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Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday links

A Thanksgiving miscellany: Mark Twain, science, WKRP, Cicero, the best turkey fryer PSA ever, and more.

Crazy Russian Hacker has some kitchen tips to help you out with Thanksgiving festivities. The cupcake tin full of appetizers is my favorite.

A Depression-Era Zoo Housed Wolves and Three Species of Bears Together. It Didn’t End Well.

Are your animals home alone all day? Here's a free archive of entertaining videos for cats and dogs, with bonus cat and dog links for humans. Semi-related: The Long and Glorious History of Cat Ladies.

Who gets the royalties for Hitler's Mein Kampf?

Mortimer Mouse? The Original Names of 10 Cartoon Characters.

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include President James Garfield's birthday (when he was shot, Alexander Graham Bell showed up with a metal detector to try to locate the bullet),  the Gettysburg Address and a Pennsylvania newspaper's retraction for an 1863 article calling Gettysburg Address "silly remarks", a woman who won the right to wear a spaghetti strainer on her head for her driver's licence photo, history of people mailing themselves in boxes, a defenestration supercut, and a father who borrowed a Go-Pro, held it backwards and recorded his entire vacation as one long selfie.

A free archive of entertaining videos for cats and dogs, with bonus cat and dog links for humans

There are lots of cat and dog videos around, but generally they're made for humans to watch. These purport to entertain your animals - I don't personally find them all that fascinating, but per youtube comments on Paul Dinning's channel, lots of dogs and cats do. I guess if you leave your pets home alone it would be nice to leave the TV on for them.

Over the past 6 years, Paul Dinning has created a YouTube channel packed with over 400 videos featuring the wildlife of Cornwall, England. And, from that footage, he has cobbled together playlists designed to delight all cats and dogs with access to the internet. And, apparently cats and dogs are watching. 
Here's Squirrel and Bird Fun:

And The Ultimate Videos of Birds for Cats To Watch:

Previous posts, about animals but for humans:

Terrible pictures of men with cats, bonus Nazis with cats.

Slow Motion Flipping Cat Physics, with bonus Buttered Toast/Cat Paradox video.

A Thanksgiving miscellany: Mark Twain, science, WKRP, Cicero, the best turkey fryer PSA ever, more

I've accumulated a LOT of Thanksgiving-related links over the years, so I've divided them up - here's the first set.

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.

Cartoon (The Oatmeal): Thanksgiving as a kid VS Thanksgiving as an adult.

Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months, instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and to extend the usual annual compliments.

~ Mark Twain Autobiography

WKRP Turkey Drop episode: "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly"

Gratius animus est una virtus non solum maxima, sed etiam mater virtutum omnium reliquaram.

~ Marcus Tullius CiceroOratio pro Cnaeo Plancio, 23
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the mother of all other virtues.
The excellent William Shatner fried turkey PSA:

Turkey fryer alert: 86 year old man deep fries own leg. Or as he calls it, his drumstick.

If you're actually going to fry a turkey, you might consider Alton Brown's advice on how to construct a derrick over your turkey fryer.

Tutorial: How to draw a turkey.

Pi vs Pie.

The voices of Christopher Walken and John Madden: The First Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday links

Today is President James Garfield's birthday. When he was shot, Alexander Graham Bell showed up with a metal detector to try to locate the bullet. Related, The Gettysburg Address was seven score and twelve years ago, and Pennsylvania newspaper prints retraction (written in the style of the Gettysburg Address) for 1863 article calling Gettysburg address "silly remarks".

Father borrows Go-Pro, holds it backwards and Accidentally Records Entire Vacation the Wrong Way as One Long Selfie.

Defenestration supercut: movie characters driving, falling, jumping and being thrown through glass windows.

The Strangely Successful History of People Mailing Themselves in Boxes.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include a 1968 memo to Gene Roddenberry about William Shatner's disappearing wigs from the Star Trek set (plus a Monty Python/Star Trek mashup), photos of the Rolling Stones as kids, and a boat trip through the Paris Sewer.

Today is President James Garfield's birthday

For mere vengeance I would do nothing. This nation is too great to look for more revenge. But for security of the future, I would do everything. 

~ James A. Garfield (wiki) (speech, 15 April 1865, on the occasion of President Lincoln's assassination) 

Nobody but radicals have ever accomplished anything in a great crisis. Conservatives have their place in the piping times of peace, but in emergencies, only rugged issue men amount to much. 

~ Garfield (statement in his diary for 1876) 

I am trying to do two things: dare to be a radical and not be a fool, which, if I may judge by the exhibitions around me, is a matter of no small difficulty. 

