Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Books to give children you dislike

Author and illustrator Bob Staake has a collection of altered vintage children’s books covers on his site, Bad Little Children’s Books

Staake has authored or illustrated more than 60 (non-twisted) children’s books and 17 New Yorker covers.

September 12, 1954 -
What girl - Jeff's trapped in a mine; being attacked by honey badgers; kidnapped by a strange religious cult; discovered the tea party is an elaborate canard being perpetrated by the Koch brothers ...

Lassie (or Jeff's Collie - how many of you remember Jeff's Collie) premiered on on CBS-TV on this date.

This was one of the first long-running television shows to remain in its time slot and day of the week (Sunday at 7:00 PM) during its entire prime-time run on a US television network. It became a syndicated program for the last three years of its run.

September 12, 1959 -
That's why we call it Bonanza...Bonanza...Bonanza...

Bonanza, the first US television series to be broadcast in color, premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

The three Cartwright boys are half brothers. Adam's mother was from Boston, Hoss' was from Sweden and Little Joe's was from New Orleans.

September 12, 1966 -
CBS-TV premiered Family Affair on this date.

Producer Don Fedderson insisted that the character of Buffy remain perpetually six years old, even as Anissa Jones, the actress playing her, grew into her teens; in promotional appearances Jones was still required to bind her chest and carry the Mrs. Beasley doll.

(come on you want to sing it: Buffy, Buffy come back to me ...)

September 12, 1966 -
NBC television premiered The Monkees, a sitcom about four guys in a rock band on this date.

After the first season ended, Davy Jones disappeared from the public eye for several weeks, while a series of morbid rumors about his health made the rounds. The truth was that Jones had received a draft notice, and subsequently fasted for three weeks in order to fail the physical. It worked.

September 12, 1972 -
God will get you for that Walter.

Another spin-off from the All In The Family Series, Maude premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

Norman Lear based the Maude character on his then-wife, Frances Lear.

September 12, 1978 -
Taxi started looking for fares on this date.

Judd Hirsch (Alex), Danny DeVito (Louie), Marilu Henner (Elaine) and Tony Danza (Tony) appear in every episode of the series.

Today in History -
September 12, 490 B.C. -
It looked like it was going to be a pretty bleak day for Western Civilization. The Greeks, who were not yet Ancient or Classical, were facing a massive invasion of Persians. Persia was not yet part of the Axis of Evil, but was pretty nasty just the same. They had more soldiers than the Greeks, better cavalry, and better weapons. (They did not have ouzo, moussaka or mastery of sodomy however; it may have been envy of those quintessentially Greek achievements that drove them to invade.)

The General in charge of the Greeks was the Athenian Miltiades, also known as Uncle Milti.

In addition to his own Athenians, he had been given Plataean soldiers and the promised support of Spartans. It was the first time the various city-states had prepared to fight together against a common enemy.

Despite his strong defensive footing, entrenched in the hilly terrain of Marathon, Uncle Milti was afraid that the superior numbers of the Persians would allow them to fight through the Greek defenses and destroy Western Civilization. In order to prevent this, he launched an offensive.

It caught the Persians off guard, driving them off the land, into their ships, and back to Persia.

This was the Battle of Marathon, at which Western Civilization was saved for the first time - ensuring a future for diet cola, fat-free potato chips, and pay-per-view sports. (The Battle of Marathon is not related to the Marathon Bar or Marathon Man, but neither of them could have come about without it.)

Here is a special note to the strange people who run marathons. After winning this battle, a runner, the soldier Pheidippides, was send back to Athens to announce the victory.

Racing over 26 miles to get back to Athens, Pheidippides delivered the momentous message Niki! (victory), then promptly collapsed and died, thereby setting a precedent for dramatic conclusions to the marathon and the first sports product endorsement.

Remember that, the next time you run.

September 12, 1609-
The explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the river which eventually came to be called the Hudson River, on this date. He was on an expedition for the Dutch East India Company, trying to find a passage to Asia — the Northwest Passage. This was back when Europeans believed that North America was a rather small land mass, and if they could just find a way through it, they could get to the Asian markets. The Dutch were not great masterminds it appears.

Henry Hudson sailed up the river, anchoring his ship at what is now West 42nd Street and the Hudson. He was hoping to get tickets to see The Book of Mormon or at least the War Horses. When he discovered that he was at least 350 years too earlier and that the only tickets available were the all - Native American version of The Addams Family, he immediately got back on his boat and went up as far as the site of modern day Albany, turned around, and went back to Amsterdam.

September 12, 1878 -
The magnificent phallic symbol Cleopatra's Needle was erected in London on the bank of the Thames on this date. It doesn't really have anything to do with Cleopatra.

The obelisk has a twin in New York's Central Park, also named Cleopatra's Needle.

It has nothing to do with Cleopatra, either.

There's one in Paris. It's not the twin of either the London or New York one (that would have made it a triplet) and it has nothing to do with Cleopatra either.

September 12, 1955 -
Another of Orson Welles' great Shakespearean films, Othello, finally opens in New York City on this date.

Suzanne Cloutier was a late replacement for Lea Padovani and Micheal Mac Liammoir was a late replacement for Everett Sloane. Welles had another actress, Gudrun Ure, dub all dialogue of Suzanne Cloutier. Ure had previously played the part of Desdemona opposite Orson Welles' Othello on stage.

September 12, 1958 -
The ultimate drive-in movie, The Blob, premiered on this date.

The film was originally picked up by Paramount for use on the bottom half of a double bill with its in-house production of I Married a Monster from Outer Space. Early marketing tests and initial bookings indicated that a larger share of the ticket buyers were coming for this film rather than the former, so it became the main feature and more money was spent on its promotion.

September 12, 1977 -
The body of Steven Biko was discovered on the floor of a jail cell in Pretoria on this date. The South African civil rights activist had been beaten and tortured six days earlier, during an interrogation in Port Elizabeth.

Police officials claim that Biko probably suffered the fatal injuries when he "fell out of bed."

September 12, 1986 -
Captain EO, starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, made its gala premiere at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA and at Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando, FL on this date.

At a cost of about one million dollars per minute of film, this was, minute for minute, the most expensive motion picture of all time.

September 12, 1994 -
After a night of boozing and smoking crack, Frank Corder stole a Cessna P150 and crashed it into the south lawn of the White House on this date.

The wreckage tumbles over a tree and a hedge before coming to rest against the West Wing of the Executive Mansion. Corder's flamboyant suicide attack never actually imperiled President Clinton's life, since the First Family was sleeping elsewhere at the time.

There is no truth to the rumor that Newt Gingrich bought Frank the boozes and the crack.

And so it goes.

Before I let you go - National Icon Stan Lee explains how we got it all wrong

I hope when I grow old, I will be as wise as he.

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