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Monday, May 29, 2017

Here's a copy of the latest Center for Medical Progress video (Planned Parenthood)

I downloaded this from youtube, then re-uploaded it. Youtube is taking these down as quickly as possible but this will keep it from going down the memory hole. If you watch it, you’ll understand why the people in charge don’t want you to see it:

video

Per Moonbattery:

Center for Medical Progress is not going quietly. Despite liberals’ ham-fisted attempts to shut them up, they have released another video documenting the blood-chilling moral depravity that characterizes the lavishly taxpayer-subsidized abortion industry:
Planned Parenthood executives joked about decapitated fetuses, admitted to altering abortion procedures to preserve fetal organs and said clinics have a financial incentive to sell human tissue in a new undercover video released Thursday.
The three-minute video was recorded at an annual National Abortion Federation meeting by pro-life investigators with the Center for Medical Progress. The advocacy group said it’s just a preview of never-before-seen content that has been sealed for almost two years due to legal fights.
The authorities cracked down fast:
A video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) Friday was up for only a few hours before it was yanked from YouTube. A judge had issued a gag order on the video last year, after the National Abortion Federation sued CMP to block the damning footage.
Since then, copies have sprung up on Facebook, LiveLeak and other video platforms — only to be pulled.

Monday links

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. 
Death in the Clouds: The Problem of Bodies on Everest

What It's Like to be Struck by Lightning.

An earlier battle in the clash of civilizations - May 29, 1453: the fall of Constantinople. Also on this date, Kurt Vonnegut's May 29, 1945 letter home after being released from being imprisoned in an underground slaughterhouse (Slaughterhouse Five) during the Dresden bombing.

Unbuilt Los Angeles: the city that might have been – in pictures.

This Dog Sits on Seven Editorial Boards.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include a new hottest chili pepper, if meat eaters acted like vegans, early performances of future stars, and T-rex dietary requirements.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 29, 1453: the fall of Constantinople

Click here to embiggen
Oh, what a noble and beautiful city is Constantinople! How many monasteries and palaces it contains, constructed with wonderful skill! It would take too long to describe all the wealth that is there of every kind, of gold, of silver, all kinds of clothes, holy relics... There are, I think, around twenty thousand eunuchs living there always.

~ Fulcher of Chartres (1059 -??) (Historia Hierosolymitana, during the First Crusade, 1096)

They found the Turks coming right up under the walls and seeking battle, particularly the Janissaries ... and when one or two of them were killed, at once more Turks came and took away the dead ones ... without caring how near they came to the city walls. Our men shot at them with guns and crossbows, aiming at the Turk who was carrying away his dead countryman, and both of them would fall to the ground dead, and then there came other Turks and took them away, none fearing death, but being willing to let ten of themselves be killed rather than suffer the shame of leaving a single Turkish corpse by the walls.

Nothing will ever equal the horror of this harrowing and terrible spectacle. People frightened by the shouting ran out of their houses and were cut down by the sword before they knew what was happening. And some were massacred in their houses where they tried to hide, and some in churches where they sought refuge... they were intent on pillage and roamed through the town stealing, disrobing, pillaging, killing, raping, taking captive men, women, children, old men, young men, monks, priests, people of all sorts and conditions . . . There were virgins who awoke from troubled sleep to find those brigands standing over them with bloody hands and faces full of abject fury. This medley of all nations, these frantic brutes stormed into their houses, dragged them, tore them, forced them, dishonored them, raped them at the cross-roads and made them submit to the most terrible outrages.

When Mehmed saw the ravages, the destruction and the deserted houses and all that had perished and become ruins, then a great sadness took possession of him and he repented the pillage and all the destruction. Tears came to his eyes and sobbing he expressed his sadness. "What a town this was! And we have allowed it to be destroyed!" His soul was full of sorrow. And in truth it was natural, so much did the horror of the situation exceed all limits.

~ excerpts from various eye-witness accounts of the fall of Constantinople (wiki), 29 May 1453

Today is the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 (wiki) to an Ottoman army under the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmet II after a siege of seven weeks. The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Paliailogos, died in the final defense of the city, and the ensuing orgy of pillage and massacre brought the eastern Roman empire to a decisive end.* 

Founded as Byzantium in the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Megara, Constantinople (now Istanbul) sits at the junction of the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus, which leads to the Black Sea, about 15 miles to the northeast. This strategic location led to its becoming an ancient entrepot for trade between the east and west, and in A.D. 330, the Roman emperor Constantine made it the capital of his eastern empire, which - as the Byzantine Empire - outlasted the fall of Rome itself by nearly 1,000 years. After the sack of the city by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Byzantine Empire never regained its former glory, and by the time of its final defeat, it had been whittled down by the Ottoman Turks to little more than the capital itself and a small hinterland. 

