Saturday, December 29, 2012

Those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer

I found another holiday present stuck way back, under the tree.  Find some time this afternoon (or evening) and watch Radio Days by Woody Allen:

Keep an eye out for the wonderful cameo Diane Keaton does toward the end of the movie.

Today's gift tally (37 gifts): you currently have five golden rings, eight calling birds, nine French hens, ten turtledoves and five partridges in their respective pear trees (begin thinking preserves.)

Word to the wise - contact your local upscale poultry purveyor. Game birds fetch a high price during the holiday season.

Speaking of poultry - we've all been misinterpreting the song all these years. The song's seemingly bizarre switch from four birds, to five pieces of jewelry, and back to six birds actually makes perfect sense: The "five golden rings" is more likely a reference to ring-necked pheasants. So the five golden rings in this stanza refer to five ring-necked pheasants, a dish that was sure to be served at some of the king or queen's Twelfth Night feasts during the Twelve Days of Christmas celebrations.

So now you know.

Tonight is the Fourth night of Kwanzaa.

Tonight celebrates Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) - To build and maintain the community's stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

December 29, 1939 -
The classic Western comedy, Destry Rides Again, premiered on this date.

In the original script, there was a scene in the movie showing Marlene Dietrech putting her winnings from a wild night of gambling below her dress neckline. The censors initially approved her comment. Patting her chest, she exclaims, "There's gold in them thar hills." After the preview audience roared at the line, the censors ordered it removed.

December 29, 1959 -
Paula Poundstone, comedian, was born on this date.

Still one of the funniest working comedians today.

December 29, 1965 -
Thunderball - the best James Bond title - premiered in US on this date.

In the scene where Bond and Domino meet underwater and disappear behind a rock, the scene was originally supposed to show Domino's bikini float out from behind the rock. Producer Albert R. Broccoli vetoed this because he felt it was too suggestive.

December 29, 1967 -
Star Trek first aired The Trouble with Tribbles episode - arguably one of their most famous episodes - on this date.

During the famous "bar fight", careful observers will note that while tables are broken, all the chairs remain intact. The tables were studio property: the chairs were rented, and if damaged would have to be paid for.

Today in History:
December 29, 1170 -
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is slashed to death by four of King Henry II's knights at the altar of the Virgin Mary. "Is there no one who will rid me from this turbulent priest", cried Henry in frustration earlier that month.

It was apparently not a serious demand for Becket's death, but that did not stop his brains from being splattered in Canterbury Cathedral.

Henry II was forced to walk to Becket's grave while being flogged by eighty monks as penance for his death.  So kids, remember, don't ask for things that you don't really want (the whole tears in heaven/answered prayers thing.)

December 29, 1851 -
It's fun to stay at the YMCA. The formation of the first YMCA in the United States in Boston, happened on this date.

No, I'm not going to play that song.

December 29, 1852 -
Emma Snodgrass, referred to by East Coast newspapers as "the girl who has recently been visiting parts of New England in pants" was "again" arrested in Boston on a charge of vagrancy. Since Emma was regularly employed as a clerk, and paid her bills, the vagrancy charge didn't hold.

She was released after the judge had given her some "wholesome advice about her eccentricities," to which she "responded with becoming grace and promised reformation." The next day, however, Emma was back on the street in her "male attire."

I tremble to think what would have happened if the judge had seen what was going on at the Boston YMCA.

December 29, 1876 -
Today's lesson: taking your job too seriously, can get you seriously killed.

On a cold and wintry night, the Pacific Express, carrying some 159 passengers and crew, was traveling over a bridge near Ashtabula, Ohio. Only the first engine of the train made it to the other side at 7:28 p.m. as the bridge began to collapse. The rest of the train broke away and plummeted to the bottom of the ravine below. Approximately 92 men, women and children were killed, not from the fall itself, but from the ensuing fire while they were trapped inside the crushed cars.

The bridge was owned by the Lake Shore and Michigan railroad, and was the joint creation of Charles Collins, Engineer, and Amasa Stone, Chief Architect and Designer. After testifying before an investigative jury, Charles Collins quietly went home and shot himself in the head. Amasa Stone committed suicide approximately 7 years later. Stone was held partly responsible for the disaster by the same investigative jury before which Collins had testified, and was publicly scorned for many years.

Please remember that YOU are not your job (unless you feel personally responsible from the horrible death of about 100 men, women and children.)

December 29, 1890 -
The Wounded Knee Massacre took place at Wounded Knee, South Dakota as over 200 Sioux were killed by US troops, led by Colonel James Forsyth, sent to disarm them on this date.

Forsyth was later charged with killing the unarmed men women and children, but later exonerated.

Another proud moment in American history.

December 29, 1946 -
Baroness Sacher-Masoch (Marianne Evelyn Faithfull), English singer, songwriter, actress

and inventor of the Mars bar tampon, was born on this date.

December 29, 1993 -
Former child star Todd Bridges (who played Willis on Different Strokes) arrested for transportation of methamphetamine.

What the hell was in the water on that set.

And so it goes

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