SS Edmund Fitzgerald

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was owned by the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and was registerd in the Port of Milwaukee. She first launched in 1958, built by Great Lakes Engineering Works.

She was a lake freighter 729 feet in length, 75 feet wide, and carried taconite ore pellets from mines near Duluth, Minnesota to ports in Detroit, Toledo and others. She was the largest ship to haul iron ore on the Great Lakes.

On her final voyage the Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin (Nov 9, 1975) with a full load (25,400 tons). With a seasoned crew and Captain (Ernest M. McSorley) on board, they were joined by a second freighter, SS Arthur M. Anderson. The weather turned bad the next day.

The Arthur M. Anderson received two messages from the Edmund Fitzgerald. The first  “I have a bad list, lost both radars. And am taking heavy seas over the deck. One of the worst seas I’ve ever been in.” and the second, and last, was “We are holding our own.”

Only two empty lifeboats were found and no crew. A U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft found the sunken ship 4 days later. The Edmund Fitzgerald was broken in half and some have recently speculated that the front was on a giant wave and the rear on another tearing the hull in half.

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Microdots are text micronized into, usually, a round dot, typically the size of a period or the dot at the top of say an i or j.

It was in Paris, 1870, France was under siege, when photographer René Dagron used a photographic technique to make important documents small enough for the pigeons to carry. It was 1925 when Emanuel Goldberg came up with a two step process to make the dots smaller, down to 0.1 square mm. This density is comparable to the entire text of the Bible fifty times over in one square inch. Microdots have been used for wartime purposes as well as espionage.

For more on Microdots, read this Wikipedia article and check out everything2.

The DEW Line

When watching the 1950’s move The Deadly Mantis they based the origin of the creature in ice above the DEW line. A nice explanation was given in the movie and peaked my interest.

[From Wikipedia] The Distant Early Warning Line, also known as the DEW Line or Early Warning Line, was a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska (see Project Stretchout and Project Bluegrass), in addition to the Faroe IslandsGreenland, and Iceland. It was set up to detect incoming Soviet bombers during the Cold War, and provide early warning of any sea-and-land invasion.

A rough map of the three warning lines. From north to south: the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, Mid-Canada Line, and Pinetree Line.

The DEW Line was the northernmost and most capable of three radar lines in Canada and Alaska. The first of these was the joint Canadian-US Pinetree Line, which ran from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island just north of the Canadian border, but even while it was being built there were concerns that it would not provide enough warning time to launch an effective counterattack. The Mid-Canada Line (MCL) was proposed as an inexpensive solution using a new type of radar. This provided a “trip wire” warning located roughly at the 55th parallel, giving commanders ample warning time, but little information on the targets or their exact location. The MCL proved largely useless in practice, as the radar return of flocks of birds overwhelmed signals from aircraft.

The DEW Line was proposed as a solution to both of these problems, using conventional radar systems that could both detect and characterize an attack, while being located far to the north where they would offer hours of advanced warning. This would not only provide ample time for the defenses to prepare, but also allow the Strategic Air Command to get its active aircraft airborne long before Soviet bombers could reach their bases. The need was considered critical and the construction was given the highest national priorities. Advanced site preparation began in December 1954, and the construction was carried out in a massive logistical operation that took place mostly during the summer months when the sites could be reached by ships. The 63-base Line reached operational status in 1957. The MCL was shut down in the early 1960s, and much of the Pinetree line was given over to civilian use.

In 1985, as part of the “Shamrock Summit“, the US and Canada agreed to transition DEW to a new system known as the North Warning System (NWS). Beginning in 1988, most of the original DEW stations were deactivated, while a small number were upgraded with all-new equipment.[1] The official handover from DEW to NWS took place on 15 July 1993.

The Varsity

I’ve been eating at The Varsity since I was born.  Daddy worked at Automobile Glass back then,  which wad located in the parking lot of the downtown location of The Varsity.  When we would go on school trips to Atlanta,  they would stop at The Varsity for lunch.  Mother loved Hastings,  A lawn and garden place,  located across the three street from  The Varsity Jr., Lindbergh and Cheshire Bridge Road. We would eat at The Varsity in Athens when going to Georgia events.  I don’t know how many times we went to the downtown Varsity after a concert!. The Varsity has always been one of my favorites.
[From] “What’ll ya have… What’ll ya have?” There’s no friendlier greeting than the one you’ll receive when you step up to the counter at The Varsity. And that’s just the beginning of what makes The Varsity so special. There’s not a faster, fresher, or more fun-filled dining experience like it anywhere! Gordy family-owned and operated since 1928, The Varsity is a downtown Atlanta institution, and The World’s Largest Drive-in Restaurant.
Visiting The Varsity before a big game, or anytime for a quick, delicious meal is more than just dining out, it’s experiencing an iconic part of Atlanta’s culture. Now, with six locations and growing, The Varsity is the nearly ninety year-old fun place to eat that keeps getting better with age.