Mehmet entering the city after three days of rape and plunder
The loss of Constantinople was a major shock to Christendom and particularly to the Greek and Russian Orthodox communities, for whom the city had been their spiritual nexus. During its subsequent "golden age" and 19th-century decline, Constantinople remained the capital of the Ottoman Empire until the end of World War I, when what was left of the old Ottoman territories became today's Republic of Turkey with a new capital at Ankara.** 

French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) wrote in Flight to Arras,

"The injustice of defeat lies in the fact that its most innocent victims are made to look like heartless accomplices. It is impossible to see behind defeat the sacrifices, the austere performance of duty, the self-discipline and the vigilance that are there - those things the god of battle does not take account of."

* N.B. In addition to the Byzantine Greeks defending the city, there were large contingents of Venetians, Genoese, Sicilians, and natives of the Papal States.

** However, it wasn't until 1930 that the Turkish government officially changed the name of the city to Istanbul.

Here's a brief documentary:


And you can't do a piece on Constantinople without the classic song Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - the video below is a Tiny Toons production using the version by They Must Be Giants, but for the music alone I prefer the original 1953 version by The Four Lads.

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, ol' Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night...


Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday links

Hottest chili pepper in the world accidentally created by Welsh farmer.

Why Flamingos Are More Stable on One Leg Than Two.

How Model Trains Transformed From Cutting-Edge to Quaint.


If a T-rex were released in New York City, how many humans/day would it need to consume to get its needed calorie intake?


ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include typewriter evolution, the un-edited photos from which classic pin-up girl paintings were made, why thinking in the shower is effective, and for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans, Towel Day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

If meat eaters acted like vegans.

LOL - this would be accurate about for all forms of politically correct self-righteousnesswhat happens when a meat eater adopts the attitude of a vegan?



via Sad and Useless

Thursday links

Fans of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: don't panic - today is Towel Day!

Why You Do Your Best Thinking In The Shower: Creativity and the “Incubation Period”.


Classic Pin-Up Girls Before and After Editing: The Real Women Behind Gil Elvgren's Paintings.

The Curious Evolution of the Typewriter, in Pictures.

Finnish Brewery Sells 1000-Packs Of Beer.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday, how to build your own medieval crossbow, when women started growing out and painting their nails, and the history of tea.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Classic Pin-Up Girls Before and After Editing: The Real Women Behind Gil Elvgren's Paintings

Before Photoshop, artist Gil Elvgren (wiki) relied on the technique of painting from a photograph of a model instead of from the live model. His classic pin-up pictures of curvy-girl-next-door types with their skirts billowing adorned the noses of bombers and the walls of soldiers barracks in the 1940s and '50s. In addition to dozens of calendars, he illustrated stories for a host of magazines (such as The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping) and also provided advertising images for Coca-Cola, General Electric and Sealy Mattress Company, among others. 

As the '70s approached and the pin-up girl craze started to die, Elvgren was down to one business account. When he died in 1980 he was broke, and his last work was published posthumously. In the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in the pin-up girls, and Elvgren's work in both advertising and calendars has become highly collectible - in 2012 one of his classic pin-ups sold for $176K. In 1998 Elvgren's youngest son Drake produced a 200-page coffee table book includes hundreds of photos of Elvgren's work entitled Elvgren: His Life & Art

Even if you're too young to remember any of these specifically, they're so ubiquitous that they probably look familiar. Below are some of his paintings, alongside the photos on which each was based.


















More pictures here, here, and here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday links

Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.

DIY: How to build a medieval crossbow.


Physicist Richard Feynman told the FBI to leave him alone. They did.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include what to do if you get caught in an avalanche, the Justice Department’s guide to using psychics in police investigations, the physics of a T-Rex bite, and the Victorian belief that a train ride could instantly make you insane. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born on May 22, 1859

They were herded in at the base of the Abousir rock, this little group of modern types who had fallen into the rough clutch of the seventh century—for in all save the rifles in their hands there was nothing to distinguish these men from the desert warriors who first carried the crescent flag out of Arabia.

