30 November 2009

30 Terms for Packing Peanuts

. . . Ghost poop is the term I grew up on. Here's a whole bunch more.

1. anti-static packing peanuts

2. biodegradable peanuts

3. bio-peanuts

4. cellulose packing peanuts

5. cornstarch peanuts, cornstarch packing peanuts (made of biodegradable material, safe for pets to eat)

6. eco-fill

7. elephant poo

8. fill, filler

9. foam cushioning

10. foam peanuts

11. ghost poop, ghost poo

12. ghost turds

13. loose fill, loosefill

14. nerdlies, styrofoam nerdlies

15. packing peanuts, packaging peanuts

16. peanuts

17. penauts (sic)

18. plastic loosefill

19. polystyrene-based packing peanuts

20. polystyrene filler

21. popcorn, polystyrene popcorn

22. Puffy Stuff (brand name)

23. shipping peanuts

24. starch-based peanuts, starch-based foam peanuts

25. starch packing peanuts

26. styro snow (term for broken bits that fly around the room)

27. styro-demons (so named due to their propensity of sticking to everything)

28. styrofoam filler

29. styrofoam popcorn

30. void fill


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28 November 2009

10 Reasons Why AT&T Sucks

. . . I am posting a slimmed-down version of my notes from my runaround with the evil corporation known as AT&T. I have numbered the AT&T reps I have spoken with since this fiasco started and there are 10.

Earlier this week, AT&T slammed my internet connection. That's right, they slammed it. They took it over by force and without permission. If this is not illegal it should be.

(Background: AT&T bought out Ameritech same years ago. Actually they bought out SCB which bought out Ameritech. Ameritech and SBC were both Baby Bells: companies created by the gubmint-mandated breakup of the Bell Telephone monopoly. Ameritech supplied my phone service, then SCB, then AT&T.)

(Further: The minute AT&T got hold of my phone line, my phone bill nearly doubled. Also, calls to AT&T for any purpose: service, billing, adding features, etc, no matter what number or department you call, all go to the same phone maze. There is no chance of getting help on anything without being at least 20 minutes on the phone and going through multiple departments. But this is probably true for most giant corporations.)

The Saga Begins

November 23, 2009

10:50am, I called my internet service provider to find out why my connection was down. The tech support guy explained that a lot of their DSL (high-speed internet) customers lost their connection. What happened was that ATT simply took over all the DSL connections without warning. He also mentioned that ATT had recently tripled the price they were charging to companies who used ATT hardware to supply customers with DSL connections to the internet. He was certain that I would no longer be able to get DSL from their company in the near future.

11:03am, I called ATT's standard customer service number
800-244-4444 to ask what kind of DSL they offer -- I was not planning on using them but just interested to know what kind of pricing they offered -- got to a live person at 11:06am, Becky (#1), who asked what my "business" phone number was, said she's in the business office, tried to sell me a business DSL line. I asked whether residential or business was cheaper, had to ask twice, she was not able to answer, finally she said I currently pay $46/mo for residential phone, business would be $35/mo.

Becky then quoted DSL at $30/mo with a guaranteed speed of 3meg and said it's a "forever" rate, and that I would also get a free business listing in their phone book and other free services.

She further explained that ATT will charge me $62 for a new modem (router), but then fully rebate the cost by sending me a check, and charge me $12 for shipping, said there's no rebate on that, and that it will take 2 business days to set everything up. I promised to make sure Becky got the commission if I decided to take their DSL. Call ended 11:17am.

November 25, 2009

1:19pm, I received a robot call from ATT announcing that my new DSL is now in place, it is up and running, and I should call 877-722-3755 if I need tech support.

1:20pm, I still have no internet connection. I waited to see if it would come up but it did not.

1:32pm, I phoned the number the robot gave me, 877-722-3755, and ended up in the same phone maze as always. My requests for "internet tech support" were ignored and the maze dumped me into the billing dept.

1:34pm, phone maze put me on hold.

1:39pm, Valerie (#2) from customer accounts looked me up, said my number was residential, I told her I had a DSL problem, she transferred me.

1:43pm, Jessica (#3) answered, India accent, she kept saying "sorry for the inconvenience," asked for my name, phone, billing address, told me that her records show that an order for my phone number for DSL was placed for me on November 18, with an activation date of November 23, and that for future reference I should call the orders dept 877-722-3755 extension 288. She then transferred me to the orders dept to find out who placed the order.

1:48pm, got to Dana (#4) in the orders dept, she confirmed my name and said that one P****** is the name on the order. She also was able to find that K**** was the name of the ATT agent that P****** spoke to. I have never heard of either of these people.

I said that I had promised the commission to Becky. She said there is no way Becky could get this commission since K****'s name was already on the order. Not only is ATT screwing their customers, they're screwing their own employees.

Dana could not find a November 18 date on my order but said that her info shows that my connection should be up and running. It is not.

Looking further, Dana found a note on my order sating that "the DS3" went down. She admitted she did not know what that was but kept insisting ATT does not hijack people.

Dana then said she had to have a service leader (floor manager) look over my order because she doesn't understand the note. She said it could even be a typo. My DSL got hijacked due to a typo? That's a good one.

1:57pm, Dana came back, said floor support doesn't know what's going on, she is going to ask the provisioning dept. Says it could be an order that got attached to my account incorrectly.

2:00pm, Dana says she can't undo it, all she can do is to disconnect my DSL. I asked if she could determine where this order came from. She said she had to ask her supervisor for help, back on hold.

2:04pm, Dana said they have no way of knowing if the order came from my current ISP or not, but insisted it would be illegal for ATT to just switch me over without my knowledge. Back on hold.

2:07pm, Dana says two companies in Michigan are going out of business, and maybe my current ISP is one of them? She wouldn't give me their names, of course, so how would I be expected to know? She then decided to send me over to tech support anyway since ATT is now my carrier. For future reference she gave me the number for tech support 800-650-2865. She was quite pleasant and apologized many times.

2:16pm, Dana transferred me to tech support.

2:18pm, Peter (#5) came to phone, asked what kind of modem and operating system I have, asked me how many lights on my modem were lit, then he told me to load a webpage. I explained to him that my connection was down and I can't load any webpages. He asked me to load it anyway. Nothing happened of course. He asked about modem lights again, asked about the DSL light, I told him my modem has no such light. He asked if my modem has 4 or 5 lights. It has 6 lights. I told him the WAN light was not lit, back on hold.

2:24pm, Peter said I have a modem-router, not a modem. He has to send me to "Support Plus" to assist me with my "registration." He still doesn't grasp that my connection is down.

2:27, Brian (#6) answered the phone. He asked me if a line test has been done. For future reference he gave me 800-288-2020 for DSL tech support. Said he would transfer me to someone who can do a line test.

