Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

09/04/2022 “BOOKS”   Leave a comment

Are you an avid reader? I’ve been one since a very early age and it will continue forever. One of my favorite reads is just about anything ever written by Isaac Azimov. He was a prolific writer as well as a noted intellectual. His areas of interest were many but today I’ll post a few facts he gathered concerning books since we’ve both shared a love for them. Books are great and history is even greater. How can I go wrong posting about the history of books?

  • Columbus had with him on his first voyage to the New World a copy of Marco Polo’s book about his 13th century, twenty-two-year odyssey to China and back.
  • Twice as many books on religion were published in England as works of fiction in 1870. Sixteen years later, novels far outnumbered religious works.
  • The Library of Congress houses over 72 million pieces of research material, including over 16.5 million books and 31 million manuscripts, and costs over $150 million a year to run.
  • The Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels was ignored in Germany when it was published in 1848, and a Russian translation was suppressed by censors in the 1860’s. It remained a rare pamphlet until it was reprinted in 1872.
  • The art of printing from wooden blocks with the characters in reverse was initiated in Buddhist monasteries in China. The oldest surviving printed book that can be reliably dated is a Buddhist text, the Diamond Sutra, made in China in 868 A.D.

  • Euclid is the most successful textbook writer of all time. His book Elements dated around 300 B.C. has gone through more than 1000 editions since the invention of printing.
  • General Lew Wallace’s bestseller Ben Hur was published in 1880 and was the first work of fiction to be blessed by a Pope.
  • America’s first best-selling novelist was a woman, Susanna Haswell Rowson. Although it was a melodramatic work with wooden characters and a hackneyed plot, Charlotte Temple, published in 1791, appealed to popular tastes. It went through more than 200 editions.
  • Icelanders read more books per capita than any other people in the world.
  • To get her book published, in 1896, Fannie Farmer had to pay publishers Little, Brown and Company the printing costs for the first 3000 copies. The publisher refused to take the risk, saying that women would not buy still another collection of recipes. Ironically, her Boston Cooking School Cook Book eventually became the most popular cookbook of its time and a “gold mine” through the years for the publisher; millions of copies have been sold in dozens of editions.

THANK YOU ISAAC

08/30/2022 Salt & War   Leave a comment

Yesterday as I was creating my lunch, I threw in a healthy dash of soy sauce. It’s my only way of eating salt without totally violating my doctors’ orders. In my humble opinion food has very little taste without it. Try eating popcorn or corn on the cob without salt. Ridiculous!!!! Since it sends my blood pressure through the roof, I’m forced to obey but not entirely. Rather than continuing to drone on about my salt issues here are a few facts about salt (trivia wise).

  • Each year, 9,000,000 tons of salt, more than 10% of all the salt produced in the world, is applied to American highways for road deicing. The cost of buying and applying the salt adds up to $200 million dollars.
  • Salt helped build the Erie Canal. A tax of 12 1/2% on New York State salt, plus tolls charged for salt shipments, paid for nearly half of the $7 million dollar construction costs.
  • There is a salt mine in the Polish town of Wieliczka, near Kraków, that has been in operation for nearly 1000 years.

Enough about salt, I just threw in a few tidbits for the fun of it. Let’s try something else like military history. It was in the Army that I was first forced to eat salt tablets. Talk about mixed messages. Good for me then, not so much now.

  • The British and French armies in World War I did not advance more than 3 miles at any point on the western front in the whole year of 1915. Those three miles costed the French army alone nearly 1.5 million men.
  • The Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II were given privileged treatment and considered to be heroes. All volunteers, they underwent rigorous training that prepared them for their suicide missions. If they refused to stay in the corps, they were shot as traitors.
  • The Crusaders were able to conquer Acre, a coastal city 80 miles north of Jerusalem, in July 1191, only after 100,000 men on both sides had been killed.
  • Through the six-year war of independence ranged enraged over most of the 13 colonies, George Washington’s Continental Army never consisted of more than 22,000 troops at any one time.
  • On the eve of World War II, the US Army ranked, with reserves counted, 19th among the world’s armed forces. This placed the United States after Portugal but ahead of Bulgaria.

Let’s enjoy our last few weeks of summer. Things here in Maine can finally return to normal after the tourists begin leaving after Labor Day. People have been telling me that we’re in for a difficult winter. I really don’t mind all that much because I hate hot weather. I’ve made the statement many times that if “climate change” continues to make things warmer in Maine, I’ll be moving to northern Canada to live in an igloo. LOL

CHASTITY IS CURABLE IF DETECTED EARLY

08/22/2022 Religion???   2 comments

As I’ve stated many times before I’m not a fan of any organized religion. I’ve given my reasons for feeling that way many times and won’t bore you with the details again. It seems that I’m not totally alone in those feelings as reflected by the following statements made by people of note. Read on!

  • “A Christian is one who follows the teaching of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.” Ambrose Bierce
  • “I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.” Clarence Darrow
  • “Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” Lenny Bruce
  • “So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake – Religion is bunk.” Thomas Edison
  • “When a man is free of religion, has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.” Sigmund Freud

  • “The Bible is nothing, but a succession of civil rights struggles by the Jewish people against their oppressors.” Jesse Jackson
  • “I do believe our Army chaplains, taken as a class, are the worst men we have in our service.” Abraham Lincoln
  • “The Creator is a comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.” H. L. Mencken
  • “I think there is an immense shortage of Christian charity among so-called Christians.” Harry S Truman
  • “The Catholic faith is confession on Saturday. Absolution on Sunday. At it again on Monday.” H.G. Wells

I’m not preaching with this post because that would be somewhat hypocritical. It’s just nice to hear from others who agree with my beliefs. Too many Christians have been less than kind in their criticisms of my opinions on religion. Here’s my quote for today.

“Have a great week and best wishes from a “Recovering Catholic”.

07/10/2022 Clichés   1 comment

Have you ever had the pleasure of talking with someone who has mastered the art of speaking in clichés? ? I’ve met one or two over the years and it’s actually pretty funny. We all use clichés everyday but almost no one knows how they originated and what their original meaning was. Here are just a few examples . . .

BAKER’S DOZEN

This phrase dates back to medieval England. Henry III (1216-1272) instituted a law, The Assize of Bread and Ale, that called for severe punishment for any baker caught shortchanging customers. English bakers developed the habit of including an extra loaf of bread when asked for a dozen to ensure that if one were stolen, dropped, or lost, they wouldn’t be accused of shortchanging their customers.

BY THE SKIN OF ONE’AS TEETH

By the narrowest of margins. By a hairs breath. There are several metaphors emphasizing the physical danger of a given situation from which one might just have escaped. “By the skin of one’s teeth” specifically is a slightly misquoted biblical phrase that means to have suffered a “close shave”.

“My bone cleaveth to my skin, and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.” Job 19:20

COLD ENOUGH TO FREEZE THE BALLS OFF A BRASS MONKEY

This means that the weather is extremely cold, and although the expression sounds delightfully vulgar, it was not originally a reference to a monkey’s testicles. A brass monkey is a type of rack in which cannonballs were stored. Being brass, the “monkey” contracted in cold weather, resulting in the cannonballs being ejected. The expression has also mutated into a shortened form, again commenting on the temperature, as “brass monkey weather”.

EVERY DOG HAS IT’S DAY

This is a commonly used phrase that seems to have appeared in an English writing of R. Tavener in 1539 and subsequently by Shakespeare:

“Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew, and the dog will have his day.” Hamlet (1600;5:1)

Well, there you have it. These three clichés have been used by millions of people and now you’re one of the few that knows the actual story behind them.

07/05/2022 Unorganized Religions   5 comments

As I’ve stated on many occasions, I am not a religious person. But as I do my homework for this blog, I discover many things that I didn’t know before about religion. While I disagree with most organized religions that currently exist, I found that there are a few that I had no knowledge of at all and that being said, I thought I’d pass along their information to all of you.

  • The first group is the Universe People. They live in and around the Czech Republic and believe that ancient non-earthly beings operate a fleet of spaceships orbiting the earth. The Universe People followers are waiting to be transported into another dimension. I hope they have a really nice trip!
  • The second group is named after Bhagwan Shee Rajneesh. This gentleman was an India-born mystic who settled in Oregon in the 1980s. The group’s claim to religious fame is that Rolls-Royce’s are a sign of holiness. He owned dozens of them. He also tried to poison nonbelievers by introducing salmonella into the salad bars of several Oregon fast-food restaurants. Take no communion wafers from these folks.
  • The third group is called the World Church of the Creator. It’s a white separatist movement advocating a white-only religion called Creativity. Ironically, despite their name, group members do not believe in God. They are atheists! They are also idiots, pure and simple.
  • Number four is called Nuwaubianism. It’s a loose term referring to the religion founded by Dwight York, a black supremacist leader and convicted child molester (currently serving a 135-year prison sentence). These people believe all humans have seven clones living on different parts of the planet. Humans were bred on Mars as part of a Homo erectus breeding program gone awry, and famed scientist, Nikola Tesla, was born on the planet Venus. Let’s have a big AMEN here!
  • Number five is one I’ll only mention briefly because they’re all dead. And that was Heaven’s Gate. A cult founded by Marshall Applewhite, whose followers believed that once they were free of their earthly bodies, a spaceship would take them away to a celestial paradise. In 1997 with the appearance of the Hale-Bopp comet they were assured their spaceship had arrived. In March of that year all 36 members of the cult were found dead in a mass suicide. Problem solved!

What more can I say about organized religions. My only

comment is that “You just can’t make this shit up.”

06/17/2022 “Forgettable Quotations”   Leave a comment

If you’ve read this blog at all your well aware that I love citing quotations. I’m a firm believer that quotes that are remembered and repeated often have some sort of meaning that touches people. Unfortunately, some quotable people offer up quotes that are remembered for their stupidity and ignorance. Today I will cite a few that I’d prefer to forget, and I hope you will as well.

  • “Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean, I’d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.” Mariah Carey
  • “We went to Atari and said, “Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us?” They said, “No.” So, then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, “We don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.” Steve Jobs looking for financial backers for the Mac.
  • “Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous.” Sir Winston Churchill
  • “The Edison Company offered me the general superintendency of the company but only on condition that I would give up my gas engine and devote myself to something really useful.” Henry Ford
  • “True, I’ve been a long time making up my mind, but now I’m giving you a definite answer. I won’t say yes, and I won’t say no, but I’m giving you a definite maybe.” Samuel Goldwyn
  • “Rock ‘n Roll is phony and false, and some, written, and played for the most part by cretinous goons.” Frank Sinatra 1957
  • “I believe that Mink are raised for being turned into fur coats and if we didn’t wear fur coats, those little animals would never have been born. So, is it better not to have been born, or to have lived for one or two years to have been turned into a fur coat? I don’t know.” Playmate Barbie Benton

I think that’s about enough of these stupid quotes but unfortunately during my research I discovered there’s probably many more of these than the one’s worth remembering.

HAVE A PLEASANT UNQUOTABLE WEEKEND

06/13/2022 “Cats”   Leave a comment

Since I had a lot to say about dogs yesterday, it seems only right that I report a few things, both good and bad about cats. Here are a few . . .

  • 7000 years ago, some of the first settlers in ancient Egypt were farmers, growing grain along the banks of the Nile. Their fields were overrun with about a zillion mice and ravenous rats. The farmers helped the cats develop a taste for those little rodents and one good cat could clear a field of vermin in an evening. They became such a part of the Egyptian lifestyle that in later years they were actually worshiped.
  • Bastet was an Egyptian goddess with the body of a woman and the head of a cat. She became one of the most revered of the Egyptian gods, in charge of fertility, beauty, and motherhood.
  • Julius Caesar, King Henry II, King Charles XI, and Napoleon all had terrible aelurophobia, a fear of cats.
  • The prophet Mohammed was a big cat lover. His favorite cat, Muezza, once saved his life by warning him about a dangerous snake.
  • Florence Nightingale, the world’s most famous nurse, was cat crazy. She owned more than 60 cats over the course of her lifetime.
  • One more Egyptian note. In the 1800’s archaeologists digging in the shadows of the Egyptian pyramids unearthed a huge cemetery filled with more than 300,000 cat mummies.

I hope all of you rabid dog fans out there can now relax a little. We cat persons understand, appreciate, and sympathize about your passion for dogs. Some of your emails were a little disturbing but I really do understand your pain. LOL

CATS STILL RULE!

06/06/2022 “Foodie Alert”   Leave a comment

We all love food, right? It’s the topic of so many conversations, television shows and TV advertisements. Here are a few foods based trivia facts that you might find interesting.

  • Coffee, who had been introduced in Europe by Arab traders and was considered by many Roman Catholics to be the wine of infidels. Fortunately for all of us Pope Clement VIII officially recognized it as a Christian drink in an edict issued in 1592.
  • Were you aware that a Dutch medical professor produced a product in his laboratory while trying to come up with a blood cleanser that could be sold in drugstores. The product was Gin and its original name was Hollandsch genever (Dutch Juniper).
  • In ancient Egypt when taking an oath, the right hand was placed on an onion. Its round shape symbolized eternity.
  • The Iroquois Indians planted what they referred to as the “three sisters”, corn, beans and squash. Planted together on earthen mounds, the cornstalks supported the vines of the bean plants, and the broad leaves of the squash plants blocked the growth of weeds.
  • The company, F & M Schaefer, was the first American brewery to market beer in a bottle.
  • In cooking, there are 60 drops to a teaspoon.
  • The Heinz company is well-known for its “57 varieties”. The very first variety marketed by Heinz was horseradish in 1869.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt was the person who coined the phrase that has been appropriated as the slogan for Maxwell House coffee: “Good to the last drop”.
  • The queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, used the juice of cucumbers to preserve her skin and it’s still used today in facial creams, lotions, and cleansers.
  • One acre of crocus plants produces only 10 pounds of dried saffron.

