Sunday, June 25, 2017

Quote for the Day

- From Gulliver's Travels

So how much more applicable is this? . . .

Sgt Pepper Cover People continued: 5. Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer); 6. W.C. Fields (comedian)



Karlheinz Stockhausen

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928 – 2007) was a German composer, widely acknowledged to be among the most important German composers of the 20th century and was one of the earliest to use electronic music in a classical context.

  • Frank Zappa, The Who, Pink Floyd. Jefferson Airplane and Bjork have acknowledged him as an influence.
  • The Beatles were also influenced in their musical experimentation at the time of Sgt Pepper (1967) by his use of electronic music, most notably displayed in "A Day in the Life" (1967) and "Revolution 9" (1968).
  • They could have used a better pic of him on Sgt Pepper, if you ask me. The hand with the shadow makes him look like The Joker . . . 

  • Stockhausen’s music was not without its critics, most notably within the ranks of his own peers of classical composers. When Sir Thomas Beecham was asked "Have you heard any Stockhausen?", he is alleged to have replied, "No, but I believe I have trodden in some" 


W C Fields

  • William Claude Dukenfield (1880[1] – 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields' comic persona was a lover of alcohol who disliked dogs and children. It was often said that his real life personality and character were no different.
  • Some W C Fieldisms . . .
"I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I am indebted to her for." 
(From the film Never Give a Sucker an Even Break)

"Once, on a trek through Afghanistan, we lost our corkscrew...and were forced to live on food and water for several days!" 
(From the film My Little Chickadee)

“Women are like elephants, to me: I like to look at 'em, but I wouldn't want to own one.”

The oft-repeated anecdote that Fields refused to drink water "because fish fuck in it" is unsubstantiated.
  • Between 1936 and 1939, ill-health and on-set temperamental episodes meant that he made no films in that period. Radio work led to his becoming part of the Edgar Bergen radio show. Bergen performed as a ventriloquist with his dummy Charlie McCarthy, with Fields taking part with weekly insult-comedy routines.  Fields would make fun of Charlie about his being made of wood, Charlie made fun of Fields’ drinking:
Fields: "Tell me, Charles, is it true your father was a gate-leg table?"
McCarthy: "If it is, your father was under it!"

McCarthy: "Is it true, Mr. Fields, that when you stood on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, 43 cars waited for your nose to change to green?"

Bergen: "Why, Bill, I thought you didn't like children."
Fields: "Oh, not at all, Edgar, I love children. I can remember when, with my own little unsteady legs, I toddled from room to room..."
McCarthy: "When was that, last night?

  • Fields was hostile to religion, so much so that his Will left small amounts for family members and friends with the $800,000 remainder of his estate being left to establish “The W. C. Fields College for White Orphan Boys and Girls Where No Religion of Any Kind is Ever to be Taught.”
  • The ‘whites only’ clause was completely out of character for a man who treated blacks as equals and stood up for racial equality long before it was popular. Even after his change to his Will as above he paid off a $4000 mortgage on the house of his black cook. He also once ordered from his premises a man who used the word “nigger” within earshot of his staff.
  • There is evidence that Fields’ Will had originally provided that the orphans gift was to be for white and coloured orphans but that Fields changed it either when he heard that the Pullman Porters Union had formally voted to exclude whites, and/or when he was the subject of insolence (or perceived insolence) from a black servant he employed.
  • The Will was successfully challenged by his ex-wife, family and mistress with all of them sharing in the estate. As regards the orphan provision, Judge McKay threw it out, stating “Mr. Fields, in his lifetime, could have discriminated against other races but he cannot in death call upon the state to undertake the administration of his affairs and supervise a corporation which overrides the constitutionality of equality of rights common to all races.”
  • When close to death he was visited by a friend who found him sitting in the garden with a matini, reading the Bible. Quizzed by the friend, who knew of Field’s anti-religion beliefs, Fields answered that he was “looking for loopholes.”
  • The ultimate irony about Fields is that he died on a day that he had always declared that he despised. He died on Christmas Day in 1946.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Quote for the Day

More photos of the past


Original captions, extra by moi. . . 

Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began on January 5, 1933 and cost $35 million to build. However, it was completed ahead of the projected schedule and under budget by $1.3 million. Pretty impressive for such a huge undertaking.


Some additional construction pics:

Spinning the main cables

This isn’t a temperpedic mattress. The prone position pilot bed was designed to counteract pilot fatigue, helping them to combat gravitational forces experienced during flight.

The Schienenzeppelin, a railcar designed to look like a Zeppelin, seen from the rear, was designed by Franz Kruckenberg in 1929. The German engineer developed a myriad of high speed trains in the 20’s and 30’s. The Schienenzeppelin reached a world record speed of 143 mph.


Some additional pics . . .

I wonder about the safety of people on platforms near that giant propeller at the back.

