I Am Finley


Where Did the Donkey and Elephant Come From?


Something came up in conversation earlier today about the donkey and elephant of American politics and I found myself intrigued as to the history of it. From History.com, the donkey has a great history:

The origins of the Democratic donkey can be traced to the 1828 presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson. During that race, opponents of Jackson called him a jackass. However, rather than rejecting the label, Jackson, a hero of the War of 1812 who later served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, was amused by it and included an image of the animal in his campaign posters.

The Republican elephant is a bit less interesting:

[T]he pachyderm didn’t start to take hold as a GOP symbol until Thomas Nast, who’s considered the father of the modern political cartoon, used it in an 1874 Harper’s Weekly cartoon. Titled “The Third-Term Panic,” Nast’s drawing mocked the New York Herald, which had been critical of President Ulysses Grant’s rumored bid for a third term, and portrayed various interest groups as animals, including an elephant labeled “the Republican vote,” which was shown standing at the edge of a pit.

Both animals were solidified as political representations by Thomas Nast in the late 19th century. I love nerdy things like this.


Constrained — The Story of Banana Republic


In 1978, an artist named Patricia came home to her husband and announced she quit her job at a newspaper. She just couldn’t stand it anymore. Occasionally, she’d have some of her art posted on the front page, which was great. But most of the time, the job was corporate tediousness.

Patricia’s husband Mel understood. He was a writer at the same newspaper. Sometimes he’d get an interesting assignment, but often he was stuck writing obituaries.

There was just one problem. He was sitting at home waiting to tell her the exact same thing. He had quit that day too.

Had never heard the history of Banana Republic. Very cool story.


Why so many Christians won’t backdown on gay marriage


I don’t think I could have said it better myself. A Christian’s very basis of understanding humanity and sexuality is rooted in God. This goes back to the formation of our rebel band of lovers 2,000 years ago.

The story Christians have been telling for 2,000 years goes something like this: The God who made the Universe is also, by his very nature, Love, and he made human beings with a very lofty vocation. Humans are meant to reflect His glory in the world; to be like God, that is to say, to be lovers and creators. Everything in the Universe has been put here to be used by God's children to reflect his loving glory — and to teach them about God's love. This is particularly true, or so the story goes, of the unique sexual complementarity between men and women. The sexual act is meant to reflect God's love by fostering a union at once bodily and spiritual — and creates new life. The complementarity of the persons in a marriage reflects the complementarity of the Persons of the Trinity, and the bliss of marital union is an inkling of the bliss of the union of the Persons of the Trinity. The fruitfulness of the marriage act reflects that God is a creator and has charged man to be an agent of his ongoing work of creation. And, finally, if God's love means total self-giving unto death on a Cross, then man and wife must give themselves to each other totally — no pettiness, no adultery, no polygamy, no divorce, and no nonmarital sexual acts. According to the story that Christianity has been telling for 2,000 years, Christianity's view of sexuality isn't some encrusted holdover from a socially conditioned patriarchal era on its way out, but is instead deeply connected to its understanding of who God is and what human beings exist for.

The Week


Moral Equivalency


If you want to talk about the perversion of religion, don’t pervert the facts.

I don’t like MSNBC. Typically. But this rant is spot on. That he knows that history shows the Crusades were largely in response to Muslims brutally taking over their lands is amazing to me. That whoever wrote President Obama’s speech didn’t know this astounds me.

This is something I shared on Facebook earlier today. Yet we are frequently reminded by history revisionists that the Christians committed atrocities such as the Crusades. While atrocities certainly happened, as with any war, it doesn’t come close to comparing to the Hell reaped by the Muslims across Europe that they were trying to stop.


Don’t Stress About Smartwatch Battery Life


[T]he earliest watches lacked a minute hand because of the need to pack so much technology in to power them and also to drive the “display.” This wasn’t a problem since the accuracy was so poor they drifted off accurate timekeeping by up to hours every day! Their tiny springs and inefficient clockwork also meant they didn’t store much power. Thus they needed winding very regularly—at first with a key, just like traditional grandfather clocks and whatnot, which is self-evidently inconvenient.

Don’t Stress About Smartwatch Battery Life—It’s A 500 Year Old Problem, Kit Eaton

Great article about the history of watches and battery life, going back 500 years. It’s interesting to me that Apple is very much positioning their Apple Watch as a watch and not just a wearable.