It was on this day, exactly 233 years ago, our country, then just a loose confederation of rebellious English colonies, officially declared its soveriegnity from the British Crown. On that historic day, fifty-five delegates from across the Eastern Seaboard convened in Philadelphia to sign their marks on one of the United States' most cherished documents. By then, the point of no return had been crossed. Had these independent minded men lost the war, they, in the words of the main character in the movie National Treasure, "would have been shot, hanged, and, my personal favorite, had their entrails cut out and burned." But, as most people know, this was not the case, and these thirteen colonies became a new nation, a beacon of freedom to all the people of the world and an ominous symbol to the monarchs of Europe.
It is today that many Americans go out and watch fireworks and eat grilled hotdogs, all in celebration of the signing of a document of succession (and due to the desire to eat hotdogs and gaze at fireballs in the sky, of course.), but other practices are, well, practiced. Some just laze around and watch movies from the 80's and early 90's. Others go out to eat a nice sit down meal. Still others just salute the flag.
My fellow Americans, whether at home, in the trenches, or simply living peacefully in other countries, I wish you a Happy 4th. We may be citizen of a country with a hell of a lot of issues, but it's still ours.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Doctor Logic for pointing out something about Multiverse Theory that was discussed in Paul Davies' book The Goldilocks Enigma, which spurred me to find the article I will post in this entry.
Multiverse theory holds that there are other universes besides this one. The drawback, according to this article, is that, if there are many, many universes, then some may have intelligent life, and some of those will possibly have the technology to create virtual realities. Since this is possible, our universe, given the truth of multiverse theory, could be a real life Matrix.
One of the greatest unsolved, and perhaps unsolvable, mysteries of all on the internet today is the correct pronunciation of one of the most famous names in all of horror and science fiction. That mystery is the correct pronunciation of "Cthulhu."
Let's start off with the basics. The first question one would most likely ask is this: "who or what the heck is Cthulhu?" And with that, we begin.
Cthulhu is a fictional being created by the writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft, a man widely considered by many readers to be the undisputed king of horror and the macabre. In the stories, Cthulhu is a high priest of an incredibly powerful alien race called the Great Old Ones, who, along with Cthulhu himself, are worshipped as gods by various cults around the world and beyond. They came from other planets and dimensions to Earth. Later, they went to sleep in the underwater city of R'lyeh. When Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones awaken from their slumber, a time when "the stars are right," they will rise to take their place as rulers of Earth, regardless of whether the human race will perish in the process.
Now that that is out of the way, we can concentrate on what really matters in the grand scheme of things: how to pronounce a fictional entity's name in the correct fashion. However, there is no simple, clear cut answer. According to H.P. Lovecraft, the correct way of pronouncing "Cthulhu" is in the language of the Great Old Ones, which is incompatible with the speech of humans. Therefore, the closest we can get to the correct is a mere approximation. According to Lovecraft, "Cthulhu" is pronounced Khlûl'-hloo. However, even this may not be correct, considering that Lovecraft was quite inconsistent with the pronounciation of the name of his most famous creation.
The mystery of the correct pronunciation of Cthulhu's name may never be solved, but that does not mean the mystery is bad or evil in any way. On the contrary, it provides nerds from all corners of the internet a topic to argue about with each other. It makes us... okay, you got me, that's pretty much all I can think of, and it's more neutral than good or bad. But at least some of you have learned something new, ay?
Obama's stimulus package, which is in the congressional phase and is being debated as this is being written, is one that is in possession of grand ambitions. It offers trillions of dollars to at least save 3.4 million jobs. Money will go to such projects as repairing roads and "greenifying" our energy. It also includes grants to modernize our healthcare system by electronically storing our records. Money will be given to the U.S.'s public education system to prevent closures, cutbacks, and to repair school buildings and build new ones if this plan is enacted as is, at least from what this blogger last heard.
But the infrastructural provisions of the bill aside, the question of whether it will work arises.
The author of this post trusts that its readers have been to various stores at least once in their lives. Shoppers notice that there is a little label on many products; a label that states not that it is dolphin safe (well, unless maybe if it's a tuna can) or that the toy will not give children nightmare until they need therapy, but a label telling the shopper where the product was produced. The most common ones say that the inanimate commodity was made in China or Taiwan, with some saying they were made in India or Mexico.
"So what will happen if Obama's plan, one created in a country that has lost much of its industrial base, passes," asks some. The result is fairly obvious. Much of the money is going to be inserted into the paychecks of industrial companies, many of which will probably be foreign. Would it not be better to create a bill that will enhance America's industrial base and keep a maximum amount of tax dollars in their homeland?
I appreciate any feedback, critical or not. Maybe we can get a discussion off the ground.