Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cat Herders’ Day December 15, 2016

DIANE'S CORNER .. Celebrate Cat Herders’ Day

You’ve probably heard the saying that something is as impossible as “herding cats,” used in reference to a seemingly futile or difficult task. Granted, if you have actually attempted to literally herd a bunch of cats for some reason or the other, you would know exactly how impossible this task actually is. All of that said, as far as we know, there’s no one out there who’s actually a professional cat herder. If there were, this day would actually be for those folks. This is a day for everyone who has to face the frustration of trying to manage the unmanageable, anyone whose day to day life involves insurmountable tasks.

While the idiom that something impossible is “like herding cats” is a popular saying now, the phrase has relatively recent origins – one story has it that IT expert Dave Platt popularized the phrase when he said that “managing senior programmers is like herding cats”. What we can say is that the phrase is pretty suitable for what it describes. And while cats are independent, solitary, and easily distracted, many humans also share this characteristic. So you may well have to complete tasks that are in fact as difficult as herding cats, even if you’ve never seen or heard of a cat until now. Anyway, we know that Cat Herders’ Day was invented sometime in the last decade, and is basically one of those cheeky holidays that you can celebrate however you want.

Get ten cats and a shepherd’s crook. Herd the cats using the shepherd’s crook, and you will have just made a futile attempt at herding felines. Congratulations, for you’re now a catherd/catherdess (like a shepherd, a cowherd, or a goatherd, only less often glorified in the Geetha Govinda or in baroque opera – we’ve yet to find pastoral scenes with catherds). Now that you’ve attempted and failed the impossible, head out and thank those who accomplish them every day. From project managers to daycare workers, head out and let those who handle impossible tasks with aplomb every day know how much you appreciate and, frankly, stand in awe of them. Someone has to be there to get these tasks done, and without those who seem to be capable of herding felines of the metaphoric variety, the world may not work as well as it does. On final note, on Cat Herders’ Day, do try not to be a cat.

thanks, helen
VINTAGE FINDS (part 2) ... mysocalledcraftylife

Word of the Day


Definition: (noun) One who is habitually careless in personal appearance or work.
Synonyms:slob, pig
Usage:I could better eat with one who did not respect the truth or the laws than with a sloven and unpresentable person.


Idiom of the Day

have (one's) feet on the ground

To be and remain in a calm, stable, sensible, and pragmatic state or condition; to not be subject to extreme emotional reactions or affected by exceptional changes in one's situation.

(ray and each of his siblings were given this EXACT reindeer from their parents as their first decoration. we stiill have rays' which we put on the tree as our first decoration every year!)


Gone with the Wind Premieres in Atlanta, Georgia (1939)

American writer Margaret Mitchell only published one novel during her lifetime—Gone with the Wind—and it became one of the most popular novels in the history of American publishing. In 1939, an extraordinarily successful film version of the book was released, transferring the romantic, panoramic portrait of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods in Georgia to the big screen. The movie won 10 Academy Awards.

Jean Paul Getty (1892)

The son of an oil millionaire, Getty was an American industrialist who increased his fortune and became the richest man in the world by acquiring oil companies and obtaining rights to a tract of land in Saudi Arabia that yielded great quantities of oil. Married and divorced five times, he was known for such bizarre behavior as installing a payphone in his mansion for guests to use and refusing to pay a ransom for his grandson even after being sent the boy's ear.


The infamous rape of the Sabine women occurred at the first Consualia in ancient Rome. Consus is said to have advised Romulus to abduct the Sabine women as wives for his supporters. The sanctuary dedicated to Consus in 272 BCE was located on the Aventine Hill in Rome, and sacrifices were held there during his festival. There were also horse and chariot races in the Circus Maximus, the large arena that lay between the Palatine and Aventine hills. Two festivals were actually held in honor of Consus—one on August 21 and the other on December 15.

'Gentle Bot' Brings a Human Touch to Robotics

Robots of the future may have a more human touch, thanks to researchers at Cornell University.

'Gentle Bot' brings a human touch to robotics

1654 - A meteorological office established in Tuscany began recording daily temperature readings.