~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (wikiThe Tragedy of the Korosko (on a routine tourist excursion interrupted by an approaching group of Mahdists - the Isis of the late 19th century) 1898 illustrated version is available online here.

A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.*

~ Doyle (Sherlock Holmes (wiki), in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. "The Five Orange Pips")   

Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner.  You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid. 

~ Doyle (Holmes, in The Sign of Four, Ch. 1)

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? 

~ Ibid,, Holmes in Ch. 6 

"Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."  
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes. 

~ Doyle (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, "Silver Blaze")
                       
"Excellent," I cried.  "Elementary," said he.** 

~ Doyle (Ibid, "The Crooked Man") 

Don't you find as you age in the wood, as we are both doing, that the tragedy of life is that your early heroes lose their glamour? ... Now with Doyle I don't have this feeling. I still revere his work as much as ever.  I used to think it swell, and I still think it swell.   

~ P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) (in Performing Flea,1953)

May 22nd is the anniversary of the birth in Edinburgh of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1939), creator of the world's greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.  After receiving his degree at the University of Edinburgh, Doyle practiced medicine in Southsea but turned to writing as an avocation and produced a series of novels now largely forgotten.  Beginning with The Sign of Four in 1889, however, his detective stories, featuring the enigmatic Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, assured his lasting fame. Collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1891) and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1904), Doyle's mystery tales remain a cornerstone of the genre. 

On Doyle's gravestone in Hampshire is engraved:

Steel True
Blade Straight 
Arthur Conan Doyle
Knight
Patriot, Physician & Man of Letters

*  Reminiscent of Dr. Samuel Johnson's remark:    

"Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a subject ourselves, or we know where to find information upon it." 

** This is the closest Doyle came in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories to "Elementary, my dear Watson," a classic misquotation.   

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The History of Tea

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world right after water, and I drink a lot of it myself, since I suck down iced green tea* all day. I can't say, though, that prior to this I knew so many details about it's history.

Here’s a short video from TED Ed describing the origins of tea and how the beverage became so popular.



* Actually, what I drink is green tea with ginseng, and after lots of experimentation this is the process I use:

Buy this stuff from Amazon - it's dirt cheap and good, and the bags are not individually wrapped. That may be a disadvantage in some cases, but it you want to use several at a time, it's much easier not to have to unwrap them. There's no extra flavors added. so if you want you can get some lemon or honey flavored bags and throw a couple of them in, too.

Put six bags (if adding the lemon flavored variety, use four of the plain and two lemon) in a saucepan with ~ 1.5 quarts of water, heat to just below a boil, and remove the pan from the burner.

If adding sugar, do it now while it'll dissolve easily - remember you'll end up with approximately a gallon of tea so sweeten accordingly. Sweetened or not, wait at least an hour for it to steep and cool, then dump into a pitcher, fill the pitcher up with water and refrigerate. I use these 3 quart pitchers because they (1) have a sturdy, well-shaped handle and (2) are somewhat narrow so they take up less room in the fridge, but use what you have, or use an old empty 1 gallon milk/juice carton. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday links

Now there's a KFC romance novelTender Wings of Desire.

The psychological effects of growing up with an extremely common name.

Victorians Believed That a Train Ride Could Cause Instant Insanity.

What to do if you get caught in an avalanche.

Here's the Justice Department’s guide to using psychics in police investigations.

How Much Force Could a T.Rex Bite Deliver?

ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include second careers of former football players, digitizing a 6 foot tall 17th century book, a few dancing clips for Fred Astaire's birthday, and Thomas Sowell on greed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Now there's a KFC romance novel: Tender Wings of Desire

Amazon lists the author of Tender Wings of Desire as Colonel Sanders, but I have my doubts about the accuracy of that. Here's their blurb:
When Lady Madeline Parker runs away from Parker Manor and a loveless betrothal, she finally feels like she is in control of her life. But what happens when she realizes she can’t control how she feels? When she finds herself swept into the arms of Harland, a handsome sailor with a mysterious past, Madeline realizes she must choose between a life of order and a man of passion. Can love overcome lies? What happens in the embrace of destiny, on the Tender Wings of Desire?
Related, sort of:

Really bad book covers (and books)

Alton Brown's critique of Amazon's dumbest kitchen gadgets, with bonus Amazon reviews.


