NOTE: This feature was originally published in March 26, 2013…. As you may have heard, SCOTUS is hearing oral, and possibly anal, arguments about gay marriage today. In a stroke of irony, this is day after March 25, nine months before Christmas. In other words, a crucial day, in the most famous unconsummated marriage in history.
PG began to ponder the traditional marriage of Joseph and Mary. Apparently, Joseph’s last name is lost to history. The question of the day is “when did Joseph and Mary get married?”. Facilities such as Liberty Gospel Tracts and Fish Eaters Traditional Catholic Forum have answers.
LGT (the B got kicked out for some reason) contributes a bible passage, Matthew 1:18-19. 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Put her away in the privy? That is some kinky business there. Maybe the Christians and Jews have it all wrong. The thirds Abrahamic religion, Islam, might have the answer. A site, TurnToIslam, has another point of view about the traditional definition of marriage.
What about Mary, Jesus’ Mother peace be upon both of them? How old was she when she got pregnant? Not only was it a custom in the Arab society to Engage/Marry a young girl it was also common in the Jewish society. The case of Mary the mother of Jesus comes to mind, in non biblical sources she was between 11-14 years old when she conceived Jesus. Mary had already been “BETROTHED” to Joseph before conceiving Jesus. Joseph was a much older man. therefore Mary was younger than 11-14 years of age when she was “BETHROED” to Joseph. We Muslims would never call Joseph a Child Molester, nor would we refer to the “Holy Ghost” of the Bible, that “Impregnated” Mary as a “Rapist” or “Adulterer”.
“….it is possible that Mary gave birth to her Son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age….”Mary was approximately 14 years old when she got pregnant with Jesus. Joseph, Mary’s Husband is believed to be around 36. Mary was only 13 when she married Joseph. When she first was arranged with Joseph she was between 7 to 9 years old.”
According to the “Oxford Dictionary Bible” commentary, Mary (peace be upon her) was was 12 years old when she became impregnated. So if I want to be as silly and ridiculous as many of the Christians, I would respond to them by saying that Mary was psychologically and emotionally devastated for getting pregnant at a very young age. And speaking of “child molesting”, since most Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator of this universe, then why did G-D allow himself to enter life through a 12-year old young girl’s vagina? Please note that we Muslims love and respect Allah Almighty, Mary, Jesus and Allah’s Message to the People of the Book (The Jews and Christians). In other words, we Muslims would never make fun of Christianity through such childish topic like this one as many ridiculous Christians do make fun of Islam through our Prophet’s (peace be upon him) marriage.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
Today is 3-14. It is a tuesday, and 314 are the first three digits of pi (affectionately known as π ). It is a math thing, the number you multiply a diameter by to get the circumference. When your grammar school math teacher told you about π, she probably used 3.14, or 3 1/7. (PG went to school when Hewlett and Packard were still in the garage.)
You might also have heard the formula for the area of a circle, the racy π r squared . This means that you multiply π by the radius (half the diameter, a line from the border to the center point), and then multiply the whole contraption by the radius again. The formula has a funny sound to it. Pie are not square, cornbread is square, pie are round. Like Sly Stone says, all the squares go home.
According to wikipedia, π seems to have been known as early as 1900 b.c. The pyramids of Egypt have a π based feature. The Greek letter π is the first letter of the Greek word περίμετρος (perimeter) . This was determined OTP.
The pyramid- π function is fairly simple. The total length of the four sides, at the base, will be the same as the height of the pyramid, times two, times π. PG likes to make model pyramids. They are 6″ tall, and the base sides are 9 3/8″. The combination of these four sides is 37 1/2″. If you multiply 6x2x3.14, you get 37.68″ The .18″ is because of a measuring error.
A lady named Eve Astrid Andersson has a page of her website dedicated to π. The only trivia question that PG understood was the first one…1. What is the formal definition of pi? …the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter // 3.14159 // the radius of a unit circle // the surface area of a sphere of diameter 22/7 // a delicious dessert, especially if it contains cherries.
There is the football cheer from M.I.T. ” Cosine, secant, tangent, sine 3.14159 // Integral, radical, u dv, slipstick, slide rule, MIT!”
In 1998 a movie titled π was released. It caused brain damage in 3.14% of those who saw it. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that 1998 = 666 x 3.
π has been calculated to over five million digits. The second part of this feature are a few of those numbers. There are 82 characters in each line. This feature shows π extended to 10,165 digits. This is .02% of five million. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
It is fat tuesday again. For someone who lived most of his life in Georgia, it is just another day.
In 1990, PG went to carnival. He rented sleeping bag space in a house on Marigny Street, just outside the quarter. It was like nothing he had ever seen.
