Did You Know We Had a Near Miss on Monday? Back in the early 20th century, a huge explosion in Russia wiped out thousands of square miles of remote forest in Siberia. This was well before atomic weapons so,what was it? Speculation and evidence suggests it was about a 200 foot asteroid that struck the earth. While no one was paying attention, a similar sized rock came withing 48,000 miles of the earth. (BBC Report) That is really really close. Consider that the moon is about 243,000 miles from earth..so this was about 1/6 as close as the moon. I have to think that astronomers knew about this. We hope that the Defense Department knew about it. If the media knew about it, it was probably not smart enough to know just how close 48,000 miles is in cosmic terms. My guess is that those who knew didn’t say anything because there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it anyway and all they would do was cause a panic. Odds are it would have hit the ocean, given the amount of earth is water…can you imagine the size and scope of the resulting tsunami?
On This Date in History:
G. Clifford Prout, Jr. says that his father was “not quite of sound mind when he drew up his will.” I’m not sure why he would think that. I mean, dictating that $400,000 of his fortune go toward the purpose of clothing all animals sounds pretty sane to me. Well, it did to Cliff, Jr too. What he was talking about was the name of the organization charged with getting the
animals come clothes. That was the Society For Indecency to Naked Animals. (SINA) Prout the younger said that it should have been the Society Against Indecency to Naked Animals. Apparently, it was a cause near and dear to the Prout family as Junior’s grandfather reported fought in the Civil War against the North and the South. Supposedly, old granddad delayed Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg by running around trying to convince the Confederate Officers to put clothes on their horses.
Clifford Prout did dear old dad proud as he used the money to promote the cause. He went to television and newspapers to publicize his cause with photos of snappily dressed animals. By 1963, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals had swelled in ranks to over 50,000. It’s telephone number rang off the wall and people regularly called MOrality1-1963. For some reason, Prout and his followers had critics. One asked rhetorically, “Imagine the dog who couldn’t scratch his fleas or the cat that wished to bathe herself.” The activists issued summonses…to where I don’t know…”for appearing in public with a naked dog, cat, horse, cow, or any domestic animal.” A member of the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals was fired from his job. He worked for Greyhound Bus Lines and painted a pair of pants on the corporate logo that graced the side of a bus. A boycott was threatened by his brethren! Prout went to RCA and demanded that it’s trademark dog listening to his master’s voice be made decent with some threads. On this date in 1963, members of the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals picketed the White House! They demanded that First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy put clothes on her horse before she rode it in public.
It all came to an end when the leader of the society appeared on television and a CBS employee recognized the man. It was comedy writer Buck Henry. The hoax was the idea of satirist and professional prank player Alan Abel. Henry gained some fame on the stage and in television. I believe he and Mel Brooks created Get Smart. Abel continued his merry making my promoting the Sex Olympics, a Martian landing on Long Island and writing his own obituary while he still lived and getting the New York Times to fall for it. It is said that Abel will be best remembered for getting people to put pants on pets. They even had a magzine! But I think it was more of a trick to get 50,000 people to join the bogus outfit that followed a man who shouted “Naked Animals Everywhere! They are on the streets and sidewalks…a public disgrace to our children…and along the highways, causing accidents as motorists take their eyes off the road to watch nude cows and bulls. And these animals are not grazing….they are hanging their heads in shame!”
Now…compare this organization with some legitimate ones that are in existance today. Can you really see much difference?
Weather Bottom Line: As expected, it was a lovely afternoon on Wednesday. We made it up to 54 and Snow White and I took advantage by heading out to Henry’s Ark and visiting our little friends. I think spring is in the air because there are all sorts of babies out there. Cutest little goats. We saw two that were just a couple of hours old at best. They were barely dry and momma still hadn’t gotten cleaned up. The peacocks were showing off their beautiful tails to the ladies, including the white one that my daughter calls Blizzard. The other animals were rather “frisky.” And the porcupines were quite the gobblers of carrots. Yes indeed…spring seems to be in the air. I”m kinda wondering if winter is basically over. OK…its a silly idea and I know better. My reasoning ranks up there with my thought that when my cats are eating a lot in the Fall that means its going to be a cold winter. Nope..wrong there. It just means my cats are fat. In this case, it occured to me that in recent years we seem to have several days of sunny and warm conditions to mark the change. We’ve certainly had sunny skies but it hasn’t been warm. But that is set to change.
It is pretty clear now that no frontal boundaries will be coming through for a while. The boundary gets stuck to our west and northwest and little waves of energy wander by. We go to the mid 60’s on Thursday as a ridge to the east settles in. Friday we push toward 70 but there will be a number of clouds and perhaps a shower or two as a strong wave moves by along the front to our northwest. Saturday will be great with highs perhaps to the mid 70’s. Sunday another strong wave moves by and brings a chance for rain. It’s possible that strong wave may activate the boundary such that we cool a bit on Monday, though thats not entirely clear. For all intents and purposes, we remain above average temperatures until the middle to end of next week when the ridge breaks down a bit and the long wave pattern at least has a short change and a cold front comes through bringing colder air. Whether or not this week marks the end of spring is a silly thing for me to claim…but I’m just wondering aloud. Remember this Saturday to move your clocks ahead an hour. Congress moved it up a few weeks. Winter doesn’t officially end for another couple of weeks.