Watching Trumbo –> reading about 30 Seconds Over Tokyo
Before I knew it I was looking at the US Air Force’s photo archive specifically photos tagged “history.”
Aviation history has never been a passion of mine but let’s just browse some of the highlights. Pearl Harbor:
Captain Mary T. Klinker:
Father and son:
An explosion 95 years ago:
How about Betty Gillies?:
Cool. Here is My Girl, 1945.
That must be in New England someplace, believe it is near Auburn, MA:
Look, I’m not saying these Air Force photos are any Record Group 80: Series: General Photographic File of the Navy, 1939-1945, the Air Force wasn’t around yet. But some of them are great. I mean:
Dr. John Paul Stapp, the fastest man on Earth:
The Hop A Long to the Rescue:
Can’t help but think of:
(spent more time than I’d like to admit trying to find pictures of Buckminster Fuller in interesting chairs)
One of the better gravestones:
in good old Mount Auburn Cemetery
which is the place I’m picturing when I hear:
Nice work boys.
Wilson got his start doing a survey of all the ants in Alabama.
There’s the question of, why did I pick ants, you know? Why not butterflies or whatever? And the answer is that they’re so abundant, they’re easy to find, and they’re easy to study, and they’re so interesting. They have social habits that differ from one kind of ant to the next. You know, each kind of ant has almost the equivalent of a different human culture. So each species is a wonderful object to study in itself. In fact, I honestly can’t…cannot understand why most people don’t study ants.
Plus look at the wild coolness on Bert Hölldobler:
The Metropolitan Museum has five portraits that they’re pretty sure are by Hans Holbein The Younger. Let’s have a look:
Here is Derick Berck of Cologne:
Here is Erasmus of Rotterdam:
Here is a member of the Wedigh family, probably Hermann von Wedigh:
“Truth breeds hatred,” is what that note in the book says, according to the Met, which “perhaps served as the sitter’s personal motto.” Weird motto, bro.
And here is Man In A Red Cap:
Now. Take a look at this one, of “Lady Lee”:
The Met says “The painting is close to the manner of Holbein, but the attention paid to decorative effects and linear details at the expense of life-like portrayal of the sitter is indicative of workshop production. The portrait was likely based on a Holbein drawing.”
(Are these guys for real?)
In August of 1890, Sitting Bull left his home to check on his ponies. After walking more than three miles, he climbed to the top of a hill, where he heard a voice. A meadowlark was speaking to him from a nearby knoll. “Lakotas will kill you,” the little bird said.
George Caleb Bingham was, among other things, the first chief of police in Kansas City. I’d like to visit his house next time I’m in Arrow Rock, Missouri.
This painting is apparently in the collection of Detroit industrialist Richard Manoogian. Manoogian’s father was a refugee from the Armenian genocide. Arriving in America at age 19, he worked as a machinist before founding the Masco Screw Company.
Manoogian’s redesign and production of the Delta faucet, which allowed one-handed use, resulted in best-selling status for the plumbing fixture and generated substantial profits for his business wealth. In 1995 his company had $3 billion dollars in sales and had 38 percent of the domestic market for faucets.
A Delta faucet:
This is the Pacific-Union Club, at the top of Nob Hill in San Francisco:
Are you going to tell me you can walk by that building and not think, “I want to make their famous punch!”
For a party of ten. Into a large punch-bowl place ten tablespoonfuls of bar sugar and ten tablespoonfuls of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice. Add two jiggers of Curaçao and dissolve the whole in about a quart of effervescent water. Add two quarts of champagne and one bottle of good cognac. Stir thoroughly, ice, decorate and serve in thin glassware.
READER: be sure to use regular, orange Curacao, not blue curacao, or your punch will be a revolting green color.
That recipe is from William “Cocktail” Boothby’s 1908 book, The World’s Cocktails and How To Make Them. Let’s take a look at Boothby’s resume, just to make sure he’s for real:
- Minstrel performer.
- Bartender in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Kansas City.
- Bartender at Byron Hot Springs.
- Bartender (or in his terms “presiding deity”) at Hotel Rafael, San Rafael, California, in “the gay days when Baron von Schroeder was making history over there”.
- Bartender at the Silver Palace, San Francisco
- Bartender at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco.
- Saloon owner.
- Assemblyman in California in 1895. The 1908 edition of The World’s Drinks & How To Mix Them begins “To the liquor dealers of San Francisco who unanimously assisted in my election to the Legislature by an unprecedented majority.”
- Soda drink counter supervisor, Olympic Club, during Prohibition
An alert relation links us to the Southeast Missourian’s history of one Edward Hely, who established a rock-crushing plant in Cape Girardeau in 1902.
Is there anything manlier than crushing rocks?
(photo from The Southeast Missourian)
Van Wyck Brooks clearly has a little crush on Miss Elizabeth Peabody, “the founder of the American kindergarten.” More from The Flowering of New England.
