Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Date In History

via Iconic Photos

London Blitz: December 29th 1940

Seventy years ago, the Germans started the Blitz more or less out of frustration, without clear planning, as a sequel to the Battle of Britain. During the first half of the summer of 1940, the Luftwaffe focused on dominating British airspace, in preparation for a possible landing, and its bombardments were limited to airfields and other military installations. On 24th August, more or less by accident, a pair of Stukas dropped the first bombs on central London. Churchill seized the opportunity, and in ‘revenge’, 80 RAF bombers pounded Berlin. Hitler was infuriated. Nearly 600 German bombers came back during the next two weeks to bomb English cities, factories and airfields.

Then, at 5 p.m. on 7th September, the first major attack on London began. On that sunny afternoon, 348 Luftwaffe bombers crossed the English Channel, and for the next two hours ignited the city with incendiary bombs, the docks being their primary target. That same evening, the Germans were back, raining 625 tons of high explosives on working class neighborhoods in the East End. The Blitz went on for 57 consecutive nights and then spread to other cities in the U.K. In ‘Second Great Fire of London’ on the night of 29th December 1940, nineteen churches, thirty-one guild halls and all of Paternoster Row, including five million books went up in flames.

By the time the Blitz ended (as Luftwaffe diverted its planes east for the attacks on the Soviets) on May 16th 1941, more than 43,000 people had died in the strategic air raids. Writer Harold Nicolson compared himself to a prisoner in the Conciergerie during the French Revolution: “Every morning one is pleased to see one’s friends appearing again.” Yet, the English, being the English, just got on with it stoically. In stubborn, indignant fashion, the life went on. A survey taken during this period found that weather had a greater impact than air raids on the day-to-day worries of many Londoners. In his magisterial history The Blitz: The British Under Attack, Julian Gardiner observes, “egg rationing produced more emotion than the blitz.”

Thus predictably, most well-known of the countless photos taken during the Blitz did not depict carnage and chaos, but rather an extraordinary tale of survival and defiance. The above photograph featured on the front page of the Daily Mail, captioned as ‘War’s Greatest Picture’, was taken from the roof of the same newspaper’s Tudor Street offices by Herbert Mason two nights before (on 29th December). St. Paul’s Cathedral was surrounded not only by fires and smoke that fateful night, but an incendiary bomb did drop inside the Stone Gallery. During the Blitz, the importance of the Cathedral was so much so that Churchill insisted that if the church were to be bombed, all fire-fighting resources be directed there, and that “At all costs, St Paul’s must be saved.” The Daily Mail echoed this sentiment in the text accompanying the photo that the image is “one that all Britain will cherish – for it symbolises the steadiness of London’s stand against the enemy: the firmness of Right against Wrong”. To that effect, the editors at the Mail decided to crop the photograph quite liberally, to take out the gutted remains of houses in the foreground.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the photo was telling quite a different story on the continent within days. The Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung announced that “Die City von London brennt!”, and gleefully informed its readers that the conflict with England too was approaching its endgame. For Germans, the photo, with the blazing foreground ruins included, depicted nothing more than the centre of “britischen Hochfinanz” burning in London’s biggest blaze since “Jahre 1666″. Photographs never lie indeed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I love this photo....


I love this photo. So many “historical” daguerrotypes show solemn faces (which makes sense if you only have a few photos taken in your life!) But you can practically hear the laughter in the last frame.

I do not know who these people are.  I hope this isn't "faked" in any way.  I don't think I have ever seen one of these daguerreotypes with ANY sort of emotion.  I can't recall any of the older photos from The Farm showing ANYONE enjoying themselves.... definitely not to the degree these two are...

via Twyst

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Total Recall Narrated By Arnold

I didn't stay with this long.  I am not usually a fan of audio commentary on a DVD.  I like the text ones that accompany the Star Trek movies.  I found the audio on Ocean's 11 as funny as the movie itself.  More often than not, commentaries are...overwhelming.  too many people talking...too inside.

This one, however, has Arnold just basically TELLING you what you are seeing on the screen.  Awesome.

via Fist of Blog

Friday, December 23, 2011

Comic Book Crossovers....

