The Hidden Almanac for
Monday August 3rd, 2015
Episode 290
Previous episode: 2015-07-31
Next episode: 2015-08-05


Today we celebrate the passing of the Revised Freshwater Fisheries Protection Act. It is the Feast Day of St. Delilah, and in the garden, there are aphids.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is August 3rd, 2015.

It was on this day in 1877 that the Revised Freshwater Fisheries Protection Act, known as the Garpike Act, was passed into law. This act specifically protected the garpike, an ancient freshwater fish possessing extremely sharp bony scales. The scales were being harvested as a cheap substitute for steel razors, which had become extremely expensive owing to political unrest among workers at the world’s two largest iron mines. The garpike had been hunted, practically overnight, into a small fraction of its original numbers. Garpikes prefer bayous and slow moving water, and must rise to the surface to gulp air, making them easily harpooned. The Fisheries Act put strict limits on garpike harvests. Their numbers continued to drop, however, and it was likely only the resolution of the miner’s strike that saved the garpike from extinction.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Delilah, patron of statisticians, who determined that it was extraordinarily unlikely that barbarians would burn her convent and thus was martyred by barbarians burning her convent. Later hagiographers ran the numbers and determined that she had actually been quite correct. It was a one-in-thirty-thousand chance, but sometimes things happen despite their improbability. She is represented as a woman holding a burning abacus.

In the garden, the milkweed is covered in bright orange aphids. You can spray them off with a hose, if it makes you feel better. They will certainly return in short order, but small struggles against futility can be instructive for the gardener. There are many types of milkweed, and they support a small and specific ecosystem.

In the wetter parts of the garden—specifically the area underneath the hose spigot—a fine-leaved sedge has sprung up. It would make a very good lawn substitute if you lived in a very damp area. It never gets much more than four inches tall and is very soft. Unfortunately I have no idea what it is called, and my attempts to transplant it have proved ineffective. So often, the best plants occur where they do no one any good.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat --- “We Dig Tea.”

Also brought to you by the Silent Nightclub. The presence of our business cards on the bodies of members of the degenerate mime cult is the fault of the printer, who printed thousands of overstock on accident and sent them to the landfill. It is certainly not because the Nightclub is a front for the underground mime cult. That would be appalling.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for August 3rd, 2015. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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