This is one of my favorite stories from the Civil War.
As a general rule, I am not a fan of the term “history buff”. Whenever I see someone referred to as a “history buff”, I tend to become a little irritated. In my mind, history buffs collect the Civil War Chess Set and Stonewall Jackson beer steins. Historians do research and then usually present their findings in one way or another. Just because you read history doesn’t mean you are a historian, just as the fact you can speak English does not mean you could be an English teacher, you know?
So when I read about Paul LePage, Governor of Maine (and living example of how the combination of poor anger management and eating too much poutine is really bad for you), making the (to me) astounding claim that 7,600 men from Maine fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, I nearly coughed Coke Zero through my nose. Continue reading “The Trumpization of Civil War history”
This week is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, one of the most decisive naval battles in American history, and possibly in world history. It was certainly the first major Allied victory against the Japanese fleet in World War Two.
Why is this American victory called a “miracle”, most notably by renowned historian Gordon Prange in his bestseller Miracle at Midway? Because the possibility of an American victory seemed so remote, and the circumstances of the American victory were so unlikely.
Yesterday it was raining and the temperature actually dropped into the upper 40’s. In June. There is actually a slight chance of us having a Nor’Easter on Friday. Oh, crazy New England weather, don’t ever change. Honestly, I still prefer you to baking in the humid Southern sun.
And speaking of insanity and bad weather, we are supposed to have a bad hurricane season this year. That wouldn’t be quite as troubling except that the current occupant of the White House has not yet put anyone in charge of NOAA, FEMA, or the NHC.* He can, however, find the time to go play a lot of golf and to tweet all sorts of crazy stuff. Needless to say, people in hurricane-prone places like Florida are starting to notice.
Well, since Trump is also planning to slash FEMA’s budget as well as the NOAA budget and the NASA budget, maybe they think we don’t need to worry about being able to predict the weather. We should just sit back and not worry about silly things like storm forecasts and we can just go back to the blissful days of yore, when major storms could sneak up on people with little to no warning and do horrendous damage.
Nah, that could never happen again, right?
*It turns out Trump did nominate someone to lead FEMA in late April, but the Senate has not yet voted on the nominee, probably because they are so busy trying to take away everyone’s health insurance.
Yesterday Kelly and I took a short day trip out to Lincoln to visit the Drumlin Farm. We wanted to see it because I am thinking about applying for a job there with Mass Audubon. So we spoke with some friends of ours who work there and went out to see them.
Well, we were almost under the illusion that Spring was here, and then Winter decided to play a little prank on us. Not quite as spectacular as the big blizzard back in 1997, but still, very winter-like weather. Here in Winthrop the weather has switched back and forth quite a bit between rain, sleet and snow. Right now it is snowing, and has been since I got up this morning. I doubt much of it will stick, though, and that seems to be David Epstein’s assessment as well.
[130pm] Snow ends from NE CT into RI & NE MA next 1-3 hours, while snow gradually ends across BOS & SE MA thru 5 pm. pic.twitter.com/QQIqZEacbe
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) April 1, 2017
Still, it is nice to see a beautiful winter landscape one last time before spring really arrives.
The ladies of Meravelha present two concerts in March in honor of Hildegard von Bingen. Come and check them out!
The Fourth Doctor: a Celebration of Hildegard von Bingen