Charles Schulz Born November 26, 1922

SchulzCharles M. Schulz was born on this day November 26 in the year 1922. I am not sure that many people would list the comic strip PEANUTS as great literature, but I do.  Here is a definition of great literature.  Great literature not only has a great story and great characters but helps teach us something about life that sticks with us. Those lessons can last a life time. Charles Schulz achieved all of this with Peanuts.

Schulz was once asked “If he was Charlie Brown?  His answer quite simple,  He wasn’t Charlie Brown, he was all of his characters.   I think that was the magic of Peanuts.  It was an expression of the complete human experience.   Sometimes we are Charlie Brown frustrated neglected and rejected and on other days we are Snoopy care free and ready for the next adventure. Some days we are as obnoxious as Lucy and on others we are as thoughtful as Linus.

I think all of us that grew up in the 1960s owe a debt to Mr. Schulz as he reminded us of “What Christmas is all about”. What it would be like to have our first crush and that winning isn’t everything. We have taken those lessons and passed them onto our kids. Some of us have passed them on to our grandchildren.

We know that every year we are sitting down to spend Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter with The Peanuts Gang. One evening around Christmas in the 1960s, people were sitting in an off Broadway theater to see a live production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, They were sitting in a movie theater to see A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN. And they were getting comfortable in front of their TV sets to see A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. Schulz creation dominated stage screen and TV all in one night.  Schulz has affected both the academic and theological arenas.  His comic strips can be found in college text books as well as theological works. What follows is a short biography of a man that I believe has left a legacy for all time.

Charles Monroe Schulz (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000).  He was nicknamed Sparky, which was actually the name of his first dog.  He fought in The Second World War and then set out to be a cartoonist.  All of his young life Schulz was fascinated by the funny papers, which were the part of the newspapers where comic strips were published.  In his teens he did comics for his church youth group which reflected much of the humor he would later develop in the Peanuts strip.  His father was a barber , his mother was a housewife who died as Schulz was entering the army.  Later Charlie Browns father would be a barber.

Charles Schulz Peanuts was first published in 1950 but the title was not his own.  The publishing company named the strip which was forever a disappointment to him.   He gave us many things through his strip.  He coined the phrase “security blanket.”  He gave us the Great Pumpkin which gave a new addition to Halloween.  He taught us what Happiness is… as well as giving Beethoven more publicity that he had for over 100 years.

Schulz is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited as a major influence by many later cartoonists. Calvin and Hobbes-creator Bill Watterson wrote in 2007: “Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip, so even now it’s hard to see it with fresh eyes. The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale — in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.”

Schulz wrote and drew The Peanuts comic strip for 50 years.  He did not have a staff.  He had a drawing table pens and ink.  Many cartoonists use others to draw and write their strips.  Schulz never did this.  His body of work was his own.  If he went on vacation he did two or three weeks of strips ahead of time.  In total, his work consisting of 50 years is approximately 18,600 strips.  And that is also the amount of times he made us laugh.  His complete collection of work comes to 24 volumes of books.  His last strip amazingly was published on the day he died.

With the release of The Peanuts Movie people have decide to look at Schulz life and tell the world what was wrong with him.  This  is wrong in many ways.  Charles Schulz was a private man that gave the world a huge gift.  A private man deserves his privacy even after his death.  Every one of us, to quote a very wise person “has chapters in their lives that we would not wish to be published.  “Good grief!”  So today we honor the man Charles Schulz and celebrate his work.  We raise a mug of root beer, along with Snoopy, and remember a man who both entertained us and taught us about ourselves.

