Does My Ass Look Big In This?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The wife of a friend of mine once asked him, “Does this new dress make my ass look big?” He started off well by replying, “No, of course not, Darling, the dress is lovely.”  And if he’d left it at that he would have scored lots of plus points, but then he added the fateful line, “You’ve just got a big ass!”

Big buttocks.

 

I may have told you that story before and I may well tell it again, because it’s funny and it’s true. This time it is by way of introduction to today’s post – or rant – on the subject of airline seats. I’ve already given you my two cent’s worth on airfares a few days ago. (Click here if you want to read that.)

Just when you thought they couldn’t get any smaller, or more uncomfortable, airlines are shrinking seat widths yet again to squeeze more passengers in and more money out of them. The latest culprit is Airbus, which unveiled a new 11 seat-per-row reconfiguration for its A380 superjumbo jet.

The Airbus A380 currently seats ten passengers uncomfortably per row in economy in a 3-4-3 configuration, but the new configuration adds yet another seat to the middle section to make it a 3-5-3 – with even less room per passenger and even more discomfort.

crowded-flight

 

Airbus are making the excuse that the seats in the new configuration will be the same width as before, which is 18 inches or 46 cms, but then they add the qualifying word “technically” which means whilst what they are saying may be true in theory, in practice you the paying passenger will have less room.

Applying fasab logic to the situation, if you raise an airplane’s seating capacity from 525 seats to 544 seats, and at the same time you don’t make the airplane any bigger, then there is less room for the poor abused passengers. (quod erat demonstrandum or Q.E.D.)

The A380’s main users are Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Qantas, all of them long-haul carriers meaning you will be squashed up like a sardine for at least eight hours, maybe much, much longer which adds greatly to the discomfort experienced by passengers.

Other long-haul airplanes that are shrinking the width of their seats include the new models of the Boeing 777, many of which are flown by United and American Airlines. They will now come with a squashingly miserable 17 in. seat width.

Standing room only on aircraft.

The seat squashing trend started with the short-haul airlines and they got away with it because of the relatively short journey times. Long-haul is different – much different – and passengers should be less willing to endure many hours of discomfort.

To add a great big insult to this injurious trend, it is all taking place against a backdrop of decreasing fuel costs and rising airfares – in other words more greed than need on behalf of the airline companies who buy these newly configured butt busters.

On the plus side – for passengers – not a single airline placed an order for the world’s two biggest commercial jets, the Boeing 747-8 and the double-decker Airbus A380 during 2014. In fact most of the Boeing 747-8s that have been sold have been mainly the air freighter version. On the negative side, as just mentioned, airplanes like the 777 are also to be made much more uncomfortable too.

With air travel forecast to more than double from today’s 3.3 billion passengers a year to 7.3 billion by 2034 – according to the International Air Transport Association – I fear greatly for the comfort of those of us flying economy.

the shape of things to come in air travel

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‘Mayday’, ‘Mayday’, It’s… Er… May Day Actually.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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may day sign

The first day of May, or ‘May Day’ as it is also known, is a curious mixture of superstition, social protest (Labor Day) and celebration.

May Day is also the 121st day of the year and marks the midpoint between spring and summer, occurring exactly half a year from November 1st.

Like most of the occasions we have now (Easter, Christmas, etc.), May Day started out as a pagan celebration. Its origins go back thousands of years to the Celtic period, where towns and villages would come together to celebrate springtime fertility, and rejoice in the beauty of spring and optimism of life. The energy of these gatherings was supposed to help inspire procreation.

During the 1600s, May Day festivities were prohibited and in 1640 the Church in England ruled against the debauchery and the British Parliament banned the traditions as immoral. A much tamer version was brought back in 1644 under the rule of Charles II.

Maypoles were devised as (phallic) symbols of fertility, but were also symbolic of the “world tree,” which was supposed to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. There are also rumors that this was the last chance for fairies to travel to the earth.

Today, May Day is probably best known in most countries for the tradition of ‘dancing round the maypole’ and the crowning of a ‘May Queen’.

Flowers also play an important part in May Day celebrations. Native Americans even called May the month of the flower moon, believing that flowers would dance under the full moon. And ancient Romans dedicated May Day to Flora, the goddess of flowers.

In Italy, May Day is still regarded by some as the happiest day of the year.

Since 1928, May Day in Hawaii has been known as ‘Lei Day’, a spring celebration that embraces Hawaiian culture and in particular, the lei. The holiday song, “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i,” was originally a fox trot, but was later rearranged as a Hawaiian hula.

