Saturday Scenes

Thu 26 July 2012

Aces High

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:25

On the 21st of July in 1865, two men drew their weapons. Only one man walked away. It was a shootout between Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt – one of the few documented quick-draw gunfights in a public place that became the keystone of Westerns on film and TV. Hickok and Bill argued over poker and over the course of a few days, the argument had heated up to the point where neither could back down. On the evening of the 21st, the two men stood at opposite corners of the town square, about 50 yards apart from each other. Both men fired. Tutt missed but Hickok’s bullet struck home. Tutt called out, “Boys, I’m killed” before he collapsed and died. The bullet had gone straight through his heart.

The Killing of David Tutt, 1865, Springfield, Greene County, Missouri

Bill’s shot was a fine one, but it is said by those who knew him well that it was a chance shot, for it is averred that when here as he had fired and seen that his shot had taken effect Bill handed over his pistols to the sheriff, who came up, and informed that officer he was his prisoner. A few minutes afterward Bill was observed riding leisurely up South street taking the morning air. The circuit court was in session at the time. Bill was promptly indicted, arrested on a bench warrant, and brought to trial. He was vigorously prosecuted by the circuit attorney, Maj. R. W. Fyan, and ably defended by Hon. John S. Phelps. Witnesses testified that they heard two shots, and that the first came from near where Tutt’s body was found. The empty chamber of Tutt’s revolver was exhibited, and upon the ground of “reasonable doubt” that Hickok was the aggressor, the jury acquitted him.

Hickok continued to play poker and eleven years later he was holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, all black. He was shot in the back by a buffalo hunter called John McCall and the cards that Hickok was holding have since been known as the dead man’s hand.

Meanwhile, on the 21st of July in 2012, the following photographs were thrown into the pot:

And here are the cool hands who raised the ante with such marvellous photographs:

Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!

Thu 19 July 2012

Is there Life on Mars?

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:22

On the 14th of July in 1965, the Mariner 4 took the first close-up photographs of Mars, which were also the first photographs of another planet taken from space. The Mariner 4 was designed to fly by Mars to collect scientific data and to snap a series of photos. The trip to the planet Mars was a major success but also led to major disappointment. Before that time, it was believed that Mars may have an atmosphere and sentient life.

It sent back the first pictures taken of another planet from space: 21 high quality images of the barren surface of Mars.

Mariner IV

Now came the moment of truth – had we really obtained pictures? After the six hour delay for the 40,000 pixels (picture elements) to be transmitted the first picture was displayed. But what was that just above the limb? A cloud? Impossible. Everyone knew there weren’t clouds on Mars – it must be a crack in the camera lens. Oh, no, another instrument failure. Of course, as it later turned out there really are clouds on Mars. And then the real wonder came – picture after picture showing that the surface was dotted with craters! It appeared uncannily like that of our own Moon, deeply cratered, and unchanged over time. No water, no canals, no life. Right at the limit of vision, apparently those early observers had barely seen little dots, and arranged them into straight lines. Although at first great elation gripped the crew at realizing we had really done it, that was tempered by what had been revealed.

You can see the photographs that the Mariner IV took here: Mariner 4

And you can see the photographs taken of life and land forty-seven years later, on the 14th of July in 2012, right here!

And here are the visionaries who took them:

We want to see MORE photographs of places! Next Saturday, take a photograph and then tweet the location of your photograph to @SatScenes to be included. Special bonus points if you send in a photograph from Mars!

Thu 12 July 2012

First Contact

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:59

On the 7th of July in 1534, French navigator Jacques Cartier made contact with aborigines in Canada, the first known encounter between Europeans and First Nations. Cartier’s brief was to find a western passage to Asia as well as “discover certain islands and lands where it is said that a great quantity of gold and other precious things are to be found.” He explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the world’s largest estuary, and landed somewhere near present-day Quebec City. There he traded in furs with an unknown tribe which was probably the Micmacs and with the St. Lawrence Iroquois. By all accounts the tribes were happy to have new trade opportunities and an alliance was agreed.

A few weeks later, Cartier planted a ten-metre cross with “Long Live the King of France” inscribed upon it.

CARTIER, JACQUES (1491-1557) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

On 24 July Cartier erected a cross 30 ft. high, bearing the arms of France, at Penouille Point. If the crosses at Saint-Servan and on Île Brion were rather in the nature of landmarks or beacons, this one was much more: it is clear from the importance of the ceremony that the cross was intended to indicate that the territory was being taken possession of in the name of François I.

Chief Donnacona protested; he approached Cartier’s boat with his brother and three of his sons to harangue the strangers. A pretence was made of offering him an axe. As he was about to take it, the French held on to his craft and forced the Iroquois to come on board the ship. Cartier reassured them and obtained permission to take away with him two of Donnacona’s sons, Domagaya and Taignoagny, promising to bring them back.

Jacques Cartier went on to create the settlement at Stadacona which became Quebec City. The St. Lawrence Iroquois had disappeared completely by the end of the 1500s.

Meanwhile, on the 7th of July in 2012, the following photographs were preserved for posterity:

And here are the future historians who took them:

Would you like to include your photograph in our collection? It’s simple to join in:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!

Thu 5 July 2012

Also Known as Funambulism

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:52

On the 30th of June in 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin was the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Born in 1824, The Great Blondin first appeared in public at age five and quickly made a name for himself as a tightrope walker in France and then in the United States and the United Kingdom. He became famous crossing Niagara Falls near Rainbow Bridge on a tightrope 8.3cm (3¼ in) in diameter and almost half a kilometre (over a quarter of a mile) long. He was just 50m (160 ft) over the rushing water. And as if that were not enough, he crossed the bridge another 16 times.

Blondin made several more crossings of Niagara, each one more daring than the last. He crossed it blindfold, pushing a wheelbarrow; once he carried a stove, stopped half way across and cooked himself an omelette, another time he crossed on stilts. In August 1859 he crossed the gorge with his manager Harry Colcord on his back.

According to legend, Colcord claimed that the trip was truly terrifying with broken guy ropes causing the rope to swing violently and Colcord had to dismount half way across.

In 1860 the Prince of Wales watched Blondin cross Niagara Gorge. He was asked if he would like to be carried on Blondin’s back for the return journey. He refused.

Blondin continued to perform until he was in his 70s, including pushing a lion strapped into a wheelbarrow across the tightrope and riding a cycle on the tightrope. He died in 1897 at age 75 of diabetes.

Meanwhile, on the 30th of June in 2012, amazing feats of photography occurred as these Saturday Scenes were taken:

These are the daring photographers who took them:

It’s easy to join in!

Simply take a photograph on a Saturday and send the url to @SatScenes along with a location.

Follow SatScenes on Twitter to see all the photographs as they arrive and check out the Saturday Scenes 2012 list for an introduction to all our recent submitters.

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