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Showing posts from May, 2019

For Find Out Friday - Who Was John Jay’s Famous Great Uncle?

Last Saturday I spent a really lovely day in Katonah, New York. The highlight of that day was visiting a historic landmark that has long been on my annual to do list ( ); John Jay’s Homestead.  While that blog will post soon, I learned something fascinating about his family ancestry during that tour. John Jay had famous ancestors on both sides of his family. His mother Mary was a member of the Van Cortlandt family; a very powerful political dynasty in New York during the 1700s. But his famous ancestor on his father’s maternal line exceeds even that fame. The relative we are talking about is Peter Stuyvesant. Considering that Peter died over seventy years before John Jay was born, these men clearly never knew each other. In fact, the family tree is a bit confusing but essentially Peter was John’s grandmother’s great uncle. If you don’t follow, no worries. Truth be told, it took me more than a moment to comprehend it as well.  What I found most ironic

For Find Out Friday - What’s In a Name?

I am tempted to ask; “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?”  I have long wondered why popes and royals like do not always use their given name when they rule.  The more I watch shows like “The Crown” or “Victoria”, the I wondered about the changing of the names. After thinking about it for a while, it occurred to me that popes seemed do the same thing. As commoners (and Americans) we are called by the name given to us at birth, unless we come to be known by a nickname. Then they are the outliers like my great uncle whose real name was Vincent though my mother grew up calling him Uncle Jimmy. In fact, she only found out his real name on the day of his funeral. Italians, they make no sense sometimes but I am what I am.  But I digress.    The first thing you should know is that the name a pope or a monarch comes to be known as, is called “a regnal name”. That is a fancy way of saying they are choosing what they would like to be called in their new position

For True Crime Fans Everywhere: “IDCon 2019”

In 1995, the movie “Dangerous Minds” was released and it was the highlight of my summer. I went to see it twice and back than they really made sure an adult was with you when you saw a movie that was rated R. The adult who accompanied me was my mother. My fourteen year old self, with the iconic Rachael Green haircut, was ecstatic.  One of the greatest parts of that movie, was the theme song by Coolio. “Gangsta’s Paradise” is still my jam though I hadn’t heard it in quite a while.  That is until this past Saturday.  After I walked into IDCon, I heard it many times. Each time it brought excitement from the crowd, including myself.  IDCon is turned four years old this year but I only found out about it in late March. Each time it was held in NYC but this was the first year it was held at Center 415 in Midtown Manhattan. This was the largest crowd (approximately six hundred people) they have had thus far. And naturally the best because I was there. Origi

For Find Out Friday - What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

I hate people, this week especially.  I haven’t been feeling good and that has made my already low tolerance for stupidity down to a zero.  Which brings me to this week’s Find Out Friday; what is the difference between jail and prison? Furthermore, what is a penitentiary? Now before we dive in, I feel like I should already know the difference. For I have visited my share of these types of facilities. Though I am proud to say not as a guest or because I was visiting someone I am related to. In high school I was part of their law program, where I took classes in a room that was an exact replica of an actual courtroom. This courtroom was donated to the school by former alumni and current Supreme Court Justice; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who also happens to be a personal hero of mine. As apart of this program we went to visit Rahway State Prison in New Jersey. Rahway was opened in 1896 and was the first institution of its kind in the garden state. It is also the only pr