I believe I saw this one growing on a farm, just outside of Gainesville (LOL).
I believe I saw this one growing on a farm, just outside of Gainesville (LOL).
Boy it looks like everything is happening at once as October draws to a close! For a start, tomorrow is Halloween, or as I like to call it, Reformation Day, because it was on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther started the ball rolling for Protestants by nailing his 95 theses to the door of his church. In Philadelphia, I believe they will have the third game of the World Series tomorrow, while here in Lexington, UK’s football team will play Mississippi State. At Keeneland, this weekend marks the end of the fall races. Normally the horses race from the first through the fourth weekend of April and October, but this month they are running a week later; I don’t know why. Finally, we’re having what we call Family Fun Night at our church tomorrow, where everybody brings a dish for the potluck, and we watch a Veggie Tales video afterwards. Now what are we going to do to top all this in November?
Last October 17, Mohammed Nasheed, the president of Maldives, held a meeting underwater. He and his vice president and Cabinet met at desks in the Indian Ocean, wearing scuba gear. He did that stunt as a warning of the danger rising sea levels pose to his country. For those who don’t know where Maldives is, it is a collection of tiny islands southwest of India; the highest point in the archipelago is only six feet above sea level. Hence, the government there is awfully concerned that the earth’s glaciers might melt and flood them.
Now it turns out that Nasheed’s fear is probably groundless. According to a Swedish scientist, Nils-Axel Morner, from 1790 to 1970 sea levels were 20 cm (8 inches) higher than they are today. This means that while temperatures are a bit warmer now, the sea has gone down, not up, since 1970. What’s more, over the past two thousand years, even during the warmest periods, the highest the ocean got was 120 cm (4 feet) above its present-day level, a problem for those living on beaches, but not a catastrophic one.
Naturally I’m going to add those statistics to my list of reasons why we shouldn’t take global warming seriously. Meanwhile, have you heard of Lord Monckton, a British noble who is gravely concerned about a global warming treaty that is to be signed in Copenhagen next December? He predicts in this video that if we sign it, it will be the end of the United States as we know it:
The video has caused quite a sensation in the past week. Then last Tuesday, Roger Diaz, the new pastor of the church I used to attend in Florida, posted a second video on Facebook, where Glen Beck interviews Lord Monckton. Pastor Roger added this comment:
Unquote: Over the years, I have been led to believe that a world government will arise in the end times, right before the Lord comes back, and a natural disaster like an asteroid impact would make people rush to form that government. Now it looks like just the threat of a disaster might be enough. Unfortunately, I don’t think a world government is a good idea; we botched it at Babel, and governments that control all or most of the known world tend to be absolute monarchies or dictatorships, not democracies.
The good news is that ocean currents have shifted in the north Atlantic. Normally the Gulf Stream moves up the east coast of the United States as far as Long Island, before turning east and going to Europe. But on October 20 it turned east at North Carolina instead, so that now the only part of Europe touched by the Gulf Stream’s warm waters is Portugal. This means the rest of the continent is in for a mighty cold winter, including Copenhagen. The Gore Effect strikes again!
This morning I learned that Yahoo! closed the doors on Geocities, for the last time. This marks the end of an era in Internet history. Launched in the mid-1990s, Geocities told web-surfers to “get your free home page,” and it offered 2-3 megabytes of free server space to each person who signed up. That was a lot of space in those days; now it’s not enough for a good video or MP3 file. Consequently a lot of folks built their first websites on Geocities, including me. I still remember The Xenophile Historian’s original address: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/1591/ . It was there from 1997 until 1999, when I went shopping for a new host for the site, eventually choosing Freeservers, where it is now. At its heyday, around the end of the 1990s, I believe Geocities hosted more than 3 million websites. That means a lot of my bookmarks won’t work anymore; I hope Archive.org can keep its promise to recover/save as much of the old Geocities sites as possible.
Closer to home, there’s an interesting story concerning the most famous person in Kentucky’s recent history, Colonel Sanders. No, it’s not the real Colonel; he hasn’t been in the news much lately because he died 29 years ago. It turns out that Bob Thompson, the former mayor of Lawrenceburg, KY (a town 30 miles west of Lexington), got hired by Kentucky Fried Chicken to impersonate the Colonel, when he won a lookalike contest after he got tired of being mayor.
This week the “Colonel” goes to the United Nations for a commercial stunt, claiming he is there to get the “Grilled Nation of Chicken” admitted as a UN member. A Libyan diplomat, the current president of the General Assembly, recognizes the Colonel, though they don’t have any KFC restaurants in Libya. The diplomat posed with his family and Colonel Sanders-Thompson for pictures, and invited the Colonel inside the building for a tour, before guards sounded the alarm. Now they are claiming that a major security breach took place, and that it’s in bad taste to use the UN for advertising anyway. Obviously they forget how powerful capitalism is here in the West. In my former home of Orlando, for example, the home court of the Orlando Magic was originally called the Orlando Arena, until an investment firm paid enough money to rename the place the T.D. Waterhouse Center; since that contract expired, the place has become the Amway Arena. Will the UN resist a billion dollar offer from some big corporation, in return for the right to rename the UN?
Meanwhile, Debbie Schlussel, a conservative Jewish columnist/blogger, is impressed, and wistfully asking why some terrorists didn’t think of disguising themselves as Colonel Sanders first, if it is so easy to get into the UN that way.
So says Peter McAllister, an Australian anthropologist who just published a book called “Manthropology: The Science of Inadequate Modern Man.” According to him, we are far weaker than our ancestors, thanks to the industrial revolution, which allowed so many of us to go through life without exerting ourselves much, and thus took away opportunities to build our muscles. Well, I knew that Neanderthal Man had bones twice as thick as ours, but only thought of it in a defensive way; he could have survived a blow that would have done in one of us. I didn’t consider the possibility that he would have had superhuman strength for the same reason.
Anyway, McAllister compared Neanderthals with primitive men like the Aborigines, and with modern men, and concluded that physically, we are a sad case. He began his book with these provocative sentences:
“If you’re reading this then you – or the male you have bought it for – are the worst man in history. No ifs, no buts — the worst man, period…As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet.”
He goes on to state that even a Neanderthal woman would have been strong enough to take on Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm-wrestling contest, while an Aborigine could keep up with our fastest trained runners, and throw a spear as far as 110 yards, farther than today’s javelin-throwing champions. Furthermore, Roman soldiers could march almost 40 miles in a day while carrying half their body weight in arms, armor and gear, and Tutsi men in Africa could do a high jump of 2.52 meters, beating today’s record of 2.45 m.
Of course I am adding a footnote to Chapter 5 of The Genesis Chronicles, to cover the new point of view about us vs. cave men. Yes, we live longer, have more powerful tools and weapons than our ancestors, and have access to all kinds of luxuries that were unavailable in the stone age, but apparently that progress comes with a price. When I wrote in another history paper about the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, I speculated that from a spiritual standpoint, mankind has lost as much over the centuries as he has gained. Now it looks like he has lost much physically as well.
This morning when I woke up, the clock said it was a few minutes after 7 AM. It was brighter than usual when I came downstairs, but I did not think much of it, because the weather forecast called for a sunny day–for a change. It was only forty-five minutes later when I looked at a clock again, and it said it was almost 9! Only then did I realize what happened; my “smart clock” had moved itself back an hour last night, so I woke up at 8, not 7.
This also happened in 2007 and 2008, thanks to an act of Congress that messed up when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends. I’m still not sure how the new schedule works, except that we’re supposed to go back to Standard Time on a Sunday in November. The clock didn’t get the message, though, so it still switches back on the old date, the last Sunday of October. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
I learned yesterday morning that Soupy Sales died, at the age of 83. He sure brings back memories from a long way. I remember him from back in the mid-1960s, when I lived in Connecticut. We had other kiddie shows back then–Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room and Bozo (Sesame Street didn’t come along until I was eleven years old)–but no doubt about it, Soupy Sales was the funniest guy on TV. Especially when he and his friends started throwing the pies! Obviously Soupy must have had the same upbringing as the Three Stooges; he thought pies were for throwing before he learned they were for eating.
Here is the Soupy Sales I remember, in living black and white:
What surprises me is that the radio stations I tuned in yesterday said nothing about him. They didn’t even report his obituary. I do know that Soupy Sales remained on the air for several years after I moved to Florida, though none of the TV stations down there ran his show. For instance, the next clip, where Alice Cooper made a guest appearance (and got pied) was recorded in 1979. I guess Soupy Sales was mainly for Yankee kids, like Bonomo Turkish Taffy.
And here is an appropriate tribute, “Come Pie With Me,” which was recorded for his last birthday.
Finally, here he appeared in a nightclub in 1993 and told about his best routine, the one that got him temporarily banned from TV.
You’ve probably heard the expression “Pie in the Sky, by and by.” If “Pie in the Sky,” didn’t exist before, Soupy will make sure it does now!
This morning I got an e-mail from Kim Komando announcing that today is an important day, because Microsoft will launch its new operating system, Windows 7. Kim, I’ve been listening to your radio program for ten years; you’re gorgeous and you always have useful information for those of us who go through life with one foot in cyberspace, but I think you missed the main event of the day. Today a cool new website, the Blastoff Network, goes public to the rest of the world. Blastoff is cool, fun, lets you save money, and those who join today can make money off it. Now that it’s free to join, the only people I don’t expect to sign up are those stuck in the twentieth century. Combine all that with Pre-Paid Legal folks like me spreading the word to everyone they know, and we’re predicting a viral explosion will happen in just a matter of hours.
To Kim and Bill Gates: let’s come back in a year or so and see if people remember October 22, 2009 for the launch of Windows 7 or Blastoff. I predict it will be the latter.
For those who want to join but don’t receive an e-mail invitation (alas, I’m only allowed to send out 250 at a time, to comply with anti-spamming laws!), use the URL below. I look forward to seeing you there!
Last July 22 I wrote about Leive and I getting recognition, in Pre-Paid Legal’s monthly magazine, because we got promoted to the rank of Manager in the business. Another issue arrived on Monday, and this time it it announced we’ve been promoted again, to Directors. I just scanned the page to share it with you. First, here’s the cover, showing Harland and Shirley Stonecipher at last month’s convention:
I mentioned in previous messages that the past few months have been the best in Pre-Paid Legal’s history. Thus the list of new achievers is much longer than it was before. This time the Kentucky column is on page 37, instead of 27.
And here is the Kentucky column close up. Not only am I pleased to see there are more of us, I’m also glad that two of those mentioned, Mike Hoke and Leonard La Cour, are in my group. Way to go, team!
Tomorrow the business adds a new dimension with the Blastoff Network launch. Here our future begins; who knows what we’ll achieve next, when Pre-Paid Legal becomes a household word?