Archives for November 2010

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving, I am reminded of how often our culture overlooks this important holiday.  The stores are already lines with Christmas trees and Black Friday sales that will draw the shoppers attention toward the most profitable holiday in December, rather than the holiday that begs us to stop, and be thankful.  The following is President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.  This proclamation set the precedent and regularity for America’s national day of Thanksgiving.  It proclaims the last Thursday in November be “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

Coming off the tail end of a vicious bear market, with unemployment remaining stubbornly near record highs, the unending debate of inflation vs. deflation jamming the airwaves, and the vast array of other financial ‘end-of-days’ events looming, it is more important now than ever to stop and reflect on the things we should be thankful for.  The blessings we experience daily are often taken for granted, such as running water, a roof over our heads, a car to drive, cell phone, heat, paved roads, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, clothes to wear, a God who cares, and a billion other things for you, gentle reader, to continue to ponder on for your own life.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
By Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America
October 3, 1863 in Washington, D.C.

The Year that is drawing to a close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke the aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversion of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascription’s justly due to Him for such singular deliverance’s and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By: Abraham Lincoln

Take the time to be thankful for all of your blessings, enjoy time with your family, and have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

Picture By: Wish Upon a Cupcake

Think Twice about your Password

It took researchers at Georgia Tech 2 hours using graphics cards to crack 8-character computer passwords.  This compares with the 17,000 years (149,022,000 hours) it would take them to crack 12-character passwords.

Bottomline:  With much of today’s consumerism taking place via usernames and passwords on the Internet, you may want to think twice about your current password, and perhaps extend it to a 12-character one if you haven’t already.

Source: CNN

Picture via fczuardi

Friday Fun

Turns out that there are 500 boxes of all Cheerios varieties sold per minute in fiscal year 2010.  Of the 500 sold, Honey Nut Cheerios (my personal favorite) claims the top spot followed by regular Cheerios.  Those 2 cereals hold the #1 and #2 spot among top-selling cereals in the US.  Cheerios is a brand from General Mills (GIS), the 6th largest food company in the world.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Picture via bpende

Point to Ponder – Uncertainty

“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.” – George Soros