“A Plague on your Houses”

"A PLAGUE ON YOUR HOUSES"  That was William Shakespeare in his play, "Romeo and Juliet," written in 1592.  [Act 3, Scene 1].   Appropriate at this time of our pandemic. For Europe had, by Shakespeare's writing, already suffered two hundred years of the Black Death!  Let's investigate. The "Plague" is caused by a lowly bacterium, one [...]

SURROUNDING: Mammoth Cave!

Introduction This is a journey log.  One of culture, history, and scientific exploration.  A recognition that, when we focus on the significant, we often ignore the peripheral things of interest.  And there is much to learn about in those places. I love Kentucky, its people, its culture, and its landforms.  And I love the fact [...]

The Caves, Cane, and Coal of Kentucky

THE CAVES, CANE, AND COAL OF KENTUCKY "Paradise" is what the first European explorers called Kentucky. And Kentucky still fashions itself as a Commonwealth. But it was known to many people, plants, and animals long before Thomas Walker crossed the Cumberland Gap in 1750, Christopher Gist visited Lower Shawneetown in 1751, or John Findley showed [...]

SURROUNDING: Munfordville!

SURROUNDING : Munfordville Kentucky. In the center of that Commonwealth. At the crossroads. The Green River running west, and Interstate 65 north and south. You have driven passed Munfordville many times. Why didn't you stop? Confederate General Braxton Bragg and Union General Don Carlos Buell stopped there. Fought there. For there is where the Louisville and [...]

Three Rivers in the Civil War

  THREE RIVERS IN THE CIVIL WAR Why is it called "Civil?" It was anything but. Still isn't. And to me, no buts when it comes to the carnage. Lives torn away from homes and families. Then bodies. And, in Kentucky, armies lined up along three rivers. The Cumberland, Green, and Tennessee Rivers. When Confederate [...]

Special Metals and Useful Minerals

PALLADIUM   It is worth more than gold! What is Palladium? One atom with 46 protons. Where does it come from? God, if you consider suns exploding into supernovas to be such an expression of wonder. Where is it now? In your car, the catalytic converter. Palladium is a catalyst that allows unburned exhaust to [...]

The Trouble with Trilobites

    DON'T STEP THERE! Yikes! Look down where you stand. Walk with care. Trilobites are everywhere! Well, at least here in Kentucky. Pick up a rock in your stream. Chances are that it contains trilobites. Or maybe just parts of them. That's the problem. We want it all now. A big, beautiful, completely whole [...]

The Story of the Horse in America

YIPEEI-YO-KIY-YAEEI! That's Gene Autry in the 1935 science fiction western serial entitled, "The Phantom Empire."  He was one of the first actors in movie serials to play himself. You see, Autry wasn't a trained actor. And he couldn't ride very well either. But director William Witney could. And he taught Autry how to handle a horse.  The great horsemanship [...]