Category Archives: Open Forum

Another way to keep from writing — Match Stick Rocket


Match Stick Rocket

SUBJECT: Rocketry

TOPIC: Propulsion

DESCRIPTION: A small solid propellant rocket is made from a match and a piece of aluminum foil.


EDITED BY: Roger Storm, NASA Glenn Research Center


  • 2 match book matches or wooden stick matches
  • Small square of aluminum foil
  • Paper clip
  • Safety pin


  1. Take one match and wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around the match-head. Wrap the foil tightly.
  2. Make a small opening in the foil wrapped around the match head by inserting the point of a safety pin and bending upward slightly.
  3. Bend the paper clip to form a launch pad as shown in the diagrams. Erect the match stick rocket on the pad. Make sure the pad is set up on a surface that will not be damaged by the rocket’s exhaust such as a lab table. Several layers of foil on the lab table work well.
  4. Ignite the match by holding a second lighted match under the foil until its combustion temperature is reached.

Caution: Be sure the match rocket is pointed away from people or burnable materials. it is recommended to have water or some other fire extinguishant available. The foil head of the rocket will be very hot!

DISCUSSION: The match stick rocket demonstrates Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion as they relate to rocketry. Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an opposite and

English: Low-res simulation of c-slot propella...

equal reaction. The exhaust of the fire products from the burning match (smoke and gas) is the “action” and the movement of the rocket in the other direction is the ‘reaction.’ The action thrust is produced when the match burns in an enclosed environment. The aluminum foil acts as a rocket combustion chamber. Because the opening in the foil is small, pressure builds up in the chamber that eventually escapes as a rapid stream of smoke and gas.

English: Schematic diagram of a V-2 rocket des...

English: Force diagram for rocket engine thrust.

In an interesting variation of the experiment, try making holes of different diameters to let the combustion products out at different rates. A larger opening permits the smoke and gas to escape before it has time to build up much pressure. The escape of the products will be slower than produced by a match stick rocket with a smaller opening. Isaac Newton’s second law states that the force or thrust of a rocket is equal to the mass of the smoke and gas escaping the rocket times how fast it escapes. In this experiment, the mass of the smoke and gas is the same for both cases. The difference is in how fast it escapes. Compare the distance traveled with the two match stick rockets.

via Match Stick Rocket.

English: Isaac Newton: Principia Mathematica E...


The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare | Rolling Stone

65d2b1be191e91be32b9481fb6f19842By  | November 6, 2014

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn’t take it anymore.

It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can’t sit by any longer.'”

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She’s had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she’s kept her mouth shut since then. “My closest family and friends don’t know what I’ve been living with,” she says. “Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview.”

Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it’s not exactly news that the country’s biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That’s why the more important part of Fleischmann’s story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. “Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way,” Fleischmann says.

This past year she watched as Holder’s Justice Department struck a series of historic settlement deals with Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. The root bargain in these deals was cash for secrecy. The banks paid big fines, without trials or even judges – only secret negotiations that typically ended with the public shown nothing but vague, quasi-official papers called “statements of facts,” which were conveniently devoid of anything like actual facts.

Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon (Photo: Bloomberg/Getty)

And now, with Holder about to leave office and his Justice Department reportedly wrapping up its final settlements, the state is effectively putting the finishing touches on what will amount to a sweeping, industrywide effort to bury the facts of a whole generation of Wall Street corruption. “I could be sued into bankruptcy,” she says. “I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.”

Read more:
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via The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare | Rolling Stone.

Whoever Saves a Life — Matter — Medium

In a war with many villains, these are the good guys. Seven days inside the life-and-death world of Syria’s first responders — the last hope for civilians caught in the chaos.

By Matthieu Aikins
Photographs and video by Sebastiano Tomada

Aleppo City, June 18, 2014.

The dawn found them sprawled like corpses around the cramped station room, atop a collection of soiled floor mats and a metal bunk that listed heavily to one side. They lay close together, some still wearing their uniforms from the night before. On a typical day in Aleppo, they would soon be woken by the sound of helicopters and jets roaring in to drop the first bombs on the rebel-held side of the city, which the regime has sought to pound to dust. But it was quiet this morning, and so they slept.

Standing outside his office next door, Khaled Hajjo, leader of the Hanano Civil Defense team, dragged on the first of many Gitanes and surveyed his small domain. The one-story, cinderblock station house was set in the corner of a large concrete lot the size of a soccer pitch, its perimeter hemmed by a 12-foot stone wall. At the far end of the lot was a mass of stacked old tires and a broken-down lifting crane. It had once been a car impound, but like so many buildings in Aleppo it had been repurposed for the war.

Whoever Saves a Life — Matter — Medium.

FIRST PERSON — “What Mass Murderers Are Really Thinking,

FIRST PERSON — “What Mass Murderers Are Really Thinking,” by Gina Tron a freelance writer living in Denver … first novel will be out in October … @_ginatron, for Politico Magazine:

“Though it’s been a while … since the last mass shooting in America, the threat never quite goes away. … I might be able to give some insight into what these young would-be mass murderers want. Because I used to want the same thing. Like them, I was once addicted to infamy. Back when I was a teen, I was accused of wanting to shoot up my high school. It was all a terrible misunderstanding based on my frustrations over being an outcast, which I’d vented by writing a short story in which I fantasized about killing some of my classmates at a school dance.

“When I compounded my reputation as a dangerous psychopath by scaring a girl who’d been mean to me with a nasty note that invoked the Columbine killings, … the news was on the front page of our hometown paper … I was banned from my prom (which I was rumored to want to blow up) and frightened parents claimed they would shoot me on sight if I tried to go. …

“My notoriety was made. And although I had no desire to go on a killing spree at all, I began to sort of enjoy it. … I felt that being suspected as a villain gave me power. … Teachers and adults feared me, and some kids my age, though they claimed to dislike me, were curious … The notoriety was as addictive as it was isolating. …

“We send a message to the wrong people that if you want fame and attention, just amass a high enough kill count. … Hence, it’s not unreasonable to ask for a little restraint from the media. … Cover the story … But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep his name out of the news … rob him of the narcissistic gratification he’s looking for. … [T]he American media has provided an outlet to these people by turning them into celebrities. We need to stop. Then maybe they will.”

via POLITICO Playbook –

d r i f t g l a s s: Good Lord, a Blog Devoted to Sunday Morning TV Blabber? `

“It is now impossible to stop Bill Kristol from lying” Edition.

via d r i f t g l a s s.

“It is now impossible to stop Bill Kristol from lying” Edition.



UPDATE:  Brother Charles Pierce opines here that our Fourth Estate most dramatically embarrassed itself this Sunday by not pre-empting “Meet the Press” once again with, oh, let’s say Exciting!Jai!Alai!Action and instead let just David Gregory go right on doing that thing he does where he holds his giant, simian features perfectly still and serious-like while equating the people who are trying to put a fire out with the people who are dancing giddily around that fire with Zippo lighters and Jerry cans of gasoline wearing “Arsonists Do It In Flagrante Delicto!” tee-shirts.


