Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friggatriskaidekaphobia

Don't be afraid, it's only Friday the 13th

Be afraid of living in a community with an inane newscast like this.

September 13, 1969 -
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! made its CBS network debut on this date.

Although this franchise has rarely enjoyed critical favor, one notable exception was the famous science popularizer, Carl Sagan. As someone who disapproved of the popular belief in various paranormal ideas, Sagan approved of the series' skeptic tone of the heroes who usually expose supernatural claims as hoaxes.

September 11, 1974 -
The science fiction/ horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

Darren McGavin is often incorrectly considered to be, and listed in many official references guides, as the show's Executive Producer. In fact, he never held the position, although he unofficially assumed many of the duties. This put him at odds with Paul Playdon and then Cy Chermak, the official producers appointed by Universal.

September 13, 1974 -
The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, was first broadcast on NBC-TV on this date.

David Chase, a writer/producer for Rockford, went on to create The Sopranos. An episode from The Sopranos first season shows a scene in a retirement home where the inhabitants are watching television. We can't see what they're watching but we can hear the theme to "Rockford" playing clearly.

September 13, 1996 -
The family comedy based on the stand-up routines of Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond, starring Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton  Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.

The three Barone children (Ally, Geoffrey and Michael) are actually siblings in real life (Madylin, Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten respectively).

Today in History:
September 13, 1848
A 13-pound tamping iron is blown through the head of railroad construction foreman Phineas P. Gage, entering beneath the left cheekbone and exiting the top of his head. The metal bar lands 30 yards away, taking with it much of his left frontal lobe. Gage never loses consciousness, even while the doctors examine his wound. Two months later, he is well enough to return home and resume an active life of work and travel.

The steel rod, along with a cast of Gage's head, and his skull, are now on display at Harvard Medical School's Warren Anatomical Museum.

September 13, 1899 -
Henry M. Bliss
was coming home from work today and never came back. Mr. Bliss was enjoying his ride home near Central Park and 74th Street, when he stepped out of a streetcar and into the street and was struck by a taxicab. Bliss was rushed to a hospital but died from his injuries the next morning.

The cab driver Arthur Smith was arrested and charged with manslaughter. The charges were dropped after it was determined that Bliss’ death was unintentional. Bliss became the first pedestrian to be killed by an automobile in the United States.

On September 13, 1999, a hundred years to the day, Citystreets unveiled a historical marker at the site of the first American Pedestrian Fatality.

September 13, 1916 -
Mary the circus elephant is publicly executed in the Erwin, Tennessee railyard, after killing a drifter named Walter "Red" Eldridge the previous day.

The five-ton animal was hanged from a derrick car in front of 3,000 onlookers, and left hanging for half an hour.

Give the people what they want ... (Please folks, I am not encouraging the execution of any animal, especially mammals weighing over five tons.)

September 13, 1916 -

Roald Dahl was born on this date in Llandaff, South Wales. He was sent off to private boarding schools as a kid, which he hated except for the chocolates, Cadbury chocolates. The Cadbury chocolate company had chosen his school as a focus group for new candies they were developing. Every so often, a plain gray cardboard box was issued to each child, filled with eleven chocolate bars. It was the children's task to rate the candy, and Dahl took his job very seriously. About one of the sample candy bars, he wrote, "Too subtle for the common palate." He later said that the experience got him thinking about candy as something manufactured in a factory, and he spent a lot of time imagining what a candy factory might be like.

Today, he's best known for his children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and for the fact he ran off with his children's nanny after his wife, the actress Patricia Neal, recovered from a stroke. But even more interesting, a recently published biography of Dahl, purports that he was a spy for the British government during World War II, paid to sleep with wealthy U. S. women to gain information for the British government.

And you thought only 007 had a way with women.

September 13, 1940 -
The German Luftwaffe directly targeted Buckingham Palace during 'the Blitz' and dropped a bomb into the palace courtyard and detonated on impact on this date. The force of the explosion blew out all the inside windows of the palace. No one was seriously hurt and had the unintended effect of bonding the Royal Family with the people of England, as the Windsors did not evacuate London.

Queen Elizabeth (the queen's mother) narrowly averted serious injury and when asked about the incident said, "I am glad we have been bombed….it makes me feel like I can look the [heavily bombed] East End in the face."

September 13, 1965 -
The Beatles released the single Yesterday/Act Naturally in the US on this date.

Paul McCartney wrote this song and was the only Beatle to play on it. It was the first time a Beatle recorded without the others, and marked a shift to more independent accomplishments among the group. While John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote The Beatles early songs together, by 1965 most of their songs were primarily written by one or the other, although they continued to credit all their songs Lennon/McCartney.

September 13, 2000 -
Cameron Crowe's autobiographic film, Almost Famous, was released on this date.

The original title for Almost Famous was actually "Untitled", however Dreamworks would not allow this, so Cameron Crowe called the bootleg edition of Almost Famous on DVD "Untitled" instead.

This evening is the start of Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement,

Have an easy fast.

And so it goes

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