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Hysterically Historical: February I

Hysterically Historical: February I

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Hysterically Historical: February I

580 pagine
8 ore
Aug 20, 2015


Should Donald Trump vet President Obama's proposals? Was Roger Williams the first "American"? How can there be problems if a policeman goes hunting? Mock the mighty thru history. You might actually be required to know some of this stuff, so you might as well be able to put your two cents in (or someone's two cents, anyway.) Easy to read history in bite-sized pieces comes with a sauce of satire to make the unsavory deeds of our ancestors more palatable. Laughter is the only medicine no one gags on.

Aug 20, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

2 earned degrees + 3 teaching credentials (I won't call those "earned") = knowing more than I should about a sizeable clutch of useless stuff. However, after 25 years in education, I know 2 things about education: 1) How to teach. 2) No principal wants me to actually teach. Bonus 3) They want students indoctrinated.Thus, I write. "Do you have a degree in ___________?" Nope. I have 2 degrees in English, which means I know 2 things: 1) How to read. 2) How to research. Bonus 3) I remember what I read (why do you think I majored in English?!) Thus, the work I have here presented: researching the history was not that difficult, nor was winnowing out the frou-frou. Especially easy is seeing what is frou-frou.Gossip: Married; 3 daughters, all adult; 1 grandchild; 1 worthless, illegal alien, lying ex-son-in-law; empty bank account; full belly. If I ever have a full bank account, I plan to fast.

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Hysterically Historical - Daniel Paul Davis

Hysterically Historical



February 1

Imbolc (in Northern Hemisphere), Lughnasadh (in Southern Hemisphere.) [Imbolc (paganism) is traditionally a time of weather forecast, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to Groundhog Day. The Irish Calendar’s first day of Spring, one of 8 solar holidays in the Wheel of the Year [Which Wheel of the Year has 8 evenly-spaced occasions to mark seasons. Those of us who think we only have 4 seasons are merely deprived and don’t know it.]

The start of U.S. Black History Month [12.6% of the population gets 7.6% of the days; what’s up with that?]

February 1, 1327

14 year-old Edward III is crowned King of England. [The country is yet ruled by mom, Queen Isabella and paramour Roger Mortimer. Young Eddie overcomes that to be 1 of the 6 British monarchs ruling 50+ years. While he’s at it, he overcomes the Bubonic Plague to make England a military power and have a parliament. Oh, and @ 17, Edward III gets rid of the guy who killed his dad Edward II, one Mr. Roger Mortimer. Mom? We need to talk. Maybe mom was banished to a tiny village, condemned to live in a hamlet.]

February 1, 1662

Chinese general Koxinga/Guóxìngyé (Lord With The Imperial Surname) seizes the island of Taiwan after a 9-month siege. [The island still has its native cannibals. Le raison de conquête is fighting both the Dutch and the Manchus who both use the island to invade China. His surname is so imperial that his son establishes a competing dynasty (the TV ratings weren’t as good.)]

February 1, 1709

Alexander Selkirk is rescued from shipwreck on a desert island. [His story inspires Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe (and, ultimately, Gilligan’s Island results.) Imagine the history of literature if he’d died way out there, unknown, unrescued. Punchline: Selkirk was a pirate.]

February 1, 1788

Inventor William Longstreet + Surveyor Isaac Briggs patent their steamboat. [Filed with the state of Georgia, not the United States, the patent is well-nigh unfindable. But Messrs. Briggs + Longstreet did work up a 5-6 mph steamboat that could puff up the Savannah River . . . a few days after Fulton demonstrated his. Money solves many problems, time being only one of them.]

February 1, 1790

The U.S. Supreme Court attempts its 1st meet in NYC. [Until 1935, the Supreme Court didn’t even have its own building. When they finally got a real decision to hash out (Chisholm v. Georgia), the 11th Amendment mooted their decision. They couldn’t get no respect for ~100 years, but Dred Scott v. Sandford said something was up with them. See February 2, 1790.]

February 1, 1793

France declares war on the U.K. and the Netherlands. [At least this way, half of the prisoners will speak the same language. The chutzpah of Napoléon is declaring war on multiple nations, as if he could take ‘em all with one hand tied behind his back.]

Ralph Hodgson obtains patent #55X for oiled silk. [Which involves boiling the silk (or other fabric) in linseed oil and then drying it. This waterproofs the fabric. No fumar.]

February 1, 1814

Mayon Volcano devastatingly erupts in the Philippines. [48 eruptions in 400 years = 1/8.3 years. This is the worst: not lava, but tephra clogs rivers, burns trees, and buries the town. ~1,200 (2,200?) dead. Note the year; 1816 was the Year without a summer. No coincidence. CO2 warble gloaming? Y’all aint’ seen nothin’ yet.]

February 1, 1851

The U.K.’s Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley dies (b. 08/30/1797.) [What, no one thought to jolt her with electricity and bring her back?]

February 1, 1856

Auburn University is chartered as the East Alabama Male College. [By 1872, that was changed to Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama; then in 1899 the Alabama Polytechnic Institute; finally, in 1960 it’s Auburn University. So is AU short of Auburn or an acronym for Auburn University?]

February 1, 1861

Texas secedes from the U.S. [#7 in a series. Since the articles of statehood passed by the U.S. Congress give Texas this right, it is perhaps the only state whose secession is legal. Still, since the only 2 things certain in this life are death and Texas, what will we do now? Oh, oops.]

February 1, 1862

Julia Ward Howe's Battle Hymn of the Republic is 1st published in the Atlantic Monthly. [She only writes the words. Like Francis Scott Key rips off To Anacreon in Heaven for his tune, Howe rips off the tune to John Brown’s Body for her mixture of religion and politics (battle? hymn? republic?) It’s like Kim Jong Il calling a war sacred.]

February 1, 1884

Edition One of the Oxford English Dictionary is published. [Not until 1895 is that name used, however. These are volumes (so to speak) of the work accomplished so far. The entire work is not published until they have the whole the 10 Volume behemoth in 1928. On the other hand, ever wonder how many different things we English speakers use post for?]

February 1, 1893

Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria (West Orange, NJ.) [Because it’s a movie studio, where light sensitivity is an issue, it’s painted black. The name Maria was added en lieu of a red door.]

February 1, 1896

Puccini's La Boheme premieres in Turin. [Audiences ever since wonder how he thought he’d get away with a woman dying of tuberculosis singing an aria. He was, however, notable as the 1st performance artist for this Cough Concerto.]

February 1, 1898

The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, CT issue the 1st automobile insurance policy. [Buffalo, NY’s Dr. Truman Martin pays $11.25 for $5,000 in liability coverage (which would be worth $138,888 now.) He’s a responsible driver; that’s well over the minimum required.]

February 1, 1900

Eastman Kodak Co. introduces the $1 Brownie box camera. [Which is a brilliant business model, building the corporation for a century. Then someone ruins it all with digital photos. Worse, some other nut attaches that technology to a cell phone to give away! See January 19, 2012. Hey, you wanna come over to my house to watch my vacation slides?]

February 1, 1901

Actor William Clark Gable is born in Cadiz, OH (d. 11/16/1960.) [But he doesn’t stay there. His mom dies almost immediately and his dad sends him to aunts in Pennsylvania. That It Happened One Night he wins the Oscar© for? That was punishment for rejecting a different movie script (sent him to Columbia to teach him.) Who says actors have no principles?]

February 1, 1902

Writer Langston Hughes is born James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, MO (d. 05/22/1967.) [His poem, A Dream Deferred includes the phrase, a raisin in the sun which Lorraine Hansberry uses as the title of her play (see March 11, 1959.) I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everyone knows, except us, that all Negroes have rhythm, so they elected me as class poet (Langston Hughes.) The job was forced on him (what did he want to do instead?)]

February 1, 1908

Director and producer George Pal is born György Pál Marczincsak in Cegléd, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 05/02/1980.) [When Worlds Collide (1951) (producer), The War of the Worlds (1953) (producer; directed by Haskin), The Time Machine. Which 3 books would you take to the future? (Which 3 movies would you show the past?)]

February 1, 1909

Singer George Beverly Shea is born in Winchester, Ontario, Canada (d. 04/16/2013.) [He holds the cumulative record for singing to the most people ever, at 220,000,000 (i.e., Billy Graham’s crusades.) Oh, well, if you’re gonna give it away . . .. He sells discs, too.]

February 1, 1913

New York City's Grand Central Terminal opens as the world's largest train station. [Eclipsed 2 years later by Buenos Aires’ grand Retiro railway station. But Grand Central still has the most platforms. Currently competing for largest train station are Beijing South, Guangzhou South, Nanjing South, Shanghai Hongqiao, Xi'an North, and Nagoya Station in Nagoya, Japan. Pick one; you’re probably right.]

February 1, 1920

Canada's Royal North West Mounted Police change their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. [After an Army survey realizes they only need ~150 mounted, armed men to patrol the area (newly acquired from the Hudson Bay Co.), they call the group North West Mounted Rifles. Those Yankees are nervous. Okay, fine: North-West Mounted Police it is, then. Now they’re all over Canada (not only tracking thru the woods) because they know how to sneak up on a guy while he’s shaving, bringing a rifle to a knife fight.]

February 1, 1921

Carmen Fasanella registers as a taxicab owner and driver in Princeton, NJ. [Fasanella retires November 2, 1989 after 68 years and 243 days of service. Why stop what you enjoy? (Especially if you’re paid to do it!)]