Ah, but the winner, and the first non-Cheney champion in our retooled Gobshite derby, is Himself, the Dancin’ Master. He takes this week’s House Cup for his interview with Bill Clinton in which he attempted to clear a height on the Both Sides Do It bar about which ordinary mortals can only dream.
GREGORY: And the real issue you talk about as well is some of this pain people are feeling in the middle class, the sense that the middle class, that the American dream is slipping away. I look at some of the numbers, 3.4 million Americans who have been out of work for six months plus. You have over 7 million who, by their own admission, are stuck in lower-paying jobs, part-time jobs. How can a Democratic candidate for president– what challenges would a Democratic candidate for president face running on the Obama economy?
CLINTON: Well, first of all, that’s not what anybody should do. You should run on making it better. But he didn’t cause the meltdown. The actions that his administration took kept it from being worse. And there had been a concerted effort to stop implementing his economic plan in the second term so none of you have any idea whether they would have worked or not. GREGORY: But you don’t lay this at Speaker Boehner and the Republicans uniquely, do you? I mean, do you really think it’s their opposition to the president that has forced him to have such impediments to get the economy growing again?

I do not challenge Brother Pierce’s wisdom in this matter.

The New Map of the Middle East – Jeffrey Goldberg – The Atlantic

The New Map of the Middle East – Jeffrey Goldberg – The Atlantic.

Meet Deca, the latest journalism cooperative | Capital New York

Deca’s first offering. (
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Most freelance writers operate as lone wolves, pitching stories in a high-risk and increasingly lower reward field.

But a new co-op of nine journalists with pedigrees from The New Yorker, The Atlantic and other prestigious titles, and with nods from the Pulitzer Prize committee and the National Magazine Awards, has banded together to edit and promote each other’s stories. Launching today, the project, called Deca, will also pool resources to meet the expenses of members’ in-depth reporting. It takes its cue from photojournalists who popularized cooperatives in the 1940s and 1950s, an era of similar technological change but long predating the days when members could communicate through Skype, Gchat and email.

Deca will take more than good will and team spirit to succeed, said Marc Herman, a member who lives in Barcelona, Spain. He hopes that the cooperative model, splitting among its international members revenue from stories sold on Amazon and on Deca’s new app, will keep everyone engaged. (The group’s members, including Tom Zoellner, Stephan Faris and McKenzie Funk, report and write independently and have never actually assembled as a group in person.)

At launch, Deca is far from the only online outlet for long-form narrative pieces. A number of platforms, such as Narratively, The Big Roundtable, Beacon Reader, Matter, The Atavist and Byliner, have cropped up in recent years, publishing in-depth reported work with a narrative bent. Each has its own business model, from venture capital backing to the collection of donations.

More about Meet Deca, the latest journalism cooperative via Meet Deca, the latest journalism cooperative | Capital New York.

7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with #ADHD | World of Psychology

7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHD

Associate Editor

7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHDAn ADHD brain thrives on interesting tasks. So it’s not surprising that most adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a hard time getting chores done. Chores such as cleaning, washing dishes, and doing laundry are tedious and boring.

According to Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach, “Broadly speaking, chores are typically left undone, poorly done or often put on the back burner unless there’s a sense of urgency.” That sense of urgency might be guests coming over or not having any clean clothes.

When adults with ADHD do start on their chores, they can run into various obstacles. For instance, they might get derailed because of distractibility, Matlen said.

Let’s say you need to clean the kitchen, she said. You pick up the mail that’s on the counter and take it to your home office. Once in the office, you notice a toy that needs to be put away. So you head to your child’s room and then decide to run to the basement for something. At this point the kitchen is long forgotten, she said.

Being overwhelmed is another obstacle: “Having a plan, making decisions, moving from step A to step B and hopefully, to step C often is so overwhelming, it makes it nearly impossible to start or complete a chore.”

That’s because people with ADHD have impairments in executive functioning, which makes it harder to plan, prioritize, perform and complete.

But you can get chores done. First, make sure you’re receiving optimal treatment for your ADHD. For many people that includes taking medication and working with a therapist or an ADHD coach who helps you accomplish your goals.

The second part is applying strategies that work for you. Below, Matlen shared excellent ideas on how to get chores done.

1. Find ways to bust boredom.

Since boredom is a big deterrent, find ways to make tasks more interesting. Get creative. For instance, make completing chores into a game. “Set a timer and see if you can ‘beat the clock.’” When you do, give yourself a small reward.

Throw clothes into your washer and dryer like you’re playing basketball. Dance. Sing.

“Take a quick before and after photo with your smartphone to feel instant gratification, and to take a more novel approach.”

Listen to an audiobook. Brainstorm solutions to problems, or compose a poem or song.

Focus on the outcome: “clean floors, clean clothes, bills paid…and focus on how good that will feel.”

2. Have a routine.

“The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario is a real problem,” said Matlen, also author of Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD. “If you don’t see an empty sock drawer, you will most likely forget you’re out of socks for tomorrow.”

For the rest, click 7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHD | World of Psychology.

How the Invention of the Alphabet Usurped Female Power in Society and Sparked the Rise of Patriarchy in Human Culture | Brain Pickings

[Terry: I’m sorry but this one has to go into the Hey Wait A Minute! section. “writing of any kind, but especially it’s alphabetic form, diminishes feminine values.”  Say What???

Jump to the original article for the part that claims that television is a far more feminine medium. Yeah, try that on a Sunday afternoon.]

A brief history of gender dynamics from page to screen.

by Maria Popova

The Rosetta Stone may be one of the 100 diagrams that changed the world and language may have propelled our evolution, but the invention of the written word was not without its costs. As Sophocles wisely observed, “nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.” That curse is what Leonard Shlain explores in The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image (public library) — a pause-giving look at the relationship between literacy and patriarchy. Without denying the vastness of the benefits literacy bestowed upon humanity, Shlain uses Marshall McLuhan’s famous dictum — “the medium is the message” — to examine how the advent of the written word and our ability to read reconfigured the human brain, effecting profound changes in the cultural dynamics of gender roles.

“By profession, I am a surgeon… I am by nature a storyteller,” Shlain tells us, and it is through this dual lens of critical thinking and enchantment that he examines his iconoclastic subject — a subject whose kernel was born while Shlain was touring Mediterranean archeological sites in the early 1990s and realized that the majority of shrines had been originally consecrated to female deities, only to be converted to male-deity worship later, for unknown reasons. (Beyond the broader cultural appeal such an observation might hold for a mind as inquisitive as Shlain’s, it’s worth noting that he had just sent off his own young daughter — one very special daughter — to college and into a world still very much shaped by gender dynamics.) A major culprit in the shift, Shlain argues, was the invention of the alphabet. (He takes great care to avoid the trap of correlation vs. causation and offers a wonderfully poetic formulation of the danger of conflating the two: “Correlation … does not prove causality — the disappearance of the stars at dawn does not cause the sun to rise.”)

Illustration by Giselle Potter for Gertrude Stein’s posthumously published ‘To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays.’ Click image for details.

Shlain frames the premise:

Of all the sacred cows allowed to roam unimpeded in our culture, few are as revered as literacy. Its benefits have been so incontestable that in the five millennia since the advent of the written word numerous poets and writers have extolled its virtues. Few paused to consider its costs. . . . One pernicious effect of literacy has gone largely unnoticed: writing subliminally fosters a patriarchal outlook. Writing of any kind, but especially its alphabetic form, diminishes feminine values and with them, women’s power in the culture.

More at  How the Invention of the Alphabet Usurped Female Power in Society and Sparked the Rise of Patriarchy in Human Culture | Brain Pickings.

