Friday, September 21, 2018

My thoughts are with you

Do you remember the 21st Night of September?



... As we danced in the night ...


Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.



Given who the President of the United States is, it is insane how not close to peace we are this year.


Two giants of animation sharing the same birthday:

September 21, 1912 -
Chuck Jones
, animator and director of Warner Brothers cartoons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, was born on this date.



Chuck was close friends with both, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Ray Bradbury.

September 21, 1920 -
Jay Ward,
cartoonist (Rocky and his Friends, Bullwinkle), was born on this date.



Jay drove a sound-truck across the U.S. to gather signatures for a Statehood for Moosylvania campaign, and then tried to storm the White House with them, right at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.


September 21, 1968 -
The police drama ADAM 12, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



In keeping with the reputation of Jack Webb's series being scrupulously accurate about police procedures, select episodes of this series were used in police academies as instructional films.


September 21, 1957 -
Our favorite nipple rouge wearing actor, Raymond Burr, had another go at episodic TV when Perry Mason premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



Raymond Burr originally auditioned for the role of Hamilton Burger, but was chosen for the title role instead.


September 21, 1975 -
Sidney Lumet's
amazing film, Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino and John Cazale, premiered on this date.



The entire film is mostly improvised, though around the script. After rehearsing the script for weeks with his cast, Sidney Lumet took the improvisations that were made while rehearsing and made that the official screenplay.


September 21, 1993 -
The police drama NYPD Blue, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Prior to the show's premiere and immediately afterward there was enormous controversy over what was perceived to be high levels of offensive language and nudity. Many affiliates refused to air the show and several advertisers boycotted it. Steven Bochco negotiated intensely with the network for a certain amount of language and nudity to be allowed. He has said that because of the pressure on the network from this criticism the show would likely not have survived had it not been an instant hit.


September 21, 2001 -
A benefit concert organized by the four major U.S. television networks in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, America: A Tribute to Heroes, aired on this date. The program was shown on 35 separate broadcast and cable networks simultaneously.





Done in the style of a telethon, it featured a number of national and international entertainers performing to raise money for the victims and their families, particularly but not limited to the New York City firefighters. The telethon raised $150 million in pledges.


Make mine a double


Today in History:
September 21, 1327
-
Former King Edward II came to a particularly painful end on this date.

Edward had been overthrown by his wife, Isabella and her lover, Roger Mortimer. Edward had pissed off Isabella royally for among other things, sleeping with men. Isabella and Mortimer had Edward II imprisoned, after his abdication in favor of his son, Edward III.



It was rumored that Edward had been killed by the insertion of a piece of copper into his rectum (later a red-hot iron rod, as in the supposed murder of Edmund Ironside - King Edmund II was murdered in a lavatory; stabbed in the bowels when he sat down to relieve himself). Murder in this manner would have appeared a natural death, as a metal tube would have been inserted into the anus first, thus allowing the iron rod to penetrate the entrails without leaving a burn on the buttocks.

As I have said in the past, sometimes it is NOT good to be the king.


September 21, 1897 -
The New York Sun
ran its famous editorial that answered a question from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon: "Is there a Santa Claus?"on this date.



Obviously, times were different back then given that The New York Sun was printing an editorial about Christmas in September.


September 21, 1915 -
With a winning bid of  £6,600, Mr. Cecil Chubb purchases Stonehenge and 30 acres of land at auction. He donates the monument to the British state three years later.



He donated the monument because he could not figure out how to reset Stonehenge correctly.


September 21, 1937 -
George Allen and Unwin, Ltd. of London published the first edition of  J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit on this date. It was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien himself.



The original printing was only a 1,500 run and sold out by December due to enthusiastic reviews.


September 21, 1950 -
Somewhere there's a score being kept, so you have an obligation to live life as well as you can, be as engaged as you can.



William James Murray, one of the funniest sentient human beings was born on this date


September 21, 1975 -
Self-proclaimed revolutionary Sara Jane Moore attempted to kill President Gerald Ford as he walked from a San Francisco hotel on this date.



A bullet she fired slightly wounded a man in the crowd but once again President Ford walks away unscathed.


