Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Belated Mother's Day Video

Here's a preview clip from Isabella Rossellini's new web series: Mammas

A novel if bizarre legal defense - if only I was a hampster.

It's National Chocolate Chip Day today. Celebrate and enjoy the sweet, taste of chocolate chip cookies.

Go out and eat some raw cookie dough to celebrate (I believe they've licked the whole salmonella poisoning thing - so all you'll be filled with is shame and raw cookie dough.)

May 15, 1958 -
Vincente Minnelli's lush valentine to La Belle Époque era, Gigi premiered in NYC on this date. (Just try not thinking the whole teen-age prostitution angle of the film and you'll enjoy it.)

Even though several other musicals had been produced at MGM into the 1960's, Gigi is often referred to as the studio's last traditional musical, since this motion picture was the final musical production to be filmed under the auspices of the studio's Arthur Freed Unit, which had been responsible for all of MGM's classic movie musicals throughout Hollywood's Golden Era.

May 15, 1886 -
Emily Dickinson finally heard the buzzing of that damn fly and gave up the ghost on this date.

Miss Dickinson died in Amherst, Mass. in the same house, where she had lived in seclusion for the previous 24 years.

May 15, 1915 -
In Germany, Clara Immerwahr, chemist and wife of chemist Fritz Haber, shot herself in the heart with her husband’s service weapon in their garden, possibly in response to his having personally overseen the first successful use of chlorine at the Second Battle of Ypres on April 22, 1915.

That same morning, Haber left for the Eastern Front to oversee gas release against the Russians, not even staying for the funeral arrangements.He was branded a war criminal after the Allied victory, but still won the Nobel Prize in 1918 for ammonia synthesis.

You know this was a marriage made to last for the ages.

This day is little remembered and yet of great import. It was on May 15, 1916, that Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and François Georges-Picot of France, with Russia's assent, confirmed their agreement to carve up the tottering Ottoman Empire between them.

Most of the mess that was the 20th Century can be traced back to the accord. In brief, here are some of the some of the issues these knuckleheads were trying to sort out -

Russia vs Turkey vs Greece over Constantinople, the Straits and Thrace

France vs the Arabs vs Turkey over Syria

Britain vs France vs the Arabs vs the Zionists over Palestine

Greece vs Turkey vs Italy over Smyrna and southwest Asia Minor

Britain vs France vs the Arabs vs Turkey over Kurdish northern Iraq

France vs Turkey over southeastern Asia Minor and Alexandretta

Russia vs Turkey over Armenia and the southeast Black Sea coast

America, for once, had no dog in this fight.

May 15, 1918 -
The US Post Office Department (later renamed the USPS) begins the first regular airmail service in the world (between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.).

Of course this new service was a rousing success - the plane got lost and the mail finally had to be sent via train days later.

The Postal Service has already begun running in the red and it has not improved much since then

May 15, 1928 -
Plane Crazy was the first animated cartoon to feature Mickey Mouse as well as Minnie Mouse (Mickey's girlfriend). The short was co-directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.

Iwerks was also the main animator for this short and reportedly spent six weeks working on it. Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising were credited for assisting him; these two had already signed their contracts with Charles Mintz, but he was still in the process of forming his new studio and so for the time being they were still employed by Disney.

The cartoon was pretty much produced in secret, as Walt Disney was still contracted to the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series for Universal.

May 15, 1930 -
Ellen Church, a young nurse from San Francisco, became one of the first airplane stewardess on this day. She was actually certified as a pilot, but she and seven other nurses began flying on a US Airways flight from Oakland, California, to Chicago, Illinois.  Miss Church was on the job for 18 months.

(the photo above is of the ‘Original Eight’ female flight attendants.  Church is third from the left)

Early stewardesses did much more than pass out drinks though — they also acted as luggage loaders, made small repairs to the plane, and even helped push the plane back into the hangar at the end of flights.

In December 1942, she took to the air again -- this time as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps, Air Evacuation Service. For distinguished work in North Africa, Sicily, England and France, she was presented with the Air Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven bronze service stars, the American Theatre Campaign Medal, and the Victory Medal.

May 15, 1960 -
The Soviet Union launches Sputnik IV, a three-ton spacecraft containing a "dummy cosmonaut,"  (There is a consistent rumor that there was an actual cosmonaut on-board but the Soviets have denied this.) The mission goes fine until they attempt to retrofire.

A bug in the guidance system had pointed the capsule in the wrong direction, so instead of dropping into the atmosphere the satellite moves into a higher orbit.

May 15, 1972 -
On February 16, 1972, Arthur Bremer quit his job as a janitor. Two weeks later, he began his diary on March 1 with the words, "It is my personal plan to assassinate by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace". His purpose was "to do SOMETHING BOLD AND DRAMATIC, FORCEFUL & DYNAMIC, A STATEMENT of my manhood for the world to see".

In his haste, the gunman forgets to yell his carefully-chosen catchphrase, "Penny for your thoughts!"

And when Gov. George Wallace survives the assassination attempt, albeit confined to a wheelchair, Bremer's name was soon forgotten.

And on a personal note -
Happy Birthday Michael.

And so it goes

No comments: