Purple Sunshine Eater

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A long time ago there was a song about flying, purple people eaters. The song was written by Sheb Wooley and it was pretty popular in 1958, reaching #1 on the Billboard charts for about 5-6 weeks. It reached #12 in the UK and topped the charts in Australia. The song tells how a strange creature (described as a “one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater”) descends to Earth because it wants to be in a rock and roll band. The premise of the song came from a joke told by the child of a friend of Wooley’s, who composed it within an hour. The creature wasn’t necessarily purple, but rather it eats purple people.

Well, I think I’d get along just fine with the creature because I happen to love purple. Today’s photo is of a species of water lily that I photographed about 10 days ago. I liked the contrast between the deep purple and whiteness on the inside of the petals. The water is a dark green because of the reflection of the thick foliage behind the image.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1947, Japanese soldiers finally surrendered their arms – days after their government had already formally capitulated.

Wake Island was one of the islands bombed as part of a wider bombing raid that coincided with the attack on Pearl Harbor. In December of 1941, the Japanese invaded in force, taking the island from American hands, losing 820 men, while the United States lost 120. The United States decided not to retake the island but to cut off the Japanese occupiers from reinforcement, which would mean they would eventually starve. Rear Adm. Shigematsu Sakaibara, commander of the Japanese forces there, ordered the 96 Allied prisoners of war who had been left behind shot dead on trumped-up charges of trying to signal American forces by radio.

And so the Japanese garrison sat on Wake Island for two years, suffering the occasional U.S. bombing raid, but no land invasion. In that time, 1,300 Japanese soldiers died from starvation, and 600 from the American air attacks. Two days after the formal Japanese surrender onboard the USS Missouri, Sakaibara capitulated to American forces, which finally landed on the island. Sakaibara was eventually tried for war crimes and executed in 1947.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Tse Tung are statistically the most effective mass murderers of the 20th century. Numbers vary, but it is estimated that Stalin killed 40 million people, Mao Tse Tung killed 60 million, and Hitler killed 30 million.

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