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Carol H Tucker

Passionate about knowledge management and organizational development, expert in loan servicing, virtual world denizen and community facilitator, and a DISNEY fan

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beladona Memorial

Be warned:in this very rich environment where you can immerse yourself so completely, your emotions will become engaged -- and not everyone is cognizant of that. Among the many excellent features of SL, there is no auto-return on hearts, so be wary of where your's wanders...


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reflections on bedding....

Today is the 2nd day of the 27th week, the 29th day of the 6th month, the 181st day of 2020, and: 
  • Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul
  • Hug Holiday Day
  • Independence Day - Seychelles from the United Kingdom in 1976
  • International Day Of The Tropics
  • International Mud Day
  • National Almond Buttercrunch Day
  • National Camera Day
  • National Waffle Iron Day
  • Please Take My Children to Work Day
  • World Scleroderma Awareness Day
ON THIS DAY IN:

 512 - A solar eclipse is recorded by a monastic chronicler in Ireland.

1534 – Jacques Cartier is the first European to reach Prince Edward Island.

1613 – The Globe Theatre in London, built by William Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, burns to the ground during a performance of "Henry VIII"

1888 – George Edward Gouraud records Handel's Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music

1927 - the first flight from West Coast arrives in Hawaii

1956 – The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.

1961 - Launch of Transit 4a, with 1st nuclear power supply (SNAP-3)

1963 - Beatles' first song "From Me to You" hits UK charts

1964 - the first draft of Star Trek's pilot "Cage" released

1968 - "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim peaks at #17

1972 - USSR launches Prognoz 2 into earth orbit (549/200,000 km)

1974 – Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet.

1975 – Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.

1985 - NASA launches Intelsat VA F-11

1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, theLe Pont de Trinquetaille, was bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.

1995 – Space Shuttle program: STS-71 Mission (Atlantis) docks with the Russian space station Mir for the first time.

2007 – Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone.

2008 - Thomas Beatie, the world's first pregnant man, gives birth to a daughter

2008 - Glastonbury music festival in England; Leonard Cohen the highlight singing ""Hallelujah"

 Sheets are very personal things, and it is hard to buy sets for other people.  Years and years ago – at least 11 actually – my daughter, who was horrified at the sheets I was using at the time, bought me a set of green pinstriped sheets.  When I packed up my apartment, it took me a couple of years to get through the Disaster Area and find the sheets, so I would wash and rewash that set and put them back on the bed.    Afterwards, I rotated them with the other sheets, but could never quite find ones that I liked so well.  I’ve tried cotton, bamboo, flannel, hemp, and some micro-slippery ones, but I keep coming back to these.  No idea what kind they are or where they come from, the much washed label just shows an almost illegible “100% cotton”.

Back in the day, Grandmom Hughes used to scoff at people who ironed their sheets, but admitted that she liked ironed pillow cases.  My aunt informed her she was not going to iron pillowcases, and my mother said that she would.  Of course then she got mad at the whole family after my father left town, and one of the last conversations I had with Grandmom in the hospice was about the fact her pillow cases weren’t ironed and my mother had promised….



I “hand iron” the warm cases out of the dryer, making sure they lie flat, and think about the past.  I can almost smell the wonderful smell of freshly laundered sheets as they are taken off the clothes line after drying outside….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 29, 2020

even little endings are poignant ....

Today is the 3rd day of the 26th week, the 23rd day of the 6th month, the 175th day of 2020, and: 
  • International Widows' Day
  • Let It Go Day
  • National Columnists Day
  • National Eat At A Food Truck Day
  • National Hydration Day
  • National Pecan Sandies Day
  • National Pink Day
  • Pink Flamingo Day (Lawn Ornaments)
  • Ratha Yatro or Ratha Yatra
  • Runner's Selfie Day
  • SAT Math Day
  • Typewriting Day
  • United Nations Public Service Day (International)
Incidentally, Mercury has been in retrograde since June 2nd and will remain that way until July 12th.
 
Today I used up my last bar of Disney soap.
 
Back in the day, every visit to WDW meant coming home with little containers of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion plus little bars of soap.  I quickly stopped collecting the bottles, but I always kept the soaps and used them when we were home.
 

 
Even when they changed to less themed soap bars, I still brought them home and used them. 

 
 
They sat next to my bathroom sink and every time I washed my hands I thought of all the fun we had in the parks and how much I wanted to go back.  It was just a little piece of magic in a workaday world.  Then, in August three years ago, WDW went to dispensers.  Why?  To reduce ecological impact, the company intoned, but really to reduce costs, both very valid reasons.  And yet….   I stare at that last remaining sliver of soap, knowing I have finally depleted the bag of souvenir soaps, and I am sad.  What was the value to Disney of stoking the dreams of their customers and fans, of keeping their brand front and center as part and parcel of the everyday routine?  Especially now, when so many of us don’t know when or if we will be able to return? 
 
I took that last sliver of soap and put it in the washcloth bag where joined with the other scraps, it will slowly wear away, and put another fresh bar of soap – generic soap – out on the soap dish.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I am not okay....

Today is the 4th day of the 24th week, the 10th day of the 6th month, the 162nd day of 2020, and: 
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (Founders) Day
  • Ball Point Pen Day
  • National Black Cow Day
  • National Egg Roll Day
  • National Herb and Spice Day
  • National Iced Tea Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

323 BC - Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, dies from either fever or excessive wine at 32

 671 – Emperor Tenji of Japan introduces a water clock (clepsydra) called Rokoku. The instrument, which measures time and indicates hours, is placed in the capital of Ōtsu.

1190 = Frederick Barbarossa, King of Germany (1152-90) and Holy Roman Emperor (1155-90), drowns at 67 or 68

1596 – Willem Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk discover Bear Island. ((the one in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, not the one in Westros))

1610 - the first Dutch settlers arrive (from NJ), to colonize Manhattan Island

1692 - The first victim of the Salem witch trials, Bridget Bishop, is hanged for witchcraft in the colony of Massachusetts

1752 - Benjamin Franklin tests the lightning conductor with his kite-flying experiment

1793 - the first public zoo opens in Paris

1829 – The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place on the Thames in London.

1845 - Andrew Jackson's African Grey parrot "Poll" is removed from his funeral for swearing at The Hermitage, Tennessee. Funeral attendee William Menefee Norment recorded: "Before the sermon and while the crowd was gathering, a wicked parrot that was a household pet got excited and commenced swearing so loud and long as to disturb the people and had to be carried from the house”

1854 - Georg F B Reiman proposes that space is curved

1869 - 'Agnes' arrives in New Orleans with 1st ever shipment of frozen beef

1902 - Patent for window envelope granted to H F Callahan

1905 - the first forest fire lookout tower placed in operation, Greenville, Maine

1933 - John Dillinger robs his first bank, in New Carlisle, Ohio. He takes $10, 600

1935 – Dr. Robert Smith takes his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio, United States, by him and Bill Wilson.

1947 – Saab produces its first automobile.

1955 - the fisrst separation of a virus into component parts reported

1973 - NASA launches Radio Astronomy Explorer 49 into lunar orbit

1984 - US missile shoots down an incoming missile in space for first time

1987 - Discovery's SRBs and External Tank are mated

1992 - Satellite Intelsat K launched

1994 – China conducts a nuclear test for DF-31 warhead at Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, its prominence being due to the Cox Report.

1996 - Intel releases 200 mhz pentium chip

2002 – The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans is carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.

2003 – The Spirit rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission.

2019 - New DNA research on grapes shows one French wine Savagnin Blanc has been grown for 900 years in Jura published in "Nature Plants"

2020 – NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 min 00 sec of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.”
~  Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage

My mind is far from quiet, in fact, the blasted organ never seems to shut off these days, especially in the wee hours of the night.  I’m not the only one struggling with anxiety and angst – many of my friends and coworkers admit to troubled sleep and days when a heaviness of spirit seems to oppressively hover over everything.  Perhaps it is 2 ½ months hunkered down at home.  Perhaps it is the ever widening divide between political parties with the subsequent paralysis to act in anything like a coordinated fashion.  Perhaps it is the barrage of hate, of fear, of anger, of lies and conspiracy theories that seem to make up the news.  Whatever it is, I am tired – physically, mentally, spiritually

 

We are definitely living in interesting times….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 10, 2020

LISTEN





Quote of the day:

"Practicing mindful awareness of...our conditioning and habits of the mind helps us to know what we are up against within ourselves as we seek to make change in the world."

~  Rhonda Magee, “Making the Invisible Visible


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 5, 2020

Voting by mail

Today is the 4th day of the 22nd week, the 27th day of the 5th month, the 148th day of 2020 [with only 211 shopping days before Christmas]
 
For the first time since I started voting, I voted by mail today. 
 
There is a lot of controversy around voting by mail.  Opponents claim it is an open invitation to voter fraud.  Proponents claim it is a very secure process.  News stories abound about ballots not counted because they were never  delivered, but then again, there are plenty of stories about paper ballots from polls not being counted either, as well as issues with voting machines tallies.  For me, perhaps the strongest argument is that when I got a passport, then again a Real ID, neither document was handed to me in person but instead was mailed to me at my residence address on record.  Both of these are vital ID records and they were entrusted to the USPS
 
So I decided I would mail in my ballot for the Democratic Maryland Presidential Primary this year just to test the process.  I went to the MD State Board of Elections website, and learned every registered voter would be mailed a ballot due to COVID-19.  Had I wanted to request one, I would’ve had to apply for it, but according to the website, I don’t need to supply a reason for my request, it is my right to choose how I will vote.  I would’ve had to give my name, birthdate, last four digits of my social security number, current residential and mailing addresses, my MD Driver’s License number and expiration date [needed to apply online], my political affiliation, any information about previous registration [e.g. another name].  I can choose to have my ballot mailed to me, faxed to me, or a link to complete it online emailed to me.  The vetting appears to me to be as thorough as matching my name to a computer generated list and glancing at my voter registration card in a polling place.  For this primary, due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19 preventive measures, I did not have to request a ballot as every registered voter received one in the mail.  I got mine last week, and all I have to do is mark it and send it back before June 2nd in the postage paid envelope that has been provided.   I even can verify that my ballot has been received by going back to the website
 
 
 
The entire process was smooth, and I was quite comfortable with it, well after I finally found a black pen in my home that actually worked!  Now here is my only hesitation – the return envelope is marked with my name and a bar code identifying that ballot as having come from me on the back.  There is also a place for me to sign and print my name, attesting this ballot was mine and mine alone.  I assume the marked ballot is taken out of the envelope and separated from it, but still, my vote is hardly anonymous and can be easily tracked to me.  Anonymity would be even more difficult if I chose to vote online. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 27, 2020

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

Today is the 3rd day of the 22nd week, the 26th day of the 5th month, the 147th day of 2020
 
Those of you who have been following this blog know that even when I am not posting here, I am sharing articles on social media, usually in Facebook and Twitter.  Now and then, as I decided to do today, instead of posting during the day, I aggregate my offerings into a blog post.
 
The US is finally returning as a space faring nation with the first liftoff from Cape Canaveral [oops, just showed my age, it’s the Kennedy Space Center and has been for decades] in nine years, and even more importantly, it will be the first time a private enterprise has sent astronauts aloft.  If you want to watch it, this article tells you when and how.  I think everyone will be holding their breath!  It will take almost a day for the Dragon “space taxi” to dock and the astronauts are scheduled to spend at least a month on board the ISS.  Meanwhile, the Virgin Orbit Rocket flunked its first test. And China is planning to go to Mars
 
Human activity is causing a major extinction event, but the dinosaurs were incredibly unlucky
 
A ring of fire shows the violence of the early universe as galaxies collide.
 
I’m not sure orbital use fees would solve the problem of space junk – to whom would such fees be paid? 
 
Archeology has often been used both for and against those who are in power or the majority at any given time, but our cultural heritage should belong to all of us, neh? 
 
A marine heatwave is not the first thing I think of when hearing about “the Blob” and I didn’t know that heatwaves travelled through water like that
 
The Festival of the Lion King looks very different in DisneyLand Paris although it is sung in English – it is actually a very truncated retelling of the story while at WDW, it is more of a performance of songs
 
The Earth’s magnetic field is not a constant – it has weaknesses and flip-flops now and then. 
 
You too can travel in time – or at least leave a message for the future
 
JK Rowling is releasing her latest book online for free  
 
There you go –  a sample of the things I found interesting enough to share….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, May 23, 2020

when things get tough....

Today is the 3rd day of the 21st week, the 19th day of the 5th month, the 140th day of 2020, and: 
  • Boy's Club Day
  • Celebrate Your Elected Officials Day
  • Dinosaur Day
  • May Ray Day
  • National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Devil's Food Cake Day
  • National Hepatitis Testing Day
  • National Scooter Day
  • World IBD [Inflammatory Bowel Diseases] Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).

1571 - Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi founds Manilla in the Phillipines

1780 – New England's Dark Day, an unusual darkening of the day sky, was observed over the New England states and parts of Canada.

1845 – Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition depart from Greenhithe, England.

1857 - Americans William Francis Channing and Moses G Farmer patent the electric fire alarm

1883 - William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody opened Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in Omaha, Nebraska

1884 - Ringling Brothers circus premieres

1885 - 1st mass production of shoes (Jan Matzeliger in Lynn, Massachusetts)

1892 - Charles Brady King invents pneumatic hammer

1898 - US Congress passes the Private Mailing Card Act, allowing private publishers and printers to produce postcards, had to be labelled "Private Mailing Cards" until 1901, known as "souvenir cards"

1900 - World's longest railroad tunnel (Simplon) linking Italy and Switzerland opens

1910 - Passage of Earth through tail of Halley's Comet causes near-panic

1911 – Parks Canada, the world's first national park service, is established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.

1934 - Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle in "Sat Review of Lit"  Males who solved puzzle became members of Baker Street Irregulars

1953 - Nuclear explosion in Nevada (fall-out in St George, Utah)

1961 – Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)

1971 – Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.

1972 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1976 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1977 - "Smokey & the Bandit" fim starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason premieres

1983 - NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 506

1989 - Dow Jones Avg passes 2,500 mark for 1st time, closes at 2,501.1

1993 - Dow Jones closes above 3,500 for 1st time (3,500.03)

1995 - World's youngest doctor, Balamurali Ambati, 17, graduates Mount Sinai

1996 - STS 77 (Endeavour 11), launches into orbit

1997 – The Sierra Gorda biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts.

1997 - "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore, premieres in the US

1999 - Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson is released in cinemas

2007 - "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", directed by Gore Verbinksi, starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom premieres in Anaheim - most expensive film ($300 million) made at the time

2011 - Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, project to search for dark matter, led by Samuel C. C. Ting, installed on the International Space Station

2161 - Syzygy: 8 of 9 planets aligned on same side of sun

I was going to give you facts and figures about the costs of COVID-19, but the numbers don’t convey the story at all.  I don’t actually know what to say about the difference between “stay at home” and “safer at home” orders, about the need for folks to stop acting like spoiled brats over haircuts and nails, about how I feel seeing armed folks patrolling government buildings.  I know folks who make double what I do, but they got an assistance check because their adjusted gross income after all their deductions was less than mine.  I read about the assistance given to small businesses, but know places that are going to go under because they haven’t gotten any help with the rent for their premises while they are closed as In seven weeks, only 7.5% of the available funds to help have been disbursed.  And while I work in the safety of my home, too many are being told to either go back to work or lose their jobs.  So I haven’t been writing because I simply do not have a lot to say about all these things, about how angry I am or how anxious or disgusted or discouraged for others have said it far more articulately and wittily than I.   
 
Hmmm, I may need to work on that positive thinking thing again….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 19, 2020

valued added -- or not

Today is the 6th day of the 19th week, the 8th day of the 5th month, the 129th day of 2020 [with only 230 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Fintastic Friday:  Giving Sharks a Voice
  • Free Trade Day
  • Furry Dance Day
  • International Space Day
  • Iris Day
  • military Spouse Appreciation Day
  • National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • National Coconut Cream Pie Day
  • National Day to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy
  • National Give Someone a Cupcake Day
  • National Have a Coke Day
  • National Provider Appreciation Day
  • National Public Gardens Day
  • National Student Nurses Day
  • No Socks Day
  • Pesach Sheni
  • Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during WWII
  • Victory in Europe Day
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day
  • World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
  • Earliest day on which Mother's Day can fall, while May 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Sunday of May. (United States and others)
Most of us have come to the realization that we are not essential, especially not during an emergency, which can be a humbling thought if it hadn’t occurred to you in the past.  Our existence is not necessary to the health and wellbeing of society, indeed, most of us are anonymous cogs in the wheels that keep rolling on whether we are there or not.   But it is quite another thing to find out you not just non-essential, you are expendable
 
What does it mean to be worthless in the eyes of the rich and powerful?  To be required to work regardless of the dangers, knowing that your pay is minimal, knowing if you don’t go back, you lose your job and can get neither unemployment nor healthcare?  Even those of us with jobs have to step back and pause, struck by the realization that we don’t matter anymore than serfs in the Middle Ages, all the powers that be are looking at is the profits and the wellbeing of their shareholders because employees are not assets to be cultivated and protected, they are costs to be contained.  The state is no protection, it is the government [state and federal] agreeing with the capitalists “it’s the economy, stupid” that matters and not individual lives 
 
 
And what does that do to an one’s sense of self-worth and value, especially if they are isolated and alone?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 8, 2020

what price pixie dust?

Today is the 4th day of the 18th week, the 29th day of the 4th month, the 120th day of 2020, and: 
  • Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
  • Denim Day
  • International Dance Day
  • International Guide Dog Day
  • International Noise Awareness Day
  • National Peace Rose Day
  • National Shrimp Scampi Day
  • Shōwa Day, traditionally the start of the Golden Week holiday period
  • Stop Food Waste Day
  • Viral Video Day
  • We Jump the World Day
  • World Stationary Day
  • World Wish Day
  • Zipper Day
 
I wasn’t always a Disney fan.  Although I was dutifully taken to even single Disney movie as a kid, and then took my own kids to every new release, calling something “mickey mouse” was far from a compliment.  Then Frank insisted we needed to go to Walt Disney World in 1987.   I thought of WDW as just another theme park, like Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion, until we sat in the Imagination car in Epcot.  The clouds rolled back, the Dreamfinder and Figment appeared, and I had the blindingly realization that this was a SHOW and I was invited to be on the stage, and I fell in love.
 
Over the years, Frank and I went back to Disney many times, at first with my kids, once with his daughter and her family, and then alone.  We became stockholders.  We discovered the joys of staying on site and once even got to stay in the Animal Lodge, a deluxe resort.  After he died, I made solo trips, and then trips with family, took a Disney cruise, and even got to go to Disneyland once.  The apartment is full of Disney paraphernalia and I have an entire wardrobe of Disney clothing and jewelry.  It became my dream to retire, move to Orlando, and go to work for the House of the Mouse.
 
But in the past five years or so, I started noticing the maintenance on the parks wasn’t what it had been.  Dark rides were just made darker, and seemed to break down more often, and for the first time, I saw litter.  The place started getting more crowded, there was more tie-ins to the movies even in Epcot and the Animal Kingdom, stockholder perks and discounts were eliminated, pricey tours and experiences started cropping up, and suddenly the cost of a WDW vacation seemed to be very high.   Disney executives no longer talked about the magic – they only talked about ROI and paid themselves huge salaries with even larger bonuses.  This, of course, simply mirrored what has happened across the spectrum of corporate board rooms.
 
Now, after the impact of COVID-19, the burning question is what will Disney do next?  The Disney cruise line is out of the water at the moment.  In the parks, rather than keep construction going and doing much needed maintenance in the empty parks,   everything ground to a halt as Disney chose not to make that investment in the future, while rival Universal Studios kept on working.  OTOH – it is clear the communities around the parks are in need of stimulus visiting Disney fans provide.     OTOH – it is also clear the parks will not bring in the kind of income Disney has come to expect if they have to reduce capacity and implement more stringent maintenance.

 
 
It will be interesting to see what happens, how many people feel comfortable and what kind of experience they can expect to enjoy
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 29, 2020

lonely? not actually....

Today is the 4th day of the 17th week, the 22nd day of the 4th month, the 113th day of 2020, and: 
  • "In God We Trust" Day -  the Coinage Act of 1864 was passed, mandating that the inscription In God We Trust be placed on all coins minted as United States currency.
  • Administrative Professionals Day ((there are some of us who remember this as Secretaries Day))
  • April Showers Day
  • Chemists Celebrate the Earth Day
  • Earth Day – celebrated since 1970, founded by Gaylord Nelson, an American politician and environmentalist from Wisconsin who served as a United States Senator and governor
  • Girl Scout Leader Day
  • Global Selfie Earth Day (NASA)
  • International Mother Earth Day
  • National Bookmobile Day
  • National Jelly Bean Day
  • New Moon at 10:26 pm EDT
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1056 - Supernova Crab nebula last seen by the naked eye

1145 - 19th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet

1500 – Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral lands in Brazil, landing near Monte Pascoal, and claims it for Portugal

1519 – Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés establishes a settlement at Veracruz, Mexico.

1692 - Edward Bishop is jailed for proposing flogging as a cure for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts

1817 - Curacao prohibits use of white paint due to fierce sunlight

1838 - English steamship "Sirius" docks in NYC after crossing the Atlantic, first transatlantic steam passenger service

1876 – The first game in the history of the National League was played at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia. This game is often pointed to as the beginning of Major League Baseball (Boston Red Stockings beat Philadelphia Athletics, 6-5, and Philadelphia Nationals Wes Fisler scores baseball's first run)

1876 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky completes his ballet "Swan Lake"

1889 – At noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000.

1906 - New rule puts umpire in sole charge of all game balls

1952 - the first atomic explosion is shown on network news, Nob, Nevada

1964 - World's Fair at Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, NY opens

1966 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1969 - the first human eye transplant performed

1971 - Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 10 launched

1972 - Apollo astronauts John Young & Charles Duke ride on Moon

1977 – Optical fiber is first used to carry live telephone traffic.

1981 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1981 - More than $3.3 million is stolen from the First National Bank of Arizona in Tucson in the then largest US bank robbery in history

1983 – The German magazine Stern claims the "Hitler Diaries" had been found in wreckage in East Germany; the diaries are subsequently revealed to be forgeries.

1983 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1983 - Soyuz T-8 returns to Earth

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1991 - Intel releases 486SX chip

1993 - Holocaust Memorial Museum dedicated in Washington, D.C.

1994 - Borge Ousland is the fist person on a solo and unsupported journey to reach the North Pole

1994 - In Denmark the largest lollipop, weighing 3,011 pounds, made

1998 - Disney's Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.

2016 - Paris Agreement on climate change signed in New York binding 195 nations to an increase in the global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 33 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

Quote of the day:

   “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

~ Paul Tillich, German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and Lutheran Protestant theologian

 

Solitude is all about being with yourself.  It can be tough if you don’t like yourself though, and that can make one feel lonely.  Loneliness can also result from Isolation, when you feel disconnected from others, a feeling of being thrown onto your own resources. 

 

 

 

And yet?  I think being quarantined by yourself has some advantages, and it is easier to deal with than trying to work around other’s personalities and angst, when your home just doesn’t seem to be big enough to give everyone their space, which all of us need at times….


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 22, 2020

cabin fever

Today is the 6th day of the 16th week, the 17th day of the 4th month, the 108th day of 2020, and: 
  • Bat Appreciation Day
  • Blah, Blah, Blah Day
  • Ellis Island Family History Day
  • Herbalist Day
  • independence Day - Syria from France in 1946
  • International Ford Mustang Day
  • International Haiku Poetry Day
  • Malbec World Day
  • National Cheeseball Day
  • National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day
  • National Crawfish Day
  • National Donate Life (Blue and Green) Day
  • National Kickball Day
  • Nothing Like a Dame Day
  • World Hemophilia Day
Quote of the day:
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.”
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience,” from The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

The term cabin fever is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors”  and is usually used specifically to angst during the winter.  An offshoot of this is seasonal affective disorder [SAD], which seems to be specific to the quantity of sunlight at certain times of the year, although the vast amount of sufferers are impacted during the late fall and winter months when the sun is not visible for long and the light is pale when it does show.  Those who live in the harsher climes of long winters are especially aware of this seasonal disorder and over many centuries have developed coping mechanisms to address it.  So, feeling cooped up can be a real issue, there is no denying that   

According to Wikipedia, a person who suffers from cabin fever can be described “… as stir-crazy, derived from the use of stir to mean 'prison'” which then “… can lead the sufferer to make irrational decisions that could potentially threaten their life or the life of the group with whom they are confined.”   Perhaps that explains the insanity of those protesting being asked to shelter at home to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19?  Neither the angst of folks who cannot stand staying home, nor the greed of Rich Uncle Pennybags [who did indeed have a monocle at some point], can change the fact that flattening the curve is the first priority.    

 

 

 

On a personal level, I still remember the first time I spent an extended amount in my apartment with Frank – it was over a holiday weekend and I did not set foot outside my door from when I got home from work on Friday night until Tuesday morning, and I was never so glad to leave for work before or since.    Since then, seventeen years have passed, but more importantly, I have developed a robust 2nd life and have learned to live in virtual reality.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 17, 2020

what's in a name?

Today is the 4th day of the 16th week, the 15th day of the 4th month, the 106th day of 2020 [with only 253 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Anime Day
  • ASL (American Sign Language) Day
  • Income Tax Pay Day ((DATE EXTENDED TO JULY DUE TO CORVID-19.))
  • Jackie Robinson Day – AKA 42 day as the color barrier was broken in major league baseball in 1947
  • McDonald's Day
  • Micovolunteering Day
  • National Banana Day
  • National Bookmobile Day
  • National Glazed Spiral Ham Day
  • National Griper's Day
  • National Laundry Day
  • National Rubber Eraser Day
  • National That Sucks Day
  • National Titanic Remembrance Day
  • One Boston Day – a day encouraging random acts of kindness, commemorating the Marathon bombing in 2013
  • School Librarians' Day
  • Take a Wild Guess Day
  • Titanic Remembrance Day
  • Universal Day of Culture
  • World Art Day (DaVinci's Birthday)
Quote of the day:
To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
~  Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books

Back when I joined Second Life in 2005, one of the first rituals was choosing a name – you could pick any first name you wanted, but had to choose a last name from a list, and once that name was chosen, it was yours for the life of that avatar.  That was when beladona Memorial was born.  Some people were not careful when creating their first name and ended up with numbers [like beladona123] and were unhappy.  The use of titles which showed above the system name became common as did the practice of creating an alt just to change the name.

 For some unknown reason, back in 2011 Linden Labs discarded last names and everyone was who created an avatar after that could pick a first name and their last name was “Resident”.   What we learned at that point was that many people were very invested in their name, and how it showed in world.  Many felt that having a last name of “Resident” marked them as newcomers and they would be subtly discriminated against.  In the fall of 2017, LL rolled out the ability to create “display names” which addressed some of these issues, but you still had your system name written in stone and it was easily discoverable.  Folks were still discontented. 

Now there is a new program that permits you to change your system name – both the first and the last names – if you sign up for a premium membership and pay an additional fee.  You get to pick whatever you want for the first name, but you get to choose whether to keep your existing last name or to pick from names that are available:


 

And you can do this as often as you like, as long as you are a premium member and willing to pay for it.  Some have pounced on the offer, some resent paying for it and call LL greedy for charging, others have shrugged and decided to keep the moniker they currently possess.  It all boils down to your identity – how you define yourself in world and how invested you are in that identity.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 15, 2020

despite COVID-19

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, April 12, 2020



0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 8, 2020

consequences

Today is the 2nd day of the 14th week, the 20th day of the 3rd month, the 90th day of 2020, and: 
  • Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day
  • International Folding Laundry Day
  • National Doctors Day
  • National I am in Control Day
  • National Virtual Vacation Day
  • Pencil Day
  • Take a Walk in the Park Day
  • TB-303 Appreciation Day
  • Torrents Day
  • Turkey Neck Soup Day
  • World Bipolar Day
  • Earliest day on which the first day of Hocktide can fall, while April 3 is the latest; observed on the second Monday after Easter. (Hungerford, England; popular in medieval England)
Quote of the day:
There is only one time that is important – NOW!  It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.”
~  Leo Tolstoy, What Men Live By and Other Tales

One of the blogs I follow in my reader – and I recommend Newsblur very highly – recently talked about the first actual trees that took root and the opening paragraph was:    

When trees first grew on Earth, death followed. The first tree was Archaeopteris. One hundred feet tall and looking a lot like a cedar, it spread its branches, breathed the air, anchored itself in the soil, when soil itself was an innovation, and brought catastrophe to the world. That was 375 million years ago.”