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Thanksgiving History and Trivia

ThanskgivingThanksgiving History and Trivia

  • The first Thanksgiving in North America was on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. Some say it was 1578, when an explorer Martin Frobisher held a Thanksgiving celebration for surviving his journey from England. The English settlers celebrated Thanksgiving on December 4, 1619, near Jamestown Virginia. The Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in 1621, but they did not hold a true Thanksgiving until 1623.
  • The trip to Plymouth Rock took 66 days, with 105 passengers (2 died on the way), and a crew of an estimated 25-30. William Bradford wrote everything we know about the trip.
  • The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land, and were invited to the 3-day Thanksgiving meal/feast.
  • The Pilgrims did not celebrate Easter or Christmas, as they believed they were based on Pagan celebrations.
  • The Mayflower, the Pilgrims’ ship, is also called ‘Epigaea repens’.
  • A second ship called the Mayflower made a voyage from London to Plymouth Colony in 1629 carrying thirty-five passengers; the original was likely scrapped after its trip home.
  • Benjamin Franklin argued that the Turkey should be our National Bird.
  • Writer Sarah Josepha Hale pushed Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She said “Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.” She is best known for writing “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
  • The traditional cornucopia is a traditional harvest festival symbol, and was originally a curved goat’s horn filled to brim with fruits and grains.
  • Turkeys are Native To North America
  • A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
  • Male Turkeys are called Toms, female turkeys are called Hens and baby turkeys are called Poults.
  • In the United States, 32 counties, places and townships are named Plymouth.
  • Minnesota is the top turkey producing state.
  • Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major pumpkin growing states. North Carolina gets credit for sweet potatoes.
  • Cranberries are primarily grown in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Cranberries weren’t even present at the first Thanksgiving.
  • There were no mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, or even corn on the cob at the first Thanksgiving feast.
  • In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season. Congress to passed a law on December 26, 1941, making Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
  • Sleepy after eating on T-Day? Some blame Tryptophan, because it sets off a chemical chain reaction that calms you down and makes you sleepy.
  • NBC Radio broadcast the first national Thanksgiving Day football game in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears.
  • Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada. Canadians sometimes call the American Thanksgiving as “Yanksgiving.”
  • Black Friday is the busiest day for shopping… AND Plumbers!

Thanksgiving Turkey Tip:
A turkey should never be carved until it has been out of the oven at least 30 minutes. This permits the inner cooking to subside and the internal meat juices to stop running.
Once the meat sets, it’s easier to carve clean, neat slices.
Spread this wonderful bit of knowledge, right before, or right after, Dad carves up the bird!

Thanksgiving History and Trivia was contributed by a Myth

The Mystery Surrounding The D.B. Cooper Hijacking Lives On Over 40 Years Later!


(PCM) Many are familiar with the mysterious case of airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper, which currently remains the only unsolved airplane hijacking case in United States history and has led to thousands of conspiracy theories and ended in nothing but dead ends for FBI investigators. On November 24, 1971 an unidentified man, who called himself Dan Cooper, hijacked a Boeing 727 in the air as it was travelling from Portland, OR to Seattle, Washington. It was due to a miscommunication with the media that he became known as “D.B. Cooper” rather than “Dan Cooper” and the name “D.B. Cooper” has become permanently associated with the case.

Cooper was able to extort $200,000 in ransom money, as well as, several parachutes which he used to jump out of the plane and make his escape. Despite there being a massive manhunt for the man calling himself Dan Cooper no conclusive evidence has ever surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts to this day. Only small shreds of any type of concrete evidence have surfaced in this case with the biggest break coming in the year 1980 when $5,800 of the Cooper ransom money was discovered in an area known as Tena Lake near Ariel, Washingon by an eight-year old boy by the name of Brian Ingram.

The young boy was on vacation with his family in the area and was raking the sandy riverbank in order to help make a campfire when he discovered three packets of the ransom cash. The money packets were severely disintegrated, however the serial numbers on the bills matched those associated with the D.B. Cooper ransom money and they were still bound together by rubber bands in the same order that they were given to Cooper.  It is still very much a mystery to investigators as to just how the money ended up in the area of Tena Lake as it is no where near the supposed flight path of the hijacked plane.

Some feel that the money was brought to the area due to a dredging project that occurred in the area, but others feel that the money may have been placed there by another person or even a wild animal. Some say Cooper, himself, may have dropped the money in that particular area, as he knew it was marked therefore knew it could not be spent.

Another small piece of evidence was discovered prior to the ransom money back in 1978, when a deer hunter discovered a placard containing instructions for lowering the aft stairs of a 727 in what would have been an area somewhere along the flight path of the Cooper hijacked plane. Over the years there have been several theories as to what exactly happened on that mysterious evening of November 24th and whatever happened to the elusive  D.B. Cooper.

