Saturday, June 25, 2016

Quote for the Day

Michael Keller Ditka (1939 - ) is a former American football player player, coach, and television commentator.


Lebensborn e.V. (literally: "Fount of Life") was a Nazi association that sought to raise the birth rate in Germany of "Aryan" children via extramarital relations of persons classified as "racially pure and healthy" based on Nazi racial hygiene and health ideology. Lebensborn encouraged anonymous births by unmarried women, and mediated adoption of these children by likewise "racially pure and healthy" parents, particularly SS members and their families.

Lebensborn commenced in Germany in 1935, having been founded by Heinrich Himmler, and expanded into several occupied European countries with Germanic populations during the Second World War.

Heinrich Himmler

It included the selection of "racially worthy" orphans for adoption and care for children born from Aryan women who had been in relationships with SS members. It originally excluded children born from unions between common soldiers and foreign women, because there was no proof of racial purity on both sides.

From Wikipedia:
In 1939 the Nazis started to kidnap children from foreign countries — mainly from Yugoslavia and Poland, but also including Russia, Ukraine, Czech, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, and Norway — for the Lebensborn program. They started to do this because "It is our duty to take [the children] with us to remove them from their environment... either we win over any good blood that we can use for ourselves and give it a place in our people or we destroy this blood", Himmler reportedly said.

The Nazis would take children from their parents, in full view of the parents. The kidnapped children were administered several tests and were categorised into three groups:
  • those considered desirable to be included into the German population,
  • those who were acceptable, and
  • the unwanted.
The children classified as unwanted were taken to concentration camps to work or were killed. The children from the other groups, if between the ages of 2 and 6, were placed with families in the programme to be brought up by them in a kind of foster-child status. Children of ages 6 to 12 were placed in German boarding schools. The schools assigned the children new German names and taught them to be proud to be part of Germany. They forced the children to forget their birth parents and erased any records of their ancestry. Those who resisted Germanisation were beaten and, if a child continued to rebel, he or she would be sent to a concentration camp.

In the final stages of the war, the files of all children kidnapped for the programme were destroyed. As a result, researchers have found it nearly impossible to learn how many children were taken. The Polish government has claimed that 10,000 children were kidnapped, and less than 15% were returned to their biological parents. Other estimates include numbers as high as 200,000, although according to Dirk Moses a more likely number is around 20,000.

Help, recognition, and justice for Lebensborn survivors have been varied.

In Norway, children born to Norwegian mothers by Nazi fathers were often bullied, raped and abused after the war, and placed in mental institutions; their mothers became slave labourers in concentration camps. The Norwegian government attempted to deport Lebensborn to Germany, Brazil, and Australia but did not succeed. A group of survivors attempted to fight the Norwegian government into admitting complicity. In 2008 their case before the European Court of Human Rights was dismissed, but they were each offered a £8,000 token from the Norwegian government.

In November 2006, in the German town of Wernigerode, an open meeting took place among several Lebensborn children, with the intention of dispelling myths and encouraging those affected to investigate their origins.

Sweden took in several hundred Lebensborn children from Norway after the war. A famous survivor is Anni-Frid Lyngstad, a member of the music group ABBA. Her father was a sergeant in the Wehrmacht, and her mother was Norwegian; to escape persecution after the war, her mother took Anni-Frid to Sweden, where their personal history was not known.
Other countries that had Lebensborn clinics include France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Luxembourg.


Christening of a Lebensborn child, c 1936

Lebensborn propaganda

A Nazi nurse shares the light rays as scientists try vainly to lighten the hair coloring of Super Race children

Lebensborn children

A Lebensborn birth house.

Another birth house.

“Germanized” children were given a new name, new birth certificate, falsified genealogy and shipped into Germany to live in institutions or be adopted into German families.

The Nazis also encouraged more prolific breeding among the desirable class. The ideal was four children, so “eugenically desirable” parents (blond Aryans) were offered a federal subsidy to have children, given out in increments of 25%. To get the full subsidy, one needed to have four (blond) children, as seen in this ideal family above.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Quote for the Day

Funny Friday

Caution: risqué content ahead

Good morning readers. 

I am the latest sufferer of the flu that is going around at the moment, so value this Funny Friday post, it is being prepared at a time when I would much rather be asleep. But that’s enough of my woes, below are some humorous tidbits for you to enjoy.

A digression

· The word “tidbit” first appeared in print in 1640 so its usage may go back quite a bit earlier. It is believed that the word originated from the dialect word “tid”, meaning “fond, solicitous, tender”, and “bit”, meaning “morsel”. 

· Another view is that it comes from “tit” or “tite”, meaning a small object or creature as used in such combination words as ‘titmouse,’ and the bird “tit-warbler”. 

· The 1640 written reference is to a definition of the word: “A TYD BIT, i.e. a speciall morsell reserved to eat at last.” 

