Friday, October 10, 2014

Excuse me while I blow your mind.

I haven't shared with you a clip from Mental Floss for a while - today's is 100 Amazing Facts

I can't promise you that you will find all of the 100 facts that amazing.

Today is Squid/ Cuttlefish day. Revel in all their inky delights.

Calamari could loom large in your day today - celebrate responsibly.

October 10, 1941 -
The last movie W C Fields starred in, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, premiered on this date.

The frantic race down the Hyperion Street bridge on Glendale Avenue when Field's car is hooked onto the firetruck: Look to the upper far right of the scene in the distance and you will see the Great Mausoleum of Forest Lawn where Fields would eventually be interred in the Columbarium of Nativity.

October 10, 1953 -
The wonderful Stan Freberg topped the charts on this date with his record, St. George and the Dragonet.

 The B side was another Dragnet spoof, "Little Blue Riding Hood," based on the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood.

October 10, 1956 -
George Steven's
sprawling epic, Giant, premiered in NYC on this date.

When Rock Hudson was cast, director George Stevens asked him whom he preferred as his leading lady, "Grace Kelly or Elizabeth Taylor?" Hudson picked Elizabeth Taylor, who was cast in the film and ended up becoming lifelong friends with Hudson.

October 10, 1957 -
Guy Williams
galloped across TV screens as the masked hero, when Zorro, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

Although "Zorro" was the most popular show in its Thursday evening slot, the series was pulled in 1959 due to legal wrangling between the Disney Studios and the ABC network. Disney tried to keep the character before the audience by shooting four one-hour episodes for another anthology series, but by the time the lawsuit was settled, the studio had decided the public had lost interest in the character and the series was cancelled.

October 10, 1961 -
Elia Kazan's
bittersweet romance, Splendor in the Grass, starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, premiered on this date.

As filmed, this film included a sequence in which Wilma Dean Loomis takes a bath while arguing with her mother. The bickering finally becomes so intense that Wilma jumps out of the tub and runs nude down a hallway to her bedroom, where the camera cuts to a close-up of her bare legs kicking hysterically on the mattress. Both the Hollywood censors and the Catholic Legion Of Decency objected to the hallway scene, finding the bare backside unsuitable for public display. Consequently, director Elia Kazan dropped the piece, leaving an abrupt jump from tub to bed.

October 10, 1962 -
The British Broadcasting Company
banned Monster Mash -- the Halloween-themed novelty tune by Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- for being "offensive."

The BBC felt the song was offensive (but never specifies precisely why) and banned it from the airwaves until 1973. It was re-released in 1973 and the song rose to #3 in the charts in the UK. By this time, Boris Pickett was driving a cab in New York City to earn a living.

October 10, 1964 -
The Shangri-Las
released their operatic hit, Leader of the Pack, on this date.

Mary Weiss, the lead vocalist of the Shangri-Las, said in Telegraph magazine, April 14, 2007, "I don't think I would be able to put feeling into the song unless I had really thought about the lyrics. I put a lot of my own pain into that song. I don't think teenage years are all that rosy for a lot of people-they certainly weren't for me. They are the most confusing time of people's lives and there is a tremendous dark side to the record, which I think teenagers related to. The studio was a great place to let the pain out."

Later in 1964, The Detergents recorded a parody of this song called Leader Of The Laundromat.

October 10, 1968 -
One of the silliest movies Jane Fonda (or anyone else, for that matter) ever made, Barbarella, landed in US theatres on this date.

The movie's main English language trailer featured the following statement: "We wish to thank the following planets for making this picture possible: Lythion, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Earth and many special guest stars!".

October 10, 1969 -
King Crimson
releases their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, considered by many to be the first progressive rock album. 

The title song is arguably one of King Crimson's most famous songs and is one of only two in the band's entire existence that Robert Fripp did not co-write.

Today in History:
October 10, 1780
Over 48 hours, a slow-moving hurricane decimates Barbados, killing 4,326 (however according to the island's governor, "fortunately few people of consequence were among the number").

Over the next week, the catastrophic storm system moves on to Martinique (9,000 dead) and St. Eustatius (4-5,000). The unprecedented Great Hurricane of 1780 remains the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record.

October 10, 1813 -
This time I didn't forget that it's Joe Green's birthday today.

Verdi was so beloved in Italy that while he lay dying in the Grand Hotel in Milan, the horses in town had their hooves covered in cloth, so the noise would not disturb him.

October 10, 1910 -
You think "The Skull and Bones" Society rule this country. Several of the readers and I (and well as George Stephanopoulos) are members of the fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi. (It has been brought to my attention that Rick Santorium was also a mention of TEP while he was a student at Penn State.  It causes me a great deal of grief to think he and I share anything in common.)

Tau Epsilon Phi (TEF, commonly pronounced "TEP") is a predominantly American fraternity with approximately 40 active chapters, chiefly located at universities and colleges in the Northeastern United States. The organization was founded on this date, by ten Jewish men at Columbia University, as a response to the existence of similar organizations who would not admit Jewish members. The national headquarters is currently located in Voorhees, New Jersey and the official colors of the organization are lavender and white (although most chapters use purple instead of lavender).

But don't ask about our secret handshake or whose pinball machine we had in the basement.

October 10, 1911 -
The Chinese revolution began in Hankow, on this date.

The revolution spread rapidly, resulting in the abdication of six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi, the Academy Award-winning "Last Emperor" of China.

October 10, 1913 -
Two years later on this date, President Woodrow Wilson was bored and puttering around the White House. He started fiddling around with things on his desk and pressing a button.

This triggered a blast which exploded the Gamboa Dike down in Panama and somehow the Panama Canal was completed on this date and a popular palindrome was born.  Why the China Revolution and the opening of the Panama Canal are connected is anybody's guess?

October 10, 1973 -
Bribe-happy Vice President Spiro T. Agnew finally resigned, after pleading Nolo contendere to federal income tax evasion on this date.

It should be noted that humorist Dave Barry points out that one can rearrange the letters in "Spiro Agnew" to spell "Grow A Penis."

October 10, 1985 -
We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.

As to all, cheap wine hawker, voice-over whore and movie legends, Orson Welles, whose remarkably innovative Citizen Kane was named the best American-made picture of all time in a 1998 American Film Institute poll, died of a heart attack at the age of 70 on this date.

Yul Brynner
, Russian-born, Academy Award-winning Broadway and Hollywood actor died on October 10, 1985 (the same day as Orson Welles, his co star in The Battle of Neretva) in New York City. The cause of death was lung cancer brought on by smoking. Throughout his life, Brynner was always seen with a cigarette in his hand. In January 1985, nine months before his death, he gave an interview on Good Morning America, expressing his desire to make an anti-smoking commercial.

The clip from that interview was made into just such a public service announcement by the American Cancer Society and released after his death; it includes the warning "Now that I'm gone, I tell you, don't smoke."

If only he listened to himself.

And so it goes

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