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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
30th December 1890
The Gadsden Purchase
The Gadsden purchase was a 29,640-square-mile (76,800 km2) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that was purchased by the United States in a treaty signed on December 30, 1853 by James Gadsden who was the American ambassador to Mexico at that time. It was then ratified, with changes, by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 1854, and signed by 14th President Franklin Pierce, with final approval action taken by Mexico's government and their General Congress or Congress of the Union on June 8, 1854. The purchase was the last territorial acquisition of the mainland United States.
The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande; it was largely so that the U.S.A. could construct a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route. (This happened with the transcontinental railroad, constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1881/1883). It also aimed to reconcile outstanding border issues between the U.S. and Mexico following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the earlier first Mexican–American War of 1846–1848.
As the railroad age evolved, business-oriented Southerners saw that a railroad linking the South with the Pacific Coast would expand trade opportunities. They thought the topography of the southern portion of the original boundary line to the Mexican Cession (future states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, western Colorado) of 1848 after the Mexican-American War was too mountainous to allow a direct route. Projected southern railroad routes tended to run to the North at their eastern ends, which would favor connections with northern railroads and ultimately favor northern seaports. Southerners saw that to avoid the mountains, a route with a southeastern terminus might need to swing south into what was still then Mexican territory.
The administration of 14th President Franklin Pierce, strongly influenced by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, (later President of the southern seceding Confederate States) saw an opportunity to acquire land for the railroad, as well as to acquire significant other territory from northern Mexico. In the end, territory for the railroad was purchased for $10 million ($260 million today), but Mexico balked at any larger-scale sale of territory. In the United States, the debate over the treaty became interwoven with the sectional dispute over slavery, preventing progress before the American Civil War in the planning or construction of a transcontinental railroad.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Twitter Followers = 2,060 (up 2)
Non-followed eliminated = 1
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 2
Spammers not followed back = 1
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I have observed that without external structures to force it, my natural rhythms become somewhat chaotic. Sleep in particular is all over the place.
I have in previous entries described the phenomenon of the "wee boner" - a raging erection in the middle of the night caused not by libido but a full bladder. A wee, not a good fap, is required to relieve it. However, one can get confused with the other, especially when sleep patterns lapse into chaos!
After marital passion on Monday whilst the "sex police" was out seeing his mates, I had no inclination on Tuesday. This morning I woke "hungry" and duly indulged, only to find afterwards that I had been fooled by a wee boner. Post-wee, I was now hot, sweaty, wide awake and thirsty at 03:00! I decided that since I would have the opportunity for an afternoon nap, I would just go with it, stay awake and enjoy the opportunity of several hours of "me time".
I find all this quite fascinating rather than disturbing. If there is a lesson to be learned, it's that as nice as holidays are, you need a time-frame imposed on you to keep your mind and body at peak efficiency. The "old routine" turns out to be a wellbeing essential, so I will embrace it like an old friend returning after "Pinnacle Christmas".
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you fully "in tune" with your mind and body?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Weathertrack: Winter storm Frank will drive a strong cold front across Britain today
Air Pressure: 1003 millibars and static
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Do people who watch talent shows ever think about using their own?
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Aziz Ansari on Dick Pics
In 1995, a woman named Berbel Zummer was walking through a park in Austria during a storm wearing a wire-enforced bra under her clothes. The metal in her bra attracted a bolt of lighting that killed her instantly.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Our ability to respect others is the true mark of our humanity. Respect for other people different to us is the essence of human rights.