Thursday, February 28, 2013

Things Do Get Better, Sometimes

Tucson Weather Today


For the past few days I have been feeling a bit poorly, as my grandfather used to say. But now that bout of mental funk and digestive discomfort has lessened and hopefully will not recur in the near future. What the cause for this periodic malady is, is most probably a matter of my lack of control over my eating habits. When I eat too much over a prolonged period, both my mental acuity lessens and my physical energy level drops, and I start to feel, well... ill. Then I lose my incentive for physical activity, which in turn lowers my desire to do anything more than merely to sit and watch TV or lie atop the covers on my bed and read from my Kindle. And sleep.

That is what they call a vicious circle.

And I just have to do something about it.

As much as I hate to admit it, being 73 years old might have something to do with my health problems. But that just means that I have to work harder than my creaky old body wishes to work.

Now that's a not-so-surprising bit of insight.

In physics, a force is said to do work when it acts on a body so that there is a displacement of the point of application, however small, in the direction of the force. Thus a force does work when it results in movement. The work done by a constant force of magnitude F on a point that moves a distance d in the direction of the force is the product, W=Fd.

Which means, does it not, that if I use mental Force to stimulate bodily movement, then Work will be produced? If I tell' myself (mental force) that at ten o'clock in the morning I must go out each and every day for a two-mile morning walk, and then at ten o'clock I leave the house and perform this two-mile walk (Work) then all will be well and my life will again be all hunky-dory.

Something like that . . .



On February 28,1993, at Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas, agents of the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) launch a raid against the Branch Davidian compound as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives by the Christian cult. As the agents attempted to penetrate the complex, gunfire erupted, beginning an extended gun battle that left four ATF agents dead and 15 wounded. Six Branch Davidians were fatally wounded, and several more were injured, including David Koresh, the cult's founder and leader. After 45 minutes of shooting, the ATF agents withdrew, and a cease-fire was negotiated over the telephone. The operation, which involved more than 100 ATF agents, was the one of the largest ever mounted by the bureau and resulted in the highest casualties of any ATF operation.

Following the unsuccessful ATF raid, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the situation. A standoff with the Branch Davidians stretched into seven weeks, and little progress was made in the telephone negotiations as the Davidians had stockpiled years of food and other necessities before the raid.

On April 18, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno approved a tear-gas assault on the compound, and at approximately 6:00 a.m. on April 19 the Branch Davidians were informed of the imminent attack and asked to surrender, which they did not. A few minutes later, two FBI combat vehicles began inserting gas into the building and were joined by Bradley tanks, which fired tear-gas canisters through the compound's windows. The Branch Davidians, many with gas masks on, refused to evacuate, and by 11:40 a.m. the last of some 100 tear-gas canisters was fired into the compound. Just after noon, a fire erupted at one or more locations on the compound, and minutes later nine Davidians fled the rapidly spreading blaze. Gunfire was reported but ceased as the compound was completely engulfed by the flames.

Koresh and at least 80 of his followers, including 22 children, died during the federal government's second disastrous assault on Mount Carmel.

David Koresh
David Koresh (born Vernon Wayne Howell; August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet. Howell legally changed his name to David Koresh on May 15, 1990. A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch outside of Waco, Texas, in McLennan County. Koresh, 54 other adults and 28 children were found dead after the fire.

More about David Koresh . . .



Convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
Advocate or promote Example: "Davis wanted to proselytize his ideas".

Many Christians consider it their obligation to follow what is often termed the Great Commission of Jesus, recorded in the final verses of the Gospel of Matthew: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."



Bernadette Peters
 Born Feb 28, 1948
Age:  64 years old

Bernadette Peters is an American actress, singer and children's book author from Ozone Park, Queens, New York. Over the course of a career that has spanned five decades, she has starred in musical theater, films and television, as well as performing in solo concerts and recordings.

She is particularly noted for her roles on the Broadway stage, including in the musicals Mack and Mabel, Sunday in the Park with George, Song and Dance, Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy.

Peters first performed on the stage as a child and then a teenage actor in the 1960s, and in film and television in the 1970s. She was praised for this early work and for appearances on The Muppet Show, The Carol Burnett Show and in other television work, and for her roles in films like Silent Movie, The Jerk, Pennies from Heaven and Annie.

 Born Feb. 28, 1923
Die: Dec. 24, 2012

Charles Edward Durning was an American actor, with appearances in over 200 movies, television shows and plays. Durning's memorable roles included the Oscar-winning The Sting (1973) and crime drama Dog Day Afternoon (1975), along with the comedies Tootsie, To Be or Not to Be and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the last two of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor. He also won a Tony award for his portrayal of Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1990.

 Born Feb 28, 1969
Age:  43 years old

Robert Sean Leonard (born Robert Lawrence Leonard; February 28, 1969) is an American actor. He is best known for playing Dr. James Wilson on the television series House, M.D. and Neil Perry in the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society. He regularly stars in Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

 Born Feb 28, 1955
Age:  57 years old

Gilbert Gottfried is an American actor, voice actor and stand-up comedian best known for his trademark comedic persona of speaking in a loud, grating tone of voice and squinting. He has played numerous roles in film and television, perhaps most notably voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin (1992), and co-starred in the Problem Child movies. He is also known for voicing Digit in the children's cartoon/educational math-based show Cyberchase, and the Aflac Duck until 2011.


“I think I am better than the people who are trying to reform me.”
--E.W. Howe

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Tucson Weather Today



On this day, February 27, 1860, President Abraham Lincoln posed for the first of several portraits by noted Civil War-era photographer Mathew Brady. Days later, the photograph was published on the cover of Harper's Bazaar with the caption, Hon. Abram Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican Candidate for President.

A relatively new art form, the photograph (or daguerreotype) showed an unusually beardless Lincoln just moments before he delivered an address at Cooper Union that day. The address, in which he articulated his reasons for opposing slavery in the new territories, received wild applause and garnered strong support for his candidacy among New Yorkers.

Brady went on to photograph Lincoln several more times before Lincoln's death in 1865.

Lincoln was not the first presidential candidate, or president, to be photographed -- that honor went to John Quincy Adams in 1843.

John Quincy Adams




-  A general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged.
-  A member of the clergy on the staff of a cathedral, esp. a member of the chapter.

A piece of work - usually in reference to literature - that was written by the original author. Spin-offs, fan fiction, and any work not written by the original author of that fictional universe is considered non-canon.



Joanne Woodward
 Born Feb 27, 1930
Age:  82 years old

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward is an American actress and producer of television and theater. She is perhaps best known for her Academy Award-winning role in The Three Faces of Eve (1957). Woodward was married to Paul Newman from 1958 until his death in 2008.

She appeared with husband Paul Newman in ten featured films: The Long, Hot Summer (1958) Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958) From the Terrace (1960) Paris Blues (1961) A New Kind of Love (1963) Winning (1969) WUSA (1970) The Drowning Pool (1975) Harry & Son (1984)—(directed by Newman) and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990)

 Born Feb 27, 1934
Age:  78 years old

Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government.

Nader came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and most famously the Chevrolet Corvair. In 1999, an New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century.

Nader is a five-time candidate for President of the United States, having run as a write-in candidate in the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary, as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.

 Born Feb. 27, 1932
Died Mar. 23, 2011

Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age. As one of the world's most famous film stars, Taylor was recognized for her acting ability and for her glamorous lifestyle, beauty, and distinctive violet eyes.

National Velvet (1944) was Taylor's first success, and she starred in Father of the Bride (1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Butterfield 8 (1960), played the title role in Cleopatra (1963), and married her co-star Richard Burton. They appeared together in 11 films, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), for which Taylor won a second Academy Award. From the mid-1970s, she appeared less frequently in film, and made occasional appearances in television and theater.

 Born Feb 27, 1940
Age: 72 years old

Howard Hesseman is an American actor best known for playing disc jockey Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati and schoolteacher Charlie Moore on Head of the Class.


A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.
--Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday 2/26/13

Tucson Weather Today



On this day, February 26, 1993, a bomb exploded in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people died and 1,000 were injured by the powerful blast, which also caused the evacuation of thousands of people from the Twin Towers.

Investigators at the bomb scene found a section of a van frame that had been at the center of the blast. The van's vehicle identification number was still visible, leading detectives to the Ryder Rental Agency in Jersey City, New Jersey. Their records indicated that Mohammed Salameh had rented the van and reported it stolen on February 25.

Salameh was already in the FBI's database as a potential terrorist, so agents knew that they had probably found their man. Salameh compounded his mistake by insisting that Ryder return his $400 deposit. When he returned to collect it, the FBI arrested him. A search of his home and records led to two other suspects.

The wealth of evidence resulted in easy convictions, and each of the men was sentenced to 240 years in prison.

On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was again attacked, when terrorists linked to Osama bin Ladin and al-Qaida hijacked and flew one jetliner into each tower. Within hours, both towers had collapsed, killing almost 3,000 people. A third jet was crashed into the Pentagon, killing almost two hundred people, including those on board the plane. A fourth hijacked jet, apparently bound for a second target in Washington, D.C., crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers -- aware of the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon -- attempted to wrest control of the plane from the hijackers. All aboard were killed.



1. the act of establishing limits or boundaries
2. a limit or boundary
3. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms)
a.  a strict separation of the kinds of work performed by members of different trade unions
b.  (as modifier) demarcation dispute
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) separation or distinction (often in the phrase line of demarcation)



Jackie Gleason
 Born Feb. 26, 1916
Died June 24, 1987

John Herbert Gleason known professionally as Jackie Gleason was an American comedian, actor and musician. He was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy style, exemplified by his character Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners. Among his notable film roles were Minnesota Fats in the 1961 drama The Hustler (starring Paul Newman) and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series.

 Born Feb. 26, 1932
Died Sept. 12, 2003

John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author who was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although he is primarily remembered as a country music icon, his songs and sound spanned other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll—especially early in his career—and blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Cash was known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice, for the "boom-chicka-boom" sound of his Tennessee Three backing band; for a rebelliousness, coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor; for providing free concerts inside prison walls; and for his dark performance clothing, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". He traditionally began his concerts with the phrase "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.", followed by his standard "Folsom Prison Blues".

Much of Cash's music echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs included "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson"; and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter" and "Rock Island Line".

 Born Feb 26, 1928
Age:   84 years old

Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino Jr. is an American R&B and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. Domino's first album, Carry on Rockin', was released under the Imperial imprint, No. 9009, in November 1955 and subsequently reissued as Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino in 1956.

Some of his notable hits were: Blueberry Hill, Blue Monday, I'm Walkin', Ain't That A Shame, When My Dreamboat Comes Home, Whole Lot Of Loving, Walking To New Orleans, and I Hear You Knocking.

 Born:  Feb. 26, 1887
Died  March 3, 1966

William Clement Frawley was an American stage entertainer, screen and television actor. Although Frawley acted in over 100 films, he is best known for playing landlord Fred Mertz in the situation comedy I Love Lucy, and "Bub" in the TV series My Three Sons.


Good sense is both the first principal and the parent source of good writing.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Watch For Warning Signs

Tucson Weather Today


Reading warning signs and obeying them is usually a wise decision. Or so we are led to believe.

Sometimes the information is so obvious as to render the warning humorous or even ridiculous.

Such as this one:

But sometimes the warning is a bit ambiguous.

Such as this one:
(Does this man don't read the sign itself, or don't read the information below?)

"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

Do you know what that sentence, written by author/philosopher Judith Butler, is telling us?

Do I?

I'm working on it.

This warning sign is not very effective in its warning:

This warning sign is a bit more effective in its warning:

This warning sign is a lot more effective in its warning:



On this day, February 25 in 1938 (a year before I was born) the city of Miami, Florida got its first drive-in movie theater. The Miami drive-in charged admission of 35 cents per person, which was more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person.

America's very first drive-in had opened near Camden, New Jersey, five years earlier, on June 6, 1933, the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, whose family owned an auto parts company.

Following World War II, the popularity of drive-in theaters increased as America's car culture grew. By the early 1950s, there were more than 800 drive-ins across the United States. Although they earned a reputation as "passion pits" for young couples seeking privacy, most drive-in customers were families (parents didn't have to hire babysitters or get dressed up and their children could wear pajamas and sleep in the car) and often featured playgrounds, concession stands and other attractions. Some drive-ins were super-sized, including Detroit's Bel Air Drive-In, built in 1950, which had room for more than 2,000 cars, and Baltimore's Bengies Drive-In, which opened in 1956, and claimed the biggest movie screen in the U.S.: 52 feet high by 100 feet wide.

At their peak in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were some 4,000 drive-ins across America. But in later years drive-ins began a decline due to the rise of other entertainment options, including video recorders, multiplex theaters and cable television. Today, they number less than 400.



nanny state
a government perceived as authoritarian, interfering, or overprotective.

Nanny state is a term that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term "nanny state" likens government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing. It is defined by as "a government perceived as authoritarian, interfering, or overprotective" and has also come to be associated with socialist practices of having the government basically "baby" the populace by being in charge, in control of, and even financing all of its needs. Some governance claimed to represent a nanny state are those that emerge from application of public health, risk management of health and safety policies.

A good example of Big Government and nanny state criticism was the response to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's May 2012 proposal to restrict the sale of soft drinks in venues, restaurants and sidewalk carts to 16 ounces.

30 Examples of Why America Is No Longer a Free Country



Tea Leoni
 Born Feb 25, 1966
Age:   46 years old

Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni, better known by her stage name Téa Leoni, is an American actress. She has starred in a wide range of films including Jurassic Park III, The Family Man, Deep Impact, Fun with Dick and Jane, Flirting with Disaster, Spanglish, Bad Boys, Ghost Town and Tower Heist.

 Born Feb 25, 1937
Age:  75 years old

Bob Lloyd Schieffer is an American television journalist who has been with CBS News since 1969, serving 23 years as anchor on the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News from 1973 to 1996; chief Washington correspondent since 1982, moderator of the Sunday public affairs show Face the Nation since 1991, and, between March 2005 and August 31, 2006, interim weekday anchor of the CBS Evening News. As of 2011, he is one of the primary substitutes for Scott Pelley.

 Born Feb 25, 1935
Age:  77 years old

Sally Jessy Raphael (born Sally Lowenthal) is an American talk show host, known for her eponymous talk show program Sally, which she hosted for two decades, as well as for her oversized bright red eyeglasses which she always wears in public.

 Born Feb 25, 1913
Died   July 3, 1989

James Gilmore "Jim" Backus was an American radio, television, film, and voice actor. Among his most famous roles are the voice of nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo, the rich Hubert Updike III on the radio version of The Alan Young Show, Joan Davis's character's husband (a domestic court judge) on TV's I Married Joan, James Dean's character's father in Rebel Without a Cause and Thurston Howell, III on the 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island. He also starred in his own show of one season, The Jim Backus Show, also known as Hot off the Wire.


I don't want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.
--Rand Paul

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Truth, Whole Truth, And More Than Truth

Tucson Weather Today


After skipping over the somewhat arcane notation tl;dr so many times in my reading of articles and blogs on the internet, I finally decided to look up the term. To, you know, find out what it means. Which evidently, is: too long; didn't read.

Below are two paragraphs from what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Traditionally, the phrase too long; didn't read (abbreviated tl;dr or simply tldr) has been used on the Internet as a reply to an excessively long statement. It indicates that the reader did not actually read the statement due to its undue length. This essay especially considers the term as used in Wikipedia discussions, and examines methods of fixing the problem when found in article content.

