Sunday Reads: Morbid Melancholy Blues 

 Well, another morning. There is that.

I sometimes feel a strong sense of Déjà vu when I write the post titles…I especially got that sensation when typing out the title for today’s thread. Maybe it is because we spent last evening in the Banjoville General Hospital ER. Maybe it was seeing all those same people, and experiencing the same sights and smells as we did a few months ago when my brother Denny was taken to the emergency room…This time it was my daughter who was ill. She was suffering from food poisoning, something that the ER was able to treat with IV fluids and anti-puke pills. But that visit last night brought back some memories from my brother’s final stay at that hospital…and when we finally got back home last night, all I could do was think sad morbid thoughts.

imageSo the images that accompany this thread may seem unsuited or tacky…deathly, whatever. The theme is obvious.

If there is ever a day you’d wish to stay in bed…What Would Happen to Your Body If You Stayed in Bed Forever? | Mental Floss

Check out that link and find a video that will “make you want to get out of bed immediately.” Meh, all I felt was myself falling back to sleep while watching it.

I caught this blog post on Facebook and thought you all would find it intriguing.  (Wait is that spelled right?)

imageWhat if British history was told the same way Maya history is told? – Maya Archaeologist

There is so much incorrect information about the Maya online. This causes me much frustration, particularly as teachers (KS2 History Maya Civilisation) unknowingly are teaching these inaccuracies in the classroom and thousands of children are learning untruths about the Maya.

As mentioned in a previous blog post – How to spot untrustworthy resources on the Maya – the Maya seem to get a raw deal when it comes to the study of ancient cultures.

They are lumped with the Aztecs in regards to bloody sacrifices and any of their achievements are thanks to the Olmecs, an earlier culture that did not live in the Maya area.

The Maya was only 1 of 5 cultures in the world to have independently developed a writing system where they could write anything they said, they were only 1 of 2 cultures in the world who created the number zero, they had an elaborate and accurate calendar system, they built cities in the rainforest and some of the largest pyramids in the world –  so why are they given such a raw deal?

imageHow about if I turned the tables on us, the Brits and gave a tongue-in-cheek description of British history, much in the same way Maya history is told:

Meet the Ancient Britonians

The Britonians, for this is what the people were called, inhabited an area that is now called England.

In 2500 BC, when great civilisations of the day were building pyramids 500 feet high, the Britonians were placing abandoned stones upright, sometimes, if they were feeling artistically inclined, these stones were arranged into shapes, such as squares, rectangles or circles.

There were no carvings or inscriptions on these stones or anything of interest.



That should make you want to go and read the rest of that thread.

imageI am really not in the mood to write any more…plus we have to run down to the Banjoville pharmacy to pick up Bebe’s meds…here are the rest of this morning’s links in dump fashion.

Death, war, graves, madness, oh they are all here for you today:

London lab recreates horrors of war with 3D technology

Starvation, torture and rape: the grim daily realities of prisoners inside Syria’s Saidnaya military prison have been recreated in harrowing 3D detail by a London-based agency, established to highlight claims of rights abuses.

The Black Sea has lost more than a third of its habitable volume

imageTrauma patient deaths peak at two weeks — ScienceDaily

A new study by University of Leicester academics has shown that lower severity trauma patients could be more likely to die after two to three weeks.

Researchers tackling the chocolate crisis …and that is a huge potential loss for people like me…and I bet folks like you!

When Doctors Diagnose Danger – Scientific American Blog Network

It might seem like a no-brainer to inform the authorities and potential victims if a patient threatens violence, but it’s not that simple

Cornell University welcomes 12-year-old college freshman

When he was 2, Jeremy Shuler was reading books in English and Korean. At 6, he was studying calculus. Now, at an age when most kids are attending middle school, the exuberant 12-year-old is a freshman at Cornell University, the youngest the Ivy League school has on record.

NASA sees Hermine’s twin towers

NASA sees Hermine's twin towers

imageOne vent just isn’t enough for some volcanoes: Curious case of Mount Etna’s wandering craters — ScienceDaily

Volcanoes are geology at its most exciting. They seem so fiery, dangerous and thrillingly explosive. That may be true, but most old and mature volcanoes are surprisingly stuck in their ways and even if when they will blow is difficult to forecast, where they will blow from is often more predictable.

