Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm sure most of you are out celebrating

It's National Sea-Monkey Day (you're probably saying to yourself, It can't already be Sea-Monkey Day again, wasn't it just last week!)

So go out and enjoy the day thinking about these krill-like wonders. But don't think about their creator, Harold von Braunhut and the allegations that he financially supported white-supremacist groups.

May 16, 1879 -
Wallace Wilkerson was condemned to death by firing squad in Utah, for the killing of a man in an argument about a card game. The execution did go quite as planned. The 'sharp shooters' missed the 3-inch patch over the condemned man's heart. Wilkerson fell from of his chair, writhing and screaming in pain, in front of the 20 or so horrified spectators. It was so disgraceful that one newspaper, the Ogden Junction, sarcastically reminded the state that "the French guillotine never fails." It was 27 minutes before he could be pronounced dead.

This must have been one hell of a day.

May 16, 1986 -
Paramount released the film Top Gun, on this date.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Today in History -
May 16, 1763 -
James Boswell first met Samuel Johnson in Tom Davie's London bookshop on this date. Due to the lax stalking laws of the period, Mr. Boswell followed Mr. Johnson around for several decades. On May 19, 1795, Mr. Boswell died.

(This could not have come a relief to Mr. Johnson, who had already been dead for some time and was probably relishing the privacy.)

When the first Academy Awards were handed out on May 16, 1929, movies had just begun to talk. That first ceremony took place during an Academy banquet in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The attendance was 270 and guest tickets cost $5.

It was a long banquet, filled with speeches, but presentation of the statuettes was handled expeditiously by Academy President Douglas Fairbanks. Do you think they can dig up Mr. Fairbanks to speed up the next award show?

May 16, 1965 -
"Greatest invention since the spoon", Spaghetti-O's went on sale today, on this date.

Due the the overwhelming demand, now with more squirrel meat.

May 16, 1984 -
Intergender wrestling champion and conceptual comic Andy Kaufman pretends to die of lung cancer. In order to make it really convincing, Andy underwent months of radiation therapy and six weeks of psychic surgery in the Philippines.

And he never made any more public appearances. You must admire someone who can stick with a joke for this long.

May 16, 1986 -
In the most notorious cheats in the history of television, Pam Ewing wakes up to find her husband Bobby in the shower -- no small feat, considering he's been dead for a whole season.

In order to revivify Bobby's character, the Dallas writers resorted to dismissing the entire preceding year as nothing more than Pam's protracted dream.

May 16, 1990 -
Sammy Davis, Jr. dies of throat cancer in Beverly Hills. After the legendary Rat pack singer/entertainer is buried with $70,000 in jewelry, the family discovers that Mr. Bojangles was broke and left millions of dollars in unpaid back taxes.

His widow then orders the body exhumed so they can repo the jewelry.

Imagine the look on Sammy's face went they opened the casket.

May 16, 1990 -
Attached to a ventilator and swimming in antibiotics, Muppet creator Jim Henson dies of a severe case of pneumonia in a New York hospital.

In keeping with his express wishes, no one is permitted to wear black at Henson's funeral service, which features 5,000 fans waving painted butterflies and a live band playing "When the Saints Go Marching In."

The process of pickling was first practiced thousands of years ago by Mesopotamians. William Seward was born hundreds of years ago in New York.

Seward served as a Whig governor of New York, but later served as a Republican Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln. Compare this to the fact that refrigerated pickles account for about 20 percent of all pickle sales.

North Americans prefer pickles with warts. Europeans prefer wartless pickles. William Seward may have had warts.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that pickles are technically a fruit, not a vegetable. William Seward was not a vegetable and never served on the Supreme Court.

William Seward helped negotiate the deal that made Alaska an American territory. Americans consume about 2.5 billion pounds of pickles annually.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

And so it goes

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