The Moron's Weekend Briefing

Nov. 15 - American artist Georgia O'Keeffe was born 115 years ago today, on November 15, 1887. Ms. O'Keeffe is best known for her colorful paintings of desert flowers that don't look like vaginas.

Tiberius Claudius Nero was born on November 16, 42 BC. He was the Emperor of Rome from 14 to 37 AD and was not the Nero who fiddled while Rome burned. John the Baptist and Jesus were put to death during his reign, as well as many whose deaths didn't result in Religion.

On November 17, 1558, Elizabeth I of England ascended to the throne. She is best known for her imperfect application of the cosmetic sciences, a flaw that is strikingly evident in all her portraits but that courtiers were apparently reluctant to address. On November 17, 1903, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's stubbornness split the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party into two factions: the slim majority who sided with him, and the vast minority who opposed him. The Russian terms for majority and minority are bolshevik and menshevik, respectively, and so these factions took their names.

Later the Mensheviks became the majority party, meaning that the Mensheviks had become bolsheviks and the Bolsheviks mensheviks.

This was confusing. If you asked someone what they were and they said "bolshevik," you'd have no way of knowing whether they meant Bolshevik (menshevik) or bolshevik (Menshevik). This state of affairs quickly became intolerable. All sorts of remedies were suggested--placards, ID bracelets, hats, tattoos--but it was impossible to arrive at a consensus until Lenin clarified matters by having all the Mensheviks shot.

Born on November 15 (besides Ms O'Keefe): Sam Waterston (1940), Petula Clark (1932), Ed Asner (1929), Erwin Rommel (1891), and William Pitt the Elder (1708).

Born on November 16: Lisa Bonet (1967), Dwight Gooden (1964), Daws Butler (1916), Burgess Meredith (1908), George S. Kaufman (1889), W.C. Handy (1873), and old Tiberius, as mentioned above.

Born on November 17: RuPaul (1960), Danny DeVito (1944), Lorne Michaels (1944), Tom Seaver (1944), Lauren Hutton (1943), Martin Scorsese (1942), Rock Hudson (1925), Lee Strasberg (1901), and Louis XVIII (1755).

November 15 is Dynasty Day in Belgium and Republic Proclamation Day in Brazil.

November 16 is Flag Day in Benin, Rebirth Day in Estonia, and Gustavus Adolphus Death Day in Sweden.

November 17 is Memorial Day in Germany, Constitution Day in Macedonia, Flag Day in Morocco, and Armed Forces Day in Zaire.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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