Bill Petro: writer and technologist.
Writes about History, Popular Culture, Tech Trends, and Travel.
Contributing writer to the books Product Management to Product Leadership: The Advanced Use Cases
and Invitation to Church History, Vol 1 & 2
History of Amazing Grace, part 2: William Wilberforce
HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 2: William Wilberforce As I mentioned in my first article on the History of Amazing Grace, this is the story of the lives of two men and that one song. In the first part, we discussed the life of the song’s author, John Newton. However, the 2007 film “Amazing Grace” is about the life of one of Newton’s protégés, William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was a man well-known to the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution. He became, in his day, not just a politician, philanthropist, and abolitionist but also a writer of such popularity at the…Read More
History of Amazing Grace, part 1
HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passed a bill banning the nation’s slave trade. In these two articles, we’ll explore the lives of two men and one song that played a significant role in that effort. John Newton‘s devoted Christian mother dreamed that her only son would grow up to become a preacher. But he lost his mother when he was six years old, and at eleven, he followed his sea-captain father to the sea. He did not take to the discipline of the Royal Navy and deserted ship, was flogged, and eventually…Read More
History of Ash Wednesday: Where does the Ash come from?
HISTORY OF ASH WEDNESDAY In the Western church, the first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday from the ceremonial use of ashes, as a symbol of repentance, in the service prescribed for the day. It follows Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, and ends with Easter 40 days later, not counting Sundays. Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican denominations, Roman Catholics, and some Baptists practice it. The Eastern Church practices the Great Lent during the 40 days preceding Palm Sunday, with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. The ash represents repentance and a reminder of death.…Read More
History of Mardi Gras: Why is it called Fat Tuesday?
HISTORY OF MARDI GRAS In French, Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday.” It is celebrated the day after Shrove Monday and the day before Ash Wednesday as a last “fling” before the 40 days of self-denial of Lent, which precede Easter. Lent is a word that comes from the Middle English word “lente,” which means “springtime” — so named for the season of the year in which it usually occurs. While the practice of Lent is not mentioned in the Bible, it has been a tradition in the Christian world since the mid-4th century. It seems to parallel the 40 days of fasting…Read More
History of Shrove Monday: Ahead of Mardi Gras
HISTORY OF SHROVE MONDAY The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Monday. The three days before Ash Wednesday are known as “Shrovetide,” starting with Quinquagesima Sunday and ending on Shrove Tuesday, a day more popularly known as Mardi Gras. Quinquagesima meant the fiftieth day before Easter, specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday, marking Lent‘s beginning. Shrove is the past tense of shrive and is an Old English word meaning “to repent.” Repentance from sin was a common practice during this season. The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is typically played on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in Ashbourne,…Read More
History of the Holidays
What is the history behind the holidays we celebrate, both sacred and secular? Many of the sacred holidays in our American “Judeo-Christian” heritage have secular associations, while many of the seemingly secular holidays actually have religious roots. This is the back story behind our popular holidays.
Featuring reviews of movies, concerts, and theatre. I write movie reviews as soon as I see them, which is usually the day they come out (or before). Reviews of Star Wars and Star Trek movies, Lord of the Rings, James Bond, and Harry Potter films, rock and jazz concerts, and theatre reviews.
Articles about current and future technologies and their possible implications. Discussions about Apple iPhone and Apple Watch and innovative technologies from other companies: social media, payment systems, personal data backup, etc.
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