Thoughts

Buck Moon 2020

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Full Buck Moon Image One
Image Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

This is my first Buck Moon post. I totally missed 2019 & 2018. There was also a penumbral lunar eclipse happening, as well. Full illumination occurred at 12:44am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Buck Moon Image One
Skeleton Tree Hand
Waxing Gibbous
07-03-2020

The Full Moon in July is the Buck Moon, named after the new antlers that emerge from a buck’s forehead around this time of the year. It is also called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon and Wort Moon. For farmers, high summer [is] the time to cut and cure hay to put away for winter feed.

Buck Moon Image Two
Spooky trees.

One of the more common names for this month’s Full Moon is the Thunder Moon, a tribute from the Algonquin to a time of year when spectacular electrical storms rake the northern forests. The Chinese deserve credit for an equally ominous name. The moon coincides with the Hungry Ghost Festival, a time when the living honor the dead by leaving food and drink to the ancestors. Their name? The Moon of the Hungry Ghosts.

Buck Moon Image Three
From the parking deck.
07-14-2020

Wort Moon [indicates] that July is the time to gather herbs (worts) to dry and use as spices and remedies. Additional names are Halfway Summer Moon (Ojibwe/Chippewa), Blueberry Moon (Ojibwe), Raspberry Moon (Ojibwe), Flying Moon (Ojibwe), Thunderstorm Moon (Catawba), Corn in Tassel [Moon] (Eastern Band Cherokee), Honey Bee Moon (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin), String Bean Moon (Oneida) and Little Sister of the Summer Moon (Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana).

Additional Reading & Sources:
Native American Moon Names (American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association)
Full Buck Moon (Farmers’ Almanac 1818)
Full Moon Names (Moon Connection)
Full Thunder Moon (Moon Giant)
Full Moon For July (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
July: Buck Moon (Time and Date)

Independence Day 2020

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As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to celebrate. I wake up everyday hoping the worldwide madness has ended. Nope. Same shit, different day. I await the latest Walking Dead episodes (whenever they resume) with the zombies wearing masks. Oh. Look. Art imitates life… *sigh*

I am posting a favorite song of mine, appropriate for the day, from a powerful voice. I sincerely hope that there will be a day of reckoning for what has been done. ~Vic

“Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today, is a day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it’s Independence Day”

Foto Friday: Sky Gazing 5.0

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These are companion shots to my POTD: Sunset post, as well as previous Sky Gazing posts. This town can have some of the most glorious sunsets and quirky cloud formations. ~Vic

Eno River Sunset Image One
Standing on the bridge over the Eno River.
06-24-2020
Sunset Over Garage Image Two
Walking up to the parking garage.
Sunset Over The Trees Image Three
On top of the garage and the colors develop.
Sunset Over The Building Image Four
Sweeping over the adjacent building.
Sunset Over The Town Image Five
Looking out across the town.
Sunset In Full Bloom Image Six
Breathtaking rich colors and contrasts.

Weird S*** Wednesday: Man in Joker Makeup Charged After Waving Knife

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Joker Group Image One
Image Credit: Allure Magazine

A 25-year-old man clad in “Joker” makeup “menacingly waved” a pocketknife at several teenagers as he drove past them Tuesday in Haddon Township, authorities said. Assoumou Diby was stopped a short time [after] cruising past the group on the 400 block of West Crystal Lake Avenue on Tuesday, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and Haddon Township police said in a statement Wednesday.

It’s blurry but, here’s a visual…a man in joker makeup arrested by Haddon Twp, NJ, police after allegedly waving a pocketknife at children. The arrest followed days of sightings, scares and calls to police, who say, until last night, the behavior wasn’t criminal. @FOX29philly

-jennifer joyce (@JenniJoyceTV) June 24, 2020

Man In Joker Makeup Image Two
Photo Credit: Nicholas Matyas via Jennifer Joyce

Diby, of Haddon Township, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon following his arrest. Earlier in the week, police said they received multiple reports from people who saw a man in Joker makeup walking around town, noting it’s not a crime [to] simply do that.

Diby is due to make a first appearance in municipal court July 16.

Jeff Goldman
nj.com True Jersey
June 25, 2020

Romero & Nicholson Jokers Image Four
Photo Credit: Collider

This isn’t the first time this has happened:
Man Dressed as the Joker Arrested in Winchester, VA (The Washington Post, March 25, 2017)

Life imitates art and the bail bondsman gets rich. ~Vic

POTD: Tandy 5000

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This is clearly a newspaper clipping from back in the day. I can’t for the life of me remember where I picked this up but, I have had it for years. My, we have come a long way. ~Vic

Tandy 5000 Image
Image dated: 09-18-2001

Picture of the Day

Song Saturday: Gates of the Country

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Black Lab 1998 Image
Photo Credit: Paul Durham (the blond)
June 1998
Wikipedia

“Somehow I see, there are ships in her eyes…”

This Saturday’s playlist submission was never released as a single and it never charted…anywhere. It’s the last track, number 12, on the original 1997 debut release of Your Body Above Me by Black Lab. An alternative rock band founded in San Franciso, CA, in 1995 by Paul Durham, the band’s name is an amalgam of band names Black Sabbath and Stereolab. The album did have two hits, one of which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

There is not a bad song on this album and I nearly wore out my CD. I took notice of them when an alternative rock station showcased their first track (the #6 hit). I love Paul Durham‘s voice and, the band has had many songs used in movies and television, most notably Spider-Man (2002), Blade: Trinity and Transformers.

Black Lab World (Official Site)
Paul Durham (Official Site)

Lyrics

Theodolite Thursday: Dolphins Learn Unusual Hunting Behavior

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Yes…another new heading. From Merriam-Webster:

[A] surveyor’s instrument for measuring horizontal and […] vertical angles

This is the instrument of land surveyors. In my case, I will survey other things. ~Vic

Dolphins Unsplash Image
Photo Credit: Courtnie Tosana on Unsplash

In the crystal clear waters of Shark Bay in Western Australia, scientists have noticed bottlenose dolphins engaging in an unusual behavior. They guide fish into the empty shells of giant snails, bring the shells to the surface and, then, shake them vigorously to dislodge the prey into their open mouths like a person polishing off a bag of popcorn. That extra effort, known as shelling, gets them a guaranteed meal.

Because the dolphins […] use the shells as a trap, this is the second known case of these marine mammals using tools. The first was reported in [1984] when researchers found that bottlenose dolphins wear marine sponges like protective gloves over their beaks to forage for fish on the sea floor. Now, researchers have shown that the dolphins of Shark Bay learn shelling from their friends. It’s the first time social learning involving a tool has been discovered in these mammals and a rare example of such learning in the animal kingdom.

Dolphins Unsplash Image Two
Photo Credit: Red Charlie on Unsplash

Though scientists noticed the shelling behavior more than 10 years ago, it became more frequent following an unusual marine heat wave (PDF) off Western Australia in 2011. The high temperatures roiled Shark Bay’s ecosystem and many gastropods, including sea snails, are believed to have died. “We think the dolphins took advantage of this die-off,” says Sonja Wild, a behavioral ecologist at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. “The next season,” she says, “there was an incredible increase in shelling”, which made it possible for her to tease out how young adult dolphins learn to do it.

Wild says shelling starts among the adults [but], the more time a young dolphin spends around an accomplished sheller […], “the more likely it is to learn” the technique and pass it on to others later. Still, because dolphin calves spend more than 30,000 hours with their mothers, it’s possible that some learned the trick from their moms, [states] Janet Mann, a dolphin expert at Georgetown University. It’s considered more cognitively demanding to learn a skill like shelling from an unrelated individual because both learner and demonstrator must be socially tolerant, especially while hunting.

Virginia Morell
Science Magazine
June 25, 2020

Shutterbug Sunday: Solstice Shots

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I dropped the ball and missed posting about our Summer Solstice. I did catch some pictures, though and a Shutterbug Sunday is a perfect reason to post them. I posted about the Solstice in 2018, shortly after I had started blogging, again, after a four year absence. I did an Almanac write-up on the Solstice in 2019. This year’s Solstice occurred at 5:44pm EDT, yesterday. ~Vic

Daisy Group Image One
Daisy Family
Sea Turtle Cloud Image Two
It looks like a Sea Turtle, swimming towards me…sort of…
Cone Flower Image Three
Cone flowers in the Pollinator Garden
Feather Cloud Image Four
Big Feather
New Growth Image Five
New Growth
Bird Flight Image Six
In Flight
Stonehenge Image Seven
Photo Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

Some Folklore:
♦ In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice coincided with the rising of the Nile River. As it was crucial to predict this annual flooding, the Egyptian New Year began at this important solstice.
♦ In centuries past, the Irish would cut hazel branches on solstice eve to be used in searching for gold, water and precious jewels.
♦ Many European cultures hold what are known as Midsummer celebrations at the solstice, which include gatherings at Stonehenge and the lighting of bonfires on hilltops.

