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On this day in history

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 07/15/2012 - 17:09


It's funny the stuff you remember.  

I'm posting this story because I can distinctly remember my mother telling me about going to Saginaw, Michigan as a young woman and seeing a giant who she was pretty sure stood 9 feet tall.

I vividly remember thinking to myself that this was an extreme exaggeration at best.


Robert Pershing Wadlow, "The Gentleman Giant" passed away on this date in 1940 at the age of 22.

At 8'11.1" he is the tallest person in known human history.

Robert was born on February 22, 1918, in Alton Illinois.  At birth he weighed a normal eight pounds, six ounces. At six months of age he had grown to weigh 30 pounds. A year later at 18 months, he weighed 62 pounds. He continued to grow at an astounding rate, reaching six feet, two inches and 195 pounds by the time he was eight years old. 

At age 18, he had reached eight feet, four inches tall, and weighed 390 pounds. His clothing required three times the normal amount of cloth, and his size 37 shoes cost $100.00 a pair (a lot of money back in the 1930's). Two years later his shoes were provided free by the International Shoe Company.

At 20 Robert began travelling for the shoe company, visiting over 800 towns and 41 states. His father had to modify the family car, removing the front passenger seat so Robert could sit in the back seat and stretch out his long legs. The father and son team traveled over 300,000 miles on their goodwill tour for the shoe company.

Robert's size 37 feet had troubled him for many years. He had little sensation in his feet and did not feel any chafing until blisters formed. While making an appearance in Manistee, Michigan in July 1940, a fatal infection set in when such a blister formed. On July 4th, doctors had Robert confined to a hotel bed, unable to find suitable accommodations at the local hospital. Days later, after emergency surgery and blood transfusions, the infection lingered and his temperature continued to rise. At 1:30 a.m., on the 15th of July, Robert Wadlow passed away in his sleep.

Robert's body was brought back to his home town of Alton for burial. The 1,000-pound casket required a dozen pallbearers, assisted by eight other men. Out of respect for Alton's Gentle Giant, all city businesses closed for the funeral. Over 40,000 people signed the guest register.


Click on the photo of Robert and his 5'11" father for Robert's page in the Alton Web Museum.




Apologies ... it was too strong.


The running of the bulls starts today ... tomorrow actually but I'll be away from my machine.

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 08:20


That's gonna leave a mark!!!

Tomorrow July 7, 2012 begins the seven day festival of San Fermin held in Pampalona, Spain the highlight of which is the famed "Running of the Bulls".

I've put together posts on this before and have always failed to post them as this week is usually sketchy for me since it features the US Independance Day holiday, the little wiffer and my wedding anniversary and a number of family birthdays.

I'll be honest with you here, the Roan family is out partying.

Should you care to attend in the future, these guys claim to have the best balconies.

Of the many short videos I've seen on this, the promo featured below shot in HD, much of it slow motion is clearly the best.  It makes me want to watch the movie when I get back home.



The Jetlev R200 can now be yours for about a hundred grand

Submitted by Roanman on Mon, 06/18/2012 - 07:41


The following was taken from the Jetlev200 history page.

With a minimal amount of flight instruction, you too can be flying back to the marina.


Raymond Li, a Chinese-born Canadian from St. John’s Newfoundland, first sketched out his JetLev concept on a yellow Post-it Note in 2000. After seeing his masterpiece on paper for the first time, Ray unceremoniously retreated, filing it under I for Impossible by burying it in the trash.

The sketch was long gone, however, Ray couldn’t shake his vision...he couldn’t shake his passion.

Three years later, Ray began conducting extensive research, concept development and testing on the first ever, water powered jetpack.

With assistance from the National Research Council of Canada in 2004, JetLev kicked into high gear and Ray conducted a series of unmanned flight tests.

 The first fully operational JetLev prototype was completed in August 2008.  A few months later, various clips from these test flights leaked online and went viral, surfacing on a variety of video sharing websites.

From 2009 to 2011, development continued and Ray and his team worked to perfect the prototype.

Finally, a model was ready for commercial production.

And after numerous prototype iterations, dozens of test pilots, hundreds of flights, thousands of hours and countless modifications, JetLev Technologies, Inc. has finally completed development of its JetLev R200 model, arriving Spring 2012.



A tune for Egypt

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 06/15/2012 - 21:45


We posted this for the first time the day Hosni Mubarak resigned, in light of the news coming out of Egypt today, it seemed appropriate to post it again.


There is only one tune for a day like today.

Young Egypt celebrates as Hosni Mubarak cedes power back to the Military (from whence it came) and rides off into the sunset.

I'm sitting here thinkin' ..... Pete Townshend.

Here he is on an acoustic with John Williams at Amnesty Internationals "The Secret Policemans's Ball" in 1979.

Won't Get Fooled Again.



A little different without the band.


The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 17:57


I went out looking for a good Joe King Carrasco video and wound up with the following, which is about as far from Joe King Carrasco musically as Joseph Shabalala and JKC are seperated physically.

Which is to say about a continent, if not two maybe three ..... depending on which way you're travelling.

It all kind of made sense as it was happening.


This is Ladysmith Black Mombazo in 1990 who have had so many guys go through the group that I'm not even going to try to identify this particular batch except to say that that's Joseph Shabalala out front.

They are appearing here with The Mint Juleps, who are Sandra, Debbie, Lizzie, and Marcia Charles along with Julie Isaac and Debbie Longworth.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight.




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