Sunday, January 17, 2021

Great dangers give birth to great resolutions.

It's time to think about how you're doing two-and-a-half weeks into the new year, on your new year's resolutions. If your evaluation is less than positive, consider participating in today's made up holiday, Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day.



If you haven't broken or given up all of those New Year's resolutions, you're doing better than most of us (So maybe you don't have to ride that snake.)


January 17, 1949 -
American audiences finally got to see family that lived in Apt. 3B of 1030 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, after hearing them for years on the radio, when The Goldbergs premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



Many episodes of The Goldbergs were recorded live, and others were only shown once and then destroyed. Today, only a handful of episodes survive.


January 17, 1975 -
The TV-series Baretta, starring Robert Blake and Tom Ewell, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.



The series was originally intended as a continuation of the TV series Toma, with Robert Blake replacing Tony Musante as Det. David Toma. When Blake balked at taking over an established role, a new series was created for him instead.


In case you needed to catch up on some reading


Today in History:
January 17, 1706 -
Benjamin Franklin was born on this date.



The inventor of spectacles and the hundred dollar bill, Franklin was one of Washington’s first celebrated womanizers to avoid conviction. One day Franklin tied a key to the string of a kite that he then flew in a thunderstorm, thus discovering Electrolysis.



Franklin also invented the Post Office and can be credited with the creation of the first fully functioning disgruntled postal worker.


On January 17, 1806, President Thomas Jefferson's grandson James Madison Randolph became the first child to be born in the White House - his mother was Martha Randolph, one of President Jefferson's two daughters. James was her eighth child.

Sadly, no official records have been kept on the more interesting statistics of children conceived in the White House.


January 17, 1860 O.S. - (which means Julian calendar. We celebrate his birthday on the 29th of January N.S. - which means Gregorian calendar. So it not really his birthday today but he's dead so I don't think he really cares.) -


Anton Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Russia.

Tragically, a bureaucratic snafu at the Kremlin resulted in Chekhov’s not being told he was one of the Great Russian Writers, so he practiced medicine well into middle life. By then, of course, he was almost good enough to quit practicing, but he’d also made a name for himself as a writer. As a doctor and writer of comedies, Chekhov originated the saying "laughter is the best medicine" (some of his tubercular patients disagreed, but they subsequently died, proving his point).



Chekhov’s greatest work is The Seagull, in which a young man with an odd haircut, kills a seagull, making his girlfriend cry and a lot of people with unpronounceable Russian names argue and wave pistols about.



Chekhov should not be confused with Pavel Chekov, who was the security officer of the USS Enterprise,



and neither of them should be confused with Charo.


January 17, 1871 -
Andrew Smith Hallidie received the patent (U.S. patent #110,971) for an "improvement in endless wire ropeways" which would be the basis for his cable car system, on this date.

He was inspired to work on the cable car system after seeing horses having a difficult time trying to pull cars up Jackson Street in San Francisco.


January 17, 1893 -
Another proud moment in America history - a group of American businessmen stole Hawaii on this date. Queen Liliuokalani, the monarch of Hawaii, was overthrown by a group of sugar plantation owners who wanted a more pro-American government.



The coup took place with the tacit approval of the United States, though the new leader of Hawaii, Sanford Dole, refused to step down when asked to do so by President Cleveland. Hawaii and the US finally resumed full diplomatic relations in 1897, under President McKinley. Hawaii was annexed by the U.S. in 1898.


January 17, 1899 -
Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born on this date. Chronic self-esteem problems in his early adolescence resulted in his turning to a life of crime in Chicago (where crime had by now trickled down from elected officials to the lower classes).



The United States wanted to help this poor unfortunate individual, so that gave him an early birthday present. The day before his 21st birthday, Prohibition went into effect.



Capone was such a successful gangster that eventually Robert DeNiro had to play him.



In the end, Capone was captured by Eliot Ness and his Unmentionables, who got their name from the fact that their busy schedules prevented them from changing their underwear


January 17, 1922 -
Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.



Betty Marion White, one of the hardest working actress in Hollywood (has been working almost continuously since 1949) was born on this date.


January 17, 1929 -
I yam what I yam

Popeye the Sailor Man, created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip on this date.


January 17, 1931 -
When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.



James Earl Jones, actor and (Darth Vader), was born on this date.


January 17, 1961 -
In his farewell address on this date, President Eisenhower warned against the rise of "the military-industrial complex."



