June 28, 2017

Historian makes US Postal Service relevant again–For me at least

Historian makes US Postal Service relevant again

On Facebook Wednesday in Dallas, Texas, columnist James Ragland was writing about the latest news involving the US Postal Service and how they’re going to remain open on Saturdays now that Congress has basically flat told them they’re not going to be closing.

Friend and Dallas Morning News Columnist James Ragland

Friend and Dallas Morning News Columnist James Ragland

“So, the U.S. Postal Service plans to keep delivering mail on Saturdays, after all.
“Yawn.
“I’m yawning because, quite frankly, all I get in the mail these days are solicitations and bills. And more bills.
“Few and far between are the nice handwritten letters I used to get from friends and relatives, thanks to texts, emails and all the other high-tech-hellos/how-are-yous.
“Nothing wrong with the trendy evites, sweet tweets or fruitful ‘friends’ requests, per se. But I do miss the old-fashioned, hard-to-read cursive charms that once filled my box.
“OK, ‘filled’ is a bit of a stretch, but I once upon a time got enough letters and personalized cards to make me feel mighty missed and possibly loved.”

I say all this to set up the facts of the situation. Through this foray into amateur Archaeoastronomy I’ve had the great pleasure to become friends with two wonderful Egyptologists and geo-wizards from London–Hannah Pethen Barrett, whom you’ve all met through her videos previously posted here on The Wonders Expedition, and her pal, Liz Jones. (Liz is the geo-wizard sporting high-tech GPS oriented survey equipment and lots of terms dropped into the Twitterverse that I do not and likely won’t ever understand.)

Back to the story at hand: Today I checked the mailbox, done so in much the same way described by my friend James above.  And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a white square envelope, cursive handwriting, and an unusual blue sticker with “By Air Mail par avion Royal Mail” on it!  Turning the card over to the back were the letters “From: E.A. Jones.”  (The salutation at the end was from Liz and her manly man, Stu–an adventurous Englishman in his own right.)

My Easter Card from Liz Jones

My Easter Card from Liz Jones

Inside was a delightful Easter card with best wishes coming “from across the pond!  I hope spring has sprung for you guys–it’s miserable here!”

How fun, special and unique.

“Hopping” back to what James was writing yesterday, “The romantic philatelist in me also enjoyed inspecting the stamps on personal letters and wondering if they carried a subtle message, like a single red rose against a backdrop of weeds.
Sigh…”

I’m happy to share with you the stamps that came on the outside, and a special one Liz attached to the inside of the card.

Fun Stamp from England

Fun Stamp from England

Beautiful Stamp from England

Beautiful Stamp from England

And so, friends, on both sides of the pond and around the globe as well, I hope you can sense the joy and excitement of having received a real card for a change–A card that’s traveled through many hands, thousands of miles and across the Atlantic Ocean just to get to me and my daughters.

It probably only took Liz a moment or two to pen the card and likely she’s not been pining away on her latest adventures wondering what’s become of it, but for me, it has incredible value because a friend of mine, one I’ve never met in person mind you, cared enough to do something so few of us even think about any longer.

Who could you send a card or letter to and make their day?

Trust me. This one’s going on display for a while and then it’s going to be tucked away in a drawer for some dreary day in days to come when I’m cleaning up or moving again and I’m going to sit and stop and remember the excitement of seeing what all was inside.

How’s that eCard you got the other day holding up?

And so, James, as you ended yesterday, yes, I’ve still got mail, and I’m quite the better for it.

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Maya Myth Moment–The Accuracy of the Mayan Calendar

Maya Myth Moment–The Accuracy of the Mayan Calendar

On today’s installment of the Maya Myth Moment, written after what was supposed to be the end of our days–or we’re now in the Bliss Out if you’re a New Ager, Dr. Mark Van Stone talks about the accuracy of the Maya Calendar.  (Notice we say Maya, not Mayan. It’s Mayan in the headline only for SEO purposes.  Maya Calendar is actually the correct term….)

The REAL Maya Calendar

The REAL Maya Calendar

So was the Maya Calender more precise than the one we use today?  Were they better time keepers?  If so, would that add validity to their claims and prophecy? But what prophecy are you referring to?

The whole premise around today being a significant day to the Maya was that their calendar was going to reach 13.0.0.0.0 today.  It’s going to roll over like the odometer in your car and keep on going, hopefully.  If we are dealt some end today, it’s not going to be because of something the Maya predicted or said or left behind.

