Posts tagged things they never taught me
Posts tagged things they never taught me
A British soldier bids farewell to his child before heading off to war. Unlike the Continental powers, the United Kingdom had never relied on conscription to fill the ranks of her army. The all-volunteer force was generally considered to be the best trained - man-for-man - of the forces at the outbreak of war, but while both her allies and opponents could quickly mobilize reserves of millions who had already been trained, the UK had to rely on its small existing army of 250,000, a Territorial Force of only slightly more than half that, and volunteers (Who would take months to train and deploy). At the outbreak of war, only seven divisions, totally some 150,000 men, were available for the British Expeditionary Force.
Badass women from history
- Leather clad English rocker girl
- Women boxing on a roof in LA (1933)
- Ellen O’Neal, the greatest woman freestyle skateboarder in the 1970s
- Elspeth Beard, first Englishwoman to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle
Since that was an incredibly depressing post, let me recommend a much more uplifting book recommendation, The Woman Who Defied Kings.
It’s a very interesting biography of Gracia Mendes Nasi, one of the Spanish conversos who fled to Portugal. Among those who continued to secretly practice Judaism, she married a powerful spice-trader who himself was a conversos. After his death and her move to Antwerp (where her late husband’s brother had set up a profitable bank, the House of Mendes) she used her immense resources and wealth to establish a network where other Jews could escape Spain and Portugal.
When her brother-in-law also died, she was left with an enormous banking and trading empire, and influence over kings and popes. She became so powerful that when the pope sentenced a group of conversos to the stake, she organized a trade embargo with the Papal States and got them released.
Several of the historic synagogues and yeshivas in Istanbul (where she fled after Europe proved hostile) were built by her for the Jewish refugees she helped escape there.
Check out these wood carved shoes that were made to look like cow hooves. They were used by moonshiners to cover up/hide their tracks during Prohibition.
"why the fuck do you have cow hoof shoes"
[SWEATING INTENSELY] “bootlegging. i am a criminal and a millionaire”
My grandma would always x out people in her yearbook and write “Deceased” when one of her high school classmates died. We often found it morbid. Grandma wanted to be the last one living. She wanted to win.
That’s not a yearbook.
That’s a hit list.
Neo-Nazis get their shit pushed in by native american grandmothers, who then capture their flag, take selfies with it, and then burn it.
Neo Nazi status: Wrekt.
Ben Lillie went on a tweeting spree last week about Luis Alvarez, Nobel Prize winner and all-around badass scientist. (He Storified the whole thing in a post called “In Which I Discover All The Crazy Shit Luis Alvarez Did,” so go check that out to see the conversation unfold where he discovers it all.)
As I saw Ben’s tweets coming in, I got really interested in Alvarez and his unbelievable range of important scientific contributions. And then this morning, while I was digging through the Brookhaven archives, he popped up in a passage about the dedication ceremony for our first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron:
"Mariette Kuper supervised the dinner arrangements, and her efforts succeeded, where others had failed, in wrecking Dean’s intention to keep the dedication ‘scientific and academic.’ She had set up several dozen tables, covered them with paper tablecloths, and in the center of each placed pitchers of her signature martinis. The pitchers had been chilled beforehand in the freezer, and on the tables they glistened temptingly with frost and tiny rivulets of dew. They looked for all the world like pitchers of water, which is how they went down…Behavior loosened, voiced grew loud, and things got boisterous…Luis Alvarez, a forty-one-year-old Berkeley physicist sixteen years away from his Nobel Prize, set his tablecloth on fire.”
Wish I coulda known this guy.