Scottish foldsPosted: May 26, 2015 Filed under: cats, genetics 1 Comment
If I’m reading this Wikipedia page right, this one, about “Scottish Fold” cats, then Maru:
as well as other less famous Internet cats, and both of Taylor Swift’s cats:
are all descended from the same Scottish cat who died in 1961.
Seems like cat genealogy has to be a passion of somebody, no?
“I really never know what I’m going to get on Helytimes,” reports one reader.
Record Group 80: Series: General Photographic File Of the Department of the Navy, 1943-1958Posted: May 22, 2015 Filed under: America Since 1945, photography, the ocean, WW2 1 Comment
Fair to say I’m more interested than most people in old photos.
There are amazing collections of old photos in various US government archives, but they’re not always easy to find or sort through online.
Somehow I stumbled on this US Navy photographic archive.
“Pilot Tells of Dive-Bombing Wake Island in ready room of USS Yorktown (CV-10), 10/1943” is the title of that one.
“Pin-up girls at NAS Seattle, Spring Formal Dance. Left to right: Jeanne McIver, Harriet Berry, Muriel Alberti, Nancy Grant, Maleina Bagley, and Matti Ethridge.”, 04/10/1944″
“Sign on Tarawa illustrates Marine humor and possible lack of optimism as to duration of war., 06/1944”
“Much tattooed sailor aboard the USS New Jersey, 12/1944”
“Crewmen aboard USS Yorktown (CV-10) dash to stations as general quarters sound., 05/1943”
“Filipinos with their ‘bancas’ loaded with wares, paddle out to anchored destroyer to trade with crew., 06/1945”
“Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus., 12/1944”
“Graves of U.S. Marines who died taking Tarawa, before headstones were prepared. In background are the first tents put up after occupation of the island., ca. 11/1943”
“Marines installing telephone lines under fire on Peleliu. In the background is seen part of famous Bloody Nose Ridge, scene of the fiercest fighting on Peleliu., 09/1944”
“Sailor asleep between 40mm guns on board the USS New Jersey (BB-62)., 12/1944”
“F6F taxies into position after landing on board the USS Lexington (CV-16)., ca. 11/26/1943”
“Sailor eating sandwich beneath propellers of torpedo being loaded aboard U.S. submarine at New London, Connecticut., 08/1943”
“Children in Naples, Italy. Little boy helps one-legged companion across street., 08/1944”
“Torpedomen relaxing beneath rows of deadly torpedoes in torpedo shop., ca. 05/1945”
Lord knows what you’d find if you dig through the archives in person. This is just what’s digitized and online.
Happy Memorial Day, errboddy.
“Lesser” McConaughey, or, On The Subject Of Great ActingPosted: May 21, 2015 Filed under: actors, America Since 1945, movies, Texas, the California Condition Leave a comment
1995. I got my first big paycheck as an actor. I think it was 150 grand. The film was Boys on the Side and we’re shooting in Tucson, AZ and I have this sweet little adobe guest house on the edge of the Saguaro National Park. The house came with a maid. My first maid. It was awesome. So, I’ve got a friend over one Friday night and we’re having a good time and I’m telling her about how happy I am with my set up . The house. The maid. Especially, the maid. I’m telling her, “she cleans the place after I go to work, washes my clothes, the dishes, puts fresh water by my bed, leaves me cooked meals sometimes, and SHE EVEN PRESSES MY JEANS!” My friend, she smiles at me, happy for my genuine excitement over this “luxury service” I’m getting, and she says, “Well…that’s great…if you like your jeans pressed.”
I kind of looked at her, kind of stuttered without saying anything, you know, that dumb ass look you can get, and it hit me…
I hate that line going down my jeans! And it was then, for the first time, that I noticed…I’ve never thought about NOT liking that starched line down the front of my jeans!! Because I’d never had a maid to iron my jeans before!! And since she did, now, for the first time in my life, I just liked it because Icould get it, I never thought about if I really wanted it there. Well, I did NOT want it there. That line… and that night I learned something.
Just because you CAN?… Nah… It’s not a good enough reason to do something. Even when it means having more, be discerning, choose it, because you WANT it, DO IT because you WANT to.
I’ve never had my jeans pressed since.
I have been a McConaughey enthusiast for awhile. Proof: I saw Sahara and The Lincoln Lawyer* in the theater.
Here is a thing I admired then and continue to admire about McConaughey:
He treated ridiculous movies with utmost seriousness.
I don’t believe he treated Sahara with any less respect than True Detective, even though Sahara is crazy.
He brought pride and his fullest effort to those movies, the same as he would to any other movie. Failure To Launch, for example.
This is the mark of a true professional who practices his craft with great honor and seriousness
(but: could it also be the mark of someone who doesn’t know when something is ridiculous?)
