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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ave atque vale Gerard Vlemmings, who blogged at The Presurfer

The bloggers behind two of the sites I visit (visited, more accurately) on a regular basis have died recently. They will be missed. Another favorite, Miss Cellania, has kept better track than I have - I noticed their posts about their illnesses but she has more information:

Another bright spot in the blogosphere is no more. Gerard Vlemmings of Tilburg, Netherlands, ran his blog The Presurfer for over 16 years. Less than a month ago, he stopped his daily postings due to illness, which proved to be cancer. His last post was on February 17, and a couple of days ago, his nephew Fam commented to let us know that Gerard passed away on Saturday, February 25th and his funeral service is tomorrow. I cannot find an online obituary, but that may be due to the language barrier. Gerard was 67. He will be sorely missed.
In an interview years ago, Alex Santoso of Neatorama was asked what he considered the most important blog on the internet. He replied that it was Nothing To Do With Arbroath ("of course!"). Sadly, we will no longer have that resource updated daily.  
The anonymous British blogger who only went by Kev quit his daily posting on November 24 due to poor health. He was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer. His many readers and fans wanted to help in some way, but Kev always guarded his privacy, and was too proud to accept help. He never revealed where he lived, or even his last name. His last post was on January 16. About a week ago his cousin in Canada left a comment that Kev had passed away. 
The funeral notice for Kevin Norman Gray has now been posted. We will miss him. 

March 5 is the anniversary of Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. 
Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. 

~ Winston S. Churchill (wiki) (1874-1965) (speech, Fulton Missouri, 5 March 1946) 

Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both. 

~ John F. Kennedy (wiki) (1917-1963) (speech to NATO, 3 July 1963)

Larger version and related maps here.
An uncharacteristically optimistic quote from Dr. Johnson:

No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it ... There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under any form of government. 

~ Dr. Samuel Johnson (wiki) (1709-1884) (quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson, 31 March, 1772) 

March 5th is the anniversary of Winston Churchill's epoch-making "iron curtain" speech in 1946, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri - the most famous acknowledgement of the existence of a "Cold War" (wiki) between Russia and the West, which put an end to the alliance that defeated the Nazis in World War II. The Cold War, which would often became quite hot in places like Korea and Vietnam - and damn near led to a nuclear exchange during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 - continued for 45 years until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. 

Sadly, however, the freedoms regained by the nations of eastern Europe seem now to be threatened by growing authoritarianism, and under Vladimir Putin, a new Cold War may already upon us.

Churchill's "iron curtain" phrase had many antecedents, described fully in a relevant Wikipedia article.

Churchill himself used the phrase a year before in a telegram to U.S. President Harry S. Truman, but perhaps most startling was its earliest appearance in the present context in an article by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (wiki) (1897-1945) in the Nazi newspaper Das Reich on 23 February 1945: 
"Should the German people lay down their arms, the Soviets ... would occupy all eastern and southeastern Europe, together with the greater part of the Reich. Over all this territory, which with the Soviet Union included, would be of enormous extent, an iron curtain [ein eiserner Vorhang] would at once descend."

Related posts:


Churchill on governmental redistribution.

Before there was Laffer: Churchill on the fiscal cliff..

And this: 25 years later, deer on the Czech/German border still avoid the Iron Curtain.

The text above is adapted from 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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Michelle Malkin's cousin Marizela Perez disappeared 6 years ago

Pictures and Michelle's archive about Marizela at her site. One can't help thinking that someone, somewhere, must know something - maybe by putting this out on the internet often enough that someone will see it and remember. I can't image what Michelle and her family have gone through.

Below is information gathered by The Charley Project:
The Charley Project profiles approximately 9,500 "cold case" missing people mainly from the United States. It does not actively investigate cases; it is merely a publicity vehicle for missing people who are often neglected by the press and forgotten all too soon. A person must have been missing for at least one year to be listed; see the FAQ for additional information on the site, its goals, and its founder/administrator.
Here's their roundup, which I'm including because it's more succinct that whet's available at Michelle Malkin's site. I can't vouch for accuracy::

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since March 5, 2011 from Seattle, Washington

Date of Birth: April 30, 1992

Age: 18 years old

Height and Weight: 5'5, 110 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Asian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. At the time of her disappearance, Perez's hair had red highlights and was cut in an asymmetrical bob with short bangs at the time of her disappearance. She may wear green-tinted contact lenses. She has a tattoo of the phrase "lahat ay magiging maayos" (meaning "all will be well" in Tagalog) on the inside of her left arm. Perez's nicknames are Emem and Mei. She is of Filipino descent.

