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#91

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 6:16 PM

I know very little about Rick Warren, except that he founded a megachurch. Oh yeah, and I now know he's 100% European. Can anyone tell me why he elicits so much dislike? He seemed intelligent and affable, though I can't say I'd trust him completely.

I didn't cotton to the Imam much, much, much less so when his holocaust-denier past was outed. But I really liked the rabbi. She had such a wonderful manner, with an impressive voice, both speaking and singing.

As always, Gates gets on my nerves with his transparent agenda getting in the way of objective discovery, but I do love this show. So much meatier than its lightweight cousin WDYTYA, though it could use an occasional hot marine historian to juice things up.

#92

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 6:43 PM

I didn't know he denied the Holocaust. I never understand that. Makes no sense to me at all. There are living survivors. Wacky.


It's sort of the official position of a lot of Middle Eastern gov'ts, it's even taught in the school systems as part of the curriculum. You even have some of that denial in other Muslim countries like Malaysia.

It gets even weirder when you learn the organizations that promote it over in the Middle East along with evolution denying are allied with fundamentalist Christian organizations in the US to the point of not only being funded by US fundie Christians but also getting materials such as books, talking points etc from them.

These US Christian organizations also support the fanatical Israeli organizations that are considered an obstacle to peace in the region. The reason the US fundie Christian organizations are supporting fanatics on both sides is that to US Muslims and Jews are a means to an end in order to start the Rapture and that whole shebang that started over 150 years in the US due to John Nelson Darby. This of course would wipe out all the Jews and Muslims, all other religions and the False Christians so to the followers of John Nelson Darby such as Rick Warren this would be a good thing.

Edited by runningoutofnam, Apr 16, 2012 @ 6:47 PM.


#93

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Posted Apr 16, 2012 @ 7:51 PM

I know very little about Rick Warren, except that he founded a megachurch. Oh yeah, and I now know he's 100% European. Can anyone tell me why he elicits so much dislike? He seemed intelligent and affable, though I can't say I'd trust him completely.


Semi o/t More on Rick Warren

Some don't like how he is sorta aligned with the right wingBottom 50% don't pay enough taxes

He also supported prop 8 in California Interview here

I am a religious person who supports gay marriage, but way before he got known past the religious community he just always seemed to be a business person who heads a church rather than a minister. Every thing is branded, his sermons and materials, in my opinion, lean a little too far towards secular self-help with God mentioned as an after thought. YMMV.

Edited by monty9, Apr 16, 2012 @ 7:54 PM.


#94

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 11:24 PM

I just saw the Robert Downey Jr./Maggie Gyllenhaal episode. I didn't expect RDJ's DNA analysis to come out 100% white like that, and it was interesting that the family trees went back so far in history. I never heard of the Swedenborgians before.

I was a little annoyed by some discrepancies, like with RDJ's ancestor Gussie Goldberg, that they said was born in 1872, and then the ship records said she arrived in New York in 1892, and they kept saying she was 18 years old. It's twenty years difference. How can that be? Did she just lie about her age on the ship records or something? Why even mention her birthdate at all, if you're going to contradict it like that a minute later?

Edited by Cress, Apr 22, 2012 @ 11:25 PM.


#95

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Posted Apr 22, 2012 @ 11:32 PM

Actually you could still be considered 18 depending upon the birth month in the birth year and the month you got on the ship. Also you have to consider travel time back then on a boat. If she had been born very late 1872 and got on the ship in 1891 prior to her 19th birthday with the travel time she would have come to New York in 1892.

#96

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:39 AM

As always, Gates gets on my nerves with his transparent agenda getting in the way of objective discovery, but I do love this show.


The RDJ/Gyllenhaal episode was refreshing for its lack of Gates's agenda. I find it very interesting to hear about the historical events that led to various groups immigrating.

This episode also netted me some new cousins - Maggie and I share Henry I in our trees. Perhaps I should invite her for the holidays.

#97

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:12 AM

If she had been born very late 1872 and got on the ship in 1891 prior to her 19th birthday with the travel time she would have come to New York in 1892.


They specifically said her birthdate was in January of 1872. The ship record implied that she arrived in New York in 1892 and was 18 at the time she arrived. Besides, I've looked into ship travel times in the 19th century for other reasons, and ships don't take 1 year to travel from Russia to America. I know from a Victorian travel book that in the 1850s, crossing the Atlantic took 9 days for instance. A longer trip from India to England in 1880 took about 1 month. I can't believe that even a third-class passenger would take 1-2 years to make such a trip by ship.

Edited by Cress, Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:15 AM.


