Daily Archives: October 21, 2011

What is scarier than Halloween?

What is scarier than Halloween?


Lewis and Clark struck out on their famous expedition. Alexander Hamilton was shot to death in a duel. Morphine is invented. Short distance transport is done on foot or horses, long distance on clipper ships or packets. The world population reaches 1 billion.

1927, over a century later

Horses are still widely used but some people are driving around in cars and trains have been in use for almost a century. The War of 1812, the American Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World War 1 have all come and gone. The first transatlantic phone call is made. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is probably formulated. A total of about six hominid fossils are known. Carving of Mount Rushmore commences. The world population reaches 2 billion.


Cars, trains, and increasingly planes are the main Western form of transit. World War II and the Korea War have passed. Independence in the Belgian Congo. France tests an atomic bomb. Kennedy is nominated. A total of about a dozen hominid fossils are known. I exist. The world population reaches 3 billion.


The Vietnam War is just ending. We’ve been to the moon. Skylab 4 crew returns to earth after breaking a record for stay in orbit. I get my first job. There are now dozens of hominid fossils known and most major genera are known. The 60s happened. India detonates a nuclear bomb. The world population reaches 4 billion.


Disco has come and gone and U2 is famous. Mathias Rust is placed on trial and the Soviet Union teeters on collapse. The first National Coming Out day happens. I’m in graduate school and working in Zaire. The world population reaches five billion.


The music scene has not changed much. Transportation technology has not changed. World politics are about the same. I switched from Zaire to South Africa for field work and am about to move to Minnesota. Hugo Chavez elected President of Venezuela. Spongebob Squarepants airs for the first time. The World Population reaches six billion.


Michael Jackson has died. Cell phones have changed a lot but other technology remains similar. The war in Iraq is winding down. I’m working on some of the same stuff I was working on in 1999. The world population reaches seven billion on or about Halloween.

Let me rephrase this slightly

Continue reading What is scarier than Halloween?

Should Punishment For ‘Negligent Shooting’ Be Harsher?

When two teens were shot in an apparent hunting accident, the family wanted to know why not more was done to the teen responsible.

TORNADO — On August 8, Keith Holsopple was hunting squirrels with two teenage friends. It would end with he and another friend being peppered with shotgun pellets in their arms.
“It was like claws digging into my arm and being pulled out slowly,” said Holsopple. “Blood was squirting everywhere.”

10 pellets are still under Holsopple’s skin and full mobility could take as long as a year to return.

The teen who fired the shotgun has not been charged with any crime. According to Dwight Holsopple, Keith’s father, he was banned from getting a hunting permit for a number of years.


Should the National Cathedral get Government Funding?

When the news first broke that the National Cathedral in Washington DC was damaged by the famous earthquake that hit the region last summer, I had two thoughts: 1) They are probably including on the list of needed repairs things that were already extant before the quake and 2) They are probably going to ask for government money to fix this.

But then I looked into the current news reports and found out that the National Cathedral has always been privately funded. I did not accept that as, shall we say, gospel, but I stopped worried about it, and then went on with other things.

But then I ran into this:
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Van Gogh’s Cowboy Boys Shakespeare’s Pot

ResearchBlogging.orgAlthough one can not be certain, all the evidence points to the fact that William Shakespeare smoked pot. This is not a new story. My good friend and colleague, Dr. Francis Thackeray, who has never smoked pot in his life but who has acted in Shakespeare’s plays numerous times, led a research team that put 2 and 2 together and came up with narcotic literary munchies. In Shakespeare’s time, land owners were required to grow pot in order to provide fibers for making the rope needed hoist the sails and flags over the increasingly powerful British Navy and merchant vessels. One of the better depictions of Shakespeare’s face shows the well known smoker’s mark, a feature that forms when one habitually smokes with a kaolin tobacco pipe. Thackeray masterfully identifies numerous passages in Shakespeare’s work that strongly indicate that he partook of the weed but not of stronger narcotics such as cocaine. But, that was all mentioned in code; Elizabethan England did not exactly have “drug laws” as we know of them today (though substances were controlled, legal, or not legal, depending). The main problem was that drug use was considered Witchcraft, and even though smoking various things was either legal or not depending on which Monarch was in charge, Witchcraft was always going to get you … well, stoned. As in crushed by them. (Or hung or burned at the stake, though rarely the latter … why waste good fuel.)
Continue reading Van Gogh’s Cowboy Boys Shakespeare’s Pot