The Thought for the Day – Gene Cernan

America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow.  – Gene Cernan


Gene Cernan was an American astronaut. He is best known as the commander of America’s last lunar mission, Apollo 17, and was the last human to set foot on the moon. Before becoming an astronaut Cernan flew fighter jets in the Navy, reaching the rank of Captain. Cernan died in January of last year at the age of 82.

Today’s Thought came as Cernan prepared to leave the Moon for the last time. Immediately before uttering today’s Thought, Cernan had noted that while man was leaving the Moon, he hoped they would return “not too long into the future”.

He was wrong. America, the only country able to show any leadership in this matter, took a flier on exploring other heavenly bodies. And, actually, not returning to the Moon was not all that bad. We had accomplished a lot there and interest in further Moon landings, both amongst the public and Congress, was waning, as evidenced by the fact that three future Apollo missions were canceled.

Not returning to the Moon was of no consequence. No, what hurt was that we’ve never gone to Mars. Regular readers know we yap about this seemingly every other day. Well, there’s a reason for that. We’ve always felt that landing on the Moon is our greatest achievement, a line of demarcation separating everything that came before from everything that followed like few other events in human history. However, instead of the summit of space exploration, it should have been the foundation for going farther and we’ve long felt we could have made Mars in the 1980’s had we cared to.

Success begets success, and our failure to go to Mars meant mankind has missed on future triumphs, successes and innovations. And tragedies, too, frankly, because man has never done any kind of exploration, be it across an ocean or across space, without someone dying. It’s the way the world is built.

America’s challenge of today…

There is a lesson in this for us, too. The challenges we face today will forge our destinies of tomorrow. Are we taking advantage of what nature and circumstance are presenting us today, or are we taking a flier on them? If we are going to get on in this world and live the lives we were meant to live, we had best be taking advantage of the challenges of today.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose/January 9, 2018

The Daily Dose/January 9, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

UP, UP AND AWAY: John Young, an American astronaut who was one of three people to have flown to the Moon twice, died last week. He was 87. Young went into space six times, twice each with the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs and was the ninth human to walk on the lunar surface, commanding Apollo 16 in 1972.

Fly In The Ointment: Young’s death leaves mankind with five men who can tell us what it’s like to walk on the moon, not that anybody particularly cares anymore. The youngest of these are Charles Duke and Harrison Schmitt, both of whom are 82 and within a few years our species will have no one left to tell us firsthand of man’s greatest adventure.

Our loss. Our nation’s loss. Our planet’s loss.

Numbers Game: The roughly 164.2 million people born after December 1972, when we left the Moon for the last time, are the ones who are really missing out. A bit more than half our country has no memory of going to the Moon or of the great national effort it took to get there. Their only memories, frankly, are of a country perpetually at war and mired in internal division and mass shootings.

Dry, Technical Matter: Today’s kids should be getting acquainted with an entirely new generation of explorer, those who have been to Mars and back. Some of them should be preparing for space exploration careers themselves. Instead of setting the pace for the future of manned space exploration, however, they are flocking to other fields. Our loss there, too, because not only are we denied the achievements themselves, but we have also been denied the technological and other innovations these endeavors would have provided.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: Veteran readers of this crap know we feel we could’ve made Mars in the 1980’s if we had wanted to. We didn’t want to, though and America and the world missed out on the accomplishment a manned Martian landing would have brought. Sure, we send unmanned spacecrafts to Mars, and they’re pretty useful, frankly, able to everything a human can do except one thing:

Tell us what it’s like to be there!

The Bottom Line: Which is why we go. Which is why explorers have been going places no one has gone before since time immemorial. We are worse off for having stopped.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Mankind’s irrational persecution of the Jews continues when 600 Jews in Basel, Switzerland – then part of the Holy Roman Empire – are burned herded into a barn, shackled and the burned to death on this date in 1349. Europe and Eurasia at the time were mired in the Black Plague and some Basel citizens blamed the Jews because they appeared to have had a lower mortality rate from the disease than Gentiles.

Jews were banished from Basel for 200 years, an edict which lasted until an earthquake in 1356, when Basel need Jewish money to help rebuild the city.

Not So FunFact: The plague is estimated to have killed between 30 and 60 percent of Europe’s population, which did not recover to pre-plague levels until the 17th century. The plague is believed to have been carried by fleas that rode on the back of the rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships that sailed the Mediterranean.

