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Saturday, April 15, 2017

1983 episode of The Family Feud: the cast of Gilligan's Island vs the cast of Batman

The cast of Gilligan's Island plays against the cast of Batman for charity in this 1983 episode of The Family Feud. It's interesting in a glimpse of history sort of sense, too - the number one answer to "Name something you bring into the bedroom for the day when you're sick in bed." is "a television", and another answer is "the phone". 



via Laughing Squid

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday links


The Titanic sunk on April 14, 1912 - here's an eyewitness account.


Videos of violence against marshmallow peeps, including peeps vs. .50 Caliber Rifle and microwave ovens, plus Artworks Made From Peeps. Related: Peeps on Television: 20 Shows Recreated With Marshmallow Peeps.


Prepare to be offended: Easter cards from The Onion.


ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and are income tax related: history of income tax, tax implications of the zombie apocalypse, the animated version of The Beatles "Taxman", tax revolts from science fiction, and more.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The appropriate music for the bomb dropped on ISIS in Afghanistan

The U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday. The GBU-43B, a 21,000-pound conventional bomb, was deployed in Nangarhar Province close to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. By comparison, each Tomahawk cruise missile launched at a Syrian military air base last week weighed 1,000 pounds each.

The MOAB -- Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- is also known as the “Mother Of All Bombs.” It was first tested in 2003, but hadn't been used in combat before Thursday.

Here's The Gap Band (youtube channel):

Creepy photos of Easter Bunnies with kids

More awkward photos:





















Giant tampon bunny!:




No kids (yet), but what's with the "tail"?


Check out the body language - this bunny is trying to get as far from Superman (in his George Reeves incarnation) as possible:


And not the bunny, but is this a great Easter picture of your kids, or what?


Related posts:

Awkward glamour photos.

These awkward Christmas photos are a hoot.

Want more? There are a gazillion of these on the interwebs - the best (non-bunny-specific) roundup that I know of is Awkward Family Photos (and they have a book that make a great gift for that person who has everything).

Thursday links

Tax day: quotes, songs, links, advice, filing an extension, Dave Barry, and the 1967 cartoon version of The Beatles "Taxman".



Death and Taxes... and Zombies: Tax implications of the zombie apocalypse.

TaxProf's IRS scandal archives - he's posted every day since May 10, 2013 when the IRS admitted that they were targeting conservative groups.

A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax and eleven shelters, dodges, and rolls - all perfectly legal - used by America's wealthiest people.

ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include dog fart science, why the date of Easter moves around, the physics of shoelace knot failure, the guy who had to chat with the king while he used the toilet, and the beginning of the Civil War.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday links

The first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter.

There's A Secret Hideaway In The Heart Of Disney World Just For The Military.

We may have missed Dog Farting Awareness Day (it was April 8th), but Scientific American's article on the science of dog farts is still worthwhile.



It Was Once Someone’s Job to Chat With the King While He Used the Toilet.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include FDR's bomb shelter, a mine-sweeping drone, nuclear and chemical testing in the U.S., and an 1860s series of Australian photos illustrating the '5 stages of inebriation'.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In 1956, an eyewitness (Samuel Seymour) to the Lincoln assassination appeared on TV

In 1956, a 96 year old eyewitness (Samuel Seymour) to the Lincoln assassination appeared on "I've Got a Secret":


The show's producers learned about Mr. Seymour from an article written by him in the February 7, 1954 issue of The American Weekly (wiki) magazine. It was available online a couple of years ago, but I can no longer find a link to it. Here's an image of the article:



And here's the text:

“I Saw Lincoln Shot"

By Samuel J. Seymour, as told to Frances Spatz Leighton

The only living witness re-creates the drama of that tragic night.

This is an eyewitness account of one of history’s great tragedies – the assassination of Abraham Lincoln – told by the only living witness to the fateful drama enacted at Ford’s Theater on the night of April 14th, 1865 – THE EDITORS

Even if I were to live another 94 years, I’d still never forget my first trip away from home as a little shaver five years old.

My father was overseer on the Goldsboro estate in Talbot County, Maryland, and it seems that he and Mr. Goldsboro has to go to Washington on business – something to do with the legal status of their 150 slaves. Mrs. Goldsboro asked if she couldn’t take me and my nurse, Sarah Cook, along with her and the men, for a little holiday.

We made the 150-mile trip by coach and team and I remember how stubborn those horses were about being loaded onto an old fashioned side-wheeler steamboat for part of the journey.

It was going on toward supper time – on Good Friday, April 14th, 1865 – when we finally pulled up in front of the biggest house I ever had seen. It looked to me like a thousand farmhouses all pushed together, but my father said it was a hotel.

I was scared. I had seen men with guns, all along the street, and every gun seemed to be aimed right at me. I was too little to realize that all of Washington was getting ready to celebrate because Lee has surrendered a few days earlier.

I complained tearfully that I couldn’t get out of the coach because my shirt was torn – anything to delay the dread moment – but Sarah dug into her bag and found a big safety pin.

“You hold still now, Sammy,” she said, “and I’ll fix the tear right away.” I shook so hard, from fright, that she accidentally stabbed me with the pin and I hollered, “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!”

