A memorial to Flight 93 turns out to be a memorial for its hijackers.

And we’re paying for it. If you don’t believe me, keep reading:

The exact Mecca orientation of the Flight 93 Memorial

A person facing directly into the giant central crescent of what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace will be facing 1.8° north of Mecca. Defenders of the crescent have used the inexactness of its Mecca orientation to dismiss concern.

•Patrick White, Vice President of Families of Flight 93, argues that the giant crescent cannot be seen as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of its Mecca orientation would be “disrespectful to Islam.”

•Both major Pittsburgh newspapers are denying that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca.

•The internal investigation conducted by the Park Service denies that there is any such thing as almost:

…mihrab orientation either points to Mecca or it does not … [it] cannot be off by “some” degrees. [From page 2 of report summary. Page 1 here.]

All of this willful blindness about the simple orientation of the crescent structure has been effective in keeping public inquiry from reaching a second startling fact: that the crescent design also contains a hidden exact Mecca orientation, corresponding to architect Paul Murdoch’s own description of how the crescent structure should be interpreted.

Physical crescent tip vs. thematic crescent tip

What points not quite exactly at Mecca is the physical Crescent of Embrace structure (every particle of which remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign). Connect the most obtruding tips of the physical crescent, form the perpendicular bisector to this line (the bisector of the crescent), and it points 1.8° north of Mecca:

Inexact Mecca orientation of physical crescent

Click for larger images. The green circle with “qibla” direction marked is from the Mecca-direction calculator at Islam.com. “Qibla” is Arabic for “prayer direction,” which Muslims calculate as the “great circle” or “shortest distance” direction to Mecca.

But Paul Murdoch has also given a thematic explanation for the crescent structure, indicating how the thematic or “true” upper crescent tip should be understood. In Murdoch’s description, the flight path breaks the circle, turning it into a giant crescent. Thus the thematic upper crescent tip is what is left of the crescent structure after the parts that are “broken off” by the flight path are removed. Take away the parts of the Entry Portal Walls that extend out beyond the flight path, connect the most obtruding tips of the remaining structure, and a perpendicular to this line points within a couple hundredths of a degree of Mecca (i.e. it points exactly at Mecca, as far as can be determined given the pixel resolution of the graphics).

The flight path is represented in the Crescent/Bowl design by the Entry Portal Walkway, which comes down from the NNW. The Walkway passes through the Entry Portal Walls and projects out into the crescent:


Take away the parts of the crescent structure that are “broken off” by the flight path, and the remaining crescent structure is oriented exactly on Mecca.

[The above graphic was created by laying the Crescent of Embrace and the Bowl of Embrace site plans on top of each other. This was done to accurately capture the one real change that Murdoch made in the Bowl of Embrace redesign: the lengthening of the Entry Portal Walkway. (See “Memorial riddle #2: Why did Paul Murdoch lengthen the Entry Portal Walkway?) So that the new Walkway length can be seen, the low resolutionBowl of Embrace site plan is enhanced by overlaying it with the high resolution Crescent of Embrace site plan.]

The 44th inscribed translucent block on the flight path

At the end of the Entry Portal Walkway (marking the thematic or “true” upper crescent tip, according to Murdoch’s own description), sits a large glass block, inscribed with LAFD Captain Stephen J. Ruda’s dedication: “A common field one day. A field of honor forever.”

This will be the 44th inscribed translucent block emplaced along the flight path, matching the number of passengers, crew, AND terrorists. 40 will be inscribed with the names of the 40 heroes (despite Tom Burnett’s demand that Tom Jr.’s name not be used). Three three more will be built into a separate section of Memorial Wall that is centered on the bisector of the giant crescent (the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag). These three blocks will be inscribed with the 9/11 date. Thus the date goes to the Islamic star. The date goes to the terrorists.

By having the 44th glass block mark the thematic “true” upper crescent tip, and by having that thematic crescent tip create a hidden exact Mecca orientation for the giant crescent, Murdoch is able to tie his Islamic and his terrorist memorializing design features together into a perfect bin Ladenist embrace.


After all, it does not get much more naked than this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Or this:

Mecca orientation of crescent

Or this:

Sundial composite

The Walkway riddle: When Paul Murdoch extended the Entry Portal Walkway, he was doing more than just perfecting the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. This slight adjustment in the placement of the 44th block also perfected two other terrorist memorializing elements of Murdoch’s mosque. Anyone who can figure out either of these elements before looking at the answer wins a glorious prize.

