Monday, April 22, 2019

PROTECT OUR SPECIES

On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.



Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.

Happy Earth Day!



Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.



So go outside and hug a tree.



If you don't want to be this familiar with nature, give a warm but firm shake hands to your house plants.


April 22, 1935 -
Universal Studios
released the sequel to the original Frankenstein movie, Bride of Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Colin Clive and Elsa Lanchester on this date.



Boris Karloff protested against the decision to make The Monster speak, but was overruled. Since he was required to speak in this film, Karloff was not able to remove his partial bridgework as he had done to help give The Monster his sunken cheek appearance in the first Frankenstein. That's why The Monster appears fuller of face in the sequel.


April 22, 1939 -
Warner Bros
. released the film, Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis (in one of her favorite roles) and George Brent (her favorite actor with whom she had an affair) on this date.



Bette Davis pestered Warner Brothers to buy the rights to the story, thinking it a great vehicle for her. WB studio chief Jack L. Warner fought against it, arguing that no one wanted to see someone go blind. Of course, the film went on to become one of the studio's biggest successes of that year.


April 22, 1942 -
One of Hitchcock's brilliant World War II efforts (and with his first all-American cast), Saboteur, premiered in Washington D.C. on this date.



Alfred Hitchcock's original director's cameo was cut by order of the censors. He and his secretary played deaf-mute pedestrians. When Hitch's character made an apparently indecent proposal to her in sign language, she slapped his face. A more conventional cameo in front of a drugstore was substituted.


April 22, 1950 -
Peter Frampton
, musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, was born on this date.



If you were a teenager in the mid 70s, you were issued your standard copy of Frampton Comes Alive to face your 'awkward' years.


April 22, 1953 -
Twentieth Century Fox
releases the surrealistic science fiction film Invaders from Mars, directed by William Cameron Menzies on this date.



This was actually one of the first science-fiction scripts written in the 1950s. The revised version of the script was completed in September 1950. The film wasn't produced until 1952 and released in early 1953.


The Word of the Day


Today in History:
April 22, 1451
-


April 22, 1870 -
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
was born on this date He later became Lenin, invented the Communist Party in Russia and made himself first Head Bastard of the Soviet Union.



It's interesting to note that Alexander Kerensky, the leader of Russia's provisional revolutionary government in 1917 until overthrown by Lenin, was born on the same day as Lenin, only eleven years later.



Well, it's interesting to some people.


April 22, 1904 -
Robert Oppenheimer
was born on this date. Mr. Oppenheimer is known as the Father of the Atomic Bomb.



The bomb's mother has never been identified to anyone's satisfaction, which only underscores the lax security at Los Alamos.


April 22, 1923
-
I never kept up with the fashions. I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me.



Bettie Mae Page was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on this date.


April 22, 1946 -
I believe if you come out of a movie and the first thing you say is, 'The cinematography was beautiful,' it's a bad movie.




John Waters, film director, actor and raconteur, was born on this date.


April 22, 1964 -
President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, New York, on this date.



The Fair also is remembered as the vehicle Walt Disney utilized to design and perfect the system of "audio-animatronics," in which a combination of sound and computers control the movement of life-like robots to act out scenes. In the It's a Small World attraction at the Pepsi pavilion, animated dolls and animals frolicked in a spirit of racially-insensitive unity on a boat-ride around the world.



Once the fair was over, Walt feverishly pushed his Imagineers to build him an 'actual' President. Historians argue that this was the beginning of Ronald Reagan campaign for the Presidency.


April 22, 1994 -
Richard M. Nixon suffered a fatal stroke on this date. His body was laid to rest in the unhallowed grounds of his Presidential Library.



His head was severed from his body and wooden stakes were driven through his heart to make sure he was dead.



And so it goes


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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!


We've spoken about Ishtar before: there is an ancient story about Tammuz (also known as Attis, Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, Orpheus or Jesus - you'll get the idea) who was born of a virgin, died, was reborn. He was the lover of Ishtar.

The festival associated with Tammuz began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.  Tammuz, beloved of Ishtar, was killed by a wild pig. As Tammuz was killed by a pig, a pig must be slaughtered and eaten on that Sunday.



His blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight.  This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz.



There is a forty day period of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz. During this time, no meat is to be eaten. Worshipers were to make the sign of "T" in front of their hearts in honor of Tammuz. They were to make and eat sacred cakes with the marking of a "T" on the top.



Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, the celebration begins. That is Ishtar's Sunday and is commemorated with rabbits and eggs which are sacred to her.

Now that Lent is completely over, resume all of your previous bad habits with barely any new-found spiritual insights.



Hopefully you'll find all those Easter eggs or you'll be sorry. Year old hard boiled eggs left behind grandma's couch really, really stink - enough said.


April 21, 1951 -
Les Paul and Mary Ford topped the charts with their hit of the classic How High the Moon on this date.



Although it was written by lyricist Nancy Hamilton and composer Morgan Lewis for the 1940 musical Two For The Show, the definitive version of "How High The Moon" was recorded by the husband and wife team of Les Paul and Mary Ford. This recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1979.


April 21, 1979 -
Amii Stewart cover of Eddie Floyd's song Knock on Wood went no. #1 on the Billboard chart on this date.



It was the only hit for Stewart, who was also a dancer and actress - she starred in the Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar.


April 21, 1981 -
Weird Al Yankovic made his first national television appearance on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder.



He never receives royalties from the single's initial release because the record company has gone bankrupt.


April 21, 1989 -
The film grown men openly wept watching - Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster, premiered on this date.



After the movie was completed, test audiences didn't like the name "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, because they said it sounded like a movie about a bum or hobo. Universal called Director and Screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson to tell him that "Shoeless Joe" didn't work, and the studio changed the title of the film to "Field of Dreams". When Robinson heard the news of the change, he called W.P. Kinsella, the author of the book, and told him the "bad" news, but apparently he didn't care, saying that "Shoeless Joe" was the title the publishing company gave the book. Kinsella's original title was "Dream Field".


April 21, 1990 -
The largest anti-drug PSA effort in history: the Saturday morning simulcast of Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue broadcast on the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox networks respectively.



This monumental anti-drug (and, to a lesser extent, anti-alcohol) collaboration came at the acme of Nancy Reagan's "just say no!" era, and a fitting remembrance of Barbara Bush.


April 21, 1990 -
Sinead O'Connor
topped the charts with a cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2U on this date.



The video was the first time most people saw what O'Connor looked like and were surprised that she was bald. She shaved her head when she first started recording because she wanted to make a statement and not be known for her beauty. Some people believe this is the saddest song ever recorded (but wait.)







Did you make it through Jimmy Scott's version without crying?


April 21, 1995
-
Buena Vista released the rom-com, While You Were Sleeping, starring Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Glynis Johns, and Jack Warden on this date.



The film made a giant splash at the box office, making more than $180 million in worldwide returns, the vast majority of which was pure profit, as the film was made for a surprisingly slim $17 million.


April 21, 2005 -
Paul Haggis'
film Crash starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, and Ryan Phillippe premiered at the Newport Beach International Film Festival on this date.



This movie was particularly controversial when it won the Oscar for Best Picture over the more critically-favored Brokeback Mountain. The Academy was accused of homophobia, especially because Crash won the award without being nominated for any Golden Globes. To this day, it is regarded by many as one of the least-deserving Best Picture winners in Oscar history.


I've never come across this book before


Today in History:
April 21, 753 BC
-
Today is the traditional date of the foundation of Rome by Romulus and his brother, Remus, as a refuge for runaway slaves and murderers who captured the neighboring Sabine women for wives (they are hoping to finish building it any day now.)



But since the Gregorian Calendar was just a gleam in Pope Gregory eye - who knows.  But by all means, please bring enough lubricant with you to the commemorative orgy tonight.


April 21,1792
-
Jose da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes, considered by many to be Brazil's George Washington, was having an extremely bad day. The Portuguese rulers of Brazil were not happy with his seditious talk of independence. Tiradentes was hung in Rio de Janeiro on this date. His body was broken into pieces.

With his blood, a document was written declaring his memory infamous. His head was exposed in Vila Rica. Pieces of his body were exposed in the cities between Vila Rica and Rio, in an attempt to scare the people who had listened to the independence ideas of Tiradentes.



He began to be considered a national hero by the republicans in the late 19th century, and after the republic was proclaimed in Brazil in 1889 the anniversary of his death (April 21) became a national holiday.


April 21, 1836 -
With the battle cry, 'Remember the Alamo!' Texan forces under Sam Houston defeated the army of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, assuring Texas independence .



According to legend, Santa Anna was astride a mulatto, or "yellow" prostitute, Emily Morgan, who came to be celebrated in song as The Yellow Rose of Texas.

Now you know.


April 21, 1910 -
Halley's comet reappeared on this date. It had been last seen in 1835, the year Samuel Clemens was born.



The Earth passes safely through the comet's tail with no perceptible effect, of course, not counting the death of Mark Twain on this date.

This time, the reports were not exaggerated.


April 21, 1918 -
German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as The Red Baron, was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France on this date.



There is no truth to the rumor that Snoopy fired the fatal shot.


The following people were born on this day:
Alexandra Mary Windsor (1926),




Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg) (1947),




Patti LuPone (1949),




Tony Danza (1951)




and Robert Smith (1959)



Make of this coincidence what you will


April 21, 1932 -
The only thing experience teaches you is what you can't do. When you start, you think you can do anything. And then you start to get a little tired.



Elaine May, one of the funniest human being who ever lived, was born on this date.


April 21, 1962 -
President John F. Kennedy took time out of his busy schedule, of banging starlets and interns, two, three at a time, to push a button in Palm Beach, Florida and officially open the Top of the Needle (the first revolving restaurant in the United States,) atop the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington on this date.



The President was so high on pain killers that he did not realize that he wasn't in Seattle at the time.


April 21, 1997 -
The ashes of Timothy Leary and Gene Roddenberry were launched into orbit (this marked the beginning of the space funeral industry,) on this date.



I guess this is the highest Dr. Leary will ever get.


April 21, 2003 -
Nina Simone, dubbed the high priestess of soul, died in France on this date.



Kids go out and buy one of her CD's, your life will be better for it.



And so it goes.


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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Sabbatum Sanctum

Today is Holy Saturday; it' s also known as the Great Sabbath, Black Saturday, or Easter Eve. You kids today are soft; we used to have to fast the entire day today.





Today is the last day of Lent - you have one more day of having to give up something (or one could have done something extra.)


I was going to make the usual jokes about if you or your kid cut school or work today, lock up the snacks. They may come home with a case of the munchies.



Or if they were out celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Klara Hitler's bouncing baby little evil bastard named Adolf on this date in 1889, (smack them hard across the back of the head.)



Or that you should be concerned if they were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Columbine attack.



But you probably spent the better part of two days absorbing the Mueller Report and you had a couple of busy days. That's all we're gonna say.


April 20, 1977 -
Annie Hall,
at 93 minutes, the shortest color film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, premiered on this date (Marty, in glorious B and W was 91 minutes.)



Woody Allen and Diane Keaton had trouble keeping a straight face when working together. An example of the uncontrollable laughter between the two was the lobster dinner scene. It was the first scene shot for the movie and neither Woody nor Diane had to do much acting for the scene, for their laughter was completely spontaneous.


April 20, 1981
-
ABC unceremoniously aired the final episode of Soap, leaving many of the plotlines unresolved.



Susan Harris, the creator of the series, went on to create The Golden Girls and Empty Nest, using many of the same actors who first appeared on Soap.


April 20, 2002 -
An English dubbed version of the Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi,) premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival, on this date.



It was the first anime film to be nominated for (and win) an Academy Award. At 125 minutes, it also has the longest runtime of any other film nominated or winning in that category.


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


Today in History:
April 20, 1233
-
Pope Gregory IX placed the Inquisition, in existence since 1227, under the aegis of the Dominican Order on this date. Torture is apparently sometimes necessary to save souls, and the office continues to exist today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.



And the congregation was once headed by ex-Pope (and ex- Nazi Youth), Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.


April 20, 1940 -
The first electron microscope was demonstrated by RCA on this date.

The company was among the first to develop the electron microscope, which remains widely used in many forms of scientific research today.


April 20, 1979 -
President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a Killer Swamp Rabbit, while on vacation in Plains GA on this date. The rabbit swam menacingly towards him, and he had to repel the ferocious creature with a paddle. There were no injuries.



Press Secretary Jody Powell leaked the story to the press, and the White House had a lot of explaining to do.


April 20, 1992
-
Alone in his apartment watching TV, British comedic legend Benny Hill suffered a fatal heart attack on this date.



His bloated toupee-less body with his underwear around his ankles were found four days later


April 20, 2010 -
While drilling at the Macondo Prospect, there was an explosion on the rig, Deepwater Horizon, caused by a blowout which killed 11 crewmen and ignited a fireball visible from 35 miles away. The resulting fire could not be extinguished, and, on this date, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the sea floor and causing the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.



BP announced on April 18, 2012 that it has reached a class-action settlement with attorneys representing thousands of businesses and individuals who made claims after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As late as January of 2014, BP was still attempting not to pay claims made against them in the suit.  The court has rejected BP attempts.

BP originally projected that its settlement costs would be $7.8 billion. A federal judge approved a $20 billion settlement to end years of litigation. The settlement will be paid over 16 years.



And so it goes



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