January 3: Benjamin Franklin

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.

January 3
Benjamin Franklin

Remember that credit is money.
~Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), a Founding Father of the United States, was a printer, writer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.

If you would like to know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.
~Benjamin Franklin

Time is money.
~Benjamin Franklin

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January 3: Robots and UFOs

January 3
Robots and UFOs

(1) A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
(2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
(3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
~Isaac Asimov, “The Three Laws of Robotics,” in I, Robot (1950), Frontispiece. Isaac Asimov (born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov; Russian: Исаак Юдович Озимов; 1920 – 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His works have been published in nine out of ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System.

A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension.
I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow.
In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze.
I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the “growing edge”; the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead.
But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning.
There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. ‘If I have seen further than other men,’ said Isaac Newton, ‘it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.’
~Isaac Asimov, Adding A Dimension: Seventeen Essays on the History of Science (1964), Introduction

An atom-blaster is a good weapon, but it can point both ways.
~Isaac Asimov, The Foundation Trilogy (1951), Vol. 2, p. 207

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January 3: “In the Casino” by Day Williams



The hunchback in the green shirt plays the slots,

The cocktail waitress in her low-cut black gown

Hands him a Bud, the pit boss strides up and down

Beside the green tables in his dark suit, calling

For Security to come gather the takings.


As men yell, “Seven, seven” at the craps table,

A change-man in his black pants, white shirt

And black tie hands ten dollars’ worth of nickels

To the lady with her Social Security envelope.


The loaders push a metal cart full of coin cans

To the booth where the cashier counts the twenty

Thousand dollars and signs a slip, smokes a cigarette

And checks jackpots on the computer.


Under the slot machines the coinwrappers open wooden doors

And pour coins–nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars–

Into plastic buckets while a burly security guard

In blue stands watching with his arms folded.


Ten people gather ’round the giant dollar machine

As a man in a brown suit slips three dollar tokens

At a time into the silver beast and watches the bells

And cherries revolve on the wheels, before he gets paged,


And the crowd disperses to the quarter slots.

A group from an Oakland bus lines up to cash in

Green slips guaranteeing ten dollars’ worth

Of free play on the clanging and whirring machines.


Those who glance out the windows see night become

Morning, the first dawnrays streaking the black streets.

~Day Williams


January 3: Executed Criminals’ Last Words

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.



January 3

Executed Criminals’ Last Words



Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.

~George Appel, d. 1928 (executed in electric chair in New York)



You are going to hurt me, please don’t hurt me, just one more moment, I beg you!

~Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, d. 1793 (guillotined)

Triumph of the Guillotine

By Nicolas Antoine Taunay



Ray Jasper told his family to “take care of each other, stay strong and faithful to God.” He then thanked his supporters and told his daughter that he loved her and told her to “be strong, be positive, have a great life.” His final words were as follows: “Lord God almighty in heaven Jesus Christ see my spirit. Amen.”

~Last words of Death Row inmate Ray Jasper III (third execution in Texas in 2014)