Photography Wednesday

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Another photo experiment: Instagram and The Magic Hour

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Photography Wednesday

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Sent from my phone happy Thursday.

Photography Wednesday – 7

 

This was taken at Comicpalooza here in Houston. It was part of a scavenger hunt that was hosted by a vendor. I took this photo as a promo for the Vendor Geek Life. Check them out!

P.S. It’ll be a bit skimpy on content for the next few weeks as I assimilate into my new job as a Business Assistant.

A Paranormal Library – Discovering the Mysteries of Ancient America

I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public.  I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure.  The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating.  Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase.  I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage.  Happy reading Dreamers!This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.”  My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens.  If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal.  So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.


Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Myth-conceptions Throughout the Ages, by Leland Gregory

In response to the last book I reviewed for A Paranormal Library, you know I love history, especially those that can make or break or ideologies that makes our country special. Stupid history, takes a humorous approach to the “myth-conceptions” that we and other countries have created about our histories. I did receive this book for free from Free Book Fridays on Nook, so there were some serious typos.

I like this book, the humorous approach Gregory takes towards our famous legends brings to light the misconceptions we have towards our favorite myths which were started by literary interpretations than actual historical fact. One great example would be that of Paul Revere.

We are told that Paul Revere rode to Concord, Massachusetts at midnight yelling “The British are coming!” Did you know that this is based off of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called “The Landlord’s Tale: Paul Revere’s Ride”? That’s right, Paul Revere ‘s story is a work of literary fiction! Paul never went to Concord, a contemporary of Paul’s, Samuel Prescott, went to Concord to warn that the regulars are coming (regulars being the name of the British Troops). Paul was captured by British soldiers on route to Concord and imprisoned till the next day.[Paul Revere House.org]

“Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.”

In the book, Gregory describes the fact that Lizzie was accused of killing her parents in 1892 and acquitted of all charges by a trial by jury. It was never proven that she did kill her parents. [University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School – Lizzie Borden Case]

We are taught (supposedly) that the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, but in my own personal classroom I did not make such claims, but in fact the Emancipation Proclamation proposed the freeing of slaves in the South (not in the North). Lincoln’s purpose for the Proclamation was to keep the union together whether the slaves were free or not. The 13th Amendment in fact freed the slaves. [Information from Senate.gov]

Lastly, I would like to sing (type) you a song:

“Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni.”

This song brings about memories of 4th of July, American Pride Parades, and for me: Hot Dogs. But this song is as old as our country itself, but when you read the words, they really don’t make sense do they? Well, the history of this song will help you understand its significance to American and British music histories. Written in Britain, the song refers to a Yankee (An American colonist), who is a Doodle (a sorry simple person), who stuck a feather in his hat and called it Macaroni (an Italian fashion). Basically an American fool who put a feather in his hat and thought he was fashionable. Kind of interesting considering that this was the colonists rally anthem for the Revolutionary War… [Somewhat history of Yankee Doodle]

This book has little bits of trivia in between passages that describe interesting historical facts or random pop culture events that are amusing, and informative. Below are excerpts from the book:

  • “People who lived centuries ago weren’t as stupid as we may believe they were. Chicken pox isn’t called that because people thought the disease was carried by chickens. It comes from the phonetic evolution of the Old English name gican [gee- can] pox or Itching Pox.” page 84.
  • “They’re some of the most famous footwear in history-the ruby red slippers Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz. But in L. Frank Baum’s original novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), he had her wearing silver slippers. So why did they change it in the movie? Because, when shot in Technicolor, red looked more brilliant than silver.” page 93.
  • “Myth: Romans used chariots in battle. Truth: No. As one must hold on to the reins while driving a chariot, they were absolutely useless on the battlefield. Romans used chariots only in sports and as transportation. Thanks to Hollywood for this myth.” page 107.
  • “During the turbulent times of the Nixon administration; House Minority Leader Gerald Ford was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew who had resigned. When Nixon himself resigned during the impeachment process for his involvement in Watergate, Ford assumed his duties and became the 38th president on August 9, 1974 making Gerald Ford the only person to be vice president and president without going through the election process.” page 117.
  • “We’ve all heard of London’s famous Big Ben—but what is it? Is it the clock? Is it the tower? Nope, it’s neither, Big Ben is the name for the thirteen-and-a-half-ton bell inside the clock tower. It was cast in 1858 and named in honor of Sir Benjamin Frail, who served as commissioner of works when the bell was installed.” page 126.

