Amazon Deals

New at Amazon

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday links

How to Gird Up Your Loins: An Illustrated Guide.

Quentin Tarantino Directed a 1995 Episode of ER.

Rita Hayworth was born on this date in 1918. Here's an excellent compilation of her dancing, set to Stayin' Alive

Things That Are Hilariously Similar To Each Other (this is an open list, so you can add to it. Numbers 18 and 21 are my favorites).

ICYMI, Tuesdays links are here, and include lots of stuff about the Battle of Hastings, a gallery of stairs that lead nowhere, Halloween ideas from the 1880's, and the McDonald from McDonald's restaurants.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Isochronic Map Showing 1914 Travel Times From London

Larger version here.

via Geekpress.

Oscar Wilde was born 160 years ago today: quotes, poetry, history, and the dance of the seven veils

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
~Oscar Wilde (wiki) (The Portrait of Mr. W. H.)

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
~Wilde ("The Soul of Man Under Socialism," Fortnightly Review, February 1891) 

A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
~Wilde (his famous definition of a cynic in Lady Windermere's Fan)

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword.
~Wilde. (The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Pt. 1, St. 7)

And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats,
None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.
~Ibid., Pt. 3, St. 37

A few more, without attributions:

I don't want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

This rather poorly done statue is in
, near where he was born.
Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

True friends stab you in the front.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

Today is the 160th anniversary of the birth in Dublin of Irish poet, dramatist, and wit Oscar (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills) Wilde (wiki) (1854-1900) to unconventional parents, both writers. Wilde attended Oxford and became a cult figure in the cause of art for art's sake while pursuing a career as a poet and playwright. 

In 1882, he toured the United States on a lecture circuit. Reviews of these lectures were colorful, and opinions ranged from fawning to vitriolic; but for the most part, Wilde fascinated audiences and critics alike, and massive crowds thronged to catch a glimpse as he toured the city. 

As Wilde had come to expect, his physical appearance generated intense interest. The San Francisco Chronicle described:
“His long hair was brushed back over his ears… His coat was of black velvet, with lace cuffs. He wore a full lace necktie… His waistcoat was of the orthodox full-dress pattern, but his lower garment was an uncompromising knee-breeches of black velvet, beneath which the not too muscular legs were cased in patent leather shoes with silver buckles; his gloves were white.”
In an interview with the Chronicle, he revealed: 
“I find the eastern states… too much of a reflex of English manners and customs… What I like best is the civilization which the people of the West have formed for themselves.”
His most famous plays are the witty comedies, Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), and he is also remembered for a single novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).* 

Wilde was a controversial figure on the late Victorian literary scene, and his outrageous wit and bizarre behavior earned him many enemies. Eventually, he served a two-year prison term for homosexuality (although apparently he had a lover there), which resulted in his two poetic masterpieces, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898) and De Profundis (published 1905). After his release in 1897 from prison, the experience of which left him a broken man, Wilde spent the last several years of his life in Paris. 

The inscription on his tomb in the Pére Lachaise cemetery there is drawn from Part 4 of The Ballad of Reading Gaol:

"And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn."

* N.B. Wilde's play Salome (1893), his version of the biblical story about the step-daughter of King Herod and John the Baptist, was adapted by Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) for the libretto of Richard Strauss's 1905 opera of the same name - a major landmark of early 20th-century opera. Here's Ljuba Kazarnovskaya in the "Dance of the Seven Veils" from the opera, which is both an orchestral showpiece and a great piece of theater.

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

More on his trip to San Francisco here, and more quotes here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How To Gird Up Your Loins (An Illustrated Guide)

There are a few Bible verses that refer to loin-girding. I'm not going to track them all down, but here're two:

Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Luke 12:35-40 Jesus said to his disciples "Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.

Via Art of Manliness:
Back in the days of the ancient Near East, both men and women wore flowing tunics. Around the tunic, they’d wear a belt or girdle. While tunics were comfortable and breezy, the hem of the tunic would often get in the way when a man was fighting or performing hard labor. So when ancient Hebrew men had to battle the Philistines, the men would lift the hem of their tunic up and tuck it into their girdle or tie it in a knot to keep it off the ground. The effect basically created a pair of shorts that provided more freedom of movement. Thus to tell someone to “gird up their loins” was to tell them to get ready for hard work or battle. It was the ancient way of saying “man up!”
In case tunics ever come back in style, you’ll now know how to gird up your loins and get ready for action.

Here's a brief video which covers the basics:

Related posts:

The Tactical Order of Dressing: An Illustrated Guide (as taught to military and emergency personnel).

Because it's important to always be battle-ready: How to Poop Like a Samurai.

The manliness test - how manly are you? I took it, and I'm a mewling kitten. But I'm an old, overweight female, so presumably you'll do better.

The Boy Scouts of America: Then and Now — A Comparison of the 1911 and Modern Handbooks and Merit Badges.

More on loin-girding at Art of Manliness and HistoryZine.

Brilliant video: Every Customer Service Call Ever (NSFW language)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Video: a bouncing basketball connects 24 disparate movies

See how many of the movies you can identify - the list is below the video. I did very poorly.

Once Upon A Time In The West
My Name Is Nobody
The Shining
The Big Lebowski
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Men in Black 3
La Tour Montparnasse Infernale
Man of Steel
Men in Black
The Mask
Kill Bill
Shaolin Soccer
Superman Returns
Star Wars Episode I
2001: A Space Odyssey
Iron Man
Batman Returns

Tuesday links

Here's a gallery of Stairs That Lead Nowhere.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include using Shakespearean insults in an office setting, the real length of dog years, extraordinarily accurate medieval maps, and flowers that look like other thing.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gallery of dogs with their "cones of shame" decorated

The Dogtini:

The flower:
Mr. Monopoly:

The Death Star:

More here.

Geek with a lot of time on his hands calculated how much Calvin & Hobbes cost Calvin’s parents in damages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs parents somewhere in the vicinity of $250,000 to raise a child through the age of 17. This includes everything from food and housing down to toothbrushes and coloring books.

Larger version here
What the projected expense does not include, however, is how much it costs to replace things that kids ruin — repainting crayoned walls, buying new dishes when they break, replacing the garage door because the teen doesn’t really know how to drive very well yet.

These costs add up and yet they don’t get a line in the budget. Matt J. Michel, editor at Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science, decided to estimate this number for the rest of us.

And since no one documents these costs as they raise kids, he decided to use Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes (wiki) as his test subject, assuming that Calvin — inventively wild as he was — would be a reasonable worst-case scenario for the rest of us to base our budgeted damages on.

Michel then went through the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes comics and noted every bit of damage caused by Calvin or Hobbes that Bill Watterson actually portrayed or specifically mentioned.

Over the course of his decade as a 6-year-old, Calvin caused an estimated $15,955.50 in damage. To break it down a bit more, Calvin cost his parents, on average, $1,850.55 per year.

Along with his results, Michel notes…
It should be reiterated that Calvin is presented as a worst-case scenario. If you believe your child does more than $1,850.55 in damage annually, then you may want to consider professional help, alternative forms of punishment, or, at the very least, take away their stuffed tiger.

Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page (Briefly).

Calvin and Muad'Dib: Calvin and Hobbes goes really well with Dune.

Unfortunate dog-lover decal of the day

You do what to your dog?!?