I recently read a short biographical piece about Lenny Bruce which contained two sentences that both startled and started me to thinking. Those two sentences were: "He died in 1966 of a heroin overdose, still waiting to hear an appeal of his case. It wasn't until 2003 that Governor George Pataki granted him a posthumous pardon."
How do you make sense of a "posthumous" pardon, or for that matter, a posthumous anything?
When a person is dead, he (or she) is dead. He (or she) is unable to recognize a change in his (or her) earthly status. Or for that matter, he (or she), no longer having a functional brain, no longer can care about such mundane and strictly earthly matters.
So, what does it matter that George Pataki pardoned him?
I can only imagine with what utter contempt Lenny Bruce might have responded to Pataki's seeming beneficence.
Christmas Sparrow is the title of a poem by Billy Collins, and it's a good one.
Did You Know . . .?
stewardesses is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.
Although most Christians celebrate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ, few in the first two Christian centuries claimed any knowledge of the exact day or year in which he was born. The oldest existing record of a Christmas celebration is found in a Roman almanac that tells of a Christ's Nativity festival led by the church of Rome in 336 A.D. The precise reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25 remains obscure, but most researchers believe that Christmas originated as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice.
The word Christmas entered the English language originally as Christes maesse, meaning "Christ's mass" or "festival of Christ" in Old English. A popular medieval feast was that of St. Nicholas of Myra, a saint said to visit children with gifts and admonitions just before Christmas. This story evolved into the modern practice of leaving gifts for children said to be brought by "Santa Claus," a derivative of the Dutch name for St. Nicholas--Sinterklaas.
WORD FOR TODAY
1. The state or quality of being kind, charitable, or beneficial.
2. A charitable act or gift.
Beneficence comes from the Latin word benefactum, meaning "good deed." That's exactly what beneficence is -- helping someone just because you care, not because you want to be praised for being nice. Giving your time, skills, or even a donation of money or items shows beneficence. This word can also describe the character of a person who is helpful, caring, and compassionate.
(Dec 25, 1899 - Jan 14, 1957)
Humphrey Bogart was an American actor and is widely regarded as an American cultural icon. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema.
(born December 25, 1949)
Sissy Spaceck is an American actress and singer. She came to international prominence for her roles as Holly Sargis in Terrence Malick's 1973 film Badlands, and as Carrie White in Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film Carrie (based on the first novel by Stephen King) for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter. She also received Oscar nominations for her roles in Missing (1982), The River (1984), Crimes of the Heart (1986) and In the Bedroom (2001).
(Dec 25, 1924 - June 28, 1975)
Rod Serling was an American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone.
(Dec 25, 1642 - March 20, 1727)
Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics and shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the invention of the infinitesimal calculus.
Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. It also demonstrated that the motion of objects on the Earth and that of celestial bodies could be described by the same principles. By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the cosmos.
The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.