"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)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Super-Hero Founders

This past weekend marked the annual San Diego Comic-Con, a 4.5 day event that celebrates everything from  comic books, animation, and video games to blockbuster movies, television, and popular culture. The convention has grown exponentially since its supposed inception in the 1970s, but what most people don't realize is that comics (not so much video games and movies) have been around for centuries and that many of our founding fathers not only established the platform but in fact held early gatherings that inspired these now immensely popular culture events. For those of you who appreciate the medium, here are a few interesting facts to throw out next time some football player pushes you around before gym class that will really make him feel stupid:*

1) Thomas Paine was a well known comic book artist, or "pamphleteer" as they were called in the 18th century. In addition to a cartoon version of Common Sense, he also published several seminal works for the medium including a series of adventures starring Benjamin Franklin and the Kool-Aid Man. 

2) George Washington, though not an avid collector himself, was also quite often illustrated in several comic book series during his life and after his death. His habit of wearing a cape into battle (and at most public appearances) is led to the popularization of capes among the superheroes of the golden age of comics including Superman, Batman, and Lt. "Hop" Harrigan aka The Black Lamp.

3) Prominent among early comic book collectors and boasting a collection of over 46 cartoon pamphlets (there were only 63 in circulation at the time of his death) was none other than Alexander Hamilton. Records indicate that he periodically hosted a monthly meeting that history books dub "The Super Best Patriot Friends League," consisting of himself, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and Stan Lee. The meetings ended in 1804 when Burr shot Hamilton over an argument involving a creased page in a limited edition Thomas Paine pamphlet. Stan Lee also turned out to be an ageless superhero himself and went on to found Marvel Comics, a major publisher that still exists today.

So there you have it true believers! Comics, like most of our current culture, were originally a creation of those patriotic heroes we call the Founding Fathers. 

Until next time, Excelsior!
The Lost and Founders

*Warning - if you are a small person prone to being picked on, do not mention any of these facts to a high-school bully or you will probably be mocked forever. Instead, take them to heart and use them to advance your status among other comic book collectors when you get to college.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Liberty and Beer

We all remember Sam Adam's famous words about brewing from our earlier post. Finally we have a brewery that recognizes the greatness of Liberty and makes ales that support it.

We would like to turn your attention to The 21st Amendment Brewery.

With beers such as Brew Free or Die IPA and Fireside Chats they show support and respect to all of American history ranging from Patrick Henry to FDR. Thank you 21st Amendment, Thank you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Founders look to Google+ to save the Revolutionary War

When members of the Second Continental Congress found out that Mark Zuckerberg was tracking and selling their Facebook account information to the King of England, they knew a change must be made in order to protect Revolutionary War secrets. Although the Second Continental Congress had made sure to place King George III on limited profile, they knew something was up when two hours after creating a secret event for “The Boston Tea Partay”, George III changed his status to “Intolerable Act #1, Boston ‘bout to get teabagged.”

The next day Peyton Randolph, president of the Second Continental Congress, called an emergency meeting to discuss England’s infiltration of their Facebook account. Benjamin Franklin suggested they procure small birds to follow each Congressman around and communicate important messages via tweets. Thomas Jefferson immediately shot down the idea, pointing out that it would be too easy for the birds to be followed by undercover birds from England. There was also the danger of a bird retweeting a top secret message to the entire tweeting community.

Later that day Adams brought in a new copy of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense pamphlet, delegate Jefferson stood up and shouted “I approve of this!,” and instantly the original Google+ feature was created.

After several more weeks of brainstorming, though the Congressmen were elated by their newfound ability to comment on each others' statuses, they decided they still could not solve the security dilemma on their own so they called Larry Page and Eric Schmidt at Google and asked for help. With their own vendetta against Zuckerberg, Page and Schmidt were excited to work with the Founders on using Jefferson's +1 idea to create the first edition of Google+ that would rival Facebook. This new invention allowed members of the Second Continental Congress to create a private circle in which to discuss matters of the War. And to throw off the King, they started hangouts and allowed him to drop in on supposed battle planning. Little did George III know that the real battle planning took place inside the protected circle of the Second Continental Congress.