Clothing/Jewelry Description: A dark-colored hooded jacket, a light-colored hooded sweater, jeans and light brown suede laced boots. Carrying a drawstring bag made of denim with a rainbow-colored butterfly screen print; it contained a Macbook Pro laptop.

Medical Conditions: Perez suffers from depression and was taking medication for the condition at the time of her disappearance.

Details of Disappearance

Perez was last seen in Seattle, Washington on March 5, 2011. She left her home in the Ranier Beach area en route to the campus of the University of Washington, where she was a freshman, but she apparently never arrived there. She was last seen at the Safeway store on Brooklyn Avenue northeast in the University District between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. She bought orange juice, trash bags, Tylenol and over-the-counter sleeping medication, left the store and has never been heard from again. The last activity on her cellular phone was when a text message was sent to her at 2:45 p.m. The phone pinged off a tower at 47th Avenue Northeast at the time. After that the phone was turned off; it has never been recovered.

It's uncharacteristic of her to leave of her own accord, and she didn't leave behind a note. Her parents live in New Jersey; she is an only child and was close to them. She lived with her aunt and uncle at the time of her disappearance; she'd moved in with them when she enrolled in college. Perez had recently broken up with her boyfriend and was distressed about it, and a private investigator hired by her family believes she committed suicide, but her parents said she seemed happy in the days prior to her disappearance and they don't believe she was suicidal.

Perez's cousin is Michelle Malkin, a noted conservative journalist and author. Her disappearance remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency  - if you have any information concerning this case, please contact: 

Seattle Police Department 
206-684-5582

Friday links


Weird and Fascinating Ways Animals Use Poop.


Beefcake alert from 1970's Spain.

Just How Much Pee Is In That Pool?


ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include the history of washing machines, a roundup of recommendations for beer, wine and whiskey pairings to drink with Girl Scout cookies, why some animals kill each other after sex, and Dr. Seuss's little-known book of nudes.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday links




It's Dr. Seuss's birthday - here's his little-known book of nudesThe Seven Lady Godivas (OK for work)

Air Force doctor wins NASA 'Space Poop Challenge'.

Some animals kill each other after sex because their distinction between hungry and flirty is blurred.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include 17th century competitive eating, that time Christopher Columbus tricked Jamaicans using knowledge of an upcoming lunar eclipse, where nature is most likely to kill you, how long it would take for a single person to fill up an entire swimming pool with their own saliva, and video of a group of tigers ripping a drone out of the sky then trying to eat it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tequila Shots Are Different In Sweden

Dr. Seuss's Little-Known Book of Nudes: The Seven Lady Godivas (OK for work)

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) (wiki), better known as "Dr. Seuss" was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Here's the story of one of his lesser-known masterpieces; I think that Ladies Godiva, rather than Lady Godivas, is probably grammatically correct, but what the heck.

Unlike the rest of Dr. Seuss's oeuvre, the Lady Godiva book was racy. Publishers’ Weekly wrote of it:
Originally published in 1939, this revisionist farce attempts to rectify the “shameful” story of “a big blond nude trotting around the town on a horse” and Peeping Tom, the “illicit snooper.” The frothy, historical romp presents seven Lady Godivas (Ladies Godiva?) whose father, the Lord of Coventry, is thrown from a horse and killed. The noble daughters vow to postpone their marriages to the seven Peeping brothers until they discover “some new and worthy Horse Truth, of benefit to man.” This gives Seuss the opportunity to contrive the origins of such wisdoms as, “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”
Wrote the author in the preface:
A beautiful story of love, honor and scientific achievement has too long been gathering dust in the archives.
The book, however, was a complete flop. Ten thousand copies were printed on the first run, and only about 2,500 were sold. The Seven Lady Godivas eventually went out of print, causing Geisel to later say:
I attempted to draw the sexiest babes I could, but they came out looking absurd.