2:29pm, I got dumped into the middle of a phone maze in which the voice read back a phone number to me which was not my number and then asked if it were my number. I said "No." Then I said "DSL tech support" into the phone but that did not work. The voice said, "We're sorry, your call was unable to be completed, please hang up and dial the toll free number again" and hung up on me.

2:32pm, I called back, using the new number I had just been given, 800-288-2020, but got the same phone maze as before. Again the maze refused to send me to tech support and dumped me into the billing dept. Brandy (#7), answered. I told her I had been cut off from tech support, she transferred me to 877-722-3755.

2:35pm, Nick (#8), India accent, came to the phone, he "apologized for the inconvenience," confirmed my modem model number, asked where I got the modem, I told him got it from Ameritech as a matter of fact, and that Ameritech was bought out by ATT. He said the model number is no longer supported. I explained the entire mess and asked if we could attack the problem of my DSL connection being down, then asked for a line test, he said he can't do it, not trained on it, has to transfer me to "Support Plus."

2:42pm, back on hold, same phone maze again. Phone maze tells me the dept I'm going to is a fee-based service, then gave me only two options: use the fee-based phone support or have a tech come to my house.

2:44pm, Prince (#9, not sure that is the right name) answered, asked for my modem model number, which I gave her. She then said she is the 3rd level of support, separate from ATT, and fee based. I tell her the whole story and ask for a line test. She would not run a line test unless I paid a fee. I explained that it's not funny they hijack my line then try to get a fee out of me to fix it, and asked her to transfer me back. Back on hold.

2:50pm, Michelle (#10) answered, I did not tell her the whole story, just asked for a line test. This is now the 10th person I have talked to and the 4th person I've talked to since I was told I needed a line test. She said she could to a line test, asked my phone, name, router model number, how many lights are lit, etc. She explained that some older models don't have a component that allows ATT to reprogram them remotely. She did a line test, no problem found, then ran a sync test, nothing wrong. She then had me access my modem and change the registration info using a temporary name.

3:07pm, by golly, the connection is up and running again.

3:19pm, Michelle had me download and install some new software, set me up with a new email address, call ended 3:26pm. On the phone over two hours.

4:00pm, my email doesn't work.

At this point I was too angry and disgusted to make any fresh attempt to get it fixed.

I will post more on this BS as it happens.


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26 November 2009

58 Unusual Names of Fairies, Demons, and Other Mythical and Imaginary Beings

. . . Happy Turkey Day to all! Here's a few of the more interesting fairies and demons from my large collection.

1. Abeyoyo (ah-bay-YO-yo). a ferocious giant. Africa.

2. Aughisky. a water spirit that preys on cattle. Ireland.

3. Balkin. a mountain spirit. Orkney Islands, Scotland.

4. banshee (BAN-she) a wailing, female spirit attached to a specific family: she wails just prior to the death of a family member. Celtic, Scottish and Irish.

5. the Baobhan Sith. a type of monster or malevolent spirit, often appearing as a beautiful woman, known to suck blood. Highland Scotland.

6. bargus. a frightening ghost draped in clanking chains. Yorkshire and South Lancashire, England

7. Bodachan Sabhaill (Scottish: little old man of the barn). a friendly fairy who threshes corn and binds straw for old men. Highland Scotland.

8. boggart. a mischievous fairy, known for making noise, throwing objects about and like behavior. Yorkshire and northern England. Called a bwca in Wales, a bogle in Scotland, a poltergeist in Germany. (In the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, a boggart appears in the form of whatever its victim fears most. See clutterbumph.)

9. Brollachan (Gaelic: shapeless thing). a monster born of a fuath.

10. brownie. a small, rag-clothed fairy or spirit that haunts a specific place; to give a brownie clothes is bad luck. Northern England and Scotland.

11. Ca Sith (Scottish: fairy dog). a monstrous spirit dog, the size of a bull, with a green coat. Scotland.

12. Cait Sith (Scottish: fairy cat). a monstrous black cat owned by the fairies. Scotland.

13. clutterbumph. a scary thing that is not there until you imagine it: whatever is just above the worst thing you can think of, that is what a clutterbumph looks like. (From the book Manxmouse by Paul Gallico, a book which J. K. Rowling said was one of her favorites, which possibly inspired her version of a boggart in the Harry Potter books.)

14. Coblynau (Welsh: goblins). friendly beings who inhabit mines: they stand about two feet tall, dress like miners and are helpful to miners. Wales.

15. Deva (DAY-vah) (India: shining one). general term for any type of nature spirit.

16. dvergr. Norse word for dwarf: they were believed to live in rocks and were skilled in metalworking.

17. Ellylldan (Welsh: will o' the wisp). local name for friendly fairies. Wales.

18. Fear Dearg. (Irish: red man). a red-clothed spirit whose visit brings good luck. Munster, Ireland.

19. Fenodyree / Phynoderee / Phynnodderee. name for a local fairy similar to a brownie. Isle of Man.

20. fetch. a double of a living man; when seen it means death. Ireland.

21. Firbolg. a non-cannibal giant. Ireland.

22. Fomorian. a giant known for throwing huge stones, blamed for the boulders seen scattered about Scotland.

23. fuath (FOO-ah). a group of malignant water spirits. Sutherland, Scotland.

24. Gally-Trot. a spirit in the shape of a large white dog, known for chasing anyone who runs from it. Suffolk, England.

25. Ghillie Dhu (Scottish: black servant). a friendly, domestic, solitary fairy who is helpful in finding lost children. Scotland.

26. the Glaistig. a fairy woman, clothed in green, known for being kind to children but also for misleading travelers. Highland Scotland.

27. the Glashtin. a mischievous fairy. Isle of Man.

28. Grindylow (GRIN-dee-loh). a malevolent water spirit. Yorkshire. (J. K. Rowling included these in the Harry Potter books; they live in the lake near Hogwarts School.)

29. the Grogan. the brownie as it is known in Ireland.

30. the Gwragedd Annwn. beautiful, friendly female spirits who inhabit lakes. Wales. The singular is Gwraig (Welsh: lady of the lake).

31. Gwydion. the wizard king of the fairies. North Wales.

32. Habetrot. queen of the spinning fairies, patroness of human spinners, generally described as very industrious and friendly but not too attractive. Scottish Borderlands.

33. the Hag of Winter. a spirit woman, the personification of winter, she is fearsome, withered, and has only one eye. Called Gentle Annie in Leicester, Black Annis in northern England, and the Cailleach Bheur in the Scottish Highlands. (John Milton called her the Blue Meagre Hag.)

34. the Hedley Kow. a monster that haunts the village of Hedley, Northumberland, England, known for transforming itself into the shape of a man, woman, horse or other beast, and for causing harm to the unwary.

35. Hraesvelger (corpse swallower). in Norse mythology, a giant wearing eagle plumage who produces the wind.

36. incubus. (ING-kyoo-bus). a male demon that preys on young women in their sleep.

