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Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

J.R.R. Tolkien hated Nazi “race doctrine” and no problem telling his German publishing house about it.

Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler handed the power of Jewish cultural life in Nazi Germany to his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels established a team of of regulators that would oversee the works of Jewish artists in film, theater, music, fine arts, literature, broadcasting, and the press.

Goebbels' new regulations essentially eliminated Jewish people from participating in mainstream German cultural activities by requiring them to have a license to do so.

This attempt by the Nazis to purge Germany of any culture that wasn't Aryan in origin led to the questioning of artists from outside the country.

Nazi book burning via Wikimedia Commons

In 1938, English author J. R. R. Tolkien and his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, opened talks with Rütten & Loening, a Berlin-based publishing house, about a German translation of his recently-published hit novel, "The Hobbit."


Privately, according to "1937 The Hobbit or There and Back Again," Tolkien told Unwin he hated Nazi "race-doctrine" as "wholly pernicious and unscientific." He added he had many Jewish friends and was considering abandoning the idea of a German translation altogether.

The Berlin-based publishing house sent Tolkien a letter asking for proof of his Aryan descent. Tolkien was incensed by the request and gave his publisher two responses, one in which he sidestepped the question, another in which he clapped back '30s-style with pure class.

His publisher sent the classy clap-back.

In the letter sent to Rütten & Loening, Tolkien notes that Aryans are of Indo-Iranian "extraction," correcting the incorrect Nazi aumption that Aryans come from northern Europe. He cuts to the chase by saying that he is not Jewish but holds them in high regard. "I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people," Tolkien wrote.

Tolkien also takes a shot at the race policies of Nazi Germany by saying he's beginning to regret his German surname. "The time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride," he writes.

Here's the letter sent to Rütten & Loening:

25 July 1938 20 Northmoor Road, Oxford
Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your letter. I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.

My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject — which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.

Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its sustainability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.
I trust you will find this reply satisfactory, and
remain yours faithfully,

J. R. R. Tolkien

assets.rebelmouse.io

This article originally appeared on 2.15.22

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

CBS Mornings|YouTube

Video shows group of strangers trying to free man from burning car

Getting into a car crash is not something people hope they experience in their lifetimes, and if it does happen you hope it's just a minor fender bender. Unfortunately not all car accidents are minor. One man found himself in a pretty major accident on a Minnesota highway becoming trapped in his car.

According to eye witnesses, the man struck a light pole on the highway, landing with the driver's side of the car pinned against the guardrail. The car quickly becomes engulfed in flames as other drivers rush to the man's side in an attempt to free him from the fiery vehicle. Kadir Tolla caught the whole thing on his dash-cam accidentally when he jumped out of his running car to help.

Multiple people fought flames trying desperately to pull the car door open to let the driver out, but the guardrail thwarts their efforts repeatedly. At some point, Tolla runs to grab a large piece of hard plastic he found on the road and attempts to break the window. Nothing seems to be going in favor of the civilian rescuers.


"He was saying, 'pull me out, pull me out, pull me out,'" Tolla tells Fox News. "We could crack the door a little bit, you know, give him a little air. It [the flames] was actually smacking us in our face but we was just jumping back."

Eventually a "highway helper" arrived and breaks the glass on the driver's side window, which allows the other drivers to pull the man through the window, carrying him to safety. They got him out just in the knick of time because before they could get the unidentified man away from the car, the flames began to dance right where the driver was sitting seconds before.

The entire video is heart stopping, and shows the power of everyday people working together to save a stranger. Watch the heroic rescue below.

Representative image from Canva

Because who can keep up with which laundry settings is for which item, anyway?

Once upon a time, our only option for getting clothes clean was to get out a bucket of soapy water and start scrubbing. Nowadays, we use fancy machines that not only do the labor for us, but give us free reign to choose between endless water temperature, wash duration, and spin speed combinations.

Of course, here’s where the paradox of choice comes in. Suddenly you’re second guessing whether that lace item needs to use the “delicates” cycle, or the “hand wash” one, or what exactly merits a “permanent press” cycle. And now, you’re wishing for that bygone bucket just to take away the mental rigamarole.

