Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Celebrate Pi and Einstein today

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2017

Today, March 14, is Albert Einstein’s birthday. It’s also Pi Day (3/14) for those who use the month/day/year date format. If you’re into greater precision, celebrate Pi Minute (3/14, 1:59) or even Pi Second (3/14, 1:59:26).

Europeans and others who use the more logical day/month/year date format prefer to celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22 (22/7).

Technically, of course, all of these, including Pi Second, are Pi Approximations.

In any case, enjoy some pi(e) today! Or convert some matter into energy!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Richard on November 24, 2016

I hope you’re enjoying this wonderful holiday, and I commend to you An Objectivist Ode to Thanksgiving by Jennifer Anju Grossman, the CEO of The Atlas Society, in which she offers “a Thanksgiving prayer that can appeal to secularists and religionists alike.”

For many Americans, Thanksgiving dinner begins with a prayer.

It is a chance to hold hands, to take a pause, to give thanks. Ayn Rand, firm exponent of reason and the originator of a philosophy for living on earth, would not have approved of praying to a deity.  Yet insofar as prayer is defined by the dictionary as a “solemn request or expression of thanks to an object of worship,” she certainly would have approved of a prayerful thanks during this holiday — and she did.

In one letter to friends — a Spanish painter and his wife — she emphasizes that she and Frank (her husband) wanted the couple “to come in time for Thanksgiving, so that we will have occasion to give thanks.”

After you read the rest of that, do me—and yourself—a favor and go read The real Thanksgiving story. And in case dinner isn’t ready yet and the ball game is boring, here are some other Thanksgiving posts you might enjoy:

  • 2007: This Thanksgiving, celebrate the producers — Features Debi Ghates’ wonderful explanation of what you should be thankful for and who you should thank.
  • 2008: Happy Thanksgiving  — A funny/sad story about kindergarten kids celebrating Thanksgiving. It features cops and accusations of genocide.
  • 2009: Thanking the producers again  — This time with lots of help from Jim Woods. Also, remembering the anniversary of the Jihadist attacks on Mumbai.
  • 2010: Best wishes for Thanksgiving  — Features John Stossel’s and Fouad Ajami’s thoughts on the holiday. You might enjoy Ajami’s thoughts on our Thanksgiving cuisine.

I’ll finish with a reprise of the song I posted last year. It seems even more appropriate after all that’s happened this year. If the election results have led to tension among your Thanksgiving guests, have them listen carefully to Don Henley’s “My Thanksgiving” (from the 2000 album Inside Job). It’s the perfect song for today, and one that hopefully will help them put any concerns and disagreements into perspective.


[YouTube link]

A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of ’em ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mineSometimes I think about you
I wonder how you’re doing now
And what you’re going throughThe last time I saw you
We were playing with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burning desire
For every breath, for every day of living
And this is my Thanksgiving

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion-well, it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I’m tired of waiting for reason to arrive
It’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lives

I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my ThanksgivingHave you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things areHere in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge

And I don’t mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I’m welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

I hope that’s as meaningful to you as it is to me.

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Happy National Beer Day!

Posted by Richard on April 7, 2016

I just recently discovered that today is National Beer Day.

Of course, for some of us, just about every day is beer day.

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Merry Christmas — and if that offends you, too bad

Posted by Richard on December 24, 2015

I’m not a Christian, but I like Christmas anyway. So I wish people a merry Christmas. Apparently, some people are offended by that. I think anyone who gets upset about being wished a merry Christmas really, really needs to rethink their approach to life.

It seems that there are a number of such pathetic individuals around Greeley, Colorado:

GREELEY – Growing up in the restaurant industry, Brandon Bird says he’s seen it all. But for the first time in 40 years, the owner of Bulldog Deli and Pizza in Greeley says he’s never encountered backlash like he has in the past week.

“It didn’t occur to me that folks would take any offense or negativity at all in simply changing my billboard to saying Merry Christmas.” …

Read the whole sorry story. And then have a very merry Christmas. Oh, yeah, and a happy Festivus, too!

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A Thanksgiving song for you

Posted by Richard on November 26, 2015

Don Henley is probably the typical skull-full-of-mush Hollywood liberal, but he’s a pretty good songwriter and a damn fine lyricist. For proof, look no further than “My Thanksgiving” (from the 2000 album Inside Job), which is also the perfect song for today. Enjoy!


[YouTube link]

A lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of ’em ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line
I always thought you were a friend of mine

Sometimes I think about you
I wonder how you’re doing now
And what you’re going through

The last time I saw you
We were playing with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burning desire
For every breath, for every day of living
And this is my Thanksgiving

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation
Too many blessings, too little appreciation
And I know that kind of notion-well, it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday school
Because I’m tired of waiting for reason to arrive
It’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lives
I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be
With the way things are

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge

And I don’t mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I’m welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

 

I hope that’s as meaningful to you as it is to me.

Now, do me—and yourself—a favor and go read The real Thanksgiving story.

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Happy Pi Day!

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2015

For those of us in the US, who use the month/day/year date format, today is Pi Day, a.k.a. 3.14. Celebrate by having a slice at 1:59! Oh, and it’s also Albert Einstein’s birthday, so exercise afterwards to turn the mass of that slice into energy.

Those who use the more logical day/month/year date format, like the Europeans, will have to wait until July, when they can celebrate Pi Day more precisely on 22/7.

UPDATE: Jeez, I forgot what year this is. I should have had that slice at 9:26:54. Although, as some folks on Twitter have pointed out, next year on 3/14/16 we get to celebrate Pi Day to the precision that our date format actually allows.

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Happy Pi Day!

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2010

Today is March 14, a.k.a. 3.14, a.k.a. Pi Day. Hope you had a happy one and celebrated with a slice. Oh, and it's Albert Einstein's birthday, too! I'm not sure how one celebrates that — converting mass into energy can get a bit messy.

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Pi Approximation Day

Posted by Richard on July 22, 2008

To all you Europeans and others who favor the date format dd/mm, Happy Pi Approximation Day! Or Casual Pi Day!

You see, July 22 can be expressed as 22/7 — which is a good approximation of pi (3.1415926…).

It's too late for this year, but bookmark this site so you can order your Casual Pi posters, mugs, and T-shirts for next year.

And next year, don't forget to celebrate Pi Day like a real American — on Einstein's birthday, 3/14, at 1:59:26.

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Happy Pi Day!

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2008

March 14 is not just Albert Einstein's birthday. It's celebrated by many math fans and mathematicians as Pi Day. March 14, 3.14 — get it?

The more precision-minded speak of Pi Minute — 3/14, 1:59 — or even Pi Second — 3/14, 1:59:26. And in Europe, where the standard date format is the more logical day/month/year instead of month/day/year, they celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22 — that is, 22/7.

Celebrate Pi Day tonight with a pizza for dinner. Or maybe a slice of Dutch Apple for dessert.

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Columbus Day

Posted by Richard on October 9, 2007

No, Monday, October 8th, was not Columbus Day. Officially, it was Explorers Day. That's the weenie, non-specific, politically correct substitute for Columbus Day enacted by the same stiffs who took away Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday, replaced them with Presidents Day, and said, "Look, it's on a Monday. Isn't that great?"

The real Columbus Day is October 12. It doesn't celebrate bringing murder, rape, and oppression to the New World. All those things existed here long before Columbus arrived, weren't his purpose, and were practiced far more ruthlessly by the original inhabitants than by Chris and the crew. Columbus Day celebrates courage, determination, and the drive to explore and expand one's world. Those are universal values.

Only a racist views this holiday as celebrating the conquest of one ethnic group by another, because only a racist sees everything in terms of ethnic groups. 

I'm slightly (but only slightly) amused by the angry "Native American" professional victims and their supporters who disrupt Denver's Columbus Day Parade every year. With not a trace of irony, they wholeheartedly embrace the European romanticists' notion of the noble savage, and most of them think the politico-economic ideas of European socialists are somehow the heritage of America's "indigenous peoples." Morons.

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