Word play, have fun

Word-level palindrome

Is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

Ways to pronounce “ough”

  • dough
  • tough
  • hiccough
  • bough
  • ought
  • cough
  • through

A letter to the London Times, Sept. 20, 1934

Sir,

‘A rough-coated dough-faced ploughman strode coughing and hiccoughing through the streets of Scarborough’ used to be set as a spelling-test at my prep school at Crowborough in the middle nineties.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

H. Pirie-Gordon

My own

Braless, callous Alice dropped her gallus at the Dallas Borealis Palace.

I love to move in the cove.

100 years gone, millions too

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

Kids today, what a bunch of dainty gobblers

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

Socrates (469–399 B.C.)

The counts of the indictment are luxury, bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect to elders, and a love for chatter in place of exercise….

Children began to be the tyrants, not the slaves, of their households. They no longer rose from their seats when an elder entered the room; they contradicted their parents, chattered before company, gobbled up the dainties at table, and committed various offences against Hellenic tastes, such as crossing their legs. They tyrannised over the paidagogoi and schoolmasters.

Kenneth John Freeman, for his Cambridge dissertation published in 1907

Actors held in proper regard

Each race brings its own vices and customs to the city. No-one lives in it without falling into some sort of crime. Every quarter of it abounds with grave obscenities. Whatever evil or malicious thing that can be found in any part of the world, you will find it in that one city. Actors, jesters, smooth-skinned lads, Moors, flatterers, pretty boys, effeminates, pederasts, singing and dancing girls, quacks, belly-dancers, sorceresses, extortioners, night-wanderers, magicians, mimes, beggars, buffoons: all this tribe fill the houses. Therefore if you do not want to dwell with evildoers do not live in London.

16th century

Big Bang<-------------x--------------->End of Time

Philosopher Thomas Nagel has put it, on any meaningful timescale other than human life itself – that of the planet, say, or the cosmos – “we will all be dead any minute”.

Which paths will you pursue, and which will you abandon? Which relationships will you prioritize, during your shockingly limited lifespan, and who will you resign yourself to disappointing? What matters?

Gonna need more museums

I went cherry picking on this impressive site and it appears that we guilty Americans need to build several more memorial museums. The totals for China and Russia/Soviet Union are incredible, what sorrow and loss. Some figures are war related, most are not.

  • India and China famines pre-1900, hundreds of millions
  • Ireland 1846–1851 1 million famine
  • China 1907 25 million famine
  • Russia 1921-1922 5 million famine
  • China 1928-1930 3 million famine
  • China 1931 3 million+ flood
  • Ukraine 1932-1933 8 million+ Soviet Union Holomodor famine
  • China 1936 5 million famine
  • China 1942-1943 3 million drought
  • Soviet Union 1941-1945 14 million Nazi Germany Hunger Plan famine
  • Soviet Union 1941-1945 3.3 million+ POWs Nazi Germany (out of ~5.7 million, 57%) 2.8 million in 6 months
  • Soviet Union 1941-1945 9 million+ Russia and East European countries
  • China 1958-1961 45 million+ starved and killed
  • Bengal 1943 2 million+ caused by Great Britan using Bataan, Singapore orders famine
  • Vietnam 1945 2 million+ Japan
  • Cambodia 1975-1979 2.5 million
  • Rwanda 1994 1 million Tutsi killed by Hutu

Mister White has a refreshing set of information and opinions in his site, such as the most under-rated events.

For dear friends, or “boon companions” as Stephen Foster called them

Excerpt from The South Country by Hillaire Belloc

If I ever become a rich man,
Or if ever I grow to be old,
I will build a house with deep thatch
To shelter me from the cold,
And there shall the Sussex songs be sung
And the story of Sussex told.

I will hold my house in the high wood
Within a walk of the sea,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Shall sit and drink with me.

Texans visit Pennslyvania

From the bloodiest three-day battle of the American Civil War comes these two snippets from boys in the 4th Texas Infantry.

It was a mass of rock and boulders amid which a mountain goat would, have revelled, and being subjected to a fire on our left flank, made it a most dangerous and unsafe place for a soldier, and many a fellow reminded me of the alliteration, “Round the rude rock the ragged rascal ran.”

– John West, 4th Texas

At Gettysburg that night, it was about seven devils to each man. Officers were cross to the men, and the men were equally cross to the officers. It was the same way with our enemies. We could hear the Yankee officers on the crest of the ridge in front of us cursing the men by platoons, and the men telling him to go to a country not very far away from us at that time. If that old Satanic dragon has ever been on earth since he offered our Saviour the world if He would serve him, he was certainly at Gettysburg that night.

