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Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday links

Here's a collection of dragon statues and sculptures from around the world.

The Radium Girls and the Generation that brushed its Teeth with Radioactive Toothpaste.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include the anniversary of the 20th of July plot, the unsuccessful bomb attempt to kill Hitler in 1944, the Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel, weather on other planets, scientists decide there are 4 kinds of drunks, and lots about Sharknado Week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

News anchor's rant on Chattanooga terrorism and Obama's half-baked policies

Apparently freedom of expression is controversial. Transcript below - any substantive or grammatical mistakes are mine:

Four United States Marines are now dead. Climate change didn't kill them. Lack of free community college didn't kill them. The income gap? Wage inequality? Nope, not those things, either. Gay marriage? Nope. White racism? Not that either. So what did? 

President Obama if you wanna say it I will - radical Islam. This is not workplace violence, this is not a criminal act with motives unknown, this is terrorism. The suspected shooter Mohammed Abdulaziz, was a devout Muslim. Do I care that he seemed like an all-American young man? Do I care that he was good at mixed martial arts or a smart quiet guy? Do I care that is high school friend wouldn't classify him as overly religious? No, I don't give a flying you know what about any of that. Was he linked to ISIS or al Qaeda or Hamas, or any of the other 15-plus offshoot terrorist groups? Does it matter?

I'm sorry, but radical Islam is becoming the rule not the exception. Yesterday's moderate is today's terrorist. I care that this SOB killed four United States Marines and I care that our Commander-in-Chief is more concerned with Muslim sensitivity then the honor and sacrifice made by these marines.

This is the 21st time our military men and women have been attacked here at home (caution - autoplay). This is not a middle East problem - this is an American problem, and I'm sorry but I can't sit here and let this go not anymore. I come from a family of Marines. My grandpa was a World War Two paratrooper, my uncle a Vietnam Purple Heart recipient, my cousins both Marine Corps officers, and I have some very close Navy SEAL connections as well. In fact someone very close to my heart is deployed to the Middle East right now, but the sad thing is that I was telling him last night that I think you're safer over there then you would be right here in the United States America.

I've had it with this failed strategy, this halfway, half-baked if we'll be friendly to Jihadis mentality pushed by this administration. Be a leader, someone! They, the radical Islamists, have brought the fight right here to the red white and blue and it's about time we bring it to them, full force. Let's show what the United States of America looks like up close and personal. Show them what a B-one bomber looks like flying overhead. Show what they're messing with. Put the fear of God in their desert, because clearly our lack of strategy isn't working.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday links

It's the anniversary of the 20th of July plot, the unsuccessful bomb attempt to kill Hitler in 1944.

Hellish Weather on Other Planets.

Syfy’s 2nd annual “Sharknado Week” is premiering 7 (seven!) new movies, including, of course, Sharknado 3 with President Cuban and VP Coulter.

Scientists decide there are 4 kinds of drunks.

Salamanders Get Into Groups And Go On Sperm-Release Raids. (and no, "salamanders" is not a fraternity)

ICYMI, last Friday's links are here, and include some really bad taxidermy, a Brooklyn superhero supply store, answering mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes, and a gallery of medieval armor.

It's the anniversary of the 20th of July plot, the unsuccessful bomb attempt to kill Hitler in 1944

Unhappy German nation, how do you like the Messianic role allotted to you, not 
by God, nor by destiny, but by a handful of perverted and bloody-minded men? 

A few days before the attempt: Stauffenberg standing 
to attention, left, as Hitler visits the Wolf's Lair. To 
the right is Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, later 
executed as a war criminal
In Germany, they came first for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak up. 

~Pastor Martin Niemöller (attributed, in the Congressional Record of 14 June 1968) 

The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism is to resist that doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when it be obeyed. 

~Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Blithedale Romance, Ch. 2)
Es lebe unser heiliges Deutschland!
(Long live our sacred Germany!)
~ Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (wiki) (last words before a firing squad, 21 July 1944) 

Stauffenberg's bomb failed to kill Hitler after a general moved 
the briefcase containing the device; as a result the Nazi leader 
was shielded by a heavy oak table
Today is the anniversary of the denouement of the nearly-forgotten "20th of July" plot (wiki) in 1944, when a courageous, but incredibly quixotic, group of old-fashioned German patriots under the leadership of Army officer Count Claus von Stauffenberg (wiki) (1907-1944)* sought to achieve a compromise end to World War II in Europe by assassinating Adolf Hitler in his headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia, preparatory to opening peace negotiations with the western allies (i.e., excluding Russia). The conspiracy involved a number of high-ranking officers, including Generals Ludwig Beck and Friedrich Obert, but collapsed when a bomb placed by Stauffenberg himself failed to kill Hitler, and plans to seize Berlin fell through.  

