No matter what your opinion is on the use of Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time, the was originally a good reason for it, and that reason still applies today in many ways. The Standard Time Act of 1918, which was also known as the Calder Act (after the senator who sponsored the bill…William M. Calder), was the first United States federal law implementing Standard time and Daylight Saving Time in the United States. Prior to the Calder Act, the railroads had instituted time zones so that the rail schedule could have much needed consistency. Before time zones, no one had any idea when the train was due. It was a big mess. The Time Zone system defined five time zones for the United States and authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to define the limits of each time zone.
When the need for Daylight Savings Time came up, the original point of it was to save fuel by setting working hours so they coincided with the hours of natural daylight. While many people may not like that much, I think that a sensible person can at least see the purpose of it. The act included a section that talked about the repeal of the change in one year, but in the end, it was decided that it was necessary to continue the practice. In fact, they could see no usefulness in repealing it, because the fuel savings had not changed. So, the practice has continued to this day. The Calder Act came about in answer to the European countries, who were already using the practice successfully.
Those who dislike the practice have been trying to repeal the act for as long as I can remember anyway, and with no success. I suppose that someday, they may succeed, but I’m not sure they will find that life without the time changes will be as amazing as they think. The sun will continue to make its seasonal adjustments, and without the time changes, we will at some point, find ourselves wishing for another hour of daylight. The first time change to Daylight Saving Time took place on March 19, 1918, and it has been in practice since that time. I, personally, look forward to Daylight Saving Time every year. The longer days and more light make me feel happy, and I find that the few days or a week of adjustment is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll hear lots of differing opinions from my readers. This year, Daylight Saving Time started on March 12, and Standard Time will begin on November 5…just so you know.
Every day, in various locations, we could find ourselves in relatively close proximity to any number of known criminals. I suppose that if one were to let oneself, that could be a source of concern, but it is also good to know that often, the criminal element in our midst is trying just as hard not to be seen, as we are not to know they are there.
Many of those criminals are not seriously dangerous, but some are so dangerous that it was decided that the public needed to not only be aware of them, but needed to help in spotting this dangerous element, so they could be taken off our streets. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) made the decision in 1949 to institute what is now well known as the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list in an effort to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives. The creation of the program arose out of a wire service news story in 1949 about the “toughest guys” the FBI wanted to capture. Once out there, like many new ideas, awareness grew, and a need was realized. The wire service story drew so much public attention that the “Ten Most Wanted” list was given the okay by J Edgar Hoover the following year.
Since its debut, the list has been responsible for the capture of hundreds of the criminals included on the list. To add to the success, more than 150 of those apprehended or located were a direct result of tips from the public. To start the list and in subsequent lists, the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) of the FBI asks all fifty-six field offices to submit candidates for inclusion on the list. Once these are received, the CID in association with the Office of Public and Congressional Affairs reviews then and proposes finalists for approval of by the FBI’s Deputy Director. The criterion for selection is simple. The criminal must have a lengthy record and current pending charges that make him or her particularly dangerous. In addition, the FBI must believe that “the publicity attendant to placement on the list will assist in the apprehension of the fugitive.”
Once on the list, there is generally only two ways to get off the list…die or to be captured. There have only been a handful of cases where a fugitive has been removed from the list because they no longer were a particularly dangerous menace to society. I suppose an older fugitive, known to have an illness or dementia would qualify. The list usually consists of men, but there have actually been ten women who have appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. The first woman was Ruth Eisemann-Schier was the first, listed in 1968. The current list has a little room, I see.
We have all heard of stunt doubles. They are the people who make the shows we watch seem fearless as they perform their daring feats and even some that aren’t really so daring, but they just don’t want their actors scratched. Somehow these people, at least at a distance look just like the actor they are supposed to be. Sometimes they are very close, as in the case of brothers, David Paul Olsen, who is the stunt double for his brother, Eric Christian Olsen on NCIS Los Angeles. They aren’t twins, but the brothers loo enough alike to pull it off during filming.
While this is common, there is another type of “double” that is just as often used and is much less known. Government officials such as presidents, kings, and even congress or parliament members have been known to use doubles so that they can travel safely without worrying about being assassinated. Strangely, these doubles are very often denied. We are told that we are imagining things, but when we take a moment to look closely, the differences are obvious. This has gone on throughout history, although probably not as easily as the more recent history.