September 21, 1981 -
On August 19 1981, President Reagan, who had pledged during the 1980 presidential campaign to appoint the first woman to the Supreme Court, nominated  Sandra Day O'Connor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing the retiring Potter Stewart. Ms. O'Connor was confirmed by the Senate 99-0 on this date and took her seat September 25.



In her first year on the Court, O'Connor received over sixty thousand letters from the public, more than any other justice in history.


September 21, 1983 -
In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on this date, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly described a special advisory panel as consisting of 'a black ... a woman, two Jews and a cripple.'

Although Watt apologized, he later resigned .

Oops!


Before you go: Today is the last day of Summer -



Savor the day.



And so it goes.


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Thursday, September 20, 2018

This makes sense

Right on the heels of yesterday’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 20th is National Rum Punch Day.


While not a huge fan of the cocktail - I say, why not celebrate!


September 20, 1946 -
The first Cannes film festival, the first great international cultural event of the post-war period, begins on this date. Among the selections that year were:

Epaves directed by Jacques-Yves Cousteau




Torment directed by Alf Sjöberg from a screenplay by Ingmar Bergman




The Last Chance directed by Leopold Lindtberg




Gaslight directed by George Cukor




Gilda directed by Charles Vidor




Flicker Flashbacks directed by Richard Fleischer




The festival was France's response to the world's first international film festival in Venice, Italy, in 1932. By 1938, the Venice festival had become a Nazi propaganda tool, and France decided to hold a rival event focused strictly on film. Its planned 1939 debut was delayed when World War II broke out.


September 20, 1955 -
The Phil Silvers Show (originally broadcast as You'll Never Be Rich) premiered on CBS-TV on this date



Although the ratings were still good in the show's final season, it was cancelled by CBS because they wanted to sell the reruns in syndication. At that time, it was believed that a series could not still be in production in order to do well in reruns. The reruns were sold to NBC, and aired continuously for forty years.


September 20, 1975 -
David Bowie's Fame single hits #1 for two weeks on this date.



This was Bowie's first big hit in America, and also his first to do better in the US than the UK. He had a few UK hits before this, including Rebel Rebel, Life On Mars, and Diamond Dogs. In one of Bowie's first US TV appearances, he performed this on The Cher Show in 1975.


September 20, 1984 -
Despite his taste in loud, ugly sweaters, Bill Cosby's award winning show, The Cosby Show, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



Bill Cosby insisted that the show be filmed in New York due to his dislike of working in Hollywood.  (This will be the last time we will reference Mr. Cosby's shows.)


September 20, 1984 -
Tony Micelli first started taking care of Angela Bower's household when Who's the Boss premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



The pilot episode was filmed in October 1983 but held back from ABC executives for nearly a year due to the producers of the series being afraid that the show would be rejected by ABC executives if pitched as a mid-season replacement series.


Things change in a moment.


Today in History :
September 20, 1881 -
Chester Alan Arthur was sworn in as the 21st President of the United States following the death of James Garfield the previous day.



This is the first time the oath of office has been taken in the Vice President's Room of the Capitol. Two ex-presidents (Grant and Hayes) are present at the ceremony. (Also a great bar bet winner - it's the second time there were three Presidents within the same year; Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield then Chester A. Arthur.  And even more amazing bar bet winner - Robert Todd Lincoln was at the bedside of three assassinated American Presidents; his father, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield and William McKinley.)


September 20, 1958 -
Rev. Martin Luther King was stabbed by Izola Curry, a deranged woman, during a book signing on 125th St. in Harlem on this date.



Dr. Aubre De Lambert Maynard successfully performed surgery on King who had a knife embedded in his sternum. Ms. Curry was found mentally incompetent to stand trial; ultimately, she was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic.


September 20, 1970 -
A jury in Miami, Florida found vocalist Jim Morrison guilty of profanity and indecent exposure for whipping out his mojo at a Doors concert in Coconut Grove the previous year.



Oh you naughty Mr. Mojo Rising ...


September 20, 1973 -
A Beechcraft D-18 charter plane crashes into a tree near Natchitoches, Louisiana, killing singer/songwriter Jim Croce, his lead guitarist, and the entire flight crew.