Besides, if the world was going to end according to all the hubbub, it would have happened at 6:11 a.m. EST or 11:11 UTC this morning…. about three hours ago now and we’re all still here…..

We invite you to learn more about the Maya by checking our Dr. Van Stone’s book for iPad–2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  It has tons more information in it about these amazing and fascinating people.  You’ll really get a good education about those whole 2012 meme.

And please bookmark our site, TheWondersExpedition.com.  We’ve got some great new adventure information coming just around the corner……

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Maya Myth Moment–Only 1 Percent Known

Maya Myth Moment–Only 1 Percent Known

In today’s update, Dr. Mark Van Stone talks about how little we actually know about the ancient Maya–only 1 percent, but most estimates, is all we’ve yet uncovered.  And yet the Internet, modern folk lore, New Age beliefs and all have rushed in like water in a pit to fill us the space of what we don’t know with what isn’t even fact.

2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya now available for iPad at MVS2012.com.

And that goes to the problem associated with the whole 2012 Meme.  So little actually has survived the passage of time, and what has, reflects so little on the ending of the world tomorrow based on the assumption of the end of the Maya calendar. And it’s largely done without much fact at all, as we have worked to demonstrate over the past 30 days here on The Wonders Expedition.

We encourage you to keep studying the Maya after tomorrow’s calendar end.  They were a fascinating people.

In Dr. Van Stone’s book for iPad, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, you can continue to learn about who the real Maya were and help gain an understanding of how to read their writings, how to study their art and how to better know this amazing group of people who once reigned in Mesoamerica.

Please, come back to TheWondersExpedition.com. We’ve got some exciting adventures just around the corner now that we’ve all but finished this 2012 Meme. It’s time for some new adventures and we want to bring you along…..

In the meantime, please do check out our book for iPad we made with Dr. Van Stone by visiting MVS2012.com.

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Maya Myth Moment–Who Were The Maya

Maya Myth Moment–Who Were The Maya

Today’s Maya Myth Moment includes Dr. Mark Van Stone and a video excerpt from 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya from our book for iPad.

In this video, Dr. Van Stone discusses who the Maya really were.  Some of the issues they faced, and how we’ve projected upon them things from our modern day perspective they couldn’t have possibly known about more than 1,000 years ago.

As we continue to countdown to Dec. 21, 2012, check out our book for iPad on the Maya.  Visit MVS2012.com for more information. You will five 53 videos, including this one, where Dr. Van Stone and 14 other Maya scholars serve to educate the public about who these people really were and to dispel much of the nonsense that has been generated around them.

Maya Myth Moment–The Making of the 2012 Meme

Maya Myth Moment–The Making of the 2012 Meme

So how did all this talk of a disaster on Dec. 21, 2012 even begin?  Today we turn to University of Kansas Professor Dr. John Hoopes, who previously traced the origins back to Christopher Columbusdiscovery of the New World, talks about the academic process and how early assumptions and interpretations were made “without all the data” and once more information was gathered, the previous assumptions were discarded by scientists, but latched onto by junk scientists and basically the whole of the Internet.

Is there anything we can learn from all this as we continue to explore the jungles of Mesoamericalooking for new information?  Have scientists done a better job over the last few decades of waiting to release interpretations of the finds?

Columbus Before the Queen.

Columbus Before the Queen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re three days away from Dec. 21, 2012.  If you want to learn more about who the Maya really were, we encourage you to follow the link to MVS2012.com and check out Dr. Mark Van Stone’s book for iPad, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  It’s full of 53 videos from 15 Maya scholars, hundreds of interactive photos, drawings and illustrations, and even some amazing 3D Maya masks.  Use this whole 2012 Meme as a teachable moment, whether for yourself, your children, class, or co-workers.

As we talked with the scholars who are in our book, almost all of them expressed a hope that because of the attention of Dec. 21, 2012, on the Maya, there will be a whole new generation inspired to study this amazing group of people who once had a mighty civilization here in the New World long before its discovery from European travelers.

 

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Maya Myth Moment–The Visual Galactic Alignment Dec 21 2012

 Maya Myth Moment–The Visual Galactic Alignment Dec 21 2012

This purposely isn’t the clearest video we could offer you of the Galactic Alignment Dec 21 2012, (We really would like you to visit MVS2012.com and buy our book for the iPad and learn a whole lot more for a mere $14.99) but we offer it nonetheless to help demonstrate a couple of important factors as we approach four days before the fated day in question.

