20141128

Why is the day after Thanksgiving called Black Friday?

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. 

Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss ("in the red") from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or "in the black".

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20141126

The second person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel died from slipping on banana peel



Bobby Leach was the second person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel (the first was a woman named Annie Taylor), but that's not what killed him. 

He spent many years on the lecture circuit, telling about his harrowing adventure. 

In 1926, he slipped on a banana peel. His injured leg became gangrenous and had to be amputated. 

Valentine's Day is in violation of Muslim beliefs

Saudi Arabia finds Valentine's Day to be in violation of Muslim beliefs. 

In order to ensure residents don't secretly send gifts to their Valentine's, the government orders all florists and gift shops to remove anything red or otherwise considered to be a symbol of romance prior to the holiday. 

Apparently the ban on the holiday isn't entirely successful and the country now has a thriving Valentine's Day black market where lovers can buy red roses and other tokens of romance at around six times their ordinary prices.

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Special Days To Display The American Flag

  • New Year's Day (January 1st)
  • Inauguration Day (January 20th)
  • Lincoln's Birthday (February 12th)
  • Washington's Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
  • Easter Sunday (Varies in early Spring)
  • Mother's Day (2nd Sunday in May)
  • Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May)
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
  • Flag Day (June 14th)
  • Independence Day (July 4th)
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
  • Navy Day (October 27th)
  • Veterans Day (November 11th)
  • Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25th)
  • Other Days as proclaimed by the President of the United States
  • Birthdays of States (Based upon the date of admission to the Union)
  • Various State holidays

20141121

Leslie Lemke

Leslie is an autistic savant who unfortunately had to have his eyes removed shortly after birth.

At six months he was put up for adoption after which May Lemke, a nurse, took him in.

Although Leslie needed almost 15 years just to learn how to walk, he learned Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in about 15 seconds after hearing it on television one night.

Before long he was playing everywhere from Japan to Scandinavia and he has since made appearances on CBS, 60 minutes, and ABC.

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Facebook banned the name of an Irish town

Facebook has banned the name of an Irish town, labeling it as “offensive,” which raises questions over whether or not profanity filters are causing more problems than they solve.

The town, Effin, bears the same spelling as a common alternative to using a certain “F” word, but it is actually a real place in County Limerick in Ireland that has existed for hundreds of years.

In fact, the name comes from the Irish pronunciation of Saint Eimhin, a Bishop from early Irish Christian history.

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20141120

Reveille VIII, the First Lady of Texas A&M, will retire in style on campus for the rest of her life

Reveille, the First Lady of Texas A&M and a special member of the Aggie family, will retire in style on campus at the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center. 

The Stevenson Center provides personalized, lifelong care for animals in a home-like environment. It is a special place and will be a wonderful home for Reveille next door to her long-time health care provider, the Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. 

Reveille's health care team will include her regular veterinarians for preventive health care, her own veterinary dentist, and veterinary specialists ready to provide the most advanced care for any problem she may experience—for the rest of her life. 

She will also be able to continue living on campus, where she can see Kyle Field from her window and hear Aggie game day excitement. 

Four very special veterinary students will live with her 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. In essence she will receive royal treatment befitting the retired first lady of Aggieland! 

51% of people think stormy weather "affects" Cloud Computing

Are you keeping your files "up there in the cloud"? If so, stormy weather might affect them, or at least that's what 51% of surveyed Americans believe.

"Cloud computing" is a term to describe a network of servers (computers) that work together to allow centralized data storage and online access to computer services or resources.

However, the 2012 survey conducted by Wakefield Research among over 1,000 American adults found that most of them remain "foggy" about what the cloud really is and how it works.

Another 95% don't think they'll ever use cloud computing, even though they're already doing a lot in the cloud without checking the weather report.

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20141119

Reborn Baby Dolls

In the 1980s, a Spanish company called Berusa began making vinyl dolls that had an exceptionally realistic quality to them.

Hobbyists began to sand off the doll's paint and add new hair and more lifelike skin tones, including tiny blue veins. 

The dolls were nicknamed “reborn” baby dolls. 

Now there are an estimated 20,000 so-called Reborners worldwide and dozens of artists who create and sell a wide variety of original, custom-made rubber babies.

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20141118

Girl went on a quest to take a cardboard cut-out of her dead father to all the places he always wanted to visit

A daughter devastated by the loss of her father to cancer went on a trek through Europe carrying a cardboard cutout of him everywhere she went in a bid to take him to all the countries he hoped to visit.

In 2012, Jinna Yang's father passed away from stomach cancer. Yang, 25, lamented that in exchange for providing for her and her family, her father had shortchanged himself out of doing the things that he wanted to do, like play PGA golf.

