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Showing posts from March, 2008

The Tempel Riddare Ordens

While wondering around Stockholm, I found a building that had what appeared to be Scottish Rite symbols on its entrance.



It is the home of the Tempel Riddare Ordens in Stockholm. Of course, wikipedia had the anwer. It turns out that this is an organization that probably has Masonic roots and was founded in the United States in 1845 as part of the temperance movement. It was originally known as the "Marshall Temperance Fraternity" and promoted complete abstinence from alchoholic beverages. It now exists only in Scandanavia and is know as Tempel Riddare Ordens.

Another Masonic tie: From the Charge of the Entered Apprentice Degree:

"... and [a duty] to yourself, in avoiding all irregularity and intemperance, which may impair your faculties, or debase the dignity of your profession. ..."

Stockholm Business of the Week

This week's Business of the Week is:

Nirvana Design Group



Where you can get:



Now, this is an awesome place to work! Web design, fashion, photography, and kite surfing all in one place! Talk about one stop shopping!

And speaking of kite surfing, here's a few kite surfers in Tel Aviv, about this time last year.


Google Visualization API: Gotchas

Updated March 26, 2008 12:37 PM CMT
I'm coming up to speed on the new Google Visualization APIs this week like a lot of other people. As I'm working through my new application that uses this API and Google Docs spreadsheets, I'm running into some issues that aren't covered in the online documentation for the API. I'll post those issues along with their resolution here, so if you run into problems, this is a good place to look. If you run into problems that aren't covered, please add them to the comments section. Of course, the first place to look if you run into issues is on the Google Visualization API Group.

Column labels don't work like you might think they should
Throughout the Query Language Reference the examples use the labels from the following table:
name
string
dept
string
lunchTime
timeofday
salary
number
hireDate
date
age
number
isSenior
boolean
seniorityStartTime
datetime
JohnEng12:00:0010002005-03-1935true2007-12-02 15:56:00DaveEng12:00:005002006-04-1927fals…

Samothraki: Day 3

Day 1Day 2

The third day in Samothraki, I took off on a tour around the Eastern edge of the island. The variety of sights within a small space is stunning. I visited an ancient temple site overlooking the ocean, hiked in the mountains to an idyllic, deserted waterfall, and wondered around a black pebbled beach!



I've written previously about the The Temple of the Great Gods, so I won't add too much. The site is amazingly well preserved considering that Alexander the Great's parents met here. The statue of 'Winged Victory' that is now on display at the Louvre was found here. By the way, France and England, the folks in Greece would like their stuff back.



A short ride from the temple and into the hills behind Θερμα, brings you into a dense forest on the mountainside. You can hike back in to a series of waterfalls. I only went up to the first one. In the off-season, the area was completely deserted except for a few goats.



A ride east and then south along the eastern c…

Masonic School? No. Masonic King? Yes.

Yesterday, I added a little curiosity entry about a school I came across in Stockholm. The northern side of the school was emblazoned with what appeared to be several Masonic symbols. I wondered what it was, so I did a little digging, and here's what I found.



First, here are references to the sources:
Symbols of Growth: The Decoration of Swedish Schools 1890-1920 from Article 4, Inferno Volume VIII, 2003 1
THE SWEDISH CONSTITUTION, Nordic Esotericism in Baroque Splendour by W.Bro Alex G. Davidson
The school pictured is the Adolf Fredrick Folkskola. The school and the symbols are mentioned in the 'Decoration' article:
"The towering north edifice is emblazoned with blue and gold shields representing school subjects, each pierced by a beam of light from the sun and burning torch motif. The theoretical (older) subjects orbit around the sun, whilst the practical (newer) subjects emanate from the torch. The torch was a subtle play on the name of this district of Stockholm, B…

Blog Flash from Kista Sweden: What's This?

Dateline March 14th, 2008: Stockholm, Sweden
I just spotted this on the side of a school here. How many Masonic symbols can you find? :)

Does anyone know more about what this is?

Take Time to Watch the Tonkas! Oh,and to Listent to Colbie Caillat

We've all heard: Take the Time to Smell the Roses!

Well, I say, "Take the Time to Watch the Tonka Toys!!!"

I'm a little tuckered out tonight, so I don't have much to write. But, I did see something cool today! Remember when you were a kid and wanted to go watch the giant trucks and earth-movers at the construction site? On my walk to work this morning in Kista, Sweden, I finally got to do it! They had set up a big construction site right outside my building and were busily moving rocks!!! With a huge grin, I just stood back and watched for awhile. I had my cell phone with me, so from one full-grown kid who will never grow up to another, enjoy! Oh, I almost forgot! There's an awesome song at the bottom of the post!












National Treasure, The Freemasons, Mt. Rushmore, and The Statue of Liberty

A recent post in this blog reviewed an article in the most recent issue of "Scottish Rite Journal" by Richard Fletcher that revealed further Masonic links to National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I recently communicated with Brother Fletcher via e-mail and he pointed out that Mount Rushmore, the setting for the final scenes of the movie, has even more Masonic connections. As discussed here, two of the presidents on Mount Rushmore are Masons, Washington and Roosevelt. But, that's not all. Brother Fletcher says:

"The concluding scenes of the movie take place at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

The movie makes no reference to the sculptor but both Gutzon Borglum, who was the sculptor of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and his son Lincoln Borglum were Freemasons. Following the death of his father, Lincoln Borglum was assigned the task of completing the Mount Rushmore Memorial.