Living with dementia: Life story work proves successful — ScienceDaily


EEG recordings prove learning foreign languages can sharpen our minds — ScienceDaily

Discrimination by Design – ProPublica

A few weeks ago, Snapchat released a new photo filter. It appeared alongside many of the other such face-altering filters that have become a signature of the service. But instead of surrounding your face with flower petals or giving you the nose and ears of a Dalmatian, the filter added slanted eyes, puffed cheeks and large front teeth. A number of Snapchat users decried the filter as racist, saying it mimicked a “yellowface” caricature of Asians. The company countered that they meant to represent anime characters and deleted the filter within a few hours.

“Snapchat is the prime example of what happens when you don’t have enough people of color building a product,” wrote Bay Area software engineer Katie Zhu in an essay she wrote about deleting the app and leaving the service. In a tech world that hires mostly white men, the absence of diverse voices means that companies can be blind to design decisions that are hurtful to their customers or discriminatory.

A Snapchat spokesperson told ProPublica that the company has recently hired someone to lead their diversity recruiting efforts.

But this isn’t just Snapchat’s problem. Discriminatory design and decision-making affects all aspects of our lives: from the quality of our health care and education to where we live to what scientific questions we choose to ask. It would be impossible to cover them all, so we’ll focus on the more tangible and visual design that humans interact with every day.

I will include this next link…written by actress Gabrielle Union: ‘Birth of a Nation’ actress Gabrielle Union: I cannot take Nate Parker rape allegations lightly – LA Times

On with more links from the dump:


Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom | History | Smithsonian

imageThe worse it gets, as I wade and stumble through the Great Dismal Swamp, the better I understand its history as a place of refuge. Each ripping thorn and sucking mudhole makes it clearer. It was the dense, tangled hostility of the swamp and its enormous size that enabled hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of escaped slaves to live here in freedom.

Meet Ava, a Bronze Age Woman From the Scottish Highlands | Smart News | Smithsonian

A forensic artist has recreated the face of a woman alive 3,700 years ago

Mother Teresa is now a Saint: Mother Teresa: The humble sophisticate – BBC News

Back to murder and mayhem and misery:



‘It’s terrifying’: Alaskans on edge after unsolved murders on trails and in parks | US news | The Guardian

  • Anchorage has had 25 homicides this year and nine deaths remain unsolved
  • Police issue advisory this week urging residents to be ‘extra aware’

image‘Ghost snake’ discovered in Madagascar

Researchers discovered a new snake species in Madagascar and named it “ghost snake” for its pale grey coloration and elusiveness. They found the ghost snake on a recently opened path within the well-traveled Ankarana National Park in northern Madagascar in February 2014. They studied the snake’s physical characteristics and genetics, which verified that it is a new species. The researchers from the LSU Museum of Natural Science, the American Museum of Natural History and the Université de Mahajunga in Madagascar named it Madagascarophis lolo, pronounced “luu luu,” which means ghost in Malagasy. Their work was published in the scientific journal, Copeia, today.

imageLiving with the risk of Alzheimer’s disease — ScienceDaily

What are the expectations of persons who decide to have their risk of Alzheimer’s Disease tested? What should doctors pay attention to when ascertaining individual risks? What is the benefit of risk determination for patients and their close others, while options to treat the disease remain insufficient? According to current estimates, the number of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease worldwide is 40 million – and rising. The burdens imposed on the patients, on their caregivers, and on society are considerable.

imageWell, there is something here…New Drug Shows Promise In Stopping Alzheimer’s From Developing : HEALTH : Tech Times

Six animals teaching scientists about limb regeneration | Tampa Bay Times

Wouldn’t it be amazing if a person who lost a limb could simply grow it back? It happens all the time in the animal kingdom. Sea Cucumbers, for instance, don’t need to die when they lose internal organs. They simply grow new ones in a process called regeneration. We use regeneration to grow new toenails and small parts of our liver and brain. But why can’t we regrow other important body parts, like legs or lungs? Scientists are studying an array of animals and insects in order to understand regeneration and how it can further help us.