I guess if he could have put time in a bottle, the first real thing he would have done would be chartering a different plane.


September 20, 1973 -
On the same day, in their so-called 'Battle of the Sexes,' tennis star Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.



In recent years, a persistent urban legend has arisen (again,) that Bobby Riggs had thrown the tennis match against Billie Jean King, to pay off a purported $100,000 gambling debt he owed to the Mafia.

This is false: this scurrilous rumor should have been put to bed a number of times, not the least of which, when Mr Riggs passed a lie detector test denying that he threw the Battle of the Sexes.


September 20, 1988 -
Greg Louganis won the gold medal in springboard diving at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, one day after he struck and injured his head on the board in the preliminary round.



His comeback earned him the title of ABC's Wide World of Sports "Athlete of the Year" for 1988.


And on a personal note:

Happy Birthday Angela and

Happy Anniversary John and Maria.



And so it goes

(There are 96 days until Christmas)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Argh me hearties!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The holiday is a parody holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Corvallis, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.





Nothing says Piracy (or the British Navy) more than Rum, The Lash and Sodomy.  So remember: keep plenty of rum, leather belts and ACME's Bung Balm handy today.


September 19, 1931 -
Paramount released the Marx Brother's third film, Monkey Business on this date.



The Irish government banned the film thinking it might encourage "anarchic tendencies". The ban was only lifted in 2000.


September 19, 1952 (there is some controversy surrounding this date) –
Emperor Hirohito's favorite television program, The Adventures of Superman, premiered, in syndication, on this date.



When the series was filmed in black and white during its first two seasons, George Reeves wore a brown for red, gray for blue and white for yellow costume. When the show began filming in color in 1954, he switched to the trademark red and blue suit.


September 19, 1970 -
The greatest sitcom every produced, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, premiered on CBS TV on this date.



Ted Knight and Ed Asner were actually very close during the show and not enemies like their characters. Although they did get into a nasty argument after the show wrapped, with Ed saying Ted wronged him in some egregious manner, he also stated he was unable to remember what it was. They didn't speak for years until Ted was stricken with cancer in 1985 and they reconciled at his deathbed.


September 19, 1975
-
The British sitcom Fawlty Towers, created by John Cleese, premiered on BBC2 on this date.



Andrew Sachs was German by birth and was asked to dub his own lines into German when the series was exported. Being a native German speaker, he had no problem with the script, but it took him quite a while to work out how to speak German with a Spanish accent.


September 19, 1981
-
Despite the fact that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had barely spoken to each other in ten year, they reunited on this date to raise funds to renovate Central Park and performed in front of 500,000 people in New York City.



The concert was so successful, the duo decided to embark on a year-long world tour. During the tour, tensions mounted between the pair and they split again after it was completed.


September 19, 1986 -
David Lynch's
profoundly unsettling film, Blue Velvet, premiered on this date, (after I saw the movie, I had to go out and have a drink. I know that doesn't seem like a shock.)



Roy Orbison initially rejected David Lynch's request to use the song In Dreams in the brothel scene. Lynch found a way to legally use the song anyway and Orbison did not discover the song was in the movie until Orbison just happened to see the movie in a California theatre. Orbison eventually filmed a video for the song that was produced by Lynch with footage from the movie.


Another failed ACME product


Today in History:
September 19, 1692 -
Giles Corey
was accused of witchcraft in 1692. This put him in a difficult spot. If he pleaded guilty, he'd be burned alive at the stake. If he pleaded not guilty, he'd have to take a lie-detector test.

The state-of-the-art lie detector of 1692 wasn't any less accurate than today's models, but it was significantly rougher on its subjects. It was called "dunking." The tightly bound subject would be dunked repeatedly into a pond or lake until the truth emerged.



One of the primary symptoms of demonic possession was immunity to water, so those who survived the process were rewarded with a warm, dry burning at the stake. Those who drowned, on the other hand, were clearly innocent and received a favorable ruling.



Giles Corey
wasn't eager to be burned at the stake, but he wasn't keen on posthumous vindication, either. A plea of guilty meant the stake; a plea of not-guilty meant drowning (or the stake, depending on the results of the lie-detector test). Mr. Corey therefore did what any reasonable person might have done: he claimed his Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution and said nothing.

