When's The Next Halley's Comet?
Hey It's HumpDay!
Happy HumpDay! Gmail is still trying to keep us down by not allowing emails out of the HumpDay email address. Oh well, the week is halfway over and we have another edition of HumpDay! This week we tried to shorten things up a little after last week's epic tome but, in the worlds of Mark Twain "I would have written a shorter note but I didn't have the time" (You will get that reference soon). As always, check out the HumpDay website here and read all of the issues of the HumpDay Newsletter.
TWO FREE AUDIOBOOKS FROM HUMPDAY!?!?
HumpDay is still partnered with Audible to offer our readers more content with less reading. Try audible for free using the HumpDay link here and enjoy two free audiobooks courtesy of HumpDay!
On November 30th, 1835 Samuel Longhorn Clemens, also known by the pen name Mark Twain, was born in Florida… Florida, Missouri that is. Also in November of 1835, was an appearance of Halley’s comet, the famous celestial body that visits earth once every 76 years.
Mark Twain went on to become one of America’s most famous and beloved authors with his masterpieces The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Throughout his life, Twain associated his identity with the astronomical occurrence that happened during his birth stating “I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835. It is coming again next year and I expect to go out with it.”
Amazingly, Mark Twain’s prediction was correct and at the age of 76, he died of a heart attack just one day after Halley’s comet made another trip passed the Earth.
Was Mark Twain a prophet that predicted his own death or was it just a very peculiar coincidence? Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens on July 28th, 2061 when Halley’s comet returns once again. Maybe Mark Twain will make a come back?
On a dark night in 1944, German aircraft flew over London scouting for an upcoming bombing raid. The high-flying bombers were practically invisible against the dark night sky. All of a sudden, one of the planes was shot out of the sky by British anti-aircraft, then another, and another. Shooting those planes from the ground in the dark was like throwing a dart across a football field and hitting the bullseye. So how did the Brits make that shot?
The Royal Air Force admitted that the men on the ground had been put on a diet that included a lot of carrots. The beta-carotene in the carrots had significantly improved the soldiers’ eye sight to the point where they could see planes that others didn’t even know were there. Mother did always say that carrots would improve your eye sight.
Thing is… the Royal Air Force’s story was just propaganda. Carrots do strengthen eye sight a little but not the point that soldiers can see planes in the dark. In reality, the Royal Air Force had been trying out their new radar technology on the night the planes were shot down and they wanted to keep their new tool a secret. To hide the truth of their secret weapon, the British made up a lie about carrots and super human eyesight so the Germans didn’t try and steal their radar machines. The Brits successfully spread the carrots story and their radar helped protect London throughout the rest of the war. The myth of carrots helping your eyesight lived on long after the war and to this day many people believe that eating a ton of carrots will help supercharge their vision.
Carrots are delicious and nutritious but the next time you hear someone say they eat carrots to improve their eyesight, know that its based on a little white lie that helped the Allied forces win World War II.
Who is the greatest athlete in history? Is it Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, each with six championship rings? Is it Muhammed Ali who revolutionized the sport of boxing? Or are you one of those people who think its Lebron? No matter what you think, you are probably wrong, because the real answer is a little known American hero, Jim Thorpe.
Jim Thorpe was born half Irish and half Native American on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. Growing up he didn’t like school and often misbehaved rather than going to class. One day, he happened to walk by school after cutting class and saw a track practice going on. None of the students practicing could clear the high jump so Jim gave it a try. Wearing khakis and loafers, Jim easily cleared the high jump and was noticed by the Track coach, Pop Warner (famous for more than kids football).
From there Thorpe’s athletic career took off. Without practicing, Thorpe would go to track meets and compete in 8 events, winning gold in at least 6 of them every time. His track skills were later transferred to the football field where he earned all-American honors by playing running back, defensive back, kicker and punter. Thorpe also competed in and excelled at baseball, lacrosse, basketball, golf, swimming, billiards, rowing, hockey, and boxing. He even won the national ballroom dancing championship in 1912.
After college, Jim Thorpe played one season of minor league baseball before going to the 1912 Olympics. At the Olympics, he competed in the decathlon (10 all around events) and the pentathlon (5 all around events) and won gold in both. Not only did he win, he dominated, winning nearly all the events and setting two world records for the time. Again, this is a man who didn’t train for sports; he just showed up and won the Olympics in amazing fashion.
Unfortunately, because Thorpe played professional baseball, he was not considered eligible to compete in the Olympics because he was not an amateur. He was forced to give back the medals he won and the records that he had broken were reset. After the Olympics he went on to play both professional baseball and professional football before retiring to become president of the of the NFL.
The end of Jim Thorpe’s life was not as triumphant. Being president of the NFL didn’t pay much so he was forced to work low paying jobs to support his family. He eventually died penniless with nothing to his name besides the memories of his former glory. His family couldn’t afford a funeral, so they sent his body to two neighboring towns in Pennsylvania. The two towns built a memorial for Jim and agreed to merge, creating a new town known as Jim Thorpe, PA.
Being a native American, Thorpe wasn’t even technically a US citizen, but he is an American sports icon. He never practiced a day in his life, but he was so gifted that he dominated everything that he did. His name may not be on the top of everyone’s mind, but he should be remembered for being the greatest athlete who ever lived.
HumpDay Healthy Helpings
Sometimes a little cajun flavor is good to soothe the soul. Try this healthy Jumbalaya!
Calories Per Serving: 257 I Servings: 6 I Cook Time: 1 Hour
This Week in History
On this week in 1860, the Pony Express began its first mail delivery from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The pony express was the first high speed mail delivery service in America that pioneered the way that information was exchanged across the country. At the time there were no telephones or radio, so the western states were cut off from information from the largest cities like New York and D.C. By using relay teams of riders on horseback, the pony express was able to keep mail constantly in motion making for faster, more efficient delivery of information. The inaugural mail delivery took just 10 days for riders to get half way across the country with timely information. The pony express didn’t last very long but it inspired the creation of the US postal service that we still use today.
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