22 November 2021 - THE RED BARON'S GRAVE




G'day folks,

Baron Manfred von Richthofen—known simply as the ‘Red Baron’—was a famed fighter pilot in the German Air Force during World War I.

Credited with 80 air combat victories, the Red Baron met his demise when he was shot by a soldier in April 1918. It is surmised that Gunner W. J. “Snowy” Evans—a soldier with the Royal Australian Artillery— is likely the one to have killed the famed pilot. 

 Six pilots of a similar rank served as pallbearers at his first funeral. He was later moved to a cemetery in Berlin. There, a huge monument was placed on his grave by the Nazi government. After the war, it fell on the Soviet side of the line where the headstone and memorial were shot numerous times as people fled to West Berlin so in the early 1970s the family moved the Baron one last time to the family plot in Wiesbaden. Each year there is a memorial service around the anniversary of when he was shot down. 

Clancy's comment: He had some great victories, but all wars suck.

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G'day folks,

Biblical beasts and endangered animal preservation come together in this Israeli zoo. 

While the current Tisch Family Zoological Park has been providing visitors with a glimpse of the creatures of the Bible since 1993, its roots began decades earlier. 


 The large zoological center now known as the Tisch Family Zoological Park or simply the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo by the locals, originally began as the small passion project of a Jewish scholar who wanted to help people experience the Bible as reality as opposed to simply in the abstract. 


Aharon Shulov was a professor of zoology Jerusalem’s Hebrew University when he started his original children’s zoo in 1940. The small collection of animals were all creatures that had been named in the Bible, displayed in a public street. However due to complaints from neighbors, Shulov’s collection had to be moved to a new location. Thus began a series of moves for the collection that lasted until the early 90’s when the expanding menagerie landed in its current home in Jerusalem.

Today the 62 acre site continues Shulov’s dream to bring the animals of the Bible to the public as well as a new focus on endangered species. The park contains over 140 different species across its two main sections, the Biblical and the Endangered. Horses, monkeys, lions, exotic birds, frogs, snakes, fish, and countless other beasts are on display, giving both a religious and conservationist viewpoint to the exhibits. Species that are extinct in Israel are even bred in captivity to help repopulate their numbers.

Clancy's comment: A wonderful effort to preserve creatures. They say a zoo is a wonderful place for animals to observe humans. 

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G'day folks,

Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. Her novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in 1960, turned Lee into a literary celebrity and won her a Pulitzer Prize. 
Despite the book’s huge success, Harper Lee never published another novel in her lifetime. In 2015, long after the public had given up on seeing anything more from her, a manuscript which she had submitted in 1957, before To Kill A Mockingbird, and was thought to be lost had resurfaced mysteriously. It was published a year later under the title Go Set a Watchman. Many years after Lee became a household name, she would say straightforwardly that the success of her first novel overwhelmed her, making it impossible for her to write a follow-up book. 

And To Kill A Mockingbird indeed was, and still is, a phenomenon. Its enduring success was unprecedented. Only a week after its publication, the novel jumped to the top of the best-seller list and remained there for 88 weeks. It was translated into some 40 languages and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Its appeal, in part, is due to the universal themes it grapples with, empathy, identity, and compassion. Harper Lee died in 2016, in her hometown of Monroeville, where she spent the latter part of her life. Here are some of the most remarkable and enduring quotes she left us.

Clancy's comment: Simple but wise words.

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 - OHIO -

G'day folks,

 This park pays homage to the region's rich industrial history of brick making.  

By the mid-1800s, the United States was well on its way to becoming an economic powerhouse. Raw materials, booming industries, and new technologies were making the country an industrialized force to be reckoned with. In Ohio, these innovations took root and grew in Hocking Valley, located in the southeastern corner of the state.

Bricks for paving and construction were crafted in this region. One of the main centers for brick making was the town of Nelsonville. By the 1880s, the biggest brick company in the area, Nelsonville Brick, was crafting 25 million bricks a year, baking them in large beehive-shaped ovens. The company slowly expanded over the next few decades and into the 20th-century.

By World War I there was less demand for brick as concrete became more prevalent. Nelsonville Brick closed around 1937, and most of the other brick factories in the area were defunct shortly thereafter during the 1940s.

 Most of the remnants of the old brick kilns were torn down, except a few that were left to slowly crumble. In 1979, a decision was made to restore several of the old kilns and revitalize the area into a small park to commemorate Nelsonville’s brick history. In 1980, the city created Brick Park on the grounds of the former Nelsonville Brick Company.

Inside the park is one fully intact kiln which can be entered and photographed, a collapsed kiln, two sizable chimneys, and a large commemoration plaque made of Nelsonville brick. Located on a very quiet and bucolic road on the outskirts of town, the Brick Park makes for a short but interesting historical walk-through. 

Clancy's comment: Bricks in all shapes and sizes have always been a part of history. Seriously, where would we be without them?

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G'day folks,

People collect all sorts of things, but pencil sharpeners? Yes, it took more than 20 years and a sharp eye for one man to assemble this quirky collection. 

Collecting pencil sharpeners and assembling them into a museum dedicated to pencil sharpeners is a kind of eccentric thing to do. Step inside the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum in Logan, Ohio and it somehow seems perfectly admirable.

The Pencil Sharpener Museum is the result of over 20 years of collecting by Ohio local, Rev. Paul A. Johnson. His wife gave him a couple of car-shaped sharpeners in the late 1980s, and his zeal for collecting was born. The sharpeners lived in a pre-fab shed in Johnson’s backyard, growing over time to over 3400 at the time he passed away in 2010. His family was holding onto them when salvation for the whole collection – and the shed – came calling in 2011. It was the Hocking Hills Welcome Center, happy to take on the job of collection custodian, and everything was moved over to their site in South Logan.  

 Just like any museum, the collection has been meticulously cataloged and preserved in protective cases. There are sharpening cars, toys, Garfields, Mickeys, Tweetybirds, tractors, airplanes, trains, U.S. presidents, panda bears. There are old ones and new ones, and some shelf-mounted classics you generally only see at the library. Try to be sharp on your puns though—the staff has heard them all.

Clancy's comment: There ya go, folks. Who'd have ever guessed?

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G'day folks,

The pandemic has caused a lot of grief to us all, but check out what some people have done in their backyards.

Work is a great distraction from everyday worries and stress, so we’re not surprised to find out that home improvement projects have peaked in the past year and a half. With all that extra free time to spend at home, many people decided to keep their minds and hands busy by transforming their weed-ridden backyards, cluttered balconies, and abandoned porches into beautiful havens, despite these challenging times. 


Clancy's comment: Well done, guys. Been there, done that.
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