The Misadventures of Jynx the Kitten, Chapter Two: Jynx vs. My Computer

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Jynx: 1, Computer: 0.

Tonight’s feline insanity started while we were watching Star Trek — the episode where Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock go up against a planet full of nuclear-armed Space Nazis.

Apparently, cats — or, at least, this cat — find Nazis disturbing, which, of course, they were — and will be again, if they appear in the 23rd Century . . . because some half-crazed future historian went and violated the Prime Directive, becoming, a few years later, a fully-crazed future historian. Jynx was so incredibly disturbed by the Space Nazis, in fact, that he bounced over pillows and blankets, in a series of nicely Newtonian . . .

&^ (Stop that, Jynx!)

. . . parabolic arcs, to land on my computer. He then proceeded to pause the episode — then close my browser (the picture-moment, with my wife laughing hysterically as she took it), and finally tried to bite the heads off several Space Nazis as the screen slowly darkened. After due consideration, Jynx decided this was not enough, and so, next, he reached out a paw, and quickly turned my computer completely off. A smug look followed. You haven’t seen a look this smug, unless, maybe, you’ve also seen one on the face of a kitten.

Getting it (my computer, not Jynx) turned back on was not easy. For a little while, in fact, I thought Jynx had destroyed the Internet. In reality, the Internet had been fine all along, for this picture, taken a little earlier, with a tablet, got to my e-mail account almost instantly. It took much longer, however, for me to actually get to my e-mail account.

My computer now has tiny bite marks all over it, and plays Radiohead’s song “2 + 2 = 5” so slowly that it’s turned the song into “1.5 + 1.5 = π” – and that song sounds terrible.

I hope my computer lives long enough for this post to make it to my blog. In the meantime, Jynx reigns — OW! — triumphant.

[2016 update: that computer is now officially dead. Jynx the Cat lives on.]

Something You Likely Did Not Know, About the “Pledge of Allegiance”


I thought I knew the (rather complicated) history of the “Pledge of Allegiance” well — until I saw this picture. This was the original “flag salute” pose American students were taught to use, nationwide, until World War II was well underway. It had been in use since 1892, and was called the “Bellamy salute.”

The current “hand over the heart” gesture didn’t go into effect until 1942, and was changed in reaction to the Nazis using essentially the same salute which you see American schoolchildren displaying in this (circa 1941) photograph. From where did this gesture really originate? A common belief is that it started in ancient Rome, but the article at — and the sources cited there — throw doubt on this idea. It seems that, instead, this gesture was depicted in an 1874 painting of an ancient Roman scene, spread into other neoclassical artworks, then plays and other performances, until it was well-established in the public consciousness as something the ancient Romans did — but that belief appears to be unsupported by the relatively small number of actual writings, or works of art, which have survived from ancient times.

It was twelve years after the change in the civilian American flag-salute gesture that Congress made another, much better-known change — the 1954 addition (unconstitutional, in my opinion) of the words “under God.” Just as the early gesture-change was made, in wartime, as a reaction against the practices of an enemy, arguments have been made that this change in the wording of the Pledge was made for similar reasons, given that we were then in the early years of the Cold War, with America’s enemies, in that long struggle, being what were often called the “Godless Communists.”

[Additional source, beyond the one given above: (with more sources cited at the bottom of that article)].