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FYI July 12 & 13, 2020

On This Day

1862 – The Medal of Honor is authorized by the United States Congress.
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest and most-prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor.[3] The medal is normally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress. Because the medal is presented “in the name of Congress”, it is often incorrectly referred to as the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. However, the official name of the current award is “Medal of Honor”.[1][4] Within the United States Code the medal is referred to as the “Medal of Honor”,[5] and less frequently as “Congressional Medal of Honor”.[6] U.S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, and while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are “MOH” and “MH”.[7]

There are three versions of the medal, one each for the Department of the Army (United States Army), Department of the Navy (United States Navy and United States Marine Corps) and Department of the Air Force (United States Air Force and United States Space Force). Despite not normally being a part of the Department of the Navy, the United States Coast Guard awards the DoN’s variant of the medal.[8] The Medal of Honor was introduced for the Department of the Navy in 1861, soon followed by the Department of the Army’s version in 1862. The Department of the Air Force received their own version in 1965.[9] The Medal of Honor is the oldest continuously issued combat decoration of the United States’ armed forces.[10] The President typically presents the Medal at a formal ceremony intended to represent the gratitude of the American people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.[11][12][13]

According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, there have been 3,525 Medals of Honor awarded to 3,506 individuals since the decoration’s creation, with over 40% awarded for actions during the American Civil War.[2] In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”.[14] Since 1948, the Medal of Honor and all service decorations awarded to members of the armed forces by any of the armed services have been afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.[15]


1573 – Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Haarlem ends after seven months.

The siege of Haarlem was an episode of the Eighty Years’ War. From 11 December 1572 to 13 July 1573 an army of Philip II of Spain laid bloody siege to the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands, whose loyalties had begun wavering during the previous summer. After the naval battle of Haarlemmermeer and the defeat of a land relief force, the starving city surrendered and the garrison was massacred. The resistance nonetheless was taken as an heroic example by the Orangists at the sieges of Alkmaar and Leiden.


Born On This Day

1879 – Margherita Piazzola Beloch, Italian mathematician (d. 1976)

Margherita Piazzolla Beloch (12 July 1879 in Frascati – 28 September 1976 in Rome)[1] was an Italian mathematician who worked in algebraic geometry, algebraic topology and photogrammetry.

Beloch was the daughter of the German historian Karl Julius Beloch, who taught ancient history for 50 years at Sapienza University of Rome, and American Bella Bailey.[1]

Beloch studied mathematics at the Sapienza University of Rome and wrote her undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Guido Castelnuovo. She received her degree in 1908[1] with Lauude and “dignita’ di stampa” which means that her work was worthy of publication and in fact her thesis “Sulle trasformazioni birazionali nello spazio” (On Birational Transformations In Space) was published in the Annali di Matematica Pura ed Applicata.[2]

Guido Castelnuovo was very impressed with her talent and offer her the position of assistant which Margherita took and held until 1919, when she moved to Pavia and the successive year to Palermo to work under Michele De Franchis, an important figure of the Italian school of algebraic geometry at the time.[1]

In 1924, Beloch completed her “libera docenza” (a degree that at that time had to be obtained before one could become a professor) and three years later she became a full professor at the University of Ferrara where she taught until her retirement (1955).[1]

Scientific work
Her main scientific interests were in algebraic geometry, algebraic topology and photogrammetry.

After her thesis, she worked on classification of algebraic surfaces studying the configurations of lines that could lie on surfaces. The next step was to study rational curves lying on surfaces and in this framework Beloch obtained the following important result:[3] “Hyperelliptic surfaces of rank 2 are characterised by having 16 rational curves.”