When I finally had been rushed upstairs, shushed and scrubbed and put into fresh clothes, Mrs. Goldsboro said she had a wonderful surprise.

“Sammy, you and Sarah and I are going to a play tonight,” she explained. “A real play – and President Abraham Lincoln will be there.”

I thought a play would be a game like tag and I liked the idea. We waited a while outside the Ford Theater for tickets, then walked upstairs and sat in hard rattan-backed chairs.

Mrs. Goldsboro pointed directly across the theater to a colorfully draped box. “See those flags, Sammy?” she asked. “That’s where President Lincoln will sit.” When he finally did come in, she lifted me high so I could see. He was a tall, stern-looking man. I guess I just thought he looked stern because of his whiskers, because he was smiling and waving to the crowd.

When everyone sat down again and the actors started moving and talking, I began to get over the scared feeling I’d had ever since we arrived in Washington. But that was something I never should have done.

All of a sudden a shot rang out – a shot that always will be remembered – and someone in the President’s box screamed. I saw Lincoln slumped forward in his seat. People started milling around and I thought there’d been another accident when one man seemed to tumble over the balcony rail and land on the stage.

“Hurry, hurry, let’s go help the poor man who fell down,” I begged.

But by that time John Wilkes Booth, the assassin, had picked himself up and was running for dear life. He wasn’t caught until 12 days later when he was tracked to a barn where he was hiding.

Only a few people noticed the running man, but pandemonium broke loose in the theater, with everyone shouting:

“Lincoln’s shot! The President’s dead!”

Mrs. Goldsboro swept me into her arms and held me close and somehow we got outside the theater. That night I was shot 50 times, at least in my dreams – and I sometimes still relive the horror of Lincoln’s assassination, dozing in my rocker as an old codger like me is bound to do.

Related post:

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865

From Harper's Weekly of April 29, 1965. this illustration is by Thomas Nast, and represents Nast's Tribute to the fallen president. The illustration shows Columbia, or Lady Liberty, kneeling and weeping over Abraham Lincoln's Coffin. The picture also shows a grieving Union Soldier, contemplating the loss of his commander and chief. Also pictured is a Union Navy man, likewise mourning Abraham Lincoln's death.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won. 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people are exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead. 

~Walt Whitman (1819-1892) (wiki) ("O Captain! My Captain!," 1st stanza)*

Last known photograph of Abraham Lincoln,
taken by Henry F. Warren on 6 March 1865
Our children will behold his fame,
The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
New birth of our new soil, the first American. 
~James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) (of President Lincoln, Commemoration Ode, 21 July 1865)

Assassination has never changed the history of the world.**

~Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) (in the House of Commons, 1 May 1865, on Lincoln's assassination) 

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and for his orphan, to do all that may achieve a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. 

~President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) (wiki) (Second inaugural address, 4 March 1865)

Lincoln Assassination - Harper's Weekly Illustration
Although he actually died at 7:30 the following morning, today is the anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) on 14 April 1865, only five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Lincoln was very fond of the theater, and that evening, he and Mrs. Lincoln - likely in a celebratory mood because of the end of the Civil War - attended a performance of the comedy, Our American Cousin, by English playwright Tom Taylor at Ford's Theater on 10th Street NW in Washington. There, following the intermission, actor and Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth managed to gain access to the Presidential box through a series of security lapses, and shot Lincoln in the back of head with a small pistol. He then jumped down onto the stage, shouted "Sic semper tynannis!" ("Thus always to tyrants!"), and although breaking his leg in the process, made his escape. Booth was ultimately tracked down and killed on 26 April, and four other conspirators were hanged on 7 July 1865.*** 

The Assassination of President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre
After the Act, wood engraving from Harper's Weekly, April 29, 1865.
At least in the North, the President's death unleashed a paroxysm of grief. Before funeral services in Washington, he lay in state in both the White House and the Capitol, and the train that slowly bore his body to Illinois for burial stopped in 11 cities for additional viewings by the public. He was laid to rest in Springfield, Illinois on 4 May 1865. Perhaps my favorite Lincoln quotation:
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
* N.B. Written by Whitman in 1871 in memory of the assassination of President Lincoln.

** Except that this one probably did, at least in the United States... It led to the many excesses of Reconstruction and lasting bitterness between the North and South.

*** Lincoln's assassination was only part of a larger conspiracy which also targeted Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward. Johnson's intended attacker lost his nerve, but Seward was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack that same night. 

Here's a brief (5 minute) video on the assassination:


Funeral March for Abraham Lincoln written by Major General John Gross Barnard was performed by the United States Marine Band during the funeral procession from the Executive Mansion to the Capitol on April 19, 1865. This youtube version is played with with period illustrations of the obsequies: 


In 1956, an eyewitness (Samuel Seymour) to the Lincoln assassination appeared on "I've Got a Secret": 



Lincoln's 1858 speech on the meaning of Independence Day: Let us stick to it then. Let us stand firmly by it then.

Gorgeous remastered and colorized images from the Civil War era, including Lincoln and Mark Twain

Much more at History.com. The rest of the illustrations from the Harper's Weekly issue referenced above are available here.