Monday, December 5, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 5



Remember the rowdy ruckus raised by pro-Dubya protesters outside the Miami-Dade County elections office in early December 2000? You might have missed it, as most of the major media didn't pay much attention, but the 'demonstration' basically involved a lot of chanting, pounding, fist-waving, knuckle-dragging and drooling. They didn't have much to say, really. They were just angry that a manual recount was taking place at all, because deep down, they knew fewer people in Florida (and the country) voted for their boy than for Al Gore.

At a certain point, however, things got ugly. The 'protesters' chased and assaulted a vote-counter - knocking a few innocent bystanders on their asses in the process - after one of them claimed he saw that person "stealing a ballot" (it turned out to be a sample ballot used by all vote-counters).

"Hey," you might be saying to yourself at this point, "I can grok that. People take their politics very seriously. Tempers flare." And you'd be right, of course, but just in case you're laboring under the impression that those protesters were every-day, pissed-off citizens venting their anger at a process they believed to somehow be unfair... think again. They were paid Republican flunkies, flown in from all over the country by the Bush campaign... and it's time to name names.

1. Tom Pyle, policy analyst, office of House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

2. Garry Malphrus, majority chief counsel and staff director, House Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice.

3. Rory Cooper, political division staff member at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

4. Kevin Smith, former House Republican conference analyst and more recently of Voter.com.

5. Steven Brophy, former aide to Sen. Fred D. Thompson (R-Tenn.), who went on to work at the consulting firm KPMG.

6. Matt Schlapp, former chief of staff for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), moved on to the Bush campaign staff in Austin.

7. Roger Morse, aide to Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Tenn.).

8. Duane Gibson, aide to Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) of the House Resources Committee.

9. Chuck Royal, legislative assistant to Rep. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

10. Layna McConkey, former legislative assistant to former Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R-Iowa), eventually got a job at Steelman Health Strategies.

***



On this day in 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issues the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputizes Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and leads to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history. 

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On this day in the year 1876, a fire breaks out at a Brooklyn Theater, killing 295 people. Most of the victims didn't burn, but were trampled to death during the rush to the doors. From this horrific event, we get the popular phrase: "All's well that ends well!" Wait a minute... that's can't be right.

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HAPPY WET DAY! On this day in 1933, after fourteen miserable years, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America! So let's all raise a glass and toast to the hope that, one day soon, The Powers That Be will see the light and put a similarly swift, inglorious end to the current prohibition against that blessed, multifaceted weed, marijuana!

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On this day in 1952, a cold fog descends upon London, combining with air pollution and killing at least 12,000 in the weeks and months that follow.

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On this day in 1969, the four node ARPANET network is established

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It was on this day in the year 2001 that Dean Kamen let everybody down when he revealed the TRUTH about his latest invention, which had been hyped for months as a revolutionary technological innovation that would irreversibly change the course of human history. It's a wonder people didn't riot in the streets when it was revealed that "Ginger" - or "It" as an overly-dramatic press corps had taken to calling it - was nothing but a bulky scooter capable of traveling an underwhelming 12 miles per hour. As Kamen demonstrated his $3000 toy for the first time on Good Morning America, he dutifully preached the benefits: "It's like a pair of magic sneakers!" he said, his voice edging dangerously close to desperation. "This is the world's first self-balancing human transporter! It does what a human does - it has gyros and sensors that act like your inner ear; it has a computer that does what your brain does for you. It's got motors that do what your muscles do for you. It's got those tires that do what your feet do for you!" Maybe one day, "genius" inventor Kamen will create something that's useful to those of us whose inner ears, brains, muscles and feet are all in good working order.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 4


On this day in 1829, in the face of fierce local opposition, British governor Lord William Bentinck issues a regulation declaring that all who abet suttee in India are guilty of culpable homicide.

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On this day in 1872, the crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found by the British brig Dei Gratia. The ship had been abandoned for nine days but was only slightly damaged.

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On this day in 1875, notorious New York City politician Boss Tweed escapes from prison and flees to Cuba, then Spain.

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On this day in 1918, US President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.

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On this day in 1921, the first Virginia Rappe manslaughter trial against roly-poly movie comic actor Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ends in a hung jury.