Beloch also made some contributions to the theory of skew algebraic curves.[4] She continued working on topological properties of algebraic curves either planar or lying on ruled or cubic surfaces for most of her life, writing about a dozen papers on these subjects.[5]

Around 1940 Beloch become more and more interested in photogrammetry and the application of mathematics, and in particular algebraic geometry, to it. She is also known for her contribution to the mathematics of paper folding:[6] In particular she seems to have been the first to formalise an origami move which allows, when possible, to construct by paper folding the common tangents to two parabolas. As a consequence she showed how to extract cubic roots by paper folding,[7] something that is impossible to do by ruler and compass. The move she used has been called the Beloch fold.[8]

1889 – Emma Asson, Estonian educator and politician (d. 1965)
Emma Asson (13 July 1889 – 1 January 1965),[1] was an Estonian politician (Social Democrat). She was the first woman to be elected to the Estonian parliament. Asson participated in the creation of the first constitution of the independent Estonia, particularly within the fields of education and gender equality. She also wrote the first textbook in the Estonian language in 1912.[citation needed]

Emma Asson was born in Vaabina Parish, Võru County, Governorate of Livonia, part of the Russian Empire, as the daughter of a teacher. She studied at the A. S. Pushkin Girls’ School in Tartu and graduated in history at the Bestuzhev Courses in Saint Petersburg in Russia in 1910. She was then employed as a history teacher at a girls’ college in Tartu.

Emma Asson was active in different women’s organisations for social and education issues. In 1919, she was elected to the Tallinn city council as well as to the first national parliament of the independent Estonia for the social democrats. She was the first woman. In 1920 the women of Estonia were given full political rights under a new constitution. Two women were consulted over this constitution and they were Minni Kurs-Olesk and Asson.[2] She was a member of the Education Ministry in 1919-21, secretary for the Estonian Women’s Association and Head of the Education Department in 1925-1940.

She was married to the politician Ferdinand Petersen from 1921-41.


Kelly Kamalelehua Smith (October 13, 1962 – July 12, 2020), better known by her stage name Kelly Preston, was an American actress and model. She appeared in more than sixty television and film productions, most notably Mischief (1985), Twins (1988), and Jerry Maguire (1996). She was married to John Travolta, with whom she collaborated on the science fiction film Battlefield Earth (2000) and the biographical film Gotti (2018). She also starred in the films SpaceCamp (1986), The Cat in the Hat (2003), What a Girl Wants (2003), Broken Bridges (2006) and Old Dogs (2009).


By MessyNessy, 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CDXCXXI): This Restaurant in Nice, Then & Now; This Portable A-Frame Doll house in a suitcase; The Ultimate Golden Girls Granny Panties; Lucio Bertone’s Lancia Stratos, 1970; A Beatnik Wedding, 1960 and more ->


The Passive Voice: From Women Writers, Women’s Books: Editing

Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Singularity, Eleanor Roosevelt, music, human rights, the transcendence of storms
Kathryn’s Report: Cessna 180, N9306C: Incident occurred July 02, 2020 in Kantishna, Alaska
By Josh Jones, Open Culture: Emma Willard, the First Woman Mapmaker in America, Creates Pioneering Maps of Time to Teach Students about Democracy (Circa 1851)
By Ayun Halliday, Open Culture: Cambridge University Professor Cooks 4000-Year-Old Recipes from Ancient Mesopotamia, and Lets You See How They Turned Out
Open Culture: The Muppets Sing the First Act of Hamilton




By greensiphouse: Convertible Backyard A-frame Fort From a Swing Set.


By Kelli Foster, The Kitchn: A Week of Family-Friendly Dinners from Kendra Adachi of The Lazy Genius
By Auroris: Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream
Chocolate Covered Katie: Chocolate Workout Ice Cream




907 Updates July 12 & 13, 2020

KTVA The Voicew of Alaska: Frontiers: Crucial Conversations — Part 3; Anchorage honors those lost to violent crimes and more ->

KTUU: JBER COVID Heroes; UPDATE: Homicide Investigation near Midtown and more ->

KTOO Public Media: ‘Mr. Mount Edgecumbe’: Tlingit elder Gil Truitt has died; Colorado mining company agrees to multi-million dollar clean up plan for Tongass uranium mine ands more ->

Alaska Native News: One Dead, Three Injured in Sunday Kuskokwim River Boating Collision; Trespassing Call Results in Two Palmer Campers being Arrested on Robbery Warrants; Fairbanks Driver Gathers Multiple Charges after REDDI Stop and more ->

Fairbanks News Webcenter 11: The Alaska Sealife Center is in jeopardy of closing soon; Gardening Tips July 10th, 2020 and more ->