This post is part of the “Stop the Memorial Blogburst.”

If you want to join the blogroll/blogburst for the Crescent of Betrayal blogburst, email Cao at caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com, with your blog’s url address. The blogburst will be sent out once a week to the participants, for simultaneous publication on this issue on Wednesdays.

Crescent of betrayal/surrender Blogburst Blogroll

Doing the homework

The hardest part for my sons, and for my students, seems to be doing the homework. It’s not so hard to go to class. It’s not so hard to do the things in class. But it is hard to do the homework.

I guess it is a case of priorities. Homework is not as fun as reading online or playing games or watching TV or goofing off.

How do I make it more a priority for them?

God and time

Yesterday R went to a philosopher’s luncheon. Five folks set around and discussed God and free will and many another concept.

One thing they “decided” is that God and time are both infinite and uncreated. God lives only in time. God cannot know the future.

This bothered me for a myriad of reasons. One is that if time is uncreated, if anything besides God is uncreated, then there is also… the possibility that other things are not created. It would be useful if Satan were not created, if God did not make him. Then evil would be something God did not create, and I don’t think God created evil, but not that way.

I don’t see how God can be in time and not outside of time. I can see God being in time AND outside of time. But I do not see how God can be the first.

How would David know to say “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” How would Micah know that Jesus was going to be born in Bethlehem? How would Isaiah know that Mary was going to be a virgin? Did God not give them these dualistic prophecies, these prophecies that spoke of a near and a far time? Then God can see the future. God knows the future.

Yes, I realize that there are things that are hard to understand if God knows the future. How can he change his mind if he is omniprescent?

I don’t know. But I don’t see how he can do the things he has done, if he doesn’t know the future.

One of their reasons for saying that he must be inside of time is that relationships are within time. But a mom, a good mom, loves her child before it is born, when she doesn’t know anything about it; after it is born, even when it is screaming and needy; after it is grown, even if it doesn’t want anything to do with her. Love is a choice that is made, in a way, outside of time. The acting on love may be within time, but… maybe the love is outside. –Just a thought.

I always thought that Genesis 1 indicated that God created time. “It was evening and it was morning of day one.” But, as R mentioned, it says “the world was without form and void” before the creation started. So maybe the universe existed in some form and time existed in some form before God began creating.

May I just say that if that is true, I’m going to have a headache trying to wrap my head around the idea.

Renaissance Festival: Take 2

We went today for three hours. Many fewer people in costumes. We saw the Falconer folks and Cast in Bronze.

It wasn’t as much fun as last time, but it was much cooler and shorter.

My mother and I

I am in as good a shape, or better, than my mother was when she was 29. How do I know that? I was around then.

I was 29 sixteen years ago. So I’ve been in better shape than my mother has been since 1975 for the last sixteen years.

I plan to be in better shape than that for the rest of my life.


From next week until Bike the Bend November 18, 2007:
2 short bike rides a week (5-10 m)
2 long bike rides a week (2 hrs, 20 m)
1 long walk with dog a week (2 m)
3 weight days

From Bike the Bend until the Rodeo Run March 1, 2008:
1 short bike ride a week (5-10 m)
1 long bike ride a week (20 m)
2 runs a week
1 long walk with dog a week (2m)

I am not sure I am going to be ready for the MS 150 in April of 2008. But I will be by April 2009. And I’ll have a bike, too.

Smallpox: Out of Egypt

It isn’t often my two favorite hobby fields come together. But history and science intersected in my blog reading today:

Observations of smallpox-typical skin rashes on Egyptian mummies dating from 1100 to 1580 B.C. gave credibility to theories that ancient Egypt was an early (and perhaps the earliest) smallpox endemic region. However, smallpox researchers noted that “The most striking thing about smallpox is its absence from the books of the Old and New Testaments, and also from the literature of the Greeks and Romans. Such a serious disease as variola major is very unlikely to have escaped a description by Hippocrates if it existed.” Historical records from Asia describe evidence of smallpox-like disease in medical writings from ancient China (1122 B.C.) and India (as early as 1500 B.C.). The earliest unmistakable description of smallpox first appears in the 4th century A.D. in China, the 7th century A.D. in India and the Mediterranean, and the 10th century A.D. in southwestern Asia. These early Asian descriptions could indicate that pandemic smallpox originated in East Asia. Sequence analysis indicates that divergence between VARV and rodent poxviruses occurred from 16,000 YBP to 68,000 YBP, and that VARV seems to have evolved from a pathogen of African rodents and subsequently spread out of Africa.