Remember dinosaur porn? Now it's Bigfoot - Can you say ‘cryptozoological erotica'? (NSFW language)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jew's ear juice, anyone?

Thirsty?

The Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai was surprised to discover on the shelves of a local supermarket chain a canned beverage called "The Jew's Ear Juice."

The drink is made of a black mushroom which does resemble a wrinkled ear. (I can't find liquid, but if you want to make your own, Amazon has lots of choices for the alternative name of wood ear mushrooms.)

Israel's Consul-General in Shanghai Jackie Eldan stressed that this was not a case of anti-Semitism, as Judaism is considered in China a synonym of success.

According to Eldan, the juice's manufacturer must have thought that linking it to the Jewish ear would be profitable.

ElderOfZiyon found a review:

From the Chinese name, 黑木耳露 (Hei1 Mu4 Er3 Lu4), I know that it's wood ear juice. Wood ear (evidently a.k.a. Jew's ear) is a fungus that's pretty common in Chinese dishes, but I would never think about drinking it.

Also available powdered!
It's a nasty-looking thick semi-transparent cloudy brown liquid. It's smell is weird, like a mix between the apple vinegar drink and turkey gravy. It's a little thick and slimy, but the flavor is actually mild. The flavor isn't anything at all like the cooked wood ear that I'm used to eating.

It's so strange that it tastes like bland, bad, old apple cider, that I decided to check the ingredients. The Jew's Ear Juice is made of: pure water, black wood ear (Jew's ear), haw (Chinese hawthorn), big Chinese date, sugar, honey, sodium of citric acid, and stabilizer.

It all makes sense now, the strange appley flavor is coming from the haw. It does taste similar to hawthorne juice now that I think of it.

Jew's Ear (AKA Wood Ear) fungus
Well, the can says that if you drink the Jew's ear juice cold, it's clear and refreshing, but you can heat it up to make it more "densely" fragrant. I gotta try it.

They were right about the smell, it is definitely denser. The strange thing is that it now smells more like food, almost like spaghetti-o's. Believe it or not, Jew's ear juice actually tastes better hot. Maybe it's the thickness, but I think it's just that wood ear is usually served cold, and when the juice is hot it reminds me less that I'm drinking fungus juice.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday links

It's Fred Astaire's birthday - here are clips of some of his best dancing.


Ten-Year-Old Girl Survives Alligator Attack by Punching It, Shoving Fingers into Its Nostrils.



ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include Nazi board games, colorized x-ray photos of plants and animals, Cinco de Mayo, and the story of the song Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

It's V.E. Day: on May 8, 1945, World War 2 ended in Europe

May 8th is the anniversary of V.E. Day (for "Victory in Europe") (wikiBBC) in 1945, which saw the German surrender and the end of World War II in the European theater
The beaten foe emerged.
Winston Churchill waves to crowds London on V-E Day.
All over the broad Atlantic, wherever they had been working or lying hid, the U-boats surfaced, confessing the war's end. A few of them, prompted by determination or struck by guilt, scuttled or destroyed themselves, or ran for shelter, not knowing that there was none; but mostly they did what they had been told to do, mostly they hoisted their black surrender flags, and stayed where they were, and waited for orders. 
They rose, dripping and silent, in the Irish Sea, and at the mouth of the Clyde, and off the Lizard in the English Channel, at the top of the Minches where the tides raced; they rose near Iceland, where Compass Rose was sunk and off the north-west tip of Ireland, and close to the Faeroes, and on the Gibraltar run where the sunk ships lay so thick, and near St. Johns and Halifax and in the deep of the Atlantic, with three thousand fathoms of water beneath their keel. 
They surfaced in secret places, betraying themselves and their frustrated plans: they rose within sight of land, they rose far away in mortal waters, where on the map of the battle, the crosses that were the sunken ships were etched so many and so close that the ink ran together. They surfaced above their handiwork, in hatred or in fear, sometimes snarling their continued rage, sometimes accepting thankfully a truce they had never offered to other ships, other sailors.
They rose, and lay wherever they were on the battlefield, waiting for the victors to claim their victory. 
~Nicolas Monsarrat ("V.E. Day," from The Cruel Sea)

Today, May 8th, is the anniversary of V.E. Day (for "Victory in Europe") (wiki, BBC) in 1945, which saw the German surrender and the end of World War II in the European theater.* Lest we forget. English novelist Nicolas Monsarrat (1910-1979) was born in Liverpool and earned a law degree at Cambridge. With the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and served on the North Atlantic convoys for several years. This experience led to his crafting perhaps the most highly regarded novel about modern naval warfare yet written - The Cruel Sea - which appeared in 1951 while its author was serving as a British diplomat in South Africa. An equally esteemed motion picture, starring Jack Hawkins, was made of the book two years later, and it remains a classic today. Several other Monsarrat novels followed, but none ever gained the stature of The Cruel Sea.