Suzane Downing, Must r Read Alaska: Protesters rush stage with bloody caribou heart during Sen. Sullivan meet-and-greet; Assembly considers buying more properties for vagrant, drug services in Midtown and more ->
Craig Medred: Go carefully
By Megan McDonald, Only In Your State Alaska: The Best Donuts In Alaska Are Sold From A Colorful Food Truck

Military July 12 & 13, 2020

By Katie Lange, DOD: Medal of Honor Monday: Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts
Military.com: Ramstein Airman Found Guilty in 2019 Road Death of German Teen; Piles of Baby Shoes Set at Contaminated Former Base to Remember Stillbirths, Miscarriages; Ask Stew: Older Guy Wants to Join Special Ops and more ->
Task & Purpose: Navy: 57 treated for injuries in USS Bonhomme Richard fire as blaze continues; The 18th Airborne Corps is releasing previously classified documents about the Army’s Atomic Age on Twitter; Own your life, says man who owns Osama Bin Laden’s and more ->






Quotes July 12 & 13, 2020

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
“If men would consider not so much wherein they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling in the world.”
Joseph Addison
“Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.”
Dr. Robert Anthony
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
Peter Marshall
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”
Clay P. Bedford
“The fullness of life is only accessible in the present moment.”
Eckhart Tolle
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Abraham Maslow
If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.
Warren Buffett
How many times had those awful words – “I know what I’m doing” – been uttered throughout history as prelude to disaster?
Christopher Buckley
O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
Thomas Paine, Common Sense
The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America.
John Adams, letter to Patrick Henry, June 3, 1776
Too many people are trying to find the right person instead of being the right person.
Gloria Steinem
Paradise is always where love dwells.
Jean Paul Richter
Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger and happier.
It’s okay to have flaws. That’s what makes you real.
“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.”

Music July 13, 2020

Music July 12, 2020





FYI July 11, 2020

On This Day

1405 – Ming admiral Zheng He sets sail to explore the world for the first time.
The Ming treasure voyages were the seven maritime expeditions undertaken by Ming China’s treasure fleet between 1405 and 1433. The Yongle Emperor started building the treasure fleet in 1403. The grand project resulted in seven far-reaching ocean voyages to the coastal territories and islands in and around the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and beyond. Admiral Zheng He was commissioned to command the treasure fleet for the expeditions. Six of the voyages occurred during the Yongle reign (r. 1402–24), while the seventh voyage occurred under the Xuande reign (r. 1425–1435). The first three voyages reached up to Calicut on India’s Malabar Coast, while the fourth voyage went as far as Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Afterwards, the fleet made voyages to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

The Chinese expeditionary fleet was heavily militarized and carried great amounts of treasures, which served to project Chinese power and wealth to the known world. They brought back many foreign ambassadors whose kings and rulers were willing to declare themselves tributaries of China. During the course of the voyages, they destroyed Chen Zuyi’s pirate fleet at Palembang, captured the Sinhalese Kotte kingdom of King Alekeshvara, and defeated the forces of the Semudera pretender Sekandar in northern Sumatra. The Chinese maritime exploits brought many foreign countries into the nation’s tributary system and sphere of influence through both military and political supremacy, thus incorporating the states into the greater Chinese world order under Ming suzerainty. Moreover, the Chinese restructured and established control over an expansive maritime network in which the region became integrated and its countries became interconnected on an economic and political level.

The Ming treasure voyages were commanded and overseen by the eunuch establishment whose political influence was heavily dependent on imperial favor. Within Ming China’s imperial state system, the civil officials were the primary political opponents of the eunuchs and the opposing faction against the expeditions. Around the end of the maritime voyages, the civil government gained the upper hand within the state bureaucracy, while the eunuchs gradually fell out of favor after the death of the Yongle Emperor and lost the authority to conduct these large-scale endeavors. The collapse of the expeditions was further brought about by the elite-driven economic interests against the central state control of commerce, as the maritime enterprise had been key to counterbalancing much of the localized private trade, which drew the enmity of authorities that benefited from that trade.

Over the course of the maritime voyages in the early 15th century, Ming China became the pre-eminent naval power by projecting its sea power further to the south and west. There is still much debate about issues such as the actual purpose of the voyages, the size of the ships, the magnitude of the fleet, the routes taken, the nautical charts employed, the countries visited, and the cargo carried.[1]



Born On This Day

1760 – Peggy Shippen, American wife of Benedict Arnold and American Revolutionary War spy (d. 1804)[6]
Margaret “Peggy” Shippen (July 11, 1760 – August 24, 1804)[1] was the second wife of General Benedict Arnold. She gained notoriety for being the highest-paid spy in the American Revolution.[2]

Shippen was born into a prominent Philadelphia family with Loyalist tendencies. She met Arnold during his tenure as military commander of the city following the British withdrawal in 1778. They were married in the Shippen townhouse on Fourth Street on April 8, 1779, and Arnold began conspiring with the British to change sides soon after. Peggy played a role in the conspiracy which was exposed after British Major John André was arrested in September 1780 carrying documents concerning the planned surrender of the critical Continental Army base at West Point.

Arnold escaped to New York City and Peggy followed. They traveled together to London at the end of 1781, where she established a home and Arnold rebuilt a trading business. In 1787, she joined him in Saint John, New Brunswick, where his difficulties with local businessmen forced them to return to London in December 1791. Arnold died in 1801, after which she had to settle his business affairs and pay off his debts. She died in 1804, having borne five children who survived infancy.




What Do I Know: Garth Jones Leaves A Big Hole As He Leaves Us At 95
By David Shortell and Caroline Kelly, CNN: Judge postpones execution of inmate who was set to be first federal prisoner put to death in 17 years
“The family is hopeful that the federal government will support them by not appealing today’s ruling, a reversal of which would put them back in the untenable position of choosing between attending the execution at great risk to their health and safety, or forgoing this event they have long wanted to be present for,” the attorney, Baker Kurrus, said. “We hope the government finally acts in a way to ease, rather than increase, the burdens of Mrs. Peterson and her family who have already been through an unspeakable tragedy.”
The Awesomer: A Daily Dose of Awesome Stuff: Semi-Auto Potato Cannon; 0 Fingers: Back in Black and more ->

Alison Shoemaker, AV Club: At long last, a music video for Weird Al’s Hamilton polka
Gastro Obscura: The lost art of growing blueberries with fire and more ->
The Fussy Librarian: Your ebook freebies for Saturday





My Recipe Treasures: Two Ingredient Bagels




907 Updates July 11, 2020

KTVA The Voice of Alaska: Anchorage man charged with sexual exploitation, child porn after exchanging messages with teen on Snapchat; Teens arrested by Kenai police after video of assault on beach circulates social media; 2 charged for string of Cantwell cabin burglaries; Inside the Gates: JBER honors COVID-19 heroes and more ->


KTUU: Municipal plan to buy buildings for homeless services draws concerns ahead of vote; Local Yukon River shop holds out hope for summer tourism profits; Beyond the end of the Road: Kachemak Bay Tide Pooling for RoadTrippin’ 2020 and more ->

KTOO Public Media: Seasonal workers laid off by pandemic get to work improving local trails in Juneau; Juneau’s Dimond Park Aquatic Center moves to next phase of reopening and more ->
KYUK Public Media for Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta: Bethel Drafts $8.4 Million CARES Budget, Includes $2 Million In Grants For Businesses And Nonprofits and more ->
Fairbanks News Webcenter 11: Fire Wire: Giving and Gratitude, Steese Fire Department receives equipment from foundation; 30-Mile Transfer Site to reopen while Salcha Transfer Site undergoes improvements and more ->

Military July 11, 2020

Military.com: A Marine Corps Drummer Was Sent to Vietnam as a Scout Sniper; DoD Knew K2 Troops Were Exposed to Cancer-Causing Toxins; VA Continues to Deny Care; Stolen Valor: Gun Store Robber Tried to Get Off Easy by Claiming Purple Hearts and more ->
Task & Purpose, The War Horse: Should the Defense Health Agency take over military healthcare management?; Army Secretary launches review of Fort Hood’s command climate over Vanessa Guillén case and more ->




Music July 11, 2020