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Thoughts and comments about making life even better
Curated by Kenneth Weene
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Hidden codex may reveal secrets of life in Mexico before Spanish conquest

Hidden codex may reveal secrets of life in Mexico before Spanish conquest | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Hi-tech imaging has revealed exceptionally rare manuscript overlaid by 16th-century deerhide document held at Oxford University
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Once again we learn that the population of the Americas was not the simple aborigines whom the European world rescued from darkness but included incredibly sophisticated cultures even with books. 
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The Slave Who Stole the Confederate Codes—and a Rebel Warship

The Slave Who Stole the Confederate Codes—and a Rebel Warship | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
When three Confederate officers decided to go ashore for a night in Charleston, they left their gunboat in the hands of an enslaved pilot. It was a critical mistake.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Of course, if you listen to It Matters Radio, you already know about Robert Smalls because we interviewed author Patrick Abridge, author of Steering to Freedom. Why does It Matter? Because we try to find the best topics and guests.
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Is ‘The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ a fake? - The Boston Globe

Is ‘The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ a fake? - The Boston Globe | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A Harvard professor who rocked the musty world devoted to studying early Christianity when she presented a tiny swatch of papyrus that referred to Jesus as married now concedes the fragment is probably a forgery.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I remember posting about this when Dr. King originally released her study. I thought then and still think that it made sense for a charismatic young rabbi to have a significant other. While celibacy was practiced by many Essenes, it was not required. However, the practice was generally to have very long engagements, three years typically. So my guess is that Jesus did have a special someone in his life. Was it Mary from Magdalene or somebody else? That of course we don't know. The simple reality is that we know very little of this man's life, only the legends that centered on a short time, about three years if we believe the gospel of John who references three passovers. At any rate, I for one, do not begrudge him a bit of honey to go with his oil.
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The South’s Confederate-monument problem is not going away

The South’s Confederate-monument problem is not going away | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The narrative of America’s history has never been purely about what happened, but our memory of it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I have always loved history and revered its lessons. But what are the lessons of the monuments and flags of the Confederacy? Most of this brouhaha rests not on the actual war itself but on the determined defiance of children and grandchildren who believed they had in some way been deprived of their legacy and power. Throughout the south, there was (and continues to be) a rancor and racism that says, "We should have won. We should have kept our white supremacy. It was unfair because our soldiers were braver and our generals smarter. They beat us down with numbers and with wealth." In the end, we must not glorify the evils in our past—especially the evils of slavery and racism. But neither should we denigrate the dead who followed their beliefs into battle. We must find a new synthesis, one that can honor us all by forging a national identity that recognizes the importance of change and growth. 
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At Virginia home of President Monroe, a sizable revision of history

At Virginia home of President Monroe, a sizable revision of history | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Discovery, revealed on the former president's 258th birthday, shows his "modest" home was probably anything but.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
That's an humble guest house? Looks rather a good home to me. Still, I guess when you have wealth and slaves, you need a grand home and of course labor is no problem. Anyway, I do love history and especially when corrections come along. 
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When first ladies meet: An awkward post-election White House tradition

When first ladies meet: An awkward post-election White House tradition | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
What happens when it’s time to hand over the keys to 1600 Penn to a new family.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A fascinating look at a corner of history that we don't usually bother with. You won't learn anything important about the world in this article, but it will entertain. 
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Thank God for Coffee. No, Really.

Thank God for Coffee. No, Really. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Out of the many products we consume daily, coffee has one of the greatest stories.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A great bit of history for my favorite beverage. OK, there's a bit of marketing in here; obviously Starbucks had something to do with it and I don;t think Columbian is the best coffee in the world, but get past the hype and it's still the terrific story of COFFEE. 
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Israeli hiker finds 'second of kind' Roman coin - BBC News

An Israeli hiker has found an almost 2,000-year-old Roman coin that is only the second of its kind, authorities say.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is the kind of great archeological find I love to mention. I must say it is also refreshing that this woman didn't want fame or money in exchange for the coin. Anyway, it is an august event. (Yes, that's a pun) 
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Is This Stone the Clue to Why Jesus Was Killed?

Is This Stone the Clue to Why Jesus Was Killed? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A stone found in Israel with carvings of a chariot may be the key to understanding the charge of blasphemy leveled at Jesus Christ.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A fascinating bit of archeology and Biblical history. Did Jesus mean to refer to himself as God? If so, then it was assuredly blasphemy.

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A reflection of American history

A reflection of American history | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Growing up just outside of Boston, I was immersed in American history, especially from the Revolution. Down the road were Lexington and Concord, Faneuil Hall and Bunker Hill. This was where it had all begun. I dreamed of visiting Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the National Archive in Washington, DC. In the Archive I would see it, the real document, the Declaration of Independence.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is there an American right to impose one's values on others?