Can We Get A Selfie Here?: Ernest Shackleton and his Nimrod Expedition reach 88 degrees, 23 minutes south latitude on this date in 1909, then the farthest south any humans had gone. They were a mere 112 miles from the South Pole, but would get no further, forced to turn back when food and other supplies ran low.

It’s All Over: The Los Angeles Lakers lose a basketball game for the first time in two months on this date in 1972, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks 120-104. The loss ends their 33-game winning streak, the longest in the history of American major league sports. The streak had started with a 110-106 victory over the Baltimore Bullets on November 5, 1971.

The Postgame Show Is Brought To You By Brew 102: The Lakers broke the record of 20 games, held by both the Washington Capitols (1947-48, five games, 1948-49, 15 games) and Milwaukee (1970-71).

Is This The Party To Whom I Am Speaking?: The iPhone makes its debut at a gathering of Mac geeks in San Francisco on this date in 2007. It had been developed in secret over the past 30 months at a cost of $150 million. The iPhone would go on sale the following June 29th.

Quotebook: But in truth, success doesn’t demand a price. Every step forward pays a dividend. – Dr. David J. Schwartz

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The longest State of the Union message by a president of the United States was 33,667 words delivered in writing by President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

Today’s Stumper: How many astronauts who flew in the Apollo program are still living? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – Anthony Trollope

…never think that you are not good enough yourself…My belief is that in life people will take you very much at your own reckoning. – Anthony Trollope


Anthony Trollope (1815-82) was an English novelist, primarily known for a series of novels known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire. Trollope was a prolific writer, known to set daily goals regarding how much he was going to write while also working as a postal inspector. Trollope also ran for the House of Commons in 1868 and finished last amongst four candidates.

…never think that you are not good enough yourself.

In any endeavor confidence is key. You must believe you have what it takes. It doesn’t matter the endeavor, either. It could be a tryout for the church choir or making a quilt for the county fair next summer or preparing for the Olympic Trials. Sometimes the difference between champion and runner-up is the champions deep-seated believe in himself. 

This deep-seated belief must be earned, however. You cannot go into an endeavor blindly believing in yourself because this is not confidence, this is cockiness, an emotion that does no one any good. Only when you enter the arena humbly and without expectation will the rewards come. Belief in yourself must be built on past success, confidence’s blade sharpened on the stone of experience.

My belief is that in life people will take you very much at your own reckoning…

How many times have you drawn conclusions about someone based on how they conducted or presented themselves? Probably a lot. Perhaps it was an opponent or someone you were interviewing for a job, how they projected themselves gave you a first impression, one that was probably pretty accurate.

It’s the same when people regard us. If we’re confident, if we look the part, if we exude energy and purpose people will sense that. If we’re slouched, or unenthusiastic or otherwise giving the impression of not being interested or caring, people will sense that, too.

Confidence is good. It is the sum of your experience and training, your efforts and your planning. While confidence itself does not guarantee success – there might be someone better than you – it is difficult to find success without it.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

 

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The Daily Dose/January 8, 2017

The Daily Dose/January 8, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HUT, HUT HIKE: Last time out we chatted about an NCAA-sponsored major division football tournament replacing the current four-team College Football Playoff run by TeeVee. Today we are going to offer the first-round matchups for the 2017 NCAA Division I Football Championship. It features 32 teams, so there’s room for pretty much every deserving team and it can begin either the first weekend of December or Thanksgiving weekend. Either way, the national championship game will be played on New Year’s Day, the last day anyone really wants to think about college football.

This format includes all current major division conferences, both the big boys from the Power Five conferences and the smaller Group of Five conferences. Because we feel there should be some reward for winning your conference, conference champions are seeded first. Teams that don’t like this should win their conference.

The tournament can either be a bracket format or a everyone can re-seeded after each round. Both have merit.

Teams were generally seeded based their ranking in the final Associated Press poll, though we tinkered with that a bit, especially with Central Florida, which got the broom handle all season from pollsters.

Oh Yeah: After seeding all conference champions, deserving independents and all other ranked teams, there were still four open spots in the tournament so we invited Army, Iowa, Iowa State, with Fresno State snagging the 32nd spot.

