Al Franken kicking ass and taking names.
Word of the day -
Hemerine: adjective, daily; quotidian. His hemerine ritual of collecting nose hair clipping soon made Wanda realize that her marriage was doomed.
Today in History:
October 24, 1836 -
(Please follow along on your flow charts) Mankind was not fully mankind until it learned how to set things on fire. That happened a long time ago and enabled such hallmarks of early civilization as cooked meat, heated homes, and flaming heretics. Only in the past few hundred years has mankind learned how to start fires quickly and easily.
In 1680, Irish scientist Robert Boyle discovered that rubbing phosphorus and sulphur together caused them to burst into flames. Such was his reward for a lifetime spent rubbing phosphorus against things to see what would happen.
In 1827, seizing upon the Irish invention with a zeal usually reserved for Irish real estate, an Englishman named John Walker invented "sulphuretted peroxide strikeables," which were like matches except they were three feet long and as likely to explode as ignite.
A variation on this firestarter was introduced in England in 1828. It was called the Promethean, and consisted of a glass bulb of sulphuric acid. The bulb was coated with potassium chlorate, sugar, and gum, then wrapped in paper. To ignite the Promethean, one broke the glass bulb against one's teeth. Dentists loved it, but the public remained wary.
Germans began manufacturing small phosphorus matches in Germany in 1832. Like so many other German inventions, however, these tended to ignite with a series of explosions that spread fire about one's feet. They also exploded when stepped on. This dampened their popularity among the arson-averse public.
Finally, on this date, a patent was issued in the United States to Alonzo D. Phillips for the manufacture of friction matches and called them locofocos.
October 24, 1929 -
The stock market began a catastrophic collapse and this day became know as Black Thursday nearly 13 million shares traded hands and stock prices plummeted.
This ultimately led to the Great Depression. Scientists around the world desperately sought a cure for the millions of Depressed peoples on every continent. Researchers from the National Socialist Society eventually demonstrated that the people of Germany, Italy, and Spain were Depressed because their trains didn't run on time, and fascism was invented to address this shortcoming.
Having resolved their train schedules, however, fascists discovered that many people were still unhappy. This was found to have been the result of socialism (remember, National Socialist are not Socialists i.e. Communist), which was incompatible with fascism, and persons who failed to become happy were subsequently shot.
This caused the Spanish Civil War, which was so successful it inspired World War II, after which everyone felt much better.
October 24, 1931 -
The George Washington Bridge opens to public traffic, linking New York City with New Jersey. The bridge became a famous New York landmark and has been featured in many movies and TV shows. The toll to cross the bridge was to be temporary -- just to cover costs.
But it costs and costs and costs when you have to keep repairing and painting a bridge that big -- so, the bridge toll continues. And the bridge is still being painted.
October 24, 1947 -
In a very UN-American fashion, Neo-Nazi and American Isolationist Walt Disney testifies to the House Unamerican Activities Committee,
naming Disney employees he believes to be Communists, ranting about how Communists were infiltrating the unions he has to deal with, and how "Commie groups began smear campaigns against [him]."
October 24, 1960 -
At the Soviet Union's Baykonur space facility, an R-16 ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad, incinerating 165 people.
Included among the dead is Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin, whose death is covered up as having occurred in a plane crash.
October 24, 1962 -
A taut thriller with the underlying theme of mother love gone horribly wrong - The Manchurian Candidate, premieres on this date .
There is so much to recommend about this film but you haven't lived until you see Sinatra's kung fu moves.
October 24, 1969 -
The original Brokeback Mountain, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, premiered on this date.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford really leaped off the cliff; however, they landed on a ledge with a mattress roughly six feet below. That now famous leap to elude capture was done earlier by Tyrone Power as "Jessie James" (1939).
And so it goes