Stand Alone!

Sometimes it takes real courage to be different, to stand alone against the grain, to fight against the tide of criticism and public opinion.  I respect those who do so, whether I agree with them or not.

We do, after all, each and every one of us have the right to hold an opinion.  We have the freedom to go where we want and pretty much do what we want.  I was talking with a friend just yesterday and he was telling me some things about China – and how you can’t just decide on your own to move somewhere else.  The state controls all that.  You know, in all the years that I’ve been alive and all the moves we’ve made, I never once had to ask permission from the government or anyone else.  We take our freedoms for granted.

As individuals, we don’t have to conform to what everyone else looks like or what everyone else thinks.  That doesn’t mean we are all correct in our opinions, because two diametrically opposed statements cannot possibly both be true, just as it can’t be true that 1+1=2 and 1+9=2.  But, in America, we have the freedom to be ourselves for the most part.

Today’s photo is of our dog, Lucy (the one on the right) and her mother and one of her sisters.  Because of where Lucy is sitting, she looks considerably darker in color than the others, but in reality, they are all pretty much the same color, though she is slightly darker.  But her attitude and independence come shining through in this picture.  They were all being bribed to lay down and pose for this picture, but Lucy would have none of it!  She is very independent and has her own mind (though I often wonder how much is in it!)  She sits proudly defiant, saying, “Well, if you give me a treat, I’ll eat it, but if not, I’ll never capitulate and lose my dignity by becoming like a sheep!  I might bite your fingers off, but become a ‘roll over on command dog’ – never!!!!!”

Hang in there, folks…be different if you feel you need to be.  Just always remember to be good and loving to others!

_MG_7105ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: way back in 1797, the first parachute jump of note was made by André-Jacques Garnerin from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 feet above Paris.

Leonardo da Vinci conceived the idea of the parachute in his writings, and the Frenchman Louis-Sebastien Lenormand fashioned a kind of parachute out of two umbrellas and jumped from a tree in 1783, but André-Jacques Garnerin was the first to design and test parachutes capable of slowing a man’s fall from a high altitude.

Garnerin first conceived of the possibility of using air resistance to slow an individual’s fall from a high altitude while a prisoner during the French Revolution. Although he never employed a parachute to escape from the high ramparts of the Hungarian prison where he spent three years, Garnerin never lost interest in the concept of the parachute. In 1797, he completed his first parachute, a canopy 23 feet in diameter and attached to a basket with suspension lines.

On October 22, 1797, Garnerin attached the parachute to a hydrogen balloon and ascended to an altitude of 3,200 feet. He then clambered into the basket and severed the parachute from the balloon. As he failed to include an air vent at the top of the prototype, Garnerin oscillated wildly in his descent, but he landed shaken but unhurt half a mile from the balloon’s takeoff site. In 1799, Garnerin’s wife, Jeanne-Genevieve, became the first female parachutist. In 1802, Garnerin made a spectacular jump from 8,000 feet during an exhibition in England. He died in a balloon accident in 1823 while preparing to test a new parachute.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Chocolate manufacturers use 40 percent of the world’s almonds.



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