This was 14 months after PG quit drinking. If he had life to do over, he would have gone to Mardi Gras first. He did feel good about going through that much drinking without being tempted to participate.
By the end of the Rex Parade, PG was getting tired of the whole shebang, Mob scenes of drunks, in costume, can get old. PG has not been back.
Two years later, the Grateful Dead was playing at the Omni, and the camp followers were in the parking lot. PG would go on his lunch hour and observe. A young lady walked by, and PG said Happy Mardi Gras. She gave him a string of beads.
Five years after that, PG had a boss from New Orleans. He looked like the Grinch who stole Christmas. He also hated Mardi Gras. PG did not know this, and greeted him Tuesday morning with a cheerful Happy Mardi Gras. If looks could kill, PG would have dropped dead. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
The story below was found at the website of James Petras . HT to palestinianpundit. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
The settlements were still being built, financed mostly by Jewish money from America, contributions from Wall Street speculators and owners of gambling dens. “Good thing”, Joseph thought, “we have a few sheep and olive trees and Mary keeps some chickens. But Joseph worried, “cheese and olives are not enough to feed a growing boy. Mary is due to deliver our son any day”. His dreams foretold of a sturdy son working alongside of him…multiplying loaves and fish.
The settlers looked down on Joseph. He rarely attended shul, and on the high holidays, he would show up late to avoid the tithe. Their simple cottage was located in a nearby ravine with water from a stream, which flowed year round. It was choice real estate for any settlement expansion. So when Joseph fell behind on his property tax, the settlers took over their home, forcibly evicted Joseph and Mary and offered them a one-way bus ticket to Jerusalem. Joseph, born and raised in the arid hills, fought back and bloodied not a few settlers with his labor-hardened fists. But in the end he sat, battered on their bridal bed under the olive tree, in black despair. Mary, much the younger, felt the baby’s movements. Her time was near. “We have to find shelter, Joseph, we have to move on …this is no time for revenge”, she pleaded. Joseph, who believed with the Old Testament prophets in an “eye for an eye”, reluctantly agreed. So it was that Joseph sold their sheep, chickens and other belongings to an Arab neighbor and bought a donkey and cart. He loaded up the mattress, some clothes, cheese, olives and eggs and they set out for the Holy City.
The donkey path was rocky and full of potholes. Mary winced at every bump; she worried that it would harm the baby. Worse, this was the road for the Palestinians with military checkpoints everywhere. No one ever told Joseph that, as a Jew, he could have taken a smooth paved road – forbidden to the Arabs. At the first roadblock Joseph saw a long line of Arabs waiting. Pointing to his very pregnant wife, Joseph asked the Palestinians, half in Arabic, half in Hebrew, if they could go ahead. A path was opened and the couple went forward. A young soldier raised his rifle and told Mary and Joseph to get down from the cart. Joseph descended and nodded to his wife’s stomach. The soldier smirked and turned to his comrades, “The old Arab knocks up the girl he bought for a dozen sheep and now he wants a free pass”. Joseph, red with anger, shouted in rough Hebrew, “I am a Jew. But unlike you … I respect pregnant women”. The soldier poked Joseph with his rifle and ordered him to step back: “You are worse than an Arab – you’re an old Jew who screws Arab girls”. Mary frightened by the exchange turned to her husband and cried, “Stop Joseph or he will shoot you and our baby will be born an orphan”.
With great difficulty, Mary got down from the wagon. An officer came out of the guard station, summoning a female soldier, “Hey Judi, go feel under her dress, she might be carrying bombs” “What’s the matter? Don’t you like to feel them yourself anymore? ” Judith barked back in Brooklyn-accented Hebrew. While the soldiers argued, Mary leaned on Joseph for support. Finally, the soldiers came to an agreement. “Pull-up your dress and slip”, Judith ordered. Mary blanched in shame. Joseph faced the gun in disgrace. The soldiers laughed and pointed at Mary’s swollen breasts, joking about an unborn terrorist with Arab hands and a Jewish brain.
Joseph and Mary continued on the way to the Holy City. They were frequently detained at the checkpoints along the way. Each time they suffered another delay, another indignity and more gratuitous insults spouted by Sephardim and Ashkenazi, male and female, secular and religious – all soldiers of the Chosen people. It was dusk when Mary and Joseph finally reached the Wall. The gates had closed for the night. Mary cried out in pain, “Joseph, I can feel the baby coming soon. Please do something quickly”. Joseph panicked. He saw the lights of a small village nearby and, leaving Mary on the cart, Joseph ran to the nearest house and pounded on the door. A Palestinian woman opened the door slightly and peered into the dark, agitated face of Joseph. “Who are you? What do you want?” “I am Joseph, a carpenter from the hills of Hebron. My wife is about to give birth and I need shelter to protect Mary and the baby”. Pointing to Mary on the donkey cart, Joseph pleaded in his strange mixture of Hebrew and Arabic.
