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Terra Nova, Terra America *

Cartography or map-making is still terra incognito [TAIR-uh in-cog-NEE-tow] (unknown territory). People need maps but there is no committee to set the naming standards. Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann are German Cartographers who have produced the first global map that includes the many discoveries of Columbus. Martin is a great admirer Amerigo Vespucci, the explorer, so he labels the New World as "America.". A thousand copies of the map go out before Martin regrets his decision. He tries to change the name to "Vespucci" or simply "Terra Nova" meaning "New Territory," but it's too late. Map-makers are already using the name "America" as the standard. The name has stuck just like the name "Indian." At this time people understand that the people living in the New World are not from India, but the name continues to be used no matter what informed people may say. It's already too late to change. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
If we could go back, we would use the most accurate names possible but in the end the people will decide which name makes sense to them. A good example is the name "ISIS" which is the name applied to that group invading Iraq and Syria and threatening other countries. But I've heard other names applied to that group (some of them unrepeatable): ISIS, ISIL, DAESH, or simply "IS". ISIS sounds pagan... and therefore carries a warning for Christians and Jews even though Muslims are not pagans. Other names that the government might use are probably more accurate to various degrees, or more politically correct, but I think ISIS is the name that people will use in the end. [6]

The Aztecs and the End of the World

Every 52 years the Aztec calendar undergoes a reset similar to a turn of the century called a calendar round. Since it is a time of uncertainty and fear (just as it is for modern, "enlightened" people of today), the Aztecs perform a ceremony to fend off an end-of-the-world apocalypse. It involves bloodletting, letting go of old household goods and silent contemplation. The time has come but it will be the last time. The end is near for the Aztecs. By 1519, Hernando Cortéz, and a number of disgruntled tribes that live near the Aztecs, will declare war and the Aztecs will fall. Just to remind everyone... the Aztecs are famous for human sacrifice, but those humans came from neighboring tribes who were resentful having to produce them. That is why Cortéz will find willing allies for a while at least. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Does everyone remember the Y2K Bug? It was a computer issue that was supposed to make airplanes fall from the sky and bank account lock up. It was a real issue. Don't get me wrong. A lot of computer programs had to be fixed to accommodate the turn of the century, but the irrational panic that ensued, makes the most primitive tribal nonsense seem like sensible, mature reflection in comparison. The same thing happened with the Mayan calendar scare and several other scares that everyone can bring to mind. The human mind can be a frightening thing.

Optional example: In 1976 People's Temple Agricultural Project in Guyana was established as a communist haven. They called it Jonestown. Jim Jones and his followers wanted to escape a creeping fascism in the USA. In 1978 a US Representative began an investigation of Jonestown, so Jones and over 900 men, women and children of "The People's Temple of the Disciples of Christ" committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. If you ever wondered where the phrase "Drinking the Kool-Aid" came from ... now you know.[10]

Living OVER a Bridge and the Gas Tax

In Paris, the bridge across the Seine began as a simple footbridge. The river split and created a small island in the midst of the city. Eventually the bridge was replaced by a more substantial wooden bridge in the early 1400s called "Notre-Dame." 60 houses were built atop the bridge with 30 on each side, but in 1499 the bridge collapsed into the river due to poor bridge maintenance. New stone foundations were laid and a new bridge was constructed. That construction is completed this year. 60 more houses have been built on the bridge out of stone and brick and are built to last. They will last until around 1786 when the houses will cause instability to the bridge. It will be rebuilt and cause so many accidents will be called the Devil's Bridge. In 1919 the bridge will be replaced with the Pont Notre Dame bridge we see today. [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I've known people who have lived under bridges and I've seen people on TV who have escaped a tornado by hiding under a bridge. I wouldn't recommend it as a first choice but you take what you can get. Next, this history story revealed that there was no money spent for regular bridge maintenance. After that Minneapolis Bridge Collapse in 2007 our government called for money for bridge maintenance. While roads and bridges need maintenance, that money was supposed to come from our gas taxes. As gas prices drop, the taxes collected are lessened. There is talk of raising the gas tax for "maintenance of the roads," but when gas prices shoot up again, will the government lower the gas tax? Not a chance. [12] [13] [14]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1507, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Amerigo Vespucci: Expeditions - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 2 December 2014.
  2. Martin Waldseemüller - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 2 December 2014.
  3. Cartography - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 2 December 2014.
  4. Johannes Schöner globe - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 2 December 2014.
  5. Matthias Ringmann - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 January 2015.
  6. Alex Shrugged notes: Whatever you might think of Muslims, good or bad, they are not pagans. Due to the history we have learned here, some Jews have a very low opinion of Christians... and a few even feel that Christians are pagans. So... if you are a Christian and feel as if Muslims are pagans, I'm not going to condemn you. I'm telling you that feelings are not facts. Facts are facts. And frankly, the modern pagans are not the pagans that the Bible condemns so we should get off their backs too. Short of human sacrifice or grinding up live puppies, I'm willing to look the other way on a lot of stuff as long as all the participants are of the age of consent or have their parent's consent.
  7. Hanson, Victor Davis. Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power. New York: Doubleday. 2001. ISBN 0385500521. pp. 194-195. (BOOK) Quote: "Oddly, few scholars have ever likened the Aztec propensity to wipe out thousands of their neighbors through carefully organized killing to the Nazi extermination of Jews, Gypsies, and other eastern Europeans."
  8. Alex Shrugged notes: See year 1454 "The Aztec Flower Wars" for more information.
  9. New Fire ceremony - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 January 2015. “The New Fire ceremony [...] was an Aztec ceremony performed once every 52 years — a full cycle of the Aztec calendar — in order to stave off the end of the world.”
  10. Alex Shrugged notes: Despite the name, the group was atheist in nature and they stated so.
  11. Pont Notre-Dame - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 January 2015.
  12. 35W Bridge Collapse LIVE VIDEO ACTUAL Minneapolis, Minnesota (VIDEO). YouTube.com (2015). Retrieved on 26 January 2015.
  13. Department of Transportation, Minnesota (2012). I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, MN (Official Report on Collapse). dot.state.mn.us. Retrieved on 26 January 2015.
  14. Bridge Collapse Anniversary: How Safe Are Drivers Now?. ABC News (August 1, 2012). Retrieved on 26 January 2015. “Five years ago today more than 100 cars were traveling over a bridge on I-35W during a Minneapolis rush hour when it suddenly collapsed, dropping cars from the interstate into the 15-foot-deep Mississippi River below, trapping many passengers inside. Before they could escape or emergency help arrived, 13 people died and another 145 were injured one of the worst bridge disasters in U.S. history.”

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