Monday, October 19, 2015

Hitting the ground running

(Trying to do too much this morning, sorry if today's posting seems scattered)

October 19, 1966 -
The first pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (who went on to work together in 11 additional films), The Fortune Cookie, premiered on this date.

This was director Billy Wilder's second film in a row in which one of his lead actors suffered a heart attack. In preceding film, 1964's Kiss Me, Stupid, Peter Sellers' health problem forced Wilder to replace him with Ray Walston. In Fortune Cookie, Walter Matthau suffered attack midway through production but shooting was postponed until he recovered; his drastic weight loss from scene to scene is noticeable.

October 19, 1985 -
The Norwegian band a-Ha, who went from total unknowns to chart-topping pop stars when the song Take On Me, hit #1 on the Billboard pop chart on this day.

A-ha wrote and recorded the first version of this song in 1982 with the title "Lesson One" - it had different lyrics but contained the basic keyboard riff. In 1983, the song got the attention of industry veteran Terry Slater, who becomes their manager and helps them secure a contract with Warner Bros. Records later that year.

Today in History:
October 19, 1879
(I've also seen the date as 10/21/79, 10/22/79, 10/25/79 or 11/03/79 - I'm guessing geniuses can't be bothered when they're filing other people patents under their name every 12 minutes or crushing their competition with false and scurrilous rumors.) - Thomas A. Edison successfully demonstrates the electric light.

Unfortunately, it took several years to straighten out his first electric bill.

October 19, 1890 -
My favorite self-circumcising, Muslim passing, male brothel going, Late-Victorian pornographer and international man of mystery Richard Francis Burton, explorer, British consul, translator, died on this date.

His wife, Lady Burton, spent several years burning most of his unpublished notes (he had been working on translating the book The Perfumed Garden and its controversy chapters concerning homosexual sex positions - I kid you not,) before published a (highly sanitized) biography of her late husband.

October 19, 1901 -
Alberto Santos-Dumont successfully circled the Eiffel Tower in his Santos-Dumont No. 6 dirigible within a half hour and won a 100,000 franc prize.

An initial ruling said that he failed by 40 seconds because the race wasn’t finished until he touched ground. A 2nd vote granted him the win.

This proved the airship maneuverable and parking was very bad in Paris at the turn of the previous century even for dirigibles.

In the midst of the First World War, Salvation Army volunteers in France found themselves stymied by inadequate supplies and ovens for baking. Unable to prepare the cakes and and pies they so badly wanted to bake for the troops, they came up with the novel idea of frying rather than baking the dough.

Two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Stella Young and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. This resulted in the appearance of the world's first fried donut on a WWI front on October 19, 1917.

The donut should not be confused with the bagel, despite their physical resemblance. The bagel is boiled and baked, whereas the donut is fried (but sometimes baked.)

Bagels are found in varieties such as onion, garlic, salt, poppy-seed, and sesame-seed, and are frequently consumed with cheese and fish.

Donuts are found in varieties such as glazed, chocolate, chocolate-frosted, strawberry-frosted, powdered, jelly-filled, and sprinkled.

They are rarely consumed with cheese or fish, but they go pretty damn well with coffee (or tea.)

October 19, 1953 -
After Julius La Rosa had finished singing Manhattan on Arthur Godfrey Time, the host (and general scum bag) Arthur Godfrey fired him on the air, announcing, "that was Julie's swan song with us."

Unaware the firing was coming (or what the phrase "swan song" meant), La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his "break."

October 19, 1982 -
Maverick carmaker John DeLorean was arrested in Los Angeles with $24 million dollars worth of cocaine in his suitcase on this date.

The case was later thrown out of court when a judge rules that the FBI sting operation constituted entrapment.

Before you go - clear your schedule for the next few minutes and prepare to be amazed by this mashup by GUMP where Jimmy Stewart gets stalked by Stanley Kubrick in The Red Drum Getaway.

Wait there's more, after watching The Red Drum Getaway, I fell upon this other mashup called Fragments by Alizée Lafon, which is similar and yet so very different.

both were simply amazing

And so it goes

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