Ex-CNN reporter: My struggle with panic attacks

[Terry: A Major Story, largely untold: Journalists are affected, sometimes catastrophically, by the stories they cover. Sean, who is an old friend, headlined this as ‘my mea culpa” on Facebook. That means his “guilty secret.’ This is about being human and there isn’t any need to feel guilty about it.]

My struggle with panic attacks

By Sean Callebs

updated 10:52 AM EST, Thu March 6, 2014

Sean Callebs is a correspondent for CCTV. He worked for more than 20 years at CNN.


(CNN) — I have suffered from debilitating panic attacks since 1986.

They were brought on by what happened on January 10, when I was a young reporter at WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina, and witnessed the electric chair execution of a convicted killer.

I volunteered for the assignment. It was an important case. James Terry Roach was 17 when he committed the crime — borderline mentally disabled, with a degenerative brain disorder. Authorities had every reason to commute his sentence. Former President Jimmy Carter and Mother Teresa sent in pleas on his behalf — but to no avail.

On the morning of the 10th, Roach was strapped into the electric chair and the switch thrown. His body slammed into the back of the chair and instantly tensed up. For one solid minute, electricity coursed through his body.

Executioners paused for one minute, then once again threw the switch. For 60 more seconds his body absorbed electricity. A short time later, he was pronounced dead.

A lot of reporters probably could have distanced themselves emotionally and moved on. But something happened to me in those few minutes. Afterward, I was anxious, couldn’t sleep, and found myself reliving the execution over and over in my mind.

I came back to work after a couple of days off. The assignment desk had planned to take it easy on me, but as luck would have it, there was some kind of fatal accident, and I was sent on the story. A large garbage truck was picking up a dumpster and accidentally made contact with power lines. So, my first story back was another electrocution. Heading back to the station I had my first panic attack.

Your heart is racing, you begin to hyperventilate, every nerve in your body is exploding — it seems you’re about to die.

People have told me, “I get panic-stricken, and nervous too. It happens.”

But getting nervous is not a panic attack. An attack makes you feel as if your world is ending. Your heart is racing, you begin to hyperventilate, every nerve in your body is exploding — it seems you’re about to die, and you have an overwhelming sense of doom.

  Continue reading →

Why Hasn’t There Been Any Sightings of Nessie In the Last Year?

Why Hasn’t There Been Any Sightings of Nessie In the Last Year?

By John W. Loftus at 3/01/2014

In the past, before there were any cameras at all, travelers through the forests and sailors on the seas would hear noises and see glimpses of animals in the moonlit night. There are some frightening noises one would hear. With the wind or a falling branch their imaginations could run wild. Wolves passing by in the forest could be thought of as scary beasts. A crashing wave could be thought of as a sea monster attacking the ship. The people back then simply didn’t know otherwise. So there were believed to be a whole host of mythical beasts in the world. The Griffin is one of them. For these people the world out there contained unimaginable beasts. Good paintings and the camera eliminated them one by one. The camera never captured them on film. So there was less reason to think they existed. But not all of them were put to rest, and others surfaced.

Now Vandy Beth Glenn at Skeptic Ink Network tells us there hasn’t been any sightings of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, in a year.

I’m not surprised. I’d bet the number of UFO sightings is also going down, as well as encounters with other lake monsters, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, the yeti, sea monsters, and every other sort of cryptid, alien, ghost, and dubious phenomenon. But it seems uncontroversial to assert that these appearances must be becoming less frequent, and the reason why…is the days of blurred or low-resolution pictures, camera artifiacts, lens flares, and other photographers’ shortcomings are simply drawing to a close. Everyone has a camera on their phone now. Everyone. If five people are on a beach and one of them yells, “What is that?!”, all five will whip out their phones and start taking still images or video. If one of them has a bad angle or their finger over the lens, the rest will get the shots.That’s science and technology baby. It works. The similar thing happened to God as we discovered he was not found here or there or anywhere, as Jonathan Pearce correctly summarizes. We can see this best by the scale of the universe itself. The same thing goes for claims of miracles. As modern medicine developed there was less and less of a need to see illnesses as God’s curses or demonic afflictions, and less of a need for miracles as the correct drugs and proper surgeries could heal us apart from them. Science and technology are ridding us of the sacred. It’s incremental. It does its work continually and effortlessly.

So the question naturally arises why should we take seriously any claim in the ancient superstitious past to a miracle or sighting of God or mythical beasts and angels? I see none.

via Debunking Christianity: Why Hasn’t There Been Any Sightings of Nessie In the Last Year?.

Great American Who? Hubert Selby Jr. | Flashback | OZY

Last Exit to Everywhere

February 28, 2014

By Will Humphries

Hubert Selby Jr. may not be a household name (and never was), and it’s unlikely that you’ll find him on a list of the greatest 20th century American writers. But if one of the hallmarks of the “Great American Novel,” from Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, is its penetrating vision of the people and nation that formed it, then Selby belongs in the conversation.

Selby’s portraits of a broken society are merely a reflection of the broken body in which he was forced to live.

In the same way that The Great Gatsby offers up an unyielding vision of America’s high-flying elite, Selby’s masterpiece, Last Exit to Brooklyn, is a searing rendition of the dark underbelly of a nation whose have-nots are fighting not just for power but for survival.

In many ways, Selby’s portraits of a broken society are merely a reflection of the broken body in which he was forced to live. Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Selby left school at age 15 to become a merchant sailor. A few years later he was diagnosed with advanced tuberculosis and given a year to live. To his doctors’ great surprise, however, after an experimental drug treatment and operations that removed 11 ribs and half of one lung, Selby outlived his prognosis and in fact lived to see his 75th year.

But Selby endured chronic pain for the rest of his life, often relying on painkillers and heroin to relieve the agony. He may have beat the tuberculosis, but he was bed-ridden, unable to work and frequently hospitalized for the better part of 10 years.

Encouraged by a childhood friend, the writer Gilbert Sorrentino, Selby — who could barely read — decided, “I know the alphabet. Maybe I could be a writer.” Many if not most writers spend decades honing their craft, but Selby’s late start and lack of formal training proved to be an advantage in his portrayals of the bleak and violent world around him. The threat of death is ever-looming in his work — a nightmarish fear that sprang directly from the author’s own existence.

The novel broke like a vial of dope on a Brooklyn pavement, some readers crowding round to soak up the vital dynamism of the prose, others barely able to hide their disgust.

For Selby, writing was a means by which death could be postponed, the very act of putting pen to paper being reason enough to keep on living. He published his first novel, Last Exist to Brooklyn, in 1964 when he was 36, and it is the one for which he is best remembered.

The novel broke like a vial of dope on a Brooklyn pavement, some readers crowding round to soak up the vital dynamism of the prose, others barely able to hide their disgust. Beat poet and spokesman for the disaffected Allen Ginsberg was among the loudest voices of praise, describing the book as “a rusty hellish bombshell that should explode all over America and still be read in a hundred years.”

The novel’s unflinching depiction of drug use, prostitution, gang rape, homosexuality, transvestitism and domestic violence soon caught the attention of the authorities, and it was banned under the Obscene Publications Act until 1968.

