337 thoughts on “Open Thread For November”

  1. The societal destruction of a woman.


    Note her bizarre climbing apparel, which she adopted in an attempt to deflect public criticism of her mountaineering activities in the company of male guides, and of her engaging in an ‘unfeminine’ activity.

    She committed suicide aged 53, after living alone and suffering depression from the loss to suicide of her close female companion (presumed by me to be lesbian lover), after the companion’s family forced her to be separated from Freda. To Australia’s eternal shame she was buried in an unmarked grave in an Anglican cemetery, a final heartless act which was rectified by a group of New Zealanders who placed a memorial stone of New Zealand rock and a plaque commemorating her mountaineering achievements.

    To heap further shame on Australia, a theatre play about her was staged in 2017 in NZ, featuring an NZ female climber.

    As far as I know she remains a relative unknown in Oz, which is no surprise.


    1. Correction – 52.

      To be clear, she was buried in an unmarked grave in an Anglican cemetery in Sydney, Australia, presumably because she had died by suicide, a mortal sin (hence the lack of a grave marker), and a group of New Zealanders hauled a memorial stone from NZ to Oz to place at her grave site, presumably before the knowledge of its location was irretrievably lost.

      It obviously didn’t matter to her by then, but I appreciate what they did.


  2. Astonishing statistic: 20% of all Australians are classed as “disabled.”

    This is not imaginary – walk around any shopping mall in Oz and you see them, at least a lot of them whose disability is visually apparent.

    What does this to them (us)?

    No wonder all but the rich are taxed until their eyeballs bleed in Oz – the taxes are needed to support the army of disabled and elderly.


    1. And to fund eight nuclear powered submarines which it doesn’t need, and won’t get for another 15 years, by which time the country will already have been invaded militarily by China (not).


  3. A dystrophic walked along
    With a dull look
    In a basket he carried a corpse’s arse.
    I’m having human flesh for lunch,
    This piece will do!
    Ugh, hungry sorrow!
    And for supper, clearly
    I’ll need a little baby.
    I’ll take the neighbours’,
    Steal him out of his cradle.

    – Russian nursery rhyme during the siege of Leningrad.

    Cannibalism did happen, but was rare. Most cases were of eating corpses (i.e. people who had already died), rather than people being murdered in order for them to be eaten. 64% of cannibals were female, often women desperate to feed their starving children. 90% of cannibals apprehended were illiterate. In one case, a plumber killed his wife in order to feed his sons and nieces. In another, a mother smothered her 18 month old child in order to feed her three older children.

    Leningrad was encircled by 8 September 1941. The siege was not broken by Russian forces until 27 January 1944. It was never completely cut off, though, and the Russians were able to keep supplying the forces within the city to maintain the defences, although people within the defensive perimeter still suffered extreme famine. 1.5 million soldiers and civilians within the defensive perimeter died. 1.4 million were evacuated, many of whom died during evacuation due to bombardment or starvation. It was the worst siege in history. But Hitler’s intention to completely destroy the city and kill everyone in it failed.



  4. The Finn president field marshal Mannerheim refused to launch an attack from the north. He was an old czarist officer and did not share the genocidal fervor of Adolph.


  5. (Moving to the appropriate place.) The Finns allied to the Germans in order to recover Finnish territory lost as a consequence of the Winter War, but then stopped and refused to comply with German orders to further advance.


  6. We engineers don’t talk much about what we do, and what we know, partly because we are bad at explaining to laymen, we have our own language which requires long, tedious explanations of terms, and partly because laymen don’t find it very interesting – it is not sexy like archaeology.

    Perhaps we should talk more, though.

    Birger explaining to me the difficulties with reclaiming land from the sea, when I have had extensive experience in HK with doing exactly that (amongst a lot of other things), suggests that maybe I should talk about things like that a bit more often. For one thing, he has got one of the main problems exactly wrong – presumably from reading various accounts in mainstream media and misunderstanding, or maybe the journalists were very bad at explaining because they had no understanding themselves – that is far more the norm than the exception with engineering topics.

    I don’t think anyone here would be trying to give Martin lectures about Scandinavian archaeology. Actually that did happen once by a small group of people who seemed intent on criticising his research methods, and I got very hostile with them.


  7. The population of Mainland China is expected to have already peaked this year. The demographic turning point has already been reached. The population will fall steadily and rather quickly from this point, given the age distribution of the population.

    I am not making this up.

    I predict that all attempts to persuade people to have more children will fail, just like they have failed everywhere else they have been tried. This will be particularly true now with the pandemic, China’s frantic efforts to keep the coronavirus in its various forms out of the country and its economy falling into a hole.

    Liked by 1 person

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