Varsity Timeline

Skinwalker Ranch

[From Wikipedia] Skinwalker Ranch, also known as Sherman Ranch, is a property located on approximately 512 acres (207,2 ha) southeast of BallardUtah that is reputed to be the site of paranormal and UFO-related activities.[1] Its name is taken from the skin-walker of Navajo legend concerning vengeful Shaman.

UFO reports in the Uintah Basin were publicized during the 1970s.[2] Claims about the ranch first appeared in 1996 in the Salt Lake City, Utah Deseret News,[3] and later in the alternative weekly Las Vegas Mercury as a series of articles by investigative journalist George Knapp. These early stories detailed the claims of a family that allegedly experienced inexplicable and frightening events after they purchased and occupied the property.


[From Wikipedia} Dendrochronology (or tree-ring dating) is the scientific method of dating tree rings (also called growth rings) to the exact year they were formed. As well as dating them this can give data for dendroclimatology, the study of climate and atmospheric conditions during different periods in history from wood.
Dendrochronology is useful for determining the precise age of samples, especially those that are too recent for radiocarbon dating, which always produces a range rather than an exact date. However, for a precise date of the death of the tree a full sample to the edge is needed, which most trimmed timber will not provide. It also gives data on the timing of events and rates of change in the environment (most prominently climate) and also in wood found in archaeology or works of art and architecture, such as old panel paintings. It is also used as a check in radiocarbon dating to calibrate radiocarbon ages.[1]
New growth in trees occurs in a layer of cells near the bark. A tree’s growth rate changes in a predictable pattern throughout the year in response to seasonal climate changes, resulting in visible growth rings. Each ring marks a complete cycle of seasons, or one year, in the tree’s life.[1] As of 2013, the oldest tree-ring measurements in the Northern Hemisphere are a floating sequence extending from about 12,580 to 13,900 years.[2] Dendrochronology derives from Ancient Greekδένδρον (dendron), meaning “tree”, χρόνος (khronos), meaning “time”, and -λογία (-logia), “the study of”.[3]

Oak Island

[From Wikipedia] Oak Island is a 57-hectare (140-acre) privately owned island in Lunenburg County on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. The tree-covered island is one of about 360 small islands in Mahone Bay and rises to a maximum of 11 metres (36 feet) above sea level. The island is located 200 metres (660 feet) from shore and connected to the mainland by a causeway and gate. The nearest community is the rural community of Western Shore which faces the island, while the nearest village is Chester. The island is best known for various theories about possible buried treasure or historical artifacts, and the associated exploration.

Oak Island has been a subject for treasure hunters ever since the late 1700s, with rumours that Captain Kidd‘s treasure was buried there. While there is little evidence to support what went on during the early excavations, stories began to be published and documented as early as 1856. Since that time there have been many theories that extend beyond that of Captain Kidd which include among others religious artifacts, manuscripts, and Marie Antoinette‘s jewels. The “treasure” has also been prone to criticism by those who have dismissed search areas as natural phenomena.[21] Areas of interest on the island with regard to treasure hunters include a location known as the “Money Pit”, which is allegedly the original searchers’ spot. There is also a formation of boulders called “Nolan’s Cross”, named after a former treasure hunter with a theory on it, and a triangle-shaped swamp. Lastly, there has been searcher activity on a beach at a place called “Smith’s Cove”. Various objects including non-native coconut fibre have been found there.[14] More recent archaeological discoveries in the ‘Smith’s Cove” area have included an allegedly pre-15th century lead cross and various wooden earthworks.[22][23]

More than fifty books have been published recounting the island’s history and exploring competing theories.[24] Several works of fiction have also been based upon the Money Pit, including The Money Pit MysteryRiptideThe Hand of Robin Squires, and Betrayed: The Legend of Oak Island. In January 2014, the History Channel began airing a reality TV show called The Curse of Oak Island about a group of modern treasure hunters. These hunters include brothers Rick and Marty Lagina of the “Michigan Group”.[25][26][27] The series has documented finds such as centuries-old coins, an antique brooch, and a lead cross that was allegedly made between 1200 and 1600 A.D.[28]

The Fox Theatre’s Mighty Mo

I read in the February 5, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Fox Theatre’s 90 year old Moller pipe organ was hauled to Lithonia, Georgia. The A. E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Company will be doing the more than half a million dollar repair and restoration.

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