Saturday, November 13, 2010

On This Day in Ancient History - St. Augustine Was Born


On this day in A.D. 354, Augustine was born in North Africa. Augustine was an important figure in the history of Christianity.

He wrote about topics like predestination and original sin. Some of his doctrines separate Western and Eastern Christianity, with St. Augustine defining certain doctrines of Western Christianity.

He lived and died in Africa during the time of the attack of the Vandals, A.D. 430.

Read more about Augustine:

For the Ages: Norman Rockwell’s Photo Realism translates into art


I’ve enjoyed Rockwell’s art ever since my art classes in high school when we studied masters like him. It’s amazing to me what he did with a staged Black & White photo. The coloring and slight adjustments to make the scene stand out show his genius. If you’d like to see more examples GO HERE.

Watching an Island Being Born–1 in a million opportunity

Amazing Sight in the South Pacific Amazing Sight in the South Pacific

                            A BEACH?                                                        NO! THIS IS NOT A BEACH!

A yacht was traveling in the South Pacific when the crew came across a weird sight. Look at these photos and try to imagine the thrill of experiencing this phenomenon.

Coming Sunday in As It Stands–Get out of Afghanistan, There’s a War Next Door!

The U.S. State Department reported 80 Americans killed thus far this year by Mexican Drug Cartels. That’s already more than last year.

Mexico’s war is spilling into the U.S. (see chart). Our government needs to get out of Afghanistan and use that money to protect Americans at home. National security starts at home.

Record Number of Americans Killed on Border

“It has been a violent year in Mexico. Last weekend was no exception. Four Americans were killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which sets just across the border from El Paso, Texas. Two were fatally shot near the Zaragoza international bridge in one incident. In separate incidents, two other U.S. citizen suffered fatal shooting wounds in Ciudad Juarez.”

Six Americans killed in Mexico's drug war city

“Gunmen have killed six U.S. citizens in separate attacks since Saturday in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez, the U.S. consulate said on Thursday, as Mexico struggles to halt surging murders.”

Mexico cops arrest child in hunt for hitmen as young as 12

'When we don't find the rivals, we kill innocent people,' an unidentified boy says in YouTube video

“Parents in the violent cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana on the U.S. border say children as young as 8 years old want to grow up to be drug lords, as the thrills and wealth of the trafficking world touches their lives.”

Friday, November 12, 2010

No pun intended: 'Joking disease' is no joke

Melissa Dahl writes: Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

Because he felt crummy.

What did one snowman say to the other snowman?

Smells like carrots.

Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella?

Fo' drizzle.

Terrible jokes? Or a sign of a brain disorder? Actually, sometimes it's hard to tell.

Witzelsucht (the Germans just have the best words for everything, don't they?) is a brain dysfunction that causes all sorts of compulsive silliness: bad jokes, corny puns, wacky behavior. It's also sometimes called the "joking disease," and as Taiwanese researchers phrased it in a 2005 report, it's a "tendency to tell inappropriate and poor jokes." We've covered all sorts of strange disorders of the mind in earlier Body Odd posts: one disorder makes you believe your loved ones are strangers, another convinces you that your hand has taken on a life of its own. Now, we give you a brain disorder that actually causes a poor sense of humor.


Better Than Nothing: Sculpture Generates Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage Machine

The Minimum Wage Machine is an artwork made by Blake Fall-Conroy. Anyone who interacts with the machine can “work” for a minimum wage.

Turning the crank by hand will yield one penny every five seconds, adding up to $7.15 an hour, which is New York State’s current minimum wage.

I’m curious to know who fills the Wage Machine up when the box is empty!

World's strongest liquors: Spirits make their way into upscale cocktails, but you may need to travel to find them

Image: Balkan 176

Grain alcohol may bring back memories — or flashbacks — of college dorms.

But Gilardi’s, a sleek Italian bistro in Springfield, Mo., offers a house-made Limoncello with lemon zest, sugar, and the 190-proof grain alcohol Everclear. It’s served straight up in a sugar-rimmed cordial glass — hardly a means to a sloppy end.

Slideshow: World's strongest liquors

The drink is no anomaly. In the last few years, exceedingly potent alcohols have moved beyond the frat house and into the mainstream palate, thanks to the revival of pre-Prohibition cocktails and our unending thirst for the latest and greatest. “There’s this new level of connoisseurship among drinkers in search of novelty,” says Noah Rothbaum, editor in chief of “It’s not about flavor; it’s about the experience.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I get a kick out of R.Lee Ermey–in both Full Metal Jacket and his current commercial about being an unsympathetic psychiatrist

This scene is a great portrayal of the iconic Marine drill instructor.

