Tag: Mark Twain

Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book

As our dear visitors can see in the title heading of our blog, we describe it as being a Commonplace Book.

What is a commonplace book?!!!

It has a very long history; the first commonplace books are believed to have been compiled from the 14th century and continued to be popular onto the19th century.

They can be regarded as a kind of scrap book where the compiler noted and collected scraps of information, etc. Entries are made only in handwriting and if needed illustrated by hand too. These were what differed a commonplace book from a scrap book –  no cutting and pasting bits of paper!.

commonplacebook

commonplace book

The  subjects of interest can be diverse; such as poems, prose, short essays, tracts, critique, prayers, observations,academic, thoughts/ideas on subjects, drawings/illustrations, myths, folklore, quotes, news, lists, recipes, facts on various subjects, etc.

Collecting items like this to record in a book was called  commonplacing.

Commonplace books were first known in fourteenth century Italy. They were known as zibaldone.  The books were referred by Italians as “salads of many herbs.”

They often included sketches and cursive written scripts. Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio kept such books.

17th-century-commonplace book

17th century commonplace book

Later among others, Thomas Hardy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Francis Bacon,Mark Twain  and John Milton all kept commonplace books.

A Commonplace book is not a diary or a journal,

Commonplace books contained notes and sometimes drawings on subjects, which were of particular interest to the collector and compiler. The collector may have copied/sketched or made notes of articles, tracts etc., from rare and not generally available books. Public access to libraries were rare too in those days.

These compilers may even had contributed to the social media of their age when showing or lending out their books to others.

We think  today’s 21st Century internet blogs serve as a type of commonplace book.

The blogger collects items of interest to themselves from various sources the internet, newspapers, reference books (as we do) etc., and which they think might interesting to others by sharing on line.

Humans have an insatiable thirst for the varied and diverse topics that make up our modern lives.

Welcome to our commonplace book, welcome to globalgranary.life.

 

Life After Death – Can Quantum Physics Lead To An Answer?

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Mark Twain so famously quoted that we can be sure of two things in life; taxes & death!
403-death-and-taxes
The great Bard William Shakespeare in his play Hamlet portrays death as “the dread of something after death. The undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will“.

As humans we are aware and cognitive that death exists. Many believe that after physical death, there is another existence that awaits us. Tens of thousands of years ago early hominids such as stone age and Neanderthals buried their dead in graves with items such as food, stone tools etc that served them in life and it was hoped would serve them in the afterlife.

The Ancient Egyptians are the most famous culture to have an all encompassing belief in the after life and made elaborate preparations to ensure that the royal pharaonic spirit ascends to a better plane of existence leading the way for all.
Various pagan religions evolved their own concept of what constituted an afterlife whether good or bad. i.e. the Norse had Valhalla, a great hall where the spirits of heroic warriors ascend to.

Our modern concept of Heaven & Hell has it’s roots in the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Judaism and Christianity absorbed these concepts and in various ways adapted for their faiths.

Christianity introduced a kind of ‘half way house’ after death, it is called Purgatory. It is where the soul(spirit) of a recently deceased person temporarily resides in place of purification or temporary punishment awaiting to ascend to Heaven or descend to Hell after they purge their sins.

Philosophers whether professional or amateur like to debate the big question of what happens after we die. They encompass this with Why Are We Here? Why Do we Exist? Is There any Purpose To Us Being? Whether there is a God or Deity that directs us or not.
We now in the 21st Century look for science to explain all in life and now beyond!
Scientists, physicists and medical doctors are looking more at how are minds work, what is consciousness? How can it be defined be defined?. Does this consciousness survive after our physical bodies die?  What is a soul/spirit?  Does part or all of our consciousness contain a soul or spirit?
Could our consciousness be ‘our’ spirit/soul in toto and  although somehow separate interact through our physical brain?

Atheists deny such things as an afterlife, heaven etc., or that there is a spirit or soul within us.
To be logical they should separate any religious connotation from the concept of the possibility of another plane of existence after our lives here are ended.  Such an existence may have nothing to do with religious dogma, but be a scientific reality that we are as yet not mentally and technologically advanced enough to discover.
We are on that path now, to be sure. Science is now beginning to seriously looking at these big questions once the exclusive domain of philosophers.

Continuing medical and allied technical innovation can measure and observe more deeply what is happening in our bodies, including the brain, the seat of our consciousness. Doctors are measuring more accurately the point of actual death. Death is measured by diminishing brain activity.  Recently for example,  in mice it was found that some minutes after death there is an increase in brain activity. Scientists/academics are divided on what this means. Whether the brain’s neurons are firing in a final burst before death, or is this activity a precursor to otherwise undetectable activity. Some academics think that this ‘burst’ is only the final farewell of the brain and our minds/consciousness before oblivion.

This activity may also give rise to the well documented Near Death Experiences (NDEs) of some hospital patients recovering from near fatal life threatening accidents, illness etc. These patients from many cultures across the globe recall seeing themselves leaving their physical bodies and looking down on the efforts of medical staff to resuscitate them. some  state that they saw a ‘tunnel’ and travel through it towards a bright light. Near this bright light, some reported  having religious experiences or meeting relatives who have previously died and are there to greet them. The patients are then ‘told’ or urged to return to their life. They wake up recalling vivid details of their experience. Again divided academics come up with theories such as hallucinations of a dying brain triggered by certain chemicals.

Other academics point out that these experiences  are too vivid to be a dream state and many don’t remember their dreams, especially in such detail. Some of the NDE survivors apparently give details  about the event that they could not have known about as they were deeply unconscious. Examples such as witnessing conversations between the resuscitating medical staff  or the unique clothes some were wearing.  Also why are all the experiences consistently similar from world wide NDE survivors?

Are the NDEs proof or indication of the separation of our consciousness from the physical brain at death, or indeed some chemical reaction of a dying brain?
A question would be why such a reaction exists at the point of death? A chemical reaction causing NDE has no survival or life value as other of the brain’s reactions/activities?

This is where an advanced and relatively new branch of science may provide intriguing clues of what happens to us when we die. Quantum Physics can be described as the science of the unusual and strange.

What happens at the subatomic and quantum level is slowly being uncovered layer by layer. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) leads the way in mining to quantum level of particles that make us, our world and universe.

In essence, particles at the quantum level act in strange and diverse ways sometimes  at variance to classical science models. Some particles can simultaneously act on others of their kind that are stretched across the universe! Others particles seem to leap into existence and disappear in a tiny fraction of a second. Where they come from & go to is not known at present. One theory gaining credence, is that a our universe is not alone. Some physicists and theoreticians believe that there are many universes (so called Multiverses) that coexist with ours.

Now some medical doctors and physicists using the uber complicated quantum theories developed by scientific luminaries such as Sir Roger Penrose, are trying to discover what our consciousness may be made up of and even what may happen to it after physical death. Very basically, at a quantum level, our consciousness is thought to  exist in ‘microtubules’ within the brain and interacts with our physical world. At death our quantum level consciousness may ultimately may travel via ‘tunnels’ to another universe or existence.

If this is so, would we be aware of any previous lives?

Hmmm, playing at amateur philosophy! I think that if this quantum related theory is true then  possibly our memories, and experiences of this life remain in a kind of chemical and neuron storage within our living brains, but when we physically die they become lost. However, our consciousness now unfettered from the physical brain & past memories etc., moves on to it’s next life/existence.

With the ever increasing evolution of computers and computing power, scientists predict  that we may in the next decade witness the creation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Indeed AI may eventually exceed the intelligence of humans. Will this super AI answer the Big Questions in life (and death!)?

Will AI develop a consciousness like humans, or remain algorithmically detached from emotions and such?

I enjoy trying out SIRI  the cool voice interactive  intelligent and knowledge personal assistant and navigator on my iPhone. For fun I asked it “is there life after death?”

After some silence and searching the vastness of the WWW, SIRI stated that “It does not separate silicon from the Soul” 😉
In my favourite comedy sci fi TV series, ‘Red Dwarf’, the android character called ‘Kryton’, stated that he and other robots believed in a ‘Silicon Heaven’.:)
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The subject of survival post life and quantum physics is a very complex subject to go into detail here and I urge you Dear Reader to ‘Google’ NDEs, Life after Death Quantum physics, there are many fascinating and thought-provoking articles out there on the Web.

Finally, I guess we will never know until we individually make that (hopefully a very long way off!) final journey to that ‘Undiscovered Country’.

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is best known for her famous book, Little Women, which has been made and remade into films over the years.

