Cake

Cake is a made up drug which is a metabolically bisturbile cranabolic amphetamoid, originating from the Czech Republic. After becoming popular in Prague at so-called “boom raves”, it spread to other European cities, notably London. It is so new that it was technically legal when it first reached the United Kingdom in 1997, in what became known as the ‘summer of death’.

Side effects of Cake include severe water retention, especially in the neck (a symptom referred to as ‘Czech Neck’, which is caused by the yellow dye frequently used to increase the visual appeal of the drug). Another common symptom is massive dehydration, caused by the body expelling the water via tears or vomit. Another effect of Cake, via its active chemical, dimesmeric anson-phosphate, a psychoactive that affects the part of the brain known as Shatner’s Bassoon, which deals with time perception, elongating it massively. Frequent users often experience symptoms of depression.

Cake is also known as “loonytoad quack”, “Joss Ackland’s spunky backpack”, “ponce on the heath”, “rustledust”, or “Hattie Jacques pretentious cheese wog”, and was once the subject of a question in Parliament by MP David Amess (Conservative Party Member for Basildon).

The scourge of Cake has apparently now been defeated, as it has not been sighted on the streets of Europe for well over a decade.

May 14, 1959 — Sinatra finishes recording “No One Cares”

On this day, Sinatra completed the recording of this, his third album for the year, after a break of over a month – the rest of the album having been recorded between the 24th and 26th of March.

The album, considered a sequel to Sinatra’s earlier “Where Are You?”, includes a recording of “Stormy Weather”, a song written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler in 1933, and performed first by Ethel Waters at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem that year.

As mentioned in:

Frank Sinatra — Cake

July 13, 1950 – The USAF begins bombing operations in the Korean War

The 19th, 22nd and 92nd Bombardment Groups were reassigned from Strategic Air Command bases in the United States to new bases in South Korea and placed under the overall command of the Far East Air Force of the United States after the North Korean aerial attacks of June 25, 1950. Mostly flying B-29 Superfortresses, these three units were later reinforced by elements of other bombing groups, and defended on sorties by a range of fighter aircraft.

Over the course of the war, B-29s flew 20,000 sorties and dropped 200,000 tonnes (180,000 tons) of bombs. B-29 gunners are credited with shooting down 27 enemy aircraft during the conflict.

B-29 in flight

As mentioned in:

I Bombed Korea — Cake

circa 1232 BCE — Zeus seduces Leda

One can’t help thinking that Leda knew more than she was telling. Legendarily one of the most beautiful women in ancient Greece, this queen of Sparta dallied with a swan (who, it turned out, was actually Zeus in disguise), and gave birth to perhaps the only woman to be more beautiful than her: Helen (later of Troy).

In fact, she gave birth to four children, two sets of twins. Half of them were mortal, the children of Tyndareus (her human husband), and half were half-divine, the children of Zeus. Which children are descended from which father is inconsistent across the various tellings of the myth, although a majority of versions record that Helen was half-divine (accounting for her legendary beauty).

Marie Pierre Abduction of Europa

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1286 BCE — Zeus seduces Alcmene

Alcmene was the grand-daughter of Perseus, one of the earliest Greek heroes, and himself a son of Zeus. Perhaps this is why Zeus, in seducing his great grand-daughter, chose to do do by assuming the form of her husband, although it’s likely that Alcmene’s famed fidelity had something to do with that.

Be that as it may, Zeus (in the form of Amphitryon, Alcmene’s husband) lay with her for three nights (in contrast to his usual “wham-bam-thank-me-ma’am” style), and the product of their union was the mighty Herakles (or Hercules, to use the better known Latin spelling), greatest and most-famed of all the heroes of Greece.

Birth of Heracles by Jean Jacques Francois Le Barbier

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1368 BCE — Zeus seduces Danae

Zeus, king of the gods, came to Danae, princess of Argos, in the form of a shower of gold. They shagged, and she became pregnant with the fetus that in due course would become Perseus, slayer of the Medusa and one of the earliest heroes of Mythic Greece.

This caused problems for Danae’s father, King Acrisius, since it had been prophesised that he would be slain by the son of his daughter, not least of which was that the prophecy eventually came true. But who was Acrisius to set his will against that of the Fates or of Zeus Panhellenios? To be fair to Perseus, he didn’t mean to kill the old man – he accidentally struck him in the head with a thrown discus in an athletics contest. From this tale, we can draw two morals: never try to thwart the will of the gods, and always stay in the marked spectator area at sporting events.

Danaë

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1428 BCE — Zeus seduces Semele

Semele was, according to some versions of the story, a priestess of Zeus. As per usual, Zeus’s wife Hera was mad at him for cheating, and took it out on the woman. In Semele’s case, she planted doubt in Semele’s mind that her lover truly was Zeus, which led to Semele demanding that Zeus show himself to her in all his divine glory. Unfortunately, mortals cannot survive such a display of godly power, and Semele was incinerated by Zeus’s radiance.

But the child she bore was saved by Zeus, who sewed the fetus into his thigh and carried it to term. The infant would become the god Dionysus, who would rescue his mother’s shade from Hades when he grew up, and bring her to Olympus, where she too would become a god.

Sebastiano Ricci - Dionysus (1695)

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1438 BCE — Zeus seduces Europa

Europa was the daughter of the Phoenician King and Queen, Aegnor and Telephassa. But one day, she was kidnapped by Zeus, who had taken the form of a white bull, and carried off to Crete. Here, Zeus seduced her (accounts differ as to whether he was still in the form of a bull at the time). Europa became the first Queen of Crete, and bore three sons: Minos (her heir), Sarpedon and Rhadamanthis.

So myth tells us. The truth of the matter may never be known, but from what we know of Minoan culture (named for Europa’s son), the bull was an important part of it, featuring in their religious and cultural ceremonies. The myth seems than an attempt to rationalise curious aspects of Cretan culture by mainland Greeks.

Europa’s three sons, in the myth, all became kings, Minos in Crete, Sarpedon in Lycia and Rhadamanthus in Boetia. Europa herself gave her name to the entire continent of Europe. Myth is with us, always.

Leda and the Swan 1505-1510

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1628 BCE — Zeus seduces Niobe

There are two Niobes in Greek Myth: one was the daughter of Tantalus, and a prideful mother whose children were slain by Apollo and Artemis. The other, less well-known, was the daughter of Phorenus, and the mother, by Zeus of Argus – for whom the city of Argos was named.

It should be noted also, that thus Argus was not any of the other figures in Greek Myth named either Argos or Argus – he was not the shipwright who built the Argo, nor the son of Jason and Medea named for that shipwright. Neither was he a legendarily faithful dog whose master was Odysseus, nor the hundred-eyed giant known as Argus Panoptes. He was just this guy, who happened to be the third king of Argos, and the first child Zeus had by a mortal woman. He would have lots of half-siblings, mostly posthumously.

Otricoli Zeus - 1889 drawing

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1667 BCE — Zeus seduces Io

One of the less lucky of Zeus’s conquests, Io was a nymph, daughter of the river god Inachus and the tree nymph Melia. One of the reasons for Io’s unluckiness was that she was a priestess of Hera – wife of Zeus and known to take a dim view of her husband’s philandering. When the two were surprised in the act of love by Hera’s approach, Zeus transformed Io into a cow (although she was later transformed back).

Her son by Zeus was Ephapus, a king of Egypt whose daughter in turn was Libya, who later slept with her grand-uncle Posiedon (brother of Zeus), and whose grand-daughter Europa, great-grand-daughter Semele and great-great-great-grand-daughter Danae would also, in their turns, be loved by Zeus and produce children by him.

Jupiter and Io (Paris Bordone) - Gothenburg Museum of Art - GKM 0715

As mentioned in:

When You Sleep — Cake