Welcome back to the Watercooler, our daily Open Thread. Apologies for the short one today, but most of the day's news items have been called to attention by better and more prolific writers already... not a complaint, just acknowledging the caliber of this community's members.
The last thing I would've ever expected under Putin's Russia was a foreign-relations position simpatico to our own interests, which is what makes their denunciation of North Korea's latest nuclear test positively shocking. Makes one wonder what's wrong with Beijing, if they're the only ones who don't seem to get the whole "don't ever give a crazy person nukes 'cause they might use 'em on YOU" thing--either that, or they want the NoKos to glass somebody so they have plausible deniability.
From the Weird File
Seems we're not the only ones who hate the antics of the pinkos in Oregon's capital: a hoot owl known known for attacking joggers has started turning its sites on government employees around a state office complex in Salem. If you have business in the neighborhood, it's advised to bring a hat or umbrella. And people say animals are stupid... (Excuse me while I just sit in my little corner and laugh at that one.)
Today in History
January 3 saw the Battle of Princeton in 1777 and breaking diplomatic relations with Cuba in '61. January 4 marks two interesting political events: 1974 Nixon refuses to hand over tapes in the Watergate investigation, and in 1995 Newt Gingrich and a resurgent GOP majority form the 104th Congress. January 5, 1896 marked first reporting on Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of X-rays, followed in 1933 by groundbreaking on the Golden Gate Bridge. January 6, 1838 Samuel Morse first demonstrated the telegraph. January 7 has an interesting pair of bookends, the election of George Washington as President in 1789 and the start of Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999. January 8 marks a pair of finales: the 1815 Battle of New Orleans ending the war of 1812, and Crazy Horse's final defeat in 1877.
Birthdays today: Jedediah Smith, mountain man (1798); CSA General John Calvin Brown (1827); carbuilder John DeLorean (1925).
Quote of the Day
"Mr. Atta, I'll see your box-cutter and raise you three feet of American hardwood."--firearms instructor Massad Ayoob, on canes as self-defense tools
As always, the Watercooler is an Open Thread. Have something on your mind nobody's talking about, or just need to blow off some steam? Sound Off here!