Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crime and Punishment, Burning Down the House, -and- Homeland Insecurity

Crime and Punishment - PA judges accused of jailing kids for cash
Burning Down the House - 19-year-old woman who sang about blaze charged with 7 arsons
Homeland Insecurity - 67 computers missing from Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory

On this day in history: February 12, 1976 - Actor Sal Mineo killed in the carport of his West Hollywood home. There were rumors of a gay crime of passion but in 1979 it turned out to be a routine mugger who stabbed him for his money.

Born on this day in history: February 12, 1809 - Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) Born near Hodgenville, KY, 16th President Abe Lincoln (1861-5) was the first president elected from the anti-slavery Republican Party in 1860, which led Southern states to form the Confederacy. In the civil war that followed, the inexperienced Lincoln proved an extraordinary leader and eloquent public speaker in such addresses as the Gettysburg Address (1863). Lincoln preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of the slaves. He was assassinated by Southern fanatic John Wilkes Booth.

Scripture of the Day: We love because he first loved us. - 1 John 4:19

Video of the Day: Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

Happy Valentine's Day! Click to enlarge.

Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14 by many people throughout the world. In the West, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines." Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of Valentine cards in 19th-century America was a harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United States.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association estimates that, in the US, men spend in average twice as much money as women.