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October 15, 2013: One week from today, after any chat(s):

death/fear

On October 15, 2013 (I see that today's original story on "death/fear" was Edwin Oldfather Reischauer. The scan for today's date came out blank, but a second scan for the other dates found that he was already covered. How about a businessman whose company faced death after 1945?)

Happy birthday to 1903: Tatsuzou Mizukami. Tatsuzou was born as the fifth son to farmer father Kanzaburou Mizukami and mother Chizuru in the village of Seitetsu in the county of North Koma in the province of Yamanashi in the Chuubu/Kantou [Centra/East-gate] region of the main Japanese island of Honshuu. (Now the city of Nirasaki in northern Yamanashi, the former village exists as that name as a municipality in the city. The village became part of the county on July 22, 1878 and absorbed in the city on October 10, 1954. At the last census in 1950, the village had 1,718 people. The county of North Koma was created on July 22, 1878 but the newly created city left the county on October 10, 1954. The county existed until March 15, 2006, when the last remaining town was absorbed into a city and the county disappeared. The province of Yamanashi is surrounded by the provinces/metropolis of Kanagawa, Nagano, Saitama, Shizuoka, and Tokyo.) After graduating the old-style Koufu Middle School (Now Yamanashi Provincial Koufu Number One High School.) he graduated Tokyo Business University (Now Hitotsubashi University) in 1928. Also attending the same University were Eijirou Machida who became vice president of Mitsui & Company Limited and Toray, Tatsuji Itou (February 28, 1916 - December 11, 2000) who became the president of Mitsubishi Realty, and others. In 1928, Tatsuzou was hired by Mitsui & Company Limited which sent him to a tiny out-post in the city of Takasaki in the province of Gunma in the Kantou region of Honshuu. It was basically a hinterland of a place where Mitsui sent those it decided were not executive materials, which will prove useful for Tatsuzou. He spent six years here, and then later sent to the fertilizer unit, branceh office in the Chinese city of Tianjin and others before he became the representative manager of a branch in Beijing, where he ended when the Pacific War of World War II ended. After liquidating the branch office in Beijing, he was repatriated in 1946. Right after he returned, US occupation force began dissolving Mitsui, kicking out its stock-owning family members and executives who were not allowed to get any job, while the management of the broken-pieces of the companies was given to those deemed unable and incompetent, the middle-management, such as Tatsuzou. He was made the managing director in charge of Dai-ichi Bussan and its vice president. That's how it was. Then North Korea under Communist Russian control decided to amalgamate with South Korea in 1950, and US occupation force suddenly lost interest in breaking-up and destroying the Japanese conglomerates. Although many conglomerates were destroyed beyond repair, not only because of the white phosphorus and magnesium maelstoms that destroyed everything but also because the managerial level people were also gone, Tatsuzou's company survived and became the new core of the new Mitsui & Company Limited in 1954, although it was just a Company in name with very little of anything beyond its people who were put to work on anything that paid any money. As a result, Tatsuzou remained as the vice president of this rag-tag group of people until 1961 when he became its president till 1970. He became its chairman from 1969, so he can hand the daily chores to the next president-in-training til 1971 when he quit this post to become its company adviser who only gave advice as it became necessary to adjust the company portfolio and directions. From 1961 to 1963, he was also the chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives whom, just as the workers talked through its union that represented them, he talked for the employers. From 1972 to 1985, he was also the chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization or JETRO. From 1977 to 1989, he was also the chairman of the Middle-East Investigation to find out all about the Arabians whom the Japanese had no need to know as long as Japan was purchasing oil from US multi-nationals. (In 1973 and 1980 - 1981, the Middle-East OPEC countries cut-off oil flow to US and US multi-national oil companies diverted oil destined for Japan to itself, so that North American drivers practiced "topping", but it caused a huge panic in Japan which suddenly found itself lacking oil to power its industries. Nuclear reactors which were previously too expensive to construct in the era of cheap-oil suddenly became price-competitive, but rather than becoming a pioneer in thorium molten-fluoride reactors which also meant a guinea pig, Japan began constructing more conventional nuclear reactors. The Fukushima incidence is covered in western media as if it was the most catastrophic even in post-war Japan because all 50 other nuclear reactors were shut-down, but it was trivial compared to the Oil Shock that the western media didn't want to report, because it was directly caused by US, which being a super-power, Japan couldn't complain. This is the status that China is now striving to become, as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea become its chained dogs, and the European Union is also told by China that it's one of them. Japan is prodded by US to make these pre-aircraft carriers that will house US Ospreys and also pressured by US to expand beyond defending not only Japan but other countries in its neighborhood. Japan may be heavily in debt, but US deficits and obligations are in even worse conditions and unable to do it alone against China which psychologically doesn't fear US due to US defeat in the Korean War, but whose people have been told since early 1990's that tiny and non-nuclear Japan is a fearful monster, which has conditioned the Chinese to fear and hence respect Japan.) In 1976, he took the Hitotsu-bashi University's Centennial celebration as the ceremony vice chairman to collect donations for the funding of the University, a very tough act in a country that doesn't offer any tax incentive for donating money to alma maters. He could see the writing on the wall, that monolingual Japan must become a member of the international community by speaking English, and began working on the establishment of the International University of Japan in the city of South Uonuma in the province of Niigata. It was established and became a university in 1982, to become the first Japanese high-level institute of learning where the lingua franca is English for all conversations and subjects; this is called "kosei" in Japan, meaning a distinguishing characteristic. (In other words, rather than simply learning conversational English that any high school drop-out in North America can muster and of utterly no usefulness at all, these students are taught a technical skill and hence a career in the English language.) Students from about 50 countries attend this University whose student population is only about 300, of which only 30 to 60 are Japanese students. Although this University became famous in Japan because every Japanese student who graduated got a job in Japan where 38.2% of the people are zero-hour workers who don't know if they have any work next day, the actual number of Japanese students who wants to apply here remains very little because the Japanese can't speak conversational English, let alone technical-level English. All the ethnic Koreans and Chinese whom in war-time would have been sent as soldiers to Korea and China are already stationed in various Asian and western countries, leaving very few who want to learn technical English in Japan. This University didn't even get an MBA (Master of Business Administration, which is after the Bachelor degree and before a Ph.D. but more than sufficient for every business person.) program until 2013, this year, because so few Japanese wanted it. Tatsuzou died on June 16, 1989, with the funeral held at the chapel at the Saint Luke's College of Nursing (Standard English name is Saint Luke's International Hospital.), a general hospital in Tsukiji, Tokyo, Japan. Tatsuzou feared for Japan's future because of the Japanese fear to speak anything but Japanese, and that's where Japan is still lingering.

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death/fear

On October 15, 2012 (Today's "death/fear" is Japan's "father of subway"? That's stretching the theme a bit, but then it's getting harder and harder to connect articles to the themes.)

Happy birthday to 1881: Noritsugu Hayakawa, Japan's "Father of the Subway", which was originally called the Tokyo Underground Railroad, then Imperial Metropolis Rapid Transit Authority, before it became the Tokyo Subway, although it's called "Metro", which is French for subway.) He was born to father Tsunetomi Hayakawa, the village mayor for the village of Miyosaki in the county of East Yatsushiro in the province of Yamanashi in the Central/Kantou region of the main Japanese island of Honshuu. (Miyosaki is now part of the town of Ichinomiya that used to be in central Yamanashi. On October 12, 2004, this town and five other towns/villages in the county of East Yatsushiro and the county of East Yamanashi amalgamated to become the city of Fuefuki. The last village in East Yatsushiro was absorbed into this city on August 1, 2006 and the county disappeared. Fuefuki now has about 70,300 people in 202 square kilo-meters of city area. This province itself is surrounded by tall mountains over 2,000 meters high in all directions, including the south where Mount Fuji is located and the East with South Alps.) After graduating old-style Koufu Middle School (Now Yamanashi Provincial Koufu Number-one High School, although the official English name is Kofu First High School in Yamanashi.) he enrolled in the Number Six High School (Now called Okayama University in the city of Okayama in the province of Okayama, which shows you how much curricular activities were crammed into the daily classes back then.), but he became gravely sick during the second year, which forced him to drop-out. After he got over his sickness, he went to Tokyo and enrolled in the Waseda University. He decided to become a politician like his father and his big brother Tomihira who was a Yamanashi provincial assembly member and became a secretary to doctor-politician Shinpei Gotou. (July 24, 1857 - April 13, 1929. Names like Tojo which is actually written Toujou, as well as Satou, Houjou and other "ou" are Japan's Chinese/Korean upper class, and he rode that name by becoming count and then earl while serving in the House of Lords. He was the first head of Japan Boy Scouts.) After graduating Waseda, since Shinpei was the president of South Manchuria Railway Company Limited, he worked for the Railway. Once Shinpei became the Minister of Communication and also the Minister of Railway, Noritsugu quit working for the Railway and went back to Japan to work for the Ministry of Railway which existed from May 15, 1920 to November 1, 1943. Here he met the Toubu Railway Company Limited's second president, Kaichirou Nezu (August 1, 1860 - January 4, 1940. Otherwise known as Japan's "Railway King"), but he really became interested in railways much later when a former school acquaintant was dealing with shares in Sano Railway Company Limited (Now the 22.1 kilo-meters long Toubu Sano Line of Toubu Railway between the provinces of Gunma and Tochigi, but it was one of many short haul companies back then.) which was becoming insolvent and the value of the shares were plunging precipitously. Because of Noritsugu's skills in running the Manchurian company, he asked Noritsugu to get this Company back on its feet and Noritsugu did that. Then he asked Noritsugu to take care of the equally dying Takano Touzan Railway (Now the 64.5 kilo-meters long Nankai Kouya Line of the Nankai Electric Railway that services between the provinces of Osaka and Wakayama.) which was bleeding red ink because the shore-line development was not going according to schedule and the amount of cargo that was transported wasn't enough to cover the costs that Noritsugu also nursed back to health in two and a half years. In 1914, Noritsugu went to Europe to gather international information, because Japan was still trying to catch-up to Europe to avoid being conquered. (Africans and Asians as a whole no longer remember it because they're smothered by Hollywood depictions of that era as lots of happy blond[e] and brunet[te] faces having fun, but Africa and Asia were still enslaved by European and US masters. With all the wealth generated, you'd think that Caucasians as a whole were living high off the fat of the lands, but most Europeans and US people were living miserable lives, because only a few rich men were living the life of luxury then and now, which is also the case in South America, where the higher you go up the social castes, the whiter, and blonder they get. It's just like the 21st century, when Looney Romney initiated the firing of millions of US workers to hire Communist mainland Chinese workers whose Communist politburo enslaved US that Looney doesn't mind. As long as a few US bankers and financial dealers become billionaires, they don't care what happens to the rest of the people, but because most US workers who were fired are Homer Simpsons, they cheer for Looney and want to get rid of the -- half -- black president, such as US military members of "Forever Enduring Always Ready Fear" or "FEAR" whose members includes at least Isaac Aguigui, Anthony Peden, Christopher Salmon, and Michael Burnett. Isaac used the death of his pregnant wife a year ago that gave him a $500,000 insurance money to buy $87,000 worth of weapons and bomb parts and land in Washington State to bomb a dam, poison apple orchards, and then kill Barack Obama. Rumors are that Isaac covered his pregnant wife with this high insurance amount and killed her and the baby to fund this organization whose actual number of memberships is still unknown. They already killed 19 years old ex-soldier Michael Roark and his 17 years old girl-friend Tiffany York because they were "a loose end" who might reveal their plan to the authorities.) When Noritsugu visited London, he discovered that they made a railway that runs under the city (As you recall, London had a killer snow storm that buried the city whose finances and economy came to a grinding stop, and to prevent that from happening again, the road in the middle of the city was dug-up and an underground tube-tunnel laid with a railroad was installed before the ditch was covered, with horse-drawn carriages pulling the passengers and cargo. You can't dig the road up like that any more because the merchants and others will complain about loss of income, but they did that back then. It was much later that the horses were kicked-out -- a typographic error here said "killed" -- and replaced by electric locomotives.) and he said Tokyo needs it also. (Due to global warming, current Tokyo only gets rain and some snow in the winter, but in the early 20th century, it wasn't uncommon to see Tokyo buried in deep snow which caused the city to come to a stand-still in winters.) He tried to persuade his superiors at the Ministry of Railway to make the subway, but they all refused. (It was already explained that it was only a few centuries ago that Tokyo was a big swamp whose rivers were diverted north to dry it enough to grow lots of rice crops, which still made the ground very soft with no bedrock foundation, yet the ground shifts constantly due to the many small earthquakes that constantly strikes all parts of Japan. This led every other Japanese government officials and civil engineers to conclude that no such technology existed, and even if it did, the cost was prohibitable to poor Japan which was still spending whatever resources it had to make the infra-structures to modernize Japan. Businesses also opposed it because there was no guarantee that people will use it if it was built, and it might become a financial fiasco.) Noritsugu tried to start constructing the subway with private finances to show proof-of-concept. Shinpei and Ei-ichi Shibusawa (March 16, 1840 - November 11, 1931. Samurai councellor and businessman who established a bank and Tokyo stock exchange who is called "Father of Japanese finances".) were among those sympathetic to his effort and the mean to provide that geological and financial support, respectively. Geological? Not legal? That's right. As the minister of railway, Shinpei had access to geological strata maps beneath the soft mud of Tokyo that were essential for constructing the strong bridges that were required for the heavy iron locomotives. Noritsugu could determine in which directions and depths this hard strata ran, and which allowed him to convince more investors and financial institutions to believe that a subway through the soft muds of Tokyo may be do-able. This allowed him to obtain the business license from the Ministry of Railway to construct the underground railway on November 17, 1919. It was still August 29, 1920 that the organizational meeting was held to establish the Tokyo Underground Railroad Company Limited. (mybookshop still prefers calling the "Company Limited" as "corporated company", because the Japanese words are "kabushiki kaisha" which means stock/share-based company, which explains why it's abbreviated to "KK" in English and makes it easier to understand it as "CC".) They didn't want him running the new company, and chose the Imperial University Industrial University's first chairman, Koui Furuichi (September 13, 1854 - January 28, 1934) who was Japan's first expert on civil engineering, although he studied in France, which isn't known for water-soaked ground which is Holland, although he succeeded in making Japan's first biggest break-water in Yokohama Port in 1905. Niritsugu was given the post of managing director. After the finances were lined-up, the ground-breaking began on September 27, 1925 to make a subway linking Asakura and Ueno in Tokyo. By this time, it became obvious that a civil engineering professor isn't a financially sound businessman and the post of president was handed over to Ryuu-tarou Nomura (February 27, 1859 - September 18, 1943) of the Ministry of Railway who graduated from civil engineering at the Science Department in the Tokyo Imperial University in July 1881. Noritsugu became the executive director. During this period, the 1923 Great Kantou Earthquake struck, many typhoons which brought floodings as well as water springing out of the ground that caused conflicts before the subway from Asakusa Subway Station to Ueno Subway Station was completed on December 30, 1927. It now corresponds to the area used by the current Tokyo Subway Ginza Line. But as soon as that part was made, it was time to elongate and extend the line, although Noritsugu always believed in safety-first, because the death of one passenger will lead to a committee that has to analyze and deliberate the underlying causes and rebuilding many structures from the beginning to assure safety that will delay the subsequent construction and add to cost-overruns. Toward that goal, he used the latest safety features such as amber warning color, flame retardant trains, latest automated braking systems, and continuous education of the staff for safe operations. He also copied Ichi-zou Kobayashi (January 3, 1873 - January 25, 1957)'s Hankyuu Electric Railway (Officially called "Hankyu Corporation" in English, which doesn't describe what this company does.)'s business strategy of constructing a building at the entrance-exit to the subway and fill them with stores, as well as along the underground route, and making the entrance-exit near major department stores or even connecting the subway stations directly to the stores so that they'll pay for construction costs. (It sounds obvious in hindsight because many subway stations around the world copies this model, but it took a bright mind to think of it first.) He also extended the subway lines to the suburban train stations to facilitate passenger traffics. Everything was going well until December 1940, when he began having conflicts with Keita Gotou (April 18, 1882 - August 14, 1959) who constructed the Tokyo Express Electric Railway which is abbreviated to Toukyuu Electric. (His company back then was the Tokyo Express Electric Company Limited, which now corresponds to the Tokyo Subway Ginza Line's Shinbashi Subway Station to Shibuya Subway Station.) Keita wanted small and cheap subway station platforms that only fits three cars per train, which meant quick profit but only suitable for the short-run when there wasn't many passengers. Noritsugu wanted big platforms that allows six cars for the long-time span projection. Since Noritsugu had no experience running a subway but Keita did, the Ministry of Railway forced Noritsugu to retire to avoid conflicts, requiring expensive rebuildings when the subway lines became busy. Afterward, Noritsugu went back to his home in Yamanashi, where he decided to build a youth hall for the local children at his home, although he died before it was completed on November 29, 1942. He left behind a word to his daughter that one-day, Tokyo underground will be covered in subway lines like a spider-web. He was 61 years old. If you take the Central line and get-off at Hachiouji and then switch to the east-west line at Nakano, you'll get to Kassai station which has an Underground Subway Museum. Entry fee for adult is 210 yen or about $2.60 and 100 yen for child which is about $1.25. There's a small subway locomotive simulator that can teach young children how to become a subway train conductor. There's also Noritsugu's bust and how he studied railway in Europe for two years, his background and things which are mentioned here, because some of the spellings are hard to decipher without the explanation at the Museum.

