Icebergs And Sunshine, Both Make The Fact File Today.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another contrasting day of facts here at the fasab blog.

And what could be more of a contrast than icebergs and sunshine?

Find out more below.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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Contrary to popular belief,

the ‘t’ at the end of Voldemort,

who features in the Harry Potter stories,

is silent.

The name comes from the French

words meaning “flight of death.”

Lord Voldemort

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In North Carolina each year there is a

Hot Sauce and Hot Chili Pepper Eating Contest,

consisting of 5 rounds in which the participants

have to eat increasingly hot chilies.

The hotness of chilies is based on Scoville Heat Units.

In the first round, each contestant starts out with a

Large Cayenne Pepper (Long Hots) (500-2,500 SU)

and those who make it all the way to the last fifth round

have to deal with The Orange Habenero (100,000-300,000 SU).

Crikey!

Hot Sauce and Hot Chili Pepper Eating Contest

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Apparently Greece Is the “Sunniest” Country in Europe

enjoying on average more than 250 days of sunshine

(three thousand hours) a year,

which also makes it one of the

most sunny countries in the world.

Greece Is the “Sunniest” Country In Europe

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Daniel Craig is able to take any

Aston Martin from the factory

for the rest of his life,

because of his time as Bond.

Daniel Craig Aston Martin deal

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Tequila is made from the blue agave,

or agave tequilana Weber.

According to WebMD, the core of the plant

contains aguamiel or “honey water,”

which is used for syrup (and tequila) production.

blue agave

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All Egyptian pyramids were built

on the west bank of the River Nile,

which as the site of the setting sun

and was associated with the realm of

the dead in Egyptian mythology.

west bank of the River Nile

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The more education you have,

the lower your risk of heart disease,

however, in spite of that, heart disease

is still the greatest threat to your health.

heart disease

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The infamous iceberg that sank the Titanic

has been floating around since about 1,000 B.C.

Titanic iceberg

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Why do people sing in shower? 

One theory is that they might simply feel

more comfortable in the shower

since it is a relaxing place

and they are by themselves.

Or it may be because the acoustics

are better in the bathroom,

so the chances of you sounding

like a great singer are higher.

sing in shower

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Although it is supposed to be in Chicago,

the McCallister´s house in the movie Home Alone

is actually located at 671 Lincoln Avenue

in the village of Winnetka, Illinois.

The three-story single-family house

was listed for sale at $2.4 million in 2011

and sold for $1.585 million in 2012.

The house is now promoted as a tourist attraction.

McCallister´s house in the movie Home Alone

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As a farmer,

George Washington grew marijuana

on his farm and promoted its growth.

George Washington grew marijuana

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The October 24, 1960 saw one of the

deadliest spare-related accidents in history,

when a Soviet R-16 rocket (an ICBM) exploded

on the launch pad during testing.

72 workers were killed.

Soviet Premier at the time, Nikita Khrushchev,

demanded it be kept secret.

Today it is known as the Nedelin Catastrophe.

Nedelin Catastrophe

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A bottle of champagne contains

90 pounds or pressure per square inch,

which is three times the pressure found in car tires.

The popped cork from a champagne bottle

travels as fast as 60 miles per hour

and can cause some serious damage.

popped cork from a champagne bottle

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Mary Allerton was an immigrant

who established a permanent residence in

Plymouth Colony, which we know today as Massachusetts.

She was one of the many passengers of on the Mayflower,

the historic ship that transported the first Pilgrims,

from Plymouth, England, to the New World.

She was only four years old when she boarded the ship

and would die almost 80 years later,

making history as the last surviving Mayflower passenger.

Mary Allerton

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The first video uploaded to YouTube,

titled “Me at the zoo,”

made its debut on April 23, 2005.

The nineteen-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky

and shows YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim

at the San Diego Zoo.

It also contains the first words uttered on YouTube

which were

“All right, so here we are in front of the elephants”

when Karim was trying to “charm” the camera.

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FAREWELL 2014

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks,

Last day of this year and time for my recollections of 2014’s main events.

As always this is by no means meant to be a complete coverage of all the events that happened during 2014, just a personal blog post about some of the things I remember, and a few that I had forgotten until I started to compile this list.

I hope you enjoy.

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farewell 2014

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The Weather

We will start off with the weather since so many of us seem to be obsessed with it.

  • In the United States there were weather extremes. In California, for example, January was the warmest and driest on record in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Only four other Januaries since 1878 had been completely dry in Los Angeles until January 2014. Alaskans experienced their third warmest January in 96 years of record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

California drought 2014

  • In many parts of the Midwest, on the other hand, 2014 was the coldest winter since the late 1970s or early 1980s. And some southern states of the US became the victims of, firstly, winter storm Kronos which brought a rare blanket of snow as far south as Louisiana, and sleet as far south as Harlingen, Texas and Pensacola, Fla. in late January, and then, just days later, a second winter storm, Leon, hit many of the same areas causing commuter chaos in both Birmingham, Ala. and Atlanta. Leon also spread ice and sleet to the Gulf Coast, including the Florida Panhandle, and the Low country of South Carolina.
  • And worse was on the way. Winter Storm Pax deposited an inch or more of ice in a swath from east-central Georgia into South Carolina, including Augusta, Ga. and Aiken, S.C. Pax was the second heaviest ice storm dating to 1947 in Wilmington, N.C. The accumulation of ice from Pax claimed the famed “Eisenhower tree” at the Augusta National Golf Club. Pax marked the first time since January 1940 that Columbia, S.C. saw snowfall for three straight days.

