25 Stupid Laws

Laws are an essential part of the United States government, or any government for that matter. However, there are some laws that are just so out there, they deserve to be on my list of Stupid Laws. Please note that many of these laws are no longer in effect.

 

01. In Reno, Nevada, it is illegal to lie down on the sidewalk for any period of time.
02. In Indiana, it is illegal for anyone 14 and up to profanely curse, damn, or swear to God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost.
03. In Jefferson Parish, it is illegal to pour a drink on the ground of a drive-in theatre.
04. In Eagle, Idaho, it is illegal for a person to sweep dirt from ones house into the street.
05. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, it is illegal to spit on the steps of a school building.
06. In Nome, Alaska, it is illegal to roam the streets with bow and arrows.
07. In Arizona, it is illegal to sell “imitation cocaine”.
08. In Wyoming, it is illegal to wear a hat that obstructs a person’s view in a public theatre or place of amusement.
09. In Boulder, Colorado, boulders may not be rolled onto the city property.
10. In West Virginia, it is illegal to have sex with an animal as long as that animal does not exceed 40 lbs.
11. In Maine, you will receive a fine for having Christmas decorations still up after January 14th.
12. In California, animals are banned from mating publicly within 2,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
13. In Louisiana, every time somebody is burned, he or she must report it to the fire marshal.
14. In Arizona, there is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.
15. In Indiana, it is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public.
16. In Colorado, no liquor may be sold on Sundays or election days.
17. In Delaware, “R” rated movies are not allowed to be played at drive-in movie theatres.
18. In West Virginia, unmarried couples who are living together and “lewdly associate” with one another may face up to a year in prison.
19. In Alhambra, California, you may not leave your car parked in the street overnight without the proper permit.
20. In Arizona, hunting camels is against the law.
21. In West Virginia, the public act of swearing has a fine of one dollar.
22. In Topeka, Kansas, it is illegal to drive ones car through a parade.
23. In Alaska, waking a sleeping bear to take pictures is prohibited.
24. In Bettendorf, Iowa, liquor stores may not have advertisements for alcoholic beverages outside the store.
25. In Kentucky, throwing eggs at a public speaker could result in up to 1 year in prison.

How to Know If a Girl Likes You

Is someone thinking about you? Do they have a crush on you? Learn how to find out!

  1. Watch the way she looks at you. If she keeps looking at you, she just might like you
  2. If she flirts with you too much, she probably likes you. Girls might flirt with you just for the fun of it, and it can be misunderstood as a crush. Watch out for girls who flirt.
  3. If she acts weird when you come near her, she might like you. Watch her behavior when you are talking to her.
  4. If she wants to pair you up with someone or says I know who likes you, then she probably likes you.
  5. If she constantly tries to get close to you or touches you, she probably likes you.
  6. If she turns red when you come near her or when you talk to her, that means she likes you.
  7. She might ask you a few questions that might make you uncomfortable, for example if she asks if you ever had a girlfriend or have you ever been on a date, she might like you.
  8. Make friends with her close friends. They might say something about her liking you. Talk and flirt a little with them. If she gets mad for flirting with other people, then you know she likes you.
  9. Start a small conversation with her and her friends. Try to notice these things:
    • If she keeps trying to get close to you or tries to hold your hand, she likes you
    • If she is confident, they will match your voice tone and will act like she does with her friends
    • If she is shy, her voice tone might be a little higher or lower depending on what she acts like. She might smile and laugh nervously at your jokes. She will probably start playing with her hair.
  10. If she says she likes you, then she likes you!

Tips

  • Be yourself. You dont want to start acting like someone else, because she may start to lose interest in you.
  • She might be looking at you while your not looking, so keep an eye out for her.
  • If you know a girl likes you, try talking to her and be nice.
  • Try starting nice conversations.
  • Compliment her. Girls like being complemented.

Girls love good smelling people. So try to smell nice and use cologne.

What to do when you catch her?

Dead on the Road – What to Do When You Hit an Animal

It is easy to do the wrong thing when you have hit an animal, that is to say leaving it and pretending you didn’t notice. But in the end, doing the right thing will help ease somebody else’s grief and give you peace of mind.

Not a pleasant thing to think about, but chances are it will happen, and it is best to know what to do BEFORE it does happen. I have written this with a general approach in mind, laws are different everywhere, so before it happens to you, there may be some laws you want to inquire about in your area.

Your Own Pet

Emotionally this may be the worst scenario to deal with. Physically, what you have to do is remove the animals’ body from the road. In most places it is illegal to dispose of a dead pet in the garbage. Some cities have a special place in the garbage dump for dead animals, so if that is how you want to dispose of your pet, you need to call and ask them how to do this. Many cities now have places that will cremate your pet, a veterinarian would know if this is available in your area and give you the information on this. Some cities also have pet cemeteries, again a vet will know where these are.

A lot of people, particularly in the country, bury their pets. You really should consider the laws in your area regarding this. Find out BEFORE you need to, if it is legal to bury animals on your property.

Emotionally you have a very hard thing to deal with, telling your family. Be honest with your children, lying to them that the pet “ran away” or was “given to a farm” is going to open up a can of worms. Not only is it unfair to them, as they are not given the opportunity to say “good bye” but also you have cheated them out of a life lesson. Most children first experience death, because of a pet dying – this is much less harsh than they having their first experience being a parent, or sibling. If you lie to your kids, and they find out, they may not trust you again.

Finally, do not be in a hurry to replace the pet. First fix the problem of how it got out onto the road. A better fence for your dog, or a cat section for your cat.

Your Neighbor’s Pet

Remove the pet from the road, and attempt to contact the owner. This is a hard thing to do depending on how well you know the neighbor. Ultimately the pet should not have been on the road, it should have been indoors or in their yard, but you cannot tell them this. You can only hope they realize it for themselves and are not going to yell at you.
Offer to pay half their disposal costs – assuming the costs are reasonable, phone to find out how much cremation, for example, is in your area. Make it clear that you are sorry, but are not going to be responsible for replacing their pet, especially if this one was not being looked after and allowed to be running loose. They will be grieving and might not want a new pet right away either.

The best thing here is honesty, and remembering that while you are not solely to blame, yelling at them or putting all the blame on them, will result in an unfriendly relationship with them down the line.

If the pet is injured and not dead, you should offer to pay part of the veterinarian cost within reason, and save all receipts to prove you did.

An Unknown Pet

Remove the animal to the side of the road if it is safe to stop. If not, make a note of where you were when you hit it, and call the local police or by-law department so they can remove the body off the road. This is important for several reasons. Firstly the animal is an obstruction and can interfere with the flow of traffic, even causing accidents. Secondly, and more importantly, nobody wants to see their animal dead after it has been hit or run over multiple times.

If you have removed the pet to the side of the road, and you feel comfortable doing so, you should approach the nearest house to let them know, as likely it is their pet, or they will know whose it is. Sadly many people do not feel safe doing this. On the other hand many pet owners are disgusted with “hit and run drivers” so owners need to be thankful when a driver does stop.

If you have not stopped or do not feel safe approaching a house, then you need to call the local SPCA or animal shelter and report hitting the animal. There may be an owner looking for the pet, and they would like to be able to find it, even if it is dead. If there is no shelter in the area, then call the local road authorities or police.

A Wild Animal

Every area has different laws about what you can and cannot do with “Road Kill”. Some places freely permit you to take it home, cook, and eat it. Others ask you to move it off the road or call the police to remove it. Some places will tell you simply to leave it where it is and call the authorities.

On a busy road it will be unsafe for you to remove the body from the road. If there is a chance the animal is injured but not dead, you may not want to approach it, for fear of it reacting negatively against you out of fear and panic.
Generally unless you know the laws in your area, it is best to leave the animal where it is and call the local authorities.

Hopefully you never have to use this information, but if you need it, be ready.

Dealing with Breakups: Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves

As the great philosopher Aristotle once said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” You can’t rely on money, material things, or even other people to make yourself happy. In order to be happy during a relationship or after it has ended, you must be happy with yourself. A breakup is just one of the sticky situations in life that we all experience, some more than others.

Breaking Up With the Person You Love

Dealing with heartache and heartbreak is never easy, no matter the circumstances. You may have caught them cheating, and ended it yourself, or maybe one of you just couldn’t deal with the long distance relationship any longer. All you can remember are the memories you had together, and possibly the thoughts of a future you would have shared together. It can be a very painful experience and people have different ways of trying to cope. You may find yourself terribly unhappy and unable to enjoy the things you once loved. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Let Those Emotions Flow: letting go of a person who you care about can play a huge toll on the emotions. Every song you hear, place you visit, or conversation you have may leave you thinking of them. Grieving is the first step to healing. Keeping bad emotions inside is harmful to the body. It may take days, even months, but once you have dealt with your emotions you will be a happier person.
  2. Learn to Forgive: if things ended badly, you may be experiencing a lot of hurt and even anger. Reframe from sending hate mail via e-mail, or leaving nasty messages on their answering machine. Not only are you too good for them, but you are too good for that. Stop wasting your time! They don’t deserve your attention for another minute. Forgive them for the things they have done, and you will find it easier to move on to bigger and better things.
  3. Learn to Forget: It will take time. Time and time again you will hear someone say “you will heal in time.” Chances are you will not believe it at the time, but it is true. Once you learn to focus on the present and all that you have going for you, new wonderful memories will grow.
  4. Exercise and Eat Healthy: go for a run, join the gym, or attend a yoga class! Exercising gives the body, mind, and soul a natural high. It will leave you feeling refreshed and positive. Plus, you may just catch the eye of the person at the gym beside you!
  5. Stay Confident: don’t let your self esteem dwindle because someone dumped you. You’re fun, your beautiful, your the perfect match for someone out there! Confidence is key, not only to feeling great about yourself, but attracting future love interests for when you ready to join back in the game.
  6. Do Something Special For Yourself: after a painful experience you should treat yourself. After all, you deserve it. Go get that manicure you’ve been wanting, or that CD you’ve been dying to listen to. Do the things you enjoy most.
  7. Keep A Journal or Diary: write about the things that make you happy. Putting emphasis on the good things in life will boast your positive thoughts and feelings. Record the things you are grateful for. Are you appreciating all the beautiful things life has to offer?
  8. Go Out With Your Friends: chances are, you did not spend a tonne of time with your friends while you were in your relationship. Go out with your friends. If you’re feeling really down, talk about it with them, even ask them for advice. Just have fun! By the end of the night you will hopefully remember how great it is to be single.
  9. Get Back On the Road to Happiness: Remember, “happiness depends upon yourself.” You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. There are plenty of things to be grateful for in life. Spend extra time with friends and family — the people who make you happy!

How To Choose an Auto Transport Company

Scams abound in the auto transportation industry. We will explain how to choose a car transport company and especially, how to avoid the scams encountered by those who ship a vehicle over long distances. For more information, please contact Zip Auto Ship, your Fort Myers Auto Transport experts.

1. Find a company that interests you and go directly to their website to get a quote, or find a website from which you can get quotes from 5-10 companies. You must enter all information correctly in order to receive a precise quote. Most of the estimates that are automatically received concern passenger cars running, standards. The car with modifications (eg with increased or decreased suspensions, wider tires, etc.) and those who can not walk cost more to the size, weight and different commitment for the carrier.

2. Not mechanically select the lowest price. Many companies attract unsuspecting customers with the lowest offer. They then need to find a carrier to physically move your vehicle. If the carrier does not accept the low price (and does not generally), the vehicle will not be moved. Many companies deliberately underestimate the cost to encourage customers to use them.

3. Conduct a research on the transport companies you are considering. Learn from other experiences with the wealth of information available on the Internet. You can simply start by searching on Google’s business names or a test site. More companies, ask your friends if they have ever used a transport company called. It reviews estimates, terms and conditions, and notices posted on the Internet. Make sure they work in the market for at least a few years. This industry is largely unregulated and many unwanted companies arise with new names, after a few years strike customers again unsuspectingly. Make sure brokers are guaranteed and that the carriers have the license and are insured. Any company decides to choose, so familiar with their dispute settlement procedures.

