Ephemera or Damn the Torpedoes

Dear reader(s),

These ephemera postings might become a regular thing as I travel the internet faster than I can research, post, or even absorb what crosses my path.

For example, I believe today is the 150th anniversary of Admiral David Farragut‘s victory at Mobile Bay, where he famously said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” because the Confederates had, you know, defenses for this strategic position. Defenses like torpedoes, I would assume. I’ve always wanted to read more about Farragut but have never been able to fit him into my historical dance card.

Guys, I learn all sorts of things doing “research” for this blog

The other big thing is that August 4 marks the declaration on Germany by Britain, taking Germany’s declaration of war on Russia and raising them by an empire (think poker here). World War I is a small blip on the American radar, but the Royal Family has certainly been oot and aboot. And because the American media is obsessed with British Royalty (wait, what was the Revolutionary war about people??), the American media has been brought along on all these centenary markings.

And then there’s some other random things I think are interesting.

And so without further ado: This week’s (month’s?) list of ephemera:

Extraordinary WWI art  I love this style of art. If I knew art history more recent than … the Renaissance, I’d say this was Art Deco, but I don’t think Art Deco officially takes off until after the war? The roaring 20’s, the Great Gatsby, and all that? Be sure to toggle the pictures.

Artistically, this is my jam.

100 Years on, buried WWI shells pose threat in French fields Located around the Verdun area, where the battle bearing its name took 10 months. So that means there’s a LOT of unexploded ordinance lying around.

Considered a French tactical victory but at great cost.

Beauty and Duty WW2. How to do a man’s work and still look beautiful. Because they thought women would feel more grounded if they had some semblance of their former pre-war routines. (This was before the feminism we know today was invented.) Interestingly, Estee Lauder still claims that you can tell an economy’s strength by lipstick sales.

A totally different beauty and duty…

Last Crew Member of the Enola Gay dies The Enola Gay dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

Who wears short shorts?

Three Lesser Known Outlaws of the Old West Joaquin Murrietta, Hoodoo Brown, James “Deacon Jim” Miller

It seems they have a modern flair for hyperbole! Best thing ever!

15 Year Research Project Reveals New Truths About Viking Dublin It looks like it’s a great resource for Viking scholars.

D’awww can I keep him?

Top 10 Partisans of the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. Probably the best known is #5 Francis Marion, after whom Mel Gibson’s The Patriot was loosely based. Extremely loosely based.


Mel Gibson vs. the entire British army

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask I’ll admit my knowledge of the Middle East is slightly out of date. I know Israel didn’t exist before WW2, that America bombed the bejeezus out of that general area during the past decade and – speaking of jeezus – before that, I know that the Emperor Caesar Augustus conducted a survey around the year 0 which resulted in a Jewish carpenter being born in a barn. Like I said, out of date. I don’t even know if this link has a bias or spin.

Maybe if they could all laugh at this, the world would be a different place.

A write-up on Caroline Bonaparte Murat, Napoleon’s sister Her husband Joachim Murat is not to be confused with the Death of Marat French Revolutionary guy. I know this because I had to look this up. How ironic if Napoleon’s sister married Marat?

The death of Jean-Paul Marat, painted by Jacques-Louis David

And lastly ….

Former Notre Dame Wide Receiver Shows Why it is Smart to Choose Baseball Over Football Anyone remember those Quinn-to-Samardzija passes that started us out ranked #2 in the ’06 season? Well, just in case, here’s a refresher.


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