Sunday, November 19, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 19



Hmmm... let me figure this out. Okay, I got it. Ahem. Seven score and ten years ago, President Abraham Lincoln presented his Gettysburg Address, in which he made the following prediction: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here." Yer old pal Jerky understands that hindsight is 20/20, but come on! What was he thinking?! That speech was KILLER!!!

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On this day in 1881, a meteorite lands near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

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On this day in 1916, Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures.

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On this day in 1942, Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR's favor.

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On this day in 1943, Nazis liquidate Janowska concentration camp in Lviv, western Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.

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On this day in 1949, Prince Rainier III is crowned reigning regent over the tiny, casino-dependent Eurotrash principality of Monaco. His coronation moves him a full five slots down the Top Ten list of Least-Given-a-Fuck-About Royal Families of the World.

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On this day in 1955, right-wing magazine National Review publishes its first issue. It sucks, and has continued to suck ever since.

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On this day in 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

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On this day in 1979, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini orders the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.

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On this day in 1988, Serbian communist representative and future Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic publicly declares that Serbia is under attack from Albanian separatists in Kosovo as well as internal treachery within Yugoslavia and a foreign conspiracy to destroy Serbia and Yugoslavia.

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On this day in 1990, pop group Milli Vanilli are stripped of their Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It's True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.

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On this day in 1998, the Congressional Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton for letting Monica Lewinsky suck his dick.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 18


On this day in 1307, archer William Tell shoots an apple off his son's head, offering a chilling historical foreshadowing of the fatal head-shot of President John F. Kennedy, 656 years later. See today's third item for details.

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On this day in 1928, the animated short film Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse takes place. This is also considered by the Disney corporation to be Mickey's birthday.

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(Guest Post by fellow blogger Albert Venczel

On this day in 1963, a gaggle of un-indicted co-conspirators meet up in a smokey back room to plot the assassination of JFK by publicly shooting him in the head. At the same meeting, they decide to appoint Allen Dulles (whom JFK had personally fired from the CIA over the Bay of Pigs fiasco mere months before) to the Warren Commission - which is, in effect, a cover-up orchestrated by Dulles and "company". To this day, many suspect that future President George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush - a.k.a. "41" - was the Grassy Knoll trigger-man, bringing to mind the famous line by Argentinian metaphysical wordsmith Jorge Luis Borges: "If I kill you, do I become you?" Subsequently, a great many of JFK's associates die under mysterious circumstances, including Marilyn Monroe, who was allegedly done in because of JFK's pillow-talk about both a secret, unaccountable "shadow government" and UFOs, the existence of which he wished her to disclose to the public by slipping it into Hollywood movies in order to cause a global awakening, forcing The Powers That Be to stop her dead in her tracks with a drug overdose.

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On this day in 1978, in a cleared-out patch of Guyanese jungle, the Reverend Jim Jones orders nearly 1000 members of his ex-pat congregation to drink cyanide-laced FlavorAde (not Kool-Aid, as popular mythology suggests). Two days and 917 corpses later, the world first hears about Jonestown from CIA operatives who just happened to be in the neighborhood at the time.

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On this day in 1987, the U.S. Congress issues its final report on the Iran-Contra Affair.

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On this day in 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill into law allowing the death penalty for drug traffickers.

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The cliche about Texas is that they make everything bigger down there. Well, on this day in the year 1999, this obsession with bigness costs twelve A&M University students their lives when a ridiculously huge bonfire they'd been helping to build collapses on top of them, teaching us all a valuable lesson about letting Texans bite off more than they can chew.

Friday, November 17, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 17


On this day, we celebrate everybody's favorite little-known holiday: CANAL DAY! We celebrate Canal Day on November 17 because it was on this day in 1913 that the Panama Canal officially opened its locks, making the trip from East to West (and vice-versa) a helluva lot easier than it had previously been. And as if that weren't enough, it was also on this day, in the year 1869, that the storied Suez Canal put up its "Open For Business" sign. So before you go to bed tonight, make sure to say a little prayer to Johnny Canal, patron saint of people who can't get enough man-made waterway trivia!

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On this day in 1800, the United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C..

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On this day in 1871, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is granted a charter by the state of New York.

