Friday, November 25, 2011

And on the day after, the chef rested

As most of you know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.

Hopefully you are still well into your cups from yesterday.

Today is the fourth annual National Day of Listening. StoryCorps has designated the Friday after Thanksgiving to being 'a day of listening' .

This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives: it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year.

(It's a good lie to tell yourself when you are listening to your drunk old uncle tell you for the umpteenth time how much he could buy with a nickel in his day.)

Today in History:
11/25 -
According to Biblical scholars, a powerful rain storm began on this date in 2348 BC . It rained an inch every ten seconds. Imagine that. An inch every ten seconds. The sheer volume and velocity of the deluge, comparable to rapid-fire artillery, ought to have been enough to kill every living thing on the planet in seconds, and yet it reportedly continued at this rate for a full 960 hours.

The only human survivors were a crotchety six-hundred-year-old man and his family. Fortunately, these sturdy souls had had the foresight to gather up two to seven specimens of every species on the planet (excepting, one assumes, the undaunted creatures of the sea) and load them onto a wooden boat before the storm began.

It may not sound like much, put like that, but considering the far-flung distribution of all the various creatures of the earth, and the difficulty of tracking down, say, all the varieties of paramecium without the benefit of a microscope, or sustaining desert flora on a water-logged ship, it was a considerable accomplishment.

I applaud the foresight, initiative, and ambition displayed by Noah and his family, but remain a little wary of the person or persons behind all that rain.

November 25, 1867 -
I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize - George Bernard Shaw

Patent granted to Alfred Nobel for dynamite. To quote Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok , "May the Lord take a liking to you and blow you up real good!!!"

November 25, 1914 -
Joe DiMaggio was born on this date. In addition to leading the New York Yankee to ten World Series championships, Joe DiMaggio also got to marry Marilyn Monroe.

Be grateful for role models.

November 25, 1940 -
Walter Lantz's introduced Woody Woodpecker with the release of Knock Knock on this date.

Although Woody made his first appearance in this film, he doesn't have a name until his next film, Woody Woodpecker.

November 25, 1970 -
Japanese playwright, poet, novelist, nationalism and patron of transvestite bars, Yukio Mishima commits seppuku (self disembowelment) after an aborted coup attempt in Japan.

He had authored over 100 works and was deemed by Life magazine the "Japanese Hemmingway".

One has to ask themselves - what is it that requires "true manhood" to face one's own death willingly.

On November 25, 1977, Greece announced the discovery of the tomb of King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

On November 26, 1922, archeologists Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter opened the tomb of Egypt’s King Tutankhamen.

Be grateful that the high point of your job isn’t digging up people who’ve been dead for thousands of years.

November 25, 1987 -
Fawn Hall, Oliver North's assistant, removes documents from sealed National Security Council offices inside the White House by hiding them inside her skirt, causing President Ronald Reagan to form a task force which eventually put both North and Hall on trial.

Another true American Patriot

29 more shopping days until Christmas, 24 more shopping days until Hanukkah.

And so it goes

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