Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The word jazz came from baseball.

It starts 100 years ago with an obscure baseball player named Ben Henderson.

Henderson was a washed up pitcher with the Pacific Coast League with a reputation as an unreliable drunk, so his career never amounted to much. But back in 1912, he told a reporter about a new pitch he had developed, and became the first person known to use the word “Jazz.”

The story starts in 1912 with baseball’s Pacific Coast League. Ben Henderson, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels invented a new pitch he called the jazz ball. From the Los Angeles Times, 2 April 1912:

BEN’S JAZZ CURVE.

“I got a new curve this year,” sofetly [sic] murmured Henderson yesterday, “and I’m goin’ to pitch one or two of them tomorrow. I call it the Jazz ball because it wobbles and you simply can’t do anything with it.”

As prize fighters who invent new punches are always the first to get their’s Ben will probably be lucky if some guy don’t hit that new Jazzer ball a mile today.  It is to be hoped that some unintelligent compositor does not spell that the Jag ball. That’s what it must be at that if it wobbles.

The next day, the Times reported on the success of the pitch:

Henderson cut the outside corner with a fast curve also for one strike. Benny calls this his "jass" ball.

Computer Bug



In 1945, Grace Murray Hopper was working on the Harvard University Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator. On the 9th of September, 1945, when the machine was experiencing problems, an investigation showed that there was a moth trapped between the points of Relay #70, in Panel F. The operators removed the moth and affixed it to the log. (See the picture above.) The entry reads: "First actual case of bug being found."



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

The earliest history of Mothers Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology. 

Rhea

Cybele

Mother's Day History Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be noted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome. 


Early Christians celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers. It was then called Mothering Sunday.

Anna Jarvis


The modern American holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died.

Friday, April 24, 2015

First YouTube video

On April 23, 2005, at 8:27 p.m., YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the first YouTube video “Me at the zoo.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Titanic Trivia

It was 103 years ago ( April 12, 1912)  that RMS Titanic sunk together with 1500 souls at the depth of the Atlantic.


The Titanic was traveling between 21-23 knots (approx 26 miles an hour) when it struck the iceberg.

The cost of a first-class ticket on Titanic to New York was $2,500.

A third-class ticket at Titanic cost $40, which is approximately $900 in today’s currency. 



Number of Titanic's four smokestacks that were operational: 3 

Last message sent from Titanic: "We are sinking fast. Passengers being put into boats."

Number of passengers and crew who died: 1,503

Titanic was one of the first ships in distress to send out an “SOS” signal; the radio officer used
“SOS” after using the traditional code of “CQD” followed by the ship’s call letters.

Titanic’s superb master chef, Michel Louvain, steadfastly remained at his station, preparing snacks of pate and truffled pheasant so that first-class passengers would not have to drown on an empty stomach. When urged to save himself by his sous-chef, he replied, “Le fois gras, c’est moi,” Perhaps because the remark made little sense, it seldom has been repeated over the years.



The last tune the band was playing before the Titanic sank was believed to be Autumn by Louis Von Esch c.1810 a popular waltz of the time  and not "Nearer My God to Thee".

No members of the band survived but the Black Talent Agency who hired the musicians, sent the violinist's family a bill for $3.50 for the cost of the unpaid and unreturned uniform!



There were 9 dogs on board, three of which survived. Margaret Hay's Pomeranian (lifeboat #7), Elizabeth Rothchild's pooch (lifeboat # 6) and Henry Sleeper Harper's Pekinese, Sun Yat Sen (Lifeboat # 3) . Among the dogs that didn't make it was champion bulldog, Gamon de Pycombe and a St Bernard. It is rumored that a passenger had freed the dogs from the kennels when all hope was gone.



The Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats. 14 of these lifeboats were wooden and each one had a capacity of 65 persons, 2 were wood cutters with a capacity of 40 persons each Lifeboats on Boat deck. and 4 were collapsibles (wood bottoms and canvas sides) and each collapsible was capable of carrying 47 persons. The total capacity of all 20 lifeboats was 1,178 people.


Saturday, April 04, 2015

Ever wonder why rabbits and eggs are connected with Easter?



Eoster (not Ishtar) has something to do with Easter. Ēostre or Ostara is a Germanic divinity who, by way of the Germanic month bearing her name (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon: Ēastermōnaþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth), is the namesake of the festival of Easter. 

Ēostre is attested solely by Bede in his 8th-century work The Reckoning of Time, where Bede states that during Ēosturmōnaþ (the equivalent of April), pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Eostre's honor, but that this tradition had died out by his time, replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Si Malakas at si Maganda


Legend has it that the first Filipino man and woman were born from a bamboo stalk. They both had brown skin and supple bodies. The man was named Malakas, or "Strong One"; the woman, Maganda, or the "Beautiful One."

In the beginning, there was only the sea, the sky and the air. The Goddess of the Sea and the God of the Sky were enemies and fought for centuries. The Sky God hurled thunder bolts, lightning and colossal boulders at the sea while the Sea Goddess fashioned pounding waves and swirling hurricanes that touched the sky.

The usually patient God of Air grew tired of the incessant fighting. He took the form of a beautiful bird and tried to get the Sea Goddess and the Sky God to reconcile with one another. Finally, the Gods made peace at the horizon- the place where the sea and the sky come together. Later they fell in love. A tiny seed born out of their love was planted on one of the magnificent boulders the Sky God had once thrown into the sea. From this seed a bamboo began to grow.

The bird who brought peace perched to rest on one of the thousands of boulders and saw the growing bamboo. Out of curiosity the bird pecked at it and the bamboo was split in two. A man and a woman sprang from the two pieces!

The man was named Malakas (meaning strong) and the woman was Maganda (meaning beautiful). Malakas and Maganda went on to have many children, grand children, great grandchildren and so on. The generations spread across the thousands of boulders that came to be known as the Philippines.