Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31: World No-Tobacco Day or the Birthday of Genghis Khan

You decide.

The United Nations World Health Organization decreed May 31 as World No Tobacco Day in 1987 (not to be confused with the Great American Smokeout, which falls this year on November 15). Both observances promote a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle. The American Cancer Society, the sponsor of the Great American Smokeout, says it wants a world with less cancer and more birthdays. And who can argue with that?

But, I don't know... sometimes I get tired of being scolded, even when it's for my own good. Maybe especially when it's for my own good.

So please allow me to suggest, in the alternative, that today is also the birthday of Genghis Khan.

Indeed, today is the 850th anniversary of Genghis Khan's birth; he was born in 1162.

The empire founded by Genghis Khan stretched across Asia and into Europe; his descendants conquered China; and, according to this 2010 post on the Discover Magazine website, one in every 200 men alive today is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. He's not quite the father of us all -- but he apparently tried to be.

Happy Birthday, Genghis Khan

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