Monday, February 19, 2007

Simon Bolivar in Alaska

I've been studying WWII, and I found that at one point, Japan seized control of Attu and Kiska, two places you've never heard of. These are islands on the Alaskan Aleutian archipelago. Although this was very briefly mentioned in my textbook, The American Pageant, I decided to delve upon this issue, because it seemed to contradict the widely-held claim that the last battle on American soil was during the Civil War. It infact, does. Known as the "Forgotten Battle" (it happened at the same time as the Battle of Guadalcanal), no wonder I've never heard this theory before. I think I just pulled a Howard Zinn - I made a discovery that opposes popular opinion! It feels good. Then again, perhaps I am wrong, because this was more like American snow.

As a self-proclaimed nerd, I also found this even more interesting because a while back, while reseraching Simon Bolivar, I read that a Confederate general was named after him: Simon Bolivar Buckner, who was famous for losing Fort Donelson to Grant, another figure I've researched. It turns out that Simon Bolivar Buckner's son, Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., a commander as well, was a brigadier general of the Aleutian campaign, who helped to retake Attu and Kiska. Even creepier, I found the Buckner official family website:

I love finding completely random connections.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


"My deeply held belief is that if a god anything like the traditional sort exists, our curiosity and intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts... if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves." -Carl Sagan

I want to thank my girlfriend for being so patient with me. She gives me space when I need it, and completely understands. But besides that, she's patient because I'm really stubborn. Last night we got into another philosophical discussion; this time about the ubiquitously moot topic of evolution and religion. She claimed that we owe our complex emotions all to the Omnipotent. And although I tried to explain that our dispositions are derived from our will to survive, and that everything else is just a "side effect," she did bring up a nice point.

I thought Mr. Sagan said something that would make her happy.