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December 31st

At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived. – Dame Rose Macaulay


365th day of the year (366th in leap years) and LAST day of the year.

Holidays for Today:
~ New Year’s Eve
~ No Interruptions Day
~ Make Up Your Mind Day
~ National Champagne Day
~ Leap Second Time Adjustment Day
~ Twelve Days of Christmas Day 7 (Western Christianity)
~ Hogmanay (first night) or “Auld Year’s Night” (Scotland)
~ Universal Hour of Peace Day / World Peace Meditation Day / World Healing Day (People all around the world gather at noon Greenwich mean time to join in meditation for peace on the planet.)


  • 1860 Joseph S. Cullinan, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, businessman (co-founded Texaco)
  • 1864 Robert Grant Aitken, Jackson, California, astronomer (study of double stars)
  • 1869 Henri Matisse, French painter (one of 3 artists defining painting & sculpture developments in early 20th century)
  • 1878 Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman (Elizabeth Arden, Inc. cosmetics)
  • 1880 George C. Marshall, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, soldier, U.S. Secretary of State 1947-1949 (Nobel / Marshall Plan)
  • 1920 Rex Allen, Wilcox, Arizona, actor, “singing cowboy”, and songwriter
  • 1937 Sir Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, The Mask of Zorro, The Lion in Winter, Dracula, Legends of the Fall, Fracture, Thor, West World)
  • 1943 John Denver, Roswell, New Mexico, singer and songwriter (Take Me Home Country Roads, Rocky Mountain High, Sunshine on My Shoulders, Thank God I’m a Country Boy)
  • 1943 Sir Ben Kingsley, English actor (Gandhi, Schindler’s List, Sexy Beast, House of Sand and Fog, Ender’s Game, Dragonheart 3)
  • 1945 Connie Willis, Denver, Colorado, author (Lincoln’s Dreams, Doomsday Book, Remake, Bellwether, Passage, Blackout)
  • 1947 Tim Matheson, Glendale, California, actor (Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, The Virginian, The Quest, Tucker’s Witch, The West Wing, Wolf Lake, Hart of Dixie)
  • 1948 Donna Summer, Boston, Massachusetts, singer (disco era of the late 1970s)
  • 1949 Susan Shwartz, Youngstown, Ohio, author (Vulcan’s Forge, Vulcan’s Heart, Heritage of Flight, Shards of Empire, Cross and Crescent)
  • 1953 James Remar, Boston, Massachusetts, actor (The Warriors, 48 Hrs., The Cotton Club, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, The Vampire Diaries, Dexter)
  • 1959 Val Kilmer, Los Angeles, California, actor (Top Gun, The Doors, Tombstone, Batman Forever, Wyatt Earp’s Revenge)
  • 1965 Nicholas Sparks, Omaha, Nebraska, author (Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, The Last Song, The Lucky One, The Best of Me, The Longest Ride, See Me)
  • 1969 Lance Reddick, Baltimore, Maryland, actor (Oz, The Wire, Fringe, White House Down, Bosch)
  • 1970 Chandra West, Canadian actress (Puppet Master 4 & 5, Universal Solder II & III, The Salton Sea, NYPD Blue, The Gates, Played, A Christmas Tail)
  • 1972 Joey McIntyre, Needham, Massachusetts, singer (New Kids on the Block)
  • 1974 Joe Abercrombie, English author (The First Law trilogy, Red Country, Shattered Sea trilogy)
  • 1986 Bronson Pelletier, Canadian actor (The Twilight Saga, Dinosapien)

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down. – Mary Pickford


  • 1695 A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax.
  • 1759 Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.
  • 1831 Gramercy Park is deeded to New York City.
  • 1853 A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London, England
  • 1857 Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, then a small logging town, as the capital of Canada.
  • 1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Stones River begins near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • 1878 Karl Benz, working in Mannheim, Germany, filed for a patent on his first reliable two-stroke gas engine, and he was granted the patent for it in 1879.
  • 1879 Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
  • 1907 The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in New York, New York.
  • 1923 Big Ben’s chimes are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.
  • 1946 President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.
  • 1951 The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than US$13.3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.
  • 1955 The General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over US$1 billion in a year.
  • 1983 AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.
  • 1999 The U.S. Government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama, to comply with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.
  • 2004 The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper at that time in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 ft).
  • 2009 Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur.
  • 2011 NASA succeeds in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon.


A Brit, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.

“Look at their reserve, their calm,” muses the Brit. “They must be British.”

“Nonsense,” the Frenchman disagrees. “They’re naked, and so beautiful. Clearly, they are French.”

“No clothes, no shelter,” the Russian points out, “they have only an apple to eat, and they’re being told this is paradise. Clearly, they are Russian.”

A boy was teaching a girl arithmetic, he said it was his mission.
He kissed her once; he kissed her twice and said, “Now that’s addition.”

In silent satisfaction, she sweetly gave the kisses back and said, “Now that’s subtraction.”
Then he kissed her, she kissed him, without an explanation.

And both together smiled and said, “That’s multiplication.”
Then her Dad appeared upon the scene and made a quick decision.

He kicked that boy three blocks away and said, “That’s long division!”

Marriage One-liners

~ Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. (Phyllis Diller)
~ The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. (Henny Youngman)
~ A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong. (Milton Berle)

~ You know what I did before I married? Anything I wanted to. (Henny Youngman)
~ The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they’re too old to do it. (Ann Bancroft)

~ My wife dresses to kill. She cooks the same way. (Henny Youngman)
~ Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. (Benjamin Franklin)
~ I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewellery. (Rita Rudner)

~ I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. (George Burns)
~ My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met. (Rodney Dangerfield)
~ I bought my wife a new car. She called and said, “There’s water in the carburetor.” I said, “Where’s the car?” She said, “In the lake.” (Henny Youngman)

A customer calls the round-the-clock tech support hotline to ask what hours the call center is open.

“The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says the technician who answers the call.
Customer asks, “Is that Eastern or Pacific time?”

In Sunday School one morning Little Joey raised his hand and proceeded to ask a question that had perplexed him for some time.

“Mr. Goldblatt,” said little Joey, “there’s something I can’t figure out. According to the Bible, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea,right?”

“And the Children of Israel beat up the Philistines, right?”
“Er, right.”

“And the Children of Israel built the Temple, right?”
“Again you’re right.”

“And the Children of Israel fought the Egyptians and the Children of Israel were always doing something important, right?”
“All that is right, too,” agreed Mr. Goldblatt. “So what’s your question, Joey?”

“What were all the grown-ups doing?”

pic of the day: Snowy Creek

Creek and Snow

When the doctor asked Chuck about what he did yesterday, he told him about his day: “Well, yesterday afternoon, I waded across the edge of a lake, escaped from a mountain lion in the heavy brush, marched up and down a mountain, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand, and jumped away from an aggressive rattlesnake.”

Inspired by his story, the doctor exclaimed, “Chuck, you must be an awesome outdoorsman!”
“No,” Chuck replied, “I’m just a lousy golfer.”

An actuary and a farmer were traveling by train. When they passed a flock of sheep in a meadow, the actuary said, “There are 1,248 sheep out there.”

The farmer replied, “Amazing. By chance, I know the owner, and the figure is absolutely correct. How did you count them so quickly?”
The actuary answered, “Easy, I just counted the number of legs and divided by four.”


A guy walks into a bar with a lizard sitting on his shoulder. He says to the bartender, “A double whiskey for me and, “pointing to the lizard, “A half-pint of Guinness for Tiny here.”

“Why do you call him Tiny?” asks the bartender.
“Because he’s my newt.”


~ Home is where you hang your @.
~ The e-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.
~ A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.

~ Great groups from little icons grow.
~ Speak softly and carry a cell phone.
~ You can’t teach a new mouse old clicks.

~ C:\ is the root of all directories.
~ Pentium wise; pen and paper foolish.
~ Don’t put all your hypes in one homepage.

~ The modem is the message.
~ Too many clicks spoil the site.
~ The geek shall inherit the earth.

How to start the day feeling really good:

* Open a new file on your computer.
* Entitle it “Housework.”
* Place it in the Recycle Bin.
* Empty the Recycle Bin.
* Your computer will ask you, “Are you sure you want to delete Housework permanently?”

Answer “Yes” and click the left mouse button firmly.
Now you feel much better.

SOON AFTER I arrived for duty as chief of public affairs for a Strategic Air Command wing, the unit had a surprise operational-readiness inspection. We had no time to alert the surrounding community that we’d be launching our fleet of B-52 bombers and KC-135 tankers, one after another, before the sun came up.
My office phones quickly lit up with noise complaints. One irate caller was a dairy farmer. “Sir,” I said, appealing to his sense of patriotism, “what you’re hearing is the sound of freedom.”
“Son,” he snapped, “your sound of freedom is souring my milk of kindness!” – Ronald D. Fuchs

Politician’s Blathering . . .

~ “Let’s jump off that bridge when we come to it.”
~ “To be demeanered like that is an exercise in fertility.”

~ “I deny the allegations, and I defy the allegators.”
~ “If somebody’s gonna stab me in the back, I want to be there.”

~ “Let’s do this in one foul swoop.”
~ “When you’re talking to me, keep your mouth shut.”

~ “We’ll run it up the flagpole and see who salutes that booger.”
~ “I want to thank each and every one of you for having extinguished yourselves in this session.”

TODAY IN TRIVIA: Which woman has appeared most on the cover of ‘Time?’ The woman who has appeared most on the covers of “Time” magazine is the Virgin Mary – ten times.

~ What is Leap Second Time Adjustment Day? The majority of the world measures time based on a 24 hour day in which each hour contains 60 minutes, and each minute contains 60 seconds. However, that measurement isn’t totally accurate. Due to the variability of the Earth’s rotation, measurement of the 24 hour day is not an exact science. To “fix” the inaccuracy, some years scientists make adjustments, and others they do not. If an adjustment is made, then it’s done on either June 30 or December 31.

~ How did lenses get their name? Lenses were named during the thirteenth century for their vague resemblance in shape to lentils — from the Italian word lenticchie for “lentils,” which was later changed to the Italian lente for “lens.” For more than 300 years, lenses were called “glass lentils.”

~ How large is a Lodoicea seychellarum seed? Each seed of the palm tree Lodoicea seychellarum weighs 30 pounds.

QUIP OF THE DAY: A new years resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.


Thought for the day. . . People seldom become famous for what they say until after they are famous for what they’ve done. – Cullen Hightower

Thought #2. . . You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. – Albert Camus

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