Blue marble, cotton candy, wait 'til you see 2017...
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Published Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 4:29 AM EST
Dec 07 2016

Today is Wednesday, December 7, the 342nd day of 2016, with 24 days remaining. There are 14 days until the winter solstice, 16 days until Festivus, 17 days until the start of Hanukkah, 18 days until Christmas Day, 44 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 699 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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NASA's "Blue Marble" image of Earth.
Click here for large image.

On this date in 1972, Apollo 17, the final mission of NASA's Apollo program, was launched from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A at 12:33 am, the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the final manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. Apollo 17 is the most recent manned Moon landing and was the last time humans travelled beyond low Earth orbit. The mission broke several records: the longest moon landing, longest total extravehicular activities (moonwalks), largest lunar sample, and longest time in lunar orbit.

Apollo 17 is perhaps best known as the flight on which The Blue Marble photograph was captured. Taken on December 7, 1972 at a distance of about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles), it is one of the most reproduced images in human history.


Ascent stage of Apollo 7 lunar module Challenger
lifts off from the surface of the moon.

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Among other things, today is also National Cotton Candy Day. A form of spun sugar, the confection is made by heating and liquefying sugar and spinning it out through minute holes, where it re-solidifies in minutely thin strands of 'sugar glass.' The final cotton candy contains mostly air, with a typical serving weighing approximately one ounce. Ironically, of the three men generally credited with developing the modern cotton candy machine, two were dentists.

And, of course, today is Pearl Harbor Day. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, there were 96 ships anchored. During the attack, 18 were sunk or seriously damaged, including eight battleships. There were 2,402 American men killed and 1,280 injured. Three hundred and fifty aircraft were destroyed or damaged.

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Florida man breaks into woman's home to pet family cat.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 42,586 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on December 7 who said interesting things:

Heywood Campbell Broun, American journalist;

Joyce Cary, Irish novelist;

Willa Cather, American writer;

Zechariah Chafee, American professor of law, judicial philosopher and civil rights advocate;

Harry Chapin, American singer-songwriter;

Noam Chomsky, American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist;

Leopold Kronecker, German mathematician who worked on number theory, algebra and logic;

Susan Minot, American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter;

Richard W. Sears, co-founder of Sears, Roebuck and Company;

Tom Waits, American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor;

Eli Wallach, American film, television and stage actor;

Quote of the day: "But you can travel on ten thousand miles, and still stay where you are." -Harry Chapin (lyrics, WOLD).

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If you think 2016's been bad, then you should probably skip Bloomberg's Pessimist’s Guide to 2017.

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United Airlines will begin charging for use of your seat's overhead bin if you're flying on their new "Basic Economy" tier, which only allows one item which must fit beneath the seat in front of you. Next will probably be Ultra Economy, where you have to pay for your oxygen...

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Using computer simulations so comprehensive they took a year to run, researchers found that by 2100 many places around the U.S.’s Gulf and Southwest could see up to a 400 percent increase in the number of ultra-drenching summer storms. Mexico is also facing a big uptick in extreme rains, and the risk is jacked up on Atlantic Coast and around the Rockies. Summer storms will probably deliver heavier rain-bombs over most of the country, the researchers believe, but especially in the Southwest and the Northeast where rain intensity could swell by 70 percent.

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'Tis the season for giving, so here are all the body parts you can donate to a good cause.

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The biggest boon to lexical research in the past decade has been newspaper databases. Among the revelations: Slang is a lot older than previously thought.

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This week marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the last of the films exclusively featuring the cast from the original series. Director Nicholas Meyer discusses the film, which he calls the franchise's "grittiest and most realistic."

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An excellent Rachel Maddow piece: conflicts of interest within the Donald Trump administration, and on Bob Dole's lobbying firm taking credit for arranging the call between Donald Trump and the president of Taiwan.

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


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Na Na Hey Hey, Gazpacho, Florida Taco 911
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, December 06, 2016 @ 10:09 AM EST
Dec 06 2016

Today is Tuesday, December 6, the 341st day of 2016, with 25 days remaining. There are 15 days until the winter solstice, 17 days until Festivus, 18 days until the start of Hanukkah, 19 days until Christmas Day, 45 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 700 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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On this date in 1969, the song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by the then-fictitious band "Steam" started a two week run at number one on the US singles chart. The song was actually recorded by Gary DeCarlo, who intended it to be the "B" side of his first single. Gary didn't like the song and when record executives wanted to issue it as the "A" side, he insisted it be released under an assumed name. The also song became a UK Number 5 single for girl group Bananarama in 1983.

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Among other things, today is also National Gazpacho Day. Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool. Why is it celebrated in December? Hush, and eat your soup.

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Drunk Florida man denied tacos, calls 911.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 42,535 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on December 6 who said interesting things:

Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer;

Dion Fortune, British occultist, Christian Qabalist, ceremonial magician, novelist and author;

Ira Gershwin, American lyricist;

Arthur Golden, American writer. author of Memoirs of a Geisha;

Joyce Kilmer, American writer and poet;

Doug Marlette, Pulitzer Prize-winning American editorial cartoonist;

Susanna Moodie, English-born Canadian author;

Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist, sociologist and politician;

George Porter, British chemist;

Osbert Sitwell, English writer, brother of Edith Sitwell;

Evelyn Underhill, English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist;

Sylvia Townsend Warner, English novelist and poet; and

Steven Wright, American comedian, actor, writer, and an Oscar-winning film producer.

Quote of the day: "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
-Steven Wright

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Think the cashier-less supermarket in test by Amazon is a new idea? Here's an IBM ad from 2000:

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Go easy on the protein. Several large observational studies have linked high-protein diets with an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and other ills... one study found that those who ate a high protein diet between the ages of 50 and 65 were four times more likely to die of cancer than those who consumed less protein.

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Also on today's Wheel of Health, "People consuming at least 20 grams (7/10ths of an ounce) of nuts daily less likely to develop potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Maybe. Researchers cannot prove nuts are the sole cause of these outcomes.

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If animals have rights, should robots?

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If you're 70, single by choice, and have no siblings or children, you may find the health care system is not your friend.

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The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton. The framers believed, as Alexander Hamilton put it, that "the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the (president)." But no nation had ever tried that idea before. So the framers created a safety valve on the people’s choice. Like a judge reviewing a jury verdict, where the people voted, the electoral college was intended to confirm- or not- the people’s choice. Electors were to apply, in Hamilton’s words, "a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice"- and then decide. The Constitution says nothing about "winner take all." It says nothing to suggest that electors’ freedom should be constrained in any way. Instead, their wisdom- about whether to overrule "the people" or not- was to be free of political control yet guided by democratic values. They were to be citizens exercising judgment, ?not cogs turning a wheel.

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Canada's Department of National Defence is investigating mysterious 'pinging' sounds at bottom of the sea in the Arctic. Submarines were not immediately ruled out, but were also not considered a likely cause. Guess they never saw the Director's Cut of The Abyss.

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


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Two steps forward, three steps back...
(permalink)

Published Monday, December 05, 2016 @ 4:48 PM EST
Dec 05 2016

The water heater business turned into an extremely unpleasant experience.

I had a replacement policy for the unit, which was fortunate. Yet nothing is as simple as it seems. The new water heater, which meets the energy efficiency standards established last year, is three inches wider than the old one. Which means it wouldn't fit through the space between the furnace and the wall of my office.

Despite an initial protest ("I don't do demolition work"), the plumber and I pulled out an extraneous two by four, allowing the tank to be squeezed into position.

Next, I was informed that I needed a thermal expansion tank, something not covered by the water heater coverage. Since my house has a pressure reducing valve/backflow preventer on the main coming in to the residence, the system is "closed" and subject to potential damage from expanding hot water. Never needed one before, but I was informed the current plumbing code requires a thermal expansion tank be installed if a water heater is replaced, and the plumber wouldn't put in the water heater without the tank. My "free" water heater replacement now cost $195.