POTD: Keyboard Humor

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Back in February of last year, I did a couple of posts with older pictures of office shenanigans with the technology. Well, I missed one. ~Vic

Companion posts:
Funny Fotos & Funny Fotos 2.0

Keyboard Thru Desk Image
I don’t remember where I got this from
nor do I know where it was taken.
Acquired 08-25-2007

Word Wednesday: Glowering

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Word of the Day Image
Website Screen Capture

Origin

The verb glower, “to look or stare with sullen dislike” comes from Middle English gloren [or] glouren “to shine, gleam, glow, stare, stare at fixedly.” The Middle English forms are mostly from the north (Yorkshire) and Scotland. [T]he sense “to stare at fixedly” is Scottish. The source of gloren and glouren is obscure but, possibly, Scandinavian, e.g., Icelandic [as] glóra “to glow (like a cat’s eyes)” [or] Swedish and Norwegian dialect glora “to glow, stare.” The source of gloren [and] glouren may also be from Middle Low German glūren “to be overcast” or Dutch glueren “to leer, peep.” Glower entered English in the 15th century.

This is very similar to our “glaring at someone” which has its roots in Middle English, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German.

I’ve been doing a lot of glowering and glaring, lately. The whole world has gone insane-stupid. ~Vic

Flashback Friday: Joplin Tornado 2011

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Joplin Tornado Image One
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com

Nine years ago, today, an EF5, multi-vortex tornado slammed into Joplin, Missouri. It formed at 5:34 pm CDT and dissipated at 6:12pm CDT. I remember this one, vividly. I had just moved back to North Carolina from Texas and was, literally, still unpacking. I was shocked at the devastation. ~Vic

[This] was part of a larger, late May tornado outbreak and reached a maximum width of nearly one mile […] during its path through the southern part of the city. This particular tornado was unusual in that it intensified in strength and grew larger in size at a very fast rate. The tornado tracked eastward across the city and, then, continued eastward across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County and Newton County. It was the third tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971.

Joplin Tornado Image Two
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com

[The] tornado killed 158 people (with an additional eight indirect deaths), injured some 1,150 others and caused damages amounting to a total of $2.8 billion. It was the deadliest tornado to strike the United States since the 1947 Glazier–Higgins–Woodward tornadoes, and the seventh-deadliest overall. Along with the Tri-State Tornado and the 1896 St. Louis–East St. Louis tornado, it ranks as one of Missouri’s and America’s deadliest tornadoes […]. It was the first F5/EF5 tornado in Missouri since May 20, 1957 [and] was only the second F5/EF5 tornado in Missouri history dating back to 1950.

It also ranks as the costliest single tornado in U.S. history.

Additional Reading & Sources:
May Tornadoes Struck Joplin Twice in the 1970s (Joplin Globe)
Joplin Tornado (National Weather Service)
F5 & EF5 Tornadoes of the US (NOAA)
Tornado Damaged Joplin From Above (The Atlantic)
Joplin Tornado (Tornado Facts Site)
2011 Joplin Tornado (Wikipedia)

Mike Bettes Has A Hard Time

Shutterbug Sunday: Pooh Bear

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Pooh In The Backyard Image One
My Pooh Bear
Stumpy-tailed Manx
05-14-2008

Pooh was not originally my cat. When the Marine and I moved to Texas, Pooh (the owners called him Oliver) lived three doors away. He was very friendly and walked the sidewalks like a person. The story we got from the owner was, he was purchased as a kitten for her son. Her son developed allergies to the cat so, she put him outside. He could get in and out of the garage and, had a sleeping pad on a bench on the front porch.

Pooh With Rabbit Image Two
He decided that my Ty Beanie Baby Rabbit…was HIS.
01-01-2008

He didn’t visit our house too much because we had Buddy. When we lost Buddy, he got closer and closer to the front door, unsure because he wasn’t allowed in his own home. One day, we opened the door and he walked in. We fed him some tuna and…he stayed. We taught him how to use the cat doors we already had and he returned to us every day. His previous owner, at this point, had re-married, had two more kids (plus the husband’s kid) and three dogs. I’m not sure they ever noticed.

Passed Out Pooh In My Chair Image Three
Passed out in my office chair.
01-24-2011

He didn’t look like an Oliver to us. My Marine made the remark that he looked like a little bear walking up the sidewalk. I immediately went to my childhood days and thought “Pooh!” He got a new name with his new home.

Pooh On The Couch Image Four
Couch Kitty
Pooh liked to watch TV.
02-25-2009

Poor Pooh had spine problems related to his stumpy tail. The entire time he was with us, he had spells…twice a day. Something in his spine would move or catch and he would howl in pain. Then, he would chase the pain…until he was dizzy. It was something bizarre to watch and you couldn’t miss the sound. Think Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil. When he regained his faculties, he would begin to groom as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately for me, some of those spells occurred in my lap. I still have scars…bless his heart.

Pooh On The Couch Image Five
So. You gonna change the channel or what?

He was our baby for three and a half years. He developed pancreatic cancer and had to be put down February 17, 2011. He was a character. When he wanted your attention and you weren’t fast enough, he made this sound of frustration that always reminded me of Number 5/Johnny Five from Short Circuit.

Passed Out Pooh Image Six
Passed out in the hallway.
06-20-2009

Foto Friday: Alton, Illinois

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My buddy Ray is from Illinois. He routinely returns to visit family and his girlfriend, Gloria. Sharing some lovely photos from Alton.

Addendum: I had to correct a credit. Thanks, Gloria. ~Vic

Along Mississippi River Image One
Along the Mississippi River
The Great River Road
10-29-2019
Photo Credit: Josh Major
Piasa Bird Image Two
Piasa Bird Painting
Photo Credit: Ray Tutterow
Clark Bridge Sunset Image Three
The Clark Bridge
Photo Credit: Ray Tutterow
Morrisons Irish Pub Image Four
Morrison’s Irish Pub
This place almost closed during massive flooding.
The city rallied around it and kept it afloat.
Now, they have a food pantry, giving back.
05-03-2020
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence
Alton Lake Image Five
Alton Lake
Part of the Mississippi
05-02-2020
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence
Backwater Wetlands Island Image Six
Backwater Wetlands Island
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence
Water Retention Pond Image Seven
Wetlands Water Retention Pond
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence

Flower Moon 2020

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I did a pretty extensive write-up last year with Native American names and two videos. I won’t repeat all that here. I am including a shot from 2017 (before I was blogging again) and a shot from 2019 that wasn’t part of the previous post.

Full illumination occurred at 6:45am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Flower Moon Image One
From this evening…
Flower Moon Image Two
Peek-a-Boo
Flower Moon Image Three
I caught the Moon with the setting sun.
It’s a little hard to see.
05-17-2019
Flower Moon Image Four
More Peek-a-Boo
05-11-2017

Song Sunday: Desperate But Not Serious

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Adam Ant Image One
Image Credit: lettiemusic.wordpress.com

“If you don’t stop, you will go blind…”

Rolling down the Samsung playlist for a Sunday evening submission, we come to Adam Ant or, Stuart Leslie Goddard and Desperate But Not Serious. The fourth track from the album Friend or Foe, it was co-written by Goddard and Marco Pirroni and, released November 19, 1982, the third single from his solo debut. This is the album that brought us Goody Two Shoes that went to number #1 in Australia and the UK. Desperate didn’t fare as well peaking at #33 in the UK and #66 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

I bought the album as a cassette and nearly wore it out. This is what I term as eclectic music. It’s different, it’s catchy, Goddard has a crazy voice that he plays to the hilt and the writing is very coy and, tongue-in-cheek. He will be at The Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, April 28, 2021. I’ve been to that venue many times. I would love to see him there.