See more, including the rest of the artwork, at Brain Pickings.

From What Pet Should I Get

This is Ann... she drinks blood! Dr Seuss Does Malaria.

Private Snafu: The World War II Propaganda Cartoons Created by Dr. Seuss, Frank Capra, and Mel Blanc.

25 Advertisements By Dr. Seuss Before He Was Dr. Seuss. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Watch an Ambush of Tigers Rip a Drone Out of the Sky and Then Eat It

At a Siberian tiger enclosure in China, a group of tigers (the collective noun (more here) for a group of tigers actually is ambush) attacked a drone being used by China Central Television (CCTV) to get some aerial footage of the Siberian tigers romping in the snow. 

Not only did the animals swipe the drone out of the sky, but they also took a few bites of it before deciding that it wasn't particularly tasty.

Watch full screen.


via Gizmodo

Tuesday links


Where Nature is Most Likely to Kill You.

How Cows Mooved Through Manhattan.

The Holocaust’s Great Escape. how the Burning Brigade tunneled out of an extermination camp.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Patrick Stewart’s Ridiculous Circumcision Story

This clip of Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman on The Graham Norton Show is a hoot. Stewart, who's 76 years old, has gone his entire life thinking that he was circumcised - when his wife (who apparently, unlike Stewart, had paid attention to more than one penis in her life) told him that he was not. He checked with his doctor:
“She said, ‘You’re not circumcised.’ I said, ‘What do you mean? You’ve only known me a few years.’ All my life, I remember my mother telling me why. Because it was fashionable at the time. She said, ‘You’re not circumcised.’ I said, ‘That’s ridiculous! I should know if I’m circumcised. Of course I am! End of conversation.’ But the next day, I happened to be seeing my doctor… for my annual physical. So while he was down there, I said, ‘Oh by the way my wife and I had a little disagreement. I am circumcised, aren’t I? Because she says I’m not.’ And he goes, ‘Not!’ I said, ‘No! That’s impossible.’ So he looked down again and he said, ‘Hey I’m Jewish, I know the difference.'”


via Uporxx

This reminded me a bit of this story: 

Roundup of recommendations for beer, wine and whiskey pairings to drink with Girl Scout cookies


It's Girl Scout cookie time again - I always associate them with the beginning of Lent, when I' m contemplating giving up chocolate. Below, by cookie type, are wine pairing recommendations from Wine Club Reviews and Ratings and beer pairing recommendations from Beer and Brewing. Further below, an infographic with suggested whiskey pairings:

