Sunday, September 20, 2020

Those pieces never seem to disappear

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - In 1997 a cargo ship lost 4.8 million Lego bits in a storm. They are still washing up today.


The container ship Tokio Express was hauling cargo across stormy seas on February the 13th, when a rogue wave crashed over the decks and caused some of her cargo to become loose and wash overboard. One such container contained a shipment of Lego including octopuses, dragons, flippers and flowers. These pieces are often found on the beaches of Cornwall in the UK, whenever there’s a particularly bad storm.


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:





Brief Encounter directed by David Lean




Wet Paint directed by Jack King, produced by Walt Disney




The Bandit (Il bandito) directed by Alberto Lattuada




The Magic Bow directed by Bernard Knowles




La symphonie pastorale
directed by Jean Delannoy




Torment (Hets) directed by Alf Sjöberg




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



Phil Silvers (Bilko) and Maurice Gosfield (Doberman) did not get along. In real-life, Gosfield was very much the slob that he portrayed as Doberman. He also had constant trouble remembering his lines, which frustrated the cast and crew. Despite this, Gosfield became the most popular cast member, and received more fan mail than Silvers, which Silvers resented.


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



This was Judith Light's only foray into comedy; every other project has been a drama. She has said in interviews that while she tutored Tony Danza in dramatic acting he helping get her comedy chops up to speed.


Death must have snuck up on her, like a thief in the night


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 so it goes


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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Paris when it sizzles

(Still trying to work out the new Blogger kicks.)

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - The Eiffel Towergrows” in the summer.



The Eiffel Tower gets taller by up to 6 inches during the summer, when the temperature reaches as high as 40°C. Extreme heat causes the metal at the base to expand, increasing the height of the Eiffel Tower. It also causes the top of the tower to tilt away from the sun by up to 7 inches. There's a dirty joke in here but I'm just not going to say it.


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.



Early in the movie, The Marx Brothers - playing stowaways concealed in barrels - harmonize unseen while performing the popular song Sweet Adeline' which is traditionally performed with four singers. It is debated whether Harpo Marx' singing voice was used in the soundtrack. There is also an unconfirmed rumor that he provided the puppet master's voice in the Punch and Judy show.


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.



In the early episodes, George Reeves wore glasses without lenses in them when he played Clark Kent. As he got older Reeves eventually needed a real prescription for eyeglasses, so he began wearing his own glasses, as can be seen in many later episodes when you can see the stage lights being reflected off the lenses.


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



Often, during particularly uproarious episodes, you can hear producer James L. Brooks laughing from the studio audience. He has a very distinct and drawn out "hahhh hahhh hahh" guffaw.


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



John Cleese says in his DVD commentary that Prunella Scales was so unlike the character she played, the harpy Sybil Fawlty, that they had trouble getting the tenderhearted Scales to hit Basil or any other character who incurred Sybil's displeasure hard enough to make it look realistic and were constantly having to do retakes of her scenes.


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.)



Isabella Rossellini actually was naked under her velvet robe when she did the "ritualistic rape scene", a fact that Dennis Hopper was not aware of until the cameras started rolling and his co-star opened her legs for him to kneel between. This scene was the very first time the two of them ever worked together.



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


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.



And so it goes


124

Friday, September 18, 2020

That was one expensive piece of meat

 (I'm having some problems with the new Blogger formatting. Hoping to solve it soon.)

Other things to occupy your mind with other than COVID-19 - a rural cuban farmer once owned the most expensive cow in history.

On November 30, 1960, Rufina, a female cow was killed by a falling chunk of U.S. satellite in Cuba. This was during a time where tensions between Havana and Washington were at their highest. So the Cuban government decided to make the best out of a bad situation and had a good laugh at their American neighbors. A cow was paraded through the streets with a sign reading “Eisenhower, you murdered one of my sisters”. Tthe American government awarded the Cuban government $2 million dollars compensation.

September 18, 1951 - Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marion Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter, premiered in Los Angeles on this date.



Although Vivien Leigh initially thought Marlon Brando to be affected, and he thought her to be impossibly stuffy and prim, both soon became friends and the cast worked together smoothly.


September 18, 1951 -
20th Century Fox premiered the science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise and starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal, in New York, on this date.



One of the reasons that Michael Rennie was cast as Klaatu was because he was generally unknown to American audiences, and would be more readily accepted as an "alien" than a more recognizable actor.


September 18, 1963 -
The show that taught elderly men, twin cousins might be lured into immoral acts with the purchase of grilled sausages - The Patty Duke Show, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



For most of the scenes featuring Patty and Cathy, Rita Walter played "the back of either Patty's or Cathy's head", as appropriate. She can also be seen in several episodes as a background character.


September 18, 1964 -
The most normal family's ever presented on US television, The Addams Family premiered on ABC-TV on this date.



Jackie Coogan was originally rejected as Uncle Fester. He went home, shaved his head, and did his own Fester makeup and costume. This won him the part.


September 18, 1965 -

Kleenex stock rose precipitously as I Dream of Jeannie premiered on this date.



While filming the first 12 episodes of season 1, Barbara Eden was pregnant with her only son, Matthew Ansara. Her pregnancy was disguised by filming her in close-up or with a copious veil covering her front. Barbara Eden has said that wearing all the extra veils made her feel like a walking tent.


September 18, 1965 -
Mel Brooks
and Buck Henry started their fight to keep the world safe from KAOS when Get Smart premiered on NBC-TV on this date.



When Don Adams was negotiating his salary, he had his choice between more money per week and no ownership stake in the show, or less money per week and part ownership. Adams chose the ownership deal and never regretted it considering the series' durable popularity in syndication gave him a regular income even as he struggled with being typecast by it.


September 18, 1968 -
The film musical Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand premiered in NYC.



At the wrap party, William Wyler gave Barbra Streisand a director's megaphone in mock recognition of her devotion to every aspect of filmmaking, including directing. Streisand gave Wyler an eighteenth century gold watch inscribed "TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME."


September 18, 1978 -
We first started living on the air in Cincinnati when WKRP in Cincinnati, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



In some scenes, bulletin boards or wall spaces are plastered with bumper stickers for radio stations across the USA. They were sent by real-life radio DJs who were avid fans of the show.


September 18, 1987
-
Pet bunnies felt a cold breeze on their neck when Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, opened on this date.



Glenn Close still has the knife she used in the movie hanging in her kitchen, stating: "It's beautiful, made of wood and paper. It's a work of art! And it's nice for our guests to see it. It lets them know they can't stay forever."


September 18, 1994 -
Ken Burn's
series about America's favorite past time Baseball, premiered on PBS on this date.



Ironically, first aired in the fall of 1994 when much of the season and the World Series were cancelled due to a strike. This made it the only "baseball" available to millions of unhappy fans at what should have been the most exciting time of the season.


Kids, stop going out at 5 pm to go to your favorite bar


Today in History:
ACME
would like to issue a Trigger Warning - all children and those with delicate natures should turn away from their computer screens as we discuss the bizarre deviant sexual behavior on the part of our founding fathers:

On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the foundation stone for the U.S. Capitol. According to numerous sources, President Washington "laid the stone in a Masonic ceremony... preceded by a parade and followed by celebration and feasting."

The 1792 competition for the design of the Capitol had been won by an amateur architect, and the building was therefore burned by the British before it could be completed. Congress had moved into the building on November 22, 1800, but managed to escape the fire.


September 18, 1851 -
The New York Times published its first edition on this date. The newspaper, initially called the New-York Daily Times, was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond, a politician and journalist.


It cost one penny per copy and was published six days per week, changing to seven days in 1861. Its name was changed to the New York Times in 1857.


September 18, 1932 -
24-year-old starlet Peg Entwistle dived head first from the letter "H" of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign in Los Angeles. She is the first person to commit suicide at the landmark.



Her body was discovered in the brush at the base of the hill two days later, and pronounced dead. When police examined her belongings, in her purse they found a note that read:

"I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."



Two days later, in an ironic twist, Entwistle's uncle opened a letter addressed to her from the Beverly Hills Playhouse; it was mailed the day before she jumped. In it was an offer for her to play the lead role in a stage production—in which her character would commit suicide in the final act.


September 18, 1961 -
Dag Hammarskjold
, Secretary-General of the UN, was killed in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) on this date. He was flying to negotiate a cease-fire in the Congo.



Hammarskjold was the son of a former Swedish prime minister. In 1953, he was elected to the top UN post and in 1957 was reelected. During his second term, he initiated and directed the United Nation's vigorous role in the Belgian Congo.

Strangely enough, for many years, I worked in an office building that bears his name.


September 18, 1970 -
Jimi Hendrix
died in his sleep, in London, from of a barbiturate overdose when chunks of his vomited tuna sandwich wound up in his lungs, causing him to choke, on this date. He was 27 years old.



At least his family could take comfort that he did not choke on someone else's vomit.

Once again I must remind you that Cass Elliot did not choke to death on a ham sandwich. It is an urban myth born out of a quickly discarded speculation by the coroner, who noted a part eaten ham sandwich and figured she may have choked to death. In fact, she died of heart failure.

So cut it out.


September 18, 1977 -
NASA's unmanned space probe Voyager 1 snapped the first photograph of the Moon and the Earth in the same frame while on its mission to study the Solar System and its boundaries. At the time, Voyager 1 was 7.25 million miles (11.66 million kilometers) from Earth.


Voyager 1 continues its mission today and still is in communication with NASA scientists.


September 18, 1981
-
The Guinness Book of World Records verified on this date, that the West Edmonton Mall parking lot, which can hold 20,000 cars, is the largest parking lot in the world.


Interestingly enough, the shopping center around which it was built is not the largest in the world. While it is the largest shopping mall in North America, the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China (with 7.1 million sq ft of leasable space) is the world's largest shopping mall and sits mostly empty due to economic downturns in the area.


September 18, 1992 -
Two weeks after being outed in the New York weekly QW, attorney John Schlafly admitted in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner that he enjoys the love that dare not speak it's name. This causes a certain amount of consternation for his mother, archconservative gay rights opponent Phyllis Schlafly.


The Schlafly family have still not fulfilled their obligation as good Christians to present their rebellious son to the town elders and have him stoned to death as instructed in Deut. 21:18. Now that Schlafly has met her maker, she'll find out what's in store for her.


September 18, 1994 -
Vitas Gerulaitis
was killed in his sleep the previous night in the guest cottage of a friend's Long Island estate. His body was discovered on this date. The professional tennis player died from carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a faulty propane swimming-pool heater.


How many more people must die from killer swimming pools?



And so it goes


125


Before you go - Happy 5781





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