Saturday, April 15, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR APRIL 15


On this day in 1896, the first Olympic Games of the Modern Era come to a close in Athens, Greece, with a relatively simple closing ceremony. First-place winners didn't win gold medals, but silver ones creepily stamped with the big, staring face of Greek pagan deity Zeus. Second-place winners got copper medals. Third-place got a handshake and a signed, autographed picture of His Royal Majesty Lord Jack Fucking Squat.

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On this day in 1955, milkshake-machine salesman Ray Kroc opens the doors to his first franchise of a McDonald's Brothers restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. The McDonald's restaurant chain dates its founding to this day.

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On this day in 1989, protesters begin gathering in Tienanmen Square in the People's Republic of China to commemorate the death of the recently ousted and publicly humiliated General Secretary Hu Yaobang, who was relatively liberal and reform-minded by Chinese standards. The protests would grow and intensify until June 4, at which point all Hell broke loose.

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And now for some birthday announcements:

On April 15, in 1452, Renaissance painter, sculptor, engineer, scientist, mathematician, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, inventor, musician and all-around super-genius Leonardo da Vinci is born. Seventeen years later, in the Punjab, Nanak Dev is born. He will go on to found the Sikh religion and be its first Guru. The dictionary is born on this day in 1755, when Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language is first published in London. The General Electric Company is founded on this day in 1892, and since corporations have the same rights as human beings nowadays, I guess it's only fitting that this event be listed as a birthday. In 1920, psychiatrist and humanist Thomas Szasz is born. He later emerges as one of the most eloquent voices speaking out against the mis-use and abuse of science, reason and medicine as a tool for social control. The road atlas was born on this day on 1924, when Rand McNally publishes the first book of its kind. In 1942, Bush Crime Family crony Kenny-Boy Lay is born... Enron ensues. And, finally, on this day in 1970, exactly nine months after his parents consummate their wedding vows while bathed in the flickering glow of a Niagara Falls motel room TV set reporting the stupendous news that two human beings were actually walking on the goddamn Moon... yer old pal Jerky is born.

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