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Death/fear

On October 15, 2011 (as it says)

Happy birthday to 1838: Hikoma Ueno, the Japanese war photographer who is Japan's Father of Photography. Hikoma was born as the second son to businessman father Shun-no-jou Ueno (1790 - 1851. "Jou of Shun" is what it means and it's pronounced "Joe of Shun" to you.) who imported one of, if not the earliest western cameras into Japan for the Shimazu clan's king Nariakira Shimazu (Born in Edo on April 28, 1809 - July 16, 1858. He's described as a "daimyou", except that's not pronouncable in English because there's no English word with that pronunciation, so why bother? In short he was a king, although the shogun had turned most of the small kingdoms throughout Japan into vassel states, or in other words, enslaved them by taking the various kings' family members as hostages in Edo, the old name for Tokyo -- that's basically what mainland China is trying to do to the Asian countries. He was of the Shimazu clan in the Satsuma in Kyuushuu island which was under the least Shogun control and wanted to incorporate as much western knowledge as possible to defend not only his small country in the Kyuushuu island, but all of Japan by working in cooperation with the shogun, although his father, elder advisor, step-mother, and everyone else opposed Nariakira for wanting to work with the shogun which led the shogun's top advisor to use careful surgical plots to get him to become the king of Satsuma. Once he became the new king, he began promoting education for every peasant child and studied everything western, including ordering a daguerreotype camera -- it was already explained in great detail many years ago since the wet collodion process was invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer and can take a photograph in only five to 15 seconds of sunlight and many prints can be made from one negative plate -- from Hikoma's father in 1848 and then ordering his own top advisors to take photographs, although that's all that they had. There was no translated manual on optics, explanation on the index of refraction or the mathematics behind light, no extra lenses, chemistry of developing and fixing wet plates let alone what chemistry is, or even how to take photographs... or the fundamental background on photography. They were literally primitive natives who didn't know anything about the science behind photography who had to get glimps of knowledge from various Dutch books, and they succeeded in taking a photograph of Nariakira on September 17, 1857, almost a decade later.), a daguerreotype camera. The Ueno family also had several portrait painters which gave Hikoma an artistic influence since early in life. But first, he studied Chinese classic stories at the Kangien in what is now Ooita province. (It was known as a residence school that welcomed male and female pupil, regardless of age, social class or rank including peasants who were all treated as equals, as long as they could afford to pay the tuition fees. Aside from Chinese works, it also taught mathematics, astronomy, medicine and other subjects with monthly test results announced in what was called the Gettan list which classed the originally equal pupils into nine classes comparable to saying that you're in the top 1/9, bottom 1/9 etc. It included pupils from 66 of the 68 Japanese countries which existed at that time. From the time it started in 1805 till 1897, it taught about 4,800 pupils. It was started by Tansou Hirose [May 22, 1782 - November 28, 1856] and continued by his younger brother and others. Tansou started this school as part of his "good deed for the day" notebook that he called Manzen, meaning 10,000 good-deeds. Everytime he did one good deed, he drew a white circle, but if he did a bad deed such as eating too much, he gave himself a black circle. This is how he strived to make the number of white circles exceeded the black circles by 10,000 that he achieved when he turned 67. He was striving to fill the second notebook but stopped drawing the circles two years before he died in August when he was 73 years old. He also taught every pupil that a human who does good deeds will go to heaven.) which had nothing to do with western technology. It was only after his father died that in 1852 he enrolled in the Nagasaki Medical College to study chemistry to help his family business' dye works. (The Japanese word for "chemistry" is "kagaku" which sounds like they're two different words, but "gaku" is "study" or "-ology", and the "ka" is derived from the Dutch word "chemie" to which the Chinese character for "change" or "to fool" was stuck-on. The first Japanese book of chemistry was a translation of William Henry's "Elements of Experimental Chemistry" from Dutch to Japanese which was titled "Seimikaisou" which doesn't sound anything like it, because the word is a translation of the German book "Die Schule der Chemie" in Dutch which was translated into Japanese and the Chinese word used in China which is pronounced kagaku in Japan was stuck-on. It's convoluted even more than that. "Seimi" was used to imply "applied chemistry" until the atomic theory and other knowledge entered Japan and it was dumped in favor of "kagaku", even though "kagaku" written with another Chinese character for "ka" means "science" in general.) By 1857 through 1863, Dutch naval medical officer Johannes Lijdius Catharinus Pompe van Meerdervoort (May 5, 1829 - October 7, 1908) arrived in the city of Nagasaki, where the shogun asked him to teach western medicine to 133 Japanese students, and he in turn asked the shogun to open a western style hospital in Nagasaki with 124 beds and the medical school that goes with it in 1861. He and fellow doctor Jan Karel van den Broek tried to cram everything that they knew about western medicine and chemistry which by this era was based not on herbals but toxic mineral chemicals as already explained. Johannes also had a camera and a manual on photography, although he didn't know anything about photography per se and were incapable of making a photograph, but which he tried to do his best to teach two students who were interested in photography; Hikoma, and Kuichi Uchida, with the latter becoming the first to photograph the Japanese Meiji Emperor. Since Nariakira wanted his men to take a photograph, this knowledge would have greatly helped, but it wasn't Hikoma's responsibility and Hikoma was only here to learn chemistry for the dye business. In fact, Hikoma only changed his mind after he met Swiss photographer Pierre Joseph Rossier (Born on July 16, 1829 in the French-speaking farming settlement of Grandsivaz in the province of Fribourg, he taught children in a nearby village at age 16, but later worked as a photographer. The British company of Negretti and Zambra hired him to take photographs of what the joint Anglo-French army was doing in the Second Opium War of 1858 to 1860. (Remember that China had everything the world wanted but China had no need for what the world had to offer except the silver used as payment, so the world got China addicted to opium which quickly drained China's supply of silver, but when the Chinese banned opium, Britain and France attacked to force the Chinese to allow opium.) Pierre arrived in Hong Kong by 1858 and began to take photographs of the people and landscapes that Negretti and Zambra published in November 1859. Meanwhile, Pierre went to the Philippines to photograph Taal Volcano before he arrived in Nagasaki in 1859, where he was the first professional photographer in Japan. After photographing Nagasaki where he was helped by Genzou Maeda [1831 - 1906], Shunpei Furukawa, and others who were explained how photography works, Pierre also visited Yokohama and Edo, taking photographs of eveyone from beggars to sumo wrestlers. After this round-about route, he finally arrived in the Chinese city of Shanghai by the end of June 1860 to ask permission from the Anglo-French army to accompany them, but they refused, because the British army had photographers Felice Beato and John Papillon, while the French army had photographers Antoine Fauchery and Lieutenant-Colonel Du Pin. Although Pierre had failed to meet his contractual obligations, he decided to return to Nagasaki in October 1860 where he continued to be assistd by Genzou, Hikoma. After Pierre was explained that two doctors in Nagasaki had a camera but couldn't take photographs, Pierre though that they didn't have the required chemicals for developing and fixing the wet photographic plate of the era. Pierre wrote a letter of recommendation to a businessman in Shanghai that he gave to Genzou and Shunpei who went to Shanghai and brought back lenses, chemicals, wet plates, and everything else required. After everything was at hand in Nagasaki, Pierre also taught Hikoma, Kuwajirou Horie [1831 - 1866. Exact birth and death dates aren't known.] and others about wet collodion process photography. Hikoma wanted to not only how to take photographs but how to manufacture cameras, although Pierre wasn't a optic physicist with the required knowledge in grinding lenses and other aspects of optics. There were always some Dutch books on the subject, but when learned from Dutch books without actually learning from an expert lens and camera maker, there's so much mathematics and physics and chemistry involved in making an achromatic lens system for photography which was too much for Hikoma, so Hikoma and Kuwajirou decided to specialize in only taking photographs. Not much more is known about Pierre, except that he was in Thailand by 1861 to help the French scientific expedition by Firmin Bocourt, then in Shanghai by February 1862 where he sold-off his photographic equipments to go home to Switzerland in early 1862 to open a photographic studio at home and married Catharine Barbe Kaelin [1843 - April 4, 1867] in October 1865. He died sometime between early 1880's to late 1890's.) A few months after Hikoma and Kuwajirou bid farewell to Pierre, they bought a French wet-plate camera and the required chemicals. Later in 1861, Kuwajirou photographed Hikoma working for the Tsu clan in Edo and succeeded in developing and fixing it. In 1862, they translated 10 Dutch science manuals into a Japanese language textbook that also included explanation on collodion photography. Hikoma then intended to go back to Nagasaki to study more about western sciences from Johannes but he had already left Japan after teaching 61 students, leading Hikoma to become a photographer; in all cases, Hikoma's contact with each foreigner was very brief and he had to learn on his own. He opened a photographic studio next to Nakashima River in Nagasaki in the autumn of 1862 and also imported western cameras for sale and he provided the training. In the 1860's, Dutch photographer Konrad Walter Gratama also taught him more about photographic chemistry and Austrian photographer Wilhelm Burger seemed to have taught him about 3-D stereo-photogralphy. In 1877, Nagasaki provincial governor Hidetomo Kitajima asked him to take war photographs of the Satsuma Rebellion. He also switched from the difficult wet photography to dry plates from Belgium. For many years, interest in photography was so low that he barely made ends meet, but foreigners willingly went to him to be photographed, including Ulysses S. Grant in 1879 and Russian prince and later Czar Nicholas II in 1891. The Japanese didn't want to be photographed, fearing that it will somehow shorten their lives -- later believing that the person in the center of a photograph will die early, which led them to be photographed with a dog or something else that they didn't mind dying early. But seeing that the foreigners didn't fear it led some of them to be photographed, including Ryouma Sakamoto (January 3, 1836 - December 10, 1867). Although there's a photograph of Takamori Saigou, he wasn't photographed; the current existing photograph is a composite of his relatives based on descriptions of what Takamori looked like. He also helped for the international "Project Venus" in 1874 by taking a photograph of the transit of Venus in front of the Sun; it last took place on June 8, 2004 and will occur again on June 6, 2012. Seeing foreigners and their own famous Japanese photographed made the Japanese lose their fear of photography and they began getting themselves photographed so much that he had to move to a big building by 1882. He also became so successful that he had branch stores in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. But aside from using silver halide, these photographic plates were expensive, costing about one ryou gold coin each, so that no one wanted more than one photograph. It's not like now, where there's no silver and you can take a thousand photographs onto a tiny chip which you can stick into an LCD plate which displays all of them without any meaningful quantity of gold or silver. He died on May 22, 1904 in the city of Nagasaki at age 67.

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Death/fear

On October 15, 2010 (Today's "death/fear" is an Incidence in which the Japanese Imperial Army after World War II was forced to kill many Indonesians under British order under pain of causing repercussion to the Japanese Emperor, not to mention in order to defend themselves, and the Dutch who owned Indonesia and surrounding islands that was collectively called the Dutch East Indies that was formed from Dutch East India Company in 1800 till 1942 when it fell under Japanese administration until 1945 when it reverted back to Dutch until December 27, 1949 when the Indonesians gained their bloody independence with Japanese weapons, not to mention the military training.)

1945: This is the Semarang Incidence in Indonesia. As you know by now, most of early 20th century Asia aside from Japan being the major exception was owned by one European country or US. Much of northern Asia was already conquered by Russia whose Trans-Siberian Railway quickly brought-in soldiers with the latest technological Euro-US weapons such as machine guns and barbed wires. Once Russia began the annexation of Korean peninsula and northern China, Japan decided that the very backward and rural China and Korea must be urbanized and be able to defend themselves against Russian aggression, which acted as a bulwark to defend Japan. Some idiot Koreans thought that financially strapped and resourceless Japan was sacrificing itself and dying to modernize Korea, and felt betrayed when that wasn't the case, but that's something that only a Korean can imagine. US had managed to kill most Filipino boys to prepare the Philippines for repopulation with US whites in a repeat of what was done in continental US before Mark Twain et al realized what was happening and stopped the white colonization of the Philippines which was previously under Spanish control. Most of China was too big for any one Euro-US power to conquer, and was partitioned with Japan among those powers, although the Japanese soldiers stayed docile in most major Chinese cities such as Nanking, since they all had a huge European population dispersed throughout each city and Japan wasn't about to get them any more angrier than necessary. Indochina was French property to torture and rape as the French saw fit, while Indonesia was Dutch property. Since Europe and US had a state-sanctioned centuries-long enslavement of anyone who wasn't white and torture/rape of anyone who defied them was second-nature, including 20th century US where emancipated African-Americans were still barbequed alive while white families with small children picnicked and watched the spectacle while spreading Charles Darwin inspired propaganda that whites are the superior race and everyone else is a slave who must obey despite the supposed emancipation of all slaves, most Asians accepted it, since every single historic uprising, battle, or even war that non-whites started against numerically inferior white armies were always defeated decisively. But US was observing what Japan was doing in Korea, Taiwan, and then China. Each country was a primitive society whose ignorant people could be conquered by small Euro-US armies, but the Japanese attempt to modernize them could form an invincible juggernaut that combined Japan's technologies and organizational skills with Chinese natural resources and human resources that will challenge white -- and specificially US -- supremacy of the world, as documented in US government files in an era when US government was still in the self-imposed Great Depression of 1929 that stupid US government policies had aggravated and caused. All previous US recessions and depressions were eliminated by blaming natives who were massacred and their lands grabbed-away, but the natives were close to non-existent, and the Philippines was no longer an option, while newly annexed Hawaii didn't have natural resources that can pull US out of its Great Depression. US had many plans to make sure that Japan and China didn't unite, as is now known, such as fake Chinese bombers to rain destruction on Tokyo to make the Japanese think that China did it which African-American US soldiers are now willing to discuss but no one else will -- just like the Boston Tea Party that blamed the natives and African-Americans for dumping British tea into the Boston Harbor which if the British authorities of Boston believed it, would have resulted in harsh retaliation for natives and African-Americans, which is why African-American US soldiers do mention those US government plots to keep Japan and China from allying before and during World War II, especially since the Nationalist Chinese didn't think the Japanese soldiers' presence was anything more than an irritant and Mao helped keep the Japanese soldiers in China. They couldn't help it; while a few cruel people exist in every country, most people feel empathy toward those who look like themselves, and the Japanese looked like fellow Asians, while Europeans saw Asians as so different from themselves that they did anything and everything that they wanted, as their fathers did to Africans slaves and they did, to the supposedly emancipated Africans. In comparison, the current mainland Chinese military and politburo are beyond senile morons because they studied US war strategies and know these blame-games that US has been playing for centuries, but China now believes all US war propagada as history. Indonesia was Dutch controlled, but with Germany quickly occupying Holland, the Dutch in Indonesia only lasted three months against the Japanese attack, since the Indonesians weren't helping defend Indonesia; it's just like Hong Hong, where the British tried to get the Chinese to defend British-controlled Hong Kong against the Japanese, but the Chinese ran-away or sabotaged the weapons before running away, forcing Britain to use hired guns as in the Canadian soldiers. During this period, Japan encouraged Indonesians to seek independence from its Dutch masters who were doing anything they wanted against their Indonesian slaves; During the centuries long Dutch colonization of Indonesia, the Dutch controlled all administrative and other leadership positions while the Indonesians did all the work, but during the Japanese period, the Indonesians were given every administrative and leadership position except the very top, and most of the 300,000 Japanese in Indonesia were only working as lowly factory workers, businessmen and others which didn't control Indonesian economy or politic. (Indonesians, Filipina, Sri Lankan, and other poor Asians are still enslaved by the millions in the 21st century, with the latest example regarding 49 years old Sri Lankan maid L.T. Ariywawathi, whose Saudi Arabian masters heated nails and needles before shoving them into her hands, arms, legs, and forehead. While that made the news, most maids only go to their country's embassy in the Arabian country where they're told by the embassy staff that there's nothing that can be done. But then mainland China which has little laws to protect anyone also enslave modern Euro-US citizens along with fellow Chinese, with most of those news not mentioned anywhere.) The Indonesians did began to seek independence as a result of this change in political powers, although Japanese diplomats were already suing for surrender from the allied forces in 1944. This led Holland to seek to regain control of Indonesia, demanding that the Japanese army preserve law and order in Indonesia, a diplomatic nice-phrase that meant Japan was expected to take any measure -- meaning "ruthless" -- required to keep Indonesia docile, although Japan continued with its policy of independence, promising it to the Indonesians on September 7, 1944 and training the Indonesians to use Japanese weapons and military tactics/strategies. With every Japanese city, town, and even village not marked for nuclear annihilation already destroyed, US decryptors found that Japan will surrender regardless of the harsh terms of the unconditional surrender which led US to rush its atom bombs before they were ready. Then Japan surrendered after two of the three types of atom bombs were dropped on Japan (Actually, "Inner-Japan" back then, because Taiwan and Korea were "Outer Japan".) to see if they turned into radiation monsters as predicted by Euro-US biologists. Two days after the Japanese Emperor's surrender that was recorded on two raspy records was broadcast as already mentioned in detail, Indonesia under Sukarno (June 6, 1901 - June 21, 1970. In office as its first president from August 18, 1945 to March 12, 1967.) proclaimed Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945. The Japanese in Indonesia were now in a bind. The terms of the unconditional surrender that Japan had to obey stated that the Japanese soldiers had to lay-down their weapons, but they also had to maintain order in Indonesia with their bare-hands, even though the Dutch were too weak to send a policing army into Indonesia. At first the Indonesians were satisfied with only taking-over control of infrastructures such as the railway, radio stations, and newspapers because they were controlling them ever since the Japanese took over and had three and a half years of training and running these infrastructures. Only the Japanese trained Indonesian militia were organized, but the last act of the Japanese soldiers was to dismantle and disband the Indonesian military command structure and ranks before quickly retreated from major Indonesian cities to avoid confrontations as required by the terms of the unconditional surrender. By September 1945, the Indonesians had gained controls of most facilities, although those Indonesian militants who were worked-up for independence were also frustrated that they were all set to kill or die for independence without any target to hit. In the process, ethnic Chinese, Dutch citizens, Japanese civilians, and anyone who wasn't Indonesian was targeted with harassment, robbery, and even massacre. This led to squabble between Indonesians who wanted to maintain order and those who wanted a violent revolution that led them to kill each other. But the new Indonesian government also feared that the Dutch will come back to destroy them and re-impose their enslavement, forcing them to organize a new Indonesian army which was centered around those officers trained by the Japanese, which led the Dutch to accuse it as continuing Japanese rule of Indonesia. Although US loaned the Dutch East Indies authority with $10 million to send an armed force to Indonesia, Holland was too battered and weak to control Indonesia until 1946. British forces under Admiral Earl Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Southeast Asia, did land in Java to accept the Japanese surrender in September 1945, but he was too busy freeing prisoners of war and repatriation of the 300,000 Japanese to help Holland regain control of Indonesia, and that led to the Semarang Incidence, or the "Five Day War" which is called "Pertempuran lima hari" in Indonesian. By September 8, 1945, the British force landed at the Indonesia city of Jakarta (It used to be called the city of Sunda Kelapa from 397 AD to 1527 AD which is an easy name to remember because a family friend's surname was very similar to that. It was Jayakarta from 1527 to 1619 when the Chinese controlled it, then Batavia from 1619 to 1942 under Dutch rule when Jan Pieterszoon Coen made a fortress, and Djakarta from 1942 to 1972. Since "karta" appears to come from an ancient word meaning "metropolis", it's redundant to call it the city of Jakarta, but so what? Djajakarta means "huge victory".) to free the prisoners of war, and then four British warships laid anchor in the harbor on September 15, 1945, with advanced squads of soldiers landing by September 25, 1945. But they were extremely lightly armed soldiers who were in no position to preserve law and order, forcing the Japanese soldiers to maintain it and only slowly hand-over control, but the Japanese soldiers were not only under order to obey any British officer at and over the rank of major general, but they were told that unless they obey, it will compromise the position of the Japanese Emperor who was supposedly revered as a demi-god. ("major general" is the same as a Rear Admiral Upper Half in US navy and Rear Admiral in British navy, and Air Vice Marshal in British Royal Air Force. It's Generalmajor in the German army/air-force and Konteradmiral in the German navy.) Seeing that Indonesia will be enslaved by the Dutch again, the new Indonesian republican government demanded the Japanese army to return to them the Japanese weapons which the Japanese army had taken from them starting on August 18, 1945. Naturally, the allied forces was controlling this and they forbade the Indonesians from bearing arms. At first the Indonesians didn't do anything, but as the threat of Dutch violence began to increase, their demand to the Japanese army became more vocal and threatening until they began attacking the Japanese soldiers and warehouses to steal weapons, even though the Japanese soldiers were under order not to use them to defend themselves, even though it meant that the Indonesians can literally use sticks and stones to steal the weapons because it might have bearing on the Emperor's position which was really precarious. It was a confusing situation, but it's thought that the Japanese commanders in Indonesia gave this order so that the Indonesians can get their weapons to defend themselves against the Dutch, although that's also questionable because the Indonesians can just as easily kill the Japanese with the weapons. In Indonesia's second largest city of Surabaya in East Java in the north shore of Java island, the local Japanese army that can't prevent the Indonesians from stealing the largest store of Japanese weapons in Indonesia asked the allied forces to take all the Japanese weapons because they can't prevent the thefts. But a Dutch naval colonel (two ranks above major general and one rank above Lieutenant colonel, meaning the Japanese army had to obey him.) who accepted this responsibility from the Japanese army on October 3, 1945 thought that the solution was simple: Before the Japanese came, the local Indonesian police force was preserving law and order, so let the locals take charge again. Without checking to see if the previous police officers were now pro-independent, he handed all the warehouse stored Japanese weapons, which went to the Indonesian militia despite the strong hesitance of the Japanese army who had to obey him. Using this as an example, the other Indonesians throughout the country demanded the Japanese armies in the rest of Indonesia to hand-over their warehouses and caches of weapons. In the city of Bandung in west Java island, heavily armed Indonesians attacked the Japanese soldier barracks, mechanized forces, and airport, but the Japanese army used their weapons to repel them, resulting in the death of three Japanese soldiers and over a dozen Indonesians. But in another city, 42 Japanese soldiers guarding a factory didn't resist and they were all massacred. Over in the city of Bekasi to the east of Jakarta in the north-west of West Java province, 85 Japanese soldiers under Colonal Matsushita who had permission from the rebel President Sukarno to be here refused to hand-over their weapons but refused to use them and were all massacred. And then there was the city of Semarang in central Java. After World War II ended, 600 Japanese soldiers under the command of low ranking Shin-ichirou Kido who were transiting to Malay Peninsula were here. There were about 30,000 Dutch civilians and a prison for foreigners. The area was under control of major general Junji Nakamura who was 50 kilo-meters south in Magelang. The allied forces still haven't come here by early October 1945, and the native Indonesians demanding the Japanese army to hand-over their stored weapons was becoming high-pitched. In the city of Jogjakarta in Jogjakarta province, on October 5, 1945, 300 Japanese soldiers were attacked by armed Indonesians. Although they fought back with weapons on the first day, the next morning, they and 100 Japanese civilians surrendered and were imprisoned for the next four months before the allied forces could come, by which time many had died from starvation and diseases. In the city of Semarang, on October 3, 1945, an Indonesian militia representative visited Shin-ichirou to demand that he hand-over all the weapons so that the Indonesians can preserve law and order, and to prevent those types of massacres and harsh treatments of Japanese soldiers/civilians. Shin-ichirou did hand-over a few weapons on hand so that the Indonesians can preserve law and order, but refused to hand-over the main stores. That night, the ammunitions stored in the airport was stolen. On October 12, 1945, the Indonesian republicans for independence of Indonesia visited Shin-ichirou to again demand that he hand-over all the weapons that he again refused. That same date a few hours later, 339 Japanese steel mill construction workers making the mill right outside Semarang and soldiers who were only staying in the area to await repatriation were arrested by the local Indonesian police. By October 13, 1945, 2,000 foreigners -- Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, etc -- and mixed blood civilians and Red Cross workers throughout the city were also arrested and imprisoned in the nearby women's Bulu Prison. The Japanese army in Magelang was also arrested. Junji gave order not to resist, so they were imprisoned and their weapons taken, although 10 Japanese soldiers were killed. Those Japanese civilians in Semarang who were not arrested fled to the other Japanese army barracks and spread the word on what happened. On the early morning of October 14, 1945, a group of armed Indonesians visited a Japanese weapon warehouse site, but they also refused to hand-over all the weapons. That night, the Japanese mill construction workers who were imprisoned killed a police officer to escape the prison, and 13 of them were killed during the escape. Later that night, Shin-ichirou heard of the arrests and killing of foreigners and Japanese in Semarang and Magelang, and decided to take initiative into his own hand to deploy his rifles. On this chat date at 3:30 AM, his men attacked the armed Indonesians in the city of Semarang for five days. Although they were numerically inferior to the Indonesian weapon cache and man-power, the under-powered Japanese side had the military training and tactics. By October 18, 1945 -- some claim October 19 -- the British did land at Semarang, but upon hearing of the situation, they let Shin-ichirou continue without offering any aid, resulting in the retaking of the city by October 19, 1945 when the Japanese army and the Indonesian civilian side signed an armistice to stop the fighting. In this Incidence, 1,000 to 2,000 Indonesians are said to have died to 28 dead for the Japanese army and 15 Japanese soldiers going missing and presumed dead. Among those Japanese who were imprisoned in the women's Bulu Prison, 149 were killed and 30 others went missing -- you'd think that it's in retaliation for what the Japanese did, but what sources that can be found said that it's in retaliation for the British who commenced violent attacks against all Indonesians, militia and civilian -- although one Japanese who died left a blood message to cheer for the Indonesian independence. The Dutch and others who were imprisoned didn't try to escape and none of them were killed. But this wasn't the end. On the same October 19, 1945, 53 workers at the Japanese Ouji Paper Plant in Kariung, 50 kilo-meters west of Semarang were killed and other massacres continued to happen throughout Indonesia. In order to evacuate the 10,000 foreign Indo-Europeans and European prisoners in the towns of Ambarawa and Magelang, the allied forces ordered Shin-Ichirou's men to accompany the British artillery force on October 25, 1945, and all the prisoners were secured by October 29, 1945. Although armistice was also signed here on November 2, 1945, but several skirmishes led to a battle by November 20, 1945. In the end, these prisoners were transported outside Java island through Semarang. In the end, 40,000 Japanese rifles were in Indonesian hands -- no machine guns and other sophisticated western weapons were used by the primitive Japanese army that was using antiquated centuries-old weapons hammered out of swords because Japan really is resource poor and unprepared for any war -- that they used in their war of independence that ended in their favor by 1949 because all the world were in favor of giving independence to Indonesia by then. And so it put a period to the Semarang Incidence, as the Japanese call it to say that the Japanese army was only trying to carry out their duties under allied force order with the Japanese Emperor's neck to consider. The Indonesians call it the Battle of Semarang, in which the Semarang citizens fought the Japanese army that dared to hinder Indonesia's independence. But overall, the Indonesians are friendly to the Japanese who don't mistreat them like the Europeans and Arabians.

