The Snoozeletter @

"10th Planet" Discovered. If the last planet was Pluto, I think this one should definitely be named Goofy. [Later: Ellen Meister replied, "Goofy's a good name for a planet, but nothing can beat Uranus."]

Two other articles really show how much further ahead Brown's team was - they knew about 2003 EL61's moon and diameter, and they also knew that 2003 UB313 was bigger than Pluto. Those Spaniards tried to pull a fast one, but ended up with egg on their faces. The website says: FREE YOUR BOOKS! It sounds like a worthwhile activity, and we've been meaning to try out this pay-it-forward program for quite some time. So we finally released our first book yesterday... and somebody's already reading it!
Indio Gothic: Using our camera's self-timer, we just photographed this literary homage to Grant Wood. [The giant pencil came from a Think Big store.]
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote a short story, The Man Who Would Be King, in 1889. John Huston, Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer made the story into a movie in 1975. Last night, I watched the film again. It's f*cking great.

In 1909, two years after winning the Nobel, Kipling wrote a poem entitled "If". In 1969, Thaddeus Dulski made me recite the poem from memory in front of his class. It seemed like cruel and unusual torture at the time, and I can't recall the entire poem now, but I still fondly remember my Senior English teacher. So... thanks, Mr. Dulski:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
♫ Der er et yndigt land. Denmark is one of only two countries (New Zealand being the other) which has a pair of officially-recognized national anthems. To celebrate the country itself, Danes sing "Der er et yndigt land" (I Know a Lovely Land). The lyrics were written by Danish poet Adam Oehlenschläger c. 1819, with music by Hans Ernst Krøyer c. 1835. It has been used as a national anthem since 1844.

"Kong Kristian" (King Christian Stood by the Tow'ring Mast) is also a national anthem but is used mostly in connection with the Danish royal family. It's heard at state and naval visits, military sports venues, and events where a member of a foreign and/or the Danish government is present. The lyrics first appeared in Johannes Ewald's historical drama "The Fishermen" in 1779, and the melody was given its final shape by Daniel Friedrich Rudolf Kuhlau c. 1817. The royal anthem is one of the oldest in the world, adopted in 1780.

Der er et yndigt land
Der er et yndigt land,
Det står med brede bøge
Nær salten østerstrand;
Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,
Det hedder gamle Danmark,
Og det er Frejas sal.

Der sad i fordums tid
De harniskklædte kæmper,
Udhvilede fra strid;
Så drog de frem til fjenders mén,
Nu hvile deres bene
Bag højens bavtasten.

Det land endnu er skønt,
Thi blå sig søen bælter,
Og løvet står så grønt;
Og ædle kvinder, skønne mø'r,
Og mænd or raske svende
Bebo de danskes øer.

Hil drot og fædreland!
Hil hver en danneborger,
Som virker, hvad han kan!
Vort gamle Danmark skal bestå,
Så længe bøgen spejler
Sin top i bølgen blå.

Kong Kristian
Kong Kristian stod ved højen mast
i røg og damp;
hans værge hamrede så fast,
at gotens hjelm og hjerte brast.
Da sank hvert fjendtligt spejl og mast
i røg og damp.
Fly, skreg de, fly, hvad flygte kan!
hvo står for Danmarks Kristian
hvo står for Danmarks Kristian
i kamp?

Niels Juel gav agt på stormens brag.
Nu er det tid.
Han hejsede det røde flag
og slog på fjenden slag i slag.
Da skreg de højt blandt stormens brag:    
Nu er det tid!
Fly, skreg de, hver, som véd et skjul!
hvo kan bestå mod Danmarks Juel
hvo kan bestå mod Danmarks Juel
i strid?

O, Nordhav! Glimt af Wessel brød
din mørke sky.
Da ty'de kæmper til dit skød;
thi med ham lynte skræk og død.
Fra vallen hørtes vrål, som brød
den tykke sky.
Fra Danmark lyner Tordenskjold;
hver give sig i himlens vold
hver give sig i himlens vold
og fly!

Du danskes vej til ros og magt,
sortladne hav!
Modtag din ven, som uforsagt
tør møde faren med foragt
så stolt som du mod stormens magt,
sortladne hav!
Og rask igennem larm og spil
og kamp og sejer før mig til
og kamp og sejer før mig til
min grav!
I Know a Lovely Land
I know a lovely land
With spreading, shady beeches
Near Baltic's salty strand;
Its hills and valleys gently fall,
Its ancient name is Denmark,
And it is Freya's hall.

There in the ancient days
The armored Vikings rested
Between their bloody frays
Then they went forth the foe to face,
Now found in stone-set barrows,
Their final resting place.

This land is still as fair,
The sea is blue around it,
And peace is cherished there.
Strong men and noble women still
Uphold their country's honor
With faithfulness and skill.

Praise King and Country with might
Bless every Dane at heart
For serving with no fright
The Viking kingdom for Danes is true
With fields and waving beeches
By a sea so blue.

King Christian Stood by the Tow'ring Mast
King Christian stood by the tow'ring mast,
In mist and smoke.
His sword was hammering so fast,
Through Gothic helm and brain it passed
Then sank each hostile stern and mast
In mist and smoke
"Fly!" shouted they, "Fly, he who can,

Who stands 'gainst Denmark's Christian
in fray?"

