"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Words of Wisdom from Ben Franklin

As we've mentioned in the past, we like to start our week at the Lost and Founders office with at least one quote from the great Benjamin Franklin. We use it a guide throughout the week to make sure we stay on track with the message of the Founders and as a reminder of the relevance of history. Below are a few of the timeless sayings we've been mulling over in recent weeks - we strongly encourage any like-minded history buffs to make one of these your motto for this week and ponder Franklin's words as you go about your daily activities:

- A good conscience is a continual Christmas where all you get is coal in your stocking.

- A house is not a home unless it contains four walls and a place to relieve oneself of waste. Without these things your sims will never do anything but whine and jump around. 

- Admiration is the daughter of ignorance. Diligence is the mother of good luck. Satisfaction is the bastard son of beer and loose women. 

- All mankind is divided into three classes: those that like reality programming, those that hate reality programming, and those that are too smug to give reality programming a chance.

- Beauty and free stuff are old companions.

- Beware the hobby that eats. They hunt during the hours of 2-3AM, and can empty a chicken coup faster than a starved coyote.

- Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to trick them into a false sense of complacency. 

- Eat to please thyself, but dress to please the ladies. 

- Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five, and until we agree on a proper method of disposal our society will continue to struggle with the rising undead. 

- Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. What man must do is spend lots of money on delightful things, for only then may the fruits of a large coinpurse become fully ripened.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Founding Fathers and the First Day of Summer

It's been a few days since we sat down to write a post and here's why - today marks the official first day of the summer season for 2011, and we have spent the last week preparing for the traditional celebrations set forth from our founding fathers. Countless civilizations have performed rituals and festivals in honor of the summer solstice throughout history, though none of them matched the flair and bravado of the early United States of America. Given that even in its early days America was considered a melting pot of peoples and beliefs, the founding fathers thought it important to celebrate as many traditions as possible in order to ensure a long and fruitful summer season.

Several weeks would typically go into the planning of Solstice Day, which in fact was the 11th official holiday to be considered after the nation's founding. We here at Lost and Founders take great care each year in performing a historically accurate celebration, and so today now that our preparations are complete we thought it would be enlightening to share a list of the typical traditions kept by the Founders on this auspicious day in case our readers would like to do their own historic celebrations.

Founding Father's Summer Solstice Traditions and Fun Facts:

- The founding fathers would go into the woods and sing songs of merriment on Solstice Eve, staying up all night so that they could welcome the dawn. If anyone fell asleep, silly faces were drawn all over him with quill pens and he was dubbed a "Moon Man" for the day.

- At dawn, the continental congress would light 13 bonfires to provide the sun with a boost of energy. Each bonfire represented one of the original colonies and all were kept lit throughout the day with sticks and small moon effigies made of wax and tinder.

- Countless weddings took place on Solstice Day as it was considered lucky. Many couples met for the first time and married each other that same day due to the influence of the celebratory honey mead that everyone drank in large quantities. This is in fact how notorious bachelor John Hancock finally tied the knot and such events were also the beginning of the infamous "vegas weddings" that rose again to popularity in 1964.

- Colonists would wear garlands of flowers and herbs all day to ward away evil spirits that were said to be common on Solstice Day. For supper the herbs were baked into mince pies and served for evening festivals in order to ward away any spirits that may have gotten into the food.

- George Washington was one of many often known to jump over bonfires, believing that crops would grow as high as he jumped. Whether this actually helped or not has never been proven.

- Benjamin Franklin invented lemonade on one particular Solstice Day by combining lemons, sugar, and honey mead. He proclaimed his famous words "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander lemonade, for that's the stuff life is made of." After that year, lemonade became the official drink of summer.

- No walking was allowed on Solstice Day - everyone was required to either dance or skip when going from one place to another. Skipping was generally the preferred method of movement.

- Fireworks were common in the late evenings and were thrown into the remnants of the bonfires in order to keep the "sun" going in the night sky. Our now common tradition of shooting fireworks on Independence Day actually evolved from the solstice tradition.

