The Friday Preservation and Restoration League, one of the world's leading societies preserving not just Fridays but any days they happen to find, announced this week its selections for preservation this year. (Jeanne, do we have to include this to scare off all the readers? Can't we scare them in a punchier way?)
It's rarely remembered except while reading these press releases how many days aren't available anymore. Some blame how we used to do days lie, so when they were done all that was left were grudges. (Jeanne, what was the other thing? Not candy.) Moving to silver nitrate didn't help, since days would sometimes explode, looking like war breaking out. The decline in armed conflict since 1950 is usually credited to the new safety days, which decay into nostalgic sepia-toned geniality.
Nevertheless the ravages of time keep hitting time until time ... (Jeanne, that sentence isn't getting anywhere.)
Nevertheless we suffer from the loss, complete or partial, of days at a stunning rate. While only twenty people would argue February 1990 was not one of the most important Februaries of that or any other recent year, we have available only a few minutes of its 17th, and a nagging 3:35 from its final week. (Jeanne, isn't 3:35 the most nagging? Ask Research.) And this was a month which, at the time, was regarded as typifying the most important elements of February, like having a 12th or 22nd.
Lost days can turn up in all kinds of places, however, so it's worth checking your attic, basement, or storage locker to see if there might be one lurking in a dusty and neglected box. Check under the dusty photographs of people your grandparents thought were worth remembering, but who are captioned in cursive as ``Mildred'' or ``planetary transmission'' or possibly ``cantaloupe'' . If you find one, back slowly away, then contact responsible authorities. Don't mention our name. (2:18 is the most nagging time? Huh.)
Days selected for preservation this year include December 18, 2009, chosen for its hilariously weird development in Mark Trail; April 19, 1975, regarded as being as close to the ugliest-styled everything not risking curators and patrons' eyes gouging themselves out; May 6, 1985, so your moral cowardice that day never escapes human memory; and February 29, 1867, because everyone around the office got a little bit giggly when it was nominated. (And every time we try taking it off the list SOMEone complains we're being a bunch of spoilsports, ANTHONY.)
The effort to recover days from 1900 was boosted this year with the discovery of the 14th through 16th of September and most of the afternoon of the 12th of November. A complete set of 1900 is of interest to the scientific community as the exact length of this year will give us a more precise definition of cesium. (Jeanne, didn't it seem like cesium had a pretty good definition already? I like to think ``cesium'' is what the centurions declare when the Three Stooges are getting arrested in an Ancient Rome setting.) (Research doesn't agree? Well, there's the comical hitting of a head with a lead pipe to produce a weird sound effect out there which might just change their minds.)
It would be ... not remiss, what's the word, dull ... to ignore the controversy in the archives this year. October 21, 1966 was removed from the archives when examination found that it was a repeat of October 21, 1938; and similar allegations are being brought against October 21, 1994. We're well stocked on October 21sts. They can't all be the outgoing chair's birthdays. (The other thing was candy? Other what thing?)
We ask again for help finding the believed-lost days of August 18, 1775; August 18, 1776; May 14 through 22, 1838; and anything at all from 1955. (We have to ask them to stop sending their July 29, 1975s already. Don't people know, days you got in a cereal box just aren't worth anything? And the cereal wasn't that good either.) By the way, the downloadable September 2nd this year? Don't bother saving that either. (We're going to get like a million copies, aren't we? Sheesh.) Thank you.
Trivia: Cesium was discovered by its spectroscopic lines in work done by Robert Bunsen, of burner fame, and Gustav Kirchoff. Source: Nature's Building Blocks: An A - Z Guide To The Elements, John Emsley. Currently Reading: The Magic Of Atlantis, Editor Lin Carter.