Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cambridge Masonic Temple Open House yesterday

Open House at the
Cambridge Masonic Temple
By Aaron Sherman

As I posted on Google Plus and Facebook, yesterday, we had a state-wide Open House in the Masonic Lodges in Massachusetts along with several other states which followed our example of previous years.

To recap the event, we had a good turnout. Lots of folks wanted the full tour and I started to get a sense of what was useful and not useful to cover for someone looking at us from the outside. In case anyone's curious, here's how it went:

Usually we'd start in the basement function hall to grab a snack or drink if they wanted any. We'd hang out there and chat to see if we could bundle up a group and then proceed to the second floor "business room" which is just an informal room with a big table for hanging out and talking before meetings or otherwise having less formal events like our book club. We'd talk about the history: when the Grand Lodge of England was formed (1717), when the Massachusetts Grand Lodge was formed (1733), when the oldest Lodge associated with the Cambridge Masonic Temple was formed (1805) and when the Cambridge Masonic Temple was built (1910).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Obama is not remotely the worst President in US history

By Aaron Sherman

Today, I came across another one of those silly, "Obama is the worst President ever!" claims that you see floating around poorly spelled Facebook posts or Fox News. Usually I brush it off, but tonight I thought it needed a real response. Let me be clear, I'm a moderate who's not always a big fan of Obama. I don't like Obamacare (single payer models are cheaper and more effective) and I'm aghast at the expansion of domestic spying under his and W's administrations. That said, I think calling him the worst President ever is as absurd as any claim I've ever heard in the political realm, and I lived through Reagan claiming that he had no idea that Iran-Contra was going on in his administration and Nixon claiming that he wasn't a crook.

So here was my response, reviewing the past few decades of Presidents.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to watch Star Trek

By Aaron Sherman

A while back, I did an essay about Babylon 5 that was primarily a guide for those who had never seen the show. I feel that watching it start-to-end is a bit of a mistake at this point, and there are places where you really should take a break and review what you've seen.

Star Trek isn't the same sort of thing. Star Trek is more of a mythology than a story, and as such you can pretty much jump in anywhere and enjoy it. That being said, I have definite opinions on how you might go about this. I recently put part of this together for a Google Plus response to someone who had never watched the series, so here it is (a bit expanded) for everyone: