Thursday, May 31, 2012

It Was A Nice Graduation

Bigger Girl and her two classmates had a beautiful graduation.

Yes, it's a small school.  One teacher, one administrator, up to 20 students in the morning for grades 1-7, up to 20 in the afternoon for grades 8-12.

Because of the size of the class, there was no need for a valedictorian or salutatorian, each of them got to speak.

Friends and family sat at tables in the spacious and nicely decorated room, rented so we didn't have to do it all ourselves.

With such a small school, some graduations have been at restaurants, using their big banquet rooms.  Most of those turn out to be so-so.  Some have been at a local and very accommodating church (one of their pastors has kids who attend), but then we have to cater it ourselves.

We got the bargain of a lifetime, finding a nice local place that has caterers willing to give a small private school a great discount.  Very elegant.

The menu was fixed, and this vegan ate the salad that had cheese sprinkled all over it and the veggies that had butter.   So did vegan Bigger Girl.  Both of us know when to keep our mouths shut and make the best of things.

The speaker was a former graduate who is a friend, and the son of the Sunday school pastor under whom i teach two times a month.  It was great to see him, he's now a college recruiter.

The young man who graduated got very choked up during his speech about how at one point in his life, he was an uncontrollable young kid who didn't care whom he hurt.  Then his grandparents took him in, other family gathered around, they helped him straighten out and sent him to this school with a no nonsense teacher who demanded excellence from him and got it.

The other young lady also cried as she discussed the teen troubles her family and teacher had helped her steer past.

Bigger Girl read one of her free verse poems.

They received their diplomas and hugs and congratulations, and a fun time was had by all.  Yes, my other three managed to drag themselves up to get there.

So Bigger Girl, the one i was told was so learning disabled she might be able to live in a group home someday if i worked with her very hard, has managed, between home school and a great individualized teaching plan from a caring teacher, to graduate high school, reading on a college level.  (Do not ask about her math.  Do not ask abut any of my children's math, or Sweetie's either, for that matter.  They can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and balance a checkbook.  It will have to be enough for whatever they do in life.)

Next stop, community college.  We know she can do it.

Today is

Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Land Forces -- Brunei

Blessing of the Fleet Festival -- Biloxi, Mississippi (through June 3rd)

Castile-La Mancha Day -- Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Dakas' Day -- Tantric Buddhists (offerings to Dakas and Father Tantra to manifest positive social change and environmental healing)

Death of Shabdrung Day -- Bhutan

Fardagar -- Iceland (Moving Days, through Sunday, the traditional time of year for workers to move to other farms, debts to be settled, and it used to start the fiscal year.)

Feast of the Visitation of Mary -- Christianity (Mary's visit of her cousin Elizabeth, chronicled in Luke 1:39-56)

Hay Festival of Literature -- Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales (through June 10)

National Macaroon Day

Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Day / Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day -- Brunei

Save Your Hearing Day -- because once it is gone, you will regret it

Speak in Complete Sentences Day -- be a good example!

St. Petronilla's Day (Patron of mountain travellers; against fever)

Take This Job and Shove It Day -- birth anniversary of Johnny Paycheck

This Day (again) -- Fairy Calendar

What You Think Upon Grows Day

World No Tobacco Day -- International

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Tucker, 1982
Colin Farrell, 1976
Brooke Shields, 1965
Lea Thompson, 1961
Gregory Harrison, 1950
John Bonham, 1948
Sharon Gless, 1943
Joe Namath, 1943
Johnny Paycheck, 1941
Peter Yarrow, 1938
Clint Eastwood, 1930
Denholm Elliott, 1922
Don Ameche, 1908
Norman Vincent Peale, 1898
Fred Allen, 1894
Walt Whitman, 1819

Today in History:

Rameses II (The Great) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, BC1279
A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000, 526
Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans, 1223
Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary, 1669
The Godiva procession through Coventry begins, 1678
The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions, 1759
In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, 1813
In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, 1866
Dr James Moore of the UK wins the first recorded bicycle race, a 2k velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris, 1868
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes, 1884
Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao, King of Maoris, to claim protection of Queen Victoria, 1884
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889
The Union of South Africa (predecessor of the Republic of South Africa) is created, 1910
The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles, 1927
A 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan, 1931
The Republic of South Africa is created, 1961
The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide  that buries the town of Yungay, Peru, 1970
In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30, 1971
The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson's Muppets' first foray into the world of feature length motion pictures, is released, 1979
The burning of Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka, is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century, 1981
Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead, 1985
Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station in Greece, starts broadcasting, 1987
Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, 2005

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pesky Pests

"Mom, I hate having to kill bugs in the house, even though I know we really have no choice," Bigger Girl, my vegan activist, said as she handed me the fly swatter.

"Yeah, it's really no fun, after all, they need a place to live, too, just not in our house," Little Girl added to the discussion.

At that point, i told them about the Buddhist whose method was to announce, very loudly, to all pests and vermin in the house that the exterminator was going to be coming in 3 days.  That way, he felt they had been warned, had time to leave, and stayed at their own risk.  What happened to them after that wasn't his fault.

"So if they stayed, they were committing pesticide!" Bigger Girl noted.

Exactly, i replied after i quit choking on my coffee.

Today is

Anguilla Day -- Anguilla

Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival -- Windsor to Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada (through June 4)

Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

Bath International Music Festival -- Bath, UK (through June 10)

Canary Island Day -- Canary Islands

Einherjar -- Asatru (Modern Norse Pagan) Calendar (a memorial for the war dead in Valhalla)

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc (Patron of France)

Heirloom Seed Day -- while i can't find the history of this one, it's a good one to celebrate, we need to raise awareness of and preserve heirloom seeds

Hug Your Cat Day -- some sites give other dates, but any day is a good one

Indian Arrival Day -- Trinidad and Tobago

Lod Massacre Remembrance Day -- Puerto Rico

Loomis Day -- because if we are going to honor Marconi, we should also honor the man who patented a wireless telegraphy system before Marconi was even born

Mother's Day -- Nicaragua

Mother Shipton's Day -- fortune teller of Yorkshire, said to be patroness of women who work in laundries

My Bucket's Got a Hole In It Day -- this one may be listed on another day as well, since no two sites agree; mercy, just go get a new one already! or go get out your HanK Williams records

National Mint Julep Day

National Senior Health and Fitness Day -- don't let age get in the way of staying healthy!

Parliament Day -- Croatia

St. Walstan of Bawburgh's Day (Patron of agricultural workers, farmers and farm workers, field hands, husbandmen)

This Day -- Fairy Calendar

Water a Flower Day -- annual reminder to the Northern Hemisphere that it's getting hot out there, you flower(s) (and maybe lawn, too?) need watering regularly

Anniversaries Today:

Henry VIII marries Jane Seymore, 1536

Birthdays Today:

Wynonna Judd, 1964
Tom Morello, 1964
Meredith MacRae, 1945
Michael J. Pollard, 1939
Keir Dullea, 1936
Benny Goodman, 1909
Mel Blanc, 1908
Peter Carl Fabergé, 1846

Today in History:

Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem; the Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall, 70
19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal, 1431
In Florida, Hernando de Soto  lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold, 1539
Publication of La Gazette, the first French newspaper, 1631
The Pennsylvania Evening Post become the first daily paper in the US, 1783&
John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria, 1842
Westminster's Big Ben rang for the first time in London, 1859
Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern "Memorial Day") is observed in the United States for the first time, 1868
New York City's Gilmores Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public, 1879
The Treaty of London, 1913, ends the First Balkan War and Albania becomes an independent nation, 1913
In China protests erupt against the Great Powers infringing on Chinese sovereignty, 1925
A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes, 1948
The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened, 1959
launch of Surveyor 1 the first US spacecraft to achieve landing on an extraterrestrial body, 1966
At the Ascot Park in Gardena, California, daredevil Evel Knievel jumps his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row, 1967
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high "Goddess of Democracy" statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators, 1989
272 days after the September 11 attacks, closing ceremonies are held for the clean up/recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in New York City. The last remaining steel beam is removed and transported to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, 2002

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Settle It Once and For All?

