Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Miscellany: Some Odds, Ends and Personals . . .


An email from Nick:

Dear Otto,

Thanks for another interesting and entertaining Bytes. I have to admit, though, I doubted the Napoleon story when I read it. Apparently Snopes does too.

Merci encore pour mon pain quotidien.


Some comments:

Nick’s response was in respect of a trivia item:
Napoleon killed over a thousand people with a cough. In 1799 he was deciding whether to release 1,200 Turkish prisoners of war when he coughed and said, "Ma sacré toux!" (my darned cough) which sounded to officers like "Massacrez tous!" (Kill them all!). So they did. is an authoritative site on internet myths, furphies and urban legends and if that says that the above tale is not correct, then I accept it.

Snopes also points out that whereas the above tale is untrue, Napoleon did order the execution of thousands of prisoners, the captured defenders and occupiers of the city of Jaffa. 

According to Etienne-Louis Malus, a doctor who had accompanied the army of Napoleon, soldiers cut the throats of men and women, the old and the young, Christians and Turks. Women were raped, bodies and houses were looted and corpses were defiled. Over a 3 day period, 3,000 prisoners were slaughtered. Sir Walter Scott, in his biography of Napoleon, says that this “bloody deed must always remain a deep stain on the character of Napoleon.”

The painting Napoleon visiting the plague victims of Jaffa by Antoine-Jean Gros shows the aftermath of the battle, with no indication of the horror to follow.

By the way, can anyone translate Nick’s French comment? Is it something to do with thanks, give us our daily bread?


From David in respect of the comments on whether e e cummings wanted his name written without capitals:

Re: Your MM on e e cummings.

I find this cartoon rather amusing:


The Art of Max Zorn:

I have previously posted items about different materials used for art, some of them unique and others bizarre.

I recently became aware of the art of Dutch artist Max Zorn, which I found fascinating not only because of his chosen artistic medium – packing tape – but also because of the beauty of his moody, comic book style, 1930’s-feel images.

Zorn applies the packing tape to glass, applying more layers to achieve darker tones and removing layers with a blade to lighten. A light source behind the glass brings the works to life.

They are reminiscent of the art of Frank Miller in Sin City, the first image below being of a Sin City scene (remember the opening scenes of the first Sin City film?)  Other works are scenes from other films.

Zorn says the idea to use packing tape began with his street art:

“There’s a lot of great street art by day, but it disappears after dark. I wanted to come up with urban art that uses night time as a setting, and there was nothing more inviting than the street lamps in Amsterdam. In the beginning I used packing tape to fill in larger sections of my marker drawings. Once I hung them on street lamps, the light’s effect opened up new ideas with ditching markers and just using tape.” 

Max Zorn’s website is at:

Here is a link to a video showing the creative process:

Some of Max Zorn’s works, available for purchase from his website (more works later):

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