Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thought for the Day

The Year is 1917

The below item arrived in my emails yesterday, courtesy of Charles Z. His message was “Otto - enjoy and use as you see fit!” Thanks, Charles.

It compares the present day with 1917. A quick search on the internet shows that it has also been posted as being for 1915 and 1902.

I checked some of the “facts” given:

“The American flag had 45 stars ...” 

In fact, the 45th star was added in 1896 for Utah, the 46th star was added in 1908 for Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and 2 more stars were added in 1912 for Arizona and New Mexico. (Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th stars in 1959 and 1960).

“There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.”

Owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all US states observed the Mother’s Day holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

So either take it with a grain of salt, look at it as of interest or go with the earlier date, but don’t hold me to the facts as given. Or use it as an illustration not to believe everything you read.

What some of our parents and grandparents experienced in 1917

This will boggle your mind!

The year is 1917, "One hundred years ago."

What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1917:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between 200 and 400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn 2000 per year.

A dentist 2,500 per year.

A veterinarian between 1,500 and 4,000 per year.

And, a mechanical engineer about 5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars ...

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.

Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!" 

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help...

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself. From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD all in a matter of seconds!

It is impossible to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

Thought for the Day

Two Travellers

I have been suffering from the flu for the last few days so am reposting an item first posted on 10 December 2010.  It makes a lot of sense.

A man was walking a very long road from one village to another.

As he approached the village, but still on its outskirts, he encountered a farmer from the village who was labouring in his field, cutting hay. He walked up to the farmer and said, “I have walked a great distance to come to this village of yours. I have left my village looking for a new home, perhaps I will find it in this village. Can you tell me, how are the people in this village? What kind of people are they?”

The man in the field thought a moment before replying, then asked, “What were the people like in the village you came from?”

The traveller replied, “They were uncaring, self-absorbed, cynical and unfriendly. That’s why I left.”

The farmer paused before replying and then said, “I think that’s how you’ll find the people here, too.”

The traveller replied, “In that case, I’ll just move on and look somewhere else.”

A couple of days later, the farmer was again out in his field when a different man approached him and said, “My village was destroyed and the people scattered. I am looking to find myself a new home, perhaps in this village. Can you tell me, how are the people in this village? What kind of people are they?”

The farmer asked, “What were the people like in the village you came from?”

The traveller replied, “They were wonderful people. Loving, close, helpful, and I will miss them terribly.”

The farmer said, “I think that’s how you’ll find the people here, too.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quote for the Day

Beauty and the Past, Part 1

In looking up vintage cards for other posts, I came across photographs from the past, mostly 1920s, and was struck by the beauty of the women photographed and the beauty of the photography. Despite Keats’ poetic statement, beauty is not always truth and truth is not always beauty, but beauty can be timeless, as these pics illustrate . . .

Esther Ralston:

Esther Ralston (1902 – 1994) was an American film actress who was popular in the silent era. Starting in vaudeville as a child in her family act, in the late 1920s she appeared in many films for Paramount, at one point earning as much as $8000 a week. Especially popular in Britain, she appeared mainly in comedies, often portraying spirited society girls. She also received good reviews for her dramatic roles. Despite making a successful transition to sound, she was mainly relegated to supporting roles by the mid-1930s and she retired in 1940. Thereafter she appeared in occasional film and television roles. Ralston died of a heart attack aged 91 in 1994 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mary Nolan:

Mary Nolan (1902 – 1948) was an American stage and film actress, singer and dancer. She began her career as a Ziegfeld girl in the 1920s performing under the stage name Imogene "Bubbles" Wilson. She was fired from the Ziegfeld Follies in 1924 for her involvement in a tumultuous and highly publicised affair with comedian Frank Tinney. She left the United States shortly thereafter and began making films in Germany. She appeared in seventeen German films from 1925 to 1927 using a new stage name, "Imogene Robertson".

Upon returning to the United States in 1927, she attempted to break from her previous scandal ridden past and adopted yet another stage name, "Mary Nolan". She was signed to Universal Pictures in 1928 where she found some success in films. By the 1930s, her acting career began to decline due to her drug abuse and reputation for being temperamental. After being bought out of contract with Universal, she was unable to secure film work with any major studios. Nolan spent the remainder of her acting career appearing in roles in low-budget films for independent studios. She made her final film appearance in 1933.

After her film career ended, Nolan appeared in vaudeville and performed in nightclubs and roadhouses around the United States. Her later years were plagued by drug problems and frequent hospitalisations. She returned to Hollywood in 1939 and spent her remaining years living in obscurity before dying of a barbiturate overdose in 1948.

Ginger Rogers:

Ginger Rogers (1911 – 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer, widely known for performing in films and RKO's musical films, partnered with Fred Astaire. She appeared on stage, as well as on radio and television, throughout much of the 20th century. Starting in vaudeville, she gained recognition as a Broadway actress for her debut stage role in Girl Crazy. She had her first successful film role as a supporting actress in 42nd Street (1933). Throughout the 1930s, Rogers made 10 films with Astaire, among which were some of her biggest successes, such as Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). After two commercial failures with Astaire, Rogers began to branch out into dramatic films and comedies. Her acting was well received by critics and audiences, and she became one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1940s. Her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940) won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Rogers remained successful throughout the 1940s and at one point was Hollywood's highest-paid actress, but her popularity had peaked by the end of the decade. She reunited with Astaire in 1949 in the commercially successful The Barkleys of Broadway. After an unsuccessful period through the 1950s, Rogers made a successful return to Broadway in 1965, playing the lead role in Hello, Dolly!. More lead roles on Broadway followed, along with her stage directorial debut in 1985 on an off-Broadway production of Babes in Arms. Rogers also made television acting appearances until 1987. She died of a heart attack in 1995, at the age of 83. 

She entitled her memoirs “Backwards and in High Heels”, a reference to Bob Thaves' Frank and Ernest cartoon which had the caption "Sure he [Astaire] was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did... backwards and in high heels".

Maude Fealy:

Maude Fealy (1883 – 1971) was an American stage and silent film actress whose career survived into the talkie era. Apart from her activities as an actress, Fealy was also a playwright and taught acting. There are reports that she invented the wheeled luggage carrier. She died in 1971 aged 88.

Evelyn Laye:

Evelyn Laye, CBE (1900 – 1996) was an English actress who was active on the London light opera stage, and later in New York and Hollywood. Awarded a CBE in 1973, Laye continued acting well into her nineties. It was reported after Laye's death that the Queen Mother had petitioned the then Prime Minister John Major for Laye to be awarded the DBE (damehood). Laye died in a nursing home in Pimlico, Central London from respiratory failure in 1996, aged 95.

Marion Davies:

Marion Davies (1897 – 1961) was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist.

Davies was already building a solid reputation as a film comedian when newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, with whom she had begun a romantic relationship, took over management of her career. Hearst financed Davies' pictures, promoted her heavily through his newspapers and Hearst Newsreels, and pressured studios to cast her in historical dramas for which she was ill-suited. For this reason, Davies is better remembered today as Hearst's mistress and the hostess of many lavish events for the Hollywood elite. In particular, her name is linked with the 1924 scandal aboard Hearst's yacht when one of his guests, film producer Thomas Ince, died. In the film Citizen Kane (1941), the title character's second wife—an untalented singer whom he tries to promote—was widely assumed to be based on Davies. But many commentators, including Citizen Kane writer/director Orson Welles himself, have defended Davies' record as a gifted actress, to whom Hearst's patronage did more harm than good. She retired from the screen in 1937, choosing to devote herself to Hearst and charitable work. In Hearst's declining years, Davies provided financial as well as emotional support until his death in 1951. She married for the first time eleven weeks after his death, a marriage which lasted until Davies died of stomach cancer in 1961 at the age of 64.

One word . . 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thought for the Day

Margaret Mead and Sexual Harassment

Margaret Mead (1901 – 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s. Mead was a respected and often controversial academic who popularized the insights of anthropology in modern American and Western culture. Her reports detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures influenced the 1960s sexual revolution. She was a proponent of broadening sexual mores within a context of traditional Western religious life.

As an anthropologist, Mead was best known for her studies of the nonliterate peoples of Oceania, especially with regard to various aspects of psychology and culture—the cultural conditioning of sexual behaviour, natural character, and culture change. As a celebrity, she was most notable for her forays into such far-ranging topics as women’s rights, child rearing, sexual morality, nuclear proliferation, race relations, drug abuse, population control, environmental pollution, and world hunger.

Her contributions to science received special recognition when, at the age of 72, she was elected to the presidency of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1979 she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honour.

Although in the public mind Margaret Mead has been commonly associated with advocacy for more relaxed and permissive attitudes towards sexual behavior, she was also a staunch supporter of the rights of women and their freedom from sexual harassment, something that has been increasingly put in the spotlight recently.

By 1978 there had been some years of feminist activism on the issue of sexual harassment, which had helped highlight the issue and led to articles in the Wall Street Journal, Harper's and The New York Times, as well as television and radio coverage.

In April of 1978, 7 months before her death from pancreatic cancer, 77-year-old Mead wrote an article for the women's magazine Redbook: “A Proposal: We Need Taboos On Sex At Work.”

Mead wrote that she realized that it must have sounded strange to a generation of young women who have felt the need to break and abandon taboos of many kinds, that she was advocating the creation of new taboos. Her argument was that the deepest taboos in any society keep the social system in balance and that the taboo, even more so than a law, spoke to what a society believed in its core.

She argued that larger numbers of women were entering the workplace and that a new taboo should be created to prevent women in the workplace being the subject of harassment:
How to deal with the problems, the social discord and dissonance, in the relations between women and men? The complaints, the legal remedies and the support institutions developed by women all are part of the response to the new conception of women's rights. But I believe we need something much more pervasive, a climate of opinion that includes men as well as women, and that will affect not only adult relations and behavior on the job but also the expectations about the adult world that guide our children's progress into that world.

What we need, in fact, are new taboos that are appropriate to the new society we are struggling to create—taboos that will operate within the work setting as once they operated within the household. Neither men nor women should expect that sex can be used either to victimize women who need to keep their jobs or to keep women from advancement or to help men advance their own careers. A taboo enjoins. We need one that saves clearly and unequivocally, “You don't make passes at or sleep with the people you work with.”

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Quote for the Day

Knockers, Part 2


Last week I set out a brief history of door knockers and posted some pics of old knockers. Here are some pics of amazing knockers, including some more older ones, plus some more interesting facts . . . 

Caution: risque content included.

The Sanctuary Knocker:

The knocker on the northern door of Durham Cathedral in Durham, England, known as the Sanctuary Knocker, has played an important part in the Cathedral’s history. Those who ‘had committed a great offence,’ such as murder in self-defence or breaking out of prison, could rap the knocker and would be given 37 days of sanctuary within which they could try to reconcile with their enemies or plan their escape. The Cathedral entrance has now been modified, but it originally had two small chambers above the doorway with windows where monks would be seated keeping a watch out for sanctuary seekers, to let them in promptly, at any time of the day or night. 

When somebody did seek sanctuary in the Cathedral, the Galilee bell would be rung to announce it. The sanctuary seeker would be given a black robe to wear, with St Cuthbert’s Cross sewn on the left shoulder to distinguish them as one who had been granted sanctuary by God and his saint. The person offered sanctuary was kept in an enclosure separated from the rest of the church, and was provided food, drink, bedding and other necessities at the abbey’s expense, until the person’s safe departure from the diocese could be arranged. 

As far back as 740, Cynewulf, the Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Lindisfarne, offered sanctuary to any criminal who could reach the White Church at Durham—later replaced by Durham Cathedral—and strike the knocker. Housed, fed, and kept safe from capture for 37 days, the criminal was either pardoned or taken to a place of refuge far from the scene of the crime.

The Rites of Durham, an anonymous book about Durham Cathedral that first appeared in 1593, mentions the Right to Sanctuary as a “freedom confirmed not only by King Guthred (King of Northumbria between 883-894) but also by King Alfred the Great (‘King of the Anglo-Saxons’ from 849-899).” 

The Right to Sanctuary was abolished by Parliament in 1624. 

Lion’s Head Knockers:

One of the most enduring themes for knockers has been the lion’s head. Traditionally regarded as the king of beasts, the lion’s head symbolises bravery, nobility, strength, and valour. Lion’s head knockers in England were, and remain, widespread.


Eagle Knockers:

Lion’s head knockers were popular in the American colonies up until the revolution when the Eagle took precedence.

This one is Polish, the Poles also using an eagle as their emblem.

Hand Knockers:

Thought to originate from the Hand of Fatima—a palm-shaped amulet used to protect against evil—hand-shaped knockers are common in countries bordering the Mediterranean whence they spread to neighboring countries.

I want a Vulcan greeting door knocker . . . 


Big Knockers:

Not only knockers are big, one wonders at the sixe of the pople who used thios door and knocker . . . 


And speaking of big . . . 
(To be continued)