They're the best there is at what they do...and what they do is prevent cold and damp from reaching your feet, even in the most hostile of environments.

(The Little Stuffed Bull had a whole Wolverine related post tonight...this was my favorite....)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This Date In History

From the address given by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., on December 8, 1941:

"[On] December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific."

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lazy Saturday

I was tired last night.  Played a VICIOUS game of "Keep Away" with the kids in all three of my classes in the afternoon and then a BRUISING loss in our Broomball game last night (complete with a pre- and post-game gathering).

I thought I would sleep in today, however, I did not.  Woke up at 6:11 AM (which is about 20 minutes later than a weekday.) So now I am in my "Man Cave" with this

on in the background and entering all of these

plus a few other eBay and ComicCollectorLive lots into my comic book data base.  Doubles will either go to The Squid or Lee.

The only thing on the agenda for today (besides reading comics as much as possible) is a birthday party and getting the Christmas tree!


Friday, December 2, 2011


We have not officially given up on Community....but we are close.  Some of the story lines became either too unbelievable or too frustrating to follow.

However, Topless Robot discovered this tidbit a little while back...

"Please note that these three scenes come from different seasons. Meaning someone uttered the word "Beetlejuice" once per season on Community. And if you still aren't sure why this is awesome, please look at the window behind Annie when she says the third "Beetlejuice." 

As Community creator Dan Harmon tweeted, ""The Easter egg that took three years to hide. Our show is TOTALLY ACCESSIBLE.""

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thoughts on Comics

Snell recently posted these thoughts from Paul Grist on his site: Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!

I whole-heatedly agree.  I like my comics monthly.  I like the anticipation of a new television show.  Even when we buy a season's worth on DVD, we still parcel them out slowly...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Star Trek: CountdownStar Trek: Countdown by Robert Orci

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I usually read only superhero comics...and then it is usually only single issues...not trade paperbacks. However, I do like Star Trek. I thought the Next Generation cast got the short shrift, movie wise, and thought it would be neat to see more of their adventures. I haven't read a Trek book in a long time. I liked the new movie and thought that this would be the best of all possible worlds.

Not a bad way to kill an hour or so. I found it on eBay for $3.99 with free shipping which made it cheaper than hunting down the individual issues.

If you like Trek and can suspend disbelief (I think those two statements actually go hand in hand) then I honestly believe you will enjoy this.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flickchart Update

Yesterday I posted that I was addicted to Flickchart.  Well, twenty four-ish hours later, I have ranked 607 movies a total of 1573 times.  By no means a scientific test, but the results are pretty good.  I also like how the site uses a variety of posters to represent the films.  Some fan made...some foreign ones.

If you want to see my whole list, look up my user name (cmock127) on the site.

Here are my top 20 movies....some I have seen a bunch of times....some only once or twice but they made an impact on me....

20.  Rear Window

19.  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

18.  Usual Suspects

17.  Monsters, Inc.

16.  Caine Mutiny

15.  Goldeneye

14.  Spiderman 2

13.  About A Boy

12.  Star Wars

11.  Saving Private Ryan

10.  Ghostbusters

9.  The Hunt For Red October
The Hunt for Red October (Special Collector's Edition) Movie Poster

8.  12 Monkeys

7.  True Lies

6.  Terminator

5.  Fight Club

4.  The Fugitive

3.  X-Men 2: X-Men United

2.  Black Hawk Down

1. Die Hard

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Today's Obsession....

School vacation starts today. Well, it started last night with an...interesting night out. And, yes, I have In-Service on Monday but that does not count.

Regardless, Teebore posted an awesome list of things for which he is thankful.

My favorite (today) is Flickchart! What a way to waste a few hours...

He describes it thus:

My latest online obsession, flickchart lets you create a ranked list of all the movies you've seen by tossing up two movies at a time and asking you to pick which one you like better. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day*

Thank you, Richard Howard Mock....

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

*The holiday is commonly printed as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day on calendars. While these spellings are grammatically acceptable, the United States government has declared that no apostrophe rather than the possessive case is the official spelling.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Randomness on a Sunday Night


Result silhouetteThe AgeAnalyzer thinks is written by someone 36-50 years old.
Is this correct?  

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