NRO Slideshows

Super Bowl Memes

Super Bowl XLVIII drew a blizzard of live reactions on Twitter and other social media as the Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8, and more mockery in the ensuing days. Here's a look at some of salvos from the Photoshop commentariat.
Uploaded: Feb. 04, 2014


Cartoon of the Day
Sep. 15, 2014
Apple Watch, by Henry Payne (September 15, 2014)
A Grave Threat, by Michael Ramirez (September 12, 2014)
Treating ISIS, by Michael Ramirez (September 11, 2014)
Ray Rice Penalties, by Michael Ramirez (September 10, 2014)
Rising Sun? by Michael Ramirez (September 9, 2014)
Daily Briefing, by Michael Ramirez (September 8, 2014)
iCloud, by Michael Ramirez (September 5, 2014)
Al Gore’s 2014 Prediction, by Henry Payne (September 4, 2014)
JV, by Michael Ramirez (September 3, 2014)
Happy Labor Day, by Michael Ramirez (September 1, 2014)
Going Solo, by Michael Ramirez (August 29, 2014)
Burger King Moves to Canada, by Henry Payne (August 28, 2014)
Regional Threat, by Michael Ramirez August 27, 2014)
Ferguson, by Michael Ramirez August 26, 2014)
My Thoughts Are with You, by Michael Ramirez August 25, 2014)
Investigating Abuse, by Henry Payne (August 22, 2014)
JV . . . by Michael Ramirez August 21, 2014)
Urgent Matters, by Michael Ramirez August 20, 2014)
Sectarian Tensions, by Henry Payne (August 19, 2014)
Between Iraq and a Hard Place, by Michael Ramirez (August 18, 2014)
Mind if I Play Through? by Michael Ramirez (August 15, 2014)
Fun • ny, by Henry Payne (August 14, 2014)
Tax Inversion, by Michael Ramirez (August 13, 2014)
Mission Iraq, by Henry Payne (August 12, 2014)
Trampled Under Foot, by Michael Ramirez (August 11, 2014)
Friendly Fire, by Michael Ramirez (August 8, 2014)
WHUAC, by Henry Payne (August 7, 2014)
Kerry, 1943, by Henry Payne (August 6, 2014)
What Cold War? by Michael Ramirez (August 5, 2014)
Regime Change, by Michael Ramirez (August 4, 2014)
Good News, by Michael Ramirez (August 1, 2014)
Incompetent, by Michael Ramirez (July 31, 2014)
Little Dutch Boy, by Michael Ramirez (July 30, 2014)
Perch, by Henry Payne (July 29, 2014)
Human Shields, by Michael Ramirez (July 28, 2014)
Putin’s Reset, by Michael Ramirez (July 25, 2014)
Presidents During a Crisis, by Michael Ramirez (July 24, 2014)
Wide Open, by Michael Ramirez (July 23, 2014)
Transparent, by Michael Ramirez (July 22, 2014)
Out, by Henry Payne (July 21, 2014)
Why? by Michael Ramirez (July 18, 2014)
LeBron, by Henry Payne (July 17, 2014)
Ha-Mas, by Michael Ramirez (July 16, 2014)
The Pawn, by Michael Ramirez (July 15, 2014)
Tear Down This Wall, by Michael Ramirez (July 14, 2014)
Obama’s Katrina, by Michael Ramirez (July 11, 2014)
Before and After, by Michael Ramirez (July 9, 2014)
I Don’t Know Why They’re Flooding the Borders, by Michael Ramirez (July 8, 2014)
Equal Justice, by Henry Payne (July 7, 2014)
The Times, July 4, 1776, by Henry Payne (July 4, 2014)
Happy Birthday, America, by Michael Ramirez (July 3, 2014)
Help Center, by Michael Ramirez (July 2, 2014)
5-4, by Henry Payne (July 1, 2014)
Rip Van Media, by Michael Ramirez (June 30, 2014)
The Piñata, by Michael Ramirez (June 27, 2014)
The Plan, by Michael Ramirez (June 26, 2014)
Red . . . by Henry Payne (June 24, 2014)
Iran to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 23, 2014)
White House to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 20, 2014)
Gap, by Henry Payne (June 19, 2014)
Baghdad Bobama, by Michael Ramirez (June 18, 2014)
Missing, by Michael Ramirez (June 17, 2014)
Dead Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 14, 2014)
Clinton Problems, by Michael Ramirez (June 13, 2014)
To Faithfully Execute . . . by Michael Ramirez (June 12, 2014)
Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 11, 2014)
Talking Bergdahl, by Michael Ramirez (June 10, 2014)
Lemon, by Henry Payne (June 9, 2014)
The Imperial President, by Michael Ramirez (June 6, 2014)
Cutting Carbon, by Henry Payne (June 5, 2014)
The Obama Emporium, by Michael Ramirez (June 4, 2014)
After You, by Michael Ramirez (June 3, 2014)
It Was the Weather, by Michael Ramirez (June 2, 2014)
The West Point Address, by Michael Ramirez (May 30, 2014)
First Read About It in the Newspaper, by Michael Ramirez (May 29, 2014)
General Motors Theater, by Henry Payne (May 27, 2014)
Freedom, by Henry Payne (May 26, 2014)
Hope . . . by Henry Payne (May 24, 2014)
Fallen Soldiers, by Michael Ramirez (May 23, 2014)
Outraged? by Lisa Benson (May 22, 2014)
Obamacare, Brought to You by . . . by Henry Payne (May 21, 2014)
Now You Know How We Feel, by Michael Ramirez (May 20, 2014)
#You Think? by Michael Ramirez (May 18, 2014)
#BringBack . . . by Michael Ramirez (May 16, 2014)
Gospel Reading, by Michael Ramirez (May 15, 2014)
Today’s Lecture, by Henry Payne (May 14, 2014)
Truth, by Michael Ramirez (May 13, 2014)
Clinton Celebrity Gala, by Henry Payne (May 12, 2014)
