Yesterday was Earth Day, which also coincided with the Science Marches around the world. Ordinarily I would tie this into the 19th Century, as per the blog, but today I thought I speak frankly as a Modern.
There has been some discussion how Earth Day, stereotyped by all things hippie, granola, everything eco-chic and Science, which are seen, as “unnatural and futuristic” as a clash in ideals. I am here to say that sort of thinking is so far from the truth. Science, in this case “hard science,” is the study of our surroundings, our environment, and the universe. Or to cite Webster’s Dictionary:
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Scientists at their essences are “naturalists.” Certainly, their approach to the matter is more clinical than say a rural farmer, but the premise is the same: to learn how our planet functions and how we function along with it. Theirs is an inter-related relationship. One cannot have Science if there is nothing to observe.
The Modern schism of ideology however deems Science “otherworldly.” The notions all scientists want to “play God” is ridiculous. First and foremost, they want to see how “God did it” to begin with. The next step is asking the question ‘how can this knowledge be used to help humankind solve a perceived problem?’ Even “evil scientists” are doing things they think are best (but ethics and politics play a part we won’t get into in this post).
My concerns lies in the “worshiping of Science.” That anything and everything “that isn’t proved by science” is bunk. Science is reliant on technology. As the technology improves so does the Science. A “fact” is merely a snapshot in time. Think of life before the 19th century when people could not see germs with their naked eye nor with technological instruments of the era; did that mean germs did not exist before the 19th century? OF COURSE germs existed from the beginning of time, but we did not discover that until later. So what does this mean? Were Scientists wrong??? You might say that, but honestly I think of it more as primordial. Not bad in and of itself, it is just the evolution of things. (Is someone who does not know nor has seen, wrong? How could they know any better until they have seen and known?)
Scientists owe their profession to the Earth and all life (and death) on it. Scientists mean to honor the Earth. We all are better for science (and yes, we could also argue we are all “worse” for it, too, depending on your perspective.)
Earth Day is every day.
Evidently February AND March are kicking my behind with back-to-back crazy activities and unexpected expenses. –How are you faring, Dear Readers? Ready to move beyond your own little dramas and catch up on the news? I am! *raises hand*
Below are the eight headlines for March. If you think Victorian is staid and stuffy you are in for real surprise, when you learn the 19th century’s authors tips and symbolism to the hotter sex scenes than 50 Shades of Grey. Pictures galore speculate on the nature of gentlemanly displays of affection from one man to another. Was it culturally acceptable at that time? It makes one wonder when the “Macho Man” ideal came into play, here in the United States. In a similar vein, in the 1800s hardcore science was for “wimps” or those who batted for the other team. Really?! Read more on it below. Another article addresses sexism. For those foodies, there is a piece on Victorian on local Southwestern Victorian fare. Talk about a fascinating niche market! Looking for stylish 19th century trains? Thomas can assist you in your endeavors. It is rare to find information on 19th century Hawai’i since their monarchy was in decline and colonialism was turning ugly, learn some new history. Lastly, as a nod to Arizona, there is an article about the my state’s largest annual Steampunk convention with a slew of pictures to ogle at!
As a Librarian I am constantly coming across interesting books via donations, read a ridiculous amount of book reviews and quickly make decisions based on collection criteria in hopes it will be a highly checked out title of great use or interest to our City’s population. Thus said, every librarian, will occasionally buy books of personal interest to them. Any one that says otherwise is lying. To my credit, I seldom do this since my interest are not “popular” in my area, but I still try to purchase titles that I know will be checked out by other people, besides myself. Not too long ago I purchased a book on the history of how some of everyday household item were first invented. Below is a partial excerpt from the book.
*Citation listed at the end
“[King Camp Gillette] came from a family of creative dynamos . . . “My impulse to think and invent was a natural one,” Gillette wrote in his memoirs. . . .While [his father] never hit it big commercially with his tools, he urged King to keep at it: “Just invent something that the people need, and you’ll make yourself wealthy for life. Keep looking. You’ll hit upon something that a lot of people want.”
1700s, 1800s, 18th Century, 19th Century, 2017, American, Canada, Career, China, Drink, Edwardian, Etiquette, Fairmont Empress Hotel, India, Librarianship, Medicine, Revolution, Science, Society, Tea, Victorian, Work
Every Friday during the entire month of February my library is hosting Tea Time; a four part series for adults on the cultural, historical, and political aspect of tea during various times and locales. It runs from 3 to 5 pm. The first installment was High Tea concerning the Victorian/Edwardian etiquette, British culture, and history of the High Tea. Participants were instructed to wear fancy hats. We arranged a Skype Session with a one Mr. Christian Elsing, Lobby Restaurant Manager of the Fairmont Empress Hotel, British Colombia, Canada as our guest speaker. He. Was. WONDERFUL! Very bubbly and highly informative! He also discussed the Empress Tea Experience and gave us a quick tour of the Lobby Restaurant. My family and I have first hand knowledge of the Empress Hotel Tea Experience which is why I reached out to them in the first place. If you ever get the chance to go, GO! It is marvelous! These folks managed to get my red-blooded, meat-and-potato, American-football-loving father to drink FOUR cups of tea, try every little sandwich and pastry available, as well as purchasing no less than a dozen boxes of Empress Tea to take back home to friends and family. I learned from Mr. Elsing’s discussion “only peasants took milk with their tea,” as one of the lady’s surmised. In effect, only royalty could afford bone china which can withstand the scalding heat of the hot water, china and porcelain would crack and break under the stress, so cold milk was typically poured to cool the beverage and salvage the cups of non-royals.
Indian Tea Company was the second installment of our Tea Time series and we had three ladies from India come to speak and demonstrate how to make Chai tea. It was fascinating! Indian Tea is considered “young” and did not really catch on as a daily thing until the 1920s, years after British colonization. Different areas of India, take their tea differently some with black pepper, others with brown sugar, etc. To cool off the tea, Indians pour it highly elaborate manners or constantly switch the liquid from one cup to another. There is actually am Indian tea ceremony tied into the vetting process of arranged marriages. All of it was so interesting. Nobody wanted to leave! The presenters nor the audience!
This Friday, in partnership with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), we will be having American Tea Party: Politics and Tea during the American Revolution. The DAR Ladies will be in costume to talk about the atmosphere leading up to the Boston Tea Party as well as give a brief history on different types of tea pots. Next week, we will be sitting in on For All the Tea in China: Chinese medicinal tea.
Family and friends have asked me why I decided to offer this at the library, to which I replied with a shrug “Why not?!” While I am not a huge tea drinker, I will drink it on occasion, I honestly just like the pageantry and etiquette required for these daily ceremonies. As far as I figure, if I like something, then there is at least one other person on the planet that shares my interests. So far this approach to library programming has served me well. It makes it fun!