Thursday, September 8, 2016

Topics Other Than Energy -- September 8, 2016

LOL. If nothing, this provides a huge laugh. From Business Insider: Target is making a major change that should scare Walmart, Kroger, and Whole Foods. The change? Target will "deploy" an army of talent to "interact" with food shoppers. The last thing I need or want is a nosy nitwit nattering while I'm shopping.

Bust. I previously mentioned that the trailer for Ben-Hur suggested a godawful movie -- Morgan Freeman's wig alone probably did more damage than anything else. Now today, the headline over at The Hollywood Reporter: Ben-Hur faces epic $120 million loss as summer's biggest box-office bust.

Somebody may be watching me, but no one's watching Ben-Hur:

Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell

Political. Hillary Clinton wears an ear piece. It looks like she got an early proto-type of the wireless AirPods introduced by Tim Cook yesterday. Blue-tooth or wireless. Only Huma knows for sure.

Tim Cook. not connecting. But analysts are missing the real story. Too focused on hardware. It's all about Mario and Pokemon now. The puck zigged, Apple zagged. [Later: everyone is focused on concern that consumers won't upgrade to the new iPhone 7 or 7Plus. That's not the issue here. This is all about ensuring that folks who are entering the smart phone market -- and that's every kid that is turning eight years old -- opts for an Apple and not an Android. In the smart phone sector, if you don't upgrade every six months, if you don't have a splashy roll-out every six months, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant. Most Apple smart phone users are happy with their current phones and won't upgrade right away; it's the third graders that Apple is going after.]

Fun. I am trying to turn over a new leaf. I hate going to movies. But May loves going to movies. I'm now trying to go to a movie with her each weekend. Two weeks ago we saw "Florence" together. Last week we went to separate movies. Great decision. This weekend, I can hardly wait to see Other People. The trailer looks great; one song clinches it. One review mixed. I do not care for Molly Shannon ... but ... and as good as Touissant is in this, I think the version in this movie might be better. We'll see. I'll get back to you.

Nothing Takes The Place Of You, Toussaint McCall

Barnes and Noble: cuts's showroom needs to find a different business model. The company said comparable sales fell more than expected in the latest quarter, leading it to cut its comparable sales guidance for the year.

Flashback. One of my favorite entries (from September 2, 2013):
Drudge juxtaposes two John Kerry speeches:
I believe "irrefutable" suggests greater evidence than "high confidence" but I could be wrong.

I know both "irrefutable" and "high confidence" are higher on the evidence scale than "yup, you betcha."

I know that everyone, including the UN, now agrees that the earth has shown no warming in the past 17 years. But once one's mind is made up (and especially where money is involved), it's hard to change. I'm surprised with all that is going on in Syria right now, John Kerry has time to make speeches on global warming. More people will probably die from Obama-launched cruise missiles in September than global warming.
The Witches: Salem, 1692
Stacy Schiff
c. 2015
DDS: 974.4

Time line:
  • Massachusetts Bay Colony: 1628 - 1691
  • King Philip's War: 1676 - 1678
  • Salem witch hunt: 1692, January to September
  • French and Indian War: 1754 - 1763 
  • Revolutionary War: 1775 - 1783
Some observations from the book:
  • the author went to boarding school in Andover, see link below. She spent her coming of age years in Andover: more people from Andover were accused and arrested for witchcraft than from any other town in New England.
  • Andover: 17 miles inland, northwest of Salem, on the bay; Danvers is northwest / abuts Salem (was originally Salem Village)
  • contrary to the claims that began in the Confederate South just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, no witches were burned in Salem (or Andover, I suppose)
  • for all the negative press, a whole lot more folks were accused, arrested, and executed in Europe than in America; in fact, in the big scheme of things, very few people were actually executed in Salem; and the whole "event" lasted only nine months, compared to years in Europe
  • many authors became successful on "perpetuating" the Salem witch trial story
  • some authors were greatly disturbed by the role their own ancestors had played in the Salem witch trials, but nonetheless found a way to capitalize financially on that history
  • many famous and successful people in America can trace their own family history back to men and women accused of being witches in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Thanksgiving: President Lincoln sided with the fun-loving, feasting Pilgrims, rather than the miserable, fasting Puritans when he established Thanksgiving during the height of the Civil War
See more on Stacy Schiff and Andover at this post

Chapter I: an introduction the subject.

Chapter ll: the introduction to Samuel Parris, parsonge, and Salem Village, where it all started. The first two adolescent girls to be afflicted: Abigail Williams, eleven years old; and, Betty Parris, nine years old, page 20. It all began in the home of Samuel Parris: the first was his niece; the second, days later, was his own daughter.

The next two: twelve-year-old Ann Putnam; and, 16-year-old Elizabeth Hubbard, page 44. In this chapter, we learn about Salem Town and Salem Village, and the family histories and relationships of the first four girls/young women afflicted.

Salem Village had broken off from Salem Town. Salem Village eventually incorporated under the name Danvers.

Chapter III: it begins with the story of Sarah Good, accused of being a witch and responsible for the behavior of at least one of the four girls/young women mentioned in Chapter II. Two others apprehended in same 24 hours as Sarah Good. The second mentioned: Sarah Osborne. The third accused has been named by twelve-year-old Ann Putnam; the third accused was the house servant / slave Tituba. The author provides a long description (and definition?) of witches as described and defined by Oxford-trained Joseph Glanvill of that generation (or earlier).

I finished the book but after I got the gist of it, sort of lost interest. I will go back and re-read it but doubt if I will make any more entries.

Back to Chapter III: the author says King Philip's War created a lot of orphans and widows, but that war had ended 14 years earlier;  Destitute Sarah Good and her 5-y/o daughter show up at the Parris parsonage; leave disgruntled; later an arrest warrant as a witch on March 1 (spring thaw; heavy flooding); the justices of the peace: Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne. The four girls were there; asked to testify against Sarah Good. Good knew that two other women had also been arrested; she named one of them, Sarah Osborne, and the four girls implicated her, also. Good remanded to prison; now Osborne interrogated. Ann Putnam had also named a third, a slave girl who boarded with the four girls at the parsonage: Tituba -- the minister's slave.  Tituba pretty much admitted to being a witch. She and Osborne in Salem jail that afternoon. Sarah Good stayed in a farmhouse overnight but was to be taken to Ipswich jail the next day -- several hours horse ride.

A week later, all three are taken to Boston's prison.

Now, Ann Putnam names Martha Corey as a witch. Martha Corey also arrested.

Chapter IV: One Of You Is A Devil

The story of Deodat Lawson -- the previous minister of Salem, had now moved to Boston (where Cotton Mather was, also). Lawson was so taken by the stories he came back to Salem to see what was going on. He was kept so busy he never had a chance to transcribe/record his sermons while he was in Salem. The girls were still out and about, convulsing, yelling.

Lawson arrived March 19, and stayed just one week.

Other names mentioned: Mary Walcott; Rebecca Nurse; Sarah Cloyce; Elizabeth Procter.

After Lawson returned to Boston, the accusations raced wildly. Five witches were accused in March; twenty-five were accused in April. The next hearing would be conducted by a Boston magistrate before a larger crowd in Salem town's more comfortable meetinghouse. Among the first of the new arrests: Sarah Cloyce and Elizabeth Procter. 

Chapter V:

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