The Hippies

I just finished watching “The Hippies”, a made for TV documentary about the Hippie culture of the 60’s and 70’s that aired on the History Channel. Though flawed with its overarching, borderline ridiculous right-wing condemnations of hippie culture, it offers a fascinating glimpse at the drug-fueled, youth-driven counterculture of the era.

Too much time, unfortunately, is wasted on sensationalist, irrelevant side-stories and not enough is spent on the substantive contributions of the hippie aesthetic to the culture at large. There are also a few glaring historical accuracies; for example, one could easily conclude from the film that the Vietnam War ended after 1969 — which would certainly come as a surprise to the soldiers who served there from 1970-1973. But at least the film, at its end, correctly, if only briefly, touches upon some of the many lasting contributions of the hippie ethos to the culture at large; these include the consciousness movement, the environmental movement, and the computer/technological revolution which led to the democratization of information by the Internet.


[The Hippies – YouTube]

The mention of famed “satanist” Aleister Crowley caught my ear, especially when the narrator explained how his image was “featured” on the cover of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Truth be told, Crowley is merely one of the 85 people and objects featured on the cover.

The commentary also claims Sgt. Pepper’s was “the greatest masterpiece of the psychedelic era”. As any Beatles fan will tell you Sgt Pepper’s was Paul’s baby and while Lennon’s Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds* or George’s Within You Without You have that psychedelic sound, Paul didn’t embrace the drug scene in the same way that the others did and while it may truly be a masterpiece of musical genius, I’d venture to say that later albums like Magical Mystery Tour are more psychedelic.

*Fun fact: Lennon always denied Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was about LSD despite rumours to the contrary.

(via)

Backmasking Text File

Here’s an interesting little text file from 1983 that Jason Scott has in this vast archive of BBS files, backmask.txt, that delves into the history, technology, and social aspects of backmasking.

From the text file by William Poundstone:

TV programs such as PRAISE THE LORD and THE 700 CLUB have propagated rumors of a satanic plot in the recording industry, no less, in which various albums conceal “backward-masked” demonic murmurings. If THAT sounds too spacey to be taken seriously, consider that it was the fundamentalist groups who were behind House Resolution 6363, a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Robert K. Dornan (R., Calif.) in 1982 to label all suspect records: “WARNING: THIS RECORD CONTAINS BACKWARD MASKING THAT MAKES A VERBAL STATEMENT WHICH IS AUDIBLE WHEN THIS RECORD IS PLAYED BACKWARD AND WHICH MAY BE PERCEPTIBLE AT A SUBLIMINAL LEVEL WHEN THIS RECORD IS PLAYED FORWARD.”

Many of the original rumours I heard about backmasking when I was a kid are in this file. It’s interesting to note that the claims of what exactly each songs says when played backwards has continued to evolve over the years.

Early Easter

According to an email that has been floating around, Easter is coming particularly early this year, and won’t be this early again for another 220 years.

Do you realize how early Easter is this year? As you may know, Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Found out a couple of things you might be interested in! Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare.

Here’s the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here’s the facts:

1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).

2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

I took a look at the dates Easter has fallen on over the last few years:

  • Sunday 23rd April 2000
  • Sunday 15th April 2001
  • Sunday 31st March 2002
  • Sunday 20th April 2003
  • Sunday 11th April 2004
  • Sunday 27th March 2005
  • Sunday 16th April 2006
  • Sunday 8th April 2007

So, it’s not insanely early, just a week or so than the earliest Easters we are accustomed.

Remember, even though the holiday is early, there is still time to buy your chocolates, eat them and get more in time for Easter. Happy hunting.

(Via)

Misquoting Jesus

In 1707, a biblical theologian named John Mill was the first to collect and combine the text of some 100 extant New Testament manuscripts. After 30 years of study he noted over 30,000 various major to mostly slight errors in the different versions of the New Testament manuscripts. His discovery brought to light the fact that so many different versions of the New Testament exist and that the book many people think of as the immutable word of God has an uncomfortably long history of changes.

The following video lecture is a tremendously interesting look at some of the discrepancies by world renowned bible scholar and author Dr. Bart D. Ehrman.

“There are places where we don’t know what the authors of the New Testament wrote. […]

The problem of not having the originals of the New Testament, though, is a problem for everyone—not simply for those that believe that the bible was inspired by God.

For all of us, I think, the bible is the most important book in Western Civilization. It continues to be cited in public debates over gay rights, abortion, over whether to go to war with foreign countries, over how to organize and run our society. But how do we interpret the New Testament? It’s hard to know what the words of the New Testament mean, if we don’t know what the words were.

And so in this lecture I’ll be talking about not knowing what the words were and what we might know about the originals of the New Testament, how they got lost and how possibly they might be reconstructed.”

[Misquoting Jesus| Youtube]

Robert Newman History of Oil

I really liked this Google Youtube Video: Robert Newman History of oil. It hits on so many important themes and ideas in such a brilliant way that all I can say is that if you are remotely interested in world politics/economics and history, then this is required watching. It’s also quite funny.

Robert Newman History of Oil

From the description:

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years—but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, [he] places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman’s stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world’s oil supplies are finally exhausted.

I’ve come to reconsider my stance on these polished conspiracy theory videos—they are thought provoking but I believe if they are not approached with a critical eye, they can be dangerous.

Eyewitnesses to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Four witnesses recount their harrowing experiences in Hiroshima and Nagaski in 1945 when the US began dropping the atomic bomb.

Well, it was like a white magnesium flash. I lost consciousness right after or almost at the same time I saw the flash. When I regained consciousness, I found myself in the dark. I heard my friends, Ms. Asami, crying for her mother. Soon after, I found out that we actually had been attacked. Afraid of being caught by a fire, I told Ms. Asami to run out of the building. Ms. Asami, however, just told me to leave her and to try to escape by myself because she thought that she couldn’t make it anywhere. She said she couldn’t move. I said to her that I couldn’t leave her, but she said that she couldn’t even stand up. While we were talking, the sky started to grow lighter. Then, I heard water running in the lavatory. Apparently the water pipes had exploded. So I drew water with my helmet to pour over Ms. Asami’s head again and again. She finally regained consciousness fully and went out of the building with me. We first thought to escape to the parade grounds, but we couldn’t because there was a huge sheet of fire in front of us. So instead, we squatted down in the street next to a big water pool for fighting fires, which was about the size of this table. Since Hiroshima was completely enveloped in flames, we felt terribly hot and could not breathe well at all. After a while, a whirlpool of fire approached us from the south. It was like a big tornado of fire spreading over the full width of the street.”

WWII Soldier Found Frozen in Ice

Two climbers on a Sierra Nevada glacier discovered an ice-encased body believed to be that of an airman whose plane crashed in 1942.

World War II Soldier discovered in ice

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Two climbers on a Sierra Nevada glacier discovered an ice-encased body believed to be that of an airman whose plane crashed in 1942.

The man was wearing a World War II-era U.S. Army Corps parachute when his frozen head, shoulder and arm were spotted on 13,710-foot Mount Mendel in Kings Canyon National Park, park spokeswoman Alex Picavet said Wednesday.

Park rangers and specialists camped on the mountainside in freezing weather for an excavation expected to take several days. The body was 80% encased in ice, Picavet said.

“We’re not going to go fast,” she said. “We want to preserve him as much as possible. He’s pretty intact.”

The excavation crew included an expert from a military unit that identifies and recovers personnel who have been missing for decades.

Park officials believe the serviceman may have been part of the crew of an AT-7 navigational training plane that crashed on Nov. 18, 1942. The wreckage and four bodies were found in 1947 by a climber.

(CNN video)

John Brewitt Milner

John Brewitt Milner's Grave

Some history about my great-great grandfather, from an old file I had kicking around on an old hard drive: John Brewitt Milner.

JOHN BREWITT MILNER

John Brewitt Milner was born 27 Jan. 1830 in Gringley, Nottingham, England, the son of John Milner and Ann Johnson. John Milner was a shoemaker from Mattersey, Nottingham, who was christened 8 Jan. 1802. Three children were born to John and Ann. The first, about 1826 was a little daughter who died in infancy. The second born about 1828, a son named George who died as a young man. The third, John Brewitt, was born following the death of his father John, 9 Sept. 1829.

John Brewitt was raised by his mother Ann Johnson Milner with love and understanding. She cared for all his needs as she saw fit and necessary. She was his tutor at first, and later provided other tutors. He responded well and enjoyed reading. He said of himself that he could not remember the time when he couldn’t read.

He has written, “At the age of ten years I had read the Bible through from: the first to the last page completely three times. I attended a Methodist Sunday School from the time I was five years until twelve years old. At the age of thirteen, I heard a Latter-day Saint Elder preach and I knew that his words were true and in accord with the scrip- true. I became fully convinced of the truth of Mormonism and a year later I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” His baptism occurred on 4 Feb. 1844, and one year later his mother accepted the gospel and was baptised 4 Feb. 1845. They both continued to be active in their new found faith and looked forward to the time when it would be advisable to go from their home in England to the new land and be among the people and the leaders in Salt Lake City. Now as far as financial matters were, Ann probably had sufficient funds to make the journey, and true to her training she prepared ahead of time for such a voyage and in the meantime kept her house in order.

Her son also wrote: “At sixteen I was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood and soon thereafter I was appointed to accompany the Branch President in his visits to the neigh- boring villages to preach the gospel.

JOHN B. MILNER DIES AT PROVO

Deseret Evening News, October 17, 1912, p. 8

Active for many years in civic and religious affairs in Utah County, Provo. Provo, Oct. 17 – John B. Milner, 82 years old, for many years a prom- inent lawyer and active in civic and religious affairs in Utah County, died at the family residence here this morning, at 10 o’clock, of in- firmities incident to old age.

