Confederate Soldiers Were Not United States Veterans

Hi, you’re at this page because you said that Confederate veterans are United States veterans. You might even had suggested they were pardoned by Congress. This would probably be in response to something about the current discussion in the United States regarding statues of Confederate leaders. Let’s start off by saying, nope, didn’t happen, not even close. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re going to say, sorry, but Congress said so in Public Law 810 and that I should probably look it up myself. Then I am going to say, no, Public Law 810 does not exist. Public Laws

No, the Maryland Flag Does Not Have Racist Roots

I usually write longer explainers, but it’s not even necessary this time, because that’s how wrong the Baltimore Sun is this time. Activist draws attention to Maryland flag’s Confederate origins during #NoConfederate campaign When he first moved to Maryland, graphic designer and activist Benjamin Jancewicz was amazed by the ubiquity of the state flag. Marylanders showed their love for their home state with black, gold, red and white koozies, clothes and even tattoos. “I know a lot of people with Maryland flag tattoos,” he said. The flag comes from the arms of the Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Here, these

Transmitting Chinese Cultural Values

I’ve been learning a bit of Asian history, since it is something I know little about. One question is about the role of ancient Chinese culture across other East Asian societies. Buddhism played a role in transmitting Chinese cultural and social values to both Korea and Japan. This is because the Buddhism that went to Korea and Japan carried with it a more intensely Chinese form of the philosophy than the version originally developed in India. Grigg’s entire thesis is the Buddhism of Japan, Zen, is derived from the Korean form (Seon), itself an import of the Chinese Chan form

An Engraved Invitation

It has suddenly become fashionable to assert that children must be taught cursive handwriting or there has been some sort of failure in their education. In fact, here’s a New York Times article on the topic, posted after I had written this. Why Handwriting Is Still Essential in the Keyboard Age Do children in a keyboard world need to learn old-fashioned handwriting? There is a tendency to dismiss handwriting as a nonessential skill, even though researchers have warned that learning to write may be the key to, well, learning to write. I am, here, drawing a distinction between cursive and

Chernobyl’s Liquidators

At this moment, thirty years ago, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near Pripyat, Ukraine, suffered a “catastrophic power increase,” commonly called a meltdown, that killed 31 people. This post is not to retell the story of Chernobyl. A magnificant 2006 documentary, The Battle of Chernobyl tells the story well enough and it has been uploaded to YouTube numerous times: One part of the story that still amazes me is the story of the Chernobyl Liquidators. The initial explosion shot radioactive debris for miles. An area known as the “Zone of Alienation” is contaminated, the area will be access controlled for

A Love Note to Kermit

Occasionally, I post some pictures and notes on hardware projects we have going on in the Cybernetics Laboratory, which is to say, my desk. One thing that always comes up a program called Kermit, originally built by Columbia University, now maintained by the Kermit Project. Kermit has been around since the early 1980s, but I learned of it in the early 1990s from BBSes. I would download stuff using XMODEM, but some BBS systems would offer Kermit as a file transfer protocol. I would learn a lot more about Kermit in the mid 1990s. My mother started a postgraduate program