Currently Reading (fiction): The Book of the Dead, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. This is one of their best books in a long time. Very cinematic, fast paced, hard to put down at night. Highly recommended, although I would read Brimstone and Dance of Death first, as it’s a continuing story line.
Currently Reading (non-fiction): Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller. I never would have thought it was possible, but this guy is basically a liberal progressive evangelical Christian. Seems like a contradiction in terms, I know, but it’s true.
Currently Listening To: Tequila Sunrise, The Eagles.
Rush Lyrics of the Day: I scaled the frozen mountaintops of eastern lands unknown.
Food Update: Haven’t eaten much the last two days. Nothing yesterday until dinner, which consisted of a can of beans. Today I’ve had a cup of green tea. Needless to say, my stomach is growling right now, and I have to skip lunch, as I have an appointment during my lunch hour.
Nothing Update: Well, I feel like I should have more to say, since it’s been a number of days since I last did a Daily Update, but I just have nothing.
Today in History, July 21:
356 BCE – Princess Olympias, 4th wife of Phillip II of Macedon, gives birth to a son, naming him Alexander. He would later conquer most of the known world, and become regarded as the greatest military commander in history.
1298 – The Battle of Falkirk, in which Edward I of England defeats a band of Scottish rebels led by William Wallace. This is the battle depicted in Braveheart in which the Scottish nobles betray Wallace and ride off the field instead of charging.
1403 – The Battle of Shrewsbury. Sir Henry Percy, a noble who had supported Henry Bolingbroke in his fight to depose Richard II in 1399, rebelled against the new King Henry IV, culminating in the Battle of Shrewsbury. Percy, who was wearing full body armor, paused during the battle to open his visor so he could get a breath of fresh air, and an arrow hit him directly in the face, killing him instantly.
1414 – Birth of Pope Sixtus IV, who founded the Sistine Chapel.
1861 – The first major battle of the Civil War begins at Manassas Junction, Virginia, more commonly known as the First Battle of Bull Run. The Confederates win a decisive victory.
1865 – Wild Bill Hickok kills Dave Tutt over a gambling debt dispute in the town square of Springfield, Missouri in what is regarded as the first western showdown.
1873 – At Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the Younger Gang pull off the first successful train robbery in western American history.
1899 – Birth of Ernest Hemingway, in Oak Park, Illinois.
1924 – Birth of Don Knotts.
1925 – John Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution and fined $100.
1938 – Birth of Janet Reno. She was known as “Joseph” until she was 24, at which time everyone, including herself, suddenly realized she was actually a woman.
1944 – German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is executed for attempting, the previous day, to assassinate Adolph Hitler by placing a suitcase bomb inside a conference room where Hitler was in attendance. Stauffenberg packed his suitcase with explosives before entering the room. After setting the briefcase under the table, he excused himself to make an urgent phone call. The blast went off and he was convinced no one could have survived. Four people were indeed killed, but Hitler survived with only minor injuries, having been shielded by the table itself.
1951 – Birth of Robin Williams, whose mother is believed to have been impregnated during a grizzly bear attack in Montana, thus explaining why Robin Williams is so damn hairy.
1969 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon.
1970 – The Aswan High Dam in Aswan, Egypt is completed. During construction of the dam, authorities had to physically move Rameses II’s Temple at Abu-Simbel, as it was sitting in the area that was destined to become Lake Nassar.
1972 – The Provisional IRA sets off 22 bombs in Belfast, killing 9 and injuring over 100. It comes to be known as Bloody Friday.
1976 – The Provisional IRA assassinates British ambassador to Ireland, Christopher Ewart-Biggs.
1983 – The lowest temperature ever recorded is recorded at the Soviet Union’s Vostok Station, Antarctica, at minus 129 F.
1984 – A factory robot in Jackson, Michigan malfunctions and inadvertently kills a worker by crushing him against a safety bar. It is the first robot-related death in history. Those damn robots. Now we’ve got one as president!