from MicrobiologyBytes


List of Books: Through October 10

Total to date: 234 (Day 302 in the year.) This does not include romance books until September 15 or so. But I am doing better about writing down the books I read. It helps if I don’t buy quite as many as usual.

I have re-read some books more than once this year. I am not sure why. I think there is something in them that calls to me. Or maybe I’m just trying to figure out where they go and how they get there. I don’t know.

Ordinary Heroes: A Novel by Scott Turow
Irish Magic II- story by Susan Wiggs was good, the rest not so much
The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller, very well written Western
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Princess Bride by Wm Goldman, warning, the last two pages of the story should not be read. Just skip them. They weren’t in the screen play and the movie, thus, is better than the book.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Journal by K. Atkinson, depressing but quick read about life and murder in the suburbs 11

The Visitant by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear- icky Anasazi stories of murder and incest mixed with interesting archaeology characters being developed–Don’t know if I’ll read the others.
The Price of Murder by Bruce Alexander
Jack, Knave, and Fool by Bruce Alexander
Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris, a great book, I enjoyed it.
Death of a Duchess by Elizabeth Eyre. I liked it well enough to get another of her books to read.
Shoes to Die For by Laura Levine. My short review is here.
Hasty Death by Marion Chesney- good, fun, fairly light reading
Sick of Shadows by Marion Chesney
Our Lady of Pain by Marion Chesney
The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davis- didn’t like it, too depressing
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier- I really liked this one, even though she didn’t know who it was till the end.
Turkey Day Murder by Leslie Meier- This is much later in the series and I didn’t like it as much. She looks like an idiot at the end and everyone is patronizing. I’m still going to look for other books, though.
Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier
Tippy Toe Murder by Leslie Meier
Bimbos and Zombies by Sharyn McCrumb
Shakespeare’s Trollop by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare’s Champion by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare’s Counselor by Charlaine Harris
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
The Julius House by Charlaine Harris
Dead Over Heels by Charlaine Harris
A Fool and His Honey by Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris
A Really Cute Corpse by Joan Hess, fun light read- Claire Malloy mystery
Misery Loves Maggody by Joan Hess- Arly Hanks mystery, not as good
Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs, better than Cross Bones but very painful in places
Death at Dartmoor by Robin Paige- very good, weaves together several returning characters
A Trust Betrayed by Candace Robb- not as good as I was hoping. Think I’ll give up on the author.
Don’t Look Now by Linda Lael Miller- This is an author I like in romance. I wasn’t as impressed with the mystery, but that may be because I kept expecting the romance to get stronger and it never did.
Death at Glamis Castle by Robin Paige- a good series, still good after several books
Death in Hype Park by Robin Paige
Murder at the Monks’ Table by Sister Carol Anne O’Marie
Once Upon a Crime by M.D. Lake- didn’t like this one
The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters- good book, lookng forward to reading more of hers 36

Children’s Books:
(I like to read these and I don’t usually put them on the list, but maybe I should.)
Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots
Santa Clause Doesn’t Mop Floors
Leprechauns Don’t Play Basketball
Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips (Except that it is obvious they do.)
Zombies Don’t Play Soccer (This one was strange. It was clearly not a zombie at the end.)
Aliens Don’t Wear Braces
Gargoyles Don’t Drive School Buses (I liked this one. In it a library is saved.)
Frankenstein Doesn’t Plant Flowers
Martians Don’t Take Temperatures
Skeletons Don’t Play Tubas
A Weave of Words, beautifully illustrated
The Year Without Rain, beautiful illustrations, tells a historical tale of sharing and keeping people alive
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf
The Truth of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, by Otifnoski
The Popcorn Machine (read this one about ten times)15
Amelia Bedelia

Science Fiction:
Accidental Goddess by Linnae Sinclair– I very much enjoyed this one.
Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnae Sinclair. My review.
Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber
Alien Taste by Wen Spencer– Fascinating. First Ukiah Oregon book. As of January 2007 there are four.
Tainted Trail by Wen Spencer
Bitter Waters by Wen Spencer
Dog Warrior by Wen Spencer
Games of Chance by Linnae Sinclair: I have read this one about seven times in one week. It is excellent.
Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson
The Weapon by Michael Z. Williamson
Here Be Monsters by Christopher Stasheff
Matadora by Steve Perry
Black Steel by Steve Perry
Albino Knife by Steve Perry
Brother Death by Steve Perry
The Omega Cage by Steve Perry
The Machiavelli Interface by Steve Perry
The Man Who Never Missed by Steve Perry
The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry
Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey- start of five books, pretty good
Dinosaur Planet Survivors by Anne McCaffrey
Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon- works off earlier book
The Death of Sleep by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lyn Nye- develops character from earlier book
Generation Warrior by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon- pulls all the characters together. Don’t think they really did a good job of Lunzie throughout, but okay.
Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey- short stories, some of which are parts of books, some of which were new to me
I’ve been re-reading the Honor Harrington series: On Basilisk Station
The Honor of the Queen
The Short Victorious War
Field of Dishonor
Flag in Exile
Honor Among Enemies
In Enemy Hands
Echoes of Honor
Ashes of Victory
War of Honor
At All Costs
The Shadow of Saganami
Crown of Slaves
More than Honor
Worlds of Honor
Changer of Worlds
The Service of the Sword
The Excalibur Alternative by David Weber. First time I read this, even though I’ve owned it for a while.
The Apocalypse Troll by David Weber. 44
Soon I Will be Invincible
Endless Blue by Wen Spencer (It isn’t out yet. I read it on Baen.)
I’ve been rereading Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s books, too.
Crystal Soldier
Crystal Dragon
Pilot’s Choice
Conflict of Honors
Agent of Change
Carpe Diem
Plan B
I Dare

A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer– good book I enjoyed it. The boys said it sounded like a romance, but really its a milieu story.
Tinker by Wen Spencer– R recommended the book and I read it. I enjoyed it so much I had to order the sequel.
Wolf Who Rules by Wen Spencer
Divine by Choice by P.C. Cast– I didn’t love this one as much as the first, but it is good. I didn’t like it because I don’t like the fact that she has sex with someone other than her husband. It kind of ruined the true love aspect of the book.
The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
To Light a Candle by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
A Walk in Wolf Wood by Mary Stewart- fun, fairly light reading
The Witching Hour by Nora Roberts
Winter Rose by Nora Roberts
A World Apart by Nora Roberts
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine- Came to me highly recommended and I liked it.
The Wizard of London by Mercedes Lackey– My brother said not to buy it in hard back. That was a good call. It has great character development, but the plot is a little… flimsy.
Another Day, Another Dungeon by Greg Costikyan– light read, a little slow in the middle, but good.
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris. About a woman who can feel where and how the dead died.
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
A Wizard’s Dozen edited by Michael Stearns: There were a few good stories, but overall, not that good.
Saint Vidicon To the Rescue by Christopher Stasheff.
When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory (Book 3 of the Obsidian Trilogy)
White Night by Jim Butcher, very good, reminded me why I bought them all
The Crafters by Christopher Stasheff
Goddess of Love by PC Cast
Oath of Swords by David Weber
War God’s Own by David Weber
Windrider’s Oath by David Weber
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
Academen’s Fury by Jim Butcher
Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher, an amazing book, third in a series, I’ve read it three times in two days.
One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey- good, enjoyable book
Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey- very light weight, definitely don’t buy it in hardback
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. I read it twice in a row.
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey– some obvious anti-war propaganda that doesn’t belong to the war it is purported to match, but a good book despite that
Serpent’s Shadow by Mercedes Lackey
Exile’s Honor by Mercedes Lackey36
It takes a Theif
Exile’s Valor
Arrows of the Queen
Arrows Fall
Arrows Flight
Winds of Change
Winds of Fate
Winds of Fury
Storm Warning

