'Therefore, I Must Be Dead'
Posted Jul 27, 2019
I thought some of you might enjoy this story from 'The History Guy' on the old Youtube. It's about the pilot who survived the high-altitude disintegration of his supersonic spy plane. It's technical, but worth it for the combination of hair-raising experience and near-unbelievable sang froid.
My favourite line was, 'The pilot's first thought was "No one could live through what just happened. Therefore, I must be dead."'
The comments are worth reading. Lots of aeronautical know-how on display. scientists abound.
The SR-71 incident took place in the 1950s. You know, that antique period of history which the 21st Century looks down on as the Dark Ages and the Post Editor refers to as 'my black-and-white childhood'. Which brings me to the fascinating Twitter event last night. It involves a show called 'Stranger Things', but you don't have to know the show to understand what happened - you just have to know a millennial or two.
The ensuing discussion mostly takes two forms:
1. 'I feel so old because I know what this is. It is terrible to be old and know things.'
2. 'If you rag on this child for not knowing, you are guilty of unpleasant elitism.'
I will refrain from comment other than raucous laughter.
Blast from the Past: The Green Family Send an Email
Posted Jun 28, 2019
There's not much to say about this, really. It's from from 1984, it tells you how to send an email, and it's terribly British. I saw it and thought of y'all. Also, it brought back memories of messing about with computers in the days when that woman's jumper was actually considered a normal thing to wear. Enjoy - but beware the audio download at the end. (How did that even work?)
Sabbath Sermon for Serious Seekers
Posted Jun 22, 2019
I wrote this the other day when I was under the ridiculous delusion that we needed more copy for the Post: A87941037
You'll have to read it here: we're booked up through 8 July, and by then, the public will have found something else entirely to worry about.
I Finally Did Something Useful Today
Posted Jun 12, 2019
I got a baby bunny on video:
Crumbs of Wisdom on D-Day
Posted Jun 6, 2019
6 June 1944
The gull flies along the shoreline,
Looking down, searching the water's edge
for fish to catch and eat.
But those aren't fish: what are they?
Boxes in the water.
Boxes full of men.
(Boxes made in Pittsburgh.)
A frantic call to headquarters.
'Es müssen fünf tausend Schiffe sein!'
(Incredulously) 'Welchen Kurs haben diese Schiffe denn?'
'Auf mich zu!'
Well, it looked like that.
The noise is ferocious.
A hundred herd of elephants couldn't roar like that,
Nor could they pound the earth so.
The gull flies away in disgust.
Bigger birds are coming.
No fishing today.
A few references:
Scene from 'The Longest Day' (and don't think about the song A87893761 ):
'And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.'
Revelation 19: 17-18
'We find that at present the human race is divided into one wise man, nine knaves, and ninety fools out of every hundred. That is, by an optimistic observer. The nine knaves assemble themselves under the banner of the most knavish among them, and become 'politicians'; the wise man stands out, because he knows himself to be hopelessly outnumbered, and devotes himself to poetry, mathematics, or philosophy; while the ninety fools plod off under the banners of the nine villains, according to fancy, into the labyrinths of chicanery, malice and warfare. It is pleasant to have command, observes Sancho Panza, even over a flock of sheep, and that is why the politicians raise their banners. It is, moreover, the same thing for the sheep whatever the banner. If it is democracy, then the nine knaves will become members of parliament; if fascism, they will become party leaders; if communism, commissars. Nothing will be different, except the name. The fools will be still fools, the knaves still leaders, the results still exploitation. As for the wise man, his lot will be much the same under any ideology. Under democracy he will be encouraged to starve to death in a garret, under fascism he will be put in a concentration camp, under communism he will be liquidated.'
TH White, 'The Book of Merlyn', written but not published during the Second World War 'due to wartime paper shortages and its antiwar message.'
Op/Ed piece by Martin Muno of 'Deutsche Welle':
Personally, my deepest wish is that we honour the sacrifice of so many who fought in that conflict - my late dad among them - by making sure nothing like it ever happens again.
As Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are busy pointing out on Amazon Prime, Armageddon is a really horrible idea.