Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tunguska Event

Fig.1: Treebeard's not going to like this.
An old maxim goes, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Well if about 80 million trees fall as a result of some kind of incredible explosion (fig.1), and no one knows exactly how it happened, do we really care? This is what happened on June 30, 1908 near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in remote central Siberia. The blast leveled over 800 square miles of forest, measured 5.0 on the Ritcher scale, was about 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and scored a perfect 2400 on its SATs. It is by far the most powerful natural explosion in recorded history (since those dinosaurs were too lazy and dead to write about whatever it was that made them extinct). Luckily enough, the blast occurred in the Pennsyltucky part of Russia and did not cause any casualties, which is more than I can say about my Uncle Lou's indigestion attack of '97 (R.I.P. Miss Pussykins).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cyrus, King of Kings of Persia

Fig.1: Connecting with Cyrus is a must for any young, aspiring career-seeker.
Sometimes it's advantageous to build up our resumes with loaded accomplishments that really weren't any big deal at the time, but look pretty good on paper. This is why, along with being a "Composer of Epic Histories" and "Part-Time Moat Salesman" (if you recall), I also claim to have been a "Non-Profit Project Manager" at Robin Hood's Merry Men for my time spent robbing from the the rich and giving to the poor (or, "Reallocating valuable resources for the increased production of low-performing sectors"). But when it comes to resume-padding, the ancient Persian ruler Cyrus II has us all beat. Listed under positions held, he has in an eye-catching, yet pleasing font: King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of Āryāvarta, and King of the Four Corners of the World (previous drafts where he only held three corners weren't as impressive). On top of all that, not only did he claim to be King of Persia (shah), but King of Kings of Persia (shahanshah), letting any other possible Kings of Persia coming in for an interview know that he had them all beat!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Storming of the Bastille

Fig.1: Makes me think of summer!
National holidays are a great excuse for patriotic citizens to kick their feet up and recall a glorious event in their history that defines their past and has echoed throughout time. Many celebrate their declarations of independence, such as the United States, India, and Brazil. Others honor the official formation of their government, like Canada and Australia. Some sad places like Greenland party just because it's the longest day of the year and will finally get a few precious hours of sunlight (their only chance to finally get some shoveling done). And then there's France. Out of all the magnificent moments in their illustrious history, what event do they choose to commemorate as their national holiday? The time when an out-of-control mob stormed a royal prison that was only holding seven people and was planning on closing anyway, and then murdered its surrendering officers in gruesome fashion before sticking their heads on pikes and parading them through Paris (fig.1). Cause that's the thing we want to remember while grilling burgers and gazing up at the fireworks! Yes, the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 became the catalyst that really got the French Revolution going, but even that turned pretty darn ugly in a couple years. Is this the example we should be setting for our French children? They're rude enough as it is!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Brazil (video)

Welcome to entry #2 of the C.A.N. World Factbook, where we samba our way into the South American giant of Brazil. With a culture as beautiful as its beaches, and a history as vast and deep as its rainforest (and just as deadly too), what's not to love about this luscious Lusophone land? Plus, with the World Cup going on, I might as well cash in on the nation's popularity before we promptly forget about there existing anything but a North America. Enjoy it while you can, guys!

C.A.N. World Factbook: Brazil