Winter Storm Pax Washington

  • In complete contrast, the week after Pax, Columbia, S.C. tied its all-time February high of 84 degrees. Augusta, Ga. warmed into the 80s two straight days on Feb. 19-20.
  • Elsewhere in the world, severe Atlantic winter storms took their toll on many parts of England which in 2014 experienced storms and rain not seen since the late 19th century.

Atlantic winter storms Cornwall England

  • In Tokyo, Japan, which usually averages only about 4 inches of snow each year, there were also severe snow storms. In February, snow blanketed the city with 11 inches of snow in less than a week, the heaviest snowfall in 45 years for Tokyo and in 60 years for the city of Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo. The following weekend, parts of eastern Japan, including parts of the Tokyo metro area, received another round of snow. Some smaller communities were isolated by more than 3 feet of snow.
  • And in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that more than 10 percent of Queensland and almost 15 percent of New South Wales experienced their record hottest day on Jan. 3. A second heat wave hit parts of southern Australia in mid-January, with temperatures peaking above 41 degrees Celsius (just under 106 degrees Fahrenheit) for four straight days from Jan. 14-17, and reaching a sizzling 43.9 degrees C (111 degrees F) on both Jan. 16 and 17.

australia heat wave 2014

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Business and Technology

  • In the world of business and technology 2014 was the year the Obama administration decided to stop inversion deals, where US companies bought foreign domiciled businesses and moved their profit centers to a much more tax friendly location.
  • In technology buys, one of the largest was Facebook’s purchase of smartphone application WhatsApp for $19 Billion.

14.02.19-Facebook-WhatsApp

  • In other sectors 2014 saw world oil price plunge to around $50 per barrel, good news for consumers, not so good for producers.
  • Under pressure from the fall in oil and gas prices, along with the economic sanctions imposed by the west because of the ongoing situation in the Ukraine, the Russian Ruble went into free fall in December.

APphoto_Russia Economy

  • Also in 2014, in March, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was not scientific but commercial and refused to grant further permits.
  • With Quantitative Easing having been ended in the US (for the moment anyway) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for a new $29 billion fresh stimulus, including subsidies and job-creating programs, to help pull the world’s third-largest economy out of recession.

Quantitative Easing cartoon

  • After their embarrassing foul up last Christmas, this year both FedEx and UPS managed to deliver more than 99 percent of express packages as promised on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, according to shipment tracker ShipMatrix.
  • South Korean prosecutors arrested a government official who allegedly leaked information about an investigation into former Korean Air Lines executive Cho Hyun-ah, who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts. Most of the rest of the world tends to think that the idiot executive should suffer the consequences of her stupidity, not the whistleblower.

korean-air-lines-macademia-nut-scandal Cho Hyun-ah

  • And finally, after their embarrassing hack attack and cringe-worthy capitulation to what amounted to a terrorist cyber attack which was rightly criticized publicly by President Obama, Sony finally decided to release its movie ‘The Interview’.

Rogan Franco The-Interview

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Conflicts, Wars & Terrorism

Unfortunately 2014 saw many conflicts and acts of terrorism.

  • In April an estimated 276 girls and women were abducted and held hostage from a school in Nigeria. The following month, Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala and terrorists in Nigeria detonated bombs at Jos, killing 118 people.

Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people Gamboru Ngala

  • June saw the emergence of a Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (also known as the ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’). It began an offensive throughout northern Iraq, with the aim of eventually capturing the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad and overthrowing the Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The group has been responsible for beheading of hundreds of people including several from the United States.

Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’

  • In July and August tensions between Israel and Hamas grew following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in July. Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ on the Palestinian Gaza Strip starting with numerous missile strikes, followed by a ground invasion a week later. In 7 weeks of fighting, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed.
  • Also in July, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 souls on board. There are conflicting claims as to who was responsible, some blaming pro Russian forces for a missile strike and others blaming Ukrainian forces.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

  • In August and September the United States military began an air campaign in northern Iraq to stem the influx of ISIS militants and the following month the United States and several Arab partners began an airstrike campaign in Syria.

Expect more on these stories during 2015.

Departures

During 2014 we said farewell to many well know people from various walks of life. Here is just my selection of those I remember.

From Literature

Sue Townsend

British novelist and playwright (b. 1946)

SueTownsend

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P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

P. D. James

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From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

Roger Lloyd-Pack

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Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

Maximilian Schell

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

shirley_temple

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Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

Sid Caesar

.

Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

.

Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

.

Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

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Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

.

Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

.

Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

.

Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

.

James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

.

Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

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Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

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Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

.

Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

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Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

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Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

.

Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

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Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

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Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

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Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

Glen A. Larson

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Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

Virna Lisi

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Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

Billie Whitelaw

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Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

Luise Rainer with oscars

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From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

Pete Seeger

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Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

Johnny Winter

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Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

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Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

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Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

Acker Bilk

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Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

Joe Cocker

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From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

Zbigniew Messner

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Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

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Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

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Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

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James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

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A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

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Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

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Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

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Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

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Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

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Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

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Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

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John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

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Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

Gough Whitlam

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From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

Valeri Kubasov

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Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

.

Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

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Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

.

From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

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Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

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Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

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Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

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Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

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Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

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Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

.

Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

.

Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

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Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

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Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

Alfredo-Di-Stefano-Dies-at-Age-88

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Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

Andriy Bal

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Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

Björn Waldegård

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Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

Andrea de Cesaris

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Health

  • The big health scare of 2014 that dominated the headlines was the of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa in February, that initially infected over 19,000 people and killing at least 7,000, the most severe both in terms of numbers of infections and casualties.

ebola_map Africa

  • In other news, also in February, Belgium became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.

Politics

  • On January 1, Latvia officially adopted the Euro as its currency and became the 18th member of the Eurozone.
  • In February, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, replacing him with Oleksandr Turchynov, after days of civil unrest that left around 100 people dead in Kiev. The pro-Russian unrest lead to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

President Viktor Yanukovych

  • In March, Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
  • Also in March, an emergency meeting, involving the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada temporarily suspended Russia from the G8.
  • In April, also in response to the Crimean crisis, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution temporarily stripping Russia of its voting rights; its rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, and the PACE Standing Committee; and its right to participate in election-observation missions.
  • The same month, United States President Barack Obama began new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin Obama

  • In May the Royal Thai Army overthrew the caretaker government of Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after a failure to resolve the political unrest in Thailand.
  • Back in Europe, in June, King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who ascended the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.
  • And the political year ended on a positive note, with U.S. President Barack Obama announcing the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century.

normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba

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Space

  • The major space event of 2014 happened in November when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Philae probe successfully landed on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

Rosetta Philae

Sport

  • The two major world sporting events of 2014 were the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia in February, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and won by Germany, during June and July.

world-cup-2014-champions-germany-trophy

  • In American sport the Super Bowl was won by the Seattle Seahawks, the MLB World Series  winners were the San Francisco Giants and in basketball the San Antonio Spurs came out on top.
  • Ice Hockey had three champions in 2014, Canada becoming Olympic champions, Russia world champions and in the NHL the Los Angeles Kings were the victors.
  • In tennis at the world famous Wimbledon Tournament in England Novak Djokovic became Men’s Singles Champion and Petra Kvitova Ladies Singles Champion, while the men’s and women’s winners of the US Open were Marin Čilić  and Serena Williams respectively.

novak-djokovic-with-wimbledon-crown

  • In Soccer, as noted above, Germany won the 2014 World Cup. The European Champions League winners were Real Madrid and the English Premiership was won by Manchester City.
  • The Formula 1 motor racing champion for 2014 was British driver Lewis Hamilton, who also picked up the award of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • In golf’s major championships, the Masters Tournament, held in April, was won by Bubba Watson by three strokes. It was his second Masters championship.
  • May saw the BMW PGA Championship where young Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole to win by one stroke over Irishman Shane Lowry, who also birdied the 18th hole.
  • In June, U.S. Open winner was Martin Kaymer who won by eight strokes to become the first German player to win the U.S. Open, and the first player to win the Players Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year.
  • In July, the Open Championship Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy, was on top again winning by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio García. It was his third career major championship, and his first Open Championship. With the win, he became the fourth player ever of 25 years old or under to have won at least three majors.
  • In August, McIlroy was back, winning the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson. He was having quite a year, it was his fourth career major and his second PGA Championship.PGA Champion Rory McIlroy
  • Then in September, in the Ryder Cup, Team Europe (also including McIlroy) defeated Team USA by a score of 16½ – 11½. It was the third consecutive Ryder Cup victory for Europe, and also Europe’s fifth consecutive home victory in the Ryder Cup.

Tragedies

  • In March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
  • In April Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized and sunk after an unmanageable cargo shift. More than 290 people were killed, mostly high school students.

south-korea-ferry MV Sewol

  • In May hundreds of workers were killed in mining accident in Turkey.
  • In July, Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, killing all 116 people on board.
  • And just a few days ago AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed, wreckage has been found off the coast of Indonesia’s Kalimantan coast.

indonesia-airplane AirAsia flight flight QZ8501 airport notice board

 

Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Had To Be 1776

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello everyone.

And a very happy Fourth of July to everyone, particularly my American friends.

Independence Day again, and no sign of invading spaceships so I’m assuming its safe to do another number factoid.

And what else could it be today other than 1776, the year America became an independent nation.

