Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Isn't it funny how some things look so much like other things? See this guy here? He's a Janissary . (I love history and often lurk in its pages.)

The Janissaries (derived from Ottoman Turkish ينيچرى (Yeniçeri), meaning "new soldier") comprised infantryOttoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards. The force was created by the Sultan Murad I from Muslim sons in the 14th century[1] and was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826 with the Auspicious Incident [2](*from wikipedia)

This is what you probably thought he was... Ku Klux Klan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Funny how much the two outfits look alike. Funny how they had some very similar ideas about people not like themselves. Hummm... Oh wait, those ideas are not funny at all. Poor choice of wording.(A SNL joke I always liked... "Did you get that at KKK-Mart?")

Here's a tid bit. You may already know this, and I hope you do. We often attribute many of the laws and changes that happened to benefit the newly freed slaves to Abe Lincoln. But Lincoln was politically cautious. It was such a tremendous change for folk of that time to absorb that he was afraid of the repercussions. Most of those original laws can be attributed to this group:
Radical Republicans .

There is a lesson here. History is fickle. We bend it and abuse it. We twist it to enhance our heroes, to put ourselves in a fresher light. It is important to look beyond the top layer of history. You gotta dig. It's amazing what you find in there.

When left to its own devices, my brain goes off on tangents. This is one of them. It began with a question about a war... the Battle of Avarayr between the Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire that just happened to have occurred on May 26, 451 A.D. Yeah, 1,558 years ago. Amazing. One thing led to another until I found myself immersed in the Ottoman Empire and came across the drawing of the Janissary. That in turn led me here to you.

This is my fourth day in a row off. We have no school today. I don't know if the teachers are there working or not. This may be the result of cuts in the budget... we lost several days to cuts. I do not really care a whit why, only that it is so. I take my orts of happiness where I can glean them.

Tomorrow I will return to my countdown to vacation. Whoot! I like it when I have a focus and direction. I like that many of you have enjoyed the countdown. It is fun for me. Today I am thankful that I can share it, and thankful that someone is out there to share it. Hope your day is full of sunshine and something really good that you personally enjoy... whatever that may be.


  1. You have the most interesting links in your posts! Also, I am a huge fan of your attitude, Ananda. I try to cultivate joy as well, but as you saw, missed the bus or something this weekend. haha!

  2. laura b.-- Man, growing joy is a struggle! I have my days when all I do is piss and moan, believe me.

    I am glad you enjoy the links... I'm a dedicated link rider and a lurker (the polite kind). I learn so much that I didn't know. Of course it often falls right out again. sigh. But then I can take another ride.

    Hey,don't worry about missing the bus. We all have those times and I was glad to accept the information. This can be a very supportive community. I love that about it. :-)

  3. oh i totally follow this line....i was one of those kids who could spend a rainy day with a funk and wagnalls happily following cross references all afternoon

  4. Janisseries also appear in the fiction of Jerry Pournelle. In the same "universe" as "The Mote In God's Eye" and "The Gripping Hand", I think.

  5. lime-- This does not surprise me about you with your quick wit. A mind like that feeds itself!

    dmarks-- How on earth did I miss that connection! We've been talking about The Mote in God's Eye for a couple of posts. Maybe that's what led my brain to go that direction. The mind is a crazy creature, or mine is anyway.

    Thanks for pointing that out. You always add such good things!

  6. How nice to have another day off even. I'm giving myself a 4 day weekend next week. The girls are done with school on Thursday of next week, so I'm taking the next Friday and Monday off.

  7. Churlita-- Yes it is nice and very welcome. I am glad that you are doing the same for yourself. YOu know I've heard that in Europe they have a more sensible outlook on time off and people routinely take chunks of time off... because relaxed and happy people are productive people. Makes sense to me.

    Besides, good mom, you deserve it! Have fun with those darling girls.

  8. First off my wife and I loved the basset story you shared on my blog's comments page. At the time it probably was a nightmare but looking back now it is probably pretty funny to you. And thanks for the history lesson. It is amazing how often people will just accept something on face value and not dig a little deeper. Hope you enjoyed your time off.

  9. Mr. Shife-- I do love that story. It did near make me mad at the time, but it's full of laughs now. I'm so glad to have someone to tell it to who knows what I am talking about. They are very different people, those low, long-eared folk. You have to know one to understand.

    I am happy you liked the post. I'm not really trying to lecture anyone. It just impresses me how much I have to dig to get to the reality.

    I have loved my time off and am so looking forward to my summer off. Thank you for your always kind words, Mr. Shife. Give my regards to the Mrs. and kiss that boy for me.

    So I am curious... did Quincy snuffle K good when you brought him home? And did he not just take him to be part of you and therefore, just the best thing ever? Give Quincy a good stritch on the tummy for me. I miss that part most.

  10. it's funny how we humans can always find the time and money for a good war.

    we can't cure many diseases or end poverty but we can start a war at the drop of a hat.

  11. See this link for a yet another pointed-head character. From Super Mario Galaxy.

  12. billy-- So true. So sad. I loved your video today... perfect!

    I went to my favorite books store today and got a Vonnegut bumper sticker that says "We could have saved the earth but we were too damn cheap."

    I also spent a bloody fortune on books. I now own all of the Balance books. Cool beans!

  13. dmarks-- Ooooh I like yours so much better than mine! lol. Thanks for sharing that. Big grin.

  14. History is written by those who want to be in it.....

  15. Braja-- An excellent point!

    I've been thinking about you all day. It's gonna be that way for a while I think. Glad that you stopped by. Big grin.

  16. It is funny that you would mention janisseries when we had been talking about Niven's books just recently. That is the beauty of open-ended research. It answers questions you didn't even know to ask. And it gets you around corners that you didn't even know were there.

  17. Cube-- You are so correct! But I am sure that was my subconscious at work. My brain may not work when I'm trying to beat it into action... but it works alone just fine. That is the beauty of open ended research.

    BTW do you ever visit Left Coast Rebel? Things are very interesting over there and you seem the type... of course, I could be wrong. You might want to check him out. He's been most kind to me... if you have not been there already. The more of you brainy types I have explaining things to me, the better. ;-)