Segregation, by Michael Ramirez (May 10, 2014)
Weather, by Michael Ramirez (May 9, 2014)
Under the Rug, by Henry Payne (May 7, 2014)
What Kind of Country? by Henry Payne (August 7, 2014)
Photoshop of the Day
Sep. 15, 2014
Testing the Winds, by (September 15, 2014)
Show of Strength, by (September 12, 2014)
9-11, by (September 11, 2014)
Torch of Liberty, by (September 10, 2014)
The Unbearable Lightness of . . . by (September 9, 2014)
Broken Window, by (September 8, 2014)
Steadying the Ladder, by (September 5, 2014)
Dr. Obamastein, by (September 4, 2014)
Ascension, by (September 3, 2014)
Electric Vehicle Charging Station by (September 2, 2014)
The Great Escape, by (August 29, 2014)
Press Secretary, by (August 28, 2014)
Chain of Custody, by (August 27, 2014)
Cheshire Embrace, by (August 26, 2014)
A Push, by (August 25, 2014)
How to Get Obama Interested, by (August 22, 2014)
Fish Eats Fish, by (August 21, 2014)
Ghosts, by (August 20, 2014)
Social Justice, by (August 19, 2014)
In-Person Meetings, by (August 18, 2014)
Iraq Strategy, by (August 15, 2014)
They Can Wait, by (August 14, 2014)
Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape, by (August 13, 2014)
Emerald Gaza, by (August 11, 2014)
Bicycle, by (August 8, 2014)
The Voter Fish, by (August 7, 2014)
Scandal Goalie, by (August 6, 2014)
Wile E. Guidance, by (August 5, 2014)
Gaza Aid, by (August 4, 2014)
Don’t Shoot, by (August 1, 2014)
Minaret Missile, by (July 31, 2014)
Punch, by (July 30, 2014)
The Offering, by (July 29, 2014)
Tunnel of Love, by (July 28, 2014)
Valley of Dearth, by (July 25, 2014)
Obama’s National Guard, by (July 24, 2014)
Iceberg, by (July 23, 2014)
Leader of the Free World, by (July 22, 2014)
The Bear Is Loose, by (July 21, 2014)
Farther Apart, by (July 18, 2014)
Secure? by (July 17, 2014)
So Many Scandals . . . by (July 16, 2014)
Mainstream, by (July 15, 2014)
Kidsnado, by (July 14, 2014)
Break Shot, by (July 11, 2014)
Pawns, by (July 10, 2014)
Ship of State, by (July 9, 2014)
Coyote, by (July 8, 2014)
Obama’s Pipeline, by (July 7, 2014)
Fingers Crossed, by (July 4, 2014)
Obama’s America, by (July 3, 2014)
Blocked Shot, by (July 2, 2014)
The Obama Legacy, by (July 1, 2014)
Tangled Web, by (June 27, 2014)
2.9, by (June 26, 2014)
Raiders, by (June 25, 2014)
Cooperation, by (June 24, 2014)
Battle Ribbons, by (June 23, 2014)
Iraq Advisors, by (June 20, 2014)
Stuff Happens, by (June 19, 2014)
Invisible Hand, by (June 18, 2014)
Ping-Pong Bomb, by (June 17, 2014)
On Advice of Council, by (June 16, 2014)
Borders, by (June 13, 2014)
Bumping the Board, by (June 12, 2014)
Obama’s World, by (June 11, 2014)
Business Regs, by (June 10, 2014)
Sock Puppet, by (June 9, 2014)
Normandy 2014, by (June 6, 2014)
Implementing Obama’s Foreign Policy, by (June 5, 2014)
Bergdahl Makes His Way Home, by (June 4, 2014)
Broken Mirror, by (June 3, 2014)
Bad Nwws, by (June 2, 2014)
‘Out Front’, by (May 30, 2014)
Captain of the Ship, by (May 29, 2014)
Train of Thought, by (May 27, 2014)
Memorial Day, 2014, by (May 26, 2014)
Tea Party, R.I.P., by (May 23, 2014)
When You Only Have a Hammer, by (May 22, 2014)
Caution, by (May 21, 2014)
Now Featuring . . . by (May 20, 2014)
Voting Protocols, by (May 19, 2014)
The Gun, The Gun, The Gun, by (May 16, 2014)
The Virtuoso, by (May 15, 2014)
Affordable Lawyer Act, by (May 14, 2014)
Workable Hashtag, by (May 13, 2014)
Foundation of Trust, by (May 12, 2014)
The Other Tea Party, by (May 9, 2014)
What We Have Here Is . . . by (May 8, 2014)
Instrument of Foreign Policy, by (May 7, 2014)
Cool Hand Carney, by (May 6, 2014)
When You Wish Upon a Star, by (May 5, 2014)
The Stripped-Down Version, by (May 2, 2014)
Pushing the Envelope, by (May 1, 2014)
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Today in History: Inchon Landings
Sep. 14, 2014
SEPTEMBER 15, 1950: General Douglas MacArthur stages a daring amphibious landing at Inchon and turns the tide of the Korean War. MacArthur’s plan was controversial given Inchon’s uniquely difficult geography, but the landing force — spearheaded by the First Marine Division — smashes ashore and drives through stubborn enemy resistance; two weeks later they would retake Seoul.
1935: A series of edicts known as the Nuremberg Laws deprive Jews of German citizenship and any functional role in German society, and also forbid marriages between Jews and Germans. They become the cornerstone for Nazi Germany’s racial laws that will accelerate the persecution of Jews and lead eventually to the Holocaust.
1916: The tank makes its battlefield debut at Flers-Courcelette. The Franco-British operation, part of the Somme offensive, was intended to break the German lines using massed artillery and infantry, but fails to break through and bogs down in a battle of attrition. The British deploy 49 Mark I tanks, but they are plagued by mechanical problems and difficult terrain, and prove indecisive.