The FBI has revealed some previously undisclosed information about the case such as the fact that a partial DNA profile had been obtained from three organic samples found on the hijacker’s clip-on tie in 2001. The Bureau also made public a file of previously unreleased evidence, including Cooper’s 1971 plane ticket from Portland to Seattle (price: $18.52 plus tax, total $20.00, paid in cash). They also revealed that Cooper chose the older of the two primary parachutes supplied to him, rather than the technically superior professional sport parachute; and that from the two reserve parachutes, he selected a “dummy”—an unusable unit with an inoperative ripcord intended for classroom demonstrations, although it had clear markings identifying it to any experienced skydiver as non-functional. (He cannibalized the other, functional reserve parachute, possibly using its shrouds to tie the money bag shut and to secure the bag to his body as witnessed by flight attendant Tina Mucklow. The FBI stressed that inclusion of the dummy reserve parachute, one of four obtained in haste from a Seattle skydiving school, was accidental.

What makes this all the more strange is that the owner of the Seattle skydiving school that the parachutes were obtained from was found dead in his home in 2013, the victim of an apparent burglary. Many D.B. Cooper conspiracy theorist claim that Cooper was behind the crime as some sort of twisted pay back for the dummy parachute as his killer has never been found.

The physical description of D.B. Cooper has not changed over the years, however if he is still alive today he would have aged considerably. FBI agents speculate that Cooper was familiar with the terrain in the Seattle area and may have been an Air Force veteran due to his knowledge of the distance to McCord Airforce Base from the Seattle-Tacoma airport which he revealed to flight attendant Mucklow while on-board the plane.  There is also speculation that he chose his alias based upon the Belgian comic book character Dan Cooper, who was a fictional superhero who took part in numerous heroic adventures, including parachuting.

While not available in the U.S., Cooper could have discovered the comic book while on a tour of duty overseas or he was a resident in Canada where the comic book was sold. Witnesses say he had no accent, but did request that the ransom money be delivered in “negotiable American currency” not something a U.S. resident would necessarily say, leading investigators to believe that he may have actually been of Canadian decent.

The FBI task force believes that Cooper was a careful and shrewd planner. He demanded four parachutes to force the assumption that he might compel one or more hostages to jump with him, thus ensuring he would not be deliberately supplied with sabotaged equipment. He chose a 727-100 aircraft because it was ideal for a bail-out escape, due not only to its aft airstair, but also the high, aftward placement of all three engines, which allowed a reasonably safe jump without risk of immediate incineration by jet exhaust. It had “single-point fueling” capability, a recent innovation that allowed all tanks to be refueled rapidly through a single fuel port. It also had the ability (unusual for a commercial jet airliner) to remain in slow, low-altitude flight without stalling; and Cooper knew how to control its air speed and altitude without entering the cockpit, where he could have been overpowered by the three pilots. In addition, Cooper was familiar with important details, such as the appropriate flap setting of 15 degrees (which was unique to that aircraft), and the typical refueling time. He knew that the aft airstair could be lowered during flight—a fact never disclosed to civilian flight crews, since there was no situation on a passenger flight that would make it necessary—and that its operation, by a single switch in the rear of the cabin, could not be overridden from the cockpit.

Finally, Coopers timing was ideal for the situation, as no one matching his description was reported missing over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend that year, so therefore he could have just returned to his normal day job without raising any suspicions. He would have plenty of time to get out of the woods, find transportation and get back home. He was wearing a suit and this leads to the theory that he may have thought it was easier to get picked up hitchhiking while wearing a suit rather than just a pair of jeans.

There have been many suspects and claims from individuals that say they have insider information about D.B. Coopers true identity and whereabouts however nothing completely concrete has ever come to the surface. What do you think happened to D.B. Cooper?  Do you think he survived the jump? If not, why has a body never been discovered? The case is truly one of the great American mysteries and one that may truly never reach a conclusion!



The Mystery Surrounding The D.B. Cooper Hijacking Lives On Over 40 Years Later! was contributed by a Myth

Scientists Have Discovered A Way To Teach Pigeons To Detect Cancer


(PCM) Scientists have now discovered a way to teach pigeons to detect certain types of cancer. According to,  the birds offer great potential as testers of cancer detection technology and as a help in doctor training. It turns out that they are fantastic detectives.