Again, read this book if you’re interested in all things trivia, the reason why I put this into A Paranormal Library is because Gregory brings to light information that we’ve come to know as fact and completely rip it apart due to the fact that movies and literature have destroyed our perceptions of history. While some find discrepancies in the factoids, I approached this book as an interesting and trivia based read, not a history book. In fact, I have used some of the anecdotes in class, putting them on Power-Point at the beginning of class to get the kids thinking for the day, and citing not only this book but other sources for those who wish to pick hairs. Its a very fast read, and very informative, I hope you will enjoy!

Photography Wednesday – 7

 

 

These lovely dolls were taken at an antique store in the Heights, they were the most creepy dolls I could find.  Just click the pictures for a larger view. I’m trying to set up something where I’ll be able to sell them online.  I know they’re grainy, they were taken on my phone (I seem to keep forgetting to take my camera), but I hope you enjoy their creepieness!

A Paranormal Library – Discovering the Mysteries of Ancient America

I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public.  I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure.  The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating.  Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase.  I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage.  Happy reading Dreamers!

This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.”  My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens.  If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal.  So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.


Discovering the Mysteries of Ancient America: Lost History and Legends, Unearthed and Explored, by Frank Joseph

Disclaimer: This book is about evidence that has been brought to light in recent years with new technologies that discuss the possible influence of Old World (Ancient European and Asian) civilizations in the New World (the Americas). Artifacts, bones and carbon dating techniques may have possibly proven that Ancient Greeks, Africans and Asians have, at one point in time, visited and explored the Americas before the Vikings landed in Canada. The book consists of articles that were published in Ancient American Magazine, edited by Frank Joseph. While I do agree with some of the items discussed in the book, I do not agree with most of it.

Frank Joseph is the editor-in-chief for Ancient American Magazine, and has published many books on the subject of ancient civilizations and possible visitors to our shores years before Columbus ever set foot on Bermudan soil. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and son.

What I liked about this book is that Frank Joseph and the other contributors were not afraid to discuss something that was so “hush hush,” my favorite professor was too afraid to even discuss it in class. This topic is about the fact that Columbus and the Vikings were not the first people from other lands to set foot on American Soil. We were all taught in grade school that Christopher Columbus discovered America after an arduous journey from Spain to America. In recent years (including the textbook I used to teach from), it now states that Vikings had arrived in American long before Christopher Columbus ever thought about the Earth being round. We all accept the Viking theory, mostly because there is specific and hard proof that the Vikings did in fact start settling some of eastern Canada around 1000 CE. Did you know that the Viking theory was scoffed by major Historians until very recently (within the past 40 – 50 years)? The Viking theory was so unpopular due to the fact that there was little to no evidence proving the contrary, but there was evidence…the evidence at the time were considered hoaxes until some scholars delved deeper into the theory and used carbon dating to prove that the Vikings were here before Columbus.

Now, with the invention and the improvement of Carbon Dating, more and more evidence of ancient civilizations are being dated far older than we have previously believed, but modern scholars are denouncing these findings as glitches in the carbon dating process. While I would accept scholars being skeptical of the findings, I do find it hard to believe that after scientifically conducted trial after trial and getting the same results with about a difference of 50 years, it would be hard to not see these findings as astounding, but still there are those in the community who would still call these findings as preposterous.

In any case, the book, Discovering the Mysteries of Ancient America, brings articles that question the reality we have come to be taught and known, and bring evidence that proves this the contrary. In the book, there are several articles that focus on different topics, each showing that at some point in time Ancient Civilizations have visited our esteemed shores.

