The Onion Looks Back At ‘Antichrist’

All week, The Onion will look back at some of the most iconic horror films of all time. Today: ‘Antichrist,’ a relatable film that perfectly depicts the five stages of grief all people endure after losing a loved one.

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Sunday night Translation<3

One  of the many benefit’s of Translation is transcending same :>) <3. However when one doesn’t Translate as often as needed, one reverberates in same resonance? Translate, transcend your adapted obsolete belief’s <3.

Sense testimony: some music is beautiful and an ascending experience.

Conclusion’s:  1) Communication of truth/beauty/awareness is the ultimate locus and only tonic.

2) Mind absolute innate self.

3) Sound Agreeable Harmonious Beautiful Principle Universal Integrity Truth is all that works, all there is.

4) Truth being flowing eloquence via organically innate resonance identical essence and cause- creator, supremely interested in universally principled rhythmic motion.

“The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn


The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962; second edition 1970; abbreviated SSR) is a book about the history of science by philosopher Thomas S. Kuhn. Its publication was a landmark event in the history, philosophy, and sociology of scientific knowledge and triggered an ongoing worldwide assessment and reaction in—and beyond—those scholarly communities. Kuhn challenged the then prevailing view of progress in “normal science“. Normal scientific progress was viewed as “development-by-accumulation” of accepted facts and theories. Kuhn argued for an episodic model in which periods of such conceptual continuity in normal science were interrupted by periods of revolutionary science. The discovery of “anomalies” during revolutions in science leads to new paradigms. New paradigms then ask new questions of old data, move beyond the mere “puzzle-solving” of the previous paradigm, change the rules of the game and the “map” directing new research.

For example, Kuhn’s analysis of the Copernican Revolution emphasized that, in its beginning, it did not offer more accurate predictions of celestial events, such as planetary positions, than thePtolemaic system, but instead appealed to some practitioners based on a promise of better, simpler, solutions that might be developed at some point in the future. Kuhn called the core concepts of an ascendant revolution its “paradigms” and thereby launched this word into widespread analogical use in the second half of the 20th century. Kuhn’s insistence that a paradigm shift was a mélange of sociology, enthusiasm and scientific promise, but not a logically determinate procedure, caused an uproar in reaction to his work. Kuhn addressed concerns in the 1969 postscript to the second edition. For some commentators Kuhn’s book introduced a realistic humanism into the core of science while for others the nobility of science was tarnished by Kuhn’s introduction of an irrational element into the heart of its greatest achievements.


The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was first published as a monograph in the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, then as a book byUniversity of Chicago Press in 1962. In 1969, Kuhn added a postscript to the book in which he replied to critical responses to the first edition. A 50th Anniversary Edition (with an introductory essay by Ian Hacking) was published by the University of Chicago Press in April 2012.

Kuhn dated the genesis of his book to 1947, when he was a graduate student at Harvard University and had been asked to teach a science class for humanities undergraduates with a focus on historical case studies. Kuhn later commented that until then, “I’d never read an old document in science.” Aristotle‘s Physics was astonishingly unlike Isaac Newton‘s work in its concepts of matter and motion. Kuhn wrote “… as I was reading him, Aristotle appeared not only ignorant of mechanics, but a dreadfully bad physical scientist as well. About motion, in particular, his writings seemed to me full of egregious errors, both of logic and of observation.” This was in an apparent contradiction with the fact that Aristotle was a brilliant mind. While perusing Aristotle’s Physics, Kuhn formed the view that in order to properly appreciate Aristotle’s reasoning, one must be aware of the scientific conventions of the time. Kuhn concluded that Aristotle’s concepts were not “bad Newton,” just different. This insight was the foundation of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Prior to the publication of Kuhn’s book, a number of ideas regarding the process of scientific investigation and discovery had already been proposed. Ludwig Fleck developed the first system of the sociology of scientific knowledge in his book The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. He claimed that the exchange of ideas led to the establishment of a thought collective, which, when developed sufficiently, served to separate the field into esoteric (professional) and exoteric (laymen) circles. Kuhn wrote the foreword to the 1979 edition of Fleck’s book, noting that he read it in 1950 and was reassured that someone “saw in the history of science what I myself was finding there.”

