Day By Day

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today is "Blonde Brownie Day". I don't think that refers to the little woodland critters [they're just a figment of the imagination anyway, or at least that's what I was told] or to the Girl Scouts in training. Nope, the holiday refers to these things.

Here's what goes into them: Butter, brown sugar, unbleached flour, salt, baking soda, vanilla, chocolate chips, walnuts (lots of butter and brown sugar Chocolate chips and walnuts). Mmmmm. So today, gather up your ingredients, bake yourselves a bunch of brownies, and pig out. Aaaaaaah, the good times, they are here again -- the perfect way to celebrate and savor Senator Brown's victory.

On this day in 1561 Francis Bacon was born. He was one of those Renaissance men who could, seemingly, do anything. He was a philosopher, poet, statesman, lawyer, jurist, and author. He served as Lord Chancellor under James I. Additionally, he invented the scientific method [often referred to as the "Baconian Method"] and is celebrated as the world's first real scientist. Some scholars think that he wrote Shakespeare's plays. Interesting guy.

Despite his numerous accomplishments, there was a dark side to Bacon. His personal life was a mess. It was widely rumored by contemporaries that he [and possibly his royal patron, James] were homosexual pederasts, but scholars have been unable to prove the rumors true. At one point he was engaged to a woman, but she dumped him quickly and married another man. At age 45 he finally married, to a girl 14 years old, but she was only after his money and when that ran out she took up with another, richer man whereupon Bacon disinherited her. Bacon was also corrupt and was the subject of a Parliamentary inquiry that resulted in his being stripped of high office, heavily fined, and briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London. His close friendship with King James saved him from harsher punishments. It should be noted that Bacon claimed to be innocent and said that he had plead guilty to numerous charges only to cover up crimes actually committed by his royal patron. And then there were all those rumors about his involvement in various secret societies.... As I said, he was an interesting guy.

You can read about, and even join, the Francis Bacon Society [here] if you are so inclined.

And on this day in 1973 the Supreme Court handed down its "Roe v. Wade" decision. In doing so the Court established the "fundamental right" of a woman to abort an unviable foetus, thus invalidating all laws prohibiting abortion. I can think of no other Court ruling that has been more controversial during my lifetime or one that has had greater political impact.

One year ago today President Barak Obama ordered that the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay be closed within a year.