History of the Kirking of the Tartans: is it really Scottish?

Tartan

HISTORY OF THE KIRKING OF THE TARTANS This Sunday, all over the world, many churches will observe the Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans, a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. What is The Kirking of the Tartans? Kirking Etymologically Kirking, from the Scots word kirk, which means church, in this usage, means “blessing.” Tartans are the…

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History of October 31: What’s Martin Luther got to do with it?

October 31

HISTORY OF OCTOBER 31 See my mini-series here on the life of Martin Luther. On October 31, 1517, the story goes, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany 95 propositions or theses and marked the beginning of the Reformation. Of course, the Reformation began long…

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History of Halloween

Jack-o-Lantern

HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN Halloween (Allhallows Even) is the evening of October 31. In its strictly religious aspect, this occasion is known as the vigil of Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day, November 1, observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. In the fourth decade of the 8th century, Pope Gregory III moved this holiday to the…

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History of the Internet

Internet

HISTORY OF THE INTERNET: OVER 50 YEARS AGO On October 29, 1969, at 10:30 PM, a computer grad student at U.C.L.A. named Charley Kline sent a message to S.R.I. (Stanford Research Institute.) It was the first connection between computer networks. The Internet began!   We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys…

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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 Mach 1: Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

Mach 1

THE HISTORY OF MACH 1 On June 10, 1948, The U.S. Air Force confirmed that Capt. Chuck Yeager had repeatedly attained supersonic speeds in the Bell X-1.   Yeager’s Background But it was on October 14, 1947, that Chuck Yeager, who died in 2020, actually broke the sound barrier, Mach 1, for the first time.  …

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History of Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

HISTORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS The man who sailed from Spain to discover America was neither Spanish nor did he actually discover America, at least not the mainland. But it was true that: In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue   Origin of Christopher Columbus He was actually Italian, born in 1451 to…

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History of October 10: 42 Day

October 10

HISTORY OF OCTOBER 10: 42 DAY Question: What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Answer: 42   Question: What does that mean? I met Douglas Adams about 30 years ago when he spoke to Sun Microsystems, where I was working at the time. I have never heard anyone…

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History of October: the Pumpkin Spice Saga

October

HISTORY OF OCTOBER: THE PUMPKIN SPICE SAGA October, the tenth month of the year in both the older Julian and the current Gregorian calendar, was the 8th month (Latin octo) in the ancient Roman calendar, but with the addition of January and February, it got bumped to #10. This month is significant because, according to…

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