Quote of the day :
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
~ Mark Twain
Picture of the day :
A life size model of Jar Jar Binks, seen in a toy shop in Blackpool
Youtube video of the day :
Here’s Wham! with ‘Last Christmas’
On this day…
Born today :
- Mathematician and inventor, Charles Babbage (b. 1791)
Devised and partially built the Analytical Engine while working on while working on the ‘Difference Engine’ for the British government. The latter was a tallying machine for simple calculating while his own device is considered to be the very first digital computer. It was designed to have a mill (cpu and motherboard), store (hard drive and memory), reader (punchcard, any other input device or installable program/app) and the printer (still a printer).
- Actor, Richard Widmark
- Actor, Kit Harington
- Actor and singer, Jared Leto
- Actor, puppeteer, Caroll Spinney
- ‘Saints’ Rugby player, Steve Prescott MBE
- Poet and historian, Thomas Gray (b.1716)
- Author, Henry Miller (b.1891)
- Author, Brian Earnshaw
- Drummer, Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
- Chairman, Mao Tse Tung
Also on this day in history
1898 : After discovering it on December 21st, Marie and Pierre Curie formally announced the isolation of radium to the French Academy of Science. Discovered as a radioactive residue with whilst extracting uranium from a uraninite mineral, it would be about 12 years before they isolated it as a pure metal. Radium is an alkaline earth in the same family as calcium and magnesium, but radioactive in all states, so not recommended for healthy bones and teeth.
Radium, symbol Ra, atomic number 88, solid at room temperature with a melting point of 700°C
1963: 50 years ago today the Beatles released " I Want to Hold Your Hand". It topped the charts for 15 weeks running.
1944 : Tennessee William’s play "The Glass Menagerie" premiered at the Civic Theatre in Chicago.
Perhaps apt given today is also Babbage’s birthday – the ‘TIME person of the year‘ for 1982 was the personal computer.
Looking at the list though, it makes you wonder if being on the cover is a good thing! Very few woman have graced it’s frontispiece and frankly, out of the list, I would question all but a couple of the choices. Being President of the US is virtually a guarantee of a place – Roosevelt three times for a start. They naturally go alongside other ‘man of the year’ like Hitler, Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1966 it was ‘The Inheritor’ – young Americans. In 1988 the person of the year was… Earth – planet of the year! You have to laugh of the irony of the person of the year for 2002 it was ‘The Whistleblowers’ I wonder if they’ll extend that too Edward Snowden. Or there was 2006 – You! Representing web users, so in with the many working on wikipedia and countless bloggers like myself are spammers, hackers and the rest.
Conclusion : The TIMES award and title is a complete and utter farce.
Perhaps the person of the year for 2014 will be clone? Though morally wrong at every possible level and illegal in most countries in 2002 the first cloned baby was born! You will note the link goes to New Scientist and not some whack blog. In does say the cloning was unsubstantiated – but goes on to say the UN was deadlocked as all the countries that banned it rushed to be the first/next that did clone a human being. Did they learn nothing from WWII? We, with help from Hollywood, are quite capable of imagining what must be going on it secret corporate and military labs around the world and it makes by blood run cold.
Trending at this moment: 2013
Besides the continuing views about Dr Who yesterday, it’s all about the Boxing Day sales, with some lunacy going on, like hundreds queueing up from 6am outside a NEXT store in Scunthorpe. The mind boggles.