37. Jenny Greenteeth. a female water spirit known for dragging people under the water to their deaths. A green scum on the surface of the water indicates her presence. Lancashire, England.

38. J├Âtunn. (Anglo-Saxon: eoten). in Norse mythology, a giant.

39. Kadaicha Man (Aborigine tribe Luritja: retribution man). a fearful being who chases wrongdoers to deliver justice. He walks without leaving tracks. Australia.

40. Kobold. a mining spirit. Germany.

41. Kooshd'aa K'aa. (land otter or land otter man). A malignant being who can change himself into a human being, another animal, or anything. Children who might wander off alone are warned that the Kooshd'aa K'aa would wait from them, put them in a trance and take them away. Tlingit Indians of Alaska.

42. Llamhigyn y Dwr (Welsh: the water leaper). a malevolent water spirit known for stealing fishermen's bait and for dragging sheep into the water to eat.

43. the Loireag. a female spirit, patroness of weavers and fullers (ones who beat or press cloth to increase its bulk). Highland Scotland.

44. merfolk. water spirits, including mermaids and mermen, said to very beautiful and playful, with fishtails in the place of legs.

45. the Muileartach. a hideous, one-eyed water hag of enormous size. Highland Scotland.

46. Nuckelavee. a mythical water monster, half horse and half man. Scotland.

47. the Peallaidh (Scottish: the shaggy one). chief of the Urisks. Perthshire, Scotland.

48. peerie. local term for fairy. Shetland Isles.

49. the Pellings. a race of half-human fairies, children of a fairy mother (Penelope) and human father, who dwell in Corwrion Lake. Wales.

50. pooka. a type of fairy or spirit that always appears in animal form. Ireland. (Make famous as a six foot tall invisible rabbit in the movie and play "Harvey.")

51. the Ratchet. a demonic hound, known for hunting in packs in the sky and howling before the death of a human.

52. silkie / silky / selkie / selky. a seal-like water spirit able to change his form into a man. Scotland.

53. spriggan. the ghost of a giant, usually found guarding the giant's buried treasure, usually tiny but able to grow enormous, considered to be very dangerous. Cornwall, England.

54. Tom Tit Tot. name of a particularly mischievous fairy in England. Known in Scotland as Whuppity Stoorie, in Wales as Trwtyn a Trotyn, in Cornwall as the Devil Terrytop, in Germany as Rumpelstiltzkin.

55. Tylwyth Teg (Welsh: Fair Family). local name for a group of fair-haired, larger-than-human-sized fairies.

56. the Urisk. a group of hobgoblins. Perthshire, Scotland.

57. Valkyrie (VAL-kee-ree) (chooser of the slain). in Norse mythology, one of a troop of goddesses who serve in Valhalla, land of fallen heroes, and carry out errands for Odin, king of the gods.

58. worm. general term for monstrous being akin to a dragon. England.


Select bibliography:

The Personnel of Fairyland: A Short Account of the Fairy People of Great Britain for Those Who Tell Stories to Children, by K. M. Briggs. Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1971, reprint of Oxford: Alden Press, 1953.

The Kingdom of Faerie, by Geoffrey Hodson. London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1927, and, Fairies at Work and at Play, Observed by Geoffrey Hodson. London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1947.

Norse Mythology, Or, the Religion of our Forefathers, by Rasmus Bjorn Anderson. Chicago, S. C. Griggs & Company, 2nd edition, 1876.

Tlingit Stories, by Marie Ackerman. Anchorage, Alaska: AMU Press, 1975.


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22 November 2009

92 Types of Payment

. . . "First, I charge a retainer; then I charge a reminder; next I charge a refresher; and then I charge a finisher." — attorney Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884)

Who knows why we have special words for all these different things? They are all payments. English is strange and fun.

1. account. a pool of money, such as that belonging to one person and held by a bank on that person's behalf.

2. ad valorem or advalorem duty. an import duty proportional to the value assessed by customs.

3. agio. fee for currency exchange.

4. allowance. a small amount of spending money given weekly by parents to their children.

5. alms. money given to the poor.

6. amercement. a legal fine or penalty. Feudal era.

7. auction scrip. Originated in the 1930s by Donald F. Cochrane of Hartford, Michigan as a "newspaper stunt" in which the scrip was given out by merchants to customers who made purchases, then it was announced that the scrip would be the only legal tender for a public auction on Christmas Eve of merchandise from participating merchants. A successful scheme which was then copied elsewhere.

8. balance. amount remaining in a specific fund, or amount of a debt yet to be paid off.

9. banalities. fees paid to a lord for use of his gristmill, winepress, or similar equipment. Feudal era.

10. bribe. money paid secretly or illegally, often involving a government official, for secret or illegal services.

11. capital gains tax. percentage paid to government on profit made by buying and selling stocks or other valuables.

12. charge card. similar to a credit card but the bearer is not allowed to have a balance and must pay the full amount due each month. For example, American Express is a charge card, not a credit card.

13. check card. similar to a credit card but the money is deducted immediately from the bearer's checking account rather than being loaned to the bearer.

14. chevage. tax collected by the lord of a manor from peasants who lived outside the manor. Feudal era.

15. chit. general term for a piece of paper or card holding some value for exchange.

16. collection. term in the Roman Catholic church for money taken up by the church from worshipers during a worship service.

17. commission. 1) fee for services rendered, taken out of money gained. 2) euphemism for bribe.

18. contribution. 1) donation. 2) euphemism for bribe paid by a company to a government official.

19. coordinated deductible. deductible that is not paid until a separate company ponies up some of the money.

20. corrody. payment in the form of food and drink, and sometimes a room or other goods, paid by an abbot (church official) for services rendered.

21. credit card. card used in a system by which the bearer borrows money from a credit company in order to make purchases. Credit companies issue cards to consumers, set their interest rates, and charge fees to merchants who accept credit card payments.

22. damages. fee paid by person found guilty of a crime.

23. Danegeld. tax levied to fight off Danish invasion of England. Anglo-Saxon era.

24. deductible. a term in the insurance business; it is the amount of money the customer must first pay on a claim before the insurance company will pay.

25. deposit. 1) amount of money one puts into one's bank account. 2) amount of money less than the price of the item, paid to a merchant in order for the merchant to hold the item for the customer.

26. ding. slang term for any fee, deductible, surcharge, etc, forced on an innocent consumer by a corporation such as a bank, credit card company, or merchant account service. (Example: The bank dinged me for two overdraft fees.)

27. distraint. seizure of goods for nonpayment of rent (UK); also called forfeiture.

28. distress. another word for distraint.

29. dividend. a percentage of money invested paid to the investor.

30. donation. money given freely to an organization that performs public services or good works. Also called a charitable donation.

31. duty. fee paid on an item when moving it across the border from one country into another; it supposedly takes the place of the tax you would have paid if you had purchased the item within the country.