One theory to which Kuhn replies directly is Karl Popper’s “falsificationism,” which stresses falsifiability as the most important criterion for distinguishing between that which is scientific and that which is unscientific. Kuhn also addresses verificationism, a philosophical movement that emerged in the 1920s among logical positivists. The verifiability principle claims that meaningful statements must be supported by empirical evidence or logical requirements.


Basic approach

Kuhn’s approach to the history and philosophy of science focuses on conceptual issues like the practice of Normal Science, influence of historical events, emergence of scientific discoveries, nature of scientific revolutions and progress through scientific revolutions.  What sorts of intellectual options and strategies were available to people during a given period? What types of lexicons and terminology were known and employed during certain epochs? Stressing the importance of not attributing traditional thought to earlier investigators, Kuhn’s book argues that the evolution of scientific theory does not emerge from the straightforward accumulation of facts, but rather from a set of changing intellectual circumstances and possibilities. Such an approach is largely commensurate with the general historical school of non-linear history.

Historical examples of chemistry

Kuhn explains his ideas using examples taken from the history of science. For instance, eighteenth century scientists believed that homogenous solutions were chemical compounds. Therefore, a combination of water and alcohol was generally classified as a compound. Nowadays it is considered to be a solution, but there was no reason then to suspect that it was not a compound. Water and alcohol would not separate spontaneously, nor will they separate completely upon distillation (they form an azeotrope). Water and alcohol can be combined in any proportion.

Under this paradigm, scientists believed that chemical reactions (such as the combination of water and alcohol) did not necessarily occur in fixed proportion. This belief was ultimately overturned by Dalton’s atomic theory, which asserted that atoms can only combine in simple, whole-number ratios. Under this new paradigm, any reaction which did not occur in fixed proportion could not be a chemical process. This type world-view transition among the scientific community exemplifies Kuhn’s paradigm shift.

Copernican Revolution

Main article: Copernican Revolution

A famous example of a revolution in scientific thought is the Copernican Revolution. In Ptolemy‘s school of thought, cycles and epicycles (with some additional concepts) were used for modeling the movements of the planets in a cosmos that had a stationary Earth at its center. As accuracy of celestial observations increased, complexity of the Ptolemaic cyclical and epicyclical mechanisms had to increase to maintain the calculated planetary positions close to the observed positions. Copernicus proposed a cosmology in which the Sun was at the center and the Earth was one of the planets revolving around it. For modeling the planetary motions, Copernicus used the tools he was familiar with, namely the cycles and epicycles of the Ptolemaic toolbox. Yet Copernicus’ model needed more cycles and epicycles than existed in the then-current Ptolemaic model, and due to a lack of accuracy in calculations, his model did not appear to provide more accurate predictions than the Ptolemy model. Copernicus’ contemporaries rejected his cosmology, and Kuhn asserts that they were quite right to do so: Copernicus’ cosmology lacked credibility.

Kuhn illustrates how a paradigm shift later became possible when Galileo Galilei introduced his new ideas concerning motion. Intuitively, when an object is set in motion, it soon comes to a halt. A well-made cart may travel a long distance before it stops, but unless something keeps pushing it, it will eventually stop moving. Aristotle had argued that this was presumably a fundamental property of nature: for the motion of an object to be sustained, it must continue to be pushed. Given the knowledge available at the time, this represented sensible, reasonable thinking.

Galileo put forward a bold alternative conjecture: suppose, he said, that we always observe objects coming to a halt simply because some friction is always occurring. Galileo had no equipment with which to objectively confirm his conjecture, but he suggested that without any friction to slow down an object in motion, its inherent tendency is to maintain its speed without the application of any additional force.

The Ptolemaic approach of using cycles and epicycles was becoming strained: there seemed to be no end to the mushrooming growth in complexity required to account for the observable phenomena. Johannes Kepler was the first person to abandon the tools of the Ptolemaic paradigm. He started to explore the possibility that the planet Mars might have an elliptical orbit rather than a circular one. Clearly, the angular velocity could not be constant, but it proved very difficult to find the formula describing the rate of change of the planet’s angular velocity. After many years of calculations, Kepler arrived at what we now know as the law of equal areas.