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On this day in 1903, the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party splits into two groups: the Bolsheviks (Russian for "majority") and Mensheviks (Russian for "minority").

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On this day in 1947, the Screen Actors Guild implements an anti-Communist loyalty oath.

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On this day in 1950, Lhamo Dondrub is officially named the 14th Dalai Lama.

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On this day in 1970, Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai Massacre.

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On this day in 1973, In Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors "I am not a crook."

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In order to break into the porn business, succulent starlet Traci Lords got a fake ID that said she was born on this day in 1962. Unfortunately for the motley assortment of sleazebags and mobsters who financed her career, she was actually born May 7, 1968, thus necessitating the total erasure of the most lucrative catalog of adult cinema in the history of the genre. Oops!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 16


On this day in 1491, an auto-da-fé, held in the Brasero de la Dehesa outside of Ávila, concludes the case of the Holy Child of La Guardia with the public execution of several Jewish and converso suspects.

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On this day in 1849, a Russian court sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for anti-government activities linked to a radical intellectual group; his sentence is later commuted to hard labor.

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On this day in 1885, Canadian rebel leader of the Métis and "Father of Manitoba", Louis Riel is executed for treason.

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On this day in 1938, LSD is first synthesized by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland.

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On this day in 1940, New York City's "Mad Bomber" George Metesky places his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison.

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On this day in 1957, deep in the backwoods of Wisconsin, psycho-killer Ed Gein (rhymes with fiend) butchers his final victim. A necrophile who wore one victim's tanned hide like a robe during bizarre moonlight rituals, Gein also dug up corpses from local graveyards. When police finally searched his property, they discovered such disturbing home decorating ideas as lamps and chairs made out of arms and legs, furniture upholstered with human skin, and a teacup full of nipples. That's why Gein is still regarded as the Martha Stewart of psycho serial-killers. His exploits inspired Robert Bloch's novel Psycho, as well as the subsequent Hitchcock classic, and they were the germinal basis of the "true story" mentioned at the beginning of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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On this day in 1988, in the first open election in more than a decade, voters in Pakistan elect populist candidate Benazir Bhutto to be Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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On this day in 1989, a death squad composed of El Salvadoran army troops kills six Jesuit priests and two others at Jose Simeon Canas University.

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On this day in 1999, pedo-popstar Gary Glitter - real name Paul Francis Gadd - is found guilty of possessing and creating child pornography. In Canada, where Glitter's music plays a significant role in hockey culture, the reaction is swift. A major Canadian brewery decides to stop airing commercials featuring Glitter's creepy yet undeniably rousing stomp-anthem, Rock and Roll Part Two. Later that same day, the NHL's Calgary Flames decide to no longer play the tune at their arena. Glitter serves time in jail, is released, makes his way to Cambodia, where he is soon arrested, jailed for assaulting young boys, then deported back to England, where he's currently working on making a comeback. Of course, by "comeback," yer old pal Jerky doesn't mean he wants to return to the music industry. That would be impossible. Come to think of it, you probably don't want to know what I mean by "comeback." So forget I even wrote it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 15


On this day in 1859, the first modern revival of the Olympic Games takes place in Athens, Greece.

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Also on this day, in the year 1884, a bunch of rich old white dudes representing all the great conqueror nations of Europe get together in Berlin at Chancellor Bismarck's request. There, they hatch a plan, mapping out the best possible way to complete the task of colonizing Africa, subjugating its peoples and stealing its vast and valuable natural resources. Their plan succeeds. The result? Barely four generations later, huge chunks of Africa are smoldering, blasted dead-zones where warlords play musical chairs on each other's corpses, and the security guards (mercenaries) who patrol Western-owned diamond mines basically have the run of the place. But at least they have McDonald's now!

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On this day in 1914, Harry Turner becomes the first player to die from game-related injuries in the "Ohio League", the direct predecessor to the National Football League.

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On this day in 1920, the first assembly of the League of Nations is held in Geneva, Switzerland.

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On this day in 1926, the NBC radio network opens with 24 stations.

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On this day in 1943, German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies are to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps".

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On this day in 1949, Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte are executed for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.