Happy Solstice from the Lost and Founders and we wish you the best in keeping history alive!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paul and Palin - Correcting Mistakes

The media is still up in arms about Sarah Palin's comments last week regarding the historic ride of one Paul Revere. If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at the video below:

Clearly, it seems a history lesson is in order and we here at Lost and Founders are happy to oblige. Just how accurate or inaccurate where Palin's comments you ask? Read for yourself:

The night of April 18th, 1775 was in fact the 2nd ride of Paul Revere. The first happened days earlier in which he mounted a horse for the first time in his life in order to ride to Lexington to inform John Hancock and Samual Adams of the recent movements of the British and their inevitable assault on Concord.

After that meeting, Revere instructed a man named Robert Newman back in Boston to send a signal to the people of Charlestown across the river to alert them of how the British would be attacking. One lantern in the church tower meant they would be moving by land from the south, and two lanterns meant they were crossing  a RIVER (not the sea) north of Charlestown.

When the signal was lit that night, so were the flames under the heels of Revere's horse as he began his 2nd ride (ever)  from Boston, this time to Concord. Here is where Palin really messed up. As he rode, Revere notified patriots along the path to give them time to prepare. He did not fire any guns as Palin suggests; in fact Paul Revere was a terrible shot and refused to carry a gun for fear that he would accidentally hit a child. He also did not ring any bells, which were not even invented until a year later in Philadelphia. He also most certainly did not warn any British soldiers that they themselves were coming, though he did shout insults at one that tried to apprehend him just outside Charlestown but who foolishly got his horse stuck in some mud (I have never understood British humor).

Contrary to popular belief, Revere in fact never made it to Concord that night - he actually got as far as Lexington again and was able to alert Hancock and Adams once more, but was captured by British soldiers on the way out of town thanks to a devious British company who moved the road signs and led Revere into a trap. He fought valiantly, managing to beat down no less than 17 of his attackers with a rock and stick (which later became the symbol of the Rock and Stick Society in Boston), but was eventually knocked unconscious and tied up.

After being questioned and held at gunpoint for hours back in Lexington, gunshots were heard from all directions that signified the start of the Battle of Lexington. In the midst of the chaos, Revere managed to escape. He and his fellow riders William Dawes and Sam Prescott did not become recognized heroes until after their deaths, but indeed their contributions at the onset of the Revolutionary War were incredibly heroic and crucial in keeping the leaders of the Sons of Liberty and the giant cache of ammo kept at Concord out of British hands.

So there you have it once again - the true story of one of our country's founding moments, no thanks to Sarah Palin. We will not speculate on whether her foible was simply a slip of the tongue, a lack of education, or something more sinister. Further shame on her supporters for actually trying to revise the wikipedia page of Paul Revere to be more in line with her statement. As true historians we feel there is never an excuse to re-write history to suit one's needs (unless its to save the future by changing the past in some sort of Back to the Future/Terminator scenario).

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Abe Lincoln Day 5: Beyond the Veil

April 16, 1865 - the nation was mourning the loss of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln after the cowardly actions of a two-bit actor who thought he was taking a stand. It was truly one of our darkest days. But before you begin shedding tears in 2011, we'd like to close out Lincoln Week here at Lost and Founders with one of the most well-guarded secrets in American History that might just bring a smile to a few faces - Abraham Lincoln did not die in 1865. In fact, we're pretty sure he's still kicking now.

April 14th, Ford's theater - Lincoln attends the play "Our American Cousin," knowing full well what will take place that fateful night thanks to a visit to the Oracle six months prior. Still, he calmly sits in the president's booth and enjoys the show, waiting patiently for the man sneaking up the stairs behind him who with a single shot will ignite the nation to finally put down their own arms after years of bitter Civil War.

April 15th, Petersen House - across the street from Ford's Theater, doctor's cared for a mortally wounded Lincoln. At 7:54AM, an enormous eagle was spotted flying over the house. At 7:55AM, the elves arrived to take Lincoln beyond the veil.

It was true that Lincoln was fatally shot as the Oracle predicted. It had to happen in order for the nation to recover from the Civil War. Lincoln knew this, and also knew that if he stayed in America he would no doubt have to die. Though he was prepared for this, very few members of his cabinet knew that he had been visited weeks earlier by a contingent of the elven people who watch the movements of the human race from the other side of an invisible boundary that keeps the magic of their world from spilling into our own. According to the only account that remains from the encounter, the elves admired Lincoln's efforts to abolish slavery during the Civil War and granted him passage to their world where he would be able to live an unnaturally long life outside of time. This gift would be given on Lincoln's deathbed, as was the custom in the days of olde.