Sometimes the double goes to extremes, such as plastic surgery, but my guess is that with the more recent ability to make life-like masks, the need for such extreme measures has lessened. Still, anyone who is awake knows that doubles are and likely will always be used to protect or hide that elites who feel the need to move in relative anonymity. The possibilities are endless really. Having a double could mask a death of a high ranking official, such as, it has been believed, Kim Jong-Un, who has been seen looking heavy and then a short time later, thinner, when it would be impossible for him to have lost the weight so quickly. They can deny it all they want to, but when you look at things that are harder to change, like ear lobes, chins, and even teeth that seem to go back and forth from chipped to not chipped. No body double or stunt double is going to be a perfect match, even with plastic surgery. Facial shape and bone structure are going to have slight differences…even in identical twins…which could be the easiest body double to use, if the twin is not the “important” person his or her sibling is. How awesome would that be to face up to? “Yes, I’m my brother’s body double, because I am expendable.” Right!! How wonderful would that feel for the non-important twin?
We can argue that some of our prominent politicians these days have body doubles, or we can “stick our heads in the sand” and believe that they don’t, but the reality is that if you look closely, you will see that they very likely do have a double. With the internet, and the multitude of pictures taken of a politician every day, it becomes more and more difficult to deny what is right there in front of our eyes. It up to us to decide to believe what we are told or search out the truth.
As a kid, I, like most kids used to love to shuffle around on a carpeted floor and then touch my friends or better yet, my sisters. The shock of static electricity made everyone jump. IT was one of those sneaky tricks that backfired on the person who set out to pull the sneaky trick in the first place. Of course, there were also times when the shock was completely unintentional, and too both people by surprise. The reality is that while we had fun doing it as kids, static electricity really hurts.
Kids grow out of the enjoyment of shocking their friends pretty quickly…probably because it really does hurt. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that our electric personalities just go away, because they don’t. These days my electric personality works a little differently. You see, I walk, every day, and a lot. In the winter, that’s not so easy, because I am not a “Winter Girl” and that’s a fact. So, my Wintertime trail of choice is not the mall, or a shopping center in town, but rather it’s the “Carpet Trail” in my house. My house has two entrances into my galley kitchen. That makes a circle, and with the rest of my house, I can walk with only one turn around spot. The trail works perfectly for me, and I don’t have to go out in the Winter cold. The problem, for me, is that while I don’t shuffle in my walking, my carpet still produces static electricity, and the one who most often gets zapped, is me. Of course, my husband, Bob isn’t immune. He just isn’t the one who gets zapped the most.
“Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material or between materials. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, where the electric charge flows through an electrical conductor or space and transmits energy.” Of course, we didn’t need the scientific definition of it, because we all know what it’s like. You can see it as you touch the doorknob, and it makes your hair stand on end…especially after rubbing it with a balloon.
Now, I find that today, January 9, 2023, is actually National Static Electricity Day. So, if you used to be one of those people who liked to shuffle around on carpeted floors wearing socks just to zap people, then Static Electricity Day is your day! The idea is to try and find a way to experiment with static electricity on this day…seriously!! They say that you might find that it’s shockingly good fun. Maybe, but in my world of being shocked by every doorknob, electrical devise, my stove, and my husband…several times in the same two hour walk, I don’t know that I would find this day so funny, because I have to “prepare myself” to touch anything, since things often strike back.
Some years are filled with rainy and snowy days, while others are drought filled, like this one. Each can have their consequences, if things go too far. As drought in the United States has progressed this past year, lakes and rivers have dried up, including the widest river…the great Mississippi River, which is not nearly as wide or as deep as it used to be. The reality is that suddenly, the Mississippi is bone-dry in some places. The average depth of the Mississippi River is normally 9 to 12 feet, with the deepest point being 200 feet. As with any river that is deep enough to run big boats or even little ones, invariably, there comes a sinking or two.
Sometimes, boats that sink can be recovered, and sometimes they can’t. The ship might be at a depth that makes it impossible, or the right equipment might not be available. Whatever the reason, in just about any body of water, there are bound to be a few mysterious finds hiding beneath the surface. As the Mississippi River has gone through the drought this year, there are the expected myriad of boats that are now stranded and languishing on dry land, but there are also a few surprises that are starting to appear. Some of the ships are old, but some are not as old, like the Diamond Lady, a casino boat that used to grace the mighty river. The Diamond Lady was christened in 1991, and was used in Iowa for a time, but in 2019, as things in Iowa got tough, the beautiful casino boat sailed south to an unknown fate in the mighty Mississippi River. The boat had been stored in Lake McKellar, but sank in 2021 during a freeze. Now it has resurfaced again. It’s not the oldest relic in the Mississippi River and the surrounding waterways, but it might have been the most majestic.
