Illinois - Presettlement


It was a common belief that when the early European settlers entered North America they found an unbroken forest of large trees. It was often stated ”a squirrel might have gone from Maine to Louisiana by leaping from one giant tree to the next, never touching the ground.” 

Until the latter half of the twentieth century many foresters dismissed the possibility of any significant disturbance by the Native Americans. We now know that in many parts of North America indigenous people built large cities, had extensive farms, and operated far-ranging trading networks. Though appearing pristine to the casual observer of the 1600s, these primeval forests had been subjected to extensive modification by both human and natural disturbances. 

Careful search and critical reading of many of the early European settler’s journals and diaries reveal that large areas in eastern North American forests had been extensively modified by early indigenous cultures. In general, forest succession allows for relatively rapid recovery of a forest system, that to a casual observer gave the appearance of a pristine virgin forest. More careful observations, however, by someone familiar with a particular forest association, revealed a forest successional stage and not an end point in forest dynamics. 

Click to read more about early Illinois.


My Books, Mostly Under Construction


My Books, Mostly Under Construction. The Living Glem is not mine - It is written by another Craig Hullinger.  Kind of hard to believe there are two of us. 


AI Writes About The Future of Solar Power

Dear Copilot AI https://copilot.microsoft.com/

Write about the future of solar power. 


The future of solar power is looking increasingly bright, with significant advancements and expectations for growth. Here’s a glimpse into what the future may hold:

Technological Advancements: Technology improvements are expected to make solar energy even more cost-effective. By 2030, solar could become the primary source of energy for electricity production in many parts of the world1.

Decarbonization Goals: The Solar Futures Study by the U.S. Department of Energy projects that with aggressive cost reductions and supportive policies, solar could account for up to 40% of the nation’s electricity supply by 2035 and 45% by 20502. This would be a substantial increase from its current contribution.

Economic Impact: The deployment of solar energy is anticipated to create numerous jobs, potentially employing between 500,000–1.5 million people in solar-related jobs by 20352.

Global Impact: As solar technology becomes more affordable and efficient, it’s expected to have a positive impact on the environment and contribute significantly to mitigating climate change1.

Energy System Transformation: Solar power is likely to play a crucial role in transitioning to a carbon-free electric grid. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) projects that solar energy could provide 45% of the electricity in the United States by 2050 if the energy system is fully decarbonized3.

In summary, the future of solar power is promising, with expectations of technological advancements leading to greater affordability, increased adoption, and a significant contribution to global energy needs and environmental sustainability.

An interesting approach is to raise livestock where part of the pasture is devoted to solar panels.  This panels can also provide shade and shelter from wind and high rains.


Italian Renaissance Faire

Italian Renaissance Faire

Many Renaissance Fairs have the same basic theme that influences the design and action within the park:  Tudor/ Elizabethan England.  These fairs make an effort to remain true to the period and have little of the fantasy element.  With the proposed Minooka faire having a large portion of its target audience shared with the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Bristol, Wisconsin, a unique setting would add to the appeal of the park.  This proposal features a setting that is only touched upon in other parks, but features a culture that had a greater influence over the Renaissance as a whole than 15th/16th century England: northern Italy.

Setting:  Although the Catholic Church was the largest political power during this time, Italy was not the unified country that it is today, but divided into city-states.  Divide the park into the different cities of northern Italy that are noted for their unique nature and/or contribution to the Renaissance:  Venice, Rome, Florence, Siena, Verona, San Gimignano, Padua, etc. 


Action:  Set up a rivalry among the different cities (similar to the ones from Medieval and Renaissance times).  Feuding families like those in Romeo and Juliet would make for interesting dialogue and swordplay.   Customize the action to match each town, for instance Marco Polo influenced Venice and the Medici family influenced Florence.  A gypsy camp would also provide and area for fortune telling and musical acts.


  • Shakespeare’s Italian Plays:

  • Romeo & Juliet

  • The Taming of the Shrew

  • The Merchant of Venice

  • Much Ado About Nothing

  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona

  • Commedia dell’Arte:  Slapstick improvisations using the classic characters from the Commedia:  Harlequin, Columbine, The Captain, Bauta, The Young Lovers, etc.

  • Siennese Palio Race:  Bareback horse race around the Siena Campo (shell-shaped town square) with a single contestant from each of the cities.

  • Flag Twirling and Throwing Exhibitions

  • Circus Acts

  • Traditional Dances such as the Saltarella

  • Varietal Musical Acts


  • DaVinci’s Flying Machines (Similar to Bristol’s)

  • Ships to the New World (Similar to Bristol’s)

  • Gondolas (on a lake)


  • Human Chess Game

  • Archery

  • Tomato Tossing

  • Other Typical Fair Games

Food:  Food should be influenced by, but not limited to traditional Italian cuisine:  Pasta, Cheese, Frittatas (egg sandwiches), Pannini (grilled meat sandwiches), Pizza, Bruschetta, Polenta, Garlic Mushrooms, Porcini Mushrooms, Ribollita (Tuscan Bean Soup), Gelato, Tiramisu, Melon, Coffee, Wine (Chianti, Pinot Grigio, etc.), Beer

Design: Use each town’s flags, symbols and colors to differentiate between sections.  For instance, the winged lion on the red and gold Venetian flag; or Romulus and Remus for Rome.

  • Venice:  On a small scale, create canals so that people must cross bridges to get to different areas.  Shops should specialize in glass, lace and papier maché masks.

  • Florence:  Have a traditional market that specializes in gold, leather, and marbleized paper that has the feel of the Ponte Vecchio (include as many references as you can to the actual city, such as a copy of Michelangelo’s David, or the Porcellini statue from the market that tourists rub on the nose to ensure a return visit).  Create a miniature Boboli Gardens with a coffeehouse in the center.

  • Rome:  Have a variety of fountains (perhaps a copy of Bernini’s Four Rivers), the Bocca della Verita (the Mouth of Truth), and some references to the Vatican.

Costumes:  The costumes for the Italian Renaissance are distinctly different from those worn at most fairs.  The Elizabethan wardrobe of corseted waists with large bell skirts for women and pumpkin hose for men with slash and puff details were not the fashion.  Instead, women wore gowns with an empire bodice and men wore jerkins showing a lot more leg.  This is an area that could have appeal to employees.  Rather than forcing them to wear the heavy formal clothes of the North, give them a decidedly Southern appeal for summer use by using lighter fabrics such as gauze.

Language:  One of the elements that binds fairs together is the period dialogue that is used.  For obvious reasons, Italian can only be spoken in small amounts.  Just as typical Elizabethan greetings and phrases are given at other fairs, simple Italian phrases could be provided to attendees.  Although there is some difficulty involved, it is possible to train the performers to speak with an Italian accent.  However, it would be easier if they were allowed to speak with the Elizabethan styling modified to include simple Italian phrases.


Hard Drinking Guys


I thought this was probably fake, but according to this fact check it was true. But they also let the servants and musicians drink and eat.

"The Washington Post reported the night’s tab to be estimated at about 89 pounds, four shillings and two pence –  the rough equivalent of $15,400 today. In addition to the drinks, the tab included dinner for all 55 guests, fees for broken glasses and meals and drinks for musicians and “servants.” 



Cyber Warfare

Dear Copilot https://copilot.microsoft.com/

Write a summary of cyber warfare. Where are the US military units that conduct cyber?


Cyber warfare refers to the use of digital attacks by a nation-state or international organization to damage another nation’s computers or information networks. These attacks can take various forms, such as computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks, and can lead to espionage, sabotage, propaganda, manipulation, or economic warfare1The concept is still subject to debate, with some experts questioning whether such activities constitute actual warfare1.

As for the U.S. military units that conduct cyber operations, they are organized under several commands and units:

These units are part of a broader effort by the U.S. Department of Defense to defend against cyber threats and maintain superiority in the cyber domain3. 


Where is the 91st Cyber Brigade Located (National Guard)

The 91st Cyber Brigade is the Army National Guard’s first and only cyber brigadeIt was officially activated on September 1, 20171. This brigade is strategically positioned across more than 30 states in the United States. Its mission includes providing training and readiness oversight for various cyber units and offering operational command and control when needed1The 91st Cyber Brigade plays a crucial role in supporting U.S. Cyber Command and Army Cyber Command1.

Interestingly, the brigade has achieved several milestones:

So, if you’re ever in the vicinity of Fort Belvoir, keep an eye out for the 91st Cyber Brigade’s impressive new headquarters!


 The U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade (USAR-CPB) is a key component of the U.S. Army’s cyber defense strategy. Established from the Army Reserve Information Operations Command in October 2016, the brigade is tasked with building a force through readiness and advanced cybersecurity training to perform cyber missions in support of Army Cyber Command1.

The USAR-CPB operates under the 335th Signal Command (Theater) and is responsible for providing trained and ready Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs). These teams conduct Cyberspace Operations from their home station or on location to support Army, Combatant Commands, Department of Defense, and Interagency operations worldwide2.

In recent events, the USAR-CPB played a prominent role at the Cyber Summit 2023 in Wiesbaden, Germany, where they led tactical sessions and exercises aimed at strengthening security and partnerships. The summit was a gathering of military and civilian cybersecurity professionals from the U.S. and partner nations in the European theater. The brigade’s involvement included leading breakout sessions on tactical topics relevant to the cyber field and developing a Capture the Flag exercise that drew participation from over 67 individuals from 18 countries3.

The USAR-CPB is also known as the “Hunter” brigade, tasked with hunting advanced adversaries to enable information advantage in multi-domain operations4. Their work is crucial in adapting to the evolving cyber landscape and ensuring the security of military and associated networks against global threats.