SEPTEMBER 12, 1974: Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie is overthrown in a military coup. Selassie had ascended to emperor of the African nation in 1930, and led the resistance to Italy’s invasion shortly before WWII. He later tried to modernize the country’s economy while solidifying his control, and helped found the Organization of African Unity. But famine and politician stagnation would doom his rule.
1959: The classic Western series Bonanza debuts on NBC, chronicling the adventures of the Cartwright family in Nevada. Starring Lorne Greene as the family patriarch caring for three sons, episodes ranged from drama to broad comedy and also touched on environmental issues. Airing for 14 seasons, it is among the longest-running series in TV history.
1954: The family television show Lassie debuts on CBS. The tale of a long-haired collie that looks after a farm family — and in particular the trouble-prone pair of young boys — the show airs for 17 seasons, one of the longest run in television history, with Campbell’s Soup along as sponsor the whole way.
1953: John Kennedy marries Jacqueline Bouvier, whom he had courted while still serving in the House of Representatives and during a whirlwind Senate campaign. Following Kennedy’s election as the 35th president, the young couple became political celebrities of the so-called “Camelot” White House.
SEPTMEBER 11, 2001: Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four commercial airliners, flying two into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington, killing more than 3,000 Americans. A fourth plane is brought down apparently by passenger action in Pennsylvania. The attacks lead to a new era of security procedures and an overseas campaign against Islamic terrorists.
1985: Cincinnati Reds player-manager Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb’s Major-League hit record of 4,129 in a game against the San Diego Padres, receiving a seven-minute standing ovation from a hometown crowd. “Charlie Hustle” would retire as a player the following year, but in 1989 was banned from baseball for gambling on Reds games.
1921: Silent-film star Fatty Arbuckle is arrested for the rape and murder of aspiring actress Virginia Rappe. A former star in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops films, the heavy-set Arbuckle protested his innocence in the Rappe case but was quickly condemned and his films boycotted. After two mistrials, a third jury’s final not-guilty verdict and apology comes too late to save his career.
1777: Advancing under a dense fog, British Generals William Howe and Charles Cornwallis lead 18,000 redcoats in a full-scale attack on General George Washington’s troops at Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania. Outnumbered and facing encirclement, Washington orders a retreat, and Congress is forced to flee British troops as they occupy Philadelphia.
1955: The Western series Gunsmoke premieres on CBS. Adapted from the radio serial, Gunsmoke stars James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, chief lawman of the frontier town of Dodge City, Kan. The show runs for a half-hour for its first four years before switching to a one-hour format, amassing 635 episodes over 20 years, the longest-running primetime show in history.
1813: Captain Oliver Hazard Perry defeats a squadron of six British warships at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Perry had his flagship Lawrence all but sunk beneath him, but after transferring to the Niagra he sailed directly into the British line, firing broadsides at close range. After the victory he cabled President Harrison: “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”
1924: The infamous criminal duo Nathan Leopold (at right) and Richard Loeb — better known as Leopold & Loeb — are sentenced to life in prison for the “thrill-kill” kidnapping and murder of Bobbie Franks, avoiding execution thanks to defense attorney Clarence Darrow. The two college-educated men had tried to ransom Franks for $10,000, but were caught after his partially-buried body was discovered.
1919: Nearly a year after the end of WWI, General John J. Pershing leads a victory parade down New York City’s Fifth Avenue, with some 25,000 soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force’s First Division marched in full combat gear. A week later he led the same troops in a march in Washington.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1976: Mao Tse-tung, the Communist leader and founder of the People’s Republic of China, dies in Beijing at 82. Mao and the Communists took control of the massive nation in 1949 after a long civil war and consolidated their control through the Great Leap Forward, a failed economic initiative in 1958, and the tumultuous Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Mao remains a revered figure.
1971: Prisoners at the overcrowded Attica Correctional Facility in Buffalo, N.Y., seize control of much of the maximum-security prison and take 39 guards and prison workers hostage. Negotiators agree to improved living conditions in the prison, but when the rioters demand amnesty and passage to another country, guards storm the facility, killing 29 inmates and 10 hostages.
1919: A large part of the Boston police force goes on strike over opposition to their attempts at unionization, and the city quickly endures a spike in robbery and rioting. As Mayor Andrew Peters works to break the strike, Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge sends in the state militia to restore order, and his actions help catapult him to national office on the 1920 Republican ticket.
1850: California is admitted as the 31st state two years after the territory became a magnet in the 1848 gold rush, a rush-to-quick-riches ethos that would come to shape the state’s image. Composed of former Mexican territory, the state later trades its excavation reputation for other influential industries, led by the entertainment business in Los Angeles and the high-tech sector in San Francisco.
1966: Star Trek debuts on NBC. The groundbreaking science-fiction series from creator Gene Roddenberry presents an optimistic vision of humanity’s future, exploring many classic sci-fi themes alongside episodes inspired by the Cold War. The show runs for three seasons, making major stars of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, and goes on to become a pop-culture institution.
1998: St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire hits his 62nd home run, breaking Roger Maris’s long-standing single-season record and just edging out Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa. McGwire would end the season with 70 home runs, a record that stood for three years. He later faced allegations of using performance-enhancing supplements.
1974: One month after being sworn in as his replacement, President Gerald Ford grants an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon, exempting him from indictment and trial for all federal crimes that he “committed or may have committed or taken part in” in connection with the Watergate scandal. Ford signs the order during an Oval Office press conference.
1941: Advancing German and Finnish forces close the last road into Leningrad, beginning a siege that will last 872 days. More than 650,000 residents would die in 1942 alone from starvation, exposure, and German artillery; the final death toll would grow to an estimated 1.5 million. After resupply lines begin to reach the city, the Red Army breaks the siege in January 1944.
