World UFO Day

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World UFO Day is an awareness day for people to get together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. July 2nd commemorates the supposed UFO crash in the Roswell Incident in 1947. The goal of the July 2nd celebration is to raise awareness of the Roswell findings and to gain support in forcing governments to “tell the truth about earthly visits from outer space aliens”.

An unidentified flying object, or UFO, in its most general definition, is any apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable as any known object or phenomenon by visual observation and/or use of associated instrumentation such as radar. These anomalies were referred to popularly as “flying saucers” during the late 1940s and early 1950s.  (material from: Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)

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This Day in History….Meteor Day!

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Meteor Day commemorates the powerful Tunguska explosion on June 30, 1908 that occurred in Russia and knocked down an estimated 80 million trees over an area covering 2,150 square kilometers (830 sq mi). The explosion is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a small asteroid or comet at an altitude of 5–10 kilometers (3–6 mi) above the Earth’s surface. Different studies have yielded widely varying estimates of the object’s size, on the order of 100 metrsr (330 ft). It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.

Although the asteroid or comet appears to have burst in the air rather than hitting the surface, this event still is referred to as an impact. Estimates of the energy of the blast range from 3 to as high as 30 megatons of TNT with 10–15 megatons of TNT. This is about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan; and about two-fifths the power of the later Soviet Union’s own Tsar Bomba (the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated).

It is estimated that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale. An explosion of this magnitude is capable of destroying a large metropolitan area. This possibility has helped to spark discussion of asteroid deflection strategies. (material from: Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

Magna Carta

Magna Carta (Great Charter) is a charter agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor this date tomorrow in 1215. First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the  Crown,to be implemented through a council of 25 barons.

Neither side stood behind their commitments. After John’s death, the regency government of his young son, Henry III reissued the document in 1216, stripped of some of its more radical content in an unsuccessful bid to build political support for their cause. At the end of the war in 1217, it formed part of the peace treaty at Lambeth, where the document acquired the name Magna Carta, to distinguish it from the smaller document issued at the same time. Short of funds, Henry reissued the charter again in 1225 in exchange for a grant of new taxes; his son, Edward I repeated the exercise in 1297, this time confirming it as part of England’s statute law.

The charter became part of English political life and was typically renewed by each monarch in turn, although as time went by and the fledgling English Parliament passed new laws, it lost some of its practical significance. At the end of the 16th Century, there was an upsurge in interest in Magna Carta. Lawyers and historians at the time believed that there was an ancient English constitution, going back to the days of the Anglo-Saxons, that protected individual English freedoms. They argued that the Norman invasion of 1066 had overthrown these rights, and that Magna Carta had been a popular attempt to restore them, making the charter an essential foundation for the contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as habeas corpus. Although this historical account was badly flawed, jurists used Magna Carta extensively in the early 17th century, arguing against the divine right of kings.

The political myth of Magna Carta and its protection of ancient personal liberties influenced the early American colonists and the formation of the American Constitution in 1787, which became the supreme law of the land in the new republic.

Research by Victorian historians showed that the original 1215 charter had concerned the medieval relationship between the monarch and the barons, rather than the rights of ordinary people, but the charter remained a powerful, iconic document, even after almost all of its content was repealed from the statute books in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Magna Carta still forms an important symbol of liberty today, often cited by politicians and campaigners, and is held in great respect by the British and American legal communities. It has been described as “the greatest constitutional document of all times–the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”.  (from Wikipedia)

E. T. go home ….

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial  is a 1982 American science fiction fantasy co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison. It was Drew Barrymore’s first appearance. It tells the story of Elliott, a lonely boy who befriends an extra terrestrial, dubbed “E.T.”, who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help it return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

The concept was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents’ divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the stalled sci-fi horror film project Night Skies. It was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of $10.5 million. Unlike most films, it was roughly shot in chronological order to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast.

Released this date in 1982 by Universal Pictures, E.T was an immediate blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time—a record it held for eleven years until Jurassic Park, another Spielberg-directed film, surpassed it in 1993. Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, critics acclaimed it as a timeless story of friendship. In 1994, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” It was re-released in 1985 and then again in 2002 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with altered shots and additional scenes. (from Wikipedia)