And yet on the same date, Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of Congo, was murdered after 67 days in office on this date. President Eisenhower allegedly approved the assassination of the prime minister by the CIA.


January 17, 1962 -
I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, 'Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.'



James Eugene Carrey, Canadian-American actor and rubber-faced comedian, was born on this date.


January 17, 1964 -
One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.



Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, the first African-American First Lady of the United States, was born on this date.


January 17, 1977 -
Let's do it



Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States.



And so it goes


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Saturday, January 16, 2021

To do nothing is the way to be nothing

It's National Nothing Day, set aside each year for people to sit around for the entire day and just hang out. No celebrating, observing or honoring anything.



It was created by newspaperman, Harold Pullman Coffin in 1972 and first celebrated in 1973. While you celebrate (or not), please continue to read today's postings though


It's also National Fig Newton Day, (named not after Sir Isaac Newton but the town of Newton in Massachusetts, near the Kennedy Biscuit Works, which first made the cookie back in 1891.)



Please celebrate responsibly


January 16, 1932 -
Funny and definitely risque, Paramount released the Betty Boop animated short, Boop-Oop-A-Doop, on this date.



Please - don't take her boop-oop-a-doop away - Betty is supposed to be just 16.


January 16, 1938 -
Clarinetist Benny Goodman, breaks through cultural barriers to play the first-ever jazz concert at Carnegie Hall. It was considered instrumental in establishing jazz as a legitimate form of music.



The LP, The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert by Benny Goodman, issued in 1950, was the first ever double album, and one of the first records on the new long-playing format to sell over a million copies.


January 16, 1965 -
You finally get control back of the vertical and horizontal of your television set - ABC-TV aired the final episode of The Outer Limits on this date.



The alien microbe-monster costume was later used as the Horta in the Star Trek episode Devil in the Dark with the same actor (Janos Prohaska) inside it.


January 16, 1973 -
NBC-TV presented the 440th, and final episode of Bonanza (which began airing on NBC on September 12, 1959) on this date.



Michael Landon wrote and directed this episode. The script was only 39 pages long, making it the shortest script of the series.


January 16, 1976 -
Peter Frampton's platinum live album, Frampton Comes Alive, was released by A & M Records on this date.



Frampton used a talkbox, a device hooked up to his guitar amp that allowed him to make distorted vocal sounds through a tube in his mouth. Other groups had success with the device around that time (Aerosmith used it on Sweet Emotion the year before), but Frampton became known for it because he played a talkbox solo on this. Every time he formed words, the crowd went nuts, especially when he sounded out "I want to thank you," which came out sounding like "I want to f*ck you."


January 16, 1988 -
George Harrison hits #1 with Got My Mind Set On You, becoming the act with the longest time between #1 hits - it was 24 years since Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth).



When George Harrison conceived the Cloud Nine album, he looked for a producer who could carry some of the load and not be intimidated by working with a former Beatle. He sought out Jeff Lynne of ELO for the role even though he had never met him - he connected with Lynne by having their mutual friend, Dave Edmunds, get him the message. It ended up being a great fit. Lynne brought his distinctive production sheen to the tracks and helped out writing some of the songs. Lynne's influence can be heard in the backing vocals of the Got My Mind Set On You chorus. Along with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty, Harrison and Lynne formed The Traveling Wilburys in 1988.



Don't forget to tune in to ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today


Today in History:
January 16, 1547 -
Ivan IV was crowned Tsar of Russia. He is better known by his nickname: Ivan the Terrible. He was the first king of Russia to call himself a Caesar, probably in the hopes that Shakespeare would write a play about him.



He couldn’t pronounce Caesar, however, so he simply called himself "zar," and subsequent arguments over whether that should be spelled czar, tsar, zar, or tzar became so heated that they eventually resulted in Russian History.


January 16, 1865 -
General William T. Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15, entitling the household of each freed slave "a plot of no more than forty acres of tillable ground" along the Carolina coastline between Charleston and Jacksonville.



After the Confederate surrender, the Johnson administration makes a halfhearted attempt to follow through on the acreage, but all efforts to parcel out the land in question are abandoned just a few months later.


January 16, 1908 -



I've made a wonderful living playing that theatrical character - the professional brassy dame.





Ethel Merman, actress, singer and the woman who learned love at the hands of Ernest Borgnine, was born on this date.


January 16, 1920 -
Please save some of your brain cells for another weekend of binge drinking,



and remember that Prohibition went into effect in the U.S. on this date.


January 16, 1939
The Superman newspaper comic strip debuted on this date.