1664: Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders the city of New Amsterdam, part of the New Netherland colony on the southern tip of modern-day Manhattan, to an English naval squadron under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls. The city is renamed New York in honor of the Duke of York. In 1686 the city became the first to receive a royal charter.
SEPTEMBER 5, 1972: Eight terrorists with the Palestinian group Black September break into the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany, killing two Israeli athletes and taking nine others hostage. The next day five of the terrorists and all the hostages are killed during an attempted rescue operation at the Munich airport; the remaining three are later released and hunted down by Israeli Mossad agents.
1877: Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse is killed at Fort Robinson, Neb., in a scuffle with a soldiers, dying just four months after his surrender to U.S. General Crook and after many years battling the federal government over its treatment of the Lakota peoples. A year earlier, Crazy Horse had led a war party to a stunning victory over General George Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
1836: Sam Houston is elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. After American settlers declared their independence from Mexico, Houston led a force of Texans against General Santa Anna in revenge for the sacking of the Alamo and forced him to relinquish the territory. He later supported annexation by the U.S. but was removed from office when he refused to join the Confederacy.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1886: The legendary Chiricahua Apache warrior Goyathlay — better known as Geronimo — surrenders after a lengthy pursuit by the U.S. Army. Geronimo had battled both Mexican and American forces for more than three decades, and his surrender was the last by a notable Indian warrior. He dies on an Oklahoma reservation in 1909.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris formally ends the conflict between Great Britain and its former colonies, now recognized as the United States of America. During the negotiations Benjamin Franklin pressed to take possession of the province of Quebec and nearly succeeded, but settled instead for fishing rights off the Grand Banks.
1976: NASA’s Viking 2 probe lands in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars, six weeks after its sister-ship touched down, a double triumph for the space agency in the interim between the Apollo and space shuttle programs. Viking 2 would operate on the surface for more than four years, searching for — but never quite verifying — evidence of life on the Red Planet.
1943: The allied invasion of Italy begins with the main landing force hitting the beaches at Salerno as British General Bernard Montgomery drives north from Messina. Italian resistance quickly collapses as allied troops battle German Army forces in what would become a slow and brutal campaign up the peninsula.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1945: Japan formally surrenders onboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, bringing a final end to the fighting in World War II. Presiding over the ceremony was General Douglas MacArthur, who was set to lead the invasion of Japan — dubbed “Operation Olympic” — before the nation capitulated after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1944: Navy Lieutenant — and future 41st President of the United States — George H.W. Bush completes a bombing mission over the Pacific island of Chichijima after his Grumman Avenger is hit by antiaircraft fire. Bush and another crewman bail out and are later rescued by the submarine USS Finback.
1666: A small fire at the king’s baker in Pudding Lane near the London Bridge grows into the Great Fire of London, a massive conflagration that destroys a large part of the city over the next three days, including more than 13,000 homes and the original St. Paul’s Cathedral.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1985: Oceanographer Robert Ballard locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic under 13,000 feet of water 400 miles east of Newfoundland, the first time the ill-fated vessel had been seen since since it went down in 1912. Dreams of raising the mighty ship were dashed, however, when she was found to be split in two, confirming eyewitness reports from the night of the sinking.
1983: Soviet jet fighters shoot down a Korean Airlines jet that had strayed into Russian airspace, killing all 269 on board. At a session of the U.N. Security Council, U.S. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick plays audiotapes of the fighter pilot talking with his controllers, forcing the Soviets to admit their guilt in a major Cold War showdown.
1939: Germany launches a massive invasion of Poland, the first battle in what would grow into World War II. Hitler had secured a non-aggression pact with Russia just days before the invasion, which divided Poland between the two nations. Outgunned, outnumbered, and facing the terrible new blitzkrieg war machine, Poland would surrender in just one month.
1864: General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union army smashes through the defenses of Atlanta, seizing the city and forcing the surrender of Confederate forces. Before setting off on his pivotal March to the Sea in November, Sherman orders Atlanta’s military assets destroyed, and the resulting fire burns large swaths of the city.
The Star-Spangled Banner
Sep. 12, 2014
This week marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, where the heroic defense of Fort McHenry would inspire Francis Scott Key to pen the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Here’s a look at the battle and the ballad.
The War of 1812 had begun two years earlier, and only weeks before the asault on Baltimore British troops had occupied Washington and burned the White House and the Capitol building. The Battle of Baltimore would rage from September 12-14, 1814, and culminate in a defining moment for the young nation.
THE BATTLE OF BALTIMORE: The British attack on Baltimore took place by land and by sea. Land forces would come ashore at Old Road Bay and march up the peninsula east of Baltimore, while the Navy would sail up the Patapsco River and assault Fort McHenry directly.
Fort McHenry had been reinforced in anticipation of an eventual British attack, and bristled with 100 cannons, including a 32-pounder on the water’s edge, and several additional fortifications, with final preparations completed just days before the British arrived.
The land attack was led by Major General Robert Ross (pictured), who had commanded the British forces that had burned Washington. On the morning of September 12, 1814, Ross led three brigades of infantry, a company of Royal Sappers, and a contingent of Royal Marines ashore at North Point.
Waiting for Ross's men on the road to Baltimore was a force from the Third Maryland Militia Brigade under Brigadier General John Stricker, who had dug in to slow the British advance. Strickers's troops held their ground until nightfall, providing a crucial delaying action. Pictured, Battle of North Point by Don Troiani (Army National Guard)
The British forces pressed on but they had suffered a crucial loss: during the fighting, General Ross was shot and mortally wounded. Pictured, The Death of General Ross at Baltimore by Alonzo Chappel (Library of Congress)
The following morning, on September 13, a force of 16 British ships began their bombardment of Fort McHenry, sending a barrage of Congreve rockets (the “rocket’s red glare”), mortar shells (“bombs bursting in air”), and cannons to try and dislodge the American force and clear the way to Baltimore.
