bookmark_borderWhat if Taft had won in 1912?

famous Head and shoulder photograph of William Taft, with a mustache, wearing a tie
President William Howard Taft

I often wonder why the so-called tea party keeps talking about “the past 100 years.” Do they see Woodrow Wilson’s election as the beginning of the downfall of America? Or are they still talking about William Howard Taft’s election, four years earlier?

Whatever the case, 1912 was one of America’s most crucial elections. Had an ex-President not given a third party a fighting chance, history could have taken a very different turn. Continue reading “What if Taft had won in 1912?”

bookmark_borderDying for a cup of tea, the nightmare that became a reality

11 May, 1812.  Scourrier  House (near Redruth) Cornwall.

Mr Williams was in quite a state when he woke up his wife.

Though the Williamses lived over 250 miles from the Houses of Parliament, Mr. Williams had a vivid vision, it was as if he were in the lobby of House of Commons.  In Mr. William’s dream, an angry man sat waiting in the lobby.  Continue reading “Dying for a cup of tea, the nightmare that became a reality”

bookmark_borderAndrew Lambert and the War of 1812

If you read British history magazines, you’ve probably read Andrew Lambert.  He’s an academic who writes in a style that flows so well, you don’t notice the footnotes.

This is in contrast to the man who Lambert claims is the founder of modern naval history, William James.  James, according to Lambert, didn’t just write stories, he examined sources.  James’ writing is exhausting because its filled with numbers and data (what James’ detractors might call “lies, more lies and statistics.”)

William James had a special motive for writing his polemical “History of the British navy.”   Continue reading “Andrew Lambert and the War of 1812”

bookmark_borderStill celebrating 500 years of Luso-Siamese Friendship

photo of the Sagres III
NRP Sagres III, Portuguese naval training ship, photo by Jose Manuel

It has been more than 500 years since the first Portuguese ship carrying envoy Duarte Fernandes sailed into Trangque, but the celebrations of the long lasting relationship between Portugal and Thailand continue.

The celebrations began a year ahead of time, in 2010 when a Portuguese training ship called the Sagres sailed into port to commemorate the long relationship.

(The Sagres was on a trip around the world at the time, but rather than taking Vasco da Gama’s famous route around the cape of Good Hope, it cut through the Suez Canal.  The ships first such trip in over a decade, it selectively stopped at several countries with strong historical ties to Portugal.)

After sailing to Siam, the Portuguese exchanged some food ideas with the Thais.  Apparently, the Portuguese introduced dessert into Thai culture, before the two countries met people used to just drink a glass of water after meals.

Well, today Portuguese people are being influenced by Thai culture, and learning a thing or two.  Here’s a picture of Andrew, a Portuguese in Thailand who is learning to dance as the celebrations continue.  (He’s at the Vira do Minho in the Siam Museum.)

traditional dancer and modern learner
Andrew learns to dance from a traditional dancer, in front of images of an old ship coming into port

Well, I’ve been getting a lot of pictures about these celebrations, but not much information.

bookmark_borderCareer Advice from a chin: Follow your dream

You may think you know what to do with the future, but do you? Are you just going to stand there picking your nose all day? If so, Chinny McGringo has a word or two to say to you.

If you can’t see the video for one reason or another, I’ll leave the following abridged transcript and screenshots.

Chinny: “You know what I always say? You know what I always say? Follow your dream, follow your dream.”

Chinny: “So the other day, by Boy comes over. And you know what I say to him? You know what I say? I say, are you just going to stand there picking your nose all day? And do you know what he says? He says-“When indecision haunts, only one chin can help

Chinny Jr: “Yeah dad, I’m just going portrait of Chinny McGringoto stand here picking my nose all day…”


How would you react if you were Chinny? What career tips do you have for Generations X, Y and Z?

Well, Professor Chinny McGringo knew exactly what he wanted to say, and if you watch this video, Professor McGringo may be able to help you too.

bookmark_borderHow can social networks stop the scams? (and the abusive posts)

If you’re a member of LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen it.   Someone offering you a great job or freelance offer that seemed to fit just what you wanted.

Perhaps you’ve even fallen for one or two scams, but don’t want to admit it.  Although there were pyramid schemes and other frauds in the days before the World Wide Web was really world wide, we vaguely remember that “they”, the scam artists, used to wear shady trench coats and hang out in dark alleys.

Today, however, “they” wear trendy clothes and hang out in mainstream networking groups. Continue reading “How can social networks stop the scams? (and the abusive posts)”

bookmark_borderPresident James Madison and the National Day of Prayer

For at least 200 years, Americans have had a national day of prayer.  Ironically, this “day of prayer” tradition seems to have been started by a man who is known as a bulwark of the separation of church and state.

Once again, President James Madison seems to be a man of contradiction.

Continue reading “President James Madison and the National Day of Prayer”

bookmark_borderIs Alexander Aan “Daniel Isaac Eaton” all over again?

An Indonesian man is facing prison for publishing a Facebook he doesn’t believe in God. He has been threatened with prison, but he has also found a large degree of support.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably know that 200 years ago, A British man named Daniel Isaac Eaton was sentenced to prison and the pillory for publishing a “Deist” track by Thomas Paine.

Daniel Isaac Eaton, portrait from trial
Daniel Isaac Eaton

Continue reading “Is Alexander Aan “Daniel Isaac Eaton” all over again?”