Friday, September 14, 2012

My Ongoing Search For Knowledge



While reading a friendly atheist's blog, I encountered: ". . . looking through the comments, I can’t differentiate between actual Christians and Poes." Well, not sure what was meant by the term, "Poes" I looked it up.

It seems that Poe’s Law is an attempt at effective liberal Internet satire and declares: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”

More about Poe's Law . . .


I learned a fascinating new fact today.

From the Writer's Almanac I learned:

Samuel Wilson, the original "Uncle Sam," was born in Arlington, Massachusetts (1766). During the War of 1812, Wilson was a successful meatpacker in Troy, New York. He had obtained a contract to supply beef to the Army, and he shipped it in barrels stamped with the initials "U.S." to show it was the property of the United States government. However, his workers -- and, later, the soldiers -- joked that it stood for "Uncle Sam," Wilson's nickname. Over time, the association grew and soon the nickname became widely linked to the United States. The association was made official by an act of Congress in 1961.

  Old Photo of Samuel Wilson

The first personification of "Uncle Sam" was
developed by political cartoonist Thomas Nast

Nast is also responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus, as well as the donkey and elephant of our political parties. He gradually developed the character of Uncle Sam over the next decade, eventually putting him in a suit decorated with the stars and stripes and giving him a white beard. But for most people, it's the World War I recruitment poster -- designed by James Montgomery Flagg -- that first comes to mind when they hear "Uncle Sam." It's the image of Sam, pointing directly at the viewer, above the words "I Want You For The U.S. Army." It first appeared in 1916.



Political Correctness (along with censorship) has long been a subject that makes me grind my teeth in frustration with the arrogant foibles of politicians and other elitists who believe that they are superior to others (and thus deserve favored status) because of their intellect, social status, wealth, or other factors.

Examples of language commonly referred to as "politically correct" include:

-  "Intellectually disabled" in place of "Retarded" and other terms.
-  "African American" in place of "Black," "Negro" and other terms.
-  "Native American" (or "First Nations" in Canada) in place of "Indian".
-  "Caucasian" in place of "White", and other terms.
-  "Gender-neutral" terms such as "firefighter" in place of "fireman," police officer in place of policeman.
-  Terms relating to disability, such as "visually impaired" or "hearing impaired" in place of "blind" or "deaf".
-  "Holiday", "winter" or "festive" in place of "Christmas".

Whenever I happen upon some mention of censorship or political correctness I perk right up and dive headlong into the story, opinion, or essay and read, and keep on reading until I either give up in disgust or nod my head in agreement and persevere to the end of the piece. I am always eager to find someone of like mind and see whether or not their words might strengthen my opinion on the subject.

Taboos, Political Correctness, and Dissent is an 8 minute Youtube video wherein Steven Pinker presents his views on those subjects. In this video he notes the irony that campuses, which rely on the open exchange of ideas more than any other institution, often restrict speech more aggressively than society at large. Pinker describes how the urge to censor is related to the "psychology of taboo,"

Steven Pinker

Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-born experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.

More about Steven Pinker . . .



-  Board a train.
-  To pull or draw along after itself.
-  Chemistry To carry (suspended particles, for example) along in a current.



Walter Koenig

Born Sep 14, 1936
Age: 75 years old.

Walter Marvin Koenig is an American actor, writer, teacher and director, known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in Babylon 5. He wrote the script for the 2008 science fiction legal thriller InAlienable.

Born Sep 14, 1944
Age: 67 years old.

Davenie Johanna "Joey" Heatherton is an American actress, dancer, and singer. She began her career as a child actress, appearing in 1959 as a member of the ensemble and an understudy in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, and received her first sustained national exposure that same year as a semi-regular on The Perry Como Show. She also appeared extensively on The Dean Martin Show; Dean Martin invited her to perform numerous times on the show, starting with the premiere episode of September 16, 1965. From June to September 1968, along with Frank Sinatra, Jr., she co-hosted Martin's summer substitute musical comedy hour, Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers. She also made multiple appearances on 1960s television shows such as The Andy Williams Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Ed Sullivan Show, and This Is Tom Jones.

Heatherton also appeared in the movies Twilight of Honor (1963), Where Love Has Gone, (1964) and My Blood Runs Cold (1965), alongside veteran actors such as Claude Rains, Bette Davis and Susan Hayward.

Sam Neill

Born Sep 14, 1947
Age: 64 years old.

 Nigel John Dermot "Sam" Neill is a New Zealand actor who won a broad international audience in 1993 for his roles as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and Alisdair Stewart in The Piano. Neill also had high-profile roles in Reilly, Ace of Spies, Omen III: The Final Conflict, Merlin, The Hunt for Red October, and The Tudors.

Clayton Moore

Born Sep 14, 1914
Died Dec 28, 1999

    Clayton Moore was an American actor best known for playing the fictional western character The Lone Ranger from 1949–1951 and 1954–1957 on the television series of the same name.


The phrase "political correctness" was born as a coded cover for all who still want to say Paki, spastic or queer, all those who still want to pick on anyone not like them, playground bullies who never grew up.
--Polly Toynbee
The Guardian

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