My Top 5 Articles of 2021

top5

  These are the Top 5 articles from my blog this year based on the number of reader views at billpetro.com:   Top 5 of 2021   1. History of Telemachus This is the oft-told story of the monk who caused the Roman gladiatorial games to be ended upon his martyrdom on January 1, A.D.…

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Movie Review: Dune

Dune

MOVIE REVIEW: DUNE   Spice!     I met Frank Herbert, author of Dune, over 40 years ago at “Comics and Comix” a premier comic and book store in Berkeley that was a favorite haunt of mine at the time. Of course, I got him to sign my paperback, but he was interested in talking…

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Movie Review: No Time To Die

No Time To Die

MOVIE REVIEW: NO TIME TO DIE This James Bond film is the 25th in the Eon Productions canon and the last for the actor Daniel Craig. But this is not the end of the almost 60-year film franchise. It is an above-average James Bond flick and an immensely satisfying conclusion to Daniel Craig’s tenure as…

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History of the 1st Year of Coronavirus: It Ain’t Over Yet

phases-of-disaster

HISTORY OF THE 1st YEAR OF CORONAVIRUS: IT AIN’T OVER YET One year ago today, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rapidly spreading Coronavirus a global pandemic. It had noted in early January last year a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. Soon thereafter, it reported in their Disease…

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History of Erasing Unpopular Leaders: Damnatio Memoriae

HeadlessNero

HISTORY OF ERASING UNPOPULAR LEADERS: DAMNATIO MEMORIAE During the early Roman Empire two millennia ago, an emperor might be deified after he died if he was popular and good. (Think: the Divine Augustus.) Alternatively, if he was unpopular and wicked, he was “erased” from society’s memory. The Latin term Damnatio Memoriae means the condemnation of…

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History of the Fourth Estate: The Press

Fourth Estate

HISTORY OF THE FOURTH ESTATE: THE PRESS When you hear about The Fourth Estate, it usually means The Press. Where did the term Fourth Estate come from? What do we mean by The Press, and how has it changed in modern times? I conclude with a cautionary tale from early U.S. history.   Origin of…

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History of Presidential Inaugurations: Why on January 20?

Presidential Inaugurations

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATIONS: WHY ON JANUARY 20? In 1933 it seemed that a four-month transition between an outgoing “lame-duck” president who was voted out in November and a new administration starting in March was too long. Indeed, during the winter of 1932-1933, there was a horrific battle between the incumbent Herbert Hoover and president-elect…

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History of Presidential Transitions: Has It Always Been Like Now?

Presidential Transitions

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONS: WAS IT ALWAYS LIKE NOW? We think that our most current change in Presidential administration is contentious. But our national history has seen worse. And it goes back over 200 years to the third Presidential election, and several since then.   Presidential Transition: from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson Perhaps the…

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