Unfortunately, there are sad finds in the river too. The drought has unearthed a sunken 19th-century shipwreck and human remains in the Mississippi River. I’m sure these won’t be the only human remains that suddenly surface, because while drowning victims are often found, there comes with a gambling a certain element that often brings the mysterious deaths, whether they are murders or just mysterious deaths whose cause cannot be determined. I’m sure there will be more ship, and possibly more bodies that turn up too. Then, before too long, the waters will return, and the mysteries will once again be hidden beneath the surface of the rivers and lakes.
During World War II and even earlier really, Adolf Hitler was in the middle of his plan to take over the world. He was ruthless, and when he invaded a country, he didn’t care how many people died, as long as he got his way. The Battle of France took place between May 10, 1940 and June 25, 1940. The surrender of France to the Nazis in 1940 was a complex situation. The German invasion left metropolitan France at the mercy of Nazi armies. Really, once Paris fell on June 14, 1940, the German conquest of France was complete. Part of the problem was that Marshal Henri Petain replaced Paul Reynaud as prime minister and proved to be a weak leader who announced his intention to sign an armistice with the Nazis.
While not very well known at the time, French General Charles de Gaulle, made a broadcast on June 18, 1940, to France from England, where he would help with the resistance. The Appeal of June 18 was the first speech made by Charles de Gaulle after his arrival in London in 1940 following the Battle of France. The speech was broadcast to Vichy France by the radio services of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). This speech is considered to have marked the beginning of the French Resistance in World War II. It is regarded as one of the most important speeches in French history. General de Gaulle said in his speech, “The leaders who, for many years, were at the head of French armies, have formed a government. This government, alleging our armies to be undone, agreed with the enemy to stop fighting. Of course, we were subdued by the mechanical, ground and air forces of the enemy. Infinitely more than their number, it was the tanks, the airplanes, the tactics of the Germans which made us retreat. It was the tanks, the airplanes, the tactics of the Germans that surprised our leaders to the point to bring them there where they are today.
But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!
Believe me, I speak to you with full knowledge of the facts and tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us can bring us to a day of victory. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She can align with the British Empire that holds the sea and continues the fight. She can, like England, use without limit the immense industry of United States.
This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not finished by the battle of France. This war is a world wide war. All the faults, all the delays, all the suffering, do not prevent there to be, in the world, all the necessary means to one day crush our enemies. Vanquished today by mechanical force, we will be able to overcome in the future by a superior mechanical force.
The destiny of the world is here. I, General de Gaulle, currently in London, invite the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who would come there, with their weapons or without their weapons, I invite the engineers and the special workers of armament industries who are located in British territory or who would come there, to put themselves in contact with me.
Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.”
His work with the French Resistance made Charles de Gaulle almost a household word in France. It gave the people hope for freedom. The French Resistance fought to the death to beat the Nazis. This makes me think of current times, and all the freedoms that we have lost. These lessons from the French Resistance are valuable to this day. Never give up. You only lose a battle when you quit fighting. We must never quit fighting.
Looking back to September 10, 2001, it seemed that all was right with the world, but in fact, it was not, as we would all find out the very next morning. There were warning signs that terrorists were plotting something, but then weren’t they always. That’s what terrorists do…plot evil, plan to kill as many people as possible, and plan to bring a greater measure of fear into the world. September 11, 2001 would be no different. When 19 al Qaeda militants, hijacked 4 US airliners that morning, the terror had begun. In years past, a hijacked plane was used to take the hijackers to some other country, preferably one without extradition. The passengers were told that this was going to be a hijacking like that, but when the terrorists began slashing people with box cutters, and took over the cockpit, the people knew that this was not a normal hijacking. We all know far too well what the end result of this horrific act of brutal terrorism was.
