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Posts Tagged ‘Eagle

“Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to”*…


On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo** this week, The Bodleian Library is featuring it’s Curzon Collection of political prints from the period of the Napoleonic wars– including several British and French cartoons depicting Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo.

Most are available online in the Oxford Digital Library.

* Abba

** Napoleon wasn’t actually in Waterloo when he met his Waterloo. Most of the battle had occurred in Braine-l’Alleud and Plancenoit, just a few miles south of the town (the Lion’s Mound, the most iconic symbol of the battle, is located in Braine-l’Alleud). [source]


As we retreat to Paris, we might recall that it was on this date in 1782 that Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States and, effectively, the bald eagle as the national symbol.  Benjamin Franklin, who had been a member of one the four committees charged with developing a design for the seal and had proposed an allegorical theme from Exodus, later wrote to his daughter,

For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

“With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on…



Written by LW

June 20, 2015 at 1:01 am

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!…


Continuing yesterday’s theme of waning summer, one notes that the Summer Blockbuster Season is ending; the last of the “spectacular” movies of 2010 are making they way into theaters now.  Soon, blazing guns and buff heroes give way to the poignancy and angst of Winter’s more grown-up fare.

But before one hangs up one’s 3-D glasses, one might check in at Movie Body Counts for a tally of the “the actual, visible ‘on screen kills/deaths/bodies’ of your favorite action, sci/fi, and war films”…  or actors or directors.

The counts contain some surprises: the highest movie total to date?  LotR: Return of the King (836…  the more likely-seeming 300 only had 600).  As for directors, John Woo is at an unsurprisingly high 1,111; while famed fright-monger [and recent (R) D  honoree] Wes Craven stands at under 10.  (Sadly, Russ Meyer, the auteur behind the epic that gives this missive its title, is not covered… but then, Meyer did specialize in a different kind of body count.)

One can consult the rules and review the process here…  then browse through Movie Body Counts.

As, like squirrels, we save up for a long, deeply-felt winter, we might recall that it was on this date in 1912 that Arthur R. Eldred of Oceanside, New York, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America (which had been founded only two years before). He was the first person to earn the award. He didn’t receive the actual badge until September 2 (Labor Day), as the badge had not yet been made.

Arthur Eldred (source)

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