Tony Sartain, MBA, NE

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Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the 21st day of September. It's the 264th day of the year. This is not a leap year, so there are 101 days remaining in 2021. On the Jewish calendar, today is the 15th day of Tishri in the year 5782. On this day in 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit was published.

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: "Yes, Virginia..."

On this day in 1897, the world's most famous, most reprinted newspaper editorial was published. Commonly known as the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" column, the 416-word article replied to a letter from an eight-year-old New York City girl whose father deferred her question--"Is there a Santa Claus?"--by suggesting she ask the New York Sun. She did so, and on September 20 an editor at the paper handed it to reporter Francis Pharcellus Church with the request that he respond in the following day's paper.

Church was a veteran newspaperman, having served as a war correspondent for The New York Times during the Civil War, and the son of the founder of the New York Chronicle. He dashed off his answer to little Virginia O'Hanlon anonymously, saying, "He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist and you know that they abound and give your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS."

Today, a small private school is housed in the former home of the O'Hanlon family--with all our modern fears of technology and privacy, Virginia's address, 115 W. 95th Street, was printed in the paper with her letter. Virginia herself grew up to be a New York City schoolteacher, principal, and activist for children's rights. As for Francis Church, the author of the editorial that has been translated into 20 languages in hundreds of other papers, books, movies, even postage stamps, because traditions holds that editorials are the "official" voice of the newspaper as a whole and not one singular opinion, he never received any recognition, let along royalties, for his inspirational editorial. It was only after his death seven years later that Church was credited with its authorship. (Source: Writer's Almanac)

Today's Birthday Boys and Girls

Today is the birthday of H.G. Wells (1866), Gustav Holst (1874), Larry Hagman (1931), Leonard Cohen (1934), Henry Gibson (1935), Bill Kurtis (1940), Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), Stephen King (1947), Bill Murray (1950), Dave Coulier (1959), David James Elliott (1960), Rob Morrow (1962), Darva Conger (1965), Faith Hill (1967), Ricki Lake (1968), Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), Liam Gallagher (1972), David Silveria (1972), Nicole Richie (1981), and Joseph Mazzello (1983).

On Wall Street

About the stock numbers: There's no current stock market reporting at the moment because of a snag in the link that retrieves the data and gets it to the screen. The stock market stuff is on the work bench until it's working again.

The New York Stock Exchange is currently closed. At closing Monday, the NASDAQ was up by to . The S&P500 index closed at , up by .

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 current weather conditions and forecast usually appear in this section. However, there have been technical issues the last few days with the NOAA system, so the data is not always available. Reloading the page will sometimes bring up the info. We are under a full moon. At the time you accessed this page, its exact age was 14 days, 17 hours, and 23 minutes. We will be under a new moon again on Wednesday, October 6th at 1:08 AM CDT. The moon will reach full luminescence on Tuesday, September 21st at 6:46 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 Virgo in the 273rd day of winter, which arrived in the Northern Hemisphere on December 21st at 4:02 AM CST with the occurrence of the Winter Equinox. On the date of the Equinox, the sunrise and sunset times were 5:12 AM CDT and 7:23 PM CDT. For today, our sunrise and sunset times (at -96.852/32.847) are 7:07 AM and 7:15 PM, giving us 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight. For now, we're on Standard Time. We will switch to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 14th at 2:00 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 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 CDT. The weather target is -96.852/32.847.

We've switched from a culture that was interested in manufacturing, economics, politics--trying to play a serious part in the world--to a culture that's really entertainment-based.
Stephen King, born on this day 74 years ago





Email: tony@tonysartain.com
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