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Death/fear

Fear of deathly toxic rocket fuel is being alleviated by rocket researchers at Purdue University who developed a rocket that's powered by nano-scale aluminum powder and water ice. The 80 nano-meters in diameter aluminum powder has so much surface area that when the water ice melts, it reacts explosively with water -- which is how bulk magnesium reacts in water -- producing aluminum oxide and hydrogen gas that produces thrust for an environmentally friendly rocket that can also be made on the now-known-to-be watery Moon. But if it's all the same, while aluminum has an atomic weight of 26.981 grams, magnesium is 24.305 grams, which means you can pack more magnesium atoms, and magnesium is only 1.74 grams per cubic centi-meter versus aluminum at 2.7 grams to make it a lighter fuel so that you don't expend as much fuel, just to move the fuel up into the air. It's also easier to make magnesium metal than aluminum metal, and because magnesium is more reactive, you don't have to make such a fine powder that requires very careful grinding. But the really good point is that while this fine powder aluminum oxide is a catalyst and a possible carcinogen, magnesium oxide is something that you take for an upset stomach that dissolves in water and washes away to make it far more environmentally friendly. Now up on the Moon where you don't care about producing aluminum oxide everywhere, that's not a problem, unless an astronaut happens to walk through this aluminum oxide, which incidentally acts like a very fine sand paper that can grind-away at anything that walks through it. Maybe a "hybrid" is the best choice, no?

Until not that long ago, there was fear of death that the carbon nanotubes that a Japanese researcher at NEC made may be deadly to people. To see what happens with plants, plant biologist Mariya Khodakovskaya and nano-technologist Alexandru Biris tried to see what happens when tomato seeds were treated with nanotubes. Compared to controls that didn't germinate in three days, 30% of the nanotube treated seeds germinated in three days. In fact the controls took 12 days to reach the level of germination. In four weeks, the nanotube treated tomato plants weighed twice as much as the controls. While the safety of tomatoes produced from the treated seeds aren't yet tested, is there really, really, nothing that the nanotube that didn't win a Nobel Prize can't do? Compared to the buckyballs that won a Nobel Prize that can't do anything at all?

On October 15, 2009 (Today's story on "death/fear".)

2009: This is the date that US Department of Health and Human Services was hoping to have 120 million doses of the H1N1 (Swine flu, Influenza A) vaccines ready to be deployed out of the 195 million total doses that US has ordered from the five world-wide vaccine manufacturers by December 2009. Even though enough vaccines for 20 million doses are manufactured every week, by mid-August 2009, the best guess estimate is that 45 million doses will be available for the virus that hospitalized close to 8,000 and killed 522 since it was first reported in April 2009. The first of the major problems arose in July 2009, when the manufacturers revealed that H1N1 virus doesn't grow as fast in eggs as other winter flu virus cultures. While that's expected to be solved with new strains that grow faster, individual vaccine manufacuturers are reporting various problems. For example, Australia's CSL, the only vaccine manufacturer in the southern hemisphere and also the first that's expected to have its vaccine clear clinical trials on safety and dosage evaluations was also making the human papillomavirus vaccine but US-based Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System raised an alarm that this vaccine is linked to unconfirmed deaths and high incidences of fainting and blood clots, which makes the company hesitant about the H1N1 vaccine. Even when it passes the safety tests, it has to fill the order for 21 million doses of H1N1 vaccine for Australia, before filling its US$180 million contract for US. Sanofi-Pasteur of the Sanofi-Aventis Group based in the French city of Lyon also took longer than expected to make the regular winter flu vaccine before it could move on to the H1N1 vaccine. Aside from safety certification, there's also the need to determine how big an amount of the bulk vaccine is needed for the individual dose, not to mention the development of the reagents that can test that the individual doses contain the required amount of attenuated virus. This part of the problem means that the virus was grown in the eggs and the vaccine is available as a bulk package, but they can't package the individual doses until they know how much is required for that dose and the reagent to certify that the individual dose contains the amount required to offer effective protection. It means that the bulk vaccine isn't packaged into vials and syringes for those at high-risk, such as pregnant women. Barak Obama's administration is getting a 68 pages long report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology that's recommending that even before the safety and dosage issues are solved, some of the bulk vaccine should be placed in vials and syringes so that pregnant women can get some as soon as possible by September 2009. The situation is no better for other countries. In Japan whose Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Youichi Masuzoe estimated that 15 million to 20 million of the 53 million doses for H1N1 vaccine must be imported, the trouble with the three western vaccine manufacturers is that they demand that Japan sign contracts that ask to exempt them from liability in case the vaccine caused any side-effect, with threat to put Japan (Or any other country for that matter.) on a lower priority of shipment unless the contract was signed by the end of August 2009, even while Japanese vaccine experts want pre-import verification of the safety of the H1N1 vaccine. Youichi originally wanted to invoke the special approval provision of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law to waive standard clinical tests on August 25, 2009 and announced the next day that a compensation system will be setup to compensate individuals who suffered any side-effect, but the experts opposing this special treatment led him to announce on August 27, 2009 that the government will conduct a minimum set of safety tests in the imported vaccines. However, it's also possible that 53 million doses may not be needed in Japan; the government has declared this vaccine as voluntary, not compulsory. When it's voluntary, the individual who gets the vaccine pays for it from his/her own pocket, and death/ailment arising from any side-effect is paid through the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency. When it's compulsory, the government pays for the vaccine and the government pays a much higher amount if anyone dies from it. Naturally, the reason for discussing the comparison between US and Japan health cares arises because the Obama administration is advocating a universal health-care system that US used to oppose as socialism and Communism. Why the change in view at a time when there's a trillion dollar expenditure to pay for the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq? One reason is the lack of jobs in US which is fueled by the rising cost of health care. Like many Indians who rose above the poverty-level, only to suffer debilitating diabetes and become the working poor or the mainland Chinese farmer deprived of universal health-care under the Communist regime and having to fend for themselves, individuals in US must pay for health-care or work for a company that does. It makes US uncompetitive for foreign companies that want to hire Americans, because of the need to pay for health-care. Why bother going to that trouble when Canada offers universal health-care that the Canadian government pays, rather than the companies? Even with rising Canadian dollar, hiring Canadians remain competitive for foreign companies as long as the cost of providing health-care to the workers are rising through the roof. Yet the Canadian universal health-care is burdening the Canadian government with an expensive albatross. You don't hear too much complaints for now, because the Canadian federal government off-loaded much expenses to the provinces that must shoulder the costs which resulted in service cut-backs, and because of the rising price of crude oil; Canada doesn't subsidize the cost of gasoline, so that the higher the price of crude oil, the higher the taxes that the government collects from each liter of gasoline that's sold. But the high cost of Canadian health-care that takes a big chunk of Canada's budget is criticized in US as unworkable. That brings up Japan's health-care system that John Creighton Campbell at the University of Michigan wrote about in his publication; "The Art of Balance in Health Policy: Maintaining Japan's Low-Cost, Egalitarian System" (1998). It's a book that praises Japan's system. It's true that the Japanese have a better life-style that doesn't center around meat nor eating so much as to cause obesity, and the rate of violent crimes is also very low. (In Russia, it's not that uncommon for the Russian mafia to throw an unwilling prostitute from a building's rooftop, and if she survives, carry her up and drop her again. US also has drive-by shootings and killings for fun that makes US a Murder-Incorporated. Ukrainian women prefer working as escorts in Japan because even if they go to Japan illegally and are squeezed by the Japanese Yakuza that hire them, they're housed six to a 2DLK [Two bed rooms, dining room, living room, kitchen] apartment with two beds to a room, at least the Japanese clients are nice and undemanding, usually free of sexually transmitted diseases, and the Yakuza will keep their words, rather than demanding excess payments for accommodation and other excuses to keep increasing the debt-load so that the women can't escape. While the Japanese police will enforce its laws and ship them back whenever they're found, the average Japanese is sympathetic to their desire to help their families back home and their obvious effort to try to do better. Since they can earn more money if they're in Japan legally, they also seek to marry a Japanese, even if it's only a marriage of convenience. Such economic refugees who try to by-pass the regular immigration channels aren't well received in North America, but the east Europeans get a sympathetic view.) but the lowest health care cost per person among the advanced countries is maintained by a combination of many other factors, including a system that makes primary care more profitable for the doctors than specialized care, so that the Japanese are more likely to go to the doctor before the problem became severe enough to need a specialized care. The insurers provide the same services and drugs without any competition which keeps paper-works simple without having to hire a large staff of clerks to fill them. The nurses and health care staff are also dedicated to doing their work, including its old folk homes, unlike North American old folk homes where abuse of the patients is rampant. How the new Filipino nurses and Indonesian nurses in Japan do their work will determine how many more will be accepted into Japan, although if they don't show the same level of dedication, they may be cut-off and Japan may start relying on its human-power amplifying robots to do the nursing chores. In fact, the Japanese model of health-care is remarkable for how little it costs to provide the best services possible, but it only works because the patients take good care of themselves and the health care staff are also dedicated to doing the best job possible on top of a government that can tweek and keep adjusting the health-care system to meet the changing needs. The Japanese take it for granted that there is no major hole in their system, but it's not a workable system for US, where the majority of the people suffer obesity and the diseases associated with it such as heart attacks and diabetes, where drug addiction and chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS are equally ubiquitous, with a legal system that encourages gang activities. Even the vastly more expensive Canadian health-care system can't work in US because Canada doesn't have large pockets of poverty. True, the Canadian native communities are living in dire poverty, but there are no large slums such as New Orleans, whose large slums where African-Americans live like slaves were exposed by the Hurricane Katrina. Dedication to their jobs? It's the lack of dedication and the crooked business of corporate health-care in US which is the root of all the mega-lawsuits in US that serve to enrich lawyers. Mainland China got out of its "barefoot doctor" business because it was too expensive a burden, and US is expending too much money on wars to afford even primary health-care.

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Death/fear

You know something? The report that four mainland Chinese babies died and 54,000 others became sick isn't likely to be the true story. Because of the Chinese law which prevents such "spontaneous" news from being released by the media, both domestic and foreign, the likely number of deaths are likely in the hundreds, if not thousands. As proof, even Burma (Myanmar now, although you can't pronounce it correctly.) which is almost totally dependent on China for military supplies and food has publicized its destruction of 16 tons of Chinese baby food that's adulterated with melamine. The fact that this country doesn't care all that much about its own people, yet they're taking this step is an indication that the scale of deaths have been greatly under-exaggerated out of proportion. It's not just a matter of fear.

The Taiwanese politicians are now claiming that SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that started in mainland southern China in 2002 was actually a biological weapon by the mainland Chinese. It does have that ring of fear and even death to it, since it was a very selective virus that killed people with southern Chinese ethnic origin. China says US made it, while others thought China made it and it was accidentally released, while some in Russia said it might have been a synthetic virus. The technology to make such an ethnic-virus that's tailored to kill/incapacitate only people with certain genetic markers exist, and even if this was a natural virus as most people suspect, the DNA analyses of this virus will allow others to modify it so that it only kills people with certain backgrounds. Death may be only a sneeze-away, provided you're from that particular background.

Old and crippled people may fear death but not the immobility prior to death, thanks to HAL, the brain-wave reading hybrid assistive limb mobile robot suit that Cyberdyne company in Tsukuba, Japan is now renting starting this October 10, 2008. $2,200 per month for the 10 kilo-gram two legs or $1,500 for one leg. Yoshiyuki Sankai of the University of Tsukuba designed it and also manages the company. For now, it's not sold to the public and not for military use, even though the armies around the world would pay any money to have this, which would hasten its mass-production that can quickly lower the sale price to something that the disabled people can afford.

On October 15, 2008 ("death/fear". Today's story is on the British nuclear testing. If you really look at these testings over-all, you realize that they're classifiable into two types: Show, and hide. Countries such as US, Britain, and Russia did the former, show. They not only wanted to verify that their bombs will detonate, and see how it affected their conventional weapons, food, and other supplies, but also show the world that they now have them. Israel, apartheid South Africa, and North Korea are in the latter. They didn't want anyone to find out that they have them, but they wanted to verify that their devices will detonate, period. By detonating their devices underwater or underground, they couldn't test how it affects their own weapons, food, and other supplies in order to switch to supplies that will be affected the least. Israel and South Africa were confident that their enemies don't have them so that they don't have to make their infrastructure survive the enemy's atom bombs and missiles. North Korea is hiding its fangs a la "Art of War" manual and doesn't care if US destroyed all of its cities and infrastructures, as long as US is destroyed first to shame it, since by then all the North Korean soldiers would have mingled freely with the South Koreans who must dress like North Korean soldiers and become inseparable.

1953: Britain's Operation Totem 1 resulted in its purely domestically produced nuclear device to detonate at Emu Field in South Australia. It used to be said that US only shared its atomic secrets with white countries, which is becoming ironic, now that only 2/3 of new-born Britons are white, and "Mohammad" and its various spellings is becoming one of the most common British boy name, because in a few decades time, whites won't be the majority of people speaking with a British accent. Even now, the female Saudi leaders at Um Amira, London's Regent's huge Park Mosque are urging all Muslem women to kill non-Muslems and those who get out of Islam in no ambiguous words, as filmed by Britain's Channel 4: "He is Muslem, and he gets out of Islam, what are we going to do? We kill him, kill, kill." In no time at all, they'll hand-deliver Britain's nuclear devices to Saudi Arabia and the rest of Arabian countries.) Why Britain had to have nuclear devices was always mired in rumors and speculations, stemming from the lack of willingness on the part of US to provide the atomic secrets after Britain's Klaus Fuchs was found to be spying for Russia, to Britain's desire to appear to be a powerful country that has nuclear devices. Britain had the facilities and the nuclear device project was given official approval in January 1947. While requesting to use US testing sites, feasible sites were sought in Canada before Britain turned to Monte Bello Islands near mainland Australia when Australia gave its enthusiastic support in September 1950. US denied its facilities in October 1950 but later found out what Britain was doing and proposed a joint testing. After Winston Churchill won his re-election, he rejected the joint testing and went ahead on his own in December 1950, while the Australian government gave its official approval in May 1951. From Australia's view-point, it rubbed some of that prestige and pride as an atomic country, and with the paranoid feeling of threat from the Communists who were running wild throughout Asia now that the Japanese army left continental Asia, and Australia is a rich supplier of uranium that can be used for making nuclear reactors, and with the presumption that Britain will share all the information for making a nuclear reactor to Australia. Operation Hurricane was the first British atom device test performed on October 3, 1952. Because US had originally given its nuclear secrets freely to Britain despite knowing that British secrets leak like a sieve with a big hole, it was a copy of the Fat Man plutonium bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. Britain made both uranium and plutonium, and this used the plutonium from the Windscale plant (now called Sellafield on the Irish Sea coast in Cumberland; Britain pretended that it was making nuclear power, even though everyone around it knew that it didn't, because there were no high tension power-lines humming with power from this site, just like the North Korean nuclear plants, plural.) in Cumbria. Because the dead-line for getting the plutonium metal ready was to be August 1, 1952, the plant couldn't make sufficient amount of the low plutonium-240 content plutonium, which led this first device to use some Canadian plutonium-239. It was a weapon effect test to see what devastation a ship-born atom bomb will do. Since Sputnik wasn't launched until October 4, 1957 and hydrogen bombs weren't even discussed with the politicians, the only fear that Britain had was atomic devices that were smuggled into British ports. (With all those thousands of jet-engine powered Nazi German V1s and rocket powered V2s raining-down on Britain only seven years previously, you'd think that the British politicians would have realized that ships can carry short-range atomic missiles that detonate 10 to 20 kilo-meters away. Since US parachuted its atom bombs on Japan, you'd also think that British scientists knew that a mid-air detonation is far more effective than a ship detonation.) The site chosen was off Trimouille Island, one of the remote Montebello Islands in Western Australia province in Australia. The atomic device was carried in HMS Plym, a 1,370 ton River-class frigate anchored in 12 meters of water and 350 meters off-shore from Trimouille. The device itself was placed 2.7 meters below the water surface. The 25 kilo-ton device made a crater six meters deep in the water and 300 meters across. Since it was only a test to see if their design will detonate, there wasn't anything much else. Now Britain wanted a weapon development test to see how devastating a device they can construct, which is how Operation Totem came about. Iran is dispersing its uranium and plutonium production and processing in many locations because it's copying the British model, and Britain was constructing two new plutonium producing power reactors at Calder Hall, although they produced about 17% plutonium-240 over the desireable plutonium-239. (Uranium-235 has a half-life of 700 million years and emits only 0.0003 neutrons per gram-second. It makes it safe, because it's not likely to undergo the equivalent of "spontaneous combustion", which is "spontaneous fission". If it spontaneously emits a large amount of neutrons per gram every second, there's a high chance that it might detonate on its own. Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,100 years and emits 0.022 neutrons per gram-second, which is also safe, although not as safe as uranium-235. But plutonium-240 has a half-life of 6,569 years and emits 920 neutrons per gram-second, so that there's a higher probability that this neutron flux may be bright enough to cause it to undergo a nuclear chain reaction even though it's not supposed to be doing so. Weapon-grade plutonium shouldn't contain more than 7% plutonium-240. In comparison, californium-252 which is produced in a nuclear reactor's spent ashes has a half-life of only 2.64 years and produces an extremely bright neutron flux of 2.3 trillion neutrons per gram-second to make it a good source of neutrons for inspecting objects, although in large amount, it can make for a very tiny atom bomb.) Totem was to use the plutonium-240 rich plutonium from Calder Hall to design devices with two concentrations of plutonium-240, because if they detonated, then they didn't have to pretend to make electric power, but actually make electric power in reactors that also produced plutonium that can be used to make nuclear devices. William Penney in charge of these devices obtained the government approval in December 1952. Because he was pressed for time, a site on the mainland of Australia was selected by Australian explorer Len Beadell (Leonard "Len" Beadell [1923 - May 12, 1995] The "Last True Australian Explorer" who explored and surveyed 2.5 million square kilo-meters of Australia that his "The Gunbarrel Road Construction Party" made 6,500 kilo-meters of roads regardless of who claimed ownership to the land. He was a surveyor for the Survey Corps of the Australian Army who found a suitable land site for developing intercontinental ballistic missiles for Britain and other western European powers where the numerous exploding debris won't harm whites -- who ever cared a damn about non-whites, especially primitive ape-people? -- so that the debris can be examined to determine what went wrong while getting killing and frightening-away pesky ape-people who claimed to own the land. The place was 485 kilo-meters north of the white South Australia provincial capital city of Adelaide and called the Woomera Rocket Range. Another site was Maralinga, which is an aboriginal word for "thunder". He named all the roads and landmarks after his family members, including himself, although a few newer roads don't have his name.) at Emu Field, in the Great Victoria Desert of south Australia that's covered with mulga trees (The name itself comes from the "mulga" wooden shield that one aboriginal tribe made from this tree's wood. Most common specie has the Latin name Acacia aueura of the Mimosaceae family, and as an acacia, it doesn't have leaves in the botanical sense, so they're more like leaflets. Growing as much as one meter per decade to a maximum height of 10 meters, Mulga covered 20% of the Australian continent of which there are 880 species. Honey ants that look like drops of honey live on their root base and each tree produces as much as three tons of protein-laden leaf litter after several rainy seasons which fertilizes the soil with organic matters. The seeds are roasted and ground to a paste and consumed. The white powdery substance from the small branches and leaves can be used as resin to repair wooden bowls -- you may remember that some Australian grains destroy vitamin B-12 when exposed to metal which causes the natives to insist on not using metal bowls. Although the exterior is easily infected by many parasites, the hard wood makes a good digging stick, boomerang, or even spear-heads. The young leaves and twigs are boiled to extract the brown liquid for cold, head-ache, or muscle-aches. White farmers destroyed the mulga trees and replaced it with grass that exaggerated the soil erosion during droughts and also depleted the nitrogen; the mulga leaves had very high protein content because the symbiotic Rhizobium bacteria in the roots of mulga trees produced nitrate that grass doesn't produce, which depleted it when sheep fed on grass, and it's this destruction of the land which is exaggerating a normal dry period into the continent-wide drought throughout Australia which causes desperate kangaroos to hunt for water by raiding farmers' lands which causes them to massacre the kangaroos on the pretext that there are too many kangaroos, even while they condemn the Japanese and Norwegians for killing whales which are increasing in number, while their own plan to commit genocide is proceeding according to plan.) and lined with sand and rocks. Located 480 kilo-meters north-west of Woomera Rocket Range that was constructed in 1947 to test all sorts of missiles, Winston Churchill then asked for permission to use the site from Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, while assuring that it's all safe, but not writing any contract on what remediation Britain will undertake or pay damages if it doesn't go according to plan and the entire area became a radioactive no-man's land. Australia provided meteorological monitoring, ground support that included construction of crude roads into the site, air quality monitoring, providing protective clothings that US soldiers were never given, and others which had to be air-lifted into the site, since only 500 tons of the 3,000 tons of supplies and equipments were air-lifted. At least, that's from the white man's view-point. The aboriginals used a hunting ground about 80 kilo-meters to the north and they lived about 180 kilo-meters away. To test the effect of the detonation on weapons, an Australian army Centurion tank was placed 250 meters from ground-zero and dummies with film badges were stationed with the hatch closed. There were also airplanes, ammunition, food, and other everyday things to see what happens to them. Up in the air, an Australian airplane ws to go into the mushroom cloud a few minutes after the detonation to see how the airplane survives and how much it will be contaminated by radiation. Heat sensors were placed at various distances to see how hot it became, while high-speed film took movies of what happened from every conceiveable angle, zoom, and direction. The scientists came on August 17, 1953 to prepare all the equipments. The device came on September 26, 1953 and assembled in a shed. William didn't arrive until September 29, 1953. The full scale rehearsal for the actual detonation with the device placed high up on a 30 meters high tower was conducted on October 1, 1953. Stand-by mode began on October 7, 1953 to prepare for the actual detonation, but poor weather condition led to delays. It was also halted on October 8, 1953 when it rained. On this chat date, the winds were favorable and the sky was clear and it was detonated at 21:30 GMT but an hour after the Sun rose. The yield was under 10 kilo-tons of TNT equivalent because that's how much plutonium was in the device if everything possible underwent fission (Not a wild-eyed theoretical fission of every atom, but the ideal amount involving the core part of the device. If every atom underwent fission, you only need 50 grams for each kilo-ton of explosive power. 700 grams of plutonium in Totem underwent fission. In the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 1.2 kilo-grams out of 7 kilo-grams fissioned to yield 22 kilo-tons, although the destructive effect was weaker than the 12 kilo-ton Hiroshima yield due to heavy cloud cover, and US couldn't wait for the clouds to clear because its message interceptors were telling US that Japan was about to surrender unconditionally right after Hiroshima.), and expected to be from two to three kilo-tons with a low of as little as 0.25 kilo-tons, but it was 9.1 kilo-tons of yield or very near the theoretical limit if all ideal amount of the plutonium had undergone chain reaction. (Calculations showed that if only 0.25 kilo-tons equivalent had detonated, then the mushroom cloud will be 1.5 kilo-meters high. Two to three kilo-tons will cause a cloud 3.6 kilo-meters high, while a theoretical limit fission will cause a cloud 4.2 kilo-meters high.) In six minutes, the mushroom cloud reached an altitude of 1.8 kilo-meters when the airplane went through the cloud to collect radio-isotope samples. The three crewmen's film badges showed that they were exposed to the maximum level allowed. The tank left at point blank range was mostly ok, although the films showed that anyone inside the tank would have died in a day. The lack of wind meant that the mushroom shaped cloud retained its distinct shape for a day and could be seen for two and a half days, as the radioactive fallout began falling over the Aboriginal towns of Towsville, then Wallatinna and Welbourn Hill. How many aboriginals died or became chronically sick, no one knows, nor cares, although the survivors did mention the black mist that made them vomit and go blind. They were exposed to up to 80 rems of radiation, while some of the air crew received 50 rems. Despite all the airplanes and vehicles at their disposal, no one bothered going to the aboriginals to warn them to flee, let alone count the number of aboriginals present before they began dying like flies. The less aboriginals there are, the more breathing space for the whites. The second detonation in Operation Totem delayed until October 27, 1953 due to sandstorms and rain. This one had a yield of 7.1 kilo-tons and did not affect Tarcoola, 320 kilo-meters away. Nine more tests were conducted at Maralinga till 1957. In the end, Britain never did provide its knowledge on how to make nuclear reactors to Australia. US will later spread its knowledge on how to make nuclear reactors to everyone such as Communist China and North Korea, but at this point in time, US was trying to prevent proliferation of the atom, and Britain wanted to look good in US view by not sharing its knowledge to Australia. Since that era, the threat of Communism spreading across the world began to subside, while eco-freaks began claiming that atom power is dangerous. Australia is starting to develop various solar power options to meet its power demand and stay away from nuclear power, although the rest of the world that fears the global warming is warming-up to nuclear power. Countries such as China and North Korea are still making the bombs. North Korea doesn't need a lot of technology to make plutonium bombs. Their test device used four kilo-grams of plutonium, right? If they made pure plutonium-239 and covered it with a neutron reflecting shield consisting of 15 centi-meters thick uranium-238 or a few centi-meters of beryllium, you only need four kilo-grams of plutonium-239. If North Korea only extracted the plutonium without separating the various isotopes (Pu-238 through Pu-242. Weapon grade need plutonium-239 at 91 to 96%, while regular light-water reactors produce a mixture that contains 51% plutonium-239 and 28% plutonium-240 with 14% of plutonium-241, 5% plutonium-242 and 2% plutonium-238.), that needs 18 kilo-grams, but compression using high explosives reduce that to only five kilo-grams, while modern explosives and PlayStation computer network can calculate optimal compression to reduce it to four kilo-grams.

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On October 15, 2007 (The 1542 birth of Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, otherwise known as Akbar the Great was one possibility. Born to the Mughal Empire's Emperor Nasiruddin Humayun and newly wedded Hamida Banu Begum at the Rajput fortress in Sind and who went on to become an emperor of Afghanistan who was very tolerant of all other religions, although he then tried to make his own religion that quickly died as soon as he did. However, he was all for promoting art and literature, with nothing to do with today's theme of "death/fear".

The 1915 this date death of German cytologist Theodor Heinrich Boveri who showed that chromosomes are separate entities inside the nucleus of a eukaryote cell is also so far away from today's theme that he's not worth even a slight mention.

A far better candidate was Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cardenas who was born on March 16, 1925 and who died on September 13, 2004. His connection to today's date is that in 1951 this date, he was the co-inventor of the synthesized progestin used for the first oral contraceptive that prevented the birth of unwanted babies. That's sort of a death, but not fear, unless you include the financial fear of having to raise so many babies.

Something that's on the mark for today's theme would be appropriate, similar to the Robert Pickton affair in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Remember that one? The families and friends of women who were killed and slaughtered exactly like pigs begged and pleaded with the local police to investigate Robert's pig farm where their sister, daughter, mother, or friend was last seen, yet the police was so busy eating their doughnuts that they refused to touch the case for two decades. Only after Robert killed 49 women did the police finally decided to go to Robert's farm where human internal organs and skulls were splattered and scattered everywhere. When something like that happened in India, the police were punished for their negligence, but when it happens in Canada, the police was rewarded for capturing a serial killer who could have been arrested decades before he became a serial killer. After all, it's not as if Robert moved anywhere. He slaughtered and skinned the women, the way he slaughtered and skinned his pigs that were sold to the local stores. If you ate Canadian porc chop that's a bit too salty or too tender, well, may be you now know what it feels like, to be a cannibal.)

This is the birthdate in 1936 of Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (Also spelt Tsjikatilo and others), who confessed to killing at least 56 -- convicted on 53 -- women and children (Andrei also raped and mutilated many males, but the Communist governments insist that homosexuality is a western crime that doesn't exist under Communism, so that male victims were ignored, and if the male victim was homosexual, those victims didn't even exist.) from 1978 to 1990 before he was finally caught and executed on February 14, 1994. The books that I would recommend that specifically discuss Andrei isn't available as brand new, but there are other books at amazon.com that discuss him as one of a list of cannibalistic serial killers. Andrei was born in the tiny farming village of Yablochnoye in what is now the country of Ukraine but which was a Russian province back then. Also known as the Butcher of Rostov and The Red Ripper, he grew-up in a place where Joseph Stalin took all the wheat crop from the people, leaving everyone to starve to death. While many people dispute it, cannibalism was very commonly practiced under the situation, as seen in the 21st century news of the drunken Ukrainians who occasionally kill their friends and then cook and eat them, and in mainland China under Mao, where hundreds of millions of people were taken to the very verge of starvation that resulted in butchers selling human corpses on hooks in the cities. If you recall the recently discussed August 30, 2007 article on the North American Algonquian native legend on the Windigo, one way that a human turned into a Windigo was prolonged starvation that led them to consume human meat, in which case, because the person may revert back into a Windigo, the person is killed to save the community. Andrei himself was born shortly after that period, which was soon followed by the war with Germany, and Joseph's collective agriculture that caused nothing but famine. By 1941 at age five, his mother told him that he used to have a big brother, Stephan, seven years ago who disappeared and whom she believed was killed and eaten by the starving neighbors, and how such acts of cannibalism was very common when Andrei was born. Because of the war conditions and the insecurity of his soldier father Roman Chikatilo captured in war, he fantasized about slaughtering German prisoners of war in the forest. Sharing the bed with his mother, he often wetted the bed and his mother would severely beat him and mock him for that -- Andrei may have suffered from a bit of water in his brain that caused it but no tissue samples were preserved to test it. His classmates would also bully him because his father was in a war prison -- perceived by the classmates as a relaxing "holiday" away from the war -- and not fighting for Russia. Even though Andrei was extremely near-sighted and had to wear glasses to see, he refused to wear them for fear that his classmates will bully him even more. Although his father survived the imprisonment by the Germans, Joseph's Russia viewed such survivors as cowards who survived by hiding and running away, leading him and hence Andrei also to be treated as outcasts which made Andrei hate his father even more. While he did relatively well in school, his refusal to wear glasses and understand everything that was written on the black board led to his failure to enter the prestigious Moscow University, although he blamed it on his father. As for sex, he had it once as a 14 years old when he jumped on top of his younger sister Tatyana's 13 years old friend and ejaculated in his pants on the spot as she struggled to free herself, learning about the joy of sex associated with violence and the ridicule he got. After joining the army and getting out in 1960, he moved to the village of Rodionovo-Nesvetayevsky just north of Rostov where he eked a living as a telephone engineer but saving enough money to buy a home where he sent for his parents and sister to move-in. Seeing that he couldn't find a girlfriend, his sister had Andrei married-up with one of her friends, Fayina, in 1963. Having associated violence with sex, he couldn't have erection inside his consenting wife, although she thought that this only meant that he was exceptionally shy. In time she managed to coax him to ejaculate and push it inside her to produce a daughter, Lyudmilla, in 1965, and a son, Yuri, in 1969, who never saw a husband and a father who got angry when provoked, because they didn't know that Andrei was saving that for his victims. In 1970 he also began taking correspondence course on literature from the Rostov Liberal Arts University to get a one-year Bachelor of Art degree in Russian literature, engineering, and Marxism-Leninism in 1971 to become a teacher at the Vocational School number 32 in Novoshakhtinsk. His outward shyness made it impossible to control his pupils who ridiculed him, thinking that Andrei was a punching bag that wasn't storing like a dam that was filling with anger. In the presence of so many children that he found sexually arousing, he began looking at them outside the school toilets, before he made one excuse after another to sexually abuse unwilling children of both sex. When the parents of the pupils complained in 1972, the schools avoided ruining their reputations by firing him and letting another school handle him. Early in such cases, he tried to suck on a sleeping boy at a boy's dormitory who woke-up and seeing a man doing it, several beat him up. Ever since, Andrei decided to carry a knife. Eventually, no school would hire him, and he became a company salesman who can travel around the country. He may have began killing undocumented people at this time, but he found a teaching job at the coal-mine town of Shakhty (It literally means "coal pit".) 75 kilo-meters north-east of the city of Rostov-on-Don in the Russian province of Rostov in 1978 that his first documented killing took place; three days before Christmas (Russia didn't celebrate Christmas because Communism had no belief in any deity.), he lured nine years old girl, Yelena Zakotnova, to an old shack that he secretly bought and tried to rape her. When she struggled to get away, he stabbed her to death and then ejaculated and mutilated her body before desposing of her corpse in the Grushovka River where her corpse was found on Christmas Eve. Even though a witness came forth to say that Yelena was last seen with Andrei before she died and there were other evidences linking the girl's stabbing death to Andrei, Andrei said that he was at home and Fayina confirmed that her husband was with her when Yelena was kidnapped and killed, leading the police to arrest a local 25 years old man who was a known sex-offender and recently paroled from a 10 year jail sentence after serving six years Alexsandr Kravchenko, and executed him in July 1983. (Actually, the whole story in each part is bizarre and convoluted: Alexsandr originally denied that he killed the girl, but his wife was coerced by the police to get her husband to confess, which led Alexsandr to confess in February 1979, and given the death sentence, which was commuted to 15 years in jail. But the dead girl's family went to higher court to reinstate the death sentence in March 1982 which is how he was killed by a firing squad.) Because of Andrei's pedophilism and a lack of teaching job, he was fired as a teacher early in 1981. Unable to get a teaching job, in March 1981 he became a supply purchaser at the local industrial complex of Rostovnerud. This job required him to travel everywhere to secure supplies which was ideal for his sexual lust, which is how he killed 17 years old Larisa Tkachenko (Some books will write it as Tkatsjenko which is much harder for English readers to read.) on September 3, 1981. No documented killing took place till 1982, meaning he may have killed many males but the government brushed them aside because such things don't happen in a Communist government. By 1982, he began killing women and children. He would start a conversation with young vagrants, run-aways, young prostitutes, and anyone of low-caste whose absence isn't immediately noticed at a bus station or a train station and get them to go into the nearby forest with him on any excuse, such as sex in exchange for money or booze. (Their names? It's too many, and there are exceptions such as the much older 44 years old Marta Ryabyenko who was killed on February 21, 1984, but the children among them went by the names such as 13 years old Lyubov Biryuk on June 12, 1982 who was savagely stabbed and discovered as a skeleton only two weeks later. 14 years old Lyuba Volubuyeva on July 25, 1982. Nine years old Oleg Pozhidayev on August 13, 1982. 16 years old Olga Kuprina on August 16, 1982. 10 years old Olga Stalmachenok on December 10, 1982. 15 years old Laura Sarkisyan on June 18, 1983. Seven years old Igor Gudkov on August 8, 1983. 13 years old Irina Dunenkova on August 8, 1983. 14 years old Sergei Markov on December 27, 1983. 17 years old Natalya Shalapinia on January 9, 1984. 10 years old Dmitri Ptashnikov on March 24, 1984. 16 years old Natalia Golosovskaya on August 2, 1984. Tanya Petrosan on May 1984. 11 years old Sveta Petrosyan on May 1984 -- and Sveta's 32 years old mother Tanya Petrosyan who was Andrei's ex-lover. 17 years old Lyudmila Alekseyeva on August 7, 1984. 11 years old Aleksandr Chepel on August 28, 1984. 12 years old Akmaral Seidealieva on August 1984. 13 years old Oleg Makerenkov on May 16, 1987. 13 years old Ivan Bilovetski on July 29, 1987. 16 years old Yura Tereshonok on September 15, 1987. Nine years old Lyosha Voronko on May 14, 1988. 15 years old Zhenya Muratov on July 14, 1988. 16 years old Tatyana Ryzhova on March 1989. Eight years old Sasha Dyakonov on May 11, 1989. 10 years old Lyosha Moiseyev on June 20, 1989. 11 years old Andrei Kravchenko on January 14, 1990. 10 years old Yaroslav Makarov on March 7, 1990. 12 years old Viktor Petrov on July 28, 1990. 11 years old Ivan Fomin on August 1990. 10 years old Aleksei Khobotov on August 28, 1990. 16 years old Vadim Gromov on October 17, 1990. 16 years old Viktor Tishchenko on October 30, 1990.) Andrei also had a pattern to his killings: After they stuffing things in their mouths to suffocate them to death, he'd mutilate their bodies by gorging-out the sex organs, anus, and breasts, raping the corpse, knifing-out their eyes from the sockets, eating sexually arousing parts of their bodies, and cutting off their heads so that none of his victims ever survived. Although the government tried to suppress the news of the killings as something that didn't take place in a Communist state, the number of grotesque killings were running through the rumor gossips. If no Russian will do such a thing as the government insisted, is it a foreigner who's killing their children and young adults? Or because there were reports that they were eaten, was it a legendary werewolf that's at fault? When the number of killings could no longer be suppressed, in 1984, Moscow sent its police headed by Major Mikhail Fetisov to Rostov-on-Don to investigate what was happening in Shakhty, and he had forensic analyst Victor Burakov do the actual investigation. They rounded-up the known sex-offenders and mental patients who were tortured into confessing that they did it, but they were released when the killings continued and they couldn't provide accurate details of the killings. During the period that Andrei killed boys, they decided that it was the work of a homosexual. Since homosexuality was illegal, they went into the clandestine homosexual community and systematically arrested them and tried to coerce each of them of committing this crime. In total, 150,000 people were questioned, coerced, tortured, and they couldn't find Andrei. It turned out that the killer's semen showed the blood-type to be AB (Other types are A, B, and O. However, mybookshop already pointed out that these are the blood types which can cause blood to coagulate, but that there are many other blood types that could have been checked which does not cause blood to coagulate in this era before cheap DNA hybridization tests could be performed in misery Russia. If the other types are checked, it could have proved to be almost as accurate as a crude finger-printing match.), and records show that Andrei was arrested early in 1984 for suspicion for other crimes, but his blood type did not register for the B antigen, leading investigators to conclude that he had type A blood. Shortly after he killed 12 years old Akmaral Seidealieva, his suspicious behavior at a Rostov bus station was noticed and he was questioned on September 14, 1984. Andrei's pedophile background was revealed as well as his proximities to the victims, and several people who lived near his shack did come forth to say that he brought young prostitutes into the shack and also had a habit of loitering around bus and train stations. But the blood type didn't match. The bloody knife and other things that Andrei carried in his bag could still have been used, but the police returned the bag to Andrei's home without checking, leaving insufficient proof to charge him with killing anyone. He was given one year jail sentence, which meant that he went in jail in September 1984, and he was out three months later on December 12, 1984. (Since the serial killer was type AB blood, but Andrei's blood tested as type A, the forensic investigators later stated that Andrei must have semen that expresses the AB type but that his blood must have only type A. It's now known that 20% of the male population falls under this category, but the Russian legal system back then didn't believe it and thought that the forensic investigators must be lying through their teeth to cover-up their bungles.) After he was released from jail and shortly after New Year, he found another supply procuring job at a locomotive factory in nearby Novocherkassk, where he either kept quiet for fear that he'll be discovered or his extensive travel masked all of his killings. After a while, he couldn't forget the sexual lust that he felt and killed two women in August 1985. Because of the same modus operandi of grotesque mutilation, the police assigned Issa Kostoyev to take over the case of the serial killer, and again he simply tried to coerce all the known sex-offenders to confess that they did it. It was later found that Andrei was a volunteer worker for the Department of Internal Affairs who "helped" find the serial killer, himself, through which Andrei was gaining valuable knowledge on the surveillance method and hence how to avoid it. Since Andrei could see the police patrolling around Rostov, he took note of their behaviors and decided to kill people in other towns. Among the known killings, he killed 13 years old boy Oleg Makerenkov of the town of Revda that he went on a business trip. That's how he also killed 13 years old Ivan Bilovetski when he went to Zaporozhye, and 16 years old Yura Tereshonok when he went to Leningrad. The reports of mutilated corpses near the Leskhoz train station led the police to increase their patrols of that place using a tactic in which big train stations were patrolled by uniformed police officers and smaller stations were patrolled by undercover officers, while young female officers dressed as prostitutes and homeless wandered in and out around where the corpses were found. During 1990, he killed seven boys and two women. Among them, on November 6, 1990, Andrei killed Sveta Korostik (The name is almost ironic to me, because it's similar to the name of my mother's dear friend.) in the forest near Leskhoz station whose tongue and nipples he ate on the spot. After he returned to the train station, under-cover police officer sergeant Igor Rybakov saw Andrei coming out of the forest and wiping sweat from his face. It looked suspicious to Igor because the only reason why anyone would be entering a forest at that time of the season was mushroom hunting, which is a very popular pass-time for Russians. But Andrei wasn't dressed like a forest hiker, and he had a sports-bag which was ill-shaped to stuff with mushrooms. But his formal clothing was dirty and had blood marks on his cheeks and ear which would be expected if he did go mushroom hunting. Although Igor checked his identification papers, he didn't have any reason to suspect that Andrei had Sveta's severed breasts inside the sports-bag and was let go. Igor did file a report of Andrei's location and filed it, and then the police found two corpses 10 meters apart in the forest from where Andrei came, and one corpse was determined to be killed on the day Andrei came out from the forest. Since Andrei's blood type was different, they had no proof to arrest him, but a check with his employer found that he wasn't at work on those days when the seriall killer's victims were killed, so that he was put on video-surveillance. On November 20, 1990, he left home with a gallon container of beer. (Beer wasn't available in small individual cans and bottles in Russia back then. Even the gallon containers were hard to come-by in a country where apples are as big as golf balls.) The undercover officers video-taped him wandering the city, trying to entice children to drink his beer. Then he entered a caf, where he ordered half-a-pint of beer. This behavior was after trying to get children to drink the beer that he had made the officers so suspicious that they arrested him after he went back onto the street and taken to the office of Mikhail Fetisov at the regional headquarters of the Department of Internal Affairs. His bag had rope, towels (to stuff into the victims' mouths to prevent them from screaming and to suffocate them to death), petroleum jelly, and a kitchen knife. Upon examining Andrei, they found that he had a broken finger bone and a bite mark that was made by human teeth. Any other Russian officer at this point would have tortured him into confessing, like the 150,000 other suspects before him, but this was different. Andrei was told that he was a sick man who needed medical help, which led Andrei to believe that if he confessed, then he can get-away by pleading innocent due to insanity, so that when they sent-in someone introduced as a sympathetic psychologist, Andrei began confess about getting sexual satisfaction from killing and mutilation, and also his cannibalism. Since that wasn't enough proof, the psychologist kept asking for more details until November 30, 1990 when Andrei finally began indicating where the 56 corpses were buried, taking till December 5, 1990 to explain it, far more than the 36 victims in the police file. Three victims were buried and their remains couldn't be found, but he was charged for those whose remains could be found. Since several of the victims' relatives worked in prison and raping and killing children is a taboo that's punished by death at the hands of the other prisoners, he was kept under video-surveillance at all time of the day and night. In court, that began on April 14, 1992, he acted like a raving maniac, so severe that he had to be put inside a cage, and shocking everyone who saw him, including his wife, although back in his prison when he thought no one was watching him, he acted calm and normal, although he wrote anonymous letters to the media about the lack of freedom to prisoners. He may have been trying to claim that he was innocent due to insanity, but the judge didn't buy that argument and saw him fit to stand trial. Then his lawyer Marat Khabibulin tried to convince the judge that all the evidences are circumstancial because Andrei was tortured into confessing where the victims were buried. The judge refused to buy that argument also. At this point, Andrei became quiet and argued that he was the product of his traumatic childhood from the Ukraine famine of 1932 to 1933 -- three years before he was born, which is also why he was almost two meters tall -- but the judge didn't buy that argument either. Although the trial ended in a guilty verdict on 52 of 53 killings in July, the sentencing was postponed until October 15, 1992, when he was sentenced to death for each of the 52 offenses. On February 14, 1994, he was executed with one bullet to the back of his head, which is far more mercy than Andrei displayed to any of his victims. And is that how Shakhty is remembered outside Russia? Not really. Shakhty, whose current population is slightly under a quarter million people is remembered for the Shakhty Trial of 1928, that you probably never heard of.

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Death/fear

Death and fear is gripping China, Japan, and US, as the fear of North Korean underground nuclear detonation is rumored to occur sometime this weekend. But they have nothing to fear from the actual detonation. North Korea will make sure that the underground detonation will produce the least amount of radioactive gas release as possible. Why would they? After all, the radioactive gas composition and the seismographic information reveals whether it was a uranium bomb, a plutonium bomb, or another. It also reveals if it can be made compact enough to be stuffed onto a missile, how many they can make per year, and how long the delivery range will be, and where the nuclear fuel to make it came from. You can even deduce the expected shelf-life, and guess whether it can be used to make a hydrogen-bomb. With so much riding on it, North Korea may even make special vents to divert all the radioactive gases away from public scrutiny. As for that mushroom cloud that appeared not that many months ago in North Korea that turned out to be non-radioactive in nature, it was likely a rehearsal for this event. It's also a safe bet that just as Israel won't reveal that they have nuclear missiles until they have a few hundred stockpiled, North Korea won't start launching them at US until they have 50 or more. Remember, the production of a nuclear plasma corridor from North Korea to US over the Arctic or the Pacific Ocean will hide the subsequent missiles from all sensor arrays, while knocking-out all the unprotected computers and even cellular telephones. US will become as blind as a bat with ear-muffs. The actual number of deaths isn't much, but, oh~~~ the fear and pandemonia that they can create, as everyone on the west coast try to escape to the east. Head east young man, and old man, and any aged woman.

On October 15, 2006 (You know, you're probably stupid. mybookshop already mentioned that Nellie Bly [real name Elizabeth "Pink" Jane Cochran] wrote expos,s on the corruption in US by writing it as a Mexican problem in the hope that smart Americans will realize that the expos,s are really about corrupt US, and that the "Madam Butterfly" opera wasn't about crazy Japanese and their weird ways, but the crazy English and their weird ways who were given the cosmetic label of "Japanese". You think that a story about mistreated North American natives is just a historic story and nothing else, right? Just substitute the words and they turn into current events which are happening now. There were many deaths in the past, and unless you learn from them, there are many hidden fears that will come true as deaths in the future.)