Galileo’s conjecture was merely that — a conjecture. So was Kepler’s cosmology. But each conjecture increased the credibility of the other, and together, they changed the prevailing perceptions of the scientific community. Later, Newton showed that Kepler’s three laws could all be derived from a single theory of motion and planetary motion. Newton solidified and unified the paradigm shift that Galileo and Kepler had initiated.


One of the aims of science is to find models that will account for as many observations as possible within a coherent framework. Together, Galileo’s rethinking of the nature of motion and Keplerian cosmology represented a coherent framework that was capable of rivaling the Aristotelian/Ptolemaic framework.

Once a paradigm shift has taken place, the textbooks are rewritten. Often the history of science too is rewritten, being presented as an inevitable process leading up to the current, established framework of thought. There is a prevalent belief that all hitherto-unexplained phenomena will in due course be accounted for in terms of this established framework. Kuhn states that scientists spend most (if not all) of their careers in a process of puzzle-solving. Their puzzle-solving is pursued with great tenacity, because the previous successes of the established paradigm tend to generate great confidence that the approach being taken guarantees that a solution to the puzzle exists, even though it may be very hard to find. Kuhn calls this process normal science.

As a paradigm is stretched to its limits, anomalies — failures of the current paradigm to take into account observed phenomena — accumulate. Their significance is judged by the practitioners of the discipline. Some anomalies may be dismissed as errors in observation, others as merely requiring small adjustments to the current paradigm that will be clarified in due course. Some anomalies resolve themselves spontaneously, having increased the available depth of insight along the way. But no matter how great or numerous the anomalies that persist, Kuhn observes, the practicing scientists will not lose faith in the established paradigm until a credible alternative is available; to lose faith in the solvability of the problems would in effect mean ceasing to be a scientist.

In any community of scientists, Kuhn states, there are some individuals who are bolder than most. These scientists, judging that a crisis exists, embark on what Kuhn calls revolutionary science, exploring alternatives to long-held, obvious-seeming assumptions. Occasionally this generates a rival to the established framework of thought. The new candidate paradigm will appear to be accompanied by numerous anomalies, partly because it is still so new and incomplete. The majority of the scientific community will oppose any conceptual change, and, Kuhn emphasizes, so they should. To fulfill its potential, a scientific community needs to contain both individuals who are bold and individuals who are conservative. There are many examples in the history of science in which confidence in the established frame of thought was eventually vindicated. It is almost impossible to predict whether the anomalies in a candidate for a new paradigm will eventually be resolved. Those scientists who possess an exceptional ability to recognize a theory’s potential will be the first whose preference is likely to shift in favour of the challenging paradigm. There typically follows a period in which there are adherents of both paradigms. In time, if the challenging paradigm is solidified and unified, it will replace the old paradigm, and a paradigm shift will have occurred.


Chronologically, Kuhn distinguishes between various phases.

Phase 1- It exists only once and is the pre-paradigm phase, in which there is no consensus on any particular theory. This phase is characterized by several incompatible and incomplete theories. Consequently, most scientific inquiry takes the form of lengthy books, as there is no common body of facts that may be taken for granted. If the actors in the pre-paradigm community eventually gravitate to one of these conceptual frameworks and ultimately to a widespread consensus on the appropriate choice of methods, terminology and on the kinds of experiment that are likely to contribute to increased insights.

Phase 2- Normal Science, begins, in which puzzles are solved within the context of the dominant paradigm. As long as there is consensus within the discipline, normal science continues. Over time, progress in normal science may reveal anomalies, facts that are difficult to explain within the context of the existing paradigm.  While usually these anomalies are resolved, in some cases they may accumulate to the point where normal science becomes difficult and where weaknesses in the old paradigm are revealed.

Phase 3- If the paradigm proves chronically unable to account for anomalies, the community enters a crisis period. Crises are often resolved within the context of normal science. However, after significant efforts of normal science within a paradigm fail, science may enter the next phase.

Phase 4- Paradigm shift, or scientific revolution, is the phase in which the underlying assumptions of the field are reexamined and a new paradigm is established.