4. Make a decision about the company including rivolgerti and the transport of the book. Make sure you have a confirmation by fax or e-mail. Read everything the company sends you before signing it. Please note that if you make a reservation via the Internet, the electronic signature is mandatory once you click Send or Send.

5. Prepare the vehicle for transport by removing all personal items or valuables. Car carriers prefer that less than a quarter of the fuel tank to significantly reduce the weight carried and with the least weight saves fuel while driving from one point to another. It costs less for them and a lower cost for you !! It is a good idea to wash the vehicles before the inspection report. This ensures that the condition of the car is easily determinable before transport. It is also a good idea to disable any alarm system before transport.

6. Make sure the carrier to inspect the vehicle. At the exit, the driver must check the car to check for damage. Damage to a vehicle will be recorded on a form attesting to the conditions of the vehicle. You will be asked to sign and contain a copy for your records. Keep it with you until the car is delivered.

7. Inspect the car to make sure there are no bumps, bumps or scratches. This is the only way to claim damages, so do it carefully. If you claim any damage, make sure the carrier signs the form on the condition of the car and keep a copy for your records.
advice

• Look for a company carefully and make sure it is registered with the professional associations, which has the license and it is set.

• Check customer service, good customer service indicates how the company interacts with its customers, and if there is good communication between customers and the company, then it is less likely that problems will occur during transport.

• All companies should provide vehicle inspection reports for pick-up and delivery. Be sure to mark the mileage of the car before and after transport. In case of damage, it is your responsibility to ensure that these relationships are properly updated to be able to demonstrate and guarantee repayment.

• Read the contract carefully before signing. Beware of hidden costs written in small print in the contract.

• Be honest with the company you are communicating for personal items in the vehicle. Trucks are subject to weight restrictions and can be ordered at any point in the state. They can be severely punished everywhere if they are overweight. In addition, most companies do not guarantee that the objects inside the vehicle. It is usually best to send the empty car on the truck.

• Check to not choose companies with the lowest prices. Those with intermediate prices are the most reliable in our experience.

• Always check and compare shipping rates, the initial estimate that company car transportation is usually only gives you an approximate estimate of the cost of service, but some companies meet their esteem. If you really need to know the final cost of delivery, the events make estimates and call the companies that have responded to you. Some companies will tell you right away what all this will cost, with minimal additional costs. These rates will be higher than other initial estimates, but the additional burden may weigh heavily on the final price to pay.

Ten Ideas on How to Sustain a Long Distance Relationship

I am assuming that you two have already been in a relationship for a reasonable amount of time. Your time together is precious and sacred and both of you appreciate the fact that among thousands of people out there, the two of you chose to be together. I assume here that there are no lies, that both are committed to the relationship.

A long distance relationship is a trial of patience for two people in love. I’ve had my share of them due to my job commitments and at this stage in time, university degree requirement. In this article I will share several ideas on ways to not only sustain a pre-existing relationship but also develop it further.

Balance is the key to maintaining sanity in a long distance relationship. True, you may love him/her. But if you spend all your time focusing on how much you miss him/her, it will affect your moods and just make you a duller person.

Truth is, your biggest enemy is time. But at the same time, time squandered is a waste. For example, you spend all your life pining away for your partner hundreds or thousands of miles away when the thing that needs doing – your job, your degree, your life – is put on hold. Stop. You might say, “Well, its all part of the fun isn’t it? Staying up late, listening to silly soppy songs on radio, re-reading old letters. Where’s the harm in that?” Frankly, ma’am, a little is alright but a lot is way out of context.

On with the list of of Ten Ideas to Sustain A Long Distance Relationship

  1. Have DVD Fridays/Weekends

    The idea is that even though you’re apart, it wouldn’t hurt to synchronize watching a movie rental together. At least, after the movie, you can have a chat about the movie. Whether you liked it or not, or whether you identified with this or that character. At the very least, it’s a conversation topic.

  2. Work on a Common Project.

    A friend of mine works in Beijing while his wife is in the US. They’re engaged and working hard towards securing their future. They’ve just bought a home and are thinking of decorating it. Other than actually buying stuff and shipping it home (which can be extremely expensive!), whip out that Cameraphone, snap pics, put a price to it and post it on Flickror set up a blog. Now both of you are engaged in the search of fantasy furniture pieces!

  3. Share the Same Dream

    My gay friend and his partner are fitness buffs. They had this crazy idea of doing the 100km marathon. The thing is, one of them’s going away to the States for his studies and will periodically at the end of the year for his winter break. So I told them, why not train separately, but aim for a common end point. End of the year come back and race together. How about keeping a couple’s training journal?

  4. Skype & MSN

    The key ingredient for any great relationship is COMMUNICATION. Instantaneous if possible, delayed at best. Skype offers anybody with a fast broadband connection and decent CPU processor speed the opportunity to call anybody on the internet for FREE. If you can’t talk, use MSN messenger or any dozens of competing Instant Messaging services to keep in touch and focused. There’s now no excuse to communicate if calls are FREE and messages are Instantaneous!

  5. Stay Grounded and Focused

    I can’t emphasize this enough. Most people who arrive in a new city suddenly find themselves surrounded by new things to do, new people to meet etc. With that comes the temptation to try something new. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, or so they tell me. RESIST. Tell yourself, that you are in a perfectly good relationship and that you shouldn’t put yourself in a compromising position. Life shouldn’t be an episode of “Sex in the City”. That kind of life leaves you depleted and hollow. Before one of you leave, get a set of commitment rings/studs/bracelet – anything. It doesn’t have to be flashy but it is a token, a reminder that you carry in your heart, his/her heart. Mean it when you give it to him/her.

  6. Remember Your Anniversaries and Firsts

    Neglect it at your cost, but if you forget an anniversary, woe betide you… Write it down, print it out, tattoo it onto your brain, but make sure you remember your anniversaries and birthdays. Why? Well, with a little planning, that event can become focal points for the year. Something to look forward to. You could even surprise him/her with gifts sent by post. Ebay.com has lots of stuff on offer, so make full use of it. Everyone loves getting something special in the mail.

  7. Keep A Journal

    What doesn’t get written down, will not be remembered. You’re both young, enterprising adults with lives of your own. Keep track of your thoughts and emotional development. Keep track of your dreams and hopes. Doodle, scribble, inscribe your memory in a special way so that you may share it. The point is that sometimes Life moves so fast, you forget who you were or why you are with the person. A journal acts as a reminder.

  8. Pay Attention To Each Other’s Needs For Sleep

    Difference in time zone, jet lag, lack of morning coffee – are frequently cited reasons as to why you’re especially grouchy. Both partners need to be mindful that people get tired and need rest. When you agree to communicate choose a reasonable timing. Something that you’re both comfortable with. 8pm in Hong Kong is 12pm in Britain. That’s reasonable. When I was 8 hours ahead of my girl when she was visiting her family in UK, I came up with a table to remind myself of the time in UK, each time she logged on. I shared this with her and as much as possible we talked only when it was reasonable for us to do so.

  9. Use GoogleMaps To Visualize The Space Between You

    It’s a fun exercise to help crystallize the distance that separates the two of you. Go to GoogleMaps type in your address and then type in your partner’s address. Create a composite map of how you’ll be getting home if you were to walk the entire distance using satellite photos.

  10. Finally, Trust

    The most important thing in a relationship is Trust. Trust that your partner will do the right thing. Trust that you will do the right thing. Be aware that pitfalls await for any couple, and that he/she can cheat at any point in time and space because, really at the end of the day, its their choice. What we can do as partners of lovers who are abroad is be the best person that we can be.

I hope this write up will be of use to all lovers out there living under the tyranny of distance. Trust me on this, LDRs are worth having. There’s an old adage that goes, “Absence only makes the heart grow fonder” and the old-fuddy-duddy in me wants to believe in that. Till next time!

Signs, Symbols & Synchronicity

All around us are messages, hints and clues that help us reach every milestone along the path of life. If our role on planet earth is to evolve, to follow our own pathway to enlightenment then I believe we are given plenty of help along the way. This short article is part of an e-book available soon. Here, I just tickle the surface of following signs, symbols and synchronicity and show you how to participate in living magically.

You can use anything to help you in finding answers to life – dreams, divination cards, random extracts from books, a single word that reappears in different ways, people, animals and birds, even traffic lights. Signs can appear in any form, something you hear in a conversation, a book that falls open at a certain page, signs on a passing van, patterns in the shadows or the clouds…be open to the possibilities.

We receive messages all the time, but in the form of symbols and these need to be interpreted. The most important thing to remember is that the answer lies in what that symbol means to YOU individually: my interpretation of a tree may be completely different to yours. On the other hand there are many useful books and charts that can give you a heads up start – so use them, just be discerning, not everything that appears in print is “gospel”. If you read something and it just doesn’t “feel” right then trust yourself. Try looking at it in another way until you “recognize” the truth that is relevant to YOU. Always remember we are each perfectly unique – that’s part of the magic.

So, where do the messages come from? For me there are two possible explanations.

That your Universe sends you help. You don’t even need to ask but it does help. Unfortunately the universe is unable to communicate to you in clear language, so everything arrives in the form of images, signs and symbols. The trick is deciding what it means.

That the messages come from within yourself, from your inner self. We certainly have much more wisdom than we give ourselves credit for and perhaps this is simply your inner self cutting through the barriers we all erect.

Scientific stuff: The human brain consists of two sides, the left and right hemispheres. The left side is the logical side, the one that is the loudest, that thinks it does all the work. It is logical, rational, and linear. The right side of the brain is the intuitive, creative side. If you prefer it, is the “Eureka” side that supplies the answers in huge leaps without any indication of the path that led to the answer. Apparently we use only about 10% of our brain capacity which opens up the exciting possibility of how we can use the other 90%. I like to think of it as the magical side, full of wonderment and retaining some of that innocence we had as children.

Simple Ways to Save Energy

With gas prices beginning to move up this summer and higher prices at the grocery store, every penny counts. My family has found some great ways to conserve energy and save money for our home.

In order to keep our electricity bill lower we wash our clothes in cold water and hang them to dry as much as possible. We do this every day it is not raining. If there is rain forecast for a specific day I will make every effort to get the laundry done around that day so that there is never a need to use the dryer. At last check our electric bill had gone down by $40 per month by just this alone. As I thought about that lower bill I wandered around our home and came up with even more ideas to reduce the cost of electricity.

On a nice evening we will often barbeque rather than use the oven. We also utilize the microwave oven and the stove top. I don’t have exact numbers on how much this lowered the bill but it was enough for us to continue the trend. The kids really enjoy bar b quing and the family time we spend with it.

I noticed that the computers (4 in all) and the coffee pot were always plugged in or on. As were the various clock radios around the house. I did some research on the Internet and read that even though we are not using these appliances, they are still sucking up electricity. Those little LCD clocks on them are still displaying aren’t they? I unplugged them after that if they were not in use. I also unplugged anything else that I found not in use including the electric can opener.

No one likes to wash dishes around here, but I hate running the dishwasher and using so much hot water and electricity. The solution? I only run the dishwasher when it is completely full (you’d be surprised how much you can get in there just by a simple rearrangement) and I use the economy setting and let them air dry. Again more savings.

In the summer I open the windows at night and take advantage of the cooler air. In the mornings when it starts to heat up outside I close the windows and shut any blinds that are on the sunny side of the house. I also utilize some ceiling fans and other fans to keep the cooler air circulating throughout the house. When it is over 90 outside we will still use the Air Conditioner but by utilizing these techniques our electric bill has dropped dramatically.

Though my family has a ways to go to be perfect energy savers, we are well on our way to great conservation. Our electric bill has been lowered by almost $100 per month over the last year. I wonder how much lower we can get it by simply paying attention to what we are doing as well as shutting off the lights when we leave the room.

The History Of Pencils

Pencil History: The Earliest Forms of Self Expression

Did you know that modern pencils owe it all to an ancient Roman writing instrument called a stylus? Scribes used this thin metal rod to leave a light, but readable mark on papyrus (an early form of paper). Other early styluses were made of lead, which is what we still call pencil cores, even though they actually are made of non-toxic graphite. But pencil history doesn’t stop there…

Graphite came into widespread use following the discovery of a large graphite deposit in Borrowdale, England in 1564. Appreciated for leaving a darker mark than lead, the mineral proved so soft and brittle that it required a holder. Originally, graphite sticks were wrapped in string. Later, the graphite was inserted into hollowed-out wooden sticks and, thus, the wood-cased pencil was born!

Nuremberg, Germany was the birthplace of the first mass-produced pencils in 1662. Spurred by Faber-Castell (established in 1761), Lyra, Steadtler and other companies, an active pencil industry developed throughout the 19th century industrial revolution.

Pencil History: America Expresses Itself

Early settlers depended on pencils from overseas until the war with England cut off imports. William Monroe, a Concord, Massachusetts cabinet-maker, is credited with making America’s first wood pencils in 1812. Another Concord native, famous author Henry David Thoreau, was also renowned for his pencil-making prowess.

Click here to learn more about famous pencil people through history.

The American pencil industry took off when The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company (now Dixon Ticonderoga) and more pencil manufacturers started getting into the act and, towards the end of the 19th century, New York and New Jersey hosted several factories established by prominent German pencil manufacturers, including Faber-Castell, Eberhard Faber, Eagle Pencil Company (later Berol) and General Pencil Company.

The first mass-produced pencils were natural and unpainted to show off high-quality wood casings. But, by the 1890s, many pencil manufacturers started painting pencils and imprinting them with brand names. There’s an interesting story behind how the familiar yellow pencil came to be.

Click here to find out why pencils are yellow.

Pencil History: Following the Wood

Early American pencils were made from Eastern Red Cedar, a strong, splinter-resistant wood that grew in Tennessee and other parts of the Southeastern United States. To be nearer to the source, Northern manufacturers migrated south and set up wood mills until, eventually, the greatest concentration of U.S. pencil manufacturers had established factories in Tennessee. To this day, U.S. producers are primarily concentrated in the South.

By the early 1900s, however, additional sources of wood were needed. Pencil manufacturers turned to California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, where they found Incense-cedar, a species that grew in abundance and made superior pencils. California Incense-cedar soon became the wood of choice for domestic and international pencil makers around the world.

To ensure the continued availability of Incense-cedar, forest workers have carefully managed the stands of trees, and timber companies have committed to harvesting Incense-cedar on a sustained-yield basis. “Sustained-yield” means that the annual growth of the forest is greater than the amount harvested from the forest. Forests managed on a sustained-yield basis are abundant and healthy, and will continue to provide wood for people and habitats for animals for generations to come.

Pencil History: A Global Industry

The history of the pencil industry includes a great number of important companies and brands from around the world. Many now have factories globally. Factors contributing to the challenging impact of globalization, resulting in a great shift of pencil production increasingly being concentrated in Asia over the past 20 years, include:
• The reduction of trade barriers
• The introduction of containerized shipments of goods overseas
• The comparative differences in raw material costs between countries
and the lower cost of transporting people and information around the world.

Awful Executions Through History

Political correctness reared its head in the 19th century, when the English parliament decided, in response to public demand, passed a law banning all public executions. One section of the public, however, was outraged, because a good execution, along with pies and pints of beer, had always made for a good outing. Many years earlier, when executions took place at Tyburn all the time, the busiest gallows in England had been made to accommodate 21 victims at once, and execution days drew enormous crowds

Taken to the Tyburn Tree, prisoners from Newgate jail, sited where the Old Bailey now stands, would all get scented gifts from the several thousand spectators on hand. aA final, free drink was provided at the Mason’s Arms public house, still open today. Hanging, however, was not the only method of execution, and some were far more grisly.


Being boiled alive was a quite legal and acceptable method of execution in 1531, when Henry VIII was king, his having passed the relevant law that very year. One man who suffered this awful fate was Richard Rouse, boiled alive at Smithfield market in April, 1532. He had been cook to the Bishop of Rochester, found guilty of killing a dozen people in ridiculously trying to poison his boss. Another killer to suffer this fate was maid-servant Margaret Davy, in 1542, for poisoning people she had lived with.

In 1685 the executioner of Charles II’s eldest son was Jack Ketch. Convicted of treason and sentenced to death, this poor man was subjected one of the most botched executions in recorded history.

From Wikipedia: “The king took the unusual step of allowing his nephew an audience, despite having no intention of extending a pardon to him. The prisoner unsuccessfully implored his mercy, and even offered to convert to Catholicism, but to no avail. He was beheaded by Jack Ketch on 15 July 1685, on Tower Hill. Shortly beforehand, Bishops Turner of Ely and Ken of Bath and Wells visited the condemned man to prepare him for eternity, but withheld the Eucharist as he refused to acknowledge that either his rebellion or his relationship with Lady Wentworth had been sinful. It is said that before laying his head to the block Monmouth specifically bade Ketch finish him at one blow, saying he had mauled others before. Disconcerted, Ketch did indeed inflict multiple blows with his axe, the prisoner rising up reproachfully the while – a ghastly sight that shocked the witnesses, drawing forth execrations and groans. Some say a knife was at last employed to sever the head from the twitching body. Sources vary; some claim eight blows, the official Tower of London fact sheet says it took five blows, while Charles Spencer, in his book Blenheim, states it at seven.”

Bizarrely, history relates that the king, having no official portrait of his child, had the head sewn back onto the torso, so a sitting for such a royalportrait could take place.

French watchmaker Robert Hubert confessed to starting the Great Fire of London in 1666, for which he hanged from the Tyburn Tree. It is now known that he could not have committed the crime, not having even been in the city on the day of the fire. It is widely believed that this disabled man, who was mentally challenged, was the unwitting victim of an anti-Catholic conspiracy. Burning down even a single building, in those days, not to say over 13,000 of them, was punishable by death, remaining so through to 1861. It is now thought the confession was tortured from him.


The Scottish sailor who, through ill luck and misfortune turned to piracy, becoming known as the notorious Captain Kidd, was also to suffer an ignominious fate, when captured and put on trial in 1700. The whole case was a real sensation in the London society of the time, and it was felt that an example needed to be made. He was, as pirate tradition would have it, hanged from the yardarm at Wapping Stairs, where three tides were allowed to wash over the body before it spent twenty years hanging in chains at Tilbury docks.

Before 1772, wealthy people found guilty of capital crimes could elect to undergo ‘peine forte et dure’ , ‘hard and forceful punishment’ in French, which meant allowing themselves to be slowly squashed to death under a wooden board laden with heavy wieghts, suffering this hideous death because it was the only way they could avoid having their property confiscated by the Crown.

Roman Catholic Martyr St Margaret Clitherow, suffered this fate March 25, 1586, for harboring, at the time outlawed catholic priests. 15 minutes, beneath 700 pounds of dead wieght, was the time it took for her to die. Other victims of this cruel killing wereMajor Strangways , in1658, and John Weekes , in 1731, both of whom had refused to plead guilty, despite the torture, being killed by merciful onlookers, who sat on the boards to finish them off.

Henry, “Little Lord” Fauntleroy had the distinction of seeing the largest ever crowd for a public execution, on November 30th, 1824, outside Newgate to witness his slaying. 100,000 people were baying for his death. His crime had been to defraud the Bank of England in the sum of £250,000, the equivalent of perhaps £40 million today. The thing that really got the crowd incensed was his utter indifference to the way he had squandered the money, living a high life most could only ever dream of. Going cheerfully to meet his maker, he was the last person ever hanged in the UK for the crime of forgery. Some methods of execution, like the death oh a thousand cuts, shown below, were even more brutal, but the sad fact is that people always bay to watch. What perverse creatures humans are.

Powerful Native American Animal Symbols

The Native Americans lived in harmony with the earth and revered many creatures for their strength, courage, and hard work.

To the Native American People, the Creator is in all nature and this includes everything that lives. Their belief is that each of us must find our place within nature in order to live at peace. All creatures and plants in creation are considered to be equal, each fitting into the system according to its individual characteristics and abilities.

Animals and their totems represent a persons spirit guide, or helper in physical form. An excellent introduction to this interesting subject is provided in the book, ‘The Eagle’s Gift by Carlos Castenada’.

Some Native American animal symbols and their meanings:

Eagle


The Eagle is a symbol of the divine spirit, the protector of all things. It has the power to protect against evil, no matter how great that might be. When seen in the sky it was considered to be a sign that justice would be done in battle.

Spinning Lizard

The spinning lizard was a very popular Native American symbol and was used by the Navajo and other tribes. It is mostly seen in old designs from the South-West.

Spider

The spider was a symbol of success through handwork and perseverance. It is found in the artwork of most Native American tribes in all regions. Designs and colors vary greatly but one of the most common designs is the red and black spider seen on pottery and carved into wood.

Wolf

The wolf is a symbol of loyalty and success. This came from the fact that wolves mate for life. They are considered to be the most loyal of creatures. The plains Indians Tribes domesticated some wolves, to a degree. The animals became faithful and loyal to them and followed them as they went. These animals were quite closely interbred and this is where the lineage of the domestic dog began.

Buffalo

The buffalo was the most important of animals to the Native Americans. It gave them life by providing everything from clothing and shelter to food and tools. It was natural that it would revered and venerated because of the great gifts it bestowed on them.

Bear

The bear symbolizes great strength and leadership. The Blackfoot tribe selected two men each year to serve as “Grizzly Bear Men” . These men had to fight like bears and charge fearlessly at the enemy.

Turtle

Tribal legend has it that the turtle enabled the second people to be born on the earth and that he carried a piece of the old earth on his back to make this possible. This is an almost universal symbol among Native American Tribes.

‘When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.’

~Cree Prophecy

Saucy Seaside Postcards

A stay at a British holiday resort always involved a look at the postcard racks outside the shops that lined the seafront.

As a young lad the scantily clad women on the cards were eye opening and as a slightly older young lad, the innuendoes were well worth a titter behind the card rack. Of course you didn’t pick one of those to buy, not in front of mum and dad; you chose a nice view of the resort. Then you took it back to where you were staying to write out to send to your friend back home.

If you were feeling kind, the message usually was “Having a nice time, wish you were here.” However if you were that way out, and wanted to remind him that he wasn’t on holiday while you were then it would be, “Having a fantastic time. Wish you were here?”

By the time you were into your teens then inevitably you’d be bold enough to pick and send one of the saucy ones.

During the holiday season I’m sure delivering the mail gave the postman a bit of a giggle.

The Benny Hill type humour reflected British humour that was popular in the late fifties, sixties and seventies and seen in the popular “Carry On” series of films.

They usually contained buxom women, hen pecked husbands and “courting” couples, and always the innuendo or double entendre.

The postcard first appeared in the mid nineteenth century.

In “A brief history of the picture postcard” by Judith & Stephen Holder (FRPS) they write:  “The creation of the postcard by Dr Emanuel Hermann in Austria on 1 October 1869 set in motion a revolution in the communication of the ordinary message of no especial importance, the private note, the mundane or jolly remark, the ‘wish you were here’ – indeed any short note for which no real ’security’ was required.

Almost all the main developments in the artistic designs of Postcard art originated on the continent, in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. The two main exceptions which developed in Great Britain were the Comic card and to some extent the Real Photograph cards of social, industrial and village history.”

Jonathan Duffy (BBC News Online) quotes from a book by Collector Tom Phillips.

“They were classless, and the limited space was a blessing to those with poor spelling or without much to say. “

In an essay in 1941, the renowned author George Orwell wrote:

“Who does not know the ‘comics’ of the cheap stationers’ windows, the penny or twopenny coloured post cards with their endless succession of fat women in tight bathing-dresses and their crude drawing and unbearable colours, chiefly hedge-sparrow’s-egg tint and Post Office red?”

“In general, however, they are not witty, but humorous, and it must be said for McGill’s post cards, in particular, that the drawing is often a good deal funnier than the joke beneath it.”

Donald McGill ,was one of several notable illustrators, who among others included Tom Browne, John Hassall, Bruce Bairnsfather and Alfred Lees.  Unfortunately for McGill he was the unlucky one.

