Sunday, 22 April 2018

Received Ideas in Quotes 9

The Queen wanted to be President of the George Formby Society but was told she was too important, despite pointing out she knew all the songs by heart.

Aboriginal people in Australia have never been covered by a flora and fauna act, under either federal or state law. But despite several attempts by various people to set the record straight, the myth continues to circulate, perhaps because, as one academic told Fact Check, it "embodies elements of a deeper truth about discrimination". (The act was allegedly repealed in 1967.)

Around 600 A.D., Pope Gregory the Great decreed that fetal rabbits... were not meat, and could be eaten during Lent, when meat was not allowed. Monks in France... quickly saw an opportunity and began to keep and breed rabbits. (New York Times, which goes on to debunk the story. Or was capybara redefined as a fish for the benefit of new converts in South America?)

Leonardo DaVinci painted another younger Mona Lisa which is said to have been kept in a secret vault in Switzerland. (@Museum_Facts)

A common (Glasgow?) tenement feature is a bookshelf that looks suspiciously like a door. During construction the entire street would be connected by interior doorways, saving builders going downstairs to move between blocks. They bricked them up on their way through and out. (Ryan Vance @rjjvance)

No, the surge in measles is not caused by trips to Europe. The surge in measles is caused by people not vaccinating their children. (@drphiliplee1)

Planning and determination characterise intimate partner homicide, not ‘just snapping’. (Dr Jane Monckton Smith @JMoncktonSmith)

Sailors used to catch turtles for food and store them upside down on deck, supposedly they could live for months like this without eating. (Via FB)

Journalist and former MI6 man Malcolm Muggeridge claimed that an Abwehr officer thought Wodehouse's novels were naturalistic and sent over spies in spats who were picked up in hours. ((((Edwin Moore))) @GlasgowAlbum)

The man who is believed responsible for introducing this early version of the guillotine, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, was executed by the Maiden in 1581. (Atlas Obscura)

“Your family would either have fine china, which could withstand high temperatures” – in which case you would put the tea in first, then the milk – or you might be below stairs, drinking out of mugs, “and if they put the hot in first, the mugs would crack”. So if you live above stairs, you put your milk in last, to show that you are the kind of person who owns decent china. Below stairs, milk in first. (Times, 2018 Have you tried this with mugs? I’ve never known an earthenware mug to crack when you poured boiling water into it. And besides, the servants’ hall would have drunk tea out of cups.)

Apparently it wasn't until top-name chocolatiers got angry that they couldn't photograph their products that Kodak finally made an emulsion that should film black people adequately! (Via Twitter)

Were deleted 78s “used as ballast”, and this is how they ended up in the UK? (the central hole was used to string them together, or to delete the record.)

Why on earth would they use old soul records for ballast on ships - surely you would use something like SAND or something cheaper and more easily attainable and transportable. Seems rather unlikely that someone would say "Let's transport a load of old deleted 45 rpm records to the port so we can use them as ballast on our ships." 'Yeah, great idea, I'll send some vans to downtown Detroit...”

Old books are sold on “for ballast” in 2018. But all ballast these days is water in tanks (formerly sand and gravel). If you chucked old books into a hold they would get wet and turn to pulp. And would they be heavy enough?

On reflection, the teller says: “It was the story I was told by the shop owner who had connections with other second-hand shops around the country. She did say they were shipped in containers though maybe not as ballast.” (Via FB)

The Pith Helmet is a hard-shell, high-crowned hat with a wide, sloping brim made of the ‘pith’ (soft heartwood) of the Sola plant. It’s for this reason they’re also called Sola Topees or Sola hats. ( The plant is called “sola”, and Wikipedia suggests that they became “solar” topees through a process of folk etymology. There’s much discussion on the Web, but so far no reference to the helmets’ purpose in protecting white people from sunstroke.)

When I was in Burma I was assured that the Indian sun, even at its coolest, had a peculiar deadliness which could only be warded off by wearing a helmet of cork or pith. ‘Natives’, their skulls being thicker, had no need of these helmets... Some people, not content with cork and pith, believed in the mysterious virtues of red flannel and had little patches of it sewn into their shirts over the top vertebra. The Eurasian community, anxious to emphasize their white ancestry, used at that time to wear topis even larger and thicker than those of the British... But why should the British in India have built up this superstition about sunstroke? Because an endless emphasis on the differences between the ‘natives’ and yourself is one of the necessary props of imperialism. You can only rule over a subject race, especially when you are in a small minority, if you honestly believe yourself to be racially superior, and it helps towards this if you can believe that the subject race is biologically different. There were quite a number of ways in which Europeans in India used to believe, without any evidence, that Asiatic bodies differed from their own. Even quite considerable anatomical differences were supposed to exist. But this nonsense about Europeans being subject to sunstroke and Orientals not, was the most cherished superstition of all. The thin skull was the mark of racial superiority, and the pith topi was a sort of emblem of imperialism. 
(George Orwell, As I Please)

I regularly see kids who cannot even cross the road properly because they never walk anywhere!

