Friday, March 22, 2013

March 23: Unhappy anniversaries and Puppy Day

Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist movement in Italy, reforming "the Milan fascio as the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Combat Squad)", on March 23, 1919.

The German Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933 on March 23 of that year, putting Adolf Hitler on the road to absolute power.

Martin Fleischmann of the University of Southampton and Stanley Pons of the University of Utah announced the discovery of cold fusion on March 23, 1989. This discovery would have provided an elegant solution to the world's energy problems -- except, of course, it didn't work.

With events like these to choose from, it's not surprising that many of the Usual Suspects tout March 23 as Near Miss Day -- no, not referring to cold fusion, but rather to Earth's close encounter (within 500,000 miles) with a mountain-sized asteroid -- but also on March 23, 1989. Perhaps the asteroid came close enough to steal the secret of cold fusion in its slipstream.

We'll try and ignore all of these, therefore, and celebrate National Puppy Day instead.

Also on the menu for Saturday are National Melba Toast Day and National Chip and Dip Day.

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