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Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday links

My appetite is sick, for want of a Capacity to digest your Favors: Advice from 1713 on sweet talking your man

Home destroyed and family dog killed in fire caused by Nutella jar.

In 1979 programmers at NORAD almost started World War III when they accidentally ran a computer simulation of a Soviet attack.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose: An Ancient Babylonian Customer Service Complaint Inscribed on a Clay Tablet Around 1750 BC.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include 103 year old identical twins, a lost Sherlock Holmes story, macrophotography of dragonflies, and the "we don't negotiate with terrorists" supercut.

My appetite is sick, for want of a Capacity to digest your Favors: Advice from 1713 on sweet talking your man

Charles Sackville, The New Academy of Complements, excerpts:

"Complemental Expressions towards Men Leading to the Art of Courtship":

Sir, I am daily in disquiet, and shall be, till some occasion be offered me suddenly wherein I may appear to You to be more than Verbal.

Sir, Your good Goodness wants a resident.

Sir, I shall study to Chronicle Your Vertues.

Sir, You are so highly Noble, that Your Purse is my Exchequer.

Sir, Be confident of my Affection, while I have room to lodge You in my Bosom.

Sir, Sleep is not more welcome to the wearied Traveller, than thou art to my House.

Sir, Without you, the State's necessities increase.

Sir, my appetite is sick, for want of a Capacity to digest your Favors. 

How to Invite a Man Home - advice from 1642

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday links

lost Sherlock Holmes short story was found in an attic in Scotland - here's the full text.

Awww... The World’s Oldest Identical Twin Sisters Have Spent 103 Years Taking Care Of Each Other Every Day.

The Frightening Legacy of Typhoid Mary.

Fun And Furry Facts About Rocket Raccoon.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include risk factors for spontaneous combustion, Atlantic City's diving horse women from 1905, the discovery of the stratosphere, and what happened to vitamins F, G, H, I, and J.

Supercut: We don’t negotiate with terrorists (NSFW language)

I always enjoy these supercuts, largely because they remind me of movies that I want to re-watch. In this case, the one that jumped out was Chuck Norris in Delta Force - the last clip here, at  the 2:50 mark. Full movie list (and links to more supercuts) below the video.

Movies included: 

Air Force One
Winning London
The Dark Knight Rises
Tropic Thunder
Collateral Damage
Land Of The Blind
World Is Not Enough
Austin Power: International Man Of Mystery
The Simpsons (“Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming”)
Winning London
Get Smart
The Delta Force

Previous posts:

Supercut: Hit by a Bus.

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lost Sherlock Holmes short story found in an attic in Scotland - here's the full text

LONDON — A Scottish historian has discovered a lost Sherlock Holmes (wiki) story in his attic, over 80 years after it was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (wiki).

Walter Elliot found the 1,300-word tale featuring the famous detective - played on TV by Benedict Cumberbatch - in a collection of stories he was given over 50 years ago. It's called Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar.

Elliot was given the 48-page pamphlet half a century ago by a friend, but forgot all about it until he was rooting around in his attic recently. It's believed to be the first unseen Holmes story by Doyle since the last was published over 80 years ago.

The wooden bridge in the Scottish town of Selkirk was destroyed by the great flood of 1902 and locals organised a three-day event to raise funds for a new one in 1904. The booklet of stories, entitled The Book o' the Brig, was initially created as part of a three-day fundraising event to help save that bridge

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle opened the event on the Saturday, helping to raise £560 for the bridge replacement, an iron structure that still stands today.

Here's the full text:

'We've had enough of old romancists and the men of travel, said the Editor, as he blue-pencilled his copy, and made arrangements for the great Saturday edition of the Bazaar Book. 'We want something up-to-date. Why not have a word from "Sherlock Holmes"?'

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes
Editors have only to speak and it is done, at least, they think so. 'Sherlock Holmes!' As well talk of interviewing the Man in the Moon. But it does not do to tell Editors all that you think. I had no objections whatever, I assured the Editor, to buttonhole 'Sherlock Holmes,' but to do so I should have to go to London.

'London!' scornfully sniffed the Great Man. 'And you profess to be a journalist? Have you never heard of the telegraph, the telephone, or the phonograh? Go to London! And are you not aware that all journalists are supposed to be qualified members of the Institute of Fiction, and to be qualified to make use of the Faculty of Imagination? By the use of the latter men have been interviewed, who were hundreds of miles away; some have been "interviewed" without either knowledge or consent. See that you have a topical article ready for the press for Saturday. Good day'.'

I was dismissed and had to find copy by hook or by crook. Well, the Faculty of Imagination might be worth a trial.

The familiar house in Sloan Street met my bewildered gaze. The door was shut, the blinds drawn. I entered; doors are no barrier to one who uses the Faculty of Imagination. The soft light from an electric bulb flooded the room. 'Sherlock Holmes' sits by the side of the table; Dr Watson is on his feet about to leave for the night. Sherlock Holmes, as has lately been shown by a prominent journal, is a pronounced Free Trader. Dr Watson is a mild Protectionist, who would take his gruelling behind a Martello tower, as Lord Goschen wittily put it, but not 'lying down!' The twain had just finished a stiff argument on Fiscal policy. Holmes loq,-

'And when shall I see you again, Watson? The inquiry into the "Mysteries of the Secret Cabinet" will be continued in Edinburgh on Saturday. Do you mind a run down to Scotland? You would get some capital data which you might turn to good account later.'

'I am very sorry,' replied Dr Watson, 'I should have liked to have gone with you, but a prior engagement prevents me. I will, however, have the pleasure of being in kindly Scottish company that day. I, also, am going to Scotland.'

'Ah! Then you are going to the Border country at that time?'

'How do you know that?'

'My dear Watson, it's all a matter of deduction.'

