A Life Denied – A Life Saved

A Life Denied – A Life Saved

Easter 48


The motive or impetus for this series on women inventors was the diabolical and tragic use of three kidnapped schoolgirls as suicide bombers by a group of Islamic fanatics and terrorists operating in Africa.  This group of rather cowardly and anything-but-religious males seeks domination and they do so by sending others out to rape, pillage, and die.  The Internet is full of millions of references that uphold my next statement: Only the weak and lacking in self-esteem need to resort to domination and manipulation, kidnapping and other acts of violence, name-calling to incite frenzy and panic.  People convinced of their purposes and beliefs can discuss such calmly and with conviction, not screaming and waving automatic firearms and throwing grenades.  The death of one of those schoolgirls for such an unworthy cause was beyond tragic.


There is no basis for thinking women are not capable of higher learning or intelligent thought processes and I sought to give multiple examples of such.  Gender discrimination has no one event to mark as its beginning.  Some claim the Biblical Old testament story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is its beginning.  Others cite basic physiology as the reason.  Males were bigger and stronger and they could guarantee the most successful hunts and returning with food while the females did better at tending the cave or whatever passed as living arrangements.  Regardless of the earl beginnings, there is no need for gender discrimination today.


Today was we begin to conclude this series we will discuss women who were, for one reason or another, denied opportunity.  These women created their own lives, much as we all should and in doing so, created a much better world for us all.  They refused to let life enslave them or restrict them and in doing so, invented life-saving devices.


Guiliana Cavagliere Tesoro was born in Venice Italy into a Jewish family.  She was denied the right to higher education due to fascist laws which were passed under the reign of Mussolini.  She moved to Switzerland and then the United States and completed a Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University at the age of 21. She married that same year and gave birth to two children but otherhood did not slow her down.  Before her death in 2002, Dr. Guiliana Tesoro would invent flame-retardant materials that save the lives of firefighters every day.  Some of her other synthetic fibers enhance our own lives daily, such things as permanent press clothing, for instance.


Edith Flanigen was born in Buffalo, New York and benefitted from attending a Roman Catholic all-girls school which had an excellent chemistry department.  Edith went on to major in chemistry in college and earned two degrees.  She left college and went to work for Union Carbide Company, having a most successful career there that would span forty-two years.


Edith Flanigen was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002 and awarded in 2014 the National Medal of Technology and Invention by President Barrack Obama.  Before her retirement she invented more than two hundred different synthetic substances, awarded more than one hundred and nine patents, and wrote over thirty-six scientific works which were published.


One of Edith’s most successful invention is something called Zeolite X, a molecular sieve that can separate petroleum into various parts.  She also invented a synthetic emerald.  This was not only used for commercial jewelry, its more important application is in the use of lasers and other scientific equipment.  Edith Flanigen is proof that women can not only think but contribute when allowed to surpass societal norms.  Edith’s synthetic emerald has allowed the use of lasers in many life-saving operations as well as the development of drugs to combat disease.


Maria Beasley lived in the nineteenth century and disliked the life rafts of the day.  She set about inventing something better and in 1882 received a patent for such.  Maria’s life raft is similar to those used today and consisted of a lightweight design that could be folded and yet still support several grown adults when put into action.


At the 1884 Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, Maria Beasley displayed some of her fifteen inventions, almost all of which earned her money which was a bit unheard of for that time in society.  They average working woman earned about three dollars a day while Maria grossed twenty thousand dollars a year.  Her inventions included a steam generator, a foot warmer, a wooden-barrel making machine and an anti-derailment device for trains.


Rosalind Franklin grew up in London, England and also benefited from a parochial schooling, this time at a Jewish school.  Rosalind knew from an early age that science was her great love and she studied it prodigiously.  Her aunt described her as a child:  “Rosalind is alarmingly clever – she spends all her time doing arithmetic for pleasure, and invariably gets her sums right.”


Rosalind would go on to study coal, using helium to determine its density.  This probably does not sound like much to those of us not scientifically included but her studies of this led to the invention of the gas mask, among other things.  She continued her studies of coal and how temperatures affect the molecules of substances, gaining a reputation as an experimental diffraction researcher.  It was this reputation and an appointment at King’s College that led to her work with DNA fibers.


