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October 13, 2013: One week from today, after any chat(s):

Related to famous or unusual

On October 13, 2013 (Related to famous or unusual)

Happy birthday to 1855: Eduard Robert Flegel who didn't do much but who did play a big role in the Scramble for Africa. (Also called the Partition of Africa as almost all the major European powers -- Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Russia didn't, because after Britain and France prevented it from conquering the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War of 1854 to 1856, Russia conquered China and Korea from the north, which is why Amur and other vast parts of north-eastern China now belongs to Russia, not Japan that China since the 1990's claims as the aggressor. -- began to colonize and annex Africa even though slavery of non-whites was supposedly illegal within Europe. This took place between 1881 to 1914, within the New Imperialism of 1870 to 1914 that ended with World War I. The original were Europeans, although western historians claim US later participated, but it's wrong, since US was always colonizing and annexing territories from the natives and Spain and later from Mexico for centuries to expand US until it almost conquered North America but the expansion to the north was stopped by Britain. US was more interested in becoming a Pan-Pacific nation long before California was conquered and was systematically slaughtering millions of Filipinoes, aged 10 and above before Mark Twain stopped it, although that's why people from the Philippines were treated as almost-US citizens. The evil western historians' attempt to hide this brutality is self-destructive and anti-Euro/US, since China is now copying US military expansionism and they're now behaving as if African and the rest of Asia is the wild west and they're gun-slinging cowboys. Japan is included in the New Imerialism by the liar western historians, but that's also wrong, since it was Britain that told its hot-headed ethnic Korean allies from the southern main island of Kyuushuu that Japan must sacrifice the industrial complexes that it just constructed and move them into northern Korea and north-eastern China whose people refused to modernize and hence defend themselves from the Russian expansionism, even though the Japanese civilians who were told to colonize the region didn't want to move there because not only are native Japanes unable to speak any language but their own, but the main staple of rice and soy bean won't grow on the land until the global warming of the 21st century, even while Russia continued its Boston Tea Parties on the Chinese since 1904 that was legal due to the extra-territoriality treaties, allthough that led China's view of Japanese expansionism to become hyper-exaggerated, since they mixed it with the Russian Boston Tea Parties, although US wanted it also, since the Chinese were too amicable toward the Japanese who looked like themselves and the amalgamation of the two would have dwarfed US military expansionism. Japan's southern expansionism was only required after the west cut-off Japan's resources which starved Japan. Back then, all these Euro-US conquests of Africa and Asia was called by the French expression of "civilizing mission" to bring civilization to these lands, but it's all ignored now as western historians try to bury all of it and blame everything on those countries that lost the last big War. Most people think it's all in the past that's best forgotten, but China under its vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, Liu Huaqing, has re-ignited New Imperialism in 1982 with his schedule to conquer Asia by 2040 and become a Pan-Pacific nation with the other countries becoming China's slaves, just like the European Union, South Korea, and Taiwan. As before when Britain prodded Japan to act as a bulwark against Russia, US is now prodding Japan to militarize by building pre-aircraft carriers and sending its leading-edge Opreys that can launch attacks on China. US is also pressuring the Japanese government to stop thinking of defending Japan and start doing "collective self-defense" in which countries allied with Japan will be defended by Japan if and when they're militarily attacked by China or its slaves. It's far easier, quicker, and cheaper to slaughter the Chinese with an improved SARS but it's part of US multi-pronged military strategies by pulling strings over getting the blame when it fails, which is why US usually wins most wars as long as it's the puppeter and not directly involved and especially if it lingers for so long that US public begins to hate a war that US doesn't win. The older New Imperialism is also duplicated in the 21st century for another reason, religion. Back then, the Christian church regarded everyone else as uncivilized and their souls -- but not their bodies -- must be saved by coverting them to Christianity, while squabbling amongst the Protestants and Catholics among others. In the 21st century New Imperialism, it's not the Chinese but the Muslems who regard everyone else as uncivilized and their souls -- but not their bodies -- must be saved by converting them to Islam, while squabbling amongst the Sunnis and Shiites among others. Now that the relevance for the 21st century is explained, it should be noted that in the original New Imperialism, 1/10 of the African continent was under European control when it began, partly because it was also a convenient way to get out of the continent-wide Long Depression of 1873 to 1896 that Europe was finally getting their own Industrial Revolutions that expanded their technologies and also their need for resources to feed the new industries, and by 1914, about the only places not under some European control were Ethiopia and Liberia, and you know about US connection with Liberia. Europeans don't like to talk about their real genocides in Africa because that puts themselves in the public eye as evil, rather than someone else whom they can blame for it, and that includes the Germans whose acts of genocides were far more complete, percentile-wise, than against Jews and Gypsies because there were far more ethnic groups in Africa and divided into smaller tribes.) Eduard himself was born in the city of Vilna in what was then Russia. (The city if Vilnius is now the second largest city -- biggest is Riga -- of the country of Lithuania in northern Europe by the south-eastern Baltic Sea. For a while, there was a flurry of Japanese media activites to show Lithuania in Japan but that seems to have subsided, possibly because the Lithuanian trying to promote it left Japan. Now, 30 years old Vietnamese actress Nguyen Lan Phuong whose view of Japan is through Vietnamese version of Doraemon comics and animations that she still reads the comics is trying to promote Vietnam on Japan, for now by appearing in a joint Japanese-Vietnamese television drama show about the "Go East" movement a century ago when many Vietnamese went to Japan to study and often stayed, which along with the Japanese in Japan-towns who stayed in Vietnam after Japan was closed, some Japanese look Vietnamese and vice versa. She still doesn't speak Japanese, but just like no-English Toshirou Mifune (April 1, 1920 - December 24, 1997) who appeared in Hollywood movies by listening to tapes that spoke his dialogues that he didn't understand but regurgitated as is, she's also listening to her Japanese dialogues without understanding it but regurgitating as is.) Eduard was ethnic German who originally worked at a book store in the city of Riga in 1869 before he studied at a commerce school in the German city of Munich and then went into the whole-sale business of tobacco. In 1875, he worked for a Hamburg company in Lagos which was under British control. (Lagos is a big city in the south-western tip of the Bay of Benin in the current African country of Nigeria. Along with the Egyptian city of Cairo, Lagos is now the two biggest cities in the African continent. Hamburg is a city in what is now Germany, not a same-name place in Africa.) At the time, the European powers had mainly conquered the ocean-hugging coasts of Africa, but in 1879, he had an opportunity to go with a white expedition upstream of the Benue River, going 125 miles or 200 kilo-meters deeper into that part of African than any other white expedition, and come back to talk about it. (Some history books would say that he went up Niger River because the main tributary of Niger River is Benue. Niger River is the main river in western Africa that's over 4,180 kilo-meters long and tis basin is 2.118 million square kilometers, over twice as big as Amur. The name of the Niger River in many local languages basically means "river" of one type or another. The funny one is what the Hausa tribe calls it, "kwara", since it sounds like "kawa" which is Japanese for "river", and "kawara" which is Japanese for "river bank", and remember that the Japanese 'a' in a word is very brief. The fact that the ancient Japanese metal coinage look like western African metal coinage is far deeper than coincidence, since the ancient Japanese merchants went to Africa and both share some common words, just like the South-East Asians, and the incorporation of all these words in the Japanese language is what makes it so difficult to learn. As for Benue River, nothing Japanese in that, but this 1,400 kilo-meters long tributary is navigable in summers and had more water flow than Niger, although irrigations starting in the 1960's have decreased the water flow significantly.) For his ability to survive the expedition, the German African Society hired him to survey the entire Benue River basin. In 1880, he then went up the Niger River to Sokoto on a boat and visited the Sokoto Caliphate. (This Islamic empire existed from 1804 to 1903 in northern Nigeria when George Dashwood Taubman Goldie [May 20, 1846 - August 20, 1925]'s company's British force killed its king, Muhammadu Attahiru, and absorbed it into the British territory of Nigeria.) Here he asked its king for permission to explore the Adamawa Plateau and found the source of the river at Ngaundere in 1882. (The king didn't realize that whatever Edouard discovered will be shared and used by the British to defeat him. The Adamawa Plateau in west-central Africa lies from what is now north-central Cameroon to south-east Nigeria. Edouard had secured treaties with Cameroon for the newly formed German Colonial Society. At the time, this region was fought out between Germany, France, and Britain, although the French will later be bought out and the British sphere of influence will battle with the German sphere of influence in the region with the British winning in the end.) Edouard's efforts ended after the British took over and he became too sick to continue with his explorations and treaty procurements. After going back to Europe for rest, the German African Society hired him to open the Benue area to German trade but George's National African Company had already secured treaties. He went back to Yola at the bank of Niger River along the sea-coast where he died on September 11, 1886. Although not as aggressive or successful as the British, he's somewhat known in Germany for his explorations.

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Related to famous or unusual

US is doing an unusual thing; deploying two aircraft carrier strike groups of US Navy's 7th Fleet to Western Pacific; one is the USS George Washington and its support submarines and other vessels which is based in the city of Yokosuka in the province of Kanagawa next to Tokyo, and the other is USS John C. Stennis which was based in US west-coast. US is putting up a front-face that it's not going to get involved in the Senkaku Islands dispute between China and Japan, but now that China can project its military power into the East China Sea and South China Sea with its trainer aircraft carrier and demonstrating that it's willing to use force against the Philippines, it seems that US is forestalling any attempt by China to test its ability to fight a skirmish at sea. The George Washington is near Taiwan and the Stennis is near Malaysia. For US which wants its soldiers to be involved in a land war every 20 years or so, so that they have hard-hat experience on how to fight a real land war, this is a good time to demonstrate that it's keeping its promise with the Article 5 of the Japan-US Security Treaty that demands that US protect Senkaku Islands for Japan, and to give its sailors some real hard-hat experience on how to fight a real sea war, as well as how well the latest weapons will function under a real combat environment. As well, Barack Obama is facing a presidential election whom Looney Romney charges as soft on China that's stealing jobs from US, which requires that Barack demonstrate that he can be military-tough against the Chinese. Ok, now. Which of those US admirals, rear-admirals, vice-admirals, and vessel captains slept with Chinese children which is on-tap by the Chinese to release to the Internet on a moment's notice? 15 minutes of Internet infamy is enough to ruin the careers of half the navy, marine, Pentagon, and the White House staff. Since many US media editors and producers are also pedophiles and latent pedophiles, it's in their self-interests to sacrifice those US military and political heads to save their necks and be praised by their Chinese masters, bow-wow, who may lend them a few more Chinese children to do as they please. Pant-pant.

On October 13, 2012 (The original story for today was Naoharu Kataoka [October 13, 1859 - May 21, 1934], a businessman of the Meiji/Taishou/early-Showa era and a member of the House of Lords. Kid brother to Naoteru Kataoka [August 3, 1856 - April 13, 1927] who also had the same credentials and controlled the Kansai region economy before World War II. Kansai basically means Osaka and Nagoya. Born to father Naohide and mother Nobuko in the village of Shimoyama (The villages of Shimoyama and Kamiyama meaning lower-mountain and upper-mountain amalgamated on September 30, 1956 to become the village of Hayama, which amalgamated with the village of East Tsuno on February 1, 2005 to become the current town of Tsuno in central-western Touchi where Shimanto River originates. Due to the strong winds from the Pacific Ocean, it had 20 one-megawatt wind generators by 2006.) in the county of Takaoka in what was then the tiny Japanese country of Tosa which basically corresponds to the current province of Kouchi on the island of Shikoku facing the Pacific Ocean. (It's across the narrow Seto In-land Sea, and "shikoku" is spelt to mean "four countries" because this island was divided into four countries. Due to poor infrastructure and limited connections with the main Honshuu island of Japan, housing costs are significantly lower. The island is regarded as the region of Shikoku, but because it's also to the south of the Chuugoku region of Honshuu, it's also classified as in the region of Chuugoku which means "middle country", which sounds confusingly like the name for mainland China which is also called Chuugoku in Japan. The province of Hiroshima and other provinces across the In-land Sea is protected from the brunt of Pacific typhoons by the presence of Shikoku. Its Shimanto River is known as one of the last major prestine rivers that are not dammed.) Since Naoharu was born just as Japan was about to eliminate all social classes and provide schooling to every child, he received education and then became an elementary school staff, then the Takaoka county clerk, then police director for the nearby Shiga province before he went to Tokyo in 1880 to become acquainted with Hirobumi Itou (October 16, 1841 - October 26, 1909. Later becoming Japan's first Prime Minister.) through whose connection he worked in the newly created Ministry of Interior till 1889 when he resigned to work for the newly founded Nippon Life Insurance Company for Sukesaburou Hiroyo [February 1, 1843 - November 17, 1913. A member of the noble class who succeeded as a businessman and became a member of the Saga provincial assembly in 1886. Saga governor Hiroshi Nakai introduced him to police director Naohara. Founder of Japan's third oldest life insurance company, Nippon Life Insurance Company, in 1889. Insurance companies per se didn't exist in Japan until a few years prior to this time because Japan was a feudal state, and all the rules, conducts, procedures, legal obligations, and everything had to be learned from Europe and US for translation and adapted to Japan. Rather than using the British insurance company coverate rates that other newly founded Japanese insurance companies used, Naoharu took the time to find the Japanese death rates to calculate the domestic insurance coverage rate. The Company wasn't incorporated until 1891. Because Japanese laws favor the policy holder and pays-out for suicides and other causes of death that may not be covered elsewhere, it discourages foreign insurance companies from establishing in Japan. The Company weaved through regulations and laws until February 4, 1988 when it rose past Prudential Life Insurance of US to become the top insurance company in the world. It entered US and China in the 1990's] as its first vice president under company president Zen'emon Kounoike XI [June 18, 1865 - March 18, 1931. That's not "XI" as in a Chinese name that would have been pronounced "Shi", but pronounced as "the Eleventh", since his father was Zen'emon Kounoike X [1841 - 1920]. It started with Zen'emon Kounoike I {1608 - 1693}.] before becoming the Company's second president from 1903 to 1919. Concurrently in 1915, he also became the president of Miyako Hotel [Established in 1890. Current official English name is Kintetsu Hotel Systems, Incorporated, headquartered in Osaka City as part of the Kintetsu Group.] and also working for Kyoudou Bank, Kansai Railway and others. [It's not so much that he was multi-talented or that Japan didn't have lots of people, but most Japanese still had only rudimentary education and little experience in managing anything beyond one store or one town. With laws, regulations, and everything else still being written and modified to suit Japan's changing society, he had to make the changes as required to keep adapting.] He was also a member of the House of Representatives since 1893 for eight elections and also served sa the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Minister of Finance. He wasn't smart, but there weren't many people in Japan who new much about politics because Japan had come out of a feudal state only a short time ago. His political career was mundane and lackadaisical until March 14, 1927, when, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House of Representatives Budget Committee, he blurted out during the 52nd Imperial Conference that "The Tokyo Watanabe Bank had finally collapsed." Even though the Bank had just gotten over insolvency and was making a come-back following the 1923 Earthquake. But all the Japanese investors and financial people believed what he said, triggering the March 1927 Showa Financial Crisis [Japan's economy was flying high during World War I of 1914 to 1919 when Britain allowed Japan to remain its ally and hence didn't participate in the War in far-away Europe but the world wanted the goods produced by Japan's undamaged industries, but after the War when the European industries recovered, it led to a recession in Japan. It was followed by the 1923 Great Kantou Earthquake that leveled Tokyo and everyone in Japan had a feeling that there was nothing but bad news to follow. Tokyo Watanabe Bank that started in 1877 was flying high by February 1920 until the 1923 Earthquake struck, although it was recovered and on the road to health in 1927 when Naoharu blurted this outlandish and fallacious comment that led everyone to withdraw their savings from not only Tokyo Watanabe and the associated Akaji Saving Bank, but all banks across Japan that caused many companies to fail.] which led the entire Prime Minister's Cabinet to resign enmasse to take responsibility. Yet, in 1930, he was still nominated for the House of Lords. It doesn't speak so much about the idiocy of neophyte Japanese politicians but about the illiteracy of all Japanese, period, back then, when they had to fall-back on a blundering idiot because there wasn't anyone better. It might sound idiotic, but even in the late 20th century, many Japanese scientists and engineers who came to study in Europe or US often knew nothing about the fundamentals of science and technology. The complexity of studying advanced western subjects using complex Japanese texts made for such misunderstandings and confusions that they often didn't know anything. Once they re-learned it, then they quickly began making head-ways -- to be honest, most US scientists and engineers aren't much more than mediocre either, and discoveries often come-about serrendipitously. It's possible that many mainland Chinese scientists and engineers are suffering under the same complexion from a complex language and that's keeping them from making discoveries and innovations despite the large numbers who work and toil in China. Getting back to the subject, Naoharu died on May 21, 1934. But so what? He wasn't famous, and as dumb as any other Japanese politician, then or now. His dumb influence wasn't as long lasting as Georgie W. Bushie, or Looney Romney, or the managers at NASA. So that was dumped in favor of a recent comment.)