“Well, you speak like a Jew but you look like an Arab,” the Palestinian woman said laughing as she walked back with him to the cart. Mary’s face was contorted with pain and fear: her contractions were more frequent and intense. The woman ordered Joseph to bring the cart around to a stable where the sheep and chickens were kept. As soon as they entered, Mary cried out in pain and the Palestinian woman, who had now been joined by a neighbor midwife, swiftly helped the young mother down onto a bed of straw. And thus the child was born, as Joseph watched in awe.
It came to pass that shepherds, returning from their fields, heard the mingled cries of birth and joy and hurried to the stable carrying both their rifles and fresh goat milk, not knowing whether it was friend or foe, Jew or Arab. When they entered the stable and beheld the mother and infant, they put aside their weapons and offered the milk to Mary who thanked them in both Hebrew and Arabic. And the shepherds were amazed and wondered: Who were these strange people, a poor Jewish couple, who came in peace on a donkey cart inscribed with Arabic letters?
The news quickly spread about the strange birth of a Jewish child just outside the Wall in a Palestinian’s stable. Many neighbors entered and beheld Mary, the infant and Joseph. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers, equipped with night vision goggles, reported from their watchtowers overlooking the Palestinian neighborhood, “The Arabs are meeting just outside the Wall, in a stable, by candle light”. The gates under the watchtowers flew open and armored carriers with bright lights followed by heavily armed solders drove out and surrounded the stable, the assembled villagers and the Palestinian woman’s house. A loud speaker blared, “Come out with your hands up or we’ll shoot.” Joseph stepped forward with his hands stretched out to the sky and spoke, “My wife, Mary cannot comply with your order. She is nursing the baby Jesus”
Today is National Fruitcake Day PG sees a chance for some text to put between pictures. He would be nutty as a fruitcake to turn down this chance. This is a repost. Part two of this recycled holiday blog party is a tribute to The Fruitcake Lady.
Fruitcakes were buried with the dead in Ancient Egypt. It’s true. Ancient Egyptians used to fill the tombs of the dead with all the supplies that they would need to enjoy the afterlife, including food and water. Fruitcake was often put into the tomb of a deceased person because a fruitcake soaked in a natural preservative like alcohol or fruit juice would last a long time. It was thought that the preserved fruitcake would not spoil on the journey to the afterlife. Fruitcake was a staple food of other ancient Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Mediterranean cultures as well
Candied fruits are used in fruitcake because using sugar was the only way to preserve the fruit long enough to get it back to Europe from the Middle East. When the Crusaders began carrying exotic fruits back to their European home the fresh fruit would spoil long before they were able to get it home. Ingenious traders began drying the fruits by candying them with sugar which made them an even more delicious treat and preserved them indefinitely. Once the candied fruits were sent to Europe and to other parts of the world they were baked into cakes so that they could be shared with family and friends on special occasions.
Fruitcakes will last for years without spoiling. It’s true. A fruitcake that is properly preserved with an alcohol soaked cheesecloth that is then wrapped in plastic wrap or foil can be kept unrefrigerated for years without spoiling. In the past, before refrigerators came along, families would make fruitcake for holidays and special occasions months in advance of the actual event and then let the covered fruitcakes sit wrapped in an alcohol soaked cloth until the event happened. As long as the cloth was remoistened with alcohol occasionally the cakes not only didn’t spoil, they actually tasted richer and sweeter because they had been soaking in brandy and rum for a couple of months.
To millions of fruitcake consumers, the town of Claxton GA is very special. This south Georgia town, just down the road from Reidsville, is home to Claxton Fruit Cake . The story of the Claxton Fruit Cake company is a sweet one. Savino Tos founded the Claxton Bakery in 1910. He hired Albert Parker in 1927, and sold him the business in 1945. Mr. Parker decided to sell Fruit Cake to America.
No story about fruitcake is complete without mentioning the “Fruitcake Lady”. Marie Rudisill , an aunt of Truman Capote, wrote a book of fruitcake recipes. She became a tv celebrity, before going to the bakery in the sky November 3, 2006.
The urban dictionary has nine listings for fruit cake. The ones for homosexuals and crazy people are there. UD gets creative with this selection: “The act of releasing green chunky diarrhea onto your partners face then, ejaculating on it, then punching him/her in the nose causing the colors to mix together to form a fruit cake like color.”