Location, Location, Location: We gave some thought as to where to play the games. One was to have games played on campus. This is how the NCAA does it in the FCS and Divisions II and III, at least until the title game, which is always at a neutral site. Another idea is to have conference champions and top runners-up play at a neutral site for the first round, then move to on-campus facilities up to the championship game.

Both have merit. First round on-campus games mean only one set of fans has to fork over for travel. On the other hand, for an event of this magnitude, having a predetermined site for the first round would make it easier to plan for. If the decision was ours, we’d play the opening round on campus, with the proviso that some of the smaller conference champions have small stadiums that may necessitate moving to a neutral site.

Down To Business: Here are the first round matchups, according to the above criteria. Please note results from the recent bowl games aren’t counted:

Fresno State/Clemson; Iowa/Oklahoma; Iowa State/Georgia; Army/Ohio State; Mississippi State/Central Florida; South Florida/USC; Virginia Tech/Notre Dame; Washington State/Boise State; Northwestern/Florida Atlantic; Memphis/Toledo; Michigan State/Troy; Oklahoma State/Alabama; LSU/Wisconsin; Stanford/Auburn; TCU/Penn State; Washington/Miami.

16 games is a lot, and for this reason, we favor starting the tournament on Thanksgiving weekend, eight games Friday, eight games Saturday and whoa Nelly, if you don’t think this would make Thanksgiving weekend an instant classic you are high, legally in some states. Starting the tournmanet on Thanksgiving weekend would allow two weeks between the semifinals and championship game, which is probably better than one week, especially if one team has to cross the country for both games.

OTOH: Starting the following week would mean the season could start a week later.

Either way, an NCAA major division football playoff would become an American classic quicker than you can say “Nick Saban”. As we’ve said before, on January 2nd we would all be dumbstruck at how great the experience was and wondering why we haven’t had a playoff for decades.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Francois Grimaldi, disguised as a monk seeking shelter, and some comrades overtake the fortress on the Rock of Monaco on this date in 1297. The Genoese he took it from would shoo him away four years later, thought the fortress was later recaptured by his cousin Ranier I, from whom the current Grimaldi’s are descended from.  

The Grimaldi’s have been undisputed rulers of Monaco since 1419 when they purchased the rest of the country from the Crown of Aragon and despite the fact the country could probably be overrun by a particularly well-led troupe of Boy Scouts, the Grimaldi’s continue to rule the country.

“Shall From Time To TIme Give To The Congress Information On The State Of The Union:”: President George Washington gives the first State of the Union Address to Congress on this date in 1790. Speaking in the Senate Chamber of Federal Hall in New York City, Washington talked about peace, immigration and – important for a new country – weights and measures, plus the promotion of science and literature because:

Knowledge in every country is the surest basis of public happiness.

LOL: Reading the address, and considering the fiasco our government is today, it’s difficult to believe Washington is actually talking to an American Congress, with Washington advising the senators and representatives the coming session will:

…call for the cool and deliberate exertion of your patriotism, firmness and wisdom.

Running The Numbers: Washington’s speech checked in at 1,089 words a bit longer than this column and still the shortest State of the Union address. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of giving the address in person, and written messages were the rule until Woodrow Wilson resumed the practice of giving a speech, amid some controversy,  in 1913

Full Speed Ahead, Goddammit: The USS San Francisco (SSN 711), a US Navy nuclear submarine, runs into an undersea mountain about 360 nautical miles southeast of Guam.

As usual, when a naval vessel hits something or runs aground, the Navy found that someone did not do what they were supposed to do, specifically that assorted navigational and voyage planning procedures weren’t used. For example, the undersea mountain was not shown on the charts in use at the time of the accident, though there were charts available that did show the area was of uncertain safety for an undersea voyage.

Quotebook: To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. – George Washington, State of the Union message, 1/7/1790

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The first championship held by the NCAA was the 1921 Track and Field Championships.

Today’s Stumper: Which president of the United States delivered the longest State of the Union message? – Answer next time!

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January 7, 2018

The On This Date segment has been around since the very first Daily Dose ran ten years ago at the old Writer’s Shack. We included it because not only because we enjoy history, but because it’s useful to take a big-picture look at the events that shaped our human experience.

And the segment is never cut-and-pasted, either. Though most entries are repeat offenders, each one is written from scratch because as we age our perspective as both a person and a writer changes, meaning an angle of an event that hadn’t been explored before is sometimes presented.

