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August 17th

Everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. – Leo Tolstoy


229th day of the year (230th in leap years) with 136 days to follow.

Holidays for Today:
~ Baby Boomers Recognition Day
~ Black Cat Appreciation Day
~ Meaning of “Is” Day
~ National #2 Pencil Day
~ National I LOVE My Feet Day!
~ National Massachusetts Day
~ National Nonprofit Day
~ National Thrift Shop Day
~ National Vanilla Custard Day
~ Cat Nights Begin: The term “Cat Nights” harks back to a rather obscure old Irish legend concerning witches and the belief that a witch could turn herself into a cat eight times, but on the ninth time she couldn’t regain her human form. This bit of folklore also gives us the saying, “A cat has nine lives.” Because August is a yowly time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl in the first place. (source: Old Farmer’s Almanac)


  • 1786 Davy Crockett, Greene County, Tennessee, frontiersman, adventurer, politician
  • 1893 Mae West, Brunswick, New York, actress (Diamond Lil, She Done Him Wrong)
  • 1906 Hazel Bishop, Hoboken, New Jersey, Chemist and cosmetic executive (invented non-smear (“stays on you not on him”) kissproof lipstick)
  • 1920 Maureen O’Hara, Dublin, Ireland, actress, playwright (Miracle on 34th St, Big Jake, The Parent Trap)
  • 1929 Francis Gary Powers, Jenkins, Kentucky, U-2 pilot (USSR captures him in 1959 U-2 incident)
  • 1930 Glenn Corbett, El Monte, California, actor (Route 66, Shenandoah, The Road West, Star Trek Metamorphosis episode, Chisum, Big Jake, Dallas)
  • 1936 Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota, Native American musician and actor (Dances with Wolves, Walker Texas Ranger, The X-Files, Hildago, Comanche Moon, The Legend of Tillamook’s Gold)
  • 1943 Robert De Niro, New York City, New York, actor (The Godfather, Goodfellas, Backdraft, Cape Fear, Casino, Silver Linings Playbook, The Intern, The Wizard of Lies)
  • 1959 Eric Schlosser, NYC, New York, investigative journalist (Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, Chew On This)
  • 1966 Rodney Mullen, Gainesville, Florida, skateboarder (invented flat-ground Ollie, the Kickflip, Heelflip, 360 flip & the Impossible)

It is no profit to have learned well, if you neglect to do well. – Publilius Syrus


  • 1807 Robert Fulton’s first American steamboat leaves New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
  • 1907 Pike Place Market, the longest continuously-running public farmers market in the US, opened in Seattle.
  • 1908 Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, realized by Émile Cohl, is shown in Paris.
  • 1953 First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
  • 1959 Quake Lake was formed by a 7.5 rated earthquake in Montana.
  • 1962 East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.
  • 1970 Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus).
  • 1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admits in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admits before the nation that he “misled people” about his relationship.
  • 2008 American swimmer Michael Phelps becomes the first person to win eight gold medals in one Olympic Games.


The new Librarian decided that instead of checking out children’s books by writing the names of borrowers on the book cards herself, she would have the youngsters sign their own names. She would then tell them they were signing a “Contract” for returning the books on time.

Her first customer was a second grader, who looked surprised to see a new Librarian. He brought four books to the desk and shoved them across to the Librarian, giving her his name as he did so.

The Librarian pushed the books back and told him to sign them out. The boy laboriously printed his name on each book card and then handed them to her with a look of utter disgust.

Before the Librarian could even start her speech he said, scornfully, “That other Librarian we had could write.”


An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, “How do you expect to get into Heaven?”

The boy thought it over and said, “Well, I’ll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, ‘For Heaven’s sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out!'”


ONE-LINERS: Things I’d Like to Hear, Just Once . . .

From my son’s preschool teacher:
“Everyone misbehaved today except Michael.”
“Michael traded his candy bar for carrot sticks.”
“I wish we had 20 Michaels.”

From a store clerk:
“The computerized cash register is down. I’ll just add up your purchases with a pencil and paper.”
“I’ll take a break after I finish waiting on these customers.”
“We’re sorry we sold you defective merchandise. We’ll pick it up at your home and bring you a new one or give you a complete refund, whichever you prefer.”

It’s 2012 and it’s the Olympics in London. A Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman want to get in, but they haven’t got tickets.

The Scotsman picks up a manhole cover, tucks it under his arm and walks to the gate. “McTavish, Scotland,” he says, “Discus,” and in he walks.