Here we go.

Enjoy

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1776

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And where else to start but with….

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American Revolutionary War

Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag

  • On January 1st, 1776 Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag. The same day the town of Norfolk, Virginia, was destroyed by the combined actions of the British Royal Navy and occupying Patriot forces.
  • On Jan 5th the Assembly of New Hampshire adopts its 1st state constitution.
  • On January 10th Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense “written by an Englishman” in Philadelphia arguing for independence from British rule in what were then the Thirteen Colonies.

pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  • On Jan 16th the Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks.
  • On February 27th Scottish North Carolina Loyalists charge across Moore’s Creek bridge near Wilmington to attack what they mistakenly believed to be a small force of rebels. Several loyalist leaders are killed in the ensuing battle. The patriot victory virtually ended all British authority in the province.
  • On March 2nd and 3rd the American Continental Navy and Marines made a successful assault on Nassau, Bahamas, and in the Battle of the Rice Boats, American Patriots resisted the Royal Navy on the Savannah River effectively ending British control over the Province of Georgia.
  • On March 4th American Patriots capture Dorchester Heights thereby dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts. Threatened by the Patriot cannons on Dorchester Heights, the British evacuate Boston on March 17th.
  • On April 12th the Royal Colony of North Carolina produced the Halifax Resolves making it the first British colony officially to authorize its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On May 4th Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III of Great Britain.
  • On June 7th Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Second Continental Congress (meeting in Philadelphia) that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
  • On June 11th the Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Five to draft a Declaration of Independence.

declaration-of-independence-1776

  • On June 12th the Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason was adopted by the Virginia Convention of Delegates and three days later on June 15th the Delaware General Assembly voted to suspend government under the British Crown.
  • On July 2nd the final (despite minor revisions) U.S. Declaration of Independence was written. The Continental Congress passed the Lee Resolution.
  • And as we all know, on July 4th the United States Declared Independence: The Continental Congress ratified the declaration by the United States of its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On July 8th the Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the following day an angry mob in New York City toppled the equestrian statue of George III of Great Britain in Bowling Green.

Liberty Bell

  • On August 2nd most of the American colonies ratify the Declaration of Independence.
  • On August 15th the first Hessian troops land on Staten Island to join British forces.
  • On August 27th in the Battle of Long Island, Washington’s troops were routed in Brooklyn by British under William Howe.
  • On September 1st the Cherokee Nation was invaded by 6,000 patriot troops from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina begins. The troops destroyed thirty-six Cherokee towns.
  • On September 7th saw the world’s first submarine attack when the American submersible craft Turtle attempted to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.
  • On September 11th an abortive peace conference took place between British and Americans on Staten Island.
  • On September 15th British troops landed on Manhattan at Kips Bay.
  • On September 16th in the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Continental Army under Washington are victorious against the British on Manhattan.
  • On September 22nd the British hanged spy Nathan Hale in New York City for espionage.
  • The following month, on October 11th on Lake Champlain near Valcour Island, a British fleet led by Sir Guy Carleton defeated 15 American gunboats commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Although nearly all of Arnold’s ships are destroyed, the two day-long battle gave Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.
  • On October 18th in the Battle of Pell’s Point, forces of the American Continental Army resisted a British and Hessian force in The Bronx, whilst on October 28 in the Battle of White Plains, British forces attacked and captured Chatterton Hill from the Americans.
  • On October 26th Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

Benjamin Franklin

  • The last day of that month, October 31st saw King George III make his first speech before British Parliament since the Declaration of Independence that summer, in which in perhaps the understatement of the year, told the British Parliament that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.
  • On November 16th Hessian mercenaries under Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen captured Fort Washington from the American Continentals. The captain of the American navy ship Andrew Doria fired a salute to the Dutch flag on Fort Orange and Johannes de Graaff answers with eleven gun shots.
  • On December 7th the Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.
  • And on December 21st the Royal Colony of North Carolina reorganizes into the State of North Carolina after adopting its own constitution. Richard Caswell becomes the first governor of the newly formed state.
  • On December 23rd Thomas Paine, living with Washington’s troops, began publishing The American Crisis, containing the stirring phrase, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
  • At Christmas 1776, Gen. George Washington ordered the first issue of The Crisis to be read to his troops on Christmas Eve, then at 6 p.m. all 2600 of them march to McKonkey’s Ferry, crossed the Delaware River and land on the Jersey bank at 3 a.m.
  • And finally December 26th saw the Battle of Trenton, in which Washington’s troops surprised and defeated the 1500 Hessian troops under the command of Col. Johann Rall outside Trenton, taking 948 prisoners while suffering only 5 wounded.

 crossing the Delaware River

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In other things and other places in 1776

  • The year 1776 was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar.
  • In Roman Numerals 1776 is written as MDCCLXXVI.
  • On January 2nd Austria ended interrogation torture
  • On February 17th Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • On March 9th Scottish economist Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in London.
  • On March 28th Juan Bautista de Anza found the site for the Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On April 15th the Duchess of Kingston was found guilty of bigamy.
  • On May 1st Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.
  • On June 17th Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga leads a band of colonists from Monterey Presidio, landing on June 29th and constructing the Mission Dolores of the new Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On July 12th Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England, in HMS Resolution on his third voyage, to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic, which would turn out to be fatal.