There are multiple points wrong with the announcement from some that the planet is going to align with the Galactic Center this month.

The Galactic Center

The Galactic Center (Photo credit: NASAblueshift)

For starters, it’s very hard to even see from earth with today’s modern electronic advancements.  It would have been even harder 1,200 years ago.

Second of all, as shown in this drawing developed by Dr. Mark Van Stone, the author of our book, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, we’re actually going to miss the Galactic Center by about three degrees.

But it makes for a great junk science concept and it has surely stirred the hearts of many.

Check out our video, then check it out in Retina screen quality graphics, along with 53 videos from 15 Maya scholars all who know very much what they’re talking about–describing and informing us all about the REAL Maya, not the nonsense you’re seeing on some of the TV shows on cable TV.

 

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Maya Myth Moment–The Maya Collapse

Main temple in Xunantunich, a maya site in Belize

Main temple in Xunantunich, a maya site in Belize (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maya Myth Moment–The Maya Collapse

In today’s post and video, Dr. Jaime Awe, director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, discusses one of the most heated theories in archaeology.

As we approach the last five days before Dec. 21, 2012, we want to get further away from the nonsense about what is going to happen and talk about some of the important things that actually did so that we as a society all can learn from this experience, not be frightened by it. Part of our additional concern is that because of all the hype that’s been generated about Dec. 21, 2012, people are going to thumb their noses at hearing the important messages here–that there also are some important lessons we should be learning from the Maya.

Watch Dr. Awe, and then go to MVS2012.c0m and check out our book for iPad. Dr. Awe, Dr. Mark Van Stone and 13 other Maya scholars from around the world are in our one-of-a-kind book for iPad that will help educate you, your children or anyone you may know still worried about the next five days that there is little to fear, and much to learn about a very incredibly developed and fascinating people whose civilization rose to great power and then collapsed into the jungles of Mesoamerica to largely be forgotten about over time.

 

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Maya Myth Moment–Cyclic Time

English: Mayan numerals 6 Deutsch: Maya-Zahl 6...

English: Mayan numerals 6 Deutsch: Maya-Zahl 6 Македонски: Мајански бројки 6 Plattdüütsch: Maya-Tall 6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Maryland Senior Lecturer John B. Carlson is the feature of our Maya Myth Moment today as he discusses the knowledge the Maya had of the movement of the planets, the earth and cyclic time.  He also discusses the aspects of how much of the Maya knowledge we still have today and estimates of how much has been lost to the ages.

Part of the problem that’s stirred the Maya Meme is the fact that so much information IS missing.  And in the absence of such, that’s when the opportunity exists to fill in and make up information to fill in the gaps. That’s what leads to wild stories of doomsday predictions and bliss outs in just six more days….

 

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Maya Myth Moment–Destruction in the Popol Vuh

Maya Myth Moment–Destruction in the Popol Vuh

Editor’s Note: Apparently, the Maya didn’t predict the rise of a stomach virus here in Dallas either.  We’re a day behind but will make it all up Friday.

Today’s Maya Myth Moment features Dr. Barb MacLeod talking about the differences in the use of descriptions about destruction in the Maya creation stories of the Popol Vuh and how they’re different in stone monuments. She also elaborates about their understanding of cycles, which is critical to understanding what the may have or may not have expected with the coming 13.0.0.0.0 end.

If you’re in Dallas, Texas, we encourage you to watch tonight’s 10 p.m. airing of WFAA Channel 8’s newscast with Robecca Lopez, who will be reporting on our book for iPad made by Claxton Creative with Dr. Mark Van Stone.  Once we have a link to the story, we’ll also share it here.

 

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Maya Myth Moment–Yelling Fire In A Crowded Movie House

Maya Relief of Royal Blood Letting

Maya Relief of Royal Blood Letting (Photo credit: vintagedept)

Today’s Maya Myth Moment–Yelling Fire In A Crowded Movie House

Dr. John Hoopes from the University of Kansas is celebrating a birthday today, but he’s also the subject of our Maya Myth Moment and talking about what might happen on Dec. 21, 2012 because there is so much hype and anticipation that’s been built up about the upcoming day.

We have used these past days to help educate the public that there is little to fear in relation to the coming December Solstice as it relates to the ancient Maya.

Are your kids hearing you talk about the doomsday prophecies and in turn, scaring your kids about it?

What predictions are you making for the day? What preparations have you made?  Are you making any preparations?

Oh, and don’t forget to wish Dr. Hoopes a happy birthday!

 

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