Phase 5- Post-Revolution, the new paradigm’s dominance is established and so scientists return to normal science, solving puzzles within the new paradigm.

A science may go through these cycles repeatedly, though Kuhn notes that it is a good thing for science that such shifts do not occur often or easily.

Continue reading “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn

Antinomianism (from

In Christianity, an antinomian is one who takes the principle of salvation by faith and divine grace to the point of asserting that the saved are not bound to follow the Law of Moses.

The distinction between antinomian and other Christian views on moral law is that antinomians believe that obedience to the law is motivated by an internal principle flowing from belief rather than from any external compulsion.

The term antinomianism emerged soon after the Protestant Reformation (c.1517) and has historically been used as a pejorative against Christian thinkers or sects who carried their belief in justification by faith further than was customary. Antinomianism in modern times is commonly seen as the theological opposite to Legalism or Works righteousness, the notion that obedience to religious law earns salvation. This makes antinomianism an exaggeration ofjustification by faith alone.

Examples are Martin Luther’s critique of antinomianism and the Antinomian Controversy of the 17th century Massachusetts Bay Colony. The term originated in the 16th century, but the topic has its roots in Christian views on the old covenant extending back to the 1st century. It can also be extended to any individual who rejects a socially established morality. Few groups explicitly call themselves antinomian, other than Christian anarchists.


The term antinomianism is derived from the Greek ἀντί (anti “against”) + νόμος (nomos “law”).


Antinomianism has been a point of doctrinal contention in the history of Christianity, especially in Protestantism, given the Protestant belief in justification through faith alone versus justification on the basis of merit or good works or works of mercy. Most Protestants consider themselves saved without having to keep the commandments of the Mosaic Law as a whole; that is, their salvation does not depend upon keeping the Mosaic Law. However, salvific faith is generally seen as one that produces obedience, consistent with the Reformed formula, “We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone,” in contrast to rejecting moral constraint.

The term “antinomianism” was coined by Martin Luther during the Reformation to criticize extreme interpretations of the new Lutheran soteriology. In the 18th century, antinomianism was also severely attacked by John Wesley.

A general consensus has been historically reached as to which laws of the Old Testament Christians are still enjoined to keep. These moral laws, as opposed to civil or ceremonial laws, are derivative of what St. Paul refers to as the natural law (Rom. 2.14-15). Mosaic law has authority only insofar as it reflects the commands of Christ and the natural law. Christian sects and theologians who believe that they are freed from more moral constraint than is customary are often called “antinomian” by their critics. Thus, classic Methodist commentator Adam Clarke held, “The Gospel proclaims liberty from the ceremonial law, but binds you still faster under the moral law. To be freed from the ceremonial law is the Gospel liberty; to pretend freedom from the moral law is Antinomianism.” Contemporary Evangelical theologian J. I. Packer states that Antinomianism, “which means being anti-law, is a name for several views.”


The term antinomian came into use in the sixteenth century, but the doctrine itself can be traced in the teaching of earlier beliefs. Early Gnostic sects were accused of failure to follow the Mosaic Law in a manner that suggests the modern term “antinomian”. Most Gnostic sects did not accept the Old Testament moral law. For example, the Manichaeans held that their spiritual being was unaffected by the action of matter and regarded carnal sins as being, at worst, forms of bodily disease.

The Old Testament was absolutely rejected by most of the Gnostics. Even the so-called Judaeo-Christian Gnostics (Cerinthus), the Ebionites (Essenian) sect of the Pseudo-Clementine writings (the Elcesaites), take up an inconsistent attitude towards Jewish antiquity and the Old Testament. In this respect the opposition to Gnosticism led to a reactionary movement. If the growing Christian Church, in quite a different fashion from Paul, laid stress on the literal authority of the Old Testament, interpreted, it is true, allegorically; if it took up a much more friendly and definite attitude towards the Old Testament, and gave wider scope to the legal conception of religion, this must be in part ascribed to the involuntary reaction upon it of Gnosticism.