After a separate brush with the law, Selby finally kicked his heroin dependency around the same time, and for the rest of his life used neither drugs nor alcohol, even refusing morphine on his deathbed. But in his writing, Selby never shied away from controversial topics, such as heroin addiction in Requiem For a Dream and delusional psychosis in The Room.

But more than subject matter it’s Selby’s style that makes him an enduring writer. For example, his mastery of voice allows him to reject formal notions of dialogue, instead blending the characters’ words into the language of the narrative. By clearly differentiating characters not simply by their accents but by their language patterns, it is possible to distinguish the source of speech even in the hazy confusion of his prose.

Here, in the opening to arguably the most famous chapter in Last Exist to Brooklyn, Selby introduces us to the prostitute Tralala and we are drawn into the raw world of his protagonists:

”Tralala was 15 the first time she was laid. There was no real passion. Just diversion. She hungout in the Greeks with the other neighborhood kids. Nothin to do. Sit and talk. Listen to the jukebox. Drink coffee. Bum cigarettes. Everything a drag. She said yes. In the park. 3 or 4 couples finding their own tree and grass. Actually she didnt say yes. She said nothing.”

via Great American Who? Hubert Selby Jr. | Flashback | OZY.

Rock n Roll: The Most Brutal, Ugly, Degenerate, Vicious Form of Expression | Quote Investigator

Rock n Roll: The Most Brutal, Ugly, Degenerate, Vicious Form of Expression

Frank Sinatra? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: I greatly enjoy the singing of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, so I was surprised to hear that Sinatra once attacked the type of music that Elvis popularized. Supposedly Sinatra said:

Rock n Roll is the most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear.

Is this quotation accurate? When was this said?

Quote Investigator: There is strong evidence that Sinatra made a remark very similar to this. The wording of the modern version has been altered somewhat. QI has located an Associated Press article from October 1957 that reprinted an excerpt from a magazine called “Western World” published in Paris. Sinatra denounced rock music and musicians using hyperbolic language [FSWW]:

The famed crooner, writing in the magazine Western World published here, praised the influence of American jazz and popular music as a way of winning friends and influencing people throughout the world.

“My only deep sorrow,” he said, “is the unrelenting insistence of recording and motion picture companies upon purveying the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear—naturally I refer to the bulk of rock ‘n’ roll.

“It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people. It smells phony and false. It is sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons and by means of its almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd—in plain fact dirty—lyrics, and as I said before, it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth.

“This rancid smelling aphrodisiac I deplore. But, in spite of it, the contribution of American music to the world could be said to have one of the healthiest effects of all our contributions.”

Elvis Presley’s debut album was released in 1956, and by 1957 he was a star and a cultural sensation.

This article continues with Elvis Presley’s response to Sinatra.

Elvis Presley did wear sideburns, but the description “cretinous goon” does not fit. The INS news service distributed a newspaper story presenting the reaction of Elvis. The story modified the Sinatra’s quotation by replacing “displeasure” with “misfortune” [EPFS]:

Presley called a news conference to express righteous wrath over Sinatra’s description of Rock ‘n’ Roll as “the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression, it has been my misfortune to hear.”

Presley declared: “It’s the greatest music ever, and it will continue to be so. I like it, and I’m sure many other persons feel the same way. I also admit it’s the only thing I can do.”

At least 10,000 fans agreed with Presley last night as the ‘Whirling Hypnotwist’ played Svengali to the crowd in his first Hollywood personal appearance.

During Frank Sinatra’s ascent to stardom he had mesmerized the young women, “bobby soxers”, of an earlier generation. Presley continued his press conference remarks by alluding to Sinatra’s path to fame [EPFS]:

“He has a right to his opinion, but I can’t see him knocking my music for no good reason. I admire him as a performer and an actor, but I think he’s badly mistaken about this.

“If I remember correctly he was also part of a trend. I don’t see how he can call the youth of today immoral and delinquent.”

In conclusion, QI has not obtained a copy of “Western World” magazine to verify Sinatra’s words. But the AP article provides solid evidence that Sinatra did refer negatively to rock in 1957. His opinion changed over time, and he later had kind words for Elvis Presley.

[FSWW] 1957 October 28, Trenton Evening Times, Sinatra Blasts At Rock ‘n’ Roll, [Associated Press: Dateline Paris], Page 6, Column 1 and 2, Trenton, New Jersey. (GenealogyBank)

[EPFS] 1957 October 30, Augusta Chronicle, “Frankie rags Rock ‘n’ Roll; Presley’s sideburns bristle” [INS News Service: Dateline Hollywood], Page 1A, Column 5 and 6, Augusta, Georgia. (GenealogyBank)

via Rock n Roll: The Most Brutal, Ugly, Degenerate, Vicious Form of Expression | Quote Investigator.

Newton’s Apple: Science and the Value of a Good Story | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

Newton’s Apple: Science and the Value of a Good Story

By Ned Potter | February 13, 2014 |

Search online for any list of history’s greatest scientists and you’ll find the same names: Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Sigmund Freud, Louis Pasteur, and so on. The order may change, but the name on top will almost invariably be that of Isaac Newton.

We can argue over such lists – they’re mostly harmless fun – but we can agree that Newton earned his place there. He quantified the laws of motion that govern our lives, and almost 350 years after he did his work, it is still useful.

Isaac Newton / Credit:

But why is Newton better remembered than, say, Ernest Rutherford, who determined the structure of the atom, or Gregor Mendel, who brought us modern genetics? The difference, probably, is that Newton had a great story to tell.

[Terry: OR it’s the fact that he was a first-class alchemist and mystic who also invented calculus. If his alembic hadn’t burst in that lead to gold experiment, we’d be swimming in gold today!]

It’s the one about the apple. You remember it – how the young Newton, sent home from school at Cambridge to avoid the plague of 1665, was sitting under a tree one day, saw an apple fall to the ground, and, in a flash of insight, came to understand the workings of gravity.

He published his Principia Mathematica in 1687. In his spare time he designed the first reflecting telescope, laid the foundations for calculus, brought us the understanding of light and color, and in his later years – it would be disingenuous to leave this out – tried his hand at alchemy and assigning dates to events in the Bible.

But that apple! Oh, to have been a chronicler of science back then, having the chance to tell this wonderful story about the magnetic young physicist from Lincolnshire.

Actually, there was such a person. His name was William Stukeley, and in 1752 he published one of the first biographies of Newton, “Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton’s Life.”  Newton, as an old man, had told him the tale:

“After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden, and drank thea under the shade of some apple trees, only he, and myself. Amidst other discourse, he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind. Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to himself; occasion’d by the fall of an apple, as he sat in a contemplative mood…..”

The Royal Society has called the apple story “the most famous anecdote of discovery in science.”  Students of physics may stumble over the math behind Newton’s laws of motion, but they’ll remember the apple.

Newton’s apple / Credit: LadyofHats via Wikimedia Commons

There are other stories in science, of course. You’ll probably recall Archimedes running naked from the bath shouting, “Eureka!” or Oppenheimer watching the first atomic bomb and thinking, “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” Einstein is remembered (wrongly) as the elementary-school failure who came to epitomize genius. But Newton somehow won the good-story sweepstakes.  His is simple, gives us a visual image of his work, and helps explain something from our daily lives.

Over the years, inevitably, the details have been embellished. Ask around today, and people may tell you that the apple bonked Newton on the head. But the point remains: if you have an important point to make, especially in science but also in other fields, there’s nothing like a good story to make it memorable.