2012: The Space Shuttle Endeavour is expected to arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport on September 20, 2012 -- this is written in early August 2012, so the schedule may change -- and remain here until this chat date in 2012 when it will be moved on the ground through city streets at bout three kilo-meters a hour to a temporary hanger at the California Science Center in the Exposition Park in the city of Los Angeles, California, on the west-coast of continental US, before all the preparations are done and open to the public by October 30, 2012, tentatively speaking. When it's moving on the streets, they have to remove trees, street lamps, and even power-lines as it crawls the 20 kilo-meters from the Airport to the final resting place over two days, because its silicon tile is so fragile that it can be scratched by even a finger-nail. Rather than apologizing for the two days of traffic jam, it's hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime $25 million parade for the Space Shuttle that was assembled in Palmdale, located north-east of Los Angeles and delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a big and modified Boeing 747 in 1991 as a replacement for the Challenger which disintegrated shortly after its 1986 launch. It's now coming back where it came from, and it will be placed in a climate controlled $200 million exhibition hall. NASA may be hailing it, but mybookshop had nothing but disdain for the entire Shuttle program which was designed to waste mountains of money, each time it launched. Gone was the era of cheap Mercury space capsules that were cheap, simple, and aside from the idiot who used pure oxygen atmosphere that causes steel and plastic and humans to turn into brightly burning fuel, it was ultra-reliable. (By using pure oxygen in the space capsule, rather than the oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere that's in the air and Russian space capsules, US space capsules can be kept at a far lower pressure and the metal can be that much thinner while providing the same amount of oxygen to the astronaut. But it doesn't take "rocket science" to use a pun to know that pure oxygen will cause everything to burn brightly. It's not something that was discovered as a result of the tragic accident of early US space program, but which was known as soon as oxygen was discovered and early scientists began experimenting with oxygen. In other words, NASA scientists didn't bother to read history books or maliciously flaunted the lessons from history.) The Shuttle program was designed to be super-expensive, hyper-complex, and ultra-dangerous. Even before it was manufactured, scientists and engineers who weren't on NASA payroll warned about the dangers from the very foundations of its conception. Piggy-backing on the side of the booster? If the booster explodes, it will explode from the side, destroying the shuttle with it. Replace burn-away heat shield with custom-made tiles that are so delicate that they can fall-off during launch? They were but two of thousands of things that can go wrong, and they did, in two tragic shuttle accidents. Yet even after the accidents, the warnings were dismissed as two drops of warning in a huge ocean of warnings. It's a valid excuse, if you're running a small operation on a small budget and lives are not endangered and you can't afford to hire an assistant who learned speed-reading or speed-comprehension. But not for something as big as NASA. Now that NASA's past idiocies are in plain sight and placed in a Museum for all to mock, NASA is switching to "crowd-sourcing". That's the new phrase that means "It's find someone who can do what need to be done, without worrying about whether a person went to a prestigeous school, or came from a famous family, or has done some other thing which made lots of money." Rather than splurging billions of dollars on a few supposed genius designers, scientists, and engineers who promise vaporwares and deliver nothing useful beyond all the money that was wasted, NASA began crowd-sourcing under the Innovative and Advanced Concepts program announced on August 1, 2012. Things like an autonomous concrete lunar base maker that fuses lunar dust and soil into concrete that forms a lunar base. Now that the Moon is found to be stuffed full of water which can be used to grow food, breathe, and as rocket fuel, a lunar base sounds like the next step. The winners of Phase 1 projects get $100,000 and use it to win the Phase 2 projects that earns $500,000. That's to be used as the seed-money to make proof-of-concepts such as making a machine that uses solar mirrors to fuse simulated lunar dust into interlocking concrete blocks. Or 3-D printed rockets, which sounds so science-fictional, but there are plans to use 3-D printers to make robots, so why not rockets? But this again leads to a possibility that the idiot managers at NASA may do something stupid, again. Take a look at that lunar base. If you construct it on the surface of the atmosphere-less Moon, the base is going to be bombarded by meteors which are not burned-away by the air. The killer meteorite may not strike for a year or three score years later, but when it does, everyone dies in one explosive decompression. No matter how much confidence you have in the compressive strength of a lunar dust concrete block, always make it inside a deep crater and bury the crater with lunar soil and dust. Sunlight can be piped from an outside mirror concentrator via fiber-glass to a hydroponic garden. If any air leaked due to a lunar quake, meteorite, or faulty construction, the soil and dust will slow the air-loss to provide time to locate it/them and make repairs. Print a rocket? It can't make a huge hydrogen-oxygen fueled rocket, but a small ion engine can be made. Even in clusters, it can't fly-up from the lunar gravity, but an electromagnet rail-gun can fling it into lunar orbit and the engine cluster can increase the orbital altitude until it can go to Earth and the asteroid belt. But above all, stop regarding astronauts as "expendables", which was the problem with the shuttle program. Second, wait for the autonomous robot technology to progress a bit more, because it's still best to have a safely seated human controlling a tele-robot from 100 kilo-meters away than millions of kilo-meters away with slow response that's limited by the speed of light. If you can't afford to use humans, then you have to wait for artificial intelligence to become cheap-enough to make autonomous robots that can think and figure-out how to mine for ores and smelt them into metals. When you can't even do that with autonomous robots with metal nodules that are lying on the sea-floors only 10 kilo-meters down, then there's no way you can do that to lunar ores and asteroid ores in far-away space.

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Related to famous or unusual

Artificial cells are unusual. Tadashi Sugawara et al is reporting in the British science journal Nature Chemistry about their completely artificial cel that reproduces itself. A fatty acid-like chemical makes-up the cell, and synthetic DNA and RNA derived form bacillus coli are added. When the mixture is cycled through heat at 95 degrees Celsius and 65 degrees Celsius as would happen to primitive cells exposed to lava, the DNA reproduces once, so that cycling through the heat 20 times reproduces the DNA a million times. Then they added a chemical that forms a positively electrically charged membrane and the negatively electrically charged DNA attached to the inner membrane to form the cell membrane. They think that this can be used not only for research on artificial life but also for DNA amplification.

On October 13, 2011 (Shortly after the Nobel Committee announced several Nobel prizes to Japanese scientists for 2011, some Japanese officials and scientists went to mainland China where the Chinese students asked them how they could get so many Nobel prizes, to which they had to explain that Japan has over a century of scientific works behind it. Mainland China has several Nobel recipients, but either they got it after they moved to US and became US citizens, trained in US, and so forth, or they got it in China for their demand to topple the Chinese politburo, neither of which is acceptable to China which is resorting to bribing the members of the Nobel Committee to get it, versus European scientists who complain that US only gets lots of Nobel Prizes because they vote for each other while praising the Japanese scientific works which deserve it but which they didn't get. On the other hand, unlike Japan which remained in isolated seclusion until Commodore Perry forced Japan open, China was constantly exposed to western science for all times, and it's not getting any. It doesn't mean that the Chinese are mentally inferior or that they're exposed to so much toxic chemicals and radio-isotopes that turn 30-somethings into graying elders that they're bunch of morons. No, because they do get Nobel prizes after they move out of mainland China. Nor is everything which can be discovered, already discovered. The stifling bureaucracy of mainland China is choking the flow of creative juice, and China is doing everything to keep it that way. Since Japan is getting a lot of praises for its world-first recovery of asteroid dust particles from 500 meters long potato-shaped asteroid Itokawa by cluster ion-engine powered Hayabusa space craft, how about a story on a Japanese astronomer who studied asteroids? That's "related to famous".

But first, some explanations on astronomical words: The semi-major axis is the longest distance from the center to the outside of an ellipse. Let's say that you have a rough potato shaped object that's 600 meters long ====== at the longest length. You take measurements from various angles and you can't find any length that you can measure as any longer than 600 meters. Then the semi-major axis is half of this length or 300 meters. Eccentricity is an elliptic orbit that deviates from a perfect circle and how much it deviates, when used in astronomy. "Inclination" of an asteroid is the angle between the asteroid's plane of the orbit and the plane of the ecliptic. The plane of the ecliptic is the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun. In other words, Earth orbits around the Sun on this plane Earth---Sun and the asteroids may orbit slightly above it or below it, and the angle that the measured asteroid's orbit deviates from Earth's orbital plane is the inclination. That wasn't too difficult was it? Now, try imagining a primitive country which had no such words, where a person had to invent all of these words and explain the definitions and inventing the words used in the explanations in the definitions. That's early Japan, and mybookshop already talked about one such person who translated and made-up words for the western words, such as "nerve" which was written with the Chinese character for "god". In comparison, China had it easy, because Japan invented all the Chinese words to explain western sciences and mathematics, and China had the option of either copying them or using the Japanese kanji words as a reference point or a foundation to build its own Chinese characters to explain western sciences and mathematics.)

Happy birthday to 1874: Japanese astronomer Kiyotsugu Hirayama, who discovered that asteroids don't orbit around the Sun in random independent ways but can be grouped by similar semi-major axis, and/or eccentricity, and/or inclination, which led him to speculate that they were once larger parent asteroids that were exploded by collisions into smaller pieces that he classified as asteroid families, but which other astronomers now call Hirayama families in his honor, and he also gets a crater on the dark side of the Moon named after him. Kiyotsugu is from the city of Sendai in Miyagi province in the Touhoku ("East-north") region facing the Pacific Ocean. He studied astronomy under Hisashi Terao (November 4, 1855 - August 6, 1923. Hisashi started the foundation of modern Japanese astronomy because he was born shortly after Japan was plied open and the Japanese were busy transforming Japan into a western country in decades; or to put it in other words, Hisashi is the father of Japanese astronomy. Hisashi was born as the oldest son to father Kiheita Terao in the Fukuoka clan's Haruyoshi village in Naka county in the country of Chikuzen, which roughly corresponds to Nakasu in the Hakata district of Fukuoka City in Fukuoka province. After he was taught at the klan's school which is now the Fukuoka provincial Shuuyuukan [The official English word is "Shuyukan" but that's not how it's written in Japanese nor pronounced in Japanese. If you want an easier to comprehend spelling, it's "Shuw-yuw-kan"] High School, he enrolled in the Tokyo Foreign Language School which is now the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, to study French for a year. In 1874, he enrolled in the Kaisei School which now corresponds to the University of Tokyo to major in physics to study physics using the newly invented Japanese words for all the physic terminologies and definitions, that were printed with the help of extremely difficult and slow printing presses that manually selected from thousands of kanji, hiragana, and katakana that were made into western-style books using the newly imported binding machines, that he studied and graduated in 1878. Because Hisashi had studied French, in 1879, he received a government scholarship to study in France. At the University of France, he studied mathematics and astronomy and obtained the mathematic sciences degree. In 1882, he participated in the December 6, 1882 expedition of "Project Venus" as mentioned in the June 03, 2007 article, involving the voyage to the island of Martinique in the Caribbean Sea below continental US under the French government's guidance to measure the distance from Venus to the Sun and then voyaging back to France in 1883. After returning to Japan later in 1883, he worked for the newly formed Japanese Ministry of Education to make a latitude measuring station in the city of Sendai and becoming the head of the newly formed Science University of Tokyo, which is now called the Tokyo University of Science. In 1884, he became an astronomy professor at the University of Tokyo, which meant that he had to invent the Japanese words for explaining the elliptical functions, theta functions and any other words which were not yet invented and published into a textbook that made him the first to teach mathematics in Japan. In 1889, he participated in the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Paris, France, and then brought back the "one meter" length which was made in France in 1879 as two notches on 90% platinum 10% iridium alloy bar. Japan had agreed to participate in the metric system in 1885, and brought back the official "one meter" and the "one kilo-gram" in 1890 from which all Japanese metric length and weight are measured and compared, so that Japan can finally make metric tools, metric appliances, metric nails, and everything else that were needed to start the industrialization process of Japan such as learning to recognize iron ore, how to smelt it, beat them into metric specification beams and nails to make iron bridges and railways, locomotives, electric dynamo systems with transmission towers, ships, airplanes, and everything else. It also meant that Japanese physicists couldn't make accurate and reproducible length and weight measurements until 1890. The Japanese Ministry of Education's Geodesy Committee was formed in 1898 with him as the first chair. He also founded the Astronomical Society of Japan in 1908. He retired at age 60 as required by the University of Tokyo and then spent his time playing the shamisen musical string instrument. Note that he had to sacrifice his life to bring astronomy and mathematics to Japan: In any other country, because you're spending your 20's in master's degree and Ph.D., a university won't impose such early mandatory retirement age that's applied to people who only went to high school before working. The 21st century Japanese government also not only penalize but financially ruins anyone who studied for a Ph.D. on his/her own. How? You must keep paying 25 years into your federal old-age pension plan, not 24 years. If you don't make that one year of payment, you forfeit all the pension deductions that were paid so far, and you can't pay extra to make-up for that length of period that you missed making the payment for any reason. Since's Japan's retirement age is 55 and early retirement age is 50, there's no room for higher education. If you wanted to go to US as a foreign exchange student for a year, that year doesn't count as a year in the Japanese education system, forcing the pupil to repeat that year in Japan. So why is there anyone with a Master's degree or a Ph.D. in Japan? By working in a large company, which encourages everyone to study higher education as a part-time night course student. The large company offers cheap subsidized housing and pays into your old age pension plan, which forces everyone hoping to get higher education to enter en elite university which assures entry into a big company, although all that is now in flux and the rules and regulations are now in the process of being rewritten, along with longer working years. Kiyotsugu is also not related in any way or shape to Makoto Hirayama (October 6, 1867 - June 2, 1945) born to a high-level Bakufu government official in Tokyo and who also studied astronomy under Hisashi, making solar eclipse observations and asteroid observations, with discovery of two asteroids in 1900, number 498 which he called Tokio and number 727 that he called Nipponia.) Kiyotsugu graduated from the newly created astronomy department of the Tokyo Imperial University in 1898 and then became an assistant professor of the same University by 1906, although he won't obtained a Ph.D. until 1911, which was permitted because there weren't any other Ph.D. professors in that subject. In 1915, he went to Yale University in US to study and then go back, before he became a full professor at the University of Tokyo in 1919. It was during this period in 1918 that he was compiling the data on asteroids when he realized that they're not moving randomly but have similar semi-major axis, and/or eccentricity, and/or inclination, leading him to postulate that these tiny asteroids were once larger proto-planets that were shattered into these small current shapes by collisions. At the time, using the primitive telescopes in Japan, he described five families, which rose to 29 families by 2000 and now includes dozens of possible families. Kiyotsugu retired in 1935 and died on April 8, 1943. Now, it's not believed that the asteroids were once big proto-planets that were destroyed in collisions, but that they failed to form into big planets due to Jupiter's strong gravity. But that's set to be turned around, thanks to the Hayabusa mission to the asteroid Itokawa. At first it looked as if the mission failed when the double sealed container failed to show anything, but it contained rock particles that were fractions of a milli-meters wide. They sound so tiny, but current science can analyze pieces that are fractions of a micro-meter wide. First, it confirmed that Itokawa is an S-type asteroid, a rocky stone asteroid, as predicted by telescopic observations from Earth. But the particles weren't space weathered by solar radiation, cosmic radiation, and dust particles as expected. In fact they were new, indicating that the current surface of Itokawa is just eight million years old and its surface is eroding at the rate of several centi-meters per million years. In other words, Itokawa was much larger in the past but the surface was eroded away and it will disappear in many hundred million years up to a billion years. The chemical composition also showed that it was heated to 800 degrees Celsius. That can't happen on a tiny potato-shaped asteroid that's no more than 500 meters across whose gravitational pressure is weak and its radioactive element content is too weak to produce this temperature which is much weaker than the high temperature that's caused by collisions with other asteroids. For Itokawa to be like this, it had to be a remnant of an asteroid that was over 20 kilo-meters in diameter whose gravity was strong enough and whose radioactive elements were dense enough to heat it to this temperature. Naturally, 20 kilo-meter is the minimum diameter if Itokawa came from the core. If Itokawa isn't from the very core of the original big asteroid, then the original big asteroid could have been a proto-planet that was hundreds or even thousands of kilo-meters in diameter. Since some of these asteroids are known to be huge iron-nickel metal asteroids with more metals than can be mined from Earth's surface, maybe Kiyotsugu knew some inkling of truth.

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Related to famous or unusual

For the second time in a row, the Nobel committee decided to award a Nobel Prize in Physics before a product was proven to be of any worth, since it's supposed to wait until a promised new product will deliver something big. They did that first with the buckyball, the 60 carbon atoms balls that had such huge promises of becoming something big, and they gave a Nobel Prize on that promise that never delivered. And now, they skipped over the nano-tube which not only has promises but also practical applications, while givng another Prize to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester in Britain for their 2004 discovery of graphene, a thin sheet carbon with promises but nothing concrete so far. The only thing in common is that the first and the third carbon discoveries were made by whites. One singularity carbon dot, then one dimensional tube, and then two dimensional sheet. What next? Obviously a three dimensional carbon box.

On October 13, 2010 (Today's story is a person who has been mentioned several times in relation to other famous people, including the February 06, 2009 slot that noted that he was the Father of pathology and founder of social medicine who popularized the theory that every cell originates from existing cells, and life cannot appear spontaneously, although mybookshop has already noted that life can appear spontaneously from inanimate gases and water in a matter of weeks, as discovered in the 20th century and mentioned in the March 24, 2007 article on Sidney Walter Fox, who made the coacervate droplets that included a bi-lipid membrane that looked like a cell wall and which reacts to light and other stimuli, just like any living micro-organism. The person in today's story was the first to do systematic procedure for autopsy which hasn't changed much since them. It's true that the first human autopsies weren't autopsies but just part of life, since there are evidences that the first Britons ate human flesh, and discovered what internal organs were edible. Among doctors, a few years after Aristotle published "Parts of Animals" which described animal vivisections and dissections but left-out vivisections of living and breathing humans, Greek anatomists Herophilus of Chalcedon [Circa 320 BC to 335 BC - 260 BC to 280 BC] and Erasistratus of Ioulis on the Island of Ceos[Circa 304 BC to 325 BC - 250 BC] who practiced medicine in the city of Alexandria in ancient pharaoic Egypt taught anatomy by dissecting breathing criminals -- not necessarily those who were sentenced to death but just any criminal -- at times demonstrating them to King Ptolemy, as did the Greek doctor Galen (131 BC - 200 BC). Some historians doubt that Herophilus really cut-open breathing humans, but he does describe the stomach connected to the duodenum part of the small intestine, the details of the retina in the eye, the cavities inside the brain, and the nervous system, and the arteries which are hard to identify once the person is dead and began to putrify. In comparison, the ancient Chinese doctors never practiced vivisection on breathing humans, because their diagrams didn't even draw accurate shapes of the internal organs, let alone describe their functions. The first Japanese doctors to look at Dutch anatomy books realized that the Chinese anatomy book diagrams never matched what they saw in human dissections and presumed that the inside organs and locations changes after death, but the Dutch books did, and dumped everything Chinese in favor of the western medical books, although that also meant that those centuries-ago Japanese doctors never practiced vivisection either. While Britain had a long custom of slicing-open petty criminals to spill their guts before quartering them, doctors were only allowed to perform autopsies on dead criminals, although because the medical students paid a great deal of money to see these autopsies, it was profitable to pay grave-robbers to dig-up freshly buried corpses in grave. You might even remember seeing a television drama about William Burke and William Hare who killed people to sell them to popular Scottish surgeon, anatomist and zoologist Robert Knox [September 4, 1791 - December 20, 1862] from November 29, 1827 to October 31, 1828, when Robert demonstrated them to medical students from the Edinburgh Medical College in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. [Sounds like that's going to be covered in the near future, doesn't it? How about scary Halloween?] The Church was supposed to be against autopsies, but usually looked the other way, because autopsies often reveal that the clinical diagnoses were wrong and the wrong treatments either didn't help or aggravated the illnesses that led to the deaths. But then priests also looked the other way at the dire poverty and unhygienic environment of the people.)

Happy birthday to 1821: Rudolf Virchow, who described the amyloid plaque in senile people, work for better public health, and many other things for which he's not remembered. Rudolf was born as Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow, the only-child to farmer father Karl Christian Siegfried Virchow (1785 - 1865) who supplemented his income as the village treasurer, butcher, businessman, and others. His mother Johanna Maria Hesse (1785 - 1857) worried and complained a lot about everything. Rudolf was born in the poor village of Schievelbein, south of the city of Koeslin in Eastern Pomerania which was a German land back then which made him German, although it now corresponds to Koszalin in north-west Poland. Aside from German that everyone spoke, he received private lessons from priests in Latin, Greek, and French, and will later expand his repertoire with Arabic, English, Hebrew, Dutch, and Italian, although that by itself isn't a major accomplishment, since it's not uncommon for a current European laborer to speak a dozen neighboring languages, and Rudolf had to learn these languages because many authoritative textbooks past the local high school subjects were only available in their native languages, meaning, anyone who wanted higher education had to learn as many different languages as he can master. On May 1, 1835, Rudolf entered a preparatory school in Koeslin, and successfully defended his thesis "A Life Full of Work and Toil is not a Burden but a Benediction" by the Easter of 1839. He originally planned on a career as a priest but switched to medicine because he was interested in natural philosophy and he didn't think that his vocal cord can stand the pain of giving loud sermons, although he later became hostile against the priests in his later life for not helping the impoverished people. Because of his high school marks, he received a military fellowship in 1839 to study medicine for free at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Institute "Pepiniere" in Berlin in return for becoming a military doctor. It also proved fortunate, because German medical schools where you had to pay expensive tuition were teaching theoretical medical with only lectures, where you were taught the theory of medicine without practicing medicine. At the Pepiniere, experimentalists dean Johannes Peter Mueller (1801 - 1858) and Johann Lukas Schoenlein (1793 - 1864) showed him clinical diagnoses and epidemiological studies. On October 21, 1843, Rudolf defended his dissertation on the corneal manifestations of rheumatic disease which said that rheumatism isn't an inflammatory disase but an irritation caused by albuminous matter. (mybookshop says it's laughable; no one single treatment works on rheumatism because the word rheumatism is a cover-all word for many causative agents, just like pleurisy, common cold, and cancer. If you were a 19 years old Lucille Ball the stage dancer who wasn't yet a comedienne who was diagnosed with rheumatism or arthritis, it's just the wear and tear from all that dancing, but if you were a 70 years old Lucille, it likely started with several parasitic infective agents that caused the inflammation that wore-out your legs, and it's necessary to kill or control those infective agents before treating the inflammation and repairing the worn-parts. Because people still seek one pure chemical magic bullet that does all that without identifying the infective agents and whether the infective agents are in-situ or their toxins are carried to the legs, none of them work.) He then began his internship before he was appointed as a rotating intern -- a "go-fer" who go for one thing and then another to do whatever has to be done -- at the Charity Hospital in Berlin in the autumn of 1844 to go and do whatever chore had to be done. Because of his first-hand experience with many patients, by 1845, he published a paper on thrombosis and haemostasis, the first of over 2,000 papers and books that he published over his life -- that mentioned the causes of blood clots that came to be called Virchow's triad, which is about the pathogenesis of thrombosis. He also described leukemia. He then gave an argument in front of others at the Institute that cerebral and pulmonary emboli don't form where they're discovered but form elsewhere and get stuck in the brain and lung respectively. He further argued that in order to find cures for the patients, the patients must be observed physiologically and verified with chemical tests, experiment with animals including drug testing, and do a microscopic autopsy on the dead patients (necropsy) to find out what caused the death. Because they're the sort of researches which are done in the present, it sounds like common-sense, but it caused an outrage at the Institute: He wasn't the head of this Institute, but a green-horn intern who was supposed to learn the tricks of the trade from the elder doctors, not tell them that they were all morons who didn't know what they were doing and how to find cures and treatments. (It's just like multiple sclerosis or MS which an Italian doctor's wife suffered. Paolo Zamboni looked at his wife with an MRI and found that she had a narrowing of the carotid vein, and opening it cured his wife's MS which led him to look at other cases and announced that 90% of MS in Italian patients whom he checked -- meaning that "MS" is also a cover-all word for describing several diseases which were not yet identified as different diseases -- is caused by the condition, which enraged all the MS specialists who have been insisting that it's an auto-immune disease, and that the only real mean to treat MS is to destroy the patient's immune system. Paolo was criticized heavily because he called all the MS specialists a bunch of research-money sucking leaches and morons, even though the preliminary February 2010 test on 500 MS patients at the University of Buffalo in north-western New York state showed that 56.4% of MS patients in US and 22.4% of healthy controls had carotid vein blockages. Whenever you call old-timers as leaches and morons, they fight back, because their jobs and their future prospects depends on proving Paolo wrong. But you know something? Neither of them are wrong and MS specialists have to use Paolo's knowledge to further the welfare of the MS patients. It's just the two sides of the same coin: mybookshop says that whether it's narrowing of the cardiac blood vessels, MS, or intestinal stenosis [partial obstruction that causes the center opening to become narrow]/atresia [complete closure], or any other similar disease, it's caused by a parasitic infections that the regular anti-body and white cell ying-yang immune system can't fight-off, causing the body to respond by shutting-down and constricting that part of the body to slow-down the spread of the infection. That's why there's inflammation in the brains of MS patients and all the indications of an auto-immune disease. But physiologically, in MS patients, this constricted carotid veins starves the brain and fills it with waste products, which is what Paolo discovered. The constrictions may occur inside the brain or they may occur further down in the carotid veins or even the arteries, wherever the infection is concentrated and the body tries to isolate them with pinching constrictions. The use of a stent will open the veins, but it still doesn't address the infection which remains. Why 56.4% of MS and 22.4% have the blockages in the carotid veins and not 100% and 0% respectively? Because the constrictions can occur anywhere in the body and inside the brain, but every parts of the body has many auxilliary blood vessels which normally don't pump blood which open-up when blood flow is cut-off in the regular vessels due to the constrictions, and they can compensate partially or completely, which is why 22.4% have constrictions but don't suffer MS. It's a problem with brain surgery because you close all the blood vessels but the blood is still gushing out of the brain because of these auxilliary vessels that didn't show-up on pre-operative X-rays, and locating red vessels among all the red blood is difficult -- unless you inject "pulses" of any brain-barrier passing blue dye into the carotid artery which then shows up clearly in the bleeding, but all brain surgeons are so panicked by this bleeding that they don't have it prepared, which is why they're all morons. By cycling through different colored dyes, all the new bleedings are quickly located and closed, if only they weren't morons, because as soon as you explain this simple procedure, they make-up every excuse in the book to demonize you because they didn't invent it and that insinuates that they're all morons.) All the elderly doctors at the Institute were told that Hippocrates' claim of vital forces and humoral imbalances were the root cause of all diseases, and Rudolf's rejection of these teachings in front of those elderly doctors and the interns learning from them didn't go well with anyone, but he knew what he was talking about and still passed the license exam in 1846 and replaced an old-hand -- who went away to head the Weimarischer Landes-Industrie-Comptoir -- as the new hospital prosector (It's not a typographic error for "prosecutor", although they both sound alike. A prosector investigates a complaint by a patient or the dead/incapacitated patient's family like a police officer, and if a doctor, nurse, anesthetist or others are found to have done something wrong that resulted in death or severe harm, then the prosector instigates prosecution in a criminal proceeding like a legal prosecutor. They happen all the time and hundreds of thousands of patients are dead or gravely harmed every year from something as simple as incorrect connection of the tubes, although the fault isn't with the nurse who mixed them up. A gravely ill patient may have a dozen or more clear plastic tubes for liquid food, fluids, oxygen to the lung, stomach content, bladder, artery/vein, drug delivery, and so many other things, and the kick in the pants is that these tube connectors are inter-changeable. Connect the wrong tubes and you send air into the vein or liquid into the lungs. Some instrument manufacturers color-code them, but every such manufacturer uses different color for the same thing. Make the connectors incompatible? Bite your tongue, really, because US manufacturers' trade association, AdvaMed, successfully prevented it from being legislated into law, which is why so many patients die in US hospitals all the time. They're waiting for an international standard to be formulated, which actually means that they're waiting for the Japanese et al to make them, except the Japanese nurses are far more efficient and are less likely to make mistakes, which means that at least the Japanese have all the time in the world to argue on the best solutions that US doesn't have.) at the Charity Hospital, and this post finally gave him a salary and free accommodation that he didn't have until then. One of the first assignment that he got from this was the Prussian army that had him travel to the cities of Prague and Vienna to see how they were progressing in their own pathological anatomy development which led Rudolf to attack Bohemian pathologist and liberal politician Karl von Rokitansky (February 19, 1804 - July 23, 1878. Insisted that doctors must have ethics and treat the patients as human first, not as research objects. Developed a now-obsolete in-situ autopsy that he claims to have used to personally perform over 30,000 autopsies, almost two a day, 365 days a year, for 45 years, which is speedy but otherwise not useful because of so little time in analyses, let alone documentations. He also supervized 40,000 more such hasty autopsies which he claimed required no further need to look because he claimed that when an anatomic cause for the death of the patient cannot be seen as soon as you open-up the cadaver, then death came from acellular material that caused cells to become abnormal, leading to bleeding and death. No need to look at disease under a microscope, because as far as Karl was concerned, those tiny things didn't contribute anything. Refer back to the January 14, 2007 on the birth of German lens maker Carl Zeiss on September 11, 1816 in Weimar in the province of Thuringia. After graduating the Weimar Gymnasium, he studied everything about how to make good lenses -- chemical composition, kiln temperature, theories, etc -- from various places around Germany before studying chemistry and mathematics at the University of Jena. By 1846, he felt that he knew enough about lenses to make microscopes and magnifying glasses with a staff of 20 grinders. By 1861, the clarity and magnifying power of his microscopes were earning him the golden prize in the Thuringia General Exhibition. But his grinders were using trial&error to grind the distortion-free lenses, which resulted in many lenses which had to be thrown-away because they didn't grind optically correct or because they shattered. He decided that there had to be a scientific method for grinding distortion-free lenses reproducibly and accurately, but after five years of toil, he couldn't think of any way. In 1866, he went back to the University of Jena, where he met Ernst. Although Ernst was just a lowly lecturer, he had graduated from Goettengen University at age 21 with the help of a scholarship. Carl decided that Ernst was the man to become his Research Director. With six more years of labor, in 1872, Ernst formulated his wave theory of microscopic imaging that came to be called the Abe Sine Condition, and they did make a compound microscope with reproducible distortion-free lenses quickly and cheaply. In other words, Karl knew about the excellent compound microscopes that Carl was making for decades, but refused to believed that all those tiny things that comes out of only sick patients can cause diseases.) and the Viennese Medical School in December 1846 for supporting humoralism. Able to eat and sleep without taking on outside work, Rudolf also devoted his newly found free time to research and published papers on uric acid secretin in the baby and fetus in 1847. Then he differentiated leukemia into two types that he called splenic and lymphatic, which are now called lymphoid leukemia nd myeloid leukemia. He also described a fungal infection in the lung and others. Still in 1847, some of his papers on thrombosis and haemostasis were rejected by the then famous medical journal, so he began publishing his own, the Archives of Pathologic Anatomy and Physiology and Clinical Medicine that Rudolf edited with his friend Benno Ernst Heinrich Reinhardt (May 14, 1819 - March 11, 1852. He was an assistant at the Charity Hospital, where he replaced Rudolf as prosector, but died at age 32 from tuberculosis.) that Rudolf continued to edit until 1902. Normally, the military get their money's worth for paying the financially strapped doctor's medical school by assigning them to different posts around the country or even the world, but perhaps because so many old-time doctors hated being indirectly called leaches and morons by him, his military duty was also cut-off in 1847, so he became an unpaid Privatdozent before he became an instructor at the University of Berlin, back at his alma mater under its dean, Johannes Peter Mueller. In late 1847, there was an epidemic of typhus among the cloth weavers in Upper Silesia, and the Prussian government sent Rudolf and Stephan Friedrich Barez (1790 - 1856. Founding member of the Medico-Surgical Society in Berlin in 1810, lecturer at Pepiniere by 1821, and among other titles, also a life insurance company doctor and pediatrician.) to investigate in early 1848. For three weeks, Rudolf was aghast by the dire level of impoverished Polish weavers who were barely earning enough money to eat and that the epidemic was due to the lack of nutritious food -- with evidences of lack of both protein and calorie intake -- and unsanitary environments. Rather than writing a report on the need for humanitarian aid and sanitary procedures as other medical investigators have previously reported, Rudolf called for educational/economic reform and political freedom, and blamed the government for the epidemic, because the improved cloth making machines put the weavers out of a job and the government was keeping the status quo. (Absent land-owners who didn't pay tax controlled most lands and what can be grown but the poor had to pay the taxes, and the epidemic resulted in less tax, so the orphanages to care for the children whose parents died were closed. The Lutheran Protestant Church wasn't helping the Catholic Poles either for being non-Protestants. The poor Polish farmers needed infrastructures such as roads, cooperatives to hammer better deals for their agricultural supplies and to their sellers, and honest local humanitarian aid managers who don't divert aid money to their personal pockets or favored friends.) As outraged as the Prussian government was, it was ignored because of the 1848 Revolution against the status quo that spread from France in February 22, 1848 and was causing large demonstrations in the German countries on March 13, 1848 as they demanded freedom of press/assembly and a united German parliament for the 39 German countries. The cause of this Revolution had its roots in the threat of invasion by France and Denmark which needed a united Germany. There was also a crop failure in 1846 and 1847 that couldn't feed the growing population that was also hit by a wide-spread cholera epidemic, while city workers had to work all day at low pay and no union to complain of grievances. Rudolf himself helped put-up the barrier against the demonstrators just eight days after he came back from Upper Silesia. (The call for a united Germany failed: The Frankfurt Assembly did open on May 18, 1848 to discuss uniting the 39 German countries but there were nothing but internal squabbles, and the threats of invasions by the French and Danes never materialized, while the harvest of 1848 was more plentiful.) After this Revolution came to nothing, the government in effect banished Rudolf to the city of Wuerzburg from 1849 to 1856. Rudolf took this time on hand to prove that Hippocrates' humoralism and Karl von Rokitansky's simpleton explanation on what causes all deaths were both false. They weren't scientifically conclusive proofs, but he gave so many lectures and speeches that everyone began to believe them in time. It's like the Nanking Massacre that never was. The Time magazine reporter whose old report right after that Massacre are now sold on CD reported that he talked to a Chinese boy who said that the Japanese soldiers were peaceful until gunmen began shooting at them, and it resulted in several thousand dead ex-Chinese soldiers (How the boy can tell that they were ex-soldiers is beyond me, since the Chinese were fighting each other in various skirmishes and battles.) and civilians caught in the cross-fire. As with every other Chinese city of the era, Nanking was also controlled by its large white population -- mainly Britons and others who spoke English -- but every western reporter who interviewed them didn't remember seeing any massacre and only a few reported hearing some gun shot like sounds in the distance -- cars that backfired often in that era made the same sounds. More recent reports mentioned a few whites who reported seeing the gun fight didn't think it was anything big, but US, which was working hard to prevent an alliance between Japan and China -- even painting Chinese emblems on US bombers to bomb Tokyo to make the Japanese believe that the Chinese are responsible -- called it a Massacre that killed everyone in the city and the Chinese then began believing it despite the lack of any proof. A few bullet holes in the city are preserved as proof that a Massacre took place, even though the Nationalist Chinese, Mao's group, and many other factions and divisions used those Japanese weapons to kill each other during the Chinese civil war. Do remember that these Japanese and Korean soldiers didn't have machine guns that can kill a large number of people before they can flee to shelter, but were using old rifles that were literally hammered out of swords a few hundred years before and re-bored, and only able to shoot one bullet before it has to be manually reloaded. Once Rudolf kept hammering his story without scientific proof long enough, the people believed him. Which doesn't mean that Rudolf believed in bacteria causing disease, because he thought that pulmonary tuberculosis was just a type of pneumonia from contacting cold air or bad air, since he refused to believe that something as small as a bacterium can cause any disease, even though he admitted that bacterial toxin can cause illness, as anyone who swallowed rotten milk filled with many bacteria can attest. He also refused to believe that typhus, cholera, leprosy, and so many other diseases can be caused by tiny bacteria. In fact, while Rudolf grudgingly and eventually admitted that he was wrong and that washing hands before delivering babies do cut-down on the number of puerperal fever as claimed by Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (July 01, 2007 story on the 1818 birth of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis.), Rudolf refused to believe that bacteria in the dirty hands caused this disease, so that he dissected cadavers as a pathologist without wearing any glove or a mask for all of his life and without washing his hands when seeing live patients afterward. (He changed his mind and admitted that bacteria causes diseases in 1901, long after everyone else had already believed it and looked down on anyone who didn't as a moron.) In 1859, he became a member of the Berlin city officials. In 1868, typhus returned to Berlin and East Prussia that killed many children and babies. Since human waste was collected in cesspools which overflowed into the local rivers after heavy rains, Rudolf said that this was causing the typhus, without admitting that it's because of the bacteria in the waste. After looking at the underground sewer pipe systems that were installed in Paris and London, he recommended that Prussia copy it, which started in 1874. While he didn't believe that bacteria could cause disease, he did study Trichinella, a parasitic roundworm that can infest meat and had them inspected in abattoirs to eliminate them from food by 1900. While he was a later-comer in believing that bacteria can cause disease, at least he proved that leprosy isn't an inherited genetic disease as so many other doctors were insisting. He also worked to improve hygienic practices in schools and get rid of child labor in Germany. But this is only one face of Rudolf. Rudolf became interested in politics in the 1850's and co-founded the German Progressive Party in 1861 and was a member of the Prussian parliament, and Rudolf's party became the biggest party in the 1861 election, although the Prussian King William I dissolved parliament in February 1862. Rudolf lost interest in politics after 1870 when he became interested in archaeology when he founded the Berlin Society of Anthropology, Ethnology, and Pre-history. Part of that happened in 1871, when a German artillery accidentally landed in the Plant Garden Museum in Paris, France, and a French scientist took revenge on that by claiming that Germans were Finns of Mongolian descent in an era when all Chinese were enslaved by the Europeans long after Africans were emancipated, and the September 22, 2010 article on the 1863 birth of Swiss-French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin noted that even the 1920's and 1930's Vietnamese in France's Indochina were tortured and raped as slaves. In the process of proving it wrong in 1871, Rudolf did a vast analyses of millions of Germans and found that only a third of Germans were blond and blue-eyed, while the rest were dark. He measured the Germanic Jews separate from the rest of Germans and noted that many Jews were blond and blue-eyed, sadly concluding that there is no evidence that any race nor country is superior over others, but then he didn't measure the vastly superior Japanese. Rudolf fought against anti-semites and tried to prevent Germany from acquiring its own African colonies as France was doing, although Germany did get its own African slaves long after African slaves in Europe were emancipated. He celebrated his 80th birthday in 1901. On January 4, 1902, he jumped-off from a moving street car and fractured his femur bone in the leg. He said it'll heal, but he died of a heart failure on September 5, 1902, in Berlin, and buried at the Old St. Matthews Cemetery, Berlin, Germany. In life, he was also an unusual man who fought Karl von Rokitansky and others but also showered them with praises after they admitted defeat. He insisted on vivisection, cutting-open screaming laboratory animals alive, but was gentle to his laboratory animals. He was always sure that he was right and everyone else was wrong, but was too modest to accept the "von" ennoblement. While attacking the big government, he wanted doctors to become prosectors for the impoverished people. His heart seemed to be in the right place, even if his science wasn't.

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Related to famous or unusual

Dell's wireless laptop recharger was greeted with a ho-hum, but Sony has a wireless power feed for televisions and other electronics that can transmit 60 watts of power, 50 centimeters away by using a magnetic resonance with Repeater Device to enhance the range. Transmitting power to electronics in a rack would sure reduce the burden of all those wires that are sticking out of the back of the electronics.

Mainland China is standing by North Korea, even though North Korea was trying to purchase enough special reagents used to examine the effects of radiation on 2,500 human bodies last April 21, 2009, a month before it did detonate it in May 2009. The news came to light when the president of a trading compnay in Maizuru, Kyoto province was arrested on May 19, 2009 for trying to export large tanker trucks to North Korea without permission from the Japanese government, since these tanker trucks an be easily converted into mobile launch pads for nuclear inter-continental ballistic missiles. The e-mail about the reagents were sent from North Korea -- mainly written in Japanese but also in Korean, so the company president may have been ethnic Korean -- that if the company president obtained it, it'll make it easy for the company to trade other things with North Korea. The president didn't respond and further inquires were ignored, because as the president explained, he finally realized that he was asked to participate in North Korea's nuclear development program, but too late to avoid being arrested and sentenced to three years in prison, but suspended for four years.

Does it, or doesn't it? Only the anti-depressant makers know for sure. A new report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine states that anti-depressant called took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) taken during pregnancy does increase pre-term birth and its complications that requires neonatal intensive care unit and its production of an inferior garbage baby. When it's a choice between having regular baby versus inferior garbage baby, or not suffering depression that comes from an infection, the choice is up to the mother. (Darn. The story on a doctor who treated this depression using yoghurt was cancelled this year. Perhaps next year, when people are more liberal and not too tight-up on anal things?)

On October 13, 2009 (Oh, well. Today's story is on a comic author who writes for the famous Shuei company. Its Japanese headquarter isn't as big as Shougakkan which published Doraemon, but Shuei is famous for comics-turned-to-animations such as "One Piece", "Dragon Ball", "City Hunter", "Kin-niku Man", "Yu-Gi-Oh", and others that became famous not only throughout Asia but throughout the world. The purpose for choosing a person who's related to a famous company? Well, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan that has mainly ruled Japan since the end of the War is expected to lose the Lower House which elects Japan's Prime Minister. By the time you read this, the outcome was already decided, but this story is being submitted and sealed in August 2009. What does that have anything to do with manga? The Liberal Democratic Party was trying to ride on the popularity of manga by starting a museum of manga, but the Party that's expected to elect the new Prime Minister calls it a big waste of money and plans to close it, when elected. The problem is that this Party is also hostile against funding Japanese sciences. While the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan had installed so much restrictions on cloning, that Japan is not doing as well on the cutting-edge of cloning science as it could have, the other scientists were praising them for at least not cutting-down on over-all research funding during Japan's long and drawn-out depression. Compared to its small and graying population, Japan has done spectacularly well in both pure and applied sciences, not only on the newest sciences but also what US gurus called the "sunset" industries such as textile with the "J-wear" line of seamless underwears that don't have to be washed. In the latest robotic sciences, the robots that move by reading the minds of the user is so science-fictional that it's beyond Japanese robot animations such as Gundam which need to be controlled with levers and pedals and other conventional controls. They can all thank the Japanese comic magazines for thinking of such things that its now-grown-up readers are turning into science fact.)

Happy birthday to 1958: Kazuya Terashima, the comic author-artist who's best known under his pen-name of Izumi Matsumoto for his "Kimagure Orange Road" or "Capricious Orange Road" that was in the weekly Jump comic magazine for boys, published by the Shuuei Company, which is normally written as "Shueisha" in English. ("sha" is a contraction of "kaisha" which means "company".) Kazuya was born in the Takaoka City in Toyama province in Japan. After graduating Takaoka Art High School, he went to Tokyo in the hope of becoming a rock & roll drummer... even though he couldn't read the musical notes. Instead, he went to a art design school to become a designer, but he also fooled-around with a classmate to draw a comic story that they began bringing to various comic publishers until they met the editor Toshimasa Takahashi (August 7, 1958 - January 24, 2003) in charge of first-time comic story submitters who accepted it and he began working for Shuei. The comic that became a hit was "Kimagure Orange Road" which appeared on the 1984 number 15th issue until 1987 number 42th issue for 157 stories, although he was sick and didn't draw anything from the 1986 number 15th issue to 1987 number 11th issue, although another episode was in the Shuei publishing's weekly Playboy for 1999 in the number 44 issue. I'll do a short mention based on the comic in front of me. The first story was called "Red Straw Hat". The story starts with Kyousuke Kasuga, born on November 15, 1969, a third year middle schooler who had to move schools for seven times, because he came from a "tribe" of people with various psychic powers and time-traveling machines. The implication is that they're extra-terrestrials who were stranded or colonized Earth, because Kyousuke is going up the stairs in the town when he sees what he thought was a UFO, but it turned out to be a red straw hat. He caught it, and it belonged to a woman, Madoka Ayukawa who gave the hat to Kyousuke. (Madoka's first year middler schooler friend Hikaru Hiyama would later mention that Madoka had treasured the hat so much that Hikaru thought it strange that Madoka would give it to Kyousuke so easily. While Madoka's birth date is supposed to be May 25, 1969, it would be revealed later that Madoka has a 27 years old sister, implying that Madoka is in her 20's and Madoka's knowledge of English implies that she was away in an English speaking country for some years which led her to repeat the missing years in Japan which made her an old middle schooler. This is further enforced in another story where Kyousuke goes back in time with his grandfather's stop-watch for going back and forth in time -- his grandfather used it to buy some confectionaries that are no longer sold in the present -- and goes back to an era when everyone different by two years is drawn as equally small toddlers, but Madoka is drawn like a teenager who's only slightly shorter than Kyousuke. It was here that Kyousuke gave Madoka this red straw hat that Madoka had cherished all her life. Kyousuke later told his grandfather that the older Madoka realized that Kyousuke is that boy whom the teenager Madoka saw, but his grandfather assured him that Kyousuke looks like any boy and Madoka won't remember Kyousuke from any other boy.) He goes home where his twin sisters are fighting and throwing things at each other with their powers, and Kyousuke yells to his sister Kurumi that the last time they moved school, it was because Kurumi ran the 100 meters in three seconds. Later, going to the Kou'ryo'u Middle School, he meets Madoka acting like a yobette and smoking a cigarette. Kyousuke warns her that she can't have a healthy baby if she began smoking at her age, and she slaps him, really hard, before telling him that that's not the kind of thing to say to a lady whom he met for the first time, boy. Kyousuke puzzled why she called him a "boy", before later puzzling back at home if it's the same person whom he met the day before. In the fifth story, Kyousuke is walking with Madoka and Kyousuke begins to realize that Madoka has the sexiness of an older woman, rather than a third year middle schooler, and Madoka also knows many people who are already working. Hiraku saw Kyousuke throwing a basket ball from the otherside of the court using his power and fell in love with him, but he continues to love Madoka, but once Madoka realized that Hikaru loved Kyousuke, she tried to steer away from Kyousuke, although she's constantly saved by Kyousuke from sex perverts (Before meeting Kyousuke in school, Madoka was a yobette, a female punk who could take care of anyone who made a move against her, but every since meeting Kyousuke, she stopped smoking and acted like a docile, passive, shrinking-violet of a woman.) and that constantly kept her attracted to him. While the story was a top-drawing story in Jump, it eventually went down in popularity in the weekly referendum which led the story to be killed without revealing how much older Madoka was, or anything else about her past which was explained by insinuations and implications. (Dragon Ball, City Hunter, and others also had such implications that were never explained.) Among his assistants was Kazushi Hagiwara (April 4, 1963 - ) who drew the "Wizard" story which was later renamed to "Bastard". Despite his large staff of assistants, Kazuya couldn't continue the story because of an illness which wasn't explained, and the story was cancelled, leading the story to end abruptly in a question mark in the original Jump story, although the collected album volume books did try to end the story by sewing-up some loose parts. (The television animation also didn't introduce Kyousuke's cousin Akane who has the ability to project herself as anyone else to another person's head, but not to a camera that reveals her true self. This is the original "transformation" power that's mentioned in old Japanese folklores. You don't change your physical form, but you concentrate your mind so strongly with a visual image of something and then project it into someone else's head that the other person believes that it's for real. She appeared more often in the original direct-to-store video format.) He wrote other works such as "Sesame Street" and "Black Moon", but none of them compared to his Kimagure Orange Road. It was in 2004 that he finally revealed that the mysterious ailment that kept forcing him to withdraw drawing his comic stories from time to time and then for an eight year period was a result of a cerebro-spinal fluid disease that stemmed from a car accident that he suffered when he was three years old. He now swears that he's going to write a comic on the disease to make people aware of this disease and find a cure. But it also means that he may not have long to live without a cure.

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On October 13, 2008 (The human eye is a marvel of simplicity in design that hides its complexity that uses a lens with a radially decreasing index gradient, meaning that the index of refraction varies depending on whether light is entering at the edge of the lens or the center of the lens, while this light is shone onto a spherical surface that avoids spherical aberration in the resulting image. The sensing surface is covered with what's called cone cells because of their shape which vibrate rapidly and notes the difference in light reception in those places it vibrated to, which is why once you're free of the dusty atmosphere, an astronaut in low Earth orbit can see individual cars moving on the highway, because the cone cells are moving to simulate a photo-receptor with far more number of sensors than that which exists. It appears to be simple, yet it's also pre-processing and then compressing this data through at least 13 parallel data-lines to the brain whose own layered design pre-process and classify information before your consciousness becomes aware of anything. In fact, the reason why computer monitors don't display only 25 to 30 images a second is because the human eye has variable rate image sensing speeds at the center of this reception site called a fovea and at the peripheral area which combines the two in the brain to determine if something is fluttering rapidly to create the illusion of motion or is actually moving.)

Happy birthday to 1776: Peter Barlow, who gave us two types of achromatic telescope lenses called the barlow lens. ("achromatic" means that light doesn't separate into a rainbow of colors. When light containing a mixture of wavelength from red to yellow to violet enters a lens, the electric charge in the lens interacts with the light's electric and magnetic fields. Higher wavelength such as violet interacts more and is slowed down more, so that it takes longer to pass through the lens than yellow and red is least affected. Because of this effect, when those mixture of wavelengths of light hits the lens at an angle, violet bends more because it's slower. Once the mixture of wavelengths of light leaves the lens into air or in the eye into a liquid with less index of refraction than the lens which is also called a cornea, those wavelengths of light speed-up, and violet bends more than other colors. The eye compensates for this by using its radially decreasing index gradient, the spherical fovea where light is received, and the depth positioning of the color cone cells to match the wavelengths. Mechanical lenses don't have these complex features, which necessitates the use of a small concave -- meaning it's caved-in like this from the side ")(" -- lenses that makes the red wavelength travel longer on the edge so that all the wavelengths move in the original speeds at which they entered the big light-gathering convex lens that looks like "()" while also making the image look bigger in a refractor telescope. In a reflector telescope, the primary light concentrator is a concave mirror where all the wavelengths bounce back at the same speed. The thicker the primary convex lens the more light it gathers, but the lens itself absorbs more of the light unless it's a nano-machined fresnel lens. The reflector sounds better, but it also absorbs some light, which is why silver and aluminum which looks mirror bright still gets hot under the Sun. Ignoring all these things, a Barlow lens typically magnifies the image by two times and is placed right before tye eye-piece. The catch is that because the light from only half the area which was captured by the primary lens/mirror is blown-up to cover your field of view, the image is darker.) Not much is known about Peter's youth, aside from the fact that he was born in Norwich. The change to his life came when he began writing letters solving mathematical questions posed in the "Ladies' Diary". (Editored by Woolwich Academy mathematic professor Charles Hutton [August 14, 1737 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England - January 27, 1823 in Bedford Row, London, England.] Charles himself should have worked in a coal mine like his father who died early and his stepfather after that and his brothers, but at age seven he dislocated his left elbow but didn't tell his parents about it until it couldn't be set correctly. Crippled and unable to do manual labor, he studied mathematics where he excelled. Charles became the editor of the "Ladies' Diary" starting in 1773 till 1818, although he retired from the Academy in 1807 with a 500 pounds a year pension. The mathematical questions in the Diary was solved by several readers who turned out to be very mathematically gifted.) Charles recommended that Peter get an assistant mathematic post in 1801 and later the mathematic professorship at the Royal Military Academy. He became sufficiently famous enough that he was asked to contribute to various mathematical journals and publications. In 1814, he published "New Mathematical Tables" which gave answers to squares, cubes, square roots, reciprocals, and hyperbolic logarithms up to 10,000. Now that personal computers have double-precision floating point built-in, having to look-up values is no longer needed, but it was a useful feature once-upon-a-time. Having done experiments in the dock-yard at Woolwich, in 1817, he next published "Essay on the Strength of Timber and Other Materials". Automated machines can now test compressive and tensile strength of any material in a few seconds with more accuracy, but it was a very useful book in its own time. He then made his Barlow lens that de-focuses the image so that the effective focal length of the telescope objective is extended and makes the image bigger, though darker. He couldn't get flint-glass ground to the correct curvature using the grinding technology of the era, so his version consisted of two pieces of glass and a liquid carbon disulfide between the two. Peter had a 7.8 inch refractor telescope constructed with this that the Royal Society tested in 1832 but they said that the chromatic aberration and the spherical aberration wasn't good enough, so they didn't recommend Peter's desire to make a 24 inch telescope, although he and George Dollond did mount a Barlow lens that George made in 1833 with flint glass and crown glass combination that corrects chromatic aberration as well as enlarging the image. Peter also worked on magnetism: Ships were starting to use more and more iron which was affecting the performance of the magnetic compass. Empirically experimenting by moving a compass around balls and spheres of iron, he deduced that magnetism only reside on or near the surface of iron and not within. He also found that a strategically placed iron plate near the ship's compass will compensate for the deflection caused by the other iron used throughout the ship, that he summerized in "An Essay on Magnetic Attractions" (1820). Peter correctly guessed that the Earth isn't a giant permanent magnet and accepted that there was a fluid involved because the Earth's magnetic poles are constantly moving around, although by 1831 he thought that it was electricity caused by the Sun and that the magnetic field was generated from electricity, although he lost faith in his theory by 1833 when he couldn't explain the variation in the geomagnetic strengths around the world and the fact that the magnetic poles can wander but the strength remained constant while the Sun's luminosity changed. Not content with theoretical works, he and Thomas Telford also designed a bridge over the Menai Strait from 1819 to 1826. When George Stephenson made the first British railway in 1830 from Liverpool to Manchester, George thought that the gradient must be under 1%, but Peter experimented to see what the ideal compromise may be, since there are only few locations where the gradient can be kept that low. Peter died on March 1, 1862 in Kent province, England. He's only remembered by his Barlow lens by many people, but even those may disappear into history books. Things such as spherical aberration and other aberrations happen because of the attempt to project the lens image onto a flat surface, which necessitates the use of many lenses that weighs it down and increases the cost. The human eye gets around this problem using only one lens because the image is focused onto a spherical surface. Back in Fiscal Year 2006 Creation of Innovation Centers for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Areas Program, part of the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology by the Japanese government got Takao Someya of Tokyo University in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, SIJTechnology Incorporated's Super Inkjet system, and Harima Chemicals Incorporated's special silver ink came-up with a method of using this system to write high-speed electronic circuit on any shaped surface using the low 130 degrees Centigrade temperature that permits the use of a plastic substrate. Along with the development of the ability to form electronic circuits and dispalys on an elastic sheet containing carbon nano-tube that can be stretched to 1.7 times their original size and mounted on curved surfaces with no mechanical damage or big change in conductivity means that a charge coupled device that acts as a video camera eye can be constructed on a simple flat surface, and then stretched around a sphere. (Takao also wants to make it into "e-skin" for robots that can feel heat and pressure.) The combination of the technologies allow for a simple video camera that uses one mirror that focuses on a spherical CCD sensor which may become cheap and compact without absorbing the light. John Rogers et al at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are also working on this solution with the spherical sensor. In time, fiber-optic light guide for each pixel sensor may even make any lens obsolete.

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Well, this one has to take the cake, or at least go into one as an essential ingredient. 26 years old Japanese researcher, Mayu Yamamoto, who found a method of extracting vanilla essence from cow dung was just awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Not the Nobel Prize, but the one related to the famous one that's also unusual which is handed-out at Harvard University. Among other Japanese who won this unusual prize is the Bowlingual translator. Only a dozen Japanese got it because many others thought that it was outrageous that their serious work was being made into an ignorameous trivium. Others went to have a chance to speak to Harvard professors.

