The Brock Bulletin
September 29, 2020
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In this issue: $2 trillion leaks, 1990s kids, new movies, and trampoline tricks. But first, our lead story…
This Day in History
As a child, I believed that Jesus was born on December 25th, 0 A.D. This date is 100% inaccurate, for two reasons:
1. It can’t be 0 A.D., because the Roman numeral system had no concept of the number zero.
2. It can’t be the 25th, because we no longer use the Julian calendar.
This we know for certain: Hardly any researcher believes Jesus was born on December 25th anymore. Unfortunately, hardly any researcher agrees on an alternate date!
The reality is that the first person to even assert a December 25th birth date was Hippolytus of Rome, about 170 years after the death of Jesus. We now have a lot more data to work with, but still not quite enough to peg an exact D.O.B for the long-form birth certificate. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on December 25th as Jesus’s date of conception, and September 29, 4 BC as his date of birth. But too much is unknown to gamble anything more than a poutine and root beer on this interesting possibility. I could easily write a strong counter-argument for this date, and every other date proposed in the history of this particular boy’s birthday.
What we know for absolute certain is that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, 0 BC. Will we ever know Jesus’s birthday for sure? Unless someone discovers a verifiable trove of ancient census documents or the right Bethlehemic barn rental agreement, probably not.
So… Merry Christmas?
- The very-underreported leak of files $2 trillion worth of illicit offshore activity. The stories are nuts: JP Morgan moved a billion for an FBI 10 Most Wanted felon, Barclay’s helped Putin’s buddy avoid sanctions, a Russian oligarch bankrolled the British Conservative Party, Roman Abramovich is funding illegal Israeli settlements, the list goes on and on. Corruption isn’t part of the system… corruption is the system.
- A preventable disease has killed its one millionth person.
- Good news: The U.S. Justice Department is working on an anti-monopoly suit against Google. Bad news: The Supreme Court already sided with Amex, and we may have reached escape velocity for controlling giant companies. (I’m working on a historical novel on monopolies, so it’s interesting to see how shrewd multinationals have become in beating these cases.)
- Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, Newsroom) has a new political drama coming out called The Trial of the Chicago 7 that looks excellent. (Took him 20 years to get it made.)
- New documentary that looks good: David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
- Infographic: 90s Kids vs. Kids Today
Quote of the Week
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” — Gustav Mahler
As always, please clap this article and share it with any friends who might find it helpful, insightful, enjoyable, or weird.
Until next week,
Jared A. Brock
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