Friday, December 03, 2004

Po-tat-o, Po-tah-to

December 3rd, 2004

in 1469, Piero de Medici, vampire lord of Florence, was staked by Venetian vampire hunters Luciano Roma and Giuseppe Scamardo. His long, undead reign of the city was ended, and the still-living citizens of Florence joined the vampire hunting pair in eradicating Medici’s spawn. It was a bright new day in Italy.

in 1586, Sir Thomas Herriot introduces the South American root called potato to the English countryside. The bland, crunchy root is universally despised by the British, and fails to take root, so to speak, outside South America.

in 1767, the first cloned human heart is surgically inserted into its recipient in Cairo, Egypt. Amal Yassim had studied medicine at the Mlosh colony ship in Libya, and brought the techniques back to Cairo with him. One of his wealthy patients had a bad heart, and Yassim grew him a new one. Soon, wealthy Muslims were coming to Cairo in droves to have Dr. Yassim practice his art on them.

in 1829, George McClellan, Union general and United States President, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a general, McClellan opposed using overwhelming force against the rebellious Confederacy, and as President, he brought them to the peace table to negotiate the division of the country. His containment of the south in their original 11 states let the United States expand to the west; and now, while the Confederacy is barely even a third world nation, the U.S. has the respect of the world.

in 1962, a confidential report from the Pentagon informs Comrade President Hall of the unexpected strength of the Guerrillo reactionaries in South Chile. If Soviet American forces are pulled out of North Chile, the Pentagon warned, it would fall to the capitalists within a year. Comrade Hall, in spite of his desire to reduce American troop commitments outside of the country, reluctantly agrees to increase support to the weak North Chilean Communists.

in 1973, the Pioneer 10 probe transmitted a series of images from its flyby of Jupiter. Of special interest to NASA was the strange movement Pioneer detected by the great Red Spot; this was quickly overshadowed by the images that showed something flying out of the Red Spot and smashing into Pioneer.

in 1984, a huge disaster was narrowly averted in Bhopal, India, when Union Carbide personnel noticed a leak developing in their plant and quickly rushed to plug it. An investigation by Indian officials determined that all of Bhopal, a city of 1 million people, would have been at risk if the leak had continued. New safety regulations were forced on all chemical plants in the country after this near-disaster.

in 1999, comedic great Madeline Wolfson died in New York City of ovarian cancer, which she had been battling for some months. The hilarious actress was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress twice in one year, for her roles in Paper Moon and in Blazing Saddles. She is missed by all who loved classy, beautiful, funny women.

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