History of Christmas Traditions: Some pre-Christian?

Traditions

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS Many of the customs that we commonly associate with Christmas come from previous pagan or pre-Christian European backgrounds. Let’s look at some of these familiar traditions and some connections to other folklore elements with which we may be unfamiliar.   Christmas Traditions The word Yule comes from the Germanic jōl or the…

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History of Christmas: The Year – How Could Jesus be born 4 B.C.?

denys_le_petit

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: THE YEAR It’s obvious that Jesus was born on December 25, A.D. 1 (Anno Domine, “the year of our Lord”), right? Not so fast. OK, was it in Year Zero? No, there wasn’t a Year 0; the calendar went from 1 B.C. to A.D. 1. We know that Herod the Great (who…

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History of Thanksgiving: the Secular and the Sacred

Thanksgiving

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING The origin of Thanksgiving Day in America has been attributed to a harvest feast held by the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. In 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony proclaimed a day of “thanksgiving” and prayer to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in America the year after their arrival on the…

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History of Thanksgiving Indian: Why Squanto already knew English

Squanto

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING: FRIENDLY INDIAN SQUANTO We’ve all heard how the Pilgrims, landing in Massachusetts four hundred years ago on the Mayflower in 1620, were ill-equipped to survive the harsh winters of the New World. We’ve also heard how they met a Native American Indian of the Patuxet tribe, Squanto, who befriended them. He taught them…

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History of the World Cup

FIFA World Cup

HISTORY OF THE WORLD CUP The World Cup 2022 Tournament takes place in Doha, Qatar starting Sunday, November 20, and running until December 18. It is starting in November rather than the usual June or July to avoid Qatar’s summer heat. Thirty-two teams will compete in eight groups. It begins with the host country team…

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History of Veterans Day: Lest We Forget

Veterans Day Poppy

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY A professor once commented, “We write things down so we can forget them.” Now, of course, this is true in the sense of writing down appointments so we don’t have to worry about missing meetings. But that’s just it; we do forget things. As individuals, we forget things that are important…

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Whither Twitter: What’s Next for the Social Platform?

Twitter

Whither Twitter: What’s Next for the Social Platform? I wrote about Twitter several years ago because many people I knew “didn’t get it.” Endeavoring to explain what it was, how it worked, and what made it different from other social technologies like the better-known Facebook, I talked about Twitter’s history and its use at the…

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History of Mole Day: Avogadro’s Number

Mole Day

HISTORY OF MOLE DAY: AVOGADRO’S NUMBER Today, October 23, at 6:02 AM, begins Mole Day. As a Geek Holiday, which is part of National Chemistry Week, it is based on something you may remember from high school chemistry:   Avogadro’s Number: 6.02 x 1023 Or fully, it’s 602,214,076,000,000,000,000,000. What better reason than at 06:02 (6.02)…

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Concert Review: The Who Hits Back – Denver

The Who

CONCERT REVIEW: THE WHO HITS BACK AT DENVER’S BALL ARENA “The Who Hits Back,” last night at Ball Arena in Denver, is the rescheduling of a concert that was to occur over two years ago but was postponed. I’ve been asked: “Aren’t they mostly dead?” No, I answered, that’s the Grateful Dead, who, ironically, I…

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