Franz Bopp, comparative linguistics founder, born today in 1791. I wonder what he would have made of Be Bopp a Lula she's my baby? In any language. (Apparently, in the paleolithic south-western dialect of ancient pre-Sumerian Akkadian, the phrase Bee bopp ha-lulah, spelled this way rather than in the Gene Vincent Amerikanized speling, and which may be the source of the song, meant "may the gods grant you a long life and plentiful blonde women").
And did he get to see the comet Hale-Bopp, on its previous transition across the sky (probably not: its orbital period is 2,533 years and it was with us in 1995, which means - o my gosh, it was in the sky in 538 BCE, and two years later, the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem, the destruction of the First Kingdom of Israel, the start of... the International Zionist Conspiracy, predicted cometically... "Only connect" as E.M. Forster so wisely expressed it.)
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, scientist and close friend of Franz Bopp (no, sorry, that was a different Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Prussian ambassador at the Court of Saint James), born today in 1769 (and no, not that Humboldt either, his name was Humbert, this is not the one who wrote Teenie Bopper Lolita Be My Baby)
Ivan Pavlov, the man who taught human dogs how to go woof, born today in 1849 (see September 13)
Apologies for all of the above, but in some parts of the cosmos today is National Levity day (seriously!). Levity, for the information, is not the opposite of gravity, though in the absurd and pantomime conditions of zero gravity what else can there be but levity? The concept is anyway relative: in certain parts of the cosmos, because of the proximity of black holes, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics does not apply on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and C=MC3 rather than squared, while a quark is a type of yoghurt, and a quant is a 1960s style of hair-fashion.
And now, on a more serious note...
Margaret (Higgins) Sanger, founder of US birth control movement, born today in 1879
Bashir Gemayel, president-elect of Lebanon, assassinated, today in 1982, the reason for the massacres at Sabra and Shatila two days later (click here)
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