Louisa_May_Alcott_18882
Housekeeping ain’t no joke.
– Louisa May Alcott
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I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.
~Louisa May Alcott

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It takes two flints to make a fire.
– Louisa May Alcott
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Love is a great beautifier.
– Louisa May Alcott
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Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without potatoes.
– Louisa May Alcott
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People don’t have fortunes left them in that style nowadays; men have to work and women to marry for money. It’s a dreadfully unjust world.
– Louisa May Alcott
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What do girls do who haven’t any mothers to help them through their troubles?
– Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott Vs Mark Twain aka Samuel Clemens

Apparently Louisa was quite a feisty woman. When Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in 1885, Louisa led the movement to have the novel banned because of its crude language, from her home state of Massachusetts.
This was what Louisa had to say, “If Mr Clemens cannot think of anything better to tell our pure-minded lads and lassies, had better stop writing for them.”
Of course the opposite had happened, it only made the novel that much more sought after!

Did They Really Say That?

Believe Me 
Or Not! 
 
A five-minute immersion exercise in History, Humour, Current Events and TRIVIA
,
 
Subject of Interest

 DID THEY REALLY SAY THAT?
Or just a clever invention of some people interested in humour and for the lighter side of life.
By
Jose Sison luzadas
Delray Beach,FL
*********** ************ 
 
WE ARE OPEN LATE
 
The late Dave Thomas, founder and CEO of Wendy’s restaurants was a high school drop out. For many years he worked in the shadow of another legend Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of the chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets. Determined to finish off his high school education, he resumed his studies until finally got his diploma at age 90.  In the Class of 1996 YEARBOOK the Class Prophesy listed him as “THE STUDENT MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED”.

 *********** ************

 MEET THE OTHER THOMAS


Never associated with Col. Sander’s success KFC story nor was he related to Wendy’s Dave Thomas but this other “Thomas ” was in the employ of Swanson Food Company where and when revolutionized a new concept in FOOD and LIFESTYLE.

Gerry Thomas’ creative imagination began while aboard the plane in one of his business trips looking pensively at a three compartment metal tray the flight stewardess was handing him his dinner. Once on the ground, his keen observation and creativity that developed found its way to Swanson drawing board ushering in the birth of unique name and serving direct from the fridge….”TV DINNER”! This innivation oooops invention accorded Gerry Thomas one prestigious address as “ the father”.
One report said Gerry Thomas was deluged with letters from complaining husbands who felt deprived of the “home cooking” they expect from their wives.

*********** ************
Old Mark Twain:”…. And The Legend Continues” 
 
With his humour and wit, he has legion of admirers in the world including Canada’s humorist Stephen Leacock.  But one morning while reading a newspaper he noticed his own OBITUARY.  Mr. Mark Twain never lost his sense of humour, shook his head, amused and with ironic smile he was reported to have said, MY DEATH HAS BEEN EXAGGERATED.
 
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OVER THERE AND UNDER HERE
 
The last recorded state of war between the United Kingdom and the United States was the War of 1812 where the British burned the White House and Jean Lafitte, a buccaneer by profession threw his support to Old Hickory. Each side, however, claimed victorious. Since then the Brits and the Yanks are loyal allies and most recently, they were together again combining their manpower and war materiel to knock out Houssein Saddam in the Iraqi War.
 
But during WWII there were reported recriminations, whining, complaints or signs of “sibling rivalry” between Americans and their British cousins. Perhaps pride and nationalism have something to do. US soldiers stationed in England were perceived to be enjoying their stint of overseas duty with lavish privileges not enjoyed by their British counterpart, such as OVER THERE, American GIs were over paid, over fed, and over sexed. While the local boys were treated UNDER HERE, British soldiers were  under paid, under fed, under sexed and UNDER EISENHOWER! 
 
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ACTORS AND DECOYS: LONG BEFORE HOLLYWOOD
 
In 1901 the US military occupation government under General Merritt was concerned by the mounting death toll of American soldiers and civilian casualties. It was the tactical ingenuity of Colonel Funston that brought an end to the wily General Aguinaldo and his soldiers roaming the countryside. Funston enlisted the services of disgruntled Filipino soldiers from Macabebe, Pampanga, dressed them with newly pressed Katipunan uniforms and trekked the jungles of Palanan, Isabela. Following them were commandos to back up the surprised raid.
 
Funston had his hands tied pretending to be a captured American prisoner of war. Aguinaldo himself was completely fooled getting excited watching a well-rehearsed greeting, HENERAL ITO HO ANG AMING REGALO SA INYONG KAARAWAN. The rest is history as his last stronghold fell surrounded by a combined force of US soldiers and Filipino traitors.
 