In all, 2996 people, including the 19 terrorists, lost their lives at four locations that day. Of those 2996 people, only 291 bodies were found intact. A total of 21,906 body parts were found, and 1717 families got no remains at all. In addition, 25,000 more people were injured, and a large number of them have died of 9-11 related illnesses since then. The smoke and debris that came out of the burning jet fuel and buildings was so toxic, and those who helped with the searches and cleanup were exposed. It was a deadly combination. No one knew, or if they did, they disregarded the danger, in an effort to save lives. A few lives were saved. A few people were pulled out of the buildings alive. Theirs was a miracle, and they knew that for the rest of their lives, they would be a walking miracle. Of course, they would also most likely feel some degree of survivor’s guilt, although they shouldn’t. Nevertheless, it is a natural phenomenon, that people tend to struggle with for years, if not the rest of their lives. It never leaves.
For those who lost loved ones on that horrible day, it goes without saying that they will never forget, but the reality is that no one should ever forget. How could we forget, when we see that pictures of the planes going into the towers, or the walls of the Pentagon destroyed, or the massive hole in the Pennsylvania earth. Those aren’t just pictures…they are lives. They are lives lost, and families forever changed. They are children who will grow up without parents, people who with grow old without the spouse they had planned to have with them. They are sons and daughters, whose lives were stolen from them…whose promise was snuffed out before it could be fulfilled. For all of those people…it is our duty to “never forget!!” Our nation lost the feeling of safety that we had before. We don’t trust those we don’t know as much as we used to. We will always be forever changed. Never forget that!! Ever!!
Sad news has surfaced today out of Scottland, as Queen Elizabeth of England has passed away at the age of 96 years. She became the Queen of England in 1952 at the very young age of 25, when her father, King George VI passed away on February 6, 1952, at just 56 years old. Queen Elizabeth would later become the longest reigning British monarch in history, reigning for 7 decades. The queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee (70 years as reigning monarch) on February 5, 2022. She knew that her time was short, and she spoke of her wishes for the time following her death. Now that time has come.
The family will not have to make any arrangements for her funeral, because everything has already been planned from the service to the grave, and even the timeframe. The only unknown, until now, was the date of the service, which will be held eleven days after her passing…on September 19, 2022. I think it is comforting when the deceased has already planned their own funeral. It is to their tastes and preferences, and there is no question as to their wishes. Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will be televised across the world, with the only restriction being that the royal family is not to be filmed. That makes sense. They need to be able to grieve privately.
The royal line of succession now changes, with Prince Charles becoming King Charles III (it was announced earlier). He has the right to change his name, but it appears that he won’t. Prince William is now first in line to the throne and takes on his father’s title of Prince of Wales. Duchess Camilla becomes Queen Consort, and Duchess Catherine becomes Princess of Wales. Prince George is second in line to the throne, followed by Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. It is so strange to think of so many changes happening all at once, but that is how things work in the world of the monarchy. How people feel personally about any part of the changes really doesn’t matter, because they are what they are.
For the world, this is a sad day. It is the end of an era. Many people, including me, have never known a time when Queen Elizabeth II was not the queen. She began her reign four years before I was born. Queen Elizabeth II was much loved and well respected. She had a way of making people feel at ease. She had a very human type of nature, and really never presented herself as anything so special. She went out and shook the hands of the people, in what was deemed a “walkabout” like the Australians do. She considered her office one of service to the people, rather than a ruler over them. I’m sure that is why she was so loved by all. The end of her reign has brought much sadness to the world. Rest in peace Queen Elizabeth. You will be missed by so many people.
We were watching the Denver Broncos in their huge (19-3) defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs. The game had really just gotten started (it had a 4:00pm start time) when the crash, that took the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, occurred in Paris at 12:23am (4:23pm Mountain Time). The news of the tragedy was aired shortly thereafter, and by 3:00am, Paris time, she was dead. That news was announced at 6:00am Paris time.
Diana was a distant cousin of mine…(specifically my 12th cousin 2 times removed), so the news held some significance to my family. There have been many questions concerning the crash that took Diana’s life, and while the powers that be say that they have all been answered, there are many people, including me, who still have questions. I’m sure that we will never have our questions fully answered, and I’m sure that is partly due to the fact that when it comes to Diana, we aren’t sure that the British Crown is telling us everything they know. The mere fact that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were divorced, and at that time, and to many people, his claim to the throne was in question, we naturally doubted the validity of the answers we were given. Nevertheless, no further answers will likely be forthcoming, so we will have to accept the answers we were given…or not accept them, as you please. After the divorce, Princess Diana became known as Diana, Princess of Wales, as a supposed concession by the crown.
Diana, affectionately known as “the People’s Princess,” was 36 years old at the time of her death. Her boyfriend, the Egyptian-born socialite Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died as well. The lone survivor of the crash was Diana’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, who was seriously injured. The car left the Ritz Paris just after midnight, intending to go to Dodi’s apartment on the Rue Arsène Houssaye. As soon as they departed the hotel, a swarm of paparazzi on motorcycles began aggressively tailing their car. About three minutes later, the driver lost control and crashed into a pillar at the entrance of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. It was later decided that because the driver had alcohol and prescription drugs in his system, the paparazzi held no fault in the matter. That is where I disagree. While the driver had alcohol and prescription drugs in his system, he would not have felt the need to speed through the streets if the paparazzi had left them alone. As a retired insurance agent, I know contributory negligence when I see it. Nevertheless, a “formal investigation” concluded the paparazzi did not cause the collision. Dodi Fayed and Henri Paul, the driver, were pronounced dead at the scene. Diana was taken to the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and officially declared dead at 6:00am. Diana’s former husband Prince Charles, as well as her sisters and other members of the Royal Family, arrived in Paris that morning. Diana’s body was then taken back to London.
Because Diana was one of the most popular public figures in the world, her death brought a massive outpouring of grief. Mourners began leaving bouquets of flowers at Kensington Palace immediately. The piles of flowers reached about 30 feet from the palace gate. As in her life, her death demanded the attention of the world. She was so loved, and many felt, so mistreated during her marriage. Following her funeral on September 6, 1997, an event that was watched by 2.5 billion people, she was laid to rest on an island at Althorp Estate, which is her childhood home, and is which is where her brother, Earl Charles Spencer lives to this day. The island is off limits, but the estate is open to the public during July and August each year.
Diana was survived by her two sons, Prince William, who was 15 at the time, and Prince Harry, who was 12. Today she has two daughters-in-law, Duchess Catherine and Duchess Meaghan, as well as five grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis; as well as; Archie and Lillibet. Today marks 25 years since the passing of Princess Diana. Gone but not forgotten.
These days, we have probably seen more “shortages” of the staples needed for daily life than ever before. Things like food, water, toilet paper, sugar, gasoline, and so many other things that most people use every day, are suddenly missing from our shelves or stations. Today’s “shortages” are mostly caused by forced blocking of shipping channels, and other political maneuvering…at least these days. There are as many reasons for most shortages as there are shortages, in reality, but some shortages have been stranger over the years than others. Sometimes, it’s even for our own good or if it is “perceived” to be for our own good.
Things have been pulled off the shelves because of recalls, like vegetables that may have Salmonella, and even if the source was confined to one small area of one plant, as was the case with baby formula. The government shut down all the plants, causing a serous baby formula shortage. No one wants to buy unsafe formula, but that was really never the case, and they knew it. Excedrin was pulled off the shelves because it “might” have an ingredient that was unsafe, and then weeks later, it was back, in exactly the same formulation.
The closing of a business is one of the biggest reasons for items to suddenly be missing from the shelves. Twinkies is a prime example. When Hostess Brands Inc, the maker of Twinkies and other cherished American treats, announced bankruptcy and closure in 2012, consumers made a mad rush to their local supermarkets to get their hands on the cream-filled pastries before they were gone for good. It is that act that prompted the myth that Twinkies have an unlimited shelf life. The snacks were back on the shelves by summer, when Hostess and all of its brand holdings, including Twinkies, were purchased out of bankruptcy by the private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos and Company in 2013.
One of the funniest shortages, though not funny at the time or in the repeat of it in recent times, was the 1973 toilet paper shortage. It happened as the result of a joke by Johnny Carson. He said, “You know, we’ve got all sorts of shortages these days. But have you heard the latest? I’m not kidding. I saw it in the papers. There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper.” The remarks that were meant as a joke, caused people to rush to the stores and buyout all the toilet paper. To make matters worse, some stores began rationing. Finally, Carson took to the airwaves to apologize, saying, “I don’t want to be remembered as the man who created a false toilet paper scare. I just picked up the item from the paper and enlarged it somewhat…there is no shortage.”
There are so many ways a shortage can get started. Some are real events, while others are manufactured. While some are not exactly detrimental, as was the case with Twinkies, some can cause serious harm and even death…even many deaths. Some shortages cannot be helped, but those that can, in all prudence, should be avoided at all costs.