In the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy, people from all over the world wrote to the First Family expressing their sympathy and respect.

The JFK Library recently opened a new series of condolence mail from Mrs. Kennedy’s personal papers containing many of these letters.  Bob Thorn, a thirteen-year old wrote:

“It was kind of my fault because I feel I wasn’t a good student.  My mark in American History, (in which we were studying about the government and the President) was a C… Next term I promise you I’ll get an A.”

 Learn more about the collection from the Kennedy Library 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy 

Request 1/11 for July 2015 - requested by brokenslate

Watercolour brush lettering. I did a few versions of this but they just weren’t working out because of the length of the quote (this is why I ask for quotes under 12 words) so I had to make it very simple. At least I got to use one of my new brushes from Canada :D 


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“We made our retreat like lost sheep, not knowing where to go, no forage, no provisions for our men, though marching day and night. At this time I saw an English guinea offered for a bit of corn-bread not larger than my two fingers. Hard times with us indeed–16 days without a morsel of bread. In this starving condition we made our way to Winnsoboro.”

Private John Robert Shaw 33rd Regiment of Foot, 1780 (describing the withdrawal of Cornwallis’ army from North Carolina to Winnsoboro, South Carolina)

“Sometimes the army had beef, and no bread; at other times bread and no beef. For five days it was supported upon Indian corn, which was collected as it stood in the field, five ears of which were the allowance for two soldiers for twenty-four hours …The water that the army drank was frequently as think as puddle. Few armies ever encountered greater difficulties and hardships.”

Loyalist Charles Stedman who accompanied the army as a volunteer and who would write a history of the war.

Both quotes from With Zeal and With Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, 1775-1783

Image originally was found by bantarleton

okay but imagine sherlock watching star trek with john and deducing all the gayness between jim and spock and then he’s looking at jim and then john and then jim and then john and even the first letter of the names and then he looks at himself and sees spock because first letter again and spock is an Smart Arse™ like him and then he stares at john with wide eyes until the end of the movie because damn how can everything be THIS gay??

Originally posted by benedictfirecrotch-blog

Come join us for the first John Diggle Twitter Trend on Tuesday, September 30th for “We Love John Diggle.” 

+ Capitalize the first letter of each word in the slogan

+ No hashtag needed

So please help spread the word and be sure to come join the fun on September 30th!  Thank you!


Not sure what to tweet?  Looking for inspiration for tweets in the trend?  What do you love about John Diggle? For me, Diggle is strong and honorable. He’s very protective of those he loves. On a show filled with suited up superheroes, John Diggle is an every day hero…no mask required. Not only will Diggle become a father in Arrow Season 3, but he’s also destined for more adventures with the Suicide Squad!

Are you wondering what’s going on with H.I.V.E and his brother’s assassination? This is your chance to voice your support for Diggle! Are you a fan of his interaction with Deadshot, tell us about it. I’m especially fond of his bond with Oliver Queen - what would you like to see these two tackle in Season 3? Are you a fan of the Diggle & Felicity relationship? Come show some love. John Diggle is one of the members of Original Team Arrow - Let’s support his role on the show. He represents diversity and he’s irreplaceable!

If you don’t have a Twitter account, here’s your chance to create one. Join us tomorrow and let’s tell the show how much, “We Love John Diggle”!

You can follow our trending on my trend account: @OG3_TeamArrow and my regular twitter account: @stilettoroyalty

This is a flash trend, so be sure to spread the word!

Happy Birthday Harry Houdini! Did you know that Mr. Houdini was a fan of the Library? On August 31, 1911 the acclaimed magician sent NYPL’s first president John Shaw Billings a letter offering two bound sets of The Conjurer’s Magazine, two books on handcuffs published in Russia and Germany, and his assistance on the subject of “Magic and Mystery” should the Library need it. 

Today the Library has the archive of the Society of American Magicians, of which Harry Houdini was President. Now everyone can have his assistance on the subject of magic and mystery!


Mad as a cut-out letter Q

John is mad. And so he should be. The colorful letter Q he occupies was part of an attractive early-13th-century Bible. It proudly initiated the first Letter of John with the Latin sentence Quod fuit ab initio, “that which was from the beginning.” What a life John had! His existence was surrounded by beautiful colors, rustling pages with handsomely written words, and a leather binding that closed with a satisfying thud. Every day he was touched by loving hands, eyed by devout readers, who respectfully whispered the words surrounding him. Then one day someone opened the book with a pair of scissors in his hand. Snip, snip and John was an orphan: decoration without book, a “Q” without “uod”. And so John is mad. So mad he doesn’t mind showing it.

Pic: Bloomington, Lilly Library at Indiana University, where the orphan found a good home under shelfmark Ricketts C:3 (more here).

