While I was digging up that picture of my grandpa, I also found my grandparents’ wedding photo. I would like to direct your attention to A) my grandma’s glasses, which are amazing, and B) the bridesmaids’ little veils and muffs.







It’s so wild when you see a photo of a person from history who looks so much like a Hollywood archetype of whatever they did that you’re like “this must be made up.” “This must be an actor.” NO! This is actually what World War II Flying Ace Urban L. “Ben” Drew actually literally looked like in life. Went around looking like this, shooting down jet-powered Luftwaffe aircraft from his lil Snoopy-looking propellor-nosed Mustang. Hopped triumphantly down from the plane wing, pulled off his flying cap, ran a hand boyishly through his sweat-darkened hair, face lookin like that the whole time. Can you imagine???  

Pilot Officer John Henry Smythe, an RAF navigator, actually looked like this EVERY DAY. Undertook 27 bombing missions looking like this. Parachuted out of his shot-down plane in Germany, looked like this when he landed, except all disheveled and defiant and wearing a shearling-lined leather jacket. WHAT A WORLD!!!! 

Evelyn Ablon, a volunteer with the Women’s Army Corps, kept Air Force flights running smoothly while looking like an old-Hollywood Chelsea Peretti and maintaining an on point manicure. (National Museum of American Jewish Military History)

Ensign Jane Kendeigh, the first flight nurse to arrive at Okinawa and Iwo Jima, and a major curator of bomb-ass eyebrows. (Navy Medicine flickr)

Reddit user aking25′s grandfather honestly looked like this the day before he shipped out to join the Marines in 1941. He now plays golf, paints and remains highly dapper


It’s a from little later than the others, but this is my grandfather in 1953. I always liked this picture.



GOP Platform Proposes To Get Rid Of National Parks And National Forests

By Jenny Rowland / Think Progress 7/15

The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document
that defines the party’s official principles and policies. Along with
provisions on pornography and LGBT “conversion therapy” is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands.

The inclusion of this provision in the Republican Party’s platform
reflects the growing influence of and ideological alliance between
several anti-park members
of the GOP and anti-government extremists, led by Cliven Bundy, who
dispute the federal government’s authority over national public lands.

“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing a
timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey
certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” reads the
adopted language. “We call upon all national and state leaders and
representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the
transfer of those lands identified.”

The provision calls for an immediate full-scale disposal of “certain”
public lands, without defining which lands it would apply to, leaving
national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests
apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization,
or transfer to state ownership.

Keep reading

You do realize that “certain” federally controlled public lands would also include Native American reservations. Here’s an excerpt from the Department of the Interior about this:

In the United States there are three types of reserved federal lands:  military, public, and Indian.  A federal Indian reservation is an area of land reserved for a tribe or tribes under treaty or other agreement with the United States, executive order, or federal statute or administrative action as permanent tribal homelands, and where the federal government holds title to the land in trust on behalf of the tribe.

Approximately 56.2 million acres are held in trust by the United States for various Indian tribes and individuals.  There are approximately 326 Indian land areas in the U.S. administered as federal Indian reservations (i.e., reservations, pueblos, rancherias, missions, villages, communities, etc.).  The largest is the 16 million-acre Navajo Nation Reservation located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.  The smallest is a 1.32-acre parcel in California where the Pit River Tribe’s cemetery is located.  Many of the smaller reservations are less than 1,000 acres.

Some reservations are the remnants of a tribe’s original land base.  Others were created by the federal government for the resettling of Indian people forcibly relocated from their homelands.  Not every federally recognized tribe has a reservation.  Federal Indian reservations are generally exempt from state jurisdiction, including taxation, except when Congress specifically authorizes such jurisdiction.

It’s all well and good to claim that the GOP are trying to destroy the environment. But they are also after the few lands left in control of the Native American peoples. This would give them the authority to put oil pipelines through sacred tribal sites and continue the systematic desecration of the native cultures. And we KNOW this is what they want to do. And not just in the midwest, all over the country through a bunch of different reservations. Have some links about that (x, x, x)

This isn’t just about the environment. This is racism and greed and the continued destruction of the native peoples’ lives and cultures.


It’s no surprise that the salacious Randy Dowager Quarterly has been denounced by the Chantry. What is surprising, however, is that the Chantry finds it necessary to publicly renew their condemnation every time a new pamphlet is released. How does one publication, no matter how scandalizing, garner such attention from the Sunburst Throne?   

The history of the Randy Dowager Quarterly is a murky one. There is no indication that any official publishing house is responsible for printing and distributing the hundreds of pamphlets, though it is, without a doubt, being printed somewhere. Rumors place the blame on everyone from the Nevarran royal family to the Antivan Crows, though it is unlikely either the Pentaghasts or the Crows have any stake in selling erotic literature. The more level-headed gossip suggests the Quarterly is distributed by the Dowager herself, and points out that while the modest sixteen page octovos sell for 3-5 silvers, special editions on vellum can run up to 100 gold or more. With a printing press and staff, the Dowager herself could be running the entire operation without including any publishing houses.

But who is the Randy Dowager? There are no records of an actual name behind the moniker, and researching the meager history of the publication only results in finding a few of the original copies. These, like the most current releases, offer no hints as to the origins of these provocative pamphlets, and the only difference is the original was a eight page quatro rather than an octovo, and included a delightful introduction by the eponymous Dowager. When asked, a prominent bookseller in Orlais, who requested to remain anonymous, suggested the Dowager was the personal enchanter to Empress Celene, a mage named Vivienne. The recurrent Chantry condemnation would appear to negate this suggestion, though it is always a possibility that the denunciation is meant to cover up royal involvement. Another prominent bookseller, also anonymous (one wonders what Orlesian booksellers are so frightened of,) has suggested the Randy Dowager is none other than Carmina Bicchieri, preeminent travel journalist.

In contrast to the Randy Dowager, Lady Bicchieri is well-known, having published dozens of books chronicling her travels throughout the continent. Her knack for being accepted into the most reclusive populations, such as the Dalish clan that has permanently settled in south Llomerryn, has made her writings indispensable in understanding the unique cultures so distant from the universities of Orlais. Lady Bicchieri is indeed a dowager, as her husband left her with a formidable fortune when he passed on. In addition, her works have also been denounced by the Chantry, but that is hardly a irrefutable connection when her journals on Rivain offered a scathing rebuke of Chantry doctrine.

A few similarities does not a confirmation make, and Lady Bicchieri has neither confirmed nor denied her involvement with the Quarterly, leaving the reading public with no real answers as to the Quarterly’s origins. Only one thing is known for sure: in a month, a new Quarterly will be released, the Chantry will renew its condemnation, and the mystery of the Randy Dowager will continue, no doubt to the delight of many titillated readers.

– The Mystery of the Randy Dowager by Cecilio Pereira