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, from the Scots word kirk, which means church, in this usage, means “blessing.”
- Tartans are the traditional plaid emblems of Scottish clans represented in unevenly spaced colored lines and rectangles on woven wool cloth.
Historically, the story is a bit more varied. The popular legend goes as follows:
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) on October (10) 23rd (23) we celebrate Mole Day?
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 saw with The Who at a double-header back in October 1976 at the “Day on the Green #7” concert at the Oakland Colosseum.
The Dead performed first at that concert, and even though it was an open-air venue, the air was redolent with the aroma of burning herbs. The atmosphere was thus prepared when The Who took the stage.
The Who was well known to American audiences by that time; during the previous year, they had released the album Who By The Numbers and the soundtrack to the movie version of Tommy.
At the time, Pete Townsend, The Who’s songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist, was living in Walnut Creek, a bedroom community just over the hill from Oakland.
HISTORY OF THE ASPENS
Every year about this time, Fall is ushered in by a flush of Aspen trees as their leaves turn to gold. Where I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the particular aspen is called the “trembling” or quaking aspen. The broadleaf and flattened stem cause them to flutter in the breeze. It is a type of poplar tree called populus tremuloides. As tourists visit New England in Autumn for Leaves and Lobsters, visitors come to Colorado to Leaf Peep as the aspens change to dramatic yellows, golds, and reds.
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.
But it was actually on October 14, 1947, that Chuck Yeager, who died in 2020, broke the sound barrier, Mach 1, for the first time.
I met Yeager on his 50th anniversary of that earlier date in Washington DC, on October 14, 1997 — when he retired as a military consultant and broke the sound barrier again, this time in an F-15.
On this occasion in 1997, he was speaking at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. He told us how he did it in the room next to the gallery where the Bell X-1 rocket plane is hung. This is a man with “The Right Stuff.” Indeed you saw his exploits in the movie by that name.
HISTORY OF SUKKOT: FESTIVAL OF BOOTHS
Tonight at sunset, September 9, begins the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Festival of Booths or Festival of Tabernacles.
The Old Testament Book of Leviticus discusses the Exodus from slavery in Egypt of the Children of Israel. They were to commemorate it by living in temporary booths for a week
“… that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:43
The week started with a Sabbath (rest from work) and ended on the eighth day with a sabbath.
HISTORY OF JAMES BOND: DR. NO – 60 YEARS AGO
You’ve no doubt heard that it’s the 60th anniversary of James Bond. It was featured at this year’s Academy Award.
But the actual 60th anniversary of the films is today:
October 5, 1962, was the premiere of the first James Bond film, Dr. No.
For historical context, this was the same day The Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do.
The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashanah and continue until Yom Kippur, which starts at sundown tonight. Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement,” or more correctly Yom ha-Kippurim (Leviticus 16), goes back to Jewish antiquity almost 4,000 years to the time of Moses. This most solemn occasion of the Jewish Festival cycle was the season for annual cleansing from sin, but in time its significance was deepened so that it acquired personal meaning and filled a personal need. It is observed on the 10th day of Tishri, the seventh month, and is the climax of the whole penitential season.
HISTORY OF OCTOBER: THE PUMPKIN SPICE SAGA
October, the tenth month of the year in both the older Julian and the current Gregorian calendar, used to be 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 the modern Gregorian calendar, it is the first full month that enjoys Pumpkin Spice Latte, initially promoted by St. Starbucks. But it has not always been so; in some years, it is not so. Therein lies the saga of this coffee concoction.