In the 1950’s there was a public morals backlash and Watch Committees were set up in seaside resorts. This led to the 81 year old McGill being prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857, and several of his cards being destroyed.

These are some of them:






They seem somewhat tame by today’s standards. It was enough however to cause confusion to the shop owners selling them and to cause several printers to cease trading.

After a couple of years this “do-gooder” attitude subsided and the illustrators and printers were back in business.

How are postcards faring in today’s “techno” climate?

In a recent survey the broadcaster ITV said that the number of postcards sent has dropped by 75 per cent. It showed that 67 per cent of those surveyed used emails or photos while on holiday, to keep in touch with family and friends.

And Donald McGill?

In 1994 the Royal Mail brought out a set of commemorative stamps featuring McGill’s postcards.


So Mr. McGill eventually had the last laugh.

Self portrait of Donald McGill.

10 Signs a Spirit Uses to Communicate with You

  1. Lights Flickering

    This is one of the most common signs. Spirits have the ability to interfere with light and electricity just because they are pure energy. I’m not saying that EVERY single time a light bulb flickers at home means that a spirit is around you, but if you check the bulb or the switch and everything seems to be fine and you can’t find an explainable reason, then is very possible there’s a spirit around you.

  2. Appliances Turning On and Off

    Again, the spirits are pure energy and they can manipulate electronic appliances as well, such as the TV, radio, microwave oven, etc. Most of the times they want to make you aware that they’re there and want your attention. If your TV turns on for no apparent reason, try to decode the reason behind it…what show or channel is on? Is it perhaps the favorite show your grandfather used to watch before passing away? Is the radio playing your grandma’s favorite old song?

  3. Chills or Cold Spots

    Sometimes you are in your room, reading a book or chatting online, and suddenly, you feel an awkward chill on the back of your neck, or you get sudden goose bumps through your arms even though is 70o. Degrees. Most of the people have experienced something similar at least once in their lifetimes and the reason of these phenomena is that spirits do not release heat because in fact they absorb it. As everybody knows, heat is energy in movement, and when spirits absorb it they leave a cold spot instead. They use that energy to move and perhaps, to turn on your TV.

  4. Dreams

    Perhaps this is the universal media through which spirits send you messages. But how do you know if that dream about you and your death relative was a real conversation or just the product of your subconscious? In fact, there are a few characteristics you should analyze after having a spiritual dream: It should be vivid
    It should be in color, not black and white or grayish
    It should be chronological or at least with a logical sequence It should have some sort of message with words, telepathy, or physical
    It should have left you confused, happy, peaceful or even fearful

  5. The Feeling of Being Watched

    A lot of us have felt this one! All of us have the ability to pick up spiritual energy once in while, especially when we are relaxed. You may ask, how to tell if this feeling is real or just a suggestive fear? Just ask yourself: Am I feeling this because I don’t like to be alone? Or is it because I recently watched something scary on TV? Remember that our mind play tricks on us very often. If the feeling of being watched came out of the blue, while you were singing, reading a book or just concentrated in something totally unrelated, then be sure that you are not alone!

  6. Voices

    A lot of times people have heard voices calling their names, laughing or chatter. This is very possible but very rare. Indeed, when people hear this voices in an unexplainable circumstance, they attribute them to ghosts. In this case let me make a distinction between a ghost and a spirit. A ghost is an entity that hasn’t cross over to the other side, while a spirit has done so. A spirit can come to the earth to visit relatives and gives us messages, which can also be heard through our ears, but as I said, these cases are rare. On the other hand, a ghost doesn’t know is dead or they can’t cross over because of unfinished business, and they can also try to communicate with you in a rather disturbing manner.

  7. Symbols

    Unfortunately this is the sign we pay less attention to. Spirits try to communicate with us in every unimaginable manner, and by using symbols they are sending us a message without scaring us. Have you ever seen a flying bird that suddenly reminds you of a friend you lost in your childhood? Or perhaps, you found an exact copy of a book at the bookstore that your grandmother used to read to you? What about that toy you thought was lost that your father gave you one Christmas? All of these are examples of symbols our spirits use to let us know… Hey, I’m watching over you!

  8. Scents

    This is another sign that can be confusing. We always keep memories about how our deceased relatives used to smell, perhaps of a distinctive colony or perfume they liked, or even because of a specific activity they performed. I’ve heard many stories where people are doing something and suddenly they smell that particular perfume, or cigarette odor. If your death relative used to work with cars and out of the blue you smell car oil, don’t be scared and say hi!

  9. Moving objects

    Spirits can have the energy to move an object in front of our eyes. However this is rather rare since they don’t want to scare us. This phenomenon is more attributed to ghosts. But many times spirits will do so if they have something important to tell us, especially if we are experiencing a rough time in our lives. Even though you may not see the actual movement, things can appear in different places the next morning or disappear from it usual location. Think about the actual meaning of that object to you, and how can it relate to your deceased relative.

  10. Apparitions

    Apparitions can be really scary, especially because of the context how movies portray them. Spirits don’t want to scare us, but sometimes they’ll appear to us to give us peace. When we see people we don’t know, there can be two possible explanations. It is a ghost or it is an angel, but that’s another story. Ghosts usually appear to scare us or at least to let us know they’re there. Angels appear to us to protect us. When a death relative appears to you, don’t be scared and try to talk to him/her. But don’t worry, since this sign is the rarest, rest assured that you won’t see a complete apparition, however don’t underestimate those “corner of the eye shadows”, because most of the times, it wasn’t your imagination.

Assorted End of The World Prophecies and Theories Reviewed

There are many predictions according to which on 21st December 2012 the world will end. This date is supposed to mark the end of a cycle of the Mesoamerican long count calendar which is claimed to be almost a 5125 years old cycle. Some people translate the significance of this date differently and say this date will mark the beginning of some changes and transformations. They think that Earth and its inhabitants will go through positive spiritual and physical evolution. This date is pretty much open to different interpretations, some say it will mark the end of the world others say it will mark a fresh start.
There are several concepts about how the end of the world will occur. Some advocate the concept that a plant called ‘Planet X’ or Niburu will collide with the Earth and will destroy the Earth and therefore cause the end of the planet. Originally this event was forecast to happen in the year 2003 but was then ignored because it did not occur in 2003. By the year 2012 the activity of sun is also predicted to increase. The sunspots might increase which will cause a serious rise in the temperature of the Earth’s surface. Nostradamus, who was a very famous clairvoyant, also foretold that the end of the planet will happen in December 2012. Lots of Nostradamus’s predictions have been proven right till now and plenty still have not occurred.

An Indian Guru, Guru Kaliki Bhagavan has promoted throughout the country that 2012 will be the end of the Kal Yug. Kal is AKA the degenerate age. Thousands of people accept that Guru Kalki Bhagavan is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He has said that in 2012 the human species will be enlightened spiritually.

The magnetic poles of Earth are shifting continuously. It has been recorded that the North Pole is shifting towards Siberia. Due to this shifting of the magnetic poles severe changes in climate are happening. The shifting of the magnetic poles is causing in the magnetic flux which in its turn is also causing the liquefying of ice caps. The melting of ice caps is normally accredited to only global temperature increases but the change in magnetic flux is one more reason which is causing the ice to melt. The changing magnetic flux is also causing a large amount of magma activity. This magma activity is causing the motion of tectonic plates which is increasing the frequency of quakes. The Bible scriptures say that a war will happen in the middle east and something will occur which will melt the flesh. This may be translated to be a holocaust due to a nuclear bomb. Also in the Book of Revelation it is written that mountains will become valleys and valleys will become mountains. Conditions of serious cold will triumph and there’ll be starvation.

These days there are a number of catastrophes all around the globe. There are famines and droughts all over. These events can be regarded as a sign of the end of the planet which is coming.

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler

The 2008 Tom Cruise movie “Valkrie” tells a story on how a military conspirational group led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planned to assassinate German dictator and fascist Adolf Hitler. This attempt was not the first plot to kill Hitler. Here are some of the most notable plots.

The 2008 Tom Cruise movie “Valkrie” tells a story on how a military conspirational group led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planned to assassinate German dictator and fascist Adolf Hitler. This attempt was not the first plot to kill Hitler. According to National Geographic, there were 42 discovered plots to kill Hitler and none was successful. Here are some of the most notable plots.

Maurice Bavaud (Munich, 9th November 1938)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Maurice Bavaud

 
Being a Swiss Roman Chatolic citizen and having attended Saint Ilan Seminary in Brittany France, Bavaud believed that Hitler was a thread to mankind and most importantly to Chatolic church in Switzerland and Germany. Bavaud became obsessed with the idea of killing Hitler and planned to do the assassination himself.

Bavaud planned to shot Hitler when marching in a parade called “Reichskristallnactht” in the city of Munich on 9th November 1938 . By posing as a Swiss reporter, Bavaud managed to get a VIP seat. Unexpectedly, Hitler changed his marching position to the far end of the street instead of in the middle. Bavaud tried to pull out his gun from inside his pocket but just when Hitler marched past him, the entire bystander reached out their arms for the Hittler’s salute, thus hindering Bavaud from taking the shot. But even if he made the shot, it would have failed anyway since the distance between him and Hitler was too wide to make the shot deadly.

After his first failure, Bavaud tried to follow Hittler’s move in order to get close enough to him. His attempts were never successful. Finally he ran out of money and took a train trip to Paris without buying ticket. The conductor turned him over to the police. Upon the discovery of the gun amongst Bavaud’s belonging, the police turned him over to the Gestapo. Swiss government had done nothing to save him. On 14th May 1941, Bavaud was beheaded by guillotine.

 Georg Elser, (Burberbraukeller, Munich, 8th November 1939)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Georg Elser

Image via DamnInteresting

Elser was a German citizen who was afraid that Hitler would bring devastation to Germany. He had no religious motive, instead he mainly concerned about labour issues. Elser despised restricted worker’s freedom, poor working condition and low wages. His skill as carpenter and previous working experience in a watch factory gave him the ability to build a wooden time bomb.

Elser planned to assassinate Hitler when giving annual speech in Burberbraukeller, a large beer hall in Munich, which was one of the gathering places of Nazi Party. Elser got this idea when he was attending the 1938’s Nazi gathering in that place and noted that the event was poorly guarded. In November 1938 Elser came to Munich and managed to stay inside Burberbraukeller. Every night he crawled into a hollow space behind a column where Hitler would give his speech. His bomb was so carefully made. Until today it is still consider a work of art. On 5th November 1939, the 50 kg bomb was completely installed. Elser set the bomb to explode at 21.20 on 8 November 1839.

Unexpectedly, in the last moment, Hitler decided to take late night train to get back to Berlin as Munich Airport was closed due to bad weather. Consequently he had to end his speech at 21.07. Thirteen minutes earlier than anticipated. At exactly 21.20 the bomb exploded killing 8 people and injuring more than 60 others. Elser’s assassination plan that would have changed history was failed. At the time of explosion, Elser was already on his way to Switzerland. He was arrested by the police when trying to cross the border. Elser was transferred to Munich and interrogated by Gestapo. He finally confessed. He was shot to death in 1945 only three weeks before the end of war in Dachau concentration camp.

Polish Army (Warsaw 5th October 1939)

In September 1939 Hitler’s troops invaded Poland. Polish Army, however, managed to continue their underground activity during the war. The underground army planned to assassinate Hitler during a Victory parade in Warsaw by planting a bomb in Square Charles de Gaulles. The bomb failed to explode.

Soviet Inteligence (1940s)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Olga Checkova

Image source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Chekhova

The soviet recruited Olga Checkova, a Russian-born actress who fled to and gain recognition in Berlin, as spy. Checkova was recruited due to her good relationship with Hitler. Soviet intelligence asked Checkova to introduce Hitler to two assassins. The plan was abandoned when the Russian started to win the war.

Foxley Operation (1944)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Hitler’s Berghof.

Image source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghof_(Hitler)

British Government through its Special Operation Executive (SOE) also planned to assassinate Hitler. The SOE first planned to put bombs in train that Hitler travelled in. This plan was abandoned because Hitler’s train schedule was never predictable and too irregular. The second plan was to poison Hitler’s food and beverage while he was travelling by train. Once again, this plan was abandoned as the SOE would require an inside man. The third plan which was considered the most acceptable was to assign a sniper to shot Hitler.

