Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Significant Anniversaries in 2009

There are some significant anniversaries coming up in 2009.

 • 1809 Feb. 12 (200 years ago), Abraham Lincoln born in Hardin County, Kentucky. Elected 16th president of the United States in 1860, issued Emancipation Proclamation 1863 Jan. 1, died 1865 April 15 in Washington, DC.

 • 1809 Feb. 12 (200 years ago), Charles Darwin born in Shrewsbury, England. Served as naturalist aboard HMS Beagle, 1831-1836, used scientific findings from that expedition to formulate theory of evolution, published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection 1859 Nov. 24, died 1882 April 19 in Kent, England.

 • 1969 July 20 (40 years ago), Neil Armstrong becomes 1st representative of Earth life to set foot on another world, deboarding from the Eagle, in the Sea of Tranquility, Moon. Followed shortly thereafter by Buzz Aldrin, while Michael Collins remained in orbit above them in Apollo 11. The event was most memorably commemorated here:

The last person to set foot on the Moon left 3 years later, on 1972 Dec. 14, when Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt departed. In subsequent years, numerous very intelligent people have asserted that it is cheaper and more efficient to explore the Solar System with robotic probes instead of human-crewed missions. In the entire history of declarative sentences, there has probably never been another which (a) is so factually correct while (b) so utterly missing the point.

 • 2009 Jan. 20 (0 years ago), Barack Hussein Obama 2nd, son of Barack Obama Sr. (a black African Muslim) and Ann Dunham (a white Kansas agnostic) becomes the 1st mixed-race person to assume the presidency of the United States, having been elected with a majority of votes from all racial groups, thus putting a significant dent in the most shameful legacy of the world's richest nation.

Which of these, do you suppose, will be the most celebrated anniversary in 2109?


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