Printed daily, they were the first stories to go into detail about the planet Krypton, exploring the story of superman's parents, Jor-El and Lara.


January 16, 1942 -
Raising money for the war, actress Carole Lombard, her mother, 18 passengers and three crew, were killed when their plane crashed into Mount Potosi, 32 miles southwest of Las Vegas on this date.



Lombard was much loved for her unpretentious personality and well known for her earthy sense of humor and blue language.


January 16, 1959 -
People are so used to having their lives filmed, they're not even conscious of having cameras around. I still have that sort of suspicion when a camera comes out. I view it as a thing to fear.







Helen Folasade Adu, OBE, singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer, was born on this date.


January 16, 1969 -
Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first docking of manned spacecraft in orbit as well as the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another.



Yevgeny Khrunov became the first astronaut to transfer between linked capsules. It is the only time such a transfer will ever be accomplished with a space walk.


January 16, 1991 -
Operation Desert Storm commenced as Baghdad was pummeled live on CNN on this date. Targeted with smartbombs were "command and control facilities" and Saddam Hussein himself.



We seem to miss both, but did manage to kill about 100,000 Iraqi soldiers in the surreal bombardments that follow.


January 16, 2003 -
NASA launched the Space Shuttle Columbia on its 28th and final mission on this date.



The shuttle's mission ended in tragedy when, 16 days later, on February 1st, the Columbia disintegrated as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven of the shuttle’s crew members. The disaster shocked the nation, and set the space shuttle program back.


And so it goes


BTW - There are 349 days left until next year.



Plan accordingly



And so it goes


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Friday, January 15, 2021

By way of explanation

Mrs. Dr. Caligari is a very private person. (She would actually like to go under the alias Mrs. Mabuse but that name seems to be taken.) Which makes it very difficult to be married to me because I'll burp (but that's not the bodily function I wanted to describe,) and tell you that the Roman Emperor Galba, the first emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors, was assassinated in the Roman Forum on this date in 69 AD.

Anyway, Mrs. Dr. Caligari is back home and resting after having had double knee replacement earlier this week. Posting for the next few days will be spotty and abbreviated.


Today is National Hat Day. John Etherington, a London haberdasher stepped out of his shop on the Strand, on this date in 1797, wearing a new hat of his own design. His black top hat was so startling that it drew a crowd - one man purported was shoved through a storefront window. Etherington was arrested for disturbing the peace, but within a month, he had more hat orders than he could handle.



More body heat is lost from your head than other parts of the body. So, wearing a hat goes a long way towards staying warm on a cold winter's day (or night).


January 15, 1967 -
Ed Sullivan, when he wasn't fall down drunk, swore a lot. He swore that his arch-rival, Walter Winchell was a goddamned bastard. He swore that his 'so called friend' J Edgar Hoover was a goddamned transvestite but surprising spry in his cha-cha heels. And he swore that those goddamned filthy limey boys, The Rolling Stones, would never return to his show.



Sullivan sobered up, looked at his rating when the Stones last appeared on his show and permitted that boys back on The Ed Sullivan Show, on this date.



They were forced to change the lyrics of to Let's Spend Some Time Together.


January 15, 1971 -
George Harrison unintentionally rewrites the song He's So Fine and releases it as My Sweet Lord on this date.



Bright Tunes Music, the owner of the publishing rights, sued Harrison because this sounded too much like the 1963 Chiffons hit He's So Fine. The trial took place February 23-25, with various expert witnesses testifying. The key to the case was the musical pattern of the two songs, which were both based on two musical motifs: "G-E-D" and "G-A-C-A-C." He's So Fine repeated both motifs four times, My Sweet Lord repeated the first motif four times and the second motif three times. Harrison couldn't identify any other songs that used this exact pattern, and the court ruled that "the two songs are virtually identical." And while the judge felt that Harrison did not intentionally copy My Sweet Lord, that was not a defense - thus Harrison was on the hook writing a similar song without knowing it. Harrison was found guilty of "subconscious plagiarism" in a verdict handed down on August 31, 1976.

Silly Beatle.


January 15, 1974 -
America once again, found it's thrill, on Blueberry Hill. The first episode of Happy Days (series) aired on this date. Potsie sets Richie up with that Mary Lou girl.



Although Fonzie loved motorcycles, Henry Winkler was terrified of them. Most of the scenes of Fonzie riding the motorcycle were shot with the bike attached to a platform, and being pulled by a truck.


