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Learn About Paul Revere And His Ride For Yourself—You Are Crazy To Let Others Define Your Past

Due to recent comments by Sarah Palin, Paul Revere’s Ride is in the news.

When important events in American history find their way back into the news, that is a good time to take your own initiative to learn the real facts.

Above is John Singleton Copley’s 1768 painting of Paul Revere.

Here is how this painting is described by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Revere, a silversmith, is seen here as both a working person and as a thinker.

Every working person has the ability to understand complex things if he or she is willing to make the effort.

An excellent book about Paul Revere and the Boston he knew is Paul Revere And The World He Lived In by Esther Forbes.

A book about the famous ride that got strong reviews is Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer.  I have not read this title.

If you have the good fortune to be able to visit Boston, you can tour the home where Paul Revere and his family lived.

Here are facts about the Midnight Ride from the Revere Home. 

Below is a picture of the Revere home that I took in 2008.

In Boston you can also visit the famous Old North Church. 

This is the church where the lanterns were hung on the night of Paul Revere’s ride.

Below is a picture I took from inside the Old North Church in 2008.

Please allow me to be clear—You don’t need to go to Boston to learn about Paul Revere and his ride. All the information you need is at the library, the bookstore, and on the internet.

The things you need to learn about yourself and your world are all around you. These things are accessible with effort and imagination.

You are crazy if you allow other people to tell you about your past.

If you allow other people define your past—and by extension to define the person you are—you will lose control of your future.

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Google Searches Miss

I was looking up something on Google and typed the letter A. I saw that the word Amazon came up. Because my mind is weak, I then typed in each letter of the alphabet to see what word came up with each letter. Below is the list of what came up and in my view, of what should have come up.

Based on what comes up in these Google searches, it seems that many of us like to shop. It also seems that people like services that are free. 

A—Amazon

What should come up is Arthur Ashe. 

B—Best Buy

What should come up is Book. As in–Get off the computer and go read a book.

C—Craigslist

What should come up is Copley. As in, my favorite painting is John Singleton Copley’s Paul Revere. (Below)

D—Dictionary 

I can’t improve on that. Good to see people looking up the right word to use.

E—ebay

What should come up is Elusive. As in, the true origin of many products sold on ebay can be Elusive.  

F—Facebook

Well–I use Facebook enough so I guess I can’t begrudge folks. Feel free to look me up on Facebook—Neil Aquino—and send me a friend request. My current profile picture is myself wearing a suit and standing in front of a big ice sculpture.  If I had to pick a word for F, it would be Friend in any case. It is good to have Friends.  

G—Google

What should come up is Galveston, Texas. As in visit Galveston, Texas for a nice day at the beach or a nice weekend.

H–Hotmail 

What should come up is History. As in, it is fun and useful to learn History. Or, Alan Taylor’s American Colonies is a great History book.

I—Imdb ( I had to look up what this was. It is a database of movies and movie stars.)

What should come up is Island. As in, I wish I lived on a distant Island.  Or, I wish you lived on a distant Island. 

J—JC Penney

What should come up is Joy Division. Love Will Tear Us Apart is my favorite song.

K—Kohls

What should come up is King. As in Martin Luther King.  (Click here to see the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference list on the web.)

L—Lowes

What should come up is Liberal. It’s okay that it did not come up though since liberals did so well in the most recent election.

M—-Myspace

What should come up is Martin Van Buren. A founder of the American system of political parties, Martin Van Buren (below) is worth more study and thought than folks realize. (Please consider starting your studies on Van Buren by clicking here.)

Martin Van Buren 

N—Netflix

What should come up is Night Out. As in, forget the Netflix and have a Night Out at a restaurant and movie.  

O—Orkut (This is a social networking site run by Google. I had never heard of it. )

What should have come up is Optimistic. As in, I hope all people are able to remain Optimistic even in these hard times.

P—Photobucket

What should come up is Poetry. Here is a bit of  Chinese Poetry from the 8th century. 

Late autumn strips the distant hills

beyond the city gate.

A huge white cloud interrupts my dreams

and returns me to this world.

And you, old friend?

Flown silent as a crane.

Will you ever return

to your old home again?

Q—Quotes

Okay. I can go with that.  A great quote is  “A trifle consoles us because a trifle distresses us.”  This was by Blaise Pascal. 

R—Runescape  (This is some kind of online game. When I clicked on it, it said that 117,123 people currently playing. I guess no matter how in-touch you think you are, there is big stuff you are missing.)

What should come up is Roses. As in Roses are my wife’s favorite  flower and my wife is the best person in the world.

S—Sears

What should come up is Socialism. With the right in such a lather over the word, why not explore its meanings and see what it can offer in this time of free market failure.

T—Target

What should come up is Texas Liberal. Thanks for reading my blog!  

U—utube

What should come up is Universal. As in, before long we must have government funded Universal health care in America.   

V—Verizon Wireless

What should come up is Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a small Pacific Ocean island nation.

Below is a picture of the parliament building in Vanuatu….

 

…That was modeled upon the old Howard Johnson’s chain.

W—Walmart

What should come up is Wages. As in, raise Wages at Wal-Mart.

 X—Xbox 360

What should come up is Xenial.  Xenial means ” …the friendly relations between a guest and a host, or between a person and a foreign country.”  Xenial is a very good word to know. 

Y—Youtube

What should come up is You. As in, You are not the center of the world no matter how many products and services emphasize the word You.  

Z—Zappos (This is a an online seller of purses and shoes.) 

What should come up is Zebra. As in it is excellent to be able to run a picture of  Zebras on this blog. (Please click here to learn about Zebras.)

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

25 Things About This Blogger—With Paul Revere Painting

I’ve been tagged for one of these 25 things about me lists on Facebook. Vanity compels me to comply. I’ve not yet posted this on Facebook. It’s just that I need a blog post for today.

I like Facebook. It’s an easy way to keep in touch with folks.  If any of the blog reading public would like to add a friend who is also one of America’s leading bloggers…..well, I can’t help you.  But if you’d like to add me, my name in Neil Aquino and I live in Houston. Look me up and I’ll add you on. The more the merrier. 

Here we go—

1. Anything good about me, or good in my life, is in large part due to my wife. Anything bad is my doing.

2. I’ve had four clear-cut best friends at points in my life. One is my wife. One was a grade school kid I’ve long lost touch with. One is just beginning the study of Chinese medicine in Portland, Oregon. I still exchange e-mails with her on and off.  The final one is the only I can’t have a decent conversation with anymore. I’m appreciative of her friendship at one time in my life, but I don’t regret the inability to converse with her now.

3. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off giving up the blog and writing a letter to a friend each day. I give a fair amount of thought about the best ways to communicate.

4. I work hard to maintain friendships across the years and across what are now often great distances. I’m mostly successful with this. Yet I have room to do better.

5. When we keep up with friends, I feel we provide our lives with a measure of permanence that offers a rebuttal to death. We are saying there is a source of stability in an existence marked by things moving away from each other. Longstanding relationships also give a greater relevance to the ways we’ve spent our time in life. When you have a friend for a long time, it’s evidence that you made a good decision many years ago. 

6. I feel you can define family in anyway you choose.

7.  I wish I had the ability to be an artist of some kind. I’d like to be able to  paint a picture. I’d paint a picture of people in a way that conveyed who they are. I’m lucky to have seen in person Copley’s painting of Paul Revere in Boston. Below you see that painting. It’s my favorite.  In this painting, Mr. Revere is both a worker and a thinker. 

 

8. I wish I had the time in life to be as creative as I feel I could be. I could gain a measure of that time by the better application of self-discipline.  

9. I feel that both the material events in our lives, as well as the thoughts that we think, all need context. Nothing exists alone. We need to know what came before and what may come after.

10. I think one can merge the public and private aspects of life in ways that give greater meaning to both. The two should not be divorced from one another.

11. I often wonder how one can combine a strong desire to be alone with a need to communicate. Hopefully, I’m able to do this in a way that is neither (fully) stand-offish or involves being around to much. (Though in truth, I’ve not yet figured this mix out.)

12. I have a good memory. I recall some things with such clarity that I feel the events I’m thinking about are taking place again.  This makes me wonder that if man is the measure of all things, than does not the abilty to retain and relive our memories challenge some of our concepts of time? The past is present in our thoughts and as a guide to our future actions.    

13. If each morning we could take just a few moments to assess our lives and our goals for the day, that would be an act of creation and imagination we could accomplish each day.

We could create time and time again. We could do so in a way that builds upon what came before, so that even an act of creation comes with context. I want to have the discipline to be able to do this.

14. I’m not convinced our leaders really believe most Americans have a viable economic future. At least in relation to how we have lived before. 

15. I’ve never spent a night outdoors and I never will unless forced to do so by a bad turn of events.

16. Just because your life is very good, does not mean it is entirely the life you want. Expressing this thought does not detract from the good things in your life. 

17. I’d like to live on an island.

18. I feel at home when with the wife, when at the ocean in Galveston, Texas, when writing, and when reading.  I also felt at home when I was at a bar called the  Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. That place has long been torn down.

19.  Much about the practice of politics bores me. I did not like most people I met when I worked in politics. Though the time I spent involved in politics was worth it.

