Posts Tagged ‘General Musings’

Breaking News!

April 24, 2017

On this day (in 1936) engineers from the RCA-Victor company provided the pictures/footage of firemen answering an alarm call in Camden, New Jersey.  This represents the first unscheduled event to be televised as it occurred.  It was shown in green tint, 5×7 inches, 24 pictures per second, on a 343-line screen.

Other “firsts” for April 24th include the following:

  • American naval victory in British waters during the Revolutionary War (1778)
  • College named after an American president (1783)
  • Health board established by a city (1795)
  • Docks owned by a state ((1863)
  • Organization to offer free lunches for the poor and sick (1873)
  • Medical society for African-Americans (1884)
  • African-American Catholic priest assigned to work in the United States (1886)
  • Round-the-world solo sailing journey (1895)
  • Skyscraper higher than 750 feet (1913)
  • Joint stock land bank (1917)
  • Army general to fly over enemy lines (1917)
  • Catholic nuns in a cloistered community (1922)
  • Fathometer (1928)
  • Pipeless organ (1934)
  • Glider commercial freight service (1946)
  • African-American professional basketball player (1950)
  • Civilian pilot wounded in Vietnam (1954)
  • Coast-to-coast telecast by satellite (1962)

Source: Famous First Facts (6th ed.) by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Happy Easter 2017!

April 16, 2017

Hallelujah!  According to Leonard Cohen (songwriter), “Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means ‘Glory to the Lord.’ The song explains that many kinds of Hallelujahs do exist. I say: All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value.   It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.”  Here are a few versions (one instrumental, two vocal [one acapella]) — on this Easter Sunday, let’s give “Glory to the Lord!”

The Tax Man Cometh!

April 13, 2017

With the deadline for filing your 2016 individual returns right around the corner, here’s an infographic on “A Brief History of Taxes” that you just might find interesting.  It hasn’t been updated since 2011, but informative nonetheless.
Taxes Done Right with TurboTax

Don’t Groan Too Loudly!

April 8, 2017

Happy Saturday!  Here’s a joke that I ran across the other day . . . it spans both my careers (law enforcement and librarianship) and even has a bit of a pun/play on words at the end.  Enjoy!

A squad car driver was covering a quiet beat out in the sticks when he was amazed to find a former lieutenant on the police force covering the beat.

He stopped the car and asked, “Why, Irish Mike, this wouldn’t be your new beat out here in the sticks, would it?”

“That it is,” Irish Mike replied grimly, “ever since I arrested the judge on his way to the masquerade ball.”

“You mean you pinched his honor?” asked Pat.

“How was I to know that his convict suit was only a costume?” demanded Mike.

“Well,” mused Pat, “there’s a lesson in this somewhere.”

“That there is,” replied Irish Mike….” ‘Tis wise never to book a judge by his cover.”

International Holidays for April!

April 1, 2017

Here is an updated list of some selective holidays for April from around the World.

April 1 – Annual Accounts Closing (India)
April 1 — Utkal Dibas / Orissa Day (India)
April 2 – Malvinas Day (Argentina)
April 2 – Tomb Sweeping Day (China)
April 3 – Tomb Sweeping Day (China)
April 4 – Tomb Sweeping Day (China, Hong Kong)
April 4 – Rav Navami (India)
April 5 – Rav Navami (India)
April 5 – Babu Jagjivan Ram Jayanthi (India)
April 6 – King Rama I Memorial and Chakri Day (Thailand)
April 8 – Mahavir Jayanti / Janma Kalyanak (India)
April 11 – Hazrat Alis Birthday (India)
April 11 – First Day of Passover (Israel)
April 12 – Bank Holiday (Israel)
April 13 – Songkran Holiday (Thailand)
April 13 – Maundy Thursday (Argentina, Mexico, Spain)
April 13 – Bank Holiday (Israel)
April 13 – Good Friday (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland)
April 13 – Vaisakhi / Baisakhi (India)
April 14 – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti (India)
April 14 – Tamil New Year (India)
April 14 – Vishu / Vishu 2nd Day (India)
April 14 – Maha Visubha Sankranti (India)
April 14 – Vaisakhi / Baisakhi (India)
April 14 – Bank Holiday (Ireland, Israel)
April 14 – Songkran Holiday (Thailand)
April 15 – Holy Saturday (Australia, Hong Kong)
April 15 – Bank Holiday (Israel)
April 15 – Songkran Holiday (Thailand)
April 16 – Easter Sunday (Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden)
April 16 – Bengali New Year / Masadi (India)
April 16 – Himachal Day (India)
April 16 – Bank Holiday (Israel)
April 17 – Easter Monday (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland)
April 17 – Last Day of Passover (Israel)
April 17 – Songkran Holiday (Thailand)
April 18 – Easter Tuesday (Australia)
April 18 – Provincial Anniversary Day (New Zealand)
April 21 – Tiradentes Day (Brazil)
April 24 – Community Day Holiday (Spain)
April 25 – ANZAC Day (Australia, New Zealand)
April 25 – Liberation Day (Italy)
April 27 – King’s Birthday (Netherlands)
April 27 – Freedom Day (South Africa)
April 28 – Maharshi Parasuram Jayanti (India)
April 29 – Basava Jayanti (India)
April 29 – Parshuram Jayanti (India)
April 29 – Showa Day (Japan)



Fun Fact Friday, Number Seventeen!

March 31, 2017

Today’s fun fact comes from the category: Geography.

Do you know which state is the easternmost state in the United States?

If you guessed Maine (or anywhere else on the “east” coast), you would have guessed wrong!  As you may be figuring out on this line of postings, what is sometimes considered to be the obvious answer is not always the case.

The easternmost state is actually Alaska.  Really?  How is this so?  Well, some of the Aleutian Islands (the Rat Islands and the Near Islands) lie west of the eightieth meridian (the dividing line between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres).

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Amazing Adjectives, Number Fourteen!

March 28, 2017
Sometimes you run across words that are highly descriptive!  Here’s one that takes us back to Bacchanalian orgies.   Per The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate, “A Supreme Court justice is reputed to have said of ithyphallic writing, ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.'”


\ ith-uhfal-ik \, adjective;
1. of or relating to the phallus carried in ancient festivals of Bacchus.
2. grossly indecent; obscene.
3. (Classical Prosody). noting or pertaining to any of several meters employed in hymns sung in Bacchic processions.

4. a poem in ithyphallic meter.
5. an indecent poem.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixteen!

March 24, 2017

Well that’s just peachy!  Today’s unique facts will center on peaches.  Were you aware that peaches were . . .

  • members of the almond family (Real Fact #21)? — hmm, their pits do look a bit like almonds?
  • also members of the rose family, along with apples and raspberries (Real Fact #422)?
  • the first fruit to be eaten on the moon (Real Fact #722)?

In addition, did you know that . . .

  • the game of basketball (as we enter NCAA March Madness) was first played using a soccer ball and two peach baskets (Real Fact #221)?
  • the phrase “you’re a real peach” originated from the tradition of giving peaches to loved ones (Real Fact #1017)?
  • George Washington was a successful liquor distributor, making rye whiskey, apple brandy, and peach brandy in his Mount Vernon distillery (Real Fact #1140)?


Are You Responsible?!

March 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday!  Congratulations, you are nearly halfway through the week.  I ran across a great joke the other day  . . .

EMPLOYER: We need someone who is highly responsible.

APPLICANT: In that case, I’m your man.  At my last job, every time something went wrong, they told me I was responsible.

As I pondered the whole idea of responsible (and responsibility) I remembered a couple of quotations on the topic that really hit the mark:

“Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests. Responsibility is always a sign of trust.”  (James Cash Penney)

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”  (Winston Churchill)

Origins of State Names!

March 13, 2017

Happy Monday!  Do you know how your state got its name?  Here is an informative infographic that details this very thing.  Enjoy!

How All 50 U.S. States Got Their Names[Source: Today I Found Out]