Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Graves of the Giants

There are many places said to be the burial grounds for ancient gods/goddesses and giants.  Zeus is said to be buried in a cave on Crete.  Apollo is said to be buried at Delphi.  A giant's grave exists in Israel.  Many of the Native American mounds are said to have contained the bones of giants.  And the sidhes of Ireland are said to be the graves of giants.  According to wikipedia:

Euhemerus argued that Zeus was a mortal king who died on Crete, and that his tomb could still be found there with the inscription bearing his name. This claim however did not originate with Euhemerus, as the general sentiment of Crete during the time of Epimenides of Knossos (c. 600 BC) was that Zeus was buried somewhere in Crete. For this reason, the Cretans were often considered atheists, and Epimenides called them all liars (see Epimenides paradox). Callimachus, an opponent of Euhemerus' views on mythology argued that Zeus' Cretan tomb was fabricated, and that he was eternal:

Cretans always lie. For the Cretans even built a tomb,
Lord, for you. But you did not die, for you are eternal.

A later Latin scholia on the Hymns of Callimachus, attempted to account for the tomb of Zeus. According to the scholia, the original tomb inscription read: "the tomb Minos, the son of Jupiter" but overtime the words "Minos, the son" wore away only leaving "the tomb of Jupiter", which had misled the Cretans into thinking that Zeus had died and was buried there.
Influenced by Euhemerus, Porphyry in the 3rd century AD claimed that Pythagoras had discovered the tomb of Zeus on Crete and written on the tomb's surface an inscription reading "Here died and was buried Zan, whom they call Zeus". Varro also wrote about the tomb of Zeus, but few accounts could agree of its precise location on Crete.

Giant people have been part of history for a long time as well as the Little people.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Astronomy, Astrology, and the Zodiac

Astronomy is the study of the solar system, stars, and other celestial objects.  The heavens have been studied for many thousands of years.  Ancient Babylon, Egypt, MesoAmerica, Europe, and Africa have all studied the heavens.  Today, access to a simple telescope allows the average individual the capability to see things in the heavens that the naked eye could not see.

The science of astrology asserts that the movment of the planets and other heavenly bodies affect the personality and future of a person as well as affect world events.  The Zodiac is a system that tracks the star system that the sun appears to rise in during the year.  In Western astrology, there are 12 star signs in the zodiac.  The zodiac is also used to track the great cycle of precision of the Earth.  The Earth wobbles on its axis every 26,000 years.  Currently, we are now transitioning or are in the age of Aquarius and have left the Age of Pisces.

The approximate 2150 years for each age corresponds to the average time it takes for the Vernal Equinox to move from one constellation of the zodiac into the next. This can be computed by dividing the Earth's 25,800 year gyroscopic precession period by twelve, the number of Zodiac constellations used by astrologers. According to different astrologers' calculations, approximated dates for entering the Age of Aquarius range from 1447 AD (Terry MacKinnell) to 3597 (John Addey). The start date for the Aquarian age is somewhat contentiousand there is little uniform agreement upon the date or process leading from the previous Piscean age to the Aquarian age (or between any two ages).

A good summer or all year round project would be to go out at night when the stars are visible and see if you can identify star constellations.  If you can get up before dawn, perhaps you can see which star system the sun appears to rise in.

A sundial can be made to track the time, during the day.  Many Irish and Native American spirals engraved in stone were used to track the sun and determine the time of year the planet was in.  You can try to do this at home and see if you can build a sun spiral or dial to capture the sun's light at the summer and winter solstices.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Platonic Solids, Golden Ratio, Flower of Life

A Platonic solid is a convex polyhedron in which the faces are congruent regular polygons and the same number of faces meet at each vertex.  The five Platonic solids include the Tetrahedron, the Cube, the Octahedron, the Dodecahedron, and the Icosahedron.  They were named after Plato who thought the elements of air, fire, water, and earth were made from these solids.

The Golden Ratio is a ratio equal to 1.61803399. It is a ratio derived from nature and has the mathematical characteristics in which "sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. "  Many artists and architects have used the golden ratio in their works.  It is also called the Golden Section or Golden Mean.

a+b is to a as a is to b

The Flower of Life is omnipresent across the planet on ancient temples and ruins.  It appears to be a symbol that indicates the smallest increment of life.  Perhaps it is representing the Rutherford model of an atom or group of atoms.  The seed of life is a component of the Flower of Life.

