Monday, May 3, 2010

Is this necessary?

Today is Lumpy Rug Day.

Really, really - Lumpy Rug Day?

Here's a good laugh to start the week

And remember - no mice were harmed in the filming of this commercial

May 3, 1903 -
Harry Lillis Crosby, singer, actor, reformed alcoholic, pot smoker and child beater was born on this date.

Hey, maybe Bing wasn't such an awful father. Maybe it's just coincidental that two of his sons committed suicide.

May 3, 1928 (or 1933, you can't expect the hardest working man in show business to keep track of small details like which year he was born.) -
James Brown, The Godfather of Soul, was born in Augusta, Georgia on this date.

May 3, 1941 -
Frank Capra's darkly comedic drama, Meet John Doe, premiered on this date

I've often thought how this film would play with one of Capra's alternate endings - the one in which Cooper does commit suicide. This is the film you should watch on Christmas Eve.

Here is your Today in History -
Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469.

Machiavelli proved that the yen justifies the beans, and is therefore reviled.

May 3, 1494 -
Columbus first sighted the island of Jamaica.

He and his crew remained on the island for some time, no doubt attracted by the tropical drinks, lush golf courses, exciting night life, and parasailing, but in the end were driven away by the high prices.

May 3, 1937 -
A short little southern lady wrote a novel for her own amusement, and with solid support from her husband, she kept her literary efforts a secret from all her friends. She would hide the voluminous pages under towels, disguising them as a divan, or hide pages in her closets or under her bed. She wrote in a haphazard fashion, writing the last chapter first, and skipping around from chapter to chapter.

In a nutshell, her novel was about a young woman who spend nearly 400 pages chasing after a man that she realizes in the end that she never really loved and (possibly) loses the man that she really does.

Her heroine also, in less than 10 years:

Marries three men; one dies from the measles, sends another one to his death and the third rapes her in a fit of jealous rage.
Has three children (one dies in a horseback riding accident) and one miscarriage.
Kills a man in self defense.
Helps with an amputation in a makeshift hospital.
Narrowly escapes the destruction of her adopted hometown.
Loses then regains her family's fortune.
Loses almost all of her family by the novels end.
And she still retains an optimistic view on life.

Oh yeah, all of this is played out on the backdrop of slavery, The Civil War, the fall of the South, Reconstruction, the rise of the KKK and a certain dress made from the living room curtains. (You thought Russian novels were convoluted.)

It was a great surprise to Ms. Mitchell that on June 30, 1936 when her voluminous novel was published. Even more shocking, on May 3, 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Gone With the Wind.

... After all, tomorrow is another day!

May 3 1945 -
British torpedo bombers attack the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek in the Baltic Sea. Both vessels are flying white flags, as there are almost 7,000 concentration camp prisoners aboard. In the process of abandoning ship, the German captain of the Arcona uses a machete to hack his way through the mass of people.

When the ships sink, virtually all of the prisoners drown, making this the single largest loss of life in the history of ocean travel.

You have to marvel at the honorable naval tradition of Germany.

May 3, 1963 -
Eugene "Bull" Connor directs security forces in Birmingham, Alabama to unleash police dogs on civil rights protesters, and then blast them with high-pressure fire hoses. Unfortunately for segregationists, television networks bring the footage to a shocked national audience.

In the wake of the overwhelming public response, President Kennedy quips that Connor "has done more for civil rights than almost anybody else."

May 3, 1971 -
All Things Considered premieres on 112 National Public Radio stations and marks the emergence of National Public Radio (NPR), the US national, non-commercial radio network.

Follow me, if you will - do you remember the film, The Hunger with Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie (and Susan Sarandon.) Anyway, remember when David Bowie's vampire character begins growing too old and Catherine Deneuve has to put him upstairs with all her other now elderly former vampire companions.

Well, when you start listening to NPR, you might as well tell David Bowie to move over, you're joining him.

And so it goes

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