Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Legendary Route of Pony Express

Young and daring horseback riders once carried U.S. mail between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, from where it was then taken by steamer to San Francisco. The service began on April 3, 1860. Its promoters hoped to prove that the central route followed by the Pony Express was better than the longer southern route used by the stagecoaches of the Butterfield Overland Mail. Senator William M. Gwin of California was the chief promoter of the Pony Express, while the freight firm of William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors backed the project financially.

Romantic view of Pony Express
The Pony Express route followed the Oregon-California Trail, along the Platte River in Nebraska, through South Pass in Wyoming. At Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the riders left the trail, swung to the south of the Great Salt Lake, and then headed due west across the salt desert to the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Carson City, Nevada, and then across the Sierra Nevada into California and on to Sacramento. Relay stations stood 10 to 15 miles apart along the route.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The world’s first video game

The world’s first video game, OXO, was invented in 1952. As the title suggests, it was simple tic-tac-toe, and you could only play it on the EDSAC computer at the University of Cambridge. (Watch it in action here.) The fun didn’t really get started until the late 1960′s, when Robert Baer, Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch developed a ping pong game you could play on your television. The video below shows Baer and Harrison playing the game on the “brown box” — the prototype for the computer consoles that would make the 70s and 80s such wonderful, sedentary decades to be a child.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Romanov Mystery - Finally solved or endless crime story

Anastasia Romanov born June 18,1901 to the Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his wife Alexandra Fyodorvna was the youngest daughter of the four daughters the couple had. Anastasia was the younger sister of Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, and Grand Duchess Olga her only brother was Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. The claim is that on July 17, 1918 she was murdered with her entire family by the Bolshevik secret police.

Romanoy Royal family

Rumors continued to fly about the possibility of her survival due to nobody being able to clearly identify where her body had been located. The mass grave had been revealed in 1991 however only the mother, the father and three daughters had been located. The body of Alexei and one of his sisters had not been located.
In 2008 the Russians made claim that her possible survival had been disproved and that the remains of a young boy and a young girl's charred remains had been located near Ektarinburg in 2007 and that fact was they were the remains of Alexei and one of his four sisters. In March 2009 Michael Coble of the USAF DNA identification laboratory stated that all sister's had been accounted for and that nobody survived. Isn't this questionable? Did they run tests on the young boy to prove in fact that he was Alexei? Or was it a burial ground for two unidentified children?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On this day: The King Henry II of France died after fatal injury

Historically, as the representative of a nation, it was essential that a monarch remain strong and healthy. In 1559 Henri II of France was injured at a jousting tournament when a lance splintered, went into his eye and shot upwards into his brain, causing a subdural haemorrhage (a build-up of blood between the inner and outer membranes covering the brain). Although he was badly injured, the king managed to get to his chambers, where all of his physicians gathered in the hope of curing him.

Medieval tournament
Born in 1519, the future Henry II married Catherine de Medici in 1533 when they were both 14 years old. His father, King Francis I, reportedly supervised the consummation, announcing they had both shown valour in the ‘joust’. Catherine was rich but not pretty and Henry was soon in the arms of Diane de Poitiers, a beautiful, ambitious widow in her mid-thirties who became almost a queen behind the scenes. Henry had other mistresses but his two other great loves were hunting and jousting. He succeeded his father to the French throne on his 28th birthday in 1547 and in 1558 his and Catherine’s eldest son, the stunted and sickly Francis, was married to Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been brought up in France by her mother’s family, the Guises, to keep her out of the hands of the English. The French intended through her to acquire the Scottish throne.
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