From a prisoner of war who had been part of Hitler’s security guard, the SOE obtained information of Hitler activities at the Berghof, a vocational place regularly visited by Hitler. It was revealed that at 10 AM everyday, Hitler would take his private walk around the woods, unguarded and out of sight of sentry posts. A Nazi flag visible from a nearby café was put up every time Hitler was there. The SOE planned to send 2 men wearing a German uniform by parachute into the area surrounding the compound.

Although Churhill favored the plan, not all SOE’s executive supported it. Many still believed that with the war almost over, it would not be a good idea to assassinate Hitler. Killing Hitler would make him sort of a martyr to some Germans and Nazism would probably live on. No decision was reached and the plan was never executed.

Henning Von Tresckow (1941 – 1944)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Henning Von Tresckow

Image source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henning_von_Tresckow

Tresckow came from a Prussian noble family with long military tradition. He didn’t like the cruelty shown by Hitler’s regime in particular when Hitler started the mass shooting towards Jewish woman and children. Tresckow made numerous attempts to kill Hitler from 1941 – 1944.

In August 1941, Tresckow and his cousin Schlabrendroff planned to kidnap Hitler when travelling to Heeresgruppe Mitte. The plan failed because of high security. On March 1943 Tresckow concealed a plastic bomb in a package purportedly contained cognac bottles and tried to place it in Hitler’s Condor plane. The bomb failed to explode because the luggage compartment where the package was located was not heated. The low temperature had prevented the bomb from detonating. Schlabrendroff retrieved the package from the plane to prevent the discovery of the plot. A week after this failed plot, Tresckow made another attempt to blow Hitler. This time, the execution of the plan was on the hand of Gersdorff, Tresckow’s friend and ally.

Rudolf von Gersdorff (March 1943)

Gersdorff intended to do a suicide bombing. He carried 8 ounces C2 bomb and hide it in his pocket. He was a tour guide when Hitler visited Zeughaus Berlin to inspect Soviet captured weapons. His plan was to throw himself around Hitler after Hitler made his speech and blew the bomb that would surely kill them both. The bomb was set to explode within 10 minutes after the detonator was activated. Unexpectedly, Hitler ended the tour sooner than expected. Probably because he felt Gersdorff,s anxiety. Gersdorff managed to diffuse the bomb in a public lavatory. He evaded suspicion and become one of few German Military anti Hitler plotter who survive the war.

Claus Von Stauffenberg (20 July 1944)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Claus Von Stauffenberg

Image source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henning_von_Tresckow
Born into an aristocrat Catholic family; Stauffenberg felt uneasy towards Hitler’s ill-treatment of Jews. Finally, his personal sense of justice and religious morality made him turn against Hitler.

Stauffenberg named his assassination plan “Valkrie Operation”. This is perhaps the most famous plot to kill Hitler. Stauffenberg planned to conceal two bombs in a briefcase and put it in the briefing room in Wolfsschanze, one of Nazi’s Headquarters, when Hitler held a meeting there on 20 July 1944.Because there was not enough time to arm the second bomb before the meeting began, only one bomb was successfully carried into the briefing room. Stauffenberg placed the briefcase as close as possible to Hittler and hurriedly excused himself. Unexpectedly, after his exit from the room, Colonel Brandt moved the briefcase away from its intended position.

The bomb exploded. Stauffenberg watched the explosion and convinced himself that no one could have survived the blast. He was wrong. He was in Berlin to initiate a military coup against Nazi’s leaders when he heard the news that Hitler suffered only minor injury. Scientist believes that the existence of windows on the walls of the meeting room had reduced the power of explosion. Moreover, the wrong placement of the bomb caused a heavy and solid oak conference table to form a shield that protected Hitler. Modern computer simulation shows that if only the second bomb were also used, the blast would have killed Hitler. Stauffenberg was shot to death.

Besides the above attempt, there are still numerous plots to kill Hitler, from bombing to poisoning. Although all have failed, it shows the world that not all German citizens or their military supported Hitler’s conduct and ideology.

Top 3 World’s Most Expensive Beer

    1. 1. Vielle Bon Secours:

      This tops the list of the world’s most expensive beer, costing around £500 (equivalent to around $1,000) per bottle or about £39 (equivalent to around $78) per pint. It can only be found in a bar called the Bierdrome in London.

 

  1. 2. Samuel Adams’ Utopias:

    This beer is brewed by the Boston Beer Company, using the brand name of Samuel Adam’s Utopias, named after one of the founding fathers of the USA. This comes second in the list of the world’s most expensive beer which costs around $100 per bottle (24 oz) or about $67 per pint, sold in copper bottles resembling the copper brewing kettles which are used by brewers for hundreds of years.

    Top 3 World’s Most Expensive Beer

    The alcohol content is 25%, making it the strongest beer in the world (listed in the Guinness Book of Records). The process of making this beverage can take up to 12 years, giving it the unique and rich flavors. It is said that the production was limited to 8,000 bottles per year.

  2. 3. Tutankhamen Brew:


    The recipe of this brew is prepared according to the recipe and brewing method discovered by a team of University of Cambridge archaeologists/Egyptologists in the Queen Nefertiti’s Temple of the Sun in Egypt. The brewery found in the corner of the said temple is believed to have been built by King Akhenaton who is King Tutankhamen’s father. This is also the place where King Akhenaton queen, Nefertiti worshiped.

     

    The archaeologists sought expert advice from Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, Edinburgh and the beer is brewed in the Cambridge laboratory, costing around $52 per bottle. The production is also limited and the edition is also numbered.

10 Signs You are Dating a Narcissist

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Narcissis, as many know, was the legendary character who fell in love with his own reflection. A narcissist is someone who, usually due to childhood trauma or over-doting parents, has become obsessed with himself. Some cases are so severe that the person becomes disconnected from reality and fails to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with other people.

I had a few indications that the guy I was dating was pretty self-centered, but frankly I didn’t think about it much. Then one day, I was at his house, standing beside him in the kitchen, and he was putting butter on a roll. He turned to walk away, taking a bite out of the roll, and left me standing there. At that time, we had only been dating a couple of months.

A big red flag went up. To me, it seemed abnormal to prepare the roll and eat it, while offering me nothing. This might not seem like a big deal, but it was combined with a couple of other things that gave me the first inkling that I was dating a narcissist.

My family is rife with narcissists, so I grew up thinking selfish behavior was normal. To this day (despite years of therapy) I display a high tolerance for self-centered people. As a result, I attract these relationships like a pair of black pants attracts cat hair.

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Lack of Empathy

Because a narcissist is, by definition, someone who is completely self-involved, he has little or no ability to perceive how someone else is feeling. Worse, when feelings are explained to him, he doesn’t care. It’s his feelings that matter. Understandably, this opens a Pandora’s Box of problems within relationships.

Social Ineptitude

Some narcissists can’t pay attention to what others are saying. My most recent one had a habit of walking away in the middle of a conversation, or lapsing off to watch T.V. while someone was talking to him. If I had anything to say to him, I always had to be careful there were no electronic distractions, such as T.V., radio, etc. I had the best luck with keeping my statements succinct. At a party, he would project his own thoughts, but never asked questions of others. As a result there was no give and take. “The conversation,” my brother said after meeting him the second time, “falls flat.”

Despite this, a narcissist is not necessarily a jackass in public. In fact, many of them have a meek and likeable public persona. This makes it very difficult to explain to others about the self-centered evil that lies within them. In fact, the duplicity can be so extreme that you can begin to question your own sanity. The narcissist, as one person put it, can seem, “like a werewolf”.

Delusions of Grandeur

 I attended a parade with a narci once, and he told me that he could picture himself being Grand Marshal one day. He hadn’t done anything remotely close to earning this honor, but he wasn’t kidding. Does your date exaggerate his achievements and accomplishments? Does he seem to build himself up? This is a common trait in Narci. If you feel he could use a big dose of humility, then this is one thing to watch for.

Requires Excessive Admiration

Narci is often quite good at fishing for compliments, and finding ways to get respect and admiration from those around him. Beware though, of a lack of reciprocity, which is mentioned below (see #10).

Sense of Entitlement

Whether it’s the best seat in a restaurant or the biggest slice of pie, Narci requires special treatment, and feels he deserves it. There may not seem to be any rational reason for why he should be first in line — he just always expects to be.

Preoccupied With Fantasies

Everyone has dreams. But Narci is obsessed with his own inner world. He has visions of unlimited success, power, brilliance or ideal love. He may engage you in the beginning, thinking you will help him fulfill these fantasies. As soon as he realizes you are flesh and blood, you become, basically, dog meat.

Exploitative

Narci has no hesitation about exploiting and manipulating the talents of others. Is there something he wants from you? Then he is probably being nice to you — for the time being.

Center of the Universe

Narci maintains an attitude that demonstrates the world revolves around him; and you must cater to his ideas, needs and desires. Most of us are happy to oblige someone these things. But Narci will keep taking from you without filling your well. And be forewarned, when the well runs dry, he will have no more use for you.

Withholding – Controlling

If a narcissist finds out what you like, he is sure to take it away from you. For instance, I told my most recent narci that I love going to the movies. Guess what happened? We never attended another one. I suspect this is more a “dog in the manger” thing than intentional cruelty. The narcissist does not want to be mean, necessarily. He just wants the world to revolve around him and his desires, his activities. If it is something you want, it isn’t something he wants, and therefore not worth his time.

Doesn’t Reciprocate

If you have made the horrible mistake of telling a narcissist you love him, beware. You will be punished. Because he is actually filled with self-loathing, Narci has contempt for those who love him.

This can be especially tough for people who have a generous nature. I like telling people I love them, and the compulsion is very strong when I feel that way. But the nicer and more generous you are to a narcissist, the more you will be rebuked. In this confusing and haphazard existence, a narcissist behaves best with those who set limits on him. Do not show any sign of vulnerability, because that gives him license for contempt.

You will find that none of your needs are met. You will receive no appreciation or gratitude for anything you do. You will never receive a compliment. You are a tool, a pawn, an object. Narcissus is not capable of any generosity of spirit. Sadly, he is incapable of the type of introspection necessary for change.

The bad news is, narcissists don’t change. Narci is stuck in his own universe, and his reality is completely different from ours. He is doomed to remain forever gazing at his own reflection, loving — and hating — only himself. Don’t hate the narcissist for being what he is. Educating him is fruitless because he simply lacks the capacity for self-examination. If anything, he deserves pity.

The good news is, because you have asked the question, you have the ability to save yourself. My advice is, “Run for your life!” Life is too short to be sacrificed for someone who won’t ever — who can’t ever — appreciate you.  Move on to better and brighter things.

Tiananmen Square 2

A Moral Fight to an Unreasonable End.

In 1989, the people of China were fighting the injustice of their communist government in Tiananmen Square. Their rights were being oppressed and they wanted the ability to run their own lives. The students at the protest had elected representatives to speak up against their communist leader. They wanted China to accept the reforms they protested for, but more than that they wanted the rest of the world to realize that China’s communist government was ruining the country. The protestors of Tiananmen Square used reasonable means of protesting to gain the rights that they did not have because they were never trying to harm anybody in their process of achieving freedom. To gain these liberties, the people protested together at Tiananmen Square, wrote petitions against the government, and went on a hunger strike.

The first way that the college students of China protested against their government was by gathering at Tiananmen Square. First, in April 17, 10,000 students had met up at Tiananmen Square to protest. This shows that so many people of China wanted a change in government and that the government was ruling unfairly. They were not trying to harm anybody by gathering together. They were only there to mourn for the death of Hu Yaobang and to protest for a democracy. Also, these students began to sing hymns that had lyrics that fought communism and promoted democracy. This portrays the fact that the people were so propelled by their beliefs of a need for democracy that they were compelled to sing out their feelings for a new government. Once again, they were not trying to kill anybody with their singing. They were only trying to let out their emotions to the world to let others know what they desired. Finally, the students carved out a giant statue that stood for liberty and democracy. This reinforces the fact that they wanted a democratic government because they were trying to mimic the Statue of Liberty to get the rest of the world and the US to notice their plea for a fair government. In the end, the government did notice their protesting, but the people of China did not gain anything out of it. They were only massacred later on for their insolence and betrayal against the government even though the students had not tried to harm anybody.

