January 11, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe, the Physicist?

Filed under: General — Cory @ 1:06 am

I just read that Edgar Allan Poe, the poet, is credited with being the first person to conceptualize what we now call “Space-time,” that is, the idea that space and time are one in the same. From Wikipedia’s entry on Space-time:

The origins of this 20th century scientific concept began in the 19th century with fiction writers. Edgar Allan Poe stated in his essay on cosmology titled Eureka (1848) that “Space and duration are one.” This is the first known instance of suggesting space and time to be different perceptions of one thing. Poe arrived at this conclusion after approximately 90 pages of reasoning but employed no mathematics.

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January 9, 2008

Founding Father: George Washington

Filed under: Books — Cory @ 1:44 am

Recently I’ve taken a renewed interest in history, particularly with the early days of the United States. Although I majored in history during college, I never enjoyed U.S. history that much. Several months ago, however, I stumbled across the Wikipedia page for George Washington and I became fascinated with his life, ideas, and actions.

A friend recommended that I read Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington, a so-called “moral biography.” The book is divided into three main sections: Washington’s life, his character, and his role as the father of the United States. I just finished reading it and I would highly recommend it.

The most amazing thing about Washington was his rock-solid character. Even his contemporaries were amazed by his level of integrity. Time after time he was put into positions that could have easily been abused, and every time he did the right thing. Although he was opposed to political parties, members of both the Federalist and Republican parties begged him to lead the country – he was the only person alive that everyone trusted to do the job.

Although he spoke infrequently, his speeches brought tears to revolutionary soldiers and politicians alike. Everyone knew that he believed in what he was saying, and that he would be the first to lead by example.

He also had quite a temper, but worked hard to control it, and in the rare occasion that it got the better of him he was quick to apologize. Although he had very little formal education, he was interested in political philosophy and had compiled a significant library on diverse subject matters including theatre, “commerce”, and history.

One controversial topic regarding Washington was his ownership of slaves. He struggled with the issue himself, and put a great deal of thought into reconciliation. He even devised a plan to give up his beloved Mount Vernon in order to free the slaves there and provide jobs for them. At the time of his death there were over 300 slaves at Mount Vernon, although most were inherited and owned by his wife Martha. Although in private letters Washington expressed disgust at the practice of slavery, historians believe he was reluctant to do or say anything about it because it was already such a heated issue in the young and unstable nation.

The importance Washington placed on slavery can be found in his will, as the slaves are addressed second only to his wife Martha. During his lifetime Washington refused to sell slaves or split families, and in his will he went even further. He ensured that all slaves would be freed upon Martha’s death, and that they would all be cared for by his estate. It wasn’t until 34 years after his death that this practice finally ended.

It is really amazing what Washington and the other founding fathers accomplished. Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the rest of the crew were also extremely important, but no one else’s influence or strength of character came close to matching that of George Washington.

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January 4, 2008

Big Hat to take on the Devil

Filed under: Idiots — Cory @ 11:34 pm


The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.


“Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a properly trained exorcist.”

“Thankfully, Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil – going back to the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”


The Vatican is particularly concerned that young people are being exposed to the influence of Satanic sects through rock music and the Internet.

Kinda reminds you of that other big religion that is concerned about the corrupting influence of rock music and the Internet.

Gotta love the big hat though.

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