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When I was much younger, I was fascinated by James Burke and his quirky show called Connections. He had a unique way to answer the question: How did we get here? Wherever here might be.

I will be giving the homily on Holy Thursday and for some reason, James Burke came into my mind as did the question: How did we get here, in this church, in the year 2014, remembering a dinner that happened in a small upper room two thousand or so years ago ?

Below is a small introduction to Mr. Burke and short clip of an episode that answers the question. How did we get the modern Alarm Clock? It turns out; there is a religious connection to the answer. (Ok- the production quality and the clothes would not make it today but these were the 70s!)

James Burke (born 22 December 1936) is a British broadcaster, science historian, author, and television producer, who is known, among other things, for his documentary television series Connections (1978), and for its more philosophically oriented companion series, The Day the Universe Changed (1985), which is about the history of science and technology. The Washington Post called him “one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world”.[Wikipedia]

“The Wheel of Fortune” traces astrological knowledge in ancient Greek manuscripts from Baghdad’s founder, Caliph Al-Mansur, via the Muslim monastery/medical school at Gundeshapur, to the medieval Church’s need for alarm clocks (the water horologium and the verge and foliot clock).

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