Saturday Scenes

Wed 27 January 2010

Ghost of a Chance

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 13:05

On 23 January in 1897 Elva Zona Heaster was found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband, Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue, is said to be the only known case in which testimony from a ghost helped convict a murderer.

From The Greenbrier Ghost on Dead Men Do Tell Tales:

Because of Shue’s obvious grief, Knapp gave the body only a cursory examination, although he did notice some bruising on her neck. When he tried to look closer, Shue reacted so violently that the physician ended the examination and he left. Initially, he listed her cause of death as “everlasting faint” and then as “childbirth”.

Shue almost got away with it, although there was talk about his odd behaviour at her burial. But the victim’s mother was convinced that he had murdered his wife and she prayed for proof. She received it in the form of a recurring dream:

Over the course of four dark nights, the spirit of Zona Shue appeared at her mother’s bedside. She would come as a bright light at first and then the apparition would take form, chilling the air in the entire room. She would awaken her mother from her sleep and explain over and over again how her husband had murdered her. Trout Shue had been abusive and cruel, she said and had attacked her in a fit of rage because he thought she had not cooked any meat for supper. He had then savagely broken her neck and to show this, the ghost turned her head completely around until she was facing backwards.

They disinterred the corpse and found that the woman’s neck had indeed been broken. Shue claimed there was not enough evidence to convict him but the ghost story convinced the jury and Shue was sentenced to life in prison.

You can read the whole story here: The Greenbrier Ghost on Dead Men Do Tell Tales.

On the 23rd of January 2010, a selection of photographs were submitted for your perusal. I think you’ll be convinced that they are a sight to behold:

These are the fine people who submitted their photographs despite a complete lack of nagging! Go see what they have to say :

We’d love to see your photos, too! Just take a picture on a Saturday and send it to SatScenes with a location.

Wed 20 January 2010

It Don’t Mean a Thing

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:55

On the 16th of January 1932, Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, an original composition with lyric by Irving Mills.

Here is a performance from 1943 on YouTube:

YouTube – Duke Ellington – It don’t mean a thing (1943)

I highly recommend that you take three minutes out of your day just to listen. The comments are very informative as well – a miracle on YouTube!

And then, feast your eyes on these photographs.

On Saturday the 16th of January in 2010 these original compositions were taken by some serious swingers on Twitter:

Want to know more about the photographers? Click through and follow!

Next week I won’t be around much on Saturday as I have to pretend to be a grown-up. But you can watch the images arrive real time as they arrive just by clicking on the Saturday Scenes list which includes all of our recent participants. Go forth and give each other some retweet love, OK?

Wed 13 January 2010

Far Less Beautiful

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:04

On 9 January, 1493, an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus was sailing off of the coast of Hispaniola when he saw three mermaids. He seemed somewhat disappointed by the sight. In his log, he is said to have written: “In a bight at the coast of Hispaniola I saw three Sirens, but they were far less beautiful than Horaz described them...for somehow in the face they look like men.”

What did he see?

Something that looked like this:

This Day in History 1493: Columbus mistakes manatees for mermaids

Mermaid sightings by sailors, when they weren’t made up, were most likely manatees, dugongs or Steller’s sea cows (which became extinct by the 1760s due to over-hunting). Manatees are slow-moving aquatic mammals with human-like eyes, bulbous faces and paddle-like tails. It is likely that manatees evolved from an ancestor they share with the elephant. The three species of manatee (West Indian, West African and Amazonian) and one species of dugong belong to the Sirenia order. As adults, they’re typically 10 to 12 feet long and weigh 800 to 1,200 pounds. They’re plant-eaters, have a slow metabolism and can only survive in warm water.

I think I’d be pretty disappointed to see those mermaids too...

But there’s no way you’ll be disappointed with these photographs taken on the 9th of January 2010! This Saturday was clearly a perfect day for photography; just look at all these great submissions:

Take a moment to find out more about the people who submit to Saturday Scenes. I can vouch for them all as fun and friendly folk:

Taking part is easy – just take a photo on a Saturday and tweet the url to @SatScenes to be included in next week’s round-up!

Wed 6 January 2010

Vulcan

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 18:59

On the 2nd of January, 1860, the discovery of the planet Vulcan was announced at a lecture at the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

Mercury’s orbit had long been known to be eccentric, ranging from 46 million to 70 million kilometers away from the sun. Urbain Le Verrier believed that the orbital deviations were caused by an as yet unidentified mass on the far side of Mercury – specifically a planet or an asteroid belt. He believed the planet had not been detected because of its nearness to the sun. Another French astronomer excitedly pointed out that he had seen “a round black spot” which he believed could be a planet transiting the Sun.

Le Verrier decided that this was almost certainly the intra-Mercurial planet he’d predicted, which he named Vulcan. Le Verrier hoped that it would be possible to spot Vulcan during a solar eclipse but unfortunately, confirmed sightings of the planet remained elusive. The question of Vulcan became a huge controversy, with excitement peaking in 1878, a year after Le Verrier’s death.

The Planet That Wasn’t by Isaac Asimov (warning, annoying pop-up windows)

As the nineteenth century closed, photography was coming into its own. There was no more necessity to make feverish measurements before the eclipse was over, or to try to make out clearly what was going on across the face of the Sun before it was all done with. You took photographs and studied them at leisure.

With that, hope for the existence of Vulcan flickered nearly to extinction. Yet Mercury’s perihelion did move. If Newton’s law of gravitation was correct (and no other reason for supposing its incorrectness had arisen in all the time since Newton) there had to be some sort of gravitational pull from inside Mercury’s orbit.

And, of course, there was, but it originated in a totally different way from that which anyone had imagined. In 1915, Albeit Einstein explained the matter in his General Theory of Relativity.

And 150 years later, on the 2nd of January, 2010, these shining stars of Twitter submitted photographs to be featured on Saturday Scenes … and here they are:

Isn’t this week’s set is full of fun? It seems like there’s a lot of personality shining through the snapshots.

The submitters:

You can find out what all of these great people are up to simply by checking the Saturday Scenes list which includes all recent participants.

And if you’d like to join in, just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

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