A Veteran’s Day Tribute

Today I give a Veteran’s Day Tribute to all those who have served.  I salute all veterans—no matter where they served nor how long.  On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, hostilities ceased in the Great War.  In 1926, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution to observe the day in remembrance “with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” November 11th became a legal holiday in 1938.  The holiday was “to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day”” After WWII and the conflict in Korea, Congress amended the bill and the holiday to honor all veterans of all wars and changed the holiday’s name to Veteran’s Day. A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’ That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.      Unknown No matter your politics, nor your views of the worthiness of a particular war, battle or conflict our veterans served all who call the United […]

Story Time Reviews: A Japanese Fairy Tale

Story Time Reviews a Japanese Fairy Tale told on the Myths and Legends podcast, episode 161 titled Japanese Folk Lore: Karma.  The orginal story, “The Old Woman Who Lost her Dumpling,” may come from Hearn, Lafcadio, translator. Japanese Fairy Tales: The Boy Who Drew Cats. Tokyo: T. Hasegawa, 1898. This podcast includes two stories. “The Old Woman who lost her dumpling” is the first story told on the podcast. Duration 16 minutes and 14 seconds.  The Story Making Dumplings Making Dumplings. The old women liked to make dumplings and laugh. One day she drops a dumpling to the floor. It rolls through a small hole in her home’s floor. She reaches into the hole and the dirt beneath her cracks open. She drops. She survives a long drop and though the land is weird, she sees her dumpling rolling away and she runs after it. She stops and catches her breath leaning against a Jizo-san statue. (Weiser gives us an aside at this point explaining the relevance and meaning of a Jizo-san statue in Japanese culture.) The statue warns her not to follow her dumpling because a wicked Oni lives down there, who eats people. But the old woman doesn’t heed […]

Robotics Will Challenge Our Humanity

Ever since The Jetsons’ Rosie the Robot, robots and robotics have fascinated me. Over time, robotics crept into our everyday world. Stunning advances loom making robots and artificial intelligence and androids less and less a science fiction trope. Robots and robotics and artificial intelligence will challenge our humanity.  The First Robotics Rudimentary robots have been amongst us for a very long time. The Greek mathematician, Archytas, invented the first known robotic device in 350 BC. A steam powered flying pigeon may not be your idea of a robot, but it was the first autonomous machine. It only vaguely looked like a pigeon. Look.   Egyptians used the constant, controlled flow of water to power their clocks (clepsydra) that struck the hour. Learn more about Egyptian water clocks. The First Automata In the 17th century, a French artist and inventor built three automata. An automata is a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a living creature. He created a flute player that played twelve songs. A second musical automata played flute, drum, or tambourine. And he created a mechanical duck that acted like a duck. Read more about Jacques de Vaucanson and his inventions. In 1810, Friedrich Kauffman from Dresden, German created […]