Here Julie Andrews sings In The Bleak Midwinter. It’s from her Christmas television special which aired Dec. 14, 1973.
Winter 2017 Starts Now — Today, Dec. 21, is 2016’s winter solstice which is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year.
If this website’s clock is properly synched it is 11:28 a.m.. EST. and that means winter has started.
The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.” As per the Old Farmer’s Almanac: In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day.
At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.
Winter 2017 Starts Now
Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett originally was published Nov. 25, 2015. The men responsible for naming the day, Joe Barrett and Nate Kleger were co-workers and friends of William Lawrence Sr. who provides us with our Omnibits and Cryptowits.
Black Friday, in reference to the day after Thanksgiving, was first used in a 1951 article in the trade publication Factory Management and Maintenance” and concerned the habit of employees calling in sick the day after the holiday to get a four-day weekend.
The article by M. J. Murphy recommended just making the day a paid holiday.
However, the term’s use as a day of shopping chaos has a Philadelphia root, the popularization of which can be squarely placed on the shoulders of Joseph P. Barrett and Nathan Kleger, who were police reporters with the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.
Philadelphia traffic squad cops had been using the phrase to describe the massive Center City traffic jams that occurred the day after Thanksgiving. Kleger and Barrett wrote a front-page piece circa 1960 in which they appropriated the phrase. The paper in ensuing years continued with the phrase and local TV soon joined.
And then the nation.
Black Friday Name Origin Joseph P. Barrett
My father-in-law passed away peacefully in his sleep last week. He was 92 and the original American piece of work. He had children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He never wanted much, just his own way.
Joseph, was a product of the end of the first world war. He was second generation Italian on one side, and on another had an ancestor that fought in the Civil War. Being a history and genealogy junkie, I liked to feed him tidbits of research on his background. Tidbits that helped strengthened his belief in his family’s foundation and confident in its accomplishments. He thought that it was so great that there existed an historical map of his lifetime through these tidbits, a picture of the ship from the 1800s where parts of his family had come back and forth from Italy, the census from 1910, and his Navy discharge papers that were long lost after his service in the South Pacific in WWII.
He was a small handsome Italian guy, blonde with blue eyes; just a regular Joe.
His history was very important to him. It helped him know that he didn’t arrive on this earth alone. He talked always of his city of Philadelphia, where he was born and raised and where he raised his own. He talked of how such and such a thing ended up where, who built it and who tore it down.
He was brought to this place by the grace of God through his ancestors from places which were not nearly as prosperous as the one they were headed for. America. Relatives worked all means of dirty, skilled and semi-skilled jobs. He was so proud of them.
In recent years we have been reprimanded, warned not to be haughty over the success of the American dream and the infrastructure built by average Americans that built the strongest economy in the world. We were told, “No, you didn’t build that”.
The American dream has almost NOTHING to do with money or entitlement. It is uniquely American in that any average Joe, who keeps his shoulder to the wheel, and has the drive, can provide a nice living for his family and extended family. A family history did NOTHING to hold him back. Because his grandfather was a shoemaker, it didn’t mean he couldn’t be an electrician or a plumber or a doctor or whatever it took to thrive given his determination and abilities. Class has nothing to do with anything in America. Only those who wish to hold on to power or wealth and try to keep you poor and dependent will tell you that it does.
Petty Officer Joe American was buried with full ceremony and honors for his rank, with taps and a shot gun salute and the entire nine yards of military tribute. His rank not given due to his lineage or royalty as would have been true in Europe. It was earned. He was an American, a classic product of the blessed and noble American experiment wrought from the European Enlightenment.
On this Thanksgiving Day, thank God first of course, but then also thank Joe and all of his fellow veterans and family who gave us what we have and shame on those who seek to diminish it.
Joe American, Thanksgiving And God
Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn –Let us today, this Columbus Day ignore Howard Zinn, who was after all a very bad historian, and celebrate the guy who, for all intents and purposes, discovered America.
Vinland, after all, never really took.
Howard Zinn was a socialist who wrote “A People’s History of the United States” which used to be able to be read for free at a site, appropriately enough regarding Zinn, called HistoryIsAWeapon.com. It no longer seems to be available there, however.
Zinn claims that America has always been ruled by oppressors — the 1 percenters who own a third of the wealth and keep control by fermenting dissent among the 99 percent who are the rest of us — and starts his claim with Columbus who he says committed genocide on the residents of the West Indies.
