Sunday Open Thread: December 17 is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

World History this day

497 BC -- The first Saturnalia was celebrated Woo Hoo
1819 -- Simon Bolivar declared the independence of Gran Colombia
1944 -- The Malmedy massacre (of US POWs - Battle of the Bulge)
2010 -- Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire sparking the Tunisian Revolution

US History this day

1862 -- U.S. Grant ordered the expulsion of Jews from parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
1943 -- The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed
1951 -- The American Civil Rights Congress delivered its "We Charge Genocide" petition to the UN
2014 -- The US and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations

Science & Technology this day

1790 -- The Aztec calendar stone was discovered
1903 -- The Wright brothers made the first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight
1935 -- First flight of the Douglas DC-3.
1938 -- Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission. He later opposed its weaponization.
1947 -- First flight of the Boeing B-47
1957 -- The first successful Atlas ICBM launch
2003 -- SpaceShipOne made its first paowered flight

The Arts this day
1865 -- Schubert's Unfinished Symphony was first performed

Misc. this day
1538 -- Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII

Birthdays of Note this day

1706 -- Emilie du Chatelet, mathematician and physicist
1749 -- Domenico Cimarosa, composer
1778 -- Humphry Davy, chemist and physicist
1807 -- John Greenleaf Whittier, poet and activist
1873 -- Ford Madox Ford, novelist and poet
1894 -- Arthur Fiedler, conductor
1900 -- Mary Cartwright, mathematician, early student of chaos theory
1903 -- Erskine Caldwell, author
1903 -- Ray Noble, bandleader, composer, arranger
1906 -- Fernando Lopes-Graca, composer and conductor
1910 -- Sy Oliver, singer, songwriter, bandleader and trumpet player
1916 -- Penelope Fitzgerald, author and poet
1929 -- William Safire, journalist and author
1936 -- Tommy Steele, singer, guitarist, and actor
1937 -- Art Neville, singer and keyboard player
1939 -- James Booker, pianist
1939 -- Eddie Kendricks, singer, and songwriter, co-founder of The Temptations
1941 -- Dave Dee, singer, songwriter and guitarist
1942 -- Paul Butterfield, singer and harmonica player
1943 -- Ron Geesin, pianist and composer
1948 -- Jim Bonfanti, drummer
1949 -- Paul Rodgers, singer and songwriter
1958 -- Mike Mills, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter,
1966 -- Tracy Byrd, country singer, songwriter

Deaths of Note this day

1273 -- Rumi, jurist, theologian, and poet
1830 -- Simon Bolivar, revolutionary, general and politician
1833 -- Kaspar Hauser, beats me
1907 -- William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, physicist and engineer (*that* Lord Kelvin)
1930 -- Peter Warlock, wasn't one (was actually a composer)
1933 -- 13th Dalai Lama
1957 -- Dorothy L. Sayers, author, poet, playwright
1978 -- Don Ellis, trumpet player, composer, bandleader
1999 -- Grover Washington, Jr.,saxophonist, singer and songwriter
2005 -- Jack Anderson, journalist
2010 -- Captain Beefheart, singer and songwriter
2011 -- Kim Jong-il, Un's pop


So now some music

Domenico Cimarosa

Arthur Fiedler

Ray Noble

Fernando Lopes-Graca

Sy Oliver

Tommy Steele

Art Neville

James Booker

Eddie Kendricks

Dave Dee

Paul Butterfield

Ron Geesin

Jim Bonfanti

Paul Rodgers

Mike Mills

Tracy Byrd

Kasper Hauser

Lord Kelvin

Don Ellis

Grover Washington Jr.

Captain Beefheart


Paul Butterfield

Captain Beefheart

Beefheart with Zappa


Photo: is Stille gegen Gewalt(Silence against violence.) by Kurt Stocker and is in the public domain

7 users have voted.


Lookout's picture

I suspect Saturnalia was celebrated long before 497 BC, but just wasn't called that. My thought is when we became agricultural (about 10,000 years ago?) you needed to recognize the shortest day. Of course Saturnalia is the source of many of our Christmas customs ... greenery, giving gifts, and so on.

There were people here 10,000 years ago or so. Russell Cave provides some evidence of their lives. Russell Cave is an archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Thousands of years ago a portion of Russell Cave's entrance collapsed, creating a shelter that, for more than 10,000 years, was home to prehistoric peoples. Today it provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D.

We are finally getting a rain today (and for the next few days). We need it, but not as bad as southern Calif.

Hope you all have a good day.

[edit to add]
PS how did the Portland gathering go yesterday?

6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

celebrated by agricultural peoples, and maybe even by hunter-gatherers. We know many instances of such celebrations throughout the ages. The name Saturnalia, of course, requires certain Roman or other local cultural artifacts, like Saturn, and some of the particular trappings, like the role reversals with their slaves, require the underlying cultural edifice.

There are caves and rock shelters throughout the US and the rest of the new world that have provided and are providing a lot of information. Some were used fortemporary shelter, others for residence, and some, it seems, almost exclusively for rituals. With newer technology and newer understanding and perspectives, we keep making new discoveries or new associations. I try to stay up to some small degree, but most of it doesn't stick, there is just too much information on too many subjects floating around out there these days.

Glad to hear yo are getting rain.

Thanks for reading.

3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

thanks for the recipe yesterday, i do similar things with food, preparing soup and stock, especially in advance.

Days begin around 5:30am and begin closing on return home around this time, busy; it's the ski business, making hay while snow's on the ground, loving most of it and so happy to be in the game; although, each step uphill can be tormenting and breathless, downhill still works.

Thanks for the good music and OT, el!

3 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --