ISanta Claus, Ded Moroz, Christianity and the Solstice

It is 2:48 AM on December 24th – the morning of Christmas Eve.  To mark the cultural and religious highlight of the entire year across the Western world I thought I should post something about the holiday.

My focus is the mythical figure known as Santa Claus in the West, Ded Moroz in the East, Father Christmas, Father Frost, Wizard of Winter and the many other forms and names he takes across the world.  I learned that there were so many names for this wizard that it reminded me of a quote from everyone’s favorite wizard Gandalf the Grey.

Playboy in Vietnam!

Today I was invited to the official opening of Playboy in Vietnam!

Ok, it isn’t that special because I’d still have to pay.  But this still makes me wonder how I got on the mailing list!  The e-mail they used isn’t one that is really ‘out there’ so I’m thinking they paid for a database of the e-mails of foreigners who live (or have lived) in Vietnam.  I haven’t lived there in over ten years so I’m not sure their money was well spent!

Playboy in Vietnam

 

Playboy in Vietnam: http://www.playboylifestyle.vn

Privacy, presidential candidates and other things

It has been eons since I last posted in the blog.  With two young boys all free time is at a premium and so that only leaves the very early morning as free time.  In 2016 I’ve decided to change a number of things in my life such as: shedding distractions such as Facebook and unnecessary apps; focusing things most important to me such as family, working out, reading and writing; increased learning as well as meditation.

Capetian Dynasty

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I’ve always been completely fascinated by the Capetian dynasty.  A family whose rule started in 987, dominated for five centuries and still has royals to this day in Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and on the throne with King Felipe VI of Spain. 

In the USA, when royalty is mentioned it is something that belongs in the past, that isn’t a part of modern times.  Yet, just a quick look around the world and royalty is not dead, it still holds sway and power in many parts of the world!  

The ISIS takes a page from Spanish Conquistadors!

While reading my Lapham’s Quarterly I came across the “Requerimiento” (Requirement).  This was a written declaration of sovereignty and war, read by Spanish military forces to assert their sovereignty over the Americas.  

 “It was used to justify the assertion that God, through historical Saint Peter and appointed Papal successors, held authority as ruler over the entire Earth; and that the Inter CaeteraPapal Bull, of 4 May 1493 by Pope Alexander VI, conferred title over all the Americas to the Spanish monarchs.[1] The Requerimiento probably had its origins as early as the 8th century in the Dawah messages sent to non-Muslim nations by Arab conquerors, demanding that their recipients submit to Islamic rule (see Aslim Taslam).[2]