Val Gile, Texas soldier
Valerius Cincinnatus Giles, 1842-1915

– Val Giles, 4th Texas

Mister Giles, shown right, skillfully crafted words describing this part of the battle. Read the more complete description. [deadconfederates.com]

His book is Rags and Hope, The Recollections of Val C. Giles, Four Years with Hood’s Brigade, Fourth Texas Infantry, 1861-1865. Here is Giles in 1866:

Val Giles, 1866
Val Giles, 1866

Trash talk, 1676 style

Sultan Mehmed IV to the Zaporozhian Cossacks

As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the sun and moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God Himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians – I command you, the Zaporogian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.

— Mehmed IV

Cossacks to Mehmed IV

Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!

O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil excretes, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we’ve no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck your mother.

You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw your own mother!

So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!

– Koshovyi Otaman Ivan Sirko, with the whole Zaporozhian Host.

 

Oh my. Here is a 1891 painting inspired by this exchange, these are some amused Cossacks:

Zaporozhian Cossacks reply to the Turkish Sultan

Tough times in Missouri

Extracts from letter of J. I. K. Hayward to J. W. Brooks, dated Steamer Hannibal City, August 13, 1861.

…Then, as a sample of what is done by some officers, last week a man named McAfee (speaker of the last house of representatives) was arrested. General Hurlbut ordered him to be set to digging trenches and pits for necessaries -note: field toilets, sometimes called sinks-, at which he was kept all one day when the mercury ranged about 100 degrees in the shade. A few days after he was taken from Macon to Palmyra, and the general ordered him to be tied on the top of the cab on the engine. It was prevented by our men, who, when persuasion failed, the engineer swore he would not run the engine if it was done (and I upheld him in it), and as he was being marched to the engine to mount it the signal was given, and the train started, giving them barely time to get on the cars. When there is added to this the irregularities of the soldiery such as taking poultry, pigs, milk, butter, preserves, potatoes, horses, and in fact everything they want; entering and searching houses, and stealing in many cases; committing rapes on the negroes and such like things the effect has been to make a great many Union men inveterate enemies, and if these things continue much longer, our cause is ruined. These things are not exaggerated by me, and, though they do not characterize all the troops, several regiments have conducted in this way, and have also repeatedly fired on peaceable citizens sometimes from trains as they passed and no punishment, or none of any account, has been meted out to them….

…If the thing goes on this way much longer, we are ruined. I fear we cannot run the road or live in the country except under military protection. It is enough to drive a people to madness, and it is doing it fast….

 

Incident in 1864: Pickett’s Mill, Georgia

Maj. Jonathan R. Kennard, age 38, was slightly wounded in the head.

Memphis Daily Appeal – Atlanta, Georgia – June 4, 1864

One little incident right here, so characteristic of the man. Major Kennard (of whom I have told you often, lately promoted), was as usual, encouraging the men by his battle-cry of, “put your trust in God, men, for He is with us,” but concluding to talk to the Yankees a while, sang out to them, “Come on, We are demoralized,” when the Major was pretty severely wounded in the head, though not seriously; raising himself up, he said: “Boys, I told them a lie, and I believe that is the reason I got shot.”

3Lt. Thomas J. Stokes, Co. I, 10th Texas Infantry – Life in Dixie During the WarMary Gay

 

Imagining the sarcastic taunts and the story-telling after this incident makes these figures from our past a bit more comprehensible. Read or download the book for free at gutenberg.org.

 

WAR, with leaflets!

From late Fall 2014, it is clear that we were close to the Brink. KCNA keeps us informed. Update: KCNA site is geo-blocked, unfortunately, but you may try this web site.

This clearly indicates that the puppet authorities are the prime movers of the madcap leaflet scattering operations of human scum in south Korea.

As already disclosed, different ministries and agencies of the south Korean puppet regime are vying with each other to spend several millions of U.S. dollars for the leaflet scattering operations.

Military gangsters provided military backing to the leaflet scattering operations. Not only forefront units of the puppet army but also flying corps of its air force were put on emergency alert.

It is nonsensical, indeed, to have dialogue and discuss the issue of improving the north-south relations with such black-hearted guys.

The puppet group is getting frantic in its anti-DPRK human rights racket in international arena in collusion with the U.S. and desperately hurling human scum into leaflet scattering operations as part of its confrontation ruckus. This is aimed to escalate the confrontation with the north and ignite a war.