Next crisis: parts of the carpeting in my office were completely soaked. The location of a half-ton workstation unit prevented ripping up the old carpet, so remediation was in order: several days of fan drying, as well as moving electrical and communications cables off the floor. This required undoing half of the rewiring I had completed, but there was no alternative.

The rug was shampooed and treated with a mildew preventative.

I would have preferred to have professionals handle it, but current financial considerations made that path impossible.

So, current status: waiting for rug to dry so I can complete rewiring and reorganizing the office. Also dealing with a peculiar bug that caused me to sleep about 20 hours between Friday and Saturday night, throwing everything back an additional day.

I've learned never to ask 'what else can go wrong?' I think I'm going to spend the night upstairs watching bad television, go to bed at a decent hour, and start afresh tomorrow.

I really am getting too old for this stuff...


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In hot water
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, November 29, 2016 @ 5:35 PM EST
Nov 29 2016


Mythbusters Adam and Jamie get to do what I'd like to do to my water heater.

So, it was around midnight and I was working on today's entry when I became aware of the dogs.

They had started in the middle of my cellar office. But every five minutes or so, they would get up and move a foot or so closer to the cellar steps.

After the fourth exhibition of this behavior, I decided to investigate. I spun in my chair, put my feet down and heard a decided squish and saw water pool up out of the carpet.

This is Not a Good Thing. Aside from the water meter and the inside main heading off into the garage, there are no other water sources down here. The meter and pipe were bone dry. Which meant...

It was the water heater. (Notice I don't say "hot water heater" because hot water does not need to be heated.) My office and the laundry room are separated by some two by fours concealed by some quite lovely wood-grained particle board paneling, so I had to get up and go into the laundry room to assess the situation.

The area near the water heater appeared damp, but not particularly wet. Long story short, the tank will be replaced tomorrow. I have to clean out the area around the tank, which is behind the furnace and where the cat litter boxes are located. The cats are not especially neat, and with the litter spread all over the place, the Augean stables come to mind.

I'm going to have to drag out the wet vac and suck as much water as I can from the carpet. It's over 25 years old, and has seen over a dozen dogs and a half-dozen cats walk, lie, and engage in a range of unpleasant things on its surface.

As for the smell... imagine the odor of a wet dog. Now imagine the odor of a wet dog with a surface area of about 300 square feet.

I found a can of good ol' Neutron Industries' NI-712 concentrated odor eliminator. The stuff really works, although I'm not certain it's because it actually does something to the odors or because it destroys the olfactory epithelium of most primates. I can't even begin to imagine what this stuff must do to the dogs.

Anyway, hope to be back tomorrow once our infrastructure issues are resolved. The water heater's 15 years old, so we beat the average life expectancy of about 8 to 12 years with room to spare.

I'll try to keep that pleasant thought in mind as I muck out the laundry room...

For you completists:

Today is Tuesday, November 29, the 334th day of 2016, with 32 days remaining. There are 22 days until the winter solstice, 25 days until Festivus, 26 days until the start of Hanukkah, 27 days until Christmas Day, 53 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 709 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

Some persons born on November 29 who said interesting things:

Louisa May Alcott, American novelist and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886);

Ann Dunham, mother of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, and an American anthropologist who specialized in economic anthropology and rural development.;

Madeleine L'Engle, American writer best known for young-adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time;

C.S. Lewis, British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist;

Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, orator and lawyer;

Mary Schmich, Pulitzer Prize-winning American jornalist; and

John Templeton, American-born British stock investor, businessman and philanthropist;

Hope to be back to normal tomorrow....


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99.4% gone; National French Toast Day; dogs; spies; robots; don't be single, old, and sick
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Published Monday, November 28, 2016 @ 12:03 AM EST
Nov 28 2016

Today is Monday, November 28, the 333rd day of 2016, with 33 days remaining. There are 23 days until the winter solstice, 26 days until Festivus, 27 days until the start of Hanukkah, 28 days until Christmas Day, 54 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 710 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

The office isn't completely rewired, but we're back up and running, so...

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On this date in 2001, the financial house of cards known as Enron Corporation- the American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas- collapsed when the public became aware of the millions of dollars of losses the firm concealed. The firm's stock price, which had opened at $3.90, lost almost 85% of its value and closed at 61¢.

