This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Cannibal Rats on the Ghost Cruise Ship

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Outstate Updated: January 23, 2014 - 12:26 PM

“Resort Wear” starts showing up in stores around now, right? Some people are thinking about trips to warm climes, perhaps on a cruise ship. Make sure it’s not the ghost shop carrying mad starving cannibal rats. The Independent:

A ghost ship carrying nothing but disease-ridden rats could be about to make land on Britain’s shore, experts have warned. The Lyubov Orlova cruise liner has been drifting across the north Atlantic for the better part of a year, and salvage hunters say there is a strong chance it is heading this way. Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, the unlucky vessel was abandoned in a Canadian harbour after its owners were embroiled in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew.

The ship is named after “the first recognized star of Soviet cinema.” She appeared in Stalin’s favorite film, as well as an early musical called “Jolly Fellows.” You can tell it’s a Soviet film right away:

Oh, those guys! They're hilarious. 

Here’s a few minutes from the movie. Don't know the Russian term for “laff riot.”

The film was famous enough to require revivals and restoration. It was colorized as well, and this before / after comparison gives you an interesting perspective. You don’t see much color footage of the USSR in the 30s.

BRING OUT YER DEAD Slate’s history blog has a piece on London’s “bills of mortality,” now available online. People died off peculiar things back then. Fistula I understand, but I wonder what sort of medical skill went into distinguishing between Flox and Flux:

A lot of plague deaths were chalked up to other causes, such as:

Good thing to show your teen: yes, you can die from griping. And I can die from grief, so don’t give me any. This may be my favorite:

Brilliant work, Mr. Scribe. “How did he die?” “Suddenly.” “Well, I’ll put that down as the cause, then.” “Surfeit is also a mystery, but there’s no mystery about the last one. Cause of death: TEETH. So floss already. As for the real worry of the times:

That’s in a week. But you could be taken away for something else. Like gas:

I'd rather go from Rising of the Lights; sounds quite transcendent. 

Better than expiring of a Sore Legge.

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