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On this day in 1954, the first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida, United States

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On this day in 1956, the Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash) get together at Sun Studios for the first and last time.

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The FBI commits a de facto political assassination on this day in 1969 when Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are shot and killed in their sleep during a raid by 14 Chicago police officers and federal officials.

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On this day in 1971, the Montreux Casino in Switzerland is set ablaze by someone wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa concert; the incident would be noted in the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water".

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On this day in 1980, English rock group Led Zeppelin officially disbands, following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th.

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On this day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan signs a bill - Executive Order 12333 - which allows the CIA to legally engage in DOMESTIC counter-intelligence. Basically, this meant that America's intelligence forces were given carte blanche to "surveil" individuals and groups, even if they weren't breaking any laws or acting on behalf of any foreign power. Today, thirty-two years later…

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It was on this day in 1988 that actor Gary Busey became the poster-boy for helmet laws after losing control of his motorcycle, skidding over a hundred feet, and kissing the curb with his bare-naked forehead at thirty miles per hour. Shortly after his accident, Goofy-boy "found" the Lord. Sadly, Busey has yet to recover from either of those two unfortunate mishaps.

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On this day in 1991, journalist Terry A. Anderson is released after 7 years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut. He is the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon.

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On this day in 1992, President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 US troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa. Later when the events chronicled in the film Blackhawk Down take place, it’s all blamed on Bill Clinton, who became President AFTER Bush ordered troops into that hell-zone.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 3


On this day in 1854, in what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.

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On this day in 1901, US President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a 20,000-word speech to the House of Representatives asking the Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits".

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On this day in 1970, in Montreal, Quebec, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross is released by the Front de libération du Québec terrorist group after being held hostage for 60 days. Police negotiate his release and in return the Canadian government grants five terrorists from the FLQ's Chenier Cell their request for safe passage to Cuba.

***

On this day in 1976, an assassination attempt is made on Bob Marley. He is shot twice, but plays a concert two days later.

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On this day in 1979, eleven concertgoers are trampled to death during a Who concert in Cincinnati. This tragedy prompts the producers of the hit sitcom WKRP to do a very special episode dealing with the tragedy, and calling for an end to festival seating. Thank you, Johnny Fever! Meanwhile, in Persia, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini becomes the first Supreme Leader of Iran.

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On this day in 1982, a soil sample is taken from Times Beach, Missouri that will be found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.

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On this day in the year 1984, the Creeping Death sent by God to kill every first-born Egyptian son back in the days of Moses swings by for an encore when a leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India creates a deadly cyanide fog that kills an estimated sixteen thousand of the world's poorest people. Meanwhile, down in Hell, Satan, laughing, spreads his wings.

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On this day in 1989, in a meeting off the coast of Malta, US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev release statements indicating that the cold war between NATO and The Soviet Union may be coming to an end.

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On this day in 1999, NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.

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On this day in the year 2000, O.J. Simpson once again loses his cool and yanks a pair of glasses off the face of one Jeffrey Pattison, who had just made the mistake of flicking his high-beams at the Juice to catch his attention after he'd run a stop sign. The really weird thing about this case is the fact that cops only figured out it was O.J. they were looking for after they found one broken lens on the floor of Pattison's car, and the other lens right outside Simpson's Florida estate-in-exile! When confronted with the evidence, Orenthal reportedly shouted: "I wouldn't wear them ugly-ass glasses!" then started whining about how this was one of the worst frame jobs he'd ever seen. Get it? Frame job? Glasses? Ahhh... screw you, that's funny stuff right there!

Friday, December 2, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 2


On this day in 1763, the Touro Synagogue is dedicated in Newport, Rhode Island. It is the first synagogue in what will become the United States.

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On this day in 1823, during a State of the Union message, US President James Monroe proclaims American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warns European powers not to interfere in the Americas. This is what will come to be known as the Monroe Doctrine.

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On this day in 1845, in a State of the Union message, US President James K. Polk proposes that the United States should aggressively expand into the West. This is what will come to be known as Manifest Destiny.

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On this day in 1851, French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic. One year later, he becomes Emperor of the French as Napoleon III. It is from Karl Marx’s excellent essay, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, written one year later, that we get the phrase: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

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On this day in 1859, militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16th raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

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On this day in 1867, at Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States.