Listed below are some of the historical events that happened on May Day that I found interesting. Hope you do too.

But just before you start those, a word about something that has nothing whatever to do with May Day although many people believe that it has. The international distress signal is often referred to s a “mayday” signal but this is not a reference to the first day of May. The name derives from the French “venez m’aider”, meaning “come help me.”

Now you know.

And now for the real facts.

Enjoy.

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maypole

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Historical Events that happened on various May 1st’s

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1006 – A Supernova was observed by Chinese & Egyptians astronomers in the constellation Lupus.

1328 – The Wars of Scottish Independence ended with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton by which the Kingdom of England recognized the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state.

1544 – Turkish troops occupied Hungary.

1682 – Louis XIV and his court inaugurated the Paris Observatory.

1703 – At the Battle at Rultusk the Swedish army defeated the Russians.

1704 – The Boston Newsletter published the first ever newspaper advertisement.

1707 – England, Wales & Scotland form the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

1751 – The first American cricket match is played.

1753 – May Day this year saw Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

1759 – Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain.

1759 – The British fleet occupied Guadeloupe, West Indies, capturing it from France.

1776 – The secret society of the Illuminati was established in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt.

Illuminati

1777 – RB Sheridan’s “School for Scandal” premiered in London.

1778 – The American Revolutionary War Battle of Crooked Billet began in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

1786 – Mozart’s opera “Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Wien (Vienna)

1822 – John Phillips became the first mayor of Boston.

1840 – The first adhesive postage stamps, known as the “Penny Blacks”, were issued in the UK.

1841 – The first emigrant wagon train left Independence, Missouri, for California.

1844 – Samuel Morse sent his first telegraphic message.

1844 – The Hong Kong Police Force, the world’s second modern police force and Asia’s first, was established.

1850 – John Geary became the first mayor of San Francisco.

1851 – The ‘Great Exhibition’ opened in the Crystal Palace, London.

1852 – The Philippine peso is introduced into circulation.

1857 – William Walker, conqueror of Nicaragua, surrendered to the U.S. Navy.

1861 – In the American Civil War, General Lee ordered Confederate troops under T J Jackson to Harper’s Ferry.

1862 – Also in the American Civil War, Major General Benjamin Butler’s Union forces occupied New Orleans.

1863 – The Confederate ‘National Flag’ replaced the ‘Stars & Bars’.

confederate second national flag

1866 – The Memphis Race Riots began. In three days time, 46 blacks and two whites were killed. Reports of the atrocities influenced passage of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

1866 – The American Equal Rights Association formed.

1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.

1873 – The first US postal card is issued.

1873 – Emperor Franz Jozef opened the 5th World’s Exposition in Vienna.

1875 – 238 members of the “Whiskey Ring” are accused of anti-US activities.

1883 – “Buffalo Bill” Cody put on his first Wild West Show.

1884 – Construction began on Chicago’s first skyscraper (10 stories).

1884 – May Day this year also saw the Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States.

1884 – Moses Walker became the first African American player in major league baseball in the US.

Moses Fleetwood Walker

1885 – The original Chicago Board of Trade Building opened for business.

1886 – A general strike began in the US for an 8-hour working day.

1889 – German ompany Bayer introduced aspirin in powder form.

1900 – The Scofield Mine disaster killed over 200 men in Scofield, Utah in what was the fifth-worst mining accident in United States history.

1901 – Herb McFarland hit the first grand slam in the American League.

1908 – The world’s most intense shower (2.47″ in 3 minutes) occurred at Portobelo, Panama.

1912 – The Beverly Hills Hotel opened.

1915 – The RMS Lusitania departed from New York City, bound for Liverpool, on her two hundred and second, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.

1920 – Babe Ruth made his first Yankee home run and the 50th of career.

1922 – Charlie Robertson of Chicago pitched a perfect no-hit, no-run game.

1925 – Cyprus became a British Crown Colony.

1927 – The first cooked meals on an airplane were introduced on on an Imperial Airways scheduled flight from London to Paris.

1930 – The dwarf planet Pluto was officially named.

1931 – The Empire State Building opened in New York City.

Empire State Building

1935 – Boulder Dam was completed.

1935 – Canada’s first silver dollar was circulated.

1937 – FDR signed the act of neutrality.

1939 – Batman comics hit street.

1940 – The 1940 Olympics were cancelled because of WWII.