It’s rare when we can provide a personal story about an On This Date item, but today we can. January 7th is the anniversary of the first game played by the Harlem Globetrotters. When I was in high school in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s they trained on campus during the winter, where they also tried out fresh talent. Our campus used to be owned by the Catholics before us Lutherans took over, and it came complete with dorms and a cafeteria, in addition to the required gym. The Trotters were very friendly and it was one of our first instances of realizing famous people were just like you and me, except maybe they were more talented. More is shared in the On This Date item.

We’ve seen the Trotters in a variety of locations: Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Rochester, Minnesota and they are always a treat to watch.

Also today, we chat about the College Football Playoff in The Daily Dose and Paul Harvey has our Thought for the Day. 

Have a good day,
Gaylon

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The Thought for the Day – Paul Harvey

In times like these,it helps to remember there have always been times like these. – Paul Harvey


Paul Harvey was an American radio announcer, as beloved and respected an announcer as that honorable trade has produced. He was on the air from 1933-2008 and at his peak was heard by an estimated 24 million people every week on 1,600 radio stations.

It is common to think that we are at the salt and summit of our human experience and that we are living in unprecedented times. We should not be making this mistake. While us humans have evolved and we are living circumstantially different lives than those in past centuries, intrinsically we are living the same lives as the billions who came before us: providing for our existence, earning a living and when that’s done, trying to make our time on this planet – relatively brief, of indeterminate length and an unknown end – serve us.

In times like these…

Times don’t really change. It may seem like they do. After all, two thousand years ago people lived differently than we do today. They scrambled to survive. They hunted and gathered and took shelter where they could and when surviving was attended to perhaps they sat around the fire and rested and otherwise amused themselves. Then they were up with the sun to do it again. Today all the food we need is down at the corner grocery store and our houses are monuments to convenience and comfort, but we still have to wake up every morning and go earn a living. The difference the centuries have brought is how we do it.

… there have always been times like these

The world is a dangerous place? It always has been. Some spend their time consolidating wealth and power on the backs of those who have neither? They always have. Some are born to privilege while some seemingly have some zero chance? It’s the way the world is built.

Us humans have always gotten through these times, too, through the day in, day out resilience we show to make a go of it in this life.

It’s the way us humans are built. We wake up every morning with 24 hours to make something good happen for ourselves. It isn’t always easy, but it is is always necessary and always rewarding.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose/January 7, 2017

The Daily Dose/January 7, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HUT, HUT HIKE: Monday night in Atlanta Alabama and Georgia will meet in the championship game of the College Football Playoff (CFP), the culmination of a four-team invitational tournament held to crown a major division college football champion. They’re both deserving teams, and while we don’t have Roll Tide tattooed on our forearm, it is difficult not to admire the excellence head coach Nick Saban has managed to sustain at Alabama.

And the CFP is, of course, an improvement over the old BCS system, where two teams, decided by a computer program, were selected. Good riddance to that. And if Ohio State and Central Florida have legitimate beefs about being left out of the College Football Playoff, oh well, they agreed to the system in the first place.

And the CFP is doing its work well. While some of the novelty has worn off and the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl semifinals aren’t the highest rated shows in cable history anymore, the CFP is doing a splendid job of doing what it is designed to do: further consolidate wealth and power in college football’s wealthiest and most successful programs. Anyone who believes it was designed to do anything other than that is deluding themselves.

Fly In The Ointment: However, while it is an improvement, the CFP is not the best we could be doing. For years now it has been utter nonsense the NCAA has not sponsored a major division football tournament and it gets sillier by the year.

Deep down we all know this but no one has been willing to do anything about it because us fans are supporting the College Football Playoff. We’re buying their tickets and watching their games and buying their hoodies and jerseys, not to mention putting up with the wonder of the rest of the bowl season, 6-6 teams playing meaningless exhibitions in half-filled frozen baseball stadiums.

Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: A 32-team NCAA Division I Football Championship could have started the first weekend in December and ended with the NCAA Division I  National Championship Game on January 1, the last date anyone really cares about college football. If organizers wanted to give the final two teams two weeks off before the title game, not too bad an idea, the whole thing could begin Thanksgiving weekend and wouldn’t that be one heck of a holiday weekend?