Of course, Newton may have known that. Historians say he was both a natural philosopher and a natural self-promoter. A friend of mine, knowing I was writing about the apple, said, “For all we know, Newton may have embellished the story himself.”

Ned Potter About the Author: Ned Potter, a Senior Vice President at the international communications firm RLM Finsbury, is a former science correspondent for ABC News and CBS News.

[Terry: Dear Ned. We all benefit from creative writing. Just remember Parson Weems who not only created the myth of Geo. Washington and the cherry tree but “The New York Times has described Weems as one of the “early hagiographers” of American literature “who elevated the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion, into the American pantheon”]

via Newton’s Apple: Science and the Value of a Good Story | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network.

Watch: The Amazing Full 6-Minute Tracking Shot From ‘True Detective’ | The Playlist

Watch: The Amazing Full 6-Minute Tracking Shot From ‘True Detective’Television

by Kevin Jagernauth February 11, 2014

Firstly, if you’re not watching HBO‘s “True Detective,” you’re doing it wrong. One of the best things going on TV right now—if not the best, period—the drama series has proven to be fantastically written and richly entertaining, with a murder mystery woven across a couple of decades, in a case that continues to haunt the detectives played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. But this past weekend’s episode “Who Goes There” (full recap here) kicked things up a notch. *SPOILERS AHEAD*

You likely heard everyone talking about it already, and no doubt, the episode’s climactic, six-minute single take shot of the raid on a stash house is a phenomenal feat of filmmaking. Showy? Sure, but it was also a brilliant tool in terms of storytelling. The narrative in the show jumps back and forth through time, with cops Martin and Rust telling their tale in the present, that we see in flashback. And so, the decision to immerse the viewer in that moment, with the cops going “off book” and breaking every rule along the way, brings an immediacy to one of the most defining and dangerous moments in their investigation (so far).

But it was also a highly complex shot, with the action following McConaughey’s Rust through two homes, and through the streets of the ghetto, all as action takes place all around him, in the foreground and background, as the detective tries to find safety and bring his contact with him, after a robbery gone wrong. And to hear director Cary Joji Fukunaga describe it, the shot was pure choreography on a grand scale.

“We had ADs [assistant directors] all over the neighborhood because we had to release extras, crowd running background, police cars, stunt drivers. There were actual gun shots and stones being thrown through windows. There were a lot of things to put together,” he told MTV. “Even the action, the stunt sequences were complicated. We’re working on a television schedule. It isn’t like a film where you can spend a lot of time working the stunts out with the actors. We only had a day and a half to get Matthew and everyone else on the same page.”

The crew ran through the sequence a full seven times, and once it was in the can, Fukunaga completed a few different versions of the scene, with edit points in case he wanted to cut away to something else. But wisely, he kept the entire shot intact, but only because it worked so well. “The best ones, you don’t even realize that they’re oners,” Fukunaga explained. “They’re the most first-person experience you can get in a film.”

And I have to admit, the first time I saw the sequence I didn’t even realize it was a single take until it was over. And it was only a second viewing where I appreciated the tremendous technical accomplishment of the shot. So, why don’t you give it another whirl too? Watch the entire six-minute single take below.


via Watch: The Amazing Full 6-Minute Tracking Shot From ‘True Detective’ | The Playlist.

What if Voldemort Won: Geeks are Sexy Technology News

Voldermort Propaganda Posters + Harry Potter Wanted Posters

[Terry: To be honest, I think Hermione looks incredibly sexy in her mug shot. But I’m crazy about her anyway.]


A series of Harry Potter-themed posters from Tumblr user Pragmatique envisioning a world where Voldemort would have won during the series’ final fight.




More at What if Voldemort Won: Voldermort Propaganda Posters + Harry Potter Wanted Posters [Pics] | Geeks are Sexy Technology News.

Goodreads | Carrie Vaughn’s Blog – cyberpunk movies – January 22, 2014 08:11

cyberpunk movies

I picked yesterday to get my working life set up on a brand new computer, which may not have been the smartest thing to do after recovering from a trip, but it was definitely necessary.  It’s kind of like the dentist trip, better to get it over with and it’s usually not as bad as you expect.  In fact, I had the thing mostly up and running and was getting some work done within about 2 hours — this included transferring over my Word files and photos and music and whatnot.  Excellent!  I hit a couple of glitches that will take some time to smooth out, but I can work.  I actually look forward to playing around with the new system and seeing what bells and whistles I can use.

So, I have a lot of commentary I could spout off about cyberpunk tropes in general, which ones have made it into the movies, and the ways in which cyberpunk has evolved — and in some ways, died out.  In grad school I took an upper-level seminar on the topic of. . .come to think of it, I’m not even sure what the topic ultimately was, I think the professor may have just been mining us for her own paper topics.  But we read Snow Crash. This was the second seminar in which I had read Snow Crash, because the novel has passed over the barrier and become “okay” for academia.  As the only SF geek in the department, I got to then go up to the professors teaching it and ask if they’d read Neuromancer.  In one case, yes, “Because Frederic Jameson made it okay to read science fiction,” to which I thought, “What the actual holy hell are you talking about?”  The other said, “No, because I’ve heard it’s very problematic in its treatment of women.”  And I said, “Well, yeah, probably, but if you haven’t read it you’re missing a big chunk of Snow Crash.  Seriously.”  (Like Snow Crash is all that better in its treatment of women than Neuromancer, sheesh…)

There’s a reason I didn’t go on for a PhD.

Anyway, I’ll never forget this seminar because in the middle of the discussion of Snow Crash, one of the other students, clearly baffled, said, “The story here is really kind of conservative.  I thought cyberpunk was supposed to be all radical and subversive, but I don’t see that at all.”  To which I, the only person in the room who had any experience with cyberpunk beyond Snow Crash, said, “Um no — this entire sub-genre exists to make nerdy computer guys feel better about themselves.”

The Rest is at  Goodreads | Carrie Vaughn’s Blog – cyberpunk movies – January 22, 2014 08:11.

More Memorable lines than any scene in film – IFC

10 Classic Movie Lines That Were Completely Unscripted 1. Casablanca“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid” was improvised by Humphrey Bogart on the set and it became one of the most famous lines in movie history.

via 10 Classic Movie Lines That Were Completely Unscripted – IFC.

Not to mentions midgets loading the 1/2 size airplane

Mythbusters – Susan B. Glasser – POLITICO Magazine



American foreign policy is driven by morality…HAHAHAHAHAH


Americans are more generous – and bigger global peacekeepers…WRONG BUT I’D HATE TO BE DEFENDED BY THOSE DUTCH SOLDIERS WHO WATCHED AS 7.000 WERE KILLED AT SREBRENICA.

The United States has all the answers…PERHAPS, BUT ARE THEY ALL THE CORRECT ANSWERS?

“Emerging” countries no longer need help…WRONG




America wants to be a hegemon…A WHAT?

American decline is the end of American leadership… WE’RE STUCK WITH THE JOB

The United States spends 20 percent of its budget on foreign aid…ONLY 19 PERCENTAGE POINTS OFF.

Foreign Aid doesn’t depend on governments…DO YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRIES AS WELL?

The commander in chief can “make it so”…MAKE IT SO WHAT?