Franklin was half of a team that discovered there were two types of DNA.  It would be twelve years before the true nature of this discovery would be appreciated and by that time, Rosalind Franklin had died of ovarian cancer.  In 1962 James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA double helix, a discovery made possible by the x-ray diffraction discoveries of Rosalind Franklin.   Many believed she would have received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry that year but the Nobel Committee does not award posthumously.


Candace Helen Brown Elliot is the modern woman, innovative and inventive.  A native of the area in California known as Silicon Valley for its technological businesses, Candace is best known for her work with flat panel displays, one of which you might be using this very moment.   Such advances in computer displays enable doctors to advise on operations halfway around the world.  She has nearly one hundred patents issued to her with others pending.  A mother of two grown daughters, Candace is also a pilot and has had several technological companies of her own.   She had her husband live in Silicon Valley where in her spare time, she gardens.


Candace Brown Elliot is a firm believer in giving people a chance to develop their own potential and has some strong thoughts about the subject.  “Even the best and brightest from our leading universities have rarely been instructed on how to be creative.  Our engineering schools teach convergent thinking skills, but rarely teach, or even acknowledge the value of, divergent thinking.  Consider that each and every class assignment that they have likely ever work on had a single “right” answer and no other.  But novel problems require novel solutions.  A good training series for all employees would include the three basics, divergent thinking skills, convergent thinking skills, and continuing self-education skills.”


I’ve said it before and I’m saying it now.  Life is messy.  Things go awry, people disappoint.  Life happens and it is neither always pretty nor pleasant.  Each day is a novel experience and, as these women have proven, it often requires a novel approach to see it through to the end of the day.  Some call it thinking outside the box while others would offer we need to find the right box and then develop it to its full potential.  When it comes to potential, the sky is the limit, regardless of gender.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s female inventors.  They certainly have gone above and beyond!


To Protect

To Protect

Easter 39


Next week is National Police Week and the week after is National Emergency Services Week.  While the past several years have illustrated the need for perhaps greater diversity training, more funds allocated to scenario-based trainings, and better public relations and community functions between law enforcement and the citizens they serve and protect, no one should deny the bravery needed to do the jobs these two weeks commemorate.


Life is messy.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  Law enforcement agencies and their accompanying emergency services department such as the fire department and emergency medical personnel help keep it as clean as possible.


For anyone to run into a burning building to save a life takes courage but to do so for a total stranger, one whose identity is unknown, whose religion is not an issue, who sexual orientation is unimportant…That takes a hero.  Not every hero is perfect.  Stan Lee has made a fortune creating imperfect heroes in his comic books.  Usually it is the imperfections that make these heroes so loveable.


When our law enforcement heroes prove to be human, though, we often rebel.  We want them to be perfect because it would take a perfect person to care that much about humanity, it sometimes seems.  The truth is that these community police and medical personnel are very much human.  They bring to the job their skills and talents as well as their flaws.


The greatest detriment to them doing their job, however, is their status as human beings.  They are vulnerable to weapons and often these weapons are being aimed at them and fired.  In a job where even mechanical robots and other devices fall victim to the bullets and bombs used by unlawful persons, these high energy humans were easy targets.


Then salvation came along in the form of a female chemist named Stephanie Kwolek.  The daughter of polish immigrants, Stephanie grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  As was typical for the period, Stephanie attended an all-girls college that was part of a larger university.  She majored in chemistry.


With a shortage of men due to the draft of World War II, Stephanie procured a position working at the DuPont Company.  She planned to work and earn money for medical school.  At DuPont she worked with polymers.  There are naturally occurring polymers in science such as amber, wool, silk, and natural rubber.  Synthetic polymers are manmade substances with repeating patterns of many molecules which makes for a very strong substance.


After World War II, Stephanie kept her job at DuPont and in the early 1960’s was in charge of a project whose purpose was to develop a better tire for automobiles.  Trying to develop a strong, lightweight fiber that could be used in the making of tires, Stephanie’s solution turned cloudy instead of staying clear.  Interested, she convinced another scientist to test her solution.  They discovered that it was strong, five times stronger than steel by weight. 


Stephanie not only had invented a new type of nylon, she had invented a new branch of science known as polymer science.  The project was quickly assigned to a man and Stephanie Kwolek had little to do with her invention commonly known as Kevlar.  During the week of her death almost two years ago in 2014, the one millionth Kevlar vest was sold.


