Silly Calendars

The link below points to a quite complete explanation of our silly calendars. The earth is tilted, spins on it axis, and goes around the sun every so often (about once a year). The trip around the sun is egg shaped (elliptical) which means that we get closer to the sun twice a year and farther away from the sun twice a year. The titled axis phenomena makes the hemispheres receive less or more sunlight (heat) twice a year causing seasons. The spinning causes what we call days.

On this ball that wobbles round and round lives creatures that like to keep track of things. They make lists and predictions and like to keep trains and planes running on schedule. For sure, young versions of these creatures are forced to sit together listening to old versions of these creatures talk when the sun “comes up”.

Sooo, a few of these creatures created calendars and forced the rest of the creatures to abide by their calendar. The problem is that they have not yet figured out how to fit a sliding scale into the discrete counting methods they use (hours, days, weeks, months, years). So they continue to adjust their calendars.

Hence —— the history of the calendar:

Calendars Explained

When will the next adjustment be made? Will you make the adjustment? Will you vote for daylight savings time abolishment? Will you accept the idea of kids being allowed to sleep a bit longer before they have to go to school?

Better yet, will you write the next essay in daylight or nightlight?

WHY WE CAME TO THE USA

The following is by Dick Eastman. at blog.eogn.com

 I learned in school that our ancestors came to the New World in the 1600s in search of religious freedom. While I still believe that to be true, I now believe the full story is a bit more complex than the reasons given in grammar school textbooks.

Religious freedom was a motivation for Puritans, Pilgrims, Quakers, and others, but thousands of other immigrants were members of the established church in England and had no interest in other theologies. What motivated them?

Perhaps the simplest answer is that living in England was very difficult at the time. The upper classes lived comfortably, but the majority of citizens had difficulty eking out even a mere subsistence. Starvation was not unknown, and even those who did eat regularly had diets that most of us today would reject. Without refrigeration or modern canning techniques, even those with some financial security had monotonous diets in the winter and early spring. The thought of eating turnip soup three times a day for weeks on end seems appalling today but was common in the 1600s. The Irish more likely ate potato soup. Continue reading

ROBESON SURNAME HISTORY

The following is from the book “Surnames, DNA, & Family History”; by George Redmonds, Turi King and David Hey.

Son of Robert

 Another difficult task for non-specialists is to discover what type of origin a name has and how it relates to similar names with much the same meaning.  Some of the issues emerge in a study of three surnames that all mean ‘son of Robert’.

Robinson, with a total of 95,495, is an excellent example of a multi-origin name, but it is characteristic only of the northern counties of England and is not generally popular.   In 1881, even after centuries of internal migration, Robinson was still very uncommon in all the counties in south-west England and was rare in both Wales and Scotland, whereas in Yorkshire over 20,000 people bore this name.  Of course, the totals for the biggest or most populous counties can be misleading, and this is where the relative concentration of the name comes into question.  These statistics, which are also provided on the Archer CD, show how significant a name Robinson was in the smaller or largely rural counties, notably in Westmorland, Cumberland, and the North Riding of Yorkshire, and in Lincolnshire, which was virtually the southern limit of the surname. Continue reading

GENERATIONS

A generation is defined as the average time between a mother’s first offspring and her daughter’s first offspring. The generation length is 25.2 years in the United States as of 2007 and 27.4 years in the United Kingdom as of 2004.

“Imagine a dinner table set for a thousand guests, in which each man is sitting between his own father and his own son.  At one end of the table might be a French Nobel laureate in a white tie and tails, and with the Legion of Honor on his breast, and at the other end a Cro-Magnon man dressed in animal skins and with a necklace of cave-bear teeth. Yet each one would be able to converse with his neighbors on his left and right, who would either be his father or his son.  So the distance from then to now is not really great.”  (From Bjorn Kurten, Singletusk: A Story of the Ice Age, 1986) Continue reading

POYNER TOWNSHIP, BLACK HAWK CO., IOWA HISTORY

The following is from a newspaper article found in the Iowa State Reporter: Waterloo, May 26, 1875.

Township Histories

Poyner Township

The first settlement in Poyner Township was made by Amasa Nims on section 26 in 1850. In 1852 he sold his claim to Benjamin Winsett and moved out of the Township.  John and Joseph Perry and George Arthur came soon after, the same year.  Edmund Sawyer, Nathan and Tomas Poyner and John Van Etton came in 1853. When the Poyners  came there were seven families in the Township. Continue reading

WATERLOO and BLACK HAWK COUNTY, IOWA HISTORY

Black Hawk County (BHC) was created in 1843 by the Territorial Legislature of Iowa and attached to Delaware County for judicial, election and revenue proposes, because there were few, if any, white settlers at the time.

The Saux and Fox (Meskwaki) Indians had lived here for many years, owning the area until 1837. The county was named after the renowned Sauk Chief Black Hawk, although he never lived here.

In 1845, BHC was attached to Benton County, and in 1851 to Bushman County again for judicial, election and revenue purposes. Not until Aug. 17, 1853 did BHC have its own government.

The first permanent white settlement in Black Hawk County was started in March 1845 by William Sturgis and his brother-in-law, Erasmus D. Adams. They named their settlement Sturgis Falls. The two came to the area in search of homes and desirable waterpower. Upon arriving in the area, Sturgis and Adams were charmed by both the beauty of the area, and also by the possibility of a town site in the area. Continue reading

IRISH POTATO FAMINE 1845 – 1851

Between 1845 and 1850, more than a million Irish people starved to death while massive quantities of food were being exported from their country. The agricultural system just before the outbreak of the Famine  had a major impact in what would happen. The land was then owned by British landlords (many absentee) who rented out plots to the native farmers. Most of the land was employed to produce crops for export, while the farmers, in order to provide food for their families, used tiny plots. The potato was the crop of choice because it could be grown in poor soil and because it produced a large yield even in a small area. The result was such that the native people of Ireland were, by 1845, dependent – for their food and to enable them to pay the rent for their living quarters – on the reliability of the potato crop.

There were, however, problems brewing on the horizon – a disease called ‘blight’ (caused by the fungus ‘Phytophthora infestans’) had already wiped out the potato crops in America (1843) and all across continental Europe (1845). It was only a matter of time before it reached Ireland, the spores of the fungus carried by the wind, rain and insects from England and mainland Europe. While the US and Europe had other foods on which to rely, the native population of Ireland was not so lucky. Continue reading