The director, Richard Linklater, kept inviting me back to set each night, putting me in more scenes which led to more lines all of which I happily said YES to. I was having a blast. People said I was good at it, they were writing me a check for $325 a day. I mean hell yeah, give me more scenes, I love this!! And by the end of the shoot those 3 lines had turned into over 3 weeks work and “it was Wooderson’s ’70 Chevelle we went to get Aerosmith tickets in.” Bad ass.
Well, a few years ago I was watching the film again and I noticed two scenes that I really shouldn’t have been in. In one of the scenes, I exited screen left to head somewhere, then re-entered the screen to “double check” if any of the other characters wanted to go with me. Now, in rewatching the film, (and you’ll agree if you know Wooderson), he was not a guy who would ever say, “later,” and then COME BACK to “see if you were sure you didn’t wanna come with him..” No, when Wooderson leaves, Wooderson’s gone, he doesn’t stutter step, flinch, rewind, ask twice, or solicit, right? He just “likes those high school girls cus he gets older and they stay the same age.”
My point is, I should NOT have been in THAT scene, I should have exited screen left and never come back.
Matthew McConaughey is a truly great actor.
From a description of an interview with Cary Fukunaga:
Fukunaga took one of these opportunities to share a story about directing Matthew McConaughey, a health-nut and non-smoker, in an early scene where he takes long, audible drags of a cigarette. Fukunaga describes saying, “‘don’t make it look like a middle school girl smoking for the first time.’ And McConaughey went in the opposite direction, just Cheech and Chong-ing it.”
Bo Jackson ran over the goal line, through the end zone and up the tunnel — the greatest snipers and marksmen in the world don’t aim at the target, they aim on the other side of it.
We do our best when our destinations are beyond the “measurement,” when our reach continually exceeds our grasp, when we have immortal finish lines.
When we do this, the race is never over. The journey has no port. The adventure never ends because we are always on our way. Do this, and let them tap us on the shoulder and say, “hey, you scored.” Let them tell you “You won.” Let them come tell you, “you can go home now.” Let them say “I love you too.” Let them say “thank you.”
These quotes are from his amazing commencement speech at University of Houston:
The late and great University of Texas football coach Daryl Royal was a friend of mine and a good friend to many. A lot of people looked up to him. One was a musician named “Larry.” Now at this time in his life Larry was in the prime of his country music career, had #1 hits and his life was rollin’. He had picked up a habit snortin’ “the white stuff” somewhere along the line and at one particular party after a “bathroom break,” Larry went confidently up to his mentor Daryl and he started telling Coach a story. Coach listened as he always had and when Larry finished his story and was about to walk away, Coach Royal put a gentle hand on his shoulder and very discreetly said, “Larry, you got something on your nose there bud.” Larry immediately hurried to the bathroom mirror where he saw some white powder he hadn’t cleaned off his nose. He was ashamed. He was embarrassed. As much because he felt so disrespectful to Coach Royal, and as much because he’d obviously gotten too comfortable with the drug to even hide as well as he should.
Well, the next day Larry went to coach’s house, rang the doorbell, Coach answered and he said, “Coach, I need to talk to you.” Daryl said, “sure, c’mon in.”
Larry confessed. He purged his sins to Coach. He told him how embarrassed he was, and how he’s “lost his way” in the midst of all the fame and fortune and towards the end of an hour, Larry, in tears, asked Coach, “What do you think I should do?” Now, Coach, being a man of few words, just looked at him and calmly confessed himself. He said, “Larry, I have never had any trouble turning the page in the book of my life.” Larry got sober that day and he has been for the last 40 years.
Now: I loved reading this speech. Many important reminders about life:
Mom and dad teach us things as children. Teachers, mentors, the government and laws all give us guidelines to navigate life, rules to abide by in the name of accountability.
I’m not talking about those obligations. I’m talking about the ones we make with ourselves, with our God, with our own consciousness. I’m talking about the YOU versus YOU obligations. We have to have them. Again, these are not societal laws and expectations that we acknowledge and endow for anyone other than ourselves. These are FAITH based OBLIGATIONS that we make on our own.
Not the lowered insurance rate for a good driving record, you will not be fined or put in jail if you do not gratify the obligations I speak of — no one else governs these but you.
They’re secrets with yourself, private council, personal protocols, and while nobody throws you a party when you abide by them, no one will arrest you when you break them either. Except yourself. Or, some cops who got a “disturbing the peace” call at 2:30 in the morning because you were playing bongos in your birthday suit.
Entertainment Tonight called this speech “bonkers.”
That’s not fair.
Maybe a fourteenth lesson that McConaughey only hints at in his speech is: to achieve greatness you must dance along the edge of bonkers. To do anything worthwhile you must risk appearing ridiculous. On your journey, at many points, you will appear ridiculous. The fear of appearing ridiculous stops all too many from achieving their potential.
You know these No Fear t-shirts? I don’t get em. Hell, I try to scare myself at least once a day. I get butterflies every morning before I go to work. I was nervous before I got here to speak tonight. I think fear is a good thing. Why? Because it increases our NEED to overcome that fear.
Say your obstacle is fear of rejection. You want to ask her out but you fear she may say “no.” You want to ask for that promotion but you’re scared your boss will think you’re overstepping your bounds.
Well, instead of denying these fears, declare them, say them out loud, admit them, give them the credit they deserve. Don’t get all macho and act like they’re no big deal, and don’t get paralyzed by denying they exist and therefore abandoning your need to overcome them. I mean, I’d subscribe to the belief that we’re all destined to have to do the thing we fear the most anyway.
So, you give your obstacles credit and you will one. Find the courage to overcome them or see clearly that they are not really worth prevailing over.
Here is what McConaughey looked like giving his speech.
Here is a great actor whose greatest role is himself.
* The Lincoln Lawyer spoke to a real fantasy I can’t be alone in having in Los Angeles: someone driving you everywhere in comfortable quiet. Since then Uber has come close to making that a reality.
The hero with a thousand facesPosted: May 20, 2015 Filed under: America Since 1945, heroes, the California Condition 1 Comment
David LettermanPosted: May 19, 2015 Filed under: America Since 1945, comedy, TV 2 Comments
Gave me my first job ever. I only met him once, for thirty seconds.
I hated the actual work of working there. I had no idea how to write in this man’s voice, no clue what he was going to be into. I was terrible at it. On the show at that time he’d often throw out all the comedy and just telephone his assistant Stephanie on air instead. From my office I could see the Hudson River and I’d stare at tugboats going by. After six months I got fired.
Still it launched my career. People still ask me about it and probably will be for the rest of my life.
Steve Young had the office next to me, he’d been working there since 1989 or 1990. His office was full of records of industrial songs, and every once in awhile he’d play one for me. I remember one that was a rap that helped KFC employees remember how to make biscuits.
What a great man.
Another memory: every single day I ate the same thing: a BLT from Rupert’s deli downstairs.
Another one: they played the show, or at least the top ten list, on the radio. Sometimes, on my taxi ride home, the driver would be listening to it.
If you haven’t seen the last Norm MacDonald appearance there’s no helping you, but watch this old one. In these late episodes it’s easy to forget how sharp and fast and energized Letterman was at full strength.
The guy I’ll really miss though is Paul Schaffer.
“The secret I finally learned, after all these years, is just stay loose with this stuff,” says Paul Shaffer. “Swing with whatever happens onstage, because everybody else is.”
“Chivalby is alive and well here”Posted: May 15, 2015 Filed under: actors, comedy, TV Leave a comment
The Twelve Angry Men parody was amazing. Had not been watching Amy Schumer but then Bronson told me to watch her on Ellen:
(Does Bronson watch Ellen?)
UPDATE: almost didn’t post this because I thought it was so accepted and obvious, but am getting some serious blowback! You can reach Helytimes at helphely at gmail. Love any strong takes.
FoodPosted: May 13, 2015 Filed under: food Leave a comment
The food in 2001: A Space Odyssey is what I’m looking for. Four nourishing mushes you eat with a monofork.
Stray ItemsPosted: May 12, 2015 Filed under: Africa, America Since 1945, assorted, fscottfitzgerald, writing Leave a comment
Sorry I haven’t been posting more. Trying to finish my book and get Great Debates Live organized (get your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are legit almost sold out). Honestly it’s a LITTLE unfair to be mad at me for not producing enough free content.
A few items too good to ignore came across our desk:
1) Reader Robert P. in Los Angeles sends us this item:
Thought you might enjoy this wiki. There’s a great part about a riddle and another great part about conducting a trial. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Numbers_Gang
Gotta say, this is one of the most intriguing Wikipedia pages I can remember. I love when Wikipedia takes myth at face value.
2) Re: our recent post about Tanya Tucker, reader Bobby M. writes:
Saw that Tanya Tucker’s Delta Dawn popped up. Love that one. We like to joke that the lyrics are a conversation wherein some jerk is taunting an insanse person. “Oh, and, Delta? Did I hear you say he was meeting you here today? And (aside to chittering friend: ‘get a load of this’) did I also hear you say he’d be taking you to his mansion. In the sky? Yeah, that’s what I thought you said, Delta. Nice flower you have on.” Midler’s version blows.
Bobby M. is one of the contributors to Lost Almanac, a truly funny print and online comedy mag.