32. entry fee. payment by a tenant for admission to a holding. Feudal era.

33. expense or expenses. general term for money that must be paid out to keep the company running: expenses include office rent, worker salaries, cost of paper clips, etc.

34. farm bureau issue. a highly successful form of emergency currency issued and hand signed by the president and secretary of the farm bureau of Millington, Michigan, in 1933.

35. fee. general term for any additional payment required by a government, a merchant, an organizations, etc.

36. forfeiture. seizure of goods for nonpayment of rent (US); also called distraint.

37. fund. general term for an amount of money held for a specific purpose.

38. geldum. another term for tax. Pre-Norman England.

39. gersuma. fee paid to a lord on entering a holding. Feudal era.

40. guerdon. reward.

41. heriot. payment, usually in the form of the best specimen of livestock, made to a manor-lord at the time of death of a tenant, paid by the family of the tenant. Compare mortuary. Feudal era.

42. income tax. taxes paid to the government based on a person's income. Became part of the US Constitution with the 16th Amendment.

43. interest. 1) additional amount paid on a loan, over and above the value of the loan. 2) money earned on an investment.

44. jeton (French: jeter = to push). a small coin-like item used as a counter in making calculations. Called Rechenpfennig (REKH-en-pfen-ikh, reckoning pennies) in Germany. Made of bone, glass, metal, etc. In olden days, metal ones were struck like coins, usually decorated with an ownership mark, coat of arms, religious symbol, etc, but never with a denomination (value) or date. They were large and flat enough to stack well.

45. kola. bribe.

46. levy. 1) a tax. 2) a seizure of property taken to recover back taxes.

47. loan. money given from an individual or lending institution, to another individual or organization, who agrees to pay it back over time, with or without interest.

48. medkniche. fee paid by the haymaker to the lord of the manor, determined by how much hay the hayward (official in charge of haying) can lift to his knees with his middle finger. Feudal era.

49. millage. a type of property tax increase that goes to pay for schools, libraries, or other public services. A "mill" is one-thousandth of a dollar, or one-tenth of a penny; a "millage" is usually an increase of a very small percentage.

50. mortuary. gift given to the parish priest from the estate of a deceased parishioner, usually being the second best specimen of livestock. Compare heriot. Feudal era.

51. minimum order fee. amount added to your order to meet the minimum order amount.

52. mita. payment in the form of public service. Inca empire.

53. multure. gristmill tax. Scotland and feudal England.

54. offering or offertory. term used in most Protestant churches for money taken up by the church from worshipers during a worship service.

55. overhead. euphemism for business expenses.

56. overplus. extra amount over the base or balance.

57. pannage. payment made to a lord for the right of feeding livestock in the lord's forest. Feudal era.

58. payoff. 1) bribe. 2) payment.

59. payola. bribe paid to DJs for playing certain bands or songs on their radio programs. 1960s-1970s term.

60. payout. money spent from a fund.

61. pension. monthly amount paid by a company to retired workers who completed certain qualifications, such as 20 years with the company.

62. pittance. 1) donation to a religious community that has taken vows of poverty. 2) any amount so small it is useless.

63. presentations. payment for fishing rights. Pre-Norman England.

64. profit. general term for any amount of money achieved by buying low and selling high: for example, buying a used LP record for $1 and selling it for $5 results in a net profit of $4. (Gross profit is total profit regardless of expenses; net profit is profit after subtracting expenses.)

65. promissory note. a card or slip of paper written by one individual to the person s/he has borrowed money from, promising to pay the amount back. Also called an I.O.U.

66. prosperity certificate or prosperity scrip. a form of scrip issued by the federal treasury, similar to the trade dollars issued in Howell, Michigan.

67. protection. a type of bribe in which the victim pays a bully, gangster, or thug an amount of money rather than getting beaten up.

68. rate. general term for an amount.

69. reimbursement. money paid after the fact when an amount is necessarily paid out to obtain a specific item or service.

70. relief. a type of death tax: a fee paid by the heir of a vassal to his lord for the privilege of inheriting the vassal's estate. Feudal era.

71. rent. amount paid to a landlord for the privilege of living in his/her property.

72. replevin. recovery by legal mean of goods unlawfully taken from a person.

73. revenue. income; often refers to money collected via taxes.

74. salary. amount earned by a worker regardless of hours worked. Most executive jobs are salaried jobs. The opposite is a wage.

75. scale. general term for wage and/or salary amounts designated by a union. To be paid scale means to be paid the lowest possible amount on the scale according to the job you are doing.

76. scrip. a certificate representing currency, issued in lieu of government currency. Most often used in emergency situations for temporary payment.

77. scutage. fee paid by a knight in order to be excused from military service. Also called a shield tax.

78. settlement. general term for the end result of a lawsuit or legal proceeding; some settlements involve payment of some form.

79. shield tax. another name for scutage.

80. simony. amount paid for the purchase of a religious benefice or indulgence.

81. surcharge. general term for a fee added onto an existing fee.

82. surtax. 1) general term for a tax added onto an existing tax. 2) income tax.

83. tallage. tax paid by serfs to their manorial lord. Feudal era.

84. tariff. a tax paid by merchants who import goods.

85. tax. general term for any money required by the government, usually relating to specific goods or services, and usually determined by a percentage. Types include sales tax, income tax, property tax, television tax, estate tax, and capital gains tax.

86. toll. 1) fee for the privilege of using a private road. 2) fee paid to one's lord for the privilege of selling one's livestock. Feudal era.

87. trade dollar / trade scrip / stamp scrip / stamp money / prosperity scrip. a form of emergency currency invented by the Chamber of Commerce of Howell, Michigan in 1933. The unique feature was that the scrip lost value if it was not spent. Dollars were given away free at first, by participating merchants, who gave out one trade dollar for every $5 worth of goods purchased. If the individual who received it did not spend it within 3 days, s/he had to purchase a 2-cent stamp (also issued by the Chamber of Commerce) and affix it to the scrip. After one trade dollar had been spent 52 times, it had collected $1.04 in stamps and was redeemed for $1.00 in cash. The scheme doubled commerce in Howell and was soon copied by small towns all over Michigan.

88. tranche. a portion of something, usually money. Example: "We're lowering the lowest tranche fee (i.e. for items with a starting price of $0.01 to $0.99) from a quarter to twenty cents." -- eBay, Feb 2006

89. wage. amount earned by a worker who gets paid by the hour. Most jobs requiring little specialized knowledge or skills are wage jobs. The opposite is salary.

90. windfall. government term for any amount of money that comes into one's possession unexpectedly, such as from winning the lottery or having a rich relative die and leave you piles of money.

91. withdrawal. amount of money one takes out of one's bank account.

92. writ of replevin. see replevin.