The Englishman picks up a length of scaffolding and slings it over his shoulder. “Waddington-Smythe, England,” he says, “Pole vault,” and in he walks.

The Irishman looks around, picks up a roll of barbed wire and tucks it under his arm. “O’Malley, Ireland,” he says: “Fencing.”

pic of the day: Red Kangaroo Resting..

kangaroo on ground

Bill died, leaving a will that provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral. As the last of the visitors departed the services, his wife, Lynne, turned to her dearest friend, Sue, and said, “Well, I think Bill would be pleased.”
“I’m sure you’re right,” replied Sue, who then lowered her voice and leaned in close. “How much did this really cost?”
“All of it,” said Lynne. “All thirty thousand.”

“No!” Sue exclaimed. “I mean, it was very nice, but $30,000?”
Lynne replied, “Yes. The funeral was $6,500; I donated $500 to the church, and the wake, food and drinks were another $500. The rest went for the Memorial Stone.”

Sue computed quickly and asked, “$22,500 for a Memorial Stone? My goodness, how big is it?”
“Two and a half carats.”

“I’m prescribing these pills for you,” said the doctor to the overweight patient who wanted to lose weight without exercising.

“I don’t want you to swallow them. Just spill them on the floor twice a day and pick them up, one at a time.”


The bill collector knocked on the door of a country debtor. “Is Fred home?” he asked the woman who answered the door.

“Sorry,” the woman replied. “Fred’s gone for cotton.”

The next day the collector tried again. “Is Fred here today?”

“No, sir. I’m afraid Fred has gone for cotton.”

When he returned the third day he questioned, “I suppose Fred is gone for cotton again?”

“No, Fred died yesterday.”

Suspicious, the collector waited a week and then went to the town cemetery. Sure enough, there was poor Fred’s tombstone, with the inscription: “Gone, But Not for Cotton.”


Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness.

The waitress comes out and asks him if he would like to order. “Yes madame, I would like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.”

The waitress hurries back inside, and just as quickly comes back out and says to Sartre “I’m so very sorry Monsieur, but we seem to be out of cream. Would you like it with no milk instead?”


My four-year-old was showing a little friend the family photos that cover one wall in our basement. Out of sight but not out of earshot, I overheard her say, “Here’s a picture of my mommy when she was a little girl. I wasn’t there, but people say she used to be nice.”


An artist has a show at the local gallery. One huge canvas is black with yellow blobs splattered all over it; the next is a murky gray with streaky drips of purple.

A viewer walks over to the artist and says, “I don’t understand your paintings.”

“I paint what I feel inside me,” explains the artist.

“…Have you ever tried Alka-Seltzer?”


There are two bats in a cave and one says to the other, “I could do with some blood right now.”

The other said, “Me too but its almost sunrise.”

The first one said, “Wait here.” He flies off and comes back with a mouth full of blood.

The 2nd bat says, “Hey where’d ya get that blood from?”

The other replies, “Ya see that tree over there?”


“Well I didn’t.”


TODAY IN TRIVIA: Can a diamond be manufactured that is indistinguishable from the real thing? 
The short answer; yes. Since gemological and industrial uses of diamond have created a large demand some of it is met by synthetics, man-made diamonds which have similar properties to natural diamonds. This process has historically produced industrial-grade diamonds, but producers have recently begun to produce diamonds with high enough quality to penetrate the gem diamond market. Currently, trained gemologists are able to distinguish natural diamonds from all synthetic and simulant diamonds. However, new techniques for creating and treating simulants (such as coating them with a very thin diamond-like layer of carbon) are making it increasingly difficult to distinguish simulants from real diamonds.

~ How much fresh water is stored in the earth? 
More than 2 million cubic miles of fresh water is stored in the planet, nearly half of it within a half-mile of the surface. Mars, too, appears to have a lot of water near its surface, but what’s been detected so far is locked up as ice; nobody has estimated how much might be there.

~ Which waterfall is the highest?
The Salto Alto (Angel Falls) in Venezuela is the highest waterfall known. It is more than twenty times higher than Niagara.

~ Where was the west’s gateway? 
St. Louis was called the “Gateway to the West” in the 1800s because it served as a starting place for wagon train departures.

~ How large is the cecropia?
With a six-inch wingspan, the cecropia is the largest moth in North America. Its charcoal gray wings are adorned with distinctive “eye spots” and bands of orange and white. The cecropia has feathery antennae and a furry orange-striped body as big as a baby mouse.

QUIP OF THE DAY: If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.


Thought for the day. . . Be entirely tolerant or not at all; follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess. – Heinrich Heine

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