1815 - Jane Austen's "Emma" was published.

1854 - In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine was put into use.

1944 - Dr. R. Townley Paton and a small group of doctors laid the groundwork for the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration.

1964 - Canada's House of Commons approved a newly designed flag thereby dropping the Canadian "Red Ensign" flag.

2000 - The Chernobyl atomic power plant in Kiev, Ukraine, was shut down.



If You Were Born Today, December 15
You are versatile, witty, and often quite impulsive. Mentally restless, you are curious and easily bored if left without new and stimulating things to do, or at least to talk about. You are quick to take action, and often jump into new endeavors blind, figuring that you can pick up any pieces later, if need be. You can be accident-prone as a result. Very good-hearted, you easily empathize with others and while you tend to keep some distance emotionally, you readily help out anyone in need. You are a great lover of debate and any kind of friendly competition. Famous people born today: Tim Conway, Don Johnson, Adam Brody, Alex Cox.

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thanks, susan b.

 Pictures of the day

 Tiger beetle

Tiger beetles are a large group of beetles known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed. The fastest species of tiger beetle can run at a speed of 9 km/h (5.6 mph), or about 125 body lengths per second. As of 2005, about 2,600 species and subspecies are known, with the richest diversity in the Indomalayan realm, followed by the Neotropics.

 Outdoor Lights After a Snowstorm in Chicago
Picture of the Day: Outdoor Lights After a Snowstorm in Chicago A set of outdoor lights becomes encased in snow, creating an unexpectedly beautiful glowing effect

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 knit - christmas

thanks, emily

Knitting begginnersmitts final thumb


 knit - christmas
 thanks, dawn 

crochet - christmas
Gingerbread Man AmigurumisFanClub pattern by Judit Gu...
You can customize these so that the content and appearance is different in each case. Give us a surprise!!!

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 crochet - vintage
 crochet - christmas
thanks, lisa

Crochet Christmas Owl Coaster or Trivet

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thanks, carol
Homemade healthy mayonnaise
Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise

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Related image

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Sweet Potato Popcorn Pie

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CRAFTS - christmas

101+ inexpensive handmade Christmas gifts on


Stick%20horse previewb

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Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them. - Coco Chanel

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 Miniature guillotine toys that decapitated dolls were popular with children during the French Revolution. -------------------- Out of 11 babies born at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, Montana, on July 22, 2015, more than half were made up of three sets of twins. -------------------- Stig Severinsen held his breath for 22 minutes underwater—in 2012.

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CLEVER - christmasClever-Christmas-hacks-2

10 Earliest Examples Of Writing Systems
As civilization evolved, the written word became absolutely necessary for proper documentation—whether for governmental operations or retelling myths. Rediscovering ancient or extinct languages is an arduous process, often dictated by luck, but it is an invaluable tool in the study of our growth as a species.

10 Gothic Bible

Language: Gothic

The Gothic Bible (aka the Wulfila Bible) was produced in AD 350. Although only fragments survived, many of those pieces were edited during the fifth century by a Catholic priest named Salvian, who claimed that they were full of blasphemous phrases. The main reason for this was that Wulfila, like many Goths, was an Arian—someone who believed that Christ was not God but a created being. This was anathema to Catholics and their fervent belief in the Holy Trinity.

Translated in Gothic as “Little Wolf,” Wulfila was a bishop and missionary who was raised as a Goth. At age 39, Wulfila decided that it would be easier to convert the Gothic people to Christianity if they had a Bible in their own language.

As there was no alphabet and the Gothic language consisted of few words, he had to create most of it himself. Adapting the alphabet used by the Greeks, Wulfila also invented most of the words used to convey abstract ideas within the Bible. The entire book was translated—with the notable exceptions of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. The historian Philostorgius explained these omissions: The Goths were “fond of war and were in more need of restraints to check their military passions than of spurs to urge them on to deeds of war.”

9 Hieroglyphs In The Tomb Of Seth-Peribsen

Language: Egyptian

Although examples of single Egyptian hieroglyphs may be found elsewhere, the earliest known examples of full sentences of Egyptian hieroglyphs are located in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen, a pharaoh of the late second dynasty around 2740 BC.

