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Foundations, cleanups & the real eternal flame: Today, Feb. 12

February 12 is National Clean Out Your Computer day
You could have done this over the weekend. You know you have to, and the weather was terrible. But, in case you procrastinated, today is the day for cleaning out your computer.

Clear your browser cache. If you never have, you’d be amazed how many junk files accumulate. Organize your photos and videos. Save old documents to a portable drive or a disc and clear the space on your hard drive. Clear your downloads folder. Chances are everything you ever saved to your computer is still sitting there, even after you’ve copied or installed it to its final destination folder. .

Run all your anti-virus and other assorted security programs. I like Malwarebytes to run alongside my regular anti-virus, I find that it cleans deeper and catches more potentially unwanted files and junk files. You can get it for free at www.malwarebytes.org. There is a premium version which is very good, but the free version works just fine. After you install it, update it to be sure you have the latest definitions.

So get to it. Today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day.


Today in history: February 12, 1914: Construction Begins On The Lincoln Memorial.
Beginning in 1867, Congress passed a series of bills to create a monument to the 16h President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Designs were drawn up, and plans were made. Then it languished for several decades. At the start of the 20th century, when, under the leadership of Senator Shelby M. Cullom of Illinois, six separate bills were introduced in Congress for the incorporation of a new memorial commission.  The sixth bill, introduced on December 13, 1910, passed. The Lincoln Memorial Commission had its first meeting the following year and President William H. Taft was chosen as the commission's president. Progress continued at a steady pace and by 1913 Congress had approved of the Commission's choice of design and location.
With Congressional approval and a $300,000 allocation, the project got underway. On February 12, 1914, a dedication ceremony was conducted and the first stone was laid to much fanfare. The following month work began in earnest, and the memorial was dedicated by President Warren G. Harding on May 30, 1922


Weird History: The Real Eternal Flame

A natural gas vent in Iraq known as The Eternal Fire has been burning continuously for over 4,000 years, and is mentioned by Herodotus, Plutarch, and in the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel.

Iraq's home to many biblical and religious landmarks. One of the most striking, however, must be a continuously-burning gas fire called Baba Gurgur, which is located near Kirkuk in Northern Iraq.
The Kurdish name translates to "Father of Eternal Fiery", and is otherwise known as "The Eternal Fire." This seems a most fitting name because the fire has been burning for over 4,000 years.

The Eternal Fire is located on a large oil field, measuring roughly 90 yards in diameter. Until 1948, it held the title for the largest oil field in the world before it was surpassed by the discovery of the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia.

The fire appears to be what the Book of Daniel refers to as the fiery furnace, in which King Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon from 605 BC to 562 BC, threw three Hebrews for rejecting his golden idol worship. Over the centuries, it's believed that shepherds used the flames to warm their flocks of livestock during cold winter months.

In more recent history, a now-dying belief caused the fire to become symbolic to Kurdish women, who prayed to the flames calling upon the powers beyond to provide them with a baby boy.
Thanks to the understanding of modern day science, we now know that the flames are caused by natural gas seeping through cracks in the rocks at the site.

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