Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, & the United States 240 Years Later

Perhaps at this point, you’ve heard of the bastard, orphan, immigrant presently featured on the $10 Bill (though he’s actually been on all of them). I’m talking about Alexander Hamilton, the founding father who’s seen a resurgence thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s incredible musical, Hamilton. And you know Thomas Jefferson, the founding father whose popularity is rivaled only by George Washington’s. I’ve been thinking a lot about these guys thanks to a book I recently read called Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation. But that’s not the only reason; today is the 240th Anniversary of the United States becoming an independent nation. 2015-2016 has been politically tumultuous and things don’t promise to get much better as we enter the primaries. However, I am reminded that there have been worse times, and our republic has survived. It’s almost a quarter of a century old, and that’s incredible.

Some Interesting Links & Podcasts

I just started listening to podcasts regularly so I figured I’d share some of them, as well as your normal cool links.

Stuff You Should Know: A podcast from How Stuff Works about general knowledge stuff that covers a wide range of topics from Bitcoin to Torture. Very interesting stuff!

Stuff You Missed in History Class: Another podcast from How Stuff Works that covers topics you may have not learned about in school.

ALA’s 2013 Summer Reading List: @alistapart is the best source on the web for web development and design articles. This is their recommended reading list.

Yesterland – Tobacco Shop: In looking for a cigar shop around Disneyland, I came across this interesting bit of history regarding Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom Disneyland. This talks about the Tobacco Shop, one of the first shops in the strip.

How to not be Alone: A really interesting article from @nytimes about how technology affects us. My favorite quote: Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat. 

The Missing Linc’s Doctor Who Viewing Guide – Series 1: I recently started watching Doctor Who. My friend Joe (@iammissinglinc) created this nifty viewer’s guide to help you learn what’s what!

The Yankees and the World Series


Since the last time the Yankees went to the World Series in 2003 I’ve: Graduated college (MS and BS), started a company, grew my business, and much more. Since the last time they won in 2000 I’ve: graduated high school, started web design, started programming, started driving, and much much more.

This is the Yankees 4th trip to the Fall Classic this decade, and the 7th in my lifetime, winning 4 of them. Some people would said I’m spoiled; that I’m lucky my team has made and won it even once in my lifetime, something a lot of people I know probably can’t say, and definitely couldn’t say by the time they were 11. But I’m a Yankees fan and I thank God for that. I say that because I was born in NY, and my allegiance had to lie within the state. And it just so happens that my grandmother grew up a few blocks away from the stadium. Both my parents are Yankee fan and so am I.

Because of this, I expect more- not because I’m an asshole, but because of our history. With Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Thurmon Munson, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and so many more, how can we not be the best? And this team is the best we’ve had since our record breaking 1998 team. I see a lot of parallels- the camaraderie, the veterans, the great young talent, the raw power, and the drive. It’s not a given that we will win every game, but we don’t count ourselves out and we know that we can win every game- especially now.

So to the Phillies (and their fans) I say bring it on. And to the Yankees and their fans: let’s finish this decade that same way we started it- with a championship.

Gen. George S. Patton’s D-Day Speech

I’m reading a book now called Speeches that Changed the World, and came accross this one. [Not the full text. Full Text here ]

You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he’s not, he’s a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.

Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen. All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don’t ever let up. Don’t ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain.

What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn’t like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, ‘Hell, they won’t miss me, just one man in thousands.’ But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don’t think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war.

Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I’d shoot a snake!

There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, ‘Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.’ No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, ‘Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!'”