* N.B. V.E. Day is called "Victory Day" in Russia and is celebrated tomorrow, May 9th, with elaborate ceremony. 

Below is a generous theatrical trailer for The Cruel Sea, which actually shows some of the best bits.

Here's the Youtube description:
The novel The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monserrat was an unflinching portrayal of life at sea during WWII on a boat tasked with protecting convoys and seeking and destroying U-boats. A runaway success, the novel had already sold over 4 million copies in just 2 years when Ealing decided to make the film version. Filmed aboard an actual Royal Navy corvette, The Cruel Sea tells the story of the sailors aboard the HMS Compass Rose: the bonds that form between them, the daily pressures they face and their epic struggle to overcome the enemy. Nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Film, The Cruel Sea stars Jack Hawkins, Sir Donald Sinden and Stanley Clarke, and is a gripping insight into the lives of unsung heroes at sea during the war, and the agonizing decisions and incredible peril they faced on a daily basis.


And a brief documentary:



Related posts:

It's V-J Day, the anniversary of the date of Japan's surrender in 1945 and the end of WWII.

Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches...we shall never surrender" speech: the evacuation of Dunkirk by a flotilla of small boats.

June 6 is D-Day: quotes, videos (footage, FDR's and Reagan's speeches), lots of links.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday links

Happy Cinco de Mayo. And here's an illustrated history of Tex-Mex food.

Europe’s Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets.

Nazi Board Games of World War II.


McDonald’s introduces fry-fork utensil with new sandwiches

Take Me Out to the Ball Game: The story of Baseball's National Anthem.

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include International Respect for Chickens Day and Star Wars Day, how to develop Jason Bourne-level situational awareness, the legend of Ludgar the War Wolf, King of the Trebuchets. and a 16th century warning about herb-caused brain scorpions: Take heede therefore ye smellers of Basil.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Social Security Cards Explained


Happy Cinco de Mayo

Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!

~Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Alfonso Bedoya bandit character)*

Mexico: where life is cheap, death is rich, and the buzzards are never unhappy. 

Edward Abbey (attributed) 

Today is Cinco de Mayo, Mexico's great national holiday and the anniversary of the defeat of 6,000 French soldiers by 2,000 Mexicans at the battle of Puebla in 1862. After Mexico had defaulted on its bonds, Britain, France, and Spain made a joint naval demonstration to compel payment. (Embroiled in its own Civil War, the United States was too preoccupied to object.) When negotiations opened, the British and Spanish departed, but France decided to seize on the opportunity to conquer the country and impose Napoleon III's brother-in-law, Maximilian, as emperor.

Édouard Manet's The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian (1867)
is one of five versions of his representation
of the execution of the Mexican monarch
Despite the Mexican victory at Puebla, the French eventually prevailed, but by 1867, Maximilian had been overthrown and executed, his demise the subject of a memorable painting (1867-68) by Eduard Manet now in the National Gallery, London.** Some decades later, ruthless Mexican president cum dictator Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915) noted,

"Poor Mexico, so far from God - and so near to the United States."

* N.B. John Huston's classic movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), starred Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt in a stark tale of greed in the southwestern desert. It won three Academy Awards, and the phrase quoted here has become something of a cult incantation, though most often in the form,

"We ain't got no stinkin' badges..."

** Maximilian's body was later repatriated to Austria, and his sarcophagus can be seen today in the Kapuzinergruft in downtown Vienna, along with those of many other famous Hapsburg monarchs.

Here's a brief History Channel explanation of the holiday:



The text above is adapted from Ed's Quotation of the Day, only available via email - leave your email address in the comments if you'd like to be added to his list. Ed is the author of Hunters and Killers: Volume 1: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1776 to 1943 and Hunters and Killers: Volume 2: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1943.

Thursday links

In addition to International Respect for Chickens Day, May the Fourth (be with you) is also Star Wars Day. Here's a nice collection of Star Wars propaganda posters

The Day Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Teamed Up.