But Fort McHenry — bristling with cannons and some 12,000 militia and regular infantry — was ready, and stood fast against the British onslaught through the day and into the night (“twilight’s last gleaming”).
After drawing closer and even attempting to bypass the fort and land upriver, the British eventually realized they could not prevail.
On the morning of September 14, Fort McHenry’s commander Major George Armistead (pictured) ordered the raising of a massive garrison flag with its “broad stripes and bright stars” and finally broke the will of the British force.
Francis Scott Key had observed the battle at Fort McHenry from the deck of a British ship, where he had been sent to secure the release of a Maryland resident taken prisoner by the British. Pictured, detail of Percy E. Moran’s painting of Key and the garrison flag at Fort McHenry (Library of Congress)
The massive Great Garrison Flag, photographed at the Washington Navy Yard in 1873. (Library of Congress)
Visitors stand before the Great Garrison Flag at the National Museum of American History
Members of the Maryland National Guard’s 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland Defense Force, recreate the crucial march undertaken by their forebears in 1814 to the North Point Peninsula, September 11, 2014. (Photo: Staff Sergeant Thaddeus Harrington)
Maryland National Guardsmen greet residents of Baltimore on September 11, 2014, along their route.
History lives at Fort McHenry: Modern-day reenactors fire their muskets at a commemoration of the Battle of Baltimore. (Richard Gunion/Dreamstime)
KEY’S CHRONICLE: Attorney and amateur poet Francis Scott Key wrote about the heroic day-long fighting at Fort McHenry and the victorious appearance of the American flag in his poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” first published in a Baltimore broadside.
Detail of Keys’s original manuscript. Most modern listeners know only the first stanza, but Key wrote a total of four, each ending with the phrase “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” progressing from a question to an emphatic declaration. (Image: Maryland Historical Society)
Subsequent printings changed the name to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and indicated it was to be performed to the music of “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a drinking song created by the Anacreontic Society amateur men’s club in London that first surfaced during the Revolutionary War era.
In 1861, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes added a fifth verse to the song, building on the song’s growing popularity during the tumult of the Civil War. Other writers have added to and adapted the lyrics to further political causes including temperance. Pictured, a Civil War-era songbook.
In 1889 the United States Navy began performing the song when raising and lowering the flag. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the song the national anthem of all the armed forces in 1916.
Finally, on March 3, 1931, by an act of Congress “The Star-Spangled Banner” was made the official national anthem, replacing earlier unofficial anthems such as “Hail, Columbia” and “My Country, ’Tis of Thee.” (Library of Congress)
The Batmobile
Sep. 12, 2014
Need a ride? Director Zack Snyder has unveiled this picture of the new-look Batmobile that will appear in his upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, coming out in 2015. Here’s a look at the rugged new superhero SUV, its iconic predecessors, and some real-life roadsters.
Fans got a tease of the new Batmobile alongside their first look at actor Ben Affleck as Batman in this image released earlier this year. Most attention was paid to Affleck’s appearance, since many fans still question the casting decision; the new vehicle was also mostly shrouded from view.
This look rear view of the new Batmobile was released by the studio several months ago.
The unveiling of the new Batmobile photo may have been accelerated by these pictures of the vehicle taken, on the set, which hit social media in recent weeks.
They depict the dunebuggy-esque vehicle with its gull-wing canopy open.
Some fans have noted similarities between Snyder’s Batmobile design and the one seen in the video game Arkham Knight (pictured), which also takes its cues from the recent Christopher Nolan films.
CAR TALK: The Batmobile’s cinematic heritage goes back more than 70 years. Pictured here, the unadorned roadster from the Batman film serials of 1943, the Caped Crusader’s first big-screen appearance. As modest as this mobile appears, it’s actually fairly true to the earliest versions of the Batmobile from the pages of Action Comics; the extensive modifications and flair came later.
Batman TV show (1966-68): Prior to the modern films, the most famous Batmobile — and the one most-adored by many fans — is the modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car driven by Adam West for two seasons (and in one feature film). This edition featured lavish flowing lines accented by bright red highlights and plenty of chrome accessories.
Another view of the television Batmobile. What true fanboy doesn’t hear Burt Ward intone “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed” when turning over their ignition?
Batman Begins (2005) Director Christopher Nolan grounded his highly successful reboot in very realistic terms, with the Batmobile originating as a heavily-armored military vehicle called the “Tumbler,” designed as a bridging vehicle capable of a rampless jump. Needless to say, Bruce Wayne was instantly smitten, asking only: “Does it come in black?”
Nolan’s design may have taken some design cues from the tank-like Batmobile seen in Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which helped launch the dark and more realistic modern incarnation of Batman.
The Tumbler would return in The Dark Knight (2008) — where it was joined by a breakaway Bat-Pod (essentially a Bat-Cycle) — and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), where it is seen sporting different paint schemes, including tan desert camouflage.
Batman gets his motor running’ on the Batpod in The Dark Knight Rises.
The aptly named “Bat” — apparently a kind of VTOL aircraft — in The Dark Knight Rises.
Batman (1989): Director Tim Burton brought the darker, modern version of Batman to the big screen and gave him a stretched Batmobile with Gothic flourishes — and a Batwing aircraft with similar design lines. This edition returned essentially unchanged in Batman Returns (1992).
Batman Forever (1995): Director Joel Schumacher took the films in a very stylized direction, adding garish ribbing, lighting effects, and horn-like fins to the basic design from Burton’s films.
Batman & Robin (1997): For Schumacher’s second outing, the Batmobile retained most of the lines from Batman Forever but returned some of smoother look and feel of the Burton-era vehicle.