#98

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:22 AM

Robert Downey Jr. was adorable, with his pure joy at having ancestors in America since the early 17th century. His eyes seemed to mist up. It really meant a lot to him, which, as someone who knows just what a gift these guests are receiving, meant a lot to me. I liked Downey Sr's reactions too, what little we saw of him. (I'm glad we did see him though.)

Gyllenhaal seemed a bit more detached and removed about the whole thing, but I'm glad she found out about her mother's side going all the way back to Judea since that's what was important to her.

I didn't understand why one DNA test said RDJ was 100% European, and the second test said he was 20% Middle Eastern/Jewish heritage? I wish they had explained that. A website had a sale recently and I tried to figure out which tests to send to people who wanted them...Of course, each one tests only one thing and it's all very expensive, unless you get the mega test. But I don't know what type of test would do that for him and have two different results.

All of the ancestors' stories were interesting, as well as the 'telephone game' that can change stories down the decades. Beetles, not butterflies. Fighting knight, not author. I liked Robert's line about the "one cow laborer." I liked hearing about all the early pilgrims. That is a part of history I can really connect to and long to hear more about because I had ancestors here during those years too. I keep looking but no names in common with the guest subjects, so far. That name Lothrop sounds familiar, though.

I was interested in the Swedenborg stuff because I'm interested in his writing and drawings. I didn't realize he had such a following in early America, though. It was so nice to learn all sorts of new things in this episode. I thought Maggie had a strong resemblance to her ancestors - on both sides, somehow. Her cousin seemed to have made a life's study out of their royal connections. It's always nice to have a relative like that, ha.

Maggie and I share Henry I in our trees. Perhaps I should invite her for the holidays.


There's some medieval nobles/royals in mine at Ancestry too but - from the amount of 'member connections' I still get those show up a lot. It will be a long time before I could ever hope to document the connection so for now I'm chalking it up to probably not.

#99

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:52 AM

The ship record implied that she arrived in New York in 1892 and was 18 at the time she arrived.


Ship records even birth records or accounts from that time period often have inaccuracies. Several historical figures such as a few US presidential candidates, Historians have multiple birth dates and even places of birth. Birth certificates that are registered at a central location are a recent thing. A lot of rural Americans born before 1970 for instance may be shocked to find that they don't have real birth certificates since midwives were not required to file them or since the midwives didn't know how to read or write any filed birth certificates were often filled with innacuries. A good number of elderly in the US do not have birth certificates.

Also nine days for travel? On a fast steamboat perhaps. But I was thinking more of the huge slow cargo ships that often ship tons of people to Ellis Island.

#100

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:54 AM

The RDJ/Gyllenhaal episode was refreshing for its lack of Gates's agenda

That was the only reason I found it watchable, which surprised me. It is amazing how he turns it all off for celebrity.

Robert Downey Jr. was adorable, with his pure joy at having ancestors in America since the early 17th century.

Maybe I'm a cynical bastard, but I was hoping that they would mention Downey's serious problems with drugs and alcohol, not for the salaciousness of it, but because such problems are supposed to be partly genetic, and should have showed up in the family tree.

#101

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

I laughed a bit at Maggie's Swedish royal connections since I recently read an article from an American claiming to be the real King of Sweden. Wonder if the Gyllenhaal claim could be stronger. (hmmm, one of the current princesses is single and living in NYC with a boyfriend but Jake could get in there....)
http://www.thelocal.se/40364/20120419/

#102

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 8:47 AM

I was a little annoyed by some discrepancies, like with RDJ's ancestor Gussie Goldberg, that they said was born in 1872, and then the ship records said she arrived in New York in 1892, and they kept saying she was 18 years old.


But then again birthdays were not a big celebration for most people at that time, plus they usually didn't have any hard and fast birth records, so age was just an approximation for many people as they got older. This would have been true of the poor, but also some wealthier people. Saying she was 18 might have been just another way of saying she was not a child.

#103

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:55 AM

That was the only reason I found it watchable, which surprised me. It is amazing how he turns it all off for celebrity.


I didn't think he turned it off because they were celebrities since most of the people he's interviewed are well known. I thought it was more of a lack of personal connection through a shared slavery history that he put to the side which is nice to see but as some one whose African American I'm looking forward to next week with Sam Jack. I find it fascinating to see how they find out what they can from people descended from slaves because it's not easy, although it was pretty cool to see RDJ's family tree all the way back to the 13th cen. That's some serious history.

Edited by BuddhaBelly, Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:56 AM.


#104

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:36 AM

As far as the age discrepancy goes, could be anything from her not really knowing her actual age to the person writing it down wrong, or forgetting to ask and filling one in later, or she thought 20 was a little old maid-ish and figured she'd start her new life in the new world as an 18 year old. Or perhaps even the job she hoped to attain would be easier to get as an 18 year old than a 20 year old.

