Friday, January 4, 2013

The Holidays are nearly over

Today's gift count (286 gifts): you currently have 11 piper's piping,

20 drunken British men, in tight fitting trousers, knocking furniture over, 27 lap dancers (draw the shades, the neighborhood kids are staring into your windows) , 32 organized dairy workers striking for better working conditions, 35 Swans making a racket, befouling your second bathroom (I hope you have a second bathroom), 36 geese a' laying (begin practicing your technique for slaughtering fowl by ringing the geese's necks), 35 golden rings, 32 calling birds, 27 French hens, 20 turtledoves and 11 partridges in their respective pear trees.

Why are you still signing for any packages delivered at your home?

January 4, 1960 -
John Michael Stipe, the lead mumbler for R.E.M. was born on this date.

Radiohead is one of his favorite bands and he is friends with all the band's members.

January 4, 1963 -
Dave Foley, Actor/Comedian (The Kids In The Hall, News Radio) and Canadian was born on this date.

Dave has been friends with the other members of The Kids in The Hall since he was 19 years old.

Today in History:
January 4, 1643
...There is no disputin', we're all indebted to Sir Isaac Newton ...

Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian was born on this date (or on Christmas day 1642 Old Style)

And imagine, he still had time to invent Fig Cookies.

January 4, 1903 -
Topsy was a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in three years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette), Topsy was deemed a threat to people by her owners and killed by electrocution on this date (Inventor Thomas Edison facilitates the entire affair.)

In an attempt to discredit Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla by showing how dangerous Alternating Current electricity was, Thomas Edison captured the event on film.

He would release it later that year under the title Electrocuting an Elephant (but that is another story.)

Raise your frozen Margaritas and toast dear old Stephen J. Poplawski. Mr. Poplawski was born in Poland on August 14, 1885, which was a fine place to be born if your wanted to be a farmer or fodder for the cannons of the next Austro-Hungarian Geopoliticial machination. He would have none of that and emigrated at age 9 with his parents to Racine, Wis (most children were usually beaten soundly when they suggested emigrating in the 1880's.) In 1918 he founded Stephens Tool Co. and in 1919 was hired by Arnold Electric Co. to develop an automatic malted milk mixer for use in restaurants (Racine being home of Horlick Malted Milk.)

On January 4, 1922 he filed a patent "for the first mixer of my design having an agitating element mounted in a base and adapted to be drivingly connected with the agitator in the cup when the cup was placed in a recess in the top of the base."

Well, you don't think they give you a patent for a machine that makes frosty, delicious alcoholic drinks, do you?

January 4, 1941 -
The animated short Elmer's Pet Rabbit was released on this date: it marks the second appearance of Bugs Bunny and the first to have his name on a title card.

It was directed by the legendary Chuck Jones. (Note that Bugs hasn't developed his characteristic buck teeth yet.)

January 4, 1943 -
Josef Stalin, evil dictator and abused child, appears as Time's 1942 Man of the Year.

Circulation for the magazine would have increased dramatically, if Stalin hadn't purged millions of Russian citizens.

January 4, 1960 -
Albert Camus, French writer, died in an automobile accident at age 46 on this date. In his coat pocket lay an unused train ticket.

He had planned to travel by train with his wife and children, but at the last minute accepted his publisher's proposal to travel with him.

If that isn't absurd, I don't know what is.

January 4, 1965 -
Thomas Stearns Eliot, (American-born) English poet, playwright, literary critic and noted Anti-Semitism, died in London, on this date.

I guess he finished measured out his life with coffee spoons?

January 4, 1984 -
Night Court starring Harry Anderson premiered on NBC-TV on this date.

After Selma Diamond passed away following the completion of the second season, she was replaced by Florence Halop due largely to the fact that she had comedy timing and mannerisms similar to Selma. However, when Florence passed away after completing just one season (Season Three), it was decided by the producers to hire a younger actress for the role and Marsha Warfield was hired as Roz.

And so it goes.

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