…Will Be Wearing This Fall

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Fashion largely eludes me.  (I don’t have to tell you that if you’ve seen how I dress!)  One might say I am sartorially challenged!  There are several reasons for this: I am not artistic, I don’t have tons of money to spend on designer clothing, glasses, shoes and the like (I’d much rather spend what discretionary money I do have on other things!), and it just simply doesn’t interest me a lot.  There is nothing wrong with it – or with those who like it.  It just isn’t my cup of tea.

There are times, however, when fashions do catch my eye.  Take for instance – today’s photo.  At the Alameda County Fair this last Friday, we were touring the animal barn when I noticed that some of the animals (in particular the sheep and some of the goats) were wearing “clothes”.  Well, maybe that’s stretching it a bit (no pun intended), but they had fabric stretched over themselves (would that be a definition of clothes?)  This one, I thought was particularly interesting because of the colors. One might expect to see something like this is my native Iowa, but not in the fashion-conscious California Bay Area!  (What is this world coming to?)

See how the fabric seems to melt into the wearer?  How the color bands accentuate the shapeliness of the creature?  The provocative cutouts?  This is destined to be a great fashion success!!!

There are magazines that feature nothing but clothes and fashion. It’s not too unusual to hear a phrase like the title of today’s post: “What the well dressed woman/man will be wearing this fall…”  Works for me!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1865, Mary Surratt was executed by the U.S. government for her role as a conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Surratt, who owned a tavern in Surrattsville (now Clinton), Maryland, converted her house in Washington, D.C., into a boardinghouse as a result of financial difficulties. Located a few blocks from Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was murdered, this house served as the place where a group of Confederate supporters, including John Wilkes Booth, conspired to assassinate the president. It was Surratt’s association with Booth that ultimately led to her conviction, though debate continues as to the extent of her involvement and whether it really warranted so harsh a sentence.

On the day of the assassination, Booth asked Surratt to deliver a package, which was later discovered to contain firearms, to her old tavern in Maryland. On her way home, Surratt ran into John Lloyd, a former Washington police officer who currently leased the tavern. When authorities first questioned Lloyd about their encounter, he did not mention anything significant and denied that Booth and David Herold had visited his tavern. Yet when questioned later, he claimed that Surratt had told him to have whiskey and weapons ready for Booth and Herold, who would be stopping by that night.

Louis Weichmann, one of the alleged conspirators who delivered the package with Surratt, was released after he testified against her. He later claimed that the government had forced him to testify, and that it plagued his conscience for the rest of his life. Furthermore, Lewis Powell, a conspirator who was hanged with Surratt, proclaimed her innocence to his executioner minutes before his death.

Many expected President Andrew Johnson to pardon Surratt because the U.S. government had never hanged a woman. The execution was delayed until the afternoon, and soldiers were stationed on every block between the White House and Fort McNair, the execution site, to relay the expected pardon. But the order never came.

Ever since her death, numerous sightings of Mary Surratt’s ghost and other strange occurrences have been reported around Fort McNair. A hooded figure in black, bound at the hands and feet as Surratt had been at the time of her execution, has allegedly been seen moving about. Several children of soldiers have reported a “lady in black” who plays with them.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The human brain consists of approximately 100 billion neurons (which is as many cells as there are stars in the Milky Way). Each neuron has somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 synapses, equaling about 1 quadrillion synapses. If all the neurons in the human brain were lined up, they would stretch 600 miles. As a comparison, an octopus has 300,000 neurons, a honeybee has 950,000, and a jellyfish has no brain at all (which, I rather suspect, means either that some people I know are really jellyfish, or that there are some people who are a lot like jellyfish!)

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