· The word “titbit” first appeared in print in 1694 and had nothing to do with breasts (in that context the word “titt” dates from Old English, where it was an alternative for “breast, teat and nipple”, however the modern usage as slang for breast(s) dates from 1928). 

· The word “tidbit” as a news item or piece of gossip, first appeared in print in 1735. Funnily enough, “titbit” with the same meaning was first in print in 1708. 

The above reminds me of the following limerick:

To his bride said the keen-eyed detective,
"Can it be that my eyesight's defective?
Has your east tit the least bit
The best of your west tit,
Or is it a fault of perspective?"

Today, some religious humour . . . 

The nuns at the local convent had their daily announcement session.

Mother superior walked out in front of the 100 nuns with a very serious frown on her face. She began to speak.....

Mother Superior: "A sinful deed was committed here, yesterday."

99 nuns: "Oh, no!"
1 nun: "Hee, Hee, Hee!"

Mother Superior: "Today I found a pair of men`s underwear."

99 nuns: "Oh, no!"
1 nun: "Hee, Hee, Hee!"

Mother Superior: "And I also found a condom."

99 nuns: "Oh, no!"
1 nun: "Hee, Hee, Hee!"

Mother Superior: "And it has been used."

99 nuns: "Oh, no!"
1 nun: "Hee, Hee, Hee!"

Mother Superior: "And there is a hole in it!"

1 nun: "Oh no!"
99 nuns: "Hee, Hee, Hee!!!"

The Pope died. Like all good Christians he went to Heaven and knocked on the door. Peter opened. The Pope said: "I'm the Pope."

Peter picked up the phone and rang Jesus.

"I have someone here who says he's the Pope, do you know him?"

Jesus answered: "No, never heard of him, send him to Hell."

Peter told the Pope. "That can't be true, ring God himself," the Pope said.

So Peter rang God and said: "There's someone here who says he's the Pope, do you know him?" God answered: "No, never heard of him, send him to Hell."

Again Peter told the Pope. "The last chance I have is the Holy Spirit," the Pope said. 

Peter rang him and said: "I have someone here who says he's the Pope, you know him?"

"Yes," he said, "I know him. He's the one who told everyone I got Maria pregnant. Send him to Hell".

This is a variation on the classic “fucker fish/dam fish” joke but a goodie nonetheless:

The Archbishop of Canterbury is out having a meal with the Deacon of the Church of England. The waiter arrives, and asks for their orders.

"I'll have a bloody steak”, says the Deacon.

On hearing this, the Archbishop nearly fell off his seat.

"This is a high class establishment,” he says, "You can't go using language like that!"

The Deacon smiles, and says "Oh no, Archbishop. A bloody steak is the house specialty. It means extra rare."

"Ahh!" says the Archbishop, and orders the same.

Next week the Pope visits and the Archbishop takes him out to the same restrant. The waiter arrives and the Archbishop thinks he'll impress the Pope.

"I'll have the bloody steak,” he says to the waiter.

"Me too", says the Pope, "And plenty of fucking chips!"

The Mother superior tells two new nuns that they have to paint their room and not get any paint on their clothes. One nun suggests to the other, "Hey, let's take all our clothes off, fold them up, and lock the door." So they do this, and begin painting their room. Soon they hear a knock at the door. They ask, "Who is it?" "Blind man!" The nuns look at each other and one nun says, "He's blind, so he can't see. What could it hurt?" They open the door and the man says "Hey, nice tits. Where do you want me to hang the blinds?"

Jesus, Moses, and an old man go golfing. When the old man's turn comes, he drives the ball. The ball looks like it is going to drop directly into the water. A fish jumps from the water hazard swallowing the ball, as an eagle drops from the sky, grabbing the fish. As the eagle flies over the green, a bolt of lightning strikes the eagle, making it drop the fish. As the fish hits the green, it spits out the ball and the ball falls into the hole, making a hole in one. Jesus looks at Moses and says, "I really think I'm leaving Dad at home next time!"


Corn Corner:

Did you hear the one about the man who opened a dry-cleaning business next door to the convent?   

He knocked on the door and asked the Mother Superior if she had any dirty habits.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quote for the Day

Ironic Deaths, Part 1


Dr William Hewson (1739-1774)


English surgeon, pioneering anatomist and physiologist who has sometimes been referred to as the "father of haematology".

Cause of death:

Whilst dissecting a decomposing corpse, he cut his thumb and died of blood poisoning.

By the way:

In 1998, workmen restoring the London home of Benjamin Franklin dug up the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home. Franklin supporters pointed out that Hewson lived there for 2 years and that the bones were likely those of cadavers dissected for anatomical research.

James Bruce (1730-1794)


Scottish traveler and travel writer who spent more than a dozen years in North Africa and Ethiopia, where he traced the origins of the Blue Nile.