That startled me, trees precipitating an extinction event

Indeed, the theory is that was exactly what happened.  Oh, not immediately, mind you.  One tree didn’t make that much difference, but as its progeny spread across the existing land masses during the late Devonian period, the climatic impact was felt.  C02 was drawn out of the air and stored it in the waters as their deep roots broke up the rocks under the soil.    Ultimately that water was carried to the sea and the carbon dioxide locked away in limestone deposits.  As the trees breathed in the carbon dioxide, they exhaled oxygen, and giant winged insects rode the currents of the air.  But as the greenhouse effect of CO2 lessened, the world turned colder and ice began to form, and mass extinction followed.   Archaeopteris  did not survive the climate changes it precipitated.  We can see the remains of these ancient trees in Cairo, New York   

 

Although it caused their demise, the changes the trees wrought formed  the world we live in today.  Made me ponder the changes that humans have caused and wonder what the new world will look like after the Anthropocene era ends ….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 30, 2020

spring is sprung

Today is the 5th day of the 12th week, the 19th day of the 3rd month, the 79th day of 2020 [with only 280 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
  • Certified Nurses Day
  • Client's Day
  • Companies That Care Day
  • Data Innovation Day:
  • Great American Meatout Day
  • International Astrology Day
  • International Day of Nowruz
  • International Earth Day
  • Let's Laugh Day
  • National Chocolate Caramel Day
  • National Farm Rescuer Day
  • National Poultry Day
  • Oranges and Lemons Day
  • Ostara ((or Mabon in the southern hemisphere))
  • Proposal Day
  • Snowman Burning
  • St Joseph's Day (Roman Catholicism and Anglican Communion) and Father's Day (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Honduras, and Bolivia)
  • Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day
  • The First Day of Spring (Vernal Equinox) at 11:49 PM EDT
  • World Storytelling Day
  • Earliest day on which Maundy Thursday can fall, while April 22 is the latest; celebrated on Thursday before Easter.
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1687 – Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.

1895 – Auguste and Louis Lumière record their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph.

1915 - Pluto photographed for 1st time (although unknown at the time)

1918 – The US Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.

1928 - "Amos & Andy" debuts on radio (NBC Blue Network-WMAQ Chicago)

1937 - Astronomer Fritz Zwicky publishes his research on stellar explosion in which he coins the term "supernova" and hypothesizes that they were the origin of cosmic rays

1951 - Herman Wouk's novel "The Caine Mutiny" published (Pulitzer Prize 1952)

1962 – Bob Dylan releases his first album, Bob Dylan, for Columbia Records.

1964 - Sean Connery's 1st day of shooting on James Bond film "Goldfinger"

1965 - The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000, said to have been most powerful Confederate cruiser, discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.

1977 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1981 - two workers killed in space shuttle Columbia accident

2001 - The Bank of Japan issued a monetary policy known as quantitative easing, which stimulated the Japanese economy after the burst of the dot-com bubble.

2008 – GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed.

2013 - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity discovers further evidence of water-bearing minerals

2018 – The last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan, dies, ensuring a chance of extinction for the species.

2019 - "Superbloom" of poppies in Walker Canyon, southern California visible from space, after high rainfall

 

Quote of the day:

Winter is nearly gone. Time flows on to a spring of little hope.”

~  JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings | The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 9) : The Great River

 

 

 

Despite the pandemic, or the fact that it hasn’t been much of a winter hereabouts, it is officially spring
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 19, 2020

concerned

My anxiety level about COVID-19 is starting to get wearisome.  Why am I so worried? 
  • No guidance or policy on how to prevent the spread of the disease inside the United States other than wash your hands for 20 seconds, don't touch your face, and stay home if you feel sick.  No guidance for organizations as to when they should cancel events or shut down store fronts or shutter restaurants or close theaters or send folks home.
  •  
  • No explanation of what went wrong with the US testing system, nor any assurance of when testing would become more widely available.  Not even an idea of how many people have been tested – other than the rich and powerful and politically connected, of course.  My son works in a healthcare clinic that was designated testing site in Nashville – but they are not actually testing.  Instead, their role is to assess the necessity of testing as patients come in with symptoms or concerns, and make a recommendation to the CDC that a person actually get the test IF someone at the CDC agrees with their assessment. 
  •  
  • No co-pays on the tests nobody seems able to get, but what about other health-care coverage? Who is going to pay for the doctor visits or the hospital stays for all of those folks who no longer have insurance or if the insurance company decides that services at a designated treatment facility is “out of network” and don’t pay even if you have coverage? 
  •  
  • No provision for those about to lose their pay because they have to stay home or lose their jobs as the economy tanks other than calling for a payroll tax deduction and an extension on paying 2019 federal income taxes if you haven't paid already -- now how is that going to help someone who isn't getting paid and the bills are due?
  •  
  • No aid for Main Street.  Most of us don’t care about Wall Street, or the shale oil companies, or the big banks, or the investment firms.  What about the small business owner?  What if they cannot get a new SBA loan?
  •  
  • No people traveling from Europe?  Why Europe in particular and why was the UK exempted?  Why not Australia or Asia or Africa? And what good does a ban on travel do when the disease is here already?
  •  
  • And last – I am definitely in the vulnerable category – over 60 with health issues like high blood pressure and Diabetes II.  Right now I am in “business as usual” mode, but should I be?  Am I supposed to stay home for an indefinite period of time?  Is keeping up with the various stories prudent, or am I just feeding the fear?
 
 
 
I can tell you what I am NOT going to do!  I am not paying some outrageous price for hand sanitizer or try and make my own

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 12, 2020

the first author

Enheduanna

History is littered with authors. Enheduanna was the world’s first identifiable one. Born more than 4,000 years ago, she was a poet and princess in ancient Mesopotamia. She was also a priestess at a temple dedicated to a Mesopotamian moon god, Nanna. Enheduanna lived in a city situated in what is now southern Iraq.

The daughter of a king, she penned a significant body of work. Her hymns and poems were composed in cuneiform, an early form of writing on clay tablets. Some of her most notable poems revolve around the goddess Inanna. 

Betty DeShong Meador translated a selection of Enheduanna’s poems dedicated to Inanna. In an interview with the University of California at Berkeley, Meador noted the complexity and force Enheduanna ascribes to the goddess. 

In one poem, Enheduanna writes,

 

Lady of blazing dominion

clad in dread

riding on fire-red power

Inanna

holding a pure lance

terror folds in her robes

flood-storm-hurricane adorned

she bolts out in battle

plants a standing shield on the ground

 
“In Enheduanna’s poetry, Inanna is both fierce and cruel, loving and kind,” Meador told UC-Berkeley. “In our society, women are not supposed to be like that.”

“But this is who we are as human beings,” Meador added. “Both men and women have these violent emotions, and if you are taught to suppress the knowledge of these harsh feelings, you live in too narrow a range.”

Note: Since there is no record of what Enheduanna looked like, this illustration represents the artist's interpretation.












(( courtesy of The Lily ))

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 12, 2020

Holi

Today is the 3rd day of the 11th week, the 10th day of the 3rd month, the 70th day of 2020, and: 
  • Festival of Life in the Cracks Day
  • Histotechnology Professionals Day
  • Holi
  • International Bagpipes Day
  • International Day of Awesomeness
  • Landline Telephone Day
  • Mario Day
  • National Blueberry Popover Day
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Organize your Home Office Day
  • Pack Your Lunch Day
  • Salvation Army Day
  • US Paper Money Day
 

So we received our notice from HR about the virus.  Here are the salient points to take note of if you are 65 or over ((NOTE:  the CDC and the State of MD said 60)): 
  • Stay home if you have a fever, sore throat, achiness and/or cold symptoms ((and this during the start of allergy season))
  • If you have plans for personal travel, notify HR if you are going anywhere under any travel advisory
  • If you have plans for business travel, consider cancelling
  • If you  or an immediate family member are quarantined, you have to use PTO if you cannot work remotely
  • IF you want to work remotely?  You have to be approved to do so in advance and have a doctor’s note saying you are able work at home
So let’s say I wake up one morning next feeling lousy with a ticklish throat, coughing, and have a low level fever [not over 100].   Usually I would go to work, but because I am listening to all the warnings and want to be prudent, I call out.  I didn’t plan to get sick, so I don’t have my laptop with me at home and I have to use PTO [being one of those lucky enough to work where I actually have paid time off ].  If I decide to stay isolated, is someone going to bring my laptop to me so I can work from home?  I rather doubt it!  Self quarantines are for 14 days from the onset of symptoms, and if you come down with COVID-19 after that [and good luck getting an actual test to confirm whether you have it or not], you can count on another two to three weeks to recuperate, so let’s say you’ll be out for five weeks.  Not many people have enough PTO to cover that, so you would have to go on leave without pay.  If you work for a company that has more than 50 employees, they have to provide FMLA so you can keep your job at least while you aren’t getting paid.  But how am I going to pay the bills that will come due at the end of the month – the vendors don’t care that I am quarantined, they just want their money.  It worries me far more than the lack of hand sanitizer availability!

 

Despite all the worry, Holi celebrations are bringing some fun to the day






0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Panic? Get Over It?

Today is the 2nd day of the 11th week, the 9th day of the 3rd month, the 69th day of 2020 [with only 290 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Amerigo Vespucci Day –  born this day 566 years ago
  • Bang-Clang Day - the first battle between ironclad ships in 1862 at Hampton Roads, VA
  • Barbie Day – she made debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York in 1959
  • Commonwealth Day
  • False Teeth Day
  • Fill Our Staplers Day
  • Get Over It Day – the day between Valentine's Day and April Fools' Day, founded by Jeff Goldblatt in 2005
  • Joe Franklin Day - born in 1926, was an American radio and television host personality, author and actor from New York City. His television series debuted in January 1951 on WJZ-TV, moving to WOR-TV in 1962, remaining there until 1993, one of the longest running uninterrupted careers in broadcasting history
  • National Crabmeat Day
  • National Napping Day
  • National Meatball Day
  • National Urban Ballroom Dancing Day
  • National Urban Educator Day
  • National Workplace Napping Day
  • Panic Day ((co-sponsored by the Sky is Falling Committee)) – did you know that Pan did not only play the pipes, but his shout could actually instill unreasoning fear in opponents
  • Purim and Ta'Anit Esther  ((Purim is described as a “jolly holiday” but they kick it off by fasting?))
  • The Worm Moon - Full Moon at 1:48 pm EDT
As the news about COVID-19 gets worse, and the resulting hit to the global investment markets trigger the circuit breaker on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since October 27th, 1997, with a full moon in the sky and Mercury coming out of retrograde, not to mention the US implementing the annual insanity known as daylight savings time over the weekend, calling today “Panic Day” seems apropos.  People are stockpiling food and medicine,  disinfectants and protective gear have either disappeared or soared in price, and the Catholic church has removed the holy water from the churches.   Now when you enter the church, you no longer dip your fingers in the holy water and cross yourself.   What fascinates me is this is a tradition that dates from medieval times and there have been a lot of communicable diseases floating around since then, so why is it NOW suddenly seen as a potential source of contamination?   Will the Orthodox Jews stop touching the mezuzah affixed to the doorpost of the homes they visit?
 
 
 
 What is on stark display here is how income inequity in the United States impacts health, for while the 1% worry about the stock market, the rest of us worry whether or not a simply performing an automatic religious observance, or even handling cash, means a risk of infection.   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 9, 2020

the first Friday in March 2020

Today is the 6th day of the 10th week, the 6th day of the 3rd month, the 66th day of 2020, and: 
  • Alamo Day – in 1836, after 13 days of fighting 1,500-3,000 Mexican soldiers overwhelm the Texan defenders, killing 182-257 Texans including William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett
  • Day of The Dude
  • Dentist's Day
  • Dress in Blue Day – to raise awareness of colon cancer
  • Employee Appreciation Day
  • Independence Day - Ghana from the UK in 1957, the first Sub-Saharan country to do so
  • Middle Name Pride Day
  • National Day of Unplugging
  • National Dress Day
  • National Frozen Food Day
  • National Oreo Cookie Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya Math Day
  • World Day of Prayer
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1079 - Omar ibn Ibrahim al-Chajjam completes Jalali-calendar

1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.

1665 – The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, publishes the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world's longest-running scientific journal.

1788 – The First Fleet arrives at Norfolk Island in order to found a convict settlement.

1831 - Edgar Allan Poe removed from West Point military academy

1835 - Volume One of Thomas Carlyle's famous work "The French Revolution: A History" is accidentally burnt by a maid using it as fire starter before its publication. Carlyle re-writes it.

1886 - the first US alternating current power plant starts, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

1899 – "Aspirin" (acetylsalicylic acid) patented by Felix Hoffmann at German company Bayer

1922 - Babe Ruth signs 3 year contract with NY Yankees at $52,000 a year.  That would be $798,481.67 in 2020

1943 – Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series.

1945 - George Nissen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, receives a patent for the first modern trampoline

1950 - Silly Putty goes on sale in the US

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1964 - Boxing legend Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to "Muhammad Ali", calling his former title a "slave name"

1974 - An unnamed Italian industrialist loses a record $1,920,000 at roulette over five hours in Monte Carlo Casino

1975 – For the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is shown in motion to a national TV audience by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

1981 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1981 - Soyuz 39 returns to Earth

1985 - Yul Brynner appears in his 4,500th performance of "The King & I"

1986 - USSR's Vega 1 flies by Halley's Comet at 8,889 km

1992 – The Michelangelo computer virus begins to affect computers.

1998 - First time the British Union Flag is flown over Buckingham Palace (following the controversy after Princess Dian's death; formerly the only flag flown was the Sovereign's standard indicating the monarch's presence.)

2015 - NASA's Dawn space probe enters orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres

2018 - World's oldest message in a bottle found in Western Australia, thrown from German ship Paula 132 years ago (12 June 1886)

 

What do you think of your middle name?  When it came time to name my son, his father told me that in his family the same middle name was always used for the first son, so “Carroll” it was.  In my mother’s family, the name middle name for girls was “Ann” [or Anne or Anna] and I carried on the tradition.  My daughter’s second daughter’s middle name is also “Ann”, like her mother’s and her grandmother’s.   

 

 

 

Most of us learned about the Alamo via Fess Parker when the episode aired on February 23rd, 1955
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 6, 2020

First Monday in March 2020

Today is the 2nd day of the 10th week, the 2nd day of the 3rd month, the 62nd day of 2020, and: 
  • Casimir Pulaski Day
  • Dr Seuss Day
  • Feast of 'Alá
  • Free Dentistry Day
  • Fun Facts About Names Day
  • International Rescue Cat Day
  • National Banana Cream Pie Day
  • national Read Across America Day
  • Old Stuff Day
  • Orthodox Green Monday
  • World Teen Mental Wellness Day
The gospel at Mass on Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, was about the temptation of Christ by Satan -- and the priest spun the story to point out that we are not: 
  • what we do – my takeaway was that we are not the roles that we fill, nor should we define ourselves by work.  Many people do this and lose themselves thoroughly by being a wife or a cop, to take just two examples that I am very familiar with
  • what others think about us – how often do we accept the definitions of who we are by what is said about us!  Labels stick and your self-image can be permanently warped by opinions of others
  • what we have – is having stuff a role?  How often do we describe someone as rich or poor just based on how much they have?
So if you cannot state who you are based on any of these criteria, then who are you?  There was agreat episode in Bablyon 5’s second season where the question  "Who are you?"  was asked again and again and again because the answers received were unsatisfactory.  To me, there doesn’t seem to be a good answer to that question because as soon as you apply someone's term for what you are, you have limited or defined yourself in that framework.
 