So at 7:55AM, as doctors pronounced the president dead to world, they also swore themselves to secrecy about the truth as the elves carried the injured hero through an alley behind Petersen House and down to the Potomac River, where a ship awaited to take the party across the Veil.

It is said that as the horizon began to shift and the Veil opened for the ship to pass, Lincoln awoke, smiled at the sparse handful of onlookers, and said his most comforting words "I'll be back when you need me." Then he was gone.

So there you have it. The true story of one of our country's greatest heroes. Numerous historical accounts have place Lincoln at the scene of several events after 1865, which lends itself to the obvious conclusion that Lincoln not only survived the assassination attempt, but in fact made a full recovery and used the magic of the elves to return and help the American people when needed. So be vigilant readers! And take heart that the next time you see an absurdly tall cone-headed man in a stove-pipe hat doing a good deed, it just might be the real deal.

We hope you have enjoyed Lincoln Week and maybe even learned a little something. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Abe Lincoln Day 4: Vampire Killing - On why Abraham Lincoln supports Team Jacob

We here at Lost and Founders like to acknowledge when others have done great work. We realize that we don't have a monopoly on good historical research, as such, this piece is far less about our work and more about the work of  Seth Grahame Smith. Recently Mr. Smith just published the novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

For those of you that are incapable of reading, you will likely have trouble navigating this site. Luckily though, the story of Abraham Lincoln and his Vampire Hunting will not be lost to you as they will soon be coming out with a movie. As of yet, they have a preview for your viewing pleasure:

In addition to the preview they have also created a mini-documentary to help inform people of the truth of Lincoln's Vampire Killing.

The research that Mr. Smith also speaks to Lincoln's prowess as a cage fighter within the DC Fight Club. As we all know it takes silver stakes, garlic or holy water to kill Vampires, as such it is no surprise that he pushed for the use of weapons in the fight club. Additionally, if you can remember our post from Day 1, Lincoln was well known for his mixed-martial arts. We all know that Vampires are hella fast, but let's be honest no one is too fast to get out of an arm bar.

Read it, watch it, and most importantly give thanks to Mr. Lincoln for killing those vampires. Team Jacob for Life!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Abe Lincoln Day 3: On the Origin of the Stove Pipe Hat

Anyone who has made it to at least the 4th grade has seen a picture of Abe Lincoln and his famous stove-pipe hat. In fact, it is extremely rare to see a picture of him WITHOUT the famous headwear after he reached his mid forties. To the layman, this oddity might go unnoticed, but in reality there is a well-kept secret as to why so few pictures of an un-covered Abe exist after 1845. 

The truth? Abe Lincoln was a conehead.

You read that right - our 16th president was actually the second of three US leaders since America's founding to have alien parentage. Unique to Lincoln's case however was that it was his father Thomas Lincoln who was the alien, which of course caused the conehead gene to pass to ol' Abe and subsequently caused the distinctive cone-bone to develop in his later years as shown in the rare photograph below. To clarify, this picture suggests that all non-conehead pictures of Lincoln taken after 1845 are in fact completely fabricated for political reasons. To keep the need for fakery to a minimum while avoiding political controversy, during his mid 30's when the cone became prominent Lincoln chose to don his trademark cap whenever caught in the public eye (cone-heads were very rare in the 1840's and Lincoln's political campaign felt it best to maintain an image of status-quo).

Ironic that in a nation that was at the time extremely torn over issues of ethnicity, the future president who played a critical role in ending the abhorrent practice of slavery was in fact himself a minority. It's unfortunate to think that if this had been widely known at the time, Lincoln may not have gained the political traction that allowed him to take his stand. However, it is also quite fascinating to realize that the same heritage that could have potentially held him back was very likely a key factor in why Lincoln so staunchly supported equality for all people. Truly he was an American hero.

To confirm, Abraham Lincoln was NOT an alien, and he WAS in fact born in the United States. His father was an alien who was born on the planet Remulak and later moved to Kentucky, Earth, to start a human family.