Cause of death:

Died from falling down the stairs in his home.

Elisha Mitchell (1793 – 1857)


American educator, geologist and Presbyterian minister. His geological studies led to the identification of North Carolina's Mount Mitchell as the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. He also named the Mitchell Falls, a 25-foot (7.6 m) waterfall located on the slope of Mount Mitchell. Although Mitchell named the falls after himself in 1835, Mt Mitchell was named in his honour posthumously when it was established that his belief that it was the highest mountain in the eastern US was proved correct,

Cause of death:

When Mitchell’s measurements had been challenged by a former student, he returned to the mountain to verify his data. He lost his footing and fell to his death in Mitchell Falls (appropriate name in this instance), the falls he had himself named 22 years earlier.


Lady Mary Heath (1896 – 1939)


Irish aviator and first woman to fly solo from South Africa to England. She was also the first woman to hold a commercial flying licence in Britain, she set records for altitude in a small plane and later a Shorts seaplane, and was the first woman to parachute from an aeroplane (landing in the middle of a football match). 

Cause of death:

Aged 42, she died following a fall inside a double-decker tram., having hit her head on the driver's controller box.


Charles Drew (1904-1950)


American physician, surgeon, and medical researcher. Drew researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives of the Allied forces.

As the most prominent African-American in the field, Drew protested against the practice of racial segregation in the donation of blood, as it lacked scientific foundation, and resigned his position with American Red Cross, which maintained the policy until 1950.

Cause of death:

Drew died of injuries received in a car crash, having suffered a nearly severed leg, massive chest injuries, a broken neck, brain damage, and complete blockage of the blood flow to his heart. Drew's injuries were so severe and his loss of blood so great that he could not be saved.

By the way:

Despite a popular myth to the contrary, once repeated on an episode of the hit TV series M*A*S*H, Drew's death was not the result of his having been refused a blood transfusion because of his skin color. This myth spread very quickly since during his time it was very common for blacks to be refused treatment because there weren't enough "Negro beds" available or the nearest hospital only serviced whites.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quote for the Day

Still more reader comments and some signs

Some more comments from readers:

Hillary pic:

I posted a photo of Hillary Clinton and Chloe Moretz and queried whether it was photoshopped:

My daughter, Acacia, sent me a message that, whilst the photo was hilarious, Hillary’s doughnut had been retouched.  This was the original pic which appeared on Chloe’s Instagram:


Winter solstice:

In response to my mentioning the Winter solstice, I received an email from Byter David B, who lives in Derbyshire, England:
I think you made a typo into today's Bytes Daily. Today is the Summer solstice not the Winter solstice.
I responded:
That’s strange, I could have sworn it’s the Winter Solstice, it’s quite cold outside. I wonder why that would be?
David replied:
It is also quite cold outside here in Derbyshire, and raining, so perhaps I have got it wrong and it is the Winter Solstice :-) :-)

More about the solstice:

The Winter solstice is the day of the year when the sun is lowest on the horizon, so that it is the shortest day of the year. As a consequence, the shadows are also the greatest, hence planning applications to local councils require shadow diagrams showing where the shadows will be at 9.00am, midday and 3.00pm on 21 June. Overshadowing of neighbours is a relevant factor to be taken into consideration in whether to approve the development, Councils usually also have codes setting out minimum sunlight for garden and open space areas of the property.

The word “solstice” originates from the 1st century Roman Latin word “solstitium”, where “sol” meant “sun” and “sister” meant "to come to a stop, make stand still", the point at which the sun appears to stand still.

Needless to say, the solstices are reversed for the northern and southern hemispheres.

The opposite of the solstices are the autumnal and vernal equinoxes, when the Sun is in its zenith over the Equator and the day and night are generally of equal length.’

Northern hemisphere diagram.
Note that the date of the winter solstice is given as 22 June by some.

Some signs:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quote for the (Solstice) Day

Some more Readers Write, more poo and some lobster stuff

Thanks to all the persons who read the blog and to those who send me  comments and items.

The following was sent to me by Leo M:

I tried to find out whether the pic was genuine or photoshopped but could only find that the person with Hillary Clinton is Chloe Moretz.

Yesterday I posted an item about a children's book in which a mole seeks the culprit who pooed on his head.  

Sue P sent me the following email:
Having grown up on a farm, my kids are familiar with different types of poop but I had never seen this before!
There are even versions of it being read aloud! Hilarious!
Graham E also sent me a response to that item:
Hi Mr O,
I think this is a page from the current printing of the story about the little mole !!!!

Mr G
The item that accompanied Graham's message is this one . . . 


Martin S took me to task about the Quote of the Day that I posted: “It’s all about perspective. The sinking of the Titanic was a miracle to the lobsters in the ship's kitchen.”

