Friday, March 28, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Answers to yesterday's quiz

The Death of the Czars:

A. 6
B. 1
C. 2
D. 5
E. 4
F. 3

So how did you do? We will be grading on a curve.

A. Nicholas II

Shot to death by revolutionaries -  Russian Czar Nicholas II was murdered with his family and servants by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg July 17 1918. This included his daughter Anastasia, who may not actually have been killed with the rest of them but was almost certainly killed along with the rest of them despite persistent rumors to the contrary--even in the face of almost insurmountable evidence suggesting otherwise (except when interpreted differently). Even if she wasn't dead then, she's certainly dead now. This has been scientifically proven by scientists who ought to know.

B. Peter III

1. Overthrown by his own wife, imprisoned, killed by his wife’s favorite
- It has been rumored that the Czar was murdered at the castle Ropsha by Alexius Orlov, Theodore Baryatinski and a group of compatriots, at the behest of Gregory Orlov (Alexius' brother,) Catherine II lover. Gregory hoped to be able to marry his mistress and become consort once Peter was out of the way.

C. Paul I

2. Struck in the head with a sword, then strangled and trampled to death in his bedroom.
- Paul was murdered in his bedroom in the newly built St Michael's Castle by a band of dismissed officers headed by General Bennigsen, a Hanoverian in the Russian service, and General Yashvil, a Georgian. They charged into his bedroom, flushed with drink after supping together, and found Paul hiding behind some drapes in the corner. The conspirators pulled him out, forced him to the table, and tried to compel him to sign his abdication. Paul offered some resistance, and one of the assassins struck him with a sword, after which he was strangled and trampled to death.

D. Peter the Great

Caught a chill and died - a rumor has it that Peter had gone Lakhta along the Finnish Gulf to inspect some ironworks, Peter saw a group of soldiers drowning near shore and, wading out into near-waist deep water, came to their rescue. Peter's health declined after the event (although probably due to continuing bladder issues) and died a few months after the event.

E. Ivan VI

(Oops - I accidentally posted a photo of Ivan IV.  You know how all those Ivan's look alike.)

Overthrown in a coup, exiled, imprisoned, killed while trying to escape - Ivan VI was named Tsar as a child but never reigned.  He was overthrown by Empress Elizabeth II in 1741 and thrown into prison.  He languished there nearly forgotten until 1761 when a sub-lieutenant of the garrison, Vasily Mirovich, learned of his identity and formed a plan for freeing and proclaiming him Emperor. At midnight on July 5 1764, Mirovich won over some of the garrison, arrested the commandant, Berednikov, and demanded the release of Ivan. His jailers, on orders of their commander, an officer named Chekin, immediately murdered Ivan in compliance with the secret instructions already in their possession.

F. Alexander II

Killed by a bomb thrown by a revolutionary - An anarchist Nikolai Rysakov, from the radical group People's Will threw a bomb which disrupts Czar Alexander II's motorcade. Startled but unharmed, Alexander thanked God for his deliverance, another anarchist Ignacy Hryniewiecki, yelled "It is too early to thank God" and throws a second bomb, causing severe injuries from which Alexander bleeds to death several hours later. (Nicholas II, Alexander grandson, was one of the unfortunate witnesses to Czar's gruesome death.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Today's Quiz

Kids, have you been paying attention:
Please match the Russian Czar (Tzar, Tsar) with how he met his untimely end:

A. Nicholas II

B. Peter III

C. Paul I

D. Peter the Great

E. Ivan VI
(Oops - I accidentally posted a photo of Ivan IV.  You know how all those Ivan's look alike.)

F. Alexander II

1. Overthrown by his own wife, imprisoned, killed by his wife’s favorite
2. Struck in the head with a sword, then strangled and trampled to death in his bedroom.
3. Killed by a bomb thrown by a revolutionary
4. Overthrown in a coup, exiled, imprisoned, killed while trying to escape
5. Caught a chill and died
6. Shot to death by revolutionaries

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Proverbs 11:7

When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength.

Friday, March 14, 2014

... first as tragedy, second as farce

March 14, 1883 -

Karl Marx, died on this date. His premature death prevented him from seeing the global impact of his progeny: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo and Zeppo. Karl Marx was born in Trier, Prussia May 5, 1818. He went to school at a time of severe repression. Pianos had to have skirts on for fear young men would become aroused by the sight of their bare legs. The Prussian government kept the teachers under police surveillance to make sure they wouldn't teach anything too radical like 2 + 2= 4 and so the students, including Marx, became extremely radical.

(There are no know photos of Karl and Gummo together: they never got along)

As a result of his beliefs, Marx was not able to get a job as a chicken inspector after he got his doctorate in philosophy. And without a job, he spent his time analyzing history and stealing tips left for waiters at the coffeehouses he frequented and came to the conclusion that all historical events were caused by economic forces.

He got involved in Communism - the belief that all private property should be abolished, men and women should not bathe or shave and pickled herring should be used as a cologne. Marx moved around Europe, writing for newspapers and pornographic pamphlet, studying, wanting to write a book about his economic ideas. But Marx was an obsessive researcher, and never knew when to stop reading and start writing. He only became productive after he met Friedrich Engels, a socialist who was also wealthy—the heir to a textile business and primitive whoopee cushion novelty item.

Their main theory was that the economic system was a perpetual conflict between those who controlled the capital and those who provided the labor, that the conflict would never be resolved peacefully, that in a free market, workers would continue periodically to lose their jobs, their standard of living would fall, and this would inevitably lead to violent revolution. He believed that giant corporations would dominate the world's industries, that globalism in trade would make markets even more unstable. He also believed that you could hard boil an egg by holding it under one's armpit for a week thus saving money by not paying the gas bill.

Marx and Engels published their Communist Manifesto and What the Butler Saw Whilst Polishing the Knob in 1848, and revolution did break out afterward in France, Italy, and Austria. Marx's newspaper was shut down. He had to flee the country. He moved to London, worked for years on his last book, Das Kapital. His family in poverty, Marx said, "I don't suppose anyone has ever written about 'money' when so short of the stuff." A spy from Prussia was keeping tabs on him and wrote, "Washing, grooming and changing his clothes are things he does rarely. He does not shave at all. But he does have an unnatural obsession watching Amenian women clip their toenails!"

He fed his family on bread and potatoes, and when one of his children died, his wife had to borrow money from a neighbor to buy a coffin.

When Marx died in 1883, only 11 persons came to his funeral. And they were all charged a mourners tax!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another Puddles video

I want Puddles at my next grown-up party!

Is this what David Lynch's dream look like?