Thursday, December 28, 2017

Begin purchasing stale loaves of bread -

(You'll need it in a major way.)

It's the Fourth day of Christmas and you've just received four calling bird, sometimes know as colly birds or collie birds (which are actually blackbirds). Today's score: you currently have 22 gifts - four calling birds, six French hens, eight turtledoves and four partridges in their respective pear trees (when do these trees become a grove?)

The four calling birds are the four Evangelists

Tonight's the third night of Kwanzaa.

December 28, 1945 -
One of the first Hollywood films to deal with psychoanalysis, Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound premiered in the US on this date

The shot where the audience sees the killer's view down a gun barrel pointing at Peterson was filmed using a giant hand holding a giant gun to get the perspective correct.

December 28, 1958 -
Toho Company Ltd.
released Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, starring Toshiro Mifune and Misa Uehara to theaters in Japan on this date.

Akira Kurosawa made this commercial and accessible film as a way to repay Toho Studios for allowing him to make riskier, more artistic fare such as Rashomon. It was later one of the greatest inspirations for George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode IV - A New HopeGeorge Lucas stated that while this film is a story about a princess and her protectors that this was not the primary element that he employed in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. He has said that he was more concerned with the way that Hidden Fortress is told through the eyes of two lesser characters.

December 28, 1968 -
Marvin Gaye's
song I Heard It Through the Grapevine hit number #1 on this date.

This is the only song that was a #1 R&B hit for three different artists. In addition to the Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Marvin Gaye versions, Roger Troutman (recording as "Roger") took it to the top of the R&B charts with his 1981 version.

Here's another interesting list of the best films of 2017 from Andrew Rivard - an aspiring film editor from L.A. -

I 'm hoping Mr. Rivard has found a job at this point.

Today in History:
December 28, 1832
- .
US Vice President John Calhoun resigned on this date, having only served 16 days in office because of political differences with President Andrew Jackson.  He was the first vice president to do so.

He still continued to be a major force in American politics and was a big influence on the policies of the Confederacy.

December 28, 1869
Patent for chewing gum was granted to William Semple (U.S. patent number #98,304), on this date.

William Semple's version, complete with rubber, charcoal, and myrhh, was the first one to be patented. I bet this gum doesn't lose it flavor on the bed post overnight?

December 28, 1895 -
Auguste and Louis Lumiere opened the first movie theater at the Grand Cafe in Paris, on this date . Other inventors, including Thomas Edison, were working on various moving picture devices at the time. But most of those other devices could only be viewed by one person at a time. The Lumieres were the first to project moving pictures on a screen, so that they could be viewed by a large audience.

The first film they showed to a paying audience was called Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory. It was a short, single shot with an immobile camera and it showed a concierge opening the factory gates from which dozens of workers walked and bicycled into the street. It ended with the concierge closing the gates again.

It wasn't a movie in the modern sense. It had no characters, no storyline. It was just an animated photograph. Much like most French New Wave films. The Lumiere brothers went on to make more than 2,000 films like this, each one less than a minute long depicting various scenes of human activity with titles like The Arrival of a Train, Boat Leaving the Harbor and Baby's First Steps. They didn't call these "movies" or "films," they called them "views."

It took other filmmakers to turn movies into a medium for storytelling. The Lumieres were primarily documentary filmmakers. But in their film Demolition of a Wall, they added a reverse loop to the film so that after the wall falls to the ground it miraculously picks itself back up. It was the first special effect ever uses in the history of motion pictures.

The Lumieres' movie house was a big success. Within a few months of its opening, more than 2,000 people lined up every night to buy tickets. But the Lumieres themselves thought that movies would be a passing fad. They told their cinematographers not to expect work for more than six months. Auguste went on to become a medical scientist and Louis went back to working on still photographs.

December 28, 1945 -
Please rise while reading this:

The US Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Reverend Francis Bellamy for use at the dedication of the World's Fair Grounds in Chicago on October 21, 1892.

December 28, 1973 -
In between bouts of self-loathing and heavy drinking, Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law on this date.  (Sometimes people can surprise you.)

It was the first legislation in American history to focus on protecting animals and their habitats from economic encroachment.

December 28, 1983 -
Dennis Wilson, original drummer of the Beach Boys, drowned while diving from a boat near Marquesas Pier on this date. He was rather drunk at the time.

You would think that someone in the Beach Boys could swim.

December 28, 1991 -
Jack Ruby's pistol, used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, sold at auction at Christie's for $220,000 on this date.

The perfect gift for the man who has everything.

December  28, 1991
Nine people died in a crush to get into a basketball game at City College in New York. The game was promoted by a young rap promoter named Sean Combs.

Combs later testified that security at the Nat Holman facility was supposed to be provided by NYCC.

(Sean Combs, Sean Combs, I know that name from somewhere.)

And so it goes


1 comment:

Jim H. said...

Speaking of Mr. Calhoun, there's a bit of a kerfuffle here in MN over his legacy. Lake Calhoun, a lovely urban lake in the Minneapolis chain of lakes, was (oddly) named for him. For various reasons, people want to remove his name and call it Bde Maka Ska, an Ojibwe phrase meaning "peaceful lake" or something close to that. The Park Board, the City, the State, and the Feds are arguing over (a) whether this is a good idea, and (b) who gets to decide. I favor the new historical name, even though Bde is pronounced like the French bathroom fixture.