Hardly, at least i don't think so.

Oxford University of England wants to use genetic analysis of the physical evidence to determine the existence, or lack thereof, of the Yeti and Sasquatch.

The researchers are asking people with such physical evidence to send in pictures and descriptions.  They want to choose the best samples, then do DNA analysis to figure out exactly what species of creature the evidence came from.

Geneticist Bryan Sykes believes that using objective evidence that "cannot be falsified" will determine, once and for all, if these creatures exist.

My hind foot, as an elderly family member of mine used to say.

If you are convinced you saw one of these creatures, and saw that it left behind fur, and you gathered it as evidence, and some high-falutin' science type tells you it's actually coyote or yak, are you going to believe him?  Not by a long shot, most of them.

They will believe that it's some unknown species and that the science guys are helping the government hide the evidence.

In theory, it's brilliant, like the researcher must be to have been able to become a geneticist.

In reality, he probably hasn't met some of the people who are possibly going to crawl out of the woodwork on this one.

Some of them, yes, are reasonable, think they saw an unusual creature, gathered the fur or tooth or whatever, and if it turns out to genetically be a common animal, will reasonably say, "I was mistaken in what i thought I saw."

Others will still call coyotes with a bad case of ringworm "chupacabras" and believe in UFO's, probably, too.

Good luck, Mr. Sykes.  It will interest me to follow your findings, but please don't believe that because the genetic evidence can't be faked, you will convince some of these people.

Old legends die too hard for that.

Today is

Ambarvalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (purification festival to Ceres, date approximate)

Arbor Day -- Aston-on-Clun, Shropshire, England (a Poplar tree in town is decorated and left that way year round; probably associated with Oak Apple Day)

Ascension of Baha'u'llah -- Baha'i

Castleton Garland Celebration -- Derbyshire, England (a Garland King and Lady ride the bounds of the parish on white horses, after which the garland the King wore is placed on the church tower; possibly dating back to Oak Apple Celebrations)

Democracy Day -- Nigeria

End of the Middle Ages Day -- considered such by many historians because of the fall of Constantinople on this day

Mount Everest Day -- Nepal

National Coq Au Vin Day

Oak Apple Day / Royal Oak Day -- England (celebration of the restoration of the monarchy; no longer officially recognized, but many localities have traditions that have grown up around this date which are still celebrated)

Runic Half-Month of Odal (home, possessions) commences

Squoosh an Ice Cream Sandwich Day -- rules say you must squoosh, not squish or squash!

St. Bona of Pisa's Day (Patron of couriers, flight attendants, guides, pilgrims, travellers; Pisa, Italy)

Tara Puja -- Tibetan Buddhist (fast of Bodhisattva Goddess Tara)

UN Peacekeepers Day -- International

Anniversaries Today:

Rhode Island becomes the 13th US State, 1790
Wisconsin becomes the 30th US State, 1848

Birthdays Today:

Noel Gallagher, 1967
Melissa Etheridge, 1961
Adrian Paul, 1959
Annette Bening, 1958
LaToya Jackson, 1956
Danny Elfman, 1953
Anthony Geary, 1947
Al Unser, 1939
Paul Erlich, 1932
John F. Kennedy, 1917
Tenzing Norgay, 1914
T.H. White, 1906
Bob Hope, 1903
G.K. Chesterton, 1874
Patrick Henry, 1736

Today in History:

Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire, 1453
Charles II (on his birthday) is restored to the throne of Great Britain, 1660
Treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives, 1677
The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves is upheld at Quebec City, 1733
In Patrick Henry's historic speech against the Stamp Act, he answers a cry of "Treason!" with, "If this be treason, make the most of it!" 1765
Present constitution of Switzerland takes effect, 1874
Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, the ad appearing in the Atlanta Journal, 1886
Igor Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot, 1913
Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives, 1914
Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra record Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history, for Decca Records in Los Angeles, 1942
Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 1953
First of the annual Bilderberg conferences, 1954
Amputee  Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months, 1985
Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station, 1999
Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule, 1999
A WWII Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., US, 2004

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why i'm grateful...

... to those who gave their all so we could be free:

"Mom, at church today, this lady came up and wanted to pray for me," Little Girl announced Sunday evening.

That's nice, i noted, as i washed the pots from supper.

"Well, it would have been, and I'm grateful for the prayer, but she insisted on getting right up close to me and her head was right next to mine," she continued.

Knowing that she isn't a very tactile, hug type person, i said that i must have been a bit uncomfortable for her.

"Yes, well, the worst of it was that she had really bad breath.  And she prayed for about two minutes, and I can't hold my breath that long!"

Thank you to all who have made the sacrifice of serving in the military, and to the families of those who died in wars.  Thanks to you, my daughter can go to church openly where people can be free to pray for her, even if they do have bad breath.

Today is

Armed Forces Day -- Croatia

Cape May Music Festival -- Cape May, NJ, US (through June 14; world class music performances of many genres)

Contemplate Your Vicissitudes Day -- no, i still don't know who thinks up this stuff

Day of Pin-Hiding and Button-Losing -- Fairy Calendar

Downfall of the Dergue Day/National Day -- Ethiopia

Feast day of Ragnar Lodbrok -- Norse Pagans (modern celebration of the Viking hero; even if he didn't exist -- which may be -- pass the mead horn!)

Flag Day -- Philippines

Memorial Day -- US and Territories

National Brisket Day

National Hamburger Day

National Heroes Day -- Turks and Caicos Islands

Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day -- US (on observed Memorial Day, an encouragement to pray for permanent peace in the world)

Republic Day -- Armenia; Azerbaijan; Nepal

Sierra Club Day -- founded this day in 1892

Slugs Return From Capistrano Day -- where they spent the winter, so don't go out on the patio barefoot until the first frost; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

St. Bernard of Montjoux's Day (Patron of mountainclimbers, skiers; founder of Alpine hospices)

Sukka Tansin Il -- South Korea (Buddha Day)

Whit Monday -- Belgium; England; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Sweden; The Netherlands; Wales; related observances:

     Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling -- Cooper’s Hill, England (ancient tradition -- pre-Roman -- of rolling large wheels of cheese down the hill; winner of the races wins the cheese)
     Tetbury Woolsack Races -- Gumstool Hill, Tetbury, England (this formerly important wool producing town still holds races up and down the hill, from the Royal Oak Pub up to the Crown Pub and back; part of traditional Whitsuntide folklore customs)

World Hepatitis Day

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Cross, 1986
Jesse Bradford, 1979
Sicily Yoder, 1969
Kylie Minogue, 1968
Glen Rice, 1967
John Fogerty, 1945
Rudolph Guiliani, 1944
Gladys Knight, 1944
Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne Dionne , 1934
Carroll Baker, 1931
Ian Fleming, 1908
Jim Thorpe, 1888

Today in History:

A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse;this leads to a truce and becomes one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated, BC585
James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married according to a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI and a Treaty of Everlasting Peace (which lasted 10 years) between Scotland and England is signed, 1503
The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel (it will takes until May 30 for all of the ships to leave port), 1588
In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party, 1754
Big Ben is drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster, 1859
In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club, 1892
In the Russo-Japanese War, the Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1905
John B Gruelle patents Raggedy Ann doll, 1915
The US Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers, 1923
The first all color talking picture, "On With the Show", is shown in NYC, 1929
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened, 1937
Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister, 1937
The women of Greece are given the right to vote, 1952
The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed, 1964
Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States, 1975
Eritrea and Monaco join the United Nations, 1993
NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance, 2002
The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars, 2002
The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty, 2008

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Call No Parent Wants, Episode 3,740

Or roughly, as far as episode numbers go.