I hope you enjoy

Shutterbug Saturday: Feathers 5.0

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I used to add a corresponding photo from Unsplash or Pexels up at the top as a lead-in. I have enough photos of my own so, I won’t be doing that anymore. My previous posts, I will leave them. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Feathers 4.0

Cardinal Image One
Cardinal singing on the Riverwalk
04-18-2019
Cardinal Image Two
Tail Feathers
Carolina Wren Image Three
Carolina Wren out of the nest.
The nest is the black washtub to the left.
04-24-2019
Carolina Wren Image Four
Calling for its mate.
Carolina Wren Image Five
Then, it started to bark at a squirrel.
Washtub Image Six
The washtub is full.
Washtub Image Seven
Nesting material.
Birdhouse Image Eight
This one was just not big enough,
even for the little Wrens.
05-06-2019

Story Sunday: The Asteroid & The Mask

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Researcher Wearing Face Mask Image One
Researcher Anne Virkki comparing her mask.
Photo Credit: Arecibo Observatory & USA Today

I haven’t done a Story Sunday since 2014.

It’s funny how every news article out there these days just has to make a tie in with the virus. And, that image doesn’t look like a mask to me. It looks like something else. Just sayin’… ~Vic

An asteroid is hurtling close to the Earth, and with it, a startling reminder of the coronavirus pandemic. The space rock, known as 1998 OR2, will be nearly 4 million miles away from Earth on Wednesday at 5:59am EDT, classifying it as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid, despite the impossibility of it posing a threat to Earth anytime soon.

A newly captured image by [the] Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico brings its own surprise. As the asteroid approaches our planet, it looks as if it’s wearing its own mask and may very well be conducting its own social distancing practices. “The small-scale topographic features, such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2, are fascinating, scientifically,” Anne Virkki, head of planetary radar at Arecibo Observatory, said in a statement. “But, since we are all thinking about COVID-19, these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.”

Asteroid 1998 OR2 Image Two
Image Credit: Arecibo Observatory & USA Today

It’s classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid because it is more than 500 feet in diameter and closer than 4,650,000 miles to Earth. “Although this asteroid is not projected to impact Earth, it is important to understand the characteristics of these types of objects to improve impact-risk mitigation technologies,” she said.

The asteroid, which is about one mile in diameter, has been traveling at nearly 20,000 mph since its discovery in 1998. Though it may not come anywhere near Earth in the coming weeks, Flaviane Venditti, a researcher at the observatory, said in a statement that, in 2079, it “will pass Earth about 3.5 times closer than it will this year.”

Joshua Bote
USA Today
April 24, 2020
Updated April 26, 2020

 

Additional Articles:
S-Band Spotlight (National Astronomy & Ionosphere Center)
Rocky Horror (The Sun)
Asteroid Visiting Earth’s Neighborhood Brings Its Own Face Mask (University of Central Florida)

Song Saturday: Call Me (Blondie)

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American Gigolo Discogs Image One
Image Credit: discogs.com

Returning to my phone playlist, I submit for your approval on this chilly Saturday night, Blondie‘s Call Me, the theme from the 1980 movie American Gigolo. I was 13 when this film came out and, with its “R” rating, I wasn’t allowed to see it (I caught it on HBO, later, tho…). The drum beat opens the movie as Richard Gere cruises in a black Mercedes. This movie was so bad-ass (to a teenager) and Siskel & Ebert gave it a decent rating but, the rest of the critics panned it. Oh, well. This was the movie that put Gere on my radar (I hadn’t seen Looking For Mr. Goodbar).

Produced and co-written by Giorgio Moroder, he originally approached Stevie Nicks to assist in composing and performing a song for the soundtrack but, she was prevented by contract to another company. Moroder then asked Debbie Harry and she fashioned lyrics, and the melody, in a few hours.

The song made it to the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 and stayed there for six weeks. It also made it to #1 in Canada, the UK and in Record World magazine. There are 20 covers of this song with Blondie re-recording it in 2014 and, a live cover done in 2002.