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On this day in 1942, during the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

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On this day, in 1952, a Colorado television station runs the first ever publicly televised footage of a woman giving birth. Couch potatoes all over the state are shocked to learn that the so-called "miracle of life" is actually a bloody, grotesque spasm of screaming agony, gushing fluids and cunt-splitting horror.

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On this day in 1968, President Nixon appoints Henry Kissinger to the post of Security Advisor. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1980, 4 US nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, are murdered by a right-wing, CIA-backed military death squad.

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On this day in 1982, at the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

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On this day in 1983, at the Comdex electronics trade show in Las Vegas, the so-called Windows War begins in earnest as over a dozen software companies - including VisiCorp, Apple and Microsoft - demonstrate some kind of mouse-based, window-centered user/computer interface technology. Despite taking longest and achieving the least impressive results, Admiral Gates and his Microsoft army ultimately win the Windows War by using "war of attrition" tactics.

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On this day in 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed in Medellín.

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On this day in 2001, the assholes behind that Dubya-backing “Big Money” Texas energy conglomerate Enron file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection... the swine.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 1


On this day in 1947, mountaineer, poet, philosopher, occultist and junkie Aleister Crowley dies at the tender age of 74. Celebrating a birthday today are John Birch Society founder Robert Welch (1899), incestuous pederast auteur Woody Allen (1935), human bonfire Richard Pryor (1940), former piece-of-ass Charlene Tilton (1958) and born-again supermodel Carol Alt (1960). Bone fat, all you lovely people!

***

On this day in 1862, in his State of the Union Address, President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation. Three years later, on this day in 1865, Shaw University, the first historically black university in the southern United States, is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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On this day in 1885, the soft drink Dr Pepper is served for the first time ever at a drug store in Waco, Texas.

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On this day in the year 1929, a man named Edwin S. Lowe helps to make "games of chance" acceptable in the eyes of God - according to the Catholic Church, anyway - by inventing the game of BINGO!

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On this day in 1952, the New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgensen, the first notable case of sexual reassignment surgery.

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On this day in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

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On this day in 1969, the first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.

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On this day in 1984, NASA conducts the Controlled Impact Demonstration, wherein an airliner is deliberately crashed in order to test technologies and gather data to help improve survivability of crashes.


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On this day in the year 2000, somebody finds something really gross in their Chicken McNuggets. Hey, at least it wasn't a dick!

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On this day in 2013 - TODAY! - China launches Yutu or Jade Rabbit, its first lunar rover, as part of the Chang'e 3 lunar exploration mission.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 30


A shitload of funny people were born on this day, including Jonathan Swift (1667) who wrote Gulliver's Travels and suggested the wealthy should eat poor babies in his black satirical masterpiece, A Modest Proposal, Samuel Clemens (1835) who, as Mark Twain, was even better as a political muckraker than he was as a novelist; Sir Winston Churchill (1874), whose rapier wit left his verbal adversaries twitching like bugs in the dust; and, finally, G. Gordon Liddy (1930), the fascistic Watergate felon whose syndicated radio show used to provide more laughs-per-hour than any episode of Saturday Night Live, notwithstanding the fact that he isn't joking.

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From this day in 3340 BC, we have the first ever confirmed historical recording of a solar eclipse.

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On this day in 1554, "Bloody" Mary Tudor becomes Queen of England and re-instates Roman Catholicism as the state religion. Once installed, Mary promptly gives orders for over three hundred Protestant leaders to be burned at the stake.

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On this day in 1936, London's Crystal Palace is destroyed by fire. Who knew crystal could burn?!

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Despite the fact that The Beatles had only just split up a few months earlier, George Harrison somehow managed to throw together a triple album of all-new material which was released on this day in 1970. Entitled All Things Must Pass, the record spawned the hit single "My Sweet Lord", which spawned a lawsuit over the similarities between that tune and "He's So Fine (Do Lang Do Lang Do Lang)". Ah, George Harrison... Now, more than ever, "the quiet one."

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On this day in 1982, the biggest selling record in history is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world: Michael Jackson's second solo album, Thriller, produced by Quincy Jones.

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Operation Desert Storm officially ends on this day in 1995.

