Saturday, October 13, 2012

Today -100: October 13, 1912: Of ultimata, lost worlds, vice districts, and seppuku


Remember the war between Italy and the Ottoman Empire over Libya? There hasn’t been fighting in some time, and the two countries have been negotiating for months without getting anywhere, but now Italy is taking advantage of the Balkan War to demand that Turkey come to terms, allowing Italy to keep its shiny new colony, or war will resume in three days.

Literary News -100: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World is out, and the NYT Book Review reviews it.

Chicago’s mayor, Carter Harrison, Jr., wants a segregated “vice district” for prostitutes.

You’ll remember that many in Japan were really impressed when Gen. Nogi committed seppuku upon the emperor’s death. Now they’d really like it if the emperor’s physician would also kill himself, but he’s not playing along for some reason. For a start, the doctor says, it’s not his fault that the emperor wouldn’t take his advice and give up the booze. Also, court etiquette prevented him doing his job properly. Also, he doesn’t wanna.

So early 20th century Japan was a place where people could just walk up to you and explain why you should be killing yourself right now. Like YouTube comments, but in real life.


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