The second thing the students did was to make petitions and posters to protest against the government. Petitions are a moral way to call against the injustice of a nation because nobody is harmed in doing so. First, on the first day of the gathering at Tiananmen Square, the students immediately began to make a petition of demands that they wanted. It was a way to get the world to realize that so many people wanted a change in government. Second, the students began making posters and banners that called for freedom, democracy, and enlightenment. They hung them up on the imitation Statue of Liberty to attract the attention of the government. They also wanted the people of the world to see those banners and realize how badly the people of China wanted a democracy. Finally, on May 9, the students petitioned for the freedom to report the protest to the world. They wanted to tell everybody that the government was oppressing them. None these tactics worked because they angered the government and ended up being slaughtered in their own protesting grounds.

Finally, the students that were protesting went on a hunger strike. On May 13, the students began a hunger strike in order to get the government to meet with them. In a sense this was an unmoral tactic to force the government to notice them because they were risking human lives, but the end justifies the means and their reason for a hunger strike was moral. Then on May 14, the students were allowed to talk to the government leaders because the hunger strike convinced the government to talk with them. Unfortunately the negotiations failed and the students were left with nothing. They had a chance to make changes to China, but a stubborn Communist Government prevented them from doing so. Finally in May 18, Li Peng tried to stop the students from their strike, but the students won’t stop their protesting and the government prepared for martial law. The length of the hunger strike most definitely forced the government to take extreme means to stop the strike. After all, if the government let the people die from starving themselves, the international press would print bad reviews on China to the rest of the world. This means that the people of China brought the massacre upon themselves when they tried to protest by the means of a hunger strike.

The student protestors at Tiananmen Square were never trying to harm the government from the start because that would not have solved anything and that means that the protestors’ tactics of fighting for their cause was just. All three of their tactics to protest against their government were moral, but going on a hunger strike brought about their protest’s failure. The government could not afford the deaths of human lives that they would not be able to cover up later, so their final resort was to use martial law. Although the protestors used just ways of fighting, the government they were fighting only did whatever it could to stop the protesting.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Chinoy, Mike. “Two Decades in the Heart of the Dragon: China Live.”

This book told me that on the students sang hymns to try to protest for a democracy (185), and that on April 17 the students began their petition of demands for the changes they wanted in their government (188). Also it told me that on May 9, the students tried to petition for the freedom to report about the protest to the world. And finally, it said that the students made posters and banners that had freedom, democracy, and enlightenment written on them (190).

Peng, Li. “Li Peng and Others Meet Representatives of the Fasting Students.” Tiananmen Chronology. 18 Dec. 2008 .

This site told me about all 3 of the specific examples on the tactic of hunger strike. It said that the people began a protest on May 13 to try to meet the government, that on May 14 the students talked to the government, and on May 18, Li Peng tried to stop the students’ hunger strike.

Secondary Sources

“‘History written in Blood.’” Hong Kong Alliance. 18 Dec. 2008 .

This site told me that on April 17, ten thousand students had gathered at Tiananmen Square to protest and that by April 18, there were tens of thousands of students there. Also, it told me that they had made an imitation Statue of Liberty to protest against their communist government.

Best Evidence for The Ancient Astronaut or Ancient Alien Theory

Do you believe in the Ancient Astronaut or sometimes called the Ancient Alien theory?  For anybody unfamiliar with this theory; it basically states that beings (aliens) came to Earth in the ancient past to help shape our society and brought us civilization as we know it today.  Humans that came into contact or witnessed these beings believed them to be Gods and ended up passing stories down every generation concerning the Gods from the sky.

So, do people seriously believe in this theory?  And what and where is the best evidence?  Ever since Eric Von Daniken’s book Chariots of the Gods was published almost 40 years ago, there have been hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of people that really believe that at some point in our past we have been visited.  Von Daniken and many other authors have continued to write about these ancient astronauts and their books are always top sellers.  Even the History Channel has a 5 part series (possibly could go to 8 parts when finished) about Ancient Aliens coming to Earth.  So that sums up the popularity of the theory with the public but what about the evidence?  There are tons of things that people bring up as evidence for this theory but I am going to focus on some of the more popular ones here.  Below is a list of the best evidence so far with this theory………

1.)    Nazca Lines – Pictographs of living animals (even people) and insects, straight lines, and plants.  All of these pictographs can only be seen from flying over them. There even appears to be a runway.  Possibly for beings in spaceships?

2.)    Mahabharata and Ramyana – Ancient Indian Epics (poems) that talk about a great battle with men in flying machines and large powerful weapons.  Written over 2000 years ago.  Are they just a good story or did they witness something in the sky back then?

3.)    Ancient buildings and the construction of them.  Questions still remain on structures such as Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid and many South and Latin American sites on how they were built.  Many of these sites have proven to be as precise or even better than what we can do today. Seen below is PumaPunku.  Did these beings show us how to do this?

4.)    Small gold figurines found that closely resemble modern day aircraft.  Once again were these toys or someone’s imagination or possibly aircraft that these ancient people were witnessing?

5.)    Legends in every religion in the world describing Gods or holy people in flying machines, miraculous technology, and beings coming from the Sky.  Was it God or aliens though?

6.)    Cave art in Italy and Australia and others around the world that closely resembles a person with a suit on similar to what our modern astronauts wear.  Did these ancient people witness these beings from space in spacesuits?

7.)    Pictures in Egyptian hieroglyphics with what appears to be a helicopter, a plane, a rocket and even a light bulb.  How much technology did the Egyptians actually have and where did they learn it from?

So, there you have some of the best evidence to support the Ancient Astronaut theory.  I know this list is not complete and I could list many more things that support this theory but this does give you the general things that people look for to support it.  So, what is your decision on the theory?  One thing is for certain and that is, no matter if the theory is true or not, it has certainly caught everyone’s attention and will continue to be a hot topic for years to come……..

A Giant Awakes in Nantes

Nantes, the home town of Jules Verne, is situated in western France.  Here, near the river Loire a giant deep-sea diver sleeps gently, waiting for his task to begin.  Sadness marks his face even as he sleeps.  He has been searching the world over for his missing niece and although he may not know it, the end of his search is coming.  The diver or scaphandrier as he is known in French will be paraded through the streets of this historic city at the beginning of the Estuary 2009 arts festival.  The biannual festival gives the French mechanical marionette street theater company Royale de Luxe the opportunity to unveil their latest creation.

He wakes and his helmet is placed on his head by his human helpers. This would well be considered a little too high for many but the performers seem oblivious to the height.  Royale de Luxe was founded in 1979 and is actually based in Nantes, making this a return to the city that bore the company.  They have, however, performed all over the world, as far away as Chile and Australia.  You may remember the Sultan’s Elephant strolling through the streets of London in 2006.  An associate company, La Machine created last year’s spectacular ‘Princesse’ a massive visiting spider in Liverpool when in was European City of Culture.  Here, however, a giant returns home.

He rises, perhaps in the hope that his long quest will soon be over. The Giant, now equipped in deep sea diving gear and his little niece, the Little Giantess have featured in the works of the theatre company before.  However, they have been away for a while with some information about which the world had previously been unaware.  As with any Royale de Luxe performance there is a long and some would said drawn out back story.  In 1912 the Titanic went down to the bottom of the ocean.  Unknown to us, however, was that in its hold a giantess was held captive, the mother of the Little Giantess.

From a distance he looks small, but only if he were an ordinary person paying a visit to a Lego theme park.  As he steadies himself he can resume his long search.  The enormous diver is the scouring the earth for the Little Giantesse.  She was captured in Iceland which was at the time the home of the giants, each having his or her own particular task.  The Little Giantess was to wake up the geysers of Iceland when a message needed to be sent.  You may wonder what on earth geysers and messages have in common but little known to the outside world the geysers were used to transmit signals between the giants, much like the smoke signals of American natives.

The mechanics behind this piece of street art are staggering and more than a little scary.  How much the gentlemen forty meters above the ground are being paid is unknown but whatever it is, it is not enough.  But where does the deep-sea diver properly come in to the story?  He is the brother of the giantess who drowned on the Titanic.  Originally he had been busy doing his own job – sawing up icebergs – to realize that his sister and her daughter were missing.  His statistics are something extraordinary as well.  He stands at nine and a half meters and a width of almost three.  Weighing in at two and a half tones it takes thirty operators to control his movements.

In his past he has travelled the seabed for years and eventually he found the wreck of the Titanic.  He buried his sister near the sunken ship.  While there he discovered a mysterious box full of mail from the Titanic.  He now had two new goals in life – the task of finding his niece and to deliver the mail.  Since then he has wandered the earth in search of the Little Giantess.  Still wearing the diving outfit he used to search the bed of the ocean, this festival marks the end of his search.

The momentum of his stride is enough to pick up two grown men off their feet and dangle them through the air.  As with all of the Royale de Luxe open air spectacles little was given away before the day of the event, in this case Friday 5 June.  All anyone knew was that the giant would wake up at 1.30 in the afternoon on the Tblisi Deck of the town.  He made his way, astonishing the crowds on the way with his sheer scale.  He was forced to stop twice on his route, however, not far from the hospital.  However, a huge crowd waited for him at the Place Gloriette and he did eventually make it.

Will he ever find his niece? Well, tomorrow is another day, after all.  However, this spectacle represents altogether another wonderful performance by the massed ranks of Royale de Luxe and a wonderful start to the Estuary 2009 Festival in Nantes.

Postscript.  The good people of Nantes and the world had to wait until the day after to see whether or not the giant was reunited with his niece.  It seems, now that it has happened, only fair to share with you the end result of his epic search.  The picture below speaks for itself.

The author would like to thank Flickr user misterstf for permission to use the wonderful photographs contained in this article.

L’auteur voudrait remercier misterstf sur Flickr pour la permission d’employer les photographies merveilleuses contenues en cet article.

Defend the Constitution: Help End Discrimination Against Non-Theists

When he was a kid, one of my best friends joined the Boy Scouts of America. He was a model Scout for the duration of his membership, but that membership was suddenly revoked after about six months—not for misconduct or failure to complete program requirements, but because his Scout Master saw that he identified himself as agnostic on his Myspace.

Such discrimination against non-theists (people who don’t affirm the existence of gods) is surprisingly widespread in the U.S. Many organizations such as the Boy Scouts, who call themselves private even though they benefit from public funds, have discriminatory policies that bar non-theists from membership. According to former Eagle Scout Steve Cozza, “when they want to discriminate, they act as a private organization; when they want money or the use of publicly-funded buildings, venues, or property, they act as a public organization.” Worse than this is our theistic oath of office requirement for federal officials. Congressional representatives, military officers, and other federal employees are often forced to take an oath of office ending with the phrase “so help me God,” and this can prevent well-qualified candidates from serving–just for sticking to their principles. Yet perhaps the worst example of discrimination against nonbelievers is theism as qualification for holding public office being written into numerous state constitutions. The constitutions of South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Maryland, and other states contain clauses that exclude people who do not acknowledge the existence of God or a Supreme Being (phraseology varies) from holding office. In spite of the Supreme Court’s 1961 ruling that such clauses violate the federal Constitution, they are still used to deny those who are not monotheists (which includes those with polytheistic and atheistic religions, like paganism and Buddhism, respectively) the right to serve in state governments.

A dismaying number of Americans are unaware of this problem or just don’t care enough to do something about it, although there are many simple ways to help make it clear that such discriminative policies are both inconsistent with the Constitution and unacceptable to the American public and to help bring them to an end, such as:

  • Writing letters or emailing state and federal representatives about our concerns regarding such discrimination and calling on them to take legislative measures to prevent it and repeal iniquitous clauses.
  • Organizing rallies or petitions in support of equal opportunities for non-theists.
  • Joining organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union, or donating to such organizations, or simply taking action online by sending pre-fabricated emails to leaders and lawmakers through their websites.
  • Forming new organizations that promote tolerance and equity among theists and non-theists alike.
  • Sharing concerns about discriminatory policies with groups like the Boy Scouts, petitioning them to admit prospective members regardless of religion or lack thereof, or legally challenging them if rejected for beliefs or lack thereof.

