Daily Bread for 12.30.14

Good morning, Whitewater.

Tuesday in town will be sunny with a high of seventeen. Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:30 PM for 9h 05m 00s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 69.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Planning Commission is scheduled to meet briefly tonight at 5:15 PM.

On this day in 1916, Rasputin is murdered in Russia:

Grigory Rasputin, a self-fashioned Russian holy man, is murdered by Russian nobles eager to end his sway over the royal family.

Rasputin won the favor of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra through his ability to stop the bleeding of their hemophiliac son, Alexei. Although the Siberian-born peasant was widely criticized for his lechery and drunkenness, he exerted a powerful influence on the ruling family of Russia. He particularly influenced the czarina, and when Nicholas departed to lead Russian forces in World War I, Rasputin effectively ruled Russia through her.

In the early hours of December 30, 1916, a group of nobles lured Rasputin to Yusupovsky Palace, where they attempted to poison him. Seemingly unaffected by the large doses of poison placed in his wine and food, he was finally shot at close range and collapsed. A minute later he rose, beat one of his assailants, and attempted to escape from the palace grounds, where he was shot again. Rasputin, still alive, was then bound and tossed into a freezing river. A few months later, the imperial regime was overthrown by the Russian Revolution.

Sixty-two years after Rasputin’s death, the European disco group Boney M. records a song about Rasputin for their album, Nightflight to Venus. The song’s lyrics are historically inaccurate, and often simply odd, but it’s a strangely catchy tune nonetheless.

Hard not to smile at a song that ventures the lyrics, “Ra, ra, Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine…” You’ve been forewarned:

On this day in 1922, our state sees an example of how Prohibition leads to violence:

1922 – Authorities Confiscate Illegal Alcohol
On this date authorities in Madison confiscated 1,200 gallons of “mash” and fifteen gallons of moonshine from the home of a suspected bootlegger. As the illegal liquor trade flourished in Madison’s Greenbush neighborhood during Prohibition, two rival gangs, one on Regent Street and the other located on Milton Street, fought to gain control until the “Rum War” erupted among these factions in 1923. [Source: Bishops to Bootleggers: A Biographical Guide to Resurrection Cemetery, p.189]

Google-a-Day asks a science question:

Who presented Tonga’s royal family with the animal that, when he died, was believed to be one of the longest-living animals on record?

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