Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Histories Over-rated and Under-rated

April 13, 2009

I decided to do a series of comparison lists of histories over-rated and under-rated as they relate to each other.  This list is political and military leaders.

Some of the comparisons require a little thought.  For example, Hamilton and Jackson.  Hamilton is the most respected financial pioneer in American History, but Andrew Jackson is the only President to eliminate National debt and operate a trade surplus, so Jackson is under-rated as compared to Hamilton.

Over-Rated Under-Rated
Christopher Columbus Marco Polo
Ronald Regan Richard Nixon
Queen Elizabeth Queen Victoria
Franklin Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt
Hitler Napoleon
Alexander Hamilton Andrew Jackson
JFK RFK
Sitting Bull Crazyhorse
Grant Lee
Alexander Caesar
William Wallace Robert Bruce
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Best Bad Science Fiction Movies, that we had to watch (Since 1980)

March 30, 2009

1.  Flash Gordon, 1980.  The worst plot and production values ever, but you just can’t look away.  “FLASH…Ah Ah”

2.  Clash of the Titans, 1981.  Sir Lawrence Olivier had to regret signing up to play Zeus in this Claymation nightmare.

3.  Attack of the Clones, 2002.  By far the worst movie in the Star Wars sage.  This is maybe the worst directing job of all time.

4.  Starship Troopers, 1997.  The worst acting ever, but the production value and effects were not bad.  The script was a disaster.  Stat: More ammunition was used during filming that any other movie ever.

5.  Battlefield Earth.  Travolta +future alien battle+ Scietology = the worst movie ever made.

Best Picture Academy Award

February 23, 2009

AFI’s Top 25 movies of all time include only eight best picture winners.   The best year ever has to be 1962 with Lawrence of Arabia, The Longest Day, Mutiny on the Bounty, and To Kill a Mocking bird.  1994 has a good argument with Forest Gump, the Lion King, Shawshank Redemption, and Pulp Fiction.

↓ ↓ ↓

AFI Rank

Title Year Best Picture Place on list
1 Citizen Kane 1941 How Green was my Valley NR
2 Casablanca 1942
3 The Godfather 1972
4 Gone with the Wind 1939
5 Lawrence of Arabia 1962
6 The Wizard of Oz 1939 Gone with the Wind 1
7 The Graduate 1967 In the Heat of the Night NR
8 On the Waterfront 1954
9 Schindler’s List 1993
10 Singin’ in the Rain 1952 The Greatest Show on Earth NR
11 It’s a Wonderful Life 1946 The Best Years of our Lives 37
12 Sunset Boulevard 1950 All About Eve 16
13 The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957
14 Some Like It Hot 1959 Ben Hur 72
15 Star Wars 1977 Annie Hall 31
16 All About Eve 1950
17 The African Queen 1951 An American in Paris 68
18 Psycho 1960 The Apartment 93
19 Chinatown 1974 The Godfather Part II 32
20 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975
21 The Grapes of Wrath 1940 Rebecca NR
22 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 Oliver! NR
23 The Maltese Falcon 1941 How Green was my Valley NR
24 Raging Bull 1980 Ordinary People NR
25 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 Gandhi NR

10 Most Influential and Significant Books in history (non-religious)

February 7, 2009

The Illiad and Odessey, Homer. 8th Century BCE

Histories, Herodotus. 5th Century BCE

The Republic, Plato. 380 BCE

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, 167

The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli. 1532

On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Nicolaus Copernicus. 1543

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton. 1687

Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith. 1776

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx. 1848

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Charles Darwin. 1859

10 Worst days in Dow Jones History.

August 12, 2008
Rank Date % Chg
1 12/12/1914 -24.39
2 10/19/1987 -22.61
3 10/28/1929       -12.82
4 10/29/1929 -11.73
5 11/6/1929 -9.92
6 12/18/1899 -8.72
7 08/12/1932         -8.4
8 03/14/1907         -8.29
9 10/26/1987    -8.04
10 7/21/1933 -7.84

What is a liberal?

August 3, 2008

Liberal has become a negative slander. A pejorative to describe a weak person who wants everything handed to them by the Government. That is the opposite of what constitutes a liberal.

Liberal is the root word of liberty and liberate. It means freedom. The true definition of a liberal is a person who holds individual freedom to be the most important political issue. The limitation of government interference in business and individual lives is the real central theme of liberalism. It was the foundation upon which the United States of America was built.

Modern liberal political issues like welfare, universal healthcare, and progressive taxation, are not liberal at all. They are socialist issues. The limitation of government in individual lives along with the increase in government programs to aid people is a true contradiction. The modern political liberals want to have their cake and eat it too. If people want to protect individual liberties, they have to be willing to limit the size and power of the federal government. If they want social programs to provide equality and assistance to everyone, then they have to give up individual liberties. There is no way to have it both ways.

The founding fathers knew this, and they knew the nature of human ambition. If you give elected officials absolute power, they will take away liberties, and become corrupt. If you guarantee liberty, some people will try to take advantage of the free market system. If everyone is equal, we will all be poor. If economic incentives exist; the smart, diligent, industrious people will rise to economic power. If the government continues to eliminate economic incentives with high taxes, interest rates, no patent protection, etc, then the smart, diligent, industrious people of the world will invest their money and ideas somewhere else.