My first example from the book is what we have come to know as Vinland. This is the supposed area in Canada that has the oldest evidence of a Viking settlement and was referenced in many Norse sagas and maps. Basically, this is the fabled area that the Vikings established a small colony on escapades into the Atlantic. While we now accept the fact that Vikings did “discover” America before Columbus, there may be more evidence to prove that they may have settled farther south than originally perceived. This evidence may be in the form of a cat, and not just any cat the Maine Coon Cat.

The Maine Coon Cat is considered one of the larger domestic cat breeds (domestic, I mean a cat that has had a larger wild cat in them, but you can’t trace their bloodline through the members of their family like you can with the Savannah) and a long time resident of what is now the United States of America. The Maine Coon Cat’s history has always been a mystery to the animal scholars, since cats the size of domestic cats were not known on this side of the world and the Main Coon’s markings are unique as well. After a genetic study was performed on the Maine Coon Cat, it was discovered that the Main Coons have a genetic tie to a domesticated, though extinct breed of cat, and the Norwegian Forest Cat. The Forest Cat was brought to our continent from Scandinavia around 1,000 years ago. What is more striking is that the vast majority of the Maine Coon population is centered in Maine, which means that the settlement in L’Ans aux Meadows was not the only Viking colony. This implies that Vinland, the mysterious area that the Vikings had named and searched for was in Maine after all.

We don’t have to stop at the Vikings either, we can explore older civilizations’ marks on American soil. In another article, there were bones of an Irishman carbon dated in 2001 and the findings were said to be around 1,292 +/- 40 years Before Present, in other words, he existed around 710 A.D. +/- 40 years.

The discovery was made in Wyoming County, West Virginia, in a rock shelter, and this area is also controversial for the fact that non-indigenous pre-modern inscriptions on the wall of the rock shelter. The skull of the skeleton was found to be brachycephalic of an adult male, or a “round head” which implies possible European origins. Now to make it even more astounding, just a paragraph earlier, I stated that the bones were dated to be around 710 A.D. +/- 40 years! A European that is NOT from Scandinavia in a cave in America. A significant find considering this is probably the earliest a European has ever visited North America.

In the same area of West Virginia, in the same area as the rock cave where this man was found, petroglyphs were discovered that resembled those used by the Norse during the European Dark ages. Upon further examination, the writings were found to be Ogam, an alphabet used in the British Isles by the Irish, Scottish and Welsh. This discovery connects stories to St. Brendan, the sixth century cleric who supposedly set out with a crew of monks across the North Atlantic. Ogam, the language on the rock faces, is commonly used on the corner edges of tombstones in Ireland, and not rock formations.

There are other examples stated in the book, but I’ll let you discover those for yourselves. Like I said, this book helped answer one of the large poking questions I had from college, “Why do some of the rock carvings of Olmec society look more African than those who lived in Pre-Columbian Mexico?” What is worse is that I never once got a specific answer, because of the fact that I was approaching a sensitive subject.

What gets me, if we do have carbon dating proving that there were people who came to American before the Vikings, then how come is it so hard for modern academics not to accept the findings? Maybe because Modern scientific thought is too rigid for other explanations.

Finally, I had noticed in my own personal research, legends and gods who mimic those of other lands and cultures. While I tried to approach the subject with my Cultural Anthropology teacher (I was a Latin American History Major), he just dismissed my findings and questions and sent me on my way. I felt a bit burned, since my major was based on a major study and thesis, but I was glad that he turned me away, due to the fact that if I had presented my findings at the symposium, I probably would have been laughed off the podium.  In any case, I was glad I got this book, mostly because those findings I found were not invalid, but possibly something larger than I thought to have known.  I’m not too sure if the findings I found were correct, or if all the findings in the book are true, it may just be possible that there is something out there that we do not know, and we are not giving our ancestors credit to what they could have possibly done.

Do you believe that there were people here in America before the Vikings?

 

Photography Wednesday – 6

This is the newest edition to the menagerie of birds that frequent our feeder.  He’s a brand new baby Cardnial…I know he doesn’t look like a baby, but he is, his parents were not too far away, keeping a weary eye out for the monster that is my cat.  I am worried about him though, he’s not afraid of us humans.