Marcion of Sinope was the founder of Marcionism which rejected the Hebrew Bible in its entirety. Marcion considered the God portrayed in the Bible to be a lesser deity, a demiurge, and he claimed that the law of Moses was contrived. Such deviations from the moral law were criticized by proto-orthodox rivals of the Gnostics, who ascribed various aberrant and licentious acts to them. A biblical example of such criticism can be found in Revelation 2:6–15, which criticizes the Nicolaitans, possibly an early Gnostic sect.

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Colin Pitchfork: The first use of DNA


Colin Pitchfork (born 23 March 1961) is a British convicted murderer and rapist. He is the first person convicted of a crime based on DNA fingerprinting evidence, and the first to be caught as a result of mass DNA screening. Pitchfork raped and murdered two girls in Leicestershire, the first inNarborough, in November 1983, and the second in Enderby, in July 1986. He was arrested on 19 September 1987 and sentenced to life imprisonment on 22 January 1988, after admitting both murders.


Pitchfork lived in Newbold Verdon, attending school in Market Bosworth and Desford, until his marriage in 1981 to a social worker,[1] after which he lived in Littlethorpe. The Pitchforks had two sons.

Before his marriage Pitchfork had been convicted of indecent exposure and had been referred for therapy at Carlton Hayes Hospital, Narborough.

Pitchfork had obtained work in Hampshires Bakery in 1976 as an apprentice. He continued to work there until his arrest for the murders. He became particularly skilled as a sculptor of cake decorations and had hoped eventually to start his own cake decorating business. According to his supervisor he was “a good worker and time-keeper, but he was moody…and he couldn’t leave women employees alone. He was always chatting them up.”


On 21 November 1983, a 15-year-old girl named Lynda Mann left her home to visit a friend’s house. She did not return. The next morning, she was found raped and strangled on a deserted footpath known locally as the Black Pad. Using forensic science techniques available at the time, police linked a semen sample taken from her body to a person with type A blood and an enzyme profile that matched only 10 percent of males. With no other leads or evidence, the case was left open.

On 31 July 1986, another 15-year-old girl, Dawn Ashworth, took a shortcut instead of taking her normal route home. Two days later, her body was found in a wooded area near a footpath called Ten Pound Lane. She had been beaten, savagely raped and strangled to death. The modus operandi matched that of the first attack, and semen samples revealed the same blood type.

DNA profiling

The prime suspect was Richard Buckland, a local 17-year-old youth with learning difficulties, who revealed knowledge of Ashworth’s body, and admitted the crime under questioning, but denied the first murder. Alec Jeffreys, of the University of Leicester, had recently developed DNA profilingalong with Peter Gill and Dave Werrett of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) and detailed the technique in a 1985 paper.

Gill commented:

I was responsible for developing all of the DNA extraction techniques and demonstrating that it was possible after all to obtain DNA profiles from old stains. The biggest achievement was developing the preferential extraction method to separate sperm from vaginalcells – without this method it would have been difficult to use DNA in rape cases.

Using this technique, Jeffreys compared semen samples from both murders against a blood sample from Buckland which conclusively proved that both girls were killed by the same man, but not Buckland. The police then contacted the FSS to verify Jeffreys’ results and decide which direction to take the investigation. Buckland became the first person to have his innocence established by DNA fingerprinting.

Jeffreys later said:

I have no doubt whatsoever that he would have been found guilty had it not been for DNA evidence. That was a remarkable occurrence.

Leicestershire Constabulary and the FSS then undertook an investigation in which 5,000 local men were asked to volunteer blood or saliva samples. This took six months, and no matches were found.

Arrest and conviction

On 1 August 1987, one of Pitchfork’s colleagues at the bakery, Ian Kelly, revealed to fellow workers in a Leicester pub that he had obtained £200 for giving a sample while masquerading as Pitchfork. Pitchfork told Kelly that he could not give blood under his own name because he had already given blood while pretending to be a friend of his who had wanted to avoid being harassed by police because of a youthful conviction for burglary. A woman who overheard the conversation reported it to police.  On 19 September 1987 Pitchfork was arrested at his home in Haybarn Close, in the neighbouring village of Littlethorpe and a sample was found to match that of the killer. During subsequent questioning, Pitchfork admitted to flashing females over 1,000 times, a compulsion that he had started in his early teens. Flashing led to sexual assault and then to strangling his victims in order to protect his identity. He pleaded guilty to the two rape/murders in addition to another incident of sexual assault that he had committed. Pitchfork was preparing to move to Littlethorpe at the time of the murder of Lynda Mann, and lived at Haybarn Close, Littlethorpe at the time of the murder of Dawn Ashworth. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and concurrent terms for rape and murder. The Secretary of State set the tariff or minimum term before consideration could be given to his possible release at 30 years, which was reduced on appeal by 2 years, to 28 years.