Flower of Life

Seed of Life

Considering the fact that carbon has 6 electrons and 6 protons and 6 neutrons and the Seed of Life has 6 petals, I find this to be an interesting similarity as most life forms on earch are made from carbon atoms.

Allotropes of Carbon.

The most interesting thing of all is that these symbols and mathematical concepts exist in all ancient temples from thousands of years ago.  Where did they come up with the knowledge regarding these characteristics of atoms and patterns of nature?

By Rita Jean Moran (


Friday, June 15, 2012

Native American Mounds Outside of Chicago

A Native American Mound has survived the test of time when it was rediscovered in a suburb outside of Chicago.  Rolling Meadows resident Tom Hahn found the mound after searching through old maps.  The mound is on commercial property right now.  From the story in the Daily Herald, the following describes the re-discovery:

In 1919, a researcher for the Chicago Historical Society named Albert Scharf recorded the existence of an American Indian mound among the prairie land and farms northwest of the city, an area then best known as Palatine Township.
In 2011, Rolling Meadows resident Tom Hahn has virtually rediscovered the mound — almost miraculously undisturbed amid office buildings, apartment complexes and restaurants along bustling Algonquin Road in Schaumburg.
Because the mound is recorded on the agency’s maps, an archaeological survey of the site would have to precede the moving of any earth — even if the mound itself were no longer there, Blanchette said. The state automatically is notified of a pending development through the permitting process even if the municipality issuing the permit isn’t itself aware of a site’s historic or environmental significance, he said.

Mr. Hahn found the old record at a public library while he was doing some research on old cemeteries in the area.

Native American Mounds have been opened up and studied.  They include old skeletons and sometimes artifacts.  This mound should be studied, but by a professional as the area may be related to Atztalan that is in Wisconsin and Cahokia that is in Illinois.  I do believe the Mississipian people were connected and used the main waterways for travel, trade, and living.

There are other places outside of Chicago that contain Native American mounds (most have been destroyed).  The Winfield Mounds is the site of an ancient pre-historic culture.  According to the Winfield Mounds site:

Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve was named for burial mounds of pre-historic Native Americans who lived along the West Branch of the DuPage River. The three mounds at this site are dome-shaped and set in a triangular pattern and are the only documented pre-historic burial site in DuPage County. The mounds lie west of the river, along the edge of a mature oak-hickory forest. After vandals dug up the mounds in the 1920s, and subsequent digs by the University of Chicago and Wheaton College, it is believed that nothing more remains in the mounds.
Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve currently stands as an undeveloped, natural area consisting of restored savannas, open fields and prairie, with the West Branch of the DuPage River flowing through it.

Again, these are probably ancient burial sites that should be respected.  I've already talked about the Galena Mounds and the Aztalan location.  I will be visiting Cahokia some time in the future and will post an article when I do.  But I believe many of these mound cultures are related and perhaps far older then thought.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Libraries and Genealogy Summer Project

The idea of a library is a great one. Sharing knowledge with people is great.  Most towns in America have a public library and many have a diverse amont of resources available.  Often times, they even have genealogy software available and classes to help you find your history.  A cool summer project would be to go to the library to see if you can find your famly genealogy. 

By Rita Jean Moran (


Hemp Cars Being Made in Canada

The new car of the future may be made out of hemp.  Companies such as Motive Industries in conjuction with help from the schools in Alberta, Canada are creating and making hemp cars and they hope to have them ready in 2013.  The idea of hemp cars is not new.  Henry Ford created a hemp car made of hemp plastic and that ran on hemp oil in 1941.  Due to laws that were passed banning the hemp industry, his hemp cars never made it to the market.  However, it looks like this is going to change in Canada.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Monday, June 11, 2012

How Big Is Africa?

I went to the Field Museum of Chicago and was surprised to see a display describing how large of a continent Africa is.  Africa is so large that the countries and unions of America, India, Argentina, Europe, China, and New Zealand can fit inside of it.

