A Brief History On January 17, 2010, Stephanie Peatling, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reported that there “is now one poker machine for every 110 people in Australia, putting the nation in the top 10 of international gambling meccas, alongside Monaco and Macau.”  Anyone alive and using the internet today can attest to the fact that slot machines are advertised practically everywhere.  Hugely popular across the web, they are played by people of all demographics and seem to enjoy a mass appeal.  Given that we are so familiar with seeing them online, however, it can be easy to forget…

A Brief History On January 18, 1884, Welsh physician Dr. William Price attempted to cremate the remains of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, who had died of natural causes at the age of 5 months.  A believer and proponent of the ancient Druid religion, Price believed burying dead people would somehow “pollute” the earth, and therefore dead people should be cremated.  In Britain at the time, there were strong mores against cremation and as such an angry mob developed when Price was conducting the open-air cremation on a hilltop.  The mob swarmed the doctor and prevented the cremation, starting…

A Brief History On January 17, 1917, the United States added another real estate coup to its already impressive history of buying land at a bargain when the Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark for only $25 million, joining other famous American real estate purchases such as the Louisiana Purchase (1803, $11.25 million), Alaska (1867, $7.2 million) and the Gadsden Purchase (1854, $10 million).  If you throw in the Dutch buying Manhattan for “$24” worth of trinkets, and the island ending up as US property, there is one more terrific deal we benefited from.  (Do not think the tribe that…

A Brief History On January 16, 27 BC, the Roman Senate conferred upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus the title “Augustus,” effectively making Augustus Caesar the first Roman Emperor, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire.  While previously the Romans had indeed conquered many lands, their government had been a Republic and run by the Senate until Gaius Julius Caesar (the man usually referred to as simply Julius Caesar) became Dictator of Rome, sort of a de facto king or emperor.  If you notice the similarity in names between Julius and Augustus, you can be assured this is not coincidental. Digging…

A Brief History On January 15, 2018, Irish lead singer of the Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, died in her bathtub, drowned while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  She was only 46 years old.  Unfortunately for music fans, as well as the family and friends of the victims, too many singers have died before their time either directly or indirectly because of drug use and abuse.  Today we list 10 of those incidents, some of which have happened in the very recent past, mirroring modern society’s epidemic of deaths caused by drug overdose.  Please feel free to mention other singers…

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