Captain James Cook

  • On July 21st Mozart’s Serenade No. 7 (the “Haffner”) is first performed in Salzburg, Austria.
  • On July 29th Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, and eight other Spaniards set out from Santa Fe on an eighteen-hundred mile trek through the American Southwest. They were the first Europeans to explore the vast region between the Rockies and the Sierras.
  • On September 6th a hurricane hit Guadeloupe, killing more than 6000 people.
  • On September 24th the first of the now very famous St Leger horse races were held at Doncaster, England.
  • On October 7th Crown Prince Paul of Russia married Sophie Marie Dorothea of Württemberg.
  • On October 9th Father Francisco Palou founded the Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco, California.
  • On October 18th in a New York bar decorated with a bird tail, a customer orders “cock tail”.
  • On December 5th the first US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), is formed.

Phi Beta Kappa

  • The Standard Practice for Conditioning and Testing Textiles is Active Standard ASTM D1776
  • The Standard Specification for Eye Protective Devices for Paintball Sports is Active Standard ASTM F1776.
  • MTE M-1776 is a Surge Protective Device
  • P1776 is the code for solenoid stuck in low/reverse which is a fairly common problem and can be prevented most of the time by keeping the fluid clean.
  • The 1776 Premier Program offers a venue for highly-committed, elite players to receive professional, year-round coaching and to seek competition at the highest levels of US Youth Soccer.

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Don’t Take My Word For It, Let These Guys Tell You Themselves

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The elections are over, much to the relief of many of us, but unfortunately the politicians are still there. I have frequently criticized these idiots for making a monumental mess of things and for squandering billions of dollars on the most insanely stupid debacles and catastrophes. And I will probably do so again. 

However, it is always a good idea or policy to be able to back up what you say with some facts, so rather than run to my own defense which is usually what happens, this time I am going to let some of the politicians prove beyond any and all reasonable doubt that my opinion of them is well justified.

So here we have a selection of quotations from some fairly famous politicians in which they condemn themselves to the dustbin of stupidity.

Enjoy.  

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Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States:

“Politics gives guys so much power that they tend to behave badly around women. And I hope I never get into that.”

Bill Clinton 

This from a congressional candidate in Texas:

“That scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I’m just the one to do it.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California Governor talking about his views on the economy:

“The public doesn’t care about figures.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking as governor 

Jacques le Blanc, French ambassador on nuclear weapons:

“I do not like this word ‘bomb.’ It is not a bomb. It is a device that is exploding.”

Jacques LeBlanc 

Aggie Pate, at a non-denominational mayor’s breakfast, Fort Worth, Texas:

“I didn’t know Onward Christian Soldiers was a Christian song.”

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California Senator Barbara Boxer:

“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

Barbara Boxer 

Ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo:

“The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe.”

Frank Rizzo 

Congressman Everett Dirksen:

“A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money.”

Everett Dirksen 

Former U.S. President, Richard Nixon:

“Solutions are not the answer.”

Richard M Nixon 

H. Ross Perot, major Texas businessman and former presidential candidate:

“This planet is our home. If we destroy the planet, we’ve destroyed our home, so it is fundamentally important.”

 Ross Perot making a point

Arizona Governor Wesley Bolin:

“We’d like to avoid problems, because when we have problems, we can have troubles.”

Wesley Bolin 

George Wallace 1968 presidential campaign:

“I’ve read about foreign policy and studied, I now know the number of continents.”

George Wallace 

Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States:

“The world is more like it is now then it ever has before.”

Dwight D Eisenhower 

Fred Heineman, former Republican representative from North Carolina:

“When I see someone who is making anywhere from $300,000 to $750,000 a year, that’s middle class.”

Fred Heineman 

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien:

“A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It’s a proof. A proof is proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it is proven.”

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

Imelda Marcos, former First Lady and a political figure in the Philippines:

“I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it’s so petty.”

Imelda Marcos 

Bob Dole, Republican presidential candidate:

“The internet is a great way to get on the net.”

Bob Dole 

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Al Gore, former U.S. vice president:

“We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur.”

Al Gore 

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Former California Governor Gray Davis, during the recall campaign:

“My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every, of people from every planet, of every country on earth.”

Former California Governor Gray Davis 

Charles De Gaulle, former French President:

“China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.”

Charles De Gaulle 

President Clinton, denying that he had sexually harassed Kathleen Willey:

“I would never approach a small-breasted woman.”

Monica Lewinsky 

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Stupid Politicians And Bureaucrats Make What? Yes, That’s Right – Stupid Laws

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There has to be a little bit of truth at least in the saying that you get the politicians you deserve. If you vote for morons then I’m afraid the odds are that you’ll get stupid laws, rules and regulations.