Niels Juel observ'd the tempest's blow:
"Now! For your life!"
Aloft he bade the red flag go,
And stroke on stroke he dealt the foe.
They cried then through the tempest's blow:
"Now! For your life!
Fly!" cried they all, "For shelter fly!

For who can Denmark's Juel defy
in strife?"

North Sea, a glimpse of Wessel rent
Thy murky sky!
Then champions to thine arms were sent;
Terror and Death glared where he went;
From the waves was heard a wail that rent
Thy murky sky:
From Denmark thunders Tordenskjold:

"Let each to Heaven commend his soul,
And fly!"

Thou path of Danes to praise and might,
Black-surging sea!
Receive thy friend, who feels no fright,
But faces danger with despite,
As proud as thou the tempest's might,
Black-surging sea!
And lead me brisk through din and rave,

And fright and vict'ry to my grave
in thee!
               Translations courtesy of the Danish Embassy.
♫ Himnusz. The title of the Hungarian national anthem is often given as the first line of the song, "Isten, áldd meg a magyart," but the current title is simply "Himnusz," which means "Hymn" or "Anthem" in English. It has a subtitle: "A magyar nép zivataros századaiból" which roughly translates as "From the stormy past of the Hungarian people." The subtitle was originally part of the title: "Himnusz a magyar nép zivataros századaiból." Ferenc Kölcsey, who wrote this poem in 1823, sets his text in the 17th century when Hungary was torn into three parts: the independent Hungarian principality of Transylvania, the Turkish-occupied central Hungary, and the remaining Austrian royal (Habsburg) areas in the north and west. The anthem was adopted in 1844, even while Hungary was still a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. [Music: Ferenc Erkel.]

Isten, áldd meg a magyart
Jó kedvvel, bőséggel,
Nyújts feléje védő kart,
Ha küzd ellenséggel;
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbünhödte már e nép
A multat s jövendőt!

Őseinket felhozád
Kárpát szent bércére,
Általad nyert szép hazát
Bendegúznak vére.
S merre zúgnak habjai
Tiszának, Dunának,
Árpád hős magzatjai

Értünk Kunság mezein
Ért kalászt lengettél,
Tokaj szőlővesszein
Nektárt csepegtettél.
Zászlónk gyakran plántálád
Vad török sáncára,
S nyögte Mátyás bús hadát
Bécsnek büszke vára.

Hajh, de bűneink miatt
Gyúlt harag kebledben,
S elsújtád villámidat
Dörgő fellegedben,
Most rabló mongol nyilát
Zúgattad felettünk,
Majd töröktől rabigát
Vállainkra vettünk.

Hányszor zengett ajkain
Ozman vad népének
Vert hadunk csonthalmain
Győzedelmi ének!
Hányszor támadt tenfiad,
Szép hazám kebledre,
S lettél magzatod miatt
Magzatod hamvvedre!

Bújt az üldözött s felé
Kard nyúl barlangjában,
Szerte nézett, s nem lelé
Honját a hazában.
Bércre hág, és völgybe száll,
Bú s kétség mellette,
Vérözön lábainál,
S lángtenger felette.

Vár állott, most kőhalom;
Kedv s öröm röpkedtek,
Halálhörgés, siralom
Zajlik már helyettek.
S ah, szabadság nem virúl
A holtnak véréből,
Kínzó rabság könnye hull
Árvánk hő szeméből!

Szánd meg, isten, a magyart,    
Kit vészek hányának,
Nyújts feléje védő kart
Tengerén kínjának.
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbünhödte már e nép
A multat s jövendőt!
[1] Bless the Magyar, Lord we pray,
Nor in bounty fail him,
Shield him in the bloody fray
When his foes assail him.
He whom ill luck long has cursed
This year grant him pleasure,
He has suffered with the worst
Time beyond all measure.

[2] To Carpathian peaks you brought
Bendeguz's nation,
Beautiful the land you wrought
For their occupation.
Wherever the Danube rolls
Where the Tisza urges
Heroic seed of Árpád's soul
Flowers along their verges.

[3] Ears of ripe corn wave to us
Across Cumanian meadows,
Tokay grapes extend to us
Honey dripping shadows.
Flags of ours you plant upon
Turkey's forts and fences,
Matthias' horde tramples down
Vienna's proud defenses.

[4] Ah, but through our crimes and faults
Furiously driven,
You unleashed your thunderbolts
Hurling them from heaven,
Arrows of the Mongol hordes
Rained on us in battle,
Then the Turkish overlords
Took us for their chattel.

[5] Ottoman lips, how frequently,
With their fearsome crowing,
Celebrated victory
As our blood was flowing.
Dearest land, sons of your clay
Turned on their own mother,
You, their charnel house, where they
Laid waste to each other.

[6] Fugitive, concealed, alone,
Fearing sword and sentry,
Vainly seeking for a home
In his native country.
Climbs the peak, flees to the vale,
Doubt and care uphold him,
Seas of blood lap at his heel,
Seas of fire enfold him.