 
 
After seven decades, I’m not quite sure I can answer that question easily….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 2, 2020

Final Friday in February

Today is the 6th day of the 9th week, the 28th day of the 2nd month, the 59th day of 2020 [with only 300 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Car Keys and Small Change Day
  • Floral Design Day
  • Girl Scout Cookie Weekend
  • Global Scouse Day
  • International STAND UP to Bullying Day
  • National Chocolate Souffle Day
  • National Customized Wheel and Tire Day
  • national Public Sleeping Day
  • National Science Day
  • National Skip the Straw Day
  • National Tartar Sauce Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day
  • US Snow Shoe Days
  • The third day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith) (Please note that this observance is only locked into this date the Gregorian calendar on this date if Bahá'í Naw-Rúz takes place on March 21, which it doesn't in all years)

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1700 – Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar.

1749 - the first edition of Henry Fieldings' novel "Tom Jones" published

1826 - Biela's Comet rediscovered by Austrian astronomer Wilhelm von Biela (originally discovered 1772)

1827 – The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.

1849 – Regular steamship service from the east to the west coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor, carrying the first boat load of gold rush prospectors

1867 – Seventy years of Holy See–United States relations are ended by a Congressional ban on federal funding of diplomatic envoys to the Vatican and are not restored until January 10, 1984.

1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.

1939 – The erroneous word "dord" is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.

1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).

1953 – James Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April's Nature

1954 - US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island

1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched but fails to achieve orbit.

1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.

1984 - British satirical puppet show "Spitting Image" premieres on ITV

1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.

2007 - Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft.

2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since Pope Gregory XII, in 1415.

Quote of the day:
The question is not what you look at—but how you look & whether you see.”
~  Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 5, 1851

According to the Urban Dictionary, the word dord means:

3. Dord (n): A word that is incorrectly used or does not technically exist either through intention or misconception.

"Dord" itself falls into this description, and so does pretty much everything else on Urban Dictionary.

This can be imagined as an abbreviation for "Denied word", as a mnemonic device though that is not its origin.

The existence of the little four letter word exhibits the real skill needed in proof reading – reading what is on the paper not what was meant to have been said.   Not everyone, even those who are detail oriented have that gift.  

I was going to expostulate at length about the difference between reality and what you want to believe, but got sidetracked by a word.  Have a great weekend!

 

Now excuse me, I have to work on my retirement plan…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 28, 2020

precautions

Today is the 5th day of the 9th week, the 27th day of the 2nd month, the 58th day of 2020, and: 
  • Anosomia Awareness Day
  • Digital Learning Day
  • Independence Day - Dominican Republic from Haiti in 1844
  • International Polar Bear Day
  • National Chili Day
  • National Kahlua Day
  • National Protein Day
  • National Retro Day
  • National Strawberry Day
  • National Toast Day
  • No-Brainer Day
  • Pokemon Day - First appearance of Pokémon in role-playing video game "Pocket Monsters Red and Green" for Game Boy in Japan in 1996
  • World NGO Day
  • The second day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith) (Note: this observance is only on this date in the Gregorian calendar if Bahá'í Naw-Rúz takes place on March 21, which it does not in all years)
 ON THIS DAY IN ...

 380 – Edict of Thessalonica: Emperor Theodosius I and his co-emperors Gratian and Valentinian II declare their wish that all Roman citizens convert to Nicene Christianity.

 425 – The University of Constantinople is founded by Emperor Theodosius II at the urging of his wife Aelia Eudocia

 837 - 15th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet

1700 – English explorer William Dampier is the 1st British person to visit the Pacific Island of New Britain, which he names

1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

1827 - the first Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans

1870 – The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.

1883 - Oscar Hammerstein patents the first cigar-rolling machine

1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

1965 - France performs Underground nuclear test at Ecker Algeria

1971 – Doctors in the first Dutch abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhem) start performing artificially-induced abortions.

1973 - Pope Paul VI publishes constitution motu proprio Quo aptius

1974 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1978 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1990 - Final day of the rum ration in the Royal New Zealand Navy

2018 - Barbra Streisand reveals she has cloned her dog twice

2019 - First gun control legislation for 25 years passed by US House of Representatives, with new federal background checks

2019 - Doctors announce world's second known case of semi-identical twins, a boy and girl from Brisbane, Australia

 

This is a fine time to find out that I don’t know how to wash my hands.  According to this article, I should be "... applying soap and scrubbing the palms, the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the fingernails.  A person should scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing the soap and drying the hands with a clean towel."   Now I can guarantee that I do not stand in a public bathroom, using the harsh soap provided, and lather up that elaborately.  And I’m still astonished that 30% of the people using restrooms don’t even wash their hands at all afterwards!

 

But it is rather disingenuous to say this is the first line of defense in the spread of the corona or any virus.   What would be more helpful, would first of all be to have an actual test that can be administered when someone exhibits the symptoms without charging the possible patient an arm and a leg.  And then publish a clear list of what we, the public, should be looking for that doesn’t sound like everyday ailments.  Allergy season is kicking in and that means sufferers are drooping, complete with coughing, sneezing, and itchy eyes.   Colds and flu are also about, and seriously, I don’t know anybody who can stay home because they have the sniffles.  So at what point is it needful to hie off to the doctor?

 

 

 

Incidentally, now is probably not the time to start reading The Stand …..


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 27, 2020

seasonal angst

Today is the 4th day of the 9th week, the 26th day of the 2nd month, the 57th day of 2020, and: 
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Carnival Day
  • For Pete's Sake Day
  • Inconvenience Yourself Day
  • Levi Strauss Day
  • National Personal Chef Day
  • National Pistachio Day
  • Pink Shirt Day -  stand against bullying in schools, workplaces, homes, and online.
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • Thermos Bottle Day
  • The first day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith) (Please note that this observance is only locked into this date the Gregorian calendar on this date if Bahá'í Naw-Rúz takes place on March 21, which it doesn't in all years)
ON THIS DAY IN ....

1606 – The Janszoon voyage of 1605–06 becomes the first European expedition to set foot on Australia, although it is mistaken as a part of New Guinea.

1616 – Galileo Galilei is formally banned by the Roman Catholic Church from teaching or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun

1863 - Abraham Lincoln signs National Currency Act, establishes single national US currency

1907 - US Congress raised their own salaries to $7,500

1909 – Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture process, is first shown to the general public at the Palace Theatre in London.

1916 - Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract

1917 - the first jazz records recorded - "Dixie Jazz Band One Step" and "Livery Stable Blues" by Original Dixieland Jass Band for the Victor Talking Machine Company

1930 - the first red and green traffic lights installed (Manhattan NYC)

1935 – Robert Watson-Watt carries out a demonstration near Daventry which leads directly to the development of radar in the United Kingdom.

1936 - Ferdinand Porsche introduces the "Volkswagen"

1952 - PM Winston Churchill announces Britain has its own atomic bomb

1960 - Vera Miles stars in the famous "Mirror Image" episode of the classic CBS television series "The Twilight Zone"

1966 – Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket

1970 - Beatles release "Beatles Again" aka "Hey Jude" album

1971 – U.N. Secretary-General U Thant signs United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1977 - 1st flight of Space Shuttle (atop a Boeing 747)

1983 - Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album goes #1 and stays #1 for 37 weeks

1987 - the first release of Beatles compact discs

1987 - NASA launches GEOS-H

1987 - USSR resumes nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

2012 - 84th Academy Awards: "The Artist" wins five Oscars and becomes the first silent film to win since 1927,

2013 - A flexible battery capable of being charged wirelessly and folded and stretched is developed

I am not a fan of spring, never have been.  Or more correctly, I am not a big fan of that space of time between the Valentine’s Day and Easter, which seems to incorporate a lot of what is traditionally thought of as spring.  Far from seeing it as a time of renewal, for me it is a time of doldrums and depression, of the cone of silence descending, of broken connections and riven relationships.   I have never been quite certain why this is or what triggers it, I just hunker down and live through it, hoping that those who love me will still be around afterwards.  It kicked in last week this year.



 Maybe it is the allergies that kick in.

Maybe it is my birthday.

Maybe it is the dregs of winter.

Maybe I just don’t like the harbinger of humid heat. 

But after the 70th spring, I don’t think I’m likely to change my mind anytime soon….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Shrove Tuesday 2020

Today is the 3rd day of the 9th week, the 25th day of the 2nd month, the 56th day of 2020, and: 
  • International Pancake Day
  • Let's All Eat Right Day
  • Meher Baba's birthday (followers of Meher Baba)
  • Mardi Gras
  • National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day
  • National Clam Chowder Day
  • Pancake Day Race (Between US and England)
  • Pistol Patent Day
  • Pączki Day
  • Quiet Day
  • Rubber Ducky Day
  • Shrove Tuesday [AKA Fat Tuesday]
  • World Spay Day USA
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1570 - Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England for heresy and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. Also absolves her subjects from allegiance to the crown.

1751 - the first performing monkey exhibited in America, NYC (admission 1 cent)

1836 – Samuel Colt Samuel Colt patents first multi-shot revolving-cylinder revolver, enabling the firearm to be fired multiple times without reloading

1838 - London pedestrian walks 20 miles backward then forward in 8 hours

1843 – Lord George Paulet occupies the Kingdom of Hawaii in the name of Great Britain in the Paulet Affair (1843).

1862 - Congress forms US Bureau of Engraving and Printing to print newly issued US paper currency, the United States Notes

1908 - the first tunnel under Hudson River (railway tunnel) opens

1919 – Oregon places a one cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.

1930 - Check photographing device patented

1950 - "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca premieres on NBC Writers include Mel Brooks, Neil Simon & Woody Allen

1957 - Buddy Holly & Crickets record "That'll Be the Day"

1963 - Beatles release their first single in US "Please Please Me"

1968 – One hundred thirty-five unarmed citizens of Hà My village in South Vietnam's Quảng Nam Province are killed and buried en masse by South Korean troops in what would come to be known as the Hà My massacre.

1969 - Mariner 6 launched for fly-by of Mars

1979 - Soyuz 32, carrying two cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station, is launched

1981 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1982 - Final episode of "The Lawrence Welk Show" airs

2015 - BRIT Awards: Best Single "Uptown Funk", Best Album "X" by Ed Sheeran

2019 - Influential film review site Rotten Tomatoes implements changes to its site after internet trolls target "Captain Marvel" film

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 29 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

I work in a small office with only five other coworkers at the moment and I was totally astounded when not one of them knew that today was a day to consume pancakes.  Amused I explained that in days of yore, one needed to use up the flour, sugar, eggs, and milk that would not be needed during the six weeks of Lent that start tomorrow, and that pancakes were the easiest way to do so, resulting in a culinary revel almost as debauched as Mardi Gras.



Thanks to all the publicity New Orleans gets this time of year, I was under the impression that everyone knew about pancakes today!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 25, 2020

a Monday masquerading as a Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 8th week,  the 18th day of the 2nd month, the 49th day of 2020 [with only 310 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day – yes it actually happened back in 1930
  • Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day
  • Independence Day - Gambia from the United Kingdom in 1965
  • International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day - honoring kids who have or had cancer
  • National Battery Day - The inventor of the battery, Italian physicist Allesandro Volta, was born in 1745
  • National Drink Wine Day ((a holiday many of us will be more than happy to celebrate))
  • National Hate Florida Day ((has nothing to do with hanging chads))
  • Pluto Day - Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto while studying photographs taken in January in 1960
  • Thumb Appreciation day
  • Travel Africa Day
ON THIS DAY IN...

3102 BC - Epoch (origin) of the Kali Yuga

1735 - the first opera performed in America, "Flora", in Charleston, South Carolina

1787 - Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II bans children under 8 from labor

1879 - Sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi is awarded a patent for his design for the Statue of Liberty

1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States

1896 - Cave of Winds at Niagara Falls goes almost dry for first time in 50 years

1901 - H Cecil Booth patented a dust removing suction cleaner

1908 - the first US postage stamps in rolls issued

1911 – The first official flight with airmail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.

1927 - US & Canada open diplomatic relations

1952 - The 4th Emmy Awards: first time awards presented based on nationwide basis, "The Red Skelton Show", Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca win

1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles.

1955 – Teapot test shot "Wasp" is successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp is the first of fourteen shots in the Teapot series.

1968 - Britain commences a trial of year-round daylight saving time (BST - British Standard Time, one hour ahead of GMT)

1974 - NASA launches Italian satellite San Marcos C-2 (235/843 km)

1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden "flight" on top of a Boeing 747.

1979 - Mini-series "Roots: Next Generations" premieres on ABC TV

1979 - NASA launches space vehicle S-202

1986 - Anti-smoking ad airs for 1st time on TV, featuring Yul Brynner: he died of smoking-induced lung cancer on 10th October 1985

2003 - Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) makes perihelion, seen by SOHO.

2009 - English fantasy author Terry Pratchett receives a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace

2010 – WikiLeaks publishes the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by the soldier now known as Chelsea Manning.

2010 - Bibliothèque nationale de France purchases the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova a for €7 million

2019 - British parliamentary committee issues scathing report on Facebook, accusing company of breaking privacy laws, calling for new regulations

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 43 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

In all the brouhaha about ads on social media, folks forget that back in the day, there weren’t a lot of filters on TV ads.  Oh, they couldn’t cuss, and sex had to be implied rather than shown, and if the claims were too outrageously false, the FCC would make them pull the ads, but cigarette manufacturers continued peddling their wares long after it was proven their products caused cancer – they had money and stations were hungry for revenue.  The first ad that actually stated the ills of smoking stirred up quite a wasp’s nest of protest from corporate sponsors!   



 

 

Unfortunately, it was decades before the full extent of the damage caused by secondary smoke to those around the smokers was understood, and addressed, but now one may go to work, or eat at a restaurant, or walk through a public place without having to deal with a cloud of smoke. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 18, 2020

I haz a sad....


Quote of the day
:
When one loves, one does not calculate.”
-- St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul
 

 

Today, 16 years ago, Frank gave me this.   He was a bit disappointed with my reaction, and I had to explain that although I thought it was gorgeous, I didn’t know what I was going to wear it with!  Mollified, he snorted “whatever you want to” .  The next year, my daughter sent me flowers because she knew he had always seen to it that I had flowers for Valentine’s Day, although he usually brought them home a day or two ahead of time, scorning the florists’ price increases for this day.   Usually I let the holiday pass by without any angst, but this year I am moody and dispirited, and wishing rather forlornly for flowers, cards, and most importantly of all, the knowledge that I have a special someone.  Give your love an extra tight hug, today! 

I will treasure my memories and not repine -- the sun is shining for the first time in almost a week, it is Friday, and the start of a three-day weekend.   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 14, 2020

just over the horizon....

