Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Valuable Are Values?


Have you ever wondered what the devout and the religions people were really like back in olden times?

I have.

So I have been browsing selected history books (and novels) and websites that reveal the daily routine of what was considered to be both the rabble and the landed gentry,  circa 1500 BCE.

Medieval monks were often the dregs of medieval society. Poggio Bracciolini, a former papal court official, was of the opinion that monks was less than favorable:

Poggio did not like monks. On the whole he found them superstitious, ignorant, and hopelessly lazy. Monasteries, he thought, were the dumping grounds for those deemed unfit for life in the world. The Noblemen fobbed off the sons they judged to be weaklings, misfits, or good-for-nothings. Poggio thought, they were a pack of idlers. With his friends in the curia Poggio shared jokes about the venality, stupidity, and sexual appetite of monks.

The peasants were even worse,

Much of the above I learned from "Misfit Monks" at Delancey Place.

There is more to be learned but even I have a hard time swallowing some of it. But my research only strengthens my belief in disbelief.


There is also much available to be learned regarding modern knowledge of physics. And a lot of it is understandable, even by non-academics like me.

Sean Carroll - "From Particles to People" is the title of an interesting half-hour Youtube presentation that I enjoyed immensely. In it, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll uses science to explore the nature of humanity.

It's a good video.

It really  is.



A medium-sized or large wild cat such as a lynx or bobcat, especially. a cougar.

Cougar, or Puma


Born Oct. 23, 1925
Died Jan. 23, 2005

John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host and comedian, known for thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Emmy Awards, the Governor Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993.

Born Oct 23, 1956
Age: 55 years old.

Dwight David Yoakam (born October 23, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter, actor and film director, most famous for his pioneering country music. Popular since the early 1980s, he has recorded more than twenty-one albums and compilations, charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and sold more than 25 million records. Johnny Cash once cited Yoakam as his favorite country singer.

Yoakam has also starred in many films, most notably in critically acclaimed performances as an ill-tempered, abusive, live-in boyfriend in Sling Blade (1996), as a psychopathic killer in Panic Room (2002), as a police detective in Hollywood Homicide (2003) and as the sheriff in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005). He appeared in a supporting role as Doc Miles, the doctor for Chev Chelios, in Crank and its sequel, Crank 2: High Voltage. In addition, he also guest starred in the King of the Hill episode Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men as Lane Pratley. Yoakam also had a cameo appearance in the 2005 comedy movie Wedding Crashers. In 2008, Yoakam played Pastor Phil in Four Christmases, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, and he appears in the 2010 film Dirty Girl. He also appeared in The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, an independent 2010 Western that also stars fellow country singer Kris Kristofferson. In 1993, he played a truck driver in the Wyoming crime thriller, Red Rock West.

Born Oct 23, 1969
Age: 42 years old.

Sanjay Gupta is an Indian American neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Known as a media personality on health-related issues, he is best known as CNN's multiple Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent, hosting the network's weekend health program Sanjay Gupta, M.D., and making frequent appearances on television. Gupta publishes a column in Time magazine and is a special correspondent for CBS News. His books Chasing Life and Cheating Death were New York Times and national bestsellers. His latest book, Monday Mornings, a novel, was released in March, 2012 and became an instant New York Times Bestseller. It is currently being adapted as a television show with David E. Kelley and Gupta serving as Executive Producers.

From 1997 to 1998, he served as one of fifteen White House Fellows, primarily as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. In January 2009, it was reported that Gupta was offered the position of Surgeon General of the United States in the Obama administration, but he withdrew his name from consideration. In January 2011, he was named "one of the 10 most influential celebrities" by Forbes magazine.

Born Oct. 23, 1942
Died Nov. 4, 2008

John Michael Crichton was an American best-selling author, producer, director, and screenwriter, best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction, and thriller genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted into films. In 1994, Crichton became the only creative artist ever to have works simultaneously charting at No. 1 in television, film, and book sales (with ER, Jurassic Park, and Disclosure, respectively).

His literary works are usually based on the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his future history novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and science background. He was the author of, among others, Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Travels, Sphere, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, Timeline, Prey, State of Fear, Next (the final book published before his death), Pirate Latitudes (published November 24, 2009), and a final unfinished techno-thriller, Micro, which was published in November 2011.


I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times.
--Willie Nelson

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