The first slide in Britain, invented by Charles Wicksteed, photo taken 1922. It certainly looks more fun than most modern-day slides, probably because it was a lot less safe. Between the rickety ladders leading children to the top, and the unsmoothed, blister-riddled wooden slide itself, this would have been quite an experience.


Some additional pics . . .

In the early days, there were separate slides for girls and for boys, though some boys seem to have sneaked on to these ones. The separation eventually stopped and the slides could be used by everyone.

Charles Wicksteed (in the centre of this picture) first made the slide for his amusement park, Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire, the first park of its kind in the UK. He then went on to sell them around the world. Wicksteed also invented other playground equipment.

Seven Spielberg with a miniature Indiana Jones set.  Spielberg is likely the most passionate, and intelligent, movie director of all-time. He knows how to perform every job on set, and could probably do them better than most employees.

The original model of Mount Rushmore, 1941. Money ran out before it could be completed. The massive sculpture which dominates the landscape of the Black Hills region took many years to develop. The project began in 1927 and was completed in 1941.


Few people are aware of what the back side of the Mt Rushmore figures look like

Shortly after Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln’s faces were completed and dedicated in 1937, a bill was introduced in Congress to add the face of Susan B Anthony, American social reformer and women’s rights activist, to the mix, but times were tough, and an appropriations bill limited funding for adding another head. Teddy Roosevelt’s head would be added and dedicated as planned in 1939, but Susan B. Anthony never made it to the mountain.

A 250 kilo / 550 pounds diving suit from the 1900’s. 


I was half expecting the above suit to start yelling “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”


At 5,000 pounds, this manta ray nearly destroyed a boat after getting caught in the anchor line. It had to be killed with a high-powered rifle by the Coast Guard.



The all-terrain Model T, 1918, was a brief entry into the Ford line of vehicles. Rather than using a modern day 4-wheel drive system, it relied on large military wheels and snow cables.


More all-terrain Model T’s . . .

Friday, June 23, 2017

Quote for the Day

Some bonus Simpsons on religion . . .

Funny Friday

 . . .and what better day to have a merry heart than Bytes' Funny Friday. the theme being religion.

A woman went to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. 

"What denomination?" asked the clerk. 

"Oh, my goodness! Have we come to this?" said the woman. 

"Well give me 50 Baptist and 50 Catholic!"

As the storm raged, the captain realised his ship was sinking fast. 
He called out, "Anyone here know how to pray?" 
One man stepped forward. "Aye, Captain, I know how to pray." 
"Good," said the captain, "You pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets - we're one short."

The story of Adam and Eve was being carefully explained in the children's Sunday School class. 
Following the story, the children were asked to draw some picture that would illustrate the story. 
Bobby drew a picture of a car with three people in it. In the front seat was a man and in the back seat, a man and a woman. 
The teacher was at a loss to understand how this illustrated the lesson of Adam and Eve. 
Bobby was prompt with his explanation. "This is God driving Adam and Eve out of the garden!"

A zoo-keeper noticed that the monkey was reading two books - the Bible and Darwin's The Origin of Species. 
In surprise he asked the monkey "Why are you reading both those books"? 
"I want to know, said the monkey, "whether I am my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother." 

Bacon proves God has a sense of humor.

He invents the greatest meat in the world, then bans His chosen people from eating it.

God used to create universes and flood the entire Earth. Now he appears on toast.

Anyone else less than impressed with the Almighty’s recent behavior?

Dolly Parton and Queen Elizabeth went to the Pearly Gates on the same day.

They both met with an Angel to find out if they would be admitted to Heaven.

The angel said "Unfortunately, there’s only one space in Heaven today so I must decide which one of you will be admitted."

The Angel asked Dolly if there was some particular reason why she should go to Heaven. 

Dolly took off her top and said, "Look at these, they’re the most perfect breasts God ever created and I’m sure it will please God to be able to see them every day, for eternity."

The Angel thanked Dolly, and asked Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the same question.

The Queen walked over to a toilet, pulled the lever and flushes it without saying a word.

The Angel immediately said, "OK, your Majesty, you may go into Heaven."

Dolly was outraged and asked, "What was that all about? I showed you two of God’s own perfect creations and you turned me down. She simply flushed a commode and she got admitted to Heaven! Would you explain that to me?"

"Sorry, Dolly," said the Angel, "but even in Heaven, a royal flush beats a pair – no matter how big they are."


Corn Corner:

Not on the topic of religion, but I like it . . .

A group of terrorists hijacked a plane full of accordion players. They called ground control with a list of demands. Then they told the negotiator if their demands aren't met they will release one accordion player an hour. 

. . . back on the theme:

Q: Why do they say 'Amen' at the end of a prayer instead of 'Awomen'? 

A: The same reason they sing Hymns instead of Hers!