Japan’s military rise is a threat to the United States…STUCK IN THE 1930S

Force works better than diplomacy…TWO WORDS: IRAQ. BOSNIA.


Bill and Melinda Gates and 27 other thinkers on the misconceptions about the United States and the world that drive them crazy.

In their annual Gates Foundation letter, released Tuesday morning, Bill and Melinda Gates identify three persistent myths about global development that drive them crazy: that poor countries are doomed to stay poor, that foreign aid is a big waste and that saving lives leads to overpopulation.

All three, as Bill Gates put it, are informed by “a dim view of the future, one that isn’t improving but staying poor and sick, and getting overcrowded.” And how infuriating to the Gateses, who have pledged to spend their entire fortune—currently estimated at some $72 billion—on their foundation’s save-the-world work. In a conversation the other day about the myths, both couple couldn’t help but circle back to the big gap between their pragmatic, numbers-driven case for interventions that work—and the persistence of false ideas and just wrong thinking. For Melinda Gates, who has taken on global access to contraception as a personal cause in recent years, there’s wonder that we’re still debunking the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, warning of the apocalyptic—and very much yet to happen—consequences of exploding global population. “And now I’m going on the Jimmy Fallon show to try to change that 1970s misconception,” Bill Gates added.

The conversation got us thinking. There are so many exaggerations and plain untruths out there about how the United States operates in the world, we at Politico Magazine decided to ask a group of globally minded people—from diplomats and senators to economists and entrepreneurs—to tell us: What myth about America’s role in the world most drives them crazy? From the size of the U.S. foreign aid budget to the commander in chief’s power to change world events, from America’s isolationism to its secret hegemonic machinations, here are the misconceptions we heard from more than two dozen big thinkers.


The world hates Americans

John Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and director of national intelligence under President George W. Bush

The biggest myth out there is that “people hate us” around the world. I have served at eight diplomatic postings abroad in four different continents and always encountered respect and admiration for what the United States stands for. Our political and economic systems are the envy of many across the globe and a magnet to millions seeking to reach our shores as visitors, immigrants or refugees. There are, to be sure, those who find fault with what America stands for, even to the point of outright hatred; but I am convinced, based on more than five decades of having lived and traveled abroad, that they represent a very small, albeit vocal, minority. American can and does stand tall among nations of the world, and we are still looked to for a strong global leadership role.

The CIA is a secret superpower

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

The most bizarre myth I encounter in my travels is that the CIA is this omniscient, omnipotent organization that manages to pull strings all over the world and make things work. These conspiracy theories attribute to the CIA miraculous abilities and language skills; as a taxpayer, I only wish that they were true. You’d think the Ray Davis affair might have taught Pakistanis in particular something of the CIA’s limitations. In fact, of course, the CIA has its fair share of incompetents who struggle with English, let alone foreign languages.

American foreign policy is driven by morality

Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School

There are two myths that habitually infect U.S. foreign policy discourse. The first is the myth that U.S. foreign policy is powerful shaped by moral concerns. Nothing could be further from the truth: The United States has allied with brutal dictators, killed millions in illegal wars and through economic sanctions, and turned a blind eye to various atrocities whenever U.S. interests weren’t involved. Like with other great powers, in short, U.S. foreign policy is driven primarily by realpolitik; by the desire to maximize U.S. power and primacy for as long as possible.

A second and related myth is the notion that Washington always has the right answer to assorted world problems. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously said that the United States “stands taller and sees farther than others do,” but there’s scant evidence to support that self-flattering notion. The United States may not be as prone to folly as some other states, but it is certainly not immune from it either. Just look at our inept Middle East diplomacy, our mishandling of relations with Russia and that little kerfluffle on Wall Street back in 2008.

America is stronger alone

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state

What drives me the most crazy is the myth that our country’s power is diminished when we cooperate with other countries to achieve our national security interests. We are, as President Clinton said and I have often said since, the indispensable nation to this day. But there is nothing in the definition of “indispensable” that says “alone.” Another way to put it would be to engage in multilateral diplomacy, something I dabbled in once. The problem many Americans seem to have with “multilateralism” as a term is that it has too many syllables and ends in “-ism”! What it really means is “partnerships.” Our country can be stronger and more effective when it engages in partnerships—with allies, with businesses, with civil society—to make our country and the world a better place

Read LOTS more:

via Mythbusters – Susan B. Glasser – POLITICO Magazine.

They Want You, You & You | Flashback | OZY

How Propaganda Posters Sent the Modern World to War

He’s not exactly everyone’s favorite uncle, but you probably see him more than you do most of your extended family: Uncle Sam points to every American from recruiting posters, movie screens, T-shirts, billboards and pop art. 

How did this bearded old Yankee get so embedded in our national consciousness?

In 1916, American artist James Montgomery Flagg first made this American caricature famous as a call to war with his “I want YOU for U.S. Army” poster. The U.S. government printed over 4 million copies of the glaring, tough old Yankee between 1917 and 1918, as America charged into the First World War. Flagg’s Uncle Sam was so popular that he saw action in wars to come, representing the whole of American military might and right.

BW Portrait of James Montgomery Flagg looking at camera, serious

Source: Library of Congress

James Montgomery Flagg

Propaganda images have existed for centuries, from mass-produced images of Roman emperors to Napoleon’s clever eye for portraits. But something happened at the turn of the 20th century that made the art of visual persuasion a whole new game.

For one thing, political parties started using posters en masse in late 19th- and early 20th-century campaigns. However, as historian James Thompson has discovered, they soon clocked on that the winner wasn’t always the one who could print the most posters. Instead, it was often the simplest, brightest and boldest poster and that drew the 20th-century eye.

Flagg’s Uncle Sam is representative of a propaganda strategy that took the world by storm after World War I. Focusing on the individual — in art but also in politics — was all the rage, and got people’s attention in an increasingly busy world.

Firefox_Screenshot_2014-01-21T21-20-18.927Z (2)

via They Want You, You & You | Flashback | OZY.

The Battle of Germantown (1777) | Things I Never Knew

The Ghost of the Battle of Germantown

[I never read enough semi-contemporaneous material about the American Revolution. This actually makes you see the people who were there.]


AND as the sun went down, on that calm day of autumn, shooting his

level beams thro the wilds of the rivulet of the Skippack, there gathered

within the woods, and along the shores of that stream, a gallant and despe

rate army, with every steed ready for the march, with the columns mar

shalled for the journey of death, every man with his knapsack on his shoul

der, and musket in his grasp, while the broad banner of the Continental

Host drooped heavily over head, its folds rent aud torn by the fight of

Brandywine, waving solemnly in the twilight.*

The tents were struck, the camp fires where had been prepared the hasty

supper of the soldier, were still burning ; the neighing of steeds, and the sup

pressed rattle of arms, rang thro the grove startling the night-bird of the

Skippack, when the uncertain light of a decaying flame, glowing around the

stump of a giant oak, revealed a scene of strange interest.

The flame-light fell upon the features of a gallant band of heroes, circling

round the fire, each with his war cloak, drooping over his shoulder, half

concealing the uniform of blue and bufF; each with sword by his side, cha-

peau in hand, ready to spring upon his war-steed neighing in the grove hard

by, at a moments warning, while every eye was fixed upon the face of the

chieftain who stood in their midst.

