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Texas Tech and the Blarney Stone

This year the Blarney Stone is raised up 13 stories and set into the battlements of Blarney Castle in Ireland just outside of Cork. It is the castle of King Cormac MacCarthy of Munster. A tradition is that if you can lean out backwards over the battlements, across the void and kiss the stone you will be granted the gift of gab. Unfortunately a few people will plunge to their deaths in the attempt so kissing the Blarney Stone will be a rare event until handholds and a metal grating are installed.

Several legends surround the stone, most of which sound like the worst like of Blarney! The word "Blarney" is a good example. Legend has it that letters from Blarney Castle to Queen Elizabeth the 1st contained so many excuses and pretty words saying nothing that the Queen shouted "What Blarney!" thus coining the word. Is this true? No idea, but it sounds good. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One of my sons went to Texas Tech University but he never mentioned that a piece of the Blarney Stone sits on a pedestal in front of the Electrical Engineering building today. The story goes that petroleum engineering students found the stone during a field trip and determined that it was a piece of the famous Blarney Stone missing since 1659. The credulous engineering staff had it mounted on a pedestal and unveiled their little monument on St. Patrick's Day, 1939 where it remains to this day. Engineering students will kiss the stone in order to grant themselves elegant speech. I have never met an engineer who has kissed the stone.[4] [5]

Morea: You Shall Not Pass!

The peninsula of the Morea is linked to the mainland of Greece by a narrow land bridge called the Isthmus of Corinth.[6] The isthmus is spanned by the Hexamilion Wall which blocks access to the Ottoman Turks. People have been moving to the relative safety of Morea from the city of Constantinople which has been under threat by the Ottoman Turks but there is no safe place in Morea now. The Ottoman Turks have decided to teach these Greeks a lesson. The Ottomans are using bombards... those large cannons that hurl stone projectiles of two feet in diameter. Most defensive walls will fall within days. The Hexamilion Wall falls in five. The Ottomans breach the wall and then the Sultan calls a halt to the invasion. He has made his point. The Greeks can run but they cannot hide. The wall will be repaired and the Ottomans will breech it again a few years later. The ruins of the Hexamillion Wall remain to this day. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Sultan, Murad the 2nd, is angry because the Christians have broken their word to him. He had signed a ten year truce with several European countries, including Hungary, but they broke that agreement after the Pope gave them permission. That was a mistake on several levels... tactical as well as moral. The Sultan retaliated and pinned the broken treaty to his banner as he led a massive army against the Christians. The Turks outnumbered the Christians 3 to 1. This last Crusade was destroyed and took what fight their was left out of the Christians. Sadly, hitting the Hexamillion Wall was an afterthought, frankly. [13]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1446, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Blarney Stone - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. Kiss The Blarney Stone (Official Site). BlarneyCastle.ie. 2014 [last update]
  3. Simon44 Productions. The Blarney Stone - YouTube. Jun 2, 2012. 2014 [last update] Summary: Quick, concise and to the point story of the Blarney Stone. At time mark 2:04 Simon mentions that part of the Blarney Stone was unveiled at Texas Tech University in on St. Patrick's Day in 1939. It is on display outside of its 'electronical engineering building'. It's actually in front of the Electrical Engineering building.
  4. Blarney Stone - History & Traditions - Texas Tech University. 2014 [last update] Summary: "Official Texas Tech page with picture, explanation and a PDF file of how a piece of the Blarney Stone was found by several petroleum students on a field trip and made a stand for it in 1939 so that all engineering students could kiss the stone and gain the gift of eloquent speech."
  5. Texas Tech University traditions: Blarney Stone - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Isthmus of Corinth - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Norwich, John Julius. (John J. Norwich, bio). Byzantium: Volume 3: Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1995. (BOOK) Quote: "He had brought with him not only the usual siege engines and scaling-ladders, but something that the Greeks had never seen before--heavy artillery. For five days his long cannons pounded away at the great wall; then, on 10 December, he gave the order for the final assault. Most of the defenders were taken prisoner or massacred; the Despots themselves barely managed to make their way back to Mistra. But the Sultan was not yet ready for a war of conquest. [...] His purpose on this occasion was simply to chastise the Greeks, to teach them a lesson and to leave them in no doubt as to who was master, in the Morea just as everywhere else."
  8. Hexamilion wall: Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article, absoluteastronomy.com, 2014 [last update]
  9. Constantine XI Palaiologos - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Hexamilion wall - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Mehmed the Conqueror - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. Despotate of the Morea - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. Murad II - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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