Tony Sartain, MBA, NE

niche programming and web development

Good afternoon. Today is Thursday, the 18th day of January. It's the 18th day of the year. We're not in a leap year, so there are 347 days remaining in 2018. On the Jewish calendar, today is the 2nd day of Shevat in the year 5778. On this day in 1974, Six Million Man, starring Lee Majors, premiered on ABC television.

This website is a demonstration of smart content rendering. The content updates continuously without the help of Internet monkeys. All the information was current at the time you arrived here. If you're looking for information on the technology, it's at the bottom of this page.

Today in History

The X-ray machine was exhibited for the first time on this date in 1896. Heinrich Joseph Hoffmans, a Dutch headmaster and physicist, developed the machine just a month after Wilhelm Röentgen had discovered (and named) X-rays in Germany. An X-ray machine could be constructed out of materials common to most science labs: iron rods, a glass plate, a battery, electric wire, and a glass vacuum bulb. Hoffmans built his out of spare parts in his classroom.

The quality of the images in 1896 was pretty impressive, but they came at a cost. Exposure time was about 90 minutes, and the total dose of radiation was 1,500 times greater than what is used today. Subjects and experimenters received radiation burns, suffered eye problems, lost their hair, and developed cancer. Many people ended up having to amputate the hands that had been X-rayed. Hoffmans' original machine quickly became obsolete, and was abandoned on a shelf in a warehouse in Maastricht until a documentary film crew discovered it in 2010. Dr. Gerrit Kemerink, of the Maastricht University Medical Center, put Hoffmans' machine to the test, and was able to produce an image of a cadaver hand on the 115-year-old machine. Kemerink said, "Our experience with this machine, which had a buzzing interruptor, crackling lightning within a spark gap, and a greenish light flashing in a tube, which spread the smell of ozone and which revealed internal structures in the human body was, even today, little less than magical." (Source: The Writer's Almanac)

The illustration: The X-ray image is that of King George V and Queen Mary. It was created in 1896 before King George's succession to the thrown. Medical records of the monarchy have never been made public, so there's no way to know whether Queen Mary had other X-rays. We do know that she lived an active life and died at the age of 85 in 1953, a year after Queen Elizabeth had taken the thrown. Perhaps it's safe to assume that the exposure to the early high levels of X-rays required for the image didn't contribute to her death.

Today's Birthday Boys and Girls

Today is the birthday of Alfonso Ferrabosco (1543), Charles de Montesquieu (1689), Peter Roget (1779), Daniel Webster (1782), Joseph Farwell Glidden (1813), Emmanuel Chabrier (1841), Thomas A. Watson (1854), Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (1856), A.A. Milne (1882), Oliver Hardy (1892), Cary Grant (1904), Danny Kaye (1913), David Bellamy (1933), Bobby Goldsboro (1941), John Hughes (1950), Kevin Costner (1955), Mark Messier (1961), Jesse L. Martin (1969), Jonathan Davis (1971), and Morgan York (1993).

On Wall Street

The New York Stock Exchange is open and trading. Currently, The S&P500 index is at , up by . The NASDAQ is up by to . The link to the Dow Jones Industrial Average is not working.

Note: During trading hours all data is in real time. The data is preserved at the end of the trading day. It remains until the next opening bell. The process of retrieving stock info involves many links between the sources and what you're reading on the screen. At the moment, there's a technical issue up the line with the DJ average. Occasionally, the data appears as random characters. If there's numerical data on the screen, it's accurate. The other indicies are working and accurate.

Earth and All Spheres

The overall weather conditions at Love Field were reported as a few clouds at 10:53 AM CST. The temperature was 35F with a wind chill factor of 27F.

Love Field's average high and low temperatures for today, January 18, are 55 and 36 respectively. In general, Dallas temperatures were not as hot as usual during the summer, but the trend seems to have broken and temperatures are pretty much in line with the long term averages. Yes, Virginia, it's State Fair weather in Dallas. The temperature on this day reached a record high of 80 in 1974. An all-time evening low of 16 was recorded in 1977. More [...]. For the seven-day forecast [click here].

We are under a waxing crescent moon. At the time you accessed this page, its exact age was 1 day, 21 hours, and 42 minutes. We will be under a new moon again on Thursday, February 15th at 3:06 AM CST. The moon will reach full luminescence on Wednesday, January 31st at 8:44 AM. For now, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are visible in the night sky. Mars, seen in the southern sky, is clearly visible and its red glow clearly identifies it. It can be seen beginning at nightfall; it moves slowly in a westerly fashion before disappearing. Mercury can be seen in the eastern sky just before dawn.

We are under the sign of Capricorn in the 119th day of autumn, which arrived on Thursday, September 22 at 9:29 PM CDT with the occurrence of the Autumnal Equinox. On the day of the Equinox, the sun rose at 7:07 AM CDT and set at 7:15 PM. Generally speaking, the equinoxes occur on days when the light and night hours are equal. For today, our sunrise and sunset times (at -96.852/32.847) are 7:18 AM and 5:40 PM, giving us 10 hours and 22 minutes of daylight. For now, we're on Daylight Saving Time. We will switch to Standard Time on Sunday, November 10th at 2:00 AM when our clocks will magically roll back to 1:00 AM, following the NIST standard.

The Technology

This site is a working demonstration of on-demand PHP scripting. The code tightly integrates computed and imported data with text, spewing forth natural-sounding narrative output with flawless grammar and syntax. The birthdays, history section and the text below--which all change daily--are from an in-house database. Raw data used in the financial and weather sections is imported at page generation time. All the other data, particularly the celestial stuff, is derived and rendered by several hundred lines of code at the time the page request reaches the server. THIS SITE IS SELF-MAINTAINING. The daily content updates at midnight CST. The weather target is -96.852/32.847.

I'm saying this is the South, and we're proud of our crazy people. We don't hide them up in the attic. We bring 'em right down to the living room and show 'em off. See, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they're on... Which side are mine on? Both.

Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker
Designing Women Episode 43

Vox humana: 214.778.5014
Cell: 936.615.9183


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