FYI July 29 & 30, 2022

On This Day

904 – Sack of Thessalonica: Saracen raiders under Leo of Tripoli sack Thessaloniki, the Byzantine Empire’s second-largest city, after a short siege, and plunder it for a week.
The Sack of Thessalonica refers to the capture, and subsequent sack, of the Byzantine city of Thessalonica by the Abbasid Caliphate in the year 904, led by Leo of Tripoli, a privateer and Muslim convert.


1729 – Founding of Baltimore, Maryland.
Baltimore (/ˈbɔːltɪmɔːr/ BAWL-tim-or, locally: /bɔːldəˈmɔːr/ bawl-da-MOR or /ˈbɔːlmər/ BAWL-mər) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, fourth most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic, as well as the 30th most populous city in the United States, with a population of 585,708 in 2020.[10] Baltimore was designated an independent city by the Constitution of Maryland[11] in 1851, and today is the most populous independent city in the United States. As of 2021, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be 2,838,327, making it the 20th largest metropolitan area in the country.[12] Baltimore is located about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Washington, D.C.,[13] making it a principal city in the Washington–Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2021 population of 9,946,526.[12]

Prior to European colonization, the Baltimore region was used as hunting grounds by the Susquehannock Native Americans, who were primarily settled further northwest than where the city was later built.[14] Colonists from the Province of Maryland established the Port of Baltimore in 1706 to support the tobacco trade with Europe, and established the Town of Baltimore in 1729. The first printing press and newspapers were introduced to Baltimore by Nicholas Hasselbach and William Goddard respectively, in the mid-18th century.

The Battle of Baltimore was a pivotal engagement during the War of 1812, culminating in the failed British bombardment of Fort McHenry, during which Francis Scott Key wrote a poem that would become “The Star-Spangled Banner”, which was eventually designated as the American national anthem in 1931.[15] During the Pratt Street Riot of 1861, the city was the site of some of the earliest violence associated with the American Civil War.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the oldest railroad in the United States, was built in 1830 and cemented Baltimore’s status as a major transportation hub, giving producers in the Midwest and Appalachia access to the city’s port. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States. In addition, Baltimore was a major manufacturing center.[16] After a decline in major manufacturing, heavy industry, and restructuring of the rail industry, Baltimore has shifted to a service-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University are the city’s top two employers.[17] Baltimore and its surrounding region are home to the headquarters of a number of major organizations and government agencies, including the NAACP, ABET, the National Federation of the Blind, Catholic Relief Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, World Relief, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Social Security Administration. Baltimore is also home to the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.

Many of Baltimore’s neighborhoods have rich histories. The city is home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation, including Fell’s Point, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon. These were added to the National Register between 1969 and 1971, soon after historic preservation legislation was passed. Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country.[18] Nearly one third of the city’s buildings (over 65,000) are designated as historic in the National Register, which is more than any other U.S. city.[19][20]



Born On This Day

869 – Muhammad al-Mahdi, Iraqi 12th Imam (d. 941)
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī (Arabic: محمد بن الحسن المهدي) is believed by the Twelver Shia to be the last of the Twelve Imams and the eschatological Mahdi, who will emerge in the end of time to establish peace and justice and redeem Islam.

Hasan al-Askari, the eleventh Imam, died in 260 AH (873-874 CE), possibly poisoned by the Abbasids. Immediately after his death, his main representative, Uthman ibn Sa’id, claimed that the eleventh Imam had an infant son named Muhammad, who was kept hidden from the public out of fear of Abbasid persecution. Uthman also claimed to represent Muhammad, who had entered a state of occultation. Other local representatives of al-Askari largely supported these assertions, while the Shia community fragmented into several sects over al-Askari’s succession. All these sects, however, are said to have disappeared after a few decades except the Twelvers, who accept the son of al-Askari as the twelfth and final Imam in occultation.

Uthman was followed by three more agents, collectively known as the Four Deputies, who were regarded by the Twelver community as representatives of Muhammad al-Mahdi. This period, later termed the Minor Occultation, ended after about seventy years with the death of the fourth agent, Abu al-Hasan al-Samarri (d. 940-41). He is said to have received a letter from Muhammad al-Mahdi shortly before his death. The letter predicted the death of Abu al-Hasan in six days and announced the beginning of the complete occultation, later called the Major Occultation, which continues to this day. The letter, ascribed to Muhammad al-Mahdi, added that the complete occultation would continue until God granted him permission to manifest himself again in a time when the earth would be filled with tyranny.

The Twelver theory of occultation crystallized in the first half of the fourth (tenth) century based on rational and textual arguments. This theory, for instance, sets forth that the life of Muhammad al-Mahdi has been miraculously prolonged, arguing that the earth cannot be void of the Imam as the highest proof of God. In the absence of the Hidden Imam, the leadership vacuum in the Twelver community was gradually filled by jurists. It is popularly held that the Hidden Imam occasionally appears to the pious. The accounts of these encounters are numerous and widespread among the Twelvers.

1470 – Hongzhi, emperor of the Ming dynasty (d. 1505)
The Hongzhi Emperor (Chinese: 弘治帝; pinyin: Hóngzhì Dì) (30 July 1470 – 9 June 1505) was the tenth Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1487 to 1505. Born Zhu Youcheng,[1][2] he was the eldest surviving son of the Chenghua Emperor and his reign as emperor of China is called the “Hongzhi Restoration” (弘治中興). His era name, “Hongzhi”, means “great governance”. A peace-loving emperor, the Hongzhi Emperor also had only one empress and no concubines, granting him the distinction of being the sole perpetually monogamous emperor in Chinese history, besides Emperor Fei of Western Wei. He was emperor during the middle years of the Ming dynasty.[3]




NASA: Astronomy Picture of the Day
By Sophia Matveeva, Harvard Business Review: Coding Isn’t a Necessary Leadership Skill — But Digital Literacy Is
By Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science: The One Ingredient You Need to Clean the Dishwasher and Four Other Gross Household Items Cleaning solutions smell like lemon for a reason.
By Emily Temple, Literary Hub: These Are the 5 (Er, 10?) Best Parentheses in Literature. From someone who can’t get enough parentheticals.
The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings): Midweek pick-me-up: “Peter Rabbit” creator Beatrix Potter’s little-known scientific discoveries and stunning mushroom illustrations
Fireside Books: Varsha Bajaj Explores the Water Crisis in ‘Thirst’; P.T. Deutermann’s Latest WWII Novel ‘The Last Paladin’ I
By Josh Jones, Open Culture: How Joni Mitchell Learned to Play Guitar Again After a 2015 Brain Aneurysm–and Made It Back to the Newport Folk Festival
By Colin Marshall, Open Culture: Visit Great Cities in the 1920s in Restored Color Film: New York City, London, Berlin, Paris, Venice & More


By Ernie Smith, Tedium: A Bit of Fine Tuning Can a guitar be smart and also kind of awesome? Tedium’s resident music nerd dives into the Lava Me 3, a guitar that innovates beyond its touchscreen.
The FieldCraft Survival Channel: How to beef up your home’s security

By April White, JSTOR Daily: A Brief History of Comfort Food Our newest culinary trend is also our oldest.
If each of us knew how much time we had allocated,
perhaps we could play around with it.
But we don’t.
Believing tomorrow to be a guarantee,
is the biggest mistake we make.
Not seizing every day like the gift that it is,
is the biggest risk we take.
Waste time wisely my friend.
Time spent in rest, joy, company and kindness,
is never wasted.
As for the rest, just do it.
You won’t regret the things you tried and failed at,
but you will regret a life spent waiting.
Waiting for anything is a dangerous game because there is no guarantee the conditions will ever be just right.
Those who wait, wait..
but you,
you have a life to live.
Right here, right now.
Donna AshworthFrom ‘I Wish I Knew’

Conservative Twins: Black Pastor Robbed of 1 Million in Jewelry During Sermon




By Elly Leavitt, Domino: The No-Brainer Meals Chefs Make When They’re Too Tired to Cook It doesn’t have to be another takeout night.
By Sheela Prakash, The Kitchn: Recipe: One-Pot Tomato Chickpeas and Orzo A quick and delicious for when you simply don’t feel like cooking.
By Yumna Jawad, Feel Good Foodie: 30 Recipes with a Can of Chickpeas Chickpeas can be used beyond just making hummus to add protein, texture and delicious taste to recipes.
Just the Recipe: Paste the URL to any recipe, click submit, and it’ll return literally JUST the recipe- no ads, no life story of the writer, no nothing EXCEPT the recipe.




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