Viking Burials Included Board Games | Mental Flossimage

From Viking graves to immigrant graves…Three cultures in one city

This investigative study examines the unique burial traits of three cemeteries in Ybor City, Florida founded by immigrant mutual-aid societies in the early 20th century. By thorough documentation and careful analysis, an argument for their potential National Register eligibility will be crafted to further support their preservation. Cemeteries on a whole deserve better protection, both locally and nationally, as they inherently deal with different circumstances than structures or buildings face in terms of eligibility. This thesis serves to highlight the underappreciated burial typologies found in the three mutual-aid society cemeteries in Ybor City.

Meanwhile in Iceland…what out for angry elves: Icelandic Construction Workers Dig Up ‘Enchanted’ Rock to Placate Angry Elves | Mental Floss

And also, check it out: In Iceland, Drawing a Map on Your Mail Works Just as Well as an Address | Mental Floss

Our last link for the day.

Shinya Kato’s Surreal Cabinet Cards

“Life Goes On,” an exhibition by the Japanese artist Shinya Kato, opened last week at +81 Gallery, in New York. Kato uses a painting knife to apply layers of color to nineteenth-centurycabinet cards.



More cards at the link above…

And that is all I have for you today.

This is an open thread.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



12 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Morbid Melancholy Blues ”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Have a good day y’all

  2. Beata says:

    JJ, you always come up with the most fascinating stories and photographs! I learn so much from them. The old gravestones are especially interesting. I used to enjoy visiting old cemeteries.

    On the subject of morbid stories: I’ve been doing genealogy to get my mind off politics. I’m researching my colonial ancestors, particularly those in Plymouth Colony. I found one ancestor, Alice Martin, who probably came over on the Mayflower as a very young child ( the Mayflower Society does not “recognize” her, perhaps for good reasons ). She was most likely the daughter of Christopher and Mary Martin who died during the first winter in the new Colony.

    Alice Martin married a man named Richard Bishop. Richard was known to steal spades and sheep from his Plymouth Colony neighbors. But it is Alice who is infamous. She was found guilty of killing her 4-year-old daughter, Martha, in a very gruesome manner and became the first woman to be hanged in Colonial America.

    It’s very strange to find out that I am descended from this woman! Obviously, I am hundreds of years removed from her ( thank god ) but it is still unnerving. I wish I hadn’t found out about it.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      That would be disturbing, Beata.
      I’m sure that you’re also descended from many wonderful people, too and those are the ones whom you resemble.

  3. Fannie says:

    The Cemetery Symoblism, must have come from the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Ga. Where the old Civil War Cemetery is located. I have family buried there.

    I love the Laurel Leaf, my favorite. Read the dementia and it’s really something that Hillary Clinton to addressing in her Mental Illness reforms. Kind of scary to read those who suffered from Strokes.

    Liked Deep in the Swamp and Fugitive Slaves. Reminds me, Free State of Jones will be released in video next week. Where my ancestors hail from.

    I am glad BB is home, and you’re watching her closely. July 3, I came down with the intestinal bug, or food poisoning, it was something I’ve never had, not like that. It’ is still fresh in my mind.

    Beata, my Hopkins came over on the Mayflower……….I have never heard about Alice Martin. Would like to know more about her and daughter.

    • Beata says:

      Fannie, the Alice Martin Clarke Bishop case is a true-life Plymouth Colony murder mystery. There is an entire blog, written by two of her descendants, devoted to investigating the crime.

      One of the blog posts attempts to reconstruct the events surrounding the murder of Alice’s 4-year-old daughter, Martha Clarke, one of two children from Alice’s first marriage to George Clarke. There are many unanswered questions about the crime. The post includes Plymouth Colony court records from the inquest and trial in which Gov. William Bradford and Capt. Miles Standish were present.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Wow! What a lot of interesting links and the cabinet card art is so kewl!! Hope Bebe is doing better!!

  5. MsMass says:

    Yes!!! someone is finally pointing the finger at Trump!! Keep it up, this has to be done over and over.

  6. janicen says:

    Iceland seems like an awesome place. I can’t wait to visit sometime.

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    Thanks for the comments… Our internet has been extremely difficult lately. I haven’t been able to see what has been going on in the world. I’m sure it is all the same shit.