Myth crate

The U.S. Senate issued a War Aims Resolution: “This war is not waged . . . in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states, but to defend . . . the Constitution, and to preserve the Union . . .”

This Crittenden-Johnson Resolution lasted from July to December, 1861. So the minds agreed to submit to the screamers’ point of view, got it.

‘splain this please

Is there any deciphering that can envelope the range or produce confident guidelines?

Step 1 click this

Step 2 sort by Deaths / 1M pop by clicking twice on that column header

Step 3 consider, compare, and contrast the results, for starters,

  • Sweden and Belarus, no dramatic “lockdown” behaviors yet very different results.
  • Sweden and USA, very different behaviors with very similar results.
  • Japan and New Zealand, strict behaviors with very low deaths per million.

The results are all over the world and figurative maps! Then multiply that confusion by the errors in all of the count figures, raised to the power of the statistical uncertainty of {virus + antibody} test results. Consider the ages of the virus-related dead, 78 seems to be a popular average and 81% are over 65, and then compare to pre-2020 rates, causes, and expectancies.

How to behave, no matter where I live? Seems that the early advice of washing hands and avoiding sick people was decent….


From Great Britain comes this nice one:

Don’t be such a ham-skulled dunder buttocks

That Mitchell and Webb Look

Let’s be precise about a winning smile, shall we?

An optimal smile is characterized by an upper lip that reaches the gingival margins, with an upward or straight curvature between the philtrum and commissures; an upper incisal line coincident with the border of the lower lip; minimal or no lateral negative space; a commissural line and occlusal frontal plane parallel to the pupillary line; and harmoniously integrated dental and gingival components.

unknown, found on a web page

Final piece of granite

Subtley marbled white rock, tall rectangle mark. Here is my Dad.
Smooth curve sawn across the top, slightly bevelled edges.
The black-stained, deep gouges that spell daddy’s name and particulars shove tears and mucus out of me, unavoidable welling. Can this really be the worldly remainder, a one man Vietnam Memorial to touch? On the back, F 519-D. Your serial number amongst Andrew’s Raiders and men and women.
Bookend dates mark supreme joy for your parents and shocking sadness for us other enders.
I force myself to touch the sharp edges of the summary letters, then almost want a cut from the sharpest angles. Sharp like the memory and like the Loss. Time and weather should s l o w l y wear and bevel both stone and grief. At least I predict so. I rest my hand on the top curve, knowing that it’s connected to the earth where you aren’t. Solid and massive, like you were.

I park your silver van in the shade, just like you would have. The wind-wounded tree stills shades your marker on what could be a pleasant hillside. Why must I be here to write – you are everywhere else that we go. Absence of distraction must allow the words.

He is not alone.
Thousands of tragic and merciful end results surround him. Each rock chunk is a story token: a life, a family, and a set of friends who mourn, grieve, smile, remember. Short lives, long, war, peace; all planted shallowly on this great, rolling hill.

Life Force roars someone else’s disaster across the park peak. Good luck to you and your family, Stranger. May your healing be quick and true.

circa 2005

Did you get all that?

“It is often the case that you and an enemy may both be in position for the last bridge. In such a case as a general rule roquet him, then croquet or roquet-croquet through the bridge, roquet again and croquet him against the starting post, thus depriving the other side of a rover, and gaining the advantage.”

Caroline L. Smith, Popular Pastimes for Field and Fireside (1867)

Well I certainly have no  questions.

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


‘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. []

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