Seth-Peribsen, the first pharaoh to use a Seth name rather than a Horus name, was buried at Umm el-Qa’ab, an ancient necropolis where many early dynastic kings were buried. However, some doubts about his reign persist because his name was omitted from king lists written during later dynasties. To refute that claim, some scholars point out that many priests during the fourth dynasty were dedicated to his funerary cult, leading some to also believe that Seth-Peribsen was a celebrated ruler of both Upper and Lower Egypt.

Confirming that point, the clay seals in Seth-Peribsen’s tomb read as follows: “Sealing of everything of Ombos (Naqada): He of Ombos [Seth] has joined the Two Lands for his son, the Dual King Peribsen.”

8 Praeneste Fibula

Language: Latin

The Praeneste fibula (aka the brooch of Palestrina) is a golden brooch with a troubled history. In 1887, a German archaeologist named Wolfgang Helbig presented it to the public for the first time at the German Archaeological Institute. He claimed to have received it from a friend who found it in Palestrina, a still-occupied ancient city about 30 kilometers (20 mi) east of Rome. Eventually, that unidentified friend was revealed to be Francesco Martinetti, an accomplished forger. Helbig was also dogged by suspicions of shady dealings, although much of them came well after his death.

Questions arose about the Praeneste fibula because there was an engraving on the 10-centimeter (4 in) brooch: “Manios had me made for Numerius.” Dating back to the seventh century BC, this is the earliest known example of Latin writing. However, as early as 1905, people suspected that the engraving was faked. In 2011, scientists used new testing methods and declared that the Praeneste fibula was genuine “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

Their evidence focused on microcrystallizations of gold in the inscription that could only have formed after centuries of existence. A 19th-century forger could not have faked this.

7 Knossos Tablets

Language: Mycenaean Greek (Linear B)

Mycenaean Greek, the oldest attested form of the Greek language, is also known as Linear B, especially when referring to the writing system. Scholars generally agree that Linear B was derived from a slightly older syllabic script known as Linear A. Linear A has been dubbed the “Minoan language” because it is found in the ruins of the Minoan civilization. For now, it’s still untranslated. However, Linear B has been translated, with nearly 200 signs found on clay tablets. These symbols range from numerals to depictions of various objects.

The majority of clay tablets with Linear B inscriptions have been discovered in Knossos on the island of Crete and in Mycenae and Pylos on mainland Greece. In 1900, British archaeologist Arthur Evans uncovered a treasure trove of tablets dating back to 1400 BC. However, the script remained undeciphered for years.

That task was eventually undertaken by amateur Michael Ventris, a mostly self-taught scholar who had seen the tablets when he was a schoolboy. The tablets were finally translated more than 50 years after their discovery. They were used mainly for recording the disbursement of goods.

6 Behistun Inscription

Language: Old Persian

For scholars, the Behistun Inscription is as invaluable in deciphering cuneiform script as the Rosetta Stone is in translating Egyptian hieroglyphs. Widely believed to be the earliest example of Old Persian, the Behistun Inscription is a rock relief carved into a cliff at Mount Bisotoun (“the place of God”) in Iran. Written by Darius the Great after his coronation in 522 BC, the Behistun Inscription is less of a historical document and more of a triumphant autobiography which sometimes borders on outright propaganda.

Old Persian, a forerunner of the modern language of Farsi, only lasted a few hundred years. Then the natural evolution of language produced something different enough to be considered new.

The meaning behind the words—as well as the true identity of the author—faded into obscurity until Sir Henry Rawlinson, the father of Assyriology, deciphered the text.

5 Instructions Of Shuruppak

Language: Sumerian

The Instructions of Shuruppak may be the greatest piece of Sumerian wisdom literature, which are writings intended to teach about the divine or how to be virtuous. They were written by an eponymous king and dedicated to his son. Similar to Proverbs in the Jewish and Christian tradition, the Instructions of Shuruppak contain lists of advice ranging from the moral to the practical.