COMIC-BOOK CARS: The famous Batmobile has had dozens of incarnations since the Caped Crusader premiered in 1939, moving from fairly normal-looking vehicles to ever larger, more powerful, and more heavily armed and armored editions, changing over time with the changing portrayals of the Batman himself.
The earliest Batmobile was just another vehicle in billionaire Bruce Wayne's garage.
Early versions of the customized Batmobile featured a large Batman faceplace on the hood.
This 1960s-era version took some design cues from the television seris.
Another version of the Batmobile from the 1960s.
In recent years, some of the comic-book cars have picked up on the designs seen in the movies, such as this vehicel inspired by the Tim Burton films.
Some artists have also evolved the Batmobile into an ever-more high-tech crimefighter replete with James Bond-style weapons and gadgets.
CARTOON CARS: The various animated incarnations of the Batmobile have been inspired both by the comic book and film versions. Pictured, the Batmobile from 1992's Batman: The Animated Series, which borrowed from the Tim Burton films.
The lines of the Batmobile from Superfriends harkened back somewhat to the 1960s TV eries.
The sleek black edition from The New Adventures of Batman in 1997.
CAR & DRIVER: Enterprising comic-book fans and savvy promoters have built many of their own replica Batmobiles in homage to the Caped Crusader’s cinematic incarnations. Sojme just sit and look cool, while others actually prowl the streets. Pictured, a Batmobile inspired by the Tim Burton films at the opening of a comic art exhibition in Switzerland in March.
A replica of the Tumbler gets a touch-up at a movie premiere.
Michigan resident Bob Dullam is one of a number of enthusiasts who has built his own Tumbler-era Batmobile. Almost everything on the vehicle was built form scratch with the exception of the tires which, like the movie car, are 44-inch Super Swampers.
A side view of Dullam’s roadster, which actually does drive on city streets — in Kalamazoo, not Gotham.
Other real-life Batmobiles are less replicas than homages. Pictured, A Batmobile-themed Ford F-150 at Comic-Con in San Diego.
A 1998 BMW 323i is the perfect starting point for a bourgeois Batmobile.
If the famously black-clad Batman ever goes green, he might consider this customized Smart Car.
San Francisco’s famous Batkid project didn’t build their own Batmobile, but a black Lamborghini with a classic Bat-logo on the hood will do in a pinch.
Name Obama's ISIS Operation
Sep. 12, 2014
The plan President Obama presented his plan to roll back ISIS this week, and while it may not amount to a formal war, every operation needs a good name, and Twitter users jumped at the chance to provide one appropriate to the Commander-in-Chief. Here’s a sampling of ideas at #NameObamaISISOperation.
Operation: I Was Supposed To Be On Vacation (Lizzy Lou Who, @wintergirl93)
Operation Cautious Fury (Jim Geraghty, @jimgeraghty)
Operation Nuanced Destruction (Joel Gehrke, @Joelmentum)
Raging Reluctance (Keith Savage, @KeithSavage)
Operation: CRISCO FIST (Imaumbn, @lmaumbn)
Shock and Uh (Rob, @robx)
Operation Teleprompter (Steve’s World, @StevsWorld)
Operation: Blame Bush (The Morning Spew, @TheMorningSpew)
Operation JV Road Game (David Burge, @iowahawkblog)
Operation: Lemme Be Clear (Lizzy Lou Who, @wintergirl93)
The Soetoro Solution (Jenn Jacques, @JennJacques)
Unicorn Down (Wodeshed, @Wodeshed)
Operation Gulf Course (Louise Mensch, @LouiseMensch)
Operation Lead from the 9th Hole (Pooka Luck, @MuchLuck)
Operation Sand Wedge (Leslie #WeAreN, @LADowd)
The Golf War (Obamas Amerika, @ObamasAmerika)
Operation whack-a-mole (Steve’s World, @StevsWorld)
Operation Unicorn (Bossy Brat, @JGalt9)
Desert Storm 3: Revenge of the Nerds (Pol, @PointlessPol)
Stragedy Schmagedy (Adam Baldwin, @AdamBaldwin)
Operation.. liberal media you got my back, right? (MediaResearchCenter, @theMRC)
Operation Nobel Peace--SURPRISE! (Lee Ritz, M.D., @lee_ritz)
Operation Not A War (Razor, @hale_razor)
Operation Diminished President (Josh Jordan, @NumbersMuncher)
Operation Bare Minimum (Derek Hunter, @derekahunter)
Operation Rolling Blunder (Michelle Malkin, @michellemalkin)
Operation Desert Worm (Michelle Malkin, @michellemalkin)
Operation Junior Varsity (Tim Cavanaugh, @bigtimcavanaugh)
Operation Deserter Shield (Jim Geraghty, @jimgeraghty)
War on Winning (Leslie #WeAreN, @LADowd)
Operation It Depends Upon What the Meaning of the Word 'ISIS' is (Eric, @JustEric)
Operation Waffle (Bossy Brat, @JGalt9)
ISIL What You Did There. (Wodeshed, @Wodeshed)
Operation: Toot Your Own Horn (The Morning Spew, @TheMorningSpew)
Wheel of Strategy (Cameron Gray, @Cameron_Gray)
Operation Bare Minimum to Get This Off the Front Pages (WakeyWakeyUSA, @WakeyWakeyUSA)
Operation: Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste (woot6, @woot6)
Operation Boots in the Air Flying Planes (Mr. Butcher, @blindmandscane)
More Movie Plots Explained, Badly
Sep. 12, 2014
COMING DISTRACTION: Turns out the Twitterverse is full of movie fans just waiting to burst out their inner Eberts, as the snappy movie descriptions at #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly continue to roll in. Here’s another batch of humorously misleading, non-sequitur-filled cinematic plot descriptions.