In April 2009, a sculpture that Pitchfork had produced in prison was exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall. The artwork, entitled Bringing the Music to Life, depicted an orchestra and choir, made “in meticulous miniature detail by folding, cutting and tearing the score of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony”. The sculpture was exhibited as part of a venture by the Koestler Trust, having been purchased by the Festival Hall for £600. Following outrage in the Daily Mail, it was removed from display. Pitchfork had made the work while in Frankland Prison, Brasside, County Durham. He exhibited it with a caption bearing the words, “Without this opportunity to show our art, many of us would have no incentive, we would stay locked in ourselves as much as the walls that hold us.”


On 14 May 2009, after an initial adjournment on 30 April 2009, Pitchfork’s legal appeal was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. He won a two-year reduction in his original sentence of a minimum 30 years’ imprisonment. As a consequence, Pitchfork was eligible to apply for release in September 2015 due to the time he spent on remand prior to conviction. The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge stated, however, that “he cannot be released unless and until the safety of the public is assured.” The court heard that Pitchfork is now educated to degree level and had become expert at the transcription of printed music into Braille, hoping one day to be able to help the blind. This evidence was presented by his legal representatives as evidence of the development of his character while incarcerated.

The parole board began considering evidence in April 2015, in preparation for a hearing in September 2015.

Parole was subsequently refused in April 2016, however with a recommendation that Pitchfork be moved to an open prison.


In 2014, a two-part television drama entitled Code of a Killer, based on Pitchfork’s crimes and the creation of DNA profiling, was commissioned. It stars John Simm as Professor Jeffreys and David Threlfall as David Baker, the lead detective. Pitchfork was played by Nathan Wright. The drama was first broadcast in two 90-minute episodes, on 6 and 13 April 2015.


The Bellamy Salute


The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored in 1892. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the “flag salute”. Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.


The inventor of the Bellamy salute was James B. Upham, junior partner and editor of The Youth’s Companion. Bellamy recalled Upham, upon reading the pledge, came into the posture of the salute, snapped his heels together, and said “Now up there is the flag; I come to salute; as I say ‘I pledge allegiance to my flag,’ I stretch out my right hand and keep it raised while I say the stirring words that follow.”

The Bellamy salute was first demonstrated on October 12, 1892 according to Bellamy’s published instructions for the “National School Celebration of Columbus Day“:

At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to align with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.

— From The Youth’s Companion, 65 (1892): 446–447.

The initial civilian salute was replaced with a hand-on-heart gesture, followed by the extension of the arm as described by Bellamy. Though the instruction called for the palm to be up, many found this awkward, and performed it with the palm down (see pictures above).

By the 1920s, Italian fascists adopted what has been called the Roman salute to symbolize their claim to have revitalized Italy on the model of ancient Rome. A similar ritual was adopted by the German Nazis, creating the Nazi salute. The similarity to the Bellamy salute led to confusion, especially during World War II. From 1939 until the attack on Pearl Harbor, detractors of Americans who argued against intervention in World War II produced propaganda using the salute to lessen those Americans’ reputations. Among the anti-interventionist Americans was aviation pioneerCharles Lindbergh. Supporters of Lindbergh’s views would claim that Lindbergh did not support Adolf Hitler, and that pictures of him appearing to do the Nazi salute were actually pictures of him using the Bellamy salute. In his Pulitzer Prize winning biography Lindbergh (1998), author A. Scott Berg explains that interventionist propagandists would photograph Lindbergh and other isolationists using this salute from an angle that left out theAmerican flag, so it would be indistinguishable from the Hitler salute to observers.

In order to prevent further confusion or controversy, the United States Congress instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. This was done when Congress amended the Flag Code on December 22, 1942.