Mr. Milner was born in England and came to Utah in 1850, coming dir- ect to Provo, were he has made his home ever since. He was said to be the oldest member of the Bar Association in Utah. He was teacher of the first public school ever held in Provo, in the Third ward, and all his life was interested in educational affairs. He acted as secretary to President Brigham Young when the president came to Provo and was always ready for any service that might be required at his hands. At one time Mr. Milner was collector of internal revenue and served for a number of terms in the city council of Provo. He had been city attorney, county attorney, county surveyor, justice of the peace, and had been a member for one term of the territorial legislature. While George Q. Cannon was delegate to Congress from Utah, Mr. Milner was in Washington and sometimes acted in a clerical capacity for Mr. Cannon.

He is survived by three sons, three daughters and numerous grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

JUDGE J.B. MILNER IS LAID TO REST

News Oct. 21, 1912, p. 9

Provo, Oct. 21 – A large assembly of relatives and friends gathered at the tabernacle yesterday at the funeral services of Judge John B. Milner. The Utah County Bar Association attended in a body. Bishop O.H. Berg of the First Ward presided. A biographical sketch of the deceased was read by H. F. Thomas. The speakers were Judge H. F. Thomas, Judge S. R. Thurman, Elder A. J. Evans of Lehi, President Joseph B. Keeler, Elder David John and Bishop Berg. All the speakers testified to the useful life and valuable public services of the departed, his ability as an attorney and in other lines of work, his eloquence as a public speaker, his integrity and love of truth and justice, and his faith in the gospel, which he had embraced as a boy.

Vocal selections were rendered by the Tabernacle Choir. The opening prayer was offered by Elder John S. Boyer, and the benediction by Elder S.S. Jones. The pallbearers were Albert Jones, W.K. Spafford, Joseph S. Berry, James A. Oliver, A.J. Southwick and Roy Passey.

The following committee of the Utah Bar Association were appointed by Judge J.E. Booth Saturday to draft resolu- tions of respect to Judge John B. Milner: J.W.N. Wite- cotton, George J. Packer, A.L. Booth.

From Winter Quarters and across the plains John Milner made the acquaintance of Esther Elizabeth Yardley Thurman, a young widow and her small son Thomas Edward Thurman. She emigrated to Utah in 1852. After living in Salt Lake for a year, she moved to Provo, where she married John B. Milner in 1854 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (March)

Their children were:

  • Benjamin Franklin Milner b. 19 Sep. 1855, Provo
  • John William Seaton Milner b. 8 Nov. 1857, Provo
  • George Brewitt Milner b. 28 Feb. 1861, Provo
  • Sarah Ann Milner b. 29 May 1862, Provo
  • Mary Victoria Milner b. abt. 1864, Provo
  • Lillie Jane Milner b. 4 Mar. 1866, Provo
  • Isabella Yardley Milner b. 17 Oct. 1868, Provo

John Brewitt Milner married 2nd. Catherine Steiner, 1 Apr. 1870, in Salt Lake City. She was born 5 Feb. 188 (error) in Bern, Switzerland, daughter of Johan Steiner and Maria Ysenschmied. Their son Heber Joseph Steiner was born 6 Aug. 1871 in Provo.

He married 3rd, Margaret Penbroke 20 Oct. 1875 in Salt Lake City. She was the daughter of James Earl Pembroke and Sarah Day. No issue.

He married Ann Smith 9 Feb. 1888 in Logan, Cache, Utah. She was born 11 Apr. 1846 in Keithley, Yorkshire, England, daughter of Samuel Smith and Hannah Roper.

Update: From my Dad’s cousin Thomas Milner talking about John Brewitt Milner on a Facebook post:
“John Brewitt owned several papers including the Democrat and in St John’s Arizona, JBM purchased the local Newspaper and renamed it the Apache Chief.

Some years ago Glenn Ray Milner, John Brewitt Milner Great Grandson through George Brewitt Milner, told a story of Grandfather Milner going on a [LDS] mission to Arizona, he was an attorney at the time (John Brewitt Milner I’m referring to) and was defending a Polygamous man.

This story was told to Glen Ray by someone in Arizona and had no documentation, so after pondering the story bothered me so, out I went looking for documentation, and found a historian from St John’s who sent me a photo copy and verified that Grandfather Milner owned the Apache Chief.

James Thomas Jakeman also owned various Newspapers through out Utah.

His wife Ellen Lee Jakeman not only wrote for the Milner owned Democrat, but was active in the Democratic party in the late 1800s I found a new article in that paper were Republicans were accusing the church for putting in all the Democrat leaders because the major portion of church members were Democrats in the late 1800s it made me laugh as I have heard in my lifetime just the opposite. But there it was in Grandfather’s paper.

Both John and Ellen were leaders in the Democratic party and it’s listed in Grandfather’s paper, if I ever get this book you will see these documents.”