(Information on auction scrip, farm bureau scrip, prosperity certificates and trade dollars came from Michigan Depression Scrip of the 1930s, by James J. Curto. Reprinted from 'The Numismatist,' copyright 1949. Published by the author, Grosse Pointe, Mich., no date (circa 1960-1970).


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18 November 2009

9 Differences between Universalists and Unitarians, and 4 Things They Have in Common

. . . In my experience, the average Unitarian Universalist knows very little about UU history, and what they do know is usually superficial and often downright incorrect. Even more alarming is that often, when I chat about Universalism, I find that the average UU knows even less about Universalist history. Inevitable they will ask me, what's the difference between Unitarians and Universalists anyway? Hence this little list.

Please note: These lists are historical in content. By the 1920s-1940s, most of these differences ceased to matter. American Universalists and American Unitarians consolidated in 1961, although among UUs today there are still some that identify more with one side than the other.

(Much of this material is from the massive book by Russell E. Miller, The Larger Hope, Volume 2: The Second Century of the Universalist Church in America, 1870–1970.)

9 Differences between Universalists and Unitarians

1. In the early days, Universalism appealed mainly to the common people while Unitarianism appealed to a much smaller and wealthier class.

2. In the early days, there were few college graduates among the ministers of Universalism but nearly every Unitarian preacher was a graduate of Harvard.

3. In the early days, Universalist preachers, typified by Hosea Ballou I (1771–1852), were philosophers, poets, reformers, philanthropists. Unitarian preachers, typified by William Ellery Channing (1780–1842), were thinkers, logicians, theologians, controversialists.

4. Unitarians appealed to the aristocratic, cultural, trained mind. Universalists appealed to the democratic, spiritual, "warmth and fervor" side.

5. Universalists hung on to the Bible longer than the Unitarians. Universalists emphasized the goodness of God and the moral leadership of Jesus. Unitarians emphasized biblical criticism and the ethical elements in political and social problems.

6. Unitarianism never took hold among the common people. Unitarians saw their mission being with the scholarly and elite.

7. Universalists were ahead of Unitarians in racial equality. African Americans were members of the first Universalist congregation in America. Universalists started schools and social service agencies to help poverty-stricken blacks after the Civil War. Universalists had interracial congregations in Northern cities and black congregations in the rural South. On the other hand, the American Unitarian Association (AUA) systematically ignored the few black preachers and congregations their faith attracted. In slavery days there were even some Unitarians who owned slaves and defended human slavery, and in the early 20th century the AUA actually published books by Unitarian authors on white racial superiority.

8. Universalists led the way in women's equality. They accepted a woman preacher as early as 1811 (Maria Cook, 1779–1835), ordained the first woman in 1860 (Lydia Ann Jenkins, 1824–1874), and in 1869 had a national organization of Universalist women that stood on par with the church. Unitarians did ordained a few women in the late 1800s, but in the early 20th century they actually pushed women who wanted to be ministers into "parish assistant" roles.

9. There is no record of a Universalist ever excluding a Unitarian from their circle. There are several examples on record of Unitarians excluding Universalists.

4 Things Unitarians and Universalists had in Common

1. Both were radical Protestant denominations with their roots in Europe; both started in North America in the late 1700s. The first Universalist congregation here was formed in Massachusetts in 1779. The first Unitarian congregation, also in Massachusetts, came into being in 1785.

2. Both denominations preached absolute freedom of religion, asserting that each person had the right to question, to learn, and to make up his or her own mind on matters of religious doctrine.

3. Both denominations practiced democracy in church governance.

4. Unitarian and Universalist views of the nature of Jesus have been essentially identical since the late 1700s.


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16 November 2009

50 Types of "Computerware"

. . . Silly, cute, and standard terms for types of hardware and software. My one rule for collecting terms for this list is that the term must end -ware.

1. abandonware. another name for orphanware.

2. adware. 1) any software that includes, as part of its function, displays of advertising. For example, some freeware includes ads, with the option of upgrading to a paid version in order to rid yourself of the ads. In such packages the ads typically update themselves via automatic download. 2) any program that secretly downloads, installs, and displays advertising on your computer. Compare annoyware, guiltware, nagware.

3. ageware. video game originally developed for an early game console but which has been converted for play on a contemporary game console. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.)

4. annoyware. any shareware that pops up a lot with ads or requests for payment.

5. betaware. version of a software package that is nearly ready for general release and is currently undergoing one final round of testing and debugging, called "beta testing." Also called a beta version. (During this phase of development, software companies often invite members of the general public to use the software free and to report bugs which are then fixed by the designers before final release; such users are called "beta testers.")

6. bloatware. general term for any software that uses up an enormous amount of diskspace and memory, far out of proportion with its functionality.

7. brochureware. any vaporware that is accompanied by aggressive marketing including brochures.

8. cardware. any type of freeware for which the designer requests that the user only need send a him/her postcard as payment, sometimes with a request for a certain type of postcard. Also called postcardware. Compare mailware.

9. careware. 1) charityware. 2) freeware for which the designer requests that the user do a "good deed" as payment.

10. CDware. 1) promotional software given away free on a compact disk, such as AOL software. 2) freeware for which the designer requests that if the user likes it, s/he sends the designer a CD.

11. censorware. software designed to block certain websites from being downloaded.

12. charityware. shareware that requests a donation to a charity for use of the software. Also called careware, char-ware, donateware.

13. crimeware. general term for any malware that is designed to extort money or other liquid assets from computer users.

14. crippleware. general term for any software that has been deliberately disabled by the manufacturer or distributor by the removal of a major component, so as to encourage users to purchase the full version.

15. crudware. virtually useless software; a general term for most of the freeware circulated by hackers.

16. demo-ware. simplified version of a software product, missing one or more of the main features, intended to allow prospective purchasers a chance to "try out" the program before buying it. Also called liteware, crippleware.

17. donationware. 1) software given away ostensibly for free, but including a request from the designer for a freewill donation. Also called donateware. 2) charityware.

18. firmware. software embedded in a hardware device. Modems, for example, contain firmware, as do many modern cars, phones, television sets, etc.

19. freeware. software given away free. There are many types, including shareware. (Term was trademarked by author and programmer Andrew Fluegelman.)

20. fritterware. software with capabilities that serve no useful purpose, and that usually manage to get users to waste huge amounts of time using it with no noticeable gain.

21. guiltware. general term for any freeware that includes text giving a long sob story about how horrible the user is if s/he does not send the designer some money. Compare adware.

22. hardware. 1) general term for durable goods. 2) general term for building supplies and fixtures. 3) general term for computer machinery and parts; the opposite of software.

23. liteware. another term for demo-ware.

24. liveware. 1) human beings, specifically the ones using computers. 2) another term for wetware: the human brain.

25. mailware. a type of freeware for which the designer requests the user to mail him/her a letter. Compare cardware.

26. malware (Latin: mal = bad). any software that contains malicious programming, such as stealthware, or a computer virus. Also called slimewear.

