Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Great Diamond Hoax

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are. The book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

The Great Diamond Hoax


In 1872, two Kentucky Prospectors, Philip Arnold and Jack Slack, brought a bag of uncut diamonds, rubies, and sapphires to the Bank of California in San Francisco. The bank president, William Ralston, was alerted to this bonanza.

Two San Francisco jewelers examined the stones and judged them to be natural and of excellent quality. Ralston said he would arrange financing for a mining venture if Arnold and Slack would show two of his men the site where the gems were found.

After a 36 hour train ride to the east and two days on mules, blindfolded, Ralston’s men reached the site. They returned to San Francisco with 7000 carats of rubies and 1000 carats of diamonds.

More Money Than You Could Ever Spend

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are. The book is available from Amazon for $16.95. and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

More More Money Than You Could Ever Spend


Remember that greedy little fellow Richard Grasso? He’s the guy who was forced out as head of the New York Stock Exchange in 2003 after his buddies on the board gave him $140 million in deferred compensation on top of his $11 million a year regular paycheck. Not content, he sued to get another $48 million he was owed.

The Legend of the Crystal Skulls

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are. The book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

The Legend of the Crystal Skulls


Dan Aykroyd founded Crystal Head Vodka. The liquor is quadruple distilled and triple filtered through Herkimer diamond crystals. (Sounds good, but I couldn’t find any Google chemists who said that pouring booze over quartz crystals does anything. Ditto for Double Cross vodka filtered through diamond dust)

The vodka comes in a clear bottle shaped like a skull. A 750 ml bottle sells for about $45. You may be able to buy it  cheaper though: 21,000 bottles of Crystal Head were stolen from a California warehouse in May, 2011.

A Twinkie is Forever

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We AreThe book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany.It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

A Twinkie is Forever


Roger Bennatti, a science teacher in Blue Hill, Maine bought a two-pack of Twinkies around 1974, ate one, and put the other one above his blackboard.

In 2005 Bennatti said “It's starting to flake off just a tad. But it's sort of an off-yellow, dusty--the bottom, you know, appears to be a little, you know, perhaps moldy, but just a little bit of the bottom of it.” Mr. Bennatti retired but the twinkie lives on in a bespoke glass case provided by his successor

Shirt-Waists are for Pantywaists

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We AreThe book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

Shirt-Waists are for Pantywaists

Do you remember reading about the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911? The fire in Manhattan killed 146 people, mainly young women garment workers. The fire led to better safety regulations and working conditions.

Shirtwaists were very popular then; Triangle was one of many factories making them. So what is a shirtwaist?

A shirtwaist was a woman’s blouse constructed like a shirt, with collar and buttons. It became a symbol of the modern independent woman in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It freed women from the voluminous floor-length dresses of their mothers. It was worn tucked into a skirt that sometimes showed a scandalous glimpse of ankle.

Shootout at the Circle K Ranch

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are. The book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

Shootout at the Circle K Ranch

In early 1974 a shooting contest was held at the Circle K Ranch in Kaufman, Texas, 35 miles southeast of Dallas. The ranch belonged to the Hunt family, oil billionaires.  Cowboys competed to be among the dozen to ride shotgun on three 707's bound for Zurich, Switzerland loaded with 40 million ounces of silver, almost 1400 tons.

Requiem for the Middle Class

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We AreThe book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

Requiem for the Middle Class

There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." Warren Buffet — The New York Times, November 26, 2006.

"The World is dividing into two blocs - the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies - economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc."

This is from leaked Citigroup internal memos from 2005 and 2006. Plutonomy: Buying luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances and Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer see the U.S. as a plutonomy, a society in which most of the wealth goes to an ever-shrinking minority. A race to the top.

It's a Spinthariscope, Kemo Sabe

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We AreThe book is available from Amazon for $16.95 and also as an ebook from itunesKobo, and Inktera for $9.99. Also from Tolino in Germany. It's fixed format so it's better on a tablet, laptop or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog, here.

It's a Spinthariscope, Kemo Sabe


See genuine atoms split to smithereens inside this Kix Atomic Bomb Ring. For just 15¢ plus a Kix cereal boxtop the Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring could have been yours in 1947.

The ring was advertised on the Lone Ranger radio show. It was also advertised in print, but  came to be known as the Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring.The contra-diction of a 19th century cowboy selling a 20th century weapon was missed, maybe because the business end of the ring bomb looked like the Lone Ranger's silver bullet. (My wife actually had one as a kid.)