1941 – ‘Citizen Kane’, directed & starring Orson Welles, premiered in New York.

1941 – General Mills introduced Cheerios.

1944 – The world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Sturmvogel, makes 1st flight

1945 – A German newsreader officially announced that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. The Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, by order of Stalin.

Hitler dead headline

1945 – Admiral Karl Doenitz formed the new German government.

1946 – Field Marshal Montgomery was appointed British supreme commander.

1946 – The three-year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians began.

1947 – Radar for commercial & private planes was first demonstrated.

1948 – North Korea proclaims itself the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

1952 – US Marines take part in an atomic explosion training exercise in Nevada.

1952 – Mr Potato Head was introduced.

1952 – TWA introduced tourist class.

1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was made available to the public.

1956 – A doctor in Japan reported an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.

1957 – Larry King made his first radio broadcast.

Larry King

1959 – Floyd Patterson KO’d Brian London in the 11th round for the heavyweight boxing title.

1960 – Russia shot down Francis Gary Powers’ Lockheed U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.

1961 – May Day 1961 was the date of the first US airplane being hijacked to Cuba.

1962 – The first French underground nuclear experiment took place in the Sahara, at Ecker Algeria.

1963 – James Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest.

1964 – The first BASIC program ws run on a computer at Dartmouth.

1965 – The U.S.S.R. launched its Luna 5 spacecraft which later impacted on the Moon.

1966 – Last British concert by the Beatles took place at the Empire Pool in Wembley.

1967 – Elvis Presley married Pricilla Beaulieu.

1969 – James Chichester-Clark was elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and Northern Ireland Prime Minister, after succeededing Terence O’Neill.

1971 – Amtrak Railroad began operations.

1971 – The Rolling Stones released their mega-hit single “Brown Sugar”.

1978 – Ernest Morial, the first black mayor of New Orleans is inaugurated.

1978 – Japan’s Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, became the first person to reach the North Pole alone.

1979 – Elton John became the first pop star to perform in Israel.

1981 – Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledged a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett – becoming first prominent sportswoman to ‘come out’.

1984 – Great Britain performed a nuclear test at a Nevada Test Site.

1985 – US President Ronald Reagan ended the embargo against Nicaragua.

1986 – Russian news agency Tass reported the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.

1989 – The 135 acre Disney MGM studio officially opened to the public.

1991 – The Angolan civil war ended.

1993 – There was a bomb attack on the Sri Lankan president in which 26 people died.

1994 – Three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna was killed in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

Ayrton Senna

1997 – Howard Stern Radio Show premiered in San Diego, CA, on KIOZ 105.3 FM.

1997 – Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister of UK.

1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory was found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.

2003 – In what became known as the “Mission Accomplished” speech, U.S. President George W. Bush declared on board the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California, that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”.

2009 – Same-sex marriage was legalized in Sweden.

2011 – U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, founder of the militant Islamist group Al-Quaeda and the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attackshad been killed by United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Due to the time difference between the United States and Pakistan, bin Laden was actually killed on May 2.

2012 – Guggenheim Partners made the largest ever purchase of a sports franchise after buying the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.1 billion.

2013 – A digital camera was created that could mimic insect compound eyes.

 

People you might have heard of who were born on May 1st include,

1594 – John Haynes, English-American politician, 1st Governor of the Colony of Connecticut (d. 1653)

1769 – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Irish-English field marshal and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1852)

1852 – Calamity Jane, American scout (d. 1903)

1916 – Glenn Ford, Canadian-American actor (d. 2006)

1919 – Lewis Hill, American broadcaster, co-founded Pacifica Radio (d. 1957)

1923 – Joseph Heller, American author and playwright (d. 1999)

1925 – Scott Carpenter, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2013)

1937 – Una Stubbs, English actress and dancer

1939 – Judy Collins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist

1945 – Rita Coolidge, American singer-songwriter

1946 – Joanna Lumley, English actress

1946 – John Woo, Hong Kong director, producer, and screenwriter

1954 – Ray Parker, Jr., American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Raydio)

1967 – Scott Coffey, American actor, director, producer and screenwriter

 

People you might have heard of who died on May 1st include,

1731 – Johann Ludwig Bach, German violinist and composer (b. 1677)

1873 – David Livingstone, Scottish missionary (b. 1813)

1945 – Joseph Goebbels, German politician, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1897)

1985 – Denise Robins, English journalist and author (b. 1897)

2006 – Rob Lacey, English actor and author (b. 1962)

2011 – Ted Lowe, English sportscaster (b. 1920)

2011 – Henry Cooper, English boxer (b. 1934)

2014 – Howard Smith, American journalist, director, and producer (b. 1936)

They Let The Crazy People Out Today.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks.

