Hey everyone! I just started my first full 5-course semester at the University of Lethbridge, and so far so awesome.
Today I discovered that Mary Robinette Kowal1 shares a birthday with me! And she has this great tradition of posting cool stories on her blog every time her birthday comes around. Which is awesome, because it’s as though an important published author is giving me a birthday present2. So, if you’re interested, here are some links to her stories!
I also thought I’d bring up other things that happened on my birthday, because February 8th is a fun day! Here is an entire list of events, births and deaths that happened today in history, if you’re the kind of person who wants to scroll through an enormous list of things that happened in a particular date on a Sunday3, but my personal favourites are, in no particular order:
- The Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), also called as the “Great Cyberporn Panic of 1995”, which happened exactly on my birthday. So, the day I was born, President Bill Clinton was signing a bill to protect everyone under 18 years of age at the time from online pornography. I… don’t know what to think of that, and it certainly seems to have more or less failed, but it’s kind of weird to think that legislators were thinking about porn when I was being born.
- The birth of Lynda Lyon Block in 1948, a crazy woman with a tragic past and a psychotic way to deal with it who killed a cop and got executed in May 10, 2002.
- The fall of the Allende Meteorite in 1969.
- The first publicly advertised, full colour television program in the world broadcast in Mexico City in 1963. All rise to applaud breakthrough engineering on the part of Guillermo González Camarena!
- The birth of Henry Walter Bates in 1825, a badass entomologist who gave the first scientific account of mimicry in animals. He went to South America with Alfred Russel Wallace to study animals and evolution, and sent back thousands of species to England to be studied, a full 8,000 of which were new to science at the time! He also nursed a sick toucan back to health. And named him Tocáno! Who says entomologists don’t have hearts?
- The founding of Leiden University in 1575, the oldest university in the Netherlands. Motto? Praesidium Libertatis. Meaning of motto? Bastion of Freedom.
- The birth of Jules Fucking Verne in 1828 (his real middle name was Gabriel). He needs no introduction, of course, so I’ll just say something I imagine few people know about him: Jules Verne was friends with Alexandre Dumas’ kid (and to a lesser extent, Dumas himself). I found that out and now I want to read a crossover of Around the World in Eighty Days and The Three Musketeers.
- The Byzantine Civil War formally ends in 1347.
- The three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after 84 days in 1974.
- The birth of Chester Carlston in 1906, who basically invented the entire process of electrophotography, later renamed xerography.
- And lastly, a time to think about one’s future death and the deaths of one’s loved ones. That’s right, Nirvana Day! Sometimes! Isn’t Buddhism cheerful?
Don’t worry, I will do more science, I swear! I have a hypothesis about norepinephrine being the reason why Sleeping Beauty woke up, a hypothesis about the way that lycanthropy works, a couple of analyses of movies, and a rant about one, singular sentence in Brandon Sanderson’s 3rd Mistborn book4 all in the works. They will come. Eventually.
To everyone else who shares a birthday with Jules Verne, happy birthday! To everyone who does not, a merry, merry unbirthday to you!
1 One of my favourite authors, and someone who is not exempt from my nitpicking, don’t worry. I’m onto her and the fact that smell isn’t a wave. Not to mention that I’m trying to figure out how the Faraday Effect applies to glamour in glass. It should. Somehow. I mean, there has to be a direct relationship there. I don’t know what it would be, but it must exist, and generally how does electromagnetism mess with, say, a glamural? Can you erase glamour using an electromagnetic current?
2 Coincidences are awesome.
3I know I am!
4 Blood is not the only part of the body that has metals! Or the part that has the most metals! They should be looking at skeletons walking around! Calcium is a metal! Wouldn’t people have realized that inquisitors are blind in places where there are a lot of metals? If they aren’t, why aren’t they? If they are, isn’t that a REALLY EXPLOITABLE thing? Like, “Oh, look at me, I just vanished from the sight of an inquisitor because I’m standing in front of a wall made of metal!”..?