Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fight the enemy with bacon grease!

Save Fat Poster

Recycling was popular and patriotic during the Second World War. Housewives and butchers all over the country were mobilized to collect bacon grease and cooking fat because they contain glycerin, which is used to make explosive nitroglycerin.

    One pound of waste fat equaled 1/10 of a pound of glycerine.
    1/10 pound of glycerine equaled 1/5 of a pound of nitroglycerine.
    1/5 of a pound of nitroglycerine equaled 1/3 pound of gunpowder.
    1/5 of a pound of nitroglycerine equaled ½ pound of dynamite.

The poster above was illustrated by an emigrant from Austria, Henry Koerner.  (Office of War Information poster, no. 63. 1943. 28 x 20).

It wasn’t just bacon grease that citizens were asked to recycle. See poster below.



It’s interesting how simple, nearly child-like, these cartoon ads were.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Georgia Guidestones

The strangest monument in America looms over a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia. Five massive slabs of polished granite rise out of the earth in a star pattern. The rocks are each 16 feet tall, with four of them weighing more than 20 tons apiece. Together they support a 25,000-pound capstone. Read more HERE.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Waterview Tower

The building in the accompanying photo suggests a project in construction, but that's not exactly the case. More accurately it's a photo of a project gone bust. In this case, the developer was Ivan Dvorak, president and CEO of Teng & Associates, a well respected local architectural and engineering firm. Dvorak, as did many developers, got caught midstream without final financing arranged and could not continue. Today, his incomplete project stands in downtown Chicago as a grim reminder of why the vast majority of us are averse to risk. See the full story HERE

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009


1 km from Krasnosilka, Odes'ka Oblast (Ukraine)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Connie Converse

One by one, the years passed from the 1974 summer day when Connie Converse packed up her Volkswagen Bug, leaving behind letters to loved ones that said maybe they'd see her again or maybe they wouldn't.

And one by one, the odds grew against the chance that anyone outside those who knew her would ever hear the dozens of folk songs that friends and family always believed would make Converse famous.

Now, nearly 35 years after she gave up on her music and perhaps her life, Converse's music is being resurrected by an indie record label run by two New Yorkers who stumbled upon her recordings.

Read the rest of this San Fransisco Chronicle story HERE. Hear the music HERE.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

War of the Worlds - Quito, Ecuador - 1949

It known in the U.S. is another War of the Worlds radio broadcast, but this one took place in Quito, Ecuador in 1949. It's an even stranger story that the one we know from 1938, when Orson Welles caused a panic on Halloween Night with his original broadcast. See this link: