The Difference Between Mohandas & Mahatma Gandhi

History, philosophy
[caption id="attachment_7716" align="alignright" width="380"] Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1909.[/caption] You've noticed it for years, but never understood why. What's the difference between Mohandas and Mahatma Gandhi? It's all very simple. What's in a Name? Mohandas Gandhi Both Mohandas and Mahatma Gandhi refer to the very same person. Mohandas is a name. Mahatma is a title. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was the man who led India to independence from Britain. In the process, the land was divided in two: Muslim Pakistan, with the remainder becoming the new Hindu-dominated India. What's in a Title? Mahatma Gandhi He employed peaceful means to accomplish this end, and so came to be revered among the people. The reverence is reflected in the title Mahatma, which is defined as a revered person or sage who, some…
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Spring Daffodils – Grim Hurricane Reminders

History
[caption id="attachment_6598" align="alignright" width="480"] Daffodils in Massies Mill, Virginia serve as a living testimonial. Image courtesy Sean Korte.[/caption] Hurricane reminders can be grim. Rather like Beauty and the Beast. In August of 1969, a terrible storm, downgraded from hurricane status, struck Nelson County in Virginia, killing more than 150 people – washing away and otherwise destroying many homes and other buildings. This tragedy is etched in the minds of survivors and is a hallmark of the county's history. It will not quickly be forgotten. To this day, newcomers can see evidence of the devastation. Green Acres is the Place to Be In the Green Acres area in Lovingston, a mountain cliff can be seen that is naked of soil and trees, though gradually it is filling in with small vegetation. But…
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Will the Real Anastasia Please Stand Up!

History
[caption id="attachment_6535" align="alignright" width="380"] Anastasia in Court 1910[/caption] The present inevitably retreats into the past. Yet past events snag public fancy and are featured in media productions. Such proved true of the young Grand Duchess Anastasia ¹ Nikolaevna Romanov (Великая Княжна Анастасия Николаевна Романова) of Russia. She was a daughter of Nicholas II, the last of the Russian Czars. Nicholas and his family were taken to be assassinated by the Bolshevik secret police. From Fantasy to Fact Not all the bodies were recovered. Missing were the bodies of one daughter, presumed to be Anastasia*, and the son, the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich. Rumors circulated of Anastasia’s possible survival. Anastasia - Where? Claimants appeared, the most mysterious and deemed possible of these, was a woman. She eventually made Charlottesville, Virginia in the…
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Thalia and Melpomene: Comedy, Tragedy

History
[caption id="attachment_7319" align="alignright" width="440"] Masks based on Thalia and Melpomene[/caption] Who are Thalia and Melpomene? Born in the 40s, I watched black and white movies. They had few special effects. Still, they offered top notch acting. Some of the movies were from the 20s. Some were older. These were the silents. Silent Movies To convey emotion, gestures and facial expressions were exaggerated. Today, this would be overacting. Many scenes were filmed at a distance, but directors soon realized audiences wanted closeups of their favorite actors. Ancient Greeks used different means to gain audience engagement. The Stage and Back to Greek Drama In the 19th and early 20th century, entertainment featured live performances. The faces of actors were not readily seen. Greek theater with its large audiences, used contorted facial masks.…
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Scott Castle – Royal Orchard – Afton VA

History
[caption id="attachment_5381" align="alignright" width="380"] Suit of Armor - CCA SA 3.0 Unported by Anthonyjonker23[/caption] It was about November 1981 when I came from New Jersey to live in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was driving in a Volkswagen Beetle with a couple of friends, who told me a tale concerning the Scott Family. They informed me the famous paper towel Scotts purchased a sizable chunk of land in Albemarle County. On the land they had built a castle - Scott Castle. In addition, there was a family airstrip. Tragically, one took his own life, suffocating himself with a plastic bag. Relating the “Facts” Then, today, in November 2013, I was in a van with 5 friends when I recollected the story, now a twice-told tale. With conviction, I related the events spoken…
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Ennui: The Historic Illness of Wealthy Ladies

History, Humor
[caption id="attachment_5179" align="alignright" width="220"] Peignoir[/caption] Ennui? What in the Dickens is that? My friend Bernice and I found ourselves musing about what illness, if any, might prove a benefit. Here is a list we started. I have finished the compilation in her memory. One - Ennui In French novels of long ago, wealthy ladies would occasionally suffer from ennui, a kind of lassitude. They would spend days in their boudoir dressed in lovely peignoirs and receive gentlemen callers. They probably enjoyed some light refreshment and interesting discussions including gossip and mild flirtation. It was probably a welcome diversion from routine. We could revive this “illness” and even, perhaps, have employers allow “ennui days”, as they do sick days. Men as well as women could take part in this diversion. The…
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Imagine ME – a TV Star!

History, People
[caption id="attachment_3849" align="alignright" width="440"] Camera - Fletcher6 - CCA-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License[/caption] Me a TV Star? What is the world coming to? One day I received a telephone call from my stock broker, Rich Muhlberg of Metis Advisors in Cherry Hill, NJ. I owned shares of LifeCycle mutual fund. LifeCycle’s managers reviewed each customer’s portfolio on his birthday. At this time some of the growth stock was sold and more income producing stock was purchased. The former has more risk and less income than the latter, so this process is appropriate action as one ages. I Am Informed Rich said that LifeCycle was hiring a video company to make an infomercial for the company. Did I want to participate by giving a testimonial? I valued the securities and jumped…
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Euthanasia (Mercy Killing) in 1904 Pennsylvania

Genealogy, History
[caption id="attachment_17483" align="alignright" width="480"] Death certificate.[/caption] Late in the 20th century, political discussions arose over whether it would be the right thing to euthanize a suffering individual. The practice has been a common one for animals for time immemorial. But the idea of euthanasia has still not gained serious acceptance. Or has it? I’m the family historian, researching the family lines as far back as possible: my two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so forth. I also included siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews. I tossed in a few extra, as well, if they seemed to merit consideration for some particular reason. One of my lines was that of my mother’s mother’s father’s line, that man being John Elwood Jr. Stockham, of Camden, New Jersey. He died in his 30s…
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Navigation: Where Am I?

History
[caption id="attachment_3227" align="alignright" width="380"] Navigation in the 1700's.[/caption] When people started traveling, it was imperative to be able to answer the question: where am I? This is not such a problem with land navigation because there are lots of landmarks to guide the traveler. Early, the Portuguese sailors used sets of directions they called rutters. A rutter might say, “Sail directly west from Sagres until you see a small Island. If you arrive there after October 30, wait until April 1 to proceed north or you will never make it…”. The Portuguese kept their rutters out of foreign hands. The invention of latitude and longitude to map the earth made the rutters obsolete. But how do you know the latitude and longitude of your present position? Latitude is One Thing…
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Mad Hatters, Felt, and Mercury

Chemistry, History
[caption id="attachment_2497" align="alignright" width="440"] Harry S. Truman Felt Fedora Hat - Image: National Park Service[/caption] Associated with the hat making business, how do felt and mercury produce mad hatters? Felt hats have been produced from small animal pelts since about the 14th century. During the 19th century, fur was removed from the skin using camel urine. Some hatters used their own urine, instead. The active ingredient in urine was nitrogen-rich urea. Why Urine? Those who used their own urine and were being treat for syphillis produced superior felt! This was due to the mercurous chloride (HgCl) they'd taken as medicine. Urine was replaced by orange-colored mercuric nitrate Hg(NO₃)₂. [caption id="attachment_19437" align="alignright" width="240"] Tertiary syphilis. A horrible disease, generally avoidable.[/caption] Mad Hatters The vats of solution and the drying process generated…
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