It’s Black Friday.

This is the day they let the crazy people out.

They wrestle and fight and tug

and roll around on the floor hitting each other

in a frenzy of greed and stupidity. 

It’s fun to watch, but I’m staying at home.

How about you?

If you want to know why then have

a look at these videos and photos.

Enjoy and be safe.

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Black-Friday.001

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rampage-black-friday-w724

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black-friday1

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635215736606808633black-friday

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black friday fight 3

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A shopper is restrained on the ground by security staff in the car park of an Asda store in Bristol.

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Black-Friday-Fight

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black friday fight 4

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blackfriday_fights_11-27-2012

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Happy Thanksgiving 2014.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Today is the fourth Thursday of November and also the last Thursday in November so whether you think Lincoln was right or Roosevelt was right, it still Thanksgiving Day in the USA.

To everyone who participates, enjoy the family holiday, eat too much and drink too much.

Last year I did what turned out to be a very popular post called “I Had To Post A Few Turkey Puns Today, Of Course They Are Fowl” ( Click here if you would like to read it.) And this year I’ve done it again.

So here are some more really bad jokes.

Enjoy or endure.

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rofl

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Thanksgiving,

the time of year when turkeys

fatten Americans up for Christmas!

funny-happy-thanksgiving-turkey-poster

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Why didn’t the Pilgrim want to make the stuffing?

Because it’s such a crummy job!

turkey-thanksgiving-jokes

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What happened when the turkey got into a fight?

He got the stuffing knocked out of him.

funny-turkey

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What kind of music did the Pilgrims like?

Plymouth Rock, of course!

Plymouth Rock

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What would you get if you crossed

a turkey with a baked fruit dessert?

A peach gobbler!

funny turkey photo

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What’s the best dance to do on Thanksgiving?

The turkey trot

turkey trot

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What does a Turkey drink wine in?

In a gobble-let

Turkey drink wine

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What did baby corn say to mama corn?

Where’s popcorn?

turkey eating popcorn cartoon

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Why did the turkey sit on the tomahawk?

To try to hatchet!

tomahawk

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Teacher: “What did the Indians bring

to the first Thanksgiving?”

Student: “Baseballs.”

Teacher: “Baseballs?”

Student: “Yeah,

they were Cleveland Indians!”

Logo_Cleveland Indians

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Who is the turkey’s favorite movie star?

Gregory Peck.

thanksgiving_bush

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If you divide the circumference

of a pumpkin by its diameter

Do you end up with

Pumpkin pi?

pumpkin pie pi

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Can a turkey jump higher than

the Empire State Building?

Yes of course it can

– a building can’t jump at all.

unfriends-me-on-facebook

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Why did the pilgrim’s pants keep falling down?

Because his buckle was on his hat!

pilgrim

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And finally,

instead of talking turkey,

let’s hear someone sing turkey instead.

Take it away Dickie Stickhead

(Phew, you have to be careful how you say that name!)

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Let’s Talk Turkey – And Other Thanksgiving Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, we are on a Thanksgiving theme this week.

So here are a few relevant facts.

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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The word ‘turkey’ is said to come

from the Hebrew word ‘Tukki’

which means ‘Big Bird’ or ‘Pheasant Bird’

or ‘Indian chicken’.

turkey derived from Hebrew word ‘Tukki’

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The busiest travel day of the year

is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

busiest travel day of the year

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Turkeys can drown

if they look up in the rain.

Turkeys can drown if they look up in the rain

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Historians have proven that

the pilgrims didn’t really wear those

funny hats and buckles on their shoes.

They dressed really colorfully.

No one knows how the pilgrim image began.

pilgrims clothes

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The first meal eaten on the moon

by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren

was a roasted turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

first meal eaten on the moon

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The first balloon in the

1927 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

was Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat

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Turkeys are able to adapt to a wide variety of habitats.

However, most turkeys are found

in hardwood forests with grassy areas.

turkey habitat

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On June 20, 1998, in Bellevue, Ohio,

Dale Gasteier built a 52’ free-standing

illuminating star to celebrate

the American Thanksgiving holiday?

map_of_bellevue_oh

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It was Sarah Joesph Hale, a magazine editor

who persuaded President Lincoln

to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.