As a label, it is sometimes used as a tactic to thwart the kinds of discussion which are essential in collaborative editing. On the other hand, tl;dr may represent a shorthand acknowledgement of time saved by skimming over or skipping repetitive or poorly written material. Thus the implication of the symbol can range from a brilliant and informative disquisition being given up due to lack of endurance, interest, or intelligence, to a clustered composition of such utter failure to communicate that it has left the capable reader with a headache; judging this range is very subjective.

I have to admit that Wikipedia's first section regarding tl;dr was all I read. Why? The complete article was tl;dr.

The Urban Dictionary provides definitions for tl;dr that are much more entertaining and are just as informative.



On this day, February 24th of 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-0 to overturn the $200,000 settlement awarded to the Reverend Jerry Falwell for his emotional distress at being parodied in Hustler, a pornographic magazine.

In 1983, Hustler ran a piece parodying Falwell's first sexual experience as a drunken, incestuous, childhood encounter with his mother in an outhouse. Falwell, an important religious conservative and founder of the Moral Majority political advocacy group, sued Hustler and its publisher, Larry Flynt, for libel. Falwell won the case, but Flynt appealed, leading to the Supreme Court's hearing the case because of its constitutional implications. In February 1988, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court's decision, ruling that, although in poor taste, Hustler's parody fell within the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech and the press.




parody [PAYR-uh-dee]
a. A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule.
b. The genre of literature comprising such works.
2. Something so bad as to be equivalent to intentional mockery; a travesty.

A parody (also called spoof, send-up or lampoon), in current use, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on or trivialize an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

The British comedy group Monty Python is famous for its parodies, for example, the King Arthur spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), and the Jesus satire Life of Brian (1979).



Abe Vigoda
 Born Feb 24, 1921
Age:  91 years old

Abraham Charles "Abe" Vigoda is an American movie and television actor who appeared in dramas, including The Godfather, and in comedies such as Barney Miller, Joe Versus The Volcano, and Good Burger. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975 to 1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to June 1978 on ABC.

 Born Feb 24, 1955
Died   Oct. 5, 2011

Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs was an American entrepreneur and inventor, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming "one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies..." Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar.

 Born Feb 24, 1947
Age:   65 years old

Edward James Olmos is a Mexican American actor and director. Among his most memorable roles are William Adama in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice, teacher Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver, patriarch Abraham Quintanilla in the film Selena, Detective Gaff in Blade Runner, and narrator El Pachuco in both the stage and film versions of Zoot Suit.

 Born Feb 24, 1942
Age:   70 years old

Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman is a former United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.


Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The March Of Dimes




On this day, February 23 in 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

Poliomyelitis, also called infantile paralysis, based on its propensity to affect children. was a highly contagious disease that emerged in terrifying outbreaks and seemed impossible to stop. Attacking the nerve cells and sometimes the central nervous system, polio caused muscle deterioration, paralysis and even death. Even as medicine vastly improved in the first half of the 20th century in the Western world, polio still struck, affecting mostly children but sometimes adults as well. The most famous victim of a 1921 outbreak in America was future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then a young politician. The disease spread quickly, leaving his legs permanently paralyzed.

Victim of Infantile Paralysis

In the late 1940s, the March of Dimes, a grassroots organization founded with President Roosevelt's help to find a way to defend against polio.

The March Of Dimes
I well remember seeing this display of a charitable plea on virtually every retail store's counter, right next to the cash register. And believe me, even a dime back in those days was a good deal of money.

Here is another display

The organization enlisted Dr. Jonas Salk, head of the Virus Research Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Salk found that polio had as many as 125 strains of three basic types, and that an effective vaccine needed to combat all three. By growing samples of the polio virus and then deactivating, or "killing" them by adding a chemical called formalin, Salk developed his vaccine, which was able to immunize without infecting the patient.

Dr. Jonas Salk -- 1954
Mass inoculations began in 1954, and by August 1955 some 4 million shots had been given. There is still no cure for polio once it has been contracted, but the use of vaccines has virtually eliminated polio in the United States. Globally, there are now around 250,000 cases each year, mostly in developing countries. The World Health Organization has set a goal of eradicating polio from the entire world.

Note: I have never been immunized for polio. I left high school just before the serum was made available in my hometown, and the institution-based process never caught up to me.



charity [CHAYR-uh-tee]
1. Provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.
2. Something given to help the needy; alms.
3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy.
4. Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
5. Indulgence or forbearance in judging others.
mercy, leniency, clemency, charity

These nouns mean humane and kind, sympathetic, or forgiving treatment of or disposition toward others.

The practice of charity means the voluntary giving of help to those in need who are not related to the giver.

Most forms of charity are concerned with providing food, water, clothing, and shelter, and tending the ill, but other actions may be performed as charity: visiting the imprisoned or the homebound, dowries for poor women, ransoming captives, educating orphans.



W.E.B. DuBois
 Born Feb 23, 1868
Died Aug 27, 1963

William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor. Born in western Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a tolerant community and experienced little racism as a child. After graduating from Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.

Du Bois was a prolific author. His collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk, was a seminal work in African-American literature; and his 1935 magnum opus Black Reconstruction in America challenged the prevailing orthodoxy that blacks were responsible for the failures of the Reconstruction era.

The Souls Of Black Folk can be read here

Born Feb 23, 1965
Age:   47 years old

Kristin Landen Davis is an American actress. She first rose to prominence and achieved fame for playing the role of Brooke Armstrong on Melrose Place and went on to achieve greater success as Charlotte York Goldenblatt on HBO's Sex and the City.

 Born Feb 23, 1951
Age:  61 years old

Patricia Castle Richardson is an American television and film actress best known for her portrayal of Jill Taylor on the sitcom Home Improvement.

 Born Feb 23, 1940
Age:  72 years old

Peter Henry Fonda is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget and Justin Fonda (by first wife Susan Brewer, stepdaughter of Noah Dietrich). Fonda is an icon of the counterculture of the 1960s. In 1968, Fonda produced and starred in Easy Rider, the classic film for which he is best known.


A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
--Jack London

Friday, February 22, 2013

Today is George Washington's Birthday

Tucson Weather Today


The TV weather forecasters were right day before yesterday. It snowed at 12 noon on Wednesday February 20, 2013 here in the city of Tucson, Arizona. not just on the mountains at the higher elevations as is the usual case in winter. And it was cold enough (at freezing) that the snow stuck to the ground and accumulated. I donned my cap and jacket, picked up my trusty little Canon Power Shot A-510, and went out onto the front porch and snapped a few shots of this unusual occurrence.

Facing East

 Zoomed In

Facing West

 (Toward The Heated Swimming Pool)



On this day. February 22, in 1732, George Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner. An initially loyal British subject, Washington eventually led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and became known as the father of the United States.

In 1775, the Continental Congress unanimously chose Washington to command the new Continental Army. Part of his success in the Revolutionary War was due to his shrewd use of what was then considered the ungentlemanly, but effective, tactic of guerrilla warfare, in which stealthy hit-and-run attacks foiled British armies used to close-formation battle-line warfare.

In 1789, in part because of the leadership skills he displayed during the war, the Continental Congress elected Washington as the first American president.

On December 14, 1799, Washington died of a severe respiratory ailment. He humbly identified himself in his will as George Washington, of Mount Vernon, a citizen of the United States.

More at: HISTORY



1. An empty space or a missing part; a gap:
   example: "self-centered in opinion, with curious lacunae of astounding ignorance"
2. (Anatomy) A cavity, space, or depression, especially in a bone, containing cartilage or bone cells
3. (manuscripts), a missing section of text

A lacuna is a gap in a manuscript, inscription, text, painting, or a musical work. Weathering, decay, and other damage to old manuscripts or inscriptions are often responsible for lacunae -- words, sentences, or whole passages that are missing or illegible.



George Washington
 Born Feb 22, 1732
Died Dec 14, 1799

George Washington
was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, serving as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He also presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution established the position of President of the republic, which Washington was the first to hold. More here...

 Born Feb 22, 1975
Age:   37 years old

Drew Blyth Barrymore is an American actress, film director, screenwriter, producer, and model. She is a descendant of the Drew family and Barrymore family of iconic American stage and cinema actors, and she is the granddaughter of film legend John Barrymore. She first appeared in an advertisement when she was 11 months old.

Barrymore made her film debut in Altered States in 1980. Afterwards, she starred in her breakout role in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and endeared herself to film audiences of every generation.

Following a turbulent childhood which was marked by recurring drug and alcohol abuse and two stints in rehab, Barrymore wrote the 1990 autobiography, Little Girl Lost. She successfully made the transition from child star to adult actress with a number of films including Poison Ivy, Bad Girls, Boys on the Side, and Everyone Says I Love You. Subsequently, she established herself in romantic comedies such as The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.

 Born Feb 22, 1907
Died  Jan 10, 1997

Sheldon Leonard was a pioneering American film and television producer, director, writer, and actor. Leonard specialized in playing supporting characters, especially gangsters or "heavies", in films such as It's a Wonderful Life (1946), To Have and Have Not (1944), Guys and Dolls (1955), and Open Secret (1948). His trademark was his especially thick New York accent, usually delivered from the side of his mouth.

But he is better known today as the producer of hugely popular television series, including The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room For Daddy) (1953–64), The Andy Griffith Show (1960–68), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–66), and I Spy (1965–68).

His name served as a namesake for the characters Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter in the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory, as the writers are fans of his work.

 Born Feb. 22, 1962
Died   Sept. 4, 2006

Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin, nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian wildlife expert, television personality, and conservationist. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife Terri. Together, the couple also owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin's parents in Beerwah, about 80 kilometers (50 mi) north of the Queensland state capital city of Brisbane.

Irwin died on 4 September 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film titled Ocean's Deadliest. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship MY Steve Irwin was named in his honor.


Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.
--George Washington

And . . .

The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.
--George Washington

And . . .

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
--George Washington

Thursday, February 21, 2013

To Arms . . . To Arms

Tucson Weather Today


Some facts related to Violence In America:

The Congressional Research Service in 2009 estimated there were 310 million firearms in the United States, not including weapons owned by the military. 114 million of these were handguns, 110 million were rifles, and 86 million were shotguns. In that same year, the Census bureau stated the population of people in America at 305,529,237. Data analysis of crime gun databases showed that 70% of guns recovered at crime scenes in Virgina were purchased within one year of the crime, suggesting that in some cases guns are purchased with the intent to commit a crime or murder

In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 66.9% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm.There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000. Two-thirds of all gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides. In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicide deaths, and 11,078 firearm-related homicide deaths in the United States.


At least eleven assassination attempts with firearms have been made on U.S. presidents (over one-fifth of all presidents); four were successful, three with handguns and one with a rifle.

Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

Shooting of President William McKinley in 1901

Smith and Wesson Model 60 .38 Special revolver with a 3-inch barrel

Semi-automatic versions of the AK-47 assault rifle

Response to these events has resulted in federal legislation to regulate the public possession of firearms. For example, the Kennedy assassination (along with others) resulted in the Gun Control Act of 1968. The GCA is a federal law signed by President Lyndon Johnson that broadly regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners. It primarily focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by largely prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers.

Americans for Responsible Solutions was started in January 2013 as a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to "encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them." The organization was announced on January 8, 2013 by Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords, a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives for Arizona's 8th congressional district, and her husband Mark Kelly, a retired American astronaut. In an op-ed published in USA Today, Gifford and Kelly referred to the NRA lobby and sought to counter it by creating a lobby dedicated to responsible gun control measures.

I like the response of George Will concerning toy guns being given to children: "Some parents say it is toy guns that make boys warlike. But give a boy a rubber duck and he will seize its neck like the butt of a pistol and shout "Bang!"

My last thoughts (as of today) on the subject:

Where the Americans for Responsible Solutions organization seems on the surface to be a sensible undertaking, I can't help falling back onto my basic belief: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Please Children of this century . . . never forget that. And never forget that every new bill passed into law restricting gun ownership, although seemingly innocent on its face, still becomes a "foot in the door" for later embellishments and additional laws that are not so innocent, and can be acted upon by future governmental leaders whose aims and motives are 'not' so innocent.



On February 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.

Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925, Malcolm was the son of James Earl Little, a Baptist preacher who advocated the black nationalist ideals of Marcus Garvey. Threats from the Ku Klux Klan forced the family to move to Lansing, Michigan, where his father continued to preach his controversial sermons despite continuing threats. In 1931, Malcolm's father was brutally murdered by the white supremacist Black Legion, and Michigan authorities refused to prosecute those responsible. In 1937, Malcolm was taken from his family by welfare caseworkers. By the time he reached high school age, he had dropped out of school and moved to Boston, where he became increasingly involved in criminal activities.

In 1946, at the age of 21, Malcolm was sent to prison on a burglary conviction. It was there he encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, whose members are popularly known as Black Muslims. Muhammad's teachings had a strong effect on Malcolm, who entered into an intense program of self-education and took the last name "X" to symbolize his stolen African identity.

After six years, Malcolm was released from prison and became a loyal and effective minister of the Nation of Islam in Harlem, New York. In contrast with civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X advocated self-defense and the liberation of African Americans "by any means necessary."

In the early 1960s, he began to develop a more outspoken philosophy than that of Elijah Muhammad,  Malcolm formally left the organization and made a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, where he was profoundly affected by the lack of racial discord among orthodox Muslims. He returned to America as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and in June 1964 founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated black identity and held that racism, not the white race, was the greatest foe of the African American. Malcolm's new movement steadily gained followers, and his more moderate philosophy became increasingly influential in the civil rights movement, especially among the leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

Malcolm X was shot to death on February 21, 1965.



A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.

A firearm is a weapon that launches one projectile or more at high velocity through the confined burning of a propellant. In older firearms, the propellant was typically black powder, but modern firearms use smokeless powder or other propellants. Most modern firearms have rifled barrels to impart spin to the projectile for improved flight stability.



Kelsey Grammer
 Born Feb 21, 1955
Age:   57 years old

Kelsey Grammer is an American actor and comedian. Grammer is most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the hit NBC sitcoms Cheers, Wings, and Frasier. He has won five Emmy Awards, and has also worked as a television producer, director, writer, and as a voice artist.

 Born Feb 21, 1934
Died  June 3, 2010

Rue McClanahan was an American actress, best known for her roles on television as Vivian Harmon on Maude, Fran Crowley on Mama's Family, and Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1987.

 Born Feb 21, 1963
Age:   49 years old

William Joseph "Billy" Baldwin is an American actor, producer, writer, brother of Alec Baldwin, known for his starring roles in such films as Flatliners (1990), Backdraft (1991), Sliver (1993), Fair Game (1995), Virus (1999), Double Bang (2001), as Johnny 13 in Danny Phantom (2004–2007), Art Heist (2004), The Squid and the Whale (2005), as himself in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as Senator Patrick Darling in the TV drama Dirty Sexy Money (2007–2009) on ABC, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010), and now Baldwin is currently a regular guest on Gossip Girl as William van der Woodsen and Parenthood as Gordon Flint.

 Born Feb 21, 1946
Age:   66 years old

Ellen Tyne Daly is an American stage and screen actress, widely known for her work as Detective Mary Beth Lacey in the television series Cagney & Lacey and as Maxine Gray in the television series Judging Amy. She is also known for her role as Alice Henderson in the television series Christy. She has won six Emmy Awards for her television work and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical in Gypsy: A Musical Fable in 1989.

Daly appeared in John and Mary (1969), the movie adaptation of Play It As It Lays (1972), and The Adulteress. She was cast as Inspector Harry Callahan's first female partner, Kate Moore, in the 1976 Dirty Harry film The Enforcer.


After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
--William S. Burroughs