The Faiths of Our Fathers by Alf J. Mapp, Jr.
Women in Anglo-Saxon England and the Impact of 1066 by Christine Fell
Art & Love: An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Reading in Bed
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura
How to Write Love Letters
Book Lovers Quotations
The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes. I’ve been wanting this book since I read it in the American Library in Geneva, Switzerland, which, by the way, was run by Brits. It had way too many biographies, but I found some great books there. I indented this even though it has been 20+ years since I read it.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Paradise Lost by Milton
Scott’s Miscellany
Moving West Songbook with historical commentary by Keith and Rusty McNeil- neither of the songs I was particularly interested in had anything about their roots written down. Instead it was a social commentary on black-face in minstrel work. 11
Duty First by Ed Ruggero- I didn’t get to finish it because someone stole my book out of my teacher locker. Ouch.
The Language of God by Francis S. Collins
Hearing God by Dallas Willard
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanac by Benjamin Franklin
Reading in Bed
Study Skills for College Writers by Laurie Walker
Dead Men Do Tell Tales by William R. Maples, PhD and Michael Browning, good book by a forensic anthropologist
The Feejee Mermaid and Other Essays in Natural and Unnatural History by Jan Bondeson, chock full of info but very dry… Talks about literary authors and their comments on the different things.
Amelia Peabody’s Egypt: A Compendium edited by Elizabeth Peters
Oy! The World of Jewish Humor- funny and I read some jokes I haven’t heard before
The Best Life Diet 23
The Faces of Jesus: A Life Story by Friedrich Buechner
I Sold My Soul on EBay by Mehta
Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours by Kathleen Deignan and John Giuliani
What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You about Menopause by John R. Lee
Blueprint for Life
The Wisdom of the Saints, ed. J. H. Adels
The Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Mike Bickle
The Faiths of Our Fathers
Bedford Guide to English

Romance: (List only started in September.)
Forever Blue by Suzanne Brockman
Everyday, Average Jones
The Admiral’s Bride
Identity: Unknown
Get Lucky
Taylor’s Temptation
Night Watch
Hawken’s Heart
Harvard’s Education
Over the Edge
Into the Night
Hot Target
Gone Too Far
Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann- I did not like this one as well. It’s a romance novel with gay guys as the main characters. That’s not the worst. They fall in love at first sight, spend maybe two hours together, and they’re “in love forever.” That’s stupid. Guys or girls.
Red Wolf’s Return by Mary J. Forbes
The Daddy Makeover by Raeanne Thayne
The Baby Gamble by Tara Taylor Quinn- a depressing book where you get the idea that the main characters are going to die in two years.
The New Girl in Town by Brenda Harlen
Temporary Nanny by Carrie Weaver– a bit depressing
Taming the Playboy by Marie Ferrarella
Her Best Man by Crystal Green
Twin Surprise by Jacqueline Diamond
The Sheriff of Heartbreak County
and 10 others 33

Inspirational Fiction:
One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
When Joy Came to Stay by Karen Kingsbury
Redemption by Karen Kingsbury

Don’t send Flight 93 to Mecca

Stop the Memorial Blogburst: Why only 38 Memorial Groves?

One prominently advertised feature of the Flight 93 Memorial is the “40 Memorial Groves,” one for each of the murdered heroes:

40 Memorial Groves graphic

Why then does the actual design only contain 38?

Graphic of 38 groves

The Memorial Groves are built into the crescent of what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace. The crescent forms part of the symbolic heavens in architect Paul Murdoch’s crescent and star shaped design. Infidels cannot be memorialized in the Islamic heavens, so the 38 Memorial groves have to be a memorial to someone else. Who?

It is a simple geometric fact that a line across the most obtruding tips of the crescent of Memorial Groves points approximately to the White House:

Graphic of White House to crash-site line

A line across the Memorial Groves has the same slope (129° clockwise from north) as a line between the crash site and area of Washington DC that contains the Pentagon, the White House and the Capitol.

Notice also that the 38 groves can be seen as a set of 19 nested crescents. Take two groves away from the arc of 38 and a line across the tips of the remaining 36 will also point to the White House. Ditto for 34 groves, 32, etcetera, down to 2. One nested crescent for each of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists, each pointing to Washington, the specific target of the Flight 93 and Flight 77 terrorists and the symbolic target of all nineteen 9/11 terrorists.

Architect Paul Murdoch proves that he intends the 38 groves to be seen as a set of 19 nested crescents by surrounding the Tower of Voices with its own set of 19 nested crescents:

19 nested crescents in Tower array

The Tower array contains nineteen nested crescents of various lengths, some as short as two trees, the same as with the Memorial Groves. Using arcs as short as two trees long is Murdoch’s trick for hiding the number of nested crescents in the Tower array. It isn’t until one finds the 19 nested crescents in the Memorial Groves, where the shortest crescent is made up of only 2 groves, that one knows to count the pairs of trees as crescents.

The Tower array also contains four single trees, giving special recognition to the four Flight 93 hijackers.

If anyone wants to think that this is coincidence, that is fine. (If not for all the other Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the design, it might even be reasonable.) But even if it is coincidence, the American people still need to know that the planned Flight 93 memorial does in fact contain two sets of 19 nested crescents, and decide for themselves whether it is okay that the memorial contain elements like this that can be interpreted as honoring the 9/11 terrorists.

Fuller explanation of the Murdoch’s 19-nested-crescents theme here.

What can you do? Some suggestions here.

If you want to join the blogroll/blogburst for the Crescent of Betrayal blogburst, email Cao at caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com, with your blog’s url address. The blogburst will be sent out once a week to the participants, for simultaneous publication on this issue on Wednesdays.

Crescent of betrayal/surrender Blogburst Blogroll

Crescent of Embrace Embraces Islamic Martyrs

not the 40 passengers and crew who were murdered by them on Flight 93 on 9/11. The Memorial, being set up by the National Park Service, is full of Islamic symbolism. As the memorial is now, it will be a symbol of the triumph of Islamic extremists over Americans.

The controversy is discussed in Wikipedia.

In addition, Tom Burnett Sr., whose son (Tom Burnett) died in the crash, said he made an impassioned speech to his fellow jurors about what he felt the crescent represented. “I explained this goes back centuries as an old-time Islamic symbol,” Burnett said. “I told them we’d be a laughing stock if we did this.” [1]

This design choice initially created controversy because the terrorists who hijacked the aircraft were Muslim and conducted the attacks in the name of Islam. The crescent is generally recognized as an Islamic symbol and the Red Crescent is used as the Islamic equivalent of the Red Cross. The crescent is also represented on a number of flags of countries with Muslim majorities, including Pakistan.

The winning design’s crescent is also oriented toward Mecca. While the Belmont Club’s Richard Fernandez noted that this may just be a coincidence he went on to note: “But what a coincidence! Memorials are symbols above all and it may be inappropriate to commemorate Flight 93 with a Red Crescent facing Mecca.” [2]

The architect asserts that this is coincidental and there is no intent on referencing Muslim symbols. This sentiment has been shared by several victims families as well, such as the family of Ed Felt. Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado has opposed the design’s shape “because of the crescent’s prominent use as a symbol in Islam.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations has denounced criticism as Islamophobic. [3]

James Lileks, a journalist and architectural commentator, noted in regard to the winning design: “We don’t need giant statues of the guys ramming the drink cart into the door. But pedantic though such a monument might be, future generations would infer the plot. All you get from a Crescent of Embrace is a sorrowful sigh of all-encompassing grief and absolution, as if the lives of all who died on that spot were equal in tragedy. They were not.” [4]

Mike Rosen of the Rocky Mountain News wrote: “On the anniversaries of 9/11, it’s not hard to visualize al-Qaeda celebrating the crescent of maple trees, turning red in the fall, “embracing” the Flight 93 crash site. To them, it would be a memorial to their fallen martyrs. Why invite that? Just come up with a different design that eliminates the double meaning and the dispute.” [5]

Don’t you just love the Islamaphobic comment? If someone doesn’t like something, they’re “afraid” of you and hate you. (When did phobia become hate?) I don’t hate Muslims. I do hate what has been done by Muslims in the name of Allah to Americans and Christians and other non-Muslims around the world. I don’t see any reason to use their symbols in our memorial to our people. And I see many reasons not to do so.

To register a complaint about the subject, call the National Park Service at (814) 443-4557 or fax them at (814) 443-2180. They can also be emailed.

Renaissance Festival

Went yesterday for six solid hours of festival fun.

Very hot day. Very bright. Spent “lots” of money, almost $80. Bought a fan and a rondlet for my head.

We lost a rosary. (R took it off and forgot it. When he came back four minutes or so later, it was gone.)

