Sunday, December 16, 2012

Truth will out Part II

6)      Did the Nazis invent the Swastika and the Concentration Camps?
            This is a false assumption as this symbol was used by various ancient cultures in China, India, Japan and others.  Originally it had a positive meaning until the Nazi regime adopted it as its emblem.  As for the concentration camps, they were invented by the English during the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902) where over 40 thousand perished.  In 1915-16 Turkish nationalists organized a genocide campaign against the Armenian people and killed over 800 thousand of them. Hitler must have been inspired by this genocide which led him to the creation of large-scale gas chambers which were used to incinerate six millions Jews.
7) Was the Catholic Church wrong in blaming the Jewish people as a whole for condemning Jesus to death?
It is ironic to think that Mary, Jesus and all the apostles were Hebrews. Many commentators had, over the years, urged the Church to establish the historical truth.  Finally in 1986, Pope John Paul II, during his historical visit to the Synagogue of Rome, clearly stated that no fault could be attributed to the Jews living at that time and to those of today. Pope Benedict XVI, in his book “Jesus of Nazareth” reasserts now the same idea expressed by Pope Vojtyla, thus freeing the Jewish people from the accusation of killing Jesus.  Is this an  atonement or a “mea culpa”?
                     8) Did Marconi invent the radio that he patented in England in            1895?
       He was the first to carry out a wireless intercontinental transmission in 1903 from a station located in Massachusetts carrying an exchange between Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII.  However in 1943 the American Supreme Court overturned Marconi’s patent by crediting Nikola Tesla with being the first person to patent radio technology.  Tesla was born in Croatia in 1856 and studied electrical engineering in Austria.  He emigrated to the USA in 1889 and died (a pauper) in New York City in 1943.
      You might like to know that the tesla is used as the unit of the strength of a magnetic field.

9) Did  Eve  really offer Adam an apple?
The Bible doesn’t specify what kind of fruit it was. Many commentators think that it was a fruit from a fig tree because, as soon as Adam and Eve noticed that they were naked, they sewed together fig leaves and made girdles  to cover themselves. Only in Medieval times was the tree linked to the apple, maybe because of the similarity of the Latin sound “malum” which refers to evil as well as to apple. The acceptance of the apple became quite popular in such linguistic expressions as “Adam’s apple”, a protrusion in front of the neck that, according to a legend, came about when a piece of this fruit got stuck in his throat causing a lump. The apple is used as a symbol of N.Y. City (Big Apple).  Apple is the logo and name of a computer company that nowadays produces iPhones, iPads and iPods, in addition to laptop computers.  Snow White died of a poisoned apple. William Tell placed an apple on his son’s head that he pierced with an arrow.

 9) Were there animals at the original nativity scene of Jesus?
 Pope Benedict XVI, in his new book “Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives” says that the Christians have it all wrong as there were no angels, no donkeys, no oxen and definitely no carols beside the crib.  In fact he writes that “In the gospels there is no mention of animals”. Therefore, according to Benedict XVI, they should not appear in the crib.

10) Was Santa Claus always dressed in red and white?
The image of Santa Claus dressed in red and white was created in the 1930’s by Coca-Cola, as the Company was looking for ways to increase sales.
In Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”, Santa is described as having a green robe and a red beard.  In many English speaking countries outside the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, he is known as Father Christmas, in Italy as Babbo Natale, in France as Père Noël, in Spanish speaking countries Papá Noël, San Nicolás or even Santa Claus.

11)   Who really discovered America? The Vikings,  Christopher Columbus, or  Amerigo Vespucci?
This is a controversial question.  There is evidence that the Vikings were the first to land on the northeastern shores of North America and to make contact with the Indians. Leif Ericson landed in Newfoundland, Canada, around 1000 A.D. He set up a colony there called Vinland, but he abandoned it after a year or two. As for Columbus we all learned at school that “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and ever since he was given credit for discovering America.  Vespucci’s great contribution was to tell Europe that the land that Columbus had found was not the Orient (Asia) but a New World which was later called America in honour of Amerigo Vespucci.                                 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Truth will out

       Part I

As this proverb states the truth cannot be concealed indefinitely as it will eventually come to light. Here are some historical lies that we have been led to believe.  This is due to the fact that in the old times historians never verified the facts, mainly because the rich and powerful had absolute control of everything, while modern historians use a more scientific method to get to the truth.
1)   Were the Pyramids really built by slaves?
Contrary to popular belief modern historians have now discovered that the pyramid builders were local people, Egyptians who received a regular salary for their work, and not slaves or foreigners. After the construction of the pyramids these workers were involved in the construction of monumental tombs. How did this belief come about? Some say that it is the fault of Greek historians who couldn’t imagine that such edifices could be built without using masses of slaves.
2)   Did Galileo say “And yet it does move (Eppur si muove)”in reference to the earth moving around the sun?
Experts say that it is unlikely that he muttered it as it would have been extremely dangerous to say so in front of the Inquisition, knowing that a few years before Giordano Bruno, a Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer, was burned at the stake for espousing the heliocentric theory of Copernicus. Galileo was advised by the church to talk about his ideas as a theory and  not as a fact. However, in his 1632 new book Dialogue  on the  Great World Systems he sided with Copernicanism , by ridiculing the Aristotelians for embracing the Ptolemaic theory which was accepted by the Church.
Because of this he was called to Rome in 1633 to face the Inquisition , and after 18 days of interrogation he was imprisoned   until  he died in 1642.
In 1989 the first spacecraft launched by NASA, to probe Jupiter, was named Galileo, in honour of the astronomer Galileo Galilei. Finally, once that the notion of the earth revolving around the stationary sun could not be disputed any more, Pope John Paul II, in 1992, acknowledged publicly that the Vatican had made an error in convicting Galileo.

3)   “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Is President Kennedy the originator of this quote? Kennedy used  it at his inaugural address in1961. Although he did not take credit for the quote, people attribute it to him. The original quote comes from Marcus Tullius Cicero, a successful lawyer and statesman and one of Rome’s  greatest orator.

4)      Was Alexander Graham Bell the inventor of the telephone?
The real inventor was the Italian Antonio Meucci. He was living in Cuba when he discovered that sounds  can travel through copper wire. In 1850 he moved to the USA to continue his research  and in 1860 he conducted a public demonstration of his invention.  Meucci couldn’t afford the $ 250 fee to take out a patent  so he sent a model with the technical specifications to the Western Union telegraph company, but was unable to meet the senior executive of the company.  Two years later, Alexander Graham Bell, who was working in the laboratory with Meucci, paid for a patent for the telephone and made a deal with Western Union that made him a lot of money. Antonio Meucci sued Bell. In 1889, when it looked  like Meucci may win the case, he died and the court case stopped. Ever since , Bell has been known as the inventor of the telephone. However, in 2002, 113 years after Meucci’s death, the American Congress recognized officially that it was Meucci and not Bell who invented the telephone.

5)      Was President G.W. Bush justified in attacking Iraq in 2003?
Certainly not, as it is common knowledge now that Saddam did  not participate in the attack of 9/11 nor did he possess WMD (weapons of mass destruction) as the President  had claimed.
Bush was determined to eliminate Saddam at any cost by avoiding diplomacy and by forging Intelligence documents, he led the USA into a war under false pretenses.