Africa is the 2nd most populated continent next to Asia and has a population of about 1 billion people.  The African Union (AU) has 54 members with the exception of Morocco.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Friday, June 8, 2012


Over 20 years ago, I took a trip out to California.  I started out in Los Angelos and drove up to San Francisco.  I had visited the famous Venice Beach, Disneyland, Sunset Boulevard, Napa Valley, Muir Woods and few other stops along the way.  The most impressive thing to me were the Redwood trees of Muir Woods, the cool blue water of the Ocean, and the fact that the Golden Gate bridge is not gold or yellow but rather a reddish-orange color.  I've been back to California one more time (San Diego) on business.  Perhaps I will visit again, someday.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Thursday, June 7, 2012

American Civil War, White Irish Slaves, and Arab Slave Trade

My great-great-grandfather Fridolin Benzinger who was in the American Civil War on the Union Side

My great-great-grandfather who was German served in the Army during the American Civil War.  Life was very tough back then.  Women died easily from child birth related issues.  My grandfather had three wives because the first two died, all though he had many children.   Most people know that the North American Slave trade was a horrible thing.  We are taught today about the horrors inflicted on the Blacks who were sold (often times by other Blacks) from Africa to slave companies and they had to endure the horrors of the trip over to America only to be sold into the horrible institution of slavery.  The Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment ended slavery.

I wrote about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War in my 4th book, The Library Kids Talking Stones.  But most people have never heard about the Irish slaves as well as the Arab Slave Trade.  I wrote about these horrible atrocities in my 5th book, The Library Kids-Princess of Tara.  Even though these are tough subjects, I wrote about them in a manner that is appropriate for children without getting too graphic.  I believe these are important subjects that should be learned about during the school years as the Civil War and history of North American Slavery are taught in grammar school.

It amazes me that most schools never even teach or talk about the fact that during the 1600s, the slave that was brought to America was the Irish slave and the British orphan or criminal slave.  The Irish were being exterminated and Cromwell as well as the British King decided it was a good idea to ship the Irish captives to the Colonies to be sold as slaves to Tobacco and Sugar Cane plantations.  Most of the slaves were captured women and children.  The children were seperated from the mother.

The disgusting institution of slavery was structured to use the white slave to do the hard wark for British plantation owners.  The black slave came to America after the white slave was used extensively during the 1600s.

The Arab Slave trade is talked about even less.  It was a goal of the Arab Corsair to capture young white boys and girls for harem slaves and black boys and girls for harem slaves as well as use the boys as eunich guards for the harem and soldiers for the Arab.  A famous painter named Leone Gerome painted a picture of an unfortunate girl captured and sold at an Arab slave trade.  The girl is naked in the picture.  I do not want to post this picture as children may view my site, but this picture's link is below.

I have tried to bring attention to this forgotten part of history through my books as I believe attention is needed.   Not only did the Irish have to deal with being attacked and sold as slaves, but once slavery was outlawed in America, they were often considered as "non-human" and less than a "dog" and discriminated against.  This is a history that needs to be revisted (both Irish Slave Trade and Arab Slave Trade and Irish discrimination in America) so that it is taught as part of the regular curriculum in the schools.  "Those that do not know their history are bound to repeat it."  I have traced the geneology of my Irish side back to the middle of the 19th century.  I do not know if my Irish side came to America as slaves or so-called indentured servants or if they were forced out during the contrived "potato famine" since I cannot find records of when they came to America originally.

By Rita Jean Moran (


Books on the Subject:

Christian Slaves Muslim Masters by Robert C. Davis

Cracker The Cracker Culture in Florida History by Dana Ste. Claire

White Cargo by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

They Were White and They Were Slaves by Michael A. Hoffman II

To Hell or Barbados by Sean O'Callaghan

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal was built by America to allow ships to pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean without having to travel around South America to get to the Pacific Ocean.  My grandfather, Lawrence Moran, worked on the Panama Canal.  The canal cuts across the country of Panama.  France had tried to build the canal but quit due to the disease of Malaria and hardships of the task.  America then took on the job in 1904 and did a very nice job.  The canal was built from 1880 to 1914.  In 1999, ownership of the canal was transferred to Panama.  The canal consists of artificial lakes and 3 channel locks.  The ships are raised high into the air and then lowered again as they cross through the Panama Canal.

You can read more about the Panama Canal in my 4th book, The Library Kids Talking Stones.

