Asimov’s tribute to the national anthem

September 23, 2006

The song’s popularity increased enormously during the Civil War. Because the song extolled the national flag—a symbol of loyalty to the Union—Northerners enthusiastically embraced it as a patriotic anthem.

In times of crisis and turmoil, Americans often turn to patriotic symbols for inspiration. Caption from the National Museum of American History (Smithosonian): Elmira Cornet Band, Civil War The song’s popularity increased enormously during the Civil War. Because the song extolled the national flag—a symbol of loyalty to the Union—Northerners enthusiastically embraced it as a patriotic anthem.

The scientist, science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov at one time held the title for the most published human being ever. There were few topics he didn’t have a learned opinion on, and there were many areas of ignorance where a well-trained scientist with a drive to get at the facts could shed a lot of light. His path lighting was not always appreciated. He wrote a guide to the Bible that has earned disdain from many a Christian conservative, thought I suspect that their disdain is really a disguise for the fear that a secular Jew could know the text so well and challenge so many unwarranted, but common, assumptions.

To the surprise of some, Asimov was quite a patriot. His short piece on the four stanzas of the “Star-spangled Banner” demonstrate his patriotism and his love of history, while offering a bit of humor to make it all stick in your mind. I post a complete copy below the fold.

I have not yet found the original publication source for Asimov’s piece; if you know it, or find it, please let me know. I suspect there is copyright attribution to be made, too. I borrowed the text from an on-line source called The Purewater Gazette. Read the rest of this entry »


Carnival of Education #85

September 23, 2006

Obviously we’re all gearing up for the State Fair Edition.  Carnival of Education 85 is up over at Median Sib, and the quality and applicability of the posts just gets better and better.

The quality is very high, really.  I’ve checked out more than a dozen links.  No bad ones.  It’s safer than a spinach salad, that’s for sure.


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