Thursday, June 21, 2018

Two words

Definitions from Merriam-Webster:

migrant : one that migrates: such as
a : a person who moves regularly in order to find work especially in harvesting crops
b : an animal that shifts from one habitat to another

refugee : one that flees; especially : a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution
Which more accurately characterizes people leaving Central America and seeking asylum in the United States?

I started to type fleeing for leaving before realizing that I was giving away my answer to the question.

20,000 children

From The New York Times:

The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday asked the Pentagon to make preparations to house as many as 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on American military bases, a United States official said.
“Zero-tolerance” policies never work well. These preparations bode a humanitarian nightmare — something like a junior version of Guantanamo Bay.

Zippy Lupino

[Zippy, June 21, 2018.]

Zippy must be thinking of the 1953 film The Hitch-Hiker. Ida Lupino directed. William Talman hitched. Elaine and I watched this film on YouTube just last week. But how did Bill Griffith know that?

Related reading
All OCA Zippy posts (Pinboard)

A summer salad

The first day of summer: Persian salad season begins. The link goes to a post with the recipe. Simple to make, goes with almost anything.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Aaron Blake, writing in The Washington Post about an impending executive order to end the practice of separating parents and children at the U.S.–Mexico border:

Rarely has the White House so tacitly and unmistakably admitted to overplaying its hand. And rarely has it so blatantly copped to its own dishonesty about its actions. [Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen, in particular, has a lot of explaining to do. But this whole thing is an extremely ugly chapter. And it makes clear that, from Day One, this was a political gambit to force an immigration bill through. It didn't work.

“The guts wobble and lurch”

Franz Biberkopf at lunch: “he slices and squashes and bolts and snuffles and gulps and swallows.” And then the stomach gets to work:

Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz. 1929. Trans. Michael Hoffman (New York: New York Review Books, 2018).

Compare the “Lestrygonians” episode of Ulysses. As Mary Roach observes (without reference to Döblin or Joyce), “you too are an organism, a chewing, digesting sack of guts.”

Related reading
All OCA Döblin posts (Pinboard)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Recently updated

A “government handout video" John Shimkus, now with a position, or an evasion, really.

History in P.S. 131

“It began with the discovery of a trove of historic documents long forgotten in the back recesses of an art cupboard”: Susan De Vries writes about how students at P.S. 131 in Brooklyn have been exploring their school’s past (Brownstoner). Represent!

It’s startling to see a class photograph from 1909: my P.S. 131 first- and third-grade class photographs are eerily similar. The desks are not the same ones (different metalwork), but they still share in that now-dated Platonic form of “desk.”

Here’s more on what was in the cupboard: Borough Park’s P.S. 131, a trove of school history (Brooklyn Public Library). But for residents and ex-residents, it’s usually Boro.

Related posts
P.S. 131, 44th Street, Brooklyn (With photos of the school)
P.S. 131 on TV (With a trip back to the school)
Some have gone and some remain (With a photo of the fence)

P.S. 131 class photographs
1962–1963 1963–1964 1964–1965 1965–1966 1966–1967

[If a Platonic form becomes dated, was it ever really a Platonic form?]

Recently updated

A “government handout video" John Shimkus, still missing in action.

A WWII pilot’s pencil

On the original Antiques Roadshow, an RAF pilot’s pencil, hiding a map and compass. Derwent makes a replica.

Related reading
All OCA pencil posts (Pinboard)