'Will you explain?'

The Book o' the Brig
'Well, when a man becomes absorbed in a certain theme, the murder will out some day. In many discussions you and I have on the fiscal question from time to time I have not failed to notice that you have taken up an attitude antagonistic to a certain school of thought, and on several occasions you have commented on the passing of "so-called' reforms, as you describe them, which you say were not the result of a spontaneous movement from or by the people, but solely due to the pressure of the Manchester School of politicians appealing to the mob. One of these allusions you made a peculiar reference to "Huz an' Mainchester" who had "turned the world upside down." The word "Huz" stuck to me, but after consulting many authors without learning anything as to the source of the word, I one day in reading a provincial paper noticed the same expression, which the writer said was descriptive of the way Hawick people looked at the progress of Reform. "Huz an' Mainchester' led the way. So, thought I, Watson has a knowledge of Hawick. I was still further confirmed in this idea by hearing you in several absent moments crooning a weird song of the Norwegian God Thor. Again I made enquires, and writing to a friend in the South country I procured a copy of "Teribus." So, I reasoned, so - there's something in the air! What attraction has Hawick for Watson?'

'Wonderful,' Watson said, 'and -- '

One of Frank Wiles' illustrations from The Strand magazine
'Yes, and when you characterised the action of the German Government in seeking to hamper Canadian trade by raising her tariff wall against her, as a case of "Sour Plums," and again in a drawing room asked a mutual lady friend to sing you that fine old song, "Braw, braw lads," I was curious enough to look up the old ballad, and finding it had reference to a small town near to Hawick, I began to see a ray of daylight. Hawick had a place in your mind; likewise so had Galashiels - so much was apparent. The question to be decided was why?'

'So far so good. And -- '

'Later still the plot deepened. Why, when I was retailing to you the steps that led up to the arrest of the Norwood builder by the impression of his thumb, I found a very great surprise that you were not listening at all to my reasoning, but were lilting a very sweet - a very sweet tune, Watson - "The Flowers of the Forest;" then I in turn consulted an authority on the subject, and found that that lovely if tragic song had a special reference to Selkirk. And you remember, Watson, how very enthusiastic you grew all of a sudden on the subject of Common-Ridings, and how much you studied the history of James IV., with special reference to Flodden Field. All these things speak, Watson, to the orderly brain of a thinker. Hawick, Galashiels, and Selkirk. What did the combination mean? I felt I must solve the problem, Watson; so that night when you left me, after we had discussed the "Tragedy of a Divided House," I ordered in a ton of tobacco, wrapped my cloak about me, and spent the night in thought. When you came round in the morning the problem was solved. I could not on the accumulative evidence but come to the conclusion that you contemplated another Parliamentary contest. Watson, you have the Border Burghs in your eye!'

'In my heart, Holmes,' said Watson.

A painting of Bannerfield's Bridge on display
 at the Selkirk Pop Up Community Museum
'And where do you travel to on Saturday, Watson?'

'I am going to Selkirk; I have an engagement there to open a Bazaar.'

'Is it in aide of a Bridge, Watson?'

'Yes,' replied Watson in surprise; 'but how do you know? I have never mentioned the matter to you.'

'By word, no; but by your action you have revealed the bent of your mind.'


'Let me explain. A week ago you came round to my rooms and asked for a look at "Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome." (You know I admire Macaulay's works, and have a full set.) That volume, after a casual look at, you took with you. When you returned it a day or two later I noticed it was marked with a slip of paper at the "Lay of Horatius," and I detected a faint pencil mark on the slip noting that the closing stanza was very appropriate. As you know, Watson, the lay is all descriptive of the keeping of a bridge. Let me remind you how nicely you would perorate -

Holmes and Watson, by Sidney Paget
When the goodman mends his armour

And trims his helmet's plume,

When the goodwife's shuttle merrily

Goes flashing through the loom,

With weeping and with laughter.

Still the story told -

How well Horatius kept the bridge,

In the brave days of old.

Could I, being mortal, help thinking you were bent on some such exploit yourself?'

'Very true!'

'Well, goodbye, Watson; shall be glad of your company after Saturday. Remember Horatius' words when you go to Border Burghs :- "How can man die better than facing fearful odds." But there, these words are only illustrations. Safe journey, and success to the Brig!'

More at The Telegraph, H/T Geekpress.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

For Marie Harf, "Nothing To Do With the Jihad" set to tune of "Everything's Comin' Up Roses"

Scaramouche, in a post on Mark Steyn's excellent piece on the insulting (to Chamberlain) comparisons between Chamberlain and Obama, has penned a suitable piece for Marie Harf:
And Marie Harf? She could also star in the hilarious--and yet tragic--new musical, Blonde Ambition. Her show-stopper: "Nothing To Do With the Jihad" (which, go figure, has the same melody as "Everything's Comin' Up Roses"
Islam's swell! Islam's great!
It has nothin' to do with the hate!
Starting here, starting now,
It's got nothing to do with the jihad!
Clear your minds! Just relax!
Barack O.'s gonna give you the facts:
"Islam's grand. Islam's fine.
It's got nothing to do with the jihad."
Those Crusades--jeer!
So barbaric and cruel.
Open wide, dear.
Dr. O.'s got your thin, toxic gruel!
Curtain down! There's no wrath
As we lead you down our garden path!
Islam's swell. Islam rocks.
Go to hell with your balks.
That crescent moon was once embraced by Dad.
Honey, true Islam's got lots of roses and daffodils!
True Islam's got lots of kisses and happiness!
True Islam's got lots of rainbows and unicorns!
True Islam's got not a thing to do with the jihad!

Marie Harf and Dana Garvey, separated at birth? I don't know, Garvey seems to have fewer valley girl genes...