It’s a worldwide disease, but here is a continuation from last Wednesday of some of the lesser known laws that govern the good citizens in the United States (listed by state alphabetically, last week we covered A to L, this week it’s the M’s and N’s.).

Enjoy (or cringe, perhaps).  

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MAINE

  • To stroll down the street playing a violin is against the law. (Finally a law that is half sensible.)
  • Mercury thermometers may not be sold in the city.
  • It is illegal to park in front of Dunkin Donuts. (Hmmm, so that’s why there’s always a cop car outside it.)

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MARYLAND

  • It’s illegal to take a lion to the movies. (So dinner and a what then?)
  • An establishment using a strobe light must post a warning sign for epileptics. (They might have a fit if you didn’t.)
  • You may not curse inside the city limits. (WTF!)
  • It is a park rule violation to be in a public park with a sleeveless shirt. (Mine has sleeves, they’re short, but it has sleeves.)
  • Any person caught committing adultery is subject to a $10 fine. (Bill Clinton would probably consider that good value for money!)

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MASSACHUCETTS

  • At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches. (That’s dead mean.)
  • It is a crime to own an explosive golf ball.
  • Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.
  • All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. (That’s the only day I go to Church.)
  • It is illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath. (Oh, oh! I usually just take a shower.)
  • Selling arsenic-laced candy is subject to a $100 fine.
  • A woman can not be on top in sexual activities. (Yes, men are much better – awe, come on!)
  • Quakers and witches are banned.

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MICHIGAN

  • Willfully destroying your old radio is prohibited.
  • It is illegal for a man to scowl at his wife on Sunday.
  • Seducing or debauching an unmarried woman can earn five years in jail. (Or a much longer sentence if you have to marry her!)
  • It is illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit unless it has a ring in its nose. (What swine thought that one up?)
  • There is a law that makes it legal for a farmer to sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats, and chickens.
  • In Flint one who wears “saggy pants” can be jailed for four months. 
  • A woman isn’t allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission. (So can she get a hairdresser or another woman to do it?)

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MINNESOTA

  • It is illegal to stand around any building without a good reason to be there. (I thought it was just supposed to be tents? You know loitering within tent?? See what I did there???)
  • A person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his head. (That one is quackers.)
  • Citizens may not enter Wisconsin with a chicken on their head. (Are they subject to a paltry fine?)
  • Red cars may not drive down Lake Street, Minnieapolis.
  • Hamburgers may not be eaten on Sundays. (Hot dog!)

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MISSISSIPPI

  • If one is a parent to two illegitimate children, that person will go to jail for at least one month.
  • It is illegal to teach others what polygamy is.
  • A man may not seduce a woman by lying, and claiming he will marry her. (Who would do a thing like that?)
  • It is illegal for a male to be sexually aroused in public. (Stiff penalties no doubt!)

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MISSOURI

  • It is a crime to let an unaltered jackass run at large. (I’ve forgotten, who are Missouri’s Congressional Representatives?)
  • No person may own a PVC pipe. (No Blue Man Group in Missouri then.)
  • It’s illegal to sit on the curb of any city street and drink beer from a bucket. (Like I said before, a good night out ruined.)
  • A milk man may not run while on duty. 
  • It shall be unlawful to provide beer or other intoxicants to elephants.  (And, I imagine, quite expensive.)
  • Minors are not allowed to purchase cap pistols, however they may buy shotguns freely. (Good law, give ‘em something that can kill people instead of just annoy them.)

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MONTANA

  • One may not pretend to abuse an animal in the presence of a minor. (You mean you have to do it for real?)
  • It is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone. (Baaaaaaad law.)
  • In Helena it is an offence to let your water sprinkler wet a passer-by. (Well really, the very idea!)
  • It is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail. (Try enforcing that one!)
  • It is illegal for a man and a woman to have sex in any other position other than missionary style. (Oh boy, knowing it’s illegal makes it even better!)
  • Seven or more Indians are considered a raiding or war party and it is legal to shoot them. (Without reservations?)
  • It is illegal to bring a bomb or rocket at city council proceedings.
  • Worrying squirrels will not be tolerated. (You hear that Frank?)

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NEBRASKA

  • If a child burps during church, his parent may be arrested.
  • It is illegal for a mother to give her daughter a perm without a state license. (Straight up?)
  • Doughnut holes may not be sold.
  • It is illegal to do a reverse bungee jump. (Surely that’s stretching things a bit?)

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NEVADA

  • It’s still “legal” to hang someone for shooting your dog on your property.
  • A man is forbidden from buying drinks for more than three people other than himself at any one period during the day. (Do I hear a stampede of cheapskates heading for Nevada?)
  • It is illegal to lie down on the sidewalk. (That’s okay, I usually just fall down.)
  • Owning a slave is against the law. (Er… isn’t it everywhere?)