Kevlar is most commonly known as being the material which makes up bullet-proof vests but is actually has over two hundred uses.  Everything from tennis rackets to skis, boats to airplanes, ropes and cables to tires, gloves to hockey sticks – all are made from Kevlar.  Even hurricane-safe rooms and bridges utilize the fiber once considered a mistake.


Usually Stephanie’s cloudy mixture would have been thrown out in the garbage, considered a victim of an over-heated oven.  Perhaps the lesson here is that mistakes happen but good can come from them if we apply ourselves.



Hop to It!

Hop to It!

Easter 38


We tend to think of retiring military officers as being in their late forties or early fifties.  Some retire even earlier, having entered military service at the age of eighteen or twenty-one and then serving twenty years before retiring.  The US Navy, though, actually had four officers who served into their eighties and two served on active duty for life due to their promotions as fleet admirals.


During World War II, women had the opportunity to enlist and many did, forgoing their jobs in order to do so.  My own mother was one such patriot who gave up a teaching career to enlist in the US Army.  One particular young woman also enlisted.  She had first been denied and then later accepted to her first choice for college at Vassar.  She later earned a masters and doctorate at Yale University and returned to Vassar to teach mathematics.  She took a leave of absence from Vassar in 1943 and, after obtaining an exemption for being too thin, she enlisted in the US Navy’s women’s corps known as the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service).  After several tours and retirements, she would retire as the oldest active-duty commissioned officers in the United States Navy at the age of seventy-nine years, eight months, and five days.


Grace Murray Hopper was a most curious child.  Her mother restricted her at the age of seven to dismantling only one alarm clock at a time.  Grace, you see, had actually torn apart seven in order to determine how they worked before her mother realized her actions.  This curiosity would serve her well during World War II.


Grace was assigned to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University.  She coauthored a series of papers regarding the Mark I computer programming.  She would go on to invent computer programming language that we all know as COBOL and FORTRAN.  IN the 1970’s Grace Hopper advised the Department of Defense they needed to downsize their massive mainframe computers.  She foresaw replacing the large centralized systems with networks of smaller computers.  These small computers would have easily accessible databases that users could utilize from their own workstations.  This also necessitated the standardization of programming language among major computer vendors.


The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the largest gathering of women in technology in the world.  She epitomizes the potential of each woman today and is the reason we should encourage young girls to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as the arts.


“The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, ‘Do you think we can do this?’ I say, “Try it.” And I back ’em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ’em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.”


Grace Murray Hopper is a role model for us all regardless of whether we are in computers or technology or simply sitting at home reading a blog post.  We need to remind ourselves that we can do this thing called life.


Proof is in the Pudding

Proof is in the Pudding

Easter 32


He is known as one of the leaders of the Romantic period.  Considered one of England’s greatest poets whose personal life was both celebrated and censured, Lord Byron was also father to the world’s first female computer scientist in the mid nineteenth century.


Charles Babbage was born in England in 1791.  As a child he contracted a dangerous fever and spent several years with a private tutor and solitude.  In later life he once stated that this time might be responsible for his later “mind reasonings”.  Babbage was a mechanical engineer, inventing the “pilot” or as it is commonly known, the cow-catcher.  This was a metal structure attached to the front of a train locomotive to clear the tracks.


Babbage also founded the British Astronomical Society in 1820 and the Analytical Society four years later.  He would later help write the first calculus textbook.  It is his biggest “failure”, though, that he might be best remembered for and which brings us to our female inventor for today.


In 1822, Babbage presented a paper the astronomical Society entitled “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables.”  Babbage’s Analytical Machine was to be used for calculating polynomials by using a numerical process he termed “the differences method”.  The British government was suitably impressed and eventually gave Babbage almost twenty thousand pounds towards the development of such a device before abandoning it in 1842.


Babbage’s device consisted of an analytical machine which used punch cards to specify the input and necessary calculations to determine the desired outcome.  It consisted of two parts which Babbage called the mill and the store, possibly taking these terms from the Jacquard loom which had been the original home of said punch cards.


Babbage’s Analytical Machine was no small undertaking.  Its development comprised 500 large design drawings, 1000 sheets of mechanical notation, and 7000 sheets of scribbles. The completed mill would measure 15 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter and the 100 digit store would stretch to 25 feet long.  While the government officially withdrew support, Babbage continued to work on his design.  An Italian mathematician wrote a paper on Babbage’s design which was translated into English by the Countess of Lovelace, Augusta Ada King, daughter of Lord Byron.


Ada Lovelace was the only legitimate heir of Lord Byron although her parents were married for a brief time.  He would later die during the Greek War for Independence when Ada was only eight years old.  Because her parents’ marriage had ended bitterly and with acrimony that remained with her mother for the rest of her life, Ada’s interest in mathematics was greatly encouraged as a means of avoiding the “madness” her mother feared she might have inherited from her father.


Ada Lovelace considered herself a “poetical scientist” and an “analyst and metaphysician”.  She was only eighteen when she met Charles Babbage and twenty-eight years old when she translated the Italian piece about his work.  She supplanted her translation with a set of her own summations in a work she entitled “Notes”.  Her summarizations are what many in the field consider to be the very first computer program.  Lovelace envisioned an algorithm which would be commutated by a machine, giving her the nickname by which many know her – “Algorithm Enchantress”.


Of Babbage’s machine, Ada Lovelace wrote: “Many persons who are not conversant with mathematical studies imagine that because the business of [Babbage’s Analytical Engine] is to give its results in numerical notation, the nature of its processes must consequently be arithmetical and numerical, rather than algebraical and analytical. This is an error. The engine can arrange and combine its numerical quantities exactly as if they were letters or any other general symbols; and in fact it might bring out its results in algebraical notation, were provisions made accordingly,” Lovelace explained.


Ada Lovelace foresaw computers as being more than just number-crunching machines.  True to her description of being a “poetical scientist”, she questioned how technology could be used as a collaborative tool with people and nations, even the world.  Her life was cut short at the age of thirty-six and she died of uterine cancer in 1852, a dreamer who might be among the earliest responsible for the computer you use today for more than just number equations.


Some have disputed Ada Lovelace’s ability with mathematics but Clearly Charles Babbage gave her due credit in this statement: “Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans—everything in short but the Enchantress of Number.”   Babbage also wrote a treatise entitled “On the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation”.  In it he posited the idea that God “had the omnipotence and foresight to create as a divine legislator, making laws (or programs) which then produced species at the appropriate times, rather than continually interfering with ad hoc miracles each time a new species was required.”


Ada Lovelace’s influence on Charles Babbage was strong and he would eventually see things with her vision.  Babbage was also a cryptographer and deciphered the Vigenère’s autokey cipher.  His discovery was used in English military campaigns and kept a secret which allowed someone else to receive credit even though his findings came after those of Babbage.


Clearly for Ada Lovelace the need for being able to convey reality and desired outcomes was important.  She also, however, had the wisdom to go beyond with present and look for future applications, to think outside of the box so to speak.  At the end of the nineteenth century, using both Babbage and Lovelace’s notes, the Analytical Machine was developed and it did work.


An algorithm is simply a set of rules or process for which something is accomplished.  I have a friend who is a mathematics instructor and her faith in her students reminds me of Lovelace’s faith in Babbage and in the future.  While her students probably don’t realize it, the algorithms my friend is helping them decipher could very well be the tools for living the rest of their lives.


Most of us have a belief system that functions as an algorithm for our own living.  So often we get bogged down in the minutiae of life and fail to see what is happening if it is not what we expected.  We fail to have the patience to look beyond the moment and envision what could be.  We need to have faith in our beliefs and let them work for us and show us the possibilities instead of confining them to that which we have already known.  We need to be poetical visionaries and follow Ada Lovelace’s example in looking beyond.  Pudding was a mistake that tasted delicious.  Sometimes the real value is in the process because the finished result might just be beyond anything we could ever imagine.



An Eye 4 an Eye; a Heart 4 All

An Eye 4 an Eye; a heart 4 All

Lent 4


In mathematics, a Motzkin number for a given number n is the number of different ways of drawing non-intersecting lines between n points on a circle.  This may not seem very interesting to you but Motzkin numbers cross mathematical genres and have a variety of purposes in determining and defining our lives.  I find these numbers interesting because they appear as illustrations – lines drawn between two points or more on a circle.  We live on a planet that is often represented by a globe, which is as you know a circle.  Whenever people connect, they often form the illustration of a Motzkin number.  You know how much I like connections; no surprise that I like Motzkin numbers.