The trick was a clever masterstroke of Funston who organized the Macabebe Scouts, which was the forerunner of the Philippine Scouts that fought the Japanese. It also inspired one-time chief of staff General Ileto in the creation of the Scout Rangers in the campaign against the insurgent People’s National Army.
 
***********************
 
HE IS MY GUY AND THE LEGEND WAS BORN
 
It was an accidental meeting in 1947 between a modest looking Filipino congressman and a covert intelligence agent working for the CIA.  Ramon Magsaysay, a one-time guerrilla leader later elected congressman from Zambales was visiting the United States to lobby for the release of back pay benefits for his men when he was introduced to a certain Colonel Lansdale who was then a minor player in CIA’s covert intelligence gathering. This chance meeting changed the course of Philippine history five years later.
 
The unpopularity of President Quirino due to charges of graft and corruption and his weakness to contain the sporadic attacks by the communist Hukbalahaps made the U.S. State Department leery. Paranoid by the  “domino theory” effect, stopping communism became a central issue as a menace threatening the peace and security in Southeast Asia, The United States put pressure on the Philippine Government forcing President Quirino to accommodate in his cabinet someone that bore the image of a no nonsense communist fighter.
 
Based in Vietnam, CIA man, Colonel Lansdale received instruction to proceed to Manila in search of “ignoramus innocent provinciano looking Filipino” to play ala  Hollywood script on behalf of State Department with one mission, to destabilize communist advances in the country.  Whisked from the Manila International Airport to the friendly confines of JUSMAG, Quezon City, Lansdale told the military brass “I have the man we are looking for, MAGSAYSAY IS MY GUY “.
 
Magsaysay took his lessons in dramatics from his tutor, Lansdale. He may not have the screen talents of Leopoldo Salcedo or Rogelio dela Rosa, but Monching showed not only the undisguised ability for acting but also a natural and genuine interest in the common people.
 
The political violence committed by the Liberals like Governor Rafael Lacson whose goons were responsible for the brutal murder of Moises Padillla, a Nacionalista mayoralty candidate of the town of Magallon, Negros Oriental doomed the chances of Quirino’s reelection bid. On the other hand, it sealed Magsaysay and the Nacionalista Party victory with help from Manahan, Pelaez, Adevoso and especially Manglapus whose jingle Mambo Magsaysay became the rallying if not a warning song, “ANG DEMOCRACY WILL DIE, KUNG WALA SI MAGSAYSAY”.
 
The presidential election of 1953 confirmed the wishes of the people. It was a huge margin of victory for THE GUY and Elpidio Quirino went to oblivion. Because of his dramatic role in the election results, RM’s tutor and friend, Colonel Lansdale was given a new name and was addressed, MR.LANSLIDE!
 
HAVE A NICE DAY!
 
Jose Sison Luzadas
Toronto, CANADA

Mark Twain – American Author & Humourist

 MARK-TWAIN-facebook

 

Mark Twain – American Author & Humourist

Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910)is a pseudonym of Samuel Clemens, an American writer and humorist.
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Mark Twain Quotes

”Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
– Mark Twain

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A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
~Mark Twain
….
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
-Mark Twain

~~~

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
-Mark Twain

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Adam was but human -this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden.
– Mark Twain
……
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man – the biography of the man himself cannot be written.
– Mark Twain

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Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.
– Mark Twain

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Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
– Mark Twain

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
– Mark Twain
~~~
Damn the subjunctive. It brings all our writers to shame.
– Mark Twain
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Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
– Mark Twain

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“Education : The path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”
-Mark Twain

………

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
– Mark Twain

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Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
– Mark Twain

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Heaven for climate; hell for society.
– Mark Twain
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Humour is mankind’s greatest blessing.
– Mark Twain
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I like criticism, but it must be my way.
– Mark Twain
~~~

I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won’t.
~Mark Twain
…….

If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
~Mark Twain
…….
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– Mark Twain


Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths.  No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
~Mark Twain


Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
-Mark Twain

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Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
– Mark Twain
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Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.
~Mark Twain
~~~
One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
~ Mark Twain
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Put all your eggs in one basket – and watch that basket.
– Mark Twain

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“20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”
~ Mark Twain

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The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
~Mark Twain

Truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I try to conserve it.
~Mark Twain
……..
Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.
~Mark Twain
………..
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.
– Mark Twain


Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain’t so.
~Mark Twain
~~~

When angry, count four, when very angry, swear.
– Mark Twain

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