February 1, 1924

The U. K. recognizes the U.S.S.R. [I’ve seen you somewhere before. Oh yeah, I remember: you shot my cousins, the Romanovs.]

February 1, 1929

French weightlifter Charles Rigoulet achieves the 1st 400 pound ‘clean and jerk.’ [402½ lbs. Schwarzenegger only manages 298 lbs., but looks more defined while doing it. But we all know they were shorter and stronger back then, like my dad (it was all that clean living.)]

February 1, 1931

1st Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin is born in Butka, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russian SFSR, U.S.S.R. (d. 04/23/2007.) [05/29/1990, elected to the Russian Supreme Soviet. 06/12/1991, voted to the newly created President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. His real accomplishment is defining what Russia is now: wealthy oligarchs and impoverished citizens.]

February 1, 1942

Actor and writer Terry Jones is born Terence Graham Parry Jones in Colwyn Bay, Wales, U.K. [The mustachioed Terry (not Gilliam.) He also wrote the Labyrinth screenplay. He was very happy to get the actual rock star David Bowie (!) for his Goblin King; he was willing to settle for Michael Jackson (?)]

The Battle Hymn of the Republic opens up broadcast of the Voice of America. [Then the pledge: Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. . . . The news may be good or bad for us – We will always tell you the truth. Do they still?]

February 1, 1943

Nazi occupiers appoint Vidkun Quisling Premier of Norway. [Never mind appointed. That he takes the job is the problem. Even Dr. Who used his name as an epithet. You might not want that promotion they just offered you (or haven’t you seen Fun With Dick and Jane?)]

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is authorized. [They make themselves one of America's most highly decorated military units of WWII. [The 442nd is comprised almost entirely of Japanese-Americans. It’s almost as if they’ve something to prove.]

February 1, 1946

Norway’s Trygve Halvdan Lie is elected 1st UN Secretary General. [So the 1st Secretary General of the UN is a Lie? He serves until 1952 as an extension, 46-5. The U.S.S.R. dislikes him because of his complicity in the Korean War authorization (duh.) Another reason is Lie met Lenin, and Stalin knew Lenin disliked him (probably why everyone else voted for.)]

February 1, 1951

KTLA-TV in Los Angeles puts a camera on Mt. Wilson to film a newsworthy event 300 miles away. [And broadcast the 1st public atomic explosion occurring at Frenchman Flats, NV. [2 years later, War of the Worlds uses it. Americans get to see what they’ve been told to fear (that doesn’t look so scary from hear.)]

General (soon-to-be-President) Eisenhower counsels senators that 18-year-olds should be drafted . . . for 27 months (not 24.) [Yet he’s elected President anyway. Oh yeah, we don’t have the 26th Amendment yet. Well, that explains some things.]

February 1, 1956

Musician Exene Cervenka is born Christine Lee Cervenka in Mokena, IL. [Her actual first name makes a multi-level joke of one of her bands, Auntie Christ. Be sure to see her in Decoupage 2000: Return of the Goddess because with an $8,000 budget, you know you won’t be robbed. Later, the conspiracy theorist gets multiple sclerosis (that didn’t help.)]

February 1, 1957

Felix Wankel's 1st prototype (that works) DKM 54 of the Wankel engine runs at the NSU research and development department Versuchsabteilung TX in Germany. [You have turned my race horse into a plow mare! (Felix Wankel) They didn’t tell him any proof-of-concept is built cheap (in case it fails.) Go make your own RX-7, if it’s that important to you.]

February 1, 1958

The United Arab Republic forms by uniting Egypt and Syria. [They break up in 1961, sue for custody, go to court over who gets which tchotchke because we can’t all just get along (even tho Mohammed promised fellow Moslems would never kill each other except by accident.)]

Explorer I is put into earth orbit as the 1st U.S. artificial satellite. [See May 23, 1958. Juno booster hoists the thing aloft (no I don’t know her, but that’s what boosters do at football games.)]

February 1, 1959

(See February 7, 1971) The Swiss canton of Waadt/Vaud gives its female residents the right to vote. [You know it’s only a matter of time until the rest follow. And, no, if women can vote, it doesn’t mean the infant will fall out of the crib while mom is at the poll voting (sheesh!)]

February 1, 1960

4 black students sit at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. [Merely 4 the 1st day, ordering coffee and reading; reading and being refused service by employees who . . . will continue to abide by local custom. 20 appear on day 2; 60 on day 3. 300 on day 4. The economic boycott gets their attention, however: business drops by ⅓. See July 25, 1960.]

February 1, 1963

Fleetwood Lindley dies (b. 1887.) [He’s the last living person to see Abraham Lincoln's face (George Cashman was fibbing.) Guess how he did it. See September 26, 1901.]

February 1, 1964

The governor of Indiana declares the Kingsmen's hit Louie Louie (as recorded by The Kingsmen, originally by Richard Berry & The Pharaohs), to be pornographic and asks the state's radio stations not to play it. [Neither the FCC nor the FBI can figure out the lyrics, so it must be, right? The governor's move backfires by making the song 1 of the most covered titles in rock ‘n’ roll. Admittedly, things such as Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said could be much of the reason for the confusion. BTW, he’s in a bar, whining to bartender Louie about a lost love.]

February 1, 1965

Hamilton River in Labrador renames Churchill River in honor of Winston Churchill. [That’s still easier to pronounce than the Innu Mishtashipu. Apparently, Premier Joey Smallwood didn’t tell anyone he was making the name change until after it’s changed. They keep him anyway.]

February 1, 1967

The USS Scorpion starts 36 months of maintenance at Norfolk Naval Shipyward. [Ever since the USS Thresher went down (see April 10, 1963), sub safety had been important . . . except that a nuclear-equipped sub in a dock is also called a sitting duck. Navy’s lust for an at-sea submarine pressurize the maintenance schedules like only the ocean depths can. See May 22, 1968.]

February 1, 1968

South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head . . . for Eddie Adams to photograph. [This execution is videotaped, too. Little helps sway public opinion better than reality, in this case, against the war. What everyone misses is how many of our soldiers had died because of this 1 officer. What no one misses is how many times that photograph has been photoshopped. The camera does lie . . . so does the reporter by omitting all of the above details from his story, caption, + photo.]

The Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force become the united Canadian Armed Forces. [Unity is good in the military as long as the planes stay on the land, the tanks stay on the water, and the ships stay in the air. Wait.]

The historic New York Central Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad merge into the ill-fated Penn Central Transportation. [The New Haven Railroad is added 11 months later when the Interstate Commerce Commission insists. A merger implementation plan was drawn up, but not carried out. Attempts to integrate operations, personnel, and equipment were not very successful, due to clashing corporate cultures, incompatible computer systems, and union contracts. 1st, go bankrupt; that cancels the labor contracts and enables one to actually start over, maybe even afford new computers that actually work.]

Singer + actress Lisa Marie Presley is born in Memphis, TN. [Elvis’s only child. All things considered, she’s done very well for herself, especially considering the bulk of her page is appearances as herself—she hasn’t actually done acting and has done very little singing. Then again, surviving Michael Jackson is a trick.]

Twins separated at birth? Actor-comedian Paul Montgomery (Pauly) Shore is born in Hollywood, CA. [To Mitzi and Sammy Shore, she the famous comedienne who owns The Comedy Club. Connections: his dad, comedian Sammy shore, opens for Elvis Presley in Las Vegas. Maybe not twins, but (Elvis was known to fool around—did Sammy bring the Mrs.?)]

February 1, 1969

Canada eliminates Saturday mail delivery. [Which is being discussed in the U.S. as I type (but when will they deliver the cancelation?)]

Canada’s Joni Mitchell debuts @ Carnegie Hall. [This brilliant jazz musician smoked away her upper notes. The cachet from this event gets her noticed (and sung) by such folks as Crosby, Stills, and Nash (Woodstock.) Blonde, but not dumb? It’ll never sell. Hear, Twisted.]

February 1, 1970

A U.S. Government report says 31% of college students have tried marijuana. [And they don’t appreciate rude strangers harshing their mellow. Now excuse me while I kiss this guythe sky.]

February 1, 1976

Sonny and Cher resumes on TV despite a real life divorce. [Money talks; impatience walks. Cher also believes she could make more money alone, acting, not singing. Heh, she was right.]

Werner Karl Heisenberg might have died today (definitely born 12/05/1901.) [Then again, his electrons might be spinning over there at an unknown speed.]

February 1, 1977

The film Genesis: A Band in Concert premieres in London (Princess Anne attends.) [The 4 member version. This is the tour when Phil Collins got his good friend Bill Bruford (of Yes, King Crimson) to substitute for him on drums while he sings. Then they jam. Apparently, the band members themselves dislike the film for various reasons (Unrehearsed? Royalty makes them nervous?)]

February 1, 1978

Director Roman Polanski forfeits bail and escapes to France after pleading guilty to statutorily raping a 13-year-old girl. [Where he continues making movies people pay to see. Justice? Sure you don’t want these cubes to chill that crisp, French whine?]

February 1, 1979

Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst exits prison when President Jimmy Carter commutes her sentence. [See March 20, 1976. Think maybe she had a family member who had connections? Then President Bill Clinton gives her an actual pardon. But her behavior since then has well-argued for the brainwashed theory (I feel much better, now.)]

Ayatollah Khomeini is welcomed back into Tehran, Iran after ~15 years of exile. [What do you feel in returning to Iran? (Peter Jennings.) Hichi (nothing) (Khomeini.) Okay, so he’s no sentimentalist. A few days later, Khomeini says of the interim government, I shall kick their teeth in. I appoint the government. BTW, treason is rebellion against Allah.]

February 1, 1981

Trevor Chappell bowls his infamous Underarm Ball to Brian McKechnie. [This unhit last ball prevents New Zealand scoring a 6 to tie the ODI in the 3rd match in the last game of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup, which directly causes the International Cricket Council to ban underarm bowling (pitching) to the batter: not in the spirit of the game or It’s not cricket. This is why people mock Cricket games (besides it being named after an annoying insect.)]

February 1, 1982

Senegal and Gambia form a loose confederation known as Senegambia. [It worked so well for Tanzania. 09/30/1989 and it all evaporates like a water hole in an African summer. Neither batch of citizens really want integration; once the threat passes, prejudice returns (and they’re all the same skin color—funny, that.)]

David Letterman begins an 11-year run as the host of the NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman. [1993, and he doesn’t get the Tonight show gig from Johnny Carson, so he goes to CBS who treat him with more respect (he even gets Ed Sullivan’s old theater.) Then there’s the Drew Barrymore incident.]

February 1, 1991

A USAir Boeing 737-300 lands atop a SkyWest Fairchild Metroliner at L.A. International Airport. [34 dead (including all the people on the SkyWest plane); 30 injured; 37 unhurt (?) Fault is laid to the air traffic controller using the same runway for a take-off and a landing (they finally stop doing that.) On board the USAir plane—in 1st Class—is über-billionaire David Koch. He’s the only 1st Class passenger to survive because the safe exit is in the rear with quite the line. He goes back to the burning front and dives out a burning hole, burned but alive. Punchline: within a year, he’s diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He spends his money on cancer research, bribes death, and survives the 2nd attempt, too.]

February 1, 1992

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal court declares ex-Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson a fugitive under Indian law for failing to appear in the Bhopal Disaster case. [Guilt? What’s that? Fugitive is okay as long as one is wealthy enough to go live where the law doesn’t reach. Justice? Wasn’t that a TV series? (Or am I thinking Law & Order?)]

February 1, 1994

Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly pleads guilty in Portland, OR for his role in attacking figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. [He does time; she does more time. Gillooly gets out of prison; Harding never skates professionally again, must find a different employment. USFSA not only cancels her titles, but bans her for life; pro skaters shunned her like a leper (guilt’s contagious, right?) Never forgiven is the toughest.]

February 1, 1996

Visa + Mastercard announce security measures safifying using their cards to shop the Internet. [Now if they could only get the customers to use the security measures . . ..]

An AT&SF freight train ferrying hazardous cargo down the Cajon Pass (3,777’) to San Bernardino loses its brakes on the downslope. [2 dead; the cargo’s toxic, so noxious fumes evaporate from the derailed, pierced, leaking rail cars. The I-15 north and south of CA route 138 is closed for some days while they air out the box and remove the mess. Work? Go around. See December 14, 1994—they were warned (yet proceeded anyway, toward the dollar sign at the end of the tunnel.)]

February 1, 1998

Lillian Elaine Fishburne is promoted to rear admiral. [Not that notable a promotion, as she’s certainly earned it. Only, some care that she’s the 1st darker-skinned female with African ancestry so promoted. Some people think either or both of those characteristics had ought to do with her success (they obviously don’t know how tough she is.) She’s probably the real person behind whom we call Nick Fury.]

February 1, 2002

Winona Ryder’s charged with 4 felonies from her shoplifting arrest at a Beverly Hills, CA Saks Fifth Avenue store. [She’s later convicted of felony grand theft (shoplifting) and vandalism (cutting the price tags and magnetic theft detectors off with a pair of scissors.) 3 years' probation (unfamous people would get an actual 3 years . . . or more.) Sense of entitlement for the win!]

The NCAA puts Alabama on 5 years' probation. [The program gets a 2-year bowl ban with hefty scholarship reductions (all this for offering a $150,000 bribe to a defensive lineman to sign with Alabama.) One hopes the freshman is worth his price . . . oh yeah, he won’t matter.]

See January 23, 2002. Reporter Daniel Pearl’s kidnappers assassinate him (b. 10/10/1963.) [He’s apparently guilty of the capital offense of Jewish ancestry. Who’s your daddy? takes on new meaning.]

February 1, 2003

Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry. [All 7 astronauts dead. STS-107 Mission crew: Michael P. Anderson (b. 1959); David Brown (b. 1956); Kalpana Chawla (b. 1961); Laurel Clark (b. 1961); Rick D. Husband (b. 1957); Willie McCool (b. 1961); Ilan Ramon (b. 1954.) The fascinating part is how many are jonesing to go right back up there (heck yeah!)]

February 1, 2004

Yet another trampling during a Hajj pilgrimage. [251 dead; 244 injured while stoning the devil in Mina. Yeah, the devil’s really stoned, now, dude. In this one, too many are on the bridge: crowd panics, death happens. See January 12, 2006 and March 5, 2001. You would think the King of Saudi Arabia would spend some of that jihad money on a better bridge. Let’s go get stoned (the devil, you say?), As if the devil doesn’t want to rock on.]

February 1, 2005

Nepal’s King Gyanendra exercises coup d'état to capture the democracy, becoming Chairman of the Councils of ministers. [There was this Maoist insurgency, you see. I had to. Anyway, April 2006, he puts it all back where he found it, so it’s good now, right? May 28, 2008, parliament declares Nepal a republic, stripping Mr. King Gyanendra of any political authority. So there: No coup d’état for you; not yours; you here 58 years, you go home now.]

Canada introduces its Civil Marriage Act to make Canada the 4th country to sanction same-gender marriage. [The more that marry, the more get divorced later. Better is it that thou should not vow, than that thou should vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5:5.)]

February 1, 2006

(See September 30, 2005) Both French and German newspapers republish Muhammad caricatures as a defense of freedom of expression. [Igniting fresh Moslem anger, of course. The Moslems should notice that no one cares that they’re angry, and in fact are actively trying to spite them. After all, their riots only kill other Moslems (funny, that.)]

United Airlines exits a bankruptcy after 3+ years. [See May 2, 2010. This bankruptcy’s a direct result of the events of September 11, 2001: 2 of the 4 hijacked aircraft were United’s. Humans can be superstitious at weird times (so now we know the cost of a false religion.)]

February 1, 2010

Leif Garrett’s arrested for possessing black tar heroin (in his shoe?) after swearing he had nothing of the sort on his person. [For lying to an officer AND possessing criminalized narcotics, he pleads nolo contendre and enters drug-ordered rehab. That’ll fix it. Next year he wipes out on his motorcycle, instead (no pain killer for you; you might become addicted.)]

February 1, 2012

Port Said Stadium hosts Egypt’s worst soccer riot. [El Masry (Port Said) vs. El Ahly (Cairo.) Both sides have fan(atics) who have very strong opinions on soccer team values and are willing to use violence to emphasize their opinions. Thus, 47 arrested; 72 dead; 500+ injured. The game began ½ hour late for fans on the field, then fans on the field during and after the game. The last was fans assaulting fans, which fans tried to run away: the gates are still locked. +3 years, the trial of 73 defendants gives 40 of them ↑15 years; 11 will get death itself (no virgins 4 U.)]

February 1, 2013

The European Union’s tallest building opens to the public. [The Shard is most people’s nickname for what used to be the London Bridge Tower. At 1,014’, it’s tall, but not the U.K.’s tallest. The 1,084’ Arqiva Tower transmitting station is a telecommunications and broadcasting facility in England, but not a building. No, my evil twin studied architecture. I got English.]

February 1, 2014

Actor, screenwriter, director, + producer Maximilian Schell dies in his native Austria (b. 12/08/1930.) [He wins the Academy Award© for his role in Judgment at Nuremburg (I thought William Shatner had that one locked up.) He’s the only award winner of the whole cast and the 1st German to win. How did he do that? By reading the entire forty-volume record of the Nuremberg trials to prepare for the role. How much work are you willing to do to earn that thing you want?]

February 1, 2016

A Talibani suicides near a Kabul, Afghanistan police complex. [Isn’t this place safe, yet? No, and it’s more dangerous than last year. 29 wounded; 20+ dead, mostly police officers (because no one else will ever visit a police station in Afghanistan.) A few days ago, the U.S. had said, Yep. Deaths are up by ~⅓. So what are we doing about that? Staying home where it’s safe. The reason for deserting their posts, the police said, is a lack of ammunition despite frequently asking headquarters for supplies (Mohammad Karim Khadimzai.) I buy my own bullets.]

February 1, 2017

The formerly publicly-owned Apollo Education Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix) completes its move to privacy. [Uh, privately-owned, which is possible after that recent bankruptcy. In fact, the Dept. of Education required regular reports as a condition of the sale. Kevin Kinser notes that now they adapt to the changed market without making investors happy.]

Laureate Education (Walden University in the U.S. + 200 colleges in 28 other nations) offers its Initial Public Offering. [The timing is both coincidental and telling: the private college market is there, not here. Being a U.S. company is only bonus. University of Phoenix rises from its ashes but it might leave only a carbon smudge. Laureate might end up taking the laurel wreath, creating the lore of the education wraith.]

February 1, 2018

Wal-Mart Stores becomes Walmart. [What’s in a name? A discount store by any other name would sell as cheap. Thus, the directors’ point is that not all Walmart is stores but exists online, also (Ya hear that, Amazon? We’re coming for you!) Maybe they could change the name to Sam Wal Ton of stuff for you to buy cheap.]

February 2

Groundhog Day. [Hilarious movie and the last time Bill Murray works with Harold Ramis]


The Presentation of the Lord [Leviticus 12:1-3 stipulates that the son is to be brought to the tabernacle/temple on his 8th day to be circumcised (see January 1); that’s the 1st time the Lord’s presented but this event refers to Leviticus 12:6, when the parents bring the stipulated offering on behalf of the parents. They bring a sin offering (lamb, pigeon, turtledove) for themselves (for having brought yet another sinner into the world); in this case, they didn’t bring a sinner, but still. Note the offering Luke says they bring: turtledoves. Joseph and Mary are poor (which means those wise guysmen had not yet arrived.]

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Also observed on the same day for the same reason (apparently) that the mother of the infant needs to bring an animal atonement for her sins . . . which says she was a sinner.]

World Day for Consecrated Life (also February 3 in the United States) [Do any unconsecrated or unoly lives get any attention?]

February 2, 962

Translatio imperii = Transfer of Rule. Pope John XII crowns Otto I Holy Roman Emperor, the 1st Holy Roman Emperor in ~40 years. [The last time I ‘transferred a ruler" the nun smacked my knuckles with it.]

February 2, 1536

Pedro de Mendoza of Spain establishes the Argentine city of Buenos Aires. [He must have enjoyed skateboarding quite a lot to name his city Good Air. He accomplishes this in spite of his 13-ship fleet being scattered by storms. His contract includes 50% of the treasure of chiefs he kills and 90% of the ransom of any chiefs he kidnapped. Roman Catholic nation, you say?]

February 2, 1542

Portuguese troops under Christovão da Gama capture a Moslem-occupied hillfort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente. [Minimal casualties for the Portuguese vs. all killed for the Moslems encourages one against the other. Is that a good or bad thing? The mosque, once a church, is re-dedicated as a church to Our Lady of Victory, whoever that is.]

February 2, 1653

New Amsterdam (later renamed New York) is incorporated. [When Washington Irving coins Gotham to apply to New York in 1807, it had been New York for quite a while. Then again, there’s something to be said for a town named, Got Ham (and Ham Burg is taken.)]

February 2, 1790

The U.S. Supreme Court 1st convenes after yesterday’s unsuccessful attempt. [No one notices. Respect? Isn’t that a song? Or are your spectacles broken?]

February 2, 1812

Russia establishes a fur trading colony at Fort Ross on the California coast. [Only the Nor Cal folks remember their history that the Russians were that close to colonizing that area before we could. If only they had the technology to hold the area. Instead, see March 30, 1867.]

February 2, 1848

Signing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War. [Which treaty gives the U.S. Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The U.S. gives Mexico $15,000,000 and assumes responsibility of all claims against Mexico by American citizens. That Texas had already entered the U.S. December 29, 1845 makes no never mind: official is only what is written. Welcome to Yanqui-Land.]

February 2, 1852

The Society of Arts installs the 2nd public toilet, choosing 95 Fleet Street, London to make history. [Another for the ladies opens February 11 over on Bedford Street. The 1st public toilet opened May 1, 1851 when the Great Exhibition opened. George Jennings convinced the Exhibition to allow him to install his Monkey Closets there @ 1¢/use. This expansion into London ends up earning £1,000/year. Looks like #2 is #1 again.]

February 2, 1870

(See October 16, 1869) It is revealed that the famed Cardiff Giant is merely carved gypsum, not some petrified human remains. [Petrified, carved, what’s the diff? Meanwhile, P.T. Barnum is off the hook, as one cannot be sued for openly calling a fake a fake (nice to know.) Yes, giants existed, but not necessarily in England (then who built those huge aqueducts? Tell me that!)]

February 2, 1876

The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed. [Great. Just great. Next thing you know, they’ll be paying these guys to play a game. What’s next, unions? See 1900.]

February 2, 1878

Taking advantage of the Russo-Turkish War, Greece declares war on Turkey’s Ottoman Empire. [Don’t buy a butterball; don’t put your feet up; don’t lubricate your joints. The weird part in all this is that their punning clan works: ~45 years later and the Ottoman Empire isn’t.]

February 2, 1880

The S.S. Strathleven arrives in London with 40 tons of frozen beef and mutton. [It’s not the 1st (Le Frigorifique and Paraguay carried frozen mutton from Argentina to France in 1877), but this is the 1st successful shipment of frozen meat from Australia—on the other side of the world. Proof-of-concept proves the concept and compression refrigeration begins the global economy. Now if only I can get a personal ‘copter to deliver my Chinese swag to my door.]

The 1st electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana. [Refrigeration? Lights? It’s a brave, new world! See February 17, 1817.]

February 2, 1882

The Knights of Columbus form in New Haven, CT. [That would be Christopher Columbus. They are a Roman Catholic version of Kiwanis who’ve given away $1,406,000,000+ and 653,000,000+ man hours in the last 10 years. Ah, but what would Christopher Columbus donate time and money to? Then there’s the 413,000 pints of donated blood. Give life (not death.)]

Irish poet and novelist James Augustine Aloysius Joyce is born in Rathgar (a suburb of Dublin), Ireland (d. 01/13/1941.) [That doesn’t make any sense. He leaves Dublin A.S.A.P. and spends his life writing all his stories in Dublin. In the particular is contained the universal (James Joyce.) Dublin is every city (for every city has children, drunkards, and fools.) So he’s actually following the Sam Watterston rule: the general is dull; the specific if funny.]

February 2, 1884

The Electrical World prints a news item describing a woeful abuse of the latest electrical marvel. [Some malicious wag at Providence R.I. has been playing a grave practical joke on the undertakers there, by summoning them over the telephone to bring freezers, candlesticks and coffin for persons alleged to be dead. The 1st prank phone call only took 8 years to happen.]

February 2, 1887

The beginning of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA. [A more conveniently available rodent (albeit, native) is substituted for the original rodent who doesn’t seem to be around right now (sleeping it off?)]

February 2, 1892

William Painter obtains patent # 468,258 for his crown-cork bottle cap. [The crown is the crimping of the circular plate at points around the rim instead of trying to fit the whole thing over the top. The cork inside the cap forms the water-tight seal. 2 years later he obtains patent #US514200 A for his bottle opener (so the bottle capper machine will actually sell.)]

February 2, 1897

Fire destroys Pennsylvania’s state capitol in Harrisburg. [+2 years and they abandon the attempt at a replacement for want of funds. In the end, graft, etc. has the project cost 3x what was appropriated. After the current statehouse is finished in 1906, the corruption investigation opens: 5 convicted of graft. They hide their tracks better, now.]

February 2, 1900

Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago, and St. Louis agree to form baseball's American League. [See 1876. This is why the American League is the Junior Circuit. Being the younger league is dealt with by AL team Yankees beating all the NL teams multiple times. Be careful who you insult; they might be able to do something about it.]

February 2, 1905

Author and atheist philosopher Ayn Rand is born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum in Saint Petersburg, Russia (d. 03/06/1982.) [Considering an oevre of 3 novels, stories, and non-fiction works, she’s more influential than one expects. That’s what comes of saying what others want to hear. Profitable work, if one can figure out what others want to hear (e.g., You’re great!)]

February 2, 1920

Estonia and Russia sign their Tartu Peace Treaty. [Tartu means peace. Terms of the treaty are that Russia renounces in perpetuity all rights to the territory of Estonia. Not that the folks in the government of Russia have complied with this agreement, but it’s in writing. When your neighbors are screwy, maybe you need to simply move (oh, wait.) Later, the U.S.S.R. signs a treaty with Germany who then does the same thing to them.]

France occupies Memel. [In Germany: it’s now the Klaipėda Region, was in East Prussia, and thus, occupied briefly. Pick somewhere close and easy to manage, on the Rhine perhaps.]

February 2, 1923

Ethyl gasoline’s 1st marketed to U.S. drivers. [Dayton, OH gets the first shot at making jokes about buying Fred Mertz’ wife. The word itself is an abbreviation for tetraethyllead, the stuff Thomas Midgely, Jr. worked up for GM to prevent knocks or pings in the engine. That it puts vaporized lead into the atmosphere makes no never mind to a GM engineer (in spite of his taking a year off of work to recover from lead poisoning.)]

February 2, 1925

Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race. [I’m having trouble imagining someone saying, That was fun; let’s do this again next year! Q. How many human lives have well-trained dogs saved? A. One can’t know how many burglers/rapists/nuts went somewhere else because a Rottweiller was in the yard, so leave it at Zillions.]

February 2, 1933

Adolf Hitler dissolves the German Parliament. [That didn’t take long. Next, rule by decree. How about a war? Let’s go back over to Nuremberg and practice drills again.]

February 2, 1935

Leonard Keeler conducts the 1st polygraph/lie detector machine test in Portage, WI. [William Moulton Marston adds the blood pressure aspect of the test so he can then invent Wonder Woman and her lasso of truth. The test is conducted on 2 accused men, who are later convicted on the basis of the test results (which results are now illegal to even mention in court.)]

February 2, 1943

The last German forces surrender to the Soviets after the Battle of Stalingrad. [I.e., if they all surrendered, we’re surrendering too; we aren’t about to stick around as the only enemy you’re dealing with. While we’re standing around, tell me more about Mr. Stalin.]

February 2, 1945

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leave to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference. [Churchill wants to meet Roosevelt early to hash out negotiations before negotiating, but

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