[7] Castle once, now heap of stones;
Fled are all its graces,
Death cries, rattles, sighs and groans
Occupy their places.
Ah but liberty disdains
Veins that death must vanquish,
Red-eyed orphans in their chains
Weeping where they languish.

[8] With the Magyar take your stand,
Lord, in his vain struggles,
Shield him with your mighty hand
From that sea of troubles.
He whom ill luck long has cursed
This year grant him pleasure,
He has suffered with the worst
Time beyond all measure!
               Translation by George Szirtes.
♫ The Star-Spangled Banner. During the War of 1812, on September 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington DC. The release was secured, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion. Entitled "The Star-Spangled Banner," the poem soon attained wide popularity, as sung to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven." The origin of this tune is obscure, but it may have been written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer born in 1750. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered The Star-Spangled Banner played at Army and Navy occasions, but was not designated the U.S. national anthem by an Act of Congress until 1931. It consists of four verses, but on almost every occasion, only the first verse is sung:

Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there.
Oh! say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines in the stream.
'Tis the Star-Spangled Banner! Oh! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - "In God is our trust."
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
♫ La Marseillaise is the French national anthem composed by Claude-Joseph Rouget de L'isle [Mullet of the Island] (1760-1836), at Strasbourg in 1792 (April 24), where it became the "Battle song for the army of the Rhine" and was declared the national anthem in 1795 (July 15).

Last year, I posted only the first verse. This year, let's take a look at the whole thing (below)... along with some other national anthems (during the coming week).

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé,
l'étendard sanglant est levé.
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

REFRAIN: Aux armes citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons, marchons,
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons.

Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,
De traîtres, de Rois conjurés?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés?
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés?
Français! pour nous, ah! quel outrage!
Quels transports il doit exciter!
C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
De rendre à l'antique esclavage!

Quoi! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
Quoi! ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fils guerriers!
Terrasseraient nos fils guerriers!
Grand Dieu! par des mains enchaînées    
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres des nos destinées!

Tremblez, tyrans! et vous perfides,
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix!
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix!
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La France en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre!

Français! en guerriers magnanimes
Portez ou retenez vos coups.
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
A regret s'armant contre nous,
A regret s'armant contre nous.
Mais le despote sanguinaire,
Mais les complices de Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère!

Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et les traces de leurs vertus,
Et les traces de leurs vertus.
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre!

Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs!
Liberté, Liberté chérie!
Combats avec tes défenseurs,
Combats avec tes défenseurs.
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents;
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!

Arise, children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised,
Bloody standard is raised.
Can you hear in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers?
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts!

To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
March, march,
Let impure blood
Water our furrows.

[2] What do they want, this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage!
What methods must be taken?
It is we they dare plan
To return to the old slavery! [REFRAIN]

[3] What! These foreign cohorts,
They would make laws in our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our proud warriors!
Would cut down our proud warriors!
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
Some vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of our destinies! [REFRAIN]

[4] Tremble, tyrants and traitors,
The shame of all good men,
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will finally receive their just reward!
Will finally receive their just reward!
Against you, everyone is a soldier,
If they fall, our young heros,
France will bear new ones,
Ready to join the fight against you! [REFRAIN]

[5] Frenchmen! As magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your wounds.
Spare these sad victims
Who regret to take up arms against us,
Who regret to take up arms against us.
But not these bloody despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who pitilessly,
Ripped out their mothers' wombs! [REFRAIN]

[6] We shall enter into the pit
When our elders will have gone,
There we shall find their ashes
And the mark of their virtues,
And the mark of their virtues.
Much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins,
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them! [REFRAIN]

[7] Sacred love of the fatherland,
Drive and support our avenging arms!
Liberty, cherished liberty!
Struggle with your defenders,
Struggle with your defenders.
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your male tone;
So that your agonizing enemies
See your triumph and our glory! [REFRAIN]
               Translation by Pierre Gay.

UPDATE: Bastille Day.
Blindsided. My sister-in-law has just reported that an interview Anikó supposedly gave to the Hungarian version of People or Us magazines was instead published in the latest issue of a tabloid newspaper National-Enquirer-wannabe [WARNING: occasional nudity]. They also printed a bunch of unauthorized family photos. We probably deserve this for trusting Kata Szigeti, a writer whose work we hadn't seen, but I'll never forgive that slimy bitch for dragging my stepchildren into the muck.
Hey, we're in an Emmy®-nominated TV show! 

Well, it's only a local Emmy®, and our appearances in "The Inside Pitch" are pretty darn minimal—I have one measly line (during the credits), and Anikó has just a short cameo—but still... [Announcement, Gala, Screencap#2. Clip. DVD. Amazon, IMDb]

Deep Space Fireworks. Also, my name crashed into a comet earlier today...
Ka-BOOM. Two years ago, Alan and I blew up a few things.
Memin Pinguin = Aunt Jemima's son? In May, Mexico's President Vicente Fox angered many by saying that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that "not even blacks" want. Now dis.

Updates: the beleaguered plutocrat prez sez, in effect, "Some of my best friends are..." Wonder how he'd feel about bringing back the old Taco Bell logo?