January 23, 2014

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV


23rd day of 2014 with 342 to follow.

Holidays for Today:

*National Pie Day

*National Handwriting Day

*Measure Your Feet Day



  • 1737 John Hancock, Braintree, Province of Massachusetts Bay, American patriot (1st & 3rd governor of Massachusetts, 4th President of the Continental Congress)
  • 1745 William Jessop, English canal engineer (best known for his work on canals, harbors and early railways in the late 18th and early 19th centuries)
  • 1832 Édouard Manet, French artist (pivotal figure in transition from Realism to Impressionism)
  • 1840 Ernst Abbe, German physicist (Abbe refractometer, Abbe number)
  • 1855 John Moses Browning, Ogden, Utah, inventor (firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world)
  • 1862 David Hilbert, German mathematician (discovered and developed a broad range of fundamental ideas in many areas, including invariant theory and the axiomatization of geometry)
  • 1872 Paul Langevin, French physicist (developed Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation)
  • 1876 Otto Diels, Hamburg, Germany, chemist (Nobel / discovery and development of the cycloaddition synthesis)
  • 1884 George McManus, St. Louis, Missouri, cartoonist (Bringing Up Father)
  • 1897 Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Canadian soldier, W.W.II codename, Intrepid (Inspiration for James Bond)
  • 1898 Randolph Scott, Orange County, California, actor (The Last of the Mohicans, Westbound, Ride Lonesome, Ride the High Country)
  • 1918 Gertrude B. Elion, New York City,  New York, scientist (developed a multitude of new drugs, using innovative research methods that would later lead to the development of the AIDS drug AZT)
  • 1920 Walter Frederick Morrison, Richfield, Utah, inventor (the Frisbee)
  • 1943 Gil Gerard, Little Rock, Arkansas, actor (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Nuclear Hurricane, Killing Stone)
  • 1950 Richard Dean Anderson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, actor (General Hospital, MacGyver, Firehouse, Stargate SG-1)
  • 1951 Chesley Sullenberger, Denison, Texas, pilot (Captain of US Airways Flight 1549, a flight that successfully ditched into the Hudson River)
  • 1957 Princess Caroline of Monaco
  • 1964 Mariska Hargitay, Los Angeles, Califonia, actress (Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, Ghoulies, Lake Placid)
  • 1974 Tiffani Thiessen, Long Beach, Califonia, actress (Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210, White Collar)
  • 1981 Julia Jones, Boston, Massachusetts, Native American actress (Leah Clearwater in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse)


“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn



  • 1656 Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales.
  • 1789 Georgetown College, the first Catholic University in the United States, is founded in Georgetown, Maryland (now a part of Washington, D.C.)
  • 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor.
  • 1855 The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge.
  • 1897 Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
  • 1941 Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
  • 1943 Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time.
  • 1950 The Knesset passes a resolution that states Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
  • 1957 American inventor Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, who later rename it the “Frisbee”.
  • 1960 The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1964 The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.
  • 1968 North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo (AGER-2), claiming the ship had violated their territorial waters while spying.
  • 1973 President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
  • 1986 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
  • 1997 Madeleine Albright becomes the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.
  • 2002 “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh returns to the United States in FBI custody.
  • 2002 Reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan and subsequently murdered .
  • 2003 Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10.


A student on a class trip to the natural-history museum asks the guard, “Can you tell me how old the dinosaur bones are?”

The guard tells him, “Three-million-four years and six months old.”

The student says. “How do you know that so precisely?”

The guard says, “Well, the dinosaur bones were three million years old when I started working here, and that was four and a half years ago.”


My wife and I were celebrating our 50th anniversary. I said to her over dinner, “Fifty years is a long time.”

“A long, long time,” she agreed. Then she smiled. “Something just occurred to me.”

“What’s that?”

“If I had killed you the first time I felt like it, I’d be out of jail by now.”


ONE-LINERS: Feline Physics

Law of Cat Inertia – A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force – such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.

Law of Cat Motion – A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.

Law of Cat Magnetism – All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

Law of Cat Thermodynamics – Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.

Law of Cat Stretching – A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.

Law of Cat Sleeping – All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved, and as comfortable as possible for the cat.

Law of Refrigerator Observation – If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Law of Electric Blanket Attraction – Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.

Law of Random Comfort Seeking – A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.

Law of Bag/Box Occupancy – All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.

Law of Cat Embarrassment – A cat’s irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.

Law of Cat Disinterest – A cat’s interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.

Law of Pill Rejection – Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.

Law of Cat Composition – A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn’t Matter.

Law of Cat Elongation – A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.

Law of Cat Obstruction – A cat must lay on the floor in such a position to obstruct the maximum amount of human foot traffic.

Law of Cat Acceleration – A cat will accelerate at a constant rate, until he gets good and ready to stop.

Law of Dinner Table Attendance – Cats must attend all meals when anything good is served.

Law of Rug Configuration – No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.

Law of Obedience Resistance – A cat’s resistance varies in proportion to a human’s desire for her to do something.

First Law of Energy Conservation – Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.

Second Law of Energy Conservation – Cats also know that energy can only be stored by a lot of napping.

Law of Milk Consumption – A cat will drink his weight in milk, squared, just to show you he can.

Law of Furniture Replacement – A cat’s desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.

Law of Cat Landing – A cat will always land in the softest place possible; often the mid- section of an unsuspecting, reclining human.

Law of Fluid Displacement – A cat immersed in milk will displace her own volume, minus the amount of milk consumed.


pic of the day: Shetland Sheep Lamb

picture of lamb


An American couple retired to London, where they found a wonderful house, quite ancient, with a long and noble history.

Much to their chagrin, though, they discovered that their new home was abysmally cold in winter. They immediately set about trying to get a central heating system installed. Sadly, contractor after contractor told them that it simply wasn’t feasible in a house that old

“I was afraid it would come down to this,” the husband finally said.

“What, honey?”

“We can’t have archaic and heat it too.”


Doctors are used to getting calls at all hours. One night a man phoned, waking me up. “I’m sorry to bother you so late,” he said, “but I think my wife has appendicitis.”

Still half asleep, I reminded him, “I took your wife’s appendix out a couple of years ago. Whoever heard of a second appendix?”

“You may not have heard of a second appendix,” he replied, “but surely you’ve heard of a second wife.”


The presiding judge in a case involving a man charged with tax evasion was known for his dry sense of humor. As the defendant stood before him alone, the judge asked if he had counsel. Looking toward the ceiling, the man replied, “Jesus Christ is my counselor and defender.”

The wise Judge nodded slowly while carefully framing his next question, which was, “Sir, do you have LOCAL counsel?”


On the first day of school, a principal is making his rounds of the school when he hears a terrible commotion coming from one of the classrooms. He rushes in and spots one boy, taller than the others, who seems to be making the most noise. He seizes the lad, drags him to the hall, and tells him to wait there until he is excused.

Returning to the classroom, the principal restores order and lectures the class for half an hour about the importance of good behavior. “Now,” he says, “are there any questions?”

One girl stands up timidly. “Please sir,” she asks, “may we have our teacher back?”


TODAY IN TRIVIA: Whatever it is!

QUIP OF THE DAY: VENI, VEDI, VISA: I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.


Thought for the day. . .
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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