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Hungary's Orban suspects left-wing plot in migrant crisis

Hungary's Orban suspects left-wing plot in migrant crisis | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The tide of migrants coming to Europe from the Middle East and Africa may be part of a left-wing plot to pack the continent with sympathetic voters, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has told a Swiss magazine. Orban's anti-immigrant rhetoric and the border fences he has erected to block the wave of people fleeing war and poverty have made him a winner at home from a crisis that has divided Europe. "Migration is seen as an opportunity ... All indications and experience suggest that the overwh
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As refuges from around the world seek asylum, there are going to be nativists who see them as a threat. Few countries have a real history of diversity. The U.S. is (except for a few surviving Native Americans) a nation of immigrants and yet even here we have nativisits like Trump. And history has taught the people of Eastern Europe to fear the hordes who carried their black standard north from the Ottoman Empire. While I too feel for those displaced from the internecine wars of places like Syria, Iraq, Libya, and South Sudan, I do not condemn the people of Europe who want to protect themselves from an overwhelming influx and the challenge this new mass migration. In the end, my only conclusion is that homo sapiens suck.

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Carson Confirms He Believes Pyramids Were Built To Store Grain

Carson Confirms He Believes Pyramids Were Built To Store Grain | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Dr. Ben Carson on Wednesday night confirmed his belief that the pyramids in Egypt were built for grain storage by Joseph, the Biblical figure who helped the Egyptians survive famine, even though archaeologists have concluded that the pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs.

"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said in a 1998 speech surfaced by Buzzfeed News on Wednesday. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ gra
Kenneth Weene's insight:

First, forget archaeology because he has a Bible. Then does this mean Joseph was not one of the very first and few Israelite but the first to take Jews as slaves to build these granaries? Or perhaps there was no slavery in Egypt and Moses was a fraud, like Mr. Carson. The man is clearly an "idjut".

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Death of the Reagan revolution: Why the Southern Strategy is beginning to come undone

Death of the Reagan revolution: Why the Southern Strategy is beginning to come undone | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
For years, the GOP establishment harnessed the power of Southern whites for their own ends. Not any more
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Having started my political life as an Eisenhower Republican, I have watched that party move far from my values and now  prepare itself for dissolution. The sad reality is that the South has set itself up to lose the dignity which is so much a part of its heritage.

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In the middle of the Baltic Sea, a paradise for peacemakers

In the middle of the Baltic Sea, a paradise for peacemakers | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Aland Islands were once contested by Finland and Sweden, their immediate neighbors. But the dispute's peaceful resolution has worked so well that Aland now serves as an example to other cultural conflicts.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It may seem anachronistic, but in some ways, this tiny Finnish province is the most modern place on earth. It holds out a promise to us all, telling us that we really can get along, that we really can stop the fighting and the wars. Let's hope so. 
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Did a Fear of Slave Revolts Drive American Independence?

Did a Fear of Slave Revolts Drive American Independence? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
To the founders, separation from Britain was about racial fear and exclusion as much as it was about inalienable rights.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Of course, if you are a regular listener to It Matters Radio, you already know about the racist roots of the American revolution. In fact, if you are a regular reader of my posts, you may know that two of the major causes of the "founding fathers" were stealing land from the Native Americans and making sure that Black people stayed in chains. What's more they wanted this all done at the expense of the crown—no taxes on us Americans. Maybe it's time to rethink the glory of our revolution and put it in perspective so that we can go forward. 
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X-rays reveal 1,300-year-old writings inside later bookbindings

X-rays reveal 1,300-year-old writings inside later bookbindings | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The words of the 8th-century Saint Bede are among those that have been found by detecting iron, copper and zinc – constituents of medieval ink
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love this. Being able to read ancient texts and better yet not having to tear apart the wonderful old books in which they have been hidden. Which raises this great question about the distant future: How many people then will have access to the deathless prose of this great author? Well, you can make sure that your descendants do by laying in a supply of his work.   http://www.kennethweene.com 
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The Most Controversial Maypole in American History

The Most Controversial Maypole in American History | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It caused a major uproar in 17th-century Massachusetts
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The story of a merry New Englander and the Broody Puritans who wanted no such frivolity. Needless to say, the merry guy ended in the stocks. Yes, even back in the 17th Century I could have written a novel called Broody New Englander. 
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The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves

The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The ancient history of the potato could change the story of civilization
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is a fascinating piece of anthropological writing. Did what was being farmed affect the complexity of ancient cultures? The tubers, such as potatoes, versus the grains, such as corn: an interesting effect. 
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Eve Pasterfield's curator insight, August 16, 11:39 PM

The following article refers to how potatoes have evolved through the generations along with humans. It states how  potatoes are a "super crop" as they require minimal soil and water in order to grow, making them a popular carbohydrate choice across the globe. The article also states that potatoes (amongst other similar crops)  are grown in African, Asian and some European regions. Within the article, other key points are stated such as: Potatoes are an economical revolution because they can be grown in a majority of climates and conditions

They are a good food to eat because they are starchy and filling

Easily sourced and found at a reasonable price.