Martin says:
I am concerned about the fate of the lobsters. (Quote of the day, June the 17th) 
I am unaware of the species of lobster on the Titanic (I was not there), but given the depth of the water at over 2000 fathoms, the de-acceleration upon an arrival, I feel that the Mr. Nephropidae was possibly also having a bad day. 
Perhaps the only beneficiary was one of the two dozen film producers, who have since exploited history. 
After James Cameron, I certainly can say it was not the film going public……

Some lobster info:

11 Lobster Facts:


1. They keep growing forever.

Or so research suggests. But scientists won’t be able to tell how long lobsters really live because traps aren’t designed to catch the largest lobsters. “When we catch one that is 20-30 pounds, it’s because a claw got caught in the entrance of the trap, not inside,” says Robert C. Bayer, executive director of The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine.

2. They eat each other.

“They’re looking for fresh food and what’s around, and if that happens to be another lobster, then it’s dinner,” says Bayer. “One of the reasons lobster culture is not profitable is because they are cannibalistic, and there are lot of expenses that go along with that.”

3. Females are players—and they make the first move.

Not much courtship precedes lobster love-making. Females that have just shed their shells send out a pheromone to let the males know they’re in the mood. Usually, lobsters that shed their shells are vulnerable and could be eaten by other lobsters, but when a female says she’s ready to get it on, the male lobster will usually opt to have sex with her over killing her.

How do they do it? “I would describe it as the missionary position,” Bayer says. Six to nine months later, eggs appear on her tail, and after another six to 9 months, they hatch. A one-pound-and-a-half female lobster can have between 8,000 to 12,000 eggs, each about the size of a raspberry segment. And they could be from multiple fathers. Females are not monogamous.

4. They taste with their legs.

Chemosensory leg and feet hairs identify food. Small antennae in front of their eyes are used for tracking down food that’s farther away. “If you watch a lobster in a tank in a market, you’ll see they’re flipping, looking for food, dissolved substances in the water,” says Bayer.

5. They chew with their stomachs.

The grinding structure for breaking up food is called the gastric mill, kind of like a set of teeth on their stomachs, which are right behind the eyes and the size of a walnut in a one-pound lobster.

6. The green in cooked lobsters is liver.

Well technically, it’s the tomalley—a digestive gland that’s the intestine, liver, and pancreas. And any red things are eggs.

7. They don’t scream in pain when you cook them.

The noise you hear is “air that has been trapped in the stomach and forced through the mouth after being out of water for short periods of time,” says Bayer. Lobsters don’t have vocal chords, and they can’t process pain.

8. One of their claws can exert pressure of up to 100 pounds per square inch.

So they may not feel pain, but they can cause some serious pain. Researchers discovered that after having the lobster’s larger claw, the crusher claw, clamp down on a load cell, a pressure-measuring device. This claw looks like it has molars because it’s used to break up anything hard like crabs, clams, mussels. The other, called the ripper claw or the quick claw, tears softer food like fish or worms.

9. They can regenerate limbs.

“It’s going to take probably a good five years for a one-pound lobster to regenerate a claw that’s about the same size of one that was lost,” says Bayer. But they can do it.

10. Their shells were once used to make golf balls.

Shells left over after lobster processing are usually tossed into landfills. So in an effort to make them worth something and keep the money in the lobster industry, a University of Maine professor created golf balls with a core made out of lobster shells. They’re also biodegradable, designed for golfing on cruise ships or courses near oceans and lakes.

The problem is they only go about 70 percent of the distance of a regular golf ball, so you won’t see them at the U.S. Open anytime soon.

11. Once upon a time, they were the go-to prison food.

In the colonial era, only the poor, indentured servants, and prisoners ate lobsters because they were cheap, too plentiful, and considered “tasteless.” After prisoners in one Massachusetts town got sick of eating them all the time, a new rule said they only had to eat them three times a week.

Why are lobsters boiled alive and do they feel pain?


Lobsters and other shellfish have harmful bacteria naturally present in their flesh. Once the lobster is dead, these bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by cooking. You therefore minimise the chance of food poisoning by cooking the lobster alive.

That's great for us but what about the lobster? It has been argued that lobsters do not possess a true brain and so can't feel pain. It is fair to say that they are not self-aware in the same way that we are, but they do react to tissue damage both physically and hormonally, so they are obviously capable of detecting pain on some level. In fact, the hormone that they release into the bloodstream, cortisol, is the same one that humans produce when hurt. But the most visible sign of distress is the twitching tail, which evolved as an escape reflex.

Researchers at the University of Maine found that putting the lobster on ice for 15 minutes before dropping it into boiling water produced the shortest tail-twitching interval (20 seconds). Contrary to the popular urban myth though, placing the lobster in cold water that is then slowly brought to the boil does not anaesthetise the animal and appears to extend its suffering.