Category Archives: history


For me anyway. My nerves are seldom rubbed raw. Today they were. Today is Memorial Day in America. I’ve posted already. You may also know that I am a retired U.S. Army Officer. I love my country and placed myself in position to die for it. When one attacks honoring service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice [died for this country], you just got me bothered. Such was the case in a BROL thread today.

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USA Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. [full article]

Today, we honor those who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s service.

New NASA Chief named

HOUSTON [from the Huffington Post] — The nation’s turbulent space program will be run by one of its own, a calming well-liked former space shuttle commander. President Barack Obama on Saturday chose retired astronaut Gen. Charles Bolden to lead NASA. He also named former NASA associate administrator Lori Garver as the agency’s No. 2. If confirmed, Bolden, who has flown in space four times and was an assistant deputy administrator at one point, would be the agency’s first black administrator. Continue reading

Silk [the word] in Chinese Characters

Traditional Chinese Characters Simplified Chinese Characters
Silk Standard

The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and have been more or less stable since the 5th century during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 – 589 AD). The term "traditional" is used to contrast traditional characters with another standardized set – simplified Chinese characters.

Simplified Chinese Characters [from 1956] are one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. They are based mostly on popular cursive (caoshu) forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the "traditional" forms that were used in printed text for over a thousand years. The government of the People’s Republic of China has promoted them for use in printing in an attempt to increase literacy. They are officially used in the People’s Republic of China or Mainland China, Singapore, and the United Nations.

Traditional Chinese is currently used in the Republic of China or Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Overseas Chinese communities generally use traditional characters, but simplified characters are often used among mainland Chinese immigrants. However, the majority of the Chinese-speaking world uses simplified characters.

Simplified character forms were created by decreasing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of traditional Chinese characters. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules; for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simpler variant. Some characters were simplified irregularly, however, and some simplified characters are very dissimilar to and unpredictable from traditional characters. Finally, many characters were left untouched by simplification, and are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies.

From the Internet, I found and used the simplified Chinese Characters you see to the right for the word Silk [to add another dimension to the graphics for my Catrike 700, which I call "Silk"]. My good friend [and BROL Member thenhbushman] MJ Klien says:

Jim, the Chinese word for silk is 絲. That should make it easier to fit on the fairing. I think your version is simplified Chinese whereas this is traditional Chinese.

From my study of this, and the information presented above [taken from Wikipedia], as well as MJ’s comments, the use of one character set versus the other is a matter of "political" history. There are additional comments with this post of exchanges between MJ and me which verify that I selected the correct traditional Chinese Characters for the word silk.

For $4.00 and a download, I now have 3 styles [Standard, Li Book, and Stone Engraving] of the traditional Chinese Characters for Silk [above, left].

It is interesting what I learn just from the effort to place graphics on  my trike. Thanks MJ.

Some may wonder how this trike acquired the name "Silk." I’ve posted this before. Let me find it…

I‘ve decided to dub My Catrike 700 “Silk“

Why Silk? Having lived in Germany and buying a black Catrike [referred to as cat], I’m using the letters [S & K] from the German words for Black Cat [Schwartz Katz]. I inserted the il to make the word Silk. Of course silk is smooth and I think fitting for the trike I am creating.

So, I guess I have an International 3-wheel recumbent HPV of sorts [made in America, a name with German roots, with Chinese Characters to represent the roots of the word Silk, and ridden by an African-American.

This post is a bit long. I hope you find it interesting as well…

Now, it will be up to Eric of ABCWings Graphics to do my graphics right.