“Young woman traveling on business is disappointed in room service.” (Mark Winslow, @WinstonUK)
“Poor guy is just trying to eat his tasty burger when he is shot by a black man reciting a passage from the bible.” (Matt SW, @Matt_SW)
“Tom Hanks has a UTI” (Molly, @ClownsPrayer)
“These children go to an absurdly dangerous chocolate factory. It's like Battle Royale but with diabetes.” (Ed O’Meara, @edfomeara)
“Terrorists take over office Christmas party during the Christmas season, but holiday spirit ends up prevailing.” (John Ekdahl, @JohnEkdahl)
“Cantankerous fat guy in tiny waistcoat would prefer people didn't come to his swamp” (Careless Sons, @CarelessSons)
“A lady has her favorite writer stay at her house during a snowstorm” (Grindhouse Database, @GCDB)
“Italian father kills a horse, then has a son killed on the LIE, other son lies to wife.” (Greg Pollowitz, @GPollowitz)
“Some snitch in a dark garage opens his yap and we're all compelled to take the WaPo seriously for the next 40 years.” (protein wisdom, @proteinwisdom)
“Awkward teenage boy talks to Kirsten Dunst, then shoots out sticky white goo for the next 2 hours” (Wonderella, @wonderella)
“An American fugitive, living in Morocco, cozies up to a corrupt Vichy French official.” (Daniel W. Drezner, @dandrezner)
“Boat load of people take Ice Bucket Challenge. Ends badly. Girl floats away.” (Will McCloy, @will_mccloy)
“A white guy finally gets thrown into jail but meets a black guy…” (Vishal Ratnajothy, @VishRatnajothy)
“King learns how to speak in order to declare war properly” (John Malathronas, @Malathronas)
“A fugitive hides out in Amish country, has a one-night stand with a single mom.” (Daniel W. Drezner, @dandrezner)
“Chicks play pro baseball, which would be cool, except one of them is Rosie O'Donnell.” (protein wisdom, @proteinwisdom)
“Two women drive a perfectly good Thunderbird off the Grand Canyon.” (John Wesen, @Bionic_Dolphins)
“Columbo tries to persuade that Wonder Years kid to embrace the cisheteronormative paradigm by reading him a book.” (Vektor, @VekTorBK)
“Whenever this green monster calms down he turns into a scientist who doesn't like green monsters.” (I Am Corey Marshall, @silvermic101)
“Orphaned child tries to make it in the world.” (Andy Khouri, @andykhouri)
“A father cuts off his son’s hand because he doesn’t want to be a part of the family business.” (Mike Boyd, @IceWarm)
“Leo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are in everyones dreams, as usual” (D’rod, @ItsHowYouUseIt)
“Five friends go on a trip to the woods, but not everything goes as planned. And then the Predator shows up.” (HRH Misha, @drethlin)
“A volleyball's life is dramatically changed when it is taken to a desert island and kept hostage. Tries to escape.” (Ed Barker, @edbarkercla)
“A man lures children into his factory and disposes of them using the last of an enslaved race.” (Gene Marks, @genemarks)
“Two men ride horses up a mountain, and then each other.” (Gerard Dwyer, @gerarddwyer)
“Underappreciated robot almost succeeds in getting his masters eaten by small bears” (Alexandra Petri, @petridish)
“Girl develops crush on the resort's dance instructor. Somebody tries to put her in a corner, dance instructor says no” (STEVE, @theposhow)
“Two guys — well, one actually — start a club which grows by word of mouth even tho you're not allowed to talk abt it” (Mathew Lyons, @MathewJLyons)
“An ogre with housing issues finds a talking pet” (jaymie, @Jaymie174)
“Teenage girl slaughters children and tries to convince her friend to commit suicide” (Sherwin Assoon, @TwoEyedGovernor)
“Guy joyrides a delorean round a carpark and almost shags his mother in the past.” (James Bennett, @JamesRobertBenn)
“Guy who doesn't know he's a ghost follows a small boy around like a pervert.” (Craig, @CraiggyPops)
“These Aliens invade earth but they're Anti-Virus software isn't up to date so Will Smith blows them up.” (Ed O’Meara, @edfomeara)
“Something about John Malkovich, you really have to see it, I think” (Patrick Ness, @Patrick_Ness)
“Matt Damon makes you wish he was your husband but he'll never be, no” (Patrick Ness, @Patrick_Ness)
“A really smart rich dude wears metal and helps people while remaining sarcastic” (AG, @thepoeticzombie)
“Nanny sings to Austrian children about her favorite things. None of which include the children.” (WALE LAWAL, @WalleLawal)
“A woman commits murder, before getting in a fight over a pair of shoes.” (Chelsea Custer, @thatchelseagirl)
“Hockey player falls into a lake, finds a machete, harshly reprimands teens for hooking up.” (Mark Winslow, @WinstonUK)
“Over-sized Monkey falls in love with girl. Tries to make it big in the city. Ends badly.” (John Wesen, @Bionic_Dolphins)
“Teen entrusted with small exotic pet. Does everything he's specifically told not to do & people die because of it.” (S.M., @redsteeze) gremlins
“Passive-aggressive spider gives dimwitted pig messiah complex.” (Brian Herrera, @stinkylulu)
“White privilege doesn't stop two men from being wrongfully accused of murder in the deep South.” (Josh Smith, @ThisIsJoshSmith)
“James Franco gets caught between a rock and a hard place.” (Michael Blackman, @paracomedian09)
“Clark Gable says damn and Atlanta burns.” (Erick Erickson, @EWErickson)
“Dead beings stuck between realms occupy a town as a huge marshmallow provides hope, until 3 men obliterate them all.” (Razor, @hale_razor)
“A weirdo in a black costume hangs around dark alleyways beating people up at night” (Ian Colquhoun, @IanColquhounMA)
“Silver. Oil! Oil oil oil. Bowling.” (Marc Hirsh, @spacecitymarc)
“Confusion over who's Hudson and who's Hicks leads to the nuclear detonation of a space colony.” (Scott Jones, @traumahound00)
“Mean guys scrimmage w/ prison guards b/c they're too dumb to realize they could just steal their guns and revolt” (ThatNewsDude…, @GJones)
“Twelve men sit in a room, each of them becoming, to varying degrees, angry — is that the idea?” (Mark Steel, @mrmarksteel)
“Jewish geek starts up a webstite. Its not Twitter.” (A//X//D//X, @SatanAteMyPussy)
Jack the Ripper
Sep. 11, 2014
Has Jack the Ripper finally been revealed? A new book claims to have positively identified the notorious serial killer who terrorized East London in the 1880s — but whether it will silence the legion of “Ripperologists” remains to be seen. Here’s a look at the new claim, and some other famous suspects.
