Quote of the day :
Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.
~ Writer and philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir, born this day.
Picture of the day :
I’ve taken the liberty of ‘borrowing’ this fantastic picture of frozen Chicago from MNN.
Chicago or Chiberia?
Just days after a massive snowstorm blasted the U.S., everyone across the Midwest and Northeast is hunkering down yet again due to sub-zero temperatures.
Well, not everyone.
Photographer Isaac Silver set out Monday afternoon with a friend, Brett Jelinek (pictured), to document the surreal icescapes of Chicago’s Montrose Beach and Lake Michigan. The temperature? Minus 14 with a windchill of 40 below zero.
Youtube video of the day :
As it’s her birthday today, here Joan Baez singing, Blowin’ In The Wind.
Born on this day…
Born today :
- Singer and actress, Gracie Fields (b.1898)
- Singer, Joan Baez
- Singer, Crystal Gayle
- Singer, Haddaway
Best known for his catchy 1993 UK number 2, ‘What is love?
- Guitarist, Jimmy Page
Quoted as saying, "Nowadays, we’re more into staying in our rooms and reading Nietzsche"
- Actor, Lee Van Cleef
- Actor, J.K. Simmons
- British actor, Clive Dunn
The ‘Dads Army’ star also had a number 1 hit in 1971 with ‘Granddad’.
- Actress, Imelda Staunton
- Actress, Susannah York
- Author, Judith Krantz
- Author, Walter R Brooks
Some know him better for his ‘Freddy the Pig’ tales, but he also wrote about a talking horse that was later televised as Mr Ed.
- Author, Wilbur Smith
- Author, Philippa Gregory
- Comedian, Freddie Starr
- Engineer, Joseph Strauss (b.1870)
Designed the Golden Gate Bridge
- Korean industrialist, Lee Kun-hee (b.1942)
Chairman of Samsung, no less
- Chemist, Søren Sørensen (b.1868)
He developed the pH scale (0-14) at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Denmark.
If you need a reminder from your litmus testing chemistry class days,
both extremes are highly corrosive, with water being neutral. So concentrated sulphuric acid, (H2S04) has a pH value of 0, pure water (H20) is 7, while at the other end of the scale are base or alkalines such as caustic soda (NaOH) with a pH of 14.
It might give you a moments though that due to high levels of phosphoric acid (H3P04) cans of fizzy pop like Pepsi and Coca Cola can have a ph of 2.5 – up there with vinegar (acetic acid, pH 2.2) and lemon juice (citric acid, pH 2.0). Battery acid has a pH of around 0.8…
- Duchess, Kate Middleton
- President, Richard Nixon
Also on this day in history
1768 : Philip Astley staged the first modern circus, in London.
1793 : Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the first successful balloon flight in the United States, watched by President George Washington.
1799 : British prime minister William Pitt the Younger introduced income tax to raise funds for the Napoleonic Wars. The rate was set of two shillings in the pound (20 shilling to an old pound, so 10%).
1811 : The first woman’s golf tournament took place in Scotland.
1816 : Sir Humphry Davy tested his safety lamp for miners at Hebburn Colliery.
1839 : The Daguerrotype photo process was announced at French Academy of Science
1880 : 28½ inches of snow fell in one day on Olympia, Washington, with six-foot of snow falling on Seattle during five days of snow
1887 : More blizzards shook the US, with 16 inches of snow falling on parts of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Poor planning and greed by cattle farmers resulted in the needless death of millions of cows from herds across the states. Temperatures as low of 63 below zero are said to be been recorded. Not sure if that was fahrenheit or celcuis, or in it included the wind chill but when it’s that cold it wouldn’t make a difference if you were outside for long.
1902 : New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public!
1920 : Dr Alexander Fleming pioneered the use of penicillin at St. Mary’s Hospital. London.
1923 : Juan de la Cierva made the first autogiro (helicopter) flight, in Spain.
1951 : The United Nations headquarters officially opened in New York City. Initially 50 countries signed the UN charter – last I read there were 192 member states in the UN.
1954 : -87°F (-66°C), in Northice Station, Greenland, a record low for the country.
1956 : The first ‘agony aunt advice column’ ran in the San Francisco Chronicle. Started by Pauline ‘Popo’ Esther Friedman it proved immediately successful so her twin sister, confusingly named Esther ‘Eppie’ Pauline Friedman took up the pen too. Both were syndicated in hundreds of newspapers worldwide.
1959 : The western TV show Rawhide premiered, starring little known actor Clint Eastwood. It went on to last seven seasons and launch his career.
1961 : Comedian Bob Newhart went to number on the US album chart with ‘The Button Down Mind Strikes Back!’ Very funny guy, if you don’t know him, probably the best deadpan comedian there is. Honestly, check out his skits on tobacco, defusing a bomb and the like on youtube. Genius.
1976 : In Hollywood, Sylvestor Stallone started filming Rocky, which legend has it he wrote in wrote in three days straight. (Presumably the first draft at any rate).
1995 : Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, aged 51, completed his 366th day in outer space abound the Mir space station, breaking the record for the longest continuous time spent in space. His tour of duty continued a further two months – he stayed there until March 22, 1995, a setting a new record of record 437 days in space.
2001 : Apple introduced iTunes at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.
2006 : ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ became the longest-running show in Broadway history, passing the previous musical, ‘Cats’, which ran for 7,485 performances.
2007 : Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone for Apple.
A polar ice vortex swept wholesale across Canada and the US, leaving most of North America a frozen wasteland. Made for a lot of pretty pictures but given most provinces and states had freezing weather and even Niagra Falls partially froze, it was mighty cold.
From Gizmodo : 21 Pictures of Chicago’s Modern-Day Ice Age
From the Daily Mail : Spectacular photographs show the moment Niagara Falls FROZE in polar vortex
Mother Nature Network : Greetings from ‘Chiberia’: 11 surreal shots of the Windy City’s frozen shore
Meanwhile in the UK, it was soaking. In England every single county was on high alert for flooding. The Daily Mail warns of a freeze coming out way on top of it. (The cold snap didn’t happen here).
The article also lists over 300 alerts, with 106 areas flagged for flood warning and a further 204 advising of flood alerts.