She had previously persuaded Zachary Taylor,

Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan.

Sarah Joesph Hale

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Almost 280 million turkeys

are consumed during Thanksgiving

celebrations in the United States.

turkey meal

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Turkeys have heart attacks.

When the Air Force was conducting test runs

and breaking the sound barrier,

fields of turkeys would drop dead.

TurkeyCartoon

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The real Plymouth rock is cracked,

it happened during the revolutionary war.

Plymouth_Rock,_Plymouth,_MA

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Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation

presents a live turkey and two dressed turkeys

to the President on Thanksgiving.

The President pardons the live turkey

and it is sent to a historical farm

where it lives the rest of its days.

president-obama-pardons-turkey

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Thanksgiving was not an official holiday

until Lincoln proclaimed it.

Before that, presidents would declare it

a holiday or not, depending on how they felt.

The official Thanksgiving Proclamation

was signed on October 3, 1863

by Abraham Lincoln.

According to this proclamation,

the last Thursday of November was

to be celebrated as Thanksgiving.

President Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving

one week earlier to stabilize the economy

during the Great Depression in 1939.

In 1941, the Congress passed an

official proclamation and made

Thanksgiving a national holiday

which would be observed on the

4th Thursday of November every year.

joint-res-m

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A Musical Merry Christmas Extravaganza!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy” .

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Hi everyone.

Thanks for dropping by my blog this Christmas week.

If you are a regular visitor thank you for you continued support throughout the year.

A bit of a change from the usual offerings this week.

A musical treat in fact.

Here are a few Christmas Classics from bygone years. I hope you have time to listen to and enjoy them all, but even if you just want to try a few I think there will be something in this selection that you’ll like no matter what your musical tastes may be.

A Very Merry Christmas to everyone.

And, of course, enjoy the music!

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. musical Santa

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. Dean Martin – Jingle Bells

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Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

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B. B. King – Merry Christmas Baby

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Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day

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The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York

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John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

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Boney M – Mary’s Boy

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Wham! – Last Christmas

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Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas

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Michael Buble – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby

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Gunter Kallmann Choir – Winter Wonderland

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Jim Reeves – Silent Night

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Andrea Bocelli – Adeste Fideles

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Sheryl Crowe And Eric Clapton – Merry Christmas Baby

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Lady Gaga – Christmas Tree

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U2 – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

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Iron Maiden – Another Rock And Roll Christmas

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Lynyrd Skynyrd – Christmas Time Again

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Coldplay – Christmas Lights

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The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)

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Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon Rock

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What’s Ice? – Skid Stuff!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It will all be over by this time next week, so today has to be the day for a special Christmas helping of seasonal puns.

Get your groans ready – you’re really going to need them this time!

Enjoy.

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rofl

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What did Adam say the day before Christmas?

It’s Christmas, Eve!

Dancing-Santa-Reindeer-Funny-Christmas-GIF

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What is the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the regular alphabet?

The Christmas alphabet has no L.

christmas_animated_gifs_14

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What does Tarzan sing at Christmas time?

Jungle Bells, Jungle bells.

26

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What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?

Claustrophobic.

christmas_animated_gifs_16

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What did the bald man say when he got a comb for Christmas?

Thanks, I’ll never part with it!

christmas-gift-box13

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How do sheep in Spain say Merry Christmas?

Fleece Navidad!

Merry Christmas Gif 17

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What’s the best present for a train conductor?

Platform shoes.

Christmas train

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What is a parent’s favorite Christmas carol?

Silent Night.

carolers

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Before it starts to sell its Christmas trees

the garden center gets really spruced up!

christmas_animated_gifs_reindeer

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Why does Scrooge love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

Because every buck is dear to him.

christmas_animated_gif_41

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What nationality is Santa Claus?

North Polish

dancingsanta_e0

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Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?

Because he had low elf esteem.

christmas-animated-elf

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What Santa had a motorbike instead of a sleigh, what kind would it be?

A Holly Davidson of course!

Holly D Santa biker

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If Santa and Mrs. Claus had a baby, what would he be?

A subordinate Claus.

santa-animated-elf-1

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“Why don’t we ever hear about ‘Olive,’ the 10th reindeer?” asked Bert.

“What 10th Reindeer?” asked Scott.

“You know. Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names.”

Santa_and_Reindeer

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What does a reindeer do when he has an upset stomach?

He takes an elk-a-seltzer.

xmas-bird3

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What do you call an ELF who sings?

A Wrapper!

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