Hating Turkey


Hate is a big word, temper that to strong dislike. Strictly a holiday meal, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter demand roast Turkey and all the fixings. Nobody plans a dinner party in May with “hey, a Turkey would be great”.

The idea of Turkey eclipses reality. There’s a reason we say “I hope it’s not dry” – everyone knows it will be. Turkey requires gravy, cranberry sauce, or mayonnaise once it lands in a sandwich. Families believe size matters, holiday Turkeys linger for days. Soup is Turkey’s greatest gift, immersing that carcass in water means the end of Turkey for another year.

Restricting Turkey to once a year wasn’t easy. I blame myself, stuffing is practically a food group in my home. Nothing fancy, half bread, half sausage meat, onion, celery, and sage. Preparing copious amounts, even though the “cavity” only holds a few cups is lost on my family. I’ve tried to explain stuffing can be served anytime, pointing out almost all the stuffing is baked far from the demon Turkey. No good.

All day “don’t overcook it”, “I hope it’s not dry”, “are you watching the bird”. It’s a damn Turkey! Have you ever had one that melts in your mouth? Turkey is an obligation, if it rocked our world we’d be roasting them all year long.

I Hate Turkey


Home late, another Christmas party put to bed, too tired to ponder more than the turkey dinner at tomorrow night’s party – a reblog of my thoughts on turkey.

notestoponder

Hate is a big word, I”ll temper that to a strong dislike. Turkey has a unique distinction – it’s strictly a holiday meal. No one in their right mind plans a dinner party in May and says “hey, a Turkey would be great”. If people actually liked Turkey, it wouldn’t be disguised as “healthy alternative” sausage or processed into blocks of seasoned sandwich meat – only trotting out the big birds when Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter demand preparation of something nobody wants the rest of the year.

The idea of Turkey eclipses reality. There’s a reason we say “I hope it’s not dry” – everyone knows it will be. Turkey requires gravy, cranberry sauce, or mayonnaise once it lands in a sandwich. We make it into soup or casseroles to disguise a loathsome reputation. Turkey is not great protein, it’s an obligation.

Today was Thanksgiving in Canada. Over time I’ve…

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I Hate Turkey


Hate is a big word, temper that to strong dislike. Strictly a holiday meal, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter demand roast Turkey and all the fixings. Nobody plans a dinner party in May with “hey, a Turkey would be great”.

The idea of Turkey eclipses reality. There’s a reason we say “I hope it’s not dry” – everyone knows it will be. Turkey requires gravy, cranberry sauce, or mayonnaise once it lands in a sandwich. Families believe size matters, holiday Turkeys linger for days. Soup is Turkey’s greatest gift, immersing that carcass in water means the end of Turkey for another year.

Restricting Turkey to once a year wasn’t easy. I blame myself, stuffing is practically a food group in my home. Nothing fancy, half bread, half sausage meat, onion, celery, and sage. Preparing copious amounts, even though the “cavity” only holds a few cups is lost on my family. I’ve tried to explain stuffing can be served anytime, pointing out almost all the stuffing is baked far from the demon Turkey. No good.

All day “don’t overcook it”, “I hope it’s not dry”, “are you watching the bird”. It’s a damn Turkey! Have you ever had one that melts in your mouth? Turkey is an obligation, if it rocked our world we’d be roasting them all year long.

Varosha, Cyprus


Our world is littered with abandoned “sites’, for the most part archeological treasures worthy of scientific scrutiny. Ancient riddles, often without reference points or defined origins – physical evidence void of mainstream historical pigeon holing, Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids – well known tourist meccas, not entirely understood yet duly noted on historical timelines. Puma Punku, Gobekli Tepe – never so much as whispered in classrooms, despite irrefutable scientific proof they blast historical timelines to smithereens.

Pondering “sites” led to this conclusion – we dismiss anything we haven’t been taught in school (with tendencies to peg the unfamiliar as bat shit dribble), embrace familiar lessons as definitive truth, and never bother to consider modern “sites” as something with historical value. In short – the very old and relatively new – completely overlooked in favor of predictably dusty bedtime stories.

I’ll concede – ancient, ancient history, the history responsible for my passionate enthusiasm towards civilization lost may be hard to swallow. I see the eyes roll, the blank stares as you say “how interesting”, knowing full well it means “she’s run off the rails”. I don’t hold it against you.. We live in a world where absolutes are comforting, skepticism greets new information, and mainstream (textbook history) rules supreme.

All history is relevant – if we can’t wrap our heads around the distant past, how about looking at something easier to fathom. The world is littered with surreal “sites”, created within the last 100 years – places we can explain yet choose to ignore.

Varosha, Cyprus comes to mind. Famagusta was an exotic resort destination on the island of Cyprus. The Varosha district, a playground for the rich and famous until 1974 when Turkey took exception to a Greek coup, invading and dividing the island into a Greek south and Turkish occupied north. Thousands of residents fled the city, they never had a chance to come back. Turkish army enclosed Varosha in barbed wire – 40 years later, uninhabited, utterly forsaken, beyond repair. A “petrified urban museum, enclosed, boarded up, frozen in time”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/world/europe/cyprus-resort-varosha-remains-sealed-off-to-visitors.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Varosha, Cyprus is is an archeological site, a place of historic importance. Our one advantage – we know who, how and why it became a “site”. We possess absolute, irrefutable knowledge yet it languishes in the realm of inconsequential. The tough work is done – we don’t have to squabble over who built it or why it was abandoned. Places like this fit politely into historical timelines – few outside the immediate region have ever heard of it. Much like the Prora Hotel…

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/prora-hotel/

We should alter our thinking to include such places in historical mindsets. Nothing would make me happier than hearing an enlightened educator used them to ignite classroom discussion. Sigh.

 

 

 

Hate – My Last Gasp on the Subject


My last gasp on hate – at least for a while – has me pondering its definition depending on where you live. It’s been pointed out to me that people need to concentrate on similarities rather than differences; while agreeing in principle, I think this subject needs some dissection. Hate is a big word, a word meaning different things to different people, a concept seemingly open to interpretation.

In Canada under the Human Rights Act of 1985; no person or group is allowed to publish or display notices, symbols, signs or emblems that might express or imply discrimination or intent to discriminate. This law covers verbal intent, specifically banning telephone conversations of a hateful nature; also including communication by computer, be it email or the internet. The link below highlights a few of the more prominent convictions under Canada’s hate crime laws.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/10/12/f-free-speech-hate-crimes.html

America on the other hand doesn’t seem to define hate until a physical assault has taken place. Section 249 of the Hate Crimes Act covers bodily harm inflicted on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.

http://www.legislationline.org/documents/action/popup/id/4161

In the United Kingdom, under the Criminal Justice Act of 2003; a judge must consider a crime “aggravated”, thus ruling a tougher sentence if the crime was motivated by ethnic or religious bias.

http://www.legislationline.org/documents/action/popup/id/15773

Hate laws vary drastically from country to country; Turkey for instance has no laws whatsoever regarding hate, the Sudan defines hate as “blasphemy against religion”. All of which take me back to my original ponder – one without a definable answer. I wonder if hate is the wrong word, perhaps the word is too subjective. Maybe we should put “hate” to another test. Obviously “hate” is a strong word, a word that tends to divide and muddy the waters.

It could be that we need to settle everyone down and take it back to playground rules. Trash talk wasn’t allowed at school so why should it be allowed when we “grow up”? Children aren’t allowed to talk smack about anyone – that is defined as a bully. So why should they “grow up” and be allowed to say anything they damn well please? I realize I’m over simplifying things, yet put that aside for a moment and ask yourself if replacing “hate” with “bully” might help put the issue in perspective.

Nemrut Dagi


In a desolate region of Turkey ancient ruins stand guard over the landscape. Nemrut Dagi; damaged, falling into disrepair, yet somehow able to proudly stand testament to King Antiochus 1 of the Commagene Empire. Antiochus ruled from 62 – 38 BC; his monument another wonder of the ancient world. A place with more questions than answers – the kind of place that makes me smile.

http://sacredsites.com/middle_east/turkey/nemrut_dagi.html

This little known kingdom was formed by Antiochus’s father, Mithridates 1 in 64 BC.  Antiochus took the throne when his father died, setting to work on this puzzling site. An existing mountain was enhanced and shaped using tons of small limestone rocks to form a perfectly coned peak, 150 metres wide and 50 metres tall. Archaeologists believe this is his burial mound – to date no evidence of his tomb has been found. At the base of the mountain massive courts have been sculpted out of natural rock on three sides. Antiochus morphed Greek and Persian gods into monolithic sculptures above the courtyards. A carved wall shows Antiochus shaking hands with these gods; statues of Antiochus were also placed along side deities, without question he believed himself to be one of them.

Astronomy is evident anywhere you look.  A relief carving of a lion known as the “Lion of Commagene” has 19 stars carved in the background, a crescent moon on the lion’s neck, above his back the planets Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter. Stars carved on the lion represent constellation Leo. Using the Skyglobe computer program these symbols have been interpreted as the date July 6 in 61 or 62 BC. A shaft in one side of the mound is illuminated twice a year – once when in line with the constellation Leo, and again when in line with Orion.

I make no apologies for how wonderful I find places like Nemrut Dagi. A Unesco World Heritage  Site added to my bucket list.

Historical Propaganda


I’ve been thinking about the post I wrote last night, having a day to mull it over led me to ponder historical propaganda. A bitter pill is much easier to swallow with a little sugar. Human nature predictably wants to be on the winning team, and feels much better believing action was justified. Gathering support for unpleasant responses, or defending distasteful action, becomes a lot easier when coated with the right amount of careful presentation. It doesn’t take a genius to understand which buttons to push when outrage, sympathy, or fear justifies the end result.

I was only three years old when the Cuban missile crisis took place, obviously I can’t write as to news reports during October of 1962. I can however remember learning about it in school; being certain that not once did I learn that America had missiles stationed in Turkey within striking distance of Moscow. I was taught the crisis was America’s response to the Soviet Union placing missiles in post revolution, socialist Cuba – practically in their back yard. The Soviet Union agreed to stand down when America agreed to remove their missiles from Turkey. Clearly a lot happened in between but my point is – U.S. missiles aimed at Moscow from bases in Turkey never made it to my history lessons.

Think back a few years to the Weapons of Mass Destruction fiasco giving the Bush administration public justification for the Iraq war. Poppycock swept under the bridge once images of American tanks rolling into Baghdad aired 24/7 on news networks and Saddam Hussein was extracted from his “spider hole”.

How about the great Mississippi flood in the 1920’s. African American share croppers forced at gunpoint into work camps along the levees. Held against their will, forced to fill sand bags in a futile attempt to stop the river, while white plantation owners were evacuated to safety. Edgar Hoover, appointed to investigate allegations of brutality made a back room deal with share-croppers – if they kept quiet, and voted for him in his upcoming bid to become president, he would give them land of their own. We all know that never happened.

Pulling a few examples off the top of my head wasn’t intended as anything other than a gentle reminder – human nature is what it is – far from rocket science, my ponder grows from the realization things have changed. Propaganda has become considerably more complicated; where once the church or government held tight to the reigns of opinion, media has entered the ring with a vengeance. Propaganda used to serve a purpose; it kept people blissfully unaware, while controlling and channelling reaction.  Now news and social media fan the flames; where once a singular propaganda served a nation, we now dial into the propaganda of choice.

The situation is far too confusing for a majority of people to handle. Sadly unable to make the distinction between “fact” and “opinion”, propaganda is out of control. Once upon a time it was simple; right or wrong we were served a single message for the good of us all. Irresponsible doesn’t begin to describe the “information” game we’re now playing.

Old Cheese


Earlier this month researchers from the University of Bristol released findings on some very old cheese. Specifically; ancient tools used to make cheese; in Poland of all places. Pottery fragments full of small holes were analyzed and determined to be sieves used for cheese making. Dating back 7000 years, we now have scientific proof of the worlds first cheese. Similar pottery found in Turkey and Libya is suspected to be as old, but has not been tested.

“So what” you ask?

For starters; I love anything that ruffles the feathers of main stream historians. I see history as something fluid, with no beginning and no end,  expanding for eternity. History can’t be set in stone, or viewed as anything other than a riddle. To discover prehistory man, making cheese in Poland thousands of years before the pyramids, makes me giddy. This is land locked northern Europe. Hardly a truck stop on any trade route, or basking in Mediterranean sun; thought to be an outpost for barbaric hunter gatherers.

Ponder ancient Polish cheese makers; their ingenuity contradicts text book history in every way.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212134044.htm

A sieve fragment from a clay pit in north-central Poland which was submitted to lipid residue analyses. (Credit: Image by Mélanie Salque)

Why Puma Punku Makes Me Smile


History is fluid, a never ending story with twists and turns dictated by centuries of  religious, political and scientific bias. In the handful of centuries since science got a foot in the door, release from religious restraints and political white wash steadfastly turn historical stone to dust.

Gobekli Tepe, discovered in Turkey during the 90s, turns accepted historical timelines on their head. We cling to cradle of civilization Mesopotamia, yet science proves Gobekli Tepe is thousands of years older. Most people haven’t heard of it. Educators rely on unimaginative textbooks, unwilling to introduce irrefutable science because facts are few. Science believes Gobekli Tepe a place for religious gatherings. Circle after perfect circle, with reliefs of animals carved into surrounding pillars. Each pillar the exact same height, many of the animals not thought to be indigenous to the area. By all appearances it was purposely buried.

Then there’s Puma Punku. My pulse races pondering this place. Located in Bolivia no one knows who built it. By some estimates – 17,000 years old. At an elevation of 12,000 feet, granite slabs of stone weighing hundreds of tons were somehow moved from a quarry miles away. If that doesn’t make you smile; ponder the precise stone work and intricate carvings. Science deals in facts of which there are few.

Puma Punku makes me smile because it obliterates “set in stone” history with more questions than answers. I smile because we can ask those questions and hopefully expand our shallow textbook minds.

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/boliviapumapunka.htm

http://247facts.blogspot.ca/2012/09/puma-punku-acient-mystery.html

Who Decides History Starts When We Write Sumarian?


The history I learned named Mesopotamia, located in the “fertile crescent” as the cradle of civilization. Researching historical timelines, I find it astounding that this is still taught as fact. No question Mesopotamia was a great civilization, if you were alive in 3500 BC, Mesopotamia was the place to be. Credited with the first written language ( Sumarian ) the first recorded religion, remarkable groundwork in mathematics and astronomy, including the 24 hour day,  7 day week, and 365 day year. Mesopotamia had libraries, irrigation, were said to be the first metal and copper workers, worked with glass, made lamps, had temples, and awe inspiring palaces.

The history I learned presented these  facts as if prior to Mesopotamia the world was nothing but trailer parks and tent cities. At one time the world was also thought to be flat.

So lets ponder – who decides historical fact or fiction? At what point do we cease to re-print textbooks,  opening minds instead to further possibilities? Gobekli Tepe in Turkey is estimated to be 6 – 7 thousand years older than Mesopotamia. At Varna in Bulgaria  almost 300 graves dating 2 thousand years before Mesopotamia have been excavated. These graves contained almost 3000 pieces of gold, the earliest known gold in the world, including a gold penis sheath. They’ve found weapons, and evidence of a highly structured society. Derinkuyu is another baffling site. Located in Turkey its an underground city, built to house 20,000 people, complete with stables, breweries, shops, and lets not forget the elaborate ventilation system, impenetrable stone doors, and no idea who, when, or why it was constructed.

We may not have found their libraries, but they deserve pondering in that dusty old high school history text.

http://ancientstandard.com/2007/08/02/gold-of-the-dead-ca-4600-%E2%80%93-4200-bc/

Grave 43, full of gold, from the Varna Necropolis.

Photo from the above link. Grave at Varna.