Sunday, November 29, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 29


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 28, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 28



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 27, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 27


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 26, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 26


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 25


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 24


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 23, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 23


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Sunday, November 22, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 21, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 21


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 20, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 20


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 19



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 18


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

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

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(Guest Post by fellow blogger Albert Venczel

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 17


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 16


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 14, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 14


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 13, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 13


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 12, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 12



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

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 11


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 10


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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