Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's hot and sticky

and I'm behind schedule with some things today, so please enjoy this rebroadcast (of sorts)

July 15 1956 -
Every man its prisoner... every woman its slave!

Although not in the same league as Plan 9 from Outer Space, It Conquered the World was released upon an unsuspecting public on this date.

Peggie Castle was originally cast as Joan Nelson, but had to pull out of the project shortly before filming began. She was replaced by Sally Fraser, who did it as a favor for director Roger Corman, a friend, even though she was five months pregnant at the time.

The film was shot in five days. Imagine, how much greater it was be if they had a sixth day to shoot!

July 15, 1998 -
The Farrelly Brothers career saving romantic comedy, There's Something About Mary premiered on this date.

The studio was initially reluctant to allow Ben Stiller - the Farrelly Brothers' first choice - to star, so the brothers decided upon a then unknown Owen Wilson instead. When the studio was even more reluctant to let Wilson star, they agreed to allow the Farrellys to cast Stiller.

Today in History:
July 15, 1606 -
Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden, Holland, on this date.

His father was a miller and his mother was a stay-at-home mom.

He is best known for his mastery of chiaroscuro and impasto, but his calamari was nothing to sneeze at.

July 15, 1799 -
The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact which was instrumental in advancing modern understanding of hieroglyphic writing. The stone is a Ptolemaic era stele with carved text. The text is made up of three translations of a single passage, written in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and Demotic), and in classical Greek.

It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the Napoleonic expeditionary forces in 1799 at Rashid (a harbour on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt which the French referred to Rosetta) and contributed greatly to the decipherment of the principles of hieroglyphic writing in 1822 by the British polymath Thomas Young and the French scholar Jean-Fran├žois Champollion.

Feel free to impress your friends with this bit of knowledge.

July 15, 1857 -
During an uprising, the group of British women and children being held by rebels in Chawnpore, India are cut to pieces with knives and hatchets. Then their remains are tossed into a well.

When British forces finally retake Chawnpore, the captured rebels are taken back to the house where the slaughter took place. Then they are forced to lick the floors clean, after which they are hanged.

I hate to think what the penalty was for not rewinding video tapes.

July 15 1864 -
A train containing hundreds of Confederate prisoners passing through Shohola, PA crashes head on with a coal train on this date.

The trains were off schedule because of an escape attempt. 74 people, mostly prisoners, died.

July 15, 1869 -
During war with Prussia, French ruler Napoleon III commissions Hippolye Mege Mouries to find a butter substitute. A patent for margarine is issued, it being based on beef fat instead of milk fat.

He called it Margarine (but you can call it Oleo) because the French word for pearl was margarite and he apparently had difficulty distinguishing butter from pearls -

a handicap that goes a long way toward explaining his many divorces.

But even with the tactically superior spread, the war is still lost.

July 15, 1904 -
A small town Russian alcoholic doctor quietly succumbs to consumption, while in another room, his relatives sit around the house and wistfully bemoaning the lost opportunities of their lives. An old family retainer serves tea to the unkowning mourners. Off in the distance, the guitar string of a peasant guitar breaks, on this date.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, died on this date but not as described above. As he lay dying of tuberculosis, in a German Spa, Chekhov called out for his doctor. The doctor examined him and prescribed him a glass of champagne. Chekhov finished his glass, commented on the taste, lay back down and died.

And so it goes

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