I think this commercial is hilarious! Guess I’m a R. Lee Ermey fan. My Dad was a Marine and served in the Pacific during WW II. He’s just as crusty as Ermey!

Vietnam Veterans receive the homecoming they never had at Fort Campbell

This video is touching. Tears ran down my eyes when I viewed it. These men are my brothers. We gave up our youth and left part of our souls in the steaming jungles of Southeast Asia. Our shameful return home greetings scarred us. Now, we need to embrace those who are welcoming us Home…and to be at Peace at last.

Sounds of Healing: combat veterans trade M-16s for guitars

A new Band of Brothers – Soldiers and Marines find guitar music healing. Good Veteran Day vibes

Museum Fundraising Campaign Underway for Navajo Code Talkers

Frank Chee Willetto, pictured at the Gallup Cultural Center in New Mexico, is working to raise funds for a Code Talkers museum.

It’s never too late to honor these heroes:

“Keith Little and Frank Chee Willetto know time is no longer on their side.

That's why the men, World War II veterans who used a code based on the Navajo language to stump the Japanese in battles, spend their days reminding the world of their contribution to ending the war.

As the numbers dwindle — fewer than 100 Code Talkers of the 400 trained by the U.S. military are believed to be alive — the Navajo veterans are being recognized. Today, Veterans Day, a group of them will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. New Mexico dedicated a 16-mile stretch of highway to them on Wednesday.

HONORED: N.M. exhibit honors Navajo Code Talkers

Now, 65 years after serving mostly in the Pacific, the men are trying to establish their legacy on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Through a foundation, they are about to launch a $42 million fundraising campaign for a museum and veterans center.”

PHOTO - Frank Chee Willetto, pictured at the Gallup Cultural Center in New Mexico, is working to raise funds for a Code Talkers museum.

Profile: America’s Wars and the Veterans who served in them

U.S. Marines leave the flaming village of Cam Ne after setting fire to 100 homes during the Vietnam War in 1965 (© AP)

Today, we honor the men and women who have fought under America's flag. Veterans Day marks a historic armistice and salutes all U.S. veterans, many of whom served during our country's wars and conflicts.


The communist leader of Vietnam sought to claim control of South Vietnam, a move the United States fought to prevent. (Who was the U.S. president?) The war was met with much protest in the States. (Who was the U.S. commander?)

Although the dates and scope are debatable, historians consider the Vietnam War one of America's longest and costliest.

(How long did the war last?) More Vietnam War facts: Number of Americans who served, American casualties, Total casualties, How did it end?, Veterans today


Veterans Day: Rifle squad honors vets with 57,000 goodbyes

Image: Jim McGee, a member of the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad

The volunteer squad ensures veterans get a proper final salute

“The bus stops on the cemetery path and the silver-haired men file out, sober-faced and silent amid a sea of white marble tombstones. Some carry rifles, some flags, a few hold bugles. They've all come to say goodbye — to a stranger.

This is their eighth funeral of the day. They have five more to go.

The men are members of a special fraternity of veterans. Two generations. Three wars. Survivors of places such as Khe Sanh, Chu Lai, Tokyo Bay, the Chosin Reservoir. Recipients of Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars. Now all together, offering a final salute to those who, like them, served long ago.”

PHOTO - Jim McGee, a member of the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad, salutes during a veteran's funeral at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Bloomington, Minn

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Corpses and coffins? FDA proposes graphic cigarette labels

The best thing I ever did for my health was quit smoking in 2000.

The feds are gung ho with their new initiative to reduce smoking

“The federal government hopes new larger, graphic warning labels for cigarettes that include images of corpses, cancer patients, and diseased lungs and teeth will help snuff out tobacco use.

The images are part of a new push announced by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday to reduce tobacco use, which is responsible for about 443,000 deaths per year.”

Read more here.

Koch Industries: Bankrolling the Big Oil climate denial movement

Koch Industries spent more than $1 million trying to sabotage California's clean energy future with Proposition 23 -- but you've probably never even heard their name before.
As co-owner David Koch brags, Koch Industries is "
the largest company that you've never heard of."
Koch has been very effective in spending tens of millions to bankroll the climate denial movement -- and until recently, they've stayed out of the headlines.

But now you should know the threat they pose to our planet.
Check out the facts on Koch Industries and share them with your friends and family.

It's time to shine a spotlight on this shadowy corporation. America needs to know that Koch Industries spends millions of dollars each year to misrepresent the science of climate change, lobby against clean energy legislation and keep us addicted to fossil fuels.

The web of funding from Koch Industries to climate denialists, anti-regulation think tanks and oil industry front groups is so complicated that we've made this site to share some of their worst offenses:
Until now, the misdeeds of this key player in the oil sector have remained a secret. Now you know. What you do about it is your own business. Pass this information on or ignore it. At least you’re aware of it now.

image source

Omega the Chimp stops smoking but continues eating magic mushrooms every day!

Omega the smoking Chimp kicks the habit with a little help from friends.

At one time Omega the Chimp packed hookas for people until he pissed the management off and they sold him.

He was sold to someone in Beirut who kept him in a tiny cage and provided him with cigarettes and magic mushrooms. I can’t imagine Omega’s state of mind. He’s been “rescued” by some folks who took him to a sanctuary in Brazil where they proceeded to get him to stop smoking. The mushrooms however, appear to be another story!

Cover-up revealed: White House altered report justifying drilling ban

This news comes as no surprise to me. The cover-up involving the Deepwater Horizon goes deep. There was complicity at all levels – BP, Halliburton, and the US government. Big Oil rules this country. It’s as simple as that. 

Inspector general finds it was altered to imply it was peer reviewed

“An inspector general says the White House edited a report about the administration's moratorium on offshore drilling to make it appear that scientists and experts supported the idea of a six-month ban on new drilling.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1st Stand Down Revisted : Hope in Helping Others, the message stays the same this Veterans Day

Editor’s Note:

The following article was written during the 1st Stand Down held in Ferndale (2004). I’m reproducing it here because the web site that carries it year-round, VA Watch Dog Dot Org, is shutting down. It’s founder, a great veteran’s activist, Larry Scott, is dealing with health issues and cannot continue keeping his informative blog up any longer.

Photo: Dave and Shirley Stancliff stocking food to take to the Stand Down.

By Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard

Dave Stancliff's adult life can, in many ways, be broken into two parts: two years of military service and more than 30 years of pain.
Unlike some war veterans, whose wounds can be seen in the form of missing limbs and shrapnel injuries, Stancliff's wounds are less visible and more elusive, but no less painful. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has wreaked havoc on Stancliff's life, manifesting itself in the form of panic attacks, flashbacks, agoraphobia, nightmares and a general distrust of humanity.
For Stancliff, a light is emerging at the end of a long tunnel and, through helping others, he is beginning to help himself. Working with the inaugural North Coast Stand Down -- an outreach program for local veterans taking place this weekend at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale -- Stancliff is realizing he is not alone and, in fact, his story has universal themes that are all too common. Meanwhile, the local community is showing its support for those in Stancliff's shoes by firmly standing behind the event.
Stancliff's pain is one that is hard for most non-veterans to understand. It's the pain of seeing one of his best friends killed in an ambush in Cambodia. It's the pain of witnessing carnage so savage that movies and stories can't capture it. But, perhaps most of all, it's the pain of being abandoned.
After serving in Vietnam, Stancliff returned to the United States not to a parade or a sea of understanding, but to anger pointed directly at him. He was spit on, he said, and called a baby killer.

Haunted by the hatred he felt and the carnage he witnessed, Stancliff tried to go on with life the best he could. He went to Humboldt State University and became a newspaper editor. Things seemed OK, but never good, until 1991 when he was the managing editor of five weekly papers in Southern California.
”After the Gulf War in 1991, something snapped,” Stancliff said, adding that the sight of parades welcoming troops home, in contrast to his own homecoming, was too much for him to handle.
”I was pissed at the world,” he recalled. “I couldn't even deal with my editors and writers anymore.”
Consumed by an anger he couldn't explain, Stancliff returned to Humboldt County and, in his own words, became somewhat of a hermit.
Senqi Hu, chairman of the Humboldt State University psychology department, said this is a common story. He said PTSD is a response to traumatic events like natural disasters, sexual assault and, in veterans' cases, combat.
”After a disastrous event, people develop chronic, long-term psychological distress, depression for example, chronic fear and anxiety, and sometimes mental dysfunction,” Hu said. “Symptoms often include recurrent and intrusive memories of the traumatic event, recurrent distressing dreams that replay the event and extreme psychological and physiological distress.”

In Stancliff's case, this meant rarely leaving the house, preferring to remain in surroundings that he could control. He couldn't work, couldn't take his wife, Shirley, out to dinner and he could not bring himself to attend his three sons' high school graduations.
”I can't say how bad I felt,” he said.
Though he has spent years in therapy, Stancliff has just recently begun to come out of his shell, as he put it. About a year and a half ago, Stancliff's brother died and something inside told the veteran that he needed to make a change.
A short time later, Stancliff placed a call to the local veterans center and asked what he could do to help.
It just happened that plans were in the works to hold a Stand Down, a massive outreach event to link up veterans with social services to improve their lives -- from legal and psychiatric advice to help with housing and medical aid. According to the event's Web site ( ), “the term 'stand down' is a military one that is used when combat troops are pulled out of action, and sent to an area of relative safety to get medical attention, clothing and other supplies.”

With his background in the newspaper business and his personal battle with PTSD, Stancliff seemed a perfect fit to be the event's public affairs coordinator.
”I feel that God has really worked me into this position,” Stancliff said. “It's therapeutic, the idea of getting outside yourself and helping others. It's been stressful, I won't lie to you, but the bottom line is I'm doing something I never thought I would be able to do.”
Stand Down Director Carl Young understands Stancliff's fight, because in many ways it is similar to his own.
After leaving Vietnam in 1974, where he served in the Navy, Young arrived in his hometown of Santa Cruz dressed in a pearly white uniform and was in no way prepared for the reception he received.
”I got off the Greyhound bus and had a gal run up to me and spit on me and call me a baby killer,” Young said, adding that the experience was enough for him to fall into a six-month bout of depression.
Young has also found solace in helping others. He helped organize the first Stand Down in the north San Francisco Bay Area and, after moving to Fortuna a year and a half ago, jumped on board planning the first Stand Down in Humboldt County.

Also living with PTSD, Young said he deals with his issues, in a large part, through writing and helping others by organizing Stand Downs, which were nowhere to be found when he returned home from Vietnam.
He still marvels at how a Stand Down could have changed his life.
”I would have found out that a lot of other people had similar experiences and there were a lot of positive things out there,” he said. “I would have been able to turn around a lot of things with my life.”
Both Stancliff and Young said they feel this is a critical time for outreach because they know the statistics.
They know that, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 200,000 of the nation's veterans don't have a house to sleep in on any given night, even though 89 percent of them received honorable discharges from the military. They know that, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are more than 14,000 veterans in Humboldt County. They also know that every day troops are returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq with the scars of war.
According to a 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 17 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq come home with PTSD. Stancliff and Young said they have heard about studies, some by the Defense Department, that put that number closer to 30 percent.

Hu warned that even those numbers are flawed, since many returning soldiers don't seek help, pre- ferring to keep their problems to themselves, and thus don't show up in surveys and studies. Hu added that it is important for people with PTSD to get professional treatment as soon after the traumatic experience as possible because it increases the success rates of treatment.
”With the help of psychologists, they can talk about the issues and the psychologist can guide them to a new way of thinking,” he said. “That's why psychological treatment is so important.”
Young said this is an urgent community issue affecting many aspects of society.
”There's a real need to come to the forefront on this because the government isn't going to,” Young said. “I really feel that doing these stand downs, and outreach in general, should be a national priority.”
Judging from the response to the North Coast Stand Down, many locals seem to agree.

Mary Vellutini, who owns the Vellutini Baking Co. in Eureka, has a World War II veteran father and a son currently serving overseas. She jumped at the chance to do something to help out, and her baking company is donating 3,200 cookies to the event.
”Being a small business, we can't give financially as much as we would like, but we can give products,” she said. “We can give cookies.”
She said helping was kind of a non-decision.
”You want to help because everyone is someone's son or brother or father,” Vellutini said. “It's just important to acknowledge what they do. There aren't enough heroes in the world. I don't even know how to put it into words.”
Shirley Stancliff, who recently agreed to be the event's food coordinator, said the outpouring of community support has been both unbelievable and heartwarming. With a host of donations from local businesses and community members, coupled with a large, private donation from Esther Phelps of Ferndale, Shirley Stancliff has compiled enough food to feed 400 people three meals a day for the entire weekend.
She said a donation by the Humboldt County Cattlewomen's Association of $350 worth of tri-tip, coupled with the grilling services volunteered by Rob Dunn of McKinleyville's farmers market fame, will give veterans a special Sunday treat.