HAPPY EATING

05/28/2022 “Lefties”   Leave a comment

Are you left-handed? I’ve been reading up on left-handedness and right-handedness after watching my two grandsons play in a Little League baseball game. I began wondering why we become one or the other. I was apparently born left-handed, but my father changed all that. When I was about 11 years old, he decided that in order for him to have a lifelong golfing partner he had to teach me how to play golf. Unfortunately, we weren’t a wealthy family, and I was taught to golf using right-handed clubs. After a time, I made the adjustment and moved on with my life. Later in my Little League years I was a pitcher. In one game I actually pitched half of the game right-handed and the second half left-handed. I’ve been ambidextrous ever since.

I decided to look a little further into the history of left-handedness and here’s the result . . .

  • In ancient Egypt artwork and hieroglyphics, it appears that most Egyptians were right-handed. They portrayed their enemies as left-handed, which can be seen as derogatory.
  • The ancient Greeks never crossed their left leg over their right, because they believed a person’s sex was determined by their position in the womb with the female, or “lesser sex”, sitting on the left side of the womb.
  • The Romans also had a bias against left-handedness. Roman customs required that when entering a friend’s home, it should be done placing the right foot forward. Also, Romans should always turn their head to the right when sneezing. The Latin word for left was sinister (meaning evil or ominous), the word for right was dexter (meaning skillful or adroit). Even the word ambidextrous literally means “right-handed with both hands”.
  • The Anglo-Saxon root for left is lyft, which means “weak”, “broken,” or “worthless”. Riht is for right and means “straight”, “just”, or “erect”.
  • The Bible is totally biased in favor of right-handed people. Both the Old and New Testaments always refer to “the right hand of God”. There is also a distinction made even in religious art. Jesus and God are nearly always drawn giving blessings with their right hand, and the devil is usually portrayed doing evil with his left.

I feel a bit slighted by all of those old-time religious fanatics and the Bible as well. It seems to me that the Greeks, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and damn near anyone else had been brainwashed with the idea that left-handedness is evil. Even the Muslims require that you only eat food with the right hand. Just one more reason for me to take anything said by any organized religion as utter and complete nonsense.

LEFTIES ARISE AND PROCLAIM YOUR LEFTINESS TO THE WORLD

05/06/2022 Who Doesn’t Love the Middle Ages?   Leave a comment

I thought today I’d look into a little more history because that’s what I love to do. For years I was obsessed with reading about the Roman Empire and all of the associated craziness that went on during those years but it’s time to move on to the Middle Ages. To say it wasn’t a great time to be alive would be an understatement, those folks were crazy. I’m going to summarize a number of things that went on during that time and you’ll all be glad that you weren’t there.

Christian Charity 1505

The new Portuguese viceroy, Francisco D’Almeida, sailed for India via the east coast of Africa. His men mutilated every Arab they found, cutting off the right hands of the man and the ears and noses of the women. Arriving in Goa, they proceeded to slaughter all 8000 Muslims in the city.

Over-Armed 1516

The Turks armed one of their galleys with an artillery piece so massive that when it went into action against the Portuguese, the recoil of the gun causing the vessel to capsized killing many of the crew.

Additional Christian Charity 1533

Faced with the prospect of being burned to death by the Spanish, Atahuallpa, the last emperor of the Incas, converted to Christianity. He was thus spared being burned at the stake and was then publicly garroted instead.

The Witch with Three Breasts 1536

Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded, having been accused of adultery, incest, and witchcraft. In support of this last charge, it is said that she not only had 11 fingers on one hand but also three breasts – although the third nipple, supposedly used for suckling the devil, was actually a mole on her neck.

Assaulted by the Amazons 1542

On his epic voyage down the Amazon, Francisco de Orellana was attacked by a tribe of tall, white women, whose private parts were covered but otherwise unclothed. It was in honor of these warrior women that he gave the Amazon River its name.

That’s just five easy examples as to why no one would ever have wanted to live in the Middle Ages. The more I read about it, the worse it gets. Today the Christians claim that the Muslims are rabid-dog killers, but history reveals that the Christians were just as bad. I guess I’ll count my blessings that I live in an age where I don’t need a religious label to determine how I feel about things. I’m up to my neck in more examples like these and at some point, in the future, I’ll post a few more tidbits but it’s truly depressing as hell. The biggest mistake as I see it is never to mix religion and politics. It absolutely brutal.

RELIGION IS THE BEST (SARCASM OFF)

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