On October 13, 2007 (Related to famous or unusual? There was always the birth of Nanako Matsushima on this date in 1973 in the city of Yokohama in the Japanese province of Kanagawa near Tokyo. Never heard of her because you only see English movies? Then you may know her from her acting in the horror movie "Ring". In Japan, her latest role was in the television school drama "Hana Yori Dango 2" -- read that as "Hana Yori Dango Returns" -- in 2007. The author is Youko Kamio which is better written "Yowko Kamio" with the 'w' to prevent *you* from mispronouncing it as "you", born on June 29, 1966 in Tokyo, which makes her a very old-hand female comic artist by the time she began drawing this story at age 26 after graduating college. The story title is spelt with the Chinese characters for "Boys Over Flower" but it's a word-play which actually means "Dango over flower", which doesn't make sense unless it's explained that "dango" is sweet rice flour that's kneaded with sugar and water into a tough dough and made into round balls about the size of ping-pong balls and three of them are skewered onto a bamboo stick and then steamed to make a sweet delight. But what does "dango over flower" mean? Roughly, "flower" symbolizes the blossoming interest in the opposite sex, while "dango" symbolizes interest in food, culinary delight. "Gluttony over sexual lust", is a cruder way of putting it to say that a child originally has interest in various food stuff, but as the child enters the teen-age, the interest shifts to the opposite sex while they go about doing regular musical club activities in this particular elite school as drawn in the comic which lacks background details which is typical of stories drawn by female authors who concentrate on strands of hair, face, and clothings. "Boys Over Flower" is the word-play on that expression, and it's the type of light comedy with a touch of romantic angle stories that female authors write for female readers. The source of this television drama comes from a comic story in the Shuei publisher's "Margaret" comic for girls that was originally published from 1992 to 2004, which was collected into 36 album books which sold 54 million copies which isn't quite the ichi okuman "100 million" level but still a huge seller -- I haven't read the entire story-line and can't comment on the story as a whole. It was originally made into a movie in 1995 before the animation series came out in 1996. Since these album books are published in Chinese among other languages, Taiwan originally turned it into a live-actor television drama, before Tokyo Broadcasting Station finally decided to turn it into a live-actor television drama as well, starting in October 2005. However, Nanako played a minor big sister role who only appears as a voice before gradually appearing as a photograph and so forth. Yowko's current story that's published in Margaret is "Cat Street" -- you encounter a lot of cat stories in female authored stories because the cat's cry is the closest you get to a human baby's cry. Just for your information, Shuei Publisher, which is better known for the likes of "Dragon Ball" and "One Piece" in its weekly Jump comic magazine for boys began publishing Margaret in the winter of 1964. Just as most comic stories in the weekly Jump is written by male authors, Margaret is mostly written by female authors for female readers with target at the middle schoolers and high schoolers. As for Nanako, she married actor Takashi Sorimachi in 2001 and had a daughter three years ago.

Is that enough to mention the Shenzhou 6 mission Taikonaut, colonel Nie Haisheng? He was born this date in 1964 in the town of Zaoyang in the mainland Chinese province of Hubei. After high school, he became a pilot. No college for him when he graduated in 1987. Originally one of the three Taikonauts chosen for the chinese space program in 1998, he was passed for the 2003 maiden Shenzhou 5 mission that Yang Liwei got, but was chosen as the flight engineer to commander Fei Junlong for the Shenzhou 6 mission on October 12, 2005 to circle Earth for four days, 19 hours, and 33 minutes. Recently, the asteroid 9517 was named 9517 Niehaisheng after him with approval from the International Astronomical Union, announced Yang Jiexing, the secretary of the asteroids naming committee at the Purple Mountain Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in mainland China. The next Shenzhou 7 mission is slated to take place in September 2008, barely a few weeks after the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics ended, although they're trying to push it as early as possible after the original delay from the 2007 -- the delay was caused because they wanted to have one or two of the three Taikonauts take space-walks using home-made space suits that cost $20 million and weighing 100 kilo-grams. It's a 30 minutes walk designed to test how well they can tighten screws and install equipments for their own future space station. The Shenzhou 8 mission will practice orbital docking as they continue to gain incremental knowledge that's set to land a robot probe on the Moon by 2010. US doesn't want China to participate in the International Space Station project because of China's rapidly increasing military spending, which when adjusted for lower wages and lower raw material costs are already exceeding US military spendings before the Second Gulf War. The fear is that if they study the Station, they'll just use that knowledge to improve the accuracy of the Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles, which China has already threatened to unleash by the hundreds upon US cities and towns, unless US becomes subservient to China. [Why strive for accuracy when a strategic fusion device will wipe-out the big and sprawling New York City whether it misses by 10 or 20 kilo-meters? Because it's far more efficient to use a geometrically patterned carpet/cluster bombing with small tactical fission devices that will destroy all the militarily strategic sites while sparing non-military sites such as the politicians who must negotiate surrender. If it's one big detonation whose highest intensity energy is dispersed harmlessly into the sky to assure the biggest radius of destruction below, a building may shield something that you wanted to destroy, but a blast from different directions will assuredly destroy it. With *simple* technological improvements in shaping the detonations and tailoring the types of energy you want to bathe the poor New Yorkers, which becomes easier as super-computers made from plain PlayStation game consoles et al become faster and cheaper, it permits the delivery system to become smaller, faster, more stealth, and cheap enough to afford by the hundreds with enough redundancies to scare Britain and others from intervening...]. China tried to show that it has nothing to hide, by giving US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers a tour of the Chinese space command center in 2004, and then more recently a meeting with NASA administrator Michael Griffin to demand the Chinese scientists access to US aerospace conferences. China's military technological progress is no-where approaching US progress, but China's military is like a fearless boy who doesn't think that anything will kill him, and is historically and psychologically emboldened by the Chinese win over US during the Korean War. An over-confident boy will be defeated, but the over-confidence is what leads a boy to lash-out in the first place, with nuclear-suns shining brightly everywhere you look.)

1917: The Miracle of the Sun at the Cova da Iria fields two kilo-meters from the city of Fatima, Portugal, as witnessed by estimates varying from 30,000 to 100,000 people. It all started on May 13, 1917 when three shepherd children -- Lucia Santos and cousins Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto -- near the settlement of Aljustrel just outside Fatima reported an encounter with the brightly shining apparition who identified herself as the lady of the Rosary, who kept appearing in the 13th day of each month till this date, requesting that they must say the Rosary every day to bring-about individual and world peace at a time when World War I was occupying everyone's minds. The children were also asked to torture themselves in what's called penance, leading them to tie tight and hence painful ropes around themselves and foresaking water for many days. A priest who interviewed the children said that the apparition was wearing a mini-skirt that went up to her knees, and a necklace with a medallion, as well as ear-rings, which sounds right at home for current perception of someone from the future giving a dire warnings to the people of the past, but back then, that description was more befitting a prostitute, so that it wasn't revealed until 1992. The same apparition a month later at the same location and similar hour on June 13, 1917, at which time the apparition said that all except Lucia will die shortly; although this wasn't revealed by Lucia till 1941, the other two kept boasting about it to everyone who would listen. Jacinta gave a very accurate detail of her own death, and when her remains were later exhumed in 1935 and 1951, the corpse had remained intact, while Francisco's corpse rotted away. And so forth led thousands of believers to flock to the place until on the August 13, 1917 event when the provincial governor Artur Santos not related to Lucia decided that the children were disrupting the country and jailed them. Since the children also said that the apparition told them three secrets, he tried but failed to have them reveal it, even after he threatened to dunk them in boiling oil. (Lucia will reveal in 1942 what the secrets were: A sight of hell where demons torture human souls unless everyone convert to Catholicism. Second, if this isn't done, a worst war will break-out during the era of Pople Pius XI -- who later remained a pope until February 10, 1939 -- which can be prevented by the consecration of Russia to Catholicism. The third was a vision of an angel with a flaming sword demanding penance, and angels gathering the blood of the martyrs that was sprinkled on the souls going to God.) After they were released, they reported that the apparition appeared to them on August 19, 1917 at Valinhos. The report continued for six months until this chat date in 1917 when the children claimed that the apparition was going to perform a miracle so that everyone will believe them, leading a crowd estimated at 30,000 to 100,000 including reporters and photographers to gather at Cova da Iria field. The day began with heavy rain that drenched the people before the clouds broke, revealing what appeared to be an exceptionally dim silvery Sun that was spinning in the sky in multiple colors from red to yellow and purple to blue before it went down to Earth in a zig-zagging pattern before returning to its position in the sky, and the people's wet clothings became dry in an event that lasted about 10 minutes. The three children also reported seeing visions of Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph blessing the people who attended. The swirling light was reported as much as 18 to 40 kilo-meters away but the celestrial Sun was not observed to have moved by astronomical observers anywhere else. (Italian Catholic priest John De Marchi interviewed both the old believers and young skeptics among the crowd who gave many contradictory statements, although they all agreed that the Sun wasn't painful to look and it danced about. By current descriptions, it's more like a flying saucer that broke through the heavy clouds with the Sun behind it and shining with whirling lights and travelling in zig-zap pattern before going back up over the clouds to where the Sun lay. Without invoking anything extra-terrestrial, the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology by Stewart Campbell that old records indicated dust in the air that made the Sun appear to scatter these multiple colors whose swirling dust made it appear that the Sun was rotating and dancing about. Others said that the Sun wasn't in the location reported, and that the people were likely looking at a sun-dog. A rare phenomenon observed by mountaineers when the small ice crystals in the atmosphere refracts or reflects the sunlight against a backdrop of cloud to give the impression that this projection of the Sun was swirling, changing color, and dancing about, because the clouds are moving and churning.) After this event, the apparition disappeared. Lucia's cousins Francisco Marto died in 1919 at age 11 and Jacinta Marto died in 1920 at age 10 from the 1919 Spanish Flu epidemic that claimed more lives than the World War I. After this, Lucia went into a convent where she reported seeing the apparition in 1925 at the Dorothean convent in Pontevedra, Galicia, in Spain. In 1928, Lucia was subsequently sent to a convent in Tuy, Galicia. In 1929, Lucia said that the apparition again appeared to get Russia to go Catholic. The Vatican accepted that a miracle did take place on this chat date in 1930. Among the many visions that Lucia reported was in 1931 in Rianjo, Galicia, when she also saw Jesus who taught her two prayers and a message to give to the Pope. In 1947, Lucia went to the Carmelite order in a Coimbra convent in Portugal. Although Lucia said that the third secret can be released to the public after 1960, she was forbidden to speak any further and not even allowed any interviews by anyone but her closest relatives after 1960, and the Vatican kept it a secret until June 26, 2000, although the difference between what Lucia had previous said, and the official release led people to speculate that it was not the real third secret or is only a partial secret, and it was enforced when subsequent popes who were asked why the third secret wasn't revealed kept answering in cryptic manners that what inundating disaster will happen, will happen. Lucia died on February 13, 2005 at age 97. If the third cryptic secret which was hidden is about the global warming that's going to cause all the ice to break-loose from the rocks holding it to Greenland and Antarctica which cause the drowning death of millions of people in a few minutes, then there's nothing that can be done about it, although if the ancient calendars can be believed, then we know what year this is going to take place, right?

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related to famous or unusual

mybookshop's prediction on Japan's behavior after North Korea detonates an underground nuclear device: (1) Condemn it. (2) Protest it to the United Nations security council. (3) Begin soliciting Japanese nuclear physicists how many years it will take to do the calculations required to start making plutonium bombs using the materials available in Japan. (4) Get back a dozen plans on how to make the bomb in a few minutes using locally available materials from nuclear physicists who have been doing it for fun for the past half-a-century, helped by computer simulation programs. (5) The government submits a few plans that show promise as tactical nuclear devices that can be retrofitted onto their rockets, to leading nuclear physicists who pretend that they're surprised that anyone was making such a thing as a hobby to kill time, who then compare their own plans with these to see which are better. (After all, the Japanese nuclear physicists have been on the head of the class for a long time, and it's not illegal to do the calculations for making a nuclear device.) (6) The Earth Simulator is reprogrammed to verify the calculations and they make a few test devices using the stock of tonnes of plutonium that Japan was wondering how to dispose of. Ironically, North Korea has no desire to nuke Japan, since Japan is the source of the precision equipments and parts that they need to nuke US. It's far easier to nuke South Korea, which is so protective of its northern brothers, since South Korea is bound to cheer most of whatever the North does. Where will the testing be performed? In a very sandy site surrounded by greenery and other soft layers such as mud or bog that can not only muffle the detonation but the outflow of radioisotopic gases. The time? In a very windy typhoony day or night when the gases can be dissipated rapidly, on when the winds are blowing toward mainland China. Also possibly detonated automatically when a seismic activity indicates a local earthquake, so that the muffled sound can be mistaken for an echo, although unpredictable and hence unlikely to be a viable option for any country but North Korea.

Tokyo Shoseki Company's math textbook, New Mathenatics, is proving famous, in US, where it was translated. And well they should. US textbooks are for rote-learning by robots, while the Japanese ones explain the reasoning and step-by-step thinking process and alternative thinking processes required in order to solve the problem at hand from a multi-faceted attack. It not only makes it easy for non-mathematically oriented brains to solve mathematics, but allows a cross-fertilization of the minds in order to view the same old problem from fresh perspectives. But US is still lagging behind: Not only do Japanese textbooks explain mathematics, but Japanese manga for children -- not those rated for older people -- also teach biology, astronomy, and other categories. Just manga? Not at all, all Japanese quiz-shows are infotainments that forces you to use your brain, not turn into mindless couch potatoes. Among those that tend to introduce mathematics often is "Heisei Kyoiku Iinkai". It literally means "Heisei-era Educational Committee", even though it's a quiz show. Except unlike US quiz shows that only show who-cares Joes and Janes, these use regular and guest contestants who are television and movie celebrities -- popular actors and singers. They also show the real-world practical application of the theoretical knowledge. With so much famous shows bombarding the Japanese with all aspects of science, medicine, technology, geography, world cultures, world history, and everything else, it's amazing that they're not producing only famous geniuses... maybe all the Japanese are too stupid to learn?

MicroSoft is planning to release 11 new security updates next week. The unusual thing about it, was that ever since I got the last update, my computer kept insisting on connecting to the web without my authoriziation very frequently, several times a day, even though I'm only connecting to famous sites or at least related to the famous.

It's now official; the mainland Chinese claim of September 29, 2006, that their nuclear physicists have fused deuterium and tritium to undergo nuclear fusion in a controlled fusion reactor chamber, was a lie. The director of the Institute of Plasma Physics in Hefei, Anhui province, Jiangang Li, admitted that they did inject ionized hydrogen (plain, light protons with no neutron attached) into their Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak at 250,000 amperes of current for three seconds, but they didn't inject any deuterium, let alone tritium. Since it's only a plain Tokamak design and only 250,000 amperes, it's not enough for light hydrogen to undergo nuclear fusion. The western media just wanted to believe that because the Japanese physicists attained it, it shouldn't be a problem for the Chinese either. The media keep insisting that because the Japanese went from agricultural to urban so quickly, why not the Chinese? Because the Japanese went from backward to scientific so quickly, why not the Chinese? They keep forgetting that the Chinese industrial might is actually not a native-developed scientific and technological achievement, but a simple transfer of the technologies from Europe, US, and Japan, without the scientific infrastructure that's necessary to produce the geniuses who can discover, invent and tweek improvements until they're worthy of commercialization. It's not an insinuation that the Chinese are genetically inferior monkeys; just get rid of all the information restrictions that's preventing them from obtaining information and exchanging that information with each other. Once the Chinese politburo-imposed restrictions are all lifted, wait a few decades to see what they can do. If they still can't make new discoveries and inventions on their own, then, you can call them genetically inferior monkeys related to the famous Japanese.

Roni Harnik et al at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California believe in a multiverse (Think of Star Gate SG-1, with alternate realities, many of which have Earth already defeated by one enemy or another.), many with laws of physics which are different from this universe, so that carbon can't form the complexities of life. But that's ok, because if the laws of physics is slightly different, then silicon or sulpher has the ability to form complexities of life. If the laws of physics are grossly different, then perhaps iron has what it takes to form life. As long as there is matter that comes in many different shapes and properties, some combinations will manage to form life or something comparable to life. The only way that life cannot form, is if matter cannot form, and energy cannot form. (That sounds unusual, which is half of today's theme, so it's ok. It's the reason why ghosts are real energy entities. Sounds bizarre, but it's real physics. Think about it: What is human consciousness? It's not chemicals which store memory, but the electrical thought patterns in an organized and coherent state. You must be able to store hundreds, and possibly even thousands of bytes equivalent of information per energy unit for it to maintain human consciousness, right? In sum total, even the fleeting spontaneous thought pattern takes a sphere of energy at least as big as a small tangerine orange. Now, what type of energy can store that massive amount of information and still remain energy? mybookshop already mentioned it many years ago over several sessions in a discussion on computer science.)

On October 13, 2006 (Japan is doing "The Glory of Persia" exhibit that began at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in August 2006. Although the cradle of Mesopotamian civilization is in what is now current Iraq, Iraq is in too much internal conflicts to do anything, so that Iran, which is related to famous Persia has lent its wares and the National Museum of Iran curator Siamak Sarlak for this exhibit, as he explains that the people of the region used to be Asiatic [light-skin color, although the incorporation of black African slaves and Indo-Europeans made them the skin color that they now have] and also buried their best wares with them when they died, which is why there are 8,000 years old housewares that are dug-out in such prestine conditions. The highlight of the entire exhibit is the gold ceremonial drinking cup called rhyton, in the shape of a winged lion that represented the sun god from the Achaemenid Period that started around 550 BC. It was a period in time when the Persian empire expanded and built roads all the way east into Indus River in India and all the way to Egypt to the west to facilitate transportation of both armies and merchandizes. But it ended in 330 BC when Alexander the Great (356 BC - 323 BC) conquered the region and the Hellenization continued until the Sassasian Dynasty began in 226 AD. On display is also a bust of Sassasian King Shapur II (309 AD - 379 AD) who successfully rebelled against the Roman conquerers. There is also a object that's purportedly the horn of a unicorn that Siamak says is just a horn of a goat. [mybookshop has already explained that the "unicorn" is indeed a goat: When the young kid still hasn't grown the two short horns of a goat, a person surgically removes the two patches where the horns will grow and transplant them to the middle of the goat's head. When the unified horn grows, it spirals with each other and turns into one big unicorn, which is why all ancient drawings of unicorns depict them as small, white, and gentle, and if you really observe the drawings carefully, they're indeed goats. It's just like European fire-breathing "dragons" which are just methane-gas barfing cows that got too close to an open flame that ignited its continuous gas exhaling mouth and the panicked cow goes berserk, igniting everything around itself aflame. That's why ancient European drawings of "dragons" are no bigger than cows, although those ancient European cows before modern cow breeding methods created the current rectangular cows had convoluted shape bodies depicted in old comical drawings of dragons -- some of those ancient stocks of cows still exist in a few primitive Asian villages. Meaning they're not the same as the Chinese "dragon" which are actually giant sea serpents with the head of a horse. It's just the simplified generalization which led people to claim that they're all "dragons".] The exhibit is in Tokyo until October 1, 2006. Then it moves to the Aichi Provincial Museum of Art in Nagoya city in the province of Aichi from this chat date till December 10, 2006. After that, it moves to the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, the Fukuoka City Museum, and then the Osaka Museum of History, when it ends next summer. The theme is still "related to famous or unusual.")

Rest In Peace to 1240: India's Sultana Raziyya (also spelt Razia and other variations; full name was Raziyya al-Din; once she became the sultana -- meaning "queen" -- she was called Jalalat ud-Din Raziyya.) the first female Muslem ruler of India. (Do remember that this "India" is not the 21st century geographic region of India; don't use 21st century country border-lines in your head to read this.) Islam was a religion that was born in Arabia in the 6th century AD, and they began a religious conquest of countries around them, including the Hindu Shahi who ruled western Afghanistan and west Punjab of current northern India & Pakistan, and north into the Hindu Kush in the Himalaya region. By 870 AD, the capital city of Kabul was captured by the Muslems and the Shahi dynasty shifted their capital east to near Attock in the Punjab region of northern India. That's where it stood until the 980's AD when the Turkish ruler of Ghazni (Ghazni was the country that was originally current Afghanistan and north-east Iran, but he expanded his kingdom to include north-west India and most of Iran.), Sabuktigin (A Turkish slave before he became the ruler of Ghazna in 977 AD) began sacking eastward, up to the Indus River in India. Sabuktigin and son Mahmud of Ghazni (971 AD - 1030 AD, who swore that he will invade and sack India once a year, every year, and began sending large armies 17 times from 1001 AD to 1026 AD. In the 1001 AD war, Mahmud headed a 15,000 strong cavalry to fight Punjab leader Jaipal's 12,000 strong cavalry, 30,000 infantry men, and 300 war elephants. [Elephants are normally controlled with words, but for war, you don't want your enemy counter-manding your commands, so they were taught to obey the rider's foot touching the elephants' ears while the rider shouted commands to hide the real commanding technique.] Jailpal suffered 15,000 dead and he and his relatives were captured before released. Ashamed that an inferior number defeated his bigger army, he killed himself and passed the throne to his son Anandpal.) sacked most of this kingdom by 1008 (Anandpal asked other Indian kings and individuals for help to raise a huge army by 1008 that Mahmud met between Peshawar and Und to fight for 40 days. Anandpal's ally, the 30,000 strong ferocious tribes of Khokars charged Mahmud with such force that Mahmud was about to flee in terror, when Anandpal's war elephants fled in terror from the Khokars, which led the Indian army to conclude that Anandpal himself was fleeing and they also fled, allowing Mahmud to turn instant defeat into a total victory inside India.) and the last Shahi territory in eastern Punjab was captured by Mahmud in 1013. This is how Afghanistan and Pakistan were also converte to Islam. Besides the monetary wealth that transformed Ghazna into a rich cultural center, he also took Indian astronomy, medicine, mathematics, philosophy and other Indian knowledge. Although Mahmud's Ghazna was independent of Persia, he paid homage to Persia's caliph who was the religious head of all the Muslems (comparable to a Pope in the Christian countries) and they also received these Indian knowledge that was imparted to Spain that the Persians and other Arabians later conquered. By 1024 AD, Mahmud made his last major of his annual sacking at the coast of Kathiawar by sacking the Hindu temple at the city of Somnath by the Arabian Sea. Mahmud wasn't interested in ruling over the people whom he conquered, but simply steal their wealth and kill anyone who didn't believe in Islam. After he returned home from this especially rich sacking in 1026, he spent the rest of his life fighting the Asian tribes who threatened to take them away from him. When he died in 1030 AD, Ghazna went into a prolonged political turmoil as several powerful men tried to fill the power vacuum that Muhammad bin sam Ghori (born sometime between 1162 AD to 1173, died in 1206 AD) eventually won -- actually, he was Mahmud Ghori, but "Mahmud" was already used above for another person. Muhammad then set about on his own sacking of India. Delhi in northern India was ruled by Prithviraj Chauhan (1168 AD - 1192 AD) who sent an army of 200,000 cavalry and 1,000 war elephants. Muhammad was inexperienced at war and against such a big army, his army was quickly defeated at the First Battle of Tarain in 1191, where Prithviraj personally fought Muhammad and Muhammad was taken prisoner, although treated very well and allowed to escape, because Prithviraj's rules forbade attacking a retreating army. Through his own conquests of neighboring kingdoms, Prithviraj ruled what is now the Indian states of Haryana and Rajasthan, as well as a part of Punjab. In northern India, he was about as powerful as fellow Indian king Jaichandra Gahadavala of Banaras. None of this information was written down on paper and was passed as oral legends passed by mouth, which said that Jaichandra's daughter wanted to marry Prithviraj that Jaichandra opposed. When Muhammad again attacked Prithviraj, Prithviraj underestimated Muhammad's army and didn't ask for help from Jaichandra who wasn't very willing to help. Prithviraj was defeated and taken prisoner at the second Battle of Terain near Panipat. When Prithviraj stared at Muhammad who commanded him to lower his eyes, Prithviraj defied it, stating that he treated Muhammad very well when Muhammad was captured, and that the only time he will lower his eyes was upon his own death, which led angry Muhammad to burn-out Prithviraj's eyes with a hot iron and taunted for a while before he was put to death. As with Mahmud, Muhammad also didn't want to rule the conquered people but just get their treasures and slaughter them. Muhammad was killed by someone before he can go home to Ghazna. According to legend, Prithviraj's friend Chand Bardai came to comfort blinded Prithviraj by pretending to be a poet who composed poems in praise of Muhammad, and they plotted how to seek revenge. When Muhammad announced an archery contest, Chand Bardai told Muhammad that Prithviraj was so good that he could aim at the source of a sound. Muhammad and his men refused to believe that a blind man can take aim, but brought Prithviraj to a field where Muhammad's men ordered him to aim at a target. Chand Bardai then said that Prithviraj would never obey an order from a lowly person and that only Muhammad may give the order that he gave. Then Chand Bardai composed a poem on the spot that gave direction and distance to Muhammad in a language that Muhammad didn't understand. That's how Muhammad was killed and Prithviraj and Chand Bardai were then put to death, or so the legend claims. Muhammad had no son, which led his Turkish general Qubud-din Aibak to take command to become the first Muslem ruler of India. This was also called the slave dynasty, because this general used to be Muhammad's slave before he rose through the ranks. When this general died without a male heir, there was another power struggle until his daughter's son-in-law took over, Iltutmish (also spelt Altamash and other variations... you'd think that English would narrow it to just one spelling to avoid these confusions), who was also a Turkish slave. Iltutmish ruled northern India from 1210 AD to 1236 AD at Delhi, although her daughter Raziyya was born before he became a ruler in 1205, and taught to lead an army and rule a country as dictated by Muslem custom for all princesses of the era. At his death bed, he decided that he won't make any of his many sons to succeed him to the throne because they were all incompetent idiots. Instead, he declared that his daughter Raziyya will ascend to the throne. She knew politics, wise, generous, and a good fighter and strategist at war, which is why whenever Iltutmish was away from the capital at Delhi, he left her in command. But for six months and seven days after Iltutmish had died, Raziyya's brother Rukn-ud-din Feroze forced himself into becoming the new ruler, and it was so bad (He left the actual politics of governing to their mother Turkaan, while he seduced and raped young girls left and right. When not using narcotic, he rode his elephant and scattered gold coins to the people. That was good for the people, but Turkaan used to be a lowly maid before her husband married her, and now that she was in charge, she metted out cruel punishment on anyone whom she felt mistreated her when she was poor, real and imagined.) that the people of Delhi rebelled and killed both of them, while Raziyya was put in charge. Since women held such a low esteem in India, she dressed like a man in court and in war, and she also began to trust her really-black-skinned Abyssanian Ethiopian slave Jalal-ud-din Yaqut more than anyone else. She wasn't interested in killing others, and prefered to enrich everyone by building roads to ease transportation for trade, dig wells so that women don't have to fetch water from far away, plant shade trees, and also encourage artistry in music, poem, and painting directly, and by constructing schools and libraries. Once she began interacting with other Turkish aristocrats who made bad choices, she would argue in front of them and made them look bad. Since she was making a wise choice and she was the sultana (queen), it was in her right to humiliate a lower cast aristocrat in front of others, but they were angry that a woman was humiliating them in front of others. The people around her also began to realize that she, a light-skinned Turkish princess, was having sex with her really-black African slave which was not acceptable. The Turkish governor of Lahore was the first to rebel against her in 1239, but when she gathered an army against him, he apologized and it was accepted without any undue terrifying price that had to be paid. That encouraged the governor of Bhatinda, Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altuniya, to rebel (One legend is that they were friends since childhood, and he was only rebelling because he loved her but she was having sex with a slave, regardless of the skin-color...). While she went to quell this rebellion, her brother Muiz-ud-din Bahram was made the new sultan in Delhi. When she marched back to suppress this coup d'etat, her own Turkish officers imprisoned her and killed her trusted slave. She escaped and married Malik Altuniya (Or she didn't escape, Malik Altuniya killed her slave, opened his heart to her, and she saved her own head by marrying him.) to gain his help and marched back to Delhi. But here, Malik Altuniya's officers deserted them and she and her new husband were captured on October 13, 1240. They were then put to death on October 14, 1240. (Give or take a week.) Or, because there are many variations of oral legends, she fled, and a peasant who pretended to offer food and shelter killed her as she slept. She was buried next to her sister Saziya in what is now called the old Delhi, or perhaps she is buried at Kaithal in Karnal where she was killed. As her father predicted when he originally made her the sultana, when three of her brothers tried to rule, each of them proved to be the Three Stooges of India. Because they were so weak, the Mongolian hordes kept raiding and sacking them over and over, almost on an annual basis. It continued until 1307 when they crossed the Indus River. But when they were defeated by Gazi Tuglak, the Mongolian hordes who were taken prisoners were killed by having the elephants walk over their tied bodies. They didn't raid India after that.

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related to famous or unusual

Have you seen the Kinder chocolate boy? The Kinder thing wasn't well-known in North America until not that long ago, but it had a photograph of a boy that was taken 32 years ago, when Guenter Euringer was 10 years old, for which he received 300 deutschmarks or 150 euros, although people who see him keep thinking that he was getting money for each chocolate wrapper that was sold and that he was a rich man. The Ferrero company which owns Kinder is now phasing it out.

It's five months since MicroSoft showed-off the XBox 360, and there's only a handful of games to show for it. MicroSoft vowed that if it won't sell in Japan, they may not make any more, and estimates are that it won't sell more than two to three million consoles, with 1.5 million in North America. It looks like MicroSoft finally decided to pull-out of the game console machine and realized that it's not a hardware maker, but a software maker that can just ride on the glory of the Sony PlayStation 3's Cell chip.

It's nothing really, especially if you don't like your own baby and wishes that it dies and never have a chance to become famous. The antibiotic amoxicillin is commonly given to children for ear infection, but if given before age one, it can discolor teeth, said Steven M. Levy of the Dental Public Health at the University of Iowa, US. The teeth become discolored, not because it's stronger from fluorine, but because it's porous and easily crumble.

The recent news that many people are cutting down on table salt, but purchasing a lot of rock salt or sea salt in the belief that it's more expensive, and it must be better for you (No way, salt is salt; rock salt and sea salt contains impurities such as uranium and calcium chloride which are no better for you than any regular salt.) reminded me of an odd thing that happened to me when I was young. I was going from one city to anther with my parents and one highway restaurant had a "all you can eat spaghetti" dish. I didn't plan on eating all that much, and we were pressed for time and I didn't think much about it until I took my first bite, and found that the restaurant owner spiked it with an ounce (30 grams) or two (60 grams) of salt. It was really salty and tasted horrible, even though there wasn't a whole lot of noodles. Because it wasn't a lot, I managed to eat it, but I was in no mood to eat any more; not at that restaurant, and not at any highway restaurant. After that, we brought our own food to eat in the car, and use the restaurant for its rest room. Still, that restaurant managed to stay open many more years before it closed, thank goodness for that horrible place whose owner never heard that salt is bad for the restaurant owner's health also.

On October 13, 2005 (Short articles related to famous or unusual.)

1970: Mainland China established diplomatic relationship with Canada on this chat date, and the Chinese president has come twice. By September 1, 2005, the Chinese president Hu Jintao has come again to make it the third time. Officially, the current agenda included discussion on human rights, of which mainland China is grossly lacking when it comes to tolerating the Falun Gong movement, but Jintao brushed it aside as none of Canada's business and that China doesn't have a problem. The only thing that Jintao showed any interest was that Canada had lots of rich natural resources -- minerals and oil -- that China covet. Jintao also brushed away the natural uranium and deuterated water modulated Candu nuclear reactors that are not optimized for making radioactive ashes that can be processed into nuclear weapons. Jintao also met members of the Chinese-Canadian communities in Toronto on September 3, 2005 and then continue flying west toward Vancouver on September 17, 2005, on top of the rumors that about a 1,000 of those Chinese students and immigrants are Chinese spies who are living in Canada to steal Canadian secrets. (Oh, so that's why they don't want to purchase the Candu design.)

2002: 35 years old Michael Escoto and 21 years old Wendy Trapaga of Miami, Florida, US, came back from their honeymoon, and then Michael bashed her face-in to collect the million dollar life insurance that he put on her. Lovely Wendy and so-so Michael originally met in March 2002 while going to hairdresser school. By July 2002, they were living together in Miami Beach. Wendy's family was against the marriage to Michael, so Michael and Wendy took out a life insurance for a million dollars in August 2002 and then eloped on October 10, 2002. (Any sane person would be wondering why they have to take-out a life insurance when they both should be in love and feeling that their love will transcend everything, forever, but love short-circuits the brain and prevents a person from thinking logically -- Wendy's family thinks that Michael took-out the life insurance without telling her, and that the reason why they eloped was that Michael had sex with Wendy and then used a home pregnancy test that he fidgeted to show that she was pregnant, so that she felt compelled to rush-out and get married [Wendy telephoned her mother, Myriam Benitez, around October 1, 2002 that Myriam was going to be a grandma. Myriam became suspicious about Michael when Myriam then told Wendy to begin prenatal care, but Michael made a sham excuse why Wendy didn't need it because it would be too stressful, even though not taking the care would cause stress]. The photograph of the two who appeared in the newspaper also looks suspicious in hindsight, since Wendy is smiling a broad, genuine smile, while Michael is trying to hide behind Wendy and his almost grimaced face is that of a criminal trying to hide from the police.) Things went normally, but after they came back from the honeymoon, the next morning at 6 AM, the trash collector found her body next to the dumpster on Northwest 70th Street with her face grotesquely bashed and dead from a massive head trauma. At first, because the face was horribly deformed from the bashing and beyond identification, it took some time to realize that this was Wendy. Because of the unusual insurance, Wendy's family thought Michael was the killer from the very beginning, and when the police at first questioned Michael, his evasive responses led them to conclude that Michael killed his wife just as they came back from the honeymoon for the million dollar insurance. Michael also refused to attend Wendy's funeral and refused to cooperate with the police investigation -- such as providing DNA sample or taking a polygraph lie detector -- with the only thing he did being to hire a lawyer to get his money on the insurance money. (Normally, when there is a police investigation, the money is withheld pending the result of the outcome, so that the insurance company never did pay it out.) Michael sued to get the money on August 9, 2005, at the Miami-Dade County court, during which time Michael kept contradicting himself during the six hours of testimony as a representative from the Miami attorney's office listened to it. Michael gave-up trying to get the money after this, but Michael made a few slips. Although he was uncooperative in the original investigation, for this court case where he tried to get the million dollars, he claimed that he and Wendy had a fight after he found out that Wendy wasn't pregnant after all, and Wendy had drove-out on October 14, 2002 at around 3 AM to 5 AM, shortly before her corpse was discovered at 6 AM. But the medical examiners checked Wendy's body and found that she was full of sleeping pills, pain killers and anti-anxiety medicines that would have left her lethargic and unable to drive out after a fight, and the fact that Wendy had no marks that come from trying to defend her face is consistent with a person who cannot drive anywhere, wrote Miami-Dade Detective John Butchko in a court document. Michael also called his former girlfriend, Yolanda Cerrillo, to check on Yolanda's little daughter, Michael claimed, even though the daughter was fine. The police finally decided that they have enough evidences to charge Michael, and issued a warrant on August 12, 2005, resulting in his arrest on August 16, 2005. Naturally, Michael pleaded not-guilty on August 18, 2005, because US law is designed to pressure every killer who has no chance of being innocent to plead not-guilty, so that the case that will cost the state millions of dollars in court charges will be held-up in expensive court case for years, starting on November 8, 2005 when it goes to trial. US need to switch to a court system similar to Japan, which encourages all guilty criminals to surrender to the police on their own, and which spends far more money on counsellors to help reform criminals so that they will not end back in jail, rather than appeals courts, lawyers, and more lawyers.

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Related to famous, unusual story

Ok, here's an unusual story that related to a famous person, but it's boring. Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, a person who used to be infamous but is now a famous person, has a son, 32 years old Saif Gaddafi, so he's related to a famous person. The unusual part is that Saif, through his Gaddafi International Foundation of Charity Associations, is trying to secure the release of 62 years old British engineer, Kenneth Bigley, who is held as a hostage in Iraq, even while the two US hostages who were with Kenneth were already beheaded. If Saif can secure Kenneth's release, we all know how that was achieved; around a million dollars in ransom, because there seem to be two types of kidnappers in Iraq: One group that wants to kill US hostages by beheading; and a second who wants to kidnap anyone but US hostages to hold them for money, and lots of it. (Huh. It's a living.)

The son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says he is using his charity foundation contacts in Iraq to help free British hostage Kenneth Bigley and that the next 48 hours would be crucial for his fate.

Saif Gaddafi said Bigley's family had contacted him about the 62-year-old engineer,

The theme sucks. Why don't I ram a hard one? US Air Force is famous. It's working on a tiny superconducting magnet based microwave generator the size of a small beer keg and weighing five tons that generates five megawatts of microwave power to stun a crowd from high up in the sky from a cargo airplane. Unlike the explosive powered microwave generator, this needs a cargo airplane, but it can fly from way up where it won't be targetted by machine-guns and can keep pumping microwave to the ground for as long as the diesel fuel is available, at a few tons per hour. The problem is that if they use inferior US superconducting coils, it may fail suddenly, necessitating that it be covered in heavy copper coilings to absorb the energy when it does fail, or it may explode. It also won't work when they start realizing that some metals can reflect it or absorb it if it's grounded properly with an extensible cable so that they can move about. Now for what mybookshop keeps demanding when possible, the solution: Why not use a dual hypersonic sound generator whose crossed beams will produce an audible sound that's the difference in frequencies between the two? Naturally, mybookshop was against this form of directed sound generator when used for consumer residential purpose because of the dangers to children and fetus, but it's not as much of a problem when it's a matter of saving lives by feeding them deafening sound to stun them, or killing them with gun spray. There's no dangerous superconducting magnets that can explode and power consumption is much smaller, and if everyone must be disabled, the sound can be swept through the area. If you only want to disable a small group or one person in an innocent crowd, then focus the beam so that only that local area is affected.