By the soul of Mad Anthony it was a sight that would have stirred a

man s blood to look upon that sight of the gallant chieftains of a gallant

band, clustering round the camp fire, in the last and most solemn council of

war, ere they spurred their steeds forward in the march of death.

The man with the form of majesty, and that calm, impenetrable face,

lighted by the hidden fire of soul, bursting forth ever and again in the glance

of his eye! Had you listened to the murmurs of the dying on the field of

Brandywine you would have heard the name, that ha long since become a

sound of prayer and blessing on the tongues of nations the name of WASH

INGTON. And by his side was GREENE* his fine countenance wearing a

shade of serious thought; and there listlessly thrusting his glittering sword

in the embers of the decaying fire, with his fierce eyes fixed upon the earth,

while his mustachioed lip gave a stern expression to his face, was the man

of Poland and the Patriot of Brandy wine, PULASKI, whom it were tautology

to call the brave ; there was the towering form of SULLIVAN, there was

COXWAY, with his fine face and expressive features, there was ARMSTRONG

and NASH and MAXWELL and STIRLING and STEPHENS, all brave men and

true, side by side with the gallant SMALL WOOD of Maryland, and the stalwart

FORMAN of Jersey.

And there with his muscular chest, clad in the close buttoned blue coat,

with his fatigue cloak thrown over his left shoulder, with his hand restin^

on the hilt of his sword, was the hero of Chadd s Ford, the Commander of

the Massacred of Paoli, the future avenger of Stony Point, ANTHONY WAYNE.

whom the soldiers loved in their delight to name MAD ANTHONY ; shouting

that name in the hour of the charge and in the moment of death like a watch

word of terror to the British Army.

Washington at Battle of Germantown Giclee Print

Clustered around their Chief, were the aids-de-camp of Washington, JOHN

MARSHALL, afterwards Chief Justice of the States; ALEXANDER HAMILTON,

gifted, gallant, and brave, Washington s counsellor in the hour of peril, his

bosom friend and confidant, all standing in the same circle with PICKERING

and LEE, the Captain of the Partizan Band, with his slight form and swarthy

face, who was on that eventful night detailed for duty near the Commander-


And as they stood there clustered round the person of Washington, in a

mild yet decided voice, the chieftain spoke to them of the plan of the con

templated surprise and battle.

It was his object to take the British by surprise. He intended for the

accomplishment of this object, to attack them at once on the front of the

centre ; and on the front, flank and rear of each wing. This plan of ope

ration would force the American commander to extend the continental army

over a surface of from five to seven miles.

In order to make this plan of attack effective, it would be necessary for

the American army to seperate near Skippack, and advance to Germantown

in four divisions, marching along as many roads.

General Armstrong with the Pennsylvania militia, 3000 strong, was to

march down the Manatawny road (now Ridge road,) and traversing the

shores of the Schuylkill, until the beautiful Wissahikon poured into its

bosom, he was to turn the left flank of the enemy at Vandurings (now Rob

inson s Mill,) and then advance eastward, along the bye roads, until two

miles distance between this mill and the Germantown market-house were


Meanwhile the Militia of Maryland and New Jersey, were to take up

their line of march some seven or eight miles to the eastward of Armstrong s

position, and over three miles distance from Germantown. They were to

march down the Old York Road, turn the right flank of the enemy, and

attack it in the rear, also entering the town at the market-house, which wa.

the central point of operation for all the divisions.

Battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777.

Between Germantown and Old York Road, at the distance of near iwr

miles from the village, extends a road, called Limekiln road. The division!

cf Greene and Stephens flanked by McDougal s Brigade were to take a

circuit by this road, and attack the front of the enemy s right wing. They

also were to enter the town by the market-house.

The main body, with which was Washington, Wayne, and Sullivan, were

to advance toward Germantown by the Great Northern Road, entering the

town by way of Chesnut Hill, some four miles distant from the Market-house.

A column of this body was led on by Sullivan, another by Wayne, and

Convay s Brigade flanked the entire division.

While these four divisions advanced, the division of Lord Stirling, com

bined with the brigades of Maxwell and Nash were to form a corps de


The reader, and the student of American History, has now the plan of

battle spread out before him. In order to take in the full particulars of this

magnificent plan of battle, it may be necessary to remember the exact nature

of the ground around Germantown.

In some places plain and level, in others broken by ravines, rendered in

tricate by woods, tangled by thickets, or traversed by streams, it was in its

most accessible points, and most favorable aspects, broken by enclosures,

difficult fences, massive stone walls, or other boundary marks of land, ren

dering the operation of calvary at all times hazardous, and often impassible.

In the vicinage of the town, for near a mile on either side, the land spread

greenly away, in level fields, still broken by enclosures, and then came thick

woods, steep hills and dark ravines.

The base line of operations was the country around Skippack Creek,

from which point, Washington, like a mighty giant, spread forth the four

arms of his force, clutching the enemy in front, on his wings and on the

rear, all at the same moment.

It was a magnificent plan of battle, and success already seemed to hover

round the American banner, followed by a defeat of the British, as terrible

as that of Yorktown, when the red-coat heroes of Germantown struck their

own Lion from his rock.

As Washington went over the details of battle, each brave officer and

scarred chieftain leaned forward, taking in every word, with absorbing in

terest, and then receiving the orders of his commander, with the utmost

attention and consideration.

All was now planned, everything was ready for the march, each General

mounted on his war-steed, rode to the head of his division, and with a low

solemn peal of music, the night-march of Germantown commenced.

And through the solemn hours of that night, along the whole valley, on

every side, was heard the half suppressed sound of marching legions, rain,

fled with the low muttered word of command, the clank of arms and the

neighing of war-steeds all dim and indistinct, yet terrible to heai. The

farmer sleeping on his humble couch, rushed to the window of his rustic

mansion at the sound, and while his wife stood beside him, all tremor and

affright, and his little ones clung to his knees, he saw with a mingled look

of surprise and fear, the forms of an armed band, some on horse and some

on foot, sweeping through his green fields, as the dim moonbeams gleaming

through the gathering mist and gloom, shone over glittering arms, and dusky

banners, all gliding past, like phantoms of the Spectre Land.

(Edited out most of the battle)

LET us survey Chew s house in the midst of the fight.

It is the centre of a whirpool of flame.

Above is the mist, spreading its death shroud over the field. Now it in

darkened into a pall by the battle smoke, and now a vivid cannon flash lays

bare the awful theatre.

Still in the centre you may see Chew s house, still from every window

flashes the blaze of musquetry, and all around it columns of jet black smoke

curl slowly upward, their forms clearly defined against the shroud of white


It is a terrible thing to stand in the shadows of the daybreak hour, by the

bedside of a dying father, and watch that ashy face, rendered more ghastly

by the rays of a lurid taper it is a terrible thing to clasp the hand of a sis

ter, and feel it grow cold, and colder, until it stiffens to ice in your grasp

a fearful thing to gather the wife, dearest and most beloved of all, to your

breast, and learn the fatal truth, that the heart is pulseless, the bosom clay,

the eyes fixed and glassy.

Yes, Peath in any shape, in the times of Peace by the fireside, and in

ihe Home, is a fearful thing, talk of it as you will.