Within a day Stauffenberg and the other ringleaders had been executed, but thousands of known opponents of the regime were killed also, and Field Marshals Erwin Rommel, Erwin von Witzleben, and Günther von Kluge were implicated and forced to commit suicide**. Ironically, within a year, the Third Reich had collapsed and Hitler was dead. English writer G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) once wrote,
"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die."
* N.B. Stauffenberg, a devout Roman Catholic, was born to a Bavarian noble family, entered a traditional cavalry regiment in 1926, and became an officer in the German Army in 1930. Despite growing misgivings about Nazi policies, he fought loyally in Poland, France, Russia, and Tunisia until he was seriously wounded in the latter, losing an eye, his right hand, and two fingers on his left hand. Subsequently, he served in several staff positions. Throughout his career, Stauffenberg seems to have been drawn to various anti-Nazi movements, and his war experiences, especially in Russia, intensified his feelings of unease with the regime. The 2008 motion picture Valkyrie presents a somewhat fictionalized version of the 20 July plot. 

** Stauffenberg got off easy. Eight of those executed were hanged with piano wire from meat-hooks and their executions filmed and shown to senior members of the Nazi Party and the armed forces.

British Pathe has a newsreel which includes footage of the aftermath of the bomb:

And an additional newsreel, apparently from shortly after the end of the war:

Related posts:

The Herd Reich? Brit farmer turned Nazi super cows into sausage because they were too aggressive.

January 27, 1945 - the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz

Nazi sex dolls, intended to protect soldiers from French prostitutes.

Further reading:

The definitive source: Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich.

Based on Ed's Quotation of the Day, only available via email. If you'd like to be added to his distribution list, leave your email address in the comments.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dude! Syfy’s 2nd annual “Sharknado Week” is premiering 7 new movies

The Syfy channel’s second annual “Sharknado Week” will feature seven original movie premieres as part of a celebration of the anticipated debut of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! on Wednesday. Plus, of course, many shark-related movies from previous years. It actually started Saturday, but the movies will be re-run (a lot, I'm sure).

For the full list of movies, visit Here’s a rundown of the week’s premieres:


7 p.m. “Roboshark” An alien space probe is devoured by a great white shark that then terrorizes Seattle. Starring Hristo Balabanov (“Robocrock”).

9 p.m. “Mega Shark vs. Kolossus” The mega shark goes go head-to-head against a reawakened giant robot Kolossus. Starring Illeana Douglas, Amy Rider and Brody Hutzler.


9 p.m. “Sharktopus vs. WhalewolfSharktopus squares off against the new half-whale, half-wolf creature. Starring husband-and-wife actors Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg .


7 p.m. “3 Headed Shark Attack” This triple-faced mutation finds a human buffet on a party boat. Danny Trejo and WWE star Rob Van Dam star. (“2 Headed Shark Attack” precedes the new film at 5 p.m.)

9 p.m. “Zombie Shark.” Another experimental shark gets loose and sets its sights on humans. With Jason London and Leslie Castay.


9 p.m. “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” The third film in the franchise finds sharknados wreaking havoc across the entire East Coast. Ian Ziering and Tara Reid return to fight again, this time with a slew of famous cameos. (“Sharknado” and “Sharknado 2” precede at 5 and 7 p.m. respectively.)

Next Saturday is my personal favorite:

9 p.m. “Lavalantula” It’s “Police Academy” vs. the lavalantulas as Steve Guttenberg, Leslie Easterbrook, Michael Winslow and others from the “Police Academy” franchise fight lava-breathing tarantulas in Los Angeles.


Beyond Sharknado - here's a trailer for Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (because fracking!)

Sharknado 3 will be set in DC and have Ann Coulter as VP, Marc Cuban as Prez.

Sharknado 2: The Second One on SyFy: here's everything you need to get ready.

Watch this “Get Kids Outside” ad: interviews with 3 generations on "fun" kid activities

I don't generally post advertisements, but this video is kind of a must-watch (and the commercial but is only the last few seconds).

Nature Valley’s “Get Kids Outside” Ad:

via Free Range Kids. Lenore Skenazy has comments, including this:
The ad shows several grandparents reminiscing about their childhood fun outside — tobogganing, planting, fishing — and then several parents recalling that they’d build forts, or just head out to find friends to play with. Finally, their kids talk about their love of videogames and texting.
The ad then shows those same kids after what can only be called an intervention. We see them running outside (toward a waiting parent), carefully riding a bike on the sidewalk, or being taught by mom how to plant a flower. (That kid did not look psyched to me.)
It’s great that the ad has framed the issue we talk about here all the time: In just one generation, it has become almost bizarre to see kids heading out to find fun on their own outside. That’s why people call 911 when the see a child in the park. It’s like spotting a tapir escaped from the zoo. 
Plus this:
But as this note, uh, notes:

"One of the things I noticed is that in the previous generations memories there were no adults present and the children created wonderful memories. In the current generation’s outdoor play portrayed in the video there were adults present in almost all of the depictions. It pretty much says that outdoor play is necessary but must be supervised and lead by an adult". — Marcie
One more excerpt:
But beyond even the perceived need for supervision, the adults outside with their kids at the end of this ad seem almost as if they’re teaching a remedial class.

And with the renormalization of kids running around, the threat of CPS intervention disappears.
Go to Free Range Kids blog and read the whole thing. And I strongly suggest buying Lenore's book Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) - I gave copies to each of my kids when my grabdkids came along.