COFFEE–WHAT’S IN A CUP?

COFFEE–WHAT’S IN A CUP?

Espresso factory

Espresso factory

I don’t remember when I had my first cup of coffee, but I do remember when I had my last. Today, after a long afternoon workshop, painting Coney Island round- about swings.

Espresso factory

Coney Island round-about swings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coffee tasted good. It refreshed me with just enough caffeine to replenish my energy.

 

 

 

Needs cream?

Needs cream?

Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0–5.1) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. The effect of coffee on human health has been a subject of many studies; however, results have varied in terms of coffee’s relative benefit. The majority of recent research suggests that moderate coffee consumption is benign or mildly beneficial in healthy adults. However, the diterpenes in coffee may increase the risk of heart disease.

Lavazza espresso regular & decaf

LavAzza Espresso regular & decaf

Coffee cultivation first took place in Abyssinia. The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. In the Horn of Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in local religious ceremonies. As these ceremonies conflicted with the beliefs of the Christian church, the Ethiopian Church banned the secular consumption of coffee until the reign of Emperor Menelik II. The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.

Coffee for two

Coffee for two

What’s your take on coffee? Or do you prefer soda or tea or something else?

CAPTAIN THOMAS HARRISON

CAPTAIN THOMAS HARRISON

THE GREAT MIGRATION: SHIPS TO NEW ENGLAND 1633-35

Harrison House, Branford, CT

Harrison House, Branford, CT

It an amazing story of Providence and the skill of English seamen that dozens of Atlantic ocean passages were made in little wooden ships bringing our Puritan ancestors to America almost without mishap in the 1630’s; the unhappy exception being the harrowing story of the Angel Gabriel, 1635, which met a terrible storm and cast up on the coast of Maine with only a few survivors.

There were perhaps 30,000 emigrants from England to New England before the English Civil War. These folks were mainly from the English middle-class, self-reliant and motivated to find a place where they might live, worship, and raise their families without government harassment. This movement of people is called the Great Migration.

Their motivation was religious, political, and economic. The British church and government was becoming insufferably hierarchical, tyrannical, and tax-hungry. Common resentment among the English people led soon to the English Revolution beginning in 1642, and eventually to the beheading of King Charles for treason in 1649, after agents intercepted his secret invitations to foreign kings and armies, that they invade England, crush Parliament and the English Constitution, massacre his English opponents, and restore Charles to his pretended Dei gratia royal privileges. Charles Stuart continued incorrigibly to hold his dynastic interest separate and above those of Parliament and the British people, and ultimately Parliament had no alternative but to end his conspiracies with an axe.

kingcharlesKing Charles I of England

Son of James and Anne. A well-intentioned knave, he was captivated by his Catholic bride Henriette-Marie, who led him to treason and death, and all England to civil war.

The Great Migration ended at the start of the English Civil War. Then for a time in the 1640’s was hope rekindled in the people that they might live in liberty in England, and the flow of emigrants ceased, in fact reversed. Many brave New Englishmen and their sons returned to fight in England to uphold Parliament and the Commonwealth. The true history of the British Commonwealth has been an unwelcome topic in Britain since the restoration of monarchy, 1661. But that is another story…

GREAT MIGRATION PASSENGERS BY SURNAME

The migration included over 1500 persons from England to New England during the years 1632-1635. I found the name Harrison on a passenger list, who with his family headed east from New Haven, Connecticut and helped to settle Branford in 1644.

My hubby, Thomas Harrison Claus has lots of Harrison descendants here from abroad. As noted above, the Harrison’s were included in the migration and came over on one of the Puritan’s ships from Darby, England, and boy did they rock the boat. They raised their children who spread their wings and founded Newark, New Jersey. We were bowled over when we saw Richard Harrison’s name on a plaque in Newark as a founder. And there was a cemetery in Essex Fells, New Jersey that had interred many of the Harrisons’.

CaptainThomas Harrison (one of them-there were many)

Captain Thomas Harrison Branford, Connecticut

So, who was this Captain Thomas Harrison?

It’s a fantasy . . . . When we told my hubby’s mother we were moving to Connecticut from New Jersey, she mentioned the Harrison’s lived there generations ago. There it was, the Harrison house, well preserved right on Main Street in Branford as a antique home and museum, open to public for tours. But the best part was the library of the family right there on a bookcase in the kitchen. And it had the writings of a Captain Thomas Harrison who had the last entry in the late 19th century, ending with, “I hope someone will continue the Harrison history.”