"Mom, please don't get mad!" Bigger Girl said, sounding on the verge of tears.  "I'm out at the little mall, and i was backing out of a parking space, and i dinged another car that was parked crooked, and i don't know what to do!"

No, i didn't get mad.  Just told her to find a piece of paper and pen, and to leave my name and phone number on the windshield, under the wiper blade.

Yes, of course she can find a paper and pen in my van.  It's a rolling suitcase you could live out of for a week, at least.

A couple of hours later, a very nice lady called.  Turns out, thankfully, she is not some nut job who thinks it's their duty to go ballistic on you.  We have the same insurance company.  She gave me her email, i sent her our policy number.  She works for a lawyer, and knows this will be no big deal, the insurance will take care of it.

She also told me to thank Bigger Girl for not panicking and leaving and for being upfront about it.  After all, with so little damage to our vehicle -- a dent in the plastic bumper corner that popped right back out -- she could have just left and said nothing to anyone.

Later, i congratulated Bigger Girl.  Her first accident is over, it's out of her system, and it is a tiny car bump in a parking lot.  #1 Son has her beat by a country mile, his first was to flood out a car during a hurricane, and he has gone through two cars since and damaged the one he is currently driving a couple of times.  Gads.

 To end on a brighter note:

The preacher was really getting into his sermon about how no one is perfect.  He challenges the congregation, "If anyone here is perfect, stand up!"

One man stood.

The preacher looked scornfully at him and thundered, "Do you really believe that you are perfect!"

"Oh, no," he answered.  "I'm just standing in for my wife's first husband."

Today is

Abolition Day -- Guadeloupe

Buttercup Day -- an internet holiday that just sounds fun

Cellophane Tape Day -- patented this date in 1930

Children's Day -- Nigeria

FindleFritter's Stoat-Wheedling Event -- Fairy Calendar

Indianapolis 500 -- Indianapolis, IN, US (the world's single largest one day sporting event)

Mother's Day -- Algeria; Bolivia; Dominican Republic; Haiti; Mauritius; Sweden; Tunisia

National Grape Popsicle Day

Shavuot -- Israel

St. Julius' Day

Sun Screen Day -- an annual reminder to use that SPF protection, every day!

Throw the B*st@rds Out Day -- originally directed at politicians (and if you want to do that, too, great!) but whomever is making your life miserable, toss them out!  or at least, toss them out of your thoughts for today.

Whitsunday / Pentecost -- Christian

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Fiennes, 1970
Jeremy Mayfield, 1969
Todd Bridges, 1965
Adam Carolla, 1964
Louis Gossett, Jr., 1936
Ramsey Lewis, 1935
Henry Kissinger, 1923
Christopher Lee, 1922
Sam Snead, 1912
Hubert H. Humphrey, 1911
Vincent Price, 1911
Dolores Hope, 1909
Dashiell Hammett, 1894
Isadora Duncan, 1878
Wild Bill Hickock, 1837
Julia Ward Howe, 1819
Amelia Bloomer, 1818
Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1794

Today in History:

Habeaus Corpus Act, codifying how the writ of habeaus corpus is to be used, passes in UK, 1679
Peter the Great founds St. Petersburg, 1703
In Bolivia, the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba  fight against the Spanish army, 1812
In Canada, American forces capture Fort George, 1813
Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco, California, 1907
The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight, 1919
The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public, 1930
Richard Gurley Drew receives a patent for his adhesive tape, later manufactured by 3M as Scotch tape, 1930
The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon  The Three Little Pigs, with its hit song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", 1933
In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, , 1937
Toronto's CHUM-AM, (1050 kHz) becomes Canada's first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n' Roll music format, 1957
Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census, 1967
In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition, 1995
Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire, 1996
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity, 1999
The May 2006 Java earthquake strikes at 5:53:58 AM local time (22:53:58 UTC May 26) devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing over 6,600, 2006

Saturday, May 26, 2012


#2 Son is excavating his man cave.

He is not, i should add, doing it voluntarily.

"Sohn, kommen zu hier, bitte!" Sweetie called across the house.

"Dad, you know I don't speak Portuguese!" he answered with a grin as he entered the kitchen.  The truth is, Sweetie has taught the kids just enough very rough German to get their faces slapped or their mouths washed out with soap.

"Son, you know that vacation is coming up soon."


"Unless you get that mess you call a room cleaned up, you are going to stay home with your brother."

Well, that was enough of a threat, although he does like his brother.  He doesn't want to be stuck at home doing cat duty, so the excavation has begun.

Really, that is the only term for it.

He has started with the dishes.  After promising me that there was no way there were any dishes in his room, he went in and began to dig.  Brave kid, i won't even enter the room, i'm afraid it is growing alien life forms and i know something growled at me the last time i dared to peek under his bed.

So, after promising there wasn't another dish in there a couple of weeks ago, he came out with a plate, a cafeteria style divided tray, 7 cups, and half of our flatware.  We now actually have 3 steak knives in the drawer.  Also my big spatula that he has sworn for half a year he had no idea where it was and it most certainly wasn't in his room.

All of it went straight outside for a rinse and into the bleach bath, just like any dishes they "accidentally" leave outside on occasion.  Outdoor rinse, into a bleach bath, another rinse, then into soapy water, rinse, soap again, rinse, and a final inspection to be declared worthy of future use.  Labor intensive, so it's a good idea, on days when we do this sort of thing, to have dinner in the crock pot, which i did.  Otherwise the dishes that eat the whole afternoon make for a dinner that is less than stellar.

It's going to take him a few days to get through all the layers.  Once he does, i will no longer have to say that parts of my home are decorated in the unofficial teenage style called "Recently Ransacked."

Today is

Alma Highland Festival and Games -- Alma College, Alma, Michigan (through tomorrow; the 45th annual celebration of Scottish heritage)

Bob Day -- an internet holiday i couldn't confirm, but if your name is Bob, you deserve a special day just for having that name!

Crown Prince's Birthday -- Denmark

Goblin Races -- Fairy Calendar

Grubstakes Day -- Yuma Valley, CA, US (parade, carnival, rodeo, fun!)