Pertinent to a discussion about planting herb gardens: Take heede therefore ye smellers of Basil.


The Origin of the Phrase "Jump on the Bandwagon".

ICTMI, Friday's links are here, and include an explanation of Italian hand gestures, the evolution of potty training, vintage animation lessons (including how to make things cute), and some Star Wars Math.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 4th is International Respect for Chickens day: some chicken-related links to help you celebrate

Whether you raise your own or not, you may be interested to know that May 4th is International Respect for Chickens Day.  In celebration, a few chicken related links:

Take a look at this, even if you don't read the whole thing: the famous (and definitive!) Chicken scientific study.

The KFC Prom Corsage:



Here's a "best of" FogHorn Leghorn video - "Any of this gettin' through to you, son?":


Glamour portraits of chickens from Chickens:


More at the artist's web site, and here's a mini documentary on the poultry portraiture project.

Chickens dressed as historical figures - here's Abe Lincoln, and there are more at the link:


Worried about your chickens crossing the road on dark winter evenings? This high visibility chicken jacket comes in yellow or pink:

I went looking for these chicken jackets on Amazon (they're not available) but they do have chicken saddles, which are, apparently, a real thing - I thought at first it was a a joke.  Here's the description:
Chicken saddles are made to protect your hen's back from a roosters nails and spurs. When a rooster overmates a hen this can lead to serious and sometimes life threatening damage. Backs can become bare in what seems like overnight. Often people think they need to trim the spurs or remove them entirely but that is not necessary with a chicken saddle. Why take away your rooster's best defense in protecting his flock when you can get a chicken saddle?
Plucking A Chicken In 14 Seconds With The Homemade Whizbang Chicken Plucker:


Epic Chick Fight: 2 women reenact Family Guy’s famed chicken fight:


And the original: 


Related posts and links:

Here's an excellent (and cheap!) chicken hat - I have one of these, and it actually quite warm!

This Chinese "Chick Chick" music video is the weirdest thing you'll watch all day.


A 500 lb chicken from hell: large feathered dinosaur species discovered in North America.

Scientists engineer flu-stopping superchicken.

The history of chickens and eggs: When and why did they get domesticated?

Got more?  Leave them in the comments, and I'll update later.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thomas Sowell - The Greed Fallacy

Common sense from economist Thomas Sowell (wiki):



Here's Milton Friedman (wiki) on the same subject:



Plus this: Thomas Sowell Brilliantly Dismantles Obama's Presidency:



Related posts and links:

Milton Friedman's birthday - bio, quotes and brief videos on various economic subjects.

Thomas Sowell's website has links to much (maybe all?) of his writing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday links

Vintage animation lessons - how to make things cute.

Second Handwritten Copy of the Declaration of Independence Discovered in England.





ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include evaluating drunk witnesses, the FBI's pre-computer fingerprint operations, ANZAC Day, and, for Oliver Cromwell's birthday, his excellent (and evergreen) speech throwing out the corrupt Parliament.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Vintage animation lessons - how to make things cute

Animator Preston Blair (wiki), who at various times did work for Disney, Tex Avery, MGM, and Hannah Barbera, published several instructional books on the subject. This page on the elements of cuteness is from one of his books:


Here's another page, on how to draw hands:

 
More:



And these, on various movements:



It's Oliver Cromwell's birthday - here's his speech throwing out the corrupt Parliament, with bonus Monty Python

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Oliver Cromwell (wiki) (1599-1658), Lord Protector of England during the era of the Commonwealth that followed the overthrow and execution of King Charles I in 1649. Cromwell attended Cambridge but never finished his degree. A fervent Puritan, he entered Parliament in 1628 and strongly opposed the king. 

Cromwell's "warts and all" portrait*
When the English Civil War (wiki) broke out in 1642, Cromwell's evident military genius propelled him into leadership positions with the Parliamentary army, and he defeated the royalist forces at Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645). After the king's capture, Cromwell was a leading advocate for his condemnation, and upon Charles's death and the ensuing dismissal of Parliament, he ruled England until his own death in 1658. 

His son, Richard Cromwell (1626-1712), succeeded him, but within a few years, the Commonwealth lost popular support, and the monarchy was restored in Charles II in 1660. 