On October 13, 2004 (The following was written back in July or August 2004 and is no longer relevant: Should unusual stories, or things related to the famous people or things be the theme for today? Some things can go either way. For example, remember Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites in Mojave, California? If his September 29, 2004 suborbital flight for the quest for the Ansari X Prize went along well, without a hitch, then his spaceship has to fly again by this chat date in 2004, although Burt isn't flying it and is leaving that up to an old man who doesn't have to support kids financially. If this doesn't make it, it becomes an unusual story. If this second flight makes it, it's a historic event, just like Andy Griffin's comedic show "Salvage One" that used hydrazine's explosive power to allow a junkyard man to go to the Moon. Every comment, every chewing gum that Burt spit-out, dirty underwear. Anything related to him becomes famous. As for the Canadian da Vinci Project with Brian Feeney, that's a feeble attempt that will likely fail miserably.

1965: Rest In Peace to 66 years old Paul Hermann Mueller, the Swiss chemist who found that DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloromethylmethane) kill insects in 1939 and hence received the Nobel prize in 1948, although it's now forbidden to use DDT because it makes the bird's egg-shell so thin that it breaks under the weight of the mother bird that's trying to hatch it. You've read here that unsanitary conditions caused most deaths in the American War of Independence, as well as the American Civil War, and how getting killed by a doctor was more common than dying from the disease or injury for which a doctor was needed before antibiotics existed. You also read that more people died from a flu during World War I than those killed by the War, and how untold thousands of Japanese soldiers died during World War II because of diarrheal diseases that led to the invention of drugs like Seirogan. So how about this tale of DDT that began with Typhus? The source of endemic typhus is Rickettsia mooseri and epidemic typhus, the more deadlier form is Rickettsia prowazekii, a bacteria that looks like a string of spheres or rods that's transmitted by ectoparasites such as flea (especially Oriental rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis) and lice on rodents or humans. The origin isn't well-known, although it appears to have jumped to humans from elsewhere recently. The earliest description that matches that of typhus is 1489 when the Moorish Granada (now the southern Spanish province of Granada in Andalusia, and they're dark-skinned, because they included the blood of Muslems from Arabia/Africa who almost conquered Europe in 711, before Charles Martel ("Charles the Hammer") defeated the Arabs, Africans and Asiatics under Abd ar Rahman in October 732 between the towns of Tours and Potier in current-day France and led them to flee back to Spain [Charles didn't break-up the invaders, but the fact that they couldn't easily pierce through Charles' army made them confused and disorganized, leading them to flee], although the years 711 to 791 saw the Goths give 100 white girls as slave-harem girls to the Arabs and Africans every year befor they were driven back down south [You can't just say "Arabs" or "Africans" because they don't look like what you expect them to look now, and their lands of origin are not the same as what you expect them using current geography].) was under seige by the Spanish from 1489 to 1488, when they described how the patients became disoriented and smelled of rotting flesh. The Spanish won, with only 3,000 men lost to the Moorish king, Abu Abd-Allah, but they lost 17,000 men to typhus. It appears to be a flea-borne rodent transmitted endemic disease from Asia or the middle-east that became a louse-borne deadly epidemic typhus among the Europeans who had no innate resistance. It killed anywhere where sanitary conditions were not observed, so that Napoleon's army who survived the onslaught from the Russians were killed, as were millions of Russians themselves. (Despite the infamous Nazi gas chambers, many Jews in Nazi concentration camps, as well as anyone in the unsanitary confines of a prison or a ship was often killed by typhus, including Anne Frank.) Now for a seemingly unrelated tale of German chemist Othmar Zeidler who synthesized a chemical in 1874. Like any chemist of his era, he tested it on himself and found that it wasn't toxic nor made him blind. But otherwise, it didn't cause him to feel any better or worse and he soon forgot all about it. By 1909, Charles Jules Henri Nicolle (1866 - 1936) of the Pasteur Institute found that if you get rid of the typhus carrier, lice, or the agent that carries the lice, the rat, then you can get rid of the typhus which has no mobility of its own. But rats are impossible to eliminate, and there was no easy mean of treating insects, including the moth larvae that ate wool, cotton and silk clothings. (The wide-spread industrialization and mass production of clothings meant that more people than ever had extra clothings which were not worn every day, so they kept them in drawers, where they were chewed-up by the larvae.) In 1933, Paul Lauger et al found a chemical since called Mitin that killed these moths. By synthesizing similar chemicals, he found that chemicals composed of two chlorinated benzene rings connected by a sulpher and/or an oxygen seemed to kill moths. Paul took this hint and began testing hundreds of similarly-shaped synthesized chemicals on flies, Colorado beetles and other insects, including Othmar's chemical which Othmar did not test in insects. This is how DDT was found. It was cheap, stable enough to last for months and even years, and at the dosage used to kill insects, it was practically harmless to people. It was patented in Switzerland in 1940, Britain in 1942, and US in 1943. On September 18, 1942, Hermann Mooser lectured to Swiss doctors that DDT might work against typhus, so by December, it was shipped to the American Research Council for Insectology in Orlando, Florida, US where it was tested for efficacy and then mass-produced by Merck and Company. When an epidemic typhus took place in October 1943 in Naples, Italy, the regular treatments proved ineffective, so 500 gallons of DDT was made and 1.3 million Italians were doused 10% DDT dust in January 1944. In three weeks, typhus was eradicated. This also allowed US soldiers to get rid of lice by carrying around a tin-can this dust, and after the War, they in turn doused the Japanese children. Leading to Paul winning the Nobel Prize in 1948, even though he didn't make it. By 1962, 40,000 tons of DDT were used every year around the world to combat the mosquito-borne malaria and other insect borne diseases. Then came reports that DDT thinned the bird egg shells (Any report that extolled the virtues of DDT or that contradicted the thinning egg shells were also suppressed as well). By 1968, it was estimated that over 230,000 tons of DDT was persisting in the environment. William Ruckelshaus, an assistant attorney general in US who had nothing but praises for DDT back in August 1970 and saying that claims of it causing cancer was also dubious (giving monkeys 33,000 the regular human daily exposure of DDT -- about 90 years worth in a short time -- may or may not cause cancer), became hostile when he addressed the Audubon Society on May 2, 1971, which is how William, the administrator of US Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972 for thinning shells and possibly causing cancer.

As for Paul himself, he was born on January 12, 1899 in Olten, Switzerland. With a degree in chemistry, he became a researcher at the J.R. Geigy Company in the city of Basel from 1925 to 1965, beginning with research in cloth dyes and tanning agents. By 1935, he began searching for an insecticide that kills insects but not warm-blood animals like the pyrethrins derived from chrysanthemum that was used in Japanese mosquito coils, except he wanted something that can be synthesized cheaply and stable for a long time. So he went through a long list of chemicals and found that DDT fit the requirements. He died on October 12, 1965 in Basel. As for the banned DDT, grape growers in California are using the environmentally friendly pyrethrines so much that the soils are contaminated with an excess of pyrethrines, even though it's supposed to break-down rapidly. And regarding lice, head-lice without the bacteria is viewed as if it contains the typhus, but according to the British Medical Journal June 2003 volume 326, pages 1256 - 1258 article, lice on pillows, beds and other places don't need to be treated with insecticides because they're either dead, about to die or are just shroshed-off outer skin.

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On October 13, 2003 (An article on psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's discussion on dreams was to be the main story for today, but it was inaccurate in many details and dates, and mybookshop has its own idea as to the need for sleep: It's a bit of memory reshuffling and reorganization of the neural passageways, and a whole lot of suppression of the parasitic infections that runs amuck while we remain awake. Mice forced to remain awake will die, and an autopsy will prove that they died from a massive infection. As for the neurological requirement for sleep, that's still open to speculation because computer softwares can be programmed to behave like neurons and they don't have a need to sleep, although if you then randomly begin to "kill" each simulation of a neuron, the neural network begins to produce spurious signals, many of them just gibberish, although a few of them are solutions to the problems that the network was working on. As the number of electronic neurons are increased, it's likely that they will suffer traffic congestions that necessitate that the neurons reboot themselves and restart back to when it was working correctly, and that's also part of what happens in real life. Sonia Scaillet of the University Children's Hospital in Brussels, Belgium, found that sleeping children sigh several times while they sleep, and when they do, it seems to reset the autonomic nervous system that controls the heart beat, body temperature, and other functions controlled by the nervous system, as reported at a pediatric meeting on sleep on January 18, 2002. It means that there are many reasons why sleep is so essential. But this line of inquiry at mybookshop was disrupted by an article that appeared in the February 1, 2002 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research at the Wistar Institute, that suggested that spinal-cord injury in mammals will regenerate if no scar tissue formed. If the scar tissue did not form a physical barrier to the regenerating neurons, the neurons will eventually reconnect back to where they used to belong and recovery of body functions were re-established in two to three weeks. It led to speculation within mybookshop that sleep may be required for neurons to form new axons and dendrites as old neurons die and new ones re-establish new connections that can take over the functions of the old neurons, so it was a learning time when the "baton of experience" is passed-on to the new generation of neurons and their connections. But it also led to speculations on how to suppress inflammation that causes the scar cells to form, as well as how to dissolve the scar cells so that neurons can re-establish connections many years after a spinal-cord injury. Suppression of inflammation came about, surprisingly, from a mosquito bite in a nature-walk park in a valley, and a way for turning that bite from an inflammed, itching irritation into something more like the leach's non-inflammed response. It turned out that the mosquito saliva is as silent as the leach's lunch-date with blood. The same thing that turned the mosquito saliva so inflammatory was likely causing the inflammed spinal-cord injury that also prevented a lost finger from growing back. Since the formula for regenerating a lost finger was already rediscovered by mybookshop, it was a simple matter of reconnecting the dots to find a natural break-down metabolite compound [at least old science literatures claimed that it was just a hapharzard accumulation of a useless but harmless metabolite -- harmless because it's not very soluble in an aqueous medium] that also redissolve collagen. But can it redissolve scar tissues as well? mybookshop did some simple chemical experiments to find a way to dissolve and stabilize it, and it's doing well at surprisingly dilute concentrations, but it's not named here because of a low-level toxic natural contaminant that has recently made that natural source of the compound illegal in many countries. Two other natural sources are not illegal, yet, but aside from being harder to obtain in the required concentration, it is so distasteful -- even more so than medicinal hiruda -- that even the hospital that began to use them apparently stopped [bad media report that mybookshop also covered didn't help either]. The compound itself is safe and approved by FDA, but only for external use. If you only knew the frustration that causes. It'll make Christopher Reeves swallow mouth-washes and makeup kits by the buckets.

In any case, the theme for today was changed to "frustration". The article below on the eclipse is more like "prediction" because it's from that time when Sigmund's article was supposed to be the major story.

Eh, incidentally, recently, a Canadian meat packer place was closed when it was suspected that they butchered dead animals contaminated with E.coli. It turned out that there was no E.coli, but there was salmonella which is normally present and which can be rendered harmless by simply cooking the meat well. The "frustration" is that adding 3% dried plum extract to raw meat suppresses not only E.coli 157:H7 (the harmful variation) and salmonella, but also listeria and enterocolitica. Not only does it maintain the moisture content but also prevents oxidative darkening of the meat and hence resist rotting without adding the plum taste. But who wants to buy ground meat that lists plum as a biologically active ingredient?

The theme was supposed to be "frustration", but that was based on the 1994 incidence when 11 years old "Tony" [pseudonym] and 10 years old Jessie Rankins dropped five years old Eric Morse of Chicago out a 14th story window of a vacated apartment on the south side Ida B. Wells public housing complex for refusing to steal candy for them, despite Eric's eight years old brother, Derrick's futile attempt to save Eric. It was Jessie who dangled Eric out the window and then let go, but it was this "Tony" -- who suggested to Jessie that Eric should be thrown out the window -- who bit Derrick's hand that was holding on to Eric, causing Eric to hit the ground into a twisted, mangled-mass, with, it seems, every single bone broken or shattered. Illinois law does not allow first-degree murder for children below the age of 13, so Judge Charles May ordered that they be sent to an enclosed residential site till they turned 19. But the Chicago Tribune noted that "Tony" was out on January 23, 2001 after only five years, which is how long it took for baby Eric to become the age that "Tony" decided to throw out the window. Jessie stays a bit longe, because on November 22, 1996, he sexually assaulted another teenager while in prison, that got him nine more years in 1999 from Judge Ronald Mehling, which in prison lingo means he can come out real soon, so that he could be out now and throw your kid brother out the window.

With that article out the window, so to speak, the next candiate was the 1943 this chat date story on 26 years old poet Robert Lowell who was sentenced to one year in jail for refusing to enlist in the war. Born on March 1, 1917 to a respected family, when World War II began in 1941, Robert volunteered willingly, but his poor eye-sight caused him to be rejected. By the time all the prime choice recruits were picked, he was told to involuntarily enlist in 1943. But by then he read about all the fire-bombing of civilians in German cities which had no military strategic value which led him to declare himself as a conscientios objector. That led to the one year jail this chat date. But that only meant a few months in jail, with the rest spent doing community service. Aside from his mental illness, he wrote several famous poems and protested the Vietnam War -- and who doesn't, when scientifically sophisticated US was losing against a primitive society like Vietnam? And it's turning into the same thing in Iraq unless the entire war strategy is changed in Iraq -- before he had a heart attack and died on September 12, 1977. But he went uncovered because 9-11 made his death the next day irrelevant.

When the dust settled, that left behind just one inconspicuous story on the eclipse.)

2004: If you happen to be living near the town of Kenai, which is located a bit to the south of Anchorage in Alaska, you can see a partial solar eclipse which causes 93% of the sunlight to be blocked. Weather predictions are only accurate when they take place half-a-day or less into the future, and earthquake predictions are about as accurate as reading the tea leaves, but it can be predicted that this eclipse, will result in few if any eclipse blindness with a permanent blind or blurry spot at the center of their sight, mainly due to the northern location of the eclipse which prevents most people from looking at the Sun. Aside from telescopes equipped with the special solar filter, it used to be that two black&white negative films stuck together gives you a safe view of the Sun, but that was before the Hunt brothers began a plot to corner the silver market back in 1980. You remember the Hunts if you've been reading these articles for some years as the rich, fat snobs that they are. They went on the develop geothermal energy sources, but they left another indelible impression when they raised the price of silver. It raised the price of black and white film that used silver halide. Since color film uses three to four layers of dyes, this expensive silver led to the development of a black dye based chromogenic film that reduced the industrial demand for silver. For photographic enthusiasts, it meant that the fluctuating price of silver no longer caused the price of black and white film to be swayed. But without silver, it can no longer filter out infrared, nor ultraviolet as it used to. So don't look at the Sun through any film, no more. Even if your sunglasses with polarizing filters promise to cut out all ultraviolet light, it's still allowing infrared light that can burn your eyes without your realizing what is happening. In the meanwhile, let's just hope that no one makes a stupid movie on space creatures who can be distinguished from humans by the way they can look at the Sun without flitching, again.

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On October 13, 2002 (Related to the most famous.)

2002: Britain's Arts Minister Baroness Blackstone has the power to extend the grace period before the Henry VIII papers that brought about his divorce from Catherine of Aragon are auctioned off. When Henry VIII found out that his first wife, Catherine, could not bear him a male successor to the throne, he sought various advices to see if he could divorce her and marry Anne Boleyn. Carmelite friar Jacobus Calchus came to Britain in 1529 while that was happening, and in 1530, he wrote a 34 pages long treatise that persuaded Henry VIII that the Pope can't push him around, arguing that Catherine was married to Henry VIII's brother, Arthur. (the Roman Catholic Church agreed with Catherine that that marriage was not consumated so that she was not yet married and did not become Henry VIII's sister) The treatise was bound in leather and it ultimately made himself the head of the protesting church which split from Roman Catholicism. Until recently, that bound treatise was owned by the Earl of Kent, but it recently popped up for sale to the highest bidder, anywhere in the world. If a British buyer can come up with $940,000 to make a serious bid for the treatise by July 13, 2002, the Baroness had the power to extend the grace period until this chat date. Else, bye-bye treatise. So it went.

Rest In Peace to 0054: Claudius Nero Germanicus, third Roman Emperor (41 - 54 AD) of the Julio-Claudian dynasty who died from eating poisonous mushrooms at age 63. Claudius was born on August 1, 10 BC as the son of father Drusus Claudius Nero (Augustus' wife Livia's son) and mother Antonia (Mark Antony's daughter) at Lugdunum in Gaul (France). His uncle Tiberius became the Roman Emperor in 14 AD, and with his family connections, that means that Claudius was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, to borrow a modern phrase. In an era and place that the nobility was supposed to be physically strong and powerful, Claudius was always sickly and walked like a cripple. Because he also constantly drooled saliva and talked with a stutter, he was thought to be an idiot. Claudius' grandmother Livia and mother Antonia were especially harsh and cruel, while the rest of the family kept him in seclusion and away from the public's eye. His father couldn't protect him because he died in battle while Claudius was only one years old, and his brother Germanicus also died under suspicious circumstances in 19 AD. While many of his family members died under unusual circumstances, Claudius himself was left untouched by those who sought to become the next Roman Emperor because he was thought to be a harmless idiot. Due to his safe environment but with family members shielding him from all physical activities which may put him in public sight, he spent all of his time reading and became knowledgeable on many subjects, including history, which also made him a master of government administrative procedures that were used throughout the Roman history, although none of that mattered as long as he was kept in seclusion. The turning point came when his nephew, Caligula, became the new Roman Emperor in 37 AD. Mad Caligula that he was, Caligula thought it was fun to have his book-worm idiot 46 years old uncle become a suffect consul on July 1, 37 AD and see how Claudius would shame himself and his immediate family to the public. While Claudius did physically behave as if he was an idiot, his dictates and decisions were as wise as from any elder council and the years passed without much of the mayhem that Caligula had hoped to see. On January 24, 41 AD, Caligula went to a theater to see some dancers and had just went back to his palace corridor when his Germanic bodyguards decided that they had enough of Caligula who was beginning to impose constraints on their activities and killed him, before proceeding to kill everyone else that they saw in the palace. But when they saw the idiot Claudius cowering behind a curtain, on a whim, they decided to declare him as the new Roman Emperor (or so Claudius liked to claimed afterwards) ... or, they needed a legitimate member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty as a Roman Emperor, so that the Roman people would not rebel against them and Claudius was already persuaded into becoming the new Roman Emperor beforehand, although they assumed that Claudius will become a puppet whom they can easily control... or, it was Claudius himself who plotted Claudius' end by persuading the bodyguards to do his bidding. The senators who heard of the massacre in the imperial palace which wiped out the remnants of the previous royal blood-line were wondering whether they should abolish the Emperorship and go back into a republic or nominate one of themselves as the new Roman Emperor when they heard that the guards had nominated idiot Claudius as the new Roman Emperor. Whatever they thought of doing, the sight of thousands of guards rooting for Claudius was overwhelming. After a while, the senators tried to assess their own military strength when they found out that many senators have already fled back to their estates. Among those who remained, they found that they had a force of about 3,000 men and some former slaves, but they quickly deserted the senators and went to the side of the guards who were cheering for Claudius. With no mean to oust Claudius, the senators decided to proclaim that Claudius will become the next Roman Emperor Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus on January 25, 41 AD. And the first thing that Claudius did was to have those who assassinated Caligula executed, since it would not do for anyone to get away with killing a Roman Emperor who was also a member of Claudius' family. The next thing he did was to whittle down the political powers of the senators by promoting others, especially freed slaves, to posts of administratorship. He married the teenager Valeria Messalina in 38 AD, and a money-hungry snake that she was -- she needed the money for her wild parties and many lovers. When Claudius sent for Agrippina and Julia Livilla to free them from Caligula's exile order, she saw them as a threat to her way of life and sent Julia Livilla back into exile, while Agrippina was kept under constant supervision. Since Claudius was an old man, she also had her male harlem, and any handsome man who refused to join faced execution. Since she controlled those who get to work on the public works, she only awarded them to those who paid back a substantial kick-back to her. Whether Claudius knew how she controlled all the corruptions and shoddy public construction works or not, the Roman people despised her and through her, Claudius, for being ignorant of what she did or for allowing her to do what she did -- it also didn't help that Claudius executed or drove to suicide some 35 senators and hundreds of senior army officials. The discontent continued for seven years when for some reason, while Claudius was away in Ostia in 48 AD, she decided to marry the consul-designatet, Caius Silius, known as the most handsome man in all of Rome in a well publicized marriage. (It's not as if she was crazy like Caligula and she had her male harlem, and she bore Octavia in 39 AD and Britannicus in 41 AD who would have become the new Emperor if she just remained docile. Some think that she did it to shock the people, or that an astrologer told her that her husband will be killed on a particular day and hence divorced Claudius and married the handsome man, or she feared that Claudius will be assassinated and sought another man's favor.) Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for Claudius, Claudius' faithful freed slave, Narcissus, told him upon his return, and she was beheaded, just like Caius. In a few months, he married his niece, Agrippina. (Claudius' dead brother Germanicus' daughter, as well as Caligula's sister). Agrippina was previously married and had a son, Domitius, who was three years older than Britannicus. Soon, Claudius began favoring him over his own son (because of his previous wife's adulterous behavior, maybe he suspected that Britannicus wasn't his blood-related son?) and adopted him as his own son on February 25, 50 when Domitius became Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus Caesar -- but we know him as Nero. Nero further cemented his power by marrying Octavia, Claudius' daughter. Now that Nero's seat on the throne was assured, it is said that Agrippina then had Claudius eat poisonous mushrooms. But when Claudius refused to die, she had him eat the same mushrooms again, killing him on this chat date. Later that same chat date, 16 years old Nero was proclaimed as the new Roman Emperor.

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On October 13, 2001 (On September 19, 2001 the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute using data from the GOME instrument aboard ESA's ERS-2 satellite announced that the Antarctic ozone hole which began forming in August has spread to cover an area of 25 million square kilometers and still spreading, representing the loss of 25 million tons of ozone. It's nice to know that the ultraviolet radiation will make us blind before we realize that the ocean is encroaching onto our poach, but the theme is "some unusual stories" again, but I wonder what the "first's" which were eliminated from here a year ago were? Incidentally, the article on the birth of Claudius Nero Germanicus in the year 54 AD -- who died from eating poison mushrooms -- didn't make it in time, but then why are there articles on Roman emperors anyhow?)

1994: Nobel prize for literature is awarded to Kenzaburo Oe of the tiny village of Ose in the island of Shikoku (meaning "four countries") in Japan. Kenzaburo (composed of "Ken" and "saburow", but just as the second "s" in "Susan" is pronounced as "z", when the "s" comes within a name, this is also pronounced as "z".) was born in 1935 into a family where his grandmother will entertain him by telling him stories, both historic and folklores. At age 19, he studied the French literature -- especially Francois Rabelais -- at the Tokyo University under Kazuo Watanabe. While still a student from 1957 to 1958, he wrote a story called "The Catch", which won him the prestigious Akutagawa award. The birth of his mentally-handicapped son, Hikari, made Kenzaburo concentrate on the painful sides of humanity, which were expressed in his book "A Personal Matter" (1964) which details the pain he felt regarding his son, and "Hiroshima Notes" (1965) on the experience of the atom-bomb victims. But what eventually led him to be awarded the Nobel prize was "The Silent Cry : A Novel" (1967) which melds the life of the typical Japanese with his life in a tiny village in the forest into a novel where the ritualistic suicide of Mitsu's friend is the manifestation of the "silent cry" itself. (But what the heck, it's not available for sale.) Incidentally, on October 10, 2000, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that that year's Nobel prize for chemistry went to Hideki Shirakawa of the University of Tsukuba, whom along with Alan Heeger of the University of California in Santa Barbara and Alan MacDiarmid of the University of Pennsylvania were given the prize "for the discovery and development of electrically conductive polymers" for the polyacetylene which was originally made by an Asian student who didn't understand Hideki's instructions and added 1,000 times too much catalyst. The Asian student doesn't get credit because it was made in Hideki's lab, so that the Nobel committee considers it as Hideki's discovery. In this case, Hideki el al did do the years of research to discover and perfect the phenomenon of doping the silvery plastic with halogen to convert the plastic into a conductor and hence can justify the prize, but there are many cases where a person went to US to discover and then do the research which leads to a Nobel prize, but the Nobel committee then decide to give the prize to the head of the institute who didn't even know that a great discovery was made, just because the head of an institute is given credit for what others did.

Happy birthday to 1925: Margaret Thatcher, born in Grantham, England as Margaret Hilda Roberts and who became the Tory party British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Margaret went for a degree in chemistry before she also went for a degree in law. By age 34 in 1959, she was a member of the Conservative party in the Parliament, and then a junior ministerial position by 1961, and then the secretary of state for education and science by age 44 from 1970 to 1974 under Edward Heath's government. By 1975, she became the head of the Conservative party, and as the public lost faith in the Heath government to reign in the powerful coal-miners' union which was bringing the economy to a halt, she promised to reign them in as her campaing platform, which in turn led her party to victory and became the first woman Prime Minister of Britain in 1979. It was a year-long war with the union, but in the end, she prevailed and the rapid decline of the British economy was halted. Afterwards, she stopped the slow decline by privatizing the various inefficient state-run companies such as British Airways, British Steel, British Gas and British Telecommunications. In the process she also set an example on how to turn money losers into a couple of world-class companies. She also set the example for Ronald Reagan who copied her way into his political methodology to turn US around. Her war with Argentina of 1982 led her popularity to climb further, while her accord with Ireland in 1985 led to more autonomy for Northern Ireland. While it seemed as though everything was calculated for the best, it turned out that lady-luck was at play as well, as it turned out after she won the election in 1987 and then proposed the horrendously prepared poll-tax which shifted the burden of tax on the poor with lots of children and away from the rich who were to be lightly taxed. As the poll-tax was to take effect in 1990, an internal struggle soon led her to be kicked out of her position as the Prime Minister, while John Major -- who was once even a member of the unemployed and hence seen as more sympathetic to the poor -- came to power. She resigned in 1992 but she still continues to criticize what she sees as the wrongs in British politics.

Rest In Peace to 1974: Ed Sullivan, television host of "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1948 - 1971), dead at age 73. Ed was born on September 28, 1901 in New York city and became a newspaper man and a radio host. As is obviously from his wooden-frame movement, Ed was never good at expressing himself in words or gesture, but he knew a good act and talent which would fascinate his audience when he saw one, so that Worthington Miner of CBS hired Ed to host the variety show "The Toast of the Town" that directly led him into the show he became famous for on June 20, 1948. Ed would enhance the contrast by showing classic music and ballerina dance next to contemporary and casual singing firefighters. The name of the show was changed to The Ed Sullivan Show in 1955. Ed was not a long-haired hippie by anyone's measuring stick, but he knew what the teenagers wanted, so that Elvis appeare on September 9, 1956 and The Beatles appeared on February 9, 1964. Ed was also pushing to showcase the talented African-Americans such as Diana Ross and Louis Armstrong on television in an era when his sponsors were vehemently against showing any dark skinned people and certainly did not want to give them the coverage of a famous show, although he did agree not to show anyone who was viewed as a Communist in that hate-monger era when there were witch-hunts for Communists. Some people, such as the Canadian pair of Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster were given heavy coverage in his show, but the patriotic Canadians that they were, they refused to move down south in US where they could have earned a lot more money. But by 1971, Ed began to lose touch with the audience and could no longer read what the audience found interesting.

Rest In Peace to 1989: Jay Ward, animator of Rocky the squirrel and Bullwinkle the moose, dead at age 69 of kidney cancer in Hollywood, California. Jay was born on September 20, 1920 in San Francisco, California. By the late 1940's, he and Alex Anderson produced the animation "Crusader Rabbit" which did not do well and were forced to sell the company, although he kept the legal ownership of two animation characters; Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose (a name which Jay loved, and it came from a real used car dealer in Berkeley). These characters appeared in the animation series called "The Frostbite Falls Review", a story in which group of animals running a television station in North Woods. It flopped, but were given new stories and went on the air again in Novmeber 1959. While it was well received by the audience, many other animations such as Hoppity Hooper and The Nut House never made it with the exception of George of the Jungle. Now that Rocky the squirrel has been in syndication for so long and the children who saw it have grown-up, they know understand why the stories are funny.

Did you know that on September 9, 2000 to September 10, 2000, the ozone hole over the Antarctic expanded to three times the size of US (11.4 million square miles) so that people in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas were exposed to high UV? Speaking of US, representative Bart Stupak (now, don't say "stupid", that's not nice.) says his 17 years old son killed himself because he took the acne medicine, Accutane. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration advised doctors to watch their patients for signs of depression because it can cause depression, psychosis and suicide, way back in 1998 without telling the people who were take Accutane or their parents, as mentioned in NBC's "Today" show. Speaking of deaths, the October 5, 2000 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine mentions that the food-dye FD&C blue dye No. 1 turned three patients' skin and blood bluish-green hours before they died. In healthy people, the dye remains in the stomach, but with patients who had digestive tract tissues being destroyed by sepsis, an infectious condition, it kills them. (The original tests were performed in the 1960's on healthy animals, but then what do you expect from something made from coal?)

On October 13, 2000 ("Some unusual stories". The original theme was supposed to be "first", so a lot of boring articles were gathered up, but then one article on cannibalism came up, even though that was not a first anything. Since cannibalism is sooooooo appropriate for the Halloween, many "first"s were eliminated to make room for cannibals, although you may still see the word "first" mentioned over and over in some articles which were not exorcised of that word. And for some unknown reason, which was not apparent to me at first, many of those which kept turned up have a Christmas theme also, since they all talk about Jews.)

1843: B'nai B'rith was founded by 12 people in their 20's and 30's in New York. They were all born in Germany in the 1820's and 1830's where they were strangers and came to live in New York, often earning a living as shopkeepers. The common denominator which brought them together was that they were members of Free Masons and other secret organizations which seek to better the society, especially for those of Jewish background. This one called its supreme counsel, the Constitution Grand Lodge, with New York city as its base of operation, and gave Hebrew title "Grand Nsi Abh" for the president, "Grand Aleph" for the vice president, "Grand Sopher" for the secretary and so on. The first meeting of the first B'nai B'rith lodge took place on November 12, 1843 at 8 PM with Henry Jones as the temporary head of this group. With solemn rituals and oath of silence to titillate the would-be members and the exclusivity criteria which rejected almost half of the applicants, it rapidly grew, even as outsiders wondered what evil or manipulative plots such secret organizations were concocting. In 1908, Rabbi Joseph Silverman proposed that their group defend their Hebrew heritage and any anti-semitism, and in 1913, the Anti-Defamation League was founded -- except rather than doing loud protests, a subtle and gentlemanly tactic was chosen (It's the tactic of choice on the web, when someone has a web site which offends another person or group.). As the European war began in 1914, this group also set-up their Emergency Relief Fund in 1915 to help the Jews in Europe cope with the displacement and the ravages of war. Since then, fractional defections formed other Jewish groups, but they all owe some thanks to this original group which eliminated the use of Jews as the evil stereotype so commonly used in Europe (Gypsies took that honor in US films, with a few Japanese and Chinese evil doers to stir the pot.). And speaking of Jewish shopkeepers,

1870: 10 years old Gustav Mahler gives his first public piano concert. Gustav was born in July 7, 1860 at Kalisti, near Jihlava in Austria to Bernard and Mary Mahler, a Jewish retail dealer couple. By age four, he was playing simple tunes on the accordion and the piano by age six. Gustav became so good, that on this chat date, he performed in the Municipal theatre of Jihlava. By the time he completed the required pedagogical schooling in 1875, he was already a music teacher to several music students. On September 10, 1875, he went to play for the Vienna's conservatoire, leaving his name in the musical history books as the best conductor of his era. And speaking of Jews,

1881: Revival of Hebrew language as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (born "Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman" on January 7, 1858 in the village of Luzhky in Lithuania) insists on speaking only Hebrew -- even though his wife Deborah only spoke Russian. (Eliezer had already practiced speaking Hebrew with either Getzel Zelikovitz or Mordechai Adelman in a cafT on Boulevarde Montmartre in Paris, France to assure himself that he can speak fluent oral Hebrew.) Eliezer's father died when he was five years old, so he lived with his Hasidic uncle's home. It was an era when Europe was having a haskala enlightenment, and Eliezer was caught that fever also, even though it was not for Hasidic Jews. Soon, he was hearing voices; "resurrection of Israel on its ancestoral soil". And in the fulfillment of that dream, he thought that Jews can be united if only there was one Jewish language. In 1877, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire to help the Bulgarian Slavs gain independence from the Turks. Noting how ancient nations such as Greece also regained its sovereignty by similar manners, he entertained the thought that the Jewish nation can also be similarly revived into existence. By 1878, Eliezer went to the future land of Israel while it was still under the Turkish rule with people speaking, Arabic, English, Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish. (While the written Hebrew language existed, it was considered a sacred language to be used in private rituals and ceremonies, and not something to use in casual oral conversations.) When he and his wife went went to Jaffa in Jerusalem, Eliezar told his wife that he will only speak Hebrew from now on. Soon, he was teaching in school, publishing books and newspapers and translating various works, and having to make new words, since Hebrew was an ancient language -- which was dead like Latin -- and hence had not incorporated new words to accommodate the modern life. Their son Ittamar Ben-Avi, who was born in 1882 became the first symbolic Hebrew only child in the modern world. Deborah died in 1891 from tuberculosis, but shortly before she died, she persuaded her sister to marry Eliezar. Soon, Deborah was dead, but her sister, who changed her name to Hebrew "Hemda", soon married Eliezar to continue supporting him and picking up where Deborah left. While Eliezar died in 1922 before he can complete his dictionary of the Hebrew language, Hemda and then her children continued untit the 17 volumes were done by 1959.

1972: A chartered Uruguayan Fairchild F-227 with the Montevideo Uruguay rugby team and families crashes in Andesgebergte. Of the 45 people onboard the airplane, 32 survived the impact, only to face starvation in the snow covered mountain. As no rescue came, it was believed that some of the bigger and muscular members will survive, but the others felt that their chances for survival was nill. Eventually, some of the more starved survivors began to eat the frozen remains of the dead, but not all decided to eat the dead. Some of those very big and muscular members who were thought most likely to survive the ordeal refused to eat human flesh and they slowly withered away into skin and bone, before they were overcome by the cold and died. By the time they were rescued 72 days later, only 16 were left alive. (It was made into a movie called "Alive".)

1984: John Henry becomes the first thoroughbred to pass the $6 million mark. John's father (called a "sire"), Old Bob Bowers, had a bad temper typical of a thoroughbreed, but was not a good racer, so he was sold for $900. John's mother (called a "dam"), Once Double, was also a so-so racer. When John was born (called "foaled" in horse-talk) at the Golden Chance Farms in Kentucky in 1975, he was remembered as an ugly horse with a "calf kneed" physical defect with his father's bad temper. As a result, he was sold at Keeneland for only $1,100 to John Callaway in January. Because he'll take anything made of metal such as buckets and stomp them flat, before he was even saddled, John was soon resold at Keeneland for $2,200 to Harold Snowden Junior. (John Henry got his name because of his bucket trampling habit, based on an old folk song about a "steel driving man"). Harold trained John well, but decided that in order to control John's male hormones, the best thing is to geld him (from the old Norse word "gelda" which gave rise to the old English word "gelde", meaning to make sterile, castrate, cut -- ouch -- "that" off). Harold sold John for $10,000 to new owners who hired Phil Marino to train John. Then in Lafayette, Lousiana, US, John ran at the Lafayette Futurity at Evangeline Downs and won the race. But John lost the next nine races, so they swapped John for two other horses to Harold again. Harold then sold John to Sam Rubin via the telephone. Sam, who has never owned a horse in his life, then handed John to trainer Bob Donato, and under Bob, John won six of 19 in 1978. Under the next trainer, Lefty Nickerson, John won four of 11 races in 1979. Then under the next trainer Ron McAnally, John won six stakes races in a row. John continued to be a winner until 1984 at age nine when he suffered an injury which forced John into retirement. An attempt to get John back in the race in 1985 ended in another injury which made his retirement permanent. John ended up retiring at the Kentucky Horse Park. In 1977, John won $49,380. In 1978, $120,319. In 1979, $129,864. In 1980, $1,798,030. In 1981, $1,789,030. In 1982, $586,387. In 1983, $652,100 and in 1984, $2,336,650. Typographic errors in these numbers may have been introduced, but that should come to a total of $6,497,947 over 83 starts, 39 wins, 15 seconds and nine thirds.

1997: At the Nevada's Black Rock Desert, 35 years old British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green's British jet-powered car, the "Thrust SuperSonic" reaches record 764.168 miles per hour. (Since the speed of sound varies by altitude and temperature, at this location and temperature, the speed of sound was 755 miles per hour, so this corresponded to 1.003% faster than the speed of sound.) About an hour later, Andy again went at the same speed. Unfortunately for Andy, the speed records must be repeated within one hour of the first attempt in order to be recorded in the official book, but he was late by one minute, so this faster-than-sound land speed was not official. (He was hoping to make it before the 50th anniversary of Chuck Yeager's October 14, 1947 atmospheric mach 1 flight.) Finally on October 15, 1997 -- one day after that other historic event -- Andy's twin jet-engined car went 763.035 miles per hour over the required two trips less than one hour apart (or 1,228 kilometers per hour or Mach 1.020) to become the first car on land to go faster than the speed of sound.

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