27. meatware. another word for wetware: the human brain

28. nagware. 1) adware. 2) annoyware. 3) any software that opens with a popup asking you to purchase the software; you have to click through this screen to use the program.

29. oppressionware. software, hardware, or mechanisms in an operating system, used to oppress a co-user, such as restricting programs, capabilities, and features. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.)

30. orphanware. any software that has been discontinued and is no longer available for commercial purchase; either the original designers cannot be located or the company has gone out of business. Users of orphanware are thus unable to get help or support for the product. Also called abandonware.

31. payware. software that must be paid for. Most software is payware. The opposite is freeware or shareware.

32. postcardware. another name for cardware.

33. psychedelicware. software designed only for making pretty pictures, often in a kaleidoscope fashion. Also called a "display hack."

34. registerware. software that requires the user to register, usually for free, in order to use the software. Registration is usually via internet and usually includes personal information.

35. requestware. software in which the designers request users to do something voluntarily as "payment" for the software. Examples include charityware and postcardware.

36. rogue adware. a software product that claims to be an anti-adware fix, but is actually spyware.

37. rogue spyware. a software product that claims to be an anti-spyware fix, but is actually spyware. Some rogue spyware actually attacks your computer's other protections.

38. scumware. any software that intrudes upon the user, or the user's computer, by stealth, in order to further the aims of the software company.

39. scuttleware. general term for any software, including freeware or shareware, that has a time limit built in and self destructs or ceases to function after the time limit has been reached. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.) Also called trialware.

40. shareware. 1. any software that is given away free, but the user has to pay a fee to get support or to get all the features. 2. any free software for which the user is expected to pay a fee after they have decided to keep it; otherwise it will expire. Also called trialware. 3. any commercial software that can be downloaded from the internet; most also require payment via the company's website before the software can be used.

41. sisterware. software, usually freeware, in which the designer requests that you send him "photos or lingerie of your lovely sister!" (sic)

42. shelfware. 1. software that ends up on the shelf; that is, it is never used. 2. software that is developed but never released; it is "shelved" instead.

43. slimewear. another term for malware.

44. software. computer instructions; information directing the operation of a computer. Software packages are written in many different computer languages and are designed for doing many different tasks, from simple typing to designing magazine layouts, cataloging collections, paying bills, tracking sales, operating industrial robots, etc. (In the early days of computers, programming was built into the machine and could not be changed. If you wanted a computer to play chess, you built one to play chess. If you wanted one to do calculus, you built another one to do calculus. It was a breakthrough when software was invented, allowing one computer to be able to do more than one task.)

45. spamware. software used for sending out spam. (Spam is an internet term for unwanted advertisements, usually found in email form, that are sent all over the internet by unscrupulous persons. The term reportedly comes from a Monty Python sketch in which customers at an eatery are unable to order anything that doesn't have Spam in it.)

46. spyware. software that secretly installs files on the user's computer, or secretly collects data on the user, such as financial info or websurfing history, and secretly sends it to the manufacturer or a third party when the user connects to the internet. (This activity is called "covert monitoring.")

47. trialware. software that has a limit on time or number of uses, and will cease to run properly after the limit expires. Trialware often gives you the option to purchase it after it expires. Also called scuttleware. See also shareware.

48. vampireware. general term for any project capable of sucking the lifeblood out of anyone unfortunate enough to be assigned to it; a project which never actually sees the light of day but nonetheless refuses to die. Not necessarily related to computers. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.)

49. vaporware. software that is announced as "coming soon" but is never released; that is, it "vaporizes." In many cases vaporware is not even developed; it is announced merely to generate interest in the company or some other product. Also spelled vapourware. See also brochureware.

50. wetware. humorous term for the human brain. Also called liveware, meatware.


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14 November 2009

36 Funny Word Pairs Generated (Sort of Randomly) by BookWorm

. . . BookWorm is a computer game very similar to Boggle. You scan a grid of letters and find strings of letters that make words. You get points for each word. Rare letters are worth more than common letters, and long words are worth more than short words. At the end of each level, the game pauses and tells you the highest-scoring word and the longest word you got on that level. Sometimes these two words make a very silly pair. Here are a few pairs I've collected over the years.

1. Quahog Quaffing

2. Pie Sedation

3. Vole Pleater

4. Fugu Angler

5. Dinky Divots

6. Junk Barrage

7. Pun Teller

8. Run Sinner

9. Alien Didie

10. Hex Treatise

11. Horn Honkers

12. Doozer Patterns

13. Dinner Palate

14. Frat Banger

15. Green Vender

16. Vamp Queens

17. Jeep Scouring

18. Inky Hell

19. Perky Mistletoes

20. Quantile Undertaxing

21. Slug Breeder

22. Queued Spoons

23. Grim Reaper

24. Wars Vain

25. Vacuum Collies

26. Ion Filtering

27. Nacho Renaming

28. Riddler Henchman

29. Beano Battle

30. Jazzy Language

31. Bearded Preambles

32. Fluky Grammar

33. Fork Foundation

34. Feme Trucker

35. Chewy Leapers

36. Zen Dating


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12 November 2009

16 Noted Architects who were Universalist or Unitarian

. . . Another little collection of excerpts from A Who's Who of UUs. These men and women are listed in chronological order by date of birth. All are American unless otherwise stated. Prominent structures are in bold. (Please drop me a line if I have left anyone off this list, thanks.)

1. Charles Bulfinch (8 Aug 1763–15 Apr 1844), credited with introducing curved staircase to New England; selectman (city councilman) of Boston 1791–1795, 1799–1817; designed Hollis Street Church (Unitarian) 1788, Massachusetts State House 1800, Massachusetts State Prison 1803, Harvard University Hall 1813–14; designed many parts of the United States Capitol Building 1817–30 (his dome was copied on many state capitols); member of King's Chapel (Unitarian) Boston

2. Jacob Bigelow (7 Feb 1786–10 Jan 1879), M.D. 1810 University of Pennsylvania; primary designer and architect of Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, Massachusetts 1831 (first US burial place called 'cemetery', first to feature gardens, rolling hills, etc.; started national movement to beautify burial places); professor of materia medica 1815–55 and Rumford Professor of Application of Science to Useful Arts 1816–27 at Harvard; wrote Florula Bostoniensis 1814, American Medical Botany 1817–20 (drew illustrations and invented a new color printing process), Elements of Technology 1829 (2 vols, standard for many years); president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1847–63; genus Bigelowia (goldenrod) named in his honor; Unitarian

3. Minard Lafever (Aug 1798–26 Sep 1854), wrote Architectural Instructor 1829–56 (popularizing Greek Revival style) and many other builder's guides; designed the First Unitarian Church 1842–44 and Holy Trinity 1844–47 (both masterpieces of Gothic Revival, Brooklyn); designed the Packer Institute (famous example of collegiate Gothic); also noted for Egyptian Revival and Romanesque styles; Unitarian