3) We ran into reader Leila S. in New York City. She was reading the letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and sends in some highlights:
to John Peale Bishop, March, 1925, he wrote “I am quite drunk” at the top of the paper above the date, then later in the letter: “I have lost my pen so I will have to continue in pencil. It turned up– I was writing with it all the time and hadn’t noticed.”to H.L. Mencken, May 4, 1925, re: Great Gatsby:
“You say, ‘the story is fundamentally trivial.'”
to Gertrude Stein, June 1925, after a long letter kissing her ass:
“Like Gatsby, I have only hope.” Dude quoted his own book he just wrote!to Mrs. Bayard Turnbull, May 31, 1934, after a long apology about his embarrassing behavior at a tea party:
“P.S. I’m sorry this is typed but I seem to have contracted Scottie’s poison ivy and my hands are swathed in bandages.”
to Joseph Hergesheimer, Fall 1935, re: Tender Is The Night“I could tell in the Stafford Bar that afternoon when you said that it was ‘almost impossible to write a book about an actress’ that you hadn’t read it thru because the actress fades out of it in the first third and is only a catalytic agent.”to Arnold Gingrich, March 20, 1936:“In my ‘Ant’ satire, the phrase ‘Lebanon School for the Blind’ should be changed to ‘New Jersey School for Drug Addicts.'” [The letter continues about other things, then at the very end, emphasis his] “Please don’t forget this change in ‘Ants.'”
to Ernest Hemingway, August, 1936
“Please lay off me in print.”
As always you can reach helytimes at helphely at gmail.com
The NewsPosted: May 5, 2015 Filed under: America Since 1945 Leave a comment
Man, I miss Andrew Sullivan. I’d been reading him since he got rolling in 2001, when the Internet to me was just him and Salon.com (since devolved into deeply unreadable garbage).
Andrew Sullivan was interesting, almost every day. He changed sides, he was passionate. He posted disagreements people had with him, admitted he was wrong maybe not every time but plenty. He was not an idea tip-toer. He’d say things he knew would draw outrage and was prepared to be a rare dissenter when necessary.
One of the main ideas he had, that gay marriage might be a good idea, went from totally nuts to pretty much accepted reality, just in the time I was reading him. But he self-identified as conservative, he believed that sometimes very old ideas were still best thinking on a subject.
I could calibrate to him, feel his moods and changes, he became familiar to me. Sometimes he was frustrating, or overdramatic, or wrong-headed, but he still surprised, kept me engaged. When something happened I wanted his take.
The Internet’s worse without him.
Not sure there’s an exact connection, maybe there’s none, but lately: I haven’t cared too much about “the news”
I used to love “the news,” presidential elections especially. This time around though? It got me thinking about:
My memory of this book is of Sean Penn’s voice from the audiobook, as I drive back and forth to
After I was done with the audiobook, I gave the CDs to Justin Spitzer. Who knows what happened to after that. But I did remember Dylan (Sean Penn) saying something like: “I didn’t care about the news. ‘Mr. Garfield’s been shot down, shot down.’ To me, that was the news.”
The motto of Helytimes is GO BACK TO THE SOURCE, so I did.
As usual, I didn’t have it quite right.
Also got to thinking about Bob Dylan’s friend, Herman Melville. I (half-mis-)remembered a point he made, almost backhanded, about the news being awful repetitive:
Minus Ishmael, but with the misspelling, could that be on Drudge tomorrow?
Surprised to find how many interesting things I forgot from Chronicles. For example: been thinking myself lately about Robert E. Lee (mainly I guess because of Ta-Nahesi Coates’ writings on the Civil War).
Here is a man who fought for a country that kept humans as slaves. But he was also, in very many ways, indisputably excellent. Even (maybe especially) his enemies were in awe of him. In a way, maybe that’s his worst crime.
Douglas Southall Freeman studied Lee more than anybody else ever had. That was while Freeman was also a newspaper editor (The Richmond News Leader) and sought-after advisor to Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall:
Freeman stresses how Lee, and some other generals, were objects of great affection among their men. They were spoken of like they were gods, even years after the war was over. One wonders if this was because of shared risks. One of the best books about the Vietnam War, The Long Gray Line*, notes that in the Civil War, the risk of battle death to a general was twice that of a private. (Whereas in eleven years of fighting in the Vietnam War, only three general officers were killed in action.) The halo effect over Lee is centered on his concern for the lives of his troops, particularly in never ordering them to make unwarranted charges into death traps.
How many World War II generals had grandfathers who fought with Lee?
What are we gonna do with this guy? How many high schools are named after him?:
Here is Bob Dylan’s take:
Dylan! Nobody else could put it quite the same way. He’s in his friends’ apartment, on Vestry Street if I read right, reading books. On Al Capone vs. Pretty Boy Floyd:
These people had the greatest apartment library in New York:
If Dylan had gone to West Point, I wonder if he would’ve ended up something like James Salter.
Man. That one knocked my head off. Very glad I read it when I did, should read it again. Part of it is about North Korea. Not to be confused with: