Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, Military, The United States | Tags: A Marine and His Dog, Iowa Elks Association, Sergeant Ross Gundlach
Twenty-five year-old Sergeant Ross Gundlach served over 150 missions with his bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan. He told Casey that he’d look her up when he returned home. Now enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Gundlach learned that Casey had been mustered out and assigned to the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office. Gundlach wrote to State Fire Marshal Director Ray Reynolds, sending pictures and stories about Casey, seeking to adopt her.
Reynolds sought help from the Iowa Elks who agreed to donate $8,500 to buy Iowa another dog., and arranged for Gundlach to come to Iowa to plead his case officially.
Gundlach said “I promised her if we made it out alive, I’d do whatever it took to find her. On Friday he made good on that vow with some surprise help from sentimental state officials in Iowa who know how to pull off a surprise. …
When Gundlach saw Casey, he put his head in his hands and cried. She licked his face, wagging her tail furiously.
“It was a total surprise” he said.”I owe her. I’ll just try to give her the best life I can.”
Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, Sports | Tags: Sled Dogs, The Inuit, Thousand-Year Old Mode of Transportation
A mode of transportation thousands of years old, a pack of dogs and a dogsled. Notice the way the dogs are harnessed. Quite different from what I’ve seen on the Iditarod.
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Freedom, Heartwarming, History, Humor, Science/Technology | Tags: Acrocanthosaurus, Don't Try This At Home, Twenty-Foot Dinosaur
Here’s a time-lapse video of how a 20-foot acrocanthosaurus is made. The Airigami team assembled the dinosaur and its ecosystem, including plants and some crawly insects at the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ancient Life. It took them four days, but it looks like they didn’t have to blow up the balloons, at least not there.
That is without question the best balloon accomplishment I’ve ever seen.
Always just out of reach, but keep on trying. I liked this little video.
Filed under: Capitalism, Conservatism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education, Freedom, Heartwarming, Law, Politics | Tags: Governor Scott Walker, Reform and Renewal, State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s outstanding young governor, Scott Walker, appears on the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Knowledge, wonderful interviews conducted by Peter Robinson.
I am deeply impressed with this young man. He was elected to face a state in trouble, with problems with the schools, the state budget, domineering public sector unions. The Democrats in the Legislature skipped town to avoid having to face up to a vote they might lose. The Governor was picketed, threatened, the subject of near riots by angry protesters, and he went ahead and did what was right anyway. Courage, and then some.
He has fixed the problems, survived a recall election, and put Wisconsin on the path to freedom and good government, opportunity and growth. Courage, character and determination. He seems to be a really nice guy as well.
Filed under: History, Education, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, United Kingdom | Tags: The Industrial Revolution, Transforms Farming, Time Machine: 1880
If you have time this weekend, and need a respite from the Boston bombings, I recommend this documentary from the BBC. It is called Victorian Farm, and is an observational series following a team who live the life of Victorian British farmers for a year.
This is not ‘reality TV’. In Britain, the Acton Scott estate in Shropshire is a world frozen in time, the time of Victorian rural England. The buildings and grounds are cluttered with antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family, who have lived on the estate since the 12th century.
The team consists of two archaeologists, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn, and historian Ruth Goodman who go back in time to relive the day-to-day life of a Victorian farmer. The team moves into a Victorian smallholding on the Acton Scott estate that has not been used in nearly half a century. Their first job is restoration of the cottage. As incoming tenants, they help thresh the previous summer’s wheat crop, their first experience of steam-powered machinery. Alex attempts to sow a wheat crop using horse power. Ruth and Peter install a range in the cottage and take a trip to the canals to load up on coal.
They have as a guide, an 1844 guidebook explaining Victorian tools, and local folk knowledgeable in traditional country ways come by to help them with unfamiliar tasks. It is very professionally done, and if you have no interest in history, probably not your cup of tea. The full documentary is six hours long, but broken up into manageable segments. I enjoyed it immensely. Not Kim Kardashian, but serious scholars discovering the past by doing. Watch a little, you’ll get hooked.
Filed under: Entertainment, Heartwarming, Humor, Politics, Pop Culture, The United States | Tags: Extraordinary Comedian, Jack Paar & Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show
Jonathan Winters passed away last Thursday at the age of 87. Funny, funny man, and an extraordinary comedian. I somehow missed that news. Here is a video of an appearance on the Jack Paar show in April of 1964. (That was before Johnny Carson) , (Who was before Jay Leno) for you young folks.
Jonathan Winters was at his best simply improvising, as he does here with a stick. What a quick (and bizarre) mind. Our world was richer for his humor.
Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, History, Military, The United States | Tags: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Illustrator Ted Rand, The Shot Heard Round The World
[A little Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the eighteenth of April]
Today is the 238th anniversary of the “Shot heard Round the World”
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend,”If the British march
By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light—
One if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”
Then he said, “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, a British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed to the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay—
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now gazed at the landscape far and near.
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth
And turned and tightened his saddle girth:
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and somber and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides:
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm—
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will awaken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
A lovely paperback edition illustrated by Ted Rand, if you have kids.
Filed under: Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: Keep Track, Simple Pleasures, Take Time to Appreciate.
Small, simple pleasures that give us a bump of cheer, yet we don’t often pay enough attention to notice and be grateful. So slow down a tiny bit, and appreciate all the nice things. Have a moment of gratitude for the break from the annoyances of the day.
Filed under: Africa, Education, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: Liking Waterholes, Mud is Good, The Elephant's Trunk
When you are very young, there’s all sorts of stuff you have to learn. You humans have noses with which you breathe and smell; ours does that as well as collecting food, touching, grasping and sound production. We can eventually crack a peanut shell without harming the peanut itself, lift up to 770 lbs., reach up to 23 feet, suck up water both to drink and to shower. When we swim, it’s a snorkel. So don’t go laughing when we have to learn how to use our proboscis, it just takes time.
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Freedom, Heartwarming | Tags: Industrial Design, Irving Harper, Paper Sculptures
Paper doesn’t require any special equipment—“All you have to do is sit down, cut paper out, and score it, bend it, and glue it.”
A beautiful Herman Miller interview with designer (and paper engineer/artist/sculptor) Irving Harper. As design director for the Nelson Office in the 1950s and ’60s, he created and collaborated on iconic furniture, products and textiles in midcentury design.
While working on the Chrysler Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, he began making sculptures in his off hours to relieve stress. Some 50 years and roughly 500 pieces later, almost every surface of his Rye, New York home is besieged by evidence of his remarkable skill and creativity.
Irving Harper’s book, Irving Harper: Works in Paper, chronicles his intricate sculptures of paper, toothpicks and other household items.
( h/t: thekidshouldseethis.com)
Filed under: Art, Heartwarming, History | Tags: How Do You Get Them Inside?, Ships in Bottles, Working in Miniature
Ships in bottles. Sea stories. Bottled History. “A nice little hobby.”
Ray Gascoigne has been around boats his whole life, as a shipwright, a merchant sailor, and now as a ship builder on the smallest dry dock there is: a bottle. This short film, by Smith Journal and Melbourne-based production studio Commoner, picks through the wood chips to tell the story of a craft honed over 60 years, the knowledge that goes into it, and the man behind it…