one day at a time…
Tuesday 15 July 2003

Pix of the Day: Sporting Bribery & Corruption
CREDITS: © Cumbria Tourist Board (CTB) GoCumbria.co.uk
Man © Dog © Cumbria Tourist Board
The four part series 'Orgy of the Northwest' is now over. One picture did not make the cut, but that was only because of formatting difficulties. It appealed so much to the Picture Editor that we decided to include it today. Last night cable TV aired the 2000 movie directed by Christopher Guest entitled Best in Show, a tale of animals and the people they look after, for which the screen play was written by Guest and Eugene Levy. Art is so often but a pale candle held up to the mirror of life.

Caricature of the Day courtesy of Monsieur Tibet
IDENTITY LINK: click the image below. Click this text for a BIO-FINDER LINK.
Monsieur Tibet [www.digibulles.com/Tibet]
French scientist (1910-1997). We thought the 'Caricature Zone' entry for today was much too Francocentric for an English speaking web site. To show that there is no Francophobia in this decision, however, we are featuring the French web site of Monsieur Tibet, and a French personality. We offer only one clue today: this man invented the aqualung.

You may check out the caricature of the man we thought nobody outside France would know: if we were wrong, even though we did some user testing to establish if he was recognizable, then we apologize. While working on his proposed entry we thought him to be a very interesting man. That was what led us to today's actual entry, but you may also see an excellent caricature of our first choice, also on the Monsieur Tibet web site, in the bottom right hand corner, and read his filmography.

Bastille Day, which has the same importance in France that Independence Day does in the USA, was yesterday, the 14th July. The Tour de France sometimes throws up a French stage winner for the day, but not on the 100th edition. Richard Virenque, the darling of the French housewives, won a magnificent stage victory on the first day in the Alps from Lyon to Morzine, so that will have to suffice for the time being.

Overly good looking Alessandro Petacchi, the sprinter who won three stages on the flat at the start of this year's tour in the face of strong challenge by the Aussie boys, and the former darling of at least one American housewife we know, blobbed when he saw the first hill. Asked why all we could offer was that he is a big girl's blouse. This may seem a harsh judgement, but when the team manager publicly apologizes to the race director then something is clearly amiss.

Meanwhile Tyler Hamilton soldiers on with a double fracture to his right clavicle: really they need to dream up a jersey for this category of rider. Whether it should be the 'bloodied but unbowed hero' jersey or just the plain 'headbanger too stupid to know when to stop' jersey is open to discussion. Clearly Tyler has never heard that discretion is the better part of valor.

Yesterday Tyler's former team captain Lance Armstrong took a short cut across a hay field to avoid the crashing Joseba Beloki, and gain the yellow jersey of the overall race leader. Alexandre Vinokourov had a well deserved stage win, and the tragic crash that put Beloki out of the race in no way diminishes his achievement.

Hollywood could not write this stuff, and even if they did the actor's could not make it believable. This year's Tour is just going from strength to strength. Exhausted just from gripping the arms of our chairs, we withdraw the snap judgement on Petacchi until further explanation is forthcoming. We promise to hold our tongues until the Tour reaches the Pyrenees.

On This Day in 2002: How the West Was Won Monday 15 July 2002

Hurricane, UT Pioneers © Ian Scott-ParkerPioneer Handcart © Ian Scott-ParkerPioneer Wagon © Ian Scott-Parker

The movie tradition has well equipped wagon trains crossing the smooth grassy prairies, the main problem to their progress being marauding savages. In the Great Basin the reality was somewhat different. When the cost of moving a whole society by wagon train grew too excessive, Brigham Young, the leader of the LDS (Mormon) church, decided that handcart companies would be a more economic answer. Many made the journey successfully, but some were beset with privation and tragedy.

The statue commemorating the Pioneers stands in the Heritage Park in Hurricane, Utah. The handcart and the covered wagon are authentic originals. A number of web sites [1] [2] [3] [4] give detailed accounts of the various Handcart Companies.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)