Eleven women were brutally murdered in Whitechapel, a poverty-stricken district of East London, from 1888 to 1891. Five of those murders, some of them prostitutes, are considered “canonical” and have been linked to a suspect who became known as “Jack the Ripper.”
Three of the Ripper’s victims were mutilated and certain organs removed — in one case a partial kidney was mailed to the police — leading investigators to posit the perpetrator had some medical education, or was literally a butcher. But no suspect was ever brought to trial.
A fragment of a note claiming responsibility for the murders that was sent to police at the time of the initial investigation, signed “Jack the Ripper.”
Murder Weapon: Police photograph of a knife found at one of the murder scenes.
Fear gripped London as newspapers reported the latest killings.
Newspaper illustration of the so-called “Double Event,” the discovery of two more victims.
A newspaper illustration reporting the murder of Frances Coles, who was suspected to have been killed by Jack the Ripper in 1891.
Author Russell Edwards alleges in his new book Naming Jack the Ripper that a 23-year-old Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper, citing DNA evidence obtained from a blood-stained shawl taken from the body of victim Catherine Eddowes.
Edwards told The Guardian: “I’ve got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case I’ve spent 14 years working on it, and we have definitively solved the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was. Only non-believers that want to perpetuate the myth will doubt. This is it now – we have unmasked him.” Pictured, a technician examines the shawl.
While Kominski (pictured in this illustration) was an early suspect in the initial investigation, other researchers have cast doubt on Edwards’s claim, pointing out that the shawl has been extensively handled over the years, tainting the evidence. Kosminski was admitted to a lunatic asylum and died in 1899.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Over the years hundreds of possible suspects in the Ripper murders have been put forward by a range of police investigators, private sleuths, and armchair detectives, making “Ripperology” a thriving industry. Here’s a look at a few of the better known candidates.
Seweryn Klosowski (aka George Chapman): Klosowski, a Polish immigrant who worked as a barber in Whitechapel during the time of the murders and was later tried and hanged for poisoning three wives, was reportedly original police inspector Frederick Abberline’s favorite suspect.
Prince Albert Victor: Several modern theorists have theorized that Albert, Queen Victoria’s grandson and the Duke of Clarence, was driven insane after contracting syphilis during visits to East End brothels, driving him to kill. Other theories posit he impregnated a shopgirl who was subsequently kidnapped and brutalized by a royal physician.
Sir William Gull: The royal physician to Queen Victoria has appeared in numerous theories and fictionalized accounts, often in connection with a cover-up supposedly involving Prince Albert Victor or another royal. Gull’s medical training seemed in line with the gruesome forensic evidence.
Sir John Williams: Another doctor with a royal connection — he was Princess Beatrice’s obstetrician — and who worked in Whitechapel, Williams was accused in a book written by two of his descendants, who theorized he may have mutiliated the victims in a twisted curiosity about infertility.
Walter Sickert: Crime writer Patricia Cornwell spent a great deal of money buying up the paintings of Sickert — some of which include bizarre images of women — and claimed he had a genital defect in for her book Portrait of a Killer. Others have linked Sickert indirectly to the murders as part of a cover-up involving Prince Albert.
James Maybrick: A diary supposedly containing an admission by this Liverpool cotton merchant was published in the 1990s, but author Michael Barrett later admitted it was a forgery, and historians uncovered notable factual errors in the document.
“Julia” the Ripper: Author William J. Perring proposes the killer was a female Salvation Army worker in his novel The Seduction of Mary Kelly. Investigators at the time also considered the possibility that Jack was a woman; a midwife, for example, could have moved freely with bloody clothing without attracting attention. Perring also proposes a motive: Attracting attention to Whitechapel's endemic poverty.
Lizzie Williams: Another female suspect and one with a royal connection — she was the wife of physician Sir Joh Williams — Lizzie is the subject of John Morris’s Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman. Morris’s case is bolstered by some DNA evidence taken from one of the alleged killer’s letters.
Lewis Carroll: On the outer fringes of believability is the case that the famous children’s author was the Ripper, an argument put forward most recently by Richard Wallace in his book Jack the Ripper, Lighthearted Friend, who claims analysis of anagrams in Carroll’s writing holds clues to his crimes.
CINEMATIC KILLERS: Jack the Ripper has been portrayed in films and on television in many different versions over the years, some hewing to the historic record while others cast him as a non-human entity or personification of evil.
Time After Time (1979): Nicholas Meyer’s film drafts sci-fi author H.W. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) into the hunt for the Ripper, this time a surgeon (David Warner, pictured), who steals Wells’s time machine and travels to modern-day San Francisco where he resumes his killing spree.
From Hell (2001): Based on the graphic novel by Watchman author Alan Moore, the Hughes brothers’ film fictionalizes the work of real-life Ripper investigator Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp), giving him an opium addiction and psychic abilities. The plot fingers royal physician William Gull as the real Jack the Ripper (and a Freemason).
Wolf in the Fold: In this episode of the original Star Trek series, “Jack the Ripper” is only one of many forms taken by an ancient alien being known as “Redjac,” who frames Scotty for a new batch of murders.
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