Movie Opening

Single

Flashback Friday: Spain Declares War 1898

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Spanish-American War Collage Wikipedia Image One
Top Left: Signal Corps extending telegraph lines.
Top Right: USS Iowa
Middle Left: Spanish flag replaced at Fort Malate
Middle Right: Filipino soldiers in Spanish uniforms outside Manila.
Bottom Left: Roosevelt & The Rough Riders @ San Juan Hill
Bottom Right: The signing of the Treaty of Paris (1898)
Collage Credit: Barbudo
Wikipedia & Wikimedia

I posted about Hillsborough’s Old Courthouse this past Tuesday. The first picture was a marker about the Kentucky Expedition, led by Daniel Boone in 1775. The information was fashioned out of metal from the USS Maine, the very ship sunk in Havana Harbor that touched off the Spanish-American War. Spain declared war on the U.S. one-hundred, twenty-two years, ago, today and, the U.S. declared war the following day. Historically, the day of declaration is retroactively moved to April 21 as that was the day Spain severed diplomatic relations and the U.S. Navy began a Cuban blockade (the first of two). At the time of my Town Tuesday post, I didn’t realize that I actually posted it on the same day as the corrected date.

After first landing on an island then called Guanahani, Bahamas (San Salvador), on [October 12], Christopher Columbus commanded his three ships […] to land on Cuba’s northeastern coast on [October 28], 1492. Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias.

*************
The main issue was Cuban independence. Revolts had been occurring for some years in Cuba against Spanish rule. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence.

*************
The growing popular demand for U.S. intervention became an insistent chorus after the (still) unexplained sinking [of the Battleship Maine], which had been sent to protect U.S. citizens and property after anti-Spanish rioting in Havana. [P]olitical pressures from the Democratic Party pushed [President] McKinley into a war that he had wished to avoid. McKinley signed a joint Congressional resolution demanding Spanish withdrawal and authorizing the President to use military force to help Cuba gain independence […].

Remember The Maine Wikipedia Image Two
Remember The Maine!
Image Credit: Artist Victor Gillam
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
May 7, 1898

The ensuing, ten-week war, fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific, was pathetically one-sided, since Spain had readied neither its army, nor its navy, for a distant war with the formidable power of the United States.

*************
An army of regular troops, and volunteers, under General William Shafter, with Theodore Roosevelt (then, Assistant Secretary of the Navy) and his 1st Volunteer Cavalry, (The Rough Riders), landed on the coast, east of Santiago and, slowly advanced on the city […]. Madrid sued for peace after two Spanish squadrons were sunk in Santiago de Cuba and Manila Bay and a third, more modern, fleet was recalled home to protect the Spanish coasts.

*************
The result was the 1898 Treaty of Paris. In it, Spain renounced all claim to Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States and, transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States for $20 million.

♦ In 1976, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover commissioned a private investigation into the [USS Maine] explosion and, the National Geographic Society did an investigation in 1999, using computer simulations. All investigations agreed that an explosion of the forward magazines caused the destruction of the ship but, different conclusions were reached as to how the magazines could have exploded.

♦ [T]heodore Roosevelt, who eventually became Vice President and, later, President of the United States […] was, posthumously, awarded the Medal of Honor in 2001 for his actions in Cuba and, became the only U.S. President to win the award.

♦ The defeat and loss of the last remnants of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock to Spain’s national psyche […]. [There was a] philosophical and artistic re-evaluation of Spanish society known as the Generation of ’98.

Sources:
Cuba: Population, History and Resources 1907 (Google Books)
Destruction of the Maine (PDF Library of Congress)
Spain Declares War Against The United States (On This Day Website)
Spanish-American War (The History Channel)
What Destroyed The USS Maine (The Spanish-American War Centennial Site)
Cuba: A New History (Web Archive)
Battle of San Juan Hill (Wikipedia)
Cuban War of Independence (Wikipedia)
Generation of ’89 (Wikipedia)
Spanish-American War (Wikipedia)
Treaty of Paris (1898) (Wikipedia)

The Story of the USS Maine

Smithsonian Channel Explosion of the USS Maine

History Channel Spanish-American War Documentary

Chris Thomas: No More Papering Over The Cracks

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A Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files

Cracked Paint Samuel Schneider Unsplash Image One
Photo Credit: Samuel Schneider on Unsplash

Have you ever been faced with the job of re-decorating a room? You know what it’s like…you strip off the old wallpaper only to find that the plaster is full of cracks. This means either filling in the cracks or re-plastering with all the mess that entails. Well, this is what has been happening for the past months (or years) to everybody, either on a personal level, a government level or nationally.