It was actually worse than that- if you had bought Enron when it peaked during the mid-day of August 23, 2000 at $90.75, on November 28, 2001 you had lost 99.37% of your investment.

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Among other things, today is also National French Toast Day. French toast. Also known as eggy bread, Bombay toast, German toast, gypsy toast, poor knights (of Windsor), or Spanish toast, it is made of bread soaked in milk, then in beaten eggs, and then fried, a variation from the traditional spanish dessert called Torrija. The earliest known reference to French toast is in the Apicius, a collection of Latin recipes dating to the fourth or fifth century; the recipe mentions soaking in milk, but not egg, and gives it no special name, just aliter dulcia- "another sweet dish."

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It was just your typical 3 a.m. street fight outside of a bar in Tampa until Florida Man went and ran everybody over.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 42,411 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on November 28 who said interesting things:

James Allen, British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement;

Brooks Atkinson, American theatre critic;

William Blake, English poet, painter, and printmaker;

Rita Mae Brown, American writer, activist, and feminist;

John Bunyan, English writer and Baptist preacher;

Irwin Edman, American philosopher and professor of philosophy.;

Friedrich Engels, German philosopher, social scientist, journalist, and businessman;

Gary Hart, American politician, diplomat and lawyer;

Henry Hazlitt, American journalist who wrote about business and economics;

Alan Lightman, American physicist, writer, and social entrepreneur;

Nancy Mitford, English novelist, biographer and journalist;

Randy Newman, American singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist;

Claude Lévi-Strauss, French anthropologist and ethnologist whose work was key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology;

Jon Stewart, American comedian, writer, producer, director, actor, media critic, and former television host; and

Stefan Zweig, Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer.

Quote of the day:
"Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe- dare I dream it?- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively."
-Jon Stewart

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While Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign will participate in the Green Party's Wisconsin recount, President-elect Donald Trump claims he would have won the popular vote if not for 'millions of people who voted illegally.' And meanwhile, Americans continue to ignore reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian government actively interfered in our elections.

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Is the human mind unique? To find out, assemble a number of dogs in a laboratory. Animal cognition informs human cognition in strange ways. Unlike us, they are not messed up by the perspectives of others.

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On the other hand, this study would indicate dogs possess some version of episodic memory, which allows them to recall personal experiences, and not just simple associations between, for instance, sitting and getting a treat.

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If animals have rights, should robots?

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If you're 70, single by choice, and have no siblings or children, you may find the health care system is not your friend.

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The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton. The framers believed, as Alexander Hamilton put it, that “the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the [president].” But no nation had ever tried that idea before. So the framers created a safety valve on the people’s choice. Like a judge reviewing a jury verdict, where the people voted, the electoral college was intended to confirm — or not — the people’s choice. Electors were to apply, in Hamilton’s words, “a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice” — and then decide. The Constitution says nothing about “winner take all.” It says nothing to suggest that electors’ freedom should be constrained in any way. Instead, their wisdom — about whether to overrule “the people” or not — was to be free of political control yet guided by democratic values. They were to be citizens exercising judgment, ?not cogs turning a wheel.

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Canada's Department of National Defence is investigating mysterious 'pinging' sounds at bottom of the sea in the Arctic. Submarines were not immediately ruled out, but were also not considered a likely cause. Guess they never saw the Director's Cut of The Abyss.

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


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Andromeda, Fibonacci Day, Ferguson good news, turkey drop, stuffing her bird
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ 1:38 PM EST
Nov 23 2016

Today is Wednesday, November 23, the 328th day of 2016, with 38 days remaining. There is one day until Thanksgiving, 28 days until the winter solstice, 31 days until Festivus, 32 days until the start of Hanukkah, 33 days until Christmas Day, 59 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 715 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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(NASA photo)

On this date in 1924, American astronomer Edwin Hubble determined that the celestial object Andromeda, previously thought to be a nebula, was actually a galaxy. Hubble also devised the most commonly used system for classifying galaxies, grouping them according to their appearance in photographic images. He arranged the different groups of galaxies in what became known as the Hubble sequence. His name is most widely recognized for the Hubble Space Telescope, which was named in his honor.

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Among other things, today is also Fibonacci Day, selected because November 23, when written in mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3. A Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is the sum of the two numbers before it. More on Fibonacci numbers here.

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Florida man keeps drinking after crashing stolen vehicle.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 42,185 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on November 23 who said interesting things:

Guy Davenport, American writer, translator, illustrator, painter, intellectual, and teacher;

Chris Hardwick, American stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, television host, writer, producer, podcaster and musician;

Jennifer Michael Hecht, teacher, author, poet, historian, and philosopher;

Chuck Schumer, American politician, the senior United States senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party; and

Steve Landesberg, American actor, comedian, and voice actor.

Quote of the day:
"Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense."
-Steve Landesberg

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If you donated to the Ferguson, Missouri Library two years ago, this video will make you happy. If you didn't, it shows how even a small donation to a worthy cause is important:

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Favorite Thanksgiving videos:

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Fight, flight or drink: Surviving Thanksgiving when you hate how your family voted.

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Still rewiring... just realized that presbyopia is not conducive to reading the tiny labels on device ports. Going to use the Thanksgiving holiday to get everything in order. Have a great one, and see you on Monday.

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


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Overlooked Deaths, National Absurdity Day, dinosaur feces, remembering First Contact's 20th anniversary
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, November 22, 2016 @ 11:53 AM EST
Nov 22 2016

Today is Tuesday, November 22, the 327th day of 2016, with 39 days remaining. There are two days until Thanksgiving, 29 days until the winter solstice, 32 days until Festivus, 33 days until the start of Hanukkah, 34 days until Christmas Day, 60 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 716 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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Kennedy, Huxley, Lewis
(Getty Images)

On this date in 1963, the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy dominated the news, causing most people to be unaware of two other deaths that day- of philosopher Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, and Christian scholar C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia series.

British writer John Garth noted in a legacy.com article about the trio's deaths:

"Huxley and Lewis looked beneath and beyond our known world, respectively: Huxley into realms of deep transcendentalism, Lewis into the Christian eternal. Yet Brave New World engages brilliantly with the real world of human social systems, and stands as one of the defining visions of the human future- indeed, in our consumer-driven post-Soviet world it has arguably proven more accurate a forecast than with George Orwell's 1984. Lewis' influence might be felt most deeply among admirers of his Christian apologetics, but his widest influence is sure in his Narnia books: common ground as childhood reading, helping literally to build the imaginations of vast numbers of us. Kennedy's clearest legacy is twofold. He propelled humans on their furthest exploration by launching NASA's moon missions, which quite inadvertently revealed to us- in the photographs taken from the moon- the fragility and preciousness of our own blue-green world. And during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 he kept this world from the brink of nuclear destruction."

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Among other things, today is also National Absurdity Day, which recognizes either the conflict between (1) the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and (2) the human inability to find any, or the quality or state of being absurd, a thing that is extremely unreasonable, so as to be foolish or not taken seriously, or the state of being so. While the official day is today, the United States has apparently converted its observance into an ongoing event, which began this year on November 8.

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Florida man enters record book with world's largest dinosaur feces collection.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 42,151 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on November 22 who said interesting things:

Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and the mother of John Quincy Adams; the first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States;

Hoagy Carmichael, American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader;

Rodney Dangerfield, American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter and comedian known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme;

George Eliot, (real name Mary Ann Evans) English novelist, poet, journalist, and translator;

Shawn Fanning, American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and angel investor;

Charles de Gaulle, French general and statesman;

John Gagnon, American sociologist;

André Gide, French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947;

Terry Gilliam, American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor, comedian and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe;

Billie Jean King, American former world champion professional tennis player;

Claiborne Pell, Democratic U.S. Senator who sponsored Pell grants, which provides financial aid funding to American college students;

Sophie Swetchine, Russian mystic, born in Moscow, and famous for her salon in Paris; and

Robert Vaughn, American actor.

Quote of the day:
"History is not a web woven with innocent hands. Among all the causes which degrade and demoralize men, power is the most constant and most active."
-Abigail Adams

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From The Hollywood Reporter: 'Star Trek': The Story of the 'Next Generation' Crew's Greatest Movie. (Star Trek: First Contact was released on this date 20 years ago.)

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Today's edition is late and abbreviated due to some ongoing production issues. Turns out the problem's not software, it's hardware, and an insidious one which requires me to tear apart and check all the networking and power cables. I suspect there's a cat involved. Anyway, I'm biting the bullet and completely rearranging and rewiring my office. I'm putting all the wall warts on switchable outlets, which should help me save a kilowatt or five on the monthly power bill.

See you tomorrow!

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


Categories: The Daily KGB Report


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Phonograph invented, Alascattalo Day, Satan (Florida Man) demands free Toyota, the goo on your ATM
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Published Monday, November 21, 2016 @ 1:53 AM EST
Nov 21 2016

Today is Monday, November 21, the 326th day of 2016, with 40 days remaining. There are three days until Thanksgiving, 30 days until the winter solstice, 33 days until Festivus, 34 days until the start of Hanukkah, 35 days until Christmas Day, 61 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 717 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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On this date in 1877, Thomas Edison announced his invention of the first phonograph, a device for recording and reproducing sound. It was demonstrated in public for the first time on November 29, and was awarded a U.S. Patent (#200,521) on February 19, 1878. While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison's phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound.

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Among other things, today is also Alascattalo Day, honoring Alaskan humor and based on their mascot, the mythical Alascattalo, a fictional chimera between a moose and a walrus. According to legend, it was genetically bred by miners during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 19th century. The alascattalo also stands for the local people's unique sense of humor, dealing with tourists who ask naive questions, and is the mascot of the annual four-minute long Alascattalo Day Parade held on this date. The asteroid 2500 Alascattalo, discovered by German astronomer Karul Reinmuth on April 2, 1926, was named after the creature. TV news story on the 2015 Alascattalo Parade.

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Florida man claiming to be Satan demands free Toyota from dealership.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 41,996 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on November 21 who said interesting things:

Beryl Bainbridge, English writer;

Jim Bishop, American journalist and author;

Marilyn French, feminist American author;

Hugh Kingsmill, British writer and journalist;

Rene Magritte, Belgian surrealist artist;

Harold Nicolson, British diplomat, writer and politician;

Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish writer remembered mainly for The Oxford Book Of English Verse;

Harold Ramis, American actor, director, writer, and comedian;

Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born Jewish author in Yiddish, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.;

Marlo Thomas, American actress, producer, and social activist known; and

Voltaire (Fran├žois-Marie Arouet), French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher.

Quote of the day:
"There are those who think that the private lives of candidates are none of our business. But when those candidates ask us for our attention as they explain their plans for how they will represent us, no one should be surprised at our interest in how they represent themselves."
-Marlo Thomas

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You'll never look at an ATM the same way again. Scientists catalogue the yucky stuff on New York City ATMs... Bacteria found on human skin. Microbes from bony fish, mollusks, chicken and baked goods. These are part of the long list of life-forms that live on the surfaces of ATM keypads in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, according to a new analysis.

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Atlantic City was one of the first American cities conceived from scratch, not built around any preëxisting industry but created solely to be a destination for its own sake. Here's how that worked out.

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As you can see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


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Suez Canal, World Philosophy Day, IHOP assault, lots of birthdays
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Published Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 5:44 PM EST
Nov 17 2016

Today is Thursday, November 17, the 322nd day of 2016, with 44 days remaining. There are seven days until Thanksgiving, 34 days until the winter solstice, 37 days until Festivus, 38 days until the start of Hanukkah, 39 days until Christmas Day, 65 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 721 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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On this date in 1869, the Suez Canal, an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez, was officially opened. The canal offers a shorter journey between the North Atlantic and northern Indian Ocean by avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian oceans, in turn reducing the journey by approximately 4,300 miles. In 2008, the average cost per ship to travel the 120 mile length of the canal was $251,000, or roughly $2,100 per mile.

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Among other things, today is also World Philosophy Day, introduced in 2002 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to honour philosophical reflection in the entire world by opening up free and accessible spaces. Its objective is to encourage the peoples of the world to share their philosophical heritage and to open their minds to new ideas, as well as to inspire a public debate between intellectuals and civil society on the challenges confronting our society.

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Florida man claiming food poisoning allegedly stabs IHOP waiter.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 41,808 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on November 17 who said interesting things:

Peter Cook, English actor, satirist, writer and comedian;

Howard Dean, American politician;

Danny DeVito, American actor, comedian, producer and director;

Eliza Farnham, 19th-century American novelist, feminist, abolitionist, and activist for prison reform;

Shelby Foote, American historian and novelist who wrote The Civil War: A Narrative, a three-volume history of the war;

Augustus William Hare, English author;

Gordon Lightfoot, influential Canadian singer-songwriter;

Lorne Michaels, Canadian-American[1] television producer, writer, comedian, and actor, best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live;

Bernard Montgomery, senior British Army officer who fought in both the First World War and the Second World War;

RuPaul, American actor, drag queen, model, author, and recording artist;

Martin Scorsese, American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian;

Patricia Ann Meyer Spacks, American writer and critic; and

Eugene Wigner, Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, engineer and mathematician.

Quote of the day:
"You fill me with inertia."
-Peter Cook

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Today's edition is late and abbreviated due to some software issues. We're off tomorrow to correct the issue with out hosting service and some other items, and will return on Monday.

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


Categories: The Daily KGB Report


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The Sound of Music, National Junk Food Day, Ramen noodle assault
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Published Wednesday, November 16, 2016 @ 4:16 PM EST
Nov 16 2016

Today is Wednesday, November 16, the 321st day of 2016, with 45 days remaining. There are eight days until Thanksgiving, 35 days until the winter solstice, 38 days until Festivus, 39 days until the start of Hanukkah, 40 days until Christmas Day, 66 days until Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, and 722 days until the November, 2018 mid-term election.

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On this day in 1959, The Sound of Music opened on Broadway, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The show went on to win five Tony Awards and had 1,443 performances during its original run. It spawned scores of international productions and revivals, and was adapted to both motion pictures and television.

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Among other things, today is also National Fast Food Day.

There are over 300,000 fast food restaurants in the United States alone, with annual sales of over $110 billion. Does fast food really need a day?

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Florida man arrested for domestic battery with Ramen noodles.

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As of this writing, The KGB Quotations Database contains 41,629 entries. Check it out.

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Persons born on November 16 who said interesting things:

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic;

Michael Arlen, Armenian essayist, short story writer, novelist, playwright, and scriptwriter;

Elizabeth Drew, American political journalist and author;

W.C. Handy, American composer and musician, known as the "Father of the Blues";

Joel Henry Hildebrand, American educator and a pioneer chemist;

George S. Kaufman, American playwright, theatre director and producer, humorist, and drama critic;

Robert Nozick, American philosopher; and

Renate Rubinstein, German-Dutch writer, journalist and columnist;

Quote of the day:
"Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone?"
-Robert Nozick

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Today's edition is late and abbreviated due to some software issues. Back to normal tomorrow, I hope.

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As you see, KGB Report is now a daily effort, and I'd appreciate it if you can share us with your friends and, perhaps, click on the link below and become a patron, or send a donation to me here in the KGB Kave at 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Aside from some consulting work, KGB Report, other writing efforts and partial Social Security retirement benefits are looking more and more like my main source of income. So if you like us, chip in a buck or ten every month to keep us on the air. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any books we publish on Amazon or Kindle in the coming year. Thanks for your support!


Categories: The Daily KGB Report


  Subscribe   [Home]    [Commentwear]    [E-Mail KGB]


Support KGB Report through our Amazon Affiliate page.



Become my patron... support me on Patreon.


Older entries, Archives and Categories       Top of page


Like KGB Report on Facebook and follow us on Twitter