Now, I have more about this Captain Thomas Harrison, but you’ll have to come back next week to hear the rest of the story.

Do you know anything about Captain Thomas Harrison?

WIZARD OF OOZE

WIZARD OF OOZE

Scrolling through what I thought was a remake of L. Frank Baum’s movie, Wizard of Oz, this cartoon of William Randolph Hearst popped up. Stories say that the movie had political connotations. Read on–this from Wikipedia.

Wizard of Ooz from Harper's Weekly 1906

Cartoonist W. A. Rogers in 1906 sees the political uses of Oz: he depicts William Randolph Hearst as Scarecrow stuck in his own Ooze in Harper’s Weekly in the photo on the right.

Political interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz include treatments of the modern fairy tale (written by L. Frank Baum and first published in 1900) as an allegory or metaphor for the political, economic and social events of America in the 1890s. Scholars have examined four quite different versions of Oz: the novel of 1900,[1] the Broadway Play of 1901,[2] the Hollywood film of 1939,[3] and the numerous follow-up Oz novels written after 1900 by Baum and others.[4]wizard-of-oz-original

The political interpretations focus on the first three, and emphasize the close relationship between the visual images and the story line to the political interests of the day. Biographers report that Baum had been a political activist in the 1890s with a special interest in the money question of gold and silver, and the illustrator Denslow was a full-time editorial cartoonist for a major daily newspaper. For the 1901 Broadway production Baum inserted explicit references to prominent political characters such as President Theodore Roosevelt.

In a 1964 article,[5] educator and historian Henry Littlefield outlined an allegory in the book of the late 19th-century debate regarding monetary policy. According to this view, for instance, the “Yellow Brick Road” represents the gold standard, and the silver slippers (ruby in the 1939 film version) represent the Silverite sixteen to one silver ratio (dancing down the road).

The thesis achieved considerable popular interest and elaboration by many scholars in history, economics and other fields,[6] but is not universally accepted.[7][8][9] Certainly the 1901 musical version of “Oz”, written by Baum, was for an adult audience and had numerous explicit references to contemporary politics,[2] though in these references Baum seems just to have been “playing for laughs.”[10] The 1902 stage adaptation mentioned, by name, President Theodore Roosevelt and other political celebrities.[11] For example, the Tin Woodman wonders what he would do if he ran out of oil. “You wouldn’t be as badly off as John D. Rockefeller,” the Scarecrow responds, “He’d lose six thousand dollars a minute if that happened.”[2]

Littlefield’s knowledge of the 1890s was thin, and he made numerous errors, but since his article was published, scholars in history,[7] political science[1] and economics[12] have asserted that the images and characters used by Baum closely resemble political images that were well known in the 1890s. Quentin Taylor, for example, claimed that many of the events and characters of the book resemble the actual political personalities, events and ideas of the 1890s.[11] Dorothy—naïve, young and simple—represents the American people. She is Everyman, led astray and seeking the way back home.[11] Moreover, following the road of gold leads eventually only to the Emerald City, which may symbolize the fraudulent world of greenback paper money that only pretends to have value.[11] It is ruled by a scheming politician (the Wizard) who uses publicity devices and tricks to fool the people (and even the Good Witches) into believing he is benevolent, wise and powerful when really he is selfish and cruel. He sends Dorothy into severe danger hoping she will rid him of his enemy the Wicked Witch of the West.

meet the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz

Meet the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz

He is powerless and, as he admits to Dorothy, “I’m a very bad Wizard.”[13]

Littlefield and other historians[14] have suggested that Baum modeled the Cowardly Lion after politician William Jennings Bryan, or politicians in general. Republicans mocked Bryan as indecisive, or a coward, which became the basis of the character.[15]

Historian Quentin Taylor sees additional metaphors, including:

 

  • The Scarecrow as a representation of American farmers and their troubles in the late 19th century.
  • The Tin Man representing the American steel industry’s failures to combat increased international competition at the time
  • The Cowardly Lion as a metaphor for the American military’s performance in the Spanish-American War. For numerical references here’s the link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_interpretations_of_The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz
    Its fascinating to look at this suspense filled adventure for a little girl in another way. The Wizard of Oz became a venue for political awareness. Or did it? Did you think that the movie was a political commentary?

 

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