Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Brief Moment of Seriousness

One of my favorite Vloggers, CGP Grey discusses the importance of Net Neutrality

The U.S. already has slower broadband than most of the rest of the developed world, at higher prices. It could get worse if we don’t speak out now.

May 7, 1901 -
In Westerns you were permitted to kiss your horse but never your girl.

Gary Cooper, one of Hollywood's original boytoy, iconic actor and womanizer, was born on this date.

May 7, 1977 -
Hotel California
topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on this date.

The line "They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast" is a reference to Steely Dan. The bands shared the same manager and had a friendly rivalry. The year before, Steely Dan included the line "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" on their song Everything You Did.

Today in History:
May 7, 399 BC
(according to Plato) -
... Socrates, what is truth?' 'Socrates, what is beauty?' Never once did any of you guys say 'Socrates, hemlock is poisonous.' Thanks a lot, you guys ...

Greek authorities forced philosopher Socrates to end his life by drinking a potion containing hemlock for his teaching methods which aroused skepticism and impiety in his students.

Those must have been some parties, if you get condemned to death afterward.

May 7, 1895 -
In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention - the first in the world radio receiver.

Unfortunately, since no one had invented regularly scheduled broadcasts, the demonstration was a confusing affair.

May 7, 1915 -
A very minor league Archduke and his wife got themselves killed in the Balkans. Before you you say conflagration, half the world was at war. On February 4, 1915, Germany declared the seas around the British Isles a war zone and any Allied ships in the area would be sunk without warning. King George V's government chose to ignore the warnings, as they were written in German. This seems odd, as George spoke German, his grandfather was German (Prince Albert) and his first cousin was Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Anyway, a German submarine, U-20, sank the Lusitania, killing 1200, on this date. There were no star-crossed young lovers aboard, however, so instead of making a movie about it, the U.S. had to enter World War I.

May 7, 1920 -
With much fanfare the Treaty of Moscow was signed on this date. Soviet Russia recognized the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

No one bothered to tell Lenin and the Soviets invade the country six months later.

May 7, 1937 -
The Hindenberg wreckage still lies smoldering having crashed and burned in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing thirty-six yesterday.

The good news was, it provided a really cool cover for Led Zeppelin's first album and a fairly good basis for a novel by E. L. Doctorow.

May 7, 2000 -
Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia (for the first time) on this date.

Putin served eight years as president, and is credited with bringing Russia back from the brink of economic collapse.  What will he be credited with at the end of his second time around.

And so it goes

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