Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When Science goes bad

July 26, 1753 -
Professor Georg Wilhelm Richmann, German physicist, died of electrocution in St. Petersburg, Russia on this date. He was attending a meeting of the Academy of Sciences, when he heard thunder. The Professor ran home with his engraver to capture the event for posterity. While the experiment was underway, a supposed ball lightning appeared and collided with Richmann's head leaving him dead in a red spot. His shoes were blown open, parts of his clothes singed, the engraver knocked out; the doorframe of the room was split, and the door itself torn off its hinges.

Beside not telling him that hemlock was poison, his mother did not sit Little Georg upon her knee and tell him about the evils of electricity. He was apparently the first person in history to die while conducting electrical experiments.

July 26, 1943 -
Michael Philip Jagger, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, occasional film producer and actor, was born on this date. Remind yourself - he has 4 grandkids.

Grandpa can still shake his moneymaker, can you?

Winsor McCay, an American cartoonist and animator, died on this date in 1934. A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades.

His two best-known creations are the newspaper comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ran from 1905 to 1914, and the animated cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur, which he created in 1914.

Today in History:
July 26, 1826 -
Schoolmaster Cayetano Ripoll was hanged in Valencia, after uttering his last words: "I die reconciled to God and to man," on this date. He was the last person executed by the Spanish Inquisition.

Gee, I guess at that point everybody should have expected the Spanish Inquisition. (I promise I won't mention the Inquisition for a while.)

July 26, 1947 -
President Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The act forbade the CIA from operating within the US.

And no, Donald Rumsfeld is not in the background of this picture.

July 26, 1956 -
A little more than 11 hours after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm, the Italian liner Andrea Doria, carrying 1,134 passengers and 572 crew, sank off New England coast.

46 people on the Andrea Doria and 5 crew members of the Stockholm died. Miraculously, 14-year-old Linda Morgan, was throw from her bed on the Andrea Doria onto the wrecked bow of the Stockholm, without sustaining and major injuries. Unfortunately, her step father and step sister, sharing the cabin with her, were killed.

July 26, 1984 -
Serial killer, cannibal and flesh suit wearer Ed Gein died at the Mendota Mental Health Institute, a home for the criminally insane on this date.

Gein inspired the films Psycho and Silence of the Lambs.

I wonder if he got any of the royalties.

July 26, 1991 -
Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) was arrested in Florida, for exposing himself at the South Trail XXX Cinema on this date.

Following the incident, Reubens loses his children's television show and product endorsements. Flash ahead - Pee Wee Herman appeared last week at Comic-con for a solo panel where he announced that Judd Apatow may be producing the new Pee Wee Herman movie.

And so it goes.

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