Tuesday, March 22, 2016

There is no life without water

The lack of potable water is the second leading cause of death in many Third World countries (and it could be a lot sooner than you think in California.) World Water Day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

So remember, after your morning coffee (or tea,) please remember to recycle your 'precious bodily fluid'.

Two leading lights of twentieth century musical theatre were born on March 22: Stephen Sondheim (1930), best known for his work on Gypsy, West Side Story, Company and Sweeney Todd and Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948), best known for Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats and Phantom of the Opera.

By some mysterious natural process of compensation, March 22 is also the birthday of Marcel Marceau (1923), best known for Actor Trapped in a Role.

March 22, 1931 -
...If you make a fool of yourself, you can do it with dignity, without taking your pants down. And if you do take your pants down, you can still do it with dignity......

William Shatner, arguably the world's (or at least Canada's) greatest actor was born today on this date. And yes he was very sorry that he didn't make Leonard's funeral.

March 22, 1963 -
The Beatles' first album, Please Please Me, was released in the UK on this date.  The album went to the top of the UK charts in two months and remained there for 30 weeks.

Please Please Me has been ranked in the top 50 of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" by Rolling Stone. In the US, most of the songs on Please Please Me were first issued on Vee-Jay Records' Introducing... The Beatles in 1964 and subsequently on Capitol Records' The Early Beatles in 1965.

Today in History:
March 22, 1622
A band led by the Brothers of Powhatan slaughtered 347 settlers near Jamestown, a quarter of the population, in the first Native American massacre of European settlers on this date.

Just think if those indigenous people had just followed the thought all the way through ....

March 22, 1687 -
Classical music and vanity do not mix, if fact, they can really kill you.

In early January of 1687, Jean-Baptiste de Lully, court music and gossip to King Louis XIV of France and notorious buggerer (but that's another story ...) was conducting a musical piece, beating time on the floor with a long staff. This was the common practice at the time before hand-held batons became the norm. He slammed his big toe.

The wound abscessed and eventually turned gangrenous. He refused to have his toe amputated (as he first started as a court dancer) because he could not bear the thought of disfigurement. The wound turned gangrenous and the infection spread, killing him three months later, on this date.

March 22, 1895 -
Auguste and Louis Lumiere first demonstrated motion pictures in Paris using celluloid film. Unless it was March 19, 1895, or December 28, 1894, or cellulite instead of celluloid. And it may have been in Milan, or Warsaw, and it's possible it wasn't Louis and Auguste Lumiere, but Max and Emil Skladanowsky.

It depends who you ask. It wasn't much of a movie anyway—just footage of workers leaving the Lumiere Factory at the end of their shift—so the ambiguity surrounding its debut shouldn't be so surprising.

In honor of the Lumiere Bros 100 year anniversary, in 1995, 40 film directors created short films using the same type of camera the Lumiere brothers used. If you have the time, please this film Lumiere and Company.

March 22, 1958 -
Michael Todd, movie producer, (and one of the myriad of husband's of Elizabeth Taylor) and three other people were killed in the crash of Todd's private plane Lucky Liz, near Grants, New Mexico, on this date. In his autobiography, Eddie Fisher, who considered himself to be Todd's best friend (and another one of the myriad of husbands of Elizabeth Taylor,) stated that no fragments of Todd had been found, and that his coffin contained only his ring.

The Los Angeles Times
reported in 1977 that Fisher's story was false - remains of Todd were indeed found and buried. His remains were desecrated by robbers, who broke into his coffin looking for the ring. The bag containing Todd's remains was found under a tree near his plot.

How big was that bag?

March 22, 1972
National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended ending criminal penalties for possession of marijuana on this date.

Follow along (this may be on a different test) - so far, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont have made private, non-medical possession of marijuana treated as a civil, non-criminal offense. Five additional states - Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio - treat marijuana possession offenses as a fine-only misdemeanor offense. Four states - Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington - impose no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana.

March 22, 1978 -
One of the Flying Wallendas, 73 year old Karl Wallenda, plunges to his death on a cable strung between two hotels in San Juan, PR on this date.


And so it goes.

Before you go - Don't forget to check out today's quiz on the Russian Monarchy

And one more thing - the things you find while wading through the shoals of the interweb

 PBY Blister Gunner, Rescue at Rabaul, 1944

Photo taken by Horace Bristol (1908-1997). In 1941, Bristol was recruited to the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, as one of six photographers under the command of Captain Edward J. Steichen, documenting World War II in places such as South Africa and Japan. In 1944, this young crewman of a US Navy “Dumbo” PBY rescue mission has just jumped into the water of Rabaul Harbor (New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea), to rescue a badly burned Marine pilot who was shot down while bombing the Japanese-held fortress of Rabaul. Since Japanese coastal defense guns were firing at the plane while it was in the water during take-off, this brave young man, after rescuing the pilot, manned his position as machine gunner without taking time to put on his clothes.

So now you know.

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