Tag Archives: United States

Alexander Hamilton’s Birthday — Today, January 11: Event Not Marked By A Google Doodle.

by Anura Guruge


hamilton

Click to access the Wikipedia entry for “Alexander Hamilton”.


hamilonbroadway

Click to access the official Website for the Musical.



Yes, today, January 11th is his birthday. He was born January 11, 1755.

Yes, it is the musical, a runaway success, that has made him truly famous — though he was a Founding Father & the 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury.

There has NEVER been a Google Doodle for Alexander Hamilton. It appears that Google avoids doing political figures — though there have been Google Doodle’s Nelson Mandela & Martin Luther King. I would think they would make an exception when it came to the Founding Fathers and Winston Churchill.


Related posts:
++++ Check Categories ‘Google Doodles.’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Think – Today: When You Diet What Happens To The Weight You Shed?

by Anura Guruge


thinktodaybanner
fatSay you lost 5 pounds. Shed 5 pounds. There is the expression about ‘burning fat’. Where does the weight we lose go? How do we shed it. It doesn’t come off in chunks.


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’Plastic oven bags are made from a high-melting point NYLON (or polymer). They are FDA approved. The bags can melt, but not at the below 400° F temperatures they are meant to be used. The 2 tablespoons of flour, per ‘Reynolds’ who make such bags is for blending the fat and juices released during the roasting to protect the bags from bursting.


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by Anura Guruge

Think – Today: Why Don’t Plastic Oven Bags (For Roasting Turkeys) Melt In The Oven?

by Anura Guruge


thinktodaybanner
turkeybagsI just bought some today and used a bag, very successfully, to roast a 14lb turkey. Yes, it sure does help keep it real moist. But, I couldn’t help wonder why the bag wouldn’t melt (despite the 2 tablespoons of flour you have to put in to prevent such melting?


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’‘538’ is the number of ‘electors’ in the U.S. Electoral College — which, in the end, is the body that formally elects the U.S. President. The ‘538’ corresponds to the 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, plus the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. The candidate that gets a majority of the 538 Electoral College votes is automatically the President. 1/2 of 538 = 269. Hence, the magical ‘270’ number. The absolute majority when there are 538 votes. 


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by Anura Guruge

Think – Today: Five hundred and thirty-eight (538)?

by Anura Guruge


thinktodaybanner
usaWhy will five hundred and thirty-eight (538) be the most important number in the United States next week?


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’360° in a circle. It has to do with the first (and most important) circle that our ancient ancestors, around 4,000 B.C. (or even earlier) had to contend with — and QUANTIFY. The circular orbit of the Sun (with the then belief that the Sun circled the Earth). 360° comes from the 365-days in a year. They had worked out, through very diligent observations of the seasons and stars (particularly the rising of the ‘Dog Star’ ‘Sirius’) that a year was around “360” days. I actually think they had nailed down the 365-days quite early on. BUT, in my opinion, they ROUNDED the 365 to the EASIER ‘360‘. 365 is not very divisible — and our early ancestors, thanks to sharing food, knew how to DIVIDE. Other than ‘1’ and ‘itself’, 365 only has two divisors: 5 & 73. You can’t divide it by 2, 4, 5 or 10. And then there is 360 which is hugely divisible: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 72, 90, 120 & 180. BINGO! Did you like that?


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by Anura Guruge

Top 25 Hotels In The U.S. Per “Tripadvisor” Traveler’s Choice.

by Anura Guruge


tripadtop25hotels

Click to access the complete list at “tripadvisor”.


I contribute reviews and photos to “tripadvisor” though I can never rationalize to myself as to why I do so other than for purely egotistical reasons. I have actually done 49 reviews and am just one review away from being classed a ‘Top Contributor‘. But that is all I get. Seems somehow wrong. You would think that they would give you some kind of travel points. But c’est la vie. But, also to be fair, I do use the site, albeit not that often, to check out recommendations, especially in terms of places to eat.

As for this list of hotels, suffice to say that I have not stayed at any of them and probably unlikely to ever do. But you might find it useful.


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by Anura Guruge

All Of Pope Francis’ Homilies During U.S. Visit Will Be In Spanish!

IMG_8178.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


CoverOriginalScreenCaptureRelated Posts:
>> Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — THE book.
>> Catholic statistics for U.S. per Vatican.
>> Pope Francis to stay at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
>> ‘Vine Voice’ Amazon review of Pope Francis book.

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Search on ‘pope‘ & Check Category ‘books‘ for many other posts >>>>


Many Americans are going to be confused and confounded by this.