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On this day in 1959, the murders of the Clutter Family in Holcomb, Kansas which inspired Truman Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood.

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On this day in 1969, in Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas opens the first Wendy's restaurant.

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On this day in 1971, Intel releases world's first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

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On this day in 1976, René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois take power to become the first Quebec government of the 20th century clearly in favor of independence.

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Happy Unabomber Day! It was on this day in 1979, a package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski begins smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago, Illinois to Washington, D.C., forcing the plane to make an emergency landing. Six years later, on this day in 1985, a research assistant is injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor explodes.

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On this day in 1984, twenty days after being hacked open by a bunch of quacks who thought it would be fun to see what would happen if they put a baboon's heart in a human body, Baby Fae dies in hospital. These are the days of miracles and wonder…

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And finally, on this day in 1990, every androgynous, leotard-sporting, sequin-bedazzled Eurotrash mulatto mongoloid this side of the Caspian Sea mourns his loss of innocence when it's finally confirmed that Milli Vanilli didn't sing the vocals on their Grammy-winning album. In an unjust twist that only serves to compound the tragedy, this scandal puts a premature end to Terence Trent Darby's career, just because he sorta looked like Milli, and kinda dressed like Vanilli. Or was it vice versa? Yer old pal Jerky can never remember which was which.

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On this day in 2006, Al Jazeera English launches worldwide.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 14


On this day in 1533, Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrive in Cajamarca, Inca Empire.

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On this day in 1851, author Herman Melville's epic novel Moby Dick is first published. It's the story of one man's quest to find a gigantic snow-white penis-shaped beast called a "Sperm Whale" so he can repeatedly thrust his harpoon into it. I mean, seriously... who the fuck was this Melville cat trying to kid?! Kinda makes yer old pal Jerky think that maybe "Call me, Ishmael" wasn't an introduction so much as an invitation!

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On this day in 1910, aviator Eugene Burton Ely performs the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.

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On this day in 1967, American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world's first laser.

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On this day in the year 1973, Britain's Princess Anne injects some much-needed chromosomal chlorine into the British Royal Family's gene pool when she marries "a common commoner," Captain Mark Phillips of Her Majesty's Royal Fusilier Brigade or whatever.

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On this day in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.

Monday, November 13, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 13


On this day in 1947, the Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles.

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On this day in 1956, the Supreme Court of the United States declares Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

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On this day in the year 1974, nuclear power-plant employee Karen Silkwood was run off the road by parties unknown while coming home from a union meeting where she discussed serious breaches in plant safety with concerned officials. By the time police stumbled across the accident, incriminating documents she was known to be carrying had disappeared.

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On this day in 1974Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murders his entire family in Amityville, Long Island in the house that would become known as The Amityville Horror.

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On this day in 1981Maya Lin's haunting, controversial Vietnam memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC. In twenty-two short years, the memorial - two black granite walls inscribed with the names of the 57,939 American soldiers killed or missing in the Vietnam war - has gone from being called "a tombstone" by critics who thought it was an "antiwar mockery," to being one of America's most holy places. Before each name etched on the wall is a symbol. A diamond signifies death, while a cross signifies Missing In Action/Prisoner Of War. As the deaths of various MIA/POW’s were confirmed, lines were etched over the crosses to make them diamonds. If they returned alive, circles were etched around the crosses. There are far too few circled crosses.

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On this day in 2001, in the first such act since World War II, US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to terrorist acts or planned acts on the United States.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 12



