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The Days of Ramming

Ironclad USS Katahdin, 1893

The construction of the ram, USS Katahdin was sponsored by Rear Admiral Daniel Ammen, an advocate of a coastal defense navy. Ammen was impressed by the British torpedo ram HMS Polyphemus and wanted a similar vessel for the US Navy. However, unlike Polyphemus, which was primarily a torpedo boat, with ramming a secondary function, the American design was for a pure ram, with no torpedoes carried.

Ramming wasn’t a bad idea back when most of the world’s warships were constructed of wood.


Setting a Fuse on a Naval Mine

This is how it’s done.


What Happened to the Dinosaurs?

In case any of you are wondering what happened to the dinosaurs, here’s a baby blue heron…


And after the dinosaurs shrank —

Other megafauna arrived and are still here.

And they have no respect for you. Or for your car, driving down the road in the dusk at 75 mph.

And in the ocean? (formerly space) Aliens live there and are happy living there. They don’t appreciate it when the Chinese fishing fleet arrives and turns the place into a wasteland.

The Chinese consider space aliens to be a delicacy. Wait until the mother ship arrives and the tables are turned — on the table. It will start with unwholesome probing.


Truth in Advertising

Have you ever wondered where artificial raspberry, vanilla or strawberry flavor comes from?

These are the dried perineal glands of the beaver. They contain castoreum — a food additive usually listed as ‘natural flavoring’ in the ingredient list.

Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver, it is a yellowish secretion in combination with the beaver’s urine, used during scent marking of territory. In the USA, castoreum as a food additive is considered by the FDA to be generally recognized as safe, often referenced simply as a “natural flavoring” in products’ lists of ingredients. While it can be used in both foods and beverages as a vanilla, raspberry and strawberry flavoring.


Maybe I should have saved this for a Sermonette?

19 thoughts on “Mish-Mash

  1. That Dennis!

    As to Blue Heron, one of the most enjoyable things I do with my boat is to go on Belleville Lake and cruise the shoreline looking for a blue heron. They are hard to spot. Scherie is good at spotting them.
    We then wait, watching each other, and eventually he’ll start to leave, wherein we heave around at full throttle and chase him across the lake, he at a about 15′ above the water, usually in a circle to where he’ll land right where we met.
    I swear he enjoys the game as much as I do. they are so graceful.
    But I’ve never seen a chick like the one pictured. Wow.

  2. Glad that particular evolutionary line took the turns that it did. If T-rex et all were around today I don’t know how much competition humans would be. Of course we would have evolved differently just in response to the big angry dinosaurs. Maybe.

      1. I’m pretty sure fire would have worked just as well on T-Rex (tastes like chicken!) as it did on all the other megafauna we drove to extinction, by chasing them off cliffs.

        Big predators, with their low sustainable populations and slow replacement rates, are especially vulnerable to accidentally being made extinct by the monkey people.

  3. “RAMMING SPEED!” Imagine the noise when that hits something.

    Beaver testicles…uh, ok. What the hey! The food companies sure do get creative with food additives. Who comes up with this stuff? I suspect if we knew what goes into some of our foods we’d rather eat our grass out front…before the dog does his business of course.

    Dennis the Menace…hehe.

      1. They don’t go in that deep. Just far enough to crush the timbers, then withdraw, having left a 10′ hole in the side.

    1. Not beaver testicles, but perineal glands, which are located near the anus. They produce malodorous fluid that makes shit even stinkier as a way of marking territory. The anal glands of dogs and cats are perineal glands.

      1. And I’m married to a veterinarian who deals with anal glands all the time and should know better.

  4. One of my high school buddies, Brian, was a farm kid.
    He was also a smart farm kid in the college prep classes.
    Farm kids have access to all kinds of interesting things and knowledge that city kids do not.
    Fertilizer, acetylene, carbide in Mason jars, blasting caps, plumbing fittings, firearms, knowledge regarding fermentation and distillation often garnered from uncles yield a lot of enternaining moments on the farm
    But, farm kids are always short on cash. Money is usually scarce and you live too far out in the country to get steady employment like mowing lawns and such.
    So, Brian ran a trap line. He did not target the typical fur bearers.
    His money came from skunks.
    He trapped them with steel leg traps, shot them through the spine with a .22 short so they could not spray, dispatched them, and then removed their scent glands which he sold to a dealer who sold them to perfume manufactures the world over.

    I will be looking closer at ingredients for “Natural Flavoring”.

  5. One of the joys of the internet, well, maybe the only, is to satisfy my inquisitive nature in moments with knowledge at my very finger tips. And then I learn about castoreum. For better or worse, I am a tad smarter than I was a moment ago.

    1. Come here for all your arcane knowledge inquiries… all the stuff you were sure you didn’t need to know.

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