Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

Today is the first day of Autumn.



By happy coincidence, it's also the first day of Fall.



Many people in the northern hemisphere are disturbed by the changes they see around them at about this time each year. It gets darker earlier, temperatures drop, leaves change color and die and the Red Sox tend to drop out of playoff contention.

There have been myths about the changing of the seasons as long as there have been children to lie to. Some primitive peoples believed that leaves changed color because Nature was pining for her abducted daughter; others blamed it on the seasonal absence of sunlight-fed chlorophyll, allowing xanthophyll, carotene, and antocyanin to determine leaf color. We may never know the truth.



The first day of Autumn is sometimes also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox (the autumnal equinox is when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south.) The autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 22 at 4:02 PM ET. Don't be alarmed by the title. It's just Fall.



With courage and some heavy drinking, we can get through this thing.


September 22, 1957 -
The comedy-western series Maverick, premiered on ABC-TV on this date .



Producer Roy Huggins stated the writers' guiding principle for the Maverick series was his belief that, "In the traditional Western, the situation was always serious, but never hopeless. In a 'Maverick' story, the situation is always hopeless, but never serious."


September 22, 1958 -
The Private Eye
series, Peter Gunn, starring Craig Stevens premiered on this date



The pianist who played the well known piano portion of the Peter Gunn Theme was future film composer John Williams.


September 22, 1964 -
Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, who kept the world safe on The Man from U.N.C.L.E, made their first appearance on NBC-TV on this date.



U.N.C.L.E. stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. The meaning of the acronym THRUSH was never spelled out in the series, though a meaning was created for one of the UNCLE novels published at the time (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity).


September 22, 1990 -
The Coen Brothers' take on the classic gangsters film, Miller's Crossing,  premiered in NYC on this date.



The Coen Brothers reportedly turned down the 1989 version of Batman because it would have interfered with this film.


September 22, 1994 -
You could get a cup of coffee at Central Perk for the first time when Friends, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



During the first season of the show the main cast were paid $22,500 per episode, but during the second season, only Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer were given a pay raise, to $40,000 an episode. For the third season and onward, the cast decided to conduct all salary negotiations in unison to ensure equal pay, an unusual practice at the time. By the final two seasons the main cast were making $1 million per episode. Lisa Kudrow, who according to an Entertainment Weekly profile was "the group leader", stated, "The six of us are far stronger than just one person."


Sometimes, it seems, like it takes forever


Today in History:
September 22, 1761
-
George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain. Which is funny because George was not British. He was German. He had been Elector of Hanover. (Although he was the first King of England in a very long time that spoke English as his first language, if at all.)



But he ended his days, completely blind, increasingly deaf and totally insane locked up in Windsor Castle, with his son acting as Regent for the remainder of George III's life.

I've said it before - sometimes it's not so good to be King.


September 22, 1776 -
An American Captain was hanged as a spy with no trial by the British, under the orders of General William Howe, in New York City during the Revolutionary War on this date. He was considered as one of the incendiaries of the burning of NYC.

Moments before his execution, he expressed regret that he couldn't be hanged more than once. This remark catapulted him to posthumous fame (but only after his death), and Nathan Hale is revered to this day.


September 22, 1869 -
Richard Wagner'
s opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich on this date.



Beer drinkers around the world rejoice!!!


September 22, 1960  (or 1958) -
Joan Marie Larkin, singer/ musician extraordinaire was born on this date.



If you love Rock and Roll, you love Joan


September 22, 1961
-
President John Kennedy took a break from hanging out with Frank Sinatra, shooting speed and having sex with Marilyn Monroe to sign a congressional act establishing the Peace Corps on this date.

The government-funded volunteer organization was created to fight hunger, disease, illiteracy, poverty, and lack of opportunity around the world.

Sometimes it good to be the President (and sometimes it sucks, as Mr. Kennedy would eventually find out.)


September 22, 1966  -
In between inviting the press to watch him use the bathroom and calling a tailor to order pants with extra long zippers, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated Columbus Day a federal public holiday to be celebrated on October 12.

In 1968, he moved it to the 2nd Monday of October.  In 2004, President George W. Bush set it to October 11. Columbus Day in 2017 is on Monday, the 9th of October.


September 22, 1980 -
In a stunning blow to America's feminine hygiene, consumer products manufacturer Procter and Gamble initiates the largest tampon recall in history, pulling Rely Tampons from store shelves, starting on this date.



The action results from the ongoing Toxic Shock Syndrome controversy.

No comment.



And so it goes.


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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ba duda, ba duda, ba duda, badu

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 that the President of the United States just gave a speech at the UN discussing his possible intentions of destroying another nation, 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.


A Generous Offer


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 -
Movie acting suits me because I only need to be good for ninety seconds at a time. - Bill Murray



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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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

All that glitters

In all of history, only 161,000 tons of gold have been mined, enough to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools.



Gold is virtually indestructible. Nearly 85% of all the gold ever mined is still in use.



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




Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Gabriel Pascal




La Bataille du Rail directed by René Clement




The Seventh Veil directed by Compton Bennet




La Belle et La Bête directed by Jean Cocteau




Wet Paint produced by the Walt Disney Studios




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



Paul Ford often forgot his exact lines which allowed Phil Silvers to improvise during many of the scenes between Bilko and Col. Hall. Both men always stayed in character however, it was usually the other actors in the scene who laughed ruining the scene.


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.  (Still not clear what I'm supposed to do about Cosby?)


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.



Although they both play family matriarchs, neither Judith Light nor Katherine Helmond have any children in real life. Furthermore, Judith Light is still married to the same man, not like her character who was a divorcée.


Books I didn't read but should have


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



Before you go - Happy 5778



Rosh Hashanah
begins this evening, so we here at ACME are wishing our friends L’shanah Tovah.


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