To handle her sorrow, Yang worked harder than ever in her corporate job in New York City. When the stress caused by her father's passing and her grueling job responsibilities grew to be too much, Yang dropped everything and did something drastic.

She bought a one-way ticket to Iceland, and took a cardboard cutout of her late father "to honor his memory and come to peace with herself," as she traveled across Europe.

20141117

The Jake Bird Hex

Jake Bird (December 14, 1901 – July 15, 1949) was a convicted murderer and self-confessed serial killer who was tried and executed for the axe murders of Bertha Kludt (age 53) and her daughter Beverly June Kludt (17) in Tacoma, Washington on October 30, 1947. Bird may have killed as many as 46 people.

After his conviction was announced, Bird was allowed to make a final statement. He spoke for 20 minutes, noting that his request to represent himself had been denied and that his own lawyers were against him.

Bird then said, “I’m putting the Jake Bird hex on all of you who had anything to do with my being punished. Mark my words you will die before I do.”

Allegedly, six people connected with the trial died: Judge Edward D. Hodge of a heart attack within a month of sentencing him to death, as did one of the officers who took his first confession. A police officer who took a second confession died, as did the court’s chief clerk, and one of Bird's prison guards. J.W. Selden, one of Bird’s lawyers, died on the first anniversary of his sentencing.

This may have been the second hex cast by Bird. According to a contemporary account in Negro Digest, when Bird was arrested, "he told a detective, 'You wait and see. You policemen and judges will be settin' and waitin' at the pearly gates a long time before I roll up.'"

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20141116

NASCAR was started by bootleggers

NASCAR's roots go back to Prohibition when runners—people who delivered moonshine, a home-brewed whiskey distilled from corn, potatoes or anything that would ferment—souped up their cars so they could give the slip to the federal tax agents determined to bust them.

Runners built their reputations by outsmarting and outdriving the law. For bragging rights they held informal races to determine which runner was fastest.

By the end of the 1940s, those contests had become an organized sport, largely due to the efforts of one driver, Big Bill France. Big Bill organized a meeting of drivers, car owners and mechanics at the art-deco style Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., on December 14, 1947, to establish standard rules for racing. 

There and then the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (Nascar) was conceived. Two months later, on February 15, 1948, the first official Nascar race was held on the beach in Daytona. Red Byron won it in his Ford. A week later, Nascar was incorporated, and Big Bill appointed as its fearless leader.

20141115

The son who killed his mother over Avril Lavigne tickets

In 2012, a 39-year-old suburban Chicago man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the brutal 2008 murder of his mother, which was instigated by her refusal to buy him tickets to an Avril Lavigne concert.

Judge Kathryn Creswell sentenced Robert Lyons of Carol Stream, IL for the murder of Linda Bolek, then 61, after getting into an argument at the condominium they shared.

Lyons flew into a rage and attacked his mother after she refused to call a friend to obtain skybox tickets for him to the upcoming concert. The argument ended when Lyons picked up a cognac bottle and struck Bolek two times over the head. He then used two knives to stab her in the back nine times as she lay on the floor, breaking part of one knife off in her body, and bending the other.

After stabbing his mother, Lyons poured chemicals over her body including Tile-X, Drain-O and Raid insecticide. He then left the scene and was apprehended several hours later at a Hooters restaurant.

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20141114

Sergeant Reckless: The Hero Horse

Reckless was a small, humble mare that served in the Korean War, for which she was twice promoted to staff sergeant.

She was trained to transfer ammo, and during a single battle she made fifty-one solo trips under enemy fire.

Additionally, she saved the lives of numerous wounded soldiers by evacuating them, a fact that earned her many medals including the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean Service Medal, among other honors.

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Martin Luther King leader was urged to kill himself over ‘sexual orgies' with 'evil playmates'

The graphic contents of an anonymous letter in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation called Martin Luther King a “filthy abnormal animal” have been made public for the first time.

Written in 1964 by a deputy of the feared FBI chief J Edgar Hoover posing as a disillusioned civil rights activist, the typewritten note appears to have been a heavy-handed attempt to blackmail King into taking his own life.

Already a notorious footnote in American history, the “suicide letter” was heavily censored when it was first published, with most of its more outrageous language remaining secret.

However, the full contents of the note have now been made public after a Beverly Gage, a historian from Yale University unearthed an unredacted copy in the National Archive while researching a book on Hoover. More

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20141113

The Meaning of the Flag Draped Coffin

Here is how to understand the flag that laid upon it and is surrendered to so many widows and widowers.

The 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776.

The honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times?

It was to symbolize the original 13 colonies.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, 'Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.'

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their Nations motto, 'In God We Trust.'

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning.

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