Monthly Archives: February 2016

valentine's day

Valentine’s Day (and a little history)

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! (because no holiday is too small to celebrate)

So there’s this awesome book called An Uncommon History of Common Things by B Patrick and J Thompson and I figured I would use it to do a little research to put on my blog. Here’s what it says on Valentine’s Day (Paraphrased of course):

Valentine’s day originated in a Roman festival called Lupercalia where priests gathered on the 15th of February at the place where Rome’s founders (The wolfy twins) were born. Then lots of weird stuff happened. The weirdo rituals were supposed to protect animals and crops and all-around be helpful. One of the key parts of the festival was to draw names for partners likely to become sweethearts. After a while, pagan traditions mixed with Christianity and (in 5th century A.D) the festival was named for a saint. Maybe because that saint was executed during Lupercalia for fun. With the Christian influence, instead of drawing names for sweethearts, the men drew names of saints to imitate…(I like the sweetheart thing much better). That is apparently how it all started. Cute.


The person is a little kid, in case no-one can tell. (I colored this with crayola markers hence the title)

Western Literature lesson 35

Write 500 words on this topic: “What are the main differences between Genesis 1 and Theogony?”

Nothing Good Comes from Chaos, a Strange and Gelatinous Substance

If you are ever struck with an insatiable desire to know where man cam from, here’s two handy references: Genesis 1 and Hesiod’s Theogony. Of course every culture has its own ideas about creation but these two stand out. The Bible is widely acknowledged to be the true and ancient story of the beginning of the world while Theogony was written in the time of the Ancient Greeks, considered by many to be the foundation of today’s western civilization. They do have many differences but the main conflict between the tales is the portrayal of the Big Dudes up in the sky. Continue reading

Rene Descartes

Born late March 1596 in France somewhere. Pretty bright dude and extensively educated. He did lots of math. Tons of people considered him the father of modern philosophy. Many of his philosophies were repeated memos of other dudes in the past but his approach was as fresh as a daisy bouquet. He believed in starting fresh (forgive my repeated word) which inspired the thought, “I exist” which inspired his most famous philosophy, “I think therefore I am.” He took a rational approach to uncovering the natural world which meant using math…I think…UUUUGH MATH. Although he never married, he had a daughter, Francine, (Naughty naughty) in 1635. Previously he had moved to the Netherlands because the city was too busy and now planned to move back to educate his little girl but she died as little more than a toddler…or sometime young. He stayed in the Netherlands for 20 more years until he died in Sweden. How did he get over there? The queen had made him come and he got pneumonia. He was 53. He was a Catholic and grew up in France in an area that was mostly Huguenot. Continue reading

Nearly there!

I have nearly finished my lady. Only her background remains incomplete. Here are two snapshots of her and a picture one of my fellow students ( just completed. It’s in Micron colored pens and it took a loooong time.

Western Civilization lesson 45

Why did Tiberius Gracchus attract so much suspicion from the Roman Senate?

Tiberius Gracchus attracted suspicion from the Roman Senate like a magnet. He threatened Roman tradition and thus the power of the Senate, which eventually cost him his life.

His story began directly after the second Punic war when all of the soldiers came home to find their dwellings destroyed by the conflict. However they still owned land of some value so they sold to the war profiteers and migrated to the city in search of employment. But when they arrived they were promptly turned away. All of the jobs in the city were already occupied by slaves and so the men had only one hope left; returning to the army. Even that hope was denied by the law that stated only land-holders were allowed to fight. Continue reading