“Wedding Capital of the World” – Gretna Green, Scotland

"Fun Facts Saturday" We visited famous Gretna Green when we picked up our daughter from her mission in Scotland. In 1754, Parliament passed the Marriage Act, which prevented people under the age of 21 from marrying in England without parental consent.  If the bride or groom was under 21 any of the parents could object … Continue reading “Wedding Capital of the World” – Gretna Green, Scotland

Why does the Flag of Northern Ireland have a bloody red hand in the middle?

"Fun Facts Saturday" The Flags of Ulster and Northern Ireland are unique.  They have a bloody red hand in the center. Ulster Banner (Home of my Irish Ancestors) According to legend, there was a proclamation with a challenge. The first person to "touch" or “lay hand” on the ground of Ulster would have claim to … Continue reading Why does the Flag of Northern Ireland have a bloody red hand in the middle?

Judging Columbus – The “Columbus Exchange”

"Columbus Day" (“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”) For centuries, Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) has been revered and celebrated for his lasting contributions to humanity. Historians agree that Columbus was “a courageous and brilliant navigator and explorer during the age of European exploration.” “His voyages revealed two continents new to Europe and bridged the gap … Continue reading Judging Columbus – The “Columbus Exchange”

Did you know – the British flag combines the flags of England (St. George), Scotland (St. Andrew), and N. Ireland (St. Patrick)?

"Fun Facts Saturday"In Honor of the Recent Passing of Queen Elizabeth II Creation of the British "Union Jack" Flag The British "Union Jack" flag is a combination of the 3 flags of England (Saint George Cross), Scotland (Saint Andrew Cross), and Northern Ireland (Saint Patrick Cross). (When the Union Jack flag was created, Wales was … Continue reading Did you know – the British flag combines the flags of England (St. George), Scotland (St. Andrew), and N. Ireland (St. Patrick)?

The Legendary Gurkha Soldiers: “Bringing a knife to a gun fight” and “Who need parachutes?”

"Fun Facts" "World History" The "Politest," "Bravest," "Fiercest" Warriors I have always been intrigued by the Gurkha Regiment of the British Army. From Nepal, these 5’ 3” fighters have a reputation for being the politest soldiers and the bravest and fiercest warriors in the world. Their motto: “Better to die than be a coward.” In … Continue reading The Legendary Gurkha Soldiers: “Bringing a knife to a gun fight” and “Who need parachutes?”

Slavery in Perspective: Past and Present

"Historical Saturday" Slavery Throughout History Egyptian Slavery All ancient civilizations engaged in the horrific practice of slavery. The primary source of slaves was war captives. Chattel slavery was accepted throughout the world for over 10,000 years. It was not until the abolitionist movement in America and Europe in the 18th Century that slavery became broadly … Continue reading Slavery in Perspective: Past and Present

Myth of Addictus: Slavery of Sin and Addiction

The word “addiction” comes from the Latin “addictus” meaning “slave.”  In ancient Rome, an “addictus” was a “debt slave.”  He or she was a person who was enslaved by a creditor because of a debt. Once the debt was paid, the slave was freed.  (This is the same philosophy underlying “debtor’s prison.”) The Roman Myth … Continue reading Myth of Addictus: Slavery of Sin and Addiction

Recent Riots & History of “Read the Riot Act”

"I read him the riot act," means "a stern reprimand or warning of consequences." Riots of 2020 In 2020, the gatherings in Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis, turned to into violence and looting. At some point the police make the announcement: “This has been declared a riot.  Disperse immediately or you will be arrested.” The crowd … Continue reading Recent Riots & History of “Read the Riot Act”

Pandemic Lockdowns: Misfortune or Opportunity?

The “lockdowns” and “social distancing” of the 2020 pandemic left many of us isolated, bored, depressed, and discouraged.  Is this situation a misfortune or an opportunity?  Is the glass “half empty or half full?” Wise King Solomon observed, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In 1665, the Great Plague rampaged through Britain.  In London … Continue reading Pandemic Lockdowns: Misfortune or Opportunity?

Goethe – “Ignorance in action”

Great Quotes  “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” -Goethe Paraphrase: “There is nothing more frightening than an active ignorance.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German writer, statesman, poet, philosopher“Faust” is his most famous work -- a of a man who sells his soul to the devil for power.