Tuesday, March 12, 2024



A quick look at various items from various internet sites.

Smithsonian Magazine
July 18, 2023; reposted March 12, 2024:


Oppenheimer has won the Oscar for Best Pic, prompting the Smithsonian Magazine to repost a detailed look at Robert Oppenheimer’s actions, contributions, controversies and conflicted emotions and psyche.ll brought out in the film.

It is a lengthy read but worth it.

From the above article:
“Oppenheimer himself couldn’t make up his mind how he felt about making and helping to use the bomb, right to the end of his life,” says Mitchell. Until now, “filmmakers also couldn’t seem to get a handle on his conflicting emotions and statements. In that sense, he is a valuable audience surrogate, severely divided or conflicted on these questions.”
(Greg Mitchell is the author of the 2020 book, The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood—and America—Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.)

A circa 1950 photograph of Albert Einstein (left) and Oppenheimer (right)


Smithsonian Magazine
March 11, 2024

With New Holocaust Museum, the Netherlands Reckons With Its Past

From the above article:
During World War II, the Nazis murdered 75 percent of all Dutch Jews, the highest proportion of any country in Western Europe. And yet, for decades, many in the Netherlands were reluctant to acknowledge this dark period in the nation’s history.

Now, the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam aims to change that. The new museum, which opened to the public on Sunday, is the “first institution devoted to telling the full story” of the 102,000 Dutch Jews and 220 Romani victims of the Nazis, reports the New York Times’ Claire Moses.

Using roughly 2,500 documents, photographs, films, sound recordings and other artifacts, the museum explores what life was like for Dutch Jews before, during and after the war. Some of the objects were donated by victims, survivors and relatives, while others came from museum collections around the world.

In one room, laws that stripped Dutch Jews of their freedom are printed all over the walls, stretching from the floor to the ceiling. (For example, on June 12, 1942, Jews were ordered to turn in their bikes. By September 14, 1942, Jews were barred from universities.) This area shows “how the Nazi regime, assisted by Dutch civil servants, dehumanized Jews ahead of operations to round them up,” writes the Associated Press.
Exhibits at the new Holocaust museum include portraits and clothing of Dutch Jewish victims

The museum has texts of anti-Jewish laws imposed by the Nazis, including the 1942 requirement to wear a yellow Star of David


Amusing Planet
March 7, 2024

Horizontal Collaboration: Sleeping With The Enemy

From the above article:
The historic D-Day landing by Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, marked the beginning of a crucial phase in World War II—the liberation of France and the rest of Western Europe. In the aftermath of the storming of the beaches, a wave of jubilation, relief, and hope surged through the liberated towns and villages as Allied troops and resistance fighters swept across France, bringing an end to years of occupation, violence, and despair.

Amidst the celebrations, however, a darker undercurrent emerged. Many individuals, burdened by the anguish and trauma of war, directed their pent-up emotions towards those perceived as collaborators with the enemy. This led to a period known as the épuration sauvage, marked by a series of executions, public humiliations, and assaults targeting suspected collaborators.

Approximately 9,000 members of the pro-Nazi French Militia faced summary execution during this tumultuous time. Women accused of "collaboration horizontale,"—associating romantically or sexually with German soldiers— bore the brunt of public outrage. Subjected to degrading acts such as having their heads shaved, being stripped half-naked, and publicly paraded while facing taunts, stones, kicks, and spitting, they symbolized the betrayal felt by their communities during the war.

Many of these shorn women were merely prostitutes who had engaged in professional services for the occupying Germans. Some were subjected to rape, while others became targets of personal vendettas, framed and falsely accused.

Many victims were young mothers, their husbands confined to German prisoner-of-war camps. Struggling to survive during the war, they often had no means of support, resorting to liaisons with German soldiers as their sole means of obtaining food for themselves and their children. The accusers, driven not by moral indignation but by sheer jealousy, resented the food and luxuries these women had received as a result of their actions.


Kickass Facts

The first yoga mat as we know it today was cut from carpet padding.

During the 9th century AD, two Vikings graffitied their names in the runes of Hagia Sophia. These carvings have survived since the Byzantium era, and are still viewable in modern-day Istanbul.

The inventor of television Philo Farnsworth had the idea for how it would work at the age of 14 while plowing potatoes. He built the first working prototype 7 years later but died at the age of 64 in relative obscurity due to a series of legal battles.

Groups of human beings, left free to each regulate themselves, tend to produce spontaneous order, rather than meaningless chaos

Actor Mel Brooks was a combat engineer during the Battle of the Bulge. When the Germans played propaganda recordings over loudspeakers, Brooks responded by setting up his own sound system and played music by Al Jolson, a Jewish musician.

As of 2012, there were 12 states in which doctors wrote more prescriptions for opioids than there were people in the state.

In 1976, a Soviet pilot defected to Japan with one of their most advanced jet, a MiG-25P. They returned it after learning all its secrets with a $40k bill asking for the shipping fare and repair for the damage it caused to the runway.

Jason Dunham, a Marine Corporal saved two fellow Marines in Iraq by covering a live grenade with his helmet and body.

The Colt's punter borrowed $100 for poker and turned it into $1,400. He used the funds for a trip to Miami to take part in a kicking competition for prospects. He made 9 consecutive field goals starting at 25 yards and moving 5 yards out each time. He was then offered a scholarship to WVU.

Directly after JFK was assassinated, his wife Jackie refused to remove her blood-stained clothes or have the blood washed from her face and hands. She continued like this aboard Air Force 1 during LBJ’s oath-of-office, telling Lady Bird Johnson, “I want them to see what they have done...”


Bored Panda
March 5, 2024

“Yup That Exists”: 50 Weird But Very Real Things, As Shared On This Online Page

From the above post:

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