There’s an old joke about how they figure out a weight limit for a bridge: they drive bigger and bigger stuff over it until it collapses, then they rebuild the bridge and put up the sign.
Perhaps that’s what happened to this bridge:
From the second in an excellent photo series on World War I from The Atlantic:
On the site where a steel bridge was destroyed, a wooden temporary bridge has been built in place. Note that an English tank which fell in the river when the former bridge was demolished now serves as part of the foundation for the new bridge over the Scheldt at Masnieres.
Gary Becker passed away the other day, and I’d like to think he would have loved this connection.
Becker argued, starting almost 60 years ago, that discrimination is pushed by legal structures rather than businesses. In short, given the freedom to operate, businesses will recognize that discrimination hurts their bottom line.*
I always thought I was not a fan of disco (and I’m probably not). But back in 1998, when MP3s were new, and Napster didn’t yet exist (remember MP3Wolf and other programs), this was one of the first 100 or so songs I downloaded. At the time, I was only looking for things I didn’t own, and that you didn’t hear on the radio any more … one hit wonder sort of things.
Truth be told, that was also the time when the stores were filled with follow-ups to Big Mouth Billy Bass, and I’m pretty sure I heard “Rock the Boat” from a lobster in a drugstore that summer, for the first time in 20 years.
… There is one achievement that is undisputable – Reagan sent a clear message to the world that Communism was evil.
It’s hard for Westerners to believe this, but the clarity of Reagan’s message had a profound effect on those behind the Iron Curtain. People will notice when an American president unapologetically calls the Soviet Union what it was – an evil empire. This is a simple moral judgment that was lost on so many intellectuals in the West. To hear this message must have been inspiring to those who experienced the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and Hungary and other Soviet crimes. To this day, many in Eastern Europe are grateful that Reagan was not afraid to say something that was so obvious and so important.
Gee. Obama could say “Putin is a revanchist, and revanchism is wrong.”
How many junior senators* have been elected president?
Three: John F. Kennedy, Warren Harding and … Barack Obama.
The first is regarded as great only by the underinformed (polls tend to rank him highly). Most people with some expertise regard Kennedy as merely pretty good (in Wikipedia’s summary of 16 historical rankings, Kennedy is never higher than the 86th percentile, or lower than the 62nd percentile).
And Harding? Pretty much always on everyone’s list of the worst presidents (Wikipedia lists 16 rankings that include both Harding and Nixon, and all but one has Harding rated lower … yikes … with 17th as the highest percentile).
Not sure if this evidence can tell us anything about Obama.
* The junior senator of a state is the one with less seniority.
Donestk was founded in the 19th century by John Hughes, a [Welsh] steel worker who had landed a contract from the Tsarist government to provide steel plating for the navy.
Now residents of the city have responded to pro-Russian protests for autonomy from Kiev with an internet vote that rejects Russia's claims in favour of a turn to the Queen and London.
It calls for the restoration of the original name Hughesovka or Yuzovka and requests London rule.
I wonder how Obama and Kerry feel about this?
My guess is that this is so far out in front of the curve that they can’t even figure out where the behind of this is to lead from. [Yes, I wrote that sentence that way intentionally, to mimic the thinking in D.C.]
I’ve liked the song “Cam Ye O’er Frae France” for thirty years, but I never knew what it meant.
This is because much of it sounds like gibberish. It isn’t.
This is the version from the 1973 album Parcel of Rogues by British folk-rockers Steeleye Span.
All I knew was that at least some of the words were Scots Gaelic.
Turns out it’s a famous folk song. It was written by Jacobites to make fun of King George I.
The backstory is that the Tudors ruled England in the 16th century, and Henry VIII created the Anglican Church so he wouldn’t have to put up with Rome. Big social conflicts ensued because many people didn’t feel they should leave the Catholic Church. This got worse in the 17th century when the Tudors died out and were succeeded by their cousins, the more pro-Catholic Stuarts. The fourth in that line, James II, converted to Catholicism was deposed in 1685, in favor of his Protestant daughter, Mary. Later, laws were passed which passed the crown to a distaff line in Germany … because it was firmly Protestant. Their first king was George I. A Jacobite was someone who believed the rightful line lay with James descendants.
Anyway, the song was made by Jacobites speaking a mix of Scottish and pidgin English. It makes fun of George and his courtesans:
When George I imported his seraglio of impoverished gentlewomen from Germany, he provided the Jacobite songwriters with material for some of their most ribald verses. Madame Kilmansegge, Countess of Platen, is referred to exclusively as “The Sow” in the songs, while the King's favourite mistress, the lean and haggard Madame Schulemburg (afterwards named Duchess of Kendall) was given the name of “The Goose”. She is the “goosie” referred to in this song. The “blade” is the Count Koningsmark. “Bobbing John” refers to John, Earl of Mar, who was at the time recruiting Highlanders for the Hanoverian cause. “Geordie Whelps” is, of course, George I himself.
More Trivia: “Bobbing John” refers to John, Earl of Mar, who was at the time recruiting Highlanders for the Hanoverian cause is also the subject of the Genesis song “Eleventh Earl of Mar” from Wind and Wuthering.
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