Daily Update: Sunday, March 5th, 2017

1st Sunday of Lent and 03-05 - Boston Massacre

Today is the First Sunday of Lent. We have no Saints to honor; but on this date in 1770 the event known to history as the Boston Massacre took place in Boston, Massachusetts. And today is the birthday of the little sister of several of the Assembled, Sarah (1992).

On this First Sunday of Lent, our Gospel readings come to us from Matthew 4: 1-11, which tells us, “At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Turning to the secular world and American history, British army troops had been sent to Boston in 1768 to help officials enforce the unpopular Townshend Acts, a series of laws passed by the British Parliament, and tempers were high in the city. An evening argument over an alleged unpaid bill escalated into a mob scene outside of the Custom House. Some seven or eight soldiers, with two officers, reached the Custom House, and stood in a semi-circle perimeter against some 300 to 400 unruly citizens throwing rocks and snowballs. After one of the privates was hit by a club and knocked to the ground, someone ordered “Fire!” and the troops fired piecemeal into the crowd, hitting eleven men; three men died instantly, one man died a few hours later, and another man died two weeks later. At the subsequent trial for murder, the soldiers and their officers were defended by John Adams, who managed an acquittal for six men, and a sentence of manslaughter for two more men, which sentence was reduced to branding of the thumb in open court. The jury’s decisions suggest that they believed John Adams’s defence that the soldiers had felt threatened by the crowd and were within their rights to open fire. The Boston Massacre helped spark the rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolutionary War. (The famous engraving shows a day scene, with no snow, and the British troops firing in a disciplined volley; it was calculated to raise righteous indignation over the “massacre” in the Colonies.) And today is the birthday of the little sister of several of the Assembled, Sarah (1992).

Our #4 LSU Tigers beat the Baylor Bears in their College Baseball game by the score of 4 to 0. Our LSU Tigers lost their last Regular Season College Basketball game with the Mississippi State Bulldogs by the score of 76 to 88; our LSU Tigers (10-20, 2-16) will next play the Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-15, 6-12)at the SEC Tournament on March 8th. Our #12 ranked LSU Lady Tigers won their College Softball game with the Illinois Lady Fighting Illini by the score of 3 to 0, but then our #12 ranked LSU Lady Tigers lost their College Softball game with the #11 ranked Minnesota Lady Golden Gophers by the score of 0 to 3.

I did my Book Devotional Reading on getting up to get ready for work, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in at the casino, with today being the last day of the pay period, Richard was on the second Pai Gow table, closed that table, was then the Relief Dealer for the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack table and Three Card Blackjack, then became the Dealer on the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack table. I was on the Sit-Down Blackjack table all day. The First Quarter Moon arrived at 5:34 am.

On our way home we got a call from Susan’s husband Tom; he and Susan were about to be in town, and they would visit with Lele, then come over to see us. When we got into town, Richard suggested going over to Lele’s, which we did. Tom got us burgers for lunch from Crispy Cajun, and we all had a good visit; Richard and I will go to Baton Rouge to see Butch on Tuesday, and on Thursday Richard and I will take Lele down to Lafayette for her doctor’s appointment.

We arrived home at 1:45 pm, and I read the Sunday papers. I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, because I had planned to go to bed early today anyway (just now, with visiting at Lele’s, I am not getting to bed as early as I would have liked). Our #4 LSU Tigers (8-2, 0-0) will be playing an Away College Baseball game with the #21 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, 0ur #12 ranked LSU Lady Tigers will be playing a home College Softball game with the Florida Atlantic Lady Owls, and then our #12 ranked LSU Lady Tigers will be playing a home College Softball game with the Troy Lady Trojans., and our New Orleans Pelicans (24-38, 3-9) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Los Angeles Lakers (19-33, 4-7).

Tomorrow is another Day with no Saints. And those of my Five or Six Loyal Readers or of my Minions of Followers who are from Texas need not be reminded that tomorrow is the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. Tomorrow is the first day of the new pay period at the casino. After 3:00 am (when our shift starts) I will be fasting, and after we clock out at 11:00 am I will go to the Clinic to have blood drawn and leave a urine sample, and to pick up my prescription at the Pharmacy. In the afternoon I may go to bed early. And our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing an Away NBA game with the Utah Jazz.

Our Parting Quote on this Sunday afternoon comes from Ray Tomlinson, American computer programmer. Born as Raymond Tomlinson in 1941 in Amsterdam, New York, his family soon moved to the small, unincorporated village of Vail Mills near Broadalbin, New York. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York where he participated in the co-op program with IBM. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1963. After graduating from RPI, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to continue his electrical engineering education. At MIT, Tomlinson worked in the Speech Communication Group and developed an analog-digital hybrid speech synthesizer as the subject of his thesis for the master’s degree in electrical engineering, which he received in 1965. In 1967 he joined the technology company of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (now BBN Technologies), where he helped develop the TENEX operating system including the ARPANET Network Control Program, implementations of Telnet, and implementations on the self-replicating programs Creeper and Reaper.  Tomlinson was asked to change a program called SNDMSG, which was originally the electronic mail program for a single multi-user time-sharing computer running the TENEX operating system. It allowed all users of the machine to send a simple form of email to each other, but it was extended by Tomlinson in 1971 to allow sending to users on other computers accessible over the ARPANET, addressing them by appending the other system’s host name after an “@” sign. (At the time, Tomlinson knew not the history of the @ sign; he had a limited number of signs he could use, and chose that one.) Tomlinson thus became the inventor of Email as we now know it. The first email Tomlinson sent was a test. It was not preserved and Tomlinson described it as insignificant, something like “QWERTYUIOP”. This is commonly misquoted as “The first e-mail was QWERTYUIOP”. Tomlinson later commented that these “test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them.” At first, his email messaging system was not considered important. Its development was not a directive of his employer, with Tomlinson merely pursuing it “because it seemed like a neat idea”. When Tomlinson showed it to a colleague, Tomlinson said “Don’t tell anyone! This isn’t what we’re supposed to be working on.” In 2000 he received the George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award from the American Computer Museum (with the Computer Science Department of Montana State University). In 2001 he received a Webby Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for lifetime achievement. Also in 2001 he was inducted into the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2002 Discover magazine awarded him its Innovation Award. In 2004 he received the IEEE Internet Award along with Dave Crocker, and, in 2009, he along with Martin Cooper was awarded the Prince of Asturias award for scientific and technical research. Tomlinson said he preferred “email” over “e-mail”, joking in a 2010 interview that “I’m simply trying to conserve the world’s supply of hyphens” and that “the term has been in use long enough to drop the hyphen.” In 2011, he was listed 4th in the MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT. In 2012 Tomlinson was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society; in its account of his work the Society commented “Tomlinson’s email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate” (died 2016): “I think we knew exactly what I had created – a very useful tool that almost everyone having a computer connected to the network would use. What we didn’t know is how many users that would become. At the time we could probably have counted every single one of them and it would have totaled only a 1000 or so individuals.”

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