Gutzon Borglum was raised in Howard Lodge #35 in New York City and served as its Master i…

Adventurous Business Trips: Boston

Headed to Chelmsford or Marlboro? Oh No You're Not! Think Boston!
Do you work for a company with remote offices 'near' Boston? Ever been sent to the Boston office only to find yourself in Chelmsford or Marlboro? Well, you don't have to be stuck out there! This article outlines how to get to work and back on time, on the cheap, and on the green. It also points out one excellent place to stay, (hint: 463 Beacon St.), and talks about a few of the sites you can see in town.

Getting To Work and Back
Thanks to the miracle, that is the Boston public transit system, you can stay in Boston, enjoy everything it has to offer, and still show up for work on time in the morning! And, by avoiding a car rental, you can be green and help the environment as well. You're employer won't mind not expensing a rental car either. The rides out to work can be a bit lengthy, but that's what laptops are for right? And, the rewards to be had in Boston are definitely worth the tr…

Cowbells Without Retakes

No More Interruptions By The Record Label Execs!:
Those of you who read "More Cowbell" article about embedding new Google forms in web pages may have noticed the line:
"To keep your web page from redirecting to the google success message and requiring your users to press the 'back' button, simply add:
target="_blank"
to the form tag prior to the action attribute."
at the bottom of the article. It has also been noted in the Google Docs user forums that the forms would be more useful for multi-entry data input if they didn't redirect when the user hit the submit button. Even using the _blank suggestion mentioned above, you'll quickly wind up with an annoyingly large number of 'Thank You' tabs or windows depending on you browser. Well, it turns out, there's an answer to this problem!

Immediately before the form tag, insert the following line of html:

&lt iframe name="catcher" height="0"&gt&lt/iframe &a…

When is a Rock Just a Rock?

With more pictures coming in from the Mars rover missions that 'look like something', it seems that believers are becoming ever more hopeful while skeptics are becoming ever more skeptical. In the interest of promoting open-mindedness in scientific investigations, the following Earth-bound, Mars and Mercury rocks are presented for your consideration.
FromJust a RockMore Than A Rock???Earth

Camel Rock near Tesuque Pueble, NM
Image creditThe Treasury: Petra, Jordan
Mars
Actually, this is a special rock. The rock in the lower right foreground is thought to be an iron meteor.
Image creditMaritian meteor containing fossilized bacteria?
Image creditLady on Mars
Image creditEarth


Bear in a Rock: Pecos River Valley, NM
Image credit

Mars

National Treasure: Book of Secrets Masonic Update

After the release of National Treasure: Book of Secrets, several posts about the links between the movie and the Scottish Rite including links to the Page 47 mystery were published here.

It turns out there's even more to it. The last two issues of "Scottish Rite Journal" have highlighted more real-world connections between the movie's production and the Scottish Rite. Walt Disney used real-world treasure hunts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City to promote the movie. All three treasure hunts ended at Scottish Rite temples.


All three of these buildings are architecturally and symbolically stunning.
Washington DC
Virtual Tour

San Francisco:
More Information
Los Angeles:
More Information

The most recent issue of The Scottish Rite Journal contains a movie review by Richard E. Fletcher, 33º. The article touches on more Masonic connections in the movie and hints that part III may have Masonic connections as well. Brother Fletcher says: "At the premier we met the…

Samothraki: Day 2

Back on Samothraki:



Notes on the slide show are included below.

The pictures shown were taken in early September. The island is beautiful then. Most of the tourists have gone home and there's just a slight chill to the air in the mornings.

Day two starts in Kamariotissa. The picture shows the main street of the little port town. At Mike's car and bike rentals you can rent a scooter, a motorcycle, a car, or sometimes even a house. I lucked out and got everything I needed in one stop!

There's a great internet cafe next to a coffee shop if you need to send messages home, or upload photos. The cafe is shown in the lower right-hand corner of this photo.




This is all you need to get around to get around Samothraki! There's not a whole lot of traffic on the roads. Even on the rougher roads in the country, a scooter does just fine. Make sure you learn how to use the kick starter as well as the electronic ignition, the knowledge will come in handy. Also, keep in mind that …

The Week in Science and Engineering

March 3rd, 2008 -- A weekly look at science, engineering, and fringe science happenings from the week before!
Levitation: Fact or Fiction? Pravda.run ran an interesting article on levitation. It presented a chronological history of accounts of levitation. The initial accounts were more mystically slanted including various swamis, nuns, and saints. As time progressed, the coverage moved towards anecdotal and scientific accounts. These included accounts of levitation by Daniel Douglas Hewm that were verified by people such as Mark Twain and William M. Thackeray. Finally, the article discussed modern 'scientific' example of levitation such as the Meissner effect.


Another physical phenomenon that can result in levitation and was not covered in the article is diamagnetism. It was used most spectacularly to levitate a frog in the Netherlands. This experiment was carried out at the Nijmegen High Field Magnet Laboratory.







The moon-bound art museum: greg.org reported on an art mu…

A Year Ago: Strip Searches, Near Arrest, and Petra!

It occurred to me that just about a year ago, I wasn't looking out the window at snow, in the Rockies, I was looking out the window of a cab at snow on the Jordanian landscape on my way to Petra. While I've written about the strip search it took to get there, (OK, two strip searches!), and how this blog almost got me arrested, I've never put up pictures about how much it was worth the searches to get there! Here goes!