Thin Mints
Wine: There are two types of Thin Mints made today, but both combine a wafer, chocolate, and peppermint flavoring. To truly experience the mint & chocolate combination, however, don’t reach for the milk – try a Syrah instead.
Beer: These dark and roasty stouts deliver a mouthfeel that pairs well with the crisp, minty crunch of the wafer cookie (especially if you keep your Thin Mints in the freezer). Consider yourself warned, though, as these beers range from 9—13 percent ABV and you’ll likely find yourself reaching for a second sleeve of cookies in record time.
Perennial Artisan Ales 17
Alesmith Speedway Stout
Shipyard Mint Chocolate Stout
Epic Big Bad Baptist
Hardywood Sidamo Coffee Stout
Samoas (Caramel deLites)
Wine: Banyuls is a red dessert wine from Southwestern France, which pairs amazingly with the dark chocolate stripes on Samoas. For a Plan B, pick up a Port.
Beers: Match the toasted coconut of these cookies with even more toasted coconut and the roasted caramel flavors in these beers:
Creature Comforts Koko Buni
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut
Bruery Mash & Coconut
Funky Buddha Last Snow
Wormtown Norm Chocolate Coconut Stout
Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)
Wine: You’re going to see a trend here: when the cookie has chocolate, grab a bottle of red wine. Tagalongs are no different – find a fruity red wine such as Beaujolais or Zinfandel.
Beer: The vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter flavors from the Tagalongs sound like adjuncts in a stout. So grab these flavor-filled stouts to heighten the insanity of this pairing.
Off Color DinoS’mores
FiftyFifty Vanilla Eclipse
Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb!
Stone W00tstout
Terrapin Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake 
Trefoils (Shortbread)
Wine: Light and refreshing, a Trefoil shortbread should be paired with Pinot Noir or even Sparkling wine if the mood is right.
Beer: Stick with tradition by pairing these classic cookies with traditional beer styles such as Baltic porter’s cheek-warming notes of dark fruits and coffee or a Scottish ale with notes of cocoa and coffee and a dash of smoke.
Smuttynose Baltic Porter
Founders Dirty Bastard
Jack’s Abby Framinghammer
Central Waters Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
Oskar Blues Old Chub
Lemonades
Wine: When snacking on these shortbread cookies with lemon-flavored icing, grab a buttery Chardonnay like the 2009 Cambria Chardonnay from Uncorked Ventures.
Beer: The shortbread texture of the cookies and lemon flavors in the icing make an excellent contrasting duo for these citrusy IPAs.
Ballast Point Sculpin
Night Shift Santilli
10 Barrel Joe
Neshaminy Creek Shape of Hops to Come
Against the Grain Rico Sauvin
Thanks-A-Lot
Wine: Shortbread dipped in rich fudge. It’s a tough one, as it combines the light shortbread with the chocolatey fudge, but try a Pinot Noir from Gold Medal Wine Club.
Beer: These shortbread cookies have had one side dunked in chocolate fudge. Keep the two-faced theme going by pairing with a contrasting beer such as these imperial IPAs:
Odell Myrcenary
Bell’s Hopslam
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Or reinforce the cookie flavors with the roasted goodness and creamy mouthfeel of these milk stouts:
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
4 Hands Chocolate Milk Stout
Savannah Smiles
Wine: These are a lemon-based cookie similar to the Lemonades but covered with powered sugar. Try a Pinot Grigio/Gris.
Beer: Push aside that lemon wedge you occasionally put in your beer and, if you must add a wedge, consider accenting your beer with the Savannah Smile instead. The lemon-flavored cookie wedges have been dusted with powdered sugar and pair well with these witbiers and bières de miel.
Allagash White
Westbrook White Thai
Jester King's Bière de Miel
Casey East Bank
Brasserie Dupont Bière De Miel Biologique 
Cranberry Citrus Crisps
Wine: Both sweet and tangy because of the cranberry, a good match for these would be a Viognier or the more popular Riesling.
Beer: Try these bières de garde for toffee notes and a subtle spice from farmhouse ale yeast that plays off nicely with the cranberry inundated cookies. Make sure to let these beers warm up a little for maximum intensity.
Lost Abbey Avante Garde
Two Brothers Domaine DuPage
Schlafly Bière de Garde
The Commons Bière De Garde
Hill Farmstead Bière De Norma
 By the way, Samoa fans, you can buy Samoa-flavored coffee creamer.

Maxine’s Tap Room in Fayetteville, Arkansas has whiskey and Girl Scout cookie pairings:



Beer and Brewing, source of most of the beer recommendations above, also has a roundup of pairing suggestions from around the intertubes: 

Suggestions from The Beer Chicks include these pairings:  
Caramel DeLites (aka Samoas) with Maui Brewing Co.’s CoCoNut PorTeR
Tagalongs with Wells & Young’s Brewing Company’s Banana Bread Beer
Thin Mints with Kiuchi Brewery’s Hitachino Nest Beer Espresso Stout
Trefoils with North Coast Brewing Co.’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout 
Central Track’s Melissa Mackaly suggested these pairings: 
Samoas with Founders Brewing Co.’s Dirty Bastard
Thin Mints with Great Divide Brewing Co.’s Yeti Imperial Stout
Do-Si-Dos with Founders Brewing Co.’s Imperial Stout 
Suggestions from the Brooklyn Brewshop include these pairings: 
Thin Mints with Bootlegger’s Brewery’s Mint Chocolate Porter
Tagalongs with Brooklyn Brew Shop’s own Peanut Butter Porter
Dulce de Leches with Revolution Brewing’s Mad Cow Milk Stout
Lemonades with Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace 
And finally, Flying Dog Brewery includes the following pairings with its own beers:
Trefoils with Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout
Do-Si-Dos with Lucky SOB Irish Red Ale
Samoas with Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA
Tagalongs with Gonzo Imperial Porter
Thin Mints with Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout