Movember

I was shaving today and thought of growing a moustache for November or Movember

Facial hair and I don’t mix. I don’t like the bristly, itchy feel or facial hair and prefer the clean-cut look, but figured what the heck? It’s just a moustache and I’ve never done it before.

I used to keep an exams beard. Never shaved during exams. It’s akin to a playoffs beard. It felt good to shave it off once exams were over – like I lost 5 lbs

Keeping a stache is still just an idea. Still mulling it over

It Happened On #34

Welcome to a special Halloween edition of It Happened On. It’s special because today’s Halloween and instead of the normal talking about historical events that occurred on this day, I’ll talk about the history of Halloween. How exciting!

Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honour of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III (731–741) later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with the older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honour the dead. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween

It happened on October 31 1926…Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital

Had to add the last part – don’t want the history buffs up in arms

 

It Happened On #33

Well, it’s the morning after Sandy and I’m still alive. Time for another It Happened On

It happened on October 30 1991…hurricane Grace hits the North Atlantic producing large waves along the New England and Canadian coasts

Grace encountered a massive low pressure system moving south from Canada. The clash of systems over the Atlantic Ocean caused 40-to-80-foot waves. This caused extensive coastal flooding, particularly in Massachusetts; damage was also sustained as far south as Jamaica and as far north as Newfoundland

The storm continued to churn in the Atlantic on October 31; it was nicknamed the “Halloween storm.” It came ashore on November 2 along the Nova Scotia coast

Also on October 30 1939, Orson Welles causes a nationwide panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth.

Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells’ 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio.  “War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause

A million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape the aliens. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

When news of the real-life panic leaked into the CBS studio, Welles went on the air as himself to remind listeners that it was just fiction. There were rumours that the show caused suicides, but none were ever confirmed

Also on October 30 1974, Muhammad Ali becomes the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocks out George Foreman in the eighth round of the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

Sandy and Grace hit around the same time..hmm

It never ceases to amaze me how gullible people can be

The Sky Is Falling!

Sandy will kill us all! To the storm shelters! Gather food, water, candles, flashlights and whatever else you need to survive!

That’s according to my mom and lesser degree my sister. It reminds me of Chicken Little (not the movie, the folk tale). We live in Brampton, Ontario, Canada

We will get high winds and rain – maybe some power outages, but nothing compared to the east coast. My mom’s “survival kit” was sad. By the afternoon, it included 1 candle and a box of matches. Since then it has grown to 2 candles, 2 match boxes, and a flashlight

Maybe I’m taking Sandy too lightly. Guess we’ll see tomorrow morning

MGS4

Yesterday I finally was successful at killing Vamp in Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4) . I knew what to do, just couldn’t execute it

The last time I played was in July. It felt like a huge accomplishment

Vamp would prance around, throwing knifes while I shot him. The dude was immortal, so he’d just get up after I killed him. I had to stick a syringe in him so he would become a mere mortal but couldn’t actually do this. I found out yesterday I was pressing the wrong button the whole time

 

It Happened On #32

It Happened On #32. I’m surprised I did 32 consecutive posts without losing interest

It happened on October 29 1948… a killer smog continues to hover over Donora, Pennsylvania. Over a 5 day period, the smog killed about 20 people and made thousands seriously ill

Donora was a town of 14,000 people. The town was home to steel mills and a zinc smelting plant that had released excessive amounts of sulphuric acid, carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. There was little or no regulation of the air pollution caused by the industries of Donora

Weather conditions in the valley brought a heavy fog into Donora. This fog trapped the airborne pollutants close to the ground, where they were inhaled by the local residents. Soon, a wave of calls came in to area hospitals and physicians

Also on October 29 1929, The Stock Market crashed

Stock prices continued to drop as the United States slumped into the Great Depression, and by 1932 stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value in the summer of 1929. The stock market crash of 1929 was not the sole cause of the Great Depression, but it did act to accelerate the global economic collapse of

By 1933, nearly half of America’s banks had failed, and unemployment was approaching 15 million people, or 30 percent of the workforce. It would take World War II, and the massive level of armaments production taken on by the United States, to finally bring the country out of the Depression after a decade of suffering

The fog in Donora reminds me of that movie The Mist

It Happened On #31

History’s not too exciting today but here’s another It Happened On anyways

It happened on October 28 1965… Construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen, was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis’ central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. Construction of the arch began in February 1963, was completed in October 1965, and cost less than $15 million

With foundations 60 feet in the ground, its frame is built to withstand earthquakes and
high winds. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the winding Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west

Also on October 28 1965, Viet Cong commandos damage and destroy a number of aircraft in two separate raids on U.S. air bases, including Chu Lai, on the coast of the South China Sea in Quang Tin Province, I Corps

I had no idea what the Gateway Arch was. Even after looking at a picture, I vaguely remember seeing it and I had no idea it had an observation deck (that’s the last picture above). Today’s edition taught me something new!

The Macbeth Effect

Out, damned spot! out, I say!

Apparently, playing violent video games causes a similar physiological effect as Lady Macbeth felt

The Macbeth effect is the phenomenon in which people wish to cleanse themselves physically when their moral self has been threatened The study, Macbeth and the Joystick: Evidence for Moral Cleansing after Playing a Violent Video Game by Mario Gollwitzer and André Melzer, tested how members of the public reacted to playing violent games, in terms of their response to being offered a selection of various gifts after playing, including hand-cleaning products. The study found that people who were not accustomed to such games were far more likely to reach for a hand-cleaning product after playing, than those who had played many games before

The study had 70 students playing one of two violent video games (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Flatout 2) and were then asked to select four out of 10 gift products, half of which were hygiene products. The results showed inexperienced players selected more hygiene products than frequent video game players. The report’s compilers believe that not reaching for the hand-wipes, for experienced players, is an act of protecting what they enjoy about playing games

Why do we need a study on this? Maybe people just wanted to wash their hands because they felt the controller was dirty. I would comment further on this but I’m not an “inexperienced gamer”

To read the full study click here

It Happened On #30

Hip-hip-horay! Another weekend edition of It Happened On

It happened on October 27 1904…New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s subway At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel to take their first ride under Manhattan

Also on October 27 1940, John Joseph Gotti, Jr., the future head of the Gambino crime family is born in the Bronx, New York

On June 10, 2002, Gotti died of throat cancer at age 61 at a medical center for federal prisoners in Springfield, Missouri

Anyone remember that retarded reality show, Growing Up Gotti? That was a joke

Wii U

Last night I was on the video game website IGN.com looking at new PS3 games and I came across Zombie U. I watched the review and it seemed pretty good. It also got a good review. The game basically consist of surviving a post apocalyptic zombie attack

 

Much to my chagrin, it’s only available for the Nintendo Wii U. I’ve heard about the Wii U Point of all this? I want it! Just for Zombie U! *hinit* Christmas is fast approaching *hint*but didn’t really know much about it. Having no life and nothing better to do, I did a little research. It’s basically a hand held console (it’s actually more than just that, but I don’t need to go into full detail). It’ll be out November 18 and will cost $299.99 or $349.99 depending on the version

Also while on the site, I found out they are making another Walking Dead game titled The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. It’s pinned as a do whatever you need to survive first person action game. The game puts players in the role of the crossbow-wielding Daryl Dixon, alongside his brother Merle, on a quest across the Georgia countryside to reach the supposed safety of Atlanta. It’s coming out sometime in 2013