#105

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 1:35 PM

The thing that struck me was how many of young Gussie's features were apparent in RDJ's face. Lovely. (My own mother looks nothing like her siblings, or really, either of her parents. I once saw a painting of a further-back ancestor for whom she is the spitting image, which both surprised me and delighted me. Like: Oh, that's where that profile came from!)

#106

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Posted Apr 23, 2012 @ 2:44 PM

I also enjoyed last night's show. About the age discrepancy - Russia was using a different calendar until 1918 not that a 2 year difference would solve the matter.

#107

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:09 AM

Nice bookending on this episode. The New York streets teeming with city life and people from all over the globe. It set up both stories at the beginning, and it added poignancy at the end. I thought: These are the same American stories, still going strong, starting all over again, with each person.

#108

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:17 PM

I'd read about FYR in the WDYTYA thread and have spent the last few days catching up and I have to say that it is a nice counterpiece to the other series. The host seems genuinely warm and invested and I like his talking with experts on history about certain aspects of history.
About the Walters/Kennedy episode: That Kennedy woman who had been doing all the research was downright creepy. She said she was proud of her family. And (though that may have been poor editing) one of her next sentences is that her family was known for breeding. Seriously, that is just wrong.

And last but not least: I would so very much see someone with hispanic roots.

#109

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

And last but not least: I would so very much see someone with hispanic roots.


My choice would be Edward James Olmos, hands down. He'd need the whole hour to himself - no sharing time with another celeb here.

#110

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:12 PM

I also enjoyed last night's show. About the age discrepancy - Russia was using a different calendar until 1918 not that a 2 year difference would solve the matter.


Oh, I'd forgotten that. I only remember the Old Style/New Style date problems at the time the founding fathers were alive in America. That helps a great deal. On the show, it just seemed strange that they gave a very precise date for Gussie's birth, as if they did have an official birth certificate. They could have just said they didn't know for sure, omitted the birthdate, or given some other explanation for the discrepancy. It's the lack of explanation onscreen that bothered me. Okay, I'll stop nitpicking now.

#111

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Posted Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:42 PM

And last but not least: I would so very much see someone with hispanic roots.

If you get a chance to see Gates' previous series on genealogy, Faces of America, it's very good and very similar to Finding Your Roots, but with more of an emphasis of immigration. He did Eva Longoria's genealogy, which was darn impressive. She's practically Tex/Mex royalty.

#112

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

My PBS affiliate (Chicago) aired the Rick Warren et al episode again this past Sunday. I'm really glad that the PBS site has the full episodes so I can watch the Maggie/Robert episode. Looking forward to it.

#113

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

I'm a week behind, so I just watched Downey/Gyllenhaal and have Sam Jackson on hold.

Was very excited to see Gyllenhaal goes back to John Lothrop. They showed that that makes her related to the Bushes, but I helped my friend prove her family goes back to him, and his genealogy has been done front, back and sideways. If you're related to him, you're related to TONS of famous people (and according to Wiki, 80,000 descendents overall). Not just Bush and FDR, but Adlai Stevenson, Dr. Spock, the fuller brush guy, Joseph Smith (and Mitt Romney) and the Marriotts, Benedict Arnold, JP Morgan, Eli Whitney, and scads of other random celebs and politicians...including Sarah Palin.

#114

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Posted May 1, 2012 @ 1:57 PM

Yes - also if you are descended from various Mayflower passengers, you'd be distantly related to those same Presidents and also to Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple if memory serves (and depending on which passenger.)

I liked the DNA stuff on this show but I wish they would explain how each test is different and/or what the test does, exactly. It's very hard to tell, as a layperson, from reading the DNA product lists on those sites. It needn't be a lengthy explanation, just something. On some instances they do, but not always.

It was touching when "Cander" donated her DNA, but I wondered why everyone was standing around in the road? Wouldn't any local diner let them film indoors?

Rev. Lathrop sounded familiar. He turned out to be in my tree, but not by blood. An ancestor married one of his sons, but the ancestor isn't in my direct line. While googling about all of them again, I ran across a book by Megan Smolenyak. She is a forensic DNA expert. She "solves historical puzzles" using DNA. I got her book for Kindle. She says something like, if the cousins are not fewer than 7th cousins, she isn't impressed. Basically, in the early days, there were so few families that everyone intermarried, so if you are in one of those families, you're basically in most of the other ones as well. It's still kind of neat, though. And I've seen Brad Pitt pop up on many of those "cousins of each other" articles, as he did in this series; but they never say where he figures in.