Four is a Motzkin number.  It is also a number, a numeral, and a glyph.  Let’s work backwards in defining the number “4”.  First though, we have to talk about typography.  You all are typography experts, especially if you read my blog posts.  I can be a good proofreader but often miss things in my own posts.  This is usually because I am caught in a time-crunch but also because my mind knows what I wanted to put on the page and so it sees what it thought I wrote and not what is on the page itself.   Typography is arranging things in such a way that they can be read and understood.  Typography is important in numbers because it gives them meaning.  The dashes between a phone number take it from being an identification number to being a phone number, from representing an account number to a website address.


A person writing wants their writing to be understood and sometimes a glyph is employed to do this.  A glyph is a symbol within an agreed-upon set of symbols that is intended to represent a character, a character that exists only in writing.  Glyphs are those marks that collectively result in the spelling of a word or contribute to the meaning.  I should note that such meaning is entirely dependent upon culture and the usage within a certain social construct.  Think about the lower case “I”.  Written properly, there is a dot above the small vertical line.  The dot is not a glyph because it doesn’t really mean anything and the “I” is recognizable without it.  In the Turkish language, though, that dot is a glyph because the Turkish language has two distinct versions of the letter “I” – one with a dot and one without a dot.


Four follows the number three and comes just before the number five.  It is the only number that has the same number of letters in the English language as the value it represents.  A number is a theoretical concept that represents a certain value and a numeral is the physical representation of that value.  Thus the number “4” is a number, a numeral, and a glyph.


Although the number four is found within the Torah, the Quran, and the Bible (Luke 13:29), Biblical numerology does not usually contain the number four.  It is a different story in numerology, that concept that assigns meaning and distinction to numbers.  In that discipline, the number “4” is a number of stability, order, and completion of justice.  Succinctly put, number “4” is the number of earth and mankind.


Four appears quite often in our lives.  There are four points on a compass, four winds, four moon phases, four seasons, and in Western living, four basic elements – earth, wind, fire, and water.  The ancient Greeks considered four to be a perfect number.  In Pythagorean philosophy (Who remembers that from blogs past?) there are four parts of the human soul: mind, opinion, science, and sense.  The luckiest symbol on earth is the four-leaf clover, with each leaf symbolic of mankind’s living – hope, faith, love, luck.


This series is about growing a better self and even in gardening there are four basic steps: preparation, planting, cultivation, harvest.  Every day we live those four steps…or we should.  Every day we are subjected to the four parts of the human souls of others – their thoughts or mind’s doing, their opinions, their interpretation of science, and their logic or sense.  We respond in kind with our own four parts of our own individual souls.  We go through each day with hope, faith, seeking love, and counting a receiving a little bit of luck along the way.


We ourselves were once the theoretical concept of whomever we believe it the Creator or Supreme Spirit.  We are also the living representation of said concept and we each are characters within a greater set of characters – that set known as mankind.  We connect like lines on a circle in everything we do and all of our actions affect not only the rest of mankind but the earth on which we live.  In the Western world the fourth anniversary is one of fruits and flowers – things that bloom within a garden.


Go out today and bloom, living as one of many, knowing that your actions and being counts to us all.  Just like the fruits and flowers, we blossom and then rest, and then again find purpose in our being.  Even for those who have passed, there is still purpose.  They contributions to our living are not forgotten, just as those plants that have lived out their life cycle become part of the mulch that feeds the future garden.  You are important; you have value.  You are the fruits of life and the future of tomorrow.

Mystery of a Myth

Mystery of a Myth

Pentecost 133

Yesterday we began our discussion of Egyptian mythology by a quick nod to the oldest of the three pyramids at the royal necropolis at Giza.  Constructed somewhere between 2589 and 2504 BCE, the Great Pyramid of Khufu is the only one of the original three pyramids that remains intact.  Some of the blocks that comprise its construction weigh over fifty tons while the other 2 million-plus blocks weigh anywhere from two tons to thirty tons.  As mentioned yesterday, this pyramid is aligned with the constellation Orion but it is not the only one that is.  The pyramids of Menkaure and Khafre are also so aligned.

The Egyptians had a deep reverence for the sky but they also recognized that earth gave us the ability to live.  Perhaps that is why the interior temperature of the Great Pyramid at Giza is a constant temperature that equals the temperature of the earth, 20-degees Celsius or 68-degrees Fahrenheit.  More amazing is that the cornerstone foundations of this pyramid have a ball and socket construction, just like our shoulders, elbows, and knees.  This type of construction allows the pyramid to deal with heat expansion and earthquakes.  Even the mortar is mysterious.  After much analyzation, the exact composition is still unknown and attempts to reproduce it have been unsuccessful.  Unlike conventional mortar used in bricks, this mortar is actually stronger than the stones is binds and connects.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was also known as “Ikhet” which translates as “glorious Light”.  If you remember, we discussed yesterday how it was originally covered in casing stones made of highly polished limestone.  These stones would reflect the sun’s rays, causing the pyramid to sparkle and shine.  It has been determined that such a covering of shimmering limestone made the pyramid similar to a mirror, reflecting light that, if one stood on the mood and gazed upon its location on earth, the pyramid would have shone like a star.  The quarry from whence these limestone blocks were quarried as well as how they were transported to the construction also remains a mystery we have yet to unearth.

What we do know is that the Great Pyramid of Giza is today the most perfectly aligned, accurate to one-tenth of a degree, edifice in existence.  When constructed the North Pole was in perfect alignment with the pyramid.  It is also at the very center of the land mass of the earth.  If you look at a map or globe, this might not seem true but it is in how such a center is determined that makes the statement true.  East/west parallels and north/south meridians intersect at two places.  The parallel and meridians are determined to be those that cross the most land.  One place of intersection is in the ocean while the other is…you guessed it, at the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The walls of the Pyramid are also unique.  For one thing they are concave.  The centers have an indention which forms an eight-sided pyramid inside, visible only from the air and only in certain light.  The eight-sided pyramid is visible at dawn and sunset on two vernal equinoxes – spring and autumn.  The pyramid also contained a swivel door, found in only two other pyramids.  The coffer was built during construction as its size prohibits it passing through any of the doors.  Its construction is also unique.  It was made from one block of solid granite which would have necessitated saws with blades eight to nine feet long possessing teeth made of sapphire.  Hollowing out its interior required extreme vertical force and the use of tubular drills also made of sapphire.  If take the perimeter of the coffer and double it and multiply that by ten to the eighth power you have the sun’s mean radius.

The mathematics might be coincidental except too many such equations exist to be merely random.  The curvature of the faces of the pyramid matches the radius of the earth.  For over thirty-eight hundred years, this pyramid stood as the tallest structure on earth.  The relationship between Pi (p) and Phi (F) is also somewhat of a mystery regarding the Great Pyramid.  Phi is the only number whose square root is one more than itself.  Phi is also known as the Golden Ration, a so-called perfect number found throughout nature.  Pi is the circumference of a circle compared to its diameter.  The Great Pyramid illustrates the relationship of Pi and Phi as well as giving proof to the Pythagorean Theorem, developed by Pythagoras in 570-495 BCE.  Using the Pythagorean Theorem one can construct a Golden Triangle or a perfect triangle with a right angle of 90-degrees or a right triangle.  The Great Pyramid of Giza has four Golden Triangles and perfectly illustrates the relationship between Pi and Phi.

Thus we have a very mathematical, permanent structure, withstanding countless earthquakes and intrusion and thievery.  After all, this was a pyramid whose construction was ordered by a young man, for Khufu was only twenty years of age when he assumed power.  The pyramid took twenty-three years to complete and many myths revolve around both the demeanor and the leadership/tyranny of Khufu as well as the labor needed to create such a memorial.

All too often great leadership does not reflect great humanitarianism.  Andrew Carnegie once said:  “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” The American industrialist Henry Ford is known for having introduced the moving assembly line and created the world’s first production in 1908.  I think someone in Khufu’s regime might have beaten Mr. Ford to the punch on that.  The Great Pyramid of Giza was built with mathematical precision and teamwork and each worker had to have given it his best.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was a great monument for a pharaoh that was not a great humanitarian. It stands today as a testament to the mythological beliefs about the soul being taken to the heavens.  It also incorporates another great myth, that of the underwater world of Atlantis.  Remember the granite coffer in the middle of the Kings’ Chamber?  Supposedly it came from Atlantis.  There are no engravings or inscriptions – just a very large block of chocolate granite.  It is said that the golden capstone also shows water level marks from the flood for which Noah built his ark.  A pyramid built in 2589-2504 BCE showing a watermark from a flood supposedly occurring in 2304 BCE with a stone in the middle from a city written about by a man who lived 427-347 BCE.  And somehow they are all connected…mysteriously.