Charles Brian Orner


Interested readers will discover additional details here in a wide variety of areas, including the arts, astronomy, business, culture, environment, gaming, geography, language, history, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, politics, religion, and science. Spend a little time with the notes; it'll pique your interest. Then buy the book. Most notes have been taken from public sources such as Wikipedia. The remainder are given attribution.

Chapter 20

1    October 17 1896, Denver Post, “Further Facts in the Case of Mark Hanna,” pg. 6, cols. 6-7: “Those of us who are well fed, well garmented and well ordered, ought not to forget that necessity makes frequently the root of crime. It is well for us to recollect that even in our own law-abiding, not to say virtuous cases, the only barrier between us and anarchy is the last nine meals we’ve had. It may be taken as axiomatic that a starving man is never a good citizen.” - Alfred Henry Lewis (January 20, 1855 – December 23, 1914), an American investigative journalist, lawyer, novelist, editor, and short story writer.
2    In urban slang, a “nave” is someone who bothers you, purposely or not. It is often used pejoratively in referring to very ugly women.
3    The river Eridanos is a river mentioned in Greek mythology. Virgil considered it one of the rivers of Hades in his Aeneid VI, 659. Hesiod, in the Theogony, calls it “deep-eddying Eridanos” in his list of rivers, the offspring of Tethys. Herodotus (III, 115) associated it with the river Po, because the Po was located near the end of the Amber Trail. According to Apollonius of Rhodes and Ovid, amber originated from the tears of the Heliades, encased in poplars as dryads, shed when their brother, Phaeton, died and fell from the sky, struck by Zeus’ thunderbolt, and tumbled into the Eridanos, where “to this very day the marsh exhales a heavy vapour which rises from his smouldering wound; no bird can stretch out its fragile wings to fly over that water, but in mid-flight it falls dead in the flames…”
       “Along the green banks of the river Eridanos,” Cygnus mourned Phaeton—Ovid told—and was transformed into a swan.
4    “Verstehen sie mich?” means “Do you understand me?” in German.
5    “Do not confuse appeasement with tactfulness or generosity. Appeasement is not consideration for the feelings of others, it is consideration for and compliance with the unjust, irrational and evil feelings of others. It is a policy of exempting the emotions of others from moral judgment, and of willingness to sacrifice innocent, virtuous victims to the evil malice of such emotions.” - Ayn Rand, The Age of Envy
6    The flehmen response is a behavior whereby an animal curls back its upper lips exposing its front teeth, inhales with the nostrils usually closed and then often holds this position for several seconds. It may be performed over a site or substance of particular interest to the animal (e.g., urine or feces) or may be performed with the neck stretched and the head held high in the air. Flehmen is performed by a wide range of mammals including ungulates and felids. The behavior facilitates the transfer of pheromones and other scents into the vomeronasal organ located above the roof of the mouth via a duct which exits just behind the front teeth of the animal.
7    Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. From scene 14: Pippin: It’s so quiet. / Gandalf: It’s the deep breath before the plunge. / Pippin: I don’t want to be in a battle. But waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse. Is there any hope Gandalf, for Frodo and Sam? / Gandalf: There never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope.
8    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are characters in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. They are courtiers the king sends to spy on Hamlet, using their claimed friendship with him to gain his confidence. Rosencrantz (“rosary”) and Gyldenstjerne/Gyllenstierna (“golden star”) were names of Danish (and Swedish) noble families of the sixteenth century; records of the Danish royal coronation of 1596 show that one tenth of the aristocrats participating bore one or the other name. James Voelkel suggests that the characters were named after Frederick Rosenkrantz and Knud Gyldenstierne (cousins of Tycho Brahe), who had visited England in 1592.
9    Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream is a 1990 non-fiction book written by H. G. Bissinger. The book follows the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas as they made a run towards the Texas state championship. While originally intended to be a Hoosiers-type chronicle of high school sports holding a small town together, the final book ended up being critical about life in the town of Odessa.

Brian Orner