Since today (8 May) is the 75th anniversary of VE day, I thought it would be a fitting time to post this photo (taken 2 days before the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings) from the Normandy American Cemetery, near Colleville-sur-Mer in France. The tombstones of Medal of Honor winners are distinguished by the gold leaf lining their engravings. Front and center in this shot is the grave of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. — eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Gen. Roosevelt was the only general to land by sea on D-Day with the first wave of troops — and at 56, was the oldest man in the invasion. Despite arthritis and a heart condition, he led the assault on Utah Beach. He died a little over one month later of a heart attack. His brother Quentin (who was killed during World War I) is buried just to the left of him in this shot.
So let’s say you find yourself in Alliance, Nebraska for the 2017 total solar eclipse. No sense just sitting around waiting for the Sun to go away — why not check out some local attractions? Like, for instance, Carhenge:
A scene from this year’s “Christkindl Market” in downtown Denver, Colorado — shelves of beer steins on sale at a vendor’s stall:
Oddly enough, it was only on a recent trip that we discovered that while the word stein is German, this style of beer mugs is only called a stein in English-speaking countries. Stein is an abbreviation of the German steingut (stoneware), the material they’re made of. But in Germany, bierstein (“beer stone”) is the term used for a scaly deposit built up in poorly-cleaned brewing vessels. A mug like one of these would be called a krug, or more properly a bierkrug.
So there’s your language lesson for the day, more about the “Christkindl Market” in subsequent posts.
This is the Denver-resident half of a pair of panels, which together tell a story of the still-lost Maya kingdom of Sak Tz’i’ (White Dog). We know the name of the site from inscriptions on the panels, it was once one of a number of kingdoms that battled along today’s Guatemala – Mexico border. But while we know the site’s name, and the rough area in which it was located (since its name glyph appears throughout the area), no one knows the location of Sak Tz’i’.
Such is the ambivalent nature of many ancient artifacts you can see in museums today. You get to see the artifacts, but many were ultimately purchased from looters (and by continuing such purchases, museums in the more-affluent parts of the world perpetuate the vicious cycle). By removing the panels from their original site, looters destroyed evidence about the site’s history.