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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 7, 2017 8:36 am 
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Amish Horse-Drawn Buggies Are Pretty High-Tech

If you've ever watched a horse-drawn carriage drive by and thought "how quaint," or even "how archaic, I’ve got news for you—you were wrong.

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While most of modern civilization has traded in their buggies for cars since the 19th century (save a touristy carriage ride through Central Park), the Amish have just taken the old conveyance through several technological advances. How? It's all up to their church.

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I don't blame you for being fooled by the buggies' traditional exteriors, but trust me when I say there's a lot of high-tech stuff going on under the hood. For starters, Amish drivers don't just halt the horse when they need to stop—modern buggies have brakes mounted to two wheels.

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They also have modern safety features like airbags. According to Popular Mechanics, states with large Amish populations, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, require drivers to turn their lights on when using public roads shared with cars. Yep, that means electricity.

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As long as the local church approves, an Amish community is allowed certain forms of technology. Most buggies have a front console with a switch box that contains all of the electrical switches a driver would need (headlights, taillights, interior lights, and turn signals). How do you tell when an Amish buggy is turning right? They have a customized system where the right-side headlight and taillight will shine brighter than the other side's lights. Now, for the wheels. These are no rickety wooden contraptions. Modern buggy wheels were adapted from racing vehicles (yes, really). Buggies take either steel, wood, or hard rubber tires, and they're made in-house with mounted rear brakes.

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Headlights

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Tail Lights

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Brakes

As for "that antiquated" exterior—it's actually not that different from the average car. In addition to fiberglass and aluminum, exterior materials for buggies include oak, wood, and fabrics. A new material being used is "thermally modified wood." As a buggy builder tells Popular Mechanics, this wood is "almost zero-percent moisture," so it won't rot as easily as common dried lumber.

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Amish carriages come in different colors, but each color has a special meaning. Black is the most common color, as it's from many Amish affiliations across the Midwest. Gray is used by the Lancaster County Amish and its 300 congregations across eight states. Brown buggies can be found in Pennsylvania and New York, while white is most common for the Nebraska Amish. Yellow is an unlikely Amish buggy color, but it can be found in Pennsylvania's Big Valley settlement.

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Want to be a proud owner of an Amish horse-drawn carriage? It ain't cheap. It'll cost you upwards of $8,000, although you'll likely get 20 to 30 years out of it. And in most cases, you'll pay in cold hard cash. Because according to a buggy builder, banks are a bit "squeamish" about financing them.

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About The Amish

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 8, 2017 6:54 am 
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I have two carts, one for my miniature stallion, for combined driving events. It is a Bellcrown, originally of British design. Here are pix of it:
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The other is a lovely oak Bird-In-Hand roadster, made in the traditional way (except the hubs are reversed to reduce the possibility of hanging up on obstacles). This one is for Dakotah, and I am in the process of training him to harness. So far, so good! He is doing very well with a sledge with shafts (VERY noisy drag, which is good actually). I expect to 'put him to' sometime early this spring. I can't wait!!
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This picture is of someone in our community!
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Both carts are Amish made in Bird-In-Hand, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by the Stoltzfus family.


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 8, 2017 8:45 am 
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And so close to home. You just never know. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 8, 2017 8:49 am 
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A Bowling Ball And Feather Will Fall At The Same Rate In A Vacuum Chamber

Next time you find yourself in a vacuum (I’m not holding my breath for it), don't waste the opportunity to try out a classic science experiment. If you simultaneously drop a bowling ball and a feather from the same height in a vacuum, they will hit the ground at the same time. The result is just as much due to gravity as it is due to air resistance.

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You know what will happen if you were to brush a feather off your desk onto the floor: a light, slow, airy fluttering to the ground.

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You also know what would happen if you pushed a bowling ball off the edge: a fast, heavy, loud kerplunk with the added bonus of broken floorboards.

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It would certainly be jarring if the light and heavy object fell at the same speed. But gravity doesn't work that way, right? Gravity does work that way (all objects fall towards the Earth at a speed of 9.8 m/s²)—you're just forgetting about the air. The feather floats to the ground because of all the air resistance slowing down the speed of its fall. Throw the feather and bowling ball off a ledge in a vacuum chamber that has had all the air pumped out of it, and you'll see what happens when there's no air resistance keeping the feather aloft—objects dropped at the same time from the same height will land at the same time too.

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Post Posted: Feb 9, 2017 8:31 am 
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Gaudi's Basilica Is Sorta, Kinda Almost Finished

Have you ever had a project that takes you much longer than you think it will? Imagine if it took more than 134 years longer. That's right—famed Catalan Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi began his ”Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família” in 1882... and it's now slated for completion in 2026.

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Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

If you've ever been to Barcelona, Spain, there's no way you could've missed Gaudi's 558-foot-tall, Gothic/Art Nouveau-style Roman Catholic church, commonly known as the Sagrada Familia, or the Basilica.

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When you gaze upon its towers, it's as if you've entered a strange, yet magical world—that is, if you can look past the construction cranes. Gaudi wasn't the first architect of the Basilica, however. He took over the masterpiece in 1883 when the original architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, resigned.

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Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano

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Gaudi dedicated the majority of his career to this single project, eventually dying in 1926 with less than a quarter of the Basilica completed. It is still considered the longest-running architectural project on Earth. But, why is it taking so long? Spain has experienced several hurdles during the structure's creation, including a little something called the Spanish Civil War.

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Gaudi was often quoted saying "my client is not in a hurry," and by client, he meant God. His vision for the Basilica was a building that encapsulated the history of the Catholic faith. Former chief architect, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, tells Alpine Living that the Sagrada Familia was Gaudi's "call to peace" and was intended to represent humanity. After Gaudi's death, they didn't resume construction until 1952.

