January 28, 1986

When you read this, use a really cool echo: IT’S TIME ONCE AGAIN FOR…THIS DAY IN HISTORY!!!  This is a post I’ve done a couple times, and be honest, you love learning when you’re on the internet.  No porn or other enjoyment for you!!  It’s all education all the time!  I really wish I had finished school.  This is something I would totally do in my class.  My students would love me.  I’d be the cool teacher.  Or the one who thinks he’s cool that the students always make fun of.  Either way, they’d be talking about me.

Anyway, I had something else I was going to post today, but that will have to wait.  Today is more important.

I’m assuming most of you are too young to remember January 28,1986.  I have no idea the age demographic of my readers.  I was 7 and in first grade.  I think it’s the first big thing where I can say I remember where I was.  I was in class.  At least that’s how I remember it.  We were gathered around the TV watching the space shuttle Challenger take off into space.  And then all of a sudden, it wasn’t.  It was one of the, if not the biggest disasters in the history of the American Space program.  73 seconds after liftoff, Challenger exploded, killing all 7 people on board.  The reason this was such a big deal, was there was a teacher on board.  Christa McAuliffe was to be the first teacher in space.

I am not going to go too deep into this one.  I just wanted to mention it, as I hadn’t heard anything about it today and it needed to be talked about.  Seven people died trying to advance our nations space program.  They should always be remembered for the sacrifice they made and what was learned from the disaster.  Hopefully tragedies like this will be avoided forever.

Today in history

As I said yesterday, I was a history major in college. If I couldn’t be a pro basketball player (never actually an option. Although I did shoot a half court shot at a Kings game. I caught back rim. Then I got to shoot a 3 which I buried. Obviously.) I wanted to teach high school history. There are a number of reasons it didn’t work out. One of the biggest is that I want to teach history correctly.  I don’t think I would be very welcome in schools or districts.  I wouldn’t follow lesson plans or text books.

The way history is taught in schools is wrong. Not only is it planned poorly but it is factually inaccurate. I know what you’re thinking. “Eric, I’ve taken history classes all my life, and I turned out just fine.” Ya, you’re fine. You’re not great. Everything you were taught was wrong. Okay not everything. But lots of stuff. Which brings us to today’s lesson.

Today is the anniversary of the very first phone call between Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson on 3/10/1876. Now, there are two types of people in this world. Those that believe Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, and those who are right.

In 1857, an Italian immigrant named Antonio Meucci started making notes on what would become his idea for the telephone.  I bet you’re wondering, who the hell is Antonio Meucci?  Well, keep reading.  Meucci applied for his first patent on his “Sound Telegraph” in 1971.  Bell’s patent wasn’t filed until 1876 when Meucci’s had expired.  Antonio took his drawings to the American District Telegraph Company for testing.  But after two years of waiting, he went to get his paperwork back.  But guess what?  They had conveniently lost all his drawings and paperwork.  I seem to recall in previous reading or research that Bell had worked for American District, but cannot seem to find that for this post.  But if my memory is correct, the conventional wisdom would be that Bell is the one who stole the drawings, or had knowledge of the theft.  Maybe it’s too easy to make the connection.  Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist.  Call me what you want.  Trust me, I’ve been called worse.

Meucci was not a wealthy man.  He did not have the financial wherewithal for a legal battle.  In fact, he was bankrupt by 1861.  All cases were eventually dropped upon his death in 1889.  In 2002, the House of Representatives passed HRes 269, which states that “if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell.”

If you’re ever in New York, there is the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum on Staten Island that has a bunch of information on the subject.  Also, there was an episode of Mysteries at the Museum dedicated to this debate.

I like to think that Meucci did in fact invent the telephone. However there are people much smarter than I am who believe Bell was in fact first. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I do know there’s more to the story than I was taught in school. In my studies, I have found this to be the case more often than not. And that was the point of this post. Not necessarily to change your mind, but to open your mind. There are reasons I have major problems with school. Both high school and college.  Especially college.  This is one of many. So hopefully this will make you think for yourself, and go read a book.

Today in history

So this was going to be a feature I wanted to do regularly.  And I have a great post for tomorrow.  As a history major in college, it has always been super interesting to me.  As my 17 year old niece constantly tells me, it’s only interesting to me.  She hates history.  She constantly asks questions about her homework, and when I go on and on about my answers, you can see her eyes glaze over and you can almost hear the music playing in her head.  But history is great, and I really wanted to teach it correctly.  You know, like how Christopher Columbus was actually a horrible person and not only was he not the first person to discover the new world, but he should be vilified not celebrated.

Anyway, this is a quick one because it’s really only interesting if you’re a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, like me.  Today is Founders Day!  March 9, 1856!  Happy Founders Day!

May 16, 1929

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got caught up in Kings stuff.  So yesterday was the anniversary of the very first Oscars ceremony.  And I wanted to post something to say how much I hate the Oscars.  A night of everyone saying, look at me, look at how wonderful I am!  Isn’t it great how expensive my clothes are?!  I need an award to justify my performance!

Don’t get me started on the actual awards.  All I know is if the movie is nominated for Best Picture, eight times out of 10, I am going to hate it.  For the love of God a silent film won two years ago.  IN 2011!!!  not 1911!!!

Now I will admit, I am the exact demographic that film studios are targeting when they make movies.  I cannot stay away.  And I admit that many of these pictures are awful.  But I still give them my money every time.  Which is part of the problem. I know as long as people like me keep going, they will never learn their lesson and stop making them, but I can’t help it.

A buddy of mine loves the Oscars.  He runs pools and throws parties around the show.  I can’t remember the last time I watched it.  And I can’t imagine I will any time soon.  Even hosted by Seth McFarlane, whom I love, couldn’t get me to tune in.  Plus the show takes like four days to air.  I don’t have time to sit through the 15 minute thank you that you need to give for best cinematography.  Thanks, I’ll pass.