Category: History

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Humboldt at 250

Recently I have been re-reading one of the first true old-school scientists I read in my youth.  The writings of Alexander von Humboldt were pointed out to me during my first year of HS, as the then-topical scientist Carl Sagan had released his book Cosmos and the PBS 13-part documentary series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”. Luckily, the librarian engaged me about my interests, and with science and the writings of Carl Sagan being top on my mind, she pointed me to a dusty book also called Kosmos, but written with even more depth than Sagan’s accessible prose, though extreme in detail. ...

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Pop Population

Of the Census years I have been alive, America’s population has certainly grown, but it has also shifted.  In 1970 there were 6 American cities with a population of more than 1 million.  They include the typical big 3 we would always think of: NYC, Chicago and LA, in that order.  At that time the list also included Philadelphia, my birth town of Detroit, and Houston, which had just hit the million-resident mark with that Census. In 1980 that number stayed the same with NYC, Chicago and Philadelphia losing a combined 1,445,504 residents.  The listing places for the 4 top cities...

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Harlan Ellison, RIP

a remembrance HARSH LANGUAGE AHEAD.  MAYBE. As I recall, I was a wee 12 years of age when I first read the short story ‘”Repent, Harlequin”, Said the Ticktockman’.  Having heard about the famous short story from others, and conveniently holding a collection of short sci-fi, I must have read it twice that day.  At least. Eventually, as my immersion is sci-fi fandom became deeper, I collected and consumed his paperback short story collections in my later teen years, oftentimes from Waldenbooks in Southgate Mall, and increasingly from the huckster table mazes at sci-fi conventions in SE Michigan.  Second copies of...

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Ben Carson Examined: A Ludicrous Idea of History with a Smattering of Separationism

A lack of critical thinking can lead to Ben Carson becoming the Fuckublican party’s lead candidate for the most powerful elected office on the planet Beloved neurosurgeon-cum media whore Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr is — as of November 10, 2015 — pretty much the leading candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for U.S. President.  His ideas, understandings of reality, and views on his personal superstitions’ place in our daily lives (a.k.a. his views on state/church separation) deserve a little scrutiny, as do any of his stated ideas regarding historical inquiry. Born in my own origin town of Detroit, Carson has...

“Is It Farther Than The Stars?”

Puffs of Smoke “Why do they hate her?” Coda   {n.b.: This post is in limbo/suspension until a certain matter can be worked out. Until then, just go elsewhere.} note: this essay, in a slightly different form, appeared in one of my published works, this time in a collection of essays by a regional Atheism group who shall here remain nameless, as I otherwise love and respect them and their Director. However, my essay, and only my essay, was changed, chopped up, and indescribably mangled. I sent the editor, and copied to the Director, my concerns as to why I was...

The 5-Minute Hate Session

The 5-Minute Hate Session

The 5-Minute Hate I am reticent to admit it, but sometime, I give “the other side” a chance. Note the dichotomous language here, as if I represent one side, and “the other side” is a creature of a different color, a   As soon as my dial hit 88.3, KAFR, on the FM dial in Houston, I knew what was being said was, to say the least, not at all near the truth. The day is August 27, 2012, and I was on my way to work. Scanning the radio for some interesting talk, I stopped it on Bryan Fischer’s show...