Holiday of the Receiving of Ra -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Independence Day -- Georgia; Guyana

International Jazz Day

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy -- Isle of Man (through June 8; two weeks of the finest road racing on earth)

Julia Pierpont Day -- she came up with Decoration Day, the precursor to US Memorial Day; prepare veterans' graves for Memorial Day today

Mother's Day -- Poland

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

National Cherry Dessert Day

National Day of Healing -- Australia (formerly called National Sorry Day; to express regret for the ill treatment of Aboriginal Peoples of Australia, especially the Stolen Generation)

National Paper Airplane Day -- not an official holiday, but go make one, and have a blast

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day -- Hawai'i

Sally Ride Day

Shauvot -- Judaism (begins at sundown)

St. Augustine of Canterbury's Day (Patron of England)

St. Philip Neri's Day (Patron of Gravina, Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, and Rome, Italy; the United States Army Special Forces)

Thargelia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (birthday festival of Apollo and Artemis; through tomorrow, date approximate)

Tohoku Rokkon Matsuri -- Morioka, Japan (a special matsuri, bringing together six major festivals from the district that was hard hit by last year's earthquake; through tomorrow)

Anniversaries Today:

Boston University is founded by the Massachusetts legislature, 1869

Birthdays Today:

Helena Bonham Carter, 1966
Lenny Kravitz, 1964
Sally Ride, 1951
Pam Grier, 1949
Philip Michael Thomas, 1949
Hank Williams, Jr., 1949
Stevie Nicks, 1948
Brent Musburger, 1939
Miles Davis, 1926
James Arness, 1923
Peggy Lee, 1920
Jay Silverheels, 1919
Frankie Manning, 1914
Peter Cushing, 1913
Robert Morley, 1908
John Wayne, 1907
Dorothea Lange, 1895
Al Jolson, 1886

Today in History:

Armenian rebels battle the Sassanid empire and win the right to openly practice Christianity, 451
An earthquake  strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000, 1293
Geneva  expels John Calvin and his followers from the city, 1538
Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, 1647
Lewis and Clark first see the Rocky Mountains, 1805
The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress, 1830
Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners, 1857
The impeachment trial of U.S. President Andrew Johnson ends with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote, 1868
Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia, 1894
Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1896
The first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made, 1908
The world's longest-lasting tornado, lasting for over 7 hours and traveling 293 miles, strikes Mattoon, Illinois, 1917
British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana, 1966
Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing, 1969
The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2, 1970
Willandra National Park is established in Australia, 1972
George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center, 1977
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan, triggering a tsunami that kills at least 104 people, injures thousands. Many people go missing and thousands of buildings are destroyed, 1983
The European Community adopts the European flag, 1986
Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era, 1991
The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York, 1998
Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours 56 minutes, 2003
The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the build-up to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, 2004
The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 6,600 people, leaves 200,000 homeless, 2006*

*Occurred 22:54 GMT May 26, 05:54 Local Time May 27, so some sources date it today, some tomorrow

Friday, May 25, 2012

Photo-Finish Friday

 Aurora is Queen of the Hill.

Photo-Finish Friday is the brainchild of Leah at The Goat's Lunch Pail.

Today is

Africa Day / African Liberation Day  -- African Union

Battle of Pichincha Day Holiday -- Ecuador

Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day -- Waterloo, NY, US (the 146th observance at the National Birthplace of Memorial Day; through the 27th)
Coal Miner Days -- Novinger, Missouri, US (a turn of the century coal mining town celebrates its heritage; through the weekend)
Down East Spring Birding Festival -- Cobscook Bay, Maine (through the 28th)

First Patriotic Government / National Day -- Argentina

Flitting Day -- parts of England; Scotland (traditional day on which leases were up for the year and people moved)

Geek Pride Day -- celebrate the geek in you!  Geek culture is the obvious choice to laud when it's Glorious 25 May, Star Wars Day, and Towel Day at the same time.

Glorious 25 May -- in Terry Pratchett's Discworld

Independence Day -- Jordan

Last Bell -- Russia (tradition of closing schools for the year by having a formal ceremony with the children, and a first grader rings the school bell for dismissal)

Liberation Day -- Lebanon

National Brown-Bag-It Day

National Death Busters Day -- because the upcoming Memorial Day weekend in the US is the most dangerous for driving; be careful out there!

National Missing Children's Day

National Tap Dance Day -- birth anniversary of Mr. Bojangles

National Wig Out Day -- invented by Kate and Alice Clark, who want a day for everyone to dye their hair or wear a crazy wig without fear

National Wine Day

Offering to Demeter -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Poetry Day -- Florida, US (since 1947, the state legislature declared this for all public schools in the state; if you don't live in Florida, enjoy a poem today, anyway)

Procession of the Statue of Artemis -- Ancient Greek and Roman Calendars, at Ephesus (date approximate, but always near the Thargelia)

Self-Reliance Day -- an internet originated holiday, based on the idea that we should all become more self reliant in this day when it is a dying art.

Spoleto Festival USA -- Charleston, SC, US (a premier performing arts festival; through June 10)

Star Wars Day -- Part IV, A New Hope was released this date in 1977

St. Bede the Venerable's Day (Patron of lectors)

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi's Day (Patron of the ill; against illness and sexual temptation)

Towel Day -- Douglas Adams fans, unite!  Always know where your towel is.

Week of Solidarity with the People Of Non-Self-Governing Territories begins -- United Nations

Birthdays Today:

Lauryn Hill, 1975
Anne Heche, 1969
Stacy London, 1969
Mike Myers, 1963
Connie Sellecca, 1955
Frank Oz, 1944
Leslie Uggams, 1943
Ian McKellen, 1939
Tom T. Hall, 1936
Beverly Sills, 1929
Robert Ludlum, 1927
Jeanne Crain, 1925
Claude Akins, 1918
Igor Sikorsky, 1889
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, 1878
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803

Today in History:

First recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet, BC240
Alfonso VI of Castile  takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors, 1085
Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ, 1420
The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw, 1521
Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England, 1659
Jews are expelled from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek, 1784
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States, 1787
In the May Revolution, citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the Semana de Mayo, 1810
The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom, 1837
The first telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot, 1844
Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London, 1878
The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president, 1895
John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee, 1925
Henry Ford stops production of the Model T to begin the Model A, 1927
Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field  Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1935
The first ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition, 1955
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established, 1963
Star Wars (retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981) is released in theaters, inspiring the Jediism religion and Geek Pride Day holiday, 1977
Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people, 1985
Israel withdraws its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion, 2000
32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, 2001
Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, 2011

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bigger Girl, after school yesterday:  "I'm finished with high school!  I'm in a daze.  I'm going to go garden, because I don't have to study!"

Five minutes later:  "Darn, the boys are out in the yard.  That means I can't garden naked, can I?  And I've always wanted to plant Brussels' sprouts naked!"

New chapter in her life, same Bigger Girl.

Graduation is next week.

Speaking of graduations, there have been some good graduation stories in the last few years.  People in their 70's, 80's, or 90's graduating from college.  People who were just a class or two shy of graduating college back when "The War" started being found and honored with long overdue diplomas.  An immigrant who had degrees in his country working as a janitor in a college here, then after learning enough English, using that job to get a degree here.

Today i saw one that i will probably never see again.  A man who had worked in the family business his whole life, decided that to improve the business he would go back to college for an MBA -- and take all three of his sons with him.  They graduated together last Saturday.

That's got to be one for the record books.

Today is

Aldersgate Day -- Methodism

All Ascension of Jesus -- Orthodox Christian

Battle of Pichincha Day -- Ecuador

Bermuda Day -- Bermuda

Brother's Day -- celebrate all forms of brotherhood, biological, adopted, fraternity brothers, or members of your labor union

Day for the Naming of Rocks and Planets -- Fairy Calendar

European Day of Parks

Feast of Hermes Trismegistus -- Hellenistic Egyptian Calendar (thrice-blessed Hermes, patron of alchemy, date approximate)

Grand Prix de Monaco -- Monaco (premier Formula 1 race through the streets of Monte Carlo, run since 1929; through the 27th)

Hug Your Cat Day -- created by Apricat, star of books written by Marisa D'Vari, who says no matter how aloof, your cat really does want a hug

Independence Day -- Eritrea

International Tiara Day -- ladies, celebrate your powers of leadership in your life; tiara wearing is optional, it's the fact that you rule that matters

Kodiak Crab Festival -- Kodiak, AK, US (through the 28th; there's more than bears up here, you know!)