In ancient times, potatoes were seen as simple food and so was commonly found on the plates of those low on the societal hierarchy however now potatoes are a delicacy enjoyed in many different variations and are eaten by millions of people world-wide. 

Finally, the article says that today, potatoes are one of the worlds most important crops and, in the USA,  about 126 pounds of potatoes are consumed per year.

The article doesn't say anything about the production of the potato, merely it's background and reasons for such a vast popularity which offer an insight in to the benefits of potato growth and consumption.

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Dung clue to Hannibal's Alpine crossing - BBC News

Dung clue to Hannibal's Alpine crossing - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Scientists may be closer to revealing the route taken by Hannibal as he crossed to Alps to attack ancient Rome.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Shit, microbes, and archeology: what a fun read for lovers history. 
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Looking for America: Longing for something lost

Looking for America: Longing for something lost | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
PART 2 | In New Hampshire, the feeling is widespread. But what it truly means varies across demographics.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We have lost something, something that was especially to be found in New England. What to learn more about what that was? Read "Broody New Englander." my stories of Maine. The pros and cons of small town living come to life. http://tinyurl.com/hmgtkmf ;
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We have Lincoln wrong: Our greatest Lincoln historian explains his real Civil War motivations

We have Lincoln wrong: Our greatest Lincoln historian explains his real Civil War motivations | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Too often, we settle for the idea that Lincoln fought to save a mythical union. He really fought for opportunity
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Too often history has forgotten that Lincoln was first a Clay Whig and only later did he join the new Republican party. I think that these historians over emphasize Lincoln's concern for the common man; what he really believed in was the economic expansion of the American system. That said, it is important to note that he was a great believer in America and in her growth and unquestionably saw the South as a drag on that growth. He also knew that breaking the country in two would mean less growth. So yes, this is part of his motivation.
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In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History

In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Historians say a plaque installed by Mr. Trump at a golf course on the Potomac River commemorates a Civil War event that never happened.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The following quote from the story says it all about what's terribly wrong with the GOP today, that a concern for personal privilege and comfort is more important than any concern with truth:

"One member, a former history professor and a co-author of four Civil War novels, called the monument merely “strange.”

Much more important, he said, were the much-needed renovations Mr. Trump made to the golf courses.

“I am not going to lead a demonstration over this,” said the member, Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker. “It’s a country club with a golf course, for Pete’s sake.”"

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"This Is What They Did For Fun": A Modern-Day Lynching In Mississippi

"This Is What They Did For Fun": A Modern-Day Lynching In Mississippi | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Craig Anderson was headed home to celebrate his birthday with his partner. Instead, he became the victim of a brutal and violent form of racism that many in Mississippi had thought long gone.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Yes, this happened five years ago, but the wounds are still there. Yes, justice was served, if you don't count the kid who is growing up without a parent and the man who has lost his loving partner. The racial hatred that festers in this country is a far greater threat than the actions of terrorists from far off countries. It appalls me that none of the family members of this gang of thugs have tried to take any responsibility or show concern. They cry for the hooligans who committed not just murder but torture but they offer not a finger to the living victims. This was a good and fine man that was killed and we as a nation must bear the responsibility for yet another crime from our hate-filled history. Until we all recognize that responsibility and as a nation take responsibility, then those of us who do must keep shouting that Black lives matter.

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The Right to Heaven — Reflections on the History of Rights in America by Kenneth Weene

The Right to Heaven — Reflections on the History of Rights in America by Kenneth Weene | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

My maternal grandfather came to this country to seek his fortune and just as importantly to escape the Tsar’s army. His objection to service was not cowardice or conscientious objection; he just didn’t want to fight for a system that gave him no rights. “If I was nothing to him then why should the Tsar be something to me?” he explained as we walked from the apartment he and my grandmother shared to the small tobacco store which provided their living.

 

Years later Pa and I stood on another sidewalk. We were waiting for the parade. Ike was campaigning for the presidency and his motorcade was coming down Broadway—right in front of us!

Kenneth Weene's insight:

I share some of my thoughts on rights as seen through the lens of American History. I hope you'll read the essay and that it will get you thinking.

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This castle is something to behold, but its renovation is so much more than merely beautiful.

This castle is something to behold, but its renovation is so much more than merely beautiful. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Helping the Earth never looked so beautiful.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I had to share this because of the beauty of the old chateau. I can't imagine having the money to restore it, but this is a fun story.

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