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Gaudi knew he wouldn't be alive to see the church in its completion, so he dedicated his final years to creating three-dimensional models. Many were destroyed in the Spanish Civil War, but the few that survived have been crucial for the architects who follow in his footsteps. If the Basilica is indeed ready in 2026, it'll be just in time for the centennial of Gaudi's death. It'll also be the tallest religious building in Europe. And, in my humble opinion, the most impressive.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 9, 2017 12:08 pm 
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There is new data on the electrical displays above thunderstorms.

http://www.realclearscience.com/2017/02 ... 3-84283601

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Post Posted: Feb 10, 2017 8:36 am 
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The Nobel Prize That Shouldn't Have Been Given

In his time, António Egas Moniz was considered a brilliant neurologist.

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António Egas Moniz

Today, however, we know that his lobotomy procedure is an inhumane treatment that intended to make the mentally ill into docile citizens.

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Moniz theorized that mental illness was caused by nerve cells that couldn't communicate properly and caused people to become stuck in pathological symptoms.

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He developed the lobotomy to try and sever the nerve fibers that he presumed facilitated mental disorders. After experimenting on several patients, he reported that they did indeed improve, though they seemed to also lose crucial elements of their personality and creativity.

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In 1949, António Egas Moniz was given a Nobel Prize for developing the lobotomy.

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In Depth

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Post Posted: Feb 11, 2017 8:43 am 
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The Chinsekikan Is A Japanese Museum Of Rocks That Look Like Faces

The Chinsekikan is certainly a unique museum. Here's a clue as to what it holds: the name of the place translates to "hall of curious rocks." But we're not talking about sparkling geodes or polished, spherical boulders. Japan's Chinsekikan contains nothing but rocks that look like faces. Seriously.

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This Japanese museum puts your childhood rock collection to shame. The Chinsekikan, located in Chichibu, Japan (about two hours northwest of Tokyo), holds approximately 1,700 rocks that—kind of—resemble faces. There are jinmenseki, or rocks with a human face, of pop culture icons in the mix too: Elvis Presley, E.T., Donkey Kong, Nemo, and more. (Sure, not all of those are humans, but apparently that's not a huge problem.)

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Elvis?

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E.T.?

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Imagination at work

The museum is currently run by Yoshiko Hayama, the wife of the original owner who passed away in 2010. But it was his rock collection that started it all. An avid collector, the late Shozo Hayama spent 50 years collecting rocks that looked like faces. The one stipulation for rocks to make it into the museum? Besides looking like a face, the only artist must be nature.

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Yoshiko Hayama

At the end of the day, it's just rocks in there. There's a scientific explanation for why humans have a tendency to see faces in things that are definitely not faces: it's called pareidolia. (Ever look at the grill of a car and see an angry expression?)

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And apparently, neurotic people are more prone to this tendency than others. Their nerves put them on higher alert for threats, which may mean that they see danger where it actually isn't. In this case, the researchers argue, that danger takes the form of a face.

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Post Posted: Feb 11, 2017 10:27 am 
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Post Posted: Feb 11, 2017 11:53 am 
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I must be pretty neurotic because I find those rock faces creepy!


Cockroaches can be magnetized???

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Post Posted: Feb 11, 2017 12:11 pm 
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Apparently so. Maybe it will lead to a nonpoisonous method of control.

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Post Posted: Feb 12, 2017 8:41 am 
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Madam C. J. Walker, America's First Female Self-Made Millionaire

The story of Madam C.J. Walker has been called "one of the most spectacular rags-to-riches stories in U.S. history." Born on a Louisiana plantation in 1867, and orphaned at age 7, this inspirational trailblazer created a cosmetics empire as a single mother.

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Sarah Breedlove was born in 1867 to two sharecroppers, on the same Louisiana plantation where they had been enslaved since before the Civil War. By age seven, Breedlove was an orphan. However, this young girl would grow up to become Madam C. J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. Not only did Walker start her empire after a childhood rife with loss, discrimination, and abuse, she did it all as a single mother.

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C.J. Walker and daughter, A'Lelia

In the 1890s, Walker began to experience hair loss and looked hard for a solution. She experimented with home remedies and store-bought products, and consulted her brothers who worked in a barber shop. She eventually developed “Madam C.J. Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower”, a scalp conditioning and healing formula that she began peddling around the country.

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From there, her business continued to grow, as word of Walker's product spread among African-American women. "There is no royal flower-strewn path to success," Walker reportedly once said. "And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard."

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Walker died on May 25, 1919. The next day, The New York Times ran her obituary. "Her death recalled the unusual story of how she rose in twelve years from a washerwoman making only $1.50 a day to a position of wealth and influence among members of her race," the article explained. "Estimates of Mrs. Walker's fortune had run up to $1,000,000. She said herself two years ago that she was not yet a millionaire, but hoped to be some time, not that she wanted the money for herself, but for the good she could do with it. She spent $10,000 every year for the education of young negro men and women in Southern colleges and sent six youths to Tuskegee Institute every year. She recently gave $5,000 to the National Conference on Lynching."

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Nearly a decade after her death, Walker is still inspiring female entrepreneurs. "You can't talk about the history of black hair care or business without talking about Madam C.J. Walker," Lori L. Tharps, co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, told USA Today. "Her genius was not so much her products, but the marketing and the idea of giving black women the gift of pampering themselves, of allowing them to take pleasure in cosmetics and hair grooming."

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In Depth

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