4. Charles Ellet, Jr. (1 Jan 1810–21 Jun 1862), built first wire suspension bridge 1841–42 (Fairmont, Pennsylvania); built same over river below Niagara Falls 1849; built longest suspension bridge 1849 (1010 feet, Wheeling, West Virginia) and longest railroad bridge 1853 (18 miles, Blue Ridge); designed flood control for the Mississippi delta 1851; chief engineer on the Virginia Central Railroad from 1852; invented the battering ram steamship 1854; as Colonel of Engineers in the Civil War built and commanded a fleet of battering ram steamships at the Battle of Memphis 1862; raised Quaker, became Universalist

5. Frederick Law Olmsted (26 Apr 1822–28 Aug 1903), landscape architect and gardener; designed New York City's Central Park 1856–61; wrote Cotton Kingdom 1861 (2 vols); executive director of the United States Sanitary Commission 1861–64 (providing civilian assistance to Union Army during Civil War: medical supplies, hospitals, nurses, clothing, etc); director of the Southern Famine Relief Commission 1865–c.1875; designed Washington, D.C.'s park system 1871; president of the park department of New York City 1872; designed major public parks in Brooklyn, Buffalo, Chicago, Montreal, Boston and many other cities; helped design Golden Gate Park in San Francisco; Unitarian but never formally joined a congregation

6. the Rev. Thomas William Silloway (7 Aug 1828–17 May 1910), designed Vermont State Capitol at Montpelier 1857, Dean Academy 1867, Buchtel College 1869, Goddard Seminary 1870 and over 450 church edifices (said to be a record); wrote Theogonis 1856, Textbook of Modern Carpentry 1858, Conference Melodist 1863 and other books; elected member of the New England Historic Genealogical Soc 1864–1910; raised Methodist, became Universalist 1844, ordained same 1862

7. Frank Furness (12 Nov 1839–27 Jun 1912), specialized in Victorian gothic (exuberant decorativeness, optical illusions); hailed as the preeminent Victorian ecclesiastical architect; designed the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1871–76, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia and many other famous buildings; Unitarian

8. Minerva Parker Nichols (14 May 1861–17 Nov 1949), first successful American solo woman architect 1888; lecturer at the Philadelphia School of Design; designed the Queen Isabella Pavilion for the Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) Chicago 1891 (not built, fair held 1893); designed the New Century Club of Philadelphia 1891, the Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Delaware and many other noted structures; Unitarian

9. Bernard Maybeck (7 Feb 1862–3 Oct 1957), famous for designs incorporating diverse traditions and materials; designed the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts 1913–15 and many private homes; professor of engineering and architectural drawing at the University of California Berkeley; member of the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley

10. Frank Lloyd Wright (8 Jun 1867–9 Apr 1959), created the famous 'prairie style' (low ceilings, cantilevering, reinforced concrete, screen walls); pioneered extensive use of natural materials; designed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo 1915–22 and many landmark private homes; founded Taliesin Fellowships in Wisconsin 1932 and Arizona 1938 (architectural apprenticeships); wrote Architecture and Modern Life 1937 and other books; among his famous designs are the Unitarian Church of Madison, Wisconsin, the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and Unity Temple (Unitarian Universalist) in Oak Park, Illinois; lifelong Unitarian, member of the First Unitarian Church of Madison, Wisconsin

11. Rose Standish Nichols (1872–1960), among the first American professional woman landscape architects and garden designers; director of the Boston Society of Decorative Art; trustee of the Cooperative Building Society; wrote Old Manor House Gardens 1901, English Pleasure Gardens 1902, Spanish and Portuguese Gardens 1924 and other books; helped found the Women's Peace Party 1915; Unitarian

12. Thomas Andrews, Jr. (7 Feb 1873–15 Apr 1912), Irish architect and ship designer; as managing director and head of the drafting department of Harland & Wolff (Belfast, Ireland) designed the Titanic (went down with with ship); member of All Souls Non-Subscribing Presbyterian (Unitarian) Belfast

13. William Emerson (16 Oct 1873–4 May 1957); Ph.D.; director of the bureau of construction of the American Red Cross 1917–19 (Paris); as professor and dean of the department of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1919–39 he added architectural history, theory, humanities, town planning and other topics to the curriculum; first president of the Unitarian Service Committee 1940–53; president of the American Association for the United Nations and many similar activist organizations; awarded the French Legion of Honor for service in WW1; Unitarian

14. Theodora Kimball Hubbard (1887–1935), architect and linguist; first librarian of the Harvard School of Landscape Architecture 1911–24; first woman member of the American City Planning Institute 1919; author of numerous books on city planning and landscape design; Unitarian

15. George B. Brigham, Jr. (1889–1967), professor of architecture at the University of Michigan; wrote noted article 'Prefabrication' 1937; George Brigham Foundation of Architectural Research at University of Michigan named in his honor; member and designer (1955) of the First Unitarian Church of Ann Arbor

16. Buckminster Fuller (12 Jul 1895–1 Jul 1983), inventor; engineer; mathematician; philosopher; invented the dymaxion house 1927, the dymaxion car 1933, the geodesic dome 1947 and other modern scientific wonders; professor at Southern Illinois University 1959–83; wrote Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth 1969 and many other books; earned Medal of Freedom 1983; held over two thousand patents; member of the Unitarian Fellowship of Carbondale, Illinois


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11 November 2009

30 Universalist Schools of Higher Education Operating in the United States in the 19th Century

. . . As long as I'm dispelling myths of Universalist history, I might as well post this list.

I hear now and again from my fellow UUs that the Universalist side of our denomination was small and rural and never amounted to all that much until they merged with the Unitarians (1961). Well, I'm not one for lying down when I hear such a myth being perpetuated. Universalists accomplished many things and this list merely recites the vast number of schools of higher education they founded during the period of their greatest activity and influence.

(Apart from these higher institutions of learning, Universalists also opened countless "lower" schools. The list below is in chronological order.)

