Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I scream, you scream

It's National Ice Cream Sandwich Day today, a day to enjoy an ice cream sandwich.

The best way to celebrate is to make your own!

August 2, 1965 -
Michael Caine's first outing as the anti Bond spy, Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File, premiered in the US on this date.

Palmer is the first action hero to wear glasses (Michael Caine is myopic in real life). Caine chose to wear glasses because he expected the film to be the first of a series, similar to the Bond movies. He feared being over-identified with the character of Harry Palmer and so he wore the glasses so that he could remove them for other roles.

August 2, 1967 -
The crime drama In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, opened in New York on this date.

This was the first major Hollywood film in color that was lit with proper consideration for an actor with dark skin. Haskell Wexler recognized that standard lighting used in filming produced too much glare on most black actors and others of dark complexion. Wexler toned down the lighting to feature Sidney Poitier with better results.

August 2, 1985 -
Universal Pictures releases the sci-fi comedy film Weird Science, directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock and Ilan Mitchell-Smith, on this date.

Kelly LeBrock initially turned down the role of Lisa, as she was vacationing in France at the time and was "having too much fun riding horses on the beach".

August 2, 1989 -
Universal Pictures released  Ron Howard's film, Parenthood, starring  Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest and Keanu Reeves on this date.

The film grossed just under $100 million during the original run in theaters. Several years later, the project was rereleased into theaters so it could be logged officially as earning $100 million.

Today in History:
August 2, 1100
Act of God:
You may often wonder when this phrase came into being. You've all seen it long enough and you may unfortunately experienced it when you went to collect on you home insurance policy. As with most things, the English can pinpoint the first popular usage of the phrase.

William II (William Rufus), the second surviving son of William I the Conqueror, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers also over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was not well liked for his unusual practice of buggering unwilling men every morning of his reign.

William started out as King of England on September 26, 1087 and liked to start his day with a vigorous bout of forced sodomy. While he enjoyed sodomy with many of his 'special friends', he really enjoyed a good round of sodomy with some new, mostly unwilling courtier every morning.

And why not - It's good to be the king.

It was drawing upon the 1000th new morning wake up call and William wanted to go on his usual after sodomizing the new guy hunt. So off the royal entourage went and before you knew it, they all raced home, including William's brother, Henry (soon to be Henry I) and William II lie (or lay, I'm never really quite sure) dead with an arrow shot through his lung, on this date.

Henry, after hurriedly crowning himself the First, called for an inquest into how his brother happened to find himself with an arrow through the lung. Not that Henry was that interested in the answer (literally, no one would pick up William's corpse. A peasant had to bring it round to the back of the Winchester Cathedral on a dung cart - I kid you not.) A Royal commission was held and decided that it was a just end - an 'Act of God' played out on a wicked king.

So there you go - blame the fact you can't get a payment from your insurance company on an English monarch with a penchant for vigorous sodomy.

August 2, 1870 -
The world's first underground subway opened in London, England, on this date. The six foot diameter tunnel was created by engineer James Henry near the Tower of London.

The first shuttles operated in the tunnel were twelve seat carriages moved by wires drawn by steam engines. However, the system was unreliable and uneconomic and closed that December after the company went bankrupt

August 2, 1876 -
Drinking at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, Jack McCall noticed Wild Bill Hickok playing poker at a corner table. Then he calmly walked over to the table and blew a wide hole in the back of Hickok's head with a .45 revolver. The professional gambler and onetime lawman was holding a pair of Aces and a pair of Eights, now known as the "Dead Man's Hand."  There is no general consensus on what the fifth card was.

So kids, please remember to split those aces and eights when you are dealt them.

August 2, 1909  -
The first Lincoln head pennies were minted on this date.

It was 95% copper and was the first US coin to depict the likeness of a president.

August 2, 1923 -
President Warren G. Harding died suddenly at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on this date. His wife Florence forbids an autopsy, and the President's body is embalmed shortly after death. It is speculated by many that the cause of death, initially reported as "a stroke of apoplexy," was in fact poison administered by the First Lady. Mrs. Harding was rather annoyed that her husband was taking dictation from his secretary in the broom closet.

You have to love this asshole - he actually lost the White House china in a poker game. And despite the fact that Prohibition made it illegal, Harding served his friends alcohol.

Harding had the largest feet of any U.S. President. He wore size 14 shoes. I'll just leave you all with that.

Make of it what you will.

August 2, 1943 -
A Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being sheared in two by the Amagiri, a Japanese destroyer, off the Solomon Islands. Two members of the crew were killed in the collision.

An injured Kennedy and the ship's other survivors clung to the wreckage and swam to a nearby island, where Aaron Kumana and Biuku Gasa found them. The pair rowed 35 miles through enemy-held waters to summon a rescue boat.

August 2, 1990 -
After Kuwait refuses to waive Iraq's war debts, 100,000 Iraqi soldiers stream across the border and seize control of Kuwait City. Their troops outnumbered 5-to-1, the Kuwaitis mount no resistance whatsoever. In so doing, Saddam Hussein precipitates the first Gulf War.

This was one of the the reasons we got into the mess in Iraq.

And so it goes.

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