There was initially some resistance to dropping the Bellamy salute, for example from the Daughters of the American Revolution, but this opposition died down quickly following Nazi Germany’s declaration of war against the United States on December 11, 1941.


Musk plans Mars fuel station (Associated Press)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Musk elaborated on his plans to colonize Mars in a Reddit session Sunday. (AP Photo/Refugio Ruiz, File) REFUGIO RUIZ , REFUGIO RUIZ AP

October 24, 2016

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has given more details about his plan to colonize Mars.

Musk answered questions on Reddit on Sunday. The session was a follow up to Musk’s comments at a space conference in Mexico last month during which he unveiled his plan to send up to 1 million people to Mars within the next 40 to 100 years.

Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet “Battlestar Galactica” style.

He elaborated on that plan Sunday, saying an unmanned ship will be sent to Mars with equipment to build a plant to create refueling propellant for return trips to Earth. He says the first manned crew would have the job of constructing the plant.

Musk said last month SpaceX is already working on equipment for the project.

Biography: H.L. Mencken


Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English.  Known as the “Sage of Baltimore”, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the “Monkey Trial”, also gained him attention.

As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was a detractor of religion, populism and representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors. Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress, skeptical of economic theories and critical of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine.

Mencken opposed American entry into World War I and World War II. His diary indicates that he privately used coarse language and slurs to describe various ethnic and racial groups, a practice which was not uncommon for his era. Mencken also at times seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for militarism, though never in its American form. “War is a good thing,” he once wrote, “because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature…. A nation too long at peace becomes a sort of gigantic old maid.”

Mencken’s longtime home in the Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore was turned into a city museum, the H. L. Mencken House. His papers were distributed among various city and university libraries, with the largest collection held in the Mencken Room at the central branch of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Early life

Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He was the son of Anna Margaret (Abhau) and August Mencken, Sr., a cigar factory owner. He was of German ancestry. When Henry was three, his family moved into a new home at 1524 Hollins Street facing Union Square park in the Union Square neighborhood of old West Baltimore. Apart from five years of married life, Mencken was to live in that house for the rest of his life.

In his best-selling memoir Happy Days, he described his childhood in Baltimore as “placid, secure, uneventful and happy.”

When he was nine years old, he read Mark Twain‘s Huckleberry Finn, which he later described as “the most stupendous event in my life”.  He became determined to become a writer and read voraciously. In one winter while in high school he read Thackeray and then “proceeded backward to Addison, Steele, Pope, Swift, Johnson and the other magnificos of the Eighteenth century”. He read the entire canon of Shakespeare and became an ardent fan of Kipling and Thomas Huxley. As a boy, Mencken also had practical interests, photography and chemistry in particular, and eventually had a home chemistry laboratory in which he performed experiments of his own devising, some of them inadvertently dangerous.

He began his primary education in the mid-1880s at Professor Knapp’s School, located on the east side of Holliday Street between East Lexington and Fayette Streets, next to the Holliday Street Theatre and across from the newly constructed Baltimore City Hall. The site today is the War Memorial and City Hall Plaza laid out in 1926 in memory of World War I dead. At fifteen, in June 1896, he graduated as valedictorian from theBaltimore Polytechnic Institute. BPI was a mathematics, technical and science-oriented public high school, founded in 1883, which was then located on old Courtland Street just north of East Saratoga Street. This location is today the east side of St. Paul Street in St. Paul Place and east of Preston Gardens.

He worked for three years in his father’s cigar factory. He disliked the work, especially the sales aspect of it, and resolved to leave, with or without his father’s blessing. In early 1898 he took a class in writing at one of the country’s first correspondence schools, the Cosmopolitan University. This was to be the entirety of Mencken’s formal education in journalism, or in any other subject. Upon his father’s death a few days after Christmas in the same year, the business reverted to his uncle, and Mencken was free to pursue his career in journalism. He had applied in February 1899 to the Morning Herald newspaper (which became the Baltimore Morning Herald in 1900) and had been hired as a part-timer there, but still kept his position at the factory for a few months. In June he was hired as a full-time reporter.


Mencken served as a reporter at the Herald for six years. Less than two and a half years after the Great Baltimore Fire, the paper was purchased in June 1906 by Charles H. Grasty, the owner and editor of The News since 1892, and competing owner and publisher Gen. Felix Agnus, of the town’s oldest (since 1773) and largest daily, The Baltimore American. They proceeded to divide the staff, assets and resources of The Heraldbetween them. Mencken then moved to The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for Charles H. Grasty. He continued to contribute to The Sun, The Evening Sun (founded 1910) and The Sunday Sun full-time until 1948, when he stopped writing after suffering a stroke.

Mencken began writing the editorials and opinion pieces that made his name at The Sun. On the side, he wrote short stories, a novel, and even poetry, which he later revealed. In 1908, he became a literary critic for The Smart Set magazine, and in 1924 he and George Jean Nathan founded and edited The American Mercury, published by Alfred A. Knopf. It soon developed a national circulation and became highly influential on college campuses across America. In 1933, Mencken resigned as editor.

Personal life


In 1930, Mencken married Sara Haardt, a German American professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author eighteen years his junior. Haardt had led efforts in Alabama to ratify the 19th Amendment.  The two met in 1923, after Mencken delivered a lecture at Goucher; a seven-year courtship ensued. The marriage made national headlines, and many were surprised that Mencken, who once called marriage “the end of hope” and who was well known for mocking relations between the sexes, had gone to the altar. “The Holy Spirit informed and inspired me,” Mencken said. “Like all other infidels, I am superstitious and always follow hunches: this one seemed to be a superb one.”  Even more startling, he was marrying an Alabama native, despite his having written scathing essays about the American South. Haardt was in poor health fromtuberculosis throughout their marriage and died in 1935 of meningitis, leaving Mencken grief-stricken. He had always championed her writing and, after her death, had a collection of her short stories published under the title Southern Album.

Great Depression, war and after

Mencken photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1932

During the Great Depression, Mencken did not support the New Deal. This cost him popularity, as did his strong reservations regarding US participation in World War II, and his overt contempt for PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt. He ceased writing for the Baltimore Sun for several years, focusing on his memoirs and other projects as editor, while serving as an adviser for the paper that had been his home for nearly his entire career. In 1948, he briefly returned to the political scene, covering the presidential election in which President Harry S. Truman faced Republican Thomas Dewey and Henry A. Wallace of theProgressive Party. His later work consisted of humorous, anecdotal, and nostalgic essays, first published in The New Yorker, then collected in the books Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heathen Days.

Last days

On November 23, 1948, Mencken suffered a stroke, which left him aware and fully conscious but nearly unable to read or write and able to speak only with difficulty. After his stroke, Mencken enjoyed listening to European classical music and, after some recovery of his ability to speak, talking with friends, but he sometimes referred to himself in the past tense, as if he were already dead. During the last year of his life, his friend and biographer William Manchester read to him daily.


Preoccupied as Mencken was with his legacy, he organized his papers, letters, newspaper clippings and columns, even grade school report cards. After his death, these materials were made available to scholars in stages in 1971, 1981, and 1991, and include hundreds of thousands of letters sent and received; the only omissions were strictly personal letters received from women.


Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956.  He was interred in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery.

Though it does not appear on his tombstone, during his Smart Set days Mencken wrote a joking epitaph for himself:

If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.

The man of ideas

In his capacity as editor and man of ideas, Mencken became close friends with the leading literary figures of his time, including Theodore DreiserF. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Hergesheimer, Anita Loos, Ben Hecht, Sinclair Lewis, James Branch Cabell, and Alfred Knopf, as well as a mentor to several young reporters, including Alistair Cooke. He also championed artists whose works he considered worthy. For example, he asserted that books such as Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street (1929), by Eddie Cantor (ghost-written by David Freedman) did more to pull America out of the Great Depression than all government measures combined. He also mentored John Fante. Thomas Hart Benton illustrated an edition of Mencken’s book Europe After 8:15.

Mencken also published many works under various pseudonyms, including Owen Hatteras, John H Brownell, William Drayham, WLD Bell, and Charles Angoff. As a ghost-writer for the physician Leonard K Hirshberg, he wrote a series of articles and (in 1910) most of a book about the care of babies.

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