Daily Archives: January 23, 2014

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ALASITAS FAIR


Alasitas Fair

Each year on this day, a large marketplace in La Paz, Bolivia, is full of merchants who traditionally call out “Alasitas,” an Aymara word meaning “buy from me,” to potential buyers of their miniature wares. Shoppers can find tiny replicas of just about every kind of object—cars, houses, foods, furniture, clothes, tools, household goods, and, especially, money—and seek those which represent items they would like to have in the coming year. Presiding over all this downsized commerce is Ekeko, an Aymara god of material wealth, fertility, and good luck. More… Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: E. M. Forster


It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: FARINELLI (1705)


Farinelli (1705)

Farinelli was an Italian castrato—a singer castrated in boyhood to create an artificial soprano or alto voice. Renowned for his vocal power and agility, he became the greatest opera star of his time but abandoned the public stage for the court of Philip V, where he received an astronomical fee for his only duty: singing the same four songs to the king each night. After retiring, Farinelli received illustrious guests like Mozart at his villa in Bologna. Why were his remains exhumed in 2006? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: SOVIET SATELLITE BREAKS UP UPON REENTRY, SCATTERING NUCLEAR DEBRIS (1978)


Soviet Satellite Breaks Up upon Reentry, Scattering Nuclear Debris (1978)

Cosmos 954 was a Soviet reconnaissance satellite that used radar to observe ocean traffic. It was launched in September 1977 and quickly began to experience problems. Within months, it had deviated from its designed orbit. A malfunction prevented the safe separation of its onboard nuclear reactor, so when the satellite reentered the Earth’s atmosphere, it scattered radioactive debris over northern Canada, necessitating an extensive clean-up operation. How much did Canada bill the USSR for this? More… Discuss

 

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NEWS: GOODFELLAS 2?


Goodfellas 2?

Federal agents yesterday made an arrest in the 1978 New York airport heist made famous in the hit filmGoodfellas. More than three decades after thieves stole $5 million in cash—worth $17.9 million today—and $1 million in jewelry from a Lufthansa cargo building at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a reputed member of theBonanno crime family was taken into custody for the crime. Investigators got a lead in the decades-cold case when they uncovered human remains on the property of the suspected mastermind of the heist, late mobster James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke. It was the largest cash robbery ever committed in the US until that time. More… Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: THE MAY 13 INCIDENT


The May 13 Incident

After the creation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, tensions grew between the wealthy Chinese—who controlled much of the Malaysian economy—and the poorer Malays. On May 13, 1969, Kuala Lumpur exploded with violence as Malay rioters killed hundreds of Chinese. Widespread arson and destruction added to the chaos, and a state of emergency was declared. Parliament was suspended and did not reconvene until 1971. Following the incident, what was instituted as a way to foster Malaysian unity? More… Discuss

 

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FDA to review safety of chemical found in some soft drinks – latimes.com


English: Macro photograph of coca-cola bubbles...

English: Macro photograph of coca-cola bubbles. Deutsch: Makro-Fotografie von Coca-Cola-Bläschen. Japanese: コカ・コーラの泡のマクロ写真。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soda linked to behavioral problems in young children, study says

FDA to review safety of chemical found in some soft drinks – latimes.com.

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Judge Enforces Spy Orders Despite Ruling Them Unconstitutional | Threat Level | Wired.com


U.S. District Judge Susan Illston. Photo: Jason DoiyJudge Enforces Spy Orders Despite Ruling Them Unconstitutional | Threat Level | Wired.com.

ObamaCare death debt? States can seize assets to recoup Medicaid costs | Fox News


ObamaCare death debt? States can seize assets to recoup Medicaid costs | Fox News.

Economic mobility hasn’t changed in a half-century in America, economists declare – The Washington Post


Where people are better off than their parentsEconomic mobility hasn’t changed in a half-century in America, economists declare – The Washington Post.

10,000 Helmets Represent Lost Construction Jobs in Italy – My Modern Metropolis


10,000 Helmets Represent Lost Construction Jobs in Italy – My Modern Metropolis.

Watchdog Panel: NSA Phone-Metadata Spying is Illegal — Stop It | Threat Level | Wired.com


nsa operations centerWatchdog Panel: NSA Phone-Metadata Spying is Illegal — Stop It | Threat Level | Wired.com.

NSA director Michael Hayden

NSA director Michael Hayden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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