Thursday, December 1, 2016

History: The Year is 1908

I've uploaded year 1908 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Tunguska Blast... It's Real -- I play on Ghostbusters for laughs at first but it's real enough. I talk about the 2013 explosion of an asteroid over Russia as well.

Scouting for Boys -- The Boy Scouts are born. I talk about criminals and the lack of basic skills taught in schools today.

Notable Births -- Edward Teller, Estée Lauder, and John Galbraith.

In Other News --  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Ford Model-T, and Bakelite.

The Tunguska Blast... It's Real

You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross-rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!
--"Ray" from the movie Ghostbusters (1984) citing the wrong year for the Tunguska Blast! [1] [2]
It is unlikely that this event has been caused by "crossing the streams", but it is a mystery how a major explosion powerful enough to flatten trees for hundreds of miles around has not created some sort of crater. Let's point out the obvious, there are no direct LIVING witnesses to this event. Natives from VERY far away notice a bright blue light streaking across the sky from the east and headed north. It is brighter than the sun. The morning sun itself is just topping the trees and not moving very fast at all. There is a sudden flash and people are knocked from their feet. 80 MILLION trees are flattened. Many more burst into flames. Four distinct blasts are reported, but none greater than the first. Some suspect a Japanese plot. (Russia and Japan had ended their war three years prior.) Nevertheless, there will be no formal investigation until 13 years later. [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Upon sober reflection they figured that a meteor had hit the planet, but when they reached "ground zero" there were still trees standing upright. Granted they were burned into toothpicks, but they should have been knocked over. Later investigations noted a butterfly pattern to the blast. Experts recognized it as the pattern from an air-burst atomic explosion in the range of 10 to 15 megatons. Very likely an asteroid burst apart in the Earth's atmosphere about 5 miles up. People talk about asteroid monitoring and avoidance, but exactly what we could do about it right now is absolutely nothing. There are some asteroids that are not noticed until they hit... like on February 15th, 2013 when a much smaller asteroid passed over Russia and exploded. The event was caught on video just about everywhere. How much warning did we get? None at all. [5] [6]

Scouting for Boys

No. This is not a dating manual for girls. A series of magazine articles on woodland tracking skills, urban survival tips, and general self-improvement have been published in book form by Robert Baden-Powell. The book is a best seller right out the chute. You are seeing the beginning of the Boy Scout movement. Many hail this book as a new vision in education, but the author's only intent is to teach self-reliance. In these days children are educated to follow the herd, and in military service young men are trained to follow orders without question or initiative, but Baden-Powell remarks, "...if their officer was shot they were as helpless as a flock of sheep. Tell one of them to ride out alone with a message on a dark night and ten to one he would lose his way." While Baden-Powell agrees that formal education is valuable and discipline is a requirement in the military, Scouting makes a boy into a well-rounded and dependable individual. The book, "Scouting for Boys," will remain a best seller for decades to come. [7] [8]
As a matter of fact I didn't actually start the Boy Scout Movement, because the blooming thing started itself unseen.
--Robert Baden-Powell in a 1937 interview by "Listener" magazine. [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I am a volunteer chaplain at Travis County Jail, Texas. A few hours ago, I met with a prisoner. I'll call him John (not his real name). John had read the books I had suggested, and he had some questions. We drifted into a talk about the dismal condition of our educational system. The jail provides educational services on the theory that a man (or woman) is committing crimes because he has no skills. Besides reading, writing and arithmetic, they teach how to open a checking account, cook a meal, and find a job. It sounds odd, but John couldn't believe that he had never been taught these basics skills. I'm not blaming the school system for leading John into a life of crime, but it might have helped if John knew how to cook a meal rather than buy one at three-times the price! I can't wait until next week when I tell him that food just falls out of the backside of a chicken. Won't he be surprised?

Notable Births

  • Edward Teller (Inventor of the hydrogen bomb. He was tired of using just an atom bomb.) [10]
  • Estée Lauder (The queen of cosmetics. She will be listed as one of the top 20 business geniuses of the 20th century.) [11]
  • John Galbraith (Economist under FDR. "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof." According to Milton Friedman, that includes John.) [12]

In Other News

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are killed in a shootout... probably. Their bodies are never positively identified. [13]
  • The Ford Model-T is a big hit. Also known as the Tin Lizzie, it is the 1st affordable car for the middle-class. [14]
  • Bakelite is invented. The Age of Plastics is here, and it all began in Yonkers, New York... amazingly. [15] [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1908, Wikipedia.

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