”It's awesome to offer these vets the opportunity to have the kind of food they might not have otherwise just to make it special for them,” she said. “I want them to know they're honored and respected.”
Though the community's support brings a smile to Shirley Stancliff's face, nothing makes her happier than seeing her husband out in the world again.
”It's just awesome seeing him do this,” she said after spending hours shopping with him recently at Costco. Despite breaking out in a sweat, Dave Stancliff made it through the shopping trip, hurdling personal demons on his way to helping others fight the same battle he confronts daily.
He said he takes things day to day. He still takes sleeping pills to block out the nightmares, struggles to forget while still remembering, and he still likes to sit with his back to the wall in public places to make sure nobody is coming up from behind. He has hope, though, which wasn't always the case -- hope for himself, for others and for his country.
”These guys have no hope and think their lives are gone, and it's not true,” Dave Stancliff said of some of his fellow veterans. “Give them a hand up, not a hand-out, that's our motto. This is an example of taking care of our own. I can't change everything everywhere else, but we can all make a difference right here where we live. If we serve one person and change their life, (the event) will be a success.”

A mystery 'missile' or contrail? Authorities acting baffled

I honestly don’t know what to think about this development. One wag commented that it was probably the cartels testing new weapons. The Pentagon is doing it’s Alfred E. Newman “What Me Worry?” imitation. All really interesting stuff, don’t you think?
View this and share what you think on comments below

Here’s a shout out to Tom Sebourn:Contrails? What do you think it was?”

The Pentagon says it's baffled, but scientists suggest it's just a jetliner with spectacular contrail

Tug boats, USS Ronald Reagan to assist disabled cruise liner

Image: Carnival Splendor

Engine-room fire leaves Carnival Splendor without air conditioning, hot food, phone service

My youngest son just returned from a cruise aboard The Liberty (sister ship to this one). My wife, who really wants to go on a week cruise, sighed when she heard the news, and said, “Now we’ll never go on an ocean cruise. You’re going to be paranoid about something like this happening.”

I have to admit that I hate being on boats and the idea of boarding and de-boarding with 4000 people at every port-of-call gives me stomach cramps! Too many people. Not wanting to be an old fart (even if I am one), I suggested she get a friend to go with her. She’s seriously considering the idea…


Twelve unorthodox but promising green technology innovations

Twelve unorthodox but promising green technology innovations While politicians stumble to reach a consensus, researchers are pushing forward with new, if unusual, solutions.

From algae farms to wave energy, here are a dozen ecofriendly but odd ways to create clean energy. 

PHOTO - Don Long / Richmond Times Dispatch-AP

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspirational Story: Boy’s $12 monster drawings help fund his chemo

Image: Aidan Reed drawing monster pictures in hospital bed Image: Aidan Reed's monster drawings

Aidan Reed’s family has sold almost 2,500 silly, scary drawings to help offset expenses

Aidan Reed, 5, has always — always — loved monsters. Read his story here.

Hunt for value has taken stigma off Goodwill, store brands, fast food

Image: Marilyn Kunz

If anything good has come from our Great Recession, it’s the fact that people are learning to become more frugal and to make do with less. 

“In the wake of the Great Recession, the stigma attached to certain consumer behavior has fallen away. What some people once thought of as lowbrow, they now accept — even consider a frugal badge of honor.”

PHOTO - The Paramus, N.J., store is one of 100 new locations for the nonprofit Goodwill. Many are in middle-class suburbs. The strategy: Attract not only people in need, but also the many Americans who are looking for more value.

Performance artists stage ‘Kaiju Big Battel’ for dedicated fans

Take Mexican Wrestling, add Japanese Monsters(!), mix in a lot of fun and you get Kaiju Big Battel (the misspelling is intentional, by the way).

The creation of Boston performance artists David Borden and Rand Borden, it's a chance for fans to root for everything from the heroic Atomic Trooper Robo to the nasty Call-Me-Kevin.

image credit: Brian McCarty, via)

(image credit: Studio Kaiju)

Fear doctors (mad scientists?) use tarantulas to terrify volunteers

When I was in grade school in La Puente my buddy and I use to catch tarantulas in the nearby hills. We poured water down a hole, they came up, and we scooped them into jars.

Then the fun really started. We’d  each take one to school with us and would release them in a classroom! Never got caught releasing them either. What an uproar they caused, especially with the girls!

I never considered tarantulas scary and would let them walk all over me to impress  friends (and foes). But it looks like a lot of people are afraid of the little guys as evidenced by this new story:

“To observe the brain’s panic-response network in full freak, British researchers asked 20 volunteers to lie inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine. One by one, the scientists then had each person view a screen that showed a tarantula crawling closer ... and ... closer to the subject’s feet.” Read the rest here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

As It Stands–I’m 60 now and damned surprised that I made it this far!

20090304_9745I have no words of wisdom to share. I’m not sure if I should celebrate or grieve. Reaching 60 – six decades – is a milestone of sorts. It’s not as impressive as 70, 80 , 90…or 100.

I can tell you for sure I never thought I’d live this long. Let’s just say I’ve faced a few challenges along the way, but who hasn’t eh? I think it’s fair to say I try to enjoy every day.

I’m incredibly blessed with family and friends who support and love me. I live with the love of my life, Shirley, who’s always been at my side and is my bride of 35 years. I’m proud of all three of my sons. I love my five grandchildren. I don’t take my friends for granted.

I lead a very quiet life by choice. My pug Millie and I walk every day. I spend at least three hours daily researching subjects for columns. I’m happy…and 60 today.

As It Stands: Today in retrospect: Set clock back, read this column


By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 11/07/2010 01:22:00 AM PDT

Make sure to set your clock back one hour if you forgot last night. Daylight Saving Time ended at 2 a.m. this morning.

Today is a special day for a lot of reasons. Every day is special to me, but just for fun, let's start by looking at some people who were born on Nov. 7.

If it's your birthday today, then congratulations, and may you have many more.

Polish chemist and physicist Marie Sklodowska-Curie, the recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics and in chemistry, was born in 1867. Fiery Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was born on this day in 1879. American evangelist Billy Graham was born in 1919.

Other Nove. 7 birthdays include Al Hirt, American trumpeter; King Kong Bundy, professional wrestler; Dana Plato, actress; Andy Houston, a NASCAR driver; and Dave Stancliff, newspaper columnist/blogger.

Next, let's look at some historic Nov. 7 dates, since you're still reading.

imagesCAUYJ2IV * One of my favorite political wits is Thomas Nast, who drew the first cartoon depicting an elephant as the Republican Party's symbol on this day in 1874.

* The Wright Brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse made the first air freight shipment (From Dayton, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio) in 1910.

* Woodrow Wilson (D) was re-elected president with a campaign slogan of “He kept us out of war” in 1916.

* Women in the state of Colorado were granted the right to vote in 1893.

* Herbert Hoover easily won the Republican nomination, despite having no previous elected office experience, in 1928.

* The first broadcast of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” was aired on CBS-radio in 1932.

* Pennsylvania voters overturned a blue law that forbade Sunday sports in 1933.

* Cold War: The Gaither Report called for more American missiles and fallout shelters in 1957.

* Richard Nixon proclaimed, “You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore,” and quit politics on this day in 1962. Later, he ran for president and won two terms, only to be ousted after the Watergate affair, when he proclaimed, “I'm not a crook.”


* President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act establishing The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in 1967.

* John and Yoko released their “Wedding Album” in the U.K. in 1969.

* A bomb exploded at the U.S. Senate building in 1983. It was set by members of a group claiming to be the “Resistance Conspiracy” in protest of U.S. military involvement in Grenada and Lebanon.

* One of my favorite basketball players for the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson, announced he had HIV virus and retired from the team in 1991.

* The controversial U.S. presidential election took place in 2000 and was later resolved in the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Case.

* The USS New York, a warship built with steel salvaged from the World Trade Center, went into service in 2009.

Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day, which is kind of a nutty thing to note, but someone thinks it's important enough to list on a holiday calendar.

Finally, the number 7 is thought to be lucky. So is the number 11. That makes today -- 7/ll -- special if you're into numerology.

As It Stands, perhaps most important, this day is the first day of the rest of your life!

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...