If you tire of jokes about fruitcake, you can go to The society for the protection and preservation of fruitcake . (If you click on the “new URL”, you will be invited to join in the green card lottery.) There used to be a link on the society page that enables you to buy Fruitcake Mints. “Keep your breath fruitcake fresh with these festive mints!”
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
There was a political comment on facebook. The last sentence was “No wonder Georgia turned Republican after the Clintons sold poor people out.” The person making this comment was born in 1980, the same year Georgia elected a Republican to the US Senate. This person also was born and raised in Florida. PG thought of a smart comeback. This is a repost.
There was a famous video by the Fruitcake Lady. In the first part, a young lady asks who to vote for in an upcoming election. FL makes a face, and said “you’re gonna ask someone who lives in FLORIDA how to vote?” This is along the lines of a Floridian transplant explaining the Republicanization of Georgia. Unfortunately, the video with the Fruitcake Lady had been taken down for copyright infringement. The spell check suggestions for Republicanization: Recapitalization, Cannibalization.
PG wasn’t really doing anything, and was in the mood for a google wild goose chase. This led to an amazing article, Sweet as Sugar, Rude as Hell, My Lost Interview with Truman Capote’s Aunt. A writer for the fishwrapper went to a mobile home in Hudson, FL. He talked to Marie Rudisill, who was best known as Truman Capote’s “Aunt Tiny.” The meeting took place in 1997, and was not what the writer expected. A family friendly version of the meeting was published The journalist received a slice of fruitcake in the mail. Everyone concerned went on with their lives.
Marie Rudisill died November 3, 2006, after becoming famous as the Fruitcake Lady. As for the journalist: “When I left The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2009, I stashed 27 years of old newspapers, tapes and ephemera in my garage. Nothing is more depressing to me than those boxes of old newspapers. It’s my own private morgue — replete with the sickening scent of dust and roach pills…. When I finally mustered the courage to dig around, I found the Lewis interviews — as well as a cache of other recordings. Three of the tapes had Rudisill’s name scribbled on them. I was not quite ready to listen, though. I put them in a box and labeled it.”
In 1924, Truman Streckfus Persons was born in New Orleans LA. His mother, Lillie Mae (Aunt Tiny’s older sister) left her husband behind, and took the boy to Monroeville AL. They lived in a wild household. A neighbor was Harper Lee, who wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Miss Lee was a close friend, as was Sook. This is Truman’s cousin, the fruitcake chef herone of “A Christmas Memory.”
After a while, Lillie Mae married Joe Capote, who adopted the boy. They moved to New York, where Aunt Tiny joined them. Truman was sent to military school. Everyone, except Lillie Mae, thought this was a terrible idea. The effort to butch up young Truman did not work.
Aunt Tiny wrote a book, Truman Capote: The Story of His Bizarre and Exotic Boyhood by an Aunt Who Helped Raise Him. It was published in 1983, a year before Truman died. “The book scandalized Monroeville — and Capote. He told The Washington Post: “If there are 20 words of truth in it, I will go up on a cross to save humanity.” Said Harper Lee: “I have never seen so many misstatements of fact per sentence as in that book.”
There is one story that sticks out…. “Rudisill breaks down just once during our interview. It’s when she recalls “the first time Truman ever had a sexual encounter with a priest.” She was living in Greenwich Village, having followed Lillie Mae and Truman to New York. “He was sitting on my doorstep when I came home from work, and he had blood all in his pants, and then he told me about this priest. And nobody, I don’t think anybody in the world ever knew that but me.”
There is more to the story. If you have the time, you might enjoy reading the full article. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
There is enough talk about Christmas already. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
At some point, three holidays started to be observed on a certain Monday. The big three are MLK Birthday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. This post proposes making long weekends out of two more holidays. Whether this will happen is a good question. In any event, it will be a good excuse for text to go between some pictures. These pictures are from The Library of Congress. The pictures are Union Soldiers, from the War Between the States. This is a repost.
The first holiday to be converted is fourth of July. Under the new plan, Independence Day would be observed on the first Monday in July.
It has long been a good question why July 4 is the big day. The Continental Congress voted to declare Independence on July 2, 1776. July 6 saw the Declaration of Independence announced in the PA Evening Gazette. July 8 saw Col. John Nixon give the first public reading of the Declaration.
The other holiday due for an overhaul is Christmas. Since Christmas Eve is considered a holiday by many, Christmas should be celebrated on the fourth Friday of December.
Like Independence Day, there is considerable debate about when Jesus was born. Many scholars think the birth was in spring. Apparently, Rome decided to hold this celebration on a pagan holiday.
