Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, July 31, 2019

  • As most of you know, I work from home. It’s summer, so the kids are around and I interact with them throughout the day. Yet, without fail, when I log off my work computer for the day and walk downstairs, DaughterGeeding will ask me, “Dad, how was your day at work.” I bet most parents would give a colloquial response, but I feel like I owe it to her to be truthful and not play her off. I’ll tell her if it was good, bad, fast, slow, stressful, meh, and provide a bit of detail. It’s a daily routine of mine to ask her how her day at school went (as well as her brother). I expect them to be a tiny bit descriptive, just as I am. I can’t expect something different from them than the example I set.
  • Arizona man learns mom’s body sold to military, detonated in experiment
    • An Arizona man was distraught to learn that his mother’s body was sold to the United States military for “blast testing,” which involved strapping it to a chair before an explosive device was detonated underneath, an investigation revealed.
  • Ronald Reagan’s Long-Hidden Racist Conversation with Richard Nixon
    • The past month has brought presidential racism back into the headlines. This October 1971 exchange between current and future presidents is a reminder that other presidents have subscribed to the racist belief that Africans or African Americans are somehow inferior. The most novel aspect of President Donald Trump’s racist gibes isn’t that he said them, but that he said them in public.
  • On July 29, 1858, Europe and North America were connected via telegraph by a 2,500 mile, long, 0.6-inch wide cable. Queen Victoria and President Buchanan exchanged congratulations via Morse code, it took 2 minutes and 5 seconds per letter. The cable operated for less than a month due to a variety of technical failures. And I’ll be honest, I thought it was “Morris code”.
  • Four universities claim to be the first university in the United States.
    • Harvard University, founded in 1636, claims itself to be (v.i.) “the oldest institution of higher education in the United States”.
    • The University of Pennsylvania, established in 1740, considers itself to be America’s first university, a title it claims on its website and in other published materials. The university has published a book about being the first university in America, and its website contains numerous instances of the phrase “America’s First University”.
    • The College of William and Mary’s website states, “The College of William and Mary was the first college to become a university (1779).”
    • Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876 and claims to be “America’s first research university”
  • If you spot tornado and unsure of its movement, use a straight object like a telephone pole in between you and the tornado and you can see which way it’s moving. If the tornado appears to not be moving or becoming wider, it’s coming towards you, so start moving perpendicular instead of forward or backward.
  • Texas might spend up to $20 billion to protect Houston from hurricanes. Rice University says it can do it for a fraction of that.
  • The angle of sun and daylight as the year progresses showing day, night, poles and whole the whole Earth.


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