His address dismissing the Rump Parliament is one of the best speeches ever. Here's the online version of Chambers' Book of Days setting the scene:
Cromwell, having ordered a company of musketeers to follow him, entered the House 'in plain black clothes and grey worsted stockings,' and, sitting down, listened for a while to their proceedings. Hearing at length the question put, that the bill do pass, he rose, put off his hat, and began to speak. In the course of his address, he told them of their self-seeking and delays of justice, till at length Sir Peter Wentworth interrupted him with a remonstrance against such language. Then blazing up, he said, 'We have had enough of this—I will put an end to your prating.' Stepping into the floor of the House, and clapping on his hat, he commenced a violent harangue, which he occasionally emphasized by stamping with his feet, and which came mainly to this,
And the text of the speech itself:
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. 
In the name of God, go!
Here's Monty Python's brief history of Cromwell (lyrics below video):



Lyrics - for an explanation of the allusions, see this Wikipedia article:

The most interesting thing about King Charles, the first
Is that he was 5 foot 6 inches tall at the start of his reign
But only 4 foot 8 inches tall at the end of it because of
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England Puritan
Born in 1599 and died in 1658 September


Was at first only MP for Hunting Don, but then he led the Ironside Cavalry
At Marston Moor in 1644 and won then he founded the New Model Army
And praise be, beat the Cavaliers at Naisby and the King fled up North
Like a bat to the Scots

But under the terms of John Pimm's Solemn League and Covenant
The Scots handed King Charles the first, over to
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England and his warts
Born in 1599 and died in 1658 September

But alas, oy vay! The disagreement then broke out between
The Presbyterian Parliament and the Military who meant
To have an independent bent and so the 2nd Civil War broke out
And the Roundhead ranks faced the Cavaliers at Preston Banks
And the King lost again, silly thing, stupid Git

And Cromwell sent Colonel Pride to purge the House of Commons
Of the Presbyterian Royalists leaving behind only the rump Parliament
Which appointed a High Court at Westminster Hall to indict
Charles, the first for tyranny, ooh! Charles was sentenced to death
Even though he refused to accept that the court had jurisdiction
Say goodbye to his head


Poor King Charles laid his head on the block
January 1649, down came the axe and in the silence that followed
The only sound that could be heard was a solitary giggle from
Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, ole
Born in 1599 and died in 1658 September

Then he smashed Ireland, set up the Commonwealth and more
He crushed the Scots at Worcester and beat the Dutch at sea in 1653
And then he dissolved the rump Parliament
And with Lambert's consent wrote the instrument of Government
Under which Oliver was Protector at last

The end

When Cromwell died, the confusions that followed produced the restoration of monarchy, and some time was employed in repairing the ruins of our constitution, and restoring the nation to a state of peace. In every change there will be many that suffer real or imaginary grievances, and therefore many will be disillusioned.

This was, perhaps, the reason why several colonies had their beginning in the reign of Charles the Second. The Quakers willingly sought refuge in Pennsylvania; and it is not unlikely that Carolina owed its inhabitants to the remains of that restless disposition, which had given so much disturbance to our country, and had now no opportunity of acting at home.

~Samuel Johnson (wiki), (An Introduction To The Political State Of Great Britain, 1756) 

My favorite Cromwell quotation:

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken. 

~Cromwell (letter to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, August 1650)

After the Restoration, a vengeful Parliament ordered the exhumation and posthumous execution of Cromwell's corpse, along with those of the prominent regicides, Ireton and Bradshaw. Their bodies were removed from their tombs and dragged to Tyburn gallows, where they were publicly hanged and beheaded on 30 January 1661, the twelfth anniversary of the execution of Charles I.

The headless corpses were thrown into an unmarked pit, but the heads were displayed on spiked poles above Westminster Hall, where they remained for several decades.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Cromwell's head became a collector's curiosity and was sometimes put on public exhibition. After scientific analysis confirmed that the head was probably genuine, it was finally interred in 1960 in the chapel of Cromwell's old college Sidney Sussex, Cambridge, its precise location undisclosed.

Read more: The incredible journey of Oliver Cromwell's head.

Here's a brief (8 minutes) history by the BBC:


*To the famous English portrait painter, Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), Cromwell supposedly remarked,
"Mr. Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me, otherwise I will not pay a farthing for it." 
The text above is based on Ed's Quotation of the Day, only available via email - leave your email address in the comments if you'd like to be added to his list. Ed is the author of Hunters and Killers: Volume 1: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1776 to 1943 and Hunters and Killers: Volume 2: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1943.