This was a foolish and costly blunder, as the Constitution had not yet been written.



Baffled by the accused refusal to enter a plea, the court pressed him for an answer. Literally. Giles Corey became the first, last, and only American ever to have been pressed to death by his own government, on this date in history.


September 19, 1876 -
Melville Bissell
received the patent (No. 182,346) for his invention, a carpet sweeper with revolving brushes which picked up the dust and dirt and deposited it inside the sweeper housing.

It depended on the rotation of the wheels to drive the sweeping mechanism and only removed debris from the uppermost regions of the carpet nap


September 19, 1881 -
The 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, (shot by assassin Charles J. Guiteau,) died from his wounds on this date.



Psst - Guiteau didn't kill the President, his doctors did. Several inserted their unsterilized fingers into the wound to probe for the bullet, and one doctor punctured Garfield's liver in doing so. Garfield's doctors had turned a three-inch-deep, harmless wound into a twenty-inch-long contaminated gash stretching from his ribs to his groin and oozing more pus each day. He lingered for eighty days, wasting away from his robust 210 pounds to a mere 130 pounds.



Alexander Graham Bell had made several unsuccessful attempts to remove the assassin’s bullet with a new metal detection device.


September 19, 1931 -
Adolf Hitler's 23-year-old half niece, Geli Raubal, was found dead in her uncle's Munich apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on this date.

Some allege that she and Adolf had a sexual relationship, which involved Geli urinating on him. Hitler conveniently happens to be out of town at the time of the shooting.

Oh that Hitler, what a wacky Fuhrer.


September 19, 1934 -
Bruno Hauptmann
was arrested for the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby on this date.

We aren't sure if he did it, but he did have $11,000 of the ransom money.

So they fried him two years later.


September 19, 1957 -
The U.S. conducted its first underground nuclear test, code-named Rainier, in the Nevada desert on this date. This caused a major disturbance in the natural order of the fragile desert eco-system,



ultimately resulting in Las Vegas,



and enormous spiders



and oversized seafood.


September 19, 1959 -
In a Cold War setback, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was annoyed to learn that he would not be permitted to visit Disneyland, due to concerns for his personal safety.



This mean, most of the cold war could have been prevented, if we let that fat bald premier ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.


September 19, 1961 -
Betty (Estelle Parsons) and Barney (James Earl Jones) Hill were picked up near Indian Head, New Hampshire and anally probed by five beings in a flying saucer. The couple later describes the craft as being "banana-like, with pointed tips and windows."



Anyway, that's what Barney told Betty what happened.


September 19, 1991 -
A body was found frozen in a glacier in the Alps between Austria and Italy. A German tourist found the body and called the Austrian police. They tried to free the body from the ice with a jackhammer. It was only when an anthropologist showed up to examine the body that they realized it was a very, very old corpse - 5,300 years old, in fact - of a man between 25 and 35 years old. He was five feet, two inches tall, with hair about three inches long. He had tattoos. He wore an unlined fur robe, a woven grass cape, and size six shoes stuffed with grass for warmth.



He came to be called Ötzi the Iceman, and what made him such a remarkable discovery for anthropologists was the fact that he died while he was out walking on an ordinary day wearing ordinary clothing. He carried a copper axe and a fur quiver for his arrows, the only quiver from the Neolithic period that has ever been found. His arrows had sharp flint points and feathers that were affixed at an angle that would cause the arrows to spin. And he carried mushrooms in his bag that scientists speculate were used for medicine.

It was not until ten years later that a forensics expert noticed in an x-ray that the Iceman had an arrowhead lodged in his back. He had been murdered.



Who murdered the Iceman? Stay tuned to CSI Austria on your local CBS networks.


September 19, 1995 -
The New York Times and the Washington Post published the Unabomber's rambling, 35,000-word anti-technology screed, Industrial Society And Its Future, on this date.

In exchange, he promises to halt his bombing campaign.


Before you go - I just saw the trailer for a biopix framed around the farewell tour of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly.)



I have often said that they were the greatest romantic couple on screen. The genuine love and affection they had for each other is clearly visible.



And so it goes


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