And in the hour when Riot howls through the streets of a wide city, its

*en thousand faces crimsoned by the glare of a burning church, Death looks

not only horrible but grotesque. For those dead men laid stiffly along the

streets, their cold faces turned to scarlet by the same glare that reveals the

cross of the tottering temple, have been murdered by their brother*

Like wild beasts, hunted and torn by the hounds, they have yielded up their

lives, the warm blood of their hearts mingling with the filth of the gutter.

This indeed is horrible, but Death in the Battle, who shall dare paint its

pictures ?

What pencil snatched from the hands of a Devil, shall delineate its colors

of blood ?

Look upon Chew s house and behold it !

There under the cover of the mist, thirty thousand men are hurrying to

and fro, shooting and stabbing and murdering as they go ! Look ! The

lawn is canopied by one vast undulating sheet of flame !

Hark ! To the terrible tramp of the horses hoofs, as they crash on over

heaps of dead.

Here, you behold long columns of blue uniformed soldiers ; there dense

masses of scarlet. Hark ! Yes, listen and hear the horrid howl of

slaughter, the bubbling groan of death, the low toned pitiful note of pain.

Pain ? What manner of pain? Why, the pain of arms torn off at the

shoulder, limbs hacked into pieces by chain shot, eyes darkened forever.

Not much poetry in this, you say. No. Nothing but truth truth that

rises from the depths of a bloody well.

From those heaps of dying and dead, I beseech you select only one corse,

and gaze upon it in silence Is he dead ? The young man yonder with the

pale face, the curling black hair, the dark eyes wide open, glaring upon that

shroud above is he dead ?

Even if he is dead, stay, O, stay yon wild horse that comes rushing on

without a rider ; do not let him trample that young face, with his red hoofs.

For it may be that the swimming eyes of a sister have looked upon that

face perchance some fair girl, beloved of the heart, has kissed those red

lips do not let the riderless steed come on ; do not let him trample into

the sod that face, which has been wet with a Mother s tears !

And yet this face is only one among a thousand, which now pave the bat

tle field, crushed by the footsteps of the hurrying soldiers, trampled by the

horses hoofs.

And while the battle swelled fiercest, while the armies traversed that

green lawn in the hurry of contest, along the blood stained sward, with

calm manner and even step, strode an unknown form, passing over the

field, amid smoke and mist and gloom, while the wounded fell shrieking at

his feet, and the faces of the dead met his gaze on every side.

It was the form of an aged man, with grey hairs streaming over hi,*

shoulders, an aged man with a mild yet fearless countenance, with a tall

and muscular figure, clad neither in the glaring dress of the Britisher, or the

hunting shirt of the Continental, but in the plain attire of drab cloth, the

simple coat, vest with wide appels, small clothes and stockings, that mark

the believers of the Quaker faith.

He was a Friend. Who he was, or what was his name, whence he

came, or whither he went, no one could tell, and tradition still remains


But along that field, he was seen gliding amid the heat and glare of bat-

tle. Did the wounded soldier shriek for a cup of water ? It was his hand

that brought it from the well, on the verge of Chew s wall. Extended

along the sward, with their ghastly faces quivering with the spasmodic throe

of insupportable pain, the dying raised themselves piteously on their tremb

ling hands, and in broken tones asked for relief, or in the wildness of de

lirium spoke of their far oft* homes, whispered a message to their wives or

little ones, or besought the blessing of their grey haired sires.

It was the Quaker, the unknown and mysterious Friend, who was seen

unarmed save with the Faith of God, undefended save by the Armour of

Heaven, kneeling on the sod, whispering words of comfort to the dying, and

pointing with his uplifted hand to a home beyond the skies, where battle

nor wrong nor death ever came.

Around Chew s house and over the lawn he sped on his message of

mercy. There was fear ami terror around him, the earth beneath his mea

sured footsteps quivered, and the air was heavy with death, but he trembled

not, nor quailed, nor turned back from his errand of mercy.

Now seen in the thickest of the fight, the soldiers rushing on their paths

of blood, started back as they beheld his mild and peaceful figure. Some

deemed him a thing of air, some thought they beheld a spirit, not one offered

to molest or harm the Messenger of Peace.

It was a sight worth all the ages of controversial Divinity to see this

plain Quaker going forth with the faith of that Saviour, whose name has

ever been most foully blasphemed by those who called themselves his

friends, going forth with the faith of Jesus in his heart, speaking comfort to

the dying, binding up the gashes of the wounded, or yet again striding

boldly into the fight and rescuing with his own unarmed hands the prostrate

soldier from the attack of his maddened foe.

Blessings on his name, the humble Quaker, for this deed which sanctifies

humanity, and makes us dream of men of mortal mould raised to the majesty

of Gods. His name is not written down, his history is all unknown, but

when the books of the unknown world are bared to the eyes of a

congregated universe, then will that name shine brighter and lighter with a

holier gleam, than the name of any Controversial Divine or loud-mouthed

nirelingr, that ever disgraced Christianity or blasphemed the name of Jesus.

Ah, methinks, even amid the carnage of Germantown, I see the face of

the Redeemer, bending from the battle-mist, and smiling upon the peaceful

Quaker, as he never smiled upon learned priest or mitred prelate.

Locust Moon Comics Festival | Second annual celebration of comics and graphic arts. Saturday, October 5, 2013. Philadelphia, PA.

Second annual celebration of comics and graphic arts. Saturday, October 5, 2013. Philadelphia, PA.

via Locust Moon Comics Festival | Second annual celebration of comics and graphic arts. Saturday, October 5, 2013. Philadelphia, PA..

Whoops. So Three Months Ago!

Buzzfeed: 2013 best pictures AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn, File An anti-government protester gives a rose to a Thai soldier at the Defense Ministry during a rally in Bangkok.

enhanced-buzz-wide-29604-1386361829-9.jpg JPEG Image, 950 × 583 pixels.

AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn, File

An anti-government protester gives a rose to a Thai soldier at the Defense Ministry during a rally in Bangkok.

San Francisco cable car dash cam, 1906 – Boing Boing

San Francisco cable car dash cam, 1906

David Pescovitz at 8:35 am Mon, Nov 18, 2013

via San Francisco cable car dash cam, 1906 – Boing Boing.

What’s in a name? » Doyle McDonald

What’s in a name?

by John Doyle Posted on October 16, 2013

You know you’ve got a serious image problem when you have "Who the hell are you calling Marion, pilgrim?"to change your organization’s name to hide your identity. The American League of Lobbyists recently announced that it is changing its name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals, because “everybody has that misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash and that’s about it,” according to Monte Ward, the group’s president.

The Lobby lobby isn’t the first association to try to hide its stripes under a fresh coat of paint. Following are just a few of the more lame name-change game-changers.

  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America is now the American Association for Justice. (Apparently, United Ambulance Chasers was already taken.)

  • The National Credit Reporting Association is now the National Consumer Reporting Association

  • The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation is now called Marketing EDGE, because how much marketing education does it really take to call people when they’re eating dinner?

  • National Check Cashers Association is now the National Association of Financial Service Centers, which brings them up from the Seventh to the Sixth Circle of Hell in terms of public opinion.

  • The Campus Crusade for Christ is now calling itself Cru because the word crusade “has a negative connotation for lots of people across the world, especially in the Middle East,” according to a Cru spokesman. I’ll bet it does.

  • And finally, but the Phobia Society of America is now the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. I’m not sure what prompted the change, but you know it will boost staff morale.

via What’s in a name? » Doyle McDonald.

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