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NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • On Sundays citizens may not relieve themselves while looking up. (Remember to keep your eyes shut then.)
  • It is illegal to pick seaweed up off of the beach.
  • Spite fences cannot be higher than five feet. (Try looking over that, shorty!)
  • A law against shooting humans has been repealed. (Hands up sucker!)

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NEW JERSEY

  • It is illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a murder. (But weapons are okay?)
  • In Paterson it is illegal for an ice cream vendor to be annoying.
  • You cannot pump your own gas. (Oh yes I can, just listen.)
  • It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
  • It is against the law to “frown” at a police officer.
  • You may not slurp your soup. (But it tastes nicer that way.)

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NEW MEXICO

  • Nudity is allowed, provided that male genitals are covered. (Bollocks!)
  • Women may walk in public topless provided they have their nipples covered. (Where’s the point?)
  • It’s forbidden for a female to appear unshaven in public. (Even their heads?)
  • Abusing a computer is a crime.
  • You may not carry a lunchbox down Main Street in Las Cruces.

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NEW YORK

  • Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used as a business. (Provided what is not being used as a business?)
  • It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing”. (That’s the law lycra or not!)
  • Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers”. (Now that would just be as dumb as this law, wouldn’t it?)
  • The penalty for jumping off a building is death. (I understand the gravity of this law.)
  • A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket.
  • While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking toward the door. (Farting is permitted is it?)
  • Slippers are not to be worn after 10:00 PM (When else would you wear them?)

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NORTH CAROLINA

  • It’s against the law to sing off key. (Thank goodness Mrs Miller is from Missouri.)
  • In Transylvania County a Dalmation is deemed to be a “potentially dangerous” breed of dog. (Well spotted!)
  • Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields.
  • While having sex, you must stay in the missionary position and have the shades pulled. (Now that’s a new name for them!)
  • Women must have their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of cloth at all times.

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NORTH DAKOTA

  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
  • Beer and pretzels can’t be served at the same time in any bar or restaurant.
  • Only US Citizens can be appointed to the Dry Pea and Lentil Council. (Naturally! What would foreigners know about such things?)
  • It is legal to shoot an Indian on horseback, provided you are in a covered wagon. (How can you be on horseback and in a covered wagon at the same time?)
  • One may be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing, or even for wearing a hat to a function where dancing is taking place.
  • A food seller cannot be held responsible for making someone fat.

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A Tribute To Peanut Butter, Yum! – Oh, And A Lot Of Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Peanuts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I must admit to not having much time for nuts with allergies, er… to nuts. But I’ve always liked the edible variety, particularly peanuts and peanut butter. Liked it when I was a kid, still like it today. One of the best culinary inventions ever, in my opinion.

Mr Peanut - Planters logo
Mr Peanut – Planters logo

 

Peanut butter has been invented and reinvented many times during history. Peanuts were known as early as 950 B.C. and originated in South America. The ancient Incas used peanuts and were known to have made it into a paste-like substance.

As a crop, peanuts emigrated from South America to Africa thanks to early explorers and from there traveled by trade into Spain which then traded the product to the American colonies. A rather roundabout way to get to the US, but there you are, or rather, here it is.

The first commercial peanut crop was grown in Virginia in the early to mid 1840’s and in North Carolina beginning around 1818.

According to the Corn Products Company, Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis patented a peanut butter-making machine in 1903 and some unknown doctor invented peanut butter in 1890.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented a “Process of Preparing Nut Meal” in 1895 and used peanuts. Kellogg served the patients at his Battle Creek Sanitarium peanut butter. Joseph Lambert worked for Dr. Kellogg and began selling his own hand-operated peanut butter grinder in 1896. Almeeta Lambert published the first nut cookbook, “The Complete Guide to Nut Cookery” in 1899.

By 1914, many companies were making peanut butter.

Joseph L. Rosenfield invented a churning process that made peanut butter smooth and in 1928, licensed his invention to the Pond Company, the makers of “Peter Pan” peanut butter.

Peter Pan peanut butter

In 1932, he began making his own brand of peanut butter called “Skippy” which included a crunchy style peanut butter.

Skippy Peanut Butter

But it is possibly agricultural chemist, George Washington Carver who has the best claim to the peanut butter gold medal position. In the course of his research he discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes.

Carver wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life.

He started popularizing uses for peanut products including peanut butter, paper, ink, and oils beginning in 1880, the most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts.

However, Carver did not patent peanut butter as he believed food products were all gifts from God. The 1880 date precedes all the above inventors except of course for the Incas, who were first. It was Carver who made peanuts a significant crop in the American South in the early 1900’s. Today half of all edible peanuts produced in the United States are used to make peanut butter and peanut spreads.

Thanks Mr G W Carver.

George Washington Carver - One Of America's Great Sscientists
George Washington Carver – One Of America’s Great Scientists

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And here are a lot of other things you probably didn’t know about peanuts….

