Amoeblog

November 11th, 1918, Armistice Day

Posted by Whitmore, November 11, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment
The War to End All Wars. Though in 20 years time the Second World War would begin and the 78 million casualties would more than double the amount of World War One.
 
The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 38 million: 16 million deaths and 22 million wounded (7 million were permanently disabled, and 15 million were seriously injured).
Of the 60 million European soldiers who were mobilized from 1914 – 1918, the official number of deaths was 9,721,937 with 21,228,813 wounded personnel; that is over half the military population. The Entente Powers (also known as the Allies -- United Kingdom, France, the Russian Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania and the United States) lost 5.7 million soldiers and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria) about 4 million. Civilian deaths officially totaled 6,821,248, though many estimates double that number.
 
Germany lost 15.1% of its active male population, Austria–Hungary lost 17.1%, and France lost 10.5%. About 750,000 German civilians died from starvation brought on by the British blockade during the war. In 1914 alone, the typhus epidemic killed 200,000 in Serbia and a few years later more than 3 million more would die in Russia. By 1918, famine had killed approximately 100,000 people in Lebanon. In addition, the biggest influenza pandemic of the century, the Spanish flu, spread around the world killing at least 50 million to as many as 100 million people. Though the war was not the cause of the flu, it certainly hastened the pandemic (the first cases were found at the army base, Fort Riley, Kansas). With massive troop movements, close quarters and poor sanitary conditions, some researchers speculate that the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment as well as the stress of combat and attacks from chemical weapons, increasing their vulnerability to the flu, widening the spread of the disease.
 
Battles of Arras, Somme, Verdun, Soissons, Ypres, Liege, Lorraine, Belleau Wood, Antwerp, St. Quentin, Fromelles, Artois, Bazentin Ridge, Gallipoli, Ctesiphon, Dujaila, Asiago, Caporetto, Mount Ortigara, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Galicia, Komarów, Kraśnik, Gumbinnen, Łódź, Przemyśl, Rawa, Tannenberg, Vistula River, Kajmakcalan, Kosovo, Bucharest, Cer, Kolubara, Mărăşeşti, Turtucaia, Neuve Chapelle, Cambrai, Saint-Mihiel, Passchendaele, Mont Sorrel, Messines, Marne, Le Cateau, Loos, Guillemont, Fromelles, Charleroi, Gaza, Romani, Hanna, Kut, Champagne, Broodseinde, Amiens, Aisne, Kisaki, Erzincan, Manzikert, Sardarapat, Sarikamish...
 
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.

National Doughnut Day

Posted by Whitmore, June 5, 2009 09:30am | Post a Comment
 
The perfect complement to coffee in the morning, other than the New York Times, is that magically deep-fried (occasionally baked), fatty combination of flour, sugar and oil-- the doughnut, or if you prefer the donut.
 
Every year the first Friday in June is National Donut Day. And according to a few noteworthy sources, some national chains like Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, Yum Yum Donuts, and Winchell's are giving away some of their cream filled goodies today for free.
 
Now, I am often skeptical about Wikipedia entries, and this time though I am more dubious than ever – but anyway, National Doughnut Day was started in 1938 as a fund raiser for the Chicago Salvation Army. Their goal was to help those in need during the Great Depression and honor the 250 or so Salvation Army volunteers, "Lassies," who in 1917 went to France during the First World War. Because of the difficulties of providing freshly-baked goods in trench warfare, the Lassies served doughnuts to soldiers behind the front lines. According to legend, the doughnuts’ being doled out to US enlisted men was the origin of the term doughboy, the nickname for the US infrantrymen in the First World War.
 
Anyway, you still have a couple of hours left to find a free donut somewhere along our great nation’s glazed ribbon of highways. So get out there, grab a cup o’joe and who knows, maybe you can talk your way into a free chocolate glaze twist, a bear claw, a glazed donut with rainbow sprinkles, a maple long john, or even a raspberry filled glazed cake, or a frosted strawberry filled glazed donut, and if not, be nice and maybe somebody will buy you one. Happy National Donut Day!

Apollinaire

Posted by Whitmore, August 26, 2008 10:48am | Post a Comment


Today marks the anniversary of the birth of a personal hero of mine, the poet Guillaume Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky, better known as Apollinaire, who was born on this date in 1880. His greatest contribution to the 20th century, other than coining the term ‘surrealism’ and helping to publicize and define the Cubist movement, was probably his poetry, influencing many of the avant-garde, dada and surrealist writers in post-Great War France, such as André Breton and Tristan Tzara.

Early in the century Guillaume Apollinaire’s began to devise his Calligrammes, a term he used to explain his shaped poems.












It’s Raining

It’s raining women’s voices as if they had died even in memory
And it’s raining you as well marvelous encounters of my life O little drops
Those rearing clouds begin to neigh a whole universe of auricular cities
Listen if it rains while regret and disdain weep to an ancient music
Listen to the bonds fall off which hold you above and below




the simpleton's guide to the great war, 1914-1918 ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 12, 2007 02:45pm | Post a Comment