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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.