History will be kind to be for I intend to write it.

I think my favorite Winston Churchill quote from the LifeHack post below is “History will be kind to be for I intend to write it.”, which says a couple things to me:

  • Given that history is written by the victors, Churchill saw no option but victory.
  • No one can so accurately tell your own story as you can.

20 Inspiring Quotes from Winston Churchill:
20 Inspiring Quotes from Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was loved and hated by many. He was an iconic leader who was known for his rebellious and stubborn nature. But it was these traits that saw him achieve a great deal with his life.

Churchill has much to teach us about courage, persistence and leadership. He pushed through years and years of failure to eventually hold office for an incredible 60 years. He was known for facing problems head-on and for ‘never ever giving up.’

Churchill is referred to as one of the most influential people in British history, so why not learn from his successes and failures?
Here are 20 of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes. Read them slowly and take away a nugget of inspiration from the man who was known for his no nonsense approach to life.

20 Inspiring Quotes from Winston Churchill:
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

  • “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

History will be kind to me for I intend to rewrite it

  • “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
  • “Never, never, never give up.”
  • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
  • “You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.

  • “I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.”
  • “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”
  • “The price of greatness is responsibility.”
  • “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.”

I have nothing to offer but blood

  • “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil tears and sweat.”
  • “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”
  • “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
  • “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

  • “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
  • “To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.”
  • “There is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.”
  • “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.”

I need never worry about action

  • “I never worry about action, but only inaction.”

Looking for more inspirational quotes? Head over to Lifehack Quotes to get your fill!(Photo credit: Churchill Statue via Shutterstock)Related posts:

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  1. 24 Creativity Quotes to Bring Out Your Inner Artist
  1. 50 Motivational Quotes That Will Put Your Motivation on Overdrive

Columbus might not have been a pirate, but..

Thinking about International Talk Like a Pirate Day reminded me of seeing the Niña and Pinta when they came through my area a couple years ago. They are faithful replicas of Columbus’s originals. Below is a video of the ships when they visited Dubuque, Iowa:

The diminutive stature of these two ships destroyed my perception of Columbus‘ crossing of the Atlantic ocean. To be honest, I expected a little more girth on the vessels. That the ships were so small gave me a greater appreciation of the feat that Cristoforo Colombo and his crews accomplished.

The foundation that owns the ships doesn’t have their 2013 schedule posted yet, but if you’re up for the adventure, you can apply to be a crew member.

Napoleon’s Fax Machine

Being a geek and working with other like-minded individuals, sometimes we have some pretty great discussions on ancient history, technologies, and such. Today we were bouncing between the the lethality of Comanche and Mongolian bow skills and how ancient (and not so ancient) cultures had technology that was far more advanced than we often give them credit for. During the conversation, I make a comment with regard to Napoleon seeing a demonstration of a facsimile. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember any of the details.  I am honored that one colleagues also reads my blog, so at his suggestion, below is an accurate description of Napoleon’s fax machine.

What I was so inept in sharing in the conversation was that in 1860, Napoleon III, Emperor of France, visited the workshop of an engineer named Paul Gustave Froment, and was given a demonstration of a device called a pantelegraph that was able to reproduce printed messages across telegraph lines. The pantelegraph was invented by Giovanni Caselli. Napoleon was impressed and secured the use of telegraph lines so that Caselli could continue work on his invention. The primary commercial application of the device was to verify signatures for banking transactions. A more detailed history of the telegraph in general is available here (unfortunately, some of the image links are broken).

For the sake of tradition

As usual, the comments make the post:

Queen makes Prince William Knight of the Thistle: The Duke of Cambridge has been given the highest honour in Scotland after being installed as a Knight of the Thistle at a service in Edinburgh.

I suppose in my naivety I don’t understand the average Brit republican’s disdain for pomp and ceremony such as this. Or maybe they are just jealous? It’s the continuation of tradition that gives stability and continuity to a society.

It’s why as an American I’m proud we still celebrate our Independence all these years later. When you forget your traditions, you lose sight of where you came from.

Finding America: University Discovers Lost Early Map of New World

An interesting piece of cartographical history:

Finding America: University Discovers Lost Early Map of New World: German university researchers have rediscovered a 500-year-old map that had been mistakenly bound in a volume on geometry several hundred years ago. The map, by cartograther Martin Waldseemüller, is one of the first to include the term “America” in reference to the New World.

