Category Archives: people

About the awesome Mr. Rogers

Fred Rogers (aka: Mr. Rogers) was awesome. End of post.

Okay, yes, he deserves more. Much more.

The sarcastic, irreverent humorist publication “Cracked” was spot on when they said about Mr. Rogers:

Sit down, neighbor, and hear of a man who did not conquer the world, but did it one better; he reminded us that the world needs unity rather than conquest. He walked among us as a man, although he was a hand-to-God saint. They say the difference between a saint and a psychopath is empathy, and Mr. Fred Rogers had an ocean of it, which makes him either the sanest man in history or the craziest hero we ever had.

Here we go

Frederick “Fred” McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter, author, and television host. Rogers was most famous for creating and hosting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001), which featured his gentle, soft-spoken personality and directness to his audiences.


  • 1928 – Born (Latrobe, PA (near Pittsburgh))
  • 1946 – Graduated High Shcool
  • 1946 – Entered Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • 1948 – Transferred to Rollins College (Winter Park, FL)
  • 1951 – Graduated from Rollins College
  • 1952 – Married Sara Joanne Byrd
  • 1953 – Began first show “The Children’s Corner” on WQED (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 1959 – Son James born
  • 1961 – Son John born
  • 1963 – Graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 1963 – Began the show “Mrrogers” on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Toronto, Ontario)
  • 1968 – Began “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” on the CBC
  • 1999 – Inducted into the Television Hall Of Fame
  • 2001 – Retired “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”
  • 2003 – Died (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 2012 – “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”

* Not to mention multiple awards and honors Mr. Rogers has earned from his peers, etc.

To get started, if you’re the type that likes to watch videos, here’s one called “35 Facts About Mr. Fred Rogers”


Mr. Rogers was born, raided, and graduated from High School near Pittsburgh, PA. He went to the Ivy League school Dartmouth College in New Hampshire but transferred to Rollins College in Winter Park, FL where he graduated with a BA in Music Composition in 1951. In 1963 he graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained as a Presbyterian (USA) minister.


Many of the most memorable things Rogers said to children were inspired by things his own grandfather, Fred Brooks McFeely, said to him. “I think it was when I was leaving one time to go home after our time together that my grandfather said to me, ‘You know, you made this day a really special day. Just by being yourself. There’s only one person in the world like you. And I happen to like you just the way you are,’” Rogers remembered. “That just went right into my heart. And it never budged.” (Rogers named Mr. McFeely, the show’s Speedy Delivery messenger character after his grandfather.)


Mr. Roger’s parents were among the few who owned a TV in the early 1950’s. Mr. Rogers (I just can’t call him ‘Fred’) wasn’t impressed with what he saw on TV. He felt more could be done. In 1953 he got a job at Pittsburgh’s public television channel (WQED) where he’d hope to make a difference via children’s programming. Following are just a few ways he really made a difference.


In 1963 “Mrrogers” aired via the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC). In 1966, “MisteRogers’ Neighborhood” aired in the US on a channel that would later become PBS. The show targeted children aged 2-5 and was produced by Pittsburgh’s WQED and ran nationally until 2001. It was this show that became Mr. Roger’s claim to fame.

And now for the most famous song of all…


In 1969, President Nixon wanted to cut public television funding in half. Mr. Rogers, in 6 minutes, changed it all…


Mr. Roger’s first TV show in ’53 was live and titled “The Children’s Corner”. The idea was to show children’s educational videos. But opps! The first episode started out as a disaster. Within the first 2 minutes of the premiere the first shown film broke! Mr. Rogers scrambled and saw a puppet he was given the night before the premiere. It was a tiger named “Daniel” and it was through this puppet-model programming that Mr. Rogers found his niche.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is the puppet continuation of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood after the death of Mr. Rogers.



Mr. Rogers Rulz!

Mental Illness Awareness

It’s important for anyone to understand mental illnesses. It’s serious stuff. Look at this photo. I find it a melancholy example of what a mental illness can look like.

…staff members in the Sichuan branch of Bank of China try to splice the shreds of 50,000 yuan bank notes torn by a woman who suddenly falls ill. It took 6 hours for 12 bank clerks to successfully splice only one complete 100-yuan bank note. The money was originally meant for the woman’s mental disorder treatment.

Pirates are Real

We (and by we I include me) live in a culture that like to think pirates are fun, glamorus, and swashbuckling.  We even have a day to talk like a pirate.

But did you know that pirates are still real and relevant today?  They have been causing all kinds of trouble in many parts of the world this year alone:

It’s worst off the coast of Somalia.  Just scan the news about Somalian Pirates. In short, what they do is approach an unarmed cargo ship in speedboats aremed with granade launchers and AK-47s, board the ship and hold it for multi-million dollar ransoms.  They almost always get paid.  It’s become Somalia’s largest income base.

These aren’t your Jolly Roger flying pirates. Although they are mostly in it for themselves, there is some orginiazation to their methods and payouts.  Much of the ransom money goes to support warlords in Somalia.  Now they use GPS to spot and chase down a victim.

The UN is taking measures to stop them, but if you don’t want to wait for government officials to take care of it, you can hire a group of ex-Royal Marines from Anti Piracy Maritime Security Solutions (APMSS) out of the UK to protect your ship (listen to interview with APMSS CEO Nick Davis).

Yes, the pirate lore can be fun, and the 21st Centry pirates aren’t like the ‘loveable’ ones we know.  But there are real pirates today, and they are a real problem.

UPDATE: After posting this I found a Google Map that plots all of the pirate attacks for the year from Digital Inspiration.