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On this day in 1999, in Seattle, Washington, The Powers That Be suffer a rude awakening when protests against the WTO meeting by anti-globalization protesters prove to be so intense and forceful that the elite, anti-democratic event's opening ceremonies have to be cancelled. HA-ha! Ever since that game-changing day in Seattle, however, TPTB have ratcheted up the police state tactics and strong-arm rhetoric. Not so HA-ha, that...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 29


On this day in 1729, Natchez Indians massacre 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi. One hundred and thirty five years later, on this day in 1864, 150 Cheyenne Indians – mostly women and children – are slaughtered by a restless band of Colorado militiamen. Despite the fact that the tribe was supposedly under the protection of the U.S. Army, the militia's leader – Col. John M. Chivington of the Colorado Volunteers – was never brought up on charges.

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On this day in 1781, the crew of the British slave ship Zong murders 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea to in one of the most black-hearted insurance scams in history.

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On this day in 1929, U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd becomes the first person to fly over the South Pole.

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On this day in 1947, French troops massacre hundreds of Vietnamese, including 170 women and 157 children, in the village of My Trach, during the First Indochina War. Jeez, what is it about this day in history that leads to so much evil and death?!

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40 years of non-stop LIES began on this day in 1963 when president Lyndon Johnson set up the Warren Commission to "investigate" the assassination of JFK. Today, things are so bad that we have to rely on information sources such as High Times to give us a brief glimpse of truth.

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On this day in 1972, Japanese entertainment conglomerate Atari announces the release of "Pong", the first commercially successful video game.

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On this day in 1981, actress Natalie Wood takes the Big Swim about twenty years too late to become a James Dean-level Hollywood legend. Now she's just a Rock Hudson-level Hollywood legend... and Christopher Walken's first murder victim. I kid, of course.

Monday, November 28, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 28


On this day in 1520, after navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

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On this day in 1582, in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage licence.

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On this day in 1895, America's first ever auto race takes place. Six cars participate in the race, which covers a 55 mile course. The winner averages a white-knuckle speed of 7 miles per hour. No foolin!

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On this day in 1905, Irish nationalist Arthur Griffith founds Sinn Féin as a political party with the main aim of establishing a dual monarchy in Ireland.

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On this day in 1907, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer opens his first movie theater.

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On this day in 1909, Sergei Rachmaninoff makes the debut performance of his Piano Concerto No. 3, considered to be one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire.

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On this day in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting in Nashville, Tennessee as "WSM Barn Dance".

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On this day in 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts, a fire in the Cocoanut Grove nightclub kills 491 people.

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On this day in 1966, Michel Micombero overthrows the monarchy of Burundi and makes himself the first president.

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On this day in 1994, cannibal murderer Jeffrey Dahmer is bludgeoned to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver, who also kills the third man on their work detail. This incident goes a long way towards discrediting the cherished notion that cannibals-are-indestructable-genius-psychopaths-who-can't-be-stopped-by-mere-mortals myth that the movies try to propagate.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 27


On this day in 511, King Clovis I dies at Paris and is buried in the Abbey of St. Genevieve. The Merovingian Dynasty is continued by his four sons – Theuderic I, Chlodomer, Childebert I and Chlothar I – who divide the Frankish Kingdom and rule from the capitals at Metz, Orléans, Paris and Soissons.

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On this day in 602, Emperor Maurice is forced to watch his five sons be executed before being beheaded himself. Their bodies are thrown into the sea and their heads are exhibited in Constantinople.

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On this day in 1835, James Pratt and John Smith are hanged in London; they are the last two to be executed for sodomy in England.

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On this day in 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he dies.

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On this day in 1924, in New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held.

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On this day in 1971, the Soviet space program's Mars 2 orbiter releases a descent module. It malfunctions and crashes, but it is the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

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On this day in 1973, the United States Senate votes 92 to 3 to confirm the 25th Amendment, declaring Gerald Ford Vice President of the United States. The House confirms it 387 to 35 on December 6 of the same year.
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On this day in 1975, the Provisional IRA assassinates Ross McWhirter, after a press conference in which he'd announced a reward for the capture of those responsible for multiple bombings and shootings across England.

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On this day in 1978, angered over a political snub, homo-hating retired police officer Dan White strolls into San Francisco City Hall and empties his gun into Mayor George Moscone, then reloads and guns down City Supervisor Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay men in America to hold political office. After being apprehended, former star athlete White blamed his murderous rampage on the fact that he had recently gorged on Coca-Cola and Twinkies snack cakes, a defense which managed to convince the rogue-cop-friendly jury that found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter rather than murder. Imagine if somebody murdered New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others, then got off with a seven year sentence, and you begin to comprehend the outrage this sparked among San Franciscans and others at the time. In 1986, White finally did the right thing, taking a long swim up a tailpipe and into the bright white light of the sweet oblivion he so richly deserved.

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On this day in the year 2000 – on Day 20 of the Election 2000 fiasco – Al Gore's lawyers file three challenges objecting to Katherine Harris's premature certification of Dubya as the winner in Florida, while Dubya's lawyers continued to insist that hand-counting votes, even statewide, would somehow lead to pro-Gore shenanigans. Meanwhile, north of the border, in a move seemingly designed to embarrass and shame the USA, Canada holds their federal elections. Every single vote is counted by hand. Incumbent Prime Minister Jean Chretien is declared the winner on the very same day.

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On this day in 2001, a hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extra-solar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extra-solar planet.

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On this day in 2005, the first partial human face transplant is completed in Amiens, France. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 26


On this day in 1476, Vlad the Impaler - the historical figure that inspired Bram Stoker to create Dracula - defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

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On this day in 1789, the first ever instance of nation-wide, federally-mandated "giving of thanks" takes place in the good ol' US-of-A. Ever since then, we've been celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving, or, as our native friends refer to it: "Genocidal, Treaty-breaking, Smallpox-spreading Assholes Day!"

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On this day in 1825, at New York's Union College, Kappa Alpha - the first ever college fraternity - is founded. This seminal unveiling is soon followed by the first ever keg party and the first ever hazing-related death.

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On this day in 1922, in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, British archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon enter King Tutankhamen's tomb, becoming the first human beings to lay eyes on the Boy King in more than 3,000 years. Meanwhile, as Carter and Carnarvon breach the impregnable, halfway around the world, Stanley Applebaum is pulled, kicking and screaming, from his mother's bleeding loins. He would grow up to become Charles Schulz, beloved creator of the syndicated comic strip Peanuts. Coincidence? Don't make me laugh.

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On this day in 1965, in the Hammaguir launch facility in the Sahara Desert, France launches a Diamant-A rocket with its first satellite, Asterix-1 on board, making France the third country to enter outer space.

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On this day in 1977, an unidentified hijacker named Vrillon, claiming to be the representative of the 'Ashtar Galactic Command', takes over Britain's Southern Television for six minutes starting at 5:12 pm.

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On this day in 2000, Florida's Secretary of State Katherine Harris certifies George W. Bush the winner of Florida's electoral votes, despite the fact that he'd obviously lost the popular vote both in Florida and across the USA in total.

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On this day in 2004, a man stabs and kills eight people and seriously wounds another four in a school dormitory in Ruzhou, China. American 2nd Amendment absolutists rejoice over this bit of news because it proves that GUNS don't kill people... Chinamen with KNIVES do!

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On this day in 2004, the world's last black-faced honeycreeper dies of malaria at the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Hawaii before it had a chance to breed. The species is now extinct.

Friday, November 25, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 25


On this day in 1491, the siege of Granada – the last Moorish stronghold in Spain – begins.

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On this day in 1947, the Hollywood Ten are blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios over their supposed ties to communist and left-wing organizations. From Ring Lardner Jr. to Dalton Trumbo, this august group includes some of the finest writers and performers to ever work in the entertainment industry.

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On this day in 1960, three of the Mirabal sisters – four Dominican political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo – are assassinated. In 1999, the United Nations establishes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate these murders.

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On this day in 1963, assassinated President JFK is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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On this day in 1970, Japanese author, poet, playwright, film director and militaristic right-wing cult leader Yukio Mishima commits ritualistic seppuku - suicide by gutting one's self with a katana blade - after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government in a coup designed to bring back Emperor Worship in Japan. If you haven't already seen it, I highly recommend watching Paul Schraeder's unjustly overlooked masterpiece of a biopic, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

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And speaking of coups, it was on this day in the year 1973 that a bloodless military coup headed by General Phaidon Gizikis, Prime Minister Adamantios Androutsopoulos and secret police chief Demetrios Ioannidis ousts Greek President George Papadopoulos. You know, next to being a public school science teacher in the South, being a tombstone engraver in Greece must be the most frustrating job in the world.

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On this day in 1981, Pope John Paul II appoints Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ratzinger would go on to succeed JPII as Pope Benedict XVI, or, as I prefer to call him, “Ratz Benedict”.

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On this day in 1984, 36 top musicians gather in a Notting Hill studio and record Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

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On this day in 1986, Reagan Administration officials announced that some of the proceeds from the sale of U.S. arms to Iran had been diverted to Ollie North, who used the funds to support the Contras in Nicaragua. According to Reagan's logic, only left-wing rebels could be called terrorists. Right-wing rebels were "freedom fighters," even if they spent most of their time burning down orphanages and decapitating nuns.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 24


On this day in 1859, Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species, starting an argument some folks still refuse to admit is over and done with.

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On this day in 1932, in Washington, DC, the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.

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On this day in 1962, Kilroy was no longer "here," as James J Kilroy - the World War II tank inspector who allegedly started the inspirational war-zone grafitti craze - died in his home at age 60.

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On this day in 1963, The Powers That Be tie up some loose ends in the basement garage of a Dallas, Texas police station, if you get what I mean. Meanwhile, in Washington DC, in a totally unconnected incident, newly sworn-in US President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam both militarily and economically. Totally unconnected… totally.

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On this day in 1966, a toxic smog creeps across New York City, killing over 400 people.

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On this day in 1971, during a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper – a.k.a. D. B. Cooper – parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money. He has never been found.

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On this day in 1974, paleontologists Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discover the 40% complete Australopithecus Afarensis skeleton, nicknamed Lucy after The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 23


On this day in 534 BC, Thespis of Icaria becomes the first recorded actor to portray a character onstage.

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On this day in 1174, Saladin enters Damascus, and adds it to his domain.

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On this day in 1876, corrupt Tammany Hall leader William Magear Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) is delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.

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On this day in 1889, the first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

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On this day in 1924, Edwin Hubble's scientific discovery that Andromeda, previously believed to be a nebula within our galaxy, is actually another galaxy, and that the Milky Way is only one of many such galaxies in the universe, was first published in a newspaper. Wow.

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On this day in 1936, LIFE Magazine is reborn as a photo magazine and enjoys instant success.

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On this day in 1963, the BBC broadcasts the first episode of Doctor Who (starring William Hartnell), which is now the world's longest running science fiction drama.

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On this day in 1981, Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

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On this day in 1992, the first Smartphone IBM Simon was introduced at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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On this day in 1993, Rachel Whiteread wins both the £20,000 Turner Prize award for best British modern artist and the £40,000 K Foundation art award for the worst artist of the year.

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On this day in 1996, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 is hijacked, then crashes into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Comoros after running out of fuel, killing 125 and leading to some awesome heroic behavior.


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On this day in 2006, a series of bombing kills at least 215 people and injures 257 others in Sadr City, making it the second deadliest sectarian attack since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003.

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On this day in 2011, after 11 months of protests in Yemen, The Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh signs a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 22

On this day in 1908, the Congress of Manastir establishes the Albanian alphabet. The strange thing is, it’s only got twelve letters! This, despite including the number “7” and having three different versions of the letter “Q”!

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On this day in 1928, the premier performance of Ravel's Boléro takes place in Paris.

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On this day in 1940, following the initial Italian invasion, Greek troops counterattack into Italian-occupied Albania and capture Korytsa.

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On this day in the year 1963, President John F. Kennedy is gunned down in cold blood while touring the city of Dallas, Texas. His killers were never apprehended. It's been fifty years, and we're still being drowned in a river of disinformation. Other notables who died on this day in 1963 were Christian children's fantasy author C.S. Lewis, and novelist/psychedelic stuntman Aldous Huxley, of Brave New World infamy. In the darkness of the shadow cast by the Kennedy assassination, the snuffing of these once-bright candles was essentially passed unnoticed.

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On this day in 1986, Mike Tyson defeats Trevor Berbick to become youngest Heavyweight champion in boxing history.

