The Difference of Three Days

According to the New Testament Yeshua bar Yosef was surrendered by the Hebrew legal council to the Roman Prefect of Judaea. The Sanhedrin accused the citizen of Galilee of the blasphemy of claiming to be the King of the Jews. Pontius Pilate concluded that the healer was innocent of these charges, however the Passover crowd before the Prefect’s palace wanted blood and the Roman offered them a choice; their ‘king’ or Barrabas, a violent insurrectionist. The mob led by the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two most powerful political forces in Judea, clamored for Barrabas. Pontius Pilate washed his hands and ordered his garrison troops to crucify their Yeshua.

The date was supposedly the 14th of Nissan and the year ranged from 28AD to 36AD, although the Vatican determined Good Friday and Easter according to the ancient calculations of the Council of Nicaea, which declared Easter to be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox as was the pagan holiday honoring Isthar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex.

Her temples were infamous for their prostitution cults.

The early church was adept at kidnapping the traditions of other religions, but not so good with arithmetic.

The priests and nuns taught the faithful that Jesus rose from the dead after three days. He died on a Friday. He stayed dead on Saturday. He rose on Sunday. Three different days, yet a time span of only 43 hours or less than two days, then again the time between the Immaculate Conception and the Birth of Christ is only four months.

Maybe I’m too picky.

Clocks didn’t exist in 33AD.

The hours were either sunrise, noon, sunset, or night.

Calendars were also hard to find in 787AUC (Anno Urbis Conditae or the founding of Rome).

A long, long time ago.

Before I was born into this lifetime.

And I couldn’t care less, because for me Easter is simply a day for chocolate and wearing a new suit and tie.

The former is for kids and the latter for my beloved departed Mother. She liked to dress up on Easter and even atheist shall honor the old traditions for their mother.

Happy Easter Eggs.

Taking A Friend Home

On the evening of April 15, 1912 the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage across the North Atlantic.

The unsinkable White Star ocean liner sank three hours later with a loss of over a thousand passengers and crew.

Mostly men following the old rule ‘women and children first’.

Only 20% survived the disaster.

According to the Bowdoin online magazine one of casualty was Richard White and his classmate and fraternity brother, Frank Arthur Smith, spent his thirtieth birthday in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His was not a pleasure trip.The families of the Titanic passengers had been informed that the bodies of hundreds of the victims had been recovered and trasnported by a steamer to Halifax for identifification.

Frank A. Smith traveled to Nova Scotia on behalf of the White family, who hoped to recover the bodies of both Richard and his father, Percival. Frank waited anxiously at the Halifax Hotel for several days before receiving a telegram from his friend’s wife.

“Richard’s body reportedly found[.] better return with it at once… look sharp for my brothers body[.] wire me fully as soon as you can.”

What was thought to be Richard’s body was found clad in a brown suit, wearing white shoes. The man had fair hair and seemed to be carrying Richard’s effects, but the estimated age was listed as thirty-seven. Richard was only twenty-one. Bowdoin sent measurements taken during Richard’s last physical to assist officials in identifying the body.

Finally, after several delays, the steamer arrived in Halifax where the bodies were taken to a make- shift morgue in the city’s curling rink. Frank A. Smith waited as the remains of those in second-class and steerage were unloaded. The corpses were sewn into canvas bags. Unlikely ever to be identified, the men, women, and children were buried in the “the Survivors cannot forget the cry of tortured humanity, facing its death in cold and darkness, despairing, a shrill chorus that carried despair across the quiet starlit waters.”

Frank A. Smith was taken to view body number 169. It was indeed Richard White. The remains were so battered, so ravaged that it was understandable that the body had been thought to be sixteen years older. Richard’s possessions fared better. He had a gold watch, keys, a bloodstone ring, and his Delta Kappa epsilon fraternity pin.

After positively identifying the body, Frank A. Smith inquired about Percival White with officials and checked among the other passengers yet to be identified. There were no bodies matching his description and it was assumed that Richard’s father was lost at sea.

Frank saw that the coffin was sealed and prepared for travel. In Portland he met members of the White family. Richard’s remains were then transported to Winchendon, Massachusetts, and were interred in a private ceremony on May 2.

Frank A. Smith was my grandfather.

He served in WWI as a dcotor.

He married my grandmother Edith.

Sadly he died several months before my birth.

This story was told me by my father.

No one in my family believed it until now.

Then again all stories are true, if interesting.

Winter’s Hold

This winter New York’s first snow was a light dusting on November 12, 2013.

Two days ago I woke to a white blanket on the backyard below the Fort Greene Observatory.

There wasn’t much of an accumulation, however this evening I walked out onto South Oxford Street and muttered, “Damn winter.”

The hard season won’t release its grip and only last week I enjoyed the warmth of Spring along the River Arno in Firenze.

And that warmth was heaven.

The End Of New York

Last week I walked past the Rizzoli bookstore in Milan, which is located in the Grand Galerie next to Duomo Cathedral. Customers have been walking in and out of that address since 1927 and all they sell are books. The same went for the Rizzoli in New York, until the owners of the building on 57th Street announced that the Manhattan landmark was closing for good and will probably end up as condos for the rich, despite Vornado Realty Trust telling the media that they had no intentions of tearing down the building.

New York is also losing Shakespeare & Company, a bookstore on Lower Broadway.

Its monthly rent was going up to $50,000.

Pearl Paint’s building on Canal Street is joining the ranks of the closed.

This city and especially Manhattan is coming to a point where it’s only for the rich.

And they don’t deserve it.

Good-bye the piers.

Good-bye Pussycat Lounge.

Good-bye Victory Theater.

They aren’t ever coming back

Bullshitters Unite

Last week Francois Nel reported on his blog that more people work in Public Relations than as journalists.

He added that the same goes for the USA and that PRs earn 40% more a year on average than journalists.

Public Relations agents or flaks tell people what to think and journalist tells people their version of the truth.

After the Iraq War I don’t see much difference between the two.

It’s all bullshit to me.