Cars (Series 4 Trailer Meta)

I use “meta” very lightly, as I have *no* idea what to draw from this little tidbit. BUT! License plate - wise, I took a look at the cars in the Series IV trailer. This is the car that John rams into (I think he’s ramming into it. He’s clearly not at rest, so the car being scooted forward is not his because it is at rest.):

Let’s take a close look at the license plate:

The first two letters of the license plate are clearly EX. So John is in the car with the license plate marked EX. Onto the nEXt one! (See what I did there?)

Moments later in the trailer we get this scene:

Closer look at the license plate:

Not very helpful, is it?? So I pulled it up on my screen and watched it in HD:

In the explosion, you can see the outline of another car:

At least, I’m pretty sure it’s another car. From this bit of tearing apart a couple seconds’ worth of filming I’m like legit thinking this may be the run-up to the Garridebs moment?? Maybe?? John is inside the car as it rams into the vehicle which will explode. Is he still in the car during the explosion? I’m not sure. I can’t make out anything in the drivers’ side window. Except they’re in England so that’d be the passenger window, anyhow. Re-watching, I don’t have visual on the drivers’ side either. 

Conclusion: John’s car is the car next to the exploding vehicle in the Series 4 trailer.

An Open Letter to John Oliver

Dear John Oliver,

At first I couldn’t figure out why I was so upset by your segment about Ecuador and Rafael Correa. And then I thought “of course I am offended,” in one 3-minute clip, you had made a mockery of one of the most important progressive political projects in the world that was delivering so many important changes in the lives of Ecuadorian citizens. Of course, Rafael Correa is not perfect. The citizen revolution is not perfect, far from it. Political processes will never be without flaws and the project here in Ecuador is no exception. But first I must be transparent. Seven years ago my husband asked me to leave Canada with my 9-month old son so that he could return to his home country of Ecuador and be part of a new process, a revolution that sought to re-build a country destroyed by inequality, poverty, foreign interests and neoliberal economic policies. We had to leave in two weeks. I said yes. So, in the interests of transparency, yes, this is personal.

Don’t get me wrong. I also cringed when Rafael Correa started naming the people behind the twitter accounts that were attacking him. I thought, “why are you focusing on this when we could be talking about so many other more important issues?” And in fact, only when I watched your segment and I felt frustrated and angry did I understand why the President had called out the twitter accounts that were attacking him directly. He was hurt. Unlike in other governments, Correa actually talks directly to his citizens. I know it is hard for us North Americans (or almost North Americans) to even comprehend this. I mean we are used to layers of bureaucracy spinning messages before anything even gets into the public discourse. In fact, in Canada hardly anything really gets into the public discourse because the current Prime Minister has a de facto gag order on his ministers. The weekly Enlace Ciudadano – Citizen Link – (the one with the clown that you made fun of) is a weekly synopsis by the President directly to Ecuadorian citizens about how he presided over the country the preceding week. Imagine that. No really…try to imagine that level of accountability in the US or Canada. I know, almost impossible right?

In the same way, the President actually manages his own twitter account. Seriously. It’s true. So he writes his tweets and he reads those addressed to him. So, for him it is personal when someone says he wants to put a bullet in his head. People are not weeding out those tweets for him in some weekly dumbed down “social media” report. Why does Correa manage his own account? Probably because it is another way for him to interact directly with Ecuadorians. And that is how Correa governs. He speaks to citizens; he makes commitments to the people that elected him about health, education and the economy. He makes commitments to change. And he takes these commitments both seriously and personally. His eyes well up when he reads letters from migrants with personal stories of sacrifice. I know this as a fact because I was with him when he read one of these letters. And he asked all of his colleagues to also read the letter to remind them why they were there; what they were fighting for. He takes it personally when sick people are not properly attended to; when children don’t have quality education. And it is because he takes it personally, because he feels their pain, that things get done. Migrants get voting rights and they get programs and opportunities to return home. Bad hospital administrators get replaced with those that put patients needs first. Schools get built. People get educated. Progress happens.

And so I ask you, should Correa be mocked for governing in this way? Should we ask our politicians to grow thicker skins so that they don’t give a shit about anything? So that they don’t feel affected by anything? Or do we need more leaders who take their political roles personally. Who wear their hearts on their sleeves. I think it would do us all some good, here in Ecuador and probably in other countries too, to see the humanity of our leaders and to take a moment to empathize with those that take their jobs personally and who are actually affected when people wish them harm.

So, John. I invite you to come to Ecuador. Come see for yourself what is happening here. I will even take you to an Enlace Ciudadano! The President will probably sing. There will be laughter and things to celebrate. You will see the President’s passion and charisma and you will probably also see his frustration and anger. You will see him as a real person. With real feelings. With real frustrations. With strengths and weaknesses. Through these interactions we can explore the citizen revolution. What is happening here is important for progressive movements around the world and it really deserves to get a fair shot at telling its story – the whole story.

With warm regards,

Shannon Rohan