The true future of the nation has to be in economic conservatism and social liberalism. The Republicrats will eventually take over! Something has to give, and that is an economic survival of the fittest. People unable or unwilling to compete economically will be poor. It is that simple. If we can tolerate that, the nation will long endure.

Global military spending

July 29, 2008
Rank Country Spending ($ b.) World Share (%)
World Total 1339 100
1 Flag of the United States United States 547 45
2 Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom 59.7 5
3 Flag of the People's Republic of China China 58.3 5
4 Flag of France France 53.6 4
5 Flag of Japan Japan 43.6 4
6 Flag of Germany Germany 36.9 3
7 Flag of Russia Russia 35.4 3
8 Flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 33.8 3
9 Flag of Italy Italy 33.1 3
10 Flag of India India 24.2 2
11 Flag of South Korea South Korea 22.6 2
12 Flag of Brazil Brazil 15.3 1
13 Flag of Canada Canada 15.2 1
14 Flag of Australia Australia 15.1 1
15 Flag of Spain Spain 14.6 1

Early development of different continents

July 25, 2008

What is the reason that Europe and Asia evolved faster than the rest of the world? The same natural resources exist all over the world.  So, Why Eurasia and not the Americas, or Africa? There are four theories:

Animals: The availability of domesticated animals allowed farming, transportation, and surplus food. This allowed people to find other things to do other that look for food all day. Horses, Camels, Sheep, Pigs, Chickens and Cattle all came from Eurasia. Native Americans never domesticated the Buffalo or Antelope. South America domesticated the Lama and Alpaca which provided pack animals which allowed the Inca and Maya to form advanced civilizations. Africa never domesticated the Zebra, Hippo, or Elephant (only the Asian elephant can be trained.)

Horizontal Axis: The other continents are tall and thin, Eurasia exits on a horizontal axis that provides 4 seasons. Animals migrated from one end of the super continent to the other which gave people longer hunting seasons. The cold winters in the Northern Hemisphere made them plan ahead with planting, harvest, storage, shelter etc.

Iron: When Spain engaged the Aztecs, they were fighting with wood and stone weapons. They had not yet developed sails for ocean vessels or wheels to provide transportation. While Iron was plentiful, they had not yet learned create a fire hot enough to make steel. The Aztecs had bronze and gold, but they used it for decoration rather than weapons. A few hundred Spanish Calvary soldiers with guns and steel swords conquered several million Aztecs. It seems unthinkable, but imagine a few hundred American special forces troops going back in time two thousand years. They could have taken over the Roman Empire. What would medieval knights have done against a stealth bomber? That was the difference of technology of the Aztecs and the Spanish.

Staples: Europe had wheat and barley, Asia had rice, North America had corn, South America had potatoes. These are all pretty similar in calories and abundance. Sub Saharan Africa lacks a solid native staple food product. They do not have a clear planting season. The warm summer rains and long, hot days are not conducive to farming, so the feast/famine cycle has existed to this day in Africa.

Strange facts about early America

June 5, 2008

The battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breeds Hill. The British won the battle.

The only person to sign the declaration of Independence on July 4th was John Hancock. The other delegates began signing it on August 2nd.

Only two future U.S. Presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, signed the declaration of independence. Both Adams and Jefferson died on July 4th 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

President George Washington personally commanded Militia in the field to quell the Whiskey rebellion in 1794.

George Washington survived cases of Malaria, Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Dysentery, and Diphtheria in his lifetime. While President, he survived a bout with Pneumonia, the same disease that killed him nine years later.

During the revolutionary war, slaves were offered freedom for fighting on the British side. When the British withdrew, most of the “loyalist” slaves were taken back to England and given their freedom. Most Blacks in England are descendants of the loyalist slaves.

The first American War following independence was the Barberry Coast War fought against North African nations. It was mostly a naval war, but the U.S. Marines captured the city of Tripoli; an action that has been immortalized in the Marine Hymn, “to the shores of Tripoli.”

Colonists that remained loyal to the British were stripped of all their holdings including their homes and land. Many went west to start over as early pioneers. A large group settled in Canada. The English Colonies of Nova Scotia and Ontario were largely populated by American Refugees. In 1996, Canadian politicians sponsored the Godfrey-Milliken Bill, which would have entitled Loyalist descendants to reclaim ancestral property in the United States that was confiscated by the U.S. government during the American Revolution.

Famous Tall Leaders

June 3, 2008

Larger than life: the Average Height of Males during the Middle Ages was around 5’2”. The following five military leaders were all over a foot taller than average.

1. Frankish King Charlemagne was 6’ 4” 270 lbs

2. George Washington was 6 foot 3 inches.

3. King Henry VIII of England was 6’4”

4. King Edward I of England was known as Longshanks for his height of 6 feet 2 inches.

5. Longshanks’ enemy, Scottish Revolutionary leader William Wallace was 6’7”

According to the Bible, Goliath was six cubits which would make him 9’ 6”. And the Bible does not exaggerate. The Tallest U.S. President was Abraham Lincoln at 6’5″.

The notoriously short Napoleon was 5’6” which was average height for his time. He was called le petit caporal which translates in English as, “the little general”, but the term was used as one of affection by his troops. English propaganda has perpetuated the Shorty Napoleon myth which still exists today