Well, you’re in luck. Turns out there’s only one setting you actually need. At least according to one laundry expert.

While appearing on HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast, Patric Richardson, aka The Laundry Evangelist, said he swears by the “express” cycle, as “it’s long enough to get your clothes clean but it’s short enough not to cause any damage.”

Richardson’s reasoning is founded in research done while writing his book, “Laundry Love,” which showed that even the dirtiest items would be cleaned in the “express” cycle, aka the “quick wash” or “30 minute setting.”


Furthermore the laundry expert, who’s also the host of HGTV’s “Laundry Guy,” warned that longer wash settings only cause more wear and tear, plus use up more water and power, making express wash a much more sustainable choice.

Really, the multiple settings washing machines have more to do with people being creatures of habit, and less to do with efficiency, Richardson explained.

“All of those cycles [on the washing machine] exist because they used to exist,” he told co-hosts Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson. “We didn’t have the technology in the fabric, in the machine, in the detergent [that we do now], and we needed those cycles. In the ’70s, you needed the ‘bulky bedding’ cycle and the ‘sanitary’ cycle ... it was a legit thing. You don’t need them anymore, but too many people want to buy a machine and they’re like, ‘My mom’s machine has “whitest whites.”’ If I could build a washing machine, it would just have one button — you’d just push it, and it’d be warm water and ‘express’ cycle and that’s it.”
washing machine

When was the last time you washed you washing machine? "Never" is a valid answer.

Canva

According to Good Housekeeping, there are some things to keep in mind if you plan to go strictly express from now on.

For one thing, the outlet recommends only filling the machine halfway and using a half dose of liquid, not powder detergent, since express cycles use less water. Second, using the setting regularly can develop a “musty” smell, due to the constant low-temperature water causing a buildup of mold or bacteria. To prevent this, running an empty wash on a hot setting, sans the detergent, is recommended every few weeks, along with regularly scrubbing the detergent drawer and door seal.

Still, even with those additional caveats, it might be worth it just to knock out multiple washes in one day. Cause let’s be honest—a day of laundry and television binging sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

To catch even more of Richardson’s tips, find the full podcast episode here.


This article originally appeared on 2.4.24

Joy

Officer holds back tears hearing his K-9 partner's retirement announcement over the radio

Indy has been Sergeant Sullivan's partner in crime-fighting for the past 9 years.

@bgsully/TikTok (used with permission)

Indy has served his community faithfully.

It's remarkable that canines have co-evolved with humans to the point where dogs not only serve as our beloved pets but also, sometimes, as our professional companions.

Dogs can be trained to guard, protect and sniff out everything from drugs to bombs to specific suspects. Many police departments have a K-9 unit for this purpose, using specially trained dogs—most often shepherds and retrievers, but other breeds as well—to aid in police work.

One of those dogs, a German shepherd named Indy, has spent the past nine years working alongside his handler, Sergeant Barry Sullivan, in Trophy Club, Texas. Indy retired on March 26, 2024, and a video of Sullivan's reaction to his official end of service announcement has brought millions to tears.


It's natural—necessary, even—for a handler to bond with a K-9 partner, and Sullivan and Indy have made a strong team.

"He has been the most amazing partner and I was blessed to have him with me," Sullivan tells Upworthy. "Always had my back and there was always a strong sense of comfort knowing he was there."

Hearing Indy's long list of accomplishments during his K-9 tenure is impressive. Not only has he assisted in drug busts and apprehensions, but he's also served as an ambassador to the community. It's clear from the dispatcher's voice and Sullivan holding back tears that Indy is a beloved member of his local community, both within law enforcement and without.

Watch the emotional announcement on Sullivan's TikTok page:

@bgsully

After 9 amazing years with this handsome fella, he gets to enjoy retirement at home with me and my family! Thank you all for your love and support! #k9 #k9unit #policek9 #policek9unit #k9handler #policek9handler #k9softiktok #gsdoftiktok #k9retirement #k9retiredlife

Indy has become part of Sullivan's family and will continue to live with them in his retirement. But going to work every day just won't be the same for Sullivan.