1880: Chief Victorio and his brave Apache men were killed by the treacherous US army on this date. Actually, the Apache didn't call themselves Apache, no more than the Japanese called themselves Japanese and their unit of currency isn't "yen". It was likely the Zuni name for the Navajo tribes meaning "enemy", which is why the early Spaniards who passed through what is now the New Mexico state in US called them "Apachis de Nabaju", meaning the "enemy of Navajo". Or, it may be the local Yuma tribe word meaning "fighting men". The Apache called themselves as Inde, and its variations such as N'de, Tinde ("Tinde" is also a word used as in Jicarilla Tinde to describe one of the six major groups comprising the Apache; Llanero Tinde, meaning the plains people [who hunted buffaloes], and Hoyero Tinde, meaning the mountain people [who planted and grew corn and other produce]. Let's explain the other five major groups of Apache, although since the time the white man came, they were only loosely grouped by whites as "Apache" and they were just family tribes based on a matriarchy. Chiricahua tribes were the most aggressive, living in the current Mexican sates of Chihuahau and Sonora, as well as what is now south-western New Mexico and south-eastern Arizona. There is no higher government system and they're just based on family kinsmen, or rather kinswomen. Kiowa lived in Texas plains, eastern New Mexico, and Oklahoma, although they were originally from the Missouri River before they were forced south in 1650 by other natives who were in turn pushed away by other natives and so forth who were pushed away by the whites who were colonizing and committing genocides in the eastern coast of US. Lipan, who were also called Nide buffalo hunters. Mescalero were called that after the mescal plants that they roasted and ate. And then the Pinal Coyotero in eastern Arizona.), and Dine, which means "people" in their language. They originally came from the north, with archaeological evidences of their settlement in the region around what is now Mexico and New Mexico from 850 AD. (It doesn't mean that they didn't come here until 850 AD. It only means that the oldest archaeological find dated so far is circa 850 AD. If anyone cares to finance extensive digs, they might manage to find remains from 10,000 years ago and more. It's like the old European archaeologists who dug in their "backyards", and upon finding old bones, concluded that humanity evolved in Europe. Although Richard Leakey found older bones in Africa to shift the origin there, Europeans are still digging in their "backyards" and finding 300,000 years old remains.) There are signs of extensive trades of finely crafted art objects with other natives across US, indicating that they may not have been "savages", but indeed made huge cities like their cousins in Central and South America. (There were always stories of North American natives living in cities with a population of a million people, just like South Americans whose huge roads became covered in jungles when the white man's diseases wiped them out. It was only a couple of years ago that the small South American tribes were found to be living on geometrically situated locations demarcing those huge roads, but the North American native remains were long destroyed by the original white farmers who re-used all the construction materials for their purposes, although some of those farmers told their children of what used to exist and they were eventually verified by a few archaeologists.) The ancient trade routes of the Apache with their neighbors were disrupted when the Spanish came in the late 1500's, at which time the Apache tribes were subsisting on buffalo meat. When the Spanish declared that the region called New Mexico to be their colony in 1598, the Apache became hostile, and who wouldn't be when foreigners come and claim that the natives are now foreigners? Although the white man's diseases wiped out many untold millions, the surviving natives were still pushed away to make breathing room for the encroaching whites, which is how the Comanche natives came into the Apache territories in the 1700's, making the Apache food source scarce and forcing them to raid food from others to survive. The Apache were different from other tribes such as the Papago, Pima and the Pueblo tribes who subsisted on farming or fishing, and had no skill to resist enslavement. When the Spanish came to capture these natives to work as slaves in the silver mines in Chihuahua in northern Mexico, the docile tribes didn't offer much resistance. But the Apache tribes, used to hunting buffaloes, did resist the enslavement, taking the Spanish cattles and horses, as well as their fire-arms and their own slaves with them. cochise (Born circa 1812, died June 9, 1874) was one of the chief of a small band of Chiricahua tribe called the Chokonen band who formed the resistance. It was during this period circa 1825 that Victorio was born (Actual name is Beduiat or Biduya) into the Eastern Chiricahua tribal band in New Mexico. Who were his parentage? Some claim that he had Mexican -- in other words Spanish -- blood, but who can say? "North America natives" came in all the colors of humanity, and their northern brethrens likely have Viking blood, while some southern ones have Phoenician and Jewish blood. As Victorio grew into a man, he rode with fellow Apache men such as Geronimo (June 16, 1829 - February 17, 1909) who developed a life-long hatread of Mexicans after their soldiers killed his family.) Cochise's tribe was among the first to feel the pressure of the white immigrants in 1831. Where he lived was mostly stolen from Mexico by US in 1850, and Cochise was heading his band at the Apache Pass. Then on January 27, 1861, an Apache group stole a rancher John Ward's 20 cattles and his Mexican mistress' 12 years old eye-eyed boy, Mickey Free. Or so John reported to the Fort Buchanan commander Lieutenant Colonel Pitcain Morrison, since John was a drunkard who was never a trustful person, and he only worried about his lost cattles, not his mistress' son. There were evidences that a Pinal Coyotero tribal men did it, John put the blame on Cochise and five others who were living a few miles away. Pitcain ordered 24 years old stupid second lieutenant George N. Bascom to investigate. ("Stupid" is the right word, since he graduated military academy in 1858, second in standing, from the bottom of the barrel of marks. He couldn't tell an Apache from a Chinese if they were standing next to each other.) George and the men under him didn't bother following the trail of horse and cattle tracks and assumed that whatever John said must be correct. Reporting back to Pitcain that it was Cochise's band, Pitcain gave George 54 men and Antonio the interpreter. By February 3, 1861, George was at Apache Pass and joined by 13 more soldiers, and sent word that he wanted to talk with Cochise on what appeared to be a routine patrol. Soon Cochise came on February 4, 1861 with his wife and two children, as well as his brother and two nephews on the assumption that this was just a courtesy call. He soon found that he was being interrogated about a theft and kidnapping, not a patrol chat, and the Apaches regard lying as high treason. When Cochise denied that he knew anything about it, George accused Cochise of lying, which was an even bigger insult to the Apache. Still, Cochise realized from the interrogation that the culprits were the Pinal Coyotero who were about 80 miles away and offered to help secure the release of the boy. Stupid George, on the other hand, assumed that all Apaches were governed by Cochise who can just give a command and everyone obeys him, and had his men surround the tent within which they were talking, declaring that Cochise, his family, and relatives will be kept captive until the cattle and child were returned. It's like assuming that if the North Koreans made nuclear bombs, then you can threaten to destroy China to prevent the North Koreans from detonating one. But those are the kind of stupid politicians making-up US, including the supposedly genius Ms. Rice who can't accomplish anything without heavy armaments to kill people. Cochise saw the futility in the conversation and slit the tent canvas with his knife and fled. George didn't care that Cochise escaped, since Cochise' wife and children were still his prisoners. Cochise will continue to use diplomacy and explain that the Pinal Coyotero were not under his command, but stupid George continued to insist that Cochise order the Pinal Coyotero to release the boy and the cattles, backed with fire power. Seeing that George will not listen to rational reason, on February 6, 1861, he captured a wagon train that had three innocent Americans and stage coach driver and offered to exchange them for his family. Cochise knew that these three people played no part in the fight, but as long as George was acting stupid, he was going to act in kind. After there was no response by February 8, 1861, Cochise attacked with his men and reinforcements from nearby friendly bands, including Geronimo. After futher attempt at negotiation proved futile and Cochise heard that George was sending for more soldiers, he decided to torture and kill his hostages before leaving the remains for George to see that they discovered on February 18, 1861. Unable to find Cochise, George released Cochise's wife and children, but hanged four other relatives, which started a decade of rein of terror by Cochise as he reacted violently against stupid George, by joining force with his father-in-law Mangas Coloradas, scaring away the nearby ranchers' cattles and killing whites. Both the Apache and white settlers alike suffered high casualty, because Pitcain never tried to apologize for sending stupid George to do a man's job, and because Pitcain was busy with the American Civil War that was dividing the southern states from the northern states. But as the Apache side began to gain, California governor John Downey sent an army headed by General James Carleton for the final solution regarding Apaches. Although Cochise and 500 men defeated the 3,000 strong soldiers with howitzers at the Battle of Apache Pass on July 15, 1862, Cochise's father-in-law was hit on the chest by private John Teal (Taken to Janos in Mexico, where they forced a Mexican doctor to remove the bullet.) James ordered Fort Bowie to be constructed at Apache Pass, while General Joseph West took over the Department of New Mexico leadership from General Edward Canby in September 1863. (Also note that in 1863, Arizona was cut out of the territory of New Mexico.) Since the Apaches were too smart to be fought fair and square, Joseph used the same old standby that the whiteman used that never failed: He decided to use treachery and lie. He asked for a diplomatic talk with Cochise's father-in-law that was accepted on January 17, 1863 at Pinos Altons. When he came, he was arrested, because Apaches don't lie and hence believe in the honesty of all others, even known liars such as the whites. (Conversely all liars assume everyone around them to be liars, while all thieves assume everyone around them to be thieves.) He was sent to Fort McLane on Minbres River, where Joseph said in no uncertain terms that he was to die: Two guards made their bayonets red-hot in a fire to sear Cochise's father-in-law's sleeping feet. When he woke-up in pain, he was shot dead to make sure that he knew that he was going to die, to make death even more painful. Joseph then made reports that Cochise' father-in-law tried to escape and was shot to death. James then hired Kit Carson the famous scout who began ambushing. By the end of spring, the Mescalero bands tired of the fight and surrendered. Others were hounded until they surrender, although Cochise remained steadfast against the stupids and morons who were hounding him. This is how it remained until 1871 when General George Crook took over and hired other Apaches as spies and scouts to capture Cochise by September 1871. None of this has anything to do with Victorio, but not much of what Victorio is known until this time. Victorio was said to be with Geronimo in Mexico in the 1850's, and he probably joined Cochise's father-in-law by 1862. It was after the death in 1863 that Victorio began to emerge as a tribal leader and eventually a chief of a band of about 300 Mescaleros and Chiricahuas. Maybe he wasn't a chief, but US soldiers who fought against the band who appeared to be directed by Victorio regarded him as a smart tactician. Although Cochise won't surrender until 1871 (then escape when he was ordered out of the Tularosa Reserve in New Mexico that was guaranteed to them under a treaty, and continue fighting in 1872 until General Oliver O. Howard drew another treaty that led Cochise to surrender and retire in an Arizona reserve, where he died naturally.), Victorio's band of 300 that included about 100 men and boys who can fight were persuaded to stop fighting by 1869 and remain near Fort Craig in New Mexico while they awaited a native reserve for them near Ojo Caliente (Meaning "Warm Springs" for the warmth and the bountiful water.). Here Victorio remained quiet until April 20, 1877, when his band was ordered to move to the San Carlos Reserve in Arizona. Victorio protested, because his crops were not even ready to harvest and his band will starve without the food. Still, Victorio did as he was told and went to the Reserve, which the locals call "Hell's Forty Acres", because the temperature was 40 degrees Centigrade in the shade in the summer, and nothing grows in the parched desert. It was obvious to anyone else that Victorio was kicked out of fertile soil that the whites coveted and sent to a desert to die. Victorio made many appeals to US government to be returned to the fertile land but to no avail. Then Poinsenay, an Apache chief who was making raids into Mexico told him how to survive by raiding with him in Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas. In Texas, he raided between Fort Davis and El Paso, where Colonel Edward Hatch's Ninth United States Cavalry and Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson's Tenth United States Cavalry hunted them. In August 1880, Benjamin heard that Victorio was heading from Rio Grande to Guadalupe Mountains, Benjamin hoped to catch them at Rattlesnake Springs. After a three hour battle, Victorio fled west to Carrizo Mountains and Benjamin lost all track. Texas Rangers and Lieutenant George W. Baylor, as well as 100 volunteer militia did hunt for Victorio in Mexico in September 1880, but Mexican Colonel Joaqu-n Terrazas kicked out this unauthorized excursions into Mexico. In early October 1880, Joaquin traced Victorio to a mountain that's 60 miles in Mexico at the Tres Castillas and south of El Paso in Texas. On this chat date in 1880, Joaquin and his men headed by Juan Mata Ortiz killed Victorio and his men and boys old enough to fight, as well as older women capable of holding a knife, leaving alive only some -- not all, just some -- young women and very young children who were taken to Chihuahua City as slaves (the place that enslaves natives for use as silver miners). Some rumors are that Victorio killed himself rather than being taken prisoner, while others say that it was Joaquin's men who killed him, while others claim that a native scout killed him. After Victorio died, his 74 years old uncle, Nana, took over the leadership of the 17 surviving men and boys. At first, he went with the lucky few women and small children who escaped, back to Siera Madres in Chihuahua, where he gathered all willing men and boys able to fight. For two months, he and 40 fighters fought against an army of 1,400 with his desire to revenge the death of his grand-son keeping him stronger and smarter than anyone. He and Victorio's warrior sister Lozen soon joined with Geronimo, but people who obey a code of ethic can't win against a treacherous enemy who knows no boundary. When Geronimo surrendered in 1886, Nana was also surrendered as a symbol that they will fight no more. Nana's last regret was that he had to die a natural death, rather than fight to the end as did Victorio. As for Victorio's sister Lozen, she was escorting a mother who just gave birth and the baby to the Mescalero Apache Reserve when she heard of Victorio's death. She joined Nana for the battle of revenge before she too was captured and surrendered. She was taken to the prison at Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama state, where she and many other prisoners died of tuberculosis in 1887 or later.

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Death/fear

New York subway riders are still riding in fear of death, while those visiting the Washington Monument are relieved that their fear was unfounded as the telephoned threat turned-out to be fake. You can see that "death and fear" reflected in the television shows that Hollywood is producing: "Charmed" about three witches who sends evil characters and themselves into the world of the death where they seem to live just as well as in the world of the life. "Ghost Whisperer", "Buffy the Vampire Hunter", "Touched by an Angel". Aren't they basically the same thing? That "life" still continues, even after "death", so don't fear death. "Lost" is also a strange story as strange as "Invasions" that tries to say that there are ghostly figures out there? It's just like the Roman Empire: When the Empire was going well, ghosts and goblins were mischievous creatures, but when the Empire was starting to crumble, the ghosts and goblins turned into scary and fearful creatures of death. Hollywood fears that US is crumbling.

Back in June 2003, when George W. Bush met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and foreign minister Nabil Shaath, he told them that God told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and that God also ordered him to create a palestinian state... to be broadcast soon in Britain in a three part series titled "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs" on October 10, 2005, October 17, 2005, and October 24, 2005. If it's what George believes, then it means that he's insane. US really has to fear about death when your head of state doesn't fear your deaths at the hand of righeous fighters who are fighting a mad man.

After Sony patched the PlayStationPortable so that it cannot play free games, some people made patches to circumvent it, but someone made a malware known as Trojan.PSPBrick that claimed to be such a patch, but it deleted essential files and caused the death of your console. As long as you didn't think it was cool to bypass the official games and cheat, you have nothing to fear.

On October 15, 2005 (King Henry Tudor VIII of England -- born on June 28, 1491 at Greenwich and crowned on June 24, 1509 -- brought nothing but death and fear for all of his brides, starting with Katherine of Argon who was born on December 16, 1485 and marrying Henry on June 11, 1509, declared null and void on May 23, 1533, so that his marriage to Anne Boleyn can be declared valid on May 28, 1533. But Henry's life wasn't only about death and fear. For example, he loved bowling so much that on this chat date in 1520, he ordered bowling lanes installed at Whitehall. [mybookshop already mentioned that it was played in Egypt, thousands of years ago -- Flinders Petrie found what appears to be bowling ball and pins in a child's grave from 3200 BC in an uncatalogued collection from the 1930's -- and not invented around 300 AD in Germany as asserted by German historian William Pehle, with the only squabble coming from the definition of "bowling" in terms of the size and weight of the ball, how many pins at what distance are knocked-down by what mode of launching the ball. {If you argue that all the current criteria must be met to be called "bowling", then I can argue that if I plug one of the three holes in the bowling ball since all professional bowlers only use two holes just before they launch them, then I can calling it "howarding ball", and if I replace the holes with a handle that can be held with all fingers, then I can call it "helening ball", and if I construct the ball out of 220 pounds or 100 kilo-grams of lead so that it must be launched by slamming it with your entire body, then I can call it "jacquing ball" and any other nonsense.} England's King Edward III outlawed it in 1366 because the soldiers played it to the exclusion of military practice.] Before he died and succeeded by his nine years old Edward VI on January 28, 1547, who was left with a total wealth of 600,000 pounds. [A staggering sum for a rich man in that era, but not that big for the king who owned England.]

A modern equivalent of such death and fear may be the 75 years old man in McKinney, Texas, whom on this chat date in 1966 drove four times on the wrong side of the road, four hit&run, and caused six accidents, all within a span of 20 minutes, resulting in 10 traffic tickets by an exceptionally kind officer who really should have arrested and locked him up for the community's safety. [Lest you think women are better drivers, the infamous 55 years old Linda Sajero of mile-high city of Denver, Colorado, US with 38 years of driving experience so far had about 117 accidents that resulted in the destruction of 41 of her cars and $350,000 worth of property damages, and killing 18 dogs, 11 cats, and nine deers to spread fear to all who live in Denver, or who go there for the meetings. At least her husband Tom says that Linda doesn't drink, sleep on the wheel, and makes sure that the car is in good working order, even though she has driven off a 304 feet high cliff, drive on a highway that has no car nor trees except one that she drives into and destroy her car, smash through the front of their home and come out into the backyard. Linda used-up Tom's father's big inheritance through all these accidents that resulted in few traffic tickets because she doesn't kill other people, so that their tiny tavern that barely makes money is all they have to survive, but she refuses to stop driving. Hasn't anyone realized that she is likely suffering some sort of dyslexia?])

Rest In Peace to 1945: Pierre Laval, French Prime Minister during the German occupation of France who was executed by firing squad at the Fresnes Prison in Paris. Pierre was born to a caf, owner on June 28, 1883 in Chateldon, Auvergnac, France. After he received his degrees in law and natural sciences, he became a member of the Socialist SFIO and elected to the parliament in 1903, and then a lawyer in 1909 who defended leftists in general and unionists in specific. He remained out of fighting during World War I because he was in the government as deputy for Aubervilliers in 1914, and because he claimed to be a pacifist who sought negotiating peace to end the War, before he was defeated in the 1919 election when there was no War that he had to fight. He left the Socialist Party in 1920 to become the mayor of Aubervilliers from 1923 to 1944, during which time he was re-elected as deputy in 1924, miniser of public works in 1925, a senator in 1927, and minister of labor in 1930, although he became a right winger conservative in the Chamber of Deputies and then the Prime Minister from January 27, 1931 to February 6, 1932 when he was defeated. (But he made the Time magazine's Man of the Year for 1931.) He became the minister of foreign affairs in 1934 before he became the Prime Minister again from June 7, 1935 to January 22, 1936. During this time, Italy owned somalia and Eritrea in Africa but didn't own Eritrea's neighoring country of Ethiopia; until Benito Mussolini came into power and sent General Pietro Badoglio with 400,000 soliders into Ethipia in October 1935, resulting in the conquest of the capital city of Addis Ababa by May 1936 which led Ethipian Emperor Haile Selassie to flee to Britain. The League of Nations, which was the United Nations of that era imposed sanctions on Italy, but France and Britain didn't want to impose sanctions. Instead, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin appointed Samuel Hoare as the new British Secretary of State for Foreign affairs in June 1935, resulting in Samuel and Pierre secretly meeting together to resolve the situation by giving Italy the 2/3 of the northern fertile Ethiopia and allowing Ethiopia and its Emperor to keep the mountainous south and a narrow strip of land that allows access to the sea in what was called the Hoare-Laval pact. Italy was about to accept this condition, but the press got a wind of it and published it on December 10, 1935, resulting in condemnation from the world that this rewards Italy's aggression. Stanley distanced himself from the Pact and forced Samuel to take responsibility by having him resign, as did Pierre in the following January. (With that option closed, Winston Churchill became the new British Prime Minister, send General Andrew Cunningham into Africa in February 1941 who attacked the Italians and conquered Addis Ababa on April 6, 1941, resulting in the Italians surrendering on May 17, 1941, so that the Emperor can return to his country under conditions that were acceptable to the critics.) Pierre started a media empire that encompassed newspapers and radio while the French government went further changes with the resignation of the French President Albert Lebrun on July 11, 1940 and Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain as the chief of state in the Vichy government on July 11, 1940, during which time as the Germans were in France, so Pierre used his media empire to spread good propaganda about the Vichy government and Henri-Philippe who was given close to the power of a dictator by July 12, 1940. As reward, Henri-Philippe was made the Foreign Minister and Vice-Premier on July 14, 1940, which also made Pierre the second in command. Pierre quickly went through the "if you can't fight them, join them" complex and became friendly with the German ambassador for France, Otto Abetz, including prohibiting Jews from holding public positions on October 19, 1940. On October 21, 1940 through October 24, 1940, Pierre, Henri-Philippe, and Adolf Hitler met to discuss joining forces, and Pierre also talked with Hermann Goering on how to conquer Europe, together. Some politicians began opposing this war-mongering way, which led Henri-Philippe to use him as a scape-goat and arrested Pierre on December 13, 1940, although Otto sent the German army to free Pierre. Since Henri-Philippe wasn't against conquering Europe, together, and was only swayed by the public mood to arrest Pierre, Henri-Philippe quickly made-up with Pierre on January 18, 1941. Unfortunately for Pierre, on August 27, 1941, student Paul Collette fired four bullets into Pierre while Pierre was seeing-off the French army in Operation Barbarossa, but survived. (German Lieutenant Colonel Karl Holz wasn't as lucky on October 20, 1941 when he was successfully killed in Nantes, France.) Although Vichy France told US acting Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, that it was remaining neutral on February 27, 1942, Otto pressured Henri-Philippe to make Pierre the new French leader on April 18, 1942, after Pierre had recovered from the bullet wounds. At this time, France was in a precarious balance, of either resisting and hence have the occupying German army massacre everyone and become an occupied territory, or maintain some semblance of an independent country by collaborating with Germany, so he chose the latter. Among the orders Pierre gave was to round-up all Jews of French nationality, and also announcing on radio on April 22, 1942 on sending three skilled workers to work in German factories in exchange for every freed French prisoners of war that Germany held -- once the French workers who voluntarily went to Gemany told their friends and relatives back home how bad the working conditions were, they refused to go, requiring Pierre to force them to go. By September 1942, the Gestapo was also given permission to hunt remaining French Resistance in the unoccupied part of France, and then cut diplomatic relation with US on November 9, 1942. By January 1943, Pierre created the Milice, a military-police force under Joseph Damard which hunted-down Jews and leftists who were sent to Germany concentration camps. Come D-Day Normandy, Pierre moved his pro-Germany French government to Belfort, then Sigmaringen in Germany by August 1944, but since the allies were making quick in-roads, he fled to Spain in May 1945, by which time he used his lawyer skills to prepare a superb defense to justify what he did as being the only option for France, but Spain didn't want the losing side's leader, so he was deported and ended-up in Austria, where he surrendered to US force before he was handed over to the new French government headed by General Charles De Gaulle on July 30, 1945, under whom he was charged with violating state security and aiding the enemy, a treason, (meaning anyone who happened to have lost the war) by the High Court of Justice, on October 5, 1945. Although everyone knew that Pierre was being made into the sacrificial goat, Pierre conducted himself well and used patriotism for his country for his opportunistic policies in a very biased trial where the jury members were heckling him. ("CCCP" may be the Russian equivalent of "USSR", but CCCP is also the French law that presumes everyone to be guilty, until proven innocent. It's the opposite of US law.) Pierre refused to attend court on October 7, 1945, so that he was sentenced to death in absentia on October 9, 1945, under pressure from Charles who wanted to hold Pierre responsible for everything wrong with France. Pierre tried to kill himself with poison a few hours before his execution hour, but he was saved, so that he could be well enough to be executed on this chat date in 1945. As for Henri-Philippe, he was sentenced to death but was immediately commuted to life imprisonment on August 15, 1945, by Charles.

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Trivia->death/fear

Here's a trivial note in case the theme is that, and not death: Birds and mammals contract their pupils in the eyes while facing an enemy, but dilate their pupils toward loved ones. As a result, a black iris gives the impression that the pupils are fully dilated. That's why in the ancient middle-east countries, women used plant extracts to dilate their pupils. By dilating their pupils, it meant that the women found the men whom they looked at attractive, hence the men in turn found those women attractive because the women found the men attractive. Does that make sense to you? The men don't just go searching for attractive women. It's the women who choose which men they find attractive by dilating their pupils, and the men are just being invited into those women, even when the men claim that they're the ones selecting attractive women. By dilating their puils artificially, the women attract men they don't find attractive, but who may have money or social clout that the women find attractive.

Researchers from the NSW Department of Primary Industries in Australia and Rothamsted Research in Britain has a new method to bring death to the insect. It's a dual weapon consisting of enzyme inhibitors to turn off their defensive insecticide resistance mechanism and an insecticide to achieve almost 100% certain death among cotton bollworm and silverleaf whitefly.

Before, it used to be the candles with lead wicks that was the deadly danger, and now there are pendants and other trinkets from India that are made of lead that causes stomach problems and anemia when children swallowed them. As global competition bring more cheap products from around the world, not only do they cause the death of local jobs in the developed world, but also the death of local children in the developed world. If you think you're saving a bundle by buying electrical parts that cost several dollars in regular stores at a dollar-stores, think again. The part may have disqualified the government-imposed quality standard tests and were rejected, so the importer may have decided to dump them at a loss to a dollar-store to recover some of the cost. Or the importer can sell them to some shady factory in the Caribbean or South America which re-label them as a locally produced good, and a dollar-store owner traveled to those stores to re-import them. (That's how I bought many pounds of bubble-gums for Halloween, even though I thought I was buying sugar candies. In hindsight, Brazil is more famous for gum trees than sugar.)

There's a warning going out from Swedish researchers that the phthalates in plastic can be responsible for allergy of unknown origin in children. Carl-Gustaf Bornehag et al Karlstad University in Sweden was alarmed that the homes of allergic children had far higher concentrations of butyl benzyl phthalate than homes of non-allergic children. It's like the similar alarms going out in US that the products for making teflon is responsible for producing defective children without nostril and other defects. It goes to show what mybookshop has been saying, that we literally have millions of chemicals that were synthesized that did not exist when humanity evolved (It's not some metaphorical exaggeration; my chemistry professor mentioned it years ago, and projected that there will be another million or more by the turn of the century. It's also why the latest Merck's Index abbreviates so many properties of the most common chemicals to fit more chemicals into the same number of pages.). Since teflon was made in the 1930's, and no teratogenic property check was necessary for chemicals made before 1981, it explains why we have so many cancer, allergy, diabetes and other rare diseases which are so common death-makers in the 21st century.

The famous St. Bernard dogs that rescued thousands of stranded travelers through the Swiss snow haven't saved anyone in half-a-century because of improving rescue equipments, so the last Augustinian monks are selling them (to anyone but the Chinese who love this fast-growing dog's meat, so they obviously don't want to sell these to the South Koreans who like to prolong the torture of millions of dogs before they're put to death each year). To make sure that the dogs are well cared for, and so that the tourists can see the dogs in the summer, they want to sell the dogs to people who will bring the dogs back to them in the summer. (That means that the Japanese are out, even though the Japanese are disgusted by the dog-eating Chinese and the dog-torturing South Koreans, since they're on the other side of the world.)

Oklahoma is recalling travel brochures that invite people from around the world to see Oklahomans perform the famous cow dung tossing contest in the town of Beaver. If you have the "2005 Annual Events Guide" then return them, because they're also full of spelling errors and other faults that give the impression that Oklahomans are brain-dead. (Who knows? Maybe it's a good representation of the life in Oklahoma that's worth keeping?)

Mass-killer Anterio Manica from Brazil is out of jail because he was elected as the mayor of his town, Unai, near Brasilia. Anterio had killed four government officials investigating his use of slave labor, but that's the typical life in Brasil, where merchants have always used off-hour police officers to kill street kids near their stores, especially if they're dark-skinned. It's also similar to Venezuela, where the peasants worship the criminal bosses.

On October 15, 2004 (I wonder what the theme was for 1998 or 1999? If the year 2000 theme of trivia is used, then it's worthwhile mentioning that...

As a trivial note, mainland Communist China's Colonel Yang Liwei unfurled a tiny four by six inch United Nations flag that was provided by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs during a live broadcst while in orbit around Earth in his Shenzhou-5 space craft. The larger four by six feet UN flag was too big to open in orbit, but both were given back to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on May 20, 2004, a day after he arrived in New York city to begin his tour of US, including the Kennedy Space Center in Miami. The entire tour was initiated by the Florida Spaceport Authority, but US government would rather trivialize it, because the Chinese space program is so closely tied-into its thermo-nuclear armed military that has begun a technological modernization effort after it became hysterical by how easily US defeated the Iraqi army back in 1991. Up till then, China thought that its millions of soldiers can intimidate the much smaller US technologically driven military force, but the First Gulf War demonstrated that even technology can easily overwhelm millions of soldiers. With the help of the flood of money -- a big thanks go to all those US consumers who buy Chinese trinkets -- China embarked on a rapid technologization of its soldiers into a military force, and rockets are just part of that force. After all, manned rockets were pretexts used by both Russia and US for developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the Chinese rockets are just as closely knitted into its military force. But diplomacy dictates that US can't just say to China; "Work together in outer space? Don't you mean you want us to give you Chinese the technologies to destroy us?" So the excuse used is that China's space program isn't mature enough. After all, the space craft borrows heavily on the Russian space craft that it copies. And sending men into orbit is becoming fait-accompli, as space technology is becoming so mature in the 21st century that civilian companies in US and even that frozen tundra of Canada are making them. Liwei met various people, including Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 Moon mission, but otherwise the entire tour received the least publicity possible. There's just one hitch to the civilian space projects: Burt Rutan publicized that laughing gas and rubber is not only an environmentally friendly and stable rocket fuel [meaning that they can be hidden in the middle of the city without fear that explosive rocket fuel may explode accidentally, or that toxic rocket fuel exhaust will kill people when they're launched], but that thrust can be controlled in-flight to compensate for unaccounted problems that appear after launch. It's also cheap and simple enough for terrorists to make them. While China will not be militarily powerful enough to challenge US for many more decades, the increasing military might is already enough to intimidate its neighboring countries without actually using them. Is there a consolation to all this? Well, remember those urban guerrillas who hide behind walls, so that the only way to get at them is by shooting at the walls in the hope that a few bullets will hit them? This fuel mixture will make it cheaper to make rocket bullets that explode at designated distances to wipe them out behind the wall.

This year, IBM expects its Advanced Micro Devices Opteron based dual-core servers, the EServer 326, to be generally available by this chat date in 2004, at least it will, once AMD begins shipping the Opteron chip next year. Without the Opteron chip, for now, the 326 is just a slight upgrade over the current 325 server, going from 12 gigabytes of memory to 16 gigabytes [and how many power-gamers don't try stuffing that much memory into their PC?] while supporting as much as 320 GB of hard disk drive storage. [Only 320? Isn't that a typographic error? After all, Panasonic has a working 400 GB HDD, and Hitachi announced it many months ago.] Price starts at $2,189. It wasn't that many years ago that servers cost an arm and a leg, with death-defying power that leaped bounds over simple PCs. Now the prices are becoming comparable to what you expect in a regular PC, and their fearsome power is, diminutive. If the trend continues, not only will mainframes die, but so might the server. [When the PC first became ubiquitous, it was assumed that the mainframe will still exist as a central data storage and maintenance system, but it'll change, since google.com showed that the use of a massive memory chip block works better than slow-poke HDDs.]

If trivia was indeed the theme for today, today in 2004 is the date that Sony will begin selling its first high-definition video camcorder, the HDR-FX1, in Japan, and available to laggards in US by this November, and the rest of the world by January 1, 2005. It has a 480 horizontal lines mode, 720, and 1,080 horizontal interlaced by 1,440 vertical [if only this was progressive scan, 1,080 by 1,440 is 1.56 mega-pixels and each frame can be printed into a relatively good photograph, but because it's not, it has a 1.12 mega-pixel charge coupled device optical pickup chip with only a 1.07 mega-pixels effective resolution] onto a miniDV cassette with one hour recording time. The problem is, aside from costing $3,700 [after subtracting the effect of inflation, that's a lot cheaper than the price of the original VHS and Beta camcorders] the combination camcorder and battery weighs nine pounds and above. It's also not offered in Sony's Blu-ray Disc format. The technical problems in using the Disc isn't unsurmountable, but the loud protest from Hollywood movie studios that fear piracy is the main obstacle. Sony expect to produce 5,000 a month at first and don't expect the market to blossom for five years, although security market is expanding rapidly in US, so mybookshop expects the Disc based high-definition video camcorder to be a hit product. After all, the recording time can be stretched by going to seconds-per-frame with proper programming, allowing a low-resolution motion shot for determining time-dependent event analysis, while the high-resolution shots can identify who's doing what, even when it's one person in a big wide-screen shot from afar.

So how about one trivial subject? Ignore the aboves as, eh, too trivial.)

2005: Iraq will have a national referendum by this chat date to adopt a new constitution that will be drafted by August 15, 2005. Under Saddam Hussein, women were so trival as not even worth the effort to make into a subject for discussion, because Saddam heavily favored the Sunni Muslems over the Kurds, Shiites and Christians. Following the Second Gulf War, it's now a puppet regime openly controlled by US that dictated what its interim constitution should be, and that one says 1/4 of the National Assembly should be composed of women representatives, on top of equal rights for all the different ethnic groups. The current system calls for the appointment of ministers and a Prime Minister by January 31, 2005, followed by the new constitution by this chat date in 2005. If the referendum fails, then the National Assembly dissolves and a new election will be held by December 15, 2005, with a new transitional government assuming office by December 31, 2005. Will it work? Nope. Regardless of their ethnicity, they're mostly poor peasants barely eking a living. It's not as if they're unaware that there are people living more luxuriously than they. They know that there are millions of people in developed countries living better than they, and they want change. Whether they all want to live like Arabian sheiks or Americans, if they have the power to incite change, they will take it. Some by vote, and others by revolt.

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On October 15, 2003 ("Humor" was considered as a good theme for today, but the continuing theme on "death and fear" sounds good enough. There's no desire to do only gloomy things, and the thing that led to the idea of using humor started from a short Reuter news in 2001 -- two months after the 9-11 event -- when a retired pensioner in Chemnitz, Germany received a package from US that said "gift", which is German for "poison". He called the police who called experts who handle such things. It only contained a poster, because the sender wrote the word in English, and "gift" in English, is, eh, "poster" ["gift" in German is "Geschenk"]. That became a big joke in Germany. After all, the Germans were bracing for a 9-11 of their own for helping US, and this news came as a humorous relief valve to that tension that permeated the entire country. It caused a flurry of articles in German newspapers listing examples of words that can also cause confusions, such as "gymnasium" which in German is translatable as "high school" [But, mybookshop explains that "gymnasium" is a preparatory school that one goes to before going to university. It sounds identical, right? Not quite. Although mybookshop uses US English, mybookshop also keep tab on variations that exists regionally in North America. And in Quebec, after high school, there is a "CEGEP" which is French acronym meaning a center for general and professional education that one goes to before going to university, so "CEGEP" is comparable to a "gymnasium", not "high school"]. Some of the jokes sounded like "Back to the Future" jokes; like asking for a "Coke Free" without paying for it, or asking for a "Tab" before ordering anything. For example, a patient asks the doctor for a "receipt" before even given the "prescription" due to mistranslation of "recipe" which is comparable to a "prescription". But let us not dwell too long on such subjects. After all, languages like German, French and others separated from English only recently, a thousand years or two ago, which is only a blink of an eye ago in human evolution terms. If you start panicking and calling the police over tiny fluctuations between two linguistic siblings, what happens when you encounter a linguisting cousin, like Arabian? Start a war? Or one of mixed origin, like Japanese? Commence genocide? Knowledge is what's going to get rid of death and fear, and diplomacy is the peaceful solution to conflicts. When you start invading countries, you have to pay the consequences. Invade a country like Saudi Arabia, and you have to expect them to defend themselves by ramming airplanes at their oppressors. Invade a country like Iraq, and Iraqi farmers who despised Saddam Hussein start defending themselves. If you didn't know the consequences, then you really were not qualified to be in a position to invade countries to begin with. But if you want mybookshop's advice [as if you had any choice?] once you occupy a country, there is a method of keeping casualties low; bicycle. It's easy to hit a slow moving vehicle that's predictably going to move in a straight line or a stationary soldier, but it's hard to hit a zig-zagging moving target of a bicycle. Even a battery powered bicycle has low fuel consumption, while a pedal powered bicycle is truly low maintenance. The only requirement is the replacement of the metal wheel spoke wires, rim and hub with one that's inflatable [to prevent someone from throwing a rod or chain into the spinning wheel to disable you], not to mention an inflatable frame and inflatable seat and everything else with high-pressure and hence rigid plastic. It may not last as long as a metal bicycle, but it's cheaper, lighter and portable inside the backpack, can act as one big spring suspension on rough Iraqi roads, can provide emergency light or power for walkie-talkie by snapping-in a small bicycle power generator even while you flee the enemy, zip through the narrow roads in a city when chasing a suspect or avoiding rock-throwing children and so many other nice things.)

2002: 55 years old Richard Anderson shot and killed his supervisor 54 years old Jim McCracken and co-worker union steward 54 years old Dave Mardon with a handgun before killing himself in Kamloops in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Richard served in the Canadian military before he was a regional director with the Ministry of the Environment in Smithers back in 1996 before he came to Kamloops as a pollution prevention manager. After several reshufflings, he became to work under Jim in the department in the newly renamed Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. Because the area is covered in forests and mountains and because of his experience using firearms in the military, he was a member of the Kamloops Target Sports Association with a large collection of rifles and shotguns to hunt games, but was otherwise known to the locals for being a very friendly and helpful person who bought gifts to children he knew, helping out with home repairs for friends without asking for compensation, and resolving conflicts between feuding people. But he was also known as a difficult person who demanded that a person be for or against, left or right. He became extremely upset with people who were capricious or hard to control. The problem, as he told his wife Linda, stemmed from a controversial animal-waste plant in Vernon, McLeod's By-Products and Ritchie Smith Feeds, which had 20 charges laid against it for its long history of illegally polluting the water, land and air. It was against the law, but the head of his Ministry, Joyce Murray, refused to do anything about it. (It doesn't mean that Liberal Party member Joyce was bribed and puppet-controlled by McLeod's -- although, the plant owner Kenneth Ian McKenzie did donate $5,000 to the Liberal Party in 1996, $1,700 in 1998 and $2,500 in 2001 -- since Canada has a long history of government officials who are incompetent, can't prioritize important works from frivolous chores, too busy playing to do any work, unqualified, uncaring, unsympathetic and so many un-un's. It also didn't help that Joyce was getting her own staff fired so that everyone, such as Richard, was piled more and more jobs that used to be divided among several people.) About three weeks before this chat date, he became dreadful that he will have to fire people in his office who worked for 15 years or so with no likely opportunity to work elsewhere. As rumors of lay-offs began to circulate, they became unruly and harder to control, causing him to become even more upset. On this chat date morning, he was at Penticton, where he attended a meeting and was told to lay-off some people as expected. Afterwards, he drove back to Kamloops to meet with his boss, Jim, at 2 PM, where he was expecting to hear some good news about more resources to get his job done. Here, Jim told him that Richard was to be laid-off -- which by definition meant that there was a chance of getting his job back -- and that Jim was also recommending that Richard be fired permanently. When this unexpected news was delivered in the 10 minutes long meeting, Richard drove back home. Then came back with his 9 millimeter handgun and shoot the two men. The other people quickly left the office and called the police. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ever fearful that Richard was waiting inside with a gun, remained outside until four hours later to find the two victims and Richard, dead. In the inquiry and trial that followed, discussions came out that people should not be humilitated when they're fired unexpectedly. (The way MicroSoft Japan fired people who worked for X-Box by escorting them out with guards who guarded exits and toilets, unable to talk with those who remained or even given time to empty their desks, leading those fired workers to feel humiliated like criminals.)

2003: A new Iraqi money that does not bear the image of Saddam Hussein will come out to exchange with the old one. After the fall of Saddam's regime, many banks were robbed of its high denomination currency bills. This led the Iraqi people to refuse to accept high denomination money as ill-gotten wealth, leading to a huge demand for the 250 dinar bills which is worth less than 20 cents, depending on the current exchange rate. Aside from hampering commerce as people has to carry bags of money for moderate purchases, it also led to a huge demand for the bills themselves. Unable to print new bills without Saddam's image, US occupation force decided to print the old bills in June to meet the demand. (If they followed mybookshop's historic articles on such currency collusions, they would have printed new 25,000 dinar bills... but with an extra red ink overlay to draw devil horns, pimples, broken-heart-mark on cheek, and pentagonal "glasses" on Saddam's face, along with other marks to indicate that this is a new bill that's not part of the ill-gotten wealth.)

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On October 15, 2002 (Death and fear again)

2002: Rhino Records will release Warren Zevon's latest album; "Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon" and it might just be the last one he will release because 55 years old Warren has an untreatable form of lung cancer. Warren was born on January 24, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, although he then moved to Los Angeles with his family. His first album was, appropriate for the theme phrase for today; "Wanted Dead or Alive" (1969). His "Warren Zevon" (1976) was praised and made him known to the music public, though the sale wasn't up to par. His "Excitable Boy" (1978) and specifically the song "Werewolves of London" went to the Top 10 on the music charts and which became his signature song that everyone identified with him. "Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School" (1980) and "The Envoy" (1982) were not up to expectation. His previous album was "Life'll Kill Ya" (2000). As a side note, it's always so pitiful when a person's album start selling like hot pancake when the person is about to die. While those who liked Warren will feel that they must get the CDs while they're available, others do so in the hope that his death will make his CDs a collectable item that they can sell at a tidy profit. But then medical research is also nothing but crap when it comes to cancer. Medical research refuses to acknowledge what causes cancer even while herbal medicine and other forms of treatments that medical doctors denounce as not scientifically quantified and qualified have several which treats them without causing hair loss, constant vomitting and other devastating side effects which are almost as bad as the fear of dying from cancer. Medical science is only good for cutting, slicing and splicing things without understanding why and then has the audacity to claim to be a "science". (A recent research showed that about 70% of the people in western Washington with cancer are using alternative medicines and they're doing quite well according to the study done at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, thank you. In fact, massage therapy, hypnosis, mental imaging and other wackier things are proving to be more effective at curing cancer than the slice&dice that the rich quack-quack doctors use in hospitals.) In a way, it's a pity that Warren isn't a woman, because recent research result showed that aromatherapy only work on women, so that if Warren was a woman, then sending Warren lots of flowers might, just might, be a curing process.

Rest In Peace to 1917: Mata Hari, dead in Vincennes, near Paris in France. She was born on August 7, 1876 in the northern Dutch town of Leeuwarden as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle to a well-to-do Dutch hatmaking father and a Javanese mother, she went to a teachers' college in Leiden to become a teacher, but had to leave after it became known that she had sex with the headmaster of the school (Remember, as with the Spartan boys of the ancient Greek city-states, it's not the act of having sex which is being punished, but for being foolish enough to be found out to be having sex which is punishable in US public eye. That's why John Fitzgerald Kennedy who committed one extra-marital adulterous affair after another was bestowed with so much honors for getting his brain blasted off.). In 1895 when she was 19 years old, she answered a personal-ad in a newspaper by a man who was looking for a wife, and she married a 38 years old man, Captain Campbell MacLeod, a Dutch army man of Scottish origin. While married, they first lived in Java, where she learned the sexually erotic temple dances, while her husband -- not content with just one woman -- began parading in front of her a very long line of local women that he was having sex with -- sometime against their will. She tolerated this at first, but she lost the older of her children when the family of one woman that he raped decided to seek vengeance by poisoning him. She was soon back in France after this incidence and divorced him in 1905. The money that she had was used to set up her surviving child, a daughter, with relatives, while she went about on her own. She tried earning a living as an artist's model and riding school instructor, but there was never enough money to eat. Then her rich businessman friend, Emile Guimet, suggested that she try dancing. Since anything oriental was in fashion, she called herself "Lady MacLeod", a half British nobility and half Hindu with training as a Ganges temple dancer, stripping naked... save for her colored veils and metal brassiere that she made. Soon she began calling herself as Mata Hari, which translates to "Eye of Dawn" but means the "Sun", a "Javanese princess" at the Oriental Studies Museum on March 13, 1905. Being tall, beautiful, knowing just a bit of an exotic Indian dance and willing to strip naked in front of a large audience of men in public in an era when even prostitutes refused to appear in anything as small as a bikini-like undergarment, she was a hit in France and other European countries. Even her father who was now bankrupt was writing his own version of her erotic biography that every critic cried out was a fake. Men of that era expected someone who was willing to appear naked in front of others must be a high-paying prostitute who will have sex with anything in pants, and they were not disappointed. She had many French and German army officials among her list of men which gave her free-pass to go to any embassy party regardless of security needs, and she also became Germany's Prince Willem's mistress (what's the difference between a whore and a mistress? In her case, he showered her with money, furs and jewels that she spent lavishly.). Her fame and money didn't last long, once others such as Lola Montez and Isodora Duncan also began stripping naked and the rich men began craving for varieties, especially younger women. As World War I began, she spent most of her time in Belgium and Holland, where she still had sex with many lonely men. One of them was a 25 years old Russian, Captain Vadim Maslov, who was the son of a Russian admiral. When he was wounded, she asked French officials for permission to visit him in a hospital. The French gave her the permission, as long as she agreed to become a spy and spied on the Germans, especially the Kaiser prince whom she knew as a client, along with a promise of one million francs. She first went to Spain and was on her way to neutral Holland to go into Germany when her ship made a stop at Falmouth, England. Here, she explained that she was given permission to see her Russian lover if she served as a spy for France, but the British refused her permission to go to Germany and sent her back to Spain. Here, she met a German military man with whom she had sex (What is she, a sex-crazed machine? Actually, her fame as a stripper had went down by now and she was earning a living as a prostitute.) whom in turn sent a easy-to-break message to Germany saying that the spy "H-21" did very well. The allied side saw this message and interpreted this as proof that she was the spy who was mentioned. As a result, when she returned to Paris on January 4, 1917, she was arrested on February 13, 1917 on suspicion that she was a double spy. She did have some chemicals on her that can be used as disappearing ink, but she said it was just part of her makeup chemicals. She did admit that she accepted money from Germans for having sex, since she had to earn a living. Those were not sufficient evidences, but the French decided to declare her guilty nonetheless from July 24, 1917 to July 25, 1917. On this chat date in the morning, she was awaken in her jail and then driven to where the 12 men firing squad was waiting. She swore till the end that she was not a spy and would never betray France, but they shot her, with the coup-de-grace coming from the officer in charge who shot her through her head. In January 1999, the British MI-5 began releasing the war-time secret documents which showed that she was under surveillance since 1915 because she had lovers on both sides of the war. France still refuses to open its dossiers on her, and why not? Most French politicians still have much secrets as German spies and Jew exterminators to their credit.

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While US is thinking of death to the Taliban, it's feared on the Afghan street that the Taliban government may be dead before US does anything. It is, after all, a very backward and primitive country where many villages are made of mud, not a single telephone nor radio and whose villagers never heard of US. Grabbing unwilling men fleeing for Pakistan as soldiers don't make very brave soldiers. (But then the Iraqi soldiers were waving white flags when those US machines buried all of them in the trenches, so US probably wouldn't know just what time the Taliban government dies also.) What US refuses to admit, however, is that its enemy is not the Afghan people, but Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other countries which are supposed to be its allies because that's where the suicide squad recruits are coming from. The other thing which US has refused to admit for so many years is that determined suicide squads can accomplish anything that a hundred unwilling men cannot accomplish, results.

On October 15, 2001 (Death and fear.) The article on Mata Hari didn't make it in time.

1992: New York city subway motorman Robert Ray is convicted of manslaughter for the death of five subway riders. On August 28, 1991 he was drunk and overshooting every platform on the entire run. At the 14th street, his train was supposed to shift to a local track due to repairs being done on the main track and to slow down to 10 miles per hour, but he rammed through at 40 miles per hour and then switched so fast at the sharp switch that only the front half of the first car made the crossover. It caused a derailment just north of the Union Square as the third and fourth cars came off and sheared off the support columns and split in half -- 23 of the support columns had to be replaced as a result of the massive damages. Aside from killing five passengers, over 200 more were injured and the Lexington line was closed for six days. After Robert was questioned from 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM, the police charged him with manslaughter (zero to a maximum of 15 years in jail which with good behavior is maximum of five years). DA Robert Morgenthau wanted to charge him with first degree murder (minimum of 15 years to life in jail) after finding out that not only was Robert drunk and asleep, but after the derailment he didn't even try to apply the brakes. And even as medical personnel rushed in to help the dying and the wounded, Robert just sat on a bench and was drinking beer as if he was watching a spectacle caused by someone else. However, proving first degree murder required that Robert's state of mind be examined, and that was not possible, so he got the light tap of a sentence for killing five and injuring over 200, many of whom remained crippled and debilitated for life.

1997: At 8:43 UTC, Cassini is launched atop the Titan IV-Centaur with its liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen powered engines from Cape Canaveral for a rendez-vous with Saturn. Many anti-Cassini groups began accusing the spacecraft with 72 pounds of plutonium as a threat to all life forms on Earth if it should fail to launch correctly or if it slammed into Earth on its gravity boost stage. Unfortunately for the anti-Cassini groups, they lied and falsified information in an attempt to create fear and hysteria, leading to the disbelief by the public as to what they were trying to achieve. The Cassini spacecraft was not powered by plutonium as claimed, but by regular chemical propulsion to move it. The plutonium was only used as a source of heat for the thermocouple-based thermoelectric generators which generated 630 watts of electricity, and to keep the instruments warm in deep space (solar panels only work up till the distance of Mars, since by the time it goes to Saturn, the Sun's light is not that much brighter than the Moon.). In case the launch failed, each plutonium pellet was covered in graphite which resists sea-water corrosion and with iridium which has a melting point of 4,471 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than the temperature it will encounter from the heat of reentry. On August 17, 1999 at 8:28 PM, the Cassini spacecraft came within 727 miles (1,171 kilometers) of Earth in order to get the gravity assist for its long trip to Saturn, and not fall down to Earth as the anti-Cassini groups feared. It was just within two miles of the calculated distance and within 0.6 seconds of the calculated time and headed to Saturn some 800 million miles away with no fear that it could possibly crash into Earth, although even if it did crash, it would have passed over the sparsely populated Easter island and Pitcairn island in the southern Pacific Ocean. The gravity boost from this operation increased its speed from 35,000 miles per hour to about 47,000 miles per hour so that it can reach Saturn in 2004. At that point, the Cassini orbiter will send a probe to Saturn's moon, Titan. It's mission is to determine the three-dimensional structure of Saturn's rings, the chemical composition of the satellites and the composition of the atmosphere of Iapetus among many missions it designed to perform.

Happy birthday to 1829: Asaph Hall, born in Goshen, Connecticut, US astronomer who discovered the two satellites of Mars; Phobos ("Fear") and Deimos ("Terror") using the 26 inches in diameter "Great Equatorial" refracting telescope at the US Naval Observatory -- it was the largest refracting telescope of its kind in the world at the time. Asaph was born into a poor family which was made even worse when his parents died in 1842, so that he was apprenticed into becoming a carpenter. After he went through it, however, he then managed to get a position at the Harvard Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1858 before he joined the Naval Observatory in August 1862. Working with his wife Angelina Stickney Hall, gave up looking for the predicted Martian moons on August 10, 1877, but began looking for them on August 11, 1877 at the insistance of his wife and found a speck of light near Mars. He first spotted the satellites on August 12, 1877 and then on August 18, 1877 with continuous observations till August 20, 1877 to make sure that they were satellites orbiting Mars and not just stars in the background which happen to be in conjuction with Mars (Satellites obey the Kepler's Laws so that its exact future positions can be calculated based on its previous positions). Henry Madan (1838 - 1901) suggested the names of Phobos and Deimos since the mythologies associate those names with Mars. For his discovery, he was presented with the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Sociiety of Britain in 1879. He retired in 1891 to become a professor of astronomy at Harvard from 1896 to 1901, and then died on November 22, 1907 at Annapolis, Maryland. Incidentally, part of the reason why the story of the "Martians" came about was due to the Suez Canal which was completed in 1869, which led everyone to talk about this artificial canal. Then when Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (1835 - 1910) in Milan began describing the surface of Mars in September 1877 when Mars was only 56 million kilometers away, he began calling various parts of Mars as "sea" and continent, the way parts of Earth's Moon is described as "Sea of Tranquility" and other such fanciful names, as well as what he thought were lines as "canali", which meant channels, hence natural lines or streaks, but Giovanni was loose in his terminologies and occasionally said "canale", which meant artificial water channels, so that it was misrtranslated as canals.

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On October 15, 2000 (Today's theme was supposed to be trivia, since that covers many things, but then it turned out that "entertainment" kept cropping up often enough that that was made into the theme for today instead.)

1951: "I Love Lucy" debuts on CBS television with the episode titled "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub" till May 6, 1957 with the 179th episode titled "The Ricardos Dedicate a Statue". Lucille Ball plays the hair-brained Lucy MacGillicuddy Ricardo with calming husband Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) as the orchestra leader at the Tropicana Club. In this particular show, Lucy and Ricky living at 623 East 68th street in New York city in apartment 3B with neighbors Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). As always, Lucy means to do good, but her distress and cries of tears cause the audience to laugh at her predicaments. And speaking of Desi Arnaz,

1959: "Untouchables" premieres on ABC television with the episode titled "The Empty Chair". (The pilot for this appeared on Desilu Playhouse as the two-part "The Scarface Mob" on April 20, 1959 and April 27, 1959.) It starred Robert Stack (ironically the host of "Unsolved Mysteries") as Eliot Ness, Abel Fernandez as William Youngfellow, Nicholas Georgiade as Enrico Rossi and so on. Eliot et al were 1930 era prohibition agent trying to bust Al Capone (played by Neville Brand)'s mob. The original pilot was supposed to star Van Johnson, but he demanded more money than was offered, so Robert was quickly hired and played Eliot. For that era when drama and comedy were entertainments, this show was exceptionally violent, and a hit. It was supposed to be partially based on real-life document but quickly turned into pure entertainment because everytime someone's name was mentioned, that could turn into a libel suit, and documentations lacked the violence which the audience was demanding in every episode. While the real Eliot Ness the show was based on quickly dissolved his agents by 1932, the fictional Eliot continued to fight violence with violence to capture or kill every famous criminal who ever appeared in a newspaper, including Nazis. Since the villain tended to be Al Capone in many episodes, Italian-Americans protested their portrayal as criminals, and the first law-suit was filed by... Al Capone's widow, who wanted a million dollars for depicting her deceased husband as a villain and for usurping his image without her permission. Due to protests from the Italian-Americans, the villains stopped mentioning their Italian last-name, but real petty criminals loved the show, and even approached the show's casts to talk about how their former exploits will make a good story.

1980: 27 years old George Brett announces to the entire nation of US that he has to quit the World Series during the sixth inning, and while losing 6 to 4, due to hemorrhoids. (Just like Napoleon, who suffered it at Waterloo.) George walked into the game with the inflammation, unable to run or slide, but it eventually became so bad that he had to quit. George is best remembered among non-baseball fans for this piece of entertaining joke which made the night clubs for a while.

1984: Central Intelligence Agency's Information Act passes, which, for security reasons, exempt many operational files from the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Every 10 years, CIA also has to review the files which were exempted from FOIA to see if they can be released to take into consideration for public interest and for historic value to revise or to update the history books. In a letter sent to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Arlen Specter -- in May 1995 -- CIA mentioned that it decided to remove four file categories from the exemptions. Meaning, they remain where they are, but if anyone asks for the information, then it has to be released. They include the files on the Office of Plicy Coordination, National Committee for a Free Europe and the Asia Foundation projects. But Arlen was told of this fact a year after the exemption was removed, so anyone who unknowingly requested the information during 1994 to 1995 received the information, but anyone who thought that the information was still exempted didn't bother asking for the information. (Isn't that an entertaining thought?)

Happy birthday to 1942: Penny Marshall, born Penny Marscharelli in the Brooklyn, New York. She's best remembered for the role of the funny-laughing Myrna in the television version of "The Odd Couple" and the "Happy Days" Fonzo's cousin Laverne De Fazio, who then went on to star in "Laverne and Shirley" (1978 to 1983). Now, aside from doing television commercials, she mostly remains behind the screen as a director. Her first major comedy film, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" starring Whoopi Goldberg wasn't very entertaining, but "Big", starring Tom Hanks was. It was the story of a 12 years old who wished he was a grown-up and presto-chango, he was an adult... but with the mind of a 12 years old. The film "Awakenings" starring Robin Williams was also good. (based on a real-life drug which awoken victims who suffered a rare sleeping sickness.) "A League of Their Own" was the story of women who becale baseball players to fill the gap from male baseball players who left to fight in World War Two.

Happy birthday to 1959: Sarah Magaret Fergusson (affectionately called "Fergie"), and Duchess of York. Her engagement was announced on March 19, 1986 and then married at Westminster Abbey in London on July 23, 1986, separated on June 28, 1993 and then divorced on May 30, 1996. The Fergusons could afford to hire a cook, gardener, nanny and so forth, but when Fergie tried to live in that fashion after she got married to her royal husband who didn't have the financial mean to support that luxurious a life-style, it led to her famous debt problem which she paid off by appearing in television commercials and shows. Currently, I see her appearing in a dieting commercial and I wonder "who is that young African-American woman who dominates the commercial?"

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