Here are some one liners...
Why is the Night Sky Dark? Olbers' Paradox -- If the Universe is static and the stars are infinite, why isn't it bright at night? I talk about the expanding Universe.
Death is Now Optional: Prison Reform in England -- the Bloody Code is repealed. Now judges have the option not to put a person to death for stealing a rabbit. I talk about my experiences as a jail chaplain.
The Monroe Doctrine and Honduras -- President Monroe declares that Europe should not interfere in this hemisphere, and the the UK enforces it. I talk a little about the Honduras coup of 2009.
In Other News -- The raincoat, Rugby and Home Sweet Home.
Why is the Night Sky Dark? Olbers' ParadoxJust as Occam's Razor was not the original idea of William of Ockham, Heinrich Olbers is not the first to ask the question: If the Universe is unchanging, eternal and there are an infinite number of stars then why isn't the night sky filled with light? After all, the light from every star in every part of the sky must reach the Earth so the sky should be as bright as day when the Sun sets, yet it is not. Perhaps the light has been obscured by dust, but that can't be the reason. Over infinite time, the dust would absorb energy from the photons, heat up and glow. Perhaps there are NOT an infinite number of stars, but certainly there are a lot of them... enough to light up the sky more than it is. Or perhaps the distribution of the stars is uneven, with one star lining up behind another, but for that to work, the Earth must be in a unique position in the Universe so that the viewer can look down many dark corridors of the sky. One can imagine a hole in one part of the sky but not holes in every direction. In the 19th century version of the Universe, Olbers Paradox has introduced a disturbing idea.     
Death is Now Optional: Prison Reform in EnglandBack in 1688, the Bloody Code was passed into English Law requiring that the death penalty be applied for hundreds of violations including: damaging Westminster bridge, living with gypsies for more than a month, stealing a rabbit, or stealing anything worth more than 5 shillings. (In the modern day, that is about 20 pounds sterling or $26 dollars in value.) This year the Bloody Code is repealed. The Death Penalty is now optional depending on the judgement of the court. It is only required in cases of murder or treason. Chaplains are made available to prisoners, and regular inspections of prisons are required. Also jailers will be paid out of the state's purse. (The inmates used to pay them out of their fines.) And women jailers are now required for women prisoners. Prison reform is here. What next? Cable TV?    
The Monroe Doctrine and HondurasPresident James Monroe is being encouraged by English interests to ban new European interference in the New World. Argentina, Chile and Mexico have been kicking Spain and Portugal out of the New World. Oddly, France has been negotiating with Spain to bring an army to the New World to reconquer those lost lands... for a price. Russia has claimed large parts of the Pacific Northwest, so during his State of the Union address, Monroe declares that new European colonization in the Western hemisphere will be considered an unfriendly act. While existing European powers will not be challenged, new expansion will be seen as an attack on United States interests. The phrase "Monroe Doctrine" will not be used until 1850. 
In Other News
- By tradition, the game of Rugby is invented this year. Mr. Ellis, in the midst of a game of soccer, without regard for the rules, picks up the ball and runs down field. He is a student of Rugby School and thus invents the game of Rugby. A metal plaque commemorates the event, so you know it is true. Right?