Traditionalists are not going to like this proposed change. It is not likely to be enacted anytime soon. It would be a more efficient use of our working time to not have Independence Day, and Christmas, occur in the middle of the week. It also problematic when the holidays fall on a weekend. Pay for holidays is part of the compensation for many, and having the holiday off on another day leads to confusion. If the holidays were adjusted per this proposal, then this would not be a problem.
Until 2009, PG had never heard of Mithras.
Mithras is a Persian deity, from the Zoroaster tradition.(That is pronounced Zor uh THRUS ta.) Not much is known about Mithras … did he really exist, or was he a legend? There was a cult of Mithras in the first century Roman empire.
There are supposed to be similarities between Mithras and Jesus. These include the virgin birth, the birth on December 25, and rising from the dead after three days. Some spoilsports say the early christians grafted Jesus onto the legend of Mithras.
One indication that this might be true is The Catholic Encyclopedia. “Some apparent similarities exist; but … it is quite probable that Mithraism was the borrower from Christianity.” This repost has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
SFFILK (Not his real name) passes along a story about Mel Tormé. It seems like Mr.Tormé was eating a leisurely breakfast at a food court in Los Angeles, and a quartet appeared singing Christmas songs. They wound up performing “The Christmas Song” for co- author Tormé … and the singers had no idea who he was. It is a good story, better told in the link. (The link no longer works.) This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
According to the inerrant Wikipedia, Mr. Tormé collaborated with Robert Wells, until they had a falling out. One afternoon, on the hottest day of July in 1945, Mr.Tormé went to visit Mr.Wells, and saw the first four lines of “The Christmas Song” (including “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”). The lines were on a note pad, and the two agreed to beat the heat of summer by completing the song. Supposedly, Mr. Tormé did not like the song very much. After three divorces, he probably didn’t see many of the royalties.
Mel Tormé was the music director of the ill fated “Judy Garland Show” in the early sixties. He wrote a book about it… The Other Side of the Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol . The story is that Miss Garland would get blasted, call Mr.Tormé in the middle of the night, and pour out her troubles. (This review is much less sympathetic towards Mr. Tormé.) While the show did not last longer, there are some great youtube clips left over.
The story below is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There is an appearance by Gerald Rudolph Ford, and his women. Betty was a merry soul.
Someone posted a bit of revisionism about a holiday classic. As he sees it, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is about racism.
In a bit of yuletime synchronicity, the urban mythbusters at Snopes posted a piece about Rudolph the same day. It seems as though the Rudolph story was originally written for the Montgomery Ward Stores. The idea was to print a Christmas booklet to give to customers. A staff writer named Robert L. May was picked for the job.
Originally, there were concerns about the red nose, and the connection to heavy drinking. At the time, the original meaning of “merry christmas” had been forgotten. Merry meant intoxicated, and a merry christmas was a drunken one. The booklet was released. It was a big hit with shoppers.
Mr. May had a brother in law named Johnny Marks, who was musically gifted. Mr. Marks wrote the song, and somehow or another Gene Autry came to sing it. A story (which PG heard once, but cannot find a source for) had Mr. Autry doing a recording session. The session went very smoothly, and the sides scheduled to be recorded were finished early. There was a half hour of studio time paid for. Someone produced copies of “Rudolph”, gave them to the musicians, and the recording was knocked out. It became a very big hit.
Gene Autry had a radio show, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch”. He created the “cowboy code”. Number five gets our attention today. Under this code, the cowboy must:
1. never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage. 2. never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him. 3. always tell the truth. 4. be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
5. not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. 6. help people in distress. 7. be a good worker. 8. keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits. 9. respect women, parents and his nation’s laws. 10. be a patriot.
“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has become a beloved standard, without the troubling religious implications of many holiday songs. It is the second biggest selling record of all time. The only song to sell more is “White Christmas”.
PG does not want to bore you with talk about gratitude. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There will be one story.
“I used to work for a company that produced annual reports. One year, I was sent on this huge cross country trip to art direct a series of shots for a food processing mega-company, and one of the stops involved a turkey farm. Okay, so you have to understand that turkeys are extremely skittish birds. The slightest thing will set them off, so the farmer kept them in a large, basically dark barn just to keep them under some semblance of control. So we go in, and the photographer sets up the lights, which he gradually turned on so the birds (and me, for that matter) could get used to it. Everything’s going fine. We have the farmer in front of his (literally) hundreds of free-range turkeys. The photographer clicks off the shot… and in doing so sets off a flash he forgot he had triggered. Immediate chaos: birds running everywhere.At least a dozen fainted and died right on the spot. Farmer was none too happy. Neither was the agency.”