Monday, July 11, 2016

Whoa, that's cold!

Before we speak about Brain Freeze, which is actually called Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia, once again I have been warned by the FCC and other governmental agencies that ACME must make the following statement:

7-11 is celebrating their name day (so to speak) by giving away Slurpees to the "brain freeze" fearless public.

July 11, 1937  -
True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time.

Jacob Gershowitz
, one of the greatest writers of the American songbook, died of a brain tumor at age 38 in Beverly Hills, Ca. on this date.

July 11, 1942 -
A classic 40s Merrie Melodies cartoon, Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid was released on this date.

The scene in which Bugs believes part of his body to be skeletal is a reference to Harold Lloyd's execution of the exact same joke in The Freshman.

July 11, 1965 -
One of the 60s best Beach movies, Beach Blanket Bingo opened today.

This was the final full appearance in a "Beach Party" movie for Frankie Avalon. He only appears in six minutes of the follow-up, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.

July 11, 1969 -
The Rolling Stones released Honky Tonk Women on this date.

Like many Rolling Stones songs, it has highly suggestive lyrics, but they are just subtle enough to keep it from getting banned by radio stations. British Rock Bands often wrote lyrics that were ambiguously offensive, falling just in line with BBC guidelines for airplay. A good example in this song is "She blew my nose and then she blew my mind," which implies both cocaine and sex, but didn't give the BBC any specific reason to ban it.

July 11, 1969 -
Co-incidentally, David Bowie, released his single Space Oddity,  supposedly in conjunction with the July 20th Apollo 11 moon landing, on this date.

When the BBC used this during coverage of the moon landing, there was a great fear that if the missions in space didn't go well, this song would suddenly become inappropriate.

Today in History:
July 11, 1533
The Church of England came into being on this date. The story of its origins is shrouded in sex and therefore important.

Henry VIII assumed the English throne in 1509, an energetic young man of seventeen. He immediately decided to have a male heir. This became the enduring theme of his reign and he consequently came to be known as The Son King (or, to his detractors, The Heir Head.)

Henry such a devout Catholic that he earned the title "Defender of the Faith" without even stepping into the ring. His first wife, whom he'd married before taking the throne, was Catherine of Aragon, who earned the nickname "Catherine of Aragon." Catherine was an excellent queen until she didn't have a son, at which point things changed.

By the 1530s Henry had realized he was married to a bad queen. He was now about 40 years old and therefore decided to get a convertible coach and a new wife.

The convertible caused no problems, but the changing of wives required the official permission of the Pope, who, being Catholic himself, refused to grant a divorce.

Henry divorced her anyway, and on July 11, 1533, the Catholic Church seceded from the Church of England in retaliation.

The Pope having withdrawn, Henry made himself the head of the Church of England. Because he was still the Defender of the Faith, he wrote the Act of Supremacy. This Act proved that the Church of England was better than the Catholic Church, that King Henry VIII was better than any Pope, and that a Single White King was back in the market.

Sir Thomas More had been the Lord Chancellor of England, and knew Henry as well as any man alive. He therefore refused to swear to the Act of Supremacy, and on July 6, 1535, became Sir Thomas Somewhat Less.

At this point in his career, Henry began marrying and divorcing women on a regular basis. The divorce process was expedited now that Papal authority was no longer a consideration. In fact, Henry turned the entire process into a game: his wives would be blindfolded and asked to produce a male heir.

It came to be known as "Bluff King Hal," and several centuries later it served as the inspiration for the popular French game, "Hungry Hungry Guillotine."

July 11 1804 -

Former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr duel in Weehawken, New Jersey after Hamilton allegedly slandered Burr during a political dinner in New York. Hamilton was shot in the liver and died the next day.

Meanwhile, Burr lives on to finish his term in office and is eventually tried for treason after attempting to raise an army and seize land for himself, either in Mexico or the Louisiana Territory.

July 11, 1859 -
Charles Dickens' novel, A Tale of Two Cities was published on this date.

The book, would become the best-selling, original English language novel of all time, with more than 200 million copies sold.

July 11, 1893 -
Japanese businessman Kokichi Mikimoto perfected his technique for creating hemispherical cultured pearls, producing the world's first cultured pearl on this day.

In the next 12 years, he would hone his technique, making spherical pearls that were indistinguishable from the perfect specimens rarely found in nature.

July 11, 1936 -
The Triborough Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic, on this date.

Built at the height of the Great Depression, the creation of the Triborough Bridge put thousands of struggling people to work. It also was New York City’s first bridge specifically designed for automobiles.

July 11, 1979 -
The derelict space station Skylab finally returned to Earth, ignominiously breaking into 500 separate fragments which are swallowed by the Indian Ocean. That was, except for the ones which crashed into Woorlba Sheep Station, near Balladonia in Western Australia.

Shortly thereafter, President Jimmy Carter telephoned the prime minister of that country to apologized for scattering NASA litter on his nation.


July 11, 1960 -
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee (the book is her only published work, until now) was published, on this date.

The novel quickly became a classic and won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1961.

July 11, 1997 -
Bodybuilder and wannabe actor Jonathan Norman was arrested for trespassing on Steven Spielberg's estate in Malibu, California on this date. Believing that the film director "wanted to be raped," Norman had brought along a kit containing handcuffs, duct tape, nipple clamps, chloroform, and a stun gun.

I never realized that Steven liked nipple clamps, he seemed more like a gooseneck man to me. And I like to think he enjoys ACME Mentholated Bung Balm.

And so it goes.

I almost forgot -  It's Manhattanhenge time once again - the sun will be perfectly lined up with the east-west streets of New York. (If you miss it tonight, you get another shot tomorrow.)

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