20. I’m proud of the fact that my name has been on the ballot twice. Once as a candidate for Democratic precinct executive a Hamilton County, Ohio. I was the only candidate and won with about 15 votes cast in my little voting precinct.  That was, I think, in 1992. I got a certificate of election from the county. In 1997, I ran for the Cincinnati Board of Education and won about 10,000 votes.  I finished 9th of 12 with the top four being elected. I was endorsed by Stonewall Cincinnati and by a number of unions. Beyond being glad I had not finished last, I felt that I had done well in the voting.

 21. The best non-fiction book I’ve read is S.E. Finer’s three volume history of government. The best novel I’ve read is The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.  

22. I’d like to start volunteering somewhere. I have a place in mind.

23. I’m lucky.

24. I think we can balance a strong and autonomous personality, with the need for collective action in our political lives. What could be better than free citizens making the willing choice to work for common ends?

 25. I’ll end where I started—Anything good about me, or good in my life, is in large part due to my wife. Anything bad is my doing

January 31, 2009 Posted by | Art, Blogging, Books, Cincinnati, Galveston, Houston, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Politics, Relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Copley’s Self Portrait & My Monarchical Impulses

Above is the self-portrait of the great artist John Singleton Copley. This portrait was painted in 1784 when Copley was 46.

In 1784 Copley lived in England. He had been born in Boston in 1738 and lived there for most of his life until he left for Europe in 1774.

The timing of Copley’s departure for Europe just before the American Revolution was no accident. He was a loyalist. Copley never came back to the United States.

Sometimes, when frustrated with the general public, I look at Copley’s haughty self-portrait and entertain a brief monarchical sympathy. It’s like a stiff drink to get past a rough moment.  

I think things out and always reject the option of a king or queen. I think the best way to support democracy is to be candid about the flaws of the masses. That way you are ready for what comes in politics and society.

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Art, Colonial America, History | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samuel Adams Says Have A Great Fourth Of July

Here we see the patriot Samuel Adams telling you to have a great Fourth Of July.

Click here to learn more about Samuel Adams.

What Mr. Adams is pointing to in the painting, is a map telling him where all the best fried clam shacks are, and, which way to go to the fireworks tonight.

The artist was John Singleton Copley.

July 4, 2008 Posted by | Art | , , , | 2 Comments

Copley’s Portrait Of Paul Revere

 

This is Portrait of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley from 1768.

Paul Revere lived 1734-1818.

Here is how this painting is described in the book American Art and Architecture by Michael J. Lewis—

Here was a new kind of painting. Instead of aristocratic subjects in settings of leisure, Copley portrayed merchants and artisans who were not ashamed of their status or their manual labor—Aristocrats of commerce. Revere holds one of his silver teapots in one hand as he prepares to incise it with decoration while the other holds his head, as if to suggest that he earns his livelihood by both his hands and his head.”  

Here is information on Paul Revere.

Despite this painting, Copley was no friend of the American Revolution. He left America in 1774 and settled in London.

Click here for some information on Copley. Take a look at his self-portrait—Just seeing it will clue you in on his feelings about the revolution.   

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on Colonial America.

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Art, Books, Colonial America, History | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Shark Eats Kangaroo—Also, Australia Elects Left-Leaning Government

A shark has eaten a swimming kangaroo off the coast of the southern Australia town of Torquay in the State of Victoria.

This area is part of “Victoria’s mighty Surfcoast.”

The kangaroo hopped into the ocean and was consumed.  

Here is information about kangaroos. 

Here is an excerpt from a story on the kangaroo attack—

“Mr Boucher said the marsupial, which seemed dazed, stood at the edge of the water for about 10 seconds and then started swimming out to sea.

“It was bobbing up and down,” Mr Boucher said.

He told the Geelong Advertiser that the unfortunate marsupial was about 200m (656ft) from shore when the shark struck.

He said the predator’s back was clearly visible above the choppy waves as it launched its attack.

“It wasn’t a huge shark and it was too far out to see clearly, but it was a shark. I couldn’t believe it.”

Here is a story from the Geelong Advertiser about international media response to the attack. This news was reported in India and Germany.

Also, Australia recently elected a Labor government led by new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Mr. Rudd replaces the odious John Howard after over 11 long years.

Prime Minister Rudd promises to be part of the Kyoto climate treaty and to end Australian support of the War in Iraq.  

Mr. Rudd’s election was welcome news.  

The painting is called Watson and the Shark. It was painted in 1778 by John Singleton Copley.

Mr. Copley left New York City for England in 1774 and never came back. I don’t think he was so keen on the American Revolution. He mostly painted people of some social standing.

December 15, 2007 Posted by | Art, Colonial America, Politics, Sea Life | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments