golden-crowned flying fox with a weight up to 1.6 kg (4 lb) and wingspan up to 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in).

How do bats see in the dark?

As a nocturnal mammal, the bat needs to be able to navigate its way in relative darkness and hunt effectively in order to survive. In order to achieve this the bat relies less on its eyesight and more on a sense not found in humans - echo-location.

Bat echolocation is a perceptual system where ultrasonic sounds are emitted specifically to produce echoes. By comparing the outgoing pulse with the returning echoes, the brain and auditory nervous system can produce detailed images of the bat's surroundings. This allows bats to detect, localize and even classify their prey in complete darkness.

At 130 decibels in intensity, bat calls are some of the most intense, airborne animal sounds. To clearly distinguish returning information, bats must be able to separate their calls from the echoes they receive. Microbats use two distinct approaches.

1. Low duty cycle echolocation: Bats can separate their calls and returning echoes by time. Bats that use this approach time their short calls to finish before echoes return. This is important because these bats contract their middle ear muscles when emitting a call so they can avoid deafening themselves.

The time interval between call and echo allows them to relax these muscles so they can clearly hear the returning echo. The delay of the returning echoes provides the bat with the ability to estimate range to their prey.

2. High duty cycle echolocation: Bats emit a continuous call and separate pulse and echo in frequency. The ears of these bats are sharply tuned to a specific frequency range. They emit calls outside of this range to avoid self-deafening. They then receive echoes back at the finely tuned frequency range by taking advantage of the Doppler shift of their motion in flight.

The Doppler shift of the returning echoes yields information relating to the motion and location of the bat's prey. These bats must deal with changes in the Doppler shift due to changes in their flight speed. They have adapted to change their pulse emission frequency in relation to their flight speed so echoes still return in the optimal hearing range.

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Based on an article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat and http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/MMD/AML/Bat-Pallid.html and http://www.1zoom.net/Animals/wallpaper/119050/z74.7/

HOW TO GROW KIWI FROM SEED




The kiwifruit - often shortened to just 'kiwi' in many parts of the world -  is the edible berry of a woody vine in the Actinidia family. Native to southern China, cultivation of the kiwifruit only recently spread from the orient in the early 20th century.

This occurred when seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Mary Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls' College, who had been visiting mission schools in Yichang, China. The name "kiwifruit" comes from the kiwi — a brown flightless bird and New Zealand's national symbol.

As exotic as it looks, if you live within USDA hardiness zone seven through nine, you can grow a kiwi plant from the seeds of a kiwi fruit in your garden. Just be aware that you must plant multiple plants as male and female vines are required for successful pollination

If you have the space, each kiwi plant should be spaced 10 feet apart, in order for the plants to produce kiwi fruits in three to four years. However, should space be of a premium, you can probably get away with 5 feet, but you will need to spend more time making sure each plant is fed and watered adequately  and pruned to make the most of the available light.

Growing Kiwi fruit from seed

To begin with, remove the seeds from your chosen piece of kiwi fruit and lay them on a paper towel to dry. Make sure the seeds they are placed in an area where they will remain undisturbed for two days.

Fill a seal-able plastic bag with vermiculite or perlite substrate. Add the dried kiwi seeds to the substrate, seal the bag and place it in the bottom of a refrigerator for a minimum of four months.

Once this cold period is over they are ready for potting. First, fill a 6-inch pot with sterilized potting compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Potting'. Then remove the kiwi seeds from the refrigerator and plant them in the potting soil at a depth of 1/8 of an inch and 1 inch apart.

Moisten the compost with a spray bottle of water and cover the pot with a piece of glass, clear plastic or cling film, secured with a rubber band. Place the pot in a warm area while the kiwi seeds germinate.

Remove the plastic wrap once the kiwi seeds begin to germinate, and continue spraying the kiwi seeds with water to keep the soil moist.

Place the pot in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours per day.

Transplant the kiwi seedlings outdoors during the spring, in well-drained soil that preferably has an acidic pH between 5.5 to 7.0.

If you are not sure of your soil's pH you can test the soil with a shop bough pH soil tester in order to determine the acidity before planting. If necessary, amend the soil with lime raise the pH and moss-peat to lower it.

Once in the ground, water the kiwi plants each week as necessary for the first year.

Also, fertilize the young kiwi vine with a 10-10-10 fertilizer according to the label instructions. As the kiwi vine matures it will need supporting with wires or trellis.

You will also find that applying a layer of mulch around the kiwi plants will reduce weed growth and improve drainage.

Do not overwater the kiwi plants or you can cause root damage.

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