Sunday, July 4, 2010

Big Ben!!!

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!! In honor of this day, I will share some interesting facts about my favorite historical figure. (Besides my mother)

True, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is on our $100 bill, but contrary to what many people believe, he was never president of the United States. He was far too busy to take on a job like that. And yes, after a huge argument with my husband, and having to call my mother, I learned he was right. But secretly, in my Lisa brain, he' my favorite president. After Kennedy and Clinton of course. (#intern4life)

We’ve always been amazed by this man of many talents, his contribution to creating the U.S. Constitution—and so much else. As a scientist, writer, printer, philosopher, musician, politician, and inventor (I probably have forgotten a few things), Franklin did more in a day than many people do in a lifetime.

He was a high school dropout. Franklin proved that you don’t need a fancy degree to succeed in life—due to family financial problems, he never graduated from high school. (But were he around today, he’d probably have more honorary Ph.Ds than he could shake a stick at.)(I never understood that expression, but I think I am going to start shaking sticks)

He created America’s first library. In 1732, Franklin convinced a group of fellow intellectuals to create a library of their personal books, then added a subscription service, in which funds would be used to purchase new books for all to read. The Library Company of Philadelphia, as it was called, still exists today and has over 500,000 rare books.

He followed a strict daily schedule. It began with the question, “What good shall I do this day?”

(I couldn't find a bigger pic)

He invented the first bifocal glasses, odometer, urinary catheter (WHOOHOOO), lightning rod, and many other devices, yet never filed for a patent. Though any one of his inventions could have made him a tremendous fortune, he wasn’t greedy about them. He believed that his work was for the common good, and “as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously,” he wrote in his autobiography.

He created a phonetic alphabet. Franklin’s alphabet got rid of six letters he thought were redundant, and added six new letters for other sounds. As you can probably tell, it never caught on.

As a young man, Franklin created a list of 13 virtues, and worked on obeying them throughout his life. Here is the list;

Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation
Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations
Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time
Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing
Industry: Lose not time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; speak accordingly Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think you deserve
Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation
Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles or accidents common or unavoidable Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or anothers peace or reputation
Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates

20,000 people attended his funeral. Franklin truly was a rock star for his time—and he remains so today. So as you enjoy your Independence Day weekend, be sure to make a toast to good old Ben, and the rest of the founding fathers and mothers who helped America off to an incredible start.

I have also decided I am going to start a daily picture blog. I will make an album on Shutterfly, and take one pic everyday. Whether it's a pic of meaning, or just something random. I read an article where a man did this or 20 something years, but he only took pics of himself, wherever he was. There are only so many pics of me on the couch I can handle. I thought about it when I was clearing out all the random pics I take with my Blackberry everyday. So I will give it a shot, until my ADD kicks in...

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