If we all take decisive action, we can bring about the end of discrimination against nonbelievers and fulfillment of promises of U.S. Constitution, made in the First and Fourteenth Amendments. According to the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This implies the freedom to choose any religion or no religion. According to the Fourteenth Amendment, “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States… nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws.” This implies equal opportunities for all, theists and non-theists alike. Clearly, these promises have yet to be fulfilled. However, this can change–and it will, if the historical trend of human progress continues. But such progress is never achieved without effort.

Thus, I urge you all to join me and groups like the FFRF and ACLU in taking action to help end discrimination against non-theists. Hopefully, our collective actions will lead to the dawn of an era where people like my old friend, the would-be Boy Scout, will not have to fear persecution for not sharing the beliefs of the majority.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mesopotamia

These are some of the strangest facts involving the worlds first civilization!

1. Mesopotamian Religion did not believe in the after-life. They believed that all good and bad people go under-ground as ghosts and eat dirt.

2. Their religion also believed that they were servants of god. If you were to ask a person today why they are here they would say because god loves me. Back in Mesopotamia they would say to be a servant of the gods. Talk about population control!

3. Mesopotamia invented the wheel, plow, irrigation systems and the sailboat!

4. Priests would read the livers of chickens or lambs to see what the gods wanted for sacrifices.

5. Priests controlled the irrigation systems and also had more power than the king and queen!

6. Mesopotamia was the very first civilization.

7. The Mesopotamian king ordered the construction of the Hanging Gardens for his wife because she grew up in the mountains and was homesick!

8. Mesopotamia was made up of individual City-states controlled by different powers. They would eventually attack each other and end up under 1 ruler. The people would retaliate and go back to being city-states. This process was repeated many times.

9. Each City-state had its own god!

10. In the Mesopotamian religion there are 4 main gods of Earth, Water, Air and the Heavens. And there were 3,000 lesser gods and each represented an everyday item like a pickaxe. If you were mining and the pickaxe slipped and fell on your foot, the god of the pickaxe hated you!

So there you have it.  The Egyptians were not the only super interesting civilization in the ancient history.

Choice AND Life

by Athar Aamir Khan

Dear friends, I think for all of us life is something that we all relish, acknowledge and perhaps appreciate as well. Life as we know seems to have its own way of living. It hates monotony, and comes like a colourful dilemma, showing bursts of ups and downs, riches and rages, merry and worry and hyssop and hysteric. It often takes us just a moment to realise how every second of our lives relishes and screws us at the same time.

It seems difficult to understand why is it that we find no choice other than accepting life exactly the way it embraces us. Is it that we are really caught in the shackles of our own life or is it that we are only in the loquacity of some gab?

So, greater than life there is something else that we all are striving for and that is the life of choice. I don’t know about life of choice but I feel we definitely can think of choices in life. Our own perception and attitude often drives our senses in our choices.

Be it good or bad, we can acknowledge the possibilities in life and search for some merit in every new situation. Life itself is short; why not enjoy even diversions for the sake of some venture in life.

We need to accept that the grandiosities of today do not guarantee tomorrow’s success. It is just normal to react to unfavourable circumstances unfavourably. After all we are creatures of prejudices and have pre-conceived notions. Our greatest security itself lies in our insecurity.

It is very true that we always find our happiness and sadness buried in our desires but at the same time it is always in our hands to reshape our desires and make our lives self-satiated and the lives with choices.

Hope that we all break our own shackles and fly with the colours of life beyond all desires, means and ends.

The Mortuary Temple of The Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut

A thousand shades of sandy-brown. Only two miles from the Nile and all hint of green is gone. It is easy to see why the ancient Egyptians called the desiccated ground either side of their narrow fertile strip the Red Lands, from which our word ‘desert’ is said to derive. And since the sun set in the west the western desert was the land of the dead. Here, on the opposite side of the Niles from the great cities lie complexes of tombs and mortuary temples, none more spectacular than the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, the Pharaoh Queen.


View of the mortuary temple complex

Hatshepsut was one of the few female pharaohs, reigning for about 21 years up to 1458 BC, in the period of ancient Egypt known as the New Kingdom, the time when the Egyptian Empire grew to its greatest extent. A daughter of the old pharaoh Thutmose I by one of his main wives, she married one of her half brothers as his main wife, bolstering his claim to the throne (he was the son of the pharaoh by a minor wife). Her husband / half brother became Thutmose II but he soon died and his son by a lesser wife became the official pharaoh, Thutmose III, with his Hatshepsut as regent because he was still a child.

Hatshepsut seems to have become rather fond of power and soon styled herself pharaoh instead, holding onto the throne even when her son reached the age of majority. Apart from being one of the few female pharaohs, she is famous for sending a large trade expedition to the ‘Land of Punt,’ which brought back many different exotic goods, illustrated on the walls of the temple.

 

The inscriptions from her time aren’t detailed enough to say for definite where Punt was, but leading contenders are Somalia and Ethiopia, with Arabia as another possibility. What is definite is that during her time Egypt was rich and well connected in trade. Wall paintings of piles of goods make it clear what a variety there was to be had for those with the wealth.

 photo 2Hatshepsutboatpainting.jpg

Wall painting from the temple of piles of grave goods

Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple nestles at the bottom of the cliffs that separate the Nile valley from the high desert plateau beyond. It is built in a series of layers, each a large open square, leading up to the main buildings right up against the cliffs. These consists of a long central open corridor with statues of Hatshepsut in the form of the god Osiris and several individual temples to the side.

The main corridor, with statues of Hatshepsut in the form of the god Osiris

It was common for pharaohs, who claimed to be half divine by birth and to ascend to the divine when they died, to depict themselves in the form of gods. Nothing illustrates the quiet alien concepts of their religion and philosophy more than this. Imagine the fuss nowadays if a ruler depicted himself or herself in the form of a god!

One should remember that this is a mortuary temple and not a tomb. Hatshepsut was never buried here. This place was where she would have been prepared for burial and where, for years afterwards, priests would pray for her soul. The concept is similar to a medieval king dedicating a chapel and paying for a priest to sing masses for his soul after his death.

What is truly astonishing about the place is colour of the painted wall carvings, dulled only slightly by the passing of three and a half millennia. One moment, the centuries seem to lie lightly, the merest veil of fine Egyptian gauze separating now from then. The next, the full weight of all those years hits you, and you gasp with wonder.

Effective Pre-K and Kindergarten Classroom Management

Moving-Clip System: A Chart with Super Day (Happy Face) and Bad Day (Sad Face)

This is a great system to help the students regulate their own behavior. Each time when an individual student is mis-behaved, the teacher will ask him/her to move his/her clip down one level. The wall chart has 4 levels. Each student has his/her own clip with a name on it. They all start the day with the clips being placed on the top of the chart at the Super Day level (Happy Face). When each individual is being asked to move the clip when he/she mis-behaves, the clip goes down one level. They are given 4 chances during the day: from “Super Day” to “Good Day”, then to “OK Day” and the bottom is “Bad Day”.

If they ever move the clip in any given day, they are grounded and won’t be able to trade in the stars for a treasure chest toy even if they reach the 20-star reward level right on that day. But this system starts a brand new day each day, so they will still get the chance to go get a treasure chest toy if they don’t move the clip the following day. It is like your account has to be in good standing in order to receive the reward.

Image by author

Using Signals or Sign Language

The teacher has taught the class to use some hand signals for the need to use the bathroom and to go for a sip of water. The sign language of the letter “W” is for water, and “R” is for restroom. This way you can eliminate the students from talking to express their needs. Sometimes when one starts talking, the whole class can end up going out of control fairly quickly. This is an effective way to keep them quiet and yet not to ignore their demand.

Make Every Activity to be Associated with a Song

Create or find a song for clean-up, line-up, etc.  When the play time is finished, students are asked to put away the toys and to clean up the room and they use a clean-up song to engage with this activity. And when they need to line up, they will sing the line up song. In every action they do, they sing altogether and this actually allows them to get the job done quickly and smoothly.  I think music often works the wonder to help the kids to get motivated and to get their attention to follow through the entire process and you will get the end result from what it is needed to be done.

Take Time to Relax and Refresh with Music, So the Students Can Get Their Attention Back to Focus on the Teaching Again

One day I learned from our teacher, Mrs. Fristad, that there are times during the day in the class that you may find some students seem to start loosing their focus. Then you can start leading a song, let the students all stand up to stretch, to move around, jump and sing-along. After a short break like that, you can be sure to get their attention and focus back on track again. I learned a great deal from this. Dealing with young children, they easily loose their focus and their mind may just wander around. Singing together can let their steam out and they can then start to re-focus again. Learning can easily revolve around music. Students and the teacher all have fun together and this will boost up the spirits within the classroom and it goes a long way!

Here is a great example you may want to try:

Ancient Warriors: Nine Deadly Weapons Blast From the Past

Those ancient warriors may not have been the most subtle fighters around, but they they sure had some bad-ass weapons. I guess for the ancients, desperate times called for desperate measures, as you will see from these murderous military weapons.

  1. Triple Morning Star


    This Ancient Weapon known as the Mace comes from the Medieval Age. This weapon was very deadly and consisted of a wood or metal shaft with a mounted head of bronze, copper, wood, or steel. The mace was carried and used by both foot soldiers and Calvary men. Maces were very effective in battle and could puncture even the heaviest of armor. This was a barbaric weapon and left battlefields filled with torture and blood.

  2. Hawaiian Throwing Axe


    This Hawaiian Throwing Axe was a deadly hand held weapon that could be used at both short and long range. This weapon was made out of wood and shark teeth had the power to take men’s limbs off. This weapon was mainly used when opposing Hawaiian armies closed upon each other. They were then thrown at the opposing troops to help soften enemy ranks before close combat. They could also be used in hand to hand combat and had the muscle to rip open skin as if it was butter. This was a very dangerous weapon and is not something you would want to go up against.

  3. Hunga Munga


    The Hunga Munga is an African tribal weapon that is way ahead of its time. It is a handheld weapon and contains a metal pointed blade with a curved back section and separate spike near the handle. This weapon was used in fighting between African tribes and was often times throw in a rotating motion causing deep wounds and even death. Its variation of blades allowed it to be used as more then a weapon. It was used as a tool in farming and even in building structures. It was a great all around tool and has been found all throughout Africa. Today you may have seen the Hunga Munga in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy uses it once in a while to fight off evil demons that she faces.

  4. Throwing Star


    The throwing star known as the shuriken which means “a dagger hidden in a palm” were used and invented by the Japanese. The stars had much variation in the shape; some were shaped like a star and thrown with spin, yet others were needlelike and thrown like a throwing dagger. These daggers couldn’t penetrate armor, but the ninjas, who used them, usually didn’t fight armored opponents. Venom was normally used with the shuriken.

  5. Caltrop


    The Caltrop is a weapon made up of two or more sharp spikes or spines arranged so that one of them points upward from a stable base. Caltrops serve to slow down the proceeding of horses, war elephants, and human troops. It was said to be particularly effective against the soft feet of camels. These were very painful if stepped on and were spread all throughout battle fields. They also were deadly because if stepped on it would cause a bad infection that would cause a slow agonizing death. They also have been used in modern times. In the Vietnam War the Vietcong put them into booby traps. If an American soldier was punctured by one he died from infection almost 90% of the time.

  6. Crossbow Pistol


    This 17th Century Crossbow was way ahead of its time and is very cool. This crossbows look like an early form of a pistol and was very powerful. This hand held crossbow was both accurate and effective but it just was too hard to reload. Because of this it was not used very often in battle and was used more for target practice. Another problem with this weapon was making the arrows which was to time consuming especially if they were just going to get lost in battle. Overall this weapon was still badass and really shows what type of technology and ideas the 17th Century had.

