Sunday, November 19, 2017

Not to burst your bubble

It's unclear if colonists and Native Americans ate turkey at their feast.

There is truly no definitive proof that the bird we wait all year to eat was even offered to guests back in 1621. However, they did indulge in other interesting foods like lobster, seal and swan.

Drum roll please - the 2017 word of the year this year is -

According to the Collins Dictionary, the word you're looking for is "Fake news." The dictionary's new Word of the Year is defined as "false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting."

Once again, thank Mr. President.

November 19, 1942 -
The second (and last) Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth outing, You Were Never Lovelier, co-starring  Adolphe Menjou and Xavier Cugat, premiered in NYC on this date.

Free space at the studio was limited during production so Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth rehearsed most of their routines in a nearby funeral parlor next to a cemetery. They had to stop rehearsing to the upbeat music whenever a funeral procession arrived.

November 19, 1946 -
Edmund Goulding's
adaptation of  W. Somerset Maugham's novel, The Razor's Edge, starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter, Clifton Webb, and Herbert Marshall, premiered in NYC on this date.

Tyrone Power got along well with Gene Tierney. In the movie her character falls for his, but on the set it was Power who fell for Tierney. As soon as this was noticed, rumors began to fly that the two were romantically involved in real life. After the premiere, Power brought her a scarf with the word "Love" embroidered on it as a gift and she had to tell him she was seeing John F. Kennedy, one of the sons of Joseph Kennedy, still years away from his political victories in the US Senate and the Presidency. Power understood and made no more advances.

November 19, 1959 -
The first episode of Rocky & His Friends aired on this date.

The first episode, Part One of the Jet Fuel Formula story arc, was recorded in February 1958. However, subsequent episodes were not recorded until February 1959, using a different soundtrack stock. This led to some notable changes in the performances of the voice cast - in Part One of Jet Fuel Formula the clarity of the voice cast is noticeably better than in subsequent episodes, particularly the voice performances of June Foray and Paul Frees; a close listen finds that the studio echo of the session bleeds into the soundtrack.

November 19, 1975 -
One of Jack Nicholson's greatest performances, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, opened in the US on this date.

During filming, a crew member running cables left a second story window open at the Oregon State Mental Hospital and an actual patient climbed through the bars and fell to the ground, injuring himself. The next day The Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon reported the incident with the headline on the front page "One flew OUT of the cuckoo's nest".

November 19, 1980 -
It fails so completely that you might suspect Mr. Cimino sold his soul to obtain the success of The Deer Hunter and the Devil has just come around to collect. - Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Michael Cimino's 'tainted masterpiece', Heaven's Gate premiered on this date.

33 years
later - By all means see it on the big screen if only to appreciate the enormity of Mr. Cimino's efforts.  A fascinating artifact and a monument to Mr. Cimino's towering ambitions, as much for himself as for his art. He sought to recreate the Old West in the film, but the greater marvel is how he tried to replicate Old Hollywood and a dream world that once was - a world that these days is often made in computers. – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Another stop along the lost highway

Today in History:
November 19, 1581
Russian Czar Ivan The Terrible killed his son, Ivan The Merely Petulant on this date, or so history alleges. The younger Ivan interrupted the elder Ivan, who was beating Ivan Jr's pregnant wife because of her inappropriate garb. Still in a fit of rage, dad smote his son with a staff, killing him dead.

This is what passed for family life amongst the Royals in the Middle Ages in Russia.

November 19, 1620 -
A group of maniacal religious fanatics reached North America and stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock on this date. Because America did not yet have a Puritan Government, they developed the Mayflower Compact while still at sea. (William Bradford had argued for a Sporty Coupe, but the more practical John Alden had carried the day.)

Eventually the descendants of these frugal and passionately religious people would invent apps that enable the downloading of pornography to your smart phones around the world at light speed.

November 19, 1703 -
The Man in the Iron Mask died in the Bastille on this date.

He was a prisoner of Louis XIV, forced to wear a black velvet mask, and his identity has never been revealed.

Seven score and 14 years ago today (November 19, 1863) -
President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on this date.

The speech remains an important part of American history on account of its having been written on the back of an envelope despite stringent postal requirements that addresses be printed clearly on the front.

November 19, 1954
Driving to Los Angeles, Sammy Davis, Jr. was in a serious automobile accident in San Bernardino on this date.

He lost his left eye, but the resultant publicity greatly accelerated his career.

November 19, 1961 -
Michael Rockefeller, 23
year old son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (later Vice President), was last seen while searching for Asmat wood carvings in the jungles near Atsj, Papua New Guinea on this date.

He was probably eaten by the Asmat. Hence their motto, "Eat the Rich".

November 19, 1969 -
Please feel free to use this piece of information at your Thanksgiving dinner should you run out of conversation:

Apollo 12 astronauts, Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean, landed at the Oceanus Procellarum (“Ocean of Storms”) and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon on this date.

November 19, 1978
Philadelphia Eagles’ Herman Edwards returned a fumble for a touchdown with 31 seconds left to give Philadelphia a 19-17 victory over the New York Giants.

The play became know as the Miracle at the Meadowlands and the play vaulted the Eagles into the postseason for the first time in 18 years, while the Giants finished last in the division.

And so it goes

Begin discussing with your family the Thanksgiving menu

(start drinking the Beaujolais Nouveau you purchased the other day.  You need to exercise your liver.)


Before you go - Puddles released a fantastic version of Elvis Costello's (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding -

(If everyone is very good, I'll try to find the clip of Elvis Costello singing this in a bear suit.)

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