1. 1819. Nichols Academy, Dudley, Massachusetts, operated under Universalist auspices 1819–1823, closed in 1911, reopened later as a four year college

2. 1831. Clinton Liberal Institute, Clinton, New York, 1831–1900

3. 1831. Westbrook Seminary, Westbrook, Maine, operated by Universalists 1831–1925, then became non-sectarian

4. 1832. Western Union Seminary, Philomath, Indiana, 1832–1841

5. 1833. American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, Norwich, Vermont, supported by many Universalists 1833–1847

6. 1835. Waterville Liberal Institute, Waterville, Maine, 1835–1857

7. 1835. Unity Scientific and Military Academy, Unity, New Hampshire, 1835–1840

8. 1835. Lebanon Liberal Institute, Lebanon, New Hampshire, 1835–1850

9. 1838. Methuen Liberal Institute, a.k.a. Murray Institute, Methuen, Massachusetts, 1838–1839

10. 1843. Reading Academy, also known as Reading Seminary, Reading, Massachusetts, 1843–1868, joint effort of Universalist and Unitarians, later called Melrose Academy, Wakefield, Massachusetts, then Greenwood Seminary

11. 1843. Mount Caesar Seminary–Swanzey Academy, Swanzey, New Hampshire, 1843–1859

12. 1844. Southold Academy, Long Island, New York, founded 1834, operated by Universalists from 1844, became Southold Collegiate Institute 1858, operated by St. Patrick's Catholic Church from 1863

13. 1847. Melrose Academy, West Brattleboro, Vermont, 1847–1852

14. 1848. Green Mountain Liberal Institute, then Green Mountain Perkins Institute, South Woodstock, Vermont, 1848–1893

15. 1849. Western Liberal Institute, Marietta, Ohio, 1849–1853

16. 1852. Tufts College, Boston, Massachusetts, 1852–1955, became Tufts University, 1955–present

17. 1865. Dean Academy, Franklin, Massachusetts, 1865–1957

18. 1851. Illinois Liberal Institute, Galesburg IL, 1851–1857, became Lombard University 1857–1900, prep school called Lombard College added in 1900. Taken over by Unitarians in 1928 as part of a proposed merger of denominations. Merged with Knox College in 1930 and Lombard College as a separate institution came to an end (see number 28). Was the first college or university to admit women to all its departments and all its degree programs equally with men.

19. 1852. Divinity School, then Crane Theological School, part of Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

20. 1852. Orleans Liberal Institute, Glover, Vermont, 1852–1872

21. 1856. St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York, 1856–1910, ceased to be run by Universalists 1910 http://www.stlawu.edu/

22. 1858. Canton Theological School, part of St. Lawrence University

23. 1866. Jefferson Liberal Institute, Jefferson, Wisconsin, 1866–1877, became public school 1877

24. 1867. Smithson College, Logansport, Indiana, 1867–1878, sexes were equal in rules, salaries, classes, etc.

25. 1868. Goddard Seminary, Barre, Vermont, 1868–1938, became Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont, 1938–present http://www.goddard.edu/

26. 1872. Mitchell Seminary, Mitchellville, Iowa, 1872–1879

27. 1872. Buchtel College, Akron, Ohio, 1872–1907, ceased to be run by Universalists in 1907, evolved into University of Akron. In 1875, the college had two professorships for women endowed by contributions of Universalist women.

28. 1881. Ryder Divinity School, theological school attached to Lombard University, Galesburg, Illinois, 1881–1912. The school was transferred to Chicago and affiliated with the University of Chicago Divinity Schools 1912–1928, then transferred to Meadville Theological School (opened by Unitarians in Meadville, Pennsylvania, later moved to Illinois) in 1928. Today the school is known as Meadville/Lombard.

29. 1891. Throop Polytechnic Institute, Pasadena, California, 1891–1894, Universalists ceased to control it in 1894, it evolved into the California Institute of Technology in 1920

30. 1899. Southern Industrial College, Camp Hill, Alabama, 1899–1942, passed out of Universalist hands about 1942, named changed to Lyman Ward Military Academy 1955

(The vast majority of these data were extracted from The Larger Hope, Volume 1: The First Century of the Universalist Church in America, 1770–1870, by Russell E. Miller, published by Boston: Unitarian Universalist Association, 1979)


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09 November 2009

6 Universalist Unitarian Congregations Formed Prior to 1934, and 11 Other Examples of Unitarian Universalist Cooperation Prior to 1934

. . . Why 1934, you ask? That is the date in which the Unitarian congregation in Detroit joined up with the Universalist congregation in Detroit to form the "First Unitarian-Universalist Church." (*)

Members of this congregation are often heard to say that theirs was the first congregation in which Universalists and Unitarians joined. Well, being a stickler for accurate history, I feel compelled to dispell this local myth, so I put together these two little lists. (Please email me if I have missed anything that should be on these lists, thanks.)

6 Universalist Unitarian Congregations Formed Prior to 1934

1. 1827, in Louisville, Kentucky, a religious society was organized and a joint meeting house was built by Unitarians and Universalists. Soon, however, the Unitarians excluded the Universalists and the society fell apart. Universalists reorganized in 1840 and again merged with the Unitarians in 1870.

2. 1834, the first Universalist meeting house in Alabama was erected at Montgomery. It was a joint venture, named the "First Unitarian Universalist Society of Montgomery." The congregation was dormant by 1839.

3. 1858, Unitarians and Universalists joined in Dubuque, Iowa. There was much debate at the time over whether to use "Unitarian," "Universalist," or "Liberal Christian" as the name.

4. 1871, in Oak Park, Illinois, "Unity Temple" was founded jointly by Unitarians and Universalists. Their famous edifice was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

5. 1878, the local Unitarian and Universalist churches in Englewood Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, combined and named themselves the "Christian Union Society."

6. 1909, "All Souls Universalist-Unitarian Church," in Waterbury, Connecticut, was dedicated.

11 Other Examples of Unitarian Universalist Cooperation Prior to 1934

1. 1848, the Rev. Thomas Starr King, already ordained Universalist, became dually fellowshipped as a Unitarian and Universalist.

2. 1868, a combined Universalist Unitarian organization called the "Conference of Liberal Christians" was formed in the Missouri Valley.

3. 1899, Unitarians and Universalists formed the "Committee of Conference," a national organization for closer cooperation. It lasted until 1907.

4. 1916, Unitarian and Universalist clergy of the Boston area held their first joint meeting. Both Lee S. McCollester, president of the Universalist Church of American and dean of Crane Theological School, and Samuel Atkins Eliot, president of the American Unitarian Association, spoke.

5. 1928, the Illinois Universalist Convention and the Illinois Unitarian Conference held their first joint meeting.

6. 1931, the "Free Church Fellowship" was founded to join Unitarians and Universalists. It lasted until 1937.

7. 1932, "Uni-Uni" was in use as a nickname among the national youth organizations of both denominations.

8. 1932, a joint hymnal commission was established, made up of Universalists and Unitarians. They published Hymns of the Spirit ("the red hymnal") in 1937.

9. 1933, the Minnesota Universalist Convention and the Minnesota Unitarian Conference held their first joint meeting.

10. 1933, the "Wayside Pulpit," a Unitarian program, joined with its Universalist equivalent, the "Community Pulpit."

11. 1933, the Universalist Publishing House began printing the "Unitarian Register," a national Unitarian periodical.

(Most of these facts are found in Russell E. Miller, The Larger Hope, published in 2 volumes, 1979, 1985)

(*) The Unitarians' building was partly demolished when Woodward Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Detroit, was widened in 1934. They sold what was left of their building and moved in with the Universalists, about six blocks away, whose small but handsome 1916 edifice is still serving as the congregation's home.


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