~ Garfield (letter to Burke A. Hinsdale, 11 January 1867) 

The divorce between the church and the state ought to be absolute; It ought to be so absolute that no church anywhere in any State or in the nation should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a church tax on the whole community.

~ Garfield (in the House of Representatives, 22 June 1874) 

Garfield died of a gunshot wound, from a disgruntled office-seeker, that today would probably not be life threatening. They just couldn't find the bullet and get it out. Alexander Graham Bell's attempt to locate it electronically, with the first metal-detector, failed, confused by the metal bed springs. Sadly, within ten years, the discovery of X-rays would provide a technology that could have made finding the bullet easy, even routine. With no antibiotics to control the infection, Garfield lingered painfully for more than two months.

~ Kelley L. Ross (b. 1949) (The Great Republic: Presidents and States of the United States) 

He did not flash forth as a meteor; he rose with measured and stately step over rough paths and through years of rugged work. He earned his passage to every preferment. He was tried and tested at every step in his pathway of progress. He produced his passport at every gateway to opportunity and glory. His broad and benevolent nature made him the friend of all mankind.

~ William McKinley (1843-1901)* (eulogy on the unveiling of a statue of President Garfield, 19 January 1896) 

Today is the anniversary of the birth of James A(bram) Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of these United States, in Moreland Hills, Ohio. Born to a widowed farm wife, Garfield worked at a series of menial jobs but eventually attended Williams College, graduating in 1856. 

He entered politics as a Republican and served in the Ohio State Senate until the outbreak of the Civil War, in which he saw combat as a Union major general. In 1862 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in that body until 1880, after 1876 as Republican Leader of the House. 

Noted as a skilled orator, Garfield supported the more radical aspects of Reconstruction, but later moderated his views and became known for his strong support in Congress for the gold standard and free trade. He narrowly escaped involvement in the Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872, but his stature was such that the Republican party nominated him in 1880 as a compromise candidate for the Presidency, which he won handily. His four-month administration, characterized by party squabbles over federal jobs and political patronage, was cut short by his fatal wounding by a disappointed office-seeker in Washington in July 1881:

On July 2, 1881, at 9:20 a.m., James A. Garfield was shot in the back as he walked with Secretary of State Blaine in Washington's Baltimore and Potomac train station. The proud President was preparing to leave for Williams College—he planned to introduce his two sons to his alma mater. The shots came from a .44 British Bulldog, which the assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, had purchased specifically because he thought it would look impressive in a museum. Garfield's doctors were unable to remove the bullet, which was lodged in the President's pancreas. On September 19, 1881, the President died of blood poisoning and complications from the shooting in his hospital rooms at Elberon, a village on the New Jersey shore, where his wife lay ill with malaria.
The shot in the back was not fatal, not hitting any vital organs. The bullet lodged behind the pancreas.
"If they had just left him alone he almost certainly would have survived," Millard said. Within minutes, doctors converged on the fallen president, using their fingers to poke and prod his open wounds. "Twelve different doctors inserted unsterilized fingers and instruments in Garfield's back probing for this bullet," Millard recounted, "and the first examination took place on the train station floor. I mean, you can't imagine a more germ-infested environment." 
He died two and a half months later and was succeeded in office by Vice-President Chester A. Arthur. 

* N.B. Ironically, President McKinley was the next president to be assassinated - in September 1901. 

A brief documentary from the History Channel:

Based on Ed's Quotation of the Day, only available via email. If you'd live to be added to his distribution list, leave your email address in the comments.

Defenestration supercut: movie characters driving, falling, jumping and being thrown through glass windows

List of movies included in this supercut are below.


Wizard of Oz
The Matrix
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Halloween 2
Die Hard
Minority Report
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
The Bourne Ultimatum
Beverly Hills Cop


Bridget Jones Diary
The Towering Inferno
Fright Night
Last Action Hero
X-Men 3
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Friday 13th Part 4
The Toxic Avenger
Undercover Brother
Lethal Weapon
Terminator 2
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Robocop (0:56 - 1:03)


Silent Night: Deadly Night
Top Secret!
The Dark Knight
Transformers 3
The Mummy Returns
The Dark Knight
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Ajeossi (The Man form Nowhere)
Robocop 2
Police Story (1:21 - 1:33)


Friday 13th Part 4
Men in Black
Friday 13th part 2
The Long Kiss Goodbye
Terminator 2
Die Another Day
Total Recall
Blade Runner


The Exorcist
Loaded Weapon
Mission Impossible
Friday 13th part 4
The Great Muppet Caper
Resident Evil: Resurrection
Terminator 2
The Fly
Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Florida Woman Battered Ex-Husband Over Sex Position Dispute in Storage Unit, plus lots of other Florida Woman links

According to cops, Luper and Michael Vaccaro--who were married for 12 years--drove together to retrieve some of his belongings from their storage unit in Bradenton.