Today is the 4th day of the 7th week, the 12th day of the 2nd month, the 43rd day of 2020, and: 
  • Hug Day
  • International Darwin Day
  • Lincoln's Birthday
  • NAACP Day – formed in 1909
  • National Freedom to Marry Day
  • National Lost Penny Day ((Note: Lincoln's birthday and he's on the penny))
  • National Plum Pudding Day
  • Oglethorpe Day - (AKA Georgia Day - commemorates the 1733 landing of James Edward Oglethorpe and the first colonists in Georgia, settling in Savannah)
  • Paul Bunyan Day (Born Feb. 12, 1834 in Bangor, ME)
  • Red Hand Day (AKA International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers)
  • Safety Pup Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN:

1502 - Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal on his second voyage to India

1818 - Chile gains independence from Spain

1825 – The Creek cede the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government by the Treaty of Indian Springs, and migrate west.

1850 - Original Washington's Farewell Address manuscript sells for $2,300 [$74,193.55 in 2019]

1873 - US Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1873, abolishing bimetallism and placing the country on the gold standard

1878 - Frederick Thayer patents catcher's mask (pat # 200,358)

1912 - China adopts Gregorian calendar

1914 - "The Squaw Man", the first feature-length film shot in Hollywood, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, is released in the US

1915 – In Washington, D.C., the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is put into place.

1924 – George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue received its premiere in a concert titled "An Experiment in Modern Music", in Aeolian Hall, New York, by Paul Whiteman and his band, with Gershwin playing the piano.

1935 - First secret demonstration of radio signals detecting aircraft by Robert Watson-Watt at Daventry, England

1947 – The largest observed iron meteorite until that time creates an impact crater in Sikhote-Alin, in the Soviet Union.

1947 – Christian Dior unveils a "New Look", helping Paris regain its position as the capital of the fashion world.

1949 - Panic in Quito, Ecuador, after "War of the Worlds" played on radio

1959 - The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the "sheaves of wheat" design

1961 – The Soviet Union launches Venera 1 towards Venus.

1963 – Construction begins on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

1965 - Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1994 – Four thieves break into the National Gallery of Norway and steal Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream.

1998 - Intel unveils its 1st graphics chip i740

2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

2014 - Intel entrepreneur and co-founder of the X-PRIZE Foundation, Peter Diamandis, claims that 50% of US jobs are under threat of being mechanized within 10 years

2016 – Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill sign an Ecumenical Declaration in the first such meeting between leaders of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches since their split in 1054.

2016 - Britain's Ordnance Survey, using NASA data posts map of Mars on Flickr

2019 - US national debt tops 22 trillion for the first time according to US Treasury

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 53 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

Back when I was growing up, long before holidays were moved to Mondays to enable long weekends back in 1968,  February was a welcome relief because we would get off for both Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays on the 12th [at least in Maryland] and the 22nd.   It was nice having two days to look forward to!  I have to admit though,  despite the fact I was one of those who griped that we should celebrate things on the actual date we were commemorating, I have rather gotten used to the idea of a three day weekend



 

 

Of course, if I had my druthers, we would all switch to a 32 – hour work week [at the same rate of pay of course] and every weekend would be three days, but I’m afraid that is a pipe dream….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 12, 2020

another rainy Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 7th week, the 10th day of the 2nd month, the 41st day of 2020, and: 
  • All The News That's Fit To Print Day
  • Clean Out Your Computer Day
  • National Cream Cheese Brownie Day
  • National Flannel Day
  • National Home Warranty Day
  • Oatmeal Monday
  • Plimsoll Day
  • Teddy Day
  • Tu BiShvat
  • Umbrella Day
  • World Pulses Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1258 – Mongol invasions: Baghdad falls to the Mongols, bringing the Islamic Golden Age to an end.

1535 - 12 nude anabaptists run through Amsterdam streets

1774 - Andrew Becker demonstrates diving suit

1794 - Joseph Haydn's 99th Symphony in E premieres

1863 - the first US fire extinguisher patent granted to Alanson Crane, Virginia

1879 - the first electric arc light used (California Theater)

1897 - The NY Times begins using slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print"

1906 – HMS Dreadnought, the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII.

1916 - Biggest oil well gusher ever - Edward L. Doheny's Cerro Azul No. 4 first gushes 600 feet in the air near Tampico, Mexico

1920 - Baseball outlaws all pitches involving tampering with ball

1933 - Delivery of the first singing telegram (Postal Telegram Co NYC)

1939 - "Stagecoach" western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne, premieres in Miami

1940 – Cartoon characters Tom and Jerry, created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera, make their debut with Puss Gets the Boot by MGM.

1940 - "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hits #1

1942 - Glenn Miller awarded 1st ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of "Chattanooga Choo Choo"

1942 - American chemist James Franklin Hyde is granted a patent for fused silica

1947 – Crowds gathered at shop windows in Paris to see Christian Dior's New Look fashion—longer skirts, nipped-in waists and padded shoulders.

1949 - Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opens at Morosco Theater, NYC

1961 - Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power

1962 – Roy Lichtenstein's first solo exhibition opened, and it included Look Mickey, which featured his first employment of Ben-Day dots, speech balloons and comic imagery sourcing, all of which he is now known for.

1966 - "Valley of the Dolls" by Jacqueline Susann is published by Bernard Geis Associates in the US - sold over 31 million copies

1972 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1979 = "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart peaks at #1

1989 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1996 - IBM computer Deep Blue becomes the first computer to win a game of chess against a reigning (human) chess champion, Gary Kasparov

1997 - Soyuz TM-25 launches to the MIR

1998 - AOL raises monthly flat rate internet access from $19.95 to $21.95

2009 – The communications satellites Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 collide in orbit, destroying both.

2019 - Insect populations are collapsing worldwide threatening a“catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems” according to a global review saying 40% declining, 30% endangered

 

Today when I walked into Starbucks, out of the pouring rain, after sitting in traffic, I was greeted with a cheery chorus of “Happy Monday!” 

 

 

 

It still was a dark, dank day, but at least that group of folks had smiles on their faces!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 10, 2020

February's First Friday

Today is the 6th day of the 6th week, the 7th day of the 2nd month, the 38th day of 2020, and: 
  • "e" day [math]
  • Ballet Day
  • Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Bubble Gum Day
  • Give Kids a Smile Day
  • Harry Potter Book Night
  • Independence Day - Grenada from the United Kingdom in 1974.
  • International Clash Day
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Day
  • National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • National Periodic Table Day
  • National Wear Red Day
  • Rose Day
  • Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • Wave A Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day
  • Working Naked Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1497 – In Florence, Italy, supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burn cosmetics, art, and books, in a "Bonfire of the vanities"

1817 - Baltimore becomes the 1st American city lit by gas street lamps with the first turned on at Market and Lemon Streets (currently Baltimore and Holliday Streets)

1845 - The Portland Vase, thought to date to the 1st century BC is shattered into more than 80 pieces by a drunken visitor to the British Museum

1900 – A Chinese immigrant in San Francisco falls ill to bubonic plague in the first plague epidemic in the continental United States

1904 – A fire begins in Baltimore, Maryland;[8] it destroys over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

1914 - Charlie Chaplin debuts silent film character The Tramp in "Kid Auto Races at Venice"

1915 - the first wireless message sent from a moving train to a station received

1928 - the first solo flight from England to Australia takes off from Croydon, piloted by Australian aviator Bert Hinkler (arrives 15 ½ days later)

1940 – The second full-length animated Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, premieres

1944 - Bing Crosby records "Swinging on a Star" for Decca Records (Academy Award Best Originial Song)

1949 - Joe DiMaggio becomes the first $100,000 a year baseball player for the New York Yankees

1964 - Baskin-Robbins introduces Beatle Nut ice cream

1974 - Mel Brooks' film "Blazing Saddles" opens in movie theaters starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder

1976 - World's largest telescope (600 cm) begins operation (USSR)

1977 - Soyuz 24 launches with two cosmonauts

1979 – Pluto moves inside Neptune's orbit for the first time since either was discovered.

1979 - Pink Floyd premiere their live version of "The Wall" in Los Angeles

1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B Mission: Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

1997 – NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.

2006 - Uma Thurman is named a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France for outstanding achievement in the field of art and literature

2013 - Azerbaijan launches its first satellite, Azerspace-1

2014 – Scientists announce that the Happisburgh footprints in Norfolk, England, date back to more than 800,000 years ago, making them the oldest known hominid footprints outside Africa.

2016 – North Korea launches Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 into outer space violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.

2018 - DNA analysis of Chedder Man, UK's oldest complete skeleton shows he had dark skin and blue eyes

 

Today is FFF -- the First Friday of February!  I’m not as happy as I usually am about it being Friday because I made the mistake of reading the news these past couple of days and need to get my social media feeds back to anime, science fiction, anthropology and archeology, gaming, and other things that I find interesting.

 

 

 

And I think it is time to bury myself with other narratives for a while
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 7, 2020



Today is the 4th day of the 6th week, the 5th day of the 2nd month, the 36th day of 2020, and: 
  • Adlai Stevenson Day 
  • California Western Monarch Day
  • Disaster Day
  • Global School Play Day
  • Move Hollywood and Broadway to Lebanon, Pennsylvania Day
  • National Chocolate Fondue Day
  • National Fart Day
  • National Girls and Women in Sports Day
  • National Shower with a Friend Day
  • National Signing Day
  • National Weatherperson's Day
  • Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan (in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Anglican Church in Japan) – A group of early Japanese Christians are killed by the new government of Japan for being seen as a threat to Japanese society in
  • 1597
  • World Animal Reiki Day
  • World Nutella Day
  • World Read Aloud Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1807 – HMS Blenheim and HMS Java disappear off the coast of Rodrigues.

1817 - 1st US gas co incorporated, Baltimore (coal gas for street lights)

1846 - "Oregon Spectator" is the first newspaper to be published on the West Coast

1850 - Adding machine employing depressible keys patented, New Paltz, NY

1852 – The New Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, opens to the public.

1861 - Kinematoscope patented by Coleman Sellers, Philadelphia

1869 – The largest alluvial gold nugget in history, called the "Welcome Stranger" (weighting 97.14kg) , is found in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia by John Deason and Richard Oates

1870 - the first motion picture shown to a theater audience, Philadelphia

1879 - Joseph Swan demonstrates light bulb using carbon glow

1887 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Otello" premieres at La Scala in Italy, Verdi's first new opera for over 15 years

1907 – Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announces the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.

1919 – Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith launch United Artists.

1922 - Reader's Digest magazine first published

1924 – The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal.

1931 - Maxine Dunlap becomes the first US women to earn a glider pilot license

1936 - "Modern Times", silent film directed by, written by and starring Charlie Chaplin, is released

1940 - Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"

1944 - "Captain American" serial film premieres starring Dick Purcell, first appearance of a Marvel superhero outside a comic

1953 - "Peter Pan" by Walt Disney opens at Roxy Theater, NYC

1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

1962 - the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all within 16 degrees

1963 - Maarten Schmidt discovers enormous red shifts in quasars

1963 - Soviet lunar probe failure

1967 - "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" premieres on CBS (later ABC, NBC)

1969 - US population reaches 200 million

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 – Apollo 14, the third US manned Moon expedition, lands near Fra Mauro Alan Shepard & Edward Mitchell (Apollo 14) walk on Moon for 4 hrs

1972 - US airlines begin mandatory inspection of passengers & baggage

1974 - Maximum speed on Autobahn reduced to 100 kph

1987 - the Dow Jones average closes above 2,200 for the first time

1987 - Soyuz TM-2 launches

1988 - the first prime-time wrestling match in 30 yrs - Andre the Giant beats Hulk Hogan

1994 - "Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego," debuts on Fox TV

2013 - The US Postal Service announces the cessation of Saturday first-class mail delivery from August 2013

2014 - Archaeologists decrypt the 13th C Viking jötunvillur runic code

2016 - Computer hackers try to steal 1 billion from Federal Reserve Bank of New York using Bangladesh banking codes, steal 81 million before a typo alerts authorities

2019 - China’s first science fiction blockbuster, “The Wandering Earth” premieres, directed by Frant Gwo, based on a story by Liu Cixin

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 03 secs of light-travel time from Earth

  

One of the highlights of Tangled, is the musical number I have a dream”, as the thugs and ne’er-do-wells in the pub express what they really would like to be or do.   The scene is worked for laughs as some of their aspirations are incongruous with their appearance, but I find it quite poignant.  So many of us end up in place other than we had thought we would!  When I got out of college, I was going to teach for a couple of years, then if I decided I didn’t have a talent and vocation in that direction, I was going to join the Peace Corps.  After working abroad for five or six years, I was going to return and join the State Department.  Although diplomacy was never my strong suit, I figured plain-talking would be valued somewhere….

 

 

 

At no point did I ever imagine myself working in banking for 35 years!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 5, 2020



Today is the 3rd day of the 6th week, the 4th day of the 2nd month, the 35th day of 2020, and: 
  • African American Coaches Day
  • Facebook's Birthday – the mainstream online social networking site, is launched by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 from his Harvard dormitory room
  • Independence Day - Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) within the British Commonwealth in 1948
  • Liberace Day
  • Medjoola Date Day
  • National Create a Vacuum Day
  • National Hemp Day
  • National Homemade Soup Day
  • National Quaker Day
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day
  • National Thank a Mailman Day
  • Rosa Parks Day
  • Safer Internet Day
  • Torture Abolition Day
  • USO Day - The United Service Organization is created to entertain American troops in 1941.
  • World Cancer Day
  • Earliest day on which Ash Wednesday can fall, while March 10 is the latest; celebrated on the first day of Lent (Christianity) 
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.  This is the only time the Electoral Collage has been in total agreement with who should be President

1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.

1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus, AKA the Sinai Bible and one of the oldest known copies of the Bible, is discovered in Egypt by Constantin von Tischendorf who takes the manuscript home with him

1895 - the first rolling lift bridge opens in Chicago

1913 - Louis Perlman patents demountable auto tire-carrying wheel rim

1920 - the first flight from London to South Africa departs (takes 1½ months)

1931 - National League adopts a deader baseball

1936 - the first radioactive substance produced synthetically (radium E)

1938 - "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder opens on Broadway

1957 - the first electric portable typewriter placed on sale (Syracuse NY)

1961 - Sputnik 7 launches into Earth orbit; probable Venus probe failure

1967 – Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1970 - "Patton" directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring George C. Scott premieres in New York (Academy Awards Best Picture 1971)

1971 - The NASDAQ stock exchange, the second-largest in the world - behind the New York Stock Exchange - is founded in New York City

1973 - Comic strip "Hagar The Horrible" by Dik Browne debuts

1974 - Chimpanzee Nim Chimsky signs his 1st word, at 2½ months

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1991 - US postage raises from 25 cents to 29 cents

1991 - Alex Trebek becomes first person to host three American game shows at the same time (Jeopardy!, Classic Concentration, To Tell the Truth)

1993 - Russian space agency tests a 82-foot wide space mirror

1998 - Bill Gates gets a pie thrown in his face in Brussels, Belgium

 

Okay, that last item got my attention – why would anyone throw a cream pie at Bill Gates?  Was is a WINDOWS user who was sick and tired of updates, costs, and security holes?  Was someone steaming about income inequity?  Nope, it was a Belgian -- Noël Godin, a writer, critic, actor and notorious pie thrower or entarteur -- with a slightly whacky sense of humor on a mission to bring down those who seem to have an inflated sense of self-importance.