The Clan System

An informative article from the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs:

The Clan System:
The clan system as we know it today was created over the course of a few years in the first quarter of the 19th century.

The clan system as we know it today was created over the course of a few years in the first quarter of the 19th century. At its heart were the novels of Walter Scott who triggered an extraordinary revival of interest in the Highlands and Highland history. This was sealed by the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822 when, to the bewilderment of many Lowlanders, the capital – and the king – were decked in tartan and alien pipe music accompanied every function.

In its aftermath Clan Societies and Highland Societies sprang up across Scotland. Thousands wanted a Highland heritage and sought a connection with a clan so that they could wear the new tartans, declared by the chiefs to have been worn as a badge of identity since time immemorial.

And the new clan societies and the manufacturers of tartan were pleased to accommodate them. The concept of septs and associated names was created, those of different surnames from that born by the clan chief who had lived within the old territory of a clan territory and been part of it. The more septs a clan could claim, the more members a clan society would gain and the more kilts would be sold. The Clan Chattan federation managed to list more than 1200, Clan Campbell over 650. Many of these names were claimed by more than one clan.

Surnames came late to Gaeldom; many were based on occupations. Gows – smiths – would have been present in every clan territory. The MacIntyres are a full blown clan, but the name means son of the carpenter and carpenters would have been ubiquitous. Similarly most Johns or Ians had a son – McIan. And men anywhere could have been red-haired, fair or dark – Reid,  Bain and Dow. In a few cases most of those living within a clan’s territory did adopt the name of the chief. Simon, Lord Lovat went further. To enlarge his clan he gave a boll of meal to anyone who changed his name to Fraser.

Modern genealogical research has shown that few within any clan have a blood relationship with the chief’s family. And many who bear sept surnames find that their ancestors never had any connection with the declared clan or even its territory. Some are now seeking to become clans in their own right with their own chiefs. And surely this should be encouraged.  Cumberland destroyed the original clan culture. Scott’s followers turned it into romantic myth and adapted it for their own times. If it has been re-invented once, why should it not be changed again to what people want in this century?

This article was previously published on Panalba.

I had always heard growing up that my mother’s family (Blackwood) was Scottish, so I did a little research. They were Ulster Scots, having moved to northern Ireland from Scotland, and a sept of Clan Douglas. Being the consummate skeptic that I am, I wrote a letter the Court of the Lord Lyon to inquire what rights I have to bear the Clan Douglas crest badge. I explained in it my paternal Welsh heritage and maternal Scots heritage. They replied back that though my father’s family wasn’t Scottish, I was entitled to bear the emblems of Clan Douglas based on my maternal ancestry.

Now I haven’t started eating haggis or wearing a Prince Charlie jacket and kilt around, but I might sport a Balmoral with a crest badge at the Stone Mountain Highland Games this fall.

Caution towards a cashless society, part II

Another article on going cashless:

A Cashless, High-Value, Anonymous Currency: How?: jfruh writes “The cashless future is one of those concepts that always seems to be just around the corner, but never quite gets here. There’s been a lot of hype around Sweden going almost cashless, but most transactions there use easily traceable credit and debit cards. Bitcoin offers anonymity, but isn’t backed by any government and has seen high-profile hacks and collapses in value. Could an experiment called MintChip brewing in Canada finally take us to cashless nirvana?”

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Please see my previous post on this topic.

The only cashless system is a 100% barter system. Or pure communism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need“, which has never and will never work due to human nature. If one’s hard work is used to reward the sloth of his fellow man, then he, likewise, will not work. And to quote from my moral code: “If any will not work, neither let him eat.“, and “…if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.“, so at least for me, this is not an option. On top of the fact that there is no incentive to work under communism, it requires a strong central government to force labor. As so aptly worded by George Orwell, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“. Let’s not just pick on communism here, because there is a strong case to be made that all fiat currencies are Orwellian. It is not in the power of “We the People” or the free market to set and control the value of the U.S. Dollar, but that power has been granted to the Federal Reserve.

As a Junior Mogambo Ranger, I’ve got a pretty idea of where a cashless system would lead us.