As for Miss Peabody’s future, one could see it already. One pictured her, forty years hence, drowsing in her chair on the lecture-platform or plodding through the slush of a Boston winter, her bonnet askew, her white hair falling loose, bearing still, amid the snow and ice, the banner of education. If, perchance, you lifted her out of a snowdrift, into which she had stumbled absent-mindedly, she would exclaim, between her gasps, “I am glad to see you! Can you tell me which is the best Chinese gramar?” Or she would give you the news about Sarah Winnemucka. “Now Sarah Winnemucka” – this was the maligned Indian princess who was collecting money to educate her tribe. Or she would ask if you had read your Stallo. She took down every lecture she heard, although she seldom wrote what people said: most of her reports were “impressions.” *
* “I saw it,” Miss Peabody said, when she walked into a tree and bruised her nose. “I saw it, but did not realize it.”
The novella-length monologue at the center of Pale King thus tells a story Wallace had told a thousand times before, of an American adolescent attempting to escape his head, and grow up. Formerly a self-anointed “wastoid,” I. R. S. auditor Chris Fogle recounts having muddled through his youth in the aptly named Libertyville, Illinois, unable to hold down a job and drifting between three different colleges and “four or five different majors.” Fogle, who describes himself as “like many of my generation,” speaks of having led a “crude approximation of a human life.” he was, he said, “the worst kind of nihilist – the kind who isn’t even aware he’s a nihilist.” He might have said he was leading a life of quiet desperation, or of conformity, even though it felt to him at the time like a free life of non-conformity. Many of us are leading such lives, according to Wallace. Our problem is not that we walk around angry and confused, as in Freedom. Our problem is that we sleepwalk, “choosing to have nothing matter.”
Fogle’s unlikely conversion – which is how he describes his transition to maturity, as if religious in nature – occurs after he stumbles into the wrong classroom at the Catholic DePaul University, where a “substitute Jesuit” holds forth in the waning moments of an advanced accounting class. Alternately a parody and a paraphrase of Kierkegaard, the Jesuit delivers a peroration on the necessity of the “leap outward” into adulthood -a leap bound to look, from the point of view of the ego’s Eden that is childhood, like the “first of many deaths.” The speech impresses on Fogle the negative aspect of his seemingly limitless freedom. “If I wanted to matter – even just to myself,” he explains, “I would have to be less free, by deciding to choose in some kind of definite way.”
– from this essay by one Jon Baskin.
a) the name of this character, from the film “Haywire”
b) the author of this book:
After Barry Lyndon did you begin work straight away on The Shining?
When I finished Barry Lyndon I spent most of my time reading. Months went by and I hadn’t found anything very exciting. It’s intimidating, especially at a time like this, to think of how many books you should read and never will. Because of this, I try to avoid any systematic approach to reading, pursuing instead a random method, one which depends as much on luck and accident as on design. I find this is also the only way to deal with the newspapers and magazines which proliferate in great piles around the house — some of the most interesting articles turn up on the reverse side of pages I’ve torn out for something else.
- twice won the Military Cross for bravery in WWI
- was a coffee grower in Kenya
- rode a bicycle across Africa
- parachuted behind enemy lines to fight with Italian and Albanian partisans in WWII
- was given “the keys to the city of Belluno which he helped save from occupation and destruction”
- “was the first man to attempt climbing the remote and unexplored Assam Himalayas”
- “detoured through Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to see the source of the river Oxus”
- “found the pass named after him beyond Gangchempo”
- presumed dead at sea while sailing the South Atlantic to find remote mountains to climb.
- I had some açai juice today.
From a New Yorker profile of Harold Ramis:
One afternoon, Ramis and I had lunch at a tavern near his office. He began talking about another star of his early films, Chevy Chase. “Do you know the concept of proprioception, of how you know where you are and where you’re oriented?” he asked. “Chevy lost his sense of proprioception, lost touch with what he was projecting to people. It’s strange, but you couldn’t write Chevy as a character in a novel, because his whole attitude is just superiority: ‘I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not.’ ”
Ramis said that he identified with Nathan Zuckerman, the alter ego in many of Philip Roth’s novels: “Watching other people having experiences I’m not going to have. But understanding, empathizing. Much as I want to be a protagonist, it doesn’t happen, somehow. I’m missing some tragic element or some charisma, or something. Weight. Investment.”
After a moment, he continued, “One of my favorite Bill Murray stories is one about when he went to Bali. I’d spent three weeks there, mostly in the south, where the tourists are. But Bill rode a motorcycle into the interior until the sun went down and got totally lost. He goes into a village store, where they are very surprised to see an American tourist, and starts talking to them in English, going ‘Wow! Nice hat! Hey, gimme that hat!’ ” Ramis’s eyes were lighting up. “And he took the guy’s hat and started imitating people, entertaining. Word gets around this hamlet that there’s some crazy guy at the grocery, and he ended up doing a dumb show with the whole village sitting around laughing as he grabbed the women and tickled the kids. No worry about getting back to a hotel, no need for language, just his presence, and his charisma, and his courage. When you meet the hero, you sure know it.”
He smiled. “Bill loves to get lost, to throw the map out the window and drive till you have no idea where you are, just to experience something new.” And you? “Oh, I’d be the one with the map. I’m the map guy. I’m the one saying to Bill, ‘You know, we should get back now. They’re going to be looking for us.’ ”
– from “Comedy First: How Harold Ramis’ Movies Have Stayed Funny For Twenty-Five Years” by Tad Friend, The New Yorker, April 19, 2004.
(pictures from billmurray.tumblr)