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August 20th

“Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability.” — H.P. Lovecraft

TODAY – AUGUST 20th

232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) with 133 days to follow.
•From August 20 to 22 look for the Moon to come very very close to planet Saturn
Holidays for Today:
~ National Radio Day
~ National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
~ World Mosquito Day
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BIRTHDAYS ON THIS DATE:

  • 1833 Benjamin Harrison, North Bend, Ohio, 23rd President of the United States
  • 1881 Edgar Guest, English-born American poet (the People’s Poet)
  • 1890 H.P. (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft, Providence, Rhode Island, author (Cthulhu Mythos story cycle, Necronomicon)
  • 1918 Jacqueline Susann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, author (Valley of the Dolls)
  • 1923 Jim Reeves (Gentleman Jim), Galloway, Texas, singer-songwriter (Four Walls, Blue Christmas, He’ll Have to Go)
  • 1935 Ron Paul, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, physician, author & politician (U.S. Representative for Texas 1976-1977, 1979-85 & 1997-2013; Presidential candidate x3)
  • 1943 Sylvester McCoy, Scottish actor (7th incarnation of Dr. Who 1987-1989; final doctor of the original program run)
  • 1951 Greg Bear, San Diego, California, author (Series: Forge of God, The Way; Queen of Angels, Blood Music, Darwin’s Radio, Forerunner Trilogy (Halo universe), middle prequel novel to Foundation trilogy, Star Trek: Corona, Star Wars: Rogue Planet)
  • 1954 Al Roker, Queens, New York, television weatherman, actor, author (Robots, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Sharknado movies)
  • 1961 Greg Egan, Australian author (Quarantine, Diaspora, Our Lady of Chernobyl, Oceanic, Permutation City, Dichronauts)
  • 1967 Colin Cunningham, Los Angeles, California, actor (Beggars and Choosers, Stargate SG-1, Da Vinci’s Inquest, The Collector, Falling Skies, Blood Drive, Preacher)
  • 1974 Amy Adams, Vicenza, Italy, American actress and singer (Doubt, Enchanted, Arrival, Lois Lane in Superman movies, Sharp Objects)
  • 1974 Misha Collins, Boston, Massachusetts, actor (24, The Grift, Reinventing the Wheelers, Supernatural, Stonehenge Apocalypse)

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“It is easy to smile in the face of a challenge, when we believe in ourselves that we won’t back down.” ― Ellen J. Barrier
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HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS:

  • 1858 Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace’s same theory.
  • 1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over.
  • 1882 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow.
  • 1920 The first commercial radio station, 8MK (now WWJ), begins operations in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1920 The National Football League, (NFL), is founded in the United States.
  • 1938 Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd career grand slam – a record that stood for 75 years until it was broken by Alex Rodriguez.
  • 1940 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill makes the fourth of his famous wartime speeches, containing the line “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”.
  • 1975 NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
  • 1977 NASA launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
  • 1986 In Edmond, Oklahoma, U.S. Postal employee Patrick Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers and then commits suicide.
  • 1988 “Black Saturday” of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park
  • 1998 The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government’s approval.

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My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion, and my wife kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table. I asked my wife, ‘Do you know him?’
‘Yes,’ she sighed, ‘He’s my old boyfriend. I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn’t been sober since.’

‘My word!’ I said to my wife, ‘who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?’
And then the fight started.
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And the thing about my jokes is, they don’t hurt anybody.
You can take ’em or leave ’em – you can say they’re funny or they’re terrible or they’re good, or whatever, but you can just pass ’em by.
But with Congress, every time they make a joke, it’s a law!
And every time they make a law, it’s a joke! – Will Rogers
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One summer evening a young son came in while his parents were setting the table for supper. Quite surprisingly, he asked if he could help.
His mother said, “No, but I appreciate you asking.”
The child responded, “Well, I appreciate you saying no.”
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ONE-LINERS: Top 10 ways to brighten your day by annoying others.
1. Specify that your drive-thru order is “to go.”
2. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
3. Practice making fax and modem noises.

4. Make beeping noises when you back up.
5. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears.
6. Yell out random numbers while someone is counting.
7. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: “Do you hear that?”….”What?…”Never mind, it’s gone now.”

8. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.
9. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
10.Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
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While I was dining out with my children, a man came over to our table, and we started talking.
He asked where my kids go to school. I told him we home-schooled them.
With a raised eyebrow, he asked if my husband is the sole breadwinner for our family. I said, “No, I also work … out of our home.”

Then, noticing our two-month-old son, he mentioned that his daughter had just had a baby, and he wondered what hospital our son was born in. “He was born at home,” I answered.
The man looked at me, then said, “Wow, you don’t get out much, do you?”
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PIC OF THE DAY: Kudzu on trees near Atlanta, Georgia

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WARNING! ENTERING THE PUN ZONE!

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, the famous Emperor Nero instituted a new game. The players would take those little disks you set your glass on in order to protect the furniture, and see who could get the most distance rolling them across the floor.
They were the first roller coasters.

Back in those days, the disks were made of iron, and they would bet on whose disk would roll the farthest.
They called them ferrous wheels.
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Places I’d Rather Not Live
– Paradox, New York
– Crapo, Maryland
– Boogertown, North Carolina
– Spasticville, Kansas
– Hellhole, Idaho
– Purgatory, Maine
– Girdletree, Maryland
– Rabbithash, Kentucky
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A trio of old veterans were bragging about the heroic exploits of their ancestors one afternoon down at the VFW hall.
“My great grandfather, at age 13,” one declared proudly, “was a drummer boy at Shiloh.”
“Mine,” boasts another, “went down with Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn.”

“I’m the only soldier in my family,” confessed vet number three, “but if my great grandfather was living today he’d be the most famous man in the world.”
“Really? What’d he do?” his friends wanted to know.
“Nothing much. But he would be 165 years old.”
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A corporal was assigned to advise new recruits about their government benefits including GI insurance. Before long the C.O. realized that the corporal had a much better record for insurance sales than anyone else. To find out what was going on, the C.O stood in the back of the room and listened to the corporal’s sales pitch.

After explaining the basics of the GI insurance to the recruits, the corporal added, “If you have GI Insurance, go into battle and get killed, the government has to pay two hundred thousand dollars to your family. If you don’t have GI insurance, and get killed in battle, the government only has to pay a maximum of $6000.”

“Now,” he concluded, “which bunch do you think they’re going to send into battle first?”
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A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at Burger King. He noticed that they ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries. One for him, one for her, until each had half of them. Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup, and set it in front of his wife. The old man began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs.
The old gentleman said, “Oh, no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.”
The young man than asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn using the teeth.”
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TODAY IN TRIVIA: Why do we have a World Mosquito Day? The day is to commemorate British doctor Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. Ross is responsible for the annual observance, having declared shortly after his discovery that the day should be known as World Mosquito Day in the future.

~ What is kudzu? Poet James Dickey referred to it as “a vegetal form of cancer.” Others have described it as “the vine that ate the South.” Kudzu is an Asian bean vine imported to the US South in the 1930s in an effort to improve the soil. Seen then as a “miracle” vine, it was hoped that planting large quantities of kudzu would replace nitrogen in erosion-torn soil.

~ How did planting kudzu start? The plant seemed perfect because its deep roots gripped the soil and could be planted even in barren fields where nothing else would grow. Farmers could get the miracle vine free from the Soil Conservation Service, which heavily promoted the plant. In fact, some farmers were paid as much as eight dollars an acre as an incentive to plant the vine. During the Great Depression, hundreds of men were employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps to plant kudzu.

~ What’s wrong with kudzu? The problem with kudzu is the environmental and ecological damage that results from acting through “interference competition”, meaning it out-competes other species for a resource. Kudzu competes with native flora for light, and by shading them with its leaves kills native plants. It grows so quickly, not much can keep up with it, and before you know it, kudzu has covered the countryside!
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QUIP OF THE DAY: I think – therefore I’m single. – Lizz Winstead

THAT’S (ALMOST) ALL FOLKS!

Thought for the day. . .
“Before you condemn someone else for a wrongful act, check your behavior and see if you too, have committed an act similar or even worse than the act that person has done. Then you won’t be in a position to judge.” ― Ellen J. Barrier

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