Although the exact date of authorship is unknown, extant copies found in the ruins in Abu Salabikh have been dated to 2500 BC. The Instructions of Shuruppak were a popular teaching tool as shown by the relatively large number of copies found at other sites, with some even dating to 1500 BC.

The later version was in Akkadian, which had supplanted the Sumerian language as the premier spoken language by that time. This occurred mainly due to the conquests of Sargon of Akkad.

4 Ebla Tablets

Language: Eblaite

Found in the ancient city of Ebla, Syria, the Ebla tablets numbered more than 11,000 and were discovered in situ, an archaeological term that means “in their original positions.”

Pablo Matthiae, an Italian archaeologist, discovered them in the mid-1970s. They proved invaluable for revealing the history of an extremely prosperous kingdom throughout the third millennium BC. Eblaite, the second earliest attested Semitic language after Akkadian, is probably the most ancient language to survive in substantial form. Like many of the Mesopotamian languages, the cuneiform used by the citizens of Ebla drew heavily on the Sumerian language. Due to this and the sheer number of tablets found in Ebla, scholars have used the language to assist in the comparative study of other Semitic languages, including Hebrew.

In addition, the Ebla tablets attracted a lot of controversy because many claims were made about their confirmation of cities mentioned in the Jewish tradition. For years, the tablets were purported to contain the earliest mentions of many cities, including Jerusalem. But that has been proven to be incorrect.

3 Gezer Calendar

Language: Hebrew

The Gezer calendar is not a calendar in the sense in which we use them now, but it did contain the earliest example of the Hebrew language. Written on a piece of limestone that has been dated to the late 10th century BC, the Gezer calendar derived its name from the annual agricultural cycle written on it.

In 1908, the calendar was discovered by Irish archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister in the ancient Canaanite city of Gezer. The calendar has seven lines of text. Each line references one or two months and the appropriate action to be taken. For example, the month of Nisan is associated with the harvest of flax. However, the true purpose of the Gezer calendar is unknown. Some scholars have suggested that it might have been a schoolboy exercise or a popular folk song.

2 Markings On Oracle Bones

Language: Chinese

The oracle bones, which bore the markings of an ancient form of written Chinese, were constantly being uncovered. However, nearly all of them were found by peasants. Some people who were ignorant of the oracle bones’ value ground them into poultices to heal various ailments. Dating back to 1200 BC, these bone fragments from turtles or buffalo were inscribed with different texts and then used by the kings of the Shang dynasty to predict the future.

Wang Yirong, a Chinese antiquarian, was the first to realize their true worth after he found them on sale as “dragon bones” in Peking in 1903. Traditional Chinese medicine often recommended grinding up bones from the Pleistocene epoch.

Although initially believed to be fakes, the bones were confirmed to be authentic nearly three decades later. Furthermore, the oracle bones stopped a lot of criticism about early Chinese history, including that from scholars who had doubted the existence of the Shang dynasty.

1 Mesha Stele

Language: Moabite

The Mesha Stele, which contained writing with the Phoenician alphabet, was created by King Mesha of Moab after he successfully restored the lands of his people. Created around 860 BC, the stele describes the exploits of Mesha, including building projects, and the actions of Kemosh, the god of Moab, who returned to his people and helped them to throw off the yoke of Israel. In fact, the stele is the earliest nonbiblical reference that contains the word “Israel.”

The first European known to have seen the stele was French missionary F.A. Klein, who was led there by a local bedouin. Klein shared the information with another Frenchman, archaeologist Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau. He recognized the importance of the find because using archaeological discoveries to prove facts within the Bible was becoming extremely popular. Clermont-Ganneau sent an Arab intermediary to take a “squeeze” (a papier-mache impression) of the stele, something which proved to be quite fortuitous. When Clermont-Ganneau sent a second person to make a stamp of it, the local bedouins, perhaps enraged by local politics or an ownership dispute, broke the stele into pieces.

About 60 percent of the original stele remained. The rest was reconstructed from the squeeze procured by Clermont-Ganneau. It is now located in the Louvre.


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