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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

COOL WEDNESDAY

Yes, the East Coast is having a really cool late Fall (for the record, the astronomical winter begins on December 21 and ends on March 19--so if you think its cold now, most of you have a lot more months to get worse--by the way, USA Today yesterday had Naples, Florida as the hottest city in America at 80 F...actually, Honolulu hit 83 F).  As this is Wednesday, "Hump Day," let me again link you to the cool GEICO camel.  By the way, that shirt costs $37.

The University of Hawaii West Oahu athletic teams will be known as the Pueos, which are Hawaiian owls.  Owls are the second smartest bird next to parrots and symbolize wisdom, so that's cool.  However, there is a reason why there is a term called "birdbrain."  Chimpanzees are #2, next to us humans, with parrots at #4 and owls #12.

What is the color of our Universe?  Watch this really cool video on the answer.  Is it black, rainbow or latte?


So the correct answer is Cosmic Latte, but watch that clip.

About outer space, Comet Ison will either make it or not around the Sun tomorrow.  After all, this is merely a dirty dry ice ball (about the size of a small mountain, 3 miles in diameter with a tail said to be 186,400 miles long) making a turn only a million miles from the surface.  If Ison survives, it can became the coolest heavenly event ever (some astronomers have even indicated 15 times brighter than the Moon) or not, with the current science predicting that at best this comet might, just after sunset, rival Venus.

So far, then, this Wednesday has been, with camel, owl, universe and tail of comet, kind of brownish.  But the color most associated with Wednesday is green, so let me skip to the five coolest renewable energy projects:
  • Solar-powered toilet
  • Energy independence on a sausage farm
  • Solar-powered vodka distillery
  • The Driblet
  • The Race to Save the World:  a documentary
Of course, Thanksgiving colors are BROWN and orange, but Hannukah is honored in Blue and White.  So how many of you knew that in 2013, for the first ever since the beginning of Thanksgiving, and maybe last time ever, Thanksgiving and Hannukah, also known as Chanukah (they have the same pronunciation, with a sort of guttural vibe at the beginning), will overlap?  How incredibly cool is that?

We all know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and as the fourth Thursday of the month.  President Barack Obama today pardoned Popcorn.  While Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe in 1621, and, perhaps as early as September, it was President George Washington who proclaimed November 26 as the day of thanks.  Later, President Abraham Lincoln in 1963 issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November as the day, making this a national holiday.

But retailers complained to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that in 1939 the fourth Thursday fell on November 30, reducing Christmas shopping by a week.  Yes, in those days the private sector was concerned about profits, and they, too, like today, had some clout.  So FDR had another Thanksgiving Proclamation that year and specifically set Thanksgiving in 1939 to be November 23, pissing off a lot of people, such that many referred to that November 23 as "Franksgiving."  Officially, it was President George Bush the Elder, who in 1989 pardoned the first turkey.

Hannukah is a whole different kind of thing, eight days long because the original ceremony just had enough oil for the holy light for eight days, and beginning around 2,500 years ago during the Syrian-Greek versus Jewish war.  The reality today is that if you light a candle every night during this period, you can go about your normal business...but these sessions provide a great excuse for parties, usually with food fried in oil, such as donuts and latkes (potato pancakes).  Further, can you believe olive oil has been used for millennia?  Presents are also given each night.  On the other hand, here is a really cool way for Jewish parents to maximize the more important parameters of life, such as gratitude, respect and the like.  They're not idiots, you know.

Note that this candelabra, called a Menorah, has room for NINE candles.  Now you know something that can be useful if you are ever on Jeopardy.  Click on this article to find out why nine.  The Huffington Post had a particularly inappropriate posting on hilarious Menorahs, including a Mel Gibson version, plus a special Hannukah bikini show. 

Okay, so about this cool intersection in time when the first Hannakuh candle will be lit on Thanksgiving Day for the first and last time ever, actually, this coincidence will occur again in 2070 and 2165...but never again if the Jewish lunar calendar, which is out of sync, is eventually adjusted to the present solar calendar.  This Thanksgivukkah thanks to Jonathan Mizrahi of Sandia National Laboratories.

How truly cool is this?  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed, again, at a record high, up 25 to 16,097.  Why?  Unemployment claims dropped and the leading economic index went up.  The 10-year treasury note slipped to 2.743%, good for lower inflation rates.  I was going to say, frankly, I'm getting worried.  Should I wait a bit or get out now before something crashes.  But that is not a cool feeling, so let me delay this discussion.

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PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

I rarely look at my comments because there is so little response. When I wrote for the HUFFINGTON POST I got hundreds of comments. Here, my sense is that people are afraid to be stuck in the world wide web forever. Also, a couple of people commented that they couldn't get through the cryptographic analysis.

Anyone, thanks for your complimentary responses. I guess I now will continue this effort for another year.

Mahalo and aloha.