These are the real symptoms of change. In order to become new, to find out who we truly are, we first have to demolish the old. This process of change we are undergoing requires that everything of the past is cleared out so that we can see the cracks that have been underlying our lives for some time. We cannot become what our potential demands as long as the world, and ourselves, are still layered over with the old paper, old ways of being, which covered up everything.

Through 2007, and particularly 2008, we have seen the removal of many layers of old paper, which have served to blinker our view of reality. As we entered 2009, the blinkers really began to come off and we started to realise that we, as individuals, have to take responsibility for our own lives. We can no longer rely on anyone or any institution to save us. Those who have turned to the ‘quick fix’ for their problems realised, at long last, that there cannot be a quick solution. We cannot just add another layer of wallpaper. We have to face the consequences of re-building from the foundations up.

Taking Positive Action

You know the kinds of conversations we have all had, where you come up with the answer:

“I know I should be doing (whatever it is) but,…”

Well, the result of all of this self-work is that the answer needs to be changed to:

“I know I should be doing (whatever it is) so, I am going to start doing it now.”

Daniele Levis Pelusi Unsplash Image Two
Photo Credit: Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

This is what the last couple of years have been about…removing the wallpaper and seeing the cracks underneath, to help us to realise that we can no longer paper over these cracks. We have to take positive action and positive action, now. We cannot wait until 2011 or even 2012. If we wait beyond 2009 to take action, we will not be able to make it as far as the end of 2011. This is what the energies for change truly mean. We need to put our own house in order, clear out old emotions, and ways of dealing with the people with whom we share our lives, before we can reach our higher levels of being. And, nobody is going to do it for us.

It’s a nice thought that there are legions of ‘angels’, ET’s or even well meaning ‘orbs’ out there who are going to step in and do all of the work for us. But, the reality is that, while they may be happy to show us what we need to do, it is we, ourselves, who need to do it. [In] that sense, we are on our own. This is our planet and it is our mess we need to clear up. There are those beings ‘out there’ who would love to come and help but, they cannot come and help until we have shown that we are capable of resolving our own problems by making our leap into full consciousness. Until we have made that leap, we are on our own. The two featured books (visible in the blog post as The Universal Soul and The Human Soul) can help you understand where you are in this process of change and how to move forwards.

Consciousness Reintegration

This full consciousness state is that which many have come to call ‘Ascension’ but, we need to remember that we are not actually ‘ascending’ anywhere. We are staying firmly rooted on the planet. What we are supposed to be doing is bringing the ‘Higher Self’ into the physical body. In so doing, we ‘ascend’ to higher levels of consciousness and understanding. Once we have achieved that, we will be greeted by every ‘angel, and ET in the Universe to congratulate us on a job well done. According to the Akashic, there are currently about two million people who have already achieved this full consciousness reintegration world-wide. The majority of these people live in tribal cultures in remote regions of the planet. They have achieved what we all set out to achieve on this amazing Earth. So, during 2009, the rest of us, in the ‘western world’, need to be taking the necessary steps to catch up with them. This can only be achieved by each individual taking responsibility for themselves and not putting off, ’til tomorrow, what they can do today.

© Chris Thomas 2009

[We are LONG overdue to clean up our own houses and evolve. ~Vic]

The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)
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Word Wednesday: Obstinate

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Merriam Webster Image
Website Screen Capture

And, yes, another new post heading. I’m stretching things out to keep from being stale or too strict on myself. With Word Wednesday, all are welcome to play along and use the word in a sentence in comments…if you are so inclined. ~Vic

“Evelyn’s two year old daughter, Karen, was being obstinate by refusing to eat her carrots.”

Shutterbug Sunday: Sky Gazing 4.0

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A storm rolled into town in July of 2016. I came out of the Food Lion and was just awestruck. It was scary looking and I kept waiting for the lightening, thunder and rain but, nothing happened except a gorgeous sunset.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Sky Gazing 3.0

July Storm Image One
Standing in the parking lot. I thought this was going to turn into a funnel cloud.
07-12-2016
July Storm Image Two
It was still turning.
July Storm Image Three
It was like two different skies.
July Storm Image Four
It stayed really dark but, there was no rain at all.