"Indy has been my steadfast partner, a member of my family, and the heart of many of our community initiatives," Sullivan shared before the retirement. "Every day with him has been an adventure, from his very first patrol to his spirited kitchen escapades."

However, Sullivan knows it's time for Indy to enjoy his leisure time after a long-for-a-dog career helping humans.

"I'm not just losing a colleague; I'm gaining more time with a friend whose bravery and companionship have been constant," said Sullivan. "Indy is more than ready for his retirement, and I am honored to ensure that his golden years are as rewarding as his service years have been for us all."

People were moved by Sullivan's tender reaction and impressed to hear Indy's stellar record of service, which includes the apprehension of numerous suspects and the seizure of over 4 tons of narcotics.

"This pup did more in his life than most people," wrote one commenter, to which Sullivan replied, "You're not wrong."

"May he get to nap on the softest couch, eating the best treats and lots of belly rubs in his retirement!" wrote another.

"I couldn't be that dispatcher I'm over here bawling my eyes out," wrote another.

"This is crazy.....why am I crying at this? the dog didn't die its just retiring from a long dedicated service, so what is it that's breaking me so hard!?" shared another.

"I'm crying here in the UK," shared another. "Thank you K9 Indy for your service. Hope you enjoy a rest now."

We all love a good doggo, and Indy is clearly one of the good ones. You can follow Indy's story on Sergeant Sullivan's TikTok page.

An office worker in front of a computer.

A TikTok creator known as Hub posted a video that inspired an interesting discussion about living the 9-to-5 life. The video, set to some hypnotic, soothing music shows Hub, a confessed “normal guy doing normal things,” going through a typical workday.

The video shows his routine, which he seems to go through every day. The twist is that he enjoys it and finds it comfortable.

In the video, the 29-year-old from Dallas, Texas, who works for a Fortune 500 company, seems to really take pleasure in eating his morning donut and having lunch at Chiili's, which isn’t exactly foodie fare. He also unwinds after a day at the office by taking his dog Benny to the park to get some exercise.


Celebrating the typical 9-to-5 work day on TikTok seems to go against the platform's basic nature. Social media is usually where people brag about how exciting their lives are. It’s not the type of place where people share their genuine love for lunch at Chili’s.

The video struck some as depressing, and many saw Hub as little more than a cog in a corporate system. Is a life that’s so regimented with virtually no spontaneity really worth living?

"Naa this dePRESSED me," Maeve Nash wrote in the comments. “As someone who left corporate 13 years ago, this video validates that decision. I remember the sad leftover pizza lunches,” Hiram added.

"The life I want doesn’t include working till I’m 80 to enjoy the last 5 years," Brigman Bell wrote.

However, many people found the video affirming because it showed a man who has found peace and comfort in adhering to his routine, which he genuinely enjoys. Some folks out there who detest their 9-to-5 routine may learn to appreciate it after seeing that others have found ways to make it enjoyable.

“Man, your TikTok’s slow me down and are such a great reminder to appreciate the small things,” Hayden Tindal wrote in the comments. "I seriously rate this content. It’s a good reminder to appreciate the little things in life!" Will Charter added.

"I think what he meant was just to find what works for you and stick to it. Life doesn't have to be an endless cycle of looking for something," Sushibae wrote.

The video is a great Rorschach test for people to project their own meaning onto. It either shows a man living a quiet life of desperation who is missing out on one of its greatest joys, variety, or it can be an example of a man who has found what works for him and has created a stress-free existence that he enjoys.

When asked whether he’d ever want to leave his 9-to-5 job in exchange for making a living as an influencer, Hub wasn’t interested. “I love my 9-5 as it provides health insurance, steady income, 401k, structure, career growth opportunities, etc. I enjoy the people I work with and genuinely like the work that I do,” he said in a follow-up video.