Thirteen years ago today, during the post-election storm in the year 2000, the following information was posted at www.bushwatch.com, and promptly ignored. Seeing as the questions raised by the incident described below have never been properly addressed, yer old pal Jerky thought he might as well bring it up again, if only for memory's sake:
As you are aware heavily Republican Seminole County Florida was the last to finish its mandatory recount. The margin was down to about 229 and Seminole County votes added another 98 (net) to Bush. The reason for Seminole County's delay is that they voluntarily provided the complete recount, INCLUDING REJECTED BALLOTS, sought in Palm Beach etc. Yesterday afternoon local TV news carried pictures and an interview with a member of the Seminole County election board (Supervisor of Elections?) and local REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN DAN MICA who was present and interviewed. They were running each individual ballot through the voting machines. ANY BALLOT THE MACHINE REJECTED WAS THEN EXAMINED BY HAND, AND IF THE "WILL OF THE VOTER" COULD BE DETERMINED, THEY PREPARED A NEW BALLOT TO REPLACE THE ORIGINAL REJECTED BALLOT AND ADDED THIS NEWLY CREATED BALLOT TO THE COUNT. Naturally in a county Bush carried almost 2-1 this resulted in a net increase of Bush votes. Now in the Republican Seminole County Florida, under the leadership of CONGRESSMAN DAN MICA (R-Fla) acting on behalf of Bush.. The REJECTED VOTES WERE EXAMINED AND ADDED TO THE OFFICIAL TOTALS. If the Bush camp thinks that it is proper to examine by hand the rejected votes in Republican Seminole County Florida, AND to SUBSTITUTE NEW BALLOTS FOR THOSE REJECTED, how can this possibly be PROPER when done in Seminole County Florida and then be IMPROPER when done in Palm Beach County Florida? 
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Also on this day, in the year 1933, surgeon Hugh Gray takes the first known photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. Recently, high-resolution digital enhancements of the image revealed that the so-called monster was really just legendary TV funny-man Milton Berle doing the backstroke.

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On this day in 2002, Iraq agrees to the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 11


On this day in 1215, the Catholic Church inaugurates the doctrine of transubstantiation as detailed in the Fourth Lateran Council, convened by Pope Innocent III. Transubstantiation is the tenet that the bread and wine of the Eucharist actually and literally change into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ during the ritual of communion. This, yer old pal Jerky supposes, means that all practicing Catholics are cannibals.

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On this day in 1500, Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon agree to divide the Kingdom of Naples between them.

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On this day in 1675, Gottfried Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).

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On this day in 1831, in Jerusalem, Virginia, Nat Turner is hanged after inciting a violent slave uprising.

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On this day in 1864, Sherman's March to the Sea – Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins burning Atlanta, Georgia to the ground in preparation for his march south.

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On this day in 1880, Australian bushranger Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

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On this day in 1887, anarchist “Haymarket Martyrs” August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel are executed.

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On this day in 1918, Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne, France. The fighting officially ends at 11:00 a.m., (the eleventh hour in the eleventh month on the eleventh day) and this is annually honoured with a two-minute silence. The war officially ends on the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28th June, 1919.

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On this day in 2004, the Palestine Liberation Organization confirms the death of Yasser Arafat from "unidentified causes". Mahmoud Abbas is elected chairman of the PLO minutes later.

Friday, November 10, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 10


On this day in 4004 BC, Adam and Eve were chased out of Paradise after having their immortality revoked by a raging JEHOVAH, after daring to taste of the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge. And that's the reason why you and I must one day die.

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On this day in 1580, after a three-day siege, the English Army beheads over 600 Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, Ireland. Ouch.

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On this day in 1619, French philosopher René Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy.

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On this day in 1793, a Goddess of Reason is proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette.

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On this day in the year 1801, yet another in a series of never ending blows to our precious personal freedoms takes place, as the state of Kentucky votes unanimously to outlaw dueling. Those fascist BASTARDS!!! Somebody call Charlton Heston!

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On this day in 1871, Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

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On this day in 1898, beginning of the Wilmington Insurrection, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in US history. Something tells me it won't be the last.

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On this day in 1969, National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children's television program Sesame Street.

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On this day in 1975, the 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board. There's a pretty good song about it.

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On this day in 1975, United Nations Resolution 3379: United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism (the resolution is repealed in December 1991 by Resolution 4686).

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On this day in 1979, a 106-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals from Windsor, Ontario, Canada derails in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada just west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, causing a massive explosion and the largest peacetime evacuation in Canadian history and one of the largest in North American history. If you've ever read novelist Don Delillo's incredible novel White Noise, it was kind of like that.

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On this day in 1989, German citizens begin to bring the Berlin wall down

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On this day in 1995, in Nigeria, playwright and enviroemental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, are hanged by government forces, and Shell Oil doesn't do dick to stop it. As a matter of fact...