I remember another mum describing how she proudly listened to her son read while she was cooking dinner only to discover when she came into the room that the book was shut and he was reciting from memory.

When I was young Easter eggs always had the word “Easter” on them.

More here, and links to the rest.

Inspirational Quotes 94

We make judgments in split seconds:
Is this person a threat?
Is this person attractive?
Is this person useful to my (social) survival?
( Pic from Whitehorn's Social Survival.)

Ethics are principles from which moral rules can be derived. (Although historically it worked the other way round - ethical principles were generalisations of moral rules.) (RK)

Defenders make their choice by group loyalty and buttress it with principle, not vice versa. (Andrew Brown, paraphrase)

You try to create a social world where you’re comfortable, where you succeed, where you have people you can trust and with whom you can co-operate to meet your goals. To create this, similarity is very useful. (Chris Crandall, Uni of Kansas)

The nature of the work - on a movie, a play, a series - it’s over and everyone goes their own way and you’re the best of friends during that moment. (William Shatner)

In a new group I have to ask myself/the host "where is the line, how bland do I need to be?(AS)

It's like moving to a new city: you have to give yourself time to find your way, get acclimatised and discover where you fit in. (Nick Vujicic)

We all have a need to think well of ourselves, and for others to think well of us... we expend huge amounts of time and effort maintaining and protecting our self-image. The flipside... is our dread of humiliation... One study showed that “social pain” activated the same circuits of the brain as physical pain. (Paul Randolph, Observer  2016)

Over the years many friendships have simply evolved into acquaintances. (FB cut and paste lore)

Bret Harte published his first work at age 11, a satirical poem titled "Autumn Musings," now lost. Rather than attracting praise, the poem resulted in his family's ridicule. As an adult, he recalled to a friend, "Such a shock was their ridicule to me that I wonder that I ever wrote another line of verse." (Amazon. His stories and verses became enormously popular.)

Whereas mental health professionals often think of it in terms of recovery from symptoms, patients more often emphasise the importance of self-esteem, hope for the future, and a valued role in society... Arguably the biggest cause of human misery is miserable relationships with other people, conducted in miserable circumstances. (Richard Bentall Guardian Feb 2016-02-27)

Pretending you don’t have feelings of anger, sadness or loneliness can literally destroy you mentally. (@madfactz)

It's amazing how many things "aren't difficult" when you have no idea what you're talking about.
(Julian Sanchez ‏@normative)

People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like “be realistic”. (Dylan Moran)

I definitely think about what I’m going to say before I say it, because I do feel that I’m more likely to offend just by being female and having a strong opinion on something. (Screewriter Katie Dippold)

Conservatives "traumatised" by people calling a bigot a bigot. (Sabine ‏@ThatSabineGirl)

Once stars and their people realise that you are professional and you aren't going to start asking for autographs or behaving as if the star is your new best friend ... then they're happy to keep using you... I've also trained as a make-up artist as a preparation for the future - showbusiness is precarious and it's sensible to have a plan B. (Model who works as body double)

I don’t want to become someone sanctimonious who tuts at teenagers drinking alcopops; neither do I want to talk in therapy platitudes nor acquire the evangelical tone of voice I know from church preachers. (Amy Liptrot)

Jack Warner built a house for his wife that resembled a white Southern mansion and left her there to shrivel and die. “She acted her life like a scene from Gone with the Wind.”... Jane, like many Hollywood girls, was plainer than her mother. [Someone was] hired to take her on outings... Stein says that she and her sister were treated “like props”. (Andrew O’Hagan on Jean Stein's Hollywood exposé West of Eden)

Nominally Isabelle’s an independent film producer, though in reality she’s an ex-cokehead on a trust fund. (I Love Dick, Chris Kraus)

Woman who posts endless 'Mums like wine/My kids drive me mad' on FB is resharing old ones as 'Memories'. (@redskyatnight)

Conciliation makes the conciliated more aware of the effectiveness of their bad behaviour so consequently they increase it. (Elizabeth Jane Howard)

When you criticise cultural trends people have a tendency to say 'who thinks like that?' (@KarlreMarks. Or “I don’t know anybody like that”. Or “I never heard that”. Or even "I just ignore people like that.")

Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money. (Barbara Ehrenreich)

More here, and links to the rest.