January 15, 1977 -
The Coneheads at Home, featuring Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin, debuted on Saturday Night Live on this date. For those of you too young to remember, The Coneheads at Home, was a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live featuring a family of extraterrestrials with cone-shaped heads, from the planet Remulak, posing in the suburban United States as immigrants from France.


(sorry, it not the first appearance of the Coneheads.)

The inspiration for the Coneheads came from a proposal by Dan Aykroyd about pin-headed lawyers. This idea was shot down by the producers, fearing it might be offensive. A later trip to the Easter Islands in the South Pacific and the haunting images of stone head monoliths inspired Aykroyd to pen the series drawings that evolved into the Coneheads.


January 15, 1981 -
Let's Be Careful Out There

Hill Street Blues premiered on NBC on this date.



The exterior shots of the Hill Street station were those of an actual Chicago police station. Now no longer used by the city, it was at one time the home of the 7th District, located near the old Maxwell Street Market, and is called "The Hill Street Blues Station". It is used by the University of Illinois-Chicago police. During Prohibition this precinct had the reputation as the most corrupt in the U.S.


This news story may have escaped you attention


Today in History:
January 15, 1759 -
The British Museum, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world, opened to the public on this date.



Maybe someday they'll return the Elgin Marbles back to the kids in Greece (but that's another story.)


January 15 , 1870 -
A Thomas Nast cartoon titled, A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion, was printed in Harper's Weekly on this date.

The cartoon symbolized the Democratic Party with a donkey, a concept still in use today.


January 15 , 1892 -
A little magazine in Springfield, Massachusetts, first published the rules for a brand new game that involved tossing a ball into a high-mounted peach basket.

This was, of course, the precursor of what is today known as "Peachbasket,"



still as popular as ever in Springfield, Massachusetts.


January 15, 1919 -
In Boston an explosion opened a tank of molasses and the cylindrical sides toppled outward knocking down 10 nearby buildings. 2 million gallons of molasses oozed onto the streets and killed 21 people. Another 50 were injured.



So yes, apparently, there are people slower than molasses in Boston.


January 15, 1929 -
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.



Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor, political activist and Nobel Prize winner was born on this date.


January 15, 1943 -
Just outside of Washington, DC in Arlington , VA, The Pentagon was dedicated as the world's largest office building on this date.



It covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors.

Once again I ask: what would happen to the DC sewer system if you could have a co-ordinated flush of all the toilets in the building?


January 15, 1947 -
A passerby spotted the nude body of Elizabeth Short, a 22 year old actress in a vacant lot near Hollywood. Her body, cut in half, was bruised and beaten. Grass had reportedly been forced into her vagina, and she had reportedly been sodomized after death. The case was dubbed The Black Dahlia murder and over the years as many as 50 men and women have confessed to this gruesome crime yet it has never been solve.

For those of you with stronger constitutions than mine, you may go on the internet to view truly horrifying actual crime scene photos (you sick puppies.)


January 15, 1953 -
An out-of- control, 16-car train, Train #173, the Federal-Express train, suffers a near-catastrophic brake failure and crashed through the railroad terminal at Union Station in Washington, DC on this date.



Thanks to the quick thinking and action of the engineers, there were only 87 injuries and zero fatalities.



Coincidentally this is the 12th anniversary of airline pilot Sully Sullenberger and his crew 's miraculous ditching into the Hudson River.


January 15, 1967 -
The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Superbowl I on this date.



It was generally agreed upon by most television historians that all known broadcast tapes which recorded the game in its entirety were subsequently destroyed in the the process of recycling videotape by re-recording over previous content. NFL films has been able to recreate a version of the game from various sources.


January 15, 1983 -
Meyer Lansky, retired Jewish organized crime genius, (rumored to have photographic proof that J. Edgar Hoover was a homosexual; conspiracy theorists believed this was the reason Hoover wasn't aggressive in pursuing organized crime), died of a fatal nosebleed at Mount Sinai Hospital on this date.



It is not clear where Lansky's estimated $300 million fortune went.

Once again, what a way to go!


January 15, 2001 -
Happy Birthday Wikipedia.

Wikipedia was formally launched on this date, as a single English-language edition at www.wikipedia.com (now found here.)


January 15, 2013 -
Horse DNA was found in beef burgers being sold in supermarkets in Ireland and the United Kingdom on this date.



Health officials stated there was no risk to public health and that the contaminated batches were being recalled from retailers.



And so it goes


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