Category Archives: History

Days of infamy.

December 7th, 1941. November 22, 1963. September 11, 2001. January 6, 2021. These days raise questions: Where were you when you heard about Pearl Harbor? What were you doing when you heard Kennedy had been shot? Who told you about … Continue reading

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Oh my God.

The Russians have won. We have turned into a banana republic.

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Let’s try something new.

Yesterday was my birthday. I usually commemorate it in my this blog by going through all the horrible things that happened this week. This year, I think it is really important to keep strong, so I’m going to try looking … Continue reading

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Mary Queen of Scots.

[Spoilers for Mary Queen of Scots.] I saw Mary Queen of Scots last night. I thought they did a pretty good job on the history, although I would quibble with the death scene. They did not age Mary at all, … Continue reading

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History and Hollywood.

Quick — which British monarchs have had the most movies and tv series made about them? Henry VIII and his wives? Elizabeth I ? (Note: be sure to include the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots movie, in which Elizabeth is … Continue reading

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If you have seen the movie The Monuments Men (which I loved, although the critics didn’t), you know that the Nazis seized the Ghent altarpiece from St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The movie showed this as evidence of the evil … Continue reading

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Movies: facing the past.

On Tuesday, I saw Hidden Figures, about three African-American women who fought bigotry and misogyny to become important figures at NASA. It’s a great movie, and a story that needs to be told. And, like Selma, I found it difficult … Continue reading

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It could be worse. If you Google “Labor Day hurricane Florida,” the top hit will not be Hurricane Hermine. Instead it will be the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, the strongest and most intense storm ever to make landfall in … Continue reading

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The sound of breaking glass.

Perhaps I am naive, but I don’t worry too much about our country indulging in mass killings of Muslims by the the government. We are not Nazi Germany. I could be wrong, of course: if you had told me fifteen … Continue reading

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Just a reminder: this year marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Berkeley Free Speech movement.  It was a movement that could only take place in an environment free from social media, from a job market where potential graduates have to … Continue reading

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Fifty years on.

I was two years old when Kennedy was shot.  I don’t have memories of where I was and what I was doing,  the way I do of Challenger exploding or the planes hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11.  I … Continue reading

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And, just to note…

It’s another damn mid-April anniversary. Abraham Lincoln’s death. April 15. Adolf Hitler’s birth. April 20. The sinking of the Titanic. April 14. Tiananmen Square, April 21. The 1927 floods in Louisiana. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. April 18. The 2010 … Continue reading

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Dear Mayan “expert”: An event that happens every 100 years is in astronomical terms (and pretty much in human terms, as well) not “very rare.”  In terms of the cosmos, that’s less than a blink of an eye. I think … Continue reading

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DIckens Fair.

I spent Sunday before last at the Dickens Fair. It required a great suspension of disbelief on my part. Like its brother, Ren Fair, Dickens Fair is a venue where adults can go to pretend that they are back in … Continue reading

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I can’t believe I never caught that.

The things you learn from Cracked.com:  The Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville” was a Vietnam War protest song. According to the songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, they had to be subtle about their anti-war beliefs because, well, it was … Continue reading

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