Jul 31 2016

Aeschylus

“Valerius Maximus wrote that he [Aeschylus] was killed outside the city by a tortoise dropped by an eagle which had mistaken his head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeschylus

This event was cited in N.D. Wilson’s quite enjoyable Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World.

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Aug 11 2013

Quotable: Otto von Bismark

“If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some [expletive deleted] silly thing in the Balkans.” –Otto von Bismark

And then this happened:

sarajevo-murderNext stop: World War I.

As quoted by Winston Churchill in an address given on August 16, 1945 in the House of Commons.

Photo from the Smithsonian.

 

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Jul 10 2013

Title page

“His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”. –the self-bestowed title of African dictator Idi Amin

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Jul 3 2013

Happy Independence Day from Germany

“God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America.” –Otto von Bismarck

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May 20 2013

What do we do when a horse bucks us off?

My friend The Dread Pirate Rob has a passel of small children. One day the three year old fell down and hurt himself. Rob comforted him and also used the opportunity as a teaching moment, encouraging him to pick himself back up instead of just crying and waiting for help.

“What do we do when a horse bucks us off?”

His son answered quickly and decidedly.

“Shoot it!”

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Oct 17 2012

Quotable: George Washington

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”
Letter to Major-General Robert Howe

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Mar 17 2012

Gaels

“For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.”

–G.K. Chesterton, from The Ballad of the White Horse

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Sep 11 2010

Quotable: Ray Bradbury

“It affects us only one way: We’re angry as [expletive deleted]. And we have to find these people and kill them. It’s very simple, you can’t let them get away with this. This is a terrible, terrible thing they’ve done.”

–Ray Bradbury in the Chicago Tribune, September 12, 2001.

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Jul 4 2010

Happy Independence Day

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

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Jul 16 2009

Truman, Missouri, and music

President Truman was a musician and a Missourian. However, he didn’t care much for our state song, The Missouri Waltz:

“It’s a ragtime song and if you let me say what I think–I don’t give a [expletive deleted] about it, but I can’t say it out loud because it’s the song of Missouri. It’s as bad as “The Star Spangled Banner” as far as music is concerned.”

I don’t know if he hated the song before his presidential campaign, but it was while running for president that bands played it ad nauseam at campaign stops

campaign

But at least he had a plan if Dewey actually had defeated him:

“If I hadn’t been President of the United States, I probably would have ended up a piano player in a bawdy house.”

The closest he ever got to his fallback was playing piano at the White House press club during the few days he served as vice president. The woman on the piano is 20 year old Lauren Bacall.

3032839558_0611d5c2f4

The picture created quite a scandal. Harry’s wife, Bess, was not amused.

So what was he playing anyway? According to Bacall, he was playing:

“…badly, playing the Missouri Waltz, or something.”

Photos are from The Truman Library.

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