 

 

 

Yes I was amused – but I still can sympathize with Bill Gates getting totally blindsided like that!  I mean seriously, how would you like to be walking along, minding your own business, and suddenly wearing a pie all over your face, hair, and clothing?


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 4, 2020

the 1st of Februrary

Imbolic, or the feast of St Brigid, comes with a breath of spring in the midst of our winter, reminding us of renewal and that the cold will not last forever




0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, February 1, 2020

bye bye January

Today is the 6th day of the 5th week, the 31st day of the 1st month, the 31st day of 2020, and: 
  • Amartithi (Meherabad, India, followers of Meher Baba)
  • Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day
  • Backwards Day
  • Brandy Alexander Day
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day
  • Eat Brussels Sprouts Day
  • Hell is Freezing Over Day
  • Hug an Economist Day
  • Independence Day -  Nauru from Australia in 1968
  • Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
  • National Big Wig Day
  • National Fun at Work Day
  • National Hot Chocolate Day
  • National Preschool Health and Fitness Day
  • Scotch Tape Day
  • Street Children Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN...

1627 - Spanish government goes bankrupt

1747 – The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.

1862 – Alvan Graham Clark discovers the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an 18.5-inch (47 cm) telescope now located at Northwestern University.

1876 - The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1901 - Chekhov's "Three Sisters" opens at Moscow Art Theater

1905 - the first automobile to exceed 100 mph (161 kph), A G MacDonald, Daytona Beach

1930 – 3M begins marketing Scotch Tape.

1934 - FDR devalues US dollar in relation to gold at $35 per ounce

1936 - "Green Hornet" radio show is 1st heard on WXYZ Radio in Detroit

1948 - Magnetic tape recorder developed by Wireway

1949 – These Are My Children, the first television daytime soap opera, is broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago.

1955 - RCA demonstrates the first music synthesizer

1958 – The first successful American satellite, Explorer 1, detects the Van Allen radiation belt.

1961 – Mercury-Redstone 2: Ham the Chimp travels into outer space.

1966 – The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program.

1971 – Apollo 14 - Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.

1972 - US launches HEOS A-2 for interplanetary observations

Music release

Music Single

1975 - Barry Manilow's single "Mandy" goes gold

1982 - 10 Arabian oryx (extinct except in zoos) released in Oman – But in 1991, due to excessive poaching, the WWF declared them endangered again  

1983 - In an effort to reduce driving deaths, a new law in UK requires drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts

1997 - "Final Fantasy VII" is released by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment to PlayStation

1998 - STS 89 (Endeavour 12) lands

2018 – Both a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse occur.

2019 - Colonization of the America's in the late 1500s killed so many people it cooled the planet and led to a "Little Ice Age", according to a scientific report published in "Quaternary Science Reviews"

2020 – The United Kingdom's membership within the European Union ceases in accordance with Article 50, after 47 years of being a member state

 

On the one hand, where did January go?  How could we be at the end of month already when I just got the end of year reports done?

 

On the other hand, January has been at least a couple of months long and all the joy of opening a new year lost.

 

 

 

Oh well, at least it is FRIDAY!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 31, 2020

the last Thursday in January

Today is the 5th day of the 5th week, the 30th day of the 1st month, the 30th day of 2020, and: 
  • Fred Korematsu Day (California, Florida, Hawaii, Virginia)
  • National Croissant Day
  • National Escape Day
  • National Inane Answering Message Day
  • School Day of Non-violence and Peace
  • Start of the Season for Nonviolence January 30 - April 4
  • Thank Your Mentor Day
  • Yodel for Your Neighbors Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1487 - Bell chimes invented

1703 – The Forty-seven rōnin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, by killing Kira Yoshinaka

1774 - Captain James Cook reaches 71°10' south, 1820km from south pole (record)

1790 - the Lifeboat is first tested at sea, by Mr Greathead, the inventor

1806 – The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, is opened.

1815 - Burned US Library of Congress re-established with Thomas Jefferson's 6,500 volumes

1818 - John Keats composes his sonnet "When I Have Fears"

1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.

1826 – The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world's first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, is opened.

1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen as well as Jackson himself.

1858 – The first Hallé concert is given in Manchester, England, marking the official founding of The Hallé orchestra as a full-time, professional orchestra.

1873 - "Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne is published in France by Pierre-Jules Hetzel

1889 - John Herschel uses camera obscura to photograph 48" (120cm) telescope

1894 - Pneumatic hammer patented by Charles King of Detroit

1922 - World Law Day is first celebrated

1930 - The world's first radiosonde is launched in Pavlovsk, USSR.

1931 - "City Lights", American silent romantic comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring himself and Virginia Cherrill, premieres at Los Angeles Theater

1933 - "Lone Ranger" begins a 21-year run on ABC radio and the William Tell Overture became suddenly very familiar

1946 - the first issue of the Franklin Roosevelt dime

1956 - Elvis Presley records his version of "Blue Suede Shoes"

1958 - the first two-way moving sidewalk in service, Dallas Tx

1959 – MS Hans Hedtoft, said to be the safest ship afloat and "unsinkable" like the RMS Titanic, strikes an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sinks, killing all 95 aboard.

1961 - Bobby Darin is youngest performer to headline a TV special on NBC

1961 - "I Fall to Pieces" single released by Patsy Cline (Billboard Song of the Year 1961)

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1963 - Ivan Sutherland submits a thesis containing his Sketchpad program, a forerunner to modern-day graphic user interfaces and computer-aided design programs

1964 - Ranger 6 launched; makes perfect flight to Moon, but cameras fail

1969 - US/Canada ISIS 1 launched to study ionosphere

1969 – The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

1974 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1975 - Ernő Rubik applies for a patent for his "Magic Cube" invention, later to be known as a Rubik's cube

1992 - Space Shuttle STS-42 (Discovery 15) lands

1992 - Inventor Ray Kurzweil publishes his first book "The Age of Intelligent Machines" on artificial intelligence, predicting the popularity of the internet

1994 - Péter Lékó becomes the youngest chess grand master.

1995 - Workers from the National Institutes of Health announce the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.

1998 - Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Indianapolis IN on WNAP 93.1 FM

1998 - Paul Simon's "The Capeman" premieres

2013 – South Korea successfully launches its rocket Naro-1 which was carrying a scientific satellite

2017 - Scientists in central China reveal oldest known human ancestor - 540-million-year-old Saccorhytus in a fossil

2019 - Scientists reveal discovery of cavity six miles long, 1,000 feet deep under Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, leading to fears it might collapse and raise sea levels by two feet

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 10 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

Ah the inanity of the old telephone answering machine tapes!  Like so many others, we bought a tape of “celebrity” voice impressions and very often people who called our number were answered by John Wayne, or Boris Karloff, or any other recording that I thought was funny at the time.  Apparently, when land lines, rotary dial phones, and tape machines phased out, these messages faded away as well

 



 

Do you miss hearing these messages when you call someone? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 30, 2020



Today is the 4th day of the 5th week, the 29th day of the 1st month, the 29th day of 2020 [with only 330 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinkers Day
  • National Carnation Day
  • National Corn Chip Day
  • National Puzzle Day
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
  • Thomas Paine Day
  • Earliest day on which Fat Thursday can fall, while March 4 is the latest; celebrated on Thursday before Ash Wednesday. (Christianity)
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

 661 - Rashidun Caliphate, then the largest empire in history, ends with the death of its leader, Ali. Succeeded by the Umayyad Caliphate.

1594 - Mathematician John Napier dedicates his "Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of St. John" to King James VI, predicts end of the world in 1688 or 1700

1595 - William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is thought to have been first performed. Officially published early 1597.

1802 - First celebration of Burns night, in honor of poet Robert Burns's birthday by The Mother Club in Greenock (later realized his actual birthday 25th January)

1819 – Stamford Raffles lands on the island of Singapore.

1845 – "The Raven" is published in The Evening Mirror in New York, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe.

1856 - Victoria Cross established to acknowledge valour in the face of the enemy (United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries)

1886 – Karl Benz patents the "Benz Patent-Motorwagen" in Karlsruhe, Germany, the world's first automobile with a gasoline burning motor

1892 - The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia

1896 - Emile Grubbe is the first doctor to use radiation treatment for breast cancer

1920 - Walt Disney starts work as an artist with KC Slide Co for $40 a week

1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced:  Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson & Walter Johnson.

1959 – The first Melodifestivalen is held in Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden.

1959 - Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" released

1959 - 'The Great Smog' hits London, many die of chest and lung-related illnesses

1963 – The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced:  Jim Thorpe, Red Grange and George Halas.

1964 - "Dr Strangelove", directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, premieres

1964 - Unmanned Apollo 1 Saturn launcher test attains Earth orbit

1966 - Neil Simons, Coleman & Fields' musical "Sweet Charity" premieres at the Palace Theater NYC for 608 performances

1970 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1980 – The Rubik's Cube makes its international debut at the Ideal Toy Corp. in Earl's Court, London.

1986 - 193.8 million shares traded in NY Stock Exchange

1988 - United Airlines Boeing 747SP, circles world in 36 hours 54 minutes 15 seconds

1996 - the 6,138th performance of "Cats" is held in London, surpassing record of Broadway's longest-running musical, "A Chorus Line"

1996 - France will no longer test nuclear weapons, its president Jacques Chirac says, following international outcry over tests in the Pacific

1998 - Soyuz TM-27 launches to MIR

2005 – The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing.

2014 - Archaeologists discover the oldest Roman Temple (6th C BC) at Sant’Omobono

2014 - Scientists discover how to convert normal cells into stem cells in mice

2018 - Marvel film "Black Panther" directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman premieres in Los Angeles

2019 - US Postal Service suspends deliveries to ten states due to severity of the polar vortex

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 10 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

The definition of a curmudgeon is “a bad tempered, difficult, cantankerous person”, and it is usually applied to old men, although it is definitely not limited by age or gender.  As I approach my 70’s, and find myself deploring the manners of the world today, I find myself wondering if I have gotten old and crusty myself. 

 

 

 

Well maybe a little intolerant of foolishness…..


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 29, 2020

the last Tuesday of January

Today is the 3rd day of the 5th week, the 28th day of the 1st month, the 28th day of 2020, and: 
  • Daisy Day
  • Data Privacy Day
  • Global Community Engagement Day
  • International LEGO Day -  in 1958, the Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
  • National Blueberry Pancake Day
  • National Kazoo Day
  • National Pediatrician Day
  • National Plan for Vacation Day
  • Pop Art Day
  • Rattlesnake Roundup Day
  • Rubber Ducky Day ((Sesame Street says it's today because the general belief is that this is on Ernie's birthday. So, there are 3 dates for this....))
  • Speak Up and Succeed Day
  • Thank a Plugin Developer Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

 814 – The death of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, brings about the accession of his son Louis the Pious as ruler of the Frankish Empire

1521 – Emperor Charles V opens the Diet of Worms in Worms, Germany which lasts until May 25th. Produced the "Edict of Worms" which denounced Martin Luther

1568 – The Edict of Torda prohibited the persecution of individuals on religious ground in John Sigismund Zápolya's Eastern Hungarian Kingdom.

1573 – Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland.

1624 – Sir Thomas Warner founds the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

1671 – Original city of Panama (founded in 1519) was destroyed by a fire when privateer Henry Morgan sacked and set fire to it. The site of the previously devastated city is still in ruins (see Panama Viejo).

1724 - The Russian Academy of Sciences founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in a Senate decree. Called St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.

1754 – Sir Horace Walpole coins the word serendipity in a letter to a friend.

1813 – Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" is published by Thomas Egerton in the United Kingdom

1855 – A locomotive on the Panama Canal Railway runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

1878 - George W Coy hired as the first full-time telephone operator

1887 - In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.

1896 – Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).

1915 - US President Woodrow Wilson refuses to prohibit immigration of illiterates today we are worried that immigrants might need assistance

1917 - Municipally owned streetcars take to the streets of San Francisco, California

1932 - the first US state unemployment insurance act enacted in Wisconsin

1935 – Iceland becomes the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.

1949 - NY Giants sign their first black players, Monte Irvin & Ford Smith

1951 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.

1958 - Construction began on the first private thorium-uranium nuclear reactor

1963 - "Still" single released by Bill Anderson (Billboard no. 1 U.S. Hot Country Singles 1963)

1965 - The Who make their first appearance on British TV

1967 - Rolling Stones release "Let's Spend the Night Together"

1973 - "Barnaby Jones" premieres on CBS TV

1973 - Ron Howard appears on M*A*S*H in "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet"

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 - Record 295,000 dominoes toppled in Fuerth, West Germany

1985 - Charity single "We Are the World" is recorded by supergroup USA for Africa (Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and other pop stars)

1986 – STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.

2014 - DNA analysis confirms that the 6th C Plague of Justinian was caused by a variant of Yersinia pestis (the same bacteria for the Black Death)

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 11 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

Quote of the day:

Here’s our challenge: to allow our hearts and minds to be touched by gratitude without the presence of a hurricane. To appreciate life and the grace by which we wake up each day and go to sleep in safety.”

~  Gregg Krech, “Grateful for Nothing

 

The days flow past, sunrises and sunsets flickering across the skies.  Sometimes the hours feel long and time seems to drag, then you turn around and a month is gone in a flash – wasn’t it just the other day that we toasted a New Year in?  Time to check my privilege:  I have family, I am mostly healthy, I have a job,  I have a nice cozy place to live, I drive a car, I have comfortable clothing, I have food to eat.  We take these things too much for granted….





 

 

As time rolls by, I have to remind myself to appreciate and enjoy where I am
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 28, 2020

the last Monday of January

Today is the 2nd day of the 5th week, the 27th day of the 1st month, the 27th day of 2020, and: 
  • Auschwitz Liberation Day
  • Better Business Communication Day
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
  • Community Manager Appreciation Day
  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
  • National Chocolate Cake Day
  • National Geographic Day – founded in 1888 in Washington, D.C. for "the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge"
  • Punch the Clock Day
  • Thomas Crapper Day
  • Vietnam Peace Day -  in 1973, the Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict's last recorded American combat casualty.
  • World Breast Pumping Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1343 – Pope Clement VI issues the papal bull Unigenitus to justify the power of the pope and the use of indulgences. Nearly 200 years later, Martin Luther would protest this.

1591 - Scottish schoolmaster Dr. John Fian burned for witchcraft at Castle Hill, Edinburgh by order King James VI, as part of the Berwick witch trials.

1785 – The University of Georgia is founded, the first public university in the United States.

1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.

1880 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his incandescent lamp.

1908 - Pasiphaë, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Melotte

1918 - "Tarzan of the Apes", the first Tarzan film, premieres at Broadway Theater

1926 - Physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishes his theory of wave mechanics and presents what becomes known as the Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics

1939 - First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

1948 - the first tape recorder sold

1951 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with Operation Ranger - there will be a total of 126 nuclear tests in all

1956 - "Heartbreak Hotel" single released by Elvis Presley, his first million-selling single

1961 - "Sing Along with Mitch" [Miller] premieres on NBC TV

1965 - he fist ground station-to-aircraft radio communication via satellite

1967 – The Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom sign the Outer Space Treaty in Washington, D.C., banning deployment of nuclear weapons in space, and limiting use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes.

1967 - A fire in the Apollo 1 Command Module kills astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee during a launch rehearsal

1970 - Movie rating system modifies "M" rating to "PG"

1976 - "Laverne & Shirley" TV spinoff from "Happy Days" starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams premieres on ABC TV

1982 - "Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat" opens at Royale NYC for 747 performances

1984 - Michael Jackson is burned during filming for Pepsi commercial

1985 - 15th Space Shuttle (51-C) Mission-Discovery 3 returns to Earth

1996 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 12 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

In literature the gypsy [which I have just learned is actually considered a pejorative term]  is a romantic figure, conjuring images of brightly covered caravans traveling across the countryside, fortunetellers with jangling bracelets, swarthy men with flashing knives, but we tend to forget the Roma was an actual people with their own culture and customs.    The Nazis tried to exterminate the entire group of them, something that is overlooked in many Holocaust histories, but there are Roma who wander even today, adding a flavor of the exotic to the everyday life around them.

 

 

 

They certainly had the knack of living in tiny houses down before it became a fad!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 27, 2020

Lunar New Year

I did not know the Chinese years came in elements as well as animals, but they do.  The Chinese recognize five essential elements:  metal, water, wood, fire, and earth.  Each of these have characteristics that impact the year as well as the animal.    Born in 1950, I have long known that was the year of the tiger, but I didn't know until today that it was the metal tiger!  And 2020 is the year of the metal rat









Let us hope that it is a good year for one and all
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, January 25, 2020

the first 3-day weekend of 2020

Today is the 6th day of the 3rd week, the 17th day of the 1st month, the 17th day of 2020, and: 
  • Ben Franklin Day - he was born on this day in 1706 to a soap and candle maker in England
  • Cable Car Day -  the first cable car patented, by Andrew Smith Hallidie in the US in 1871 (begins service in 1873)
  • Customer Service Day
  • Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
  • Hot-Buttered Rum Day
  • International Fetish Day
  • International Mentoring Day (Muhammad Ali's birthday)
  • Judgement Day
  • Kid Inventors' Day
  • National Bootlegger's Day
  • National Hot Heads Chili Day
  • Popeye Day - he first appeared in the Thimble Theater comic strip on this day in 1929
  • The opening ceremony of Patras Carnival, celebrated until Clean Monday
  • The last quarter of the moon at 7:58 AM EST
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1377 – Pope Gregory XI reaches Rome, after deciding to move the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.[3]

1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sets sail westward from Madeira to find a sea route to the Pacific Ocean.

1584 - Bohemia adopts Gregorian calendar

1773 – Captain James Cook leads the first expedition to sail south of the Antarctic Circle.

1779 - Captain James Cook's last notation in Discovery's ship's log

1904 – Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.

1905 - Punchboards patented by Charles Brewer and C G Scannell in Chicago

1912 – British polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.

1923 - Origin of Brown lunation numbers

1928 - the first fully automatic photographic film developing machine patented

1946 – The UN Security Council holds its first session.

1950 – The Great Brink's Robbery: Eleven thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company's offices in Boston.

1961 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex".

1969 - Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 5 lands

1976 - "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow hits #1

1979 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1980 - NASA launches Fltsatcom-3

2001 - President Bill Clinton posthumously raises Meriwether Lewis' rank from Lieutenant to Captain

2007 – The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea's nuclear testing.  It is currently set to two minutes to midnight

 

I have a job.  I have benefits – which includes paid-time-off and paid holidays

 



 

Life is good!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 17, 2020

what I CAN do....



Today is the 5th day of the 3rd week, the 16th day of the 1st month, the 16th day of 2020 [with only 343 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day
  • Bean Day
  • Book Publishers Day
  • Civil Service Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • International Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • National Fig Newton Day
  • National Good Teen Day
  • National Nothing Day
  • National Quinoa Day
  • National Without a Scalpel Day
  • Prohibition Remembrance Day
  • Psychiatric Technicians’ Day
  • Religious Freedom Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.

1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language (Gramática de la lengua castellana) is presented to Queen Isabella I.

1493 - Christopher Columbus leaves the New World and sets sail for Spain

1501 - Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral and 6 ships begin their return voyage to Lisbon

1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain.

1749 - Hoax article advertising fictitious theatrical performer "The Bottle Conjuror" drew huge crowds to the Haymarket Theatre, London, whose inevitable non-appearance caused a riot. It's alleged the Duke of Montagu perpetrated the fiasco to win a bet

1832 - Charles Darwin lands at Porto Prayo in the Cape Verde islands, the first landing of his HMS Beagle voyage

1868 - Refrigerator car patented by William Davis, a fish dealer in Detroit

1877 - Color organ (for light shows) patented, by Bainbridge Bishop

1897 - John Dewey's essay "My Pedagogic Creed" appears in School Journal

1909 – Ernest Shackleton's expedition finds the magnetic South Pole

1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France

1936 - the first photo finish camera installed at Hialeah Race track in Hialeah, Florida

1939 - Daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuts

1951 - World's largest gas pipeline opens (Brownsville Texas, to 134th St, New York City)

1952 - New Dutch bible translation finished

1957 - three B-52s leave California for their first non-stop round world flights

1964 – Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

1965 - "Outer Limits" last airs on ABC-TV

1965 - The Searchers' "Love Potion Number 9" peaks at #3

1965 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.

1973 - NBC presents 440th and final showing of "Bonanza"

1973 - USSR's Lunakhod 2 begins radio-controlled exploration of Moon

1974 - "Jaws" by Peter Benchley is published by Doubleday

1976 - "Donny & Marie" [Osmond] musical variety show premieres on ABC TV

1976 - Peter Frampton released platinum live album "Frampton Comes Alive"

1978 - Soyuz 27 returns to Earth

1985 - "Playboy" announces end of stapling centerfolds

1989 - USSR announces plan for two-yr manned mission to Mars

2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.

2016 - First ever flower grown in space - a zinnia aboard the International Space Station using NASA Veggie system

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 13 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

Quote of the day:

"You need to pay attention to what is going on. You should never think that you can’t make a difference in this world. You can. That is very, very important to understand."

~  Interview with Losang Samten by Anne Doran and Frank Olinsky, “The Mandala Master

 

Of late, I have been tired, bone tired.  And I have to admit that I feel rather helpless – what can I do about income inequity, rampant capitalistic greed, corruption in politics, climate change, the lack of a social safety net, or even the health and well-being of my family and friends.  None of these, while within my area of concern, are within the circle of my control or even in the realm of my influence

 

 

But I can keep trying not to add to the cacophony by not  raising a strident voice, and to add a little graciousness in the world by being more accepting and sharing.    Doing those things are and will ever be, within my grasp. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 16, 2020



Today is the 4th day of the 3rd week, the 15th day of the 1st month, the 15th day of 2020: 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Day
  • Humanitarian Day - Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, started in 2009 by a committee for King Days of Respect.
  • Museum Selfie Day
  • National Bagel Day
  • National Booch Day - First celebrated in 2019, created by KeVita, a beverage company, to celebrate kombucha.
  • National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day
  • National Hat Day
  • National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • Wikipedia Day – the free Wiki or content encyclopedia, launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, went online on this day in 2001
  • The second day of the sidereal winter solstice festivals in India
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.

1541 – King Francis I of France gives Jean-François Roberval a commission to settle the province of New France (Canada) and provide for the spread of the "Holy Catholic faith"

1759 – The British Museum opens to the public.

1785 - Mozart's string quartet opus 10 premieres

1797 - the first top hat worn by John Etherington of London

1818 – A paper by David Brewster is read to the Royal Society, belatedly announcing his discovery of what we now call the biaxial class of doubly-refracting crystals. On the same day, Augustin-Jean Fresnel signs a "supplement" (submitted four days later) on reflection of polarized light.

1831 - the first documented US railroad honeymoon trip is taken by Mr & Mrs Pierson, of Charleston, South Carolina

1846 - Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky's first novel "Poor Folk" is published in the St Petersburg Collection almanac

1861 - Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis

1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the Democratic Party with a donkey ("A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly).

1895 - Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" premieres, St Petersburg

1907 - 3-element vacuum tube patented by Dr Lee De Forest

1907 - Gold dental inlays first described by William Taggart, who invented them

1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.

1927 - The Tennessee Supreme Court overturns (on a technicality) John T. Scopes' guilty verdict for teaching evolution — but the law itself remains in force

1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, is completed in Toledo, Ohio.

1943 - World's largest office building, the Pentagon is completed to house the US military

1945 - The Manhattan Project's G-5 Group, headed by Physicist's Donald Kerst and Seth Neddermeyer, take their first betatron pictures of a nuclear implosion at the Los Alamos Laboratory

1948 - "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", film based on B. Traven's novel, directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart premieres

1961 - Berry Gordy signs The Supremes with Motown Records

1962 – The Derveni papyrus, Europe's oldest surviving manuscript dating to 340 BC, is found in northern Greece.

1962 - Coco the Clown [Nicolai Poliakoff] is the subject of the BBC TV programme "This is Your Life"

1964 - the Teamsters negotiate the first national labor contract

1965 - Soviet underground nuclear test creates the atomic lake Chagan, Kazakhstan

1967 – The first Super Bowl is played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10.

1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.

1969 - Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean

1974 - TV sitcom "Happy Days" begins an 11 year run on ABC, starring Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross and Ton Bosley

1975 - Pioneering female comedian Phyllis Diller get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1976 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1997 - Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with Mir Space Station

2005 - ESA's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.

2005 - An intense solar flare blasts X-rays across the solar system

2009 - Chesley Sullenberger lands US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in NYC. All passengers and crew members survive in what becomes known as the "Miracle on the Hudson"

2016 - American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan unveils newest exhibit replica skeleton of a Titanosaur dinosaur (found 2010 Argentina), largest known dinosaur at 70 tons, 37m

2019 - Chinese scientists confirm they have germinated a cotton seed on the moon on board the Chang’e 4 lander

2019 - Plastic will outweigh fish in the world's oceans by 2050 according to report by the World Economic Forum

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 13 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

Once my father, home because of a steel strike, told me that Republicans were the party of the rich and Democrats were the party of the worker.  I was going to pontificate on the perfidy of the GOP, how they haven’t cared for the common folks in my memory, with special invective aimed and Nixon, Reagan, and Trump.  I was going to snarl at those who perceive these Presidents differently.  My blood pressure was spiking as the torrent of words poured out, the keyboard clacking quickly.

 

And then I paused…. 

 

You know what?  Right this moment, I don’t need to play the blame game today.






0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 15, 2020

dressing for yourself or others?

Today is the 2nd day of the 3rd week, the 13th day of the 1st month, the 13th day of 2020, and: 
  • Korean American Day
  • Make Your Dream Come True Day
  • National Clean off Your Desk Day
  • National Gluten-Free Day
  • National Peach Melba Day
  • National Rubber Ducky Day
  • National Sticker Day
  • Old New Year's Eve (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Srpska, North Macedonia), and its related observances Malanka (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus)
  • Public Radio Broadcasting Day
  • Sidereal winter solstice's eve celebrations in South and Southeast Asian cultures; the last day of the six-month Dakshinayana period
  • Stephen Foster Memorial Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN...

1610 - Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, the fourth satellite of Jupiter

1695 - Jonathan Swift ordained an Anglican priest in Ireland

1785 - John Walter publishes the first issue of "The Times" of London

1863 - Chenille yarn making machine patented by William Canter in NYC

1888 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.

1898 – Émile Zola's J'accuse…! exposes the Dreyfus affair.

1910 – The first public radio broadcast takes place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria rusticana andPagliacci are sent out over the airwaves from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

1912 - -40°F (which is also -40°C), Oakland, Maryland (state record)

1920 - NY Times editorial reports that rockets can never fly

1928 - RCA and GE install three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York allowing American inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson to demonstrate the first home television receiver which delivered a poor and unsteady 1.5 square inch picture

1930 - the "Mickey Mouse" comic strip first appears

1938 - The Church of England accepts the theory of evolution

1942 – Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car

1942 – World War II: First use of an aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter.

1948 - the first country music TV show, Midwestern Hayride, premieres on WLW Cin

1958 - 9,000 scientists from 43 nations petition UN for nuclear test ban

1962 - Chubby Checker's song "The Twist", credited with starting the Twist dance craze, goes to #1 in the charts two years after first reaching number one spot

1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1968 – Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison.

1976 - American inventor Ray Kurzweil and the National Federation of the Blind unveil the Kurzweil Reading Machine, the first omni-font optical character recognition system

1978 - NASA selects its first American women astronauts

1988 - Supreme Court rules (5-3) public school officials have broad powers to censor school newspapers, plays & other expressive activities

1989 - "Ryan's Hope" ends 13½ year run on ABC-TV

1989 - Computers across Britain hit by "Friday the 13th"/Jerusalem virus

1993 – Endeavour heads for space for the third time as STS-54 launches from the Kennedy Space Center.

2016 - Record Powerball lottery held in America - $1.6 billion, (3 winning tickets)

2018 - Early-morning ballistic missile alert sent across Hawaii in error, revoked after 38 minutes

2018 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 12 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

Over the weekend, my daughter posted a picture on her Facebook feed of my oldest granddaughter, who had picked out her own outfit to wear to church.  She was wearing a light blue sleeveless summer dress with ruffles on the bottom [her favorite], a shirt pulled over the dress, leggings and stripped red and green socks.   My first reaction was that she looked like a little ragamuffin and how could my daughter let her go out the door like that?  Certainly, my daughter was always dressed nicely for church and school, indeed, at all times, but as I read the comments and reflected on things I wonder what I taught that young girl I was bringing up by dressing her all the time.  And I came to the conclusion that without realizing it, I inadvertently taught her:  [1] The need to confirm to everyone’s expectations and need to worry about looking like everyone else; [2] That looking attractive was very important at all times; and [3] to question her own choices, to ask whether or not they were good enough.  And I looked again at the way my granddaughter in the photo.  She had taken thought to being comfortable and warm, and her smile was bright, and she was standing with complete confidence.  And then I thought about not having a big argument right before leaving for church, so she was in a good frame of mind. 

 

 

 

And you know what?   I agree with her father’s comment on the post, “I think she looked perfect!.”  But even with that revelation, how my daughter managed not to say anything about those bright Christmas socks, I’ll never know!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 13, 2020

fortunately it's Friday!

Today is the 6th day of the 2nd week, the 10th day of the 1st month, the 10th day of 2020, and: 
  • Houseplant Appreciation Day
  • League of Nations Day – the League of Nations Covenant entered into force in 1920.  Just 26 years later, in 1946, the first General Assembly of the United Nations opened in London with representatives from 51 nations
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day
  • Peculiar People Day
  • Save the Eagles Day
ON THIS DAY IN:

49 BC – Julius Caesar defies the Roman Senate and crosses the Rubicon, uttering "alea iacta est" (the die is cast), signaling the start of civil war which would lead to his appointment as Roman dictator for life

AD 9 – The Western Han dynasty ends when Wang Mang claims that the divine Mandate of Heaven called for the end of the dynasty and the beginning of his own, the Xin dynasty.

1812 – The first steamboat on the Ohio River or the Mississippi River arrives in New Orleans, 82 days after departing from Pittsburgh.

1839 - Tea from India first arrives in the United Kingdom

1863 – The Metropolitan Railway, the world's oldest underground railway, opens between Paddington and Farringdon, marking the beginning of the London Underground.

1900 - Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener reach Capetown

1911 - the first photo in US taken from an airplane, San Diego

1928 - George Gershwin, Sigmund Romberg and P. G. Wodehouse's musical "Rosalie" premieres in New York

1932 - "Mickey Mouse" and "Silly Symphony" comics are syndicated

1945 - No one is elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

1949 - RCA introduces the 45 RPM record

1952 - "The Greatest Show on Earth", directed and produced by Cecil B. DeMille, starring James Stewart and Charlton Heston, premieres in New York (Best Picture 1953)

1962 – NASA announces plans to build the C-5 rocket launch vehicle, which became known as the Saturn V Moon rocket, which launched every Apollo Moon mission.

1956 - Elvis Presley records single "Heartbreak Hotel"

1958 - Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" reaches #1 on the UK pop charts

1964 - US version of "That Was The Week That Was" premieres

1964 - "Introducing the Beatles" released 1st Beatles album released in the US

1968 - US Surveyor 7 lands near lunar crater Tycho

1969 - USSR's Venera 6 launched for parachute landing on Venus

1970 - Preview Center opens at Walt Disney World, Florida - first building to open

1973 - For the first time graduates studying from home with 'the Open University' receive their degrees

1980 - Last broadcast of "The Rockford Files" on NBC

1984 – The United States and Holy See (Vatican City) re-establish full diplomatic relations after almost 117 years, overturning the United States Congress's 1867 ban on public funding for such a diplomatic envoy.

1986 - NASA's STS-61-C mission scrubbed at T -9 minutes because of bad weather at Florida's Kennedy Space Center

1990 - "Les Miserables" opens at Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore

1999 - "The Sopranos", starring James Gandolfini as mobster Tony Soprano, debuts on HBO

2004 - 9th Critics' Choice Movie Awards: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wins Best Film

2011 - Ian McKellen officially confirms that he will reprise the role of Gandalf in "The Hobbit" film adaptations

2018 - Jeff Bezos becomes the second man worth over $100 billion as his wealth hits $106 billion due to a rise in Amazon's share price

2019 - Oceans warming faster than previous thought due to fossil fuel burning, according to data published in journal "Science"

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 09 sec of light-travel time from Earth

 

Last night I had a NyQuil nightmare.  Well not exactly a nightmare, despite the presence of not one but both ex-husbands and one ex-mother-in-law, but more of a “now where’d THAT come from” kind of dream, complete with a friend sporting a rainbow-hued beehive and dressed in a roman toga rushing to a class, as well as me trying to cook in the narrow little kitchen of the row house I grew up in.

 

 

 

Seriously, what was going on in my psyche last night to come up with THAT hodgepodge?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 10, 2020

back to work in 2020

Today is the 5th day of the 1st week, the 2nd day of the 1st month, the 2nd day of 2020 [with only 357 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • 55 MPH Speed Limit Day – the speed limit was imposed in 1974 by Nixon to help conserve gasoline consumption
  • Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) - the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced enlightenment
  • Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
  • International Jewish Book Day
  • National Buffet Day
  • National Cream Puff Day
  • National Motivation and Inspiration Day
  • National Personal Trainer Awareness Day
  • National Run It Up the Flagpole and See Who Salutes It Day
  • National Science Fiction Day – celebrated on the birthday of Isaac Asimov, who would’ve been 100 today
  • Pet Travel and Safety Day
  • Swiss Cheese Day
  • World Introvert Day
  • First Quarter of the Moon at 11:45 pm EST
  • The first day of Blacks and Whites' Carnival, celebrated until January 7. (southern Colombia)
  • The first day of the Carnival of Riosucio, celebrated until January 8 every 2 years. (Riosucio)
  • The ninth of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The second day of New Year (a holiday in Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine)
 

ON THIS DAY IN ....

1814 - Lord Byron completes "The Corsair"

1818 - Lord Byron completes "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (4th canto)

1832 - the first Curling club in US (Orchard Lake Curling Club) opens

1843 - Richard Wagner's opera "The Flying Dutchman" premieres in Dresden

1905 - Elara, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine in San Jose, California

1906 - Willis Carrier receives a US patent for the world's first air conditioner

1929 - the US and Canada agree to preserve Niagara Falls

1936 - the first electron tube to enable night vision described, St Louis, Missouri

1938 - Book publisher Simon and Schuster founded

1954 - Herman Wouks "Caine Mutiny," premieres in NYC

1955 - the first "Bob Cummings Show" premieres on NBC (later on CBS)

1959 - USSR launches Mechta (Luna 1) for the first lunar fly-by, 1st solar orbit

1960 - John Reynolds sets age of solar system at 4,950,000,000 years

1969 - Australian Rupert Murdoch gains control of the 'News of the World'

1972 - Mariner 9 begins mapping Mars

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

Quote of the day:

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."

~  Niels Bohr, Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.

 

Or in other words, only hindsight has 20/20 vision!

 

As this morning, I changed the theme in WIN 10 on both my home and work computer, and set Pandora to playing something other than Christmas music, I got to wondering -- when do you un-decorate from Christmas?  Back in the day, when we had a live tree, it went up the weekend before Christmas and came down the weekend after New Years, and I’ve kinda kept to that schedule even though I have an artificial tree.

 

 

 

The 12th day of Christmas [which marks the coming of the Magi, the three wise men (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings' Day)] isn’t until Monday, so technically we shouldn’t get rid of the holiday cheer until the weekend after that, neh?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 2, 2020

the end of 2019

Today is the 3rd day of the 1st week ((odd, isn’t it?  I mean today is the last day of the year and it doesn’t seem quite right that it is in the first week of the new year!)), the 31st day of the 12th month, the 365th day of 2019, and: 
  • First Nights
  • Hogmanay or "Auld Year's Night" (Scotland)
  • Leap Second Time Adjustment Day
  • Look On The Bright Side Day
  • Make Up Your Mind Day
  • National Champagne Day
  • New Year's Eve
  • New Year's Eve Banished Words List
  • New Year's Dishonor List
  • No Interruptions Day
  • One Voice Day
  • Universal Hour of Peace Day
  • Unlucky Day
  • World Healing Day
  • World Peace Meditation Day
  • The seventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The sixth and penultimate day of Kwanzaa (United States)
  • Last Day of the Year or Bisperás ng Bagong Taón, special holiday between Rizal Day and New Year's Day (Philippines)
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1600 – The British East India Company is chartered.

1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.

1700 - Frisia and Groningen adopt Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is 1/12/1701

1744 - English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth's nutation motion (wobble)

1759 – Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.

1790 – Efimeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues have survived till today, is published for the first time.

1796 – The incorporation of Baltimore as a city.

1857 – Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, then a small logging town, as the capital of Canada.

1879 – Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

1907 – The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in Manhattan.

1923 - BBC begins using Big Ben chime ID

1929 - Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini illius magistri

1935 - Charles Darrow patents Monopoly

1945 - Ratification of United Nations Charter completed

1961 - The Beach Boys play their debut gig under that name

1962 - "Match Game" debuts on NBC with host Gene Rayburn

1966 - Monkee's "I'm a Believer" hits #1 & stays there for seven weeks

1967 - Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar's Palace Fountain, Las Vegas, breaking his pelvis, femur, wrist, hip and both ankles

1968 – The first flight of the Tupolev Tu-144, the first civilian supersonic transport in the world.

1970 - Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles

1981 - CNN Headline News debuts

1990 - Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV begins transmitting

1994 – This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones from UTC−11:00 to UTC+13:00 and UTC−10:00 to UTC+14:00, respectively.

1994 - the first snowless December in Baltimore Maryland

1997 - Microsoft buys Hotmail email service for $400 million and re-launches it as MSN Hotmail

1997 - More Swedes died than were born in 1997, first time since 1809

2009 – Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur.

2011 – NASA succeeds in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon.

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 54 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

My friend, after reading my post from yesterday, pointed out that hitting 70 did not mean I was starting my 7th decade, I was finishing it and starting my 8th .  Doesn’t sound right, does it?  But it is true nevertheless, just as those who point out that 2001 was the start of the new millennium and that 2021 is actually the start of the new decade are correct.  Doesn’t keep us from feeling that the change over of the digits – to the 70’s for me personally and to the 2020’s for all of us – is more meaningful.   And how will I bring the new year in?  The same way I have for years – fix myself a good dinner, go into my Second Life and dance, drink ice wine, then go to bed after midnight with a prayer.



 

 

May the New Year be kind!


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 31, 2019

the last Monday of 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 1st week, the 30th day of the 12th month, the 364th day of 2019, and: 
  • Bacon Day
  • Falling Needles Family Fest Day
  • Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
  • No Interruptions Day
  • The fifth day of Kwanzaa. (United States)
  • The sixth of the Twelve Days of Christmas. (Western Christianity)
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1731 - the first US music concert (Peter Pelham's great room in Boston)

1809 - Wearing masks at balls forbidden in Boston

1853 - A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon (ornithopod dinosaur) created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London

1873 - American Metrological Society forms (NYC) weights, measures & money

1879 - Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres

1924 - Astronomer Edwin Hubble formally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society

1927 - Japan dedicates the first subway in Orient (route under 2 miles long)

1936 - Beginning of the "feud" between comedians Fred Allen and Jack Benny on Allen's "Town Hall Tonight" show

1939 - "Of Mice and Men", starring Burgess Meredith as George, Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, is released

1948 - "Kiss Me, Kate" opens at New Century Theater NYC for 1077 performances

1953 - The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.

1963 - "Let's Make A Dea," debuts on NBC-TV

1967 - The Beatles' song "Hello Goodbye" single goes #1 & stays there for three weeks

1968 - Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"

1969 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1971 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1973 - the first picture of a comet from space (Comet Kohoutek-Skylab)

1974 - Beatles are legally disbanded (4 years after suit was brought)

1976 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1978 - "The King & I" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 719 performances

1980 - "Wonderful World of Disney" last performance on NBC-TV

1981 - "That Girl" single released by Stevie Wonder (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

1985 - IBM-PC DOS Version 3.2 released

2012 - The opening of Line 6 of the Beijing subway makes it the longest metro network in the world at 442km

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 52 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

Quote of the day:

"I don't know anybody who doesn't have a lost decade."

~  Marianne Williamson - American author, spiritual leader, politician, and activist

 

First, whatever the causes of the 2007 – 08 financial crisis, the recovery from it has been long and tortuous.   While the stock market has apparently rebounded, and the 1% has prospered, the plight of average citizens has actually gotten worse as bills go up while wages stagnate.  Second, despite the warmest decade ever recorded, we lost an opportunity to actively address climate change in such a way that we could actually achieve meaningful results.  And last, all the things that I thought we had accomplished in the way of universal acceptance of differences seems to be wiped out by a flood of jingoism and intolerance the like of which simply appalls me on a very personal level

 

 

 

As I start my 7th decade, I am struggling to stay optimistic about the world my granddaughters will live in when, like Bilbo, I "...think of how the world will be when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see."
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 30, 2019

the end of a decade

Today is the 6th day of the 52nd week, the 27th day of the 12th month, the 361st day of 2019, and: 
  • Free Balloon Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Howdy Doody Day – first broadcast in 1947 as the Puppet Playhouse on NBC
  • Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day
  • National Fruitcake Day
  • Visit the Zoo Day
  • The third of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The fifth day of Hanukkah
  • The second day of Kwanzaa
ON THIS DAY IN ...

 537 - Hagia Sophia inaugurated by the Emperor Justinian I as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral

1831 - HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board departs England for a survey of South America, a voyage Darwin later said "determined my whole career"

1845 - Ether first used in childbirth in US in Jefferson, Georgia

1892 - Foundation Stone of Cathedral of St John laid (NYC)

1904 - 'Peter Pan" by J. M. Barrie premieres at the Duke of York Theatre in London

1932 - Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City

1937 - Mae West performs Adam & Eve skit that gets her banned from NBC radio

1945 - International Monetary Fund formally established by 29 member countries based on ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes

1960 - France performs nuclear test

1968 - Apollo 8 returns to Earth

1968 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

1974 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1981 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1987 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1988 - Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades

2001 - The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.

2002 - "Chicago" (Best Picture 2003), based on the musical, directed by Rob Marshall, starring Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta-Jones released.

2012 - NASA unveils plans to capture a 500 ton asteroid in 2025

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

Quote of the day:

"It is not necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paper work, and the other is nostalgia."

~ Frank Zappa, musician

 

Technically it isn’t the end of a decade, anymore more than 2000 was the beginning of the new century, but only the very pedantic make that point these days as 2019 wanes.   As I look back,  I don’t know what to say about what I have seen happening in society – the recession was declared over, but folks are still not working, and it seems like the bills are mounting to the skies while the middle class disappears and only the 1% can relax.  And don’t get me started about politics and Calvinism and cruelty and the cult of exclusion!   I have to struggle to even remember what 2010 looked like ((GOOGLE is my friend when I needed a wayback machine)), and even something as simple as what we know about our own Solar System came into question.   And pop culture seems a little…  less at the end of the decade.    

 

On a personal level, our family has been both physically and emotionally scarred by this decade – we lost loved ones, and have had to learn to live with the battlefields left by the ravages of disease.  On a brighter note, our family has grown too, and I cannot imagine life without my son-in-law or my two granddaughters, not to mention the slew of furry friends that have joined us.



 

 

Many of us are looking thoughtfully at the past as the calendar clicks over…..


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 27, 2019

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