How important is history (and knowledge thereof)?

I'm somewhat of an amateur history buff, specifically the tumult of Irish history but also other places. Several things fascinate me, how much there is always left to know, even of events you thought yourself perfectly familiar with, and also the apparent general level of ignorance of one's own and world history amongst people.

I suppose it's just one of those things which I find interesting that others don't but it chagrins me when I hear or read commentary on a current or historical event that displays a distinct lack of knowledge of the historical context. The events of the past obviously have very real repercussions on the present and it serves us well to know how things have happened, that the world, its structures, its people didn't just spring into existence on the day we were born. I understand that we all only have finite time in which to find out about stuff. I think wikipedia has been a boon for those casually interested in historical events.

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I work as a laboratory technician at the medical research division of the local university. My particular area of specialization is animal care, which means that I am responsible for the overall health and well-being of many thousands of mostly rodent-type critters. As one might imagine, this sort of work involves a fair amount of highly repetitive physical exertion during the course of the day. I'm on my feet a lot of the time.

A while ago, my supervisor came up with a nice idea to address this problem. Henceforth, every room in the facility would be equipped with a designated Comfy Chair; a plush work stool reserved for the use of animal technicians, allowing us to take a load off even while changing cages or what-have-you. This gesture was a generally well-received little morale booster in an otherwise rather clinical environment.

Mello Classics: The Band Game

1. Go to Wikipedia, click on random article. This is the name of your band
2. Go to Wikiquote, click on random page. The last 3-6 words of the first quote is the name of your album
3. Go Google and image search the words that will be the title of your album. 4th picture is the album cover. Shop that shit and show it off.

I get:

Looks like some horrible Euro techno crap.

Tru Fax!!!!! That Get It Wrong

Either widely accepted stories that are passed on as factual, while being nothing of the sort, or better still, stories where the facts as generally reported are true, but still are used in a misleading manner or to support false conclusions.

For the first variety there's the claim that the doctor who pioneered blood transfusions died because the closest hospital was white only and wouldn't take him. The truth is quite the contrary: Dr. Charles R. Drew, while a pioneer in the administrative work necessary for blood banking did not invent nor pioneer the transfusion process itself; and while he did die after an automobile accident in North Carolina the survivors of the wreck all claim that they got prompt and excellent care.

For the second variety a lot of people who get tired of being told to run for their health take a sardonic pleasure in pointing out, "Jim Fixx died while running!" While I don't think this is strictly true, he died a couple hours later, after suffering a massive heart attack while running, it's close enough that I don't think that the claim is false. The implication, however, for most of the smug couch potatoes who point this out, is that running killed him. Which is about as far from the truth as you could get. Fixx had been obese, a smoker, and suffered from congenital factors that left him very vulnerable to heart failure. It can be argued that his running was a very large factor in what allowed him to live as long as he did.

Sorry, fellow couch denizens, you'll need to find a better reason to stay sessile! :D

Anyways, share your own favorite Tru Fax! That aren't, really!

Finally, we are 100% crime-free!

Calm down, all you lawyer-types; it's only a hypothetical.

Anyhoo, what do now? We have a legal system to dismantle, law enforcement officers to re-employ and a lot of judges to keep in hookers and blow.

You are wondering how this happened? Well, a drug has been developed that exaggerates a person's empathy sufficiently that even a complete sociopath no longer wants to cause harm or distress to another living thing.

This'll further entail all prisons, probation services and other related lines of work to eventually be phased out, leaving another swathe of unemployed people.

Do we start this drug program, or would it upset the apple-cart too much?

ps. The drug has already been tested on Charlie Manson, who has now become an avid fan of reality tv shows, and an impressive adept of knitting.

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