Monthly Archives: December 2014

A recognized one person government

When ‘General’ DeGaulle (his General status was only a temporary field promotion) left France for London after the Vichy French government signed a treaty with Germany he had no followers and no land possessions. Despite that Winston Churchill desperately wanted a continued French resistance so he ‘persuaded’ the English government to recognize DeGaulle as the legitimate French government. England was the ONLY major country that did not recognize Vichy France until Germany invaded Russia. Then Russia was also desperate for any Allies it could get and Vichy France was definitely not helping the Russian war effort by allowing Germans to use bases in the Middle East.

(Book – DeGaulle: The Rebel 1890-1944 – Jean LaCouture)

That’s one BIG collision

The active volcano’s in Hawaii are situated on top of a ‘hot spot’ in the earth’s crust. The earths crust has been moving for millions of years which allowed this hot spot to create a long line of islands in the Pacific Ocean. If you follow the line of these islands they are in a straight line heading northwest. At around the island of Midway  the submerged sea mounts which are also part of this chain turn northward. The current theory is that 45 million years ago when the Indian continent crashed into Asia all the earths plates were disrupted causing the radical shift in the direction of the Pacific plate.

(The Great Courses – The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology)

I like to think it was ballot stuffing…but there is no evidence of that

During the 5th century BCE the Athenians held ostracism votes where the people could force any one member of the citizens of Athens to leave Athens for 10 years. these votes were made by all citizens writing the name of one person on a pottery shard. Archaeologists have thousands of these shards from one particular vote and it has been determined that they are all written by a total of twelve individuals which makes it appear that there was a (successful) attempt to organize an ostracism against one particular person.

(The Great Courses – The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World)

His actual helmet can be seen today

The Athenian victory over Persia at marathon in 490 BCE was the first defeat for the Persians. Fortunately for the Athenians the Persian cavalry could not be used on the swampy ground. The Athenian military leader was Miltiades. His helmet which has his name inscribed on it can be seen in a museum in Greece.

(The Great Courses – The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World)

There really can be good leaders

In the mid 500’s BCE Pisistratus became a tyrant (authoritative leader) in Athens. Because he had the power he ordered all farmers to switch from grain production to olives. Grain production was never very productive due to the poor soil but olive vines prospered. Athens now became a leading producer of olive oil and it could easily buy all the grain it needed. Another result of this switch was that pottery production increased to hold the oil and Athens became a the leading  utilitarian and ornamental pottery producer as well. During his reign he also brought bards together and created the definitive version of the Homeric legends that is close to what we know today.

(The Great Courses – The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World)

In his first battle almost everyone around him was killed

Charles DeGaulle served in the French Army during WWI. After being wounded twice and sent back to the front lines the unit he was commanding was captured by the Germans during the battle of Verdun. He tried to escape twice but caught both times and finally put into a high security prison where he and another prisoner made a successful attempt to escape. They made it 2/3 of the way to Switzerland before they were captured again. He even escaped three more times but was recaptured each time. He ended up spending the last 2 1/2 years of WWI as a German prisoner.

(Book – DeGaulle: The Rebel 1890-1944 – Jean Lacouture)

I don’t think fires now will have the same result in our future

Most people have seen pictures of ancient Linear B writing on clay tablets which have been baked and preserved for us to read. Most of these contain inventories of items in storehouses. These tablets were NOT meant to be baked and preserved. They were originally intended to be used and then they could be wiped out and used again. Because of fires that occurred in the ancient world these were baked and left for us to enjoy.

(The Great Courses – The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World)