  7. Trebuchet


    A trebuchet is basically a high powered catapult and had many uses in ancient times. Mainly used as a weapon it had enough power to break through castles and destroy towns. It was first used in the 16th Century. Rocks, dead horses, dead people, and dead animals were all used as ammo. In the 16th and 17th Century when plagues and diseases were looming over civilizations plagued bodies were thrown by the trebuchet into enemy territory. The bodies decomposed passing the plague to the enemies slowly killing them. This is one of the first forms of biological warfare.]

  8. Ancient Rocket Launcher


    In the 14th century, the Chinese invented rocket-launchers. These were weapons which shot arrows with rockets attached near the tip into the air toward the enemy. Also in the 14th century, multi-stage rockets were made. When the rockets near the front of the device burnt out, they lit fuses for the second-stage rockets at the back. The bombs the Chinese used in the 17th century were made of gunpowder wrapped in paper and had a fuse covered in gunpowder.

  9. Ancient Flame-Thrower


    The Chinese invented the continuous flame-thrower in the tenth century. In the picture above we see the tank standing on four legs, with the pump and device above it. Because the Chinese invention of a double-acting Piston-bellows was used with this device, a continuous stream of flame could be emitted. The metal used was brass. The Flame-Thrower was used in naval or boat combat and allowed the Chinese to easily set enemy ships on fire and sink them on the spot. It was a great technology and has been used ever since.

Christopher Columbus and the Genocide of the Taino Nation

Obsessed with finding a sea rout to Asia and the Far East, Columbus set out on his ‘Enterprise of the Indies’ in 1492, backed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.  However, instead of finding a rout to the rich trade in the East, Columbus and his crew discovered the New World, and soon set about subjugating and murdering the local population and removing the vast wealth from the land.

Columbus discovering the New World.  Image Source

A small colony was established in Hispaniola consisting of thirty-nine of his crew, the rest returned to Spain with Columbus along with gold, spices and natives taken as slaves to be given as gifts for his royal patrons.

The following year, he led a second expedition comprising of seventeen large ships and one and half thousand new colonists, arriving in the Americas a month later.  By the time he got back to Hispaniola, his men there had been slaughtered by the locals and a second colony was founded.

Columbus punished the local tribe, known as the Taino, severely.  He enslaved many and executed many more; according to Ward Churchill, former professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, by 1496, the population had been reduced from as many as eight million to around three million.

On his third expedition, he explored the region before returning to Hispaniola in 1498 where he had left his brothers in charge, Diego and Bartholomew.  Conditions there were in decline so he stepped up the terror campaign against the Taino, ruling with an iron hand causing resentment from the colonists and local chiefs alike.  Complaints of his brutality got back to the Spanish monarchs and in 1500 they sent a Chief Justice to bring him and his brothers back to Spain in chains.

Columbus in chains.  Image Source

However he was released on his arrival and allowed a fourth and final expedition, which he conducted with the same brutality as previous ones.  By the time he finally left in 1504, the Taino had been reduced to around 100,000 people arguably making Columbus a war criminal by today’s standards and  guilty of committing some of the worst atrocities against another race in history.

Some were killed directly as punishments for ‘crimes’ such as not paying tribute to the invaders.  Many who could not or would not pay had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death.  Columbus and his men are documented by the chronicles of Las Casas, know as Brev’sima relaci-n,  to have partaken in mass hangings, roasting people on spits, burnings at the stake and even hacking young children to death and feeding them to dogs as punishment for the most minor of crimes. The Spanish masters massacred the natives, sometimes hundreds at a time for sport, making bets on who could split a man in two, or cut a head off in one blow.

Taino people being tortured by the Spanish.   Image Source

Defenders of Columbus argue that a large amount of the victims were killed by disease however they fail to recognize that most of these diseases were caused by poor living conditions in forced labour camps.  Deprived of their crops and fields, many fell prey to dysentery and typhus, were worked to death or were left to starve to death.

After his death his terrible legacy would live on, by 1514, a census showed only 22,000 Taino remained alive.  By 1542 there were only 200 remaining and after they were considered extinct, as was becoming more and more the case throughout the Caribbean basin.

In around fifty years Columbus and those that followed him had all but eliminated a population of around fifteen million people.  This process was just the start and an estimated 100 million people were wiped out by Europeans in the so called ‘civilisation’ of the Western Hemisphere making the discovery of the New World the start of what was arguably the worst case of mass genocide in history.

Weapons of World War I

Explain the new weapons that changed warfare in World War I.

 Poison gas was a deadly new weapon used in World War I. France was the first country to start using gas, but Germany is the one who perfected its use. The killing capacity of gas was limited – only 3% of combat deaths were due to gas – however, the proportion of non-fatal casualties was high, and gas remained one of the soldiers’ greatest fears. Because it was impossible to develop effective countermeasures to gas attacks, it was unlike most other weapons of the period. The first gas that was used in 1914 was called tear gas. This gas contained the chemical lachrymatory. The French put tear gas in their grenades. The tear gas made the soldiers eyes itch continuously which made them less valuable. Then Germany started using chlorine in their artillery. The gas was a greenish cloud and had a strong odor which made it very easy to detect fast. The effect would destroy tissue of the lungs, which is why the soldiers often coughed a lot. Then in late 1915, Victor Grinard made a new chemical gas called phosgene. It was difficult to detect, making it a very effective weapon. It killed a lot faster and was a lot better than chlorine. The most widely reported and perhaps, the most effective gas of the First World War was mustard gas. It often didn’t kill the person instantly, but made the victim cough up his lungs in the last two months of his life. This was the worst gas used in the war. It killed or wounded an estimated 1 million people. The only counter action that could be taken against any gas was a gas mask. The gas mask had to be on before the gas was breathed in full force. This means that someone would have to detect it very fast. Gas was a very deadly weapon used in World War I. It made people suffer very badly. Luckily countries chose not to use gas in other future wars.

The Airplane

Airplanes were only invented about 10 years before the war started, so they weren’t very advanced yet. The top speed was only about 100 mph. The planes was mostly made of wood and consisted of two wings with the cockpit and engine in the middle. These planes often were very small and only had room for a pilot and a gunner. The gunner had a machine gun at the back of the plane. Bombers were also used. They had a little door at the bottom of the plane that could be opened and very small bombs would fall out. First, planes were only used for spying purposes and weren’t strong enough for battle. Then, the countries started to make planes with machine guns and make bomb doors. The plane really went far in this war. It started out with a one-engine spy plane that went about 70 mph to four-engine bombers. After World War I the plane upgraded a lot and used a great deal in World War II.

Halberstadt D 11 – it replaced the fading Fokker Eindekker from early 1916 and held the ring till the superior Albatros fighter started entering service late that year. Richthofen flew one in early 1917 when his Albatros suffered a cracked wing spar.

The Tank

Tanks were created because of the trench war. The Allies wanted a vehicle to break through the lines easier. They also wanted something that could cross the trenches and troops on the ground. From these ideas were born the new weapon of tanks. The first tanks were built from armored cars. They first protected the driver by adding a great deal of armor on the outside of the tank. Then they removed the tires and started adding tracks. Tracks made them able to go over trenches, which meant that they could pass the trenches and capture key territory. After they had armor and the tracks, they added weapons. Most of them had machine guns, but a few of them had flame throwers. The tank is the one weapon that ended trench warfare. If the tank hadn’t been invented, the war would have lasted a lot longer with no winner. The Allies broke through the lines in the Second Battle of the Mame because of the French tanks.

Anarchism: The First Great Terror

The Propaganda of the Deed.

At a time when we are often warned of the heightened threat of global terrorism and of the drastic measures required to combat it, it is worth remembering that the use of terror to achieve political ends is not a recent phenomena. At the turn of the 19th century there was a political ideology that perceived murder and assassination, not as the means to an end, but as a path to salvation. Anarchists would make their mark on political history through propaganda by deed. Here I highlight just a few of the most notorious deeds, of what was to be the first great terror.

1)  I March, 1881, Tsar Alexander II of Russia is blown apart by a bomb thrown by Ignacy Hrnywiecki (see related article) of Narodnya i Volya (The People’s Will).

2) 11March, 1892, the French anarchist Ravachol (related article) bombs the Lobau Barracks in Paris.

3) 10 December, 1893, Auguste Vailant throws a bomb into the French Chamber of Deputies injuring 20 in revenge for the execution of Ravachol.

4) 12 February, 1894, Emile Henry (related article) blows up the the Cafe Terminus in Paris killing 2 and maiming many others in revenge for the execution of Vailant.

5) 24 June, 1894, the Italian anarchist Sante Jeronimo Caserio, assassinates the French President Marie-Francoise Sade Carnot.

6) 8 August, 1897, Michele Angiolillo assassinates the Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Canovas.

7) 10 September, 1898, Luigi Lucheni stabs to death with a needle file the Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.

Anarchism: The First Great Terror
Gaetano Bresci

Gaetano Bresci

29 July, 1900, Gaetano Bresci shoots dead King Umberto I of Italy.

9) 6 September, 1901, Leon Czolgosc shoots the United States President William H McKinlay, he dies later.

10) 2 September, 1902, Gennaro Rubino attempts to murder King Leopold II of Belgium.

11) Between 25 July and 2 August, 1909, during La Tragica Semana (The Tragic Week) 120 people are killed and many hundreds of others wounded as anarchists battle the police and army on the streets of Barcelona.

12) 14 September, 1911, Dmitri Bogrov shoots dead the Russian Prime Minister Piotr Stolypin at the theatre, as the Tsar sits nearby.

13) 12 November, 1912, Manuel Padrinas kills the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Canalejas.

14) 10 March, 1913, Alexander Schinas assassinates King George I of Greece.

15) 22 July, 1916, a bomb explodes during the San Francisco Preparadeness Day Parade killing 10 And injuring 40.

16) March, 1918, the anarchist revoutionary Nestor Makhno (related article) leads his Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine to victory over the forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Tsarist White Russian Army.

17) 16 September, 1920, the Wall Street bombing leaves 38 dead and injures more than 400 others.

The often uncoordinated, spontaneous nature of anarchist attacks made them particularly difficult to combat. The fact they seemed to be committed by individuals on their own initiative to right perceived wrongs as they saw them terrified the political elite of Europe and beyond. The quite astonishing number of the ruling class who fell victim to this propaganda by deed explains why. As a ratio of their intended targets the anarchists can claim to be the most successful terror campaign in history, but the absence of an organisation, a strategy, or indeed murder with an end in mind, doomed it to ultimate failure.

The ACT vs SAT

Taking the SAT or ACT is a rite of passage for high school students who are preparing for college. Students may take one or the other—or both, depending on their college prospects. But what are the major differences between the SAT and the ACT? What are the advantages to taking one over another? And which test might be a better fit for you?

Staying on subject

“Well-rounded” is one of those terms that gets tossed around in admissions brochures and by college recruiters; it essentially means that they’re looking for students with broad interests and strengths in more than one subject. But for students who’ve already chosen a major, a test that showcases their talent in a particular subject might be best. The SAT has three major sections: math, critical reasoning, and writing. The ACT, on the other hand, has five sections: math, English, reading, science and writing. Because the ACT includes science and English sections, future science and liberal arts students might want to take the ACT, although the SAT’s math and critical reasoning sections can serve the same purpose.

Beating the clock

It seems a little unfair that the SAT has three sections and a three-hour, forty-five minute time limit, while the ACT gives you just under three hours to complete five sections. But the devil is in the details: guessing is discouraged for SAT takers, with a penalty of a quarter-point for wrong answers. There is no penalty, however, for wrong answers on the ACT. And while both tests have an essay section, it’s optional—which means students can save time by simply skipping the essay section. Finally, the math section—feared by future English majors everywhere—generally has easier problems on the SAT, but there are fewer, more difficult problems on the ACT.

So, which test should you take, and how do you get your best score? First, find out which tests are preferred by the colleges and universities to which you are applying. Some students take both tests more than once because they hope to improve their chances for a higher score.

No matter which test you decide to take, using study guides, trying new ways to study, and using a vocabulary list can help you with both tests. Both the ACT and the SAT are just exams to demonstrate your readiness for college subjects; doing your best can improve your chances of getting into your dream school.

Written on behalf of American InterContinental University.