It seems to be the theme pushed by the hipster crowd in the twenty-teens.
Well, the truth is the Spanish were pretty rough on the native peoples of the Caribbean, something we know from Spanish sources, but the cruelty was obviously not done at the direction of Spanish authorities as steps were taken to stop it when complaints reached them. Further, the native peoples of the Caribbean were not without their flaws either. The name for the Caribbean comes from the Carib tribe, from whence we also get the word cannibal.
And while Columbus was far from perfect he does not appear to be the gratuitously cruel tyrant Zinn and our hipster friends claim him to be. In Columbus’ own words this is what he says about the Lucayan peoples of the Bahamas who Zinn et al alleges he mutilated and slaughtered: “They are very gentle and without knowledge of what is evil; nor do they murder or steal… . Your Highness may believe that in all the world there can be no better people … they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are always laughing.”
It seems the revisionists are getting their signals crossed, which is understandable as Zinn is a rather bad historian.
America is a place that allowed tens of millions of Europeans and Asians to escape the feudalism that infected their homelands and her discovery only deserves to be celebrated. Even Africans should celebrate. Slavery existed in Africa — it wasn’t Europeans doing the slave catching — before the trans-Atlantic slave trade and it was only after the founding of the United States did the push begin to end it. Pennsylvania was one of the first recognized governments in in history, to ban slavery which happened in 1780 in the middle of the Revolutionary War.
Hipsters ironically want a day named for Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas and there is a point to that as the Bishop is one of history’s good guys. On the other hand, he was the one who suggested that the labor lost due to the death of Indians be replaced by Africans and some credit him with the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
History is a bit more nuanced than Zinn and the hipster crowd make it out to be.
One more bit of irony: Zinn’s work was popularized by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck who grew up near Zinn and were family friends. Damon and Affleck are now part of the one-percenter crowd. They have yet to give most of their money to the rest of us, and certainly have not led any crusades to end the tax breaks for performing artists who receive mega millions per film.
Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn
The 2017 autumnal equinox is right now 4:02 p.m. EDT, EDT Sept. 22 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac as the sun crosses the celestial equator. Fall has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days are now shorter than the nights and will continue to be so until the spring equinox.
The celestial equator is a circle concentric with the actual equator that extends infinitely to space. As the Earth has a 23 degree tilt the the northern half tilts towards the Sun during half its orbit and away the other half. The equinoxes occur when tilt switches.
2017 Autumnal Equinox
Summer 2017 Starts Now — Summer 2017 starts 12:24 a.m. EDT, June 21, which is right now if our internet service provider’s clock is accurate.
This means that tilt of Earth’s semi-axis is most inclined to the sun in the Northern Hemisphere which is a solstice.
The axis will in a few moments slowly start reversing itself until it is the Southern Hemisphere that is most inclined to the sun.
This would be the start of our winter (and Argentina’s summer).
Today is the longest day of the year.
Summer 2017 Starts Now
Christos Voskrese 2017 — Christos voskrese, which means Christ has Risen, is the Easter greeting in Church Slavonic which brings the response Voistinu voskrese or Indeed, He has risen.
Easter, of course, celebrates the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the salvation of Man. The date for Easter is the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, which is always reckoned, regardless of astronomical observations, to be March 21 as per the Western churches that use the Gregorian calendar, so Easter always falls between March 22 and April 25.
The dating for Easter correlates with the means the Jews once used to set the date for Passover, which correlates with Scripture since Scripture indicates that the Crucifixion of the Lord occurred as the lambs were being slaughtered for the celebration of that holiday. In fact, in most Western languages the name for the day is a cognate of the Pesach which is the Hebrew name for Passover. In Latin it would be Pascha so Paschal lamb would be Passover lamb.
In English and German, the word comes from Eostre month, which was basically April, and which the pagans who spoke Germanic languages had named for the goddess Eostre much as our own March and April are named for the Greek god and goddess Mars and Aphrodite, respectively. In Slavic, the holiday is called “Great Night” (Velikonoce in Slovak) or “Great Day” (Velikden in Ukrainian). There are some caveats regarding the date. The Eastern churches that use the Julian calendar set the equinox at April 3, and, of course, the spring equinox is based on that of the Northern Hemisphere.
So, Christos Voskrese 2017.