Many U.S. Catholics, including those with even recent European lineage, seem to think that all popes habitually speak English — even in private, at the Vatican! I kid you not. You will be surprised the number of Americans who will be aghast if I told them that Pope John Paul II ONLY spoke English, quite credibly, in public, when he had to and that he primarily spoke Italian, Polish, Spanish and even some Latin in and around the Vatican. [You really should read this post from 2011 as to Pope John Paul II, his deathbed request and the language involved.]

His words will be translated, on-the-fly, to English by an Interpreter. How that will play out, especially on TV, will be interesting to see. I hope that they will think about English subtitles for the TV broadcast. I think the people will like to hear the pope’s voice … rather than that of an interpreter.

The pope plans to speak in English at the White House and during his address to Congress. Appears he has been practicing his English. He spoke in English, earlier in the year, during his visit to Sri Lanka. It was a bit strained and at times difficult to follow and you can tell that the pope was NOT enjoying it. Benedict XVI, though not a natural, was better — and he made you realize how well John Paul II, a very gifted and talented man, spoke English. Here … listen to the Pope, speaking English, upon arriving in Sri Lanka. You can understand him …

francissrilanksyt

Click to access YouTube video. The pope starts speaking around the 42 minute mark. OK?


From THE book about Francis’ preference for Spanish.
Click to ENLARGE and read here.

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First part of Pope Francis’ U.S. itinerary from “Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit 2015“.

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Pope Francis, Ahead Of U.S. Visit, Makes Scathing Remarks Re. Same-Sex Marriage & ‘Logic of Profits’.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


CoverOriginalScreenCaptureRelated Posts:
>> Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — THE book.
>> Catholic statistics for U.S. per Vatican.
>> Pope Francis to stay at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
>> ‘Vine Voice’ Amazon review of Pope Francis book.

++++
Search on ‘pope‘ & Check Category ‘books‘ for many other posts >>>>


francisamesex1

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access original.

Use this link to access original at the ‘Vatican Information Service’ (VIS).



To be honest there is NOTHING new here. Pope Francis, if anything,
is being very consistent as to his vehement opposition to
same-sex marriage and is deep-seated opposition
to what he sees as ‘capitalism‘.

I cover all of this in my book about Pope Francis’
September visit to the U.S.
Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — 2015: A Guide For The Curious”

Here is an extract. Click to ENLARGE and read.

francissame138


Vatican Publishes Catholic Statistics For The U.S. Ahead Of Pope Francis’ Visit — Consistent With Those In Book.

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by Anura Guruge


CoverOriginalScreenCaptureRelated Posts:
>> Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — THE book.
>> Pope Francis to stay at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
>> ‘Vine Voice’ Amazon review of Pope Francis book.

++++
Search on ‘pope‘ & Check Category ‘books‘ for many other posts >>>>


It has now become customary for the Vatican to publish these
Catholic statistics for the host country
ahead of each papal visit.

They typically tend to be slightly optimistic
and about 9 to 18 months out-of-date

— given that they insist on using numbers that they maintain in Rome
as opposed to those available directly from the country.

Francisvisitstats1

Click to ENLARGE and read here.

Use this link to access original at the ‘Vatican Information Service’ (VIS).



The equivalent numbers from my book
Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — 2015: A Guide For The Curious“.
It is available from Amazon (worldwide) as an eBook
(that can be read on ANY device) for 99 cents.
A paperback, for $7.50, is also available.

Francisvisitstats2
Francisvisitstats3


Poppy Story: The Evolution From The Great War, Through Armistice Day — Per ‘Nancy’, From Ontario, Canada.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ King George V’s ‘Great Silence’ proclamation … — July 9, 2013.
2/ Origins Of “Armistice Day” (a.k.a “Poppy Day”) — June 11, 2013.
3/ Canadian ‘Remembrance Day’ Poppies … — July 11, 2013.
++++ Search for ‘Poppy’ using sidebar SEARCH >>>>


Part of My “Poppy Day” series on this Blog.

This post, as with other recent related posts, at the behest of  ‘Nancy’,
the lady from Ontario Canada who sent me the original, side on, picture of the ‘Poppy Plaque’ in Thunder Bay, Ontario.


From Nancy. Click to ENLARGE. Refer to above links, especially for the proclamation and  Edward George Honey letter ...

From Nancy. Click to ENLARGE. Refer to above links, especially for the proclamation and Edward George Honey letter …


Please refer to the above links for more background & context.

Boxing Day In New Hampshire, Or Even The U.S.; Nostalgia For A Cherished Holiday.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1. Poppy Day, November 11 (Every Year), British Remembrance Day:
>>A Beautiful Tradition — Nov. 10, 2012.