I like to go in all the shops. R doesn’t. R likes to take pictures of all the people. I don’t. It was fun, but not as fun as it could have been.

I’d like to have heard the carrillion (or however you spell it) and seen the coin minting and the printing press and the glass blowing.

But I’m sure R saw more shops than he was interested in.

Lots of dressed up people. See here and these pics and a family’s view and these. Most are from last year, though the first are from this year.

While looking for pics I found all kinds of things. It was my own themed-Stumble. Most interesting? The story of Sawny Bean, the cannibal of Scotland.

Stop the Memorial

The memorial for Flight 93 is, at this moment, a memorial to the hijackers. It is a crescent, opening toward Mecca. In the fall the crescent will be red, because the trees will turn that color. That is wrong.

This is not a new topic at My Own Thoughts. It’s just one that ought to have been fixed already. Unfortunately, those who are in charge of the memorial for Flight 93 are not letting that happen.

Write the Park Service. (7/12/06)

Follow this link to give the National Park Service your opinion on the Flight 93 National Memorial.

Calling and writing the Park Service. I called the woman in charge of the Memorial. (9/14/05) I don’t know who the Superintendent is now, but the number is:

Superintendent – Flight 93 National Memorial
(814) 443-4557

A memorial to the hijackers? 9/9/2005

Stating your opinion in your business

Daring Young Mom supports her local bookstore. (Yeah for her!) But she doesn’t agree with their bumper sticker belief on their front door. (I agree with Daring.) However, she also said this, “I also don’t think it’s appropriate to place a sign like that prominently at the entry to your place of business.” That’s where we disagree.

It is their business. They have the right to post any sign they want to as long as it is legal. And, if it is something that they feel passionate enough about to lose business over, then they ought to post it.

Maybe talking to Daring will change their mind. But she wouldn’t have thought to discuss such a topic if they hadn’t had the sign there. So… the sign initiates discussions.

My wonderful hubby had a great post on passion in the world today and why we venerate it.

I don’t know if I am falling for the enthusiasm without substance he was talking about… but I still think if someone believes something, they ought to be able to post it at their place of business. It IS their business, after all.

Stop the Murdoch Memorial Blogburst

Pennsylvania Newspapers Pretend There is No Direction to Mecca

In September 2005, a half dozen different bloggers verified that a person facing into what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 would be facing almost exactly at Mecca. Some surrounding trees have been added to the design, but the giant central crescent remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign:

With Tom Burnett Sr. condemning the crescent design and refusing to allow Tom Jr.’s name to be used, there is now a big public controversy in western Pennsylvania over whether the giant crescent really is oriented on Mecca. In response, the Memorial Project has decided to deny that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca, and Pittsburgh’s two major newspapers are both backing up this transparent falsehood.

Professor Daniel Griffith, who is serving as a consultant to the Memorial Project, told the Post Gazette that: “anything can point toward Mecca, because the earth is round.” …

He made similar statements to the Pittsburg Tribune Review and the Johnstown Tribune Democrat. None of these papers asked for a second opinion from any of the one billion Muslims who face Mecca five times a day for prayer, and it isn’t that the media has been duped by Griffith.

Editors and reporters at both the Post Gazette and the Tribune Review are fully aware that a host of bloggers have independently verified the Mecca orientation of the crescent design. It was actually the Tribune Review that first commissioned Professor Griffith to analyze the blogosphere’s Mecca-orientation claims. Alec Rawls, who has written a book about the many Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the crescent design, has a copy of Griffith’s report for the Tribune Review posted online. The first thing Griffith does is calculate the direction to Mecca:

I computed an azimuth value from the Flight 93 crater site to Mecca of roughly 55.20°.

“Azimuth” is the technical term for “direction,” measured in degrees clockwise from north. Now Griffith is denying that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca, and the Tribune Review refuses to tell its readers that Griffith is contradicting the report that he wrote for them.

The Post Gazette is even more outrageous. Rawls was told by Post Gazette reporter Paula Ward that she and her editors saw all the blog posts on the Mecca orientation of the Crescent of Embrace back in September 2005 and decided not to publish this explosive information. (Crescent of Betrayal, download 3, p. 108.) At the same time, the Post Gazette was running editorials that called critics of the crescent paranoid bigots:

But like those who look at innocent kids trick-or-treating at Halloween and see only the devil’s work, a few small and suspicious minds couldn’t look past the crescent to see a remarkably sensitive design.