Research indicated that pigeons have much better eye sight than humans and are able to see more wavelengths of light than the human eye. They are able to use visual clues to place various objects in to categories, as well as, learn the letters of the alphabet and recognize individuals even if they are wearing different clothing.

Dr. Richard Levenson of the University of California-Davis medical center decided to further explore the pigeons abilities and see if the birds would be able to learn the art of pathology which consists of mostly visual recall. goes on to explain, for the experiment, eight birds were placed in a high-tech box in which they were shown an image a scientist would see under the microscope, along with two boxes. The slides showed relatively straightforward images of cancer cells, and cells that are not cancerous, from actual breast tissue samples. The scientists trained the birds to peck at one box if the sample was malignant, the other if it was benign. The birds trained with 144 images at different magnifications and each got a pellet when it pecked at the box with the right answer.

The birds were trained for a period of 15 days and they were able to tell the difference in tissues even with images they had never seen previously. Collectively the pigeons got the answer right about 85% of the time. The study is a huge innovation in the medical community, but don’t expect pigeons to be replacing doctors in radiology labs anytime soon. It is the hope that with this study that there might perhaps be a way to hone in on the pigeons skills and use them as a teaching tool to help students and doctors with areas that they may be struggling with in making a diagnosis.


Scientists Have Discovered A Way To Teach Pigeons To Detect Cancer was contributed by a Myth

New Lawsuit Claims Louisiana Amusement Park Lets Chimpanzee Smoke Cigarettes


(PCM) Animal rights activists in Louisiana have filed a lawsuit to have a chimpanzee named Candy removed from a Baton Rouge amusement park. The suit claims that the amusement park staff and Candy’s caretakers allow the chimpanzee to smoke cigarettes and drink highly caffeinated soft drinks rather than water.

The lawsuit, which sums up a battle that has been going on for years, goes on to claim that Candy is kept in a cage that is both inadequate in size and isolated. The animal rights activists feel that Candy should be relocated to an animal sanctuary to live out the rest of her days.

The activists claim that by allowing amusement park visitors to throw items, including lit cigarettes into Candy’s cage, which she then smokes, is a direct violation of the Endangered Species Act.  This lawsuit is the first filed under a new federal rule that requires captive chimps get the same protection as wild chimps and they are all classified as an endangered species.

An attorney for the amusement park claims that the animal rights activists fail to understand that there has been an attempt to relocate Candy in the past and she did not take well to the new environment so she was returned.  The amusement park was cited back in 2012 for failure to provide water for Candy and their claim was that she didn’t like it and will only drink Coca-Cola.

When experts made a visit to check on Candy’s condition they, however offered her water and she drank it willingly. Water is essential to all life! The amusement park has not yet made a statement in regards to the newly filed lawsuit and currently Candy still resides in Baton Rouge Park.

New Lawsuit Claims Louisiana Amusement Park Lets Chimpanzee Smoke Cigarettes was contributed by a Myth

Mattel Fights Gender Stereotypes With “Fierce” Moschino Barbie Ad


(PCM) In the midst of strong sale declines, Mattel has made another attempt to rebrand themselves, as well as, fight gender stereotypes with their new ad for Moschino Barbie. For the first time in Mattel’s history the ad featured a boy playing with the doll as he adorably utters the phrase “So fierce”!

The ad seems to have had a positive impact for the company as everyone is loving the young boy and many are praising Mattel for taking a stand against gender norms. It is Mattel’s hope that this ad will open up their company to an entirely new demographic of customers. The holiday shopping season is fast-approaching so the timing for the ad could not have been any better for the company.

Mattel has tried to rebrand itself and Barbie in the past, however their efforts have previously backfired, especially when it came to the 2010 doll and book “Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer”. While it may have seemed like a great idea at the time, the book showed that Barbie still needed assistance from her male counterparts for the computer engineer job and Mattel received a ton of critical backlash.

What do you think of the new Barbie Moschino ad? Will it be enough to put the company back in the green again this holiday season?

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