While parked in the rear of the facility, “Luper got undressed, and asked Vaccaro if he wanted to have sexual intercourse,” police reported. “Vaccaro agreed, and told Luper to lay down.”

But Luper, a court filing notes, “did not want to have sexual intercourse in that position and stated no.” It is unclear where the pair was planning to tryst, or the position that was rejected by Luper

During a subsequent argument, Luper allegedly struck Vaccaro in the head with a thrown object. As Vaccaro sought to remove some of his belongings from the car’s rear seat, Luper allegedly accelerated the auto “with Vaccaro still half way inside the vehicle.” As Vaccaro “pulled out of the vehicle,” Luper drove over his right foot.
h/t Dave Barry

And last, but definitely not least: 

Police Probe “Decapitated Dildos” After Florida Black Lesbian Couple Fight.

Some of the above from @_Flor1daWoman

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday links

This 1968 memo to Gene Roddenberry about William Shatner's disappearing wigs from the Star Trek set is a hoot, plus bonus Monty Python/Star Trek mashup.

15 Non-Sex Uses For Condoms.

Photos Of Boys Who Became The Rolling Stones

The Suez Canal opened on November 17, 1869.

A Boat Trip through the Paris Sewer.

A Cockroach Can Bite With a Force 50 Times Its Body Weight.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include lots of paraskavedekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) information, living next door to Area 51, an 133 MPH lawnmower, the physics of TIE fighter formations, and the (unfortunately defunct) 1950s U.S. Army program that put price tags on equipment.

The Suez Canal opened opened on November 17, 1869

Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

~Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) ("The Ballad of East and West," stanza 1)

If M. de Lesseps (wiki) had not been a man of the stuff and stamp of which all great inventors are made, if he had not toiled on to the attainment of his end in spite of every hindrance, the Suez Canal would now exist only on paper... The opening of the new water highway between the East and West will mark an era in the annals of humanity.

~The Daily Telegraph, London, 26 August 1869

The Suez Canal (wiki) was the greatest feat of organization and engineering of its day, and it served, for a brief moment, as a symbol of all that was right in the world. It was created by dreams and by meticulous organization, by brilliant engineers and by workers looking for their next meal. And then, once the fireworks had faded, the canal began to fade as well. Traveling through Suez today, it is tempting to despair. Barbed wire, overpopulation, rusting ships, and dwindling business stand as rebukes to the vision of de Lesseps.

~Zachary Karabell Parting of the Desert - the Creation of the Suez Canal (2003)*, Epilogue)

Today is the anniversary of the opening in 1869 of the Suez Canal between the Mediterranean and Red Seas, which offers the shortest maritime route between Europe and the lands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The subject of speculation for millennia, the 100-mile long canal was finally realized due to the vision and perseverance of French entrepreneur and engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894), who convinced the French and Egyptian governments that such a canal was feasible, arranged ample financing, and supervised its construction over ten years, despite enormous engineering challenges. 

In 1875, Great Britain gained majority ownership of the canal to assure easy passage to India and seven years later essentially seized control of Egypt to protect it. Subsequently, de Lesseps attempted to repeat his success by building a similar canal across the Isthmus of Panama but ended in bankruptcy in 1888. 

Here's a brief vintage documentary on the Suez Canal:

And one on the Suez Canal Crisis, precipitated when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser seized and announced his intention to nationalize the canal. France, the United Kingdom, and Israel responded by bombing Cairo on 29 October 1956:

Coincidentally, November 19th will be the anniversary of the birth of de Lesseps in 1805: he's said to have claimed that he had always had "the privilege of being believed without having to prove what one affirms.")

* N.B. A concise and readable history of the conception and building of the Suez Canal.

The above is based on Ed's Quotation of the Day, available only via email. Leave your email address in the comments if you'd like to be added to his list.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

1968 memo to Gene Roddenberry re Shatner's disappearing wigs from Star Trek set, bonus Monty Python

Fellow Star Trek fans will appreciate this - the UCLA Library Special Collections Blog has this 1968 Desilu Productions Inc. memo from show producer Robert Justman to show creator Gene Roddenberry which documents the high value of wigs and hair pieces used on the show to the show’s actors. Where did they go? And, were they ever returned?

Click here to embiggen
Another Gene Roddenberry post I saw recently is this, from The Oatmeal: It's Going To Be OK. I highly recommend it.

Bonus: Star Trek meets Monty Python:

Related posts: