The Moron's Daily Briefing

May 6 - I'm not going to talk about Denmark today because what little time I have to work on the Almanac needs to be dedicated to improving the graphics and layout of my index page, which haven't changed in about two years. Plus I have a lot of work to do to get ready for a trip to London later in the week. So here's an old-fashioned style Almanac instead...

First, today is National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day in the United States. Once again I'm providing a free screening to all readers.

You can take this test right where you are. Place the middle and index fingers of your right hand on your left wrist, applying just enough pressure to feel the gentle beating of your blood. That gentle beating is called your "pulse." This "pulse" proves you are alive, which is an indisputable symptom of anxiety disorders.

Medicate yourself as soon as possible and repeat until the world is bearable.

If you don't think you suffer from any anxiety disorders, and you think that the world is bearable just as it is, congratulations! You've already been lobotomized.

On May 6, 1758, Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre was born. Even in the revolutionary context of his age, Mr. Robespierre stands out as one of the most revolting figures in history.

M. Robespierre fought valiantly to help revolutionary France achieve liberty, fraternity, and equality but inadvertently caused an unfortunate turn of weather known as the "rain of terror."

At first this rain caused only French loyalists to lose their heads, but M. Robespierre's egalitarian convictions led him to conclude that citoyens from all walks of life should lose theirs as well. The celebrated chemist Atoine-Laurent Lavoisier, for example, was beheaded on May 8, 1794 for having identified oxygen, which people mistakenly thought to be one of the noble gases.

M. Robespierre ended up losing his own head on the guillotine; this was called poetic justice by some Frenchmen and irony by others. This disagreement eventually produced the Napoleonic Age, in which soldiers had to crawl on their stomachs until Napoleon was disabled by the sight of Elba. On May 6, 1937, the Hindenberg crashed and burned in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing thirty-six but providing a really cool cover for Led Zepplin's first album.

The Moron's Almanac extends birthday greetings to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the occassion of his 50th Birthday today--I'm guessing he'll be happy to leave his 49th year behind him.

It's also the birthday of George Clooney (1961), who probably won't be sending Mr. Blair a birthday card, Willie Mays (1931), Orson Welles (1915), Rudolph Valentino (1895), and Sigmund Freud (1856).

It's the Day of Bravery in the Philippines, Martyrs' Day in Lebanon and Syria--probably a nice holiday to avoid if you're American, British, Spanish, Danish, Polish, Italian, Bulgarian, Australian... on second thought, it's Tourist Appreciation Day and Nurses Day in America, so somebody's obviously done the math already.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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