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 On this day in 2007, hereditary "royal" King Juan Carlos of Spain tells Venezuela's democratically elected president Hugo Chávez to “shut up”, which is pretty fucking annoying, all things considered.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 9


On this day in 1494, the Medici family is expelled from Florence.

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On this day in 1620, Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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On this day in 1872, the Great Boston Fire starts raging.

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On this day in 1888, Mary Jane Kelly is murdered in London, widely believed to be the fifth and final victim of the notorious unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper.

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On this day in 1906, Theodore Roosevelt is the first sitting President of the United States to make an official trip outside the country. He did so to inspect progress on the Panama Canal.

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On this day in 1913, the Great Lakes Storm, the most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, destroys 19 ships and kills more than 250 people.

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On this day in 1938, Nazi German diplomat Ernst vom Rath dies from the fatal gunshot wounds of Jewish resistance fighter Herschel Grynszpan, an act which the Nazis used as an excuse to instigate the 1938 national pogrom, also known as Kristallnacht (the Night of Shattering Glass).

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On this day in 1960, Robert McNamara is named president of Ford Motor Co., the first non-Ford to serve in that post. A month later, he resigned to join the administration of newly elected John F. Kennedy.

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On this day in the year 1965, investigative reporter Dorothy Kilgallen is found dead in her apartment - sitting bolt-upright, fully dressed, in bed - shortly after returning from Dallas where she had interviewed Jack Ruby as part of her investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kilgallen was widely known as one of the stars of the long-running What's My Line? television series. Folks, if the Powers That Be don't mind offing somebody as well-known and well-regarded as Dorothy Kilgallen was, imagine how safe they feel when they're putting the kibosh on a relative nobody like you!

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On this day in 1967, the first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine is published.

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On this day in 1979, NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detect a purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early warning radars, the alert is cancelled. Phew!

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On this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall comes tumbling down. The formerly deprived citizens of communist East Germany are elated to finally have access to the glorious, freedom-embracing music of David Hasselhoff!

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 On this day in 1993, Stari Most, the "old bridge" in Bosnian Mostar built in 1566, collapses after several days of bombing. It has since been re-built. Gorgeous thing, isn’t it? Look up to see it…

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 8


On this day in 1519Hernán Cortés enters Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with a great celebration.

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On this day in 1901, bloody clashes take place in Athens following the translation of the Gospels into demotic Greek. Of all the reasons to riot… 

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On this day in 1917, the People's Commissars give authority to Vladimir LeninLeon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin. Trotsky soon falls out of favor, however, and gets an ice pick to the forehead.

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On this day in 1923Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch takes place in Munich, where he leads the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.

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On this day in 1937, the Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude ("The Eternal Jew") opens in Munich.

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On this day in 1960John F. Kennedy defeats Richard Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections of the twentieth century to become the 35th president of the United States.

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On this day in 1973, the right ear of John Paul Getty III is delivered to a newspaper together with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay 2.9 million USD.

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On this day in 2002, UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences". The brutal irony being, of course, that Iraq had already disarmed, and that the US was going to invade no matter what... the bully only beating up his victim once he'd tied both the victim's hands behind his back.

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On this day in 2004, more than 10,000 U.S. troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. It's a freaking massacre and a war crime. But nobody gives a fuck.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 7



On this day in 1665, the London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.

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On this day in 1874, a cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly, is considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party.

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On this day in 1907Jesús García saves the entire town of Nacozari de Garcia, Sonora by driving a burning train full of dynamite six kilometers (3.7 miles) away before it can explode.

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On this day in 1908Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are reportedly killed in San Vicente, Bolivia.

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On this day in 1916Jeannette Rankin is the first woman elected to the United States Congress.

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On this day in 1918, an influenza epidemic spreads to Western Samoa, killing 7,542 (about 20% of the population) by the end of the year.

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On this day in 1929, in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opens to the public.

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On this day in 1944Franklin D. Roosevelt elected for a record fourth term as President of the United States of America. 

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On this day in the year 1967, President Lyndon Johnson signs a bill establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. So if you've ever so much as glanced at Big Bird, you owe LBJ, big time.

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On this day in 1991, hoop star Magic Johnson tells the world that he contracted the HIV virus due to his promiscuous lifestyle. A sympathetic nation asks: "Why couldn't it have been (insert the name of somebody you hate)?!"

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On this day in 1999Van Halen tells Gary Cherone - whom they had brought in to replace Sammy Hagar, whom they had brought in to replace David Lee Roth, whom they brought in to replace Sonny Bono - to pack his bags and take his copious talents elsewhere. The move came as no surprise to fans of the venerable rock combo, seeing as their one album with the former Xtreme frontman turned out to be a commercial and artistic disaster.

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On this day in 2000Al Gore defeats George W. Bush in the US presidential elections, but the Bush Crime Family sees to it that he never gets to sit in the Oval Office. So, basically, this day in the year 2000 is basically the day on which all of our current troubles began.

Monday, November 6, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 6


On this day in 1528, shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in the area that would become Texas.

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On this day in 1861, Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America.

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On this day in 1869, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers College defeats Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey), 6–4, in the first official intercollegiate American football game.

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On this day in 1913, Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.

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On this day in 1917, the Bolshevik revolution begins with the capture of the Winter Palace. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1944, plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

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On this day in 1947, Meet the Press makes its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).

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On this day in 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning South Africa's racist apartheid policies and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.

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On this day in 1990, Arsenio Hall gets a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, thereby causing the value of neighboring stars to plummet drastically.

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On this day in 1995, the Rova of Antananarivo, home of the sovereigns of Madagascar from the 16th to 19th centuries, is destroyed by fire.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 5


On this day in 1138, Lý Anh Tông is enthroned as emperor of Vietnam at the age of two, beginning a 37-year reign.

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On this day in 1605, Guy Fawkes is arrested. So HAPPY GUY FAWKES DAY to all our jug-eared, snaggle-toothed friends in Jolly Olde Englande! Today is the day they celebrate the fact that a Catholic terrorist plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament - along with King James I - was foiled by a treacherous turncoat. This they do by lighting bonfires, setting off fireworks and burning effigies of conspirator Guy Fawkes, whose execution was marred by the fact that he slipped and broke his neck on the way to the gallows, thus denying the assembled spectators the satisfyingly cathartic public hanging they had gathered to watch.

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On this day in 1862, in Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors are found guilty of rape and murder of whites and are sentenced to hang. 38 are ultimately executed and the others reprieved.

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On this day in 1872, in defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony votes for the first time, and is later fined $100.

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On this day in 1895, George B. Selden is granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.

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On this day in 1925, secret agent Sidney Reilly, the first "super-spy" of the 20th century, is executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.

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On this day in 1935, the Parker Brothers game company contribute to the steady unraveling of the fabric of Western society by launching Monopoly, a game responsible for more family punch-ups than you could fit in two dozen seasons of Jerry Springer.

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On this day in 1967, the Hither Green rail crash in the United Kingdom kills 49 people. Survivors include Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

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Acid-head Herbert Mullin was terrified that a monster earthquake was about to send California sliding into the Pacific Ocean as a sort of cosmic retribution against America for devastating South East Asia during the Vietnam War. So, in order to prevent this monster quake, Mullin did the only thing he believed might make a difference… he began offering up human sacrifices! The fucked-up fruit-cake killed his first of thirteen victims on this day in the year 1972.

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On this day in 1979, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini first identifies the United States as "The Great Satan." Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, is shot dead after a speech at a New York City hotel.

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On this day in 1995, André Dallaire attempts to assassinate Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada. He is thwarted when the Prime Minister's wife locks the door.

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On this day in 2003, Green River Killer Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of murder.

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On this day in 2009, US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan murders 13 and wounds 29 at Fort Hood, Texas in the deadliest mass shooting at a US military installation.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 4


On this day in 1646, the leadership of the Massachusetts Bay Colony pass a law making it a capital offense for any citizen to deny that the Bible is the divinely inspired and wholly-true Word of GOD. By the way, that's "capital" as in "hung by the neck until dead." And this, in a place populated by people who fled England because of religious persecution! Oh, the IRONY!

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On this day in 1791, the Western Confederacy of American Indians wins a major victory over the United States in the Battle of the Wabash.

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On this day in 1847, Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, discovers the anaesthetic properties of chloroform. Woo-hoo!

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On this day in 1921, Japanese Prime Minister Hara Takashi is assassinated in Tokyo.

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On this day in 1922, in Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men find the entrance to Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

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On this day in 1924, Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming is elected the first female governor in the United States.

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On this day in 1942, disobeying a direct order by Adolf Hitler, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel leads his forces on a five-month retreat.

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On this day in 1952, the United States government establishes the National Security Agency.

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On this day in 1955, after being destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopens with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio.

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On this day in 1970, Genie, a 13-year-old feral child is found in Los Angeles, California having been locked in her bedroom for most of her life. Crazy, but true.

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On this day in 1979, the Iran hostage crisis begins when a group of Iranians, mostly students, invades the US embassy in Tehran and takes 90 hostages (53 of whom are American).

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On this day in the year 1995, after making a speech at a peace rally in Israel, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin - a man who wanted peace because he had hands-on experience with war - is gunned down in the street by Yigal Amir, an ultra-conservative Israeli who thought Rabin didn't take a sufficiently hardline stance towards the Palestinians. Or was he?

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On this day in 2008, Barack Hussein Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.

Friday, November 3, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 3


On this day in 1493, Christopher Columbus first sights the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea.

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On this day in 1793, French playwright, journalist and feminist Olympe de Gouges is guillotined.

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On this day in 1817, the Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest chartered bank, opens in Montreal, Quebec.

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On this day in 1903, with the encouragement of the United States, Panama separates from Colombia.

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On this day in 1954, the first Godzilla film is released and marks the first appearance of the character of the same name.

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On this day in 1956, the Khan Yunis killings are perpetrated by the Israel Defense Forces in Israeli-occupied Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 275 male Arabs.

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On this day in 1957, the Soviets launch Laika the dog into orbit on Sputnik 2. For her heroism and selflessness (like she had a choice), Laika was long beloved behind the iron curtain countries, many of which issued some rather lovely stamps in her honor. Sadly, depending on which expert you ask, the heroic bitch either suffocated when her oxygen ran out, or she roasted alive soon after the satellite shed its heat shields.

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On this day in 1964, Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.

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On this day in 1979, the Greensboro massacre happens when five members of the Communist Workers Party are shot dead and seven are wounded by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis during a "Death to the Klan" rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States.

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On this day in 1982, the Salang tunnel fire in Afghanistan kills up to 2,000 people. Now THAT'S a FIRE!

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On this day in 1986, the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon. This was one of the elements of a scandal that would come to be known as Iran/Contra.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 2


On this day in 1898, cheerleading is started at the University of Minnesota with Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team. Soon, even Presidents of the USA would be engaging in this pursuit.

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On this day in 1899, the Boers begin their 118 day siege of British held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.

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On this day in 1917, the Balfour Declaration proclaims British support for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" with the clear understanding "that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities".

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On this day in 1930, Haile Selassie is crowned emperor of Ethiopia.

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On this day in 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC is established. Meanwhile, in the UK, the British Broadcasting Corporation initiates the BBC Television Service, the world's first regular, "high-definition" (then defined as at least 200 lines) service. Renamed BBC1 in 1964, the channel still runs to this day.

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On this day in 1947, in California, designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose or H-4 The Hercules; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

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On this day in 1957, the Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas, generates national publicity.

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On this day in 1959, Twenty One game show contestant Charles Van Doren admits to a Congressional committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance.

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On this day in 1965, Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, sets himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

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On this day in 1982, Channel 4 is launched in the United Kingdom. They have a reputation of being one of the most risk-taking and adventurous broadcasters in the world.

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On this day in 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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On this day in 1988, the Morris Worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, is launched from MIT.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 1


On this day in 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.

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On this day in 1520, the Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.

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On this day in 1755, the Lisbon earthquake takes place, jolting many "modern" people's faith in God. The city of Lisbon is destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between sixty thousand and ninety thousand people.

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On this day in 1896, a picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time.

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On this day in 1911, the first dropping of a bomb from an airplane in combat, during the Italo-Turkish War.