Here are some pictures of my grandfather (who was the electrical engineer for the generators of the canal), the generator room, and the canal (these pictures are copyrighted, please do not copy or use them):

Lawrence is the man on the right as you look at the picture.

The Generator Room

Panama Canal

By Rita Jean Moran (


Family Story

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pele - Hawaiian Volcano Goddess

Pele is an ancient goddess of Hawaii that is said to be responsible for the volcanic activity of the island.  She is a goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes.  There are many legends and stories about people on the island meeting a mysterious woman who may be young or old who is the goddess in disguise.  She is said to have been buried on an island off of Maui, but her spirit still roams the islands.  When I was in Hawaii, I was told that she mainly resides on the big island of Hawaii.  According to wikipedia:

In one version of the story, Pele is daughter of Kanehoalani and Haumea in the mystical land of Kuaihelani, a floating free land like Fata Morgana. Kuaihelani was in the region of Kahiki (Kukulu o Kahiki). She stays so close to her mother's fireplace with the fire-keeper Lono-makua. Her older sister Nā-maka-o-Kahaʻi, a sea goddess, fears that Pele's ambition would smother the home-land and drives Pele away. Kamohoali'i drives Pele south in a canoe called Honua-i-a-kea with her younger sister Hiʻiaka and with her brothers Ka-moho-aliʻi, Kane-milo-hai, Kane-apua, and arrives at the islets above Hawaii. There Kane-milo-hai is left on Mokupapapa, just a reef, to build it up in fitness for human residence. On Nihoa, 800 feet above the ocean she leaves Kane-apua after her visit to Lehua and crowning a wreath of kau-no'a. Pele feels sorry for her younger brother and picks him up again. Pele used the divining rod, Pa‘oa to pick her a new home. A group of chants tells of a pursuit by Namakaokaha'i and Pele is torn apart. Her bones, KaiwioPele form a hill on Kahikinui, while her spirit escaped to the island of Hawaiʻi.   (Pele & Hi'iaka A myth from HAwaii by Nathaniel B. Emerson)
Some of the other gods of Hawaii include (per wikipedia):

    • the four gods (ka hā) – Kū, Kāne, Lono, Kanaloa
    • the forty male gods or aspects of Kāne (ke kanahā)
    • the four Hundred gods and goddesses (ka lau)
    • the great Multitude of gods and goddesses (ke kini akua)
    • the spirits (na ʻunihipili)
    • the guardians (na ʻaumākua

The Kahunas of Hawaii were priests, magicians, sorcerers, and crafts people that had learned special knowledge or skills.  Kahunas were frowned upon after missionaries came to Hawaii; however, the Kahuna is coming back to the Hawaiians.

By Rita Jean Moran (


1895 8th Grade Graduation Test

I found a very interesting article regarding an 8th grade graduation test from Kansas.  Some say it was required to pass the 8th grade and some say it was not, but it looks like chances are, it was.  Could you pass this 8th grade graduation test, today?

April 13, 1895
J.W. Armstrong, County Superintendent.

Examinations at Salina, New Cambria, Gypsum City, Assaria, Falun, Bavaria, and District No. 74 (in Glendale Twp.)
Reading and Penmanship. - The Examination will be oral, and the Penmanship of Applicants will be graded from the manuscripts.
(Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case. Illustrate each case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7-10 Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
(Time, 1 ¼ hour)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weights 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. Per bu., deducting 1050 lbs for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 per cent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per m?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 per cent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
(Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whtney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.
(Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthogaphy, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret ãuä.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ãeä. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
(Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall, and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

1. Where are the saliva, gastric juice, and bile secreted? What is the use of each in digestion?
2. How does nutrition reach the circulation?
3. What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys?
4. How would you stop the flow of blood from an artery in the case of laceration?
5. Give some general directions that you think would be beneficial to preserve the human body in a state of health.


1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the dayâs session.
3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves
The following document was transcribed from the original document in the collection of the Smoky Valley Genealogy Society, Salina, Kansas. This test is the original eighth-grade final exam for 1895 from Salina, KS. An interesting note is the fact that the county students taking this test were allowed to take the test in the 7th grade, and if they did not pass the test at that time, they were allowed to re-take it again in the 8th grade.

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The answers to the questions can be found at this site:

 How did you do?

By Rita Jean Moran (