No argument against a real playoff holds water. The NCAA’s small school division, Division III, recently concluded a 32-team tournament that saw it’s two finalists – Mount Union and Mary Hardin-Baylor – play five postseason games, exactly half their regular seasons. And these are real students, too, paying their own way and taking real college courses while trying to squeeze in championship football and scamming on coeds.

The Bottom Line: A 32-team NCAA Division I College Football Championship would instantly become a treasured piece of Americana. So much so that after the first one we would all be left scratching our collective heads wondering why in the hell this wasn’t done back in the 1920’s when the NCAA first starting holding national championships.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Galileo writes about the discovery of what would turn out to be four moons orbiting Jupiter on this date in this date in 1610. Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa – collectively known as the Galilean moons – were first thought to be three stars that were merely in the general area of Jupiter. Galileo kept watching them, however. Io and Europa, initially thought to be one object, separated and their relative positions to Jupiter kept changing and by March Galileo concluded they weren’t stars, but moons orbiting Jupiter.

Dry, Technical Matter: Outside of our own moon, these were the first moons discovered in the Solar System.

Really Dry, Technical Matter: Galileo, who had an awful lot of time on his hands, was also able to discover his moons, because their orbits could be determined in advance, could be used to discover one’s longitude here on Earth. It actually worked, though the implements required to make it work were cumbersome and difficult to use at sea and, of course, one had to have a clear view of Jupiter and her moons in the first place. It never really took hold as a navigational aid on the seas, however, some rather dull blokes used it on land to re-map France.

FunFact: Currently, Juptier has 69 known moons.

Speaking Of American Institutions: The Harlem Globetrotters, formed because blacks weren’t allowed to play professional basketball back then, play their first game on this date in 1927, in Hinckley, Illinois, a bit west of Chicago. They were a serious, traveling professional team at first, the comedy antics not debuting until 1939 and the following year the Globetrotters won the World Professional Basketball Tournament, then regarded as the world championship.

FunFact: The Globetrotters weren’t from Harlem, they were from Chicago. Founder Abe Saperstein, who was white, added the name to give his team some mystique.

A Warm, Personal Remembrance: In the early 1980’s the Globetrotters held their winter training/tryout camp at our alma mater, Los Angeles Lutheran High School. The Trotters were friendly and accessible and always bought an ad in our yearbook. We were also favored with the secret of how Curly Neal made his half court shot seemingly all the time: he did a hundred of them a day. There was no shortcut, a lesson that was lost on me till I was well into adulthood.

Quotebook: Talent is that which is in a man’s power, genius is that in whose power a man is. – James Russell Lowell

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Thomas Edison held 2,332 patents, including 1,093 in the United States.  

Today’s Stumper: When, and in what sport, did the NCAA hold its first national championship? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day/Thomas Edison

If we did what we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison


Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman. A holder of over 1,000 patents in the US alone, Edison invented, among other things, the phonograph, motion picture camera and a practical, long-lasting light bulb and his work significantly impacted – indeed, was the start of – the power, recorded sound and motion picture industries. Edison began his working life a telegraph operator.

Edison, like some others – Michelangelo and Benjamin Franklin come immediately to mind – is an excellent example of someone who spent his life doing what he was meant to be doing with it. Now, Edison had some advantage others do not. One, he was a genius, talented like few others and he had an immense capacity for work. Two, he had the great good fortune of being in the right place at the right time. He also had his share of good luck, but you tend to make your own good luck in this life. 

But he also shared some traits with us mortals. One, he had the same 24 hours every day that everyone else throughout human history has had. Two, he was issued assorted talents and ambitions at birth like we were. And, like we can be, Edison was committed to getting the most out of those talents. He knew success was nothing more than having the wisdom to know the life you are meant to live, the courage to go and live that life and the patience to see it through to the desired end.

We’ve wondered from time to time if Edison ever astounded himself. His impact and influence on his fellow humans is, after all, lasting and profound and he had to have been aware of that he would be living down the ages. Based on our experience with some modest attainments, he may very well not have astounded himself. He may well have thought his contributions and excellences were his do for the diligence and skill he put into his work.

We may not – or we may – live down the ages like Edison, but there is no reason we cannot get the most out of our talents like he did. When we do that, what’s meant to happen in our life usually does.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

 

 

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The Daily Dose/January 6, 2017

The Daily Dose/January 6, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HERE WE GO AGAIN: From time to time here we’ve discussed the future of the GOP. At first, before the 2016 election, we thought that Donald Trump losing might well have spelled the end of the Republican Party. At the time it appeared likely Trump would lose the election and it was not completely preposterous to think the GOP – having nominated one of the most divisive, contentious and unqualified candidates ever – would implode.

Then Candidate Trump became President Trump. It didn’t matter that he never had a long-term vision for our country or that he has little regard or respect for women or that his only real talent is drawing attention to himself. We elected him anyway and it is not the Upset of the Year to note he is as embarrassing a president as he was a candidate. Over the first year of his Administration the GOP has shown itself utterly incapable of governing.

Fly In The Ointment: It’s relevant to question the GOP’s future again after Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to rescind an Obama-era directive that discouraged federal authorities from enforcing pot laws in states that have legalized the substance. Not for the first time the GOP is showing themselves utterly out of step with what Americans want and need from their government. The party in control of both the White House and Congress has spent its time looking backwards, trying to undo what’s already been done, instead of grabbing the bull by the horns and doing some long-term good for our country.

Dude…Some Dry, Technical Matter: State laws legalizing marijuana are at odds with federal law, which says weed is illegal for any purpose. This despite the fact that seven states have legalized recreational use of pot and three-quarters of Americans have access to medical marijuana.

Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: Why we allow the government to dictate what we can and cannot use in the privacy of our own home is (still) beyond us. It’s not their lookout, it’s our lookout.

On the campaign trail for both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, we’ve always favored the legalization of drugs. And we are not fans of government regulation, either. We are taxed and regulated enough. Besides potheads and stoners have long had their own supply, delivery, payment and quality systems in place. All the government needs to do is remove the penalties for their manufacture, sale and usage.

Mine’s Bigger!: Really, the GOP is giving the impression its only goal is to put older, white males in a position to show everyone how big their schlongs are. Instead of making a genuine, long-term difference for our country, they are doing a splendid job of making themselves irrelevant to everyone except older white, males.

The Bottom Line: Why we haven’t seen a mass exodus from the GOP is interesting; they are not doing anybody any good. If they are still around after the 2018 election cycle we have only ourselves to blame for keeping them around.

I  DO PRONOUNCE THEE MAN AND WIFE…FOR NOW: Anne of Cleves marries England’s King Henry VIII on this date in 1540. Henry was reportedly not pleased with Anne’s plain appearance but married her anyway. The marriage was never consummated and would be annulled in July.

While Anne didn’t last all that long as Wife, did receive a generous settlement from Henry VIII that included letting her keep her head, so compared to others, she got off easy. She died in 1557, outliving Henry by ten years.

“A Further Object Of My Invention…”: Thomas Edison, useful to the last, signs his last patent application on this date in 1931, for “Holder for article to be electroplated”. We don’t understand any more about this than you probably do, and we actually read the patent.

Edison would die the following October after 84 useful years. 

This Is Definitely A Violation Of Federal Law: National Airlines Flight 2511, service from New York City to Miami, explodes around 2:45am over North Carolina on this date in 1960. A Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) investigation concluded the plane was brought down by a dynamite explosion, but assigned no blame and the investigation, now ignored by the FBI, remains open today. All 29 passengers and five crew members were killed.

FunFact: National Airlines was acquired by Pan-Am in 1980.

Dry, Technical Matter: The CAB was dissolved in 1985. Most of its duties had already been absorbed by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board and what remained was issued to the Department of Transportation and, of all things the post office. We were intrigued as to exactly what functions the CAB could turn over to the post office and some research shows it merely concerned compensation for mail carriage.

Quotebook: If we did what we were capable of, we would astound ourselves – Thomas Edison

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty were the three characters that appeared in the first Peanuts comic strip on October 2, 1950.

Today’s Stumper: How many patents, both total and in the US, was Thomas Edison granted? – Answer next time!

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January 3, 2018

Good morning dear readers.

Today we have the Holy Trinity for you: The Daily Dose, The Thought for the Day and The Bottom Ten. 

Today’s Bottom Ten is the final NFL survey of the season though, as noted in this space earlier, we still have the Best of 2017 survey – featuring the funniest lines of the year and your chance to vote for your faves – and the first annual Bottom Ten Tenny Awards coming up.

We are going to keep the same schedule we adhered to before our most recent reader-depleting hiatus and take Thursday and Friday off. The Daily Dose and The Thought for the Day will move again on Saturday.

 

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