The Daily Dose/January 10, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Notes from around the Human Experience…
USA! USA!: This country has completely lost its mind.
Fresh of her speech accepting the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globe Awards this past weekend, Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey! – is now being touted by some as a candidate for president of the United States in 2020.
Now, Oprah certainly has her talents. Like our current president, she has a supreme ability to draw attention to herself. Unlike our current president, she has other talents, too, and she has combined these talents with no small amount of ambition and an immense capacity for work to achieve things that a lot of people – male or female, white or black – would, to steal a Frank Sinatra line, kill Grandma for.
We read Oprah’s speech. It wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t Speech of the Year, but it was all right, about what you would expect a woman of Oprah’s stature to deliver under the circumstances. She talked about the inspiration she received watching Sidney Poitier receiving an Oscar on TV as a girl and thanked some people that helped her on her journey and talked about a new day dawning in how women and men interact with each other. She talked about a “culture broken by brutally powerful men” and said “their time is up” three times.
Good. We hope it is. Us men have a lot to answer for in our quest for wealth and power and it is about time we are held accountable.
Can We Talk?: But let’s be honest, Oprah is no more qualified to be president than Donald Trump. Neither this speech nor, really, anything she’s done in the past has indicated she has a substantive, long-term vision for our country.
OTOH: For a long time our government has been a partisan, fractured and bickering mess, so can you blame people for running Oprah’s name up the flagpole? Not really, because who else is there? Can you name one current major party politician that has a substantive, long-term vision for our country and the charisma to get elected? I can’t, and you probably can’t either.
The Bottom Line: Oprah for President will go about as far as Oprah wants it to go. America elected Donald Trump, so we write Oprah off at our peril.
HUT, HUT HIKE: Nick Saban, the head football coach at Alabama, was probably already on the list of the very best major division college coaches before Alabama won another national championship Monday night, but his place on that list is secure now. Put his name up there with Wooden, Auriemma, Bryant and Dedeaux.
Monday’s 26-23 overtime win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game was Saban’s sixth national championship overall – tied with Bear Bryant for the most in the poll era – and fifth in eleven seasons at Alabama. Saban also won a national title at LSU.
It will be interesting to see if he stays. Saban’s head coaching record in the NFL was mediocre and he may well feel he has some unfinished business there. He hardly needs any more collegiate championships and the New York Giants certainly are dragging feet in finding another head coach, though they may well be waiting until the New England Patriots have finished their season.
OH, WHAT THE HELL: Julius Caesar, commanding the 13th Legion, crosses the Rubicon River and begins a Roman civil war generally named after him on this date in 49 BC. Caesar was fresh off a number of stirring military victories that extended all the way to the English Channel, which some in the Roman Senate saw as a threat, so they ordered him to step down from his command.
F*ck That Noise: This is hardly what ambitious men hell-bent on world dominance want to hear, and Caesar ignored the order, remaining in command of the 13th Legion.
Fly In The Ointment: Crossing the Rubicon meant Caesar was entering Roman Italy under arms, considered an act of war. Caesar’s Civil War would last four years, result in his victory and lead to the establishment of the Roman Empire. Caesar may or may not have said “the die is cast”. Though generally attributed to him, History is unclear on the matter.
Some Places Have Interns For This: The Rubicon River was then the border between Gaul and Italy and “crossing the Rubicon” remains in our vernacular, referring to the crossing of a line of demarcation from which there is no going back.
Great Moments In Sending Radar Waves To The Moon And Having Them Bounce Back To Earth: Man reaches the Moon for the first time when the US Army Signal Corps sends radar signals to the Moon and receives them back here on Earth on this date in 1946.
Known as Project Diana, probably after a cute secretary in the office, though perhaps after the Roman moon goddess, the test established that radio waves could penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, establishing communications with manned space missions was possible, and it also established that communications could be bounced off the Moon to reach other places on Earth, though this advancement was rendered obsolete with the advent of satellite communications.
FunFact: The test also showed the Moon was 238,000 miles from Earth on that day, about its average distance. Due to the Moon’s elliptical orbit, its distance from Earth varies, from as close 225,000 miles to as far away as 252,000 miles.
Quotebook: Let everyone mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made. – Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: 14 astronauts who flew in the Apollo program, including those who flew to the Moon but did not land, are still alive today.
Today’s Stumper: How many Oscars has Oprah Winfrey won? – Answer next time!