Amazon Deals

New at Amazon

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cartoon - The Clueless Guide to Terror


via

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.

Tuesday's links

April 25th is ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps ) Day, the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Medieval Dragons.

Is a Drunk Witness a Bad Witness?

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

The World's Most Stubborn Real Estate Holdouts.

Inside the FBI’s Colossal Pre-Computer Fingerprint Factory.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include the science of cheap wine, Earth Day's murderous co-founder, a 1964 coffee revolt, fighting communism with jazz, and a 1983 episode of The Family Feud that pitted the cast of Gilligan's Island against the cast of Batman.