Thursday, April 10, 2014

As always, China does not say

The marvelous vlogger CGP Grey has a new video (which is reason enough to live for another day.)  This one poses the question, are Hong Kong and Macau their own countries?

But what about Tibet?

April 10, 1925 -
... He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . and one fine morning - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald third book, The Great Gatsby, was published on this date. Among various titles considered were Among Ashheaps and Millionaires, Gold-Hatted Gatsby, The High-Bouncing Lover, On the Road to West Egg and Fitzgerald's favorite Trimalchio's Banquet based on a character from the Roman character Trimalchio from the Satyricon. At the last moment, Fitzgerald agreed with his editor Max Perkins on the title, The Great Gatsby and it was published on this date.

The novel was not popular upon initial printing and sold fewer than 25,000 copies during the remaining fifteen years of Fitzgerald's life. Fitzgerald was very disappointed about this happening.

Much alcohol consumption and dissipation ensued.

April 10, 1953 -
Warner Bros.'
first 3-D movie, House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, premiered on this date.

The film's director, André De Toth, was blind in one eye and hence could not see the effect.

Today in History:
April 10, 1848
250 people die in a bridge collapse in Yarmouth, England. They had gathered on the suspension bridge to watch a clown boat be pulled by a flock of geese.

Nothing good comes from clowns.

April 10, 1866 -
Henry Bergh
founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City, on this date.

Interesting enough, Bergh goes on, with a group of other like minded social reformers, to help found the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1874.

April 10, 1912 -
... I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that . . . - Edward J. Smith (1907), the future captain of the RMS Titanic.

(The footage above was not footage of the Titanic but of her sister ship the RMS Olympic - very little 'actual' footage of the Titanic exist. )

The RMS Titanic left port in Southampton, England for her first and last voyage on this date.

April 10, 1917 -
people were killed in an explosion at the Eddystone ammunition factory in Chester, PA on this date. Satan was immediately implicated, with one official declaring the blast to be "the result of a diabolical plot conceived in the degenerate brain of a demon in human guise." It later turns out to have been caused by poorly-maintained powder loading machinery.

Lucifer wrote a strongly worded Op-Ed piece for the Times complaining about his perceived negative image in the media.

April 10, 1919 -
Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata was ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Morelos, Mexico on this date.

Zapata and his bodyguards were lured to a meeting by army colonel Jesus Guajardo. For his deception, Guajardo collects a reward of 52,000 pesos and is promoted to the rank of general. Dubya's grandpappy did not attempt to steal his skull.

April 10, 1964 -
The Polo Grounds were demolished on this date and a public housing project was erected on the site. Demolition of the Polo Grounds began in April of that year with the same wrecking ball that had been used four years earlier on Ebbets Field.

The wrecking crew wore Giants jerseys and tipped their hard hats to the historic stadium as they began the dismantling. It took a crew of 60 workers more than four months to level the structure.

April 10, 1970 -
Answering questions concerning his upcoming debut solo album, Paul McCartney 'accidentally' announced on this date, that the Beatles were breaking up. Many were devastated when the legendary band announced that members were going their separate ways after more than 20 years of working together.

The breakup itself took over three years to become official because of numerous legal snafus.

April 10, 1972 -
Charlie Chaplin returned to America, after a more than 20 year self-imposed exile (having been accused of being a Communist) — to receive a lifetime achievement Oscar on this date.

It was his second academy award; the first he got in 1929 for The Circus.

And so it goes.

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