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On this day in 1987, two Chicago television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.

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On this day in 1989, in West Beirut, a bomb explodes near the motorcade of Lebanese President René Moawad, killing him.

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On this day in 1995, Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery. It's been all down-hill ever since.

Monday, November 21, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 21


On this day in 164 BC, Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

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On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

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On this day in 1905, Albert Einstein's paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?” is published in the journal "Annalen der Physik". This paper reveals the relationship between energy and mass. This leads to the mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc².

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On this day in 1927, striking coal miners in Columbine, Colorado, are attacked with machine guns by a detachment of state police dressed in civilian clothes in what some people refer to as the FIRST Columbine Massacre.

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On this day in 1953, the world famous Piltdown Man fossil, which had allegedly been discovered in 1912, is exposed as a hoax. Naturally, a whole lot of stupid people took this to mean that evolution was a fraud, that science was suspect, that dinosaur bones were put on the Earth by God to test our faith, and that every time a bell rings, an angel gets it's wings. Now go to bed and shut yer cakehole, Captain Curious!

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On this day in 1963, a number of known assassins associated with the Mafia, Cuban exiles and Intelligence agencies stayed at a Dallas motel and other sites in and around the city. Meanwhile, across town at the home of Dallas millionaire Clint Murchison, vice-President LBJ, future President Richard Nixon and Jack Ruby's close friend H.L. Hunt all attend a party together. The guest of honor was the cross-dressing, Martin Luther King-hating head of the FBI: J. Edgar Hoover.

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On this day in 1969, the first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI.

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On this day in 1973, a gap of 18-1/2 minutes is revealed in one of the Watergate tapes. Nixon's lawyers' claims that the gap wasn't important because it consisted mostly of "a really boring drum solo" didn't fly with prosecutors.

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On this day in 1974, the Birmingham Pub Bombings kill 21 people. The Birmingham Six are sentenced to life in prison for the crime but subsequently acquitted.

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On this day in 1980, a deadly fire breaks out at the MGM Grand Hotel in Paradise, Nevada (now Bally's Las Vegas). 87 people are killed and more than 650 are injured in the worst disaster in Nevada history.

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On this day in 1985, US Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard is arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations. He is subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

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On this day in 1986, National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary Fawn Hall start to shred documents allegedly implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Just one more sordid chapter in the Iran-Contra Affair.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 20


On this day in 1820, an 80-ton sperm whale attacks the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts, 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick is in part inspired by this story.

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On this day in 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis ends when, in response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.

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By this day in 1963, several high-ranking politicians implore President John F. Kennedy to cancel his trip to Dallas. Governor Connally even flies in to Washington to plead cancellation. Senator William J. Fulbright and Ambassador Adlai Stevenson plead with Kennedy to bypass the seething hotbed of racism and anti-Catholic bigotry. Congressman Hale Boggs tells Kennedy: "Mister President, you're going into quite a hornets nest." Texas National Committeeman Byron Skelton has a premonition of violence and sends frantic telegrams to administration officials pleading that Kennedy stay away from Dallas on his Texas tour. Unfortunately (in hindsight), Kennedy remains resolute. He believes that the President should not be afraid of visiting any part of the nation. He flatly refuses to bypass Dallas, and the trip goes ahead as scheduled.

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On this day in 1969, the Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

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On this day in 1980, Lake Peigneur drains into an underlying salt deposit. A misplaced Texaco oil probe had been drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine, causing water to flow down into the mine, eroding the edges of the hole. The resulting whirlpool sucked the drilling platform, several barges, houses and trees thousands of feet down to the bottom of the dissolving salt deposit.

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On this day in the year 1983, myself and 100 million other people hunker down in our living rooms to watch the ABC-TV movie of the week: The Day After. Many cultural theorists contend that this morbid nuclear war movie was vital in helping to shape the fractured, nihilistic nonchalance that defines the front-heavy first wave of Generation X. If you ever want to experience the pervasive dread that saturated American culture in the early 1980's - when many weren't convinced mankind would live to see another decade - rent this massive downer and re-live it for yourself.

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On this day in 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.

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On this day in 1998, a court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares accused terrorist Osama bin Laden "a man without a sin" in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

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 On this day in 1998, the first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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.