When Tom Burnet Sr. asked the American people last month to please take his and Mr. Rawls’ warnings about the crescent design seriously, the Post Gazette responded with an editorial titled: “Efforts to sully Flight 93 memorial deserve scorn.”

What is the significance of a crescent that a person faces into to face Mecca? Such a structure is called a mihrab, and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. That is why the surrounding trees added in the Bowl of Embrace redesign do nothing to alter the Islamic significance of the design. You can plant as many trees around a mosque as you want and it will still be a mosque.

One local paper actually did fact-check the orientation of the giant crescent and validated the Mecca orientation claim in print, but the larger papers are all refusing to pass this fact checking on, or to do their own, even though it is simple one-two operation. All that Tribune Democrat reporter Kirk Swauger had to do was use the Mecca direction calculator at Islam.com to print out a graphic of the direction to Mecca from Somerset PA, then place this print out over the Crescent of Embrace site-plan PDF on his computer screen:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The green circle, marked with the qibla direction (the direction to Mecca), is from Islam.com. Graphic shows that a person standing at the midpoint between the most obtruding tips of the crescent structure and facing into the center of the crescent (red arrow), will be facing almost exactly at Mecca. (Hat tip Sarah Wells.)

As Swauger put it in his news article:

[Rawls’] claims seem to be backed up by coordinates for the direction of qibla from Somerset that can be found on Islam.com. When superimposed over the crescent in the memorial design, the midpoint points over the Arctic Circle, through Europe toward Mecca.

Having suppressed this information for two years, Pittsburgh’s major newspapers are desperate to keep it suppressed now, or they will be ruined. Thus they find themselves camped out on the very spot that the blogosphere ranged with its artillery two years ago. They know full well that the Mecca-orientation of the crescent has been verified numerous times and are counting on their control of public information to keep this knowledge from getting out to the general public.

The challenge to bloggers could not be more overt. Can the blogosphere retrieve its earlier fact checking from the memory hole and bust these news frauds? Easy and permanent access to existing fact checking is the blogosphere’s natural advantage, but we still have to take advantage of it.

This information was also mentioned at Newsbusters here on September 27, 2007.


If you want to join us outraged protesting bloggers

  1. in objecting to planting an Islamic symbol instead of an American one on the crash site,
  2. in objecting to its pointing to Mecca and the terrorists’ intended target,
  3. in objecting to dishonoring the memory of the people who fought the terrorists on Flight 93
  4. in pointing out how Paul Murdoch cleverly and symbolically cast the passenger and crew out of the Islamic heavens in the design while the terrorists are inside the Islamic heavens
  5. in pointing out how the date and the site are dedicated to the terrorists
  6. in pointing out the numerous redundant mosque design features
  7. in pointing out the terrorist memorializing features
  8. and post along with us on Wednesdays,

please contact caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com with your website url. She will, in turn, add you to the email list, send you the blogroll code (if you want to put it in your sidebar), and will send you the prewritten text to post. You should receive the email from Cao a day or two prior to the Wednesday it should be posted, and tracked back to Cao’s blog and Error Theory, if your blog has that capability. This will help us track who in the blogroll is posting the blogburst.

Let’s roll.

Stop the Memorial Blogburst


Riddle me this

What was Paul Murdoch, the design’s architect, thinking? What was his ulterior motive? When controversy over the original name “Crescent of Embrace” and the bald Islamic symbol planted on the crash site brought a public outcry, the entire memorial was hastily re-titled “40 Memorial Groves.”

As Alec is apt to do, he’s having some fun with this: So why only 38 Memorial Groves?

His answer should appear today at Error Theory, go check it out!

Trackbacked to Cao’s blog and Error Theory.

Medieval games, sites

The Middle Ages for Kids, Games: Lots of links. Includes links for literature.

Toys in the Middle Ages, Art: Descriptions of games and toys, including history.

Middle Ages Renaissance Age Games: Links with paragraph explanations.

Medieval Games, including explanations of the game and historical points. Did you know that the Romans played Bocce during the Punic Wars? Charlemagne (1200 AD) outlawed Bocce because the soldiers were too involved in playing to show up at the battles?

These are some of the sites I am using to get ready for my Games and Races Through History class.