Saturday, January 28, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JANUARY 28


On this day in 1099, the first wave of Christian Crusaders begin their siege of Hosn-el-Akrad, in Syria. It's rough going in the early days, but everything works out fine in the end.

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On this day in 1495, after asking himself "WWJD?", the Pope hands over his son -- Cesare Borgia -- to the French, as a hostage. That was back in the day when Popes were allowed to fuck. Faith Based Family Values in action!

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On this day in 1547, Edward VI becomes King of England at a mere 9 years of age. Refusing to be outdone by a bunch of turnip-munchers, the Swedish promptly drown their own King in a septic pit. Adhering to the strictures of primogenital succession, that meant the crown passed on to the dead King's eldest son, who was still weeks away from being born at the time. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes during the coronation ceremony, when the Queen dies of massive internal bleeding.

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 On this day in 1915, President Woodrow Wilson refuses to prohibit the immigration of illiterates. The ongoing consequences of Woody's short-sightedness were brought into sharp relief during the presidential election of 2004.

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On this day in 1953, a chimp by the name of J Fred Muggs joins the on-air staff of NBC's Today Show. That was back in the days when journalistic standards actually meant something. Nowadays, they pretty much let any idiot appear on the telly. See Bill O'Reilly, Joe Scarborough and Sean Hannity for proof of that.
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On this day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan appoints William J. Casey as the 13th director of the CIA. He serves with distinction until 1987, when he dies of a brain tumor two days before his scheduled testimony before the Senate in regards to the Iran/Contraaffair. Unlucky 13 strikes again!

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 On this day in 1986, at 11:38 a.m., the space shuttle Challenger launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida, rising towards the frozen void on a column of solid flame. Hitching a ride on board is high school teacher Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian to ever go into outer space. Seventy-three seconds after ignition, an O-ring fails to expand sufficiently, precipitating a chain reaction that leads to the total destruction of the multibillion-dollar vehicle and its crew of seven. Video footage of the "major malfunction" served as the most impressive widescreen, real-life special-effects tragedy since the Kennedy assassination twenty-three years earlier. Such video gravitas was not felt again until 9-11-2001, which swallowed the memory of Columbia whole, in its awesome and growing shadow.

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