 

  • Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite;
  • The peanut is not a nut, it is actually a legume;
  • It takes more than 500 peanuts to make one 12 ounce jar of peanut butter;
  • The Planters Peanut Company mascot, Mr. Peanut, was created during a contest for schoolchildren in 1916;
  • Throughout the South, peanuts were known as “Monkey Nuts,” and “Goober peas,” before the civil war;
  • The fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth is called Arachibutyrophobia;
  • People living on the east coast prefer creamy peanut butter, while people living on the west coast prefer chunky peanut butter;
  • Skippy Peanut Butter is sold more in the world than any other peanut butter;
  • The average American kid will eat approximately 1.500 peanut butter sandwiches by high school graduation;
  • The #1 peanut producing state is Georgia;
  • On average, the American household consumes six pounds of peanut butter annually;
  • 96% of people put the peanut butter on first when making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich;
  • Americans consume the most peanut butter in the world;
  • Approximately three jars of peanut butter are sold every second;
  • In a year, about 90 million jars of Skippy Peanut Butter are sold. (This works out to three jars sold every second);
  • In the U.S. peanuts account for 66% of all snack nuts;
  • Both Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, U.S. presidents, were peanut farmers at one time;
  • Peanut butter is an effective way to remove chewing gum from hair or clothes;
  • Incas used to create pots in the shape of peanuts that were highly prized;
  • In Greene, New York, you are not allowed to eat peanuts and walk backwards on the sidewalk during a concert.

 

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Thirteen, Unlucky For Some

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They’ve been ‘beautiful’,  they’ve been ‘big’  and they’ve been ‘unusual’

Today we have ‘significant’ number thirteen, unlucky for some.

Enjoy.

 

13 Thirteen

The number 13 seems to give a lot of people trouble. Indeed the fear of the number 13 is so pervasive that it even has a phobia named after it  –  triskaidekaphobia. 

 

In the Bible.

  • At the Last Supper in Christian theology, there were 13 dinner guests, so that number is unlucky because Christ was betrayed.
  • Thirteen famines are recorded in the Scriptures.
  • The destruction of Jericho is stamped with the number thirteen, because the city was compassed once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, making 13 times in all (6+7).
  • All the names of Satan are divisible by thirteen.
  • In Mark 7 Jesus mentions thirteen things that defile a person (evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness).

 

Elsewhere,

  • The ancient Hebrews thought 13 was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word “mavet,” meaning death.
  • In Norse mythology, 12 benevolent gods were gathering in a hall and the evil god Loki attacked the group. Loki was the 13th guest, and the god Balder was killed in the melee.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt was quite fearful of the number 13, and he took great pains to avoid hosting a meal for a group of that size. It is said that if he had a cancellation and it looked as if there might be 13 people to lunch, he would invite his secretary to join them so there wouldn’t be 13.
  • Industrialist Henry Ford wouldn’t do business on Friday, the 13th.
  • Multimillionaire Paul Getty once stated “I wouldn’t care to be one of thirteen at a table.”
  • Some speculate that a fear of the number 13 is the reason we recognize only 12 constellations in the Zodiac, omitting a thirteenth… Ophiuchus ( the Serpent Holder) that, by its location, could be included.
  • Years ago, London bakers were subject to harsh penalties if they were caught selling bread in what was called short weight. The bakers would add an extra loaf to each dozen to be sure the sale met the minimum weight requirement. They avoided the word thirteen and the process of adding an extra loaf became known as the “baker’s dozen.”
  • Some airlines do not have a 13th row.
  • Most tall buildings do not have a 13th floor.
  • Many hotel guests refuse to stay in Room 13, so rooms are frequently numbered 12, 12A, and 14.
  • The 13th card of the Tarot is the card of Death.
  • The composer, Arnold Schoenberg, was a noted triskaidekaphobe. He died as he had predicted at the age of 76 (7+6=13), on a Friday 13th at 13 minutes to midnight.
  • In April 1970, NASA launched Apollo 13 at 1313 hours Central Time from pad 39. The flight was commanded by James A. Lovell with John L. “Jack” Swigert as Command Module pilot and Fred W. Haise as Lunar Module pilot. (Swigert was a late replacement for the original CM pilot Ken Mattingly, who was grounded by the flight surgeon after exposure to German measles.) They were scheduled for rest periods beginning 13 minutes past the hour and on April 13 at 21:07:53 CST (55:54:53 Ground Elapsed Time) an oxygen tank exploded and the mission had to be aborted. The rest is history – and a movie, Apollo 13, based on ‘Lost Moon’, Jim Lovell’s and Jeffrey Kluger’s book about the event.
Apollo 13 insignia
Insignia of the ill-fated Apollo XIII Mission

 

Friday the 13th Myths:

  • If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
  • A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
  • If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.

 

In the United States

  • the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution officially outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
  • thirteen colonies rebelled against British Rule and King George III in what led to the American Revolutionary War and the eventual birth of the United States of America. The colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  • there are thirteen stripes on the USA flag to commemorate these original colonies.
USA flag - Stars and Stripes
USA flag – Stars and Stripes

 

 

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