President Obama’s Speech and History. The “other” Paul Revere. Air France Crash Weather Analysis

President Greeted Warmly in Cairo

President Greeted Warmly in Cairo

 Airbus Crash: First off, I want to start off with a very compelling analysis of the weather conditions and the possible relation to the potential cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447.  This link from Anthony Watts is elaborate, but still should be clear to even novice individuals.

President Obama’s Speech in Cairo: 

President Obama gave a speech at Cairo University in which he said the following: 

  “It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra, our magnetic compass and tools of navigation, our mastery of pens and printing, our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires, timeless poetry and cherished music, elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
The origin of Islam as a religion seems to go back to Muhammad in the early 7th century.  However, since Islam claims to be based on all previous prophets, then it is argued that the religion actually goes back to the beginning of man. There apparently was a schism in Islam following the death of Muhammad.  I am not an Islamic expert, but this is how I understand it.  Nevertheless, here is what my sources cite as the origins of historical items mentioned by the President: 


Al-Khwarizmi: Greatest Mathmatician of his time?

Al-Khwarizmi: Greatest Mathematician of his time?

Origin of Algebra:

 Most Americans claim it is the Greeks, specifically pointing to Euclid, as insinuates a University of Hawaii professor. However, at Ball State, a professor indeed points to  Al-Khwarizmi, who was from Baghdad in the 8th and 9th centuries. Algebra as we know it was probably a developmental thing with no one individual being able to claim the title of “father of algebra.”  This historical outline indicates it was many other people in other civilizations could make the same claim. civilizations that contributed.  While it does not mention Al-Khwarizmi, it does mention the work of Brahmagupta, who was from India and lived just prior to Al-Khwarizmi.  It indicates that the work of Brahmagupta was translated into Arabic and it would make sense then that Al-Khwarizmi built on the work of the Indian mathematician.  So, someone who was probably Muslim did indeed play a part in the development of Algebra, but many

Which Way?

Which Way?

 The Magnetic Compass:  The magnetic compass was invented by the Chinese.  It is unclear when it was used for navigation.  This site claims that it was brought to Europe from China by Arab traders.  Other sources say that the earliest writings of the use of the compass for navigation was by the Europeans in the 12th century and the earliest known written account by an Arab was in the 13th century and he makes reference to having seen someone 40 years earlier using the device. 

Pens:this site claims the first use of an ink pen was in Egypt in the 10th century. Egypt became Islamic with the “Islamic Conquer of Egypt in 642 AD”

Printing:The Iran Chamber Society dates printing in Iran to the 17th Century. The first movable type printing press is generally known to be Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440.  There is some evidence that there was an earlier version in China.  The State University of New York at Suffolk claims that block printing also goes to Asia.

 Arches:This encyclopedia reference puts the use of arches in many cultures but its earliest reference is in Ancient Babylon in 4000BC.  Keep in mind, this was well before Muhammad was even born.  That seems to be a leap that arches were born from an Islamic culture when Islam wasn’t even established yet.  That would be like saying the Indians were Christian because many became so later.  But, keep in mind, the President did not say that arches were invented by Muslims.
Arches Used But Not Invented by Romans

Arches Used But Not Invented by Romans

Understanding of disease spread-this seems impossible to nail down.  Sorta like “jobs created or saved”
 Overall, I’d give the President a C+.  Some items of mention are largely not known by Americans but others are either wrong or really squishy.
Never Heard of Jack Jouett? He Saved Thomas Jefferson With a Daring Ride

Never Heard of Jack Jouett? He Saved Thomas Jefferson With a Daring Ride

On This Date In History:  Everyone knows about Paul Revere’s ride with him crying out “the British are coming” and the Old North Church “one if by land, two if by sea.”  But what about Jack Jouett?  He may have done as much or more to save the Revolution on June 4, 1781.

The Virginia Assembly was convening in Charlottesville, Va.  Jouett was a captain in the Virginia Militia and the 27-year-old was hanging around the Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa County.  There he saw part of the 250 Redcoats whom he found out were on their way to Charlottesville to capture the Assembly…including Thomas Jefferson.  Jouett took off into the night and rode 40 miles through dense wilderness that was dangerous by day and possibly deadly by night.  Unlike Revere, he didn’t travel by nice well-traveled roads.  It’s amazing that he got through because most people couldn’t have made the trip in one day let alone one night.  He arrived at Jefferson’s door at Monticello at dawn, his face swollen and scratched from branches that whacked him to and fro on his harrowing trip.  Nevertheless…when the British arrived, the Assembly was gone, including Jefferson.  So, the lesson may be that if you are trying something clever…stay out of taverns.  And, I think we should start a new rhyme about Jack Jouett.

Now listen Children now sit right back, and hear the tale of Captain Jack

He rode through the night and was slapped in the face

He rescued Jefferson from a dangerous place!

Weather Bottom Line:  As I warned for a few days….It was cool today with highs in the 60’s.  I told you that the models were much cooler than the prevailing forecasts by the TV foofs.  I was in Indy today and it was sunny.  We will get pretty good weather through the weekend.  Cool lows in the 50’s tonight and Friday night.  Wouldn’t be surprised if some folks in the northern part of the viewing area are in the upper 40’s.  Temps will moderate to mid to upper 70’s Friday. Low to mid 80’s on Saturday and mid to upper 80’s on Sunday.


6 Responses

  1. Hey Mr Symon, Do you have any desire to be in the TV weatherman field again? With Tom Wills leaving Wave sometime in July they will need someone. I miss watching my favorite weatherman on the boob tube.

  2. Yup. I really like Tom. And I also have come to like and get along with John, Kevin and Andy over the years. Snow White also knows John and Tom and really likes them a lot too. So, yes, I do. thanx for the shout too. I appreciate it.

  3. It would be great to see our friend Bob Symon on the television again. As I have said before I very much enjoy your relaxed, professional manner during broadcast plus, you’re great meteorologist, if I may say.

    Anyway, great post about Captain Jack and his little known ride that saved the rebellion. I guess Paul Revere had a better press agent or something. Going through thick woods is no picnic, especially at night. The poem was…well…you’re a great meteorologist!

    I read yesterday’s post and usually find some comfort in your “there’s nothing new under the sun” analogies of today’s scandals in the light of history. Certainly Ms. Menken wax a scandalous figure. People have always done wrong and will continue to do so, no doubt. The thing that makes today different, in my mind, is that when people do wrong today, it’s not wrong any more. Yes, throughout the history of this country (and the world for that matter) people have done wrong and some have done so publicly. But in the past everyone, including the perpetrator as in Big Daddy Cleveland, knew it was wrong and said so publicly. Today the world seems to be upside down and good is evil and evil is good. That is troublesome in my mind. In Ms. Menken’s day she had her fans and she got some press but I imagine that she was not well thought of by the population in general. Today Ms. Menken would be celebrated on Oprah, invited to the White House and probably write a children’s book. That’s the difference between then and now, in my view.

  4. You are probably right. I found it interesting that while she was scandalous, the list of celebrity men who either openly or perhaps clandestinely came to visit was rather long. TMZ would have a field day with her. I’m tellin’ ya…Big Daddy Grover is a treasure trove of stories.

  5. Hi,
    I dont know if you are a muslim or not .
    But remember you cannot portraite or put any kind of picture on the name MOHD[P.B.U.H]. It is illegal in sharai law and is punishable.
    Hope you will not do it again.

  6. It’s not there anymore. You’re late. I did not realize that it was a problem. I got the picture from the internet….I did not create it. So, you’re fighting the world wide web. However, it was not a necessary picture for the post. Out of respect for those who were offended, I took it down. It was not meant to hurt anyone, in fact, I thought that people would be glad to see that I was telling people of the contributions of the Islamic world to modern advances and culture.

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