Next week's angle is different: Everyone has only been in America for a few generations or less.

#115

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 1:58 AM

She says something like, if the cousins are not fewer than 7th cousins, she isn't impressed.

Well, that's interesting. I just found a 3rd cousin and her mother, 2nd cousin once removed (tho we haven't convinced them yet we're kin. Would love to do the DNA), and wasn't "impressed". But, yeah, at least it's closer than Six [Cousins] of Kevin Bacon.

#116

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Posted May 2, 2012 @ 9:53 AM

Oh - she meant in the fame game. She said in her book (which has a foreword by Prof. Henry Gates; she worked with him on his past series) that she is "responsible for" all those articles that pop up form time to time talking about how Brad Pitt is related to this or that president or so and so is related to Princess Diana. She said it's almost always some ancient colonial American or royal connection, and usually something like 10th cousin and up. Because there are so many descendants of colonial 'pilgrims' now and even some of the royals or nobles, she basically said "yawn." But something like a second or third cousin that doesn't involve those types of links and her ears perk. The book is pretty good. She did Michelle Obama's lineage.

I rewatched the recent episode with Samuel Jackson, Condoleeza Rice and the Pres. of Brown University. Interesting, especially the one case that matched up to family lore. It did sound more grounded in reality since the two families regularly had dinner together. It was sad and informative to learn about what it was like growing up under Jim Crow laws. I didn't realize Gates was from the South too. I thought he was Boston born and bred.

#117

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 2:46 PM

Just watched the Condoleeza Rice, etc. episode. A few random thoughts:
  • Ruth Simmons seems like a very intellectual person, and not a warm one. She was downright cold to Canber when they met. Maybe that's just her way, but, hell, this woman gave her DNA to help Ruth figure out her genealogy, and is her cousin. While she may be the descendant of a slave owner, she is not one herself. Maybe I'm just more huggy, but Ruth's approach to the meeting seemed very formal and chilly to me.
  • Condoleeza Rice, otoh, was a much warmer person than I would have suspected from her public image.
  • I love that DNA is proving and disproving all these stories that have been passed down through generations.
  • My great-grandparents, who were caucasian, were sharecroppers in Illinois. I kind of bristled at the implication that sharecropping was institutionalized racism. No, my ancestors were just poor and sharecropping gave them an income and a home.
  • When they show childhood photos of Henry Gates, he was such a gorgeous little boy. I don't see the resemblance in the man, who is distinguished, but not someone I would describe as gorgeous.
  • I was surprised to see some southeastern African tribes included in the map of areas from which slaves were taken. I had always heard most slaves were taken from the northwestern coast of Africa.
  • Not one of my favorite episodes, as it concentrated more on history and less on genealogy. I like the a-ha moments! Perhaps the three subjects just didn't have those a-ha moments, so there wasn't as much genealogy to show.


#118

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 4:41 PM

Maybe I'm just more huggy, but Ruth's approach to the meeting seemed very formal and chilly to me.


That was an awkward meeting. Kind of like no one knew what to say to each other. I wanted somebody to suggest "let's go get something to eat."

My grandparents lived on and farmed someone else's farm too, not sure if it was the same thing though. The part that sounded worst was how the workers always somehow owed more than they earned. My grandparents were eventually able to get off the farm, but they moved into the city. The story was similar in that part, so I had trouble fitting it all in with institutionalized racism too, but I admit I'm lacking in much knowledge on that topic. The Jim Crow stuff was interesting but left me with as many questions or more, as it answered.

I wish it would've had more about genealogy too, specifically, the trees of the people featured in the episode. I don't remember one family story being told, it was all about DNA and such this time. I guess that could fall under finding their roots too but, to me it's only part of it.

#119

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:37 PM

What an interesting bunch of stories tonight- Sanjay Gupta, Margaret Cho, Martha Stewart. So fascinating that Martha's lineage goes back to the Tatars and Pakistan. And Cho's lineage being traced back to the 13th century, via the Mormons' records.

#120

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 12:16 AM

I had always heard most slaves were taken from the northwestern coast of Africa.

Most slaves came from the slave nations of Africa in which over half the population was enslaved to the other half. African countries didn't ban slavery until the Europeans told them to until then they were perfectly happy to sell off their own people or raid and capture people from other tribes. 99% of the African slaves were sold off by the African leaders to the Europeans. Very few raids were conducted by Europeans to get slaves. It was cheaper to just buy them from their African masters.

It had been established as part of the culture for thousands of years before the European traders arrived. Southeastern Africa would be the area in which coastal villages were raided by Arab slave ships until the early 20th century.