Preface: Why I Fell In Love With This Topic

Tracing DNA and Ancestry Was One Inspiration for Contemplating Life's Slender Threads. What Ifs Made Me Realize We Are All Products of History. What If Your Grandparents Never Met? Traveling the World Made Me Ponder 'What Ifs.' The World Almost Ended Near My Home in North Carolina in January, 1961. Randomness of Life? History Can Veer Dramatically … Continue reading Preface: Why I Fell In Love With This Topic

Wright Brothers As Example of Slender Threads or Divine Providence in Each Biography

The Wright Brothers, on a winter day in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, changed aviation history. But there were many slender threads, as David McCullough explains in his well-written book. In high school, Wilber was smashed in the face with a hockey stick, knocking out most of his upper front teeth, by a man … Continue reading Wright Brothers As Example of Slender Threads or Divine Providence in Each Biography

Healthy Historical Revisionism or Negationism and Denial of Reality?

Alternate history can be a healthy form of historical revisionism, seeing great events in a new light, or if we aren't careful, a form of negationism or denial such as Confederate revisionism (the civil war was all about states rights, not slavery), whitewashing (particularly communist history), Holocaust denial, Armenian Genocide denial and Japanese war crime … Continue reading Healthy Historical Revisionism or Negationism and Denial of Reality?

Alexandre Dumas and the Origin of ‘Slender Threads’

A prolific novelist and world traveler, the French writer Alexandre Dumas in the 19th century in such novels as "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Christo" popularized the concept that "slender threads" determine the fates of individuals and nations. It's not some vague, pat notions of "God's will," destiny, predestination, divine retribution or a heavenly … Continue reading Alexandre Dumas and the Origin of ‘Slender Threads’

Asking ‘What Ifs?”: A Whole Way of Looking at History

Initially I thought that pondering the "what if's" of history was a passing fancy or a fun game to play, especially with other history geeks. But the more I delved into such questions, the more I realized they provide a whole way of studying and sparking interest in world history. Seeking answers to "what if" questions … Continue reading Asking ‘What Ifs?”: A Whole Way of Looking at History

Traveling the World Inspires ‘What Ifs’

By en:User:Bigdaddy1204 - Photograph taken in June 2006 in Istanbul by en:User:Bigdaddy1204. All credits go to him., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Standing next to ancient city walls in "Christian" Constantinople, now "Muslim" Istanbul, Turkey, on the Asian side, just a 10-minute boat ride across the Bosporus Strait from "Christian" Europe, I began to ponder the … Continue reading Traveling the World Inspires ‘What Ifs’

Tracing Ancestry Was One Inspiration For Contemplating Life’s Slender Threads

One inspiration for writing this blog was when I realized I could trace my ancestry online back to the 12th century and check my DNA, which hinted at the unique decisions made by hundreds or thousands of individual ancestors going back to the stone age. We carry our unique ancestry with us through our DNA, … Continue reading Tracing Ancestry Was One Inspiration For Contemplating Life’s Slender Threads

The World Almost Ended in Goldsboro, NC in 1961

One of the inspirations for the "Slender Threads" blog and book were when I discovered that a B-52 bomber carrying two four-megaton hydrogen bomb crashed near Goldsboro, North Carolina on January 23, 1961. Miraculously, neither bomb detonated. I was a small child living in rural, central NC when this crash happened, so this report startled … Continue reading The World Almost Ended in Goldsboro, NC in 1961