Some cool cars...
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is in my blood. My mother, the daughter of Irish immigrants, walked across it with her aunt May when it was dedicated on May 27, 1937. She was 18. I was born north of the bridge, and spent my infancy and youth both north and south of it. I spent most of my brief army career stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco, proximate to the bridge.
I visited San Francisco a few years ago, and it was the perfect afternoon to walk across the bridge. There was just enough fog to make it typical, and yet it was fairly warm with little wind. In fact, I remember getting my forehead moderately sunburned.
Lots of people enjoyed the bridge that day.
It was clear enough for a good view of the San Francisco skyline and the Bay Bridge. The dome (center right) is the Palace of Fine Arts.
One of my earliest memories is looking up at the towers with my three brothers from the backseat of my father's car.
I talked to this bridge painter for a little while. He was a big man--soft spoken and reticent. His face brightened when I mentioned that I had heard that many Native Americans were bridge painters. It turns out that he was part Mohawk, I think.
Monday, October 22, 2012
What do the Prophets of the the World's Religions know, and when do they know it?
I was participating in a discussion concerning religious belief on an online forum---a third rail thread topic that quickly get locked. People just can't seem to keep civil when discussing their religious convictions. In this particular thread, the participants included Christians, agnostics, atheists, a Buddhist, a Jew, a pagan, at least one new-ager, this Bahá'i, and the curious. Surprisingly, the thread went on for at least a month, despite its share of friction generated by the clash of differing opinions and one zealot. I'm not sure what would have happened had there been a Muslim participating, but t would have been interesting
One topic that was brought up by an atheist concerned how religious doctrine follows scientific discovery. The persecution of Galileo by the Roman Catholic church was cited as an example of how religion is a hindrance to knowledge. I offered the Bahá'i point of view that what the Prophets (or Manifestations of God as they are referred to in the Bahá'i Faith) reveal is limited not by what they know, but rather what we are capable of understanding.
Consider: This was written over 1200 years ago.
Split the atom's heart, and lo!
Within it thou wilt find a sun.
Qur'án 67:3 (Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 11)
Saturday, October 20, 2012
The Radio Voice of the Washington State Capitol
In 1961, my twin brother and I were living with my father in an apartment near Meydenbauer Bay in Bellevue, Washington. My father had a job where he would make a weekly radio report on the activities of the Washington State legislature and Governor's office to the people of the state. Because of the length of the commute, he rented a room in Olympia, the state capitol, and spent Monday through Friday there, leaving my brother and me alone. We were responsible 13 year old boys, and we were capable of feeding ourselves and attending our 8th grade classes at Bellevue Junior High School (the mall was later built on top of it).
One week my dad took my brother and me with him, and we hung around the legislature as my father interviewed senators and representatives and otherwise ferreted out the noteworthy.
From my Kodak Brownie Starflash camera.
People often mispronounced then Governor Rosellini's name as ROZellini, and so to make things easier, he would hand out small silk roses to help people remember that his name was pronounced ROSE-ellini. When the governor handed one to my father, my dad said "Thanks for the roz". They became friends immediately.,
On our way home on Friday, my father dropped off the tape with his recorded report at a local radio station, and it would be broadcast from stations across the state.