Monday, September 26, 2016

High Hitler!

What effect, if any, did drugs have on the events of the Second World War or its outcome? German writer Norman Ohler's new book Blitzed reveals that Hitler and his Third Reich compatriots were on very familiar terms with cocaine, heroin, morphine and, above all, methamphetamines (aka crystal meth).

At a company called Temmler in Berlin, Dr Fritz Hauschild, its head chemist, inspired by the successful use of the American amphetamine Benzedrine at the 1936 Olympic Games, began trying to develop his own wonder drug – and a year later, he patented the first German methyl-amphetamine. Pervitin, as it was known, quickly became a sensation, used as a confidence booster and performance enhancer by everyone from secretaries to actors to train drivers (initially, it could be bought without prescription). It even made its way into confectionery. “Hildebrand chocolates are always a delight,” went the slogan.

More: The Guardian

French Road Is Only Drivable Twice a Day, Then It Disappears Under 13 Feet of Water

I recently watched an excellent Chef's Table episode about Alexandre Couillon's restaurant La Marine in Noirmoutier, France. When looking for more information on this 3 star restaurant I came across this post at My Modern Met.

Photo credit: Greg_Miko

The Passage du Gois connects the Gulf Burnёf with Noirmoutier but it is only driveable twice a day for a few hours before it’s flooded by the rising tide. In 1701, this 2.58-mile passage was first mentioned on a map and, in around 1840, regular service began via horseback and later cars. It is generally unsafe for travel and special panels are in place to tell people if the road is drivable. Those who disregard these warnings get trapped and have to stand on elevated rescue towers until the water subsides or someone comes to get them. Unfortunately they must say au devoir to their cars.

I'd like to visit Noirmoutier and eat at La Marine but I think I will take the bridge which was built in 1971.

Lives Of The Rich and Famous

American photographer Slim Aarons was the preeminent chronicler of American and European society in the postwar period. He photographed "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places."

Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger at Leixlip Castle, County Kildare, Ireland, 1968.
Faithfull and Jagger had attended an open-air performance by the Chieftains before a banquet at the
castle, the Georgian estate of the Honourable Desmond Guinness, conservationist and author.
Photograph: Slim Aarons

The actress Mara Lane at the Sands hotel, Las Vegas, 1954. Lane appeared in more than 30 films
from 1951 to 1965. Slim took these photographs from the top of a Las Vegas ladder truck.
He was forever asking hotel managers and homeowners if he could see the view from a building’s
highest floor. If he had to arrange more than a few people from on high, he favoured using a bullhorn,
if available, and could never resist jovially booming to all down below, ‘This is the voice of God!’
Photograph: Slim Aarons.

Laure de La Haye‐Jousselin at the gates to her château in Normandy, 1957. Slim waited four days
in the village of Saint‐Aubind’Écrosville to get this shot. Once the scene was set, he not only
managed to get the subject to engage with the camera, but got her horse and two dogs
to cooperate as well. As Slim’s longtime friend and editor Frank Zachary observed,
‘Slim managed to get the horse to raise his hoof. A real, honest‐to‐God 17th‐century portrait.’
Photograph: Slim Aarons.
Slim Aarons: Women, introduced by Laura Hawk is published next month by AbramsMore here

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The IRS Pulls a Gun—Al Capone’s

Mug shot of Al Capone taken by the Miami Police Department.
The reputation of the Internal Revenue Service has been taking a beating lately as its director tries to fend off an impeachment attempt.
On Tuesday the IRS will participate in an unveiling ceremony of a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson “Hand Ejector Military& Police Model” revolver with a pearl handle that gangster Al Capone once carried. The agency hopes that reminding people of the glory days of the IRS will distract attention from their current internal problems. Capone was, after all, undone not by the FBI or Elliot Ness but by an undercover operation of the “T-men,” members of the Treasury Department’s IRS investigative division who got him for cheating on his taxes.

Read the story here

Horseback Dinner

To celebrate the completion of his $200,000 stable, C.K.G. Billings held a "horseback dinner" on March 28, 1903 for 33 of his pals from the Equestrian club. It took 24 workers three days to convert the second-floor banquet hall at Sherry's restaurant in New York into a faux rural barnyard and stable.

More here

Thanks Bruce!