PC512 Distorted history of heroes Abraham Lincoln, Brunel : Ideas and Opinions Blog

traditional picture of Abraham Lincoln is a simplified myth
- BBC Doco
- He worked to end slavery
- but he did think white people are superior, so encouraged freed slaves to go to new colonies of Haiti, Liberia etc.
- He was from apoor farm in the south and only came to Washington cos being a politician was the only job open
- His generals violently fought the Indians, which meant Republican party heads were able to profit from land on the new states now free of Indians

- The Republican party and it's mission was to end slavery, but they thought it couldn't be done quickly ..he joined it early. The first aim was to stop slavery spreading to the new states.
- He gives some speeches seeming very pro-white, but it can be argued that since he was working on the emancipation bill etc. these comments were political game to stop his opponents getting power
- Black people joined to fight with the Union so he definitely couldn't backtrack on the emancipation bill ..and it never included colonies

Brunel the Blunderer
- Quite Good piece from Inside Out
- Railway expert Adrian Vaughan argues that Isambard Kingdom Brunel should be remembered as much for his blunders as for his brilliance. After many months of studying Brunel's letters and diaries, Vaughan considers that history has painted a heroic picture of Brunel that isn't entirely justified. He argues, for example, that the Clifton Suspension Bridge bears little resemblance to Brunel's original design.

- The competition for the bridge design started with Robert Stephenson acting as judge & trying to award himself the prize. Brunel got that overturned & he won. He started at 24 but he'd been dead 5 years before the bridge finally got finished.

M.H. Forsyth : The Etymologicon
- why pay for this book when I can read it online free by well it is VERY well put together conection conection connection
- you can read half of it on Google books

Sicily Unpacked
- I just watched tonight's Sicily Unpacked.. They were a bit all over the place. They didn't have enough time to cover places properly and never put a map on the screen. It would have helped if the camera was on Sicily instead of being focused on them all the time, but that's the "personality reality" TV fashion these days.

- Noto, Modica, back to the Cava d'Ispica with the cave houses (I think that would be a good place to camp). Then without explaining properly they were up to Enna, explainig Good Friday, but not explaining Enna except for that icecream & chocolate. Then back to Modica where Ramsay that English Estate agent bloke I met showed them inside a palace. Then they were off some village place for bread. Then right over to the NE : Messina, look at a Caravaggio painting. Then an woomph they are over in Marsala; again not explained just a bit of wine.

Living with the Amish
- not amazing, bit iteresting. Amish think they are great and better than everyone else, but they don't comprehend they are living in a bubble. They think their life is pefrection and outside depraved..but it becomes they have the same problems as the outside world but aren't very good at dealing with them. They cover them up ..and use the evil techniques of shunning those who disagree with them

- The English kids seemed lazy and naive, but learned very quickly how to work and respect it .. the interesting thing was ..their personalities were not destroyed in the edit like most reality shows do.

edge science comes to mainstream
- Good RI Christmas lectures with Bruce Hood ..he really pushed skepticism and anti-pseudoscience to the kids. Strange that skepticism is now mainstream yet when I wasa kid "Uri Geller" would often be on TV yet no one explained then that psychics etc were all fakes
- Bruce Hood said - Twitter is like a brain ..really ?..but it's stupid like mass media

- I already knew from BBC Coast about Carnac in France that megalithic stuff cames from Orkneys and then spread down the west coast and to Ireland and then onto France and Wiltshire.
..Last night "A History of Ancient Britain Special: Orkney's Stone Age Temple Neil Oliver explores a newly-discovered 5,000-year-old temple on Orkney. Built 500 years before the iconic monument of Stonehenge, the temple is opening new windows onto the beliefs of Neolithic people, turning the map of ancient Britain upside down" (BBC web has some good clips)

- Just watched the thing about Dickens - Now we are just realising that the reality of mentally ill people is like the reality of dreams for us.. yet Dickens had already written about that .. As did Shakepeare write about things which are only recently in the psychology textbooks.

Amazing BBC Horizon documentary #PlayingGod
- Amazing BBC Horizon last night : biohacking. Synthetic biology is taking off exponentially : spider-silk from goats milk, Diesel from yeast, made a bacterium which never existed before.

- Good to see optimism about the science. Looking at positives of science instead of the worry & panic we've been having for the last 20 years., yet the eco-bullies ban GMOs.

@AdamRutherford said "I believe synthetic biology is the industrial revolution for the 21st century"
Naked Scientists post

Weatherman Walking :good walks around Wales
- while I was surfing channels around the various regional editions of Inside Out I came across this prog on BBC1 Wales. Where their wetherman walks various paths filled with views and characters.

- Not totally amazing , but worth a look if you are interested in walking especially since they have an online database of background info and maps

- There are 4 blogs ... travel and then I eventually edit and filter off material into
Current 507Ideas and Opinions Blog, ideas index 2, Irrational World Blog

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