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On this day in 1939, the first rabbit born after artificial insemination is exhibited to the world.

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On this day in 1941, American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography.

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On this day in 1946, Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, is ordained to the priesthood by Adam Sapieha. Also on this day in 1946, the first ever NBA basketball game is played... in Toronto! That's right, you read right. The first NBA game was played in Maple Leaf Gardens, where the Toronto Huskies (they lasted one season) faced off against the New York Knickerbockers. Black players would not be allowed in the NBA for a few years yet, so the game mostly consisted of pasty, lumbering Irishmen and Swedes violently hurling the ball up and down the court in a sloppy, clay-footed passing game. Needless to say, nobody dunked. New York won, 68-66.

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On this day in 1950, Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempt to assassinate US President Harry S. Truman at Blair House.

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On this day in 1951, during Operation Buster-Jangle, 6,500 American soldiers are exposed to 'Desert Rock' atomic explosions for training purposes in Nevada. Participation is not voluntary.

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On this day in 1954, the Front de Libération Nationale fires the first shots of the Algerian War of Independence.

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On this day in 1956, the Springhill Mining Disaster takes place in Springhill, Nova Scotia, killing 39 miners; 88 are rescued.

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On this day in 1959, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante wears a protective mask for the first time in an NHL game.

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On this day in 1960, while campaigning for President of the United States, John F. Kennedy announces his idea of the Peace Corps.

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On this day in 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America's film rating system is officially introduced, originating with the ratings G, M, R, and X.

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On this day in 1988, DC comics announces the result of their fan poll to decide whether Batman's sidekick Robin would live or die. The mob demands blood, and Robin is blown to bits in the very next issue, leaving Batman without a date for the twelfth annual Fire Island Halloween Flame-Out and Vogue-Off Ex-trava-ganza.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 31


On this day in 683, during the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba catches fire and is burned down.

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On this day in 1517, Protestant reformer Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

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On this day in 1876, a monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 deaths.

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On this day in 1913, the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile highway across United States, is dedicated.

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On this day in 1917, the "last successful cavalry charge in history" takes place during World War I, at the Battle of Beersheba.

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On this day in 1926, after being punched in the stomach by some idiot college punk backstage after a show in the frozen Canadian city of Montreal, Harry Houdini - the world's most famous magician and escape artist - dies of a burst apendix. Hey! Smooth move, CANADA!

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On this day in 1941, after 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.

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On this day in 1956, the United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal. Jeez, why didn't they just ASK?!

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On this day in 1961, in the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin's body is removed from Lenin's Tomb.

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On this day in 1963, hundreds of people gather at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum to take in the season's final showing of Holiday on Ice. Unfortunately, a faulty propane-powered popcorn machine explodes under the bleachers, and seventy-four people die in the resulting conflagration, making this one of Indiana's worst ever man-made catastrophes. God damn you, Orville Redenbacher!

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On this day in 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards. Riots break out in New Delhi and nearly 10,000 Sikhs are killed.

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On this day in 2000, the Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been continuously crewed since.

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By this day in 2001, it had only been a few days since our erstwhile superiors in Washington passed the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T.A.C.T. (without ever reading it), but it was passed in time for Wisconsin man Jeffrey Remshek to learn about the game's changing rules, the hard way. Jeffrey was arrested after calling Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and accusing the organization of being involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This, of course, was a very bad idea, as the CIA has the third worst sense of humor of any federal law enforcement agency (with the NSA and the Secret Service being only slightly less whimsical). After four calls, the spooks had had enough. They sent local authorities to arrest Remshek on three misdemeanor counts of - get this - "making an unlawful telephone call with intent to threaten." How could they possibly know that?! Anyway, he spent the night in jail, and was released the next day on a signature bond, which means he will likely be under omnipresent surveillance until the day he dies... and all for pointing out the obvious! Gee... I wonder whatever happened to old Jeff? I'd check myself, but I don't feel comfortable Googling his name.

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On this day in 2002, a federal grand jury in Houston, Texas indicts former Enron Corp chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.

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On this day in 2011, the global population of humans reached seven billion. This day is now recognized by the United Nations as Seven Billion Day.