Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Filenes in Boston, Selfridges in London, Keddies in Southend

If I was a television scriptwriter, I would follows in the footsteps of Andrew Wynford Davies involved with the popular "Mr. Selfridge," first televised in 2013.

Department stores have always been popular and often considered "a bit of a treat" for people who lunch or enjoy afternoon tea.

Names to remember in the UK are many.  Most of them started as drapers and expanded.  H. Binns Son and Co. Ltd. was incoporated in 1897 and went on to produce stores in Sunderland, Darlington, West Hartlepool, Middlesborough, Newcastle upon Tyne, South Shields, Grimsby, Carlisle and Hull in England.  In Scotland, stores appeared in Dumfries and Edinburgh.  House of Fraser took over Binns in 1953.

There was Featherstones of Rochester, Keddies in Southend which opened in 1892 and went into liquidation in 1996.  Most large towns had the department centre at the core of its shopping areas.

Do you remember Marshall and Snelgrove?  It is now part of the Debenhams Group.

John Lewis is 150 years old this year.  John Lewis himself a draper, found a job in Oxford Circus with another draper, Peter Robinson.  In 1864 John set up his own shop in Oxford Street selling ribbons and bows.  Around 1905 John purchased Peter Jones in Sloane Square, Chelsea.

Charles Harrod, aged 25, set up his business in Southwark back in 1824.  He too listed the business as a draper and haberdasher.  Customers using the escalator in 1898 at Brompton Road were offered a brandy at the top, to help with their "ordeal."

France boasts Galeries LaFayette and Printemps.
Spain has Corte Ingles

Think of New York and Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Barneys come to mind.

Cats' Vocal Chords and Purring

Cats have 10 times as many vocal chords as dogs.  Dogs have 10 and cats have 100.

Cats can vibrate the muscles underneath their vocal folds, very slowly, producing a purr.  Domestic cats purr at a rate of about 26 cycles per second, similar to the frequency of a diesel engine as it idles.  Purring doesn't always mean the cat is happy.  It can also be a sign that a cat is in pain or some distress.

Cats rarely meow at each other, reserving this sound for their interactions with humans.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Jacobson's Organ in Cats....What it does

Humans only have about 5 to 20 million olfactory smells, where as cats have around 60 to 80 million.  The Jacobson's organ is located on the roof of a cat's mouth.  It detects and analyses pheromones (scents), especially the ones found in urine.  The scent is collected in the mouth and the cat uses its tongue to flick it up to the vomeronasal organ.  During this process, the cat will curl its upper lips in what appears to be a grimace and this is called the flehmen response, facilitating the transfer of pheromones into this vomeronasal organ.