|The Cupola House, Edenton, NC [wikipedia]|
Okay, let's take a quick look around, shall we?
The first in flight nickname stems from the accomplishments of the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur. In 1903, they made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill, near Kitty Hawk. Their plane weighed 650 pounds, and after launching into 20 MPH winds, the flight lasted twelve seconds, and covered 120 feet.
Whitewater Falls, located in the mountains of Transylvania county, is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River.
There's something about lighthouses that captures the imagination, isn't there? As things of beauty, and as reminders of the countless ships they steered safely to shore. This is Cape Hatteras, an especially moving lighthouse.
|[credit: National Parks Service]|
That's because, at 208 feet tall, this is the tallest lighthouse that was actually moved. Because of erosion problems, this lighthouse was moved 2870 feet inland from its original spot at the edge of the ocean. The move occurred from 1999- 2000. In its current location, as seen above, the lighthouse is open for public tours.
The tidbit of North Carolina history that most intrigues me is the story about the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the first English colony in America. That's where the first English child, Virginia Dare, was born. But, somehow, an abiding mystery was born there, too. The governor went to England in 1587 to get supplies, and when he returned with them in 1590, the settlement was empty. The entire colony disappeared without a trace, except for the word CROATOAN, which was scrawled on a tree.
The Biltmore Estate in Ashville is America's largest privately owned home. It includes a 255-room chateau, an award-winning winery, and extensive gardens.
A living history museum in Old Salem, the historical district of Winston-Salem, showcases the culture of eighteenth and nineteenth century Moravian settlers.
Morehead Planetarium, located on the University of North Carolina campus, Chapel Hill, is one of the oldest and largest in the country. Built in 1949, this is where Gemini and Apollo program astronauts were trained in celestial navigation.
Every December, Harkers Island hosts the annual Core Sound Decoy Festival, where talented carvers from around the world compete.
Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home again, but you CAN go to North Carolina to see HIS home. Pretty impressive, isn't it?
Ready to take a little look-see at some of the laws still lingering on the books in North Carolina?
- It's against the law to sing off-key. (No American Idol try-outs there!)
- It's illegal to use an elephant to plow cotton fields. (Tsk, tsk, tsk. They're missing out on an awful lot of free fertilizer. Oh wait. Never mind. They probably use all their elephants in the tobacco fields.)
- Sex is only legal in the missionary position ... with the shades pulled down. (But if the shades are pulled down, how do dey know???)
- If a man and woman who aren't married go to a hotel and register as a married couple, according to state law, they are legally married. (Cheaper than a wedding, too.)
- All couples staying overnight in a hotel must have a room with double beds that are at least two feet apart. (So don't forget your measuring tape.)
- It's against the law to have sex in a churchyard.
- Anyone in possession of illegal substances must pay taxes on them. (Wonder how much revenue THIS one raised.)
- There's a three-dollar tax on all white goods sold. (So stick with colored sheets.)
- Organizations may not hold meetings while members present are in costume. (People can act like clowns and monkeys, but they can't dress like 'em.)
- Bingo games may not last over five hours, unless held at a fair.
- It's against the law to sell alcohol at bingo games. (Probably smart. Everybody knows what a rowdy lot those bingo-playing grannies are.)
- In Barber, fighting between dogs and cats is against the law.
- In Charlotte, women must have their bodies covered by at least sixteen yards of cloth at all times.
- In Dunn, it's illegal to drive cars through city cemeteries for pleasure. (Darn. I mean, that's so much fun.)
- It's also against the law there to throw rocks or spit at a city street. (Durn it, people, show that street some r-e-s-p-e-c-t!)
- In Forest City, you have to stop and call City Hall before entering town in an automobile. (The purpose of this law was so townspeople would have time to go out and hold their horses until the accursed automobile made it through town.)
- Lawmakers in Kill Devil Hills are real killjoys. It's against the law there to ride a bicycle without having both hands on the handlebars.
- In Zebulon, it's illegal to stand outside the police station for any purpose after dark.
- And it's also against the law there to walk on top of the city's water tank.
Okay, it's that time again, guys and gals. Time for (ta-DA!)
The Weirdest News Stories of the Week
*** Some people say air travel is for the birds these days. Maybe they're right. An injured cuckoo, too sick and weak to join the annual migration with all her friends ... took a plane. Workers at Wildlife Aid, in London, nursed the bird back to health, and then British Airways whooshed her off on a two-hour flight to Turin, Italy, where they hope she'll rejoin her pals for the rest of the 2500-mile trip across the Mediterranean and Sahara, and on to the Congo. (If she wants a lift next year, by golly, her little feathered butt's gonna have to buy a ticket!)
*** Evidently, some bears know how to par-ty. A mother grizzly and her three cubs broke down a wall to get into a Norwegian hunting lodge, where they helped themselves to more than a hundred cans of beer, and all the marshmallows, chocolate spread, and honey they could find. In the process, they trashed the place... smashed the stove, oven, cupboards, and shelves to smithereens, and left ample amounts of excrement everywhere. Wild bears gone even wilder? I dunno. Kinda sounds like a frat party without the togas to me. On the other hand, a Colorado black bear was considerably more courteous when he broke into the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory last week. Caught on surveillance cameras, he simply let himself in... through the door... helped himself to some candy, (appropriately enough, called cookie bears) and then let himself out again. Through the door. Several times. Didn't break anything. Didn't poop on the floor. Didn't even leave a trail of wrappers. (Guess he ATE 'em.) You have to feel a little bit of empathy for the guy. I mean, after all, he was only going after chocolate, and as everybody knows, chocolate certainly rates as a bear necessity.
*** Have you read E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Gray? All three books in the series are so popular, record numbers of vision-impaired senior citizens have been demanding them in audio format so they can be, um, stimulated, too. (Intellectually, of course.) The books have been holding down the top three spots on the bestseller list for weeks and weeks, but now... guess what? There's a new Fifty Shades of Gray, by S.H. Simove, and it's a little different. And not at all embarrassing. It's filled with two hundred blank pages. But they are gray... matter of fact, four pages each of fifty different shades of gray. So, if you're too embarrassed to read the original books, maybe this novelty pad is just the thing. The clever Simove already had an earlier hit with another 200-page wordless book. Its title? What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
|Hangover, maybe? [source: morguefile]|
|Oh, I couldn't read THAT! [source: morguefile]|
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.