Horse racing, the British sport of Kings (and Queens), on Boxing Day in England, a beloved British tradition (with lost of money getting punted that day) though snow on the ground is not a common occurrence around that time of the year (thanks to the Gulf Stream that).

Going to watch ‘Bristol City’ (whether they were in Division two, three or one), at home or sometimes away was part of my Boxing Day tradition.

It is also a BIG cricket day, albeit from the Southern Hemisphere. Typically a Test Match from Australia — as parodied by this comic. Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au. [[Many thanks mate. Cheers.]]


I came to the States this time around in 1986 (having spent one year previously 1967 – 1968). I was living in rural Maryland, in a brand new middle-class development, 4 bedroom colonials on 4 acres each. On the 4th of July I was invited to a big cookout at a neighbor’s house; he was a Maryland State Trooper. Another neighbor, a very presentable young lady in her mid-30s approaches me and asks: “So, tell me, how do they celebrate the 4th in England?“.

To this day I am proud and relieved that I had the presence of mind to immediately respond, without batting an eyelid: “Very quietly. Very quietly.

Well, when it comes to ‘Boxing Day‘, the day after Christmas, i.e., December 26, a mandatory, cherished holiday in the U.K., that dates back centuries, things are the other way around. It is not celebrated in anyway in this country, though the Canadians (thanks to their antecedents) do indeed have it as an official holiday — as do most other Commonwealth Countries, e.g., Australia, South Africa (where they now call it ‘Goodwill Day‘) and New Zealand, though no longer in India or my Sri Lanka (both countries do having a surfeit of holidays). Some other European countries also celebrate December 26 as a holiday, but not as ‘Boxing Day’. To them it is just the second day of Christmas. As it now happens, by coincidence or otherwise, December 26 is the first day of the week long Kwanzaa. Maybe it should be made a holiday in the U.S. just on those grounds.

Despite its being so beloved in Britain, nobody actually 100% sure as to how this holiday came about and to what ‘Box’ it refers to! The theory that makes most sense is that this was the day that the workers, i.e., the serfs, got to celebrate Christmas — their services being required by their Lords and Masters on Christmas day. It is also believed to be the day that the workers got their ‘presents’ or bonuses from their master, the ‘box’ probably a reference to this. In my mind, within this context, I have images of women and children standing outside the manor house holding empty hat boxes waiting for them to be filled. As it happens, Boxing Day, December 26 is when the ‘Western Church’ celebrates “St. Stephen’s Day”, St. Stephen the Christian protomartyr, i.e., the first Christian to be martyred. So another theory is that ‘Boxing Day’ refers to the boxes left in churches, or outside churches, for collections for this Feast Day, and that the holiday per se is tied to the Feast.

In Britain Boxing Day is (or was when I lived there) a day devoted to recovering from Christmas and pursuing sports: football, cricket from down under on the telly, horse racing, possibly some rugby, and in those days (when it was legit) hunting. You could place bets on the horses and watch the races on telly. Many, including I in my 20s, would go to a football game — football violence at its height in those days. And yes, of course, we would watch cricket on the telly.

When I came to the States in 1986 as an adult (as opposed to the 14 year old) I was surprised that Boxing Day was not a holiday here, but not as surprised as I was to discover that people worked on Good Friday and Easter. I had never lived in a country where this had been the case, and I have lived in: Ceylon/Sri Lanka, France, England and Wales. Not that it really made a difference to me. I was lucky enough to be able to take off whatever days I didn’t want to work. Plus, I have been self-employed since 1992 (though to be honest I have always done some amount of work, i.e., writing, on all holidays, whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day or New Year).

Until yesterday I had never bothered to compare the U.S. holiday structure with that of the U.K. (bearing in mind that there are variations depending on whether you are talking about England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales). Then I made the following chart. The first thing that surprised me was that the U.S. had more holidays — at least at the Federal level (e.g., Columbus Day and President’s Day). The other thing is how so many of the U.S. holidays are not on fixed dates. The U.K. I realized had no real memorial days — and Poppy Day is not a holiday! Many in the U.S. may not appreciate this, but for the last 30 years or so, most professionals and office workers in the U.K. take a 10 to 11 days break over Christmas using the 5 weeks (minimum) of vacation (per year) they get. So most stop work on December 23 and don’t go back until January 2 or 3 (depending on how the weekends factor in).

So this was my little bit of nostalgia for Boxing Day. Yes, in my heart I will celebrate Boxing Day this Wednesday. More than likely, because I watch it most days, I will watch some cricket.

HolidaysUSUK

Click to ENLARGE. Comparison of the holidays in the U.S. compared to those in the U.K. Fixed day holidays that fall on weekends are invariably carried over to the next week.