From war, to hatred, to forgiveness

Readers may be familiar with the Australian writer Russell Braddon.  He was a prisoner of war of the Japanese from 1942-1945, and suffered greatly on the infamous Burma Railway project.  Out of that experience came his best-known book, ‘The Naked Island‘, chronicling his experiences as a POW.  He followed it some years later with a sequel, ‘End Of A Hate‘, describing his homecoming to Australia and readjustment to life in civilization.  I read both books as a youth, and recommend them very highly, ‘The Naked Island’ in particular:  it’s one of the finest and most grippingly brutal accounts of what

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A crunchy, edible bra?

I’ve heard of strange marketing efforts, but an edible bra made of potato chips is more than a little ‘out there’, to say the least!  The photograph below (received via e-mail, origin and attribution unknown – if the copyright owner requires acknowledgment, or wants it taken down, please contact me) is said to have been taken at a convention of the National Potato Chip Institute during the 1940’s. I hope she didn’t hug anybody until the viewing, or contest, or whatever, was over! Peter

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Doofus Of The Day #646

Courtesy of Australian reader Snoggeramus, we learn of a householder in that nation who had an . . . interesting way of investigating a gas leak. He lit a cigarette after smelling gas?  Ye Gods and little fishes . . . talk about an accident looking for a place to happen! Peter

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Back from Blogorado

Miss D. and I arrived home late this afternoon, tired and stiff after three nights trying to sleep on the Bed From Hell (Miss D. described it as feeling like a velvet-flocked board, which is a pretty fair description of how soft it wasn’t!).  We’ll be trying for something much more comfortable next time!  It’ll be very nice indeed to settle down in our own, softer bed tonight. Blogorado was as awesome as it usually is.  The food continued to meet FarmMom’s ambrosial standards.  Following Friday night’s feast (which I described earlier), Saturday night produced copious quantities of fried Philippine-style

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“The Poop Snake”

Apparently the state of Dubai doesn’t have a piped sewage system.  Instead, hundreds of sewage tanker trucks collect waste from all over the place and take it to a central processing facility.  Apparently the backup of trucks waiting to discharge their loads can be three days long! Here’s a video clip of the extraordinary line of vehicles.  LANGUAGE ALERT – the people filming the trucks aren’t particularly careful of their vocabulary. I shudder to think of the stench if one or more of them were to suffer a major collision or accident . . . Peter

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US school education – throwing good money after bad?

A recent article at the CATO Institute’s Cato At Liberty blog highlights the appalling state of US school education. Yesterday the annual summary of SAT — formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test — scores came out, and the news was once again disheartening. Indeed, average reading scores hit a record low, and math remained stagnant. . . . [There is an] overwhelming lack of correlation between spending and scores. Per-pupil outlays have taken off like a moonshot while scores have either sat on the runway, or even burrowed down a bit. Sadly, this corresponds to the results from long-term National Assessment of

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Remembering a battle leader

Readers will doubtless recall the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan on the night of 14th September, which destroyed several US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft and killed two members of VMA-211, the squadron that operated them:  Lt-Col. Christopher K. Raible, the unit’s Commanding Officer, and Sergeant Bradley Atwell.  It seems both men died heroically, Lt-Col. Raible leading a counter-attack against the enemy and Sgt. Atwell following his commander into the fight.  The Washington Post reports: Like most folks in the sprawling remote desert camp, Raible, 40, a Marine fighter pilot, faced two choices: seek cover or

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A mysterious mid-air collision

Flight Global reports on a rather strange-sounding accident in Syria. Mystery still surrounds the circumstances of an apparent mid-air collision involving a Syrian Arab Airlines Airbus A320 that resulted in substantial damage to the twinjet’s vertical fin. The only verification of a collision came from a brief statement released by the ministry of information and carried by Syrian government media, which stated that a military helicopter – possibly a Mil Mi-17 or Mi-8 – had collided with the jet, which had returned to land at Damascus. Unverified images of a Syrian Arab Airlines A320 in a hangar show damage to

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On the ground at Blogorado

Miss D. and I have arrived safely at the fourth annual Blogorado celebrations after an interesting journey.  We flew out of a comfortably mid-70-degree-ish Nashville on Thursday into a mid-30-degree-ish Denver, wearing T-shirts – and with our warm clothing safely stowed in the belly of the aircraft!  Not good planning . . . but we survived. We picked up our rental car (whose quoted price over the Internet miraculously almost tripled once various fees, charges, taxes and imposts were added to it . . . but by that stage we had no room to maneuver or argue.  Grrr!), then headed

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The miraculous, misleading jobs report

The alleged improvement in the US unemployment rate is a chimera from beginning to end.  Here’s why. First of all, we’ve known for a long time that the government is lying about the jobless rate.  I’ve already covered this in depth in three previous articles, so I won’t bother repeating their content here.  Please go read them at the links below, in the order listed: This is how your government lies to you More official deception about the unemployment rate Lies about unemployment It’s as clear as daylight why such a miraculous improvement in the unemployment rate should surface in

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