Taking from the BBC series Connections, hosted by the quirky James Burke, is the format this post follows, albeit a bit tenuously. Here's my take on some things layed out in a James Burke fashion.
President Bush had a press conference recently and spoke about Iran and its potential nuclear capabilities. From the AP:
President Bush said Tuesday that the international community should continue to pressure Iran on its nuclear programs, saying Tehran remains dangerous despite a new intelligence report finding it halted its development of a nuclear bomb. "I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the program," Bush said. "The reason why it's a warning signal is they could restart it."
Which brings me to something I just found out about...something that happened during the Cuban Missal Crisis before I was even born. It's amazing to think that civilization as we know it could've been forever changed because of some Friends of Goldilocks. My question is, where was Ray during all this?
October 25, 1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis: Intruder in Duluth, Minnesota
At around midnight on October 25, a guard at the Duluth Sector Direction Center saw a figure climbing the security fence. He shot at it, and activated the "sabotage alarm." This automatically set off sabotage alarms at all bases in the area. At Volk Field, Wisconsin, the alarm was wrongly wired, and the Klaxon sounded which ordered nuclear armed F-106A interceptors to take off. The pilots knew there would be no practice alert drills while DEFCON 3 was in force, and they believed World War III had started.
Immediate communication with Duluth showed there was an error. By this time aircraft were starting down the runway. A car raced from command center and successfully signaled the aircraft to stop. The original intruder was a bear.
When I was a child, we spent some summers vacationing in Duluth. My father had a fondness for the area, was quite out-doorsy and had worked in several CCC logging camps in Northern Minnesota. I also remember him escorting a travelling statue of Our Lady, don't remember which one, and it had a stop in Duluth. It was the first time I had seen the Knights of Columbus in all their regalia and I was very impressed by them. Continuing with this thread, there is a city of Duluth in Minnesota...
Duluth is a seaport city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the county seat of St. Louis County. The city had a total population of 86,918 in the 2000 census and the metropolitan census including outer suburbs and villages was estimated to be roughly 184,000. At the westernmost point on the north shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is linked to the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles (3,700 km) away via the Great Lakes and Erie Canal/New York State Barge Canal or Saint Lawrence Seaway passages and is the Atlantic Ocean's westernmost deep-water port.
Duluth forms a metropolitan area with Superior, Wisconsin, Called the Twin Ports, these two cities share the Duluth-Superior Harbor and together are one of the most important ports on the Great Lakes, shipping iron ore (taconite) and grain. As a tourist destination for the Midwest, Duluth features America's only all-freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium, the Aerial Lift Bridge which spans the short canal into Duluth's harbor, "Park Point", the world's longest freshwater sandbar, spanning 14 miles, and is a launching point for the North Shore.
and one in Georgia...
Duluth is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and a suburb of Atlanta located in the Metro Atlanta area. Duluth is a popular and rapidly developing suburb of Atlanta, close to Interstate 85, which allows for a quick commute to Atlanta.
Duluth, Georgia, as it says above is a suburb of Atlanta. And, what company was born in Atlanta? Why my favorite...Coke. Or Coca Cola as it is officially called. There are many legends about the formulation of Coke and if it really contains cocaine. According to Wiki:
The exact formula of Coca-Cola is a famous trade secret. The original copy of the formula is held in SunTrust Bank's main vault in Atlanta. Its predecessor, the Trust Company, was the underwriter for the Coca-Cola Company's initial public offering in 1919. A popular myth states that only two executives have access to the formula, with each executive having only half the formula. The truth is that while Coca-Cola does have a rule restricting access to only two executives, each knows the entire formula and others, in addition to the prescribed duo, have known the formulation process.
The first Coca-Cola recipe was invented in Columbus, Georgia, by John Stith Pemberton, originally as a cocawine called Pemberton's French Wine Coca in 1885. He may have been inspired by the formidable success of European Angelo Mariani's cocawine, Vin Mariani.
Which brings us quite nearly to the end of our story. Maybe I should start drinking wine instead of Coke as my drink of choice:
Vin Mariani, (French: Mariani's wine) was a tonic created circa 1863 by Angelo Mariani, a chemist who became intrigued with coca and its economic potential after reading Paolo Mantegazza’s paper on coca's effects. In 1863 Mariani started marketing a wine called Vin Mariani which was made from Bordeaux wine treated with coca leaves. The ethanol in the wine acted as a solvent and extracted the cocaine from the coca leaves, altering the drink’s effect. It originally contained 6 mg of cocaine per fluid ounce of wine, but Vin Mariani which was to be exported contained 7.2 mg per ounce in order to compete with the higher cocaine content of similar drinks in the United States.
Further...(ad from Harper's Magazine, March, 1894)
Vin Mariani was very popular in its day, even among royalty such as Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. Pope Leo XIII and later Pope Saint Pius X were both Vin Mariani drinkers. Pope Leo awarded a Vatican gold medal to the wine, and also appeared on a poster endorsing it.
Pope Leo XIII was a great pope. If I didn't have to run to bible study, I would write more about him. However, I didn't know that Pope Leo endorsed anything and it was interesting to learn about his endorsement of Vin Mariani. Pope Leo XIII was the first pope we have a sound recording of and was the pope St. Thérèse went to speak to concerning her vocation:
While on a pilgrimage with her father and sister in 1887, the future Saint Thérèse of Lisieux during a general audience with Pope Leo XIII, asked him to allow her to enter the Carmelite order. Even though she was strictly forbidden to speak to him because she was told it would prolong the audience too much, in her autobiography, Story of a Soul, she wrote that after she kissed his slipper and he presented his hand, instead of kissing it, she took it in her own hand and said through tears, "Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you. In honor of your Jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at the age of 15!" Pope Leo XIII answered, "Well, my child, do what the superiors decide." Thérèse replied, "Oh! Holy Father, if you say yes, everybody will agree!" Finally, the Pope said, "Go... go... You will enter if God wills it," after which time two guards lifted Thérèse (still on her knees in front of the Pope) by her arms and carried her to the door where a third gave her a medal of the Pope. Shortly thereafter, the Bishop of Bayeux authorized the prioress to receive Thérèse, and in April 1888, she entered Carmel at the age of 15.
Which brings me to the somewhat abrupt end of these connections. It would be nice to think that both Pope Leo XIII and St. Thérèse are looking out after President Bush (he did quit drinking after all!). What would be more comforting is if they are looking out for the entire USA during our next election. The end.
I need some serious mid-week input from you...
4 hours ago