La Fete des Saintes Maries -- Les-Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mer, France (Roma [gypsy] festival, to honor St. Sara, St. Marie Jacobe, and St. Marie Salome, their patrons; through the 25th)

Lubiri Memorial Day -- Buganda Region, Uganda

Morse Code Day

Mudbug Madness -- Shreveport, LA (festival of crawfish and Cajun heritage; through the 27th)

National Escargot Day

Sts. Cyril and Methodius's Day (Patrons of Macedonia) related observances
     Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavonic Literature Day -- Bulgaria
     Slavonic Enlighteners' Day -- Republic of Macedonia

St. Susanna's Day (Patron of martyrs)

Birthdays Today:

Billy Gilman, 1988
Joe Dumars, 1963
Rosanne Cash, 1955
Priscilla Presley, 1945
Patti LaBelle, 1944
Gary Burghoff, 1943
Bob Dylan, 1941
Tommy Chong, 1938
"Engineer Bill" Stulla, 1911
Lillian Moller Gilbreth, 1878
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1819
Abraham Geiger, 1810
Gabriel Fahrenheit, 1686

Today in History:

The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt, 1218
Peter Minuit buys Manhattan, 1626
The English  Parliament  passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants; Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded, 1689
John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day, 1738
Antonio José de Sucre secures the independence of the Presidency of Quito, 1822
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale is published, 1830
The first passenger rail service in US, from Baltimore to Elliots Mill, Maryland, begins, 1830
Samuel FB Morse taps out the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought", 1844
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction, 1883
The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State, 1900
Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight), 1930
Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight, 1940
Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbana, 1956
Cyprus enters the Council of Europe, 1961
FLQ separatists bomb the U.S. consulate in Quebec City, 1968
The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole begins in the Soviet Union, 1970
The International Court of Justice calls for the release of United States embassy hostages in Tehran, Iran, 1980
Eritrea  gains its independence from Ethiopia, 1991
Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel, 1991
15-year-old Sherpa  Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest, 2001
North Korea bans mobile phones, 2004

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Straighten Up

That's what some people have told Bigger Girl, because she looks like she is slouching.

She also has had back pain, and is doing physical therapy.

The verdict is in.  She does have some kyphosis, and some scoliosis, but neither are so far off the range of normal as to need surgery.

She will always look like she is slouching a bit forward, even when she is standing as straight as she can.

Meanwhile, the physical therapy will help her learn to compensate for the slight curves when she walks, stands, and mostly, when she sits.  That way she can do them without pain.

Since today is the last day of school, it's good to know she won't be facing anything medical this summer.

On a totally different type of straightening up, how do boy teens manage to get spaghetti sauce stuck to the bottom of the plate, making it harder to clean the dishes?   It's also hard to straighten or tidy up anything once they have come through.  They leave the place looking like the decor is "recently ransacked."

Today is

Bluebell Day -- Fairy Calendar

Declaration of the Bab -- Baha'i

Elf Fest -- Lothlorien (near Needmore, Indiana; through the 28th)

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day -- because children need different care, they aren't just tiny adults

Festival for Vulcan -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Go For A Walk in Your Swim Fins Day -- no, i don't know who comes up with this stuff, and i don't want to

Julia Pierpont Day -- she came up with Decoration Day, the precursor to US Memorial Day; prepare veterans' graves for Memorial Day today

Labour Day -- Jamaica

Linnaeus Day -- Sweden

Lucky Penny Day -- just a fun one, see if you find a penny today

National Taffy Day

Romeria del Rocia -- Huelva, Spain (pilgrims transport an image of the Virgen del Rocio [Our Lady of the Dew] through Andalucia, with no motorized transport allowed, accompanied by Gypsy Caravans; when the image gets to the shrine, there is mass and a few days of fireworks and celebrating)

Rosalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (rose festival)

Sacrifices to Leto, Pythian Apollon, Zeus, Hermes and the Dioscuri in the deme of Erchia -- Ancient Greek Calendar

St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk's Day (Patron of Belarus)

Students' Day -- Mexico

St. William of Rochester's Day (Patron of adopted children)

Tubilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (ceremony to purify the trumpet used in sacred rituals)

World Crohn's and Colitis Day

World Turtle Day -- sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue

Anniversaries Today:

South Carolina becomes the 8th US state, 1788

Birthdays Today:

Kelly Monaco, 1976
Ken Jennings, 1974
Jewel, 1974
Mitch Albom, 1958
Drew Carey, 1958
Marvin Hagler, 1952
Robert Moog, 1934
Joan Collins, 1933
Rosemary Clooney, 1928
Helen O'Connell, 1920
Scatman Crothers, 1910
Artie Shaw, 1910
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 1883
Franz Mesmer, 1734
Carolus Linnaeus, 1707
Emperor Qinzong of China, 1100

Today in History:

Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne, 1430
The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void, 1533
The Netherlands declare their independence  from Spain, 1568
The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years' War, 1618
After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London, 1701
Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals, 1785
Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy, 1805
South American independence  leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, 1813
The Báb announces his revelation, founding Bábism (the Baha'i Faith), 1844
Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, 1863
The Canadian  Parliament establishes the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1873
The fist transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver, BC, 1887
The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, "The Karnival Kid", is released, 1929
American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana, 1934
Tibetans sign the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with the People's Republic of China, 1951
Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured, 1960
The first version of the Java programming language is released, 1995
The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes, 1998
The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka, opens at Six Flags Great Adventure, 2005
Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupts, 2006
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute, 2008

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gimme a Brake!

A working brake, please.

On the family van, for heaven's sake.  The one i've got the kids in most of the time.  The work horse, that takes the brunt of the punishment.

Last Friday, the thumping said "Brakes" and i took it in.  Almost $800 later, i brought it home and heard the thumps again.  After a weekend of using it very little Monday morning saw it go back to the shop with the ABS light on.

When i walked in and told them, "The brakes are out," Mr. L was in shock.  A few minutes with the computer, both the car computer and their own records, we had it.

"Front left ABS sensor is out.  It's the one we replaced last August, so it's still under warranty.  We will change it out, no charge.  Oh, and by the way, occasionally on a GM car -- but never before on a Saturn, but that's not to say it can't happen -- some GM cars have trouble with the wires going to these sensors.  If it goes out again, or the other one does, we will see if it's that wire, that's not a big expense."

Gotta love the honest mechanics who stand by their work and their word, and will tell you straight.

All these holidays i find on the internet, well, i want to invent one myself.  Hug an honest mechanic day.  Or, if you are a guy and don't want to hug him, buy him and the shop a dozen doughnuts.  They are worth it.

Today is

Abolition Day -- Martinique

Bear Waking Day -- Norway (traditionally said to be the day the bears awaken from their hibernation, at least according to many sites)

Buy a Musical Instrument Day -- even just a kazoo, and have some fun making music

Independence Day -- Montenegro

International Day for Biological Diversity

National Geographic Geography Bee -- National Geographic Society Headquarters, Washington, D.C., US (through Thursday, with the finals aired then)

National Maritime Day -- US (commemorating the first transoceanic voyage under steam power)

National Sovereignty Day -- Haiti

National Vanilla Pudding Day

Republic Day -- Sri Lanka

RHS Chelsea Flower Show -- Chelsea, London, England (through the 26th)
St. Julia's Day (Patron of Corsica, Portugal)

St. Rita of Cascia's Day/La Abodada de Impossibles (Patron of desperate cases; against bleeding, infertility, loneliness, tumors, unhappy marriages)

Toad-Pinching Day -- Fairy Calendar (Pixies)

Unity Day -- Republic of Yemen

Birthdays Today:

Apollo Anton Ohno, 1982
Ginnifer Goodwin, 1978
Morrissey, 1959
Paul Winfield, 1941
Richard Benjamin, 1938
Susan Strasberg, 1938
Peter Nero, 1934
Sir Laurence Olivier, 1907
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859
Mary Cassatt, 1844
Richard Wagner, 1813

Today in History:

The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus, BC334
The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo, 1176
Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe, 1377
Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England, 1455
A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason, 1807
On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon is repelled by an enemy army for the first time, 1809
The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean; the ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20, 1819
HMS Beagle  departs on its first voyage, 1826
The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished, 1840
Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discover Howe Caverns, 1842
The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened, 1897
The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine", 1906
Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century, 1915
The most powerful earthquake ever documented, the Great Chilean Quake, measures 9.5 and strikes southern Chile, 1960
The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores, 1968
Ceylon adopts a new constitution, thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations, 1972
Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man, 1980
Microsoft  releases the Windows 3.0 operating system, 1990
Johnny Carson retires from The Tonight Show after 30 years, 1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations, 1992
A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, 2002

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh, The (Mock) Horror!

Big headline:  restaurant meals don't meet federal guidelines for being healthy!

Well, i'm so glad they told me, i would never have known.  Really, it would never have occurred to me that the huge plates, platters, and bowls, often with fried foods or things that drip oil and fat, or lots of sauce, could possibly be unhealthy.

For real, people.  Don't most of us know, when we are going out for a meal, that we aren't always doing the best and most healthy thing we can do?

Yes, i'm weird.  My diet, except for my daily cup of coffee, is almost entirely raw and vegan.  Lots of fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, nuts, berries, seeds.  What my dad calls rabbit food.  So when i go to a restaurant, i know i'm not going to be getting my usual stuff.  Oh, i'll get the salad with oil and vinegar on the side, with steamed or sauteed vegetables.  Sometimes the veggies come with butter.  Guess what, i shut up and eat it, even though i try to stay vegan.  There is no way, unless i am in a vegetarian restaurant or health food store with a small deli and dinner selection that i am going to get what i usually eat, and i deal with it.

The problem isn't that restaurant foods don't tend to be the healthiest.  After all, i don't know why you go to restaurants, but for me it's so i don't have to cook, and because the rest of the family wants something that i don't usually fix, or can't fix, or won't.  Getting the chef's specialty that you don't get anyplace else is a treat.

No, the problem is that it's often no longer a treat.  When going to a restaurant for a special meal isn't so special any more, that's when the unhealthy effects take a toll.

There are so many demands on our time, that the ease of eating out lures too many of our dollars out of our pockets, i believe.  (Well, not so much here, we only eat out when my dad treats us, once every 2 months, seldom enough to still be special.)

The ads are relentless, temping us to ease and convenience, and often very unhealthy choices.  It's up to us to be responsible and resist most of the time.

While it's nice the government wants us to know just how unhealthy it is, does it really make a difference if it's a treat?  Probably not.

The difficulty is it's not a treat any more for so many people.

Instead of being horrified to find out what we already knew, that a lot of restaurant meals aren't the best for us, how about being horrified if we find ourselves making excuses to go eat those meals more often than is healthy for the waist or the pocketbook.

Today is

Agonalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a sacrifice to the highest gods, one of the Roman's most ancient festivals)

American Red Cross Founder's Day

Anastenarides Feast -- Greece (feast to St. Constantine and St. Helen)

Battle of Las Piedras Day -- Uruguay

Circassian Day of Mourning -- Circassians

Day of Patriots and Military  -- Hungary

Día de la Afrocolombianidad -- Columbia (Afro-Colombian Day; commemorates Columbia's abolition of slavery on this date in 1851)

Dia De Las Glorias Navales -- Chile (Navy Day)

Discovery Day -- Cayman Islands

Festival for Vevodus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of the dead, swamps, and volcanic movements, and sometimes regarded as the king of the Di Manes)

Independence Day -- Montenegro

"I Need A Patch For That" Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Lilies and Roses Day -- London, England (memorial of the death of Henry VI on this day in 1471; held at the Tower of London with representatives of Eton College and King's College, which he founded.)

National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day

National Memo Day -- an internet holiday with no known origin, just take a memo

National Strawberries and Cream Day

National Waitstaff Day

Passion Play Day -- the first Oberammergau, Germany, Passion Play was staged this date in 1634

Saint Helena Day -- St. Helena

Sovereign's Day Holiday -- Belize

St. Constantine's Day (Patron of Greece)

St. Eugene de Mazenod's Day (Patron of disfunctional families)

St. Helen's Day (Patron of Greece)

Victoria Day -- Canada

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development -- UN

Birthdays Today:

Sarah Ramos, 1991
Ashlie Brillault, 1987
Lisa Edelstein, 1966
Mr. T, 1952
Peggy Cass, 1924
Raymond Burr, 1917
Dennis Day, 1917
Harold Robbins, 1916
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, 1909
Fats Waller, 1904
Armand Hammer, 1898
Alexander Pope, 1688

Today in History:

Syracuse, Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily, 878
The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova, 1502
The nobility elect John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, 1674
The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I; it would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky, 1725
Mary Campbell is abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War, 1758
Slavery  is abolished in Colombia, South America, 1851
Russia declares an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile, 1864
French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting, 1871
The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton, 1881
The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria, 1894
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris, 1904
Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, 1932
Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens, 1934
A Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean, 1937
The National War Memorial in Canada is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, 1939
Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1946
The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School, 1951
Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal, 1972
Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agree to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen, 1990
The Ethiopian Civil War ends, 1991
Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns, 1998
The clipper Cutty Sark is badly damaged by fire in London, England, 2007
JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launches the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket, 2010

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Well, Saturday had plans.

Plans got hijacked again.

Yes, the van is still making noise, but since the brakes (that i had been on notice would be needed around now anyway) are fixed, it has to be transmission.  That's a worry for when we get rich.

Meanwhile, it ended up with lots of boiling water.  No, no babies being born, and there was never a real need to boil that much water anyway for a baby being born.  Really i have no clue where that idea originated, but someday i'll have to look it up.

No, since the toilet troubles a little while back, all of the kids were using our slightly larger loo for what we will term "heavy duty" use.

Let me digress for a moment with an explanation of something.  Sweetie is 6'2" and weighs over 200lbs.  He has stopped up our toilet exactly once in the 18 years we have lived here.  #2 Son, whose baby diapers rivaled those of adults in both content and stench (so says my mother, who claims they were worse than the ones she had to change in the geriatric ward during nursing school), has done it twice in the 13 years he has been potty trained.

Miss Lizzie has now managed it twice in the few months she has lived here.  Don't ask me how, and there is no way to put it delicately or politely.  She has been asked by others in the past to not use their plumbing because of this, and now i understand why.  Yes, i am accusing the lady of being less than a delicate flower in her internal workings.

Saturday got spent with Dawn and boiling water, over and over.  By the time i was done, it was time to bring the kittens back from adoption day, then cook dinner.  No, no adoptions this weekend, but that's okay.

In better news, the kittens are all getting over their own internal difficulties.  Ponazeril doesn't do a thing, Albon has proven to be the key.  Ugly, stinky, yellow, around since the dawn of time, messy as all get out, takes forever, and takes a ton of it, but it actually works, and that's what counts.

You know your name is mommy when your whole life is about plumbing, house and personal.  After all, when mommy is tired, everyone gets a nap.  When mommy is cold, everyone needs a sweater.  When mommy is irregular...never mind.

Enjoy your Sunday, may it be restful

Today is

Annular Solar Eclipse -- visible in parts of Asia, the Pacific, and North America; do not look at it without special lenses!

Be a Millionaire Day - now we all can go for that

Dainty-Four Remembrance Day  -- Fairy Calendar

Day of Remembrance -- Cambodia

Eliza Doolittle Day* -- in honor of Shaw, to encourage proper use of language

Emancipation Day -- Florida, US

European Maritime Day -- European Council

Festival of Mjollnir -- Ancient Norse Calendar (feast of Thor's Hammer, date approximate)

Grudie Rosnoe -- Slavic Pagan Calendar (ten days of sacrifices to Rod for rain and good harvests)

Independence Day -- East Timor

Indonesian National Awakening Day -- Indonesia

Mifune Matsuri -- Kurumazaki Shrine, Kyoto, Japan (Boat Festival, with over 20 different kinds of traditional Japanese performing arts and costumes of the Heian Period)

National Day -- Cameroon

National Quiche Lorraine Day

Pick Strawberries Day

Shakyamuni Buddha Day -- Tibetan Buddhists (day to meditate on Buddha's teaching and strive to fulfill the Precepts)

St Bernadine of Siena's Day (Patron of publicity agents, advertising, communications, he city of Carpi (Italy), and the diocese of San Bernardino, California; against compulsive gambling, respiratory problems and hoarseness of the throat)

Stepmother's Day -- the too often overlooked and unsung heroines of families; if you have one, and she has been there for you, thank her today

Upper Canada Village -- Morrisburg, ON, Canada (through early October, various programs that let visitors and students enter the world of the 1860s)

World Metrology Day / Weights and Measures Day

Yom Yerushalayim -- Israel (Jerusalem Day)

*"One evening the King will say, "Oh, Liza, old thing,
I want all of England your praises to sing,
Next week on the twentieth of May,
I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day."

Birthdays Today:

Tony Stewart, 1971
Bronson Pinchot, 1959
David Paterson, 1954
Cher, 1946
Joe Cocker, 1944
Stan Mikita, 1940
Anthony Zerbe, 1936
George Gobel, 1919
Jimmy Stewart, 1908
William Fargo, 1818
John Stuart Mill, 1806
Honore de Balzac, 1799
Dolly Madison, 1768

Today in History:

The first Ecumenical Council in the Christian Church, the Council of Nicea, opens, 325
An earthquake kills about 300,000 people in Syria and Antiochia, 526
John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship  Matthew looking for a route to the west, 1497
Cartographer  Abraham Ortelius issues the first modern atlas, 1570
Shakespeare's Sonnets  are first published in London, 1609
Napoleon Bonaparte reinstates slavery in the French colonies, revoking its abolition in the French Revolution, 1802
Otto is named the first modern king of Greece, 1835
HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with 134 men under John Franklin sail from the River Thames in England, beginning a disastrous expedition to find the Northwest Passage in which all hands are lost, 1845
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law, 1862
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets, 1873
The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy is formed, 1882
Krakatoa begins to erupt (the volcano's final and most notable explosion will occur on August 26), 1883
The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope, 1891
Cuba gains independence from the United States, 1902
The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting ("Boy with Baby Carriage"), 1916
Montreal, Quebec radio station XWA broadcasts the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America, 1920
By the Treaty of Jedda, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merge to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1927
At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, on the world's first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, 1927
Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, 1932
In a referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a 60% vote the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada, 1980
First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo individually, 1983
The Chinese authorities declare martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations, setting the scene for the Tiananmen Square massacre, 1989
In a second referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a slight majority the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada, 1995
The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself is the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976), 2002

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ever have a Friday explode?

Well, i did.

It started out well enough.  Got up early.  Feed kittens.  Laundry and tidy up.

Then it was time to wake the girls for shelter duty.  (We scoop boxes, feed, water, and medicate cats at the shelter every Friday morning, and for this month, Tuesday evenings, too.)  Bigger Girl has a huge test, wants to bow out this week.  Okay, that may put me a bit late, but it can still work.

It did still work.  Little Girl and i were lucky, only a few cages, only one cat to medicate, no one had made a huge mess.  We took about an hour.  And i even picked up the microchips for the four kittens that will be going to adoption day this weekend.  (Yes!  really!  some of them are getting old enough to find new homes.  Seems like we got them just yesterday.  But we won't run out soon, we have 24 in the house right now, and 3 are just barely over 2 weeks old.  Yes, 24 is a record for us.)

On the way home, my day went south.  The thunking under the car gave it away.  The brakes i had hoped wouldn't need replacing until after summer announced quite forcefully that they wanted to be attended to NOW, no excuses.

When brakes talk, it's time to listen.  No way i was going to be able to let the kids on the interstate to school this way.  So i called Sweetie to see if he could get a half hour and come meet me at the shop, so i could take him back to work and let the kids use his car.

That worked fine.  Took the kittens and the microchips to the vet, then across the street to the mechanic.  Told them what i needed, and when Sweetie showed, took him back to work.

Then the fun call from the vet.  They don't have the proper equipment to put in this type of microchip.  It seems the rescue changed type, and i didn't know.  So back to the shelter for the applicator device, then gas, then back to the vet.

The running around was not how i planned to spend the morning, for certain.  At least the kids didn't miss one of their last days of school, and it was only $800 for all the work on the car (that included a badly overdue change of transmission fluid, too).  Only.  Yeesh.

Today is

Armed Forces Day -- US

Boy's Club Day -- founding in 1906

Circus Day -- the four Ringling Brothers opened their first circus on this day in 1884

Do Dah Day -- Rhodes and Caldwell Parks, Birmingham, Alabama (fun while fundraising for local animal charities)

Dance to Mark the Third of January -- Fairy Calendar (Third of January is when the Founding Fairy Fathers and Mothers arrived in what is now called Fairyland [no one knows where they lived before, or what lived in Fairyland before], so it is one of their most important days; no one knows why it is celebrated in May, either)

Greek Genocide Remembrance Day -- Greece

Iris Festival -- Greeneville, Tennessee, US (through tomorrow)

Lewis & Clark Heritage Days -- St. Charles, MO, US (reenacting the 1804 encampment just before their departure; through tomorrow)

May Ray Day -- to celebrate being able to go out into the sun's rays as summer nears

National Devil's Food Cake Day

New England's Dark Day

O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships -- Austin, TX, US

Plant Something Day -- because it's fun, and summer is coming so you can!

Praia Municipal Day -- Cape Verde

Preakness Stakes -- Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD, US (137th annual)

Skerpla (Sharpness) Month begins -- Icelandic Calendar

St. Dunstan's Day (Patron of armourers, blacksmiths, blind people, gold workers and smiths, jewellers, lighthouse keepers, locksmiths, musicians, silver workers and smiths, swordsmiths; Charlottetown, PEI, Canada)

St. Ives' Day (an honest lawyer; Patron of abandoned children and orphans, advocates, canon lawyers, judges, lawyers, and notaries)

St. Peter Celestine's Day (Patron of bookbinders; Aquila, Italy)

Suigo Itako Ayame Matsuri -- Maekawa Ayame-en, Itako, Japan (Iris Flower Festival, with over a million blooms of 500 species, special dance and demonstrations on weekends; through June 24)

Youth and Sports Day / Commemoration of Atatürk -- North Cyprus; Turkey

Birthdays Today:

Rachel Appleton, 1992
Jordon Pruitt, 1991
Kevin Garnett, 1976
Kyle Eastwood, 1968
Grace Jones, 1952
Joey Ramone, 1951
Andre the Giant, 1946
Pete Townshend, 1945
Nora Ephron, 1941
James Fox, 1939
Malcolm X, 1925
Ho Chi Minh, 1890
Nancy Astor, 1879
Johns Hopkins, 1762

Today in History:

Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America, 1535
Anne Boleyn is beheaded, 1536
Queen Elizabeth I orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots, 1568
French forces under the duc d'Enghien decisively defeat Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power, 1643
The Long Parliament declares England a Commonwealth, and England remains a republic for the next 11 years, 1649
King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River, 1749
A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M, 1780
Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Légion d'Honneur, 1802
Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the Mexican-American War and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million USD, 1848
Jan Matzeliger begins the first mechanized shoe production, 1885
Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol, 1897
White women win the right to vote in South Africa, 1930
Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind is published, 1936
Churchill and Roosevelt set May 1, 1944 as their goal date for D-Day (it had to be delayed over a month because of weather), 1943
The Soviet Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus, 1961
Croatians vote for independence, 1991
The Sierra Gorda Biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts, 1997

Friday, May 18, 2012

What a Mood!

Yep, i am in one.

Right now, i feel a rant coming on, and i don't want to, because i will probably hit publish and regret it.  And, as we all know, publishing anything to the internet is like taking out an ad in the classifieds forever.  No matter how you try to delete it, it will show up on some server someday to haunt you.

So i'm trying to refrain.

In that vein, Little Girl told me, as we were driving to the cat rescue shelter the other day, that one thing she noticed about Chicago when they were there was that when the light turns green, people actually go.  They do not sit, wondering.  The whole lane moves forward, as it should.  Although i could start another rant about this (and the people in the smaller towns around here who have actually started slowing down at green lights!), i am glad she got to see how traffic should flow.  It's not something she is likely to see around here.

Also, she noted, they don't stop 2-3 car lengths behind each other at the lights, either.  They tighten up the lines a bit so the people at the back can actually get into the turn lanes and not have to wait for the arrow to be done for that particular cycle and the rest of the lanes to get a green light before they can get in that lane.  Oh, no, more rant material, if it want it.  Not batting too well today.

Again, at least she got to see how real people drive.

Hm, what else can i go on about in order to distract myself from a potential rant about grown men who can't even find or hold onto their own glasses, thus demanding others, who are already sharing a vehicle, to finagle a way to bring him a spare pair, only to get there and find he found them?  Ahem.  Never mind.

Oh, okay, New Orleans' basketball team, the Hornets.  Why are we keeping Hornets?  Why not Fire Ants?  That's what we really have too many of down here.  Or, to complement the Orlando Heat, we will have the New Orleans Humidity.

Well, let's not discuss the weather down here, after all.  It's not always a happy topic.

Okay, a true story, which actually took place back when gas station owners pumped the gas for you.  An owner of a station filled a car and told the man how much.  The gentleman asked, "If I let you kiss me, can i get it for half price?"

When the owner asked why in the world he would do that, the customer responded, "That's the offer you made my wife yesterday!"

Enjoy the day, everyone.  Be careful whom you offer to kiss, and don't hit publish too rashly.

Today is

Apollon Day -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of music, poetry, sunlight)

Asakusa Sanja Matsuri -- Tokyo, Japan (processions of elaborate mini shrines and celebrations; through the 20th)

Battle of Las Piedras Day -- Uruguay

Bike to Work Day -- great exercise, and going green at the same time

Flag and Universities Day --  Haiti

International Museum Day

International Virtual Assistants Day

Magnolia Blossom Festival -- Magnolia, AR, US (through the 20th)

Maifest -- Mainstrasse Village, Covington, KY, US (through the 20th; celebrating German tradition and welcoming the first spring wines)

Moonbeam Hopping Gala -- Fairy Calendar

NASCAR Day -- NASCAR charities raises money to improve the lives of children

National Cheese Souffle Day

National Pike Festival -- Fayette County, Pennsylvania, US (through the 20th)

National Pizza Party Day -- as declared by Garlic Jim's Famous Gourmet Pizza

No Dirty Dishes Day -- spread around the internet by a mom who needed the break, possibly; go ahead, break out the paper plates just on this day

Restoration of Somaliland Sovereignty Day -- Somaliland Region, Somalia

Revival, Unity, and Poetry of Magtymguly Day -- Turkmenistan

Rhododendron Festival -- Florence, Oregon, US (through Sunday)

Rhubarb Festival -- Intercourse, Pennsylvania (come on out and enjoy the music, games, rhubarb-inspired foods, and lots of family fun, including the Rhubarb Race Car Derby and best pie contest; through tomorrow)

Sanja Matsuri -- Tokyo, Japan (through tomorrow; celebrates the goddess of mercy and the three fishermen)

St. Eric's Day (Patron of Sweden)

St. Theodotus' Day (Patron of hotel keepers and innkeepers)

Visit Your Relatives Day -- if they are great, go have fun; if awful, go remind yourself why you moved so far away!

World AIDS Vaccine Day

World Goodwill Day -- commemorates the opening meeting of 26 nations in the First Hague Peace Conference, 1899

Anniversaries Today:

Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1152

Birthdays Today:

Tina Fey, 1970
Chow Yun-Fat, 1955
Rick Wakeman, 1954
George Strait, 1952
Reggie Jackson, 1946
Brooks Robinson, 1937
Dwayne Hickman, 1934
Robert Morse, 1931
Pernell Robers, 1930
Pope John Paul II, 1920
Margot Fonteyn, 1919
Perry Como, 1912
Frank Capra, 1897
Omar Khayyam, 1048

Today in History:

The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch, 1268
Vasco da Gama reaches the port of Calicut, India, 1498
Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy (under torture) lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe, 1593
John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts, 1631
Rhode Island passes North America's first anti-slavery law, 1652
Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Quebec, 1763
The first United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States, 1783
Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate, 1804
The destruction of Saturdays forever after:  Edwin Budding of England signs an agreement for manufacture of his invention, lawn mower, 1830
The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland, 1843
The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional, 1896
A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation  of Russian Tsar Nicholas II results in the deaths of 1,389 people, 1896
Bram Stoker's Dracula is published, 1897
The Earth  passes through the tail of Comet Halley, 1910
Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier, 1953
Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon, 1974
Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, United States, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage, 1980
In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record of 515.3km/h (357.2 mph), 1990
Photos from the Hubble Space Telescope confirm the existence of two additional moons, Nix and Hydra, around Pluto, 2005
A landmark bill passes in Nepal curbing the power of the monarchy and making it a secular country, 2009