Happy Birthday, USMC

November 10th, 1775 – The modern day United States Marine Corp was officially organized as the Continental Marines.

As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.

Forming what many consider the toughest part of the US military, the Marines, as an organized group, turns 233 today.  Happy Birthday, USMC.  Thanks for all you do for this country.

In honor of the birthday, here is the text of Marine Corps order No. 47, series 1921, as put forth by Lt. Gen. John Archer Lejeune:

No. 47 (Series 1921)
Washington, November 1, 1921

759. The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the
10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it
will be read upon receipt.

   (1) On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by  a resolution of Continental
Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is
fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the
glories of its long and illustrious history.

   (2) The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous
military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the
Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the
Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home,
generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every
corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

   (3) In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves
with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come
to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

   (4) This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received
from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit
which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of
the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal
to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will
regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of
the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

Major General Commandant

[tags]USMC, Marines, Happy Birthday, Continental Marines[/tags]

Happy belated birthday

I thought I had a post up for this yesterday, but apparently didn’t.  All my visitors are invited to drop in to the comments and wish a happy belated birthday to visitor and occasional poster TimG, who aged an integer yesterday.  Be sure to also head over to his humble AmpOffish abode to see what he’s up to (I hear fence-building sucks this time of year).

Happy 25th, smiley face

emoticon.jpg Happy 25th birthday, smiley face emoticon!

A lot of people have asked me about this, so I thought I’d put the information here, linked under my home page:
Yes, I am the inventor of the sideways “smiley face” (sometimes called an “emoticon”) that is commonly used in E-mail, chat, and newsgroup posts. Or at least I’m one of the inventors.

Fahlman, the author of the above quote and web page, may not have been the first to ever use the now-well-known emoticon, but there seems to be no evidence of anyone doing so before he proposed the iconic characters. For even more details, read more of the history of the smiley, which includes links to even more history.

[tags]Happy Birthday emoticon, Iconic smile, Online community[/tags]

Happy 300th, Carl

Happy 300th Carl Linnaeus! Of course, you have no idea who Carl Linnaeus is, but you are a Homo because of Carl – a Homo sapiens, that is.

wikipedia-CarlLinnaeus.jpgCarl Linnaeus, also known as Carl von Linné or Carolus Linnaeus, is often called the Father of Taxonomy. His system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms is still in wide use today (with many changes). His ideas on classification have influenced generations of biologists during and after his own lifetime, even those opposed to the philosophical and theological roots of his work.

. . .

For Linnaeus, species of organisms were real entities, which could be grouped into higher categories called genera (singular, genus). By itself, this was nothing new; since Aristotle, biologists had used the word genus for a group of similar organisms, and then sought to define the differentio specifica — the specific difference of each type of organism. But opinion varied on how genera should be grouped. Naturalists of the day often used arbitrary criteria to group organisms, placing all domestic animals or all water animals together. Part of Linnaeus’ innovation was the grouping of genera into higher taxa that were also based on shared similarities. In Linnaeus’s original system, genera were grouped into orders, orders into classes, and classes into kingdoms. Thus the kingdom Animalia contained the class Vertebrata, which contained the order Primates, which contained the genus Homo with the species sapiens — humanity. Later biologists added additional ranks between these to express additional levels of similarity.

Before Linnaeus, species naming practices varied. Many biologists gave the species they described long, unwieldy Latin names, which could be altered at will; a scientist comparing two descriptions of species might not be able to tell which organisms were being referred to. For instance, the common wild briar rose was referred to by different botanists as Rosa sylvestris inodora seu canina and as Rosa sylvestris alba cum rubore, folio glabro. The need for a workable naming system was made even greater by the huge number of plants and animals that were being brought back to Europe from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. After experimenting with various alternatives, Linnaeus simplified naming immensely by designating one Latin name to indicate the genus, and one as a “shorthand” name for the species. The two names make up the binomial (“two names”) species name. For instance, in his two-volume work Species Plantarum (The Species of Plants), Linnaeus renamed the briar rose Rosa canina. This binomial system rapidly became the standard system for naming species. Zoological and most botanical taxonomic priority begin with Linnaeus: the oldest plant names accepted as valid today are those published in Species Plantarum, in 1753, while the oldest animal names are those in the tenth edition of Systema Naturae (1758), the first edition to use the binomial system consistently throughout. Although Linnaeus was not the first to use binomials, he was the first to use them consistently, and for this reason, Latin names that naturalists used before Linnaeus are not usually considered valid under the rules of nomenclature.

Now you know where the name comes from. So celebrate your taxonomy today.

[tags]Happy Birthday Carl Linnaeus, The origins of modern taxonomy[/tags]

Happy Birthday Telnet, may you rest in peace

Well, today is the 35th birthday of telnet. It’s also a day to commemorate the passing away of telnet, in a way.

Although original development on telnet took place back in 1969, the protocol was not formalized until RFC 318, released April 3rd, 1972. The passing away of telnet is being called out as a result of Microsoft leaving telnet out of Vista. Of course, if you have to have telnet, you can install it manually if you’d like.

Thanks to Wired security blog 27B Stroke 6 for the telnet birthday reminder.

[tags]Happy birthday telnet, RIP telnet[/tags]

Happy birthday, Tiffany

tiffany_80s-pop.jpg No, no – not the 80s mall-tour singer.

tiffiny_charles-resize.jpg Ah, yes, there we go.  Charles Tiffany.  Founder of the high-society department store that bears his name still today.

February 15 marks the birthday of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the man who gave the world some of its most preeminent symbols of wealth and status. Born in Killingly, Connecticut, in 1812, Tiffany headed to New York in 1837, where he and partner John B. Young opened a stationery and fancy goods shop. However, political upheaval in Europe in 1848 caused the prices of precious stones to plummet, giving Tiffany a perfect, and profitable, opening into the jewelry business. He snapped up a passel of suddenly cheap diamonds, including a few of the French Crown Jewels, which he later sold for a tidy sum, prompting the press to dub Tiffany “The King of Diamonds.” Around the same time, Tiffany set about manufacturing gold jewelry. He moved rapidly to expand his business, acquiring John C. MooreÝs leading silver operations in 1851. Two years later, Tiffany assumed complete control of the company and re-christened it “Tiffany & Co.” During the ensuing years, he opened Tiffany branches around the world and produced special items for luminaries like First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. By the time Tiffany died in 1902, his company and its products were